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Seeking advice and feedback for an asteroid racing game

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/01/2009

First to single out those not very interested. This is a racing game, in space using card mechanics.

Onto the idea:
The board is a small hex grid, about 5 wide and 8 long. I am thinking of doubling the size if four players are involved.
Each player will control a ship and have a hand of three cards. They will also own a deck each (all decks are exactly the same) and have a 'trail' counter showing the last position of their ship.
The turn order goes like this:

First player:
-Plays and executes card
-Draws new card
-Places a new asteroid

Then the next player has their turn. Once all players are done the end phase is started.
-Move all asteroids and knock out players if necessary
-Check if anyone has won
-Draw event card (this happens every other end phase)

The goal of the game is to be the last man standing and this is achieved by using your cards. Most of these cards are simply moving around, although the movement is limited. Other cards let you push neighbouring players away from you, hopefully into an on coming asteroid, or slam your shield on to protect yourself for a turn.
Another detail is the movement mechanic and the use of the trail counter. If you're moving left, right or forwards you will continue moving in that direction until you change direction. However, you can play a card to stop your movement or even go backwards (but you don't continue to go backwards). This means that your quite numerous movement cards are now a scarce resource because if you use them to avoid an asteroid you might be flying off the board (you are then disqualified).

Event cards. They do things such as create new asteroids, create power-ups (of which the only one I have, so far, is draw another card and discard one) or move all players forwards. The event cards are meant to either; ruin everyone's plan or make them want to create a new one.

That's the whole game. I would love to have some feedback on revisions I can make or ideas for cards I can implement. I have not yet tested this game as, suddenly, everyone I know has become busy. But when I do get to test it I shall post on here how people have taken it.

Just as a note, I hope to later publish this game (if it does get any good). So, I will, hopefully, be asking for help about that later. But that is a long way off.
And a second note, I can try to test people's games (if my gamer group decides to leave their lives alone for a minute) and give you advice as well.

If you got this far, thanks for taking the time to read my idea. I will happily sort out any shady parts of my writing or upload pictures if necessary.

mads b
mads b's picture
Joined: 08/06/2008
I like the idea that movement

I like the idea that movement will continue and that you can actually fly off the board. And overall the game sounds fast and cutthroath with a lot of tactical choices and positioning. However, I don't quite see how it's a racing game? Where's the start? Where's the finish? I know this is a minor thing, but as I read it it's not quite a race.

Concerning power ups, how about a "draw two cards and pick one returning the other to the bottom of the deck"? Or the very nasty ability to remove or steal a card from an opponents hand?

Oh, and a couple of questions. What's on a player's cards? Numbers from 1-5 or what? When and how does one move and how do you track the "continue moving"? And how do asteroids move?


bnordeng's picture
Joined: 07/01/2009
how do asteroids move?

mads b wrote:
how do asteroids move?

I agree that this is an interesting idea. I assume the trail is kept so that you know how to "keep moving" if you don't change direction? Several good questions from mads... the big question in my head after reading your description was the quote above, "how do asteroids move?" And, how do they get placed for that matter. Are there rules for where I put them and the direction/speed they move?

Joined: 07/01/2009
Ah, I failed to describe some

Ah, I failed to describe some of the most important aspects of the game.
The last two rows of the board (the side furthest away from the players) is known as the 'new asteroids zone'. Players may place asteroids in this area and some cards affects asteroids within this area, such as one which splits asteroids into two.

An asteroid will move one space toward the opposite side, in a straight line, during the the asteroid movement phase. There are cards which can alter this movement slightly. However, I was also wondering whether when a player places an asteroid he randomly picks one out of a bag. Some asteroids move two spaces, others move one. This may leave more gaps to move through and less of a rock wall.

Onto player movement. As I explained, the players have a deck of cards. Some of these cards are special e.g. splitting asteroids, while most are movement. The player may move forward, diagonally forward (both of these cause a trail) or backward, and lastly, stay still.
However, only one card may be played a turn. So, either you move (or change direction) OR play one of those special cards to ruin someone else's day.
So, lets say Player A moves forward on his turn. The token is pushed forward and the trail is placed in his last position. The next turn he doesn't wish to move and instead plays another card. However, as he has a trail he will still move another space forward and the trail will follow. The closer you get to the far side of the board the closer you will get to the asteroid creation zone. But the only way to move sideways is to, simultaneously, move forward.

And lastly, I themed this as a race because in my head they are racers in an asteroid field simply trying to get further than their opponent. Although the game will have asteroids moving towards them, they are infact moving towards the asteroids. Its basically a high speed rally game with rocks to dodge and dirty rules.

I hope that answered all your questions and I'm glad you're finding the idea interesting.
On the topic of the power-ups, I would prefer people's hands to always be separate for ease of cleaning up. However, simply discarding someone's card and forcing them to draw a new one should be deadly enough. Thanks for the idea :)

I also thought of implementing a scoring system to avoid infinite length games. Some power-ups would reward the players with points, which after a certain round will determine the winner. However, hopefully this would be a last case scenario victory.

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