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The Drake Machine

Hey Y'all!

Not too sure how this works, but I've been working on a game with my buddy, and I'm pretty excited to share it and get some feedback. We've played this version a few times, but we're really just at the beginning of the design process. All rules are still being tweaked, and we haven't playtested it outside the 2 of us yet.

BUT, here is my draft of the rulebook. Any and all feedback is most welcome. Obviously I haven't uploaded any components yet, but I have paper version of them, and will post them as I dial them in.



What you've shown here is a pretty solid-sounding space exploration game. I especially like the rotation of the rondel/action picker being implemented in a space game, and the way you organized the actions within this one is pretty cool and thematic.

The following is based on my first read, and I confess that without components in front of me I might not have a complete grasp of how the game goes. I apologize in advance for any misinterpretations. :)

I appreciate what you're doing with the settlement of different planets, but I wonder if it's a bit too convoluted and fiddly than necessary. Here are a few things I suggest you consider to streamline the exploration process without losing much of the evolution function of the different species.

Lose the habitats. Landfall among the habitats seems like a layer of randomness that doesn't add anything to the game. The layout of the planets is already random and unknown until a player chooses to do a SETI action. That should inform them well enough as to whether or not it would be worth settling there, or if they should keep exploring.

Depending on a race's affinity, require they pay more or less to adapt and advance on a given planet type. This will emphasize the race and genome differences. Again, this is something you seem to want.

If you put a max capacity of species on a planet (based on type, or size, or some other variable), you can still force a player to choose how they want to populate the planet: emphasizing resource production or civilization advancement.

Personally, I found the rolling of the dice and the fine-grain details about the habitats to be the only fiddly part of the game. Normally I like dice, but I don't think they add to your experience here. Of course, I feel like I could have a deeper read if I had components sitting in front of me.

In any case, I hope this suggestion is worth considering, since I think it doesn't take anything worthwhile away from the game. Best of success on your project! :)

The "Genesis" Machine

I didn't like the "Drake" Machine and figured I'd offer up a better name... So my suggestion for the name would be: The "Genesis" Machine.

I personally feel like this matches the theme better AND the name is available on Board Game Geek (BGG)! That's usually the hard part... But this time it's available...

Just something to think about. Cheers!

Ah yes, I was thinking about

Ah yes, I was thinking about that name as well, and it might be better. I recently realized that most games sort of explain what they are about in the title, which "Drake Machine" doesnt really do....yeah


Drake's Machine tickles the curiosity a bit more, suggests there might be a solid story behind it, or at least will get people to take it off the shelf and look. Who is Drake? Who took his machine? Then even if it's not what they might expect...

...but then of course there's the Uncharted confusion you might run into with that.

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