Daniel Solis
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So I've been playing a lot of The Resistance, Catan Dice Game, Zombie Dice, Pandemic, and Forbidden Island lately. It all kind of gelled into this little harvesting game that is heavily inspired by Battlestar Galactica. You can see my notes on it here.

Seems functional enough for further development, but I'm concerned about similarities to the BSG board game. Is it different enough to bother developing or is it just reinventing the wheel?


UPDATE: See further in the thread for a link to the alpha document of FOR THE FLEET.
 
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Donnie Clark
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I have not played the BSG board game, so I cannot comment on your proposed gameplay.

But from your blog
Quote:
A handful of spaceships survived a planetary disaster. Now, what remains of the fleet is on its way to Sanctuary, a fabled planet on the other side of the galaxy.


Yeah, that screams BSG.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Sounds interesting.

I also have not played BSG (or watched the new TV show for that matter), but I think you could make it sound a lot less like a BSG clone just by renaming "jumps" to something else.

The victory condition sounds a bit odd to me. I would have expected it to be more like "Survive 10 jumps to win". But looking at the mechanics I can see why it is the way it is. Maybe it just needs a bit more thematic backstory to make sense.
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Nate K
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This sounds really neat. My one question is what the thematic explanation is for 10 victory points in less than 10 jumps? I can understand why, mechanically, you would want the game to work that way, I just can't figure out a good explanation for it within this storyline.
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Ian Hedberg
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Two aspects scream BSG to me: the theme, and the concept of jumping to one of three world cards, after extensive preparations. Managing limited resources along also makes it feel like BSG.

If you don't want this game to live in BSG's shadow, consider changing the theme. Miners trapped in a cave could work, for example. Minor tweaks to the existing theme, like turning "preparing to jump" into "scouting for a wormhole", or changing "searching for a new home for humanity" into "trying to reach a starbase so you can unload your cargo" would also help it feel different from BSG.

Retheming will also allow you to explain why players need to jump every turn, and why they need 10 victory points before they get to the last destination. Perhaps players are on the run from bandits (jump every turn) but are looking to collect enough gold (victory points) to make a profit when they get to [destination planet name].
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Daniel Solis
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The theme is an easy thing to change. I actually see this being something more like Zap Brannigan's Catan. A game where it'd be commonplace to shout "Stop dying, you cowards!" So here's a possible alteration:

You're captains of a ragtag rebel fleet – a mish-mash of antique military ships, smuggling freighters and retrofitted pleasure yachts. You're on a supply run for the rebels, but you're being pursued by the evil galactic empire. The fleet can warp ten times before being caught. Get 10 VP before then!

But otherwise, is the gameplay different enough from the BSG board game?

EDIT: Here's some more notes on this retheming.
 
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Donnie Clark
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I'm not sure I'm sold on the "10VP or you're caught in 10 warps" bit. It seems open to irregular play length due to sometimes winning on turn six in twenty minutes, or turn eight in thirty, or loosing all together in turn four. If you're talking about making this a board game, it should be easy to graphically imply a 10-warp scenario by giving the players one (or two or three?) routes to follow through various systems to a rebel base - your ultimate end-game destination. Kicking the point assessment to the end of the game eliminates a little in-game bean-counting.

Let me just put down some thoughts on the matter...

Each system has will have it's own inherent assets and dangers, making route choice more interesting - handle this with player bidding (using loot on board that is picked up as you go) to curb co-op arguments. And of course you'll never know what the empire will have waiting in each system until you arrive.

Make each warp count! This is the count down to the end of the game, and warping should be a meaningful step. Do we stay here and harvest more resources and collect more booty from the empire? By hanging out here, do we risk the empire dropping in a fleet of destroyers to smash us to pieces? Do all the ships have the resources they need to make the jump? Do we have time to make necessary repairs or explore that singularity? These are all co-op decisions, and the whole group can fail if they don't make it home. But it's not all about the supplies is it? What about the prestige?

If the fleet makes it home, hooray for them! Everybody wins! Game over, right? No.

So in the midst of all that, which ship managed to bring home the most loot? We're not talking food and fresh water here; those are the essentials you went out for. What about the high tech weapons, the data on enemy movements, and the fat stacks of credits? This is the stuff you used to bid on which route to take through the system. Your ship can only hold so much, and you need to delicately balance your hold between what you need to survive, and gathering the most riches. Did you over-extend yourself in bid after bid for the right to say where the fleet travels? Or did you play nice with a little give and take, stockpiling your hoard. Whoever has the highest total value in their cargo hold when they reach home is your winner.

Just some thoughts on the concept. Hope at least some of it might be useful.
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Daniel Solis
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You know, I've been scratching my brain trying to think of another resource to add to the mix. "Intel" is a great one.
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Daniel Solis
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I've settled into a set of six raid-able resources for the game.

Crew: The hapless crewmen at your disposal. Frequent, careless disposal.
Bio: The crew's essentials. Food, water, air, and many, many medkits.
Pep: Morale-boosting trinkets that makes a crewman's short life enjoyable.
Fuel: The exotic materials that keep your ship running. Safety first!
Tech: Engines, circuits, silverware and anything else not nailed down.
Intel: The Empire's secret plans, hard drives, and intercepted chatter.
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Daniel Solis
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Just posted the Alpha Document, for those who are interested. It's much more refined now and ready for a thorough read-through. It includes refined mechanics for raiding, cooperation, and unique ships, sectors and targets. Also includes an Imperial March mechanic that acts as a doomsday clock, similar to the rising waters of Forbidden Island.
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Nate K
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This looks really neat! I'm not sure I completely understand how to read the charts on the Targets, though. They all appear to have six different BUST costs. How do I determine which one I need to pay? Do I get to choose?

 
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Daniel Solis
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Apologies, I'll reformat it to make it clearer.

Okay, check the document again. Each of those horizontal rows was meant to be read as a separate card. I've broken them out a bit more to make that more obvious. For example...

12 3-6
PF STRIKE BUST: Lose TT


Means a result of [1] makes a Pep available, [2] makes a Fuel available, and any [3] [4] [5] or [6] are strikes. If you bust this raid, you lose two Tech.

Make sense?
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Nate K
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Oookaaayy... they're separate cards. I totally missed that.
 
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Timothy
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Nice logo. Did you do that yourself?
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Donnie Clark
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I'm just going to shamelessly pimp Daniel here for a minute.

I've followed his development on a number of previous game projects, including his impressive story-telling game, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. I've always found his ideas inspiring and thought provoking, and his graphic design top shelf. I'm subscribed to this thread, and I look forward to giving the alpha doc a good read through later this weekend.

But for now, off to DGM!
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Daniel Solis
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Catch 22 wrote:
Nice logo. Did you do that yourself?


Thanks! Yeah, it was just a quick little thing. I have tons and tons of game ideas, but if I see one in particular will be in my head for a while, I like to give it a logo or title treatment so it feels more real. Also, it gives me something to link on my website.

The logo for this game is very much inspired by Futurama. You can see it in the red and yellow color scheme.
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Daniel Solis
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If it helps, I cobbled together some stock art to make these rough ship console designs. Find them all on my blog.


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James Hutchings
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I love the artwork. Where did it come from?
 
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Daniel Solis
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Stock art from Shutterstock! I searched for "space background" with an eye for lots of color. These were usually nebulae or planetary horizons. I adjusted the color for each console so they'd be somewhat coordinated.

With that done, I search for "techno background" with a focus on speedy-looking streaks. These were usually colored streaks on a white field. I reversed those and then layer-screened them on top of the space background.

Then I searched for a loooong time for good spaceships. This was a tough task, since I was hesitant to use 3d renders. I decided to buckled down and take the best I could find. I tried to make sure they all had distinctive silhouettes.

The UI interface elements along the top are also stock vectors, heavily edited and refined.

I should've recorded my process, eh?

But anyhoo, yeah, finding and editing stock is one way to get by on a limited art budget. It'll cost you extra time in searching, editing, photoshopping though.
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James Hutchings
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Thanks.
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Daniel Solis
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Here's reference sheet for the back of the console. I'm really considering re-ordering the turn so the Empire attacks first. That might be the Alderaan moment to kick things off.
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WAN CHIU
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These 2 pieces alone would sell the game
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