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Air Traffic Control Co-op game

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/18/2015

There doesn't seem to be many games at all based around air traffic control. There's probably no demand for it since, generally speaking, not may people are aware of what air traffic controllers do, specifically radar approach controllers, which is you what you play as in this game.

So here's how I think it'd work (I haven't worked out a lot of the ideas yet so this is an extremely rough draft)..

In this game you, and potentially more players, will be separating aircraft and sequencing them to an airport represented by runway(s) on the board. It will play out as a tactical movement game. To win the game you will have to last a number of rounds without losing too many points.
Points are earned by getting the aircraft safely to the runway without losing separation, and you will lose points by losing separation at any point throughout the game.

Imagine the board full of hexes, just like a Battlelore game. On the board will be a runway, or several, in which you will be sequencing your arrivals. The thing to look out for will be departures coming off the airport whom you will need to miss. The planes will be represented by cards of 3 sizes to depict the differences in aircraft. Each type will have a characteristic such as it goes fast (moves 2 hexes on movement), it's slow (moves a single hex), it takes longer for an aircraft to turn, etc. This is thematic because in air traffic, the variety of aircraft is immense, and control instructions for 1 may not work as well for another.
Control Instructions: Playing as the controller, you will be giving orders to the aircraft to give them instructions which will be represented by several stacks of cards. (These can be from a face down draw deck, or open and you have to correctly choose which cards to play) Let's say you play a card out of your hand that says, "Turn Left," to an aircraft. You will choose which aircraft you're giving this order to, and place the card onto the plane on the board.
Here's the tricky part..
Since airplanes don't stop moving for instructions, there has to be some form of timed mechanic in this game. What I came up with is after a specific # of orders given (which represents talking on a frequency, and having the pilot read back the instructions) time will pass and ALL airplanes will move. So the strategy to the game is giving instructions to the correct aircraft so when the planes move (after let's say 5 card plays) you don't have planes entering a hex where another aircraft already is.
Again this is a very rough draft, and just some spewed out ideas. If this seems interesting to anyone please let me know, and thank you for reading all of this.

Joined: 03/02/2014

This sounds like it could be fun, except if you go for realism. After all, realistically, even a close call that doesn't result in a crash is a major event that gets a controller in a bunch of trouble. But for a fun game, you need to have lots of close calls and the occasional crash, because, you know, crashes are fun! (That is, when they're just pretend, they are.)

If you could give it some sort of theme, such as "Armageddon has started and everyone is scrambling to be somewhere else. The rule of law is breaking down and a few brave air traffic controllers are desperately trying to manage the chaos." This gives you justification for planes that take off and land on their own, ignore orders, etc. Also, there could be power outages or radio static (from distant nukes?) that affect everyone, causing you to be unable to communicate for a round and throwing a humongous monkey wrench in your well-laid plans. I could see this being a really fun and funny game, and still deliver some of the flavor of being a real air traffic controller.

Joined: 04/18/2015
Great idea! Something I had

Great idea! Something I had thought about before were power up cards, but wasn't sure how to implement them. Example, a power up card that reads COFFEE or CAFFEINE, and let's you work faster. Good idea, I will definitely think about making it not a realistic simulation.

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