Recommend
63 
 Thumb up
 Hide
68 Posts
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: About the Galaxy... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: designers_notes [+] [View All]
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
At least 30 playtesters went over the 50 game mark (without any special prodding by me). For quite a few of them, it was simply limited access to prototypes that limited their play.

At least 5 players went over the 1000 game mark before it was released (again, without any prodding). One went over 2000 games before it was released (I know this because one of his frequent opponents logged over 1000 RFTG games *in one year* with him and this player played at close to the same rate for another year, as well as playing many games of Race in both years without that frequent opponent).

It was a bit frightening (as well as fun) to watch. We'll see how the finished game and expansions go over with actual customers... So far, things look encouraging.

No, I don't think DFTS will ever be finished and published. Yes, for a few people, DFTS might well become their favorite CCG, but I just don't think the general appeal is there. I think Race, on the whole, is a much better game that hits about 80% of these same notes for many, many more players (but not everyone; no game does). I am working on many new games these days, but none of them is DFTS. (If a big CCG company came to me and wanted to do DFTS, who knows... but I'm not actively flogging this idea.)
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Jones
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
For me, the theme seems pasted on for several reasons, although I realize it is not, and, I don't care, I like the game anyway no matter what the theme is.

1) It has economics, but not money. You're spending an awful lot of time Producing and Consuming. Ok, I realize that the cards are used as money, and are earned when you trade. That makes sense. But it's a little hard to understand Consuming for VPs. Why don't you get anything for Consuming, like getting a new spaceship for consuming metals or something? And why would it ever be a good thing to Consume and not get anything for it? Why do you get VPs for Consuming for nothing? Now if I think about it, I can imagine how you're a government body or something, and your people appreciate it if you acquire some goods for them to Consume, instead of spending their hard-earned tax dollars on a new government spaceship program. But that is not the first way of thinking about consuming in games that comes to mind for me.

2) It could almost be set in the colonial era (though Tom Lehmann says several things should be changed). It's a game about exploration and economics, not about all the more stereotypical things that sci-fi is about, like spaceships and lasers. I don't have to spend a lot of time flying through 3-d (or at least 2-d) space to get between my worlds, I just play them right in front of me. I have a military, but I can't use it to attack my opponents (in the expansion, maybe).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave J McWeasely
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmb
morningstar wrote:

1) It has economics, but not money. You're spending an awful lot of time Producing and Consuming. Ok, I realize that the cards are used as money, and are earned when you trade. That makes sense. But it's a little hard to understand Consuming for VPs.
The goal of governments has never been to accumulate a mountain of gold bars and sit on it. That improves nobody's quality of life. Quality of life [for somebody] is every government's goal, and VP measures that pretty well, I think.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Yes, RFTG is macro-economics, not micro-economics. You are setting up an entire economy with production and consumption. Trade is foreign trade with external economies, pumping "hard" currency into the system, which then gets invested in developments or further settlement. VP chips represent how well consumers in the economy are doing.

VPs more generally are a populace satisfaction index, representing a mixture of economic satisfaction (the chips) and the empire's importance or prestige (the VPs for tableau and 6s). A larger empire which is dominating a technology, unlocking the secrets of the vanished Aliens, conquering Rebel threats to its stability, etc. has a higher prestige which, to some extent, can substitute for not doing so well on the economic front.

By contrast, Puerto Rico depicts a colony in a mercantile economy, with the development of cash crop industries whose goods are shipped off to the mother empire. The colonial economy itself is small and can only sustain a very limited demand for goods, as represented by the trading house. VPs represent the empire's satisfaction with the colonial leaders: how many goods are they shipping home and how well-developed a colony have they built.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Klinck
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You stated, earlier in the thread, that only two expansions were planned. However, RvI says that there's a contest for cards in "the next expansion", and there were those symbols that "aren't used yet". Does this mean we have at least one more expansion coming? How many more are planned?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A third expansion has been in the works for quite some time now. Anyway, we now know quite a bit more about the Galaxy, from the first 2 expansions and their promotional material. The Alien involvement in creating the Uplift races, for example. The Rebel Alliance has certainly taken more concrete form.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Race for the Galaxy » Forums » General
Re: About the Galaxy...
A third expansion, The Brink of War, is now planned. Unlike the earlier two expansions, it was designed after RFTG was published.

The Brink of War is the final expansion in this "arc". Under discussion is whether another expansion or arc of expansions (building just from the base game) will be published.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a bit concerned about increasing dilution of the card pool with the 3rd expansion (and still more if there is another expansion "arc"). Still, since the expansion cards are clearly marked as such it would seem possible to go back to playing with just one or two expansions if one found this was the case.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
This was one of our big concerns too. At one point during its development, I almost threw in the towel and told Jay, "No can do."

But, we've persevered and tried lots of different mechanisms to deal with this and think that things are pretty good now. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Any other arcs won't use the first arc's expansions.

(And, of course, I find it ironic that complaints about too few cards after TGS have now been replaced by complaints about too big a deck with RvI! ;-)
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave J McWeasely
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
Trade is foreign trade with external economies, pumping "hard" currency into the system, which then gets invested in developments or further settlement.

...

By contrast, Puerto Rico depicts a colony in a mercantile economy. ... The colonial economy itself is small and can only sustain a very limited demand for goods, as represented by the trading house.


Funny that the mechanisms are so similar. Except, as you note, that blocking the Trading House is the entire focus of the opening in PR. Blocking the Galactic Trading House, on the other hand, is a relatively rare and dicey strategy in RftG.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
And, in PR, the *boats are there*. You don't have to grow the colony to a certain size to attract more boats or do anything within the game. The external demand of the mother empire is a given. Unlike Race, where some start worlds offer a bit of demand, but, for the most part, you have to build both sides of the production/demand equation.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
This was one of our big concerns too. At one point during its development, I almost threw in the towel and told Jay, "No can do."

But, we've persevered and tried lots of different mechanisms to deal with this and think that things are pretty good now. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Any other arcs won't use the first arc's expansions.

(And, of course, I find it ironic that complaints about too few cards after TGS have now been replaced by complaints about too big a deck with RvI! ;-)


I'm not complaining that the deck is too big with R v I. Its a good size now. I was just contemplating adding another 4 expansions to it is all. But if different expansion arcs aren't used together that would cover that one.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
My comment wasn't directed strictly at you, Philip (and did contain an emoticon). If you look at the comments in the db, there are complaints about the big deck now that RvI is out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kester J
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
(And, of course, I find it ironic that complaints about too few cards after TGS have now been replaced by complaints about too big a deck with RvI! ;-)


I confess to being worried about this beforehand, but I have to say you've done a really good job of dealing with the increased deck size. The flexible powers like Galactic Salon and Mercenary Fleet, extra cardflow powers like Galactic Developers and R&D Crash Program, and mix-and-match explore all make the big deck run just as smoothly as a smaller one. I am much impressed, congrats!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
László K.
United States
Hopatcong
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
Under discussion is whether another expansion or arc of expansions (building just from the base game) will be published.

Has there been any consideration made at designing a "new" base set for the 2nd expansion arc? The "new" (2nd) base set might include a number of cards from the original set, but it would also allow for the 2nd base set's flavor to be changed to match the overall theme of the 2nd arc.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Serge
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ladislaus wrote:
Has there been any consideration made at designing a "new" base set for the 2nd expansion arc?


Yeah, i'm not sure i like the idea of new arcs reusing the base set... Tho i suppose from the designer's perspective it's a massively decreased amount of work. :/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Publishing considerations would seem to rule that out, as that would force consumers to buy a lot of overlapping cards and components. See the initial fuss over Dominion's expansions all including money, VP cards, etc. People have settled down and accepted one standalone Dominion expansion on the grounds that it also expands the game to more players, but it was quite clear that they didn't want this format for all its expansions.

Now, a format that might work for RFTG's second arc is to simply have a single package, with a redesigned base set + expansion that is completely separate. But, that's a publisher decision. For now, I am designing it as either a single expansion or an arc of expansions. If and when it becomes a committed product, then we'll look at these issues in detail.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Once the Geek has you, there is no escape...
United States
Binghamton
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
...RFTG's second arc...
...I am designing it...
Here's my credit card info for the preorder:

1374 8907 1912 0217

EXP: 06/12

Verification Code: 830

I hope you take American Express.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
United States
Natick
MA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Are there also thoughts about publishing more information about the Galaxy in other formats? I for one would love to read a novel or short stories to help add flavor and character to the rich themes that the card names and art suggest. I could see these published on a website to draw readers, or certain cards having flavor text added, or other creative ways.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Slater
United Kingdom
Newport
Newport, South Wales
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
How will the 2nd arc be marketed to show that it is not compatable with the existing expansions, but is compatable with the main game, that those first expansions are also compatable with?

Could be confusing
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I am on a Journey...
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
flag msg tools
...to explore and discover games of all shapes and sizes regardless of colour, condition or creed
mbmbmbmbmb
TheMadVulcan wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
...RFTG's second arc...
...I am designing it...
Here's my credit card info for the preorder:

1374 8907 1912 0217

EXP: 06/12

Verification Code: 830

I hope you take American Express.


Good call Mr. Vulcan.

Tom you can also have this too...it's my imagination as you took control of it a long time ago.

Keep up the great work.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Karl Hartelius
Sweden
Umeå
flag msg tools
mb
I just bought the game (and dang it's fun) and I read about a third expansion, googled it and here I am.

I'm not expecting mr. lehmann to read this anymore (i LOVE the fact that you can interact with the designers in this forum...), but how is the expansion coming along?

And there will be MORE expansions as well? I'm not sure what another "arc" means, but it sure sounds awesome.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Serge
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
frenger wrote:
I just bought the game (and dang it's fun) and I read about a third expansion, googled it and here I am.
[...]
And there will be MORE expansions as well?


All that's certain is the 3rd expansion (The Brink of War), which ends the current arc. Future sets/expansions are uncertain, a possibility but likely dependent on the success of the current game + 3 expansions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Re. the third expansion (The Brink of War):

We are currently testing various contest cards and fine tuning everything to match. It's taking longer, due to the larger deck (each combo shows up less often and it's harder to get a sense for whether a card is properly balanced or not).

There's still artwork (for just the contest cards), rules, translation, etc. work to be done. Then there's the publisher call on when the next expansion *should* appear. Each expansion shakes up the balance among strategies and requires adaptation of play styles. Rebel vs Imperium is a fairly large expansion and it's going to take a while for players to "digest" it. Bringing out another expansion before the bulk of the players have adapted to RvI would, IMO, be a mistake.

Re. the second expansion arc:

I'm currently sketching it out. I understand its story/themes (which are different from the slow slide into warfare and exploitation of the Uplift races that characterized the first arc) and have ideas for new mechanics which would express this; it's mostly just putting TBOW to bed so that I can turn my full attention to it.

In terms of packaging it to be clearly different from the first arc's expansions, I'm going to propose to the production team that it have a subtitle as well as expansion titles.

So, the box cover would look something like:

RFTG:BIG SUBTITLE
Expansion Name

and then down in the lower left corner

Story Arc #2
Expansion #1

The box back would have the expansion note (not a complete game, requires RFTG to play) and then say "This expansion is not compatible with the three expansions in the first story arc."

Of course, RGG may have different ideas how to present it... ;-)
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:
Re. the third expansion (The Brink of War):

We are currently testing various contest cards and fine tuning everything to match. It's taking longer, due to the larger deck (each combo shows up less often and it's harder to get a sense for whether a card is properly balanced or not).

There's still artwork (for just the contest cards), rules, translation, etc. work to be done. Then there's the publisher call on when the next expansion *should* appear. Each expansion shakes up the balance among strategies and requires adaptation of play styles. Rebel vs Imperium is a fairly large expansion and it's going to take a while for players to "digest" it. Bringing out another expansion before the bulk of the players have adapted to RvI would, IMO, be a mistake.

Re. the second expansion arc:

I'm currently sketching it out. I understand its story/themes (which are different from the slow slide into warfare and exploitation of the Uplift races that characterized the first arc) and have ideas for new mechanics which would express this; it's mostly just putting TBOW to bed so that I can turn my full attention to it.

In terms of packaging it to be clearly different from the first arc's expansions, I'm going to propose to the production team that it have a subtitle as well as expansion titles.

So, the box cover would look something like:

RFTG:BIG SUBTITLE
Expansion Name

and then down in the lower left corner

Story Arc #2
Expansion #1

The box back would have the expansion note (not a complete game, requires RFTG to play) and then say "This expansion is not compatible with the three expansions in the first story arc."

Of course, RGG may have different ideas how to present it... ;-)


Thanks for the information Tom. I am so going to buy a second base set when the second arc hits the shelves...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.