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Space exploration game

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/28/2014

After working on the basics of a hero building game in October and November I've been largely out and that game lies collecting dust... for now.
I had a rush of inspiration for a completely different game that I want to share with you guys. The biggest question is, though: does a game similar to this one already exist? It doesn't sound too original to me.

Earth's population has grown beyond carrying capacity and resources are almost depleted, so the people of Earth rushed into space age in order to find resources elsewhere.
Players start at the Earth hex tile with a simple space ship. They can explore into any direction, which they do by drawing tiles from a large stack a la Carcassonne, and then moving their ship in that direction. Hex tiles consist of empty spaces or planets with different characteristics (possibly also events like pirate raids).
Players need to establish an outpost on another planet, which they do by flying to it and "converting" the ship to an outpost (basically putting the ship token upside down on the planet hex). Once they have an outpost, they can generate resources to feed their people and build new (more advanced?) ships.
The ship will run out of fuel after moving x hex tiles. Therefore players have to decide whether they want to colonise a planet they discovered or want to continue their journey without knowing what comes next.

I have not thought of the winning conditions yet. Could be e.g. the first person to deliver a set number of resources to Earth or the one who delivered the most resources after all tiles have been used.

Hook's picture
Joined: 09/22/2014
Sounds like a great idea. I

Sounds like a great idea. I have sometimes imagined the human race as a tiny part of a self evolving virus sent out from some other Galaxy.. Well that's not your game but it sounds fun, if kept simple. I do not know any similar game.

In regards to winning the could be sub goals, like highest population. Farthest planet. Most colonies...

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
The theme is threadbare. Any

The theme is threadbare. Any other motivation for this mass exodus would be refreshing. Slightly less generic, though not much, is that an asteroid full of Tiberium, Unobtanium, and Kryptonite crashes to Earth. It's just enough to fuel all of these spaceships, which head out searching for more. That way, you can easily define your resources as well. Also a nice shtick to go along with the ships running out of fuel.

EthosGames's picture
Joined: 05/05/2014
I like the idea

Sounds like fun. It would be interesting to me if various planets discovered provided the win conditions for the player who colonized it. Another version of this would be to have a victory points system that relates to how many planets you colonized and ship you built as well as sub "quests" for each planet that could unlock additional victory points.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
When you said "Space

When you said "Space exploration" + "Carcasone", I found it intriguing. I thought of placing meeple for colonisation which reminded me of the "Oceania" 1-2 player board game which you should also take a look at. (Check you my variant too)

It could be interesting to expand humanity and colonise planets that should be worth something to colonise. But you'll have to use different mechanics that carcassone since a plannet cannot extend on multiple tiles like it can be done with cities.

Maybe adjacent planets/system increases the value of previously placed planet, that could be a twist to carcasonne. Making connections of planets to earth gives you points.

Stajin Imaizumi
Joined: 01/30/2015
Eclipse / Touko Tahkokallio

As you mentioned hexes and space exploration, I immediately recalled a game that I played called Eclipse. It's a fun game with hex placing as you spend an 'explore' action. Published by Asmodee as one of many and designed by Touko Tahkokallio in 2011. The theme is a war a long time in the future in a galaxy far away. So, you may want need to take a look at it and see if it parallels your idea in any way.

FYI- your idea is intriguing to me.


Supafrieke's picture
Joined: 02/22/2015
Disaster Looms!

Check out "Disaster Looms!" (kickstarted back in 2012) and see where you are breaking new ground.

I like Soulfinger's idea of an impact event, either natural or alien orchestrated, and suggest that you checkout "Footfall" or "Lucifer's Hammer" by Larry Niven as inspiration... Good luck!

Joined: 04/06/2015

I think this is a killer idea. I would imagine a co-op format would be the most interesting.

Each player could be a crewman with certain expertise, engineer can be the one who knows how much fuel is left, and may have to choose how much fuel goes to shields, life support, and so on.

Someone could be in charge of feeding the crew, someone could be a tactical expert if you want a combat with aliens deal.

I would make the focus on discussion between players on what best to do to survive.

Joined: 04/06/2015
Been thinking

How's the game coming along? I was thinking about the adding roles aspect of this game. I would consider doing a card based system, co op but players don't share hands. The players discuss the decisions they make, and since they have their own hands, secret from each other, this would serve as representing each player being a specialist in their field (a person who is not an engineer wouldn't understand why the engineer needs more power, or a doctor knows more about health issues on board than someone who has no medical experience.

Limited resources and discussing what to do with them, before all the population of the ship dies off, the fuel runs out, the crew goes crazy because of the lack of law and order, an alien attacks and destroys the ship, and so on.

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