Adam Kazimierczak
United States
Falmouth
Maine
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My first inspiration was: "What if I could make a Noah's Ark game where the people under Noah were competing with each other?" Obviously Noah brought along some dubious family members-- I mean he couldn't very well leave his less than virtuous relations to drown. So why shouldn't they try to make a profit on this long and boring journey.

Well, that idea eventually morphed/evolved into the sci fi worker placement game Noa's ARQ. I'll be posting the rules at some point once I'm done with my prototype and have subjected my guinea pigs gaming group to it enough times to get the kinks out, but here's the flavor text and an overview.

Is this a viable game? Too much randomness? Or is the theme too out there?



Noa’s ARQ
A Game of Growing and Mating Earthlings by Adam Kazimierczak



The Earth has been destroyed. No use dwelling on the how’s and why’s or playing the blame game because everyone and everything is dead. It was just a lump of radioactive wet dirt floating in space when the giant flying saucer showed up. Automated rovers scoured the blasted landscape searching for any miniscule scraps of DNA to return to the Alien Research & Quarantine vessel, otherwise known as the ARQ.

The commander of the ARQ is Captain Noa whose mission is to salvage alien genetic material from dead planets, reconstitute it into live organisms and then make sure they bred true before delivery to the Alien Species Preserve (one of those fancy planet-wide zoos in the Gamma Quadrant that hosts birthday parties). There tourists from across the galaxy would gawk at the hideous Earthlings, feed them kibble and buy overpriced Earthling themed souvenirs to pay for Captain Noa’s early retirement on a garden planet of his own with a view of a nebula and enough clones to live forever.

At least that was the plan. So far things were not looking very good as most of the DNA found by the rovers was damaged and unusable without significant base chain repair and recombination. It was grueling work to sift through alien genetic code and morale among the junior researchers was sagging.

So Captain Noa decides to reward the best junior researcher with a substantial bonus: a position as Head Earthling Curator at the Alien Species Preserve (hell, he’d offer them their own moon if he thought it would make them work faster). He sets up scheduled inspections to follow their progress. But as the hyperdrives bring the ARQ ever closer to its destination, time is running out.



In Noa’s ARQ, players take on the roles of junior researchers on the ARQ with a deadline of 3 months to show results in their genetic cloning and breeding of Earthlings. The game is divided into 12 weeks (rounds) with an inspection by Captain Noa every 4 weeks for a progress report which determines the player order for the next 4 rounds.

Players choose one action each round at one of the shared work stations of the Gene Analyzer, DNA Recombinatron and Alien Incubatron or in their private lab, choosing from the Breeding Pen, Isolation Pen and Dirty Tricks (cards that give an advantage or sabotage other players).

The first player to successfully grow and mate two Earthlings wins. Mating Earthlings involves Behavior compatibility check as well as bonuses for physical compatibility on a Mating Roll. At the end of the 12th week if none of the Earthlings have mated, the player who grew the most Earthlings wins.

Number of Players: 2-4
Duration: 90 minutes
Age: 12 and up



Thanks for reading! Comments and critique appreciated!
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Jay Sheely
United States
Hayward
California
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The theme and intro are very interesting. How far along is the game? Any playtest components made or rules written?

Goodluck!
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Adam Kazimierczak
United States
Falmouth
Maine
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Rules are done and prototype is on the way. I'm going for a campy take on gene splicing with some funny looking animals with a crocodile head, cow body and peacock tail.

From a mechanics standpoint, the aspect most different from other WP games is that you can look at 3 cards from the tops of the 5 DNA decks with the Gene Analyzer as an action and potentially bury cards at the bottom of the deck, but then you would have to wait until your next action to use the DNA Recombinatron to make an embryo (with other players possibly messing with one or all of the decks in the meantime).

Also the once you have your Earthling in a Breeding Pen you still don't reveal the Behavior DNA card until another Earthling is placed with it, then you see what happens.
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