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Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy

Airlock - This is where it all begins
Beginning concept artwork for one of the Character Cards - Sailing Master
Into the Black Banner
Sailing Master Character Card WIP
Shuttle Bay Tile - sample room in the star ship
Mechanic/Engineer

Hello, and welcome to my Game Journal for Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy.

We (I Will Never Grow Up Gaming) have been working on this game for several months at this point and thought it would be great to share my ideas with other designers and seek any kind of feedback I can get. Positive, Negative, Constructive .. I'll take it!

This is a random tile laying, (almost) 4X, cooperative game with a potential traitor element.

We have done a lot of revising of the rules, about 30 internal play tests (so far - many more to come!) and work on the art is coming along nicely. We also have several manufacturing quotes in already and the frontrunners (so far) look like Whatz Games and WinGo.

Distribution thoughts are coming up.
Kickstarter prep is beginning.
Working on PnP files as we speak.

SO MUCH TO DO!

I have attached a PDF of v3.0 of the Rules if anyone is interested in reading them.

Any and all feedback welcome!

This game is set to be published in 2016 by I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

We have several other games in the works as well if you're interested in browsing our site.

www.iwillnevergrowup.com/publishing/intotheblack
www.facebook.com/Into-the-Black-710623765705378
https://tabletopgeneration.com/project/intotheblack/details

Quote:
Hardseal is positive Cap'n, we've breached the airlock!

Breach the airlock, blow the doors, plunder the ship! Space Piracy at its best.

You are a members of a space pirate crew who are boarding a federal star ship with the goal of taking over the bridge. Each player has 1-2 characters (varies by number of players) to perform actions (move, attack, retreat, search, equip/trade items).

As you explore the star ship searching for the bridge corridors and new rooms are revealed. Room tiles are laid face down until the room is entered (which triggers a number of event cards, determined by the various rooms).

Event cards include things like Enemy Defenders that you must fend off, a dangerous plasma Leak or Artifical Gravity failure (as a few examples)!

Loot cards include many helpful items, such as stim packs to heal your or anothers character, weapons to help fight defenders, armor to help protect against defenders and more.

In addition to all this, each Character has his or her own Personal Goals card .. and one of those goals may show you as a traitor!

Reach the Bridge and defeat the bridge crew within 20 turns (or before meeting any number of other failure conditions) to win the game together!

Comments

Added a new character! We've

Added a new character!

We've hired Sanford Illustrations to do some (if not all) of our Character artwork and here's the first sample!

Updates

Using feedback the following changes have been made;

A Doom Track has been implemented, along with a Morale Track.

If the doom track (or rather, Apprehension track in this case) reaches 24 before achieving your goal, the game is lost (your crew is apprehended by authorities). The track starts at zero and increases one per game turn, AND one (or more) based on a number of actions.

The Morale Track starts at 5 and can decrease or increase based on player actions and outcomes. Lose a combat? Decrease the morale. Find epic loot? Increase morale (etc). If morale reaches zero, the crew flees back to their ship and the game is lost.

This adds an element of suspense AND allows for any potential traitor element to sabotage the game (and thus achieve their own personal goals). This is definitely a better option that a hard turn limit.

We've also changed up the room tiles a little to add 3 "Command Center" tiles. Once the players find the 3rd command center, it is exchanged with the bridge and they have found their ultimate goal.

What this means is that the players absolutely have to search every single room they come across if they hope to find the bridge as fast as possible. It also means they may have to split up in order to maximise their search.

By searching every room they are at an increased risk of dangerous events, but also at an increased chance of finding loot to help them accomplish their goals.

WIN-WIN I think.

Reducing the random luck component

We are currently exploring ways to reduce the random luck element of revealing tiles as you explore the star ship.

As it currently stands there is absolutely zero control over when the Bridge tile can or will be discovered. In all internal play test games so far the Bridge has been revealed around Turns 12-18, which leads to the 20 turn limit seeming plausible, however it is still completely random.

Realizing not everyone loves the idea of Luck being the deciding factor in a game, what methods would you incorporate to mitigate that?

Some options we've come up with;

1) Certain characters may search the deck and rearrange the top X number of tiles Z number of times per game (only works if someone draws that character to play so this is limited)
2) Loot items that may allow the same as option 1 (only works if those items are found or drawn in the initial setup)
3) Reveal additional tiles at turn Y, face up (The clock is ticking, the alarms are blaring and its becoming more and more obvious where the bridge is located by the panicked noise coming from the crew?)

Does anyone have any others, or thoughts on these? Thanks!

You can have a threshold

Another idea is the concept of a "threshold". Basically this is an allowance that ensure the game plays a "minimum" of X turns. So it's a simple rule:

A> IF you have not player 20 tiles,
B> AND you draw the bridge tile
C> THEN RESHUFFLE it back into the deck.

Something as simple as that. It will still be RANDOM - without being TOO RANDOM...

Just an idea - feel free to comment.

Update: Also another idea is a FIXED # of turns. This would also add a bit of tension. Saying the game lasts for 20+1 turns. Meaning the bridge tile is played on the 21st turn. This removes the RANDOM element from the game as suggested by other designers.

You can do what Escape from

You can do what Escape from the Curse of the Temple does:

Take the Bridge tile and N other random tiles and shuffle them together. Put the tiles on the bottom of the deck. In this way you make certain You'll get to the Bridge at the very end, but your players will still not know exactly when. Adjust the value of N to your liking.

Samarkand wrote:You can do

Samarkand wrote:
You can do what Escape from the Curse of the Temple does:

Take the Bridge tile and N other random tiles and shuffle them together. Put the tiles on the bottom of the deck. In this way you make certain You'll get to the Bridge at the very end, but your players will still not know exactly when. Adjust the value of N to your liking.

This is in the rules already (The Bridge is shuffled into the "bottom half" of the Room Tile deck at the start of the game). This prolongs the game to a certain amount but still means it's random luck as to when it's actually discovered.

Someone on BGG suggested removing a turn limit and adding a "doom track" instead. I'm liking that idea as it incorporates well with a traitor mechanic as well (nothing like the added suspicion of someone bumping up the doom track a notch or two, even if they really had no other choice). That would help with suspense and remove a bit of the sting of Luck of the Draw for finding the bridge I think.

Luck also brings suspense. It

Luck also brings suspense. It creates stories, too, when one player pushes his luck to do one last thing/get one last weapon before the final and gets rewarded or punished for that.

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