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Subject: 4x Space game! (No Name Yet) rss

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Jordan Williams
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I have decided, due to the progression of the game itself to update the Original thread post. The reason being that this is the first thing everyone sees when clicking on this Thread.

The name of the board game itself is yet to be decided. This is a 4X Space game. Now, some of you may say, there are already good games of this genre such as Twilight Imperium or Eclipse as well as others. What is so special about this one that will make me play it? Well, if you so kindly read on hopefully I can Pique your interest in my game.

I have always had an interest in everything sci-fi (I thank Star Wars and Comics for that). One of those things are 4X space games, I have tried many a game, Sword of the Stars, Masters of Orion, Galactic Civ etc etc. Each being fun in their own way as they tend to focus on different aspects of the game itself. This being true too for the Sci-Fi 4X board-games out there. What I do find though, is that the board games lack a certain oomph that the console games have, I am unsure whether this is an aspect of Realism involved into it, Strategic involvement of the player (Decision-making or choices available), and even the Strategy and/or Tactics involved in Combat, It is probably a combination of these and other things though. I am going to try and fix that problem, having you leave a game session feeling like you have truly achieved galactic domination through your own wits, political prowess and strategic thinking, all in a few hours instead of a weekend, of gaming.

Since this is a 4X game I will explain how it touches into the four aspects of: eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation & eXtermination.

First up is;
eXploration

This game is set in a very distant galaxy and also set thousands of years into the future from now. The ‘Map’ is separated into Large Hexes which will each fit an entire solar system (That is the Star and its surrounding planets). The map itself, depending on how many players are actually playing will vary in size, with there being 7,8 or even 9 Solar Systems in a large Game and 2 or 3 in a smaller game. The Suns are separated into 4 Different types, each having their own colour code. The planets are also sorted into the same colour scheme matching their respective Suns. So for example when setting up a game with two Yellow Suns, one Red and one Blue-White you would select random planets for each of these Solar Systems according to their colour code eg. Yellow Sun Planets for the Yellow Sun, Red Sun Planets for the Red Sun etc.
Players will begin their eXploration of the Galaxy with their scout ships, these being available immediately from commencing the game. The players will use these ships to eXplore & ‘Flip’ over the Planet Counters they encounter and thus reveal the resources that particular planet has to offer. There will also be random encounters or anomalies which the scout ships will be allowed to interact with, some of these giving research, more resources or even giving the player control over a derelict ship.

Overall giving a varied experience every time you play as not only the Stars in each solar system actively being used would be different when the selection process is done, but the planets themselves will be different as they are also chosen at random.



eXpansion

Once Players have eXplored and found a planet they deem fit for Colonization they will need to build a Colony Ship. These Colony Ships will carry 1 population from the Planet it is built on to wherever the player sends that ship. Once Colonized the population will begin to harvest the resources the planet has to offer to further increase the players income.

Q:How does this system work?


The Resources this game uses are Grebs (Money), Food, Ore, Fuel & Psionic Energy the latter being race specific and spoken about later on. Each planet, is separated into either 2, 3 or 4 Quadrants/Sections. Each one of these quadrants provides one of the specified Resources each turn (Except for Grebs). In order to be able to harvest these you need population to work on them. E.g Player A’s recently Explored planet is separated into 4 Quadrants, 2 of which are Green(Food), one is Black(Fuel) and the other is Grey(Ore). In order to gain 2 Food, 1 Fuel and 1 Ore from this planet the player must have 4 Population on it.
Population grows with abundancy of Food and decreases with a lack of Food (Amount of food needed will vary with race). I will give an example, each human population consumes ½ of 1 Food, so for each Food resource you have, your population will be able to grow by two. Food can be found in most Solar Systems, in some, the quantity is scarcer than others so in order to expand you will need to target High-Class planets with a good quantity of Food. Obviously there is also some research which will allow you to get more food, or need less per population.
With the lack of food I found that it would be interesting to add features to the game which would allow the player to cripple their enemies’ empires Indirectly instead of Directly (Through Capturing and Destroying, Fleets and/or Planets). If you were to blockade your enemies main food ‘Producers’ in essence you could stop that player from expanding farther into the stars. (This system needs to be tested and may or may not be included in final version).

Q:What else is included in the eXpansion aspect of the game?

In any 4X pc game you play you will find each race has its own Tech-tree. In this boardgame you will ALSO find race-tailored tech-trees where the player will be able to expand upon their Combat, Economic and Political assets. Amongst these being race-specific technologies to unlock your chosen races full potential.

Another thing you will find in this game that will alter how each player plays out their game is the Stations each player will be able to build with their construction ships. These stations each have a specialty which will give the player different abilities and each planet is only allowed one Station.

An example, Player B has recently colonized three planets, A has 2 quadrants both of which are Black(Fuel), planet B has 4 Quadrants, 2 of which are Green(Food) and 2 are Grey(Ore). Player B decides to build a Mining Station on Planet A, which will grant him double that planets raw resources; in other words 4 Fuel instead of 2. On planet B he decides to build an Agriculture Station since he already is in good supply of Ore, this mean he would get 4 Food instead of 2, plus the 2 Ore from that planet. On the third planet though, which has 2 Food, 1 Ore and 1 Fuel he also decides to build a Mining Station. Ore and Fuel are both doubled by the Mining Station, which would mean the player receives 2 Food, 2 Ore & 2 Fuel from that planet.

Other Stations include a Shipyard, which would allow you to build Ships for your Fleets, Science stations for research, and Shrines (Not Available to every race) to harvest Psionic Energy. Another station which becomes unlockable through research to some races is the Diplomacy Station, this allows the players to build diplomatic fleets in order to enter into Diplomacy with other players (More on that later though).
eXpansion in this game will become crucial as players race to colonize the better classed planets in order to further increase their foothold in the galaxy. Will you gain the upper-hand by quickly establishing your presence in many planets? Or will you simply bide your time and watch as the enemy stretches their Empire enough to make them an easy target?



eXploitation


There is a whole galaxy to eXploit! And a myriad of races with whom to do so! Raiding, blockading, backstabbing are amongst some of the things you are allowed, but what better way to eXploit your enemies than through espionage along with a never ending battle for political dominance?

In this game, players will acquire a special resource entitled ‘Influence’ through certain actions in the game such as conquering planets, entering/breaking diplomatic relations and winning/losing certain political actions. This ‘Influence’ is not only the currency the player uses to purchase espionage actions but also what the player uses in his Diplomatic & Political Actions, this can also be used to bribe or coerce other players into certain deals.

Eg. A Political Card has been drawn in which a decision needs to be made to enact an edict. Whether or not the Edict shall pass is up to the players. The edict states that a heavy Tax should be imposed on fleets having a command point over a certain amount. This comes at a bad time for player A since he’s just spent most of his resources on outfitting some new Fleets with the best ships he has, taking them all beyond the limit of the tax edict. Player C, B and D don’t have fleets as big as player A and are losing the fight, if this edict were to pass then they wouldn’t be outmatched by player A’s massive fleets! They pool together their influence points for the voting and it comes to a 37 points. Player A puts in his points which is a total of 33, player A has lost this round, which would mean he has to pay out to the other players the Tax imposed on his large fleets. Before the vote is finished though, Player A plays one of his Espionage cards, which so happens to remove 5 votes from the opposition and then add it to his own. Player A has won this political battle, but, at a heavy cost since he has spent all of his influence points just for this edict! Hopefully, the next card drawn isn’t something similar.

I want something to stand out in each of the 4X aspects, and in the eXploitation I believe the one I want to stand out the most is the Political landscape in this game, the politics will be solved quickly and simply but involve all the players in it, either for their benefit or demise.

Another fun part of the eXploiting is the Espionage (Spying) system in which players will be able to (Once Spying Research is done) infiltrate other empires and cause mayhem from within. This could include assasinations, war instigations, causing riots, collecting intel etc etc. all without the other player knowing who it is! (im already feeling mischievous!). This espionage system will also play a big part in the political system, because, as we all know, politics wouldn’t be politics without all the dark dodgy ‘in the shadows’ dirt that comes along with it.


Thanks for reading. Please give your opinions!
(Will upload eXtermination ASAP)
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Anyone have any thoughts on my ideas?
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
I'm a bit scared to be honest. But, that might be because I didn't understand your post correctly. Has the game already passed the play-testing phases and now you are doing artwork and preparing to publish, or have you (God have mercy on your soul) done all that work not knowing is the game good or not?

Because, as I read your 'what do you think about my idea' question, and also the list of things already done, it looks like it has passed the 'idea phase' long time ago, and it's in the finishing phases actually. It's a bit obscure. You are talking like you are still in the process of refining the idea, but you have most of the components already designed?

Why is it scary? Well, one night on the Tabletops Simulator chat one guy was looking for beta-testers for his game based on DOTA 2. I was surprised entering his room to see the finished and complete game with all the components having artwork, tokens, boards, all have been finished and done pretty good. Game was a finished product on par with professionally made games from big companies. He told me he was working on it for 9 months.
But, I was his first player!!!! He never tested it before!

We started playing, and oh, boy... It was a mechanical mess! Boring, fiddly, over-complex, with game-braking flaws in the design. As we played together he also could see how bad the game was. His voice has changed and I could feel how much his heart had sunk. I think he was crying after he closed the room. I was really sorry for him. For some reason it got me, and I was thinking about him for few days. How much quality work and time he had spent on that game, and how much it must be hard for him when he saw that it was all for nothing...


Well, I'm getting the same vibe after reading your post, since it sounds like you have done much of work already, but you are not sure if your game is working or not. That 'WIP' part confused me, because you also say you are working on graphic design. Is it just 'basic' design or are you going toward the prototype look?...

You said you are still balancing stuff.
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
What I got from your post is "epic space war game" and "the players can select a level of complexity." But that's *all* I got. How does it actually work? i.e. what sorts of mechanics does it use? How long does it take? Is this a campaign game, a single session, both?

For example, you mentioned a similarity to Warhammer. In what ways is it similar? Like, does it also have the customizable miniatures? The concept that the miniature's look actually determines what rules it follows (glue on a chainsaw and it uses a chainsaw; glue on 2 guns and it uses 2 guns etc.)? Or is it the combat system that's similar? Do you need to build terrain for it to be fun (e.g. asteroids for your spaceships to hide behind or whatever)? etc. etc. etc.

What about the other aspects of your game? What are they like? How do they work?

And don't post the rulebook, cause ain't nobody got time for that. Do you have, like, a 30-second elevator pitch describing the game? A 100-words-or-less summary?

How much playtesting have you done? What aspects are working well? What aspects are you struggling with? If you want feedback, we need something to comment on. More than just "IT'S GOING TO BE SO AWESOME LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF IT HAS IN IT."
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Hi! Firstly thanks for taking your time to respond to this thread. Reading your comment and the other comment by geerhead on the thread I realise I should change the wording on a few things on the post. Maybe I have over-complicated myself in the manner of explanation.

What I do have completed is the 'grand scale' theme, or idea behind it. This is all based on a book that I had planned out but never got down to writing it as a whole, so yes the races, what they look like and should play like are all done for example. The lore behind it all is also there thanks to the book etc.

This game isn't in a playtesting phase, as i'm still working out the core mechanics. The 'Core' so to say is there yes. I believe I have confused people by the way I have written out my thread with the 3D miniatures and the board game itself. You see, there will be a set of rules for the Miniatures very much in the way Warhammer or Infinity have their rules, for a Table-top Wargame. The miniatures may or may not be used together with the game but are not part of the board game so to say. So I apologize for that confusion, i will change that ASAP in my thread.

As for the board game itself what I have worked out is I want this game to be for 2-6 players. Players will pick at random a race which will each have their own Tech trees, race specific ships and troops making the game and their objectives or playstyle different. Then Each player will take 2 actions each (Researching, building, moving, trading, raiding etc) till they cannot or do not want to make anymore moves. Once that 'phase' is complete you would move onto the second phase which would revolve around certain Action cards that each player collects (at the end of every round) that can have positive or negative outcomes or consequences, Positive might be things like extra resources or movements or even possibilities to halt an uprising. Negative ones might be damage to your ships, uprisings, etc (I am working on what these cards will be and what they will affect). After this then players enter a political 'phase' where players can affect certain laws of the game and vote on laws passed down on cards that the players play out using their political influence (Gained via different aspects in the game whilst playing).
The 4th phase is the battle phase which would involve players playing a quick card game with 7 cards each that they choose from the ships that are in their battling fleet. These cards represent ships and have different attributes which I am currently working out. The players then fight and destroy or capture each others ships.

Phase 5 is the end of the round which means that the players receive the resources they use to build things and purchase/research techs from the planets they own as well as pick an action card.



Some other things I plan on adding make use of Diplomatic ships in order to be able to pass messages on to the other players etc

I hope this explains a little more about the game! Please do not hesitate on asking more things!
 
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Hi, thanks for responding to my thread and giving your opinion. I apologize for my Noobness! I understand that I need to make changes to the thread post so I don't confuse anyone! haha.
As for what you have said, in the response I gave to 8Oj4N who posted just before you has some of what you've asked.
In my excitement to share this I might have ended up confusing people, The miniatures will be one thing, and the board game another thing. So I will remove the part about the miniatures although you can use them for this board game if you so wish.
The board game depending on the complexity that you use will either be a one session playthrough or a campaign which can take several playthroughs.
As for the summary you asked for I had some notes for myself about it I'll just copy them onto this:

Phases - Game is played in Rounds, each round has phases, after each player has played all phases the round begins again
1.Action Phase - Each player can take 2 actions each turn till no more actions can or wish to be made, these can be:
Research technologies, build stations & ships, recruit Armies, move fleets (depends on fleet range) can move till Fleet points are used (Random event Card Picked out if traveling to unexplored zone), Initiate Trade or Diplomacy with known playing races (Need to use Trade ships or Diplomatic ships). Initiate War or battles, Retreat from active battles (if possible). Raid Trade ships & Capture Diplomatic Fleets carrying messages.

2. Reveal action cards players have placed face down in activation pool & play out consequences. 2 cards can be played by each player.

3. Political Cards and economy cards used & consequences played out.

4. Play out battles.

5. Receive Resources from planets, mining, trade, Raiding & Vassalization. Completion of researches at start of new Round. Repairs competed at start of new round.



As for the battles Players choose 7 cards out of his Fleet Deck (from ships built in current fleet) to fight it out against the opponents 7 cards. Player can use Ability cards or 'supply cards' that he has purchased/built and are currently in the fleet such as 'repair bots', 'shield boosts' etc.
Players then take it in turns to place cards down in first (active) or secondary (Reserve) lanes and to take actions per card, these can be abilities the cards have, attacks, supply cards etc.
Similar to a TCG.


I have several things ready for a playtest with my friends. I am struggling with things to input. Obviously Some things might work out for better others for worse, an example of this was when I tried out the first ships and how I had made the stats for these, I realized I had over-complicated myself with the numbers and they weren't balanced at all. The players would have struggled to keep up with the damage received and being dished out. I also am struggling with abilities to give to the ships themselves;
*Fighters, Bombers, Heavy Fighters
*Corvettes, Assault Shuttles, Hunters (Long Range), Frigate, Heavy Assault Shuttle.
*Cruisers, Light Cruisers, Destroyers
*Battleships, Carriers
Those are the different classes you could use, each would have pros and cons, be them speed, damage, range etc but i want to give them some different abilities so the battles can be more strategic or tactical instead of 'ooo i have bigger guns and ships i will win obvs'.


I hope these comments help!!!
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Caroline Berg
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
IronWill Jordy wrote:
As for the board game itself what I have worked out is I want this game to be for 2-6 players. Players will pick at random a race which will each have their own Tech trees, race specific ships and troops making the game and their objectives or playstyle different.

I'm going to stop you right there.

• Have you worked out the different tech trees?
• Have you worked out how the ships are different for each race?
• Have you worked out the objectives?

My thoughts on that are - if you haven't done any of that yet, you need to do a lot more work before asking about what you have... because at this point it sounds like you have a whole bunch of ideas, but nothing concrete.

And since you have 10 races... 10 different tech trees, 10 different fleets filled with unique ships, 10 different objectives (at the least)... This is an insanely huge task to be undertaking! It is going to take a lot of time to create all that, not to mention playtest it, testing 10 asymmetrical factions is no easy task.

I'm not saying don't do it - but start smaller. Put together tech trees/ships/objectives for 4 races, and work things out with those 4 before going up to 10. And that isn't even going into the laws or action cards or other things that will drastically change the game.
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Domenic
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Mostly I design variants rather than full games - it's just so much easier to start with a game that is working and tweak it to get something more interesting than to start from scratch.

One way to go about designing a new thematic game would be to take an existing game that is in the right genre, and then playtest your primary gimmick/mechanic as integrated into that system. Once you're happy with how your main new feature works, start swapping out the existing systems one by one so that they work to emphasize your new feature(s).

In reading your initial post, it seems like your main new idea is to have ship units that actually hold melee units, with ship-to-ship and on-board combat occurring dynamically. That sounds pretty neat! But it also sounds kind of tough to balance - if ship weapons are effective, one ship will be destroyed before boarding can happen. If ship weapons are ineffective, why engage in ship-to-ship combat all?

You mentioned Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) as a game in the genre. I haven't played TI-3, but I would start there (it sounds a lot closer than Risk to what you want), making the minimal changes you need to get the ship/melee combat system working. Once that's working, implement your new races/tech trees. Then replace the board.
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Thanks for the opinions

-I have an idea on what the tech trees should be like yes. But sadly they are vague ideas.
-The ships yes I have worked out how they are different, The humans ships for example will be the ones that are the most balanced at everything, armour, damage, shields and speed. The Surcan Confederacy differs in that it favours speed and maneuverability over the other aspects, so they will be the quickest ships in the game. Another difference for example would be the Xi-Thian, they are brutish and hyper-aggressive in nature so their ships will favour high damage and armour values, but lacking in speed and shields, etc
-The objectives again no, it's at the back over there somewhere haha. They will be based on what the tech-trees and the ship style the race has though.
I do understand what you are saying, it is quite a mighty task indeed. I am doing as you have said though, which is working on a few at a time, so for now I am starting with the two human factions and the Surcan race. Eventually will move on to a few others once I am happy with what I have.


Thank you very much for the constructive feedback! its very much appreciated!
 
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Its funny you mentioned that, some of my ideas are based on what Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) Has already, such as the political cards and the action cards. I hadn' thought about doing it that way and I am happy you have said that, that will make things easier as a whole in order to test out key features and/or mechanics. Thanks for that! I would tip you for that but i have no geekgold xD


As for what you said about the miniatures themselves, yes I understand that point of view, you would normally abstain from boarding enemy vessels unless you bring along an assault shuttle which would bring the specified troops for exactly that. Normally any of the ships would have necessary crew members such as navigation crew or gunnery crew along with a couple of guards to protect from boarding parties. The idea behind that would be for example if you're outmatched by a battleship, you'd send a shuttle or two with squads of marines in order to wreak havok in the interior of the ship given you might not stand the same chance on ship to ship combat.
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patrick mullen
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Just want to add that I don't think people are upset with how you formatted your post, but more just making sure you have properly thought things through and aren't barelling forward or skipping steps. Your plan for the game is all well and good, but know that when you start actually designing and testing things in the game things might change.

I would figure out two of the races, and come up with a simplified tech tree for each of them. Figure out your core mechanics and keep everything simple. Don't build out all of the races, or make all of the different ship types etc. Just like, 2 or 3 ship types, the boarding mechanics, and a few techs for 2 of the races. Something that won't take more than a week or two, and gets you to a playable piece of the game.

It probably won't be the actual game, but you want to get to something playable as quick as you can so that you can experiment and use that to guide your direction. As you playtest, you will find out which of your assumptions are wrong and which were right. Then build out more complexity from there.

You have brainstormed some cool ideas for a while, but if you want to go forward the key word is "focus". Don't think about the universe, or the potential model mechanics, or how to scale the game so it works on a simple level but can get more complex as players want it. Or even how to make it work for such a wide player range as 2-6. Each of those is a separate concern that can earn it's own focus when you have a game TOO scale.

There's not much more painful in game design than printing out 350 cards and finding out that the core mechanic for the game, which everything was built on, doesn't even work. Lessons learned
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Just think how much time you will need to balance those 10 races of yours.
That could actually be the hardest part. You need to make them different enough, so players have different experience while playing with them, but you also need to make them on par with the rest of the races.

Look at the game Cry Havoc. They made only 3 races there, and still some ppl nag about how, when you play 2 player game, one race is more prominent and OP, etc... It is a HARD work.

Do you have any help, or are you doing it all alone?
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Thanks for that Saluk, I know I'm quite sure I am aiming to high to start off with. Nothing is set in stone though, yesterday I sat down with an A3 sheet of paper and started writing down all the components I would need firstly for each race, and secondly components that everyone would use such as action cards or political cards, trying to flesh out the ideas. So I took out Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) and started taking some cards out, getting ideas on what I could have on the Political & Action Cards. I have also a smaller scale printed out version of the unfinished map just to get a feel for it, today I will be trying out several things from the game using like dommer 2029 said
Quote:
One way to go about designing a new thematic game would be to take an existing game that is in the right genre, and then playtest your primary gimmick/mechanic as integrated into that system. Once you're happy with how your main new feature works, start swapping out the existing systems one by one so that they work to emphasize your new feature(s).


I am starting out just as you have said too though, small-scale trying to adjust on the first few things so that the others come along with it after.

Thanks for your comments Patrick
 
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
You make a good point! yes it will be hard trying to get everyone balanced out. The way I plan on making that is so each race is good at a specific thing or at least better at some things than other races.
Like I have this race called the Velox and their 'Culture' so to say relies heavily on magic & Psionics. So this race for example will have abilities and tech related to this and will also be the one to put it to use in the game the most, be that in the battles or in the actual map gameplay.
Another race for example would be the Xi-thian, they are hyper-aggressive so their tech and ships etc would reflect that being warlike, weapon and armour orientated, but, they are also quite dumb, so even though they will be the ones with highest damage output they will lack shields and even have a research impediment (Taking longer to research).

I will do the humans first though, because they will be the balanced ones with a bit of everything, then from there I can base the other races ships and techs etc.
 
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Craig M
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
I haven't read this thread in detail, but I wonder if you are biting off more than you can chew? Getting playtesters is a PTA for a medium-sized game, and this sounds massive in scope.

May I suggest you cut things back to 3-4 races, some simple mechanics, and playtest them first?

Once you have a decent ruleset, I would be happy to look it over. I run a playtest/rule-critique group and if you have the energy and inclination to playtest some of the games of our members, you would earn points allowing you to buy critiques off them.

Good luck.
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Jordan Williams
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
I am working progressively instead of attempting to do them all at the same time, in the reply I wrote just above your message i say
Quote:
I will do the humans first though, because they will be the balanced ones with a bit of everything, then from there I can base the other races ships and techs etc.


So yes the playtesting will be done with a couple of races at first, and then it will go ahead to include the other races

Thanks for that offer, I will Pm you once I have something stable
 
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Arty N.
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Re: Looking for some opinions and ideas!
As I see it, there are basically two potential reasons to make a specific game:

a) It's a unique game and there's no similar game on the market.
b) Existing similar games on the market have issues that this game aims to fix.

Considering there's plenty space 4Xes available, it must be option "b"
So here's where I would start - research what's out there and what's problematic in those games. Design your game in a way to fix (at least some) of those problems, without creating new ones. Then you might have a following. Otherwise it would be extremely hard to persuade people to play your game instead of TI3 or Eclipse or any other 4X.
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Jordan Williams
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
anyone else have any ideas or opinions?
 
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patrick mullen
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
IronWill Jordy wrote:
anyone else have any ideas or opinions?


At this point, I think you will need to have more specific questions and/or make that small prototype and start solo playtesting to find problems. You will usually find these problems very quick and that directs you to what you need to work on next.

Have you made any progress yet?
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Jordan Williams
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Hi Saluk. I have printed out a portion of the map, and stuck it onto some paperboard to get something more solid. I was choosing in between a static board game and hexes, I found that the hex (Or anything not static) type is many times greater for the Exploration aspect of the game.

So what I have done is made the Static board game, made it into a hexed grid with the PC & then cut the board into several different sized and shaped pieces, which in turn will have 8 of the same pieces. I will upload a picture of what I mean later on today. Imagine a Static game board broken up into pieces as if it were a puzzle. So as you go exploring you slowly start building up the board.

I am doing as you suggested in your comment starting up with 2 races which will be the two human races in the game. Simplifying in a sense of their Techs won't vary too much and neither will their ships and race perks and cons so all in all it should be a fair match. I believe I am going to be knocking down the number of ships being used from 13 to 7.

Another thing I have decided on is the an aspect of the empire management which would be the stations you may build. Each planet will allow you to build only 1 of these stations making it specialized in that area. The stations available are Shipyard (Construction), Mining, Diplomatic, Scientific & Military (For Repairs & refueling). For example, with my exploration fleet I manage to find a planet with quite a high resource output, so in order to maximize its output I build a mining station onto that planet. This will make the planet specialized in that field, which means i cant build anything else. That planet then can't be used to build any ships or repair your fleets or increase your scientific output.

will be trying these aspects out on friday so I will get back with the findings!
 
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patrick mullen
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
IronWill Jordy wrote:
Hi Saluk. I have printed out a portion of the map, and stuck it onto some paperboard to get something more solid. I was choosing in between a static board game and hexes, I found that the hex (Or anything not static) type is many times greater for the Exploration aspect of the game.

So what I have done is made the Static board game, made it into a hexed grid with the PC & then cut the board into several different sized and shaped pieces, which in turn will have 8 of the same pieces. I will upload a picture of what I mean later on today. Imagine a Static game board broken up into pieces as if it were a puzzle. So as you go exploring you slowly start building up the board.

I am doing as you suggested in your comment starting up with 2 races which will be the two human races in the game. Simplifying in a sense of their Techs won't vary too much and neither will their ships and race perks and cons so all in all it should be a fair match. I believe I am going to be knocking down the number of ships being used from 13 to 7.

Another thing I have decided on is the an aspect of the empire management which would be the stations you may build. Each planet will allow you to build only 1 of these stations making it specialized in that area. The stations available are Shipyard (Construction), Mining, Diplomatic, Scientific & Military (For Repairs & refueling). For example, with my exploration fleet I manage to find a planet with quite a high resource output, so in order to maximize its output I build a mining station onto that planet. This will make the planet specialized in that field, which means i cant build anything else. That planet then can't be used to build any ships or repair your fleets or increase your scientific output.

will be trying these aspects out on friday so I will get back with the findings!


So you have multiple hexes on each modular piece? I like this as a good balance between complete randomization and completely static. It also allows you to design interesting layouts - completely random layouts can just as well randomly generate boring layouts as well as interesting ones.

The video game Spelunky is actually famous for using this kind of randomization, where each level is made up of predesigned rooms that assemble randomly, along with some extra randomization of tiles (tile 4,4 in room Z can either be a wall or open). One of your map pieces could have 4 mountain tiles, and when you put it on you roll a die to determine which mountain is volcanic.

The two humans are a good start. You can focus on the base gameplay rather than on how the more unique races change that base gameplay.

I like the planet specializations. It sounds like it could make for some really tough choices.
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Jordan Williams
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
That's what I was thinking. I basically separated the A1 sheet I had into 4 A3s then I drew down onto the hex sheets the lines to separate. I made each sheet the same as the other the top half mirroring the bottom half, so this way you'd end up with 4 pieces of each type that would be different. obviously ill be making more of them so you'd end up maybe with 8 or 10 pieces of 'layout 1' for example, but each of them are different in the sense of number of planets and stars, asteroid fields, magnetic storms nebulae etc so should give a randomized playing field each time you play.

I've never heard of that game before but i'll give it a look!

and yes in a sense it will also let me balance out the combat and the resource acquirement every round because it will be a fair game. I believe I have more or less come up with the humans tech tree, some things will need to be added and some removed or tweaked but the basic 'tree' is there. I'll type some of them out today. Another thing i've worked out is the tech the humans will start with, including the ship hulls they have and even the station tech they begin with. for example they won't start out with both a diplomatic station or a mining station and will need to unlock these via researching. They will also not have access to the Shrine which is a station specifically used by Psionic energy using races such as the Velox.

I printed out some simple planet cards which ill try to upload. Will be a kind of concept with which to work from.


I didn't bother making all the planets different yet of course because it is irrelevant for gameplay. the little tabs on the left are where the score of the resources that planet gives out every turn goes. This will be from top to bottom: Money, Ore, Food, Fuel, Psionic Energy.

 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Nice. Why is the top of the planet cut, though?
 
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Jordan Williams
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
Well it seems I accidentally cut off the top part when removing the background of the planet. When i realised I had already copy pasted it onto several of them and then sort of just wasn't bothered on doing the whole process again xD xD
 
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Jonas Aldén
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Re: 4x Space game. Looking for some opinions and ideas!
nichik wrote:
Considering there's plenty space 4Xes available, it must be option "b"
So here's where I would start - research what's out there and what's problematic in those games. Design your game in a way to fix (at least some) of those problems, without creating new ones. Then you might have a following. Otherwise it would be extremely hard to persuade people to play your game instead of TI3 or Eclipse or any other 4X.

I totally agree with this.

What kind of game do you dream of? A TI3 variant but with another setting? More details?

To me it looks like you want to add a lot of things (like more ship types with more stats, more detailed combat system, vassals, etc) which is likely to add to the playing time. Given that many gamers who love TI3 rarely play it due to the long playing time, would you be fine with your game having an even longer play time (I.e. Probably unplayable in one session)? If not, what will you take away?

I don't know how much research you've done on existing games but I'd recommend having a good knowledge of at least these two in addition to TI3:
Eclipse (euro in space)
Space Empires: 4X inc. the expansion (wargame with plenty of combat options but no diplomacy or trade)

Any new space game will eventually be compared to TI3, Eclipse and/or Space Empires. Knowing what each of these games do well is a good starting point.
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