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Need a thematic end game reason for space game

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larienna
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I have a space game idea that takes place in 1 stellar system. The idea is that there are no faster than light travel engine, so traveling from a system to another takes dozens of years. So players are trapped in the same stellar system and they must colonize and conquer planets.

I want the game to end after a certain number of turns which could not be fixed. For example, I could have an end game like dungeon quest, where you could get a few extra turns if you are lucky. When the game ends, the player with the most VP wins.

But the problem is: Why would the game end? What is happening at the end of turn X for the game to be over?

I am lacking of ideas, the only idea so far is that there could be a colony ship on it's way and the faction who did the best will be colonized in priority when it arrives. Each turn would be a year, so if a ship takes a dozen of years (turns) it could be logical.

Anybody else have an idea?

starflier
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Wormhole!

What about alien contact? Like in Star Trek where the Vulcans show up and suddenly Earth has a completely new horizon, I think that's enough of a change in condition to be the end of the game. You could even have technologies (something like Seti) that made this possibly happen sooner, or have different aliens that you could make first contact with, which would change what "Winning" looks like (If the warlike aliens show up first, the most military advanced culture will get more points, but if the scientist aliens show up first, then whoever is the most technologically advanced gets more points)

Another possibility is for each planet to have only a limited amount of resources, and when they are all used up, the game ends. Winning condition could be whoever sent enough sleeper ships out-of-system, or could be like DEFCON where the winner is the one who lost the least. Which would make the game rather dark

Orangebeard
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Limited Resources?

The limited amount of resources idea from Starflier was my first reaction as well. Perhaps there is some key element needed for travel that cannot be synthesized artificially?

kos
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Where did they come from?

I'm assuming that in the backstory the players represent colonists who came from somewhere else, rather than being indigenous to this system. If so, the ending condition could be linked to the "somewhere else".

"Stellar Colonizers Inc has commissioned independent firms to explore and establish new colonies in preparation for commercialization. The Stelcon Inspector is due to arrive soon and will award lucrative contracts to whichever colonies are doing the best."

"Fleeing persecution in the wake of the Second Solar War, pioneers have left the safety of their home system to establish a new life. But they all know that the Terran Confederacy will not be far behind, so they need to hurry to get prepared."

"Interstellar Law dictates that any time from 10 years after arrival in a new system, colonists may call for system-wide elections to establish a formal government. The race is on to get into a position to become the governing faction."

Regards,
kos

rlangston
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Joined: 07/21/2012
Some ideas

The "home" civilisation discovers FTL travel and sends a ship after x years to tell the colonists that government has been overthrown or new technology renders colonies unnecessary etc

The planetary system has an irregular orbit (or some body visits every x years, or the star has a period of instability every x years) which means that after x years there is some form of ice age / other disruption which must be prepared for.

Colonists only sign on to work for x years, and individual planets are automatically granted independence after x years

Supplies of food, power etc are only carried by the colonists for x years after which a sustianable ecosystem must have been created

All of these could require a planet to get to a certain level of development by the time the event happens, which could in turn determine VPs.

Robinson
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a twist on armageddon

There are already some cool ideas posted here, a twist on starflier's idea, how about the system's star starting to go nova? The game could end immediately upon detection of the sun's instability with the idea that the most advanced civilization will be able to get lots of sleeper ships out, or you could have a one or two turn lag where the colonists, having detected the instability, race to build for X years before they are vaporized - that would give the players one or two last chance(s) to build knowing that the end is near . . .
Good luck.

larienna
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Thank for the comments. I

Thank for the comments. I made a mirror thread on BGG and got similar reply. A few details I forgot to mention:

The player has just arrived in the system where the game takes place, so I did not want to use a mechanic where the system self destruct or is under attack as end game condition.

For alien attacks, I might include them in the regular game like the barbarians in "settlers of catan" where players must collectively commit a certain number of ship to repel the invasion.

There seems to be 2 options either the system is waiting for something to arrive, like suggested by myself and another person.

Or the other solution posted on BGG is that the players must build another colony ship to colonize another system to repeat the process they just did. So the first player to build the ship, accumulate the fuel and have the population requirements for the ship wins the game.

Kroz1776
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Multiple Lanes to Victory.

I think the last option you said was good, but it limits the lanes to victory. You must get said resource and build said parts. I believe the first option allows for greater flexibility in game play. Someone could go for the sciences and get victory points and abilities that way. Someone could got the economic route that allows them to buy what they need. Someone could go the military route, gain points for defending against aliens and perhaps get resources by "requesting" protection payments.

The first option is easier to explain but limits victory paths. Build a new ship to colonize another system.

The second option would be harder to get the story down right, but it allows for multiple paths to victory through victory points.

Personally I'd pick the second format that I explained for the afore mentioned reasons.

larienna
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Partially true, but I kind of

Partially true, but I kind of like that victory condition because since it's not VP based, it gives a certain charm. And the end game conditions gives a reason for the game not to continue.

Now since information will be hidden, you do not know which parts the player is missing, is it fuel, population or structure. Second, there could be various path to acquire those resources. So in the end, the multiple path to victory can be there but applied differently.

questccg
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Produce goods

larienna wrote:
...Now since information will be hidden, you do not know which parts the player is missing, is it fuel, population or structure. Second, there could be various path to acquire those resources. So in the end, the multiple path to victory can be there but applied differently.

The *building* of another ship that will be used to colonize is A LOT like Civilization.

Perhaps instead of building a NEW ship since you already have one (did it somehow get destroyed???)... You must re-supply the ship with all kinds of various "GOODS"... So you would choose several categories of goods that you need and each player must produce these goods to re-supply the spaceship that will colonize a new planet... Things like metals (various), food (various), fuel, etc...

This to me sounds MORE reasonable... than building a NEW spaceship...

If you want to SIMPLIFY the end-game, then just make it about FUEL... You must EXTRACT from the new planet enough FUEL so that the starship can begin a new journey...

Personally I like the GOODS idea better than the FUEL idea. But that's just me! :)

Note: because of the recent report on the possibility of going to Mars to form a colony, I have been thinking about what would be required to survive on Mars. One of my concept would be compartmentalized units which can link together once they are on the planet's surface. Each compartment could have its own purpose and would descend to the surface apart, so there could be like 100 or more compartments...

In any case I came to the conclusion that life on Mars could be very sedentary but could have communications with the Earth and maybe even have access to the Internet... There could be hydroponic labs to grow indoor food (like certain vegetables and fruits).

larienna
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For the theme, the idea is

For the theme, the idea is that the deep space colony ship has been travelling for at least 100 years and when it settle down in the system, it's not usable anymore because the ship has all the necessary modules to colonise the planet which dismantle the colony ship. So the goal is to make another deep space colony ship before the other players. This would allow the human race to propagate faster through the galaxy since ships cannot always come from earth due to the amount of time it takes to travel (no FTL).

I have determined that each game turn should be around 5 years to make population growth logical. A game will last between 12 and 15 turns, which means it will extend for a period of 60 years or more.

Ecarots
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2 rival factions are racing

2 rival factions are racing to develop a base in the new system for their main colonist that are coming on a large transporet sleeper ship. The factions arrived in a smaller ship with a higher boost rate so it arrived sooner than the balance of the colonists. Resources are limited and the compitition can be violent. Check out the old novel After Worlds Collide. The aliens where there first but are actually Botany Bay type exiles from the same planet.
Kind of like the TV series Earth 2.

Jacksmack
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Think about our seasons for a bit.

So if you think about it our planet has four seasons because it has a tilt to it's axis. what happens when you change that tilt and the speed at which the world spins.

You could just have summer and winter, where the planet spins very slowly and has a straight vertical axis.

When you are on the dark side of the planet it is winter and players have to be prepared for it or they die. Might be interesting thematically since you could imagine nomadic plant and animal life that travel with the daylight. And the truly nasty critters that can survive the winter and get in front of the herds.

Kroz1776
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Jacksmack wrote:So if you

Jacksmack wrote:
So if you think about it our planet has four seasons because it has a tilt to it's axis. what happens when you change that tilt and the speed at which the world spins.

You could just have summer and winter, where the planet spins very slowly and has a straight vertical axis.

When you are on the dark side of the planet it is winter and players have to be prepared for it or they die. Might be interesting thematically since you could imagine nomadic plant and animal life that travel with the daylight. And the truly nasty critters that can survive the winter and get in front of the herds.

I'd hate to imagine the suicide/drinking rate if their winter lasted three months like ours, but without sun ever.

Considering though that it seems that he is planning on using an entire star system with possibly multiple planets to settle, I don't know how well that would work, if he wanted to use the idea.

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