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The Manhattan Project

Prototype v2.0

Welcome to The Manhattan Project, a worker placement efficiency game themed around a race to develop atomic weapons programs.

I will be documenting the development of this design on boardgamegeek here:

But I've come to appreciate BGDF as a unique and generally more enthusiastic community specifically when it comes to open comments, criticims, ideas and debates about fledgling hobby designs. I may shift my attention here if this journal attracts interest.

For now, I'll attach the images and the main paragraph from the BGG article. There are a couple of forums on BGG that I'll leave there for now.



A power struggle at the beginning of an atomic age. A revolutionary new technology. Who will use it to build the deadliest arsenal and become the world's dominant superpower?

Manhattan Project is an efficiency game in which players compete to build and operate the most effective atomic bomb program. Players do not "nuke" each other, but conventional air strikes are allowed against facilities.

The game features 5 distinct types of workers. A player's staff of permanent workers activate when removed from their spaces, while "contractors" activate immediately when they are placed - creating interesting tactical situations.

An espionage action allows a player to activate an opponent's building. This is an abstraction that represents "stealing" the technology.

The first prototypes of Manhattan Project will be tested using the ZunTzu game platform.


Kickstarter Goal Reached

This game is going to publication.. it's kickstarter goal was just reached!

First play test

My game has had its first real play test! I'm very happy with how it when. As I expected, my many hours of self-testing and development beforehand assured that nothing was totally broken, and everyone was able to understand the rules effectively. Also as I expected, there were balancing issues that came up that I wasn't able to identify during self-testing. I got great feedback from the participants and I have a list of modifications I will make for next time. I'm feeling very positive about the design now... it just needs a lot more of these sessions.

You can read the full report of the session at BGG:


Physical Prototype

I've been doing a lot of work developing the game in Zun Tzu. Now I've finally turned out the first physical prototype. There is a shot of it on boardgamegeek.

Image shows a 5-player setup at the end of a 3'x5' table. A bit more space would actually be needed for 5 players to accommodate the buildings that players will collect throughout the game. Turning the board 90 degrees and centering it in the table would provide adequate space.

The board is spray mounted to white foam core, the workers to black foam core. Other counters are spray mounted to presentation board. Cubes are spray-painted beads from a Mardi Gras necklace. Cards are 1 piece of card stock and 1 piece plain paper in a mini-euro sleeves (45mm x 68mm). Coins are from Brass.


This has some great potential I think. I'm interested in hearing how it's working out. I like the idea of some actions taking effect when you remove its worker and some happening when placing a worker. I don't know much about the actual Manhattan Project but the theme is a good one.


In addition to the link to the main BGG article, above, here is a link to a discussion on BGG that I'm also using as kind of a sign-up list for Zun Tzu play testing:

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut