Big Tom Casual of Orange Nebula
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Out of solidarity with the people who are usually unable to watch a two hour kickstarter video I am going to attempt a paraphrased transcription of today's live stream. Please be forgiving, I am alone in a hotel room, in the middle of the desert, after a business conference writing on a phone and have been drinking away my loneliness. This will not be eloquent. It will contain weird predictatext mistakes.

First of all Ryan Laukat is in a suit. Not a GQ suit, a Sunday Morning church and brunch with Grandma suit. He is with Brenna and Andrew and everyone is charming and well spoken. The whole thing is adorable.

They dive right in describing event cards.

Quick context! The game is built around a deck of cards. These cards are dual use. Each has an action, mission, delivery goal, etc on them AND a numerical value. You can either play the cards for their text or use them for their value in fighting and diplomacy. The deck acts as a game timer. When it runs out the game is over. You shuffle 8 event cards into the deck each game. So far there are 32 event cards coming in the box, stretch goals will likely bump that to 40 or more. Tldr: there are a whole bunch of event cards in the box, you are guaranteed to see exactly eight each game.

They start describing some events. There's a fungus on a planet and any unit that goes there is infected. They then spread it to any place or unit they come in contact with. It has some detrimental effect.

There are various space stations that can appear. They do things and let you do things.

There are events that trigger various creatures that invade or attack.

Something about a prison break making a planet more dangerous

There's a tribal war and a region becomes worthless until someone brokers a truce to the war.

Ryan gets sidetracked talking about exploration. You can setup and play the game in multiple ways. You can play with all the planets starting revealed or you can play with them face down and reveal them as you explore. Both options have been play tested.

I just shot a bottle cap off a mirror off the lip of a garbage can and into a different garbage can. Hashtag winning.

They switch from talking about the events to talking about the action cards you keep in your hand. There are delivery cards where you go pick something up and have to deliver it somewhere else. When you pick up your cargo/kidnapee/rescuee you reveal the card. If someone can catch and defeat you in a battle they can steal your cargo and that mission, complete it, claim the reward.

They talk about other types of mission cards that you may get. These are secret and once you achieve it you BOOM play the card and get your reward . Claiming such a reward is not an action, you just explain your glory and take your reward. Missions mentioned includ controlling certain areas, winning certain types of battles, collecting or building certain number of things etc

Brief reminder that there are 8 planets and each has a unique alien race to ally with that all bring unique abilities that give you little edges on opponent. Ie extra dice, draw extra cards, reveal unexplored objects, 'mind read' (sneak a peek) at opponents hidden card values when engaged in battle, moving skills, etc....

Other non missiony action cards help you gain influence with planets, get help in battle, allow you to build buildings in rule breaking ways, allow you to move in rulebreaking ways.

Turning now to responding to questions from internet hordes. I will list his responses.

Ryan focused on just five player races because he wanted to really give each one personality, unique abilities, etc

Lots of past iterations of the game had deck building aspects but that always sort of took the game over and became too brain burny. He liked that for city of iron, never felt it fit here, didn't function fast or graceful enough.

Lots and lots of art yet to create. Arguably most the art yet to create. Nothing we have seen so far is final.

Ryan really likes the inclusive aspect of kickstarter. He likes do Kickstarter with unfinished components and likes making the final version of things after he gets lots of feedback. Enjoys the big corporate 'pre order' already done and at print kickstarters too, has backed some, just not how he likes to do his own games.

Apparently playing the full board version of the game with the planets starting face down is VERY similar mechanically to the version with the big square tiles we saw at campaign launch.

Either way the board is littered with upside down exploration tokens. You may find a smugglers den and get some type of trade deal. You may find an artifact you put in your player board and get special powers. You may find a mine or something and get extra of some resource. This is the first I've heard of this all -- sounds killer.

Ryan's next big thing to do is bigger better play through videos that capture more elements of the game.

The planet tiles are 2mm. The game board is 2.5mm with wrapped edges. They aren't worried about the planets moving around or slipping or being fiddled. They say that the big square tiles were way worse in this regard and people worried abo t this should be feeling better about the current situation than any previous version. This seems to be the end of this debate.

There are many fun big surprises to come in the campaign.

They confirm that planets are basically one big space to control. There is a small side section where you are 'in orbit' or just flying by and therefore not forced to battle or challenge units on the surface

Most their future designs will include miniatures. Also SURPRISE they have finished a game that includes minis and it is in print right now. No kockstarter just game in your face this august.

Why minis? Because they can. 'Ryan leveled up'

They will be posting event cards to campaign page for us to see.

More talk about loving feedback. Using city of iron second edition as example. He reveal d board and everyone freaked out hating it. So he stayed up all night revising things and in the morning had a much better design that both he and the backers were all much happier with.

He didn't expect to change back to the big board in this game but reading people's comments always gets his imagination going and he starts seeing his own vision and projects from different angles and returned to the big board.

Ryan had 4 main goals when making the game.

1. Tell a space story with memorable places and characters. Most space games are really pulled back. They view everything from the proverbial 10,000 feet. He wanted to take it to the ground.
2. Lots of various paths to victory, very replayable
3. Make one of the most visually beautiful things he's made
4. Have tight concise battles and actions with meaningful choices and not a lot of excessive nothingness. Slick and smooth baby.

You cat race cat planet people will probably get what you're after in expansions. Not in base game

Getting into talk about what he's learned in the years since Empires 1 (the first of his now dozen or so designs).

1. His art has changed. Used to start with a drawing and then color it in. Looked animationy. Since the mn he has learned to really paint without drawing anything. More mature painted look, better artist in general.
2. He has learned to avoid things where people get frustrated by lots of repeated failure
3. Has gotten better at balancing things
4. Very little downtime in this game

The stretch goal planet is kind of pirate y

There may be a meeple source package available down the road

The average turn takes ten seconds to a minute depending on the action chosen

Will units be able to ride on worldships? Maybe...no promoses

They see starting scenarios as an area to really grow the game down the road. Right now they have a few different starting 'scenarios' but they are more just different setups as far as where worldships get to begin. They are exploring more complicated scenarios and see lots of potential there. They later talk about scenario where invading army is slowly moving across the board all game. They're clearly toying with ideas but are being quiet about specifics.

The minis probably won't have clear bases

Neutral alien units will never be unaccompanied so you'll always know who belongs to who

Expansions right now will probably be new sets of planets and all that comes with them: new alien race for each with different technologies and abilities. New actions and event cards that go with these unique planets that will all be built around new unifying story themes.

The only convention appearance they can confirm in immediate future is gencon. The game will be there to try.

Before the end of the campaign all player boards will be revealed.

The game has a five player max but the language in the rule book will allow for possible sixth player expansion.

The rule book on the campaign page is really outdated.

There aren't actual tech trees. Just unlockable individual tech abilities. No tree

Ryan is asked if this is 4x, 3x? Gives Ugh response. What a can of worms. People have a very hyper specific idea of what 4x means. Yes, this game contains all four Xs but they all have an asterisk next to them because they don't fit the traditional 4X mould of what people expect. So yes it has all four Xs but all in abstract ways, so no it's not at all what experienced gamers picture when they hear 4x. He will leave it to us to decide if we want to call it 4x. He never set out to make a 4x game he set out to achieve the goals listed above.

The track on the right is a victory point track but can double as a timer or countdown track with additional tokens added to it as called for by events.

Scaleability: Ryan loves it as a 2/3 player game. Has had really exciting plays at those counts. The board is full enough of events and actions and alien races that it doesn't feel hollow or empty at small player counts like some space games do. It's also compact enough that you can't avoid the other players even at small counts. Andrew prefers 5 player game because constant constant constant interaction with other players.

Ryan does plan to buy a Nintendo Switch, probably, he has bought all the other Nintendo systems

They are set on keeping planets as tokens at this point. NO on printed planets on board with tokens over the top if desired -- gives them more room for events and scenarios. Ie what if a planet blows up?

They will likely do another of these q and a streams before campaign is over. They are grateful for your support. They are sorry for the technical difficulties, have a good night.


I will not be checking this for errors, it's time for a shower. Suffice to say this is so much more game than I was expecting. I think this is going way under the radar and will be finding lots of new fans for years to come. Very impressive presentation today. Back this thing and help contribute to more stretch goals.

Cheers!
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K S
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8/10 would have appreciated more updates on your intoxication level and related antics.

Getting more excited about this game than I was at launch.
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Nicholas Smith
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Your unwavering enthusiasm and support for this Kickstarter is admirable, Big Tom, thanks for helping to build the hype and get more stretch goals unlocked for us
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Colin Scanlan
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Here's some Geek Gold. Have another one on me, you awesome person.
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Ryan Thompson

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You know, instead of making a half dozen new posts a day, you could just update one post.
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A J
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This was definitely worth GG! Thanks for doing that, great read.
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Big Tom Casual of Orange Nebula
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Kassanova wrote:
You know, instead of making a half dozen new posts a day, you could just update one post.


Nah
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Jason Webster
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CasualToast wrote:
Kassanova wrote:
You know, instead of making a half dozen new posts a day, you could just update one post.


Nah


That is good because I haven't seen the other posts and would have missed this awesome update. Might have to drop my other KS and back this one
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Doron F-N
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great job on the bottle cap!
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Jonathan Hirsch
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Tom for Galactic Emperor! Can you imagine the slightly inebriated updates during a Galactic Council meeting?
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Steve Cohn
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Mal: Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us? Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir! Mal: Ain't we just.
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Thanks for the great recap, BTC!

CasualToast wrote:
Something about a prison break making a planet more dangerous


This really got me thinking about back-story behind this event.

What was imprisoned that an entire planet became more dangerous?

There was a prison break not too far from my home town not terribly long ago. The police were on high alert, citizens were warned...and that's about it (bad guys eventually were caught). People on the other side of the state--let alone those on the other side of the world--probably had no idea, and probably cared less.

But then I thought, what if it was a pack of Rathar-type things? (the toothy-octopus monsters from Star Wars Episode VII, the ones Han and Chewie were smuggling).

Ah, then we have a story...

Large board with modular planet tiles. Thank goodness. Hopefully that ends the debate/discussion. There was an awful lot of back-and-forth between people on that.

The bigger cards were just unlocked as I was typing this (HUZZAH!). Looking forward to that the rest of this campaign will bring!

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Pup Selchen
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TL;DR:

Quote:
I just shot a bottle cap off a mirror off the lip of a garbage can and into a different garbage can. Hashtag winning.
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Ryan Dalton
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Thumb for the subject alone, nicely done!
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White Trash
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CasualToast wrote:
Out of solidarity with the people who are usually unable to watch a two hour kickstarter video I am going to attempt a paraphrased transcription of today's live stream. Please be forgiving, I am alone in a hotel room, in the middle of the desert, after a business conference writing on a phone and have been drinking away my loneliness. This will not be eloquent. It will contain weird predictatext mistakes.

First of all Ryan Laukat is in a suit. Not a GQ suit, a Sunday Morning church and brunch with Grandma suit. He is with Brenna and Andrew and everyone is charming and well spoken. The whole thing is adorable.

They dive right in describing event cards.

Quick context! The game is built around a deck of cards. These cards are dual use. Each has an action, mission, delivery goal, etc on them AND a numerical value. You can either play the cards for their text or use them for their value in fighting and diplomacy. The deck acts as a game timer. When it runs out the game is over. You shuffle 8 event cards into the deck each game. So far there are 32 event cards coming in the box, stretch goals will likely bump that to 40 or more. Tldr: there are a whole bunch of event cards in the box, you are guaranteed to see exactly eight each game.

They start describing some events. There's a fungus on a planet and any unit that goes there is infected. They then spread it to any place or unit they come in contact with. It has some detrimental effect.

There are various space stations that can appear. They do things and let you do things.

There are events that trigger various creatures that invade or attack.

Something about a prison break making a planet more dangerous

There's a tribal war and a region becomes worthless until someone brokers a truce to the war.

Ryan gets sidetracked talking about exploration. You can setup and play the game in multiple ways. You can play with all the planets starting revealed or you can play with them face down and reveal them as you explore. Both options have been play tested.

I just shot a bottle cap off a mirror off the lip of a garbage can and into a different garbage can. Hashtag winning.

They switch from talking about the events to talking about the action cards you keep in your hand. There are delivery cards where you go pick something up and have to deliver it somewhere else. When you pick up your cargo/kidnapee/rescuee you reveal the card. If someone can catch and defeat you in a battle they can steal your cargo and that mission, complete it, claim the reward.

They talk about other types of mission cards that you may get. These are secret and once you achieve it you BOOM play the card and get your reward . Claiming such a reward is not an action, you just explain your glory and take your reward. Missions mentioned includ controlling certain areas, winning certain types of battles, collecting or building certain number of things etc

Brief reminder that there are 8 planets and each has a unique alien race to ally with that all bring unique abilities that give you little edges on opponent. Ie extra dice, draw extra cards, reveal unexplored objects, 'mind read' (sneak a peek) at opponents hidden card values when engaged in battle, moving skills, etc....

Other non missiony action cards help you gain influence with planets, get help in battle, allow you to build buildings in rule breaking ways, allow you to move in rulebreaking ways.

Turning now to responding to questions from internet hordes. I will list his responses.

Ryan focused on just five player races because he wanted to really give each one personality, unique abilities, etc

Lots of past iterations of the game had deck building aspects but that always sort of took the game over and became too brain burny. He liked that for city of iron, never felt it fit here, didn't function fast or graceful enough.

Lots and lots of art yet to create. Arguably most the art yet to create. Nothing we have seen so far is final.

Ryan really likes the inclusive aspect of kickstarter. He likes do Kickstarter with unfinished components and likes making the final version of things after he gets lots of feedback. Enjoys the big corporate 'pre order' already done and at print kickstarters too, has backed some, just not how he likes to do his own games.

Apparently playing the full board version of the game with the planets starting face down is VERY similar mechanically to the version with the big square tiles we saw at campaign launch.

Either way the board is littered with upside down exploration tokens. You may find a smugglers den and get some type of trade deal. You may find an artifact you put in your player board and get special powers. You may find a mine or something and get extra of some resource. This is the first I've heard of this all -- sounds killer.

Ryan's next big thing to do is bigger better play through videos that capture more elements of the game.

The planet tiles are 2mm. The game board is 2.5mm with wrapped edges. They aren't worried about the planets moving around or slipping or being fiddled. They say that the big square tiles were way worse in this regard and people worried abo t this should be feeling better about the current situation than any previous version. This seems to be the end of this debate.

There are many fun big surprises to come in the campaign.

They confirm that planets are basically one big space to control. There is a small side section where you are 'in orbit' or just flying by and therefore not forced to battle or challenge units on the surface

Most their future designs will include miniatures. Also SURPRISE they have finished a game that includes minis and it is in print right now. No kockstarter just game in your face this august.

Why minis? Because they can. 'Ryan leveled up'

They will be posting event cards to campaign page for us to see.

More talk about loving feedback. Using city of iron second edition as example. He reveal d board and everyone freaked out hating it. So he stayed up all night revising things and in the morning had a much better design that both he and the backers were all much happier with.

He didn't expect to change back to the big board in this game but reading people's comments always gets his imagination going and he starts seeing his own vision and projects from different angles and returned to the big board.

Ryan had 4 main goals when making the game.

1. Tell a space story with memorable places and characters. Most space games are really pulled back. They view everything from the proverbial 10,000 feet. He wanted to take it to the ground.
2. Lots of various paths to victory, very replayable
3. Make one of the most visually beautiful things he's made
4. Have tight concise battles and actions with meaningful choices and not a lot of excessive nothingness. Slick and smooth baby.

You cat race cat planet people will probably get what you're after in expansions. Not in base game

Getting into talk about what he's learned in the years since Empires 1 (the first of his now dozen or so designs).

1. His art has changed. Used to start with a drawing and then color it in. Looked animationy. Since the mn he has learned to really paint without drawing anything. More mature painted look, better artist in general.
2. He has learned to avoid things where people get frustrated by lots of repeated failure
3. Has gotten better at balancing things
4. Very little downtime in this game

The stretch goal planet is kind of pirate y

There may be a meeple source package available down the road

The average turn takes ten seconds to a minute depending on the action chosen

Will units be able to ride on worldships? Maybe...no promoses

They see starting scenarios as an area to really grow the game down the road. Right now they have a few different starting 'scenarios' but they are more just different setups as far as where worldships get to begin. They are exploring more complicated scenarios and see lots of potential there. They later talk about scenario where invading army is slowly moving across the board all game. They're clearly toying with ideas but are being quiet about specifics.

The minis probably won't have clear bases

Neutral alien units will never be unaccompanied so you'll always know who belongs to who

Expansions right now will probably be new sets of planets and all that comes with them: new alien race for each with different technologies and abilities. New actions and event cards that go with these unique planets that will all be built around new unifying story themes.

The only convention appearance they can confirm in immediate future is gencon. The game will be there to try.

Before the end of the campaign all player boards will be revealed.

The game has a five player max but the language in the rule book will allow for possible sixth player expansion.

The rule book on the campaign page is really outdated.

There aren't actual tech trees. Just unlockable individual tech abilities. No tree

Ryan is asked if this is 4x, 3x? Gives Ugh response. What a can of worms. People have a very hyper specific idea of what 4x means. Yes, this game contains all four Xs but they all have an asterisk next to them because they don't fit the traditional 4X mould of what people expect. So yes it has all four Xs but all in abstract ways, so no it's not at all what experienced gamers picture when they hear 4x. He will leave it to us to decide if we want to call it 4x. He never set out to make a 4x game he set out to achieve the goals listed above.

The track on the right is a victory point track but can double as a timer or countdown track with additional tokens added to it as called for by events.

Scaleability: Ryan loves it as a 2/3 player game. Has had really exciting plays at those counts. The board is full enough of events and actions and alien races that it doesn't feel hollow or empty at small player counts like some space games do. It's also compact enough that you can't avoid the other players even at small counts. Andrew prefers 5 player game because constant constant constant interaction with other players.

Ryan does plan to buy a Nintendo Switch, probably, he has bought all the other Nintendo systems

They are set on keeping planets as tokens at this point. NO on printed planets on board with tokens over the top if desired -- gives them more room for events and scenarios. Ie what if a planet blows up?

They will likely do another of these q and a streams before campaign is over. They are grateful for your support. They are sorry for the technical difficulties, have a good night.


I will not be checking this for errors, it's time for a shower. Suffice to say this is so much more game than I was expecting. I think this is going way under the radar and will be finding lots of new fans for years to come. Very impressive presentation today. Back this thing and help contribute to more stretch goals.

Cheers!


Awesome summary for someone who's missed it all like I had!
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