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The Dark Forest

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/19/2020

Hey All!

Just looking for some feedback on my game idea to see if it's worth pursuing. It's a game about a possible story of life in the universe. I linked my draft rulebook here:

In two sentences, my goal for this game would be a route-building planet-discovery game about finding life in the universe. You travel to and settle planets, and speed up time to guide the evolution of native species.

Thanks in advance!

And in advance, in researching this game, yes I've played Eclipse, High Frontier, and Dominant Species :)

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I don't get it...???

Why on Earth (Pun intended!) would you choose a name like "The Dark Forest" for a game that is above civilizations and outer space?!?! From you own definition the game is a "route-building planet-discovery game about finding life in the universe..." You said it NOT ME!

So the name is "The Dark Forest"?!?! This sounds like a name for a Fairy Tales game or something to do with Druids or Wood Elves (if we were to go the fantasy genre), not at all a space exploration game.

In researching games... I would first ASK what are the primary Game Mechanics??? This will give me an idea about the TYPE of game it is. And from there I can see if there are other games that do what you are attempting to do (in limited or maybe different methods of play or even theme)...

I'm a bit blank for names ATM. But if you share with us the Game Mechanics, well then we can move forwards and see what are games you might want to look at first.


Note #1: I took a QUICK look at the rulebook and the explanation of WHY(?) you are using "The Dark Forest"... But again I just don't see it. It makes me think about the "Trojan Horse" the whole narrative in the rulebook. Meaning that the other species are "Hidden in the shadows". IDK... "The Dark Forest" doesn't work for me...

I'd reach out and ASK the other members for their opinion on ALTERNATE NAMES. I'm not telling you to CHANGE IT... I'm simply saying ASK and see what you can get. Then maybe something ELSE might spike your interest and you may find something more appropriate and to your liking.

Joined: 06/19/2020
Hey! The name is a reference

Hey! The name is a reference to the Dark Forest solution to the Fermi paradox :

Mechanics are essentially an action selection route building race game.

Joined: 06/19/2020
Yeah I'm flexible and not too

Yeah I'm flexible and not too worried about the name because there really isn't a game there yet haha. Just starting with basics

Mosker's picture
Joined: 03/30/2014
Cixin Liu (title comment)

For what little it's worth, it was the Three Body Problem series that introduced me to "Dark Forest" and I periodically had to remind myself what it was when referenced in the text.

It's chilling and by all means run with it--but to pull it off will take a complete commitment from your art direction, your naming of actions, factions etc. International zeitgeist might prove make this the perfect or worst approach possible depending on your audience.

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