Skip to Content

Planet Colonization

2 replies [Last post]
hugo's picture
Joined: 12/31/2016

Heihei good people!

This card game is yet another idea what i have in mind and i am interested in your thoughts. Keep in mind that this is very rough sketch in my head.

Game title: Colony

Colonization of a planet/different planets is the main goal of the game.

The crew members don't have any special abilities other than choosing their layout what they can bring with to expedition (for example - gun&medikit, bigger bag&tool etc).

There is the planet deck (triggering events, spawning monsters from the monster deck, resources, perhaps weapons etc.)

What i found somewhere from here was this really cool idea/mechanic, that when you pull for example a threat/monster card from the planet deck, then you draw a monster from the monster deck and give players until next turn to deal with the threat.

Players can spend action points to terraform/shoot/heal/build/gather/ place a trap/disarm a trap etc.

Now i have hit the wall with the idea, to make the planet deck diverse.
To get the feeling that you are actually visiting different planets.

One thing is that the planet deck is always of course random itself, but how to add some special flavor to it?

Should there be at the beginning of the game an another selection of cards - "probing stage?" what determine what planet you have found?

And from that you will add or take away cards from the deck?

For example; No lifeforms (so no monster spawning cards inside), desert(different biomes) (limited resources), another civilization (spawning quests) etc.

Do you think this adding/taking away cards can be dreadful? : )

Anyway, i am all ears to your thoughts!


BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008

I think that a game that builds a custom deck for each "mission" is a great idea.

Think of the way expansions for Carcassonne get adding into the main game. This could work for lots of options... the trick will be adding the icons for each "set" of cards so they can be sorted after the game is over.

Sets could have cards in them that "activate" other sets that then get shuffled into the deck.

Set one... "A strange new world" Card "Scanners indicate XXX" (check skills)

Pass The Skill Test = Action: Grab the XXX mini-deck and shuffle them into the resources deck!

Sounds like great fun to have the deck "evolve" over the course of the game base on what you do with the starting deck.

What a neat mechanic! This type of "adventure deck" building mechanic (if done right) could be an industry game changer!


BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008
Brain Dump (Forgive Me)

Sometimes I just need to get ideas out of my head so they will leave me alone! That does not mean that what comes out is understandable in its raw form...

So thinking about a central set of decks that form the “game world” that the players are interacting with is a very cool idea. But competitive or co-op or co-op & traitor gameplay model?

The more I thought about it... a whole modular game system started forming in my mind! This is still a fledgling idea… like a choose your own adventure board game… where the game changes based on how you play it.

Games that could bring some mechanics to the fight!


Forbidden Desert


Planet Explorers Alpha (and add-on for Colony) LOL

This would be a very tile & card heavy system and would need good color coordination with very clear and easy icon systems! Each deck type would be made of several mini-decks (themed sets of cards) that all have the same "back" as the main deck type. Finding clever ways to reduce the time needed to learn & set up the game would be key!

Planet Card with - tile-sets & mini-decks (or could just be all cards with no tiles)

A small (expandable) deck of 10 starter planet cards, each sets the "scene" for one round of play in a game (or one game session depending on the direction the design goes). Each game or round of play, would start by having the players shuffle and draw a new planet card to explore. Each planet card will have corresponding tiles & mini-decks for each of the other types of decks. These mini-decks would serve as a "starter or base" deck for each type of deck.

Exploration Tiles (or cards)

These location tiles would match the theme of the "planet" cards. 8 locations per planet makes 80 tiles total (similar amount to Carcassonne). Players would then shuffle and place out all the planet tiles face down (like forbidden desert) around a "landing site" tile. 3x3 grid with landing site in the middle.

These tiles or cards are now locations that can be "scouted" or "explored" and "settled".

Note #1: The “10 planets” could be 1 starter planet and 9 expansions! but in this case we would up the number from 8 tiles to 24 to get the 5x5 grid with landing site in the middle. And the mini-deck for encounters would go from 10 cards to 30 cards per planet.

Encounters deck

This deck will be made of several mini-decks:

  • The game's "core encounters" mini-deck (10-20 cards)

  • A number "difficulty" cards (based on the game’s selected difficulty)

  • The mini-deck for the planet that was drawn for this game (10 cards or 30 cards if note #1)

  • Any number of expansion set starter cards (if players want to use them)

The "difficulty" cards would have a similar function to the "outbreak" cards from Pandemic or the "Sun Beats Down" and "Storm" cards from "forbidden desert".

Each expansion set would be a mini-deck(s) and one starter card. When that starter card comes into play the other mini-deck(s) would be shuffled into the main deck(s) they belong to (based on the player’s success or failure of the starter card event).

When a player "scouts" an in-play location tile, They flip the tile (and deal with that first if needed). Then they "may" draw an encounter card. Some cards will have an icon for "scout safe" others "not safe". The player who scouted the location must resolve the "not safe" encounter cards immediately. They "may" resolve or not resolve "scout safe" encounter cards. Whether or not they successfully resolved the encounter they may draw one card from the resource deck and keep it. Failed encounters “might” stay face up at the location along with any other unresolved encounter cards (based on card text).

When a player "explores" a location (scouted first or not). They must first resolve the tile (if needed) and any unresolved encounter cards, then draw and resolve one new encounter card. If they successfully resolve all encounters at the location they then draw four cards from the resource deck and leave two of the cards at the location face up and keep two. If all of the encounters at a location have been resolved the location is now “explored” and may be “settled”.

Depending on the successful or unsuccessful resolution of encounter card, the card text might have you shuffle new mini-decks into one or more other game decks! This happens before cards are drawn from that deck as part of the action that made you resolve the deck.

  • Example #1: Success! Shuffle the "cool new" resource mini-deck into the resource deck. (from a scanning for ores skill challenge encounter card)

  • Example #2: Failure! Take a wound marker and place it on your character card. Draw 6 Hostiles cards and shuffle them into the encounter deck. (from a combat encounter card)

  • Example #3: Success! Shuffle the "X alien race" mini-deck into the resource deck.

Resources deck

Yep this deck would be everything else that players can use to pay for actions and upgrades and such… This would be built from the planet’s resource mini-deck and a core “base game” mini-deck… and then random things are added by other cards as the game is played.

Unanswered questions (within this idea dump)

  • Whether tiles and movement are involved?
  • How combat is resolved?
  • What are the goals or victory conditions?
  • Is it a team exploring several planets or a team exploring one planet?
  • Each player trying to be the first to establish a colony?

Had a lot of fun thinking about this and have no idea how any of this would work once a prototype is made for testing things…

what I am sure of is that the idea of:

Having one event card “trigger” the action of shuffling in new cards to that same central event deck is a great idea!

Ideas are cheap and even free, it is only when work is added that they become something that is truly yours! So if you like something in this use it, if not... someday I will... either way, there is zero chance the two games even with the same core ideas and mechanics would be much alike.


Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut