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The Starkweather-Moore Expedition

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TidalGames's picture
Joined: 01/04/2014

For those of you that have heard of the infamous Starkweather-Moore Expedition to the Antarctic there may be little surprise in store for you here. My idea is to recreate that ill-fated expedition to the surprise and chagrin of players as a board game.

What I propose is a game that toys with player expectation and only gives players access to the components they need for that particular phase of the game. The game would come with three separate component lists, one for each phase. The remaining components would be kept secret (say in black plastic bags instead of clear or even boxes that look like crates) until the players need them for the game. What starts out as a discovery/exploration game would end in a quest to survive the horrors encountered. Think Risk Legacy but a whole new game upon opening the envelope. Each phase would build upon the one before it, reusing components, but new components would need to be added in a way that is quick to incorporate.

My goal is to surprise players with what is in store for them on their journey. I want the experience to be cinematic. I want it to play–for those not aware of the expedition–as if you went into From Dusk 'Til Dawn not knowing it was a vampire movie.

That experience is only good once for most people, but I think it could be one hell of an experience. I also think that once you have experienced something like this it would be great to show friends who haven't (to watch their surprise as the game turns from pure exploration to a nightmare landscape).

The biggest challenge (beyond development of a linear narrative into a game, which is not menial in itself) is to surpass the expectation of infinite replayability that most people demand from board games. Has anyone tried to make any games that change so drastically in plot line half way through or challenge player expectations? It definitely sounds like a challenge, but a challenge I would love to work on.

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