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Subject: QPnP Design Challenge - Space Attack! rss

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Joel Mayeski
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Space Attack!
2-8 Players
10-30 minutes
A semi-cooperative game of action and intrigue with the fate of Earth hanging in the balance!

Overview
A quick card laying and revealing game with only four possible actions. However, the tension rests in who will come out victorious. You compete against/alongside 1-7 other players to determine the fate of the Earth during an Alien attack. Your choices determine whether Earth lives or dies... well your choices and those of your opponents. The winner is the player who can swing the pendulum of fate in their favor.

Components
A maximum of 40 - 2.5" x 2.5" playing cards and some scoring tokens. (only 3-4 sheets to cut and very portable!)

Files
Can be found here: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0HIvTmBfVYKNTQzNTBlMmMtZDM...

Thanks!
A round of applause goes out to: Christy Mayeski (my sister) for doing the graphic design and play testing; Chris Bert for doing play testing and student home Verdi for play testing as well!

Disclaimer
The amount of time, love and attention that I would have liked to have invested into the game didn't quite happen. However, fear not, a "v2.0" may come out with all the polish and perfections I could dream of. In the meantime enjoy the game!


Edits: Word Choice, Spelling, Image


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todd sanders
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googledocs says no items in your folder
 
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Joel Mayeski
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I just checked and saw them - can you try again and see if it works from your end?
 
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todd sanders
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ok now yes
 
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Iffix Y Santaph
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The graphics are the most stunning grayscale I've seen in this competition. Grayscale really works for it. And I do intend to try it.
Since I'm a goo gamer all the way. (But, is it okay if I cheer for the aliens?)
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Joel Mayeski
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Cheer away (for the aliens) your winning strategy might be the complete annihilation of Earth!
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Joel,
Jack had your old link in his entry thread; I sent him the update, but you might want to do the same to be sure.
 
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Joel Mayeski
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Wow, Iffix, you're good, I just noticed it a moment ago myself and did email Jack. Thanks for the help and positive feedback - I'll have to check out your game submission!
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Shane Ryan
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haha yeah that muck up almost lost you from my radar, i was going through the list of games and came to your old thread and messaged iffix moaning about it lol thinking you had ran out of time!
 
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Nate K
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I'm in the process of (finally) getting this printed out. I should be able to test it on my lunch break at work today.

[edit] PS, I appreciate how I only need to print out three pages of components.
 
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Nate K
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So here's the scoop:

I printed out the game on yellow cardstock. (I really need to remember to pick up some more white cardstock one of these days.) There were only three pages of components, which was lovely. I also printed out the four pages of rules on regular paper so that I could have them for reference.

Because of the small number of components, I was able to quickly cut everything out with scissors during my lunch break and get in two games. Admittedly, the fact that I used different-colored paperclips rather than the little tokens shaved off a lot of cutting time.

I was interrupted by phone calls both games, so I'm not sure how long either game lasted, but I think the first was around ten or twelve minutes, and the second was maybe seven or eight minutes.

I was playing solo as Player 1 and Player 2. Player two won both games.

In the first game, the Alien Fleet cards were 12 and 16, respectively. Player 1 focused on heroically battling the Aliens with Lasers, hoping to wipe them out. Unfortunately, Player 2 decided to hedge his bets by putting points in both Escape Ship and City. Player 2 also did not kill a single Alien ship. By the fourth turn, despite Player 1's efforts, there were still way too ships in play for Player 1 to be able to defeat. And since Player 1 had put only a very few points in City and none at all in Escape Ship, it was obvious who would win.

During the second game, both players went for the Escape Ship/City combo early on. Player 2 put down slightly more points on Escape Ship in the first turn, and Player 1 was never really able to catch up. Investigation was used much more heavily in this game in an attempt to prevent players from gaining points, but unfortunately, Investigation also meant adding points into Laser or City, which were worthless, because no one was trying to kill the Aliens.

Now, I may have been playing a couple of rules incorrectly. Hopefully I can get some clarification on these points. First of all, I was playing Lasers in the first game with the rule that each Laser killed a number of Alien ships equal to the number of the Laser. So playing the 2 card as Laser meant destroying 2 Alien ships. However, I would only add 1 point to Laser. Is that correct?

Also, with Investigation: If I use Investigation on an opponent's Escape Ship, do I get to destroy any Alien ships? I know that I can add points to Laser, but that doesn't necessarily help me if the goal is to kill ships.

Anyway, here are my conclusions:

Alien Fleets are too difficult to kill. Basically, both players (in a two-player game) have to be gunning for the Fleet, otherwise the player with the most points in Escape Ship wins. Because the Fleets are extremely difficult to kill, City points almost never matter, which means that Investigation isn't terribly important. Which in turn means that Escape Ship is only only viable route to victory.

The game is quick, easy to print out, and could potentially be fun. The visuals are clear and interesting, despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of color. Unfortunately, there's a balance issue that needs to be addressed. The Alien Fleets need to be a little easier to kill. How MUCH easier, I couldn't say without more testing, but it was clear from those two games that there's a problem.
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Joel Mayeski
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I'm happy to hear you printed the game out and tried it!

I'm also happy to hear you enjoyed the ease of printing and low sheet count.

I'd be happy to address some of your questions/concerns - so I'll take a stab at them here:

1. First of all, I was playing Lasers in the first game with the rule that each Laser killed a number of Alien ships equal to the number of the Laser. So playing the 2 card as Laser meant destroying 2 Alien ships. However, I would only add 1 point to Laser. Is that correct?

You are "mostly" correct. If you play a 2-Laser card it would kill 2 Alien ships, but ALSO gain you 2 Laser points.


2. Also, with Investigation: If I use Investigation on an opponent's Escape Ship, do I get to destroy any Alien ships? I know that I can add points to Laser, but that doesn't necessarily help me if the goal is to kill ships.

Yes, you would also kill Alien ships equal to the amount you scored in Laser points. (example: You play a 2-Investigation against a 2-Escape Ship. The player playing the Investigation gains 2 points on the Laser score card and 2 Alien ships are destroyd.


And lastly, you noted about the Alien Fleet being to hard to destroy. Yes, that seems to be croping up as a problem I only began to see with some playtesting (and unfortunatelly submitted it before more playtesting!) A varient I've been passing along is to play with less Alien Fleet cards (such as 1 #16 card in a 2 player game or 2 #12s or just one or two less cards in a 4+ player game). This should make it more likely for the Alien fleet to be destroyed as now one player can make a larger difference on this (even destroy them all by themselves in a 2 player game).

I'm looking to possibly add to the game to make it more than just a quick filler (such as resource mangement, etc) so I'm also looking into fixing the "too tough Alien" problem as well. I really appreciate your feedback. I'd enjoy hearing (either here or geekmail) what you think if you play it more solo or against 1 or more other players. I think the feedback is very helpful, so thanks!

Did you enter this contest? (I'd be interested to see your game if you did)
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Nate K
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I didn't enter the QPnP contest, although I have three submissions in the Little Box Contest. I wouldn't be mad if you wanted to take a look at those. Gear Jacket is probably my strongest submission, although both Dungeon Shift and Dream Shift are purely card-based, which makes printing and cutting easier.

I plan on getting in a few more solo plays of Space Attack! tonight, and will probably be able to talk my wife (and possibly some a few other people from my gaming group) into playing this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Incidentally, my gut tells me that simply lowering the numbers of ships in the Alien Fleets will help the game a lot. Maybe 8, 10, and 12 instead of 12, 14, and 16.
 
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Joel Mayeski
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I'll have to check your submissions out.

Lowering the numbers might be the pinch point to make the decisions more crucial. I think that is what made the 2-player games so tense. Either side could, if they wanted to, single handidly destroy the fleet if it came to that.

Feel free to download the revised rules (mostly improved clarity and a sample round of play) and/or post reivews and game play tallies here: Space Attack!

(Someone even uploaded graphic-only cards for the game)
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