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Subject: WIP: 2149'ers - Asteroid Mining Game rss

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Levi Mote
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This game is now complete and on sale https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/2149-ers!

Thanks again for all of the help in making this game the best it could be!


Hello BGG'ers!!

I've been playtesting this game locally and it's been very well received. I know this community isn't shy about giving feedback / advice and I'd love to see what you all think before we move into final art and production.

Thanks,
Levi

More playtesting, more Updates 12/2/11

2149'ers Rules

Rules Sheet Side 1


Rules Sheet Side 2



Components Sheet



Updated Illustrations as of 12/2/11!

Box Cover


Box Bottom



Game Board


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Carl Qwerty
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Looks fun. I like the theme.
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Levi Mote
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Thanks Carl. Sarah (my editor) and I came up with it while we were camping and talking about what needs to happen to move humanity to the next step of space exploration.

Set up takes a while in its current incarnation because you have 36x2 stickers to apply to the asteroid chips. But you only have to do that the first time you play the game, after that they are all set to go and it's pretty smooth.

My biggest worry is that the game seems too simple on its face and only after playing it do you feel the level of tactical strategy you can dig into.
 
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Herc du Preez
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It does seem like an easy to learn and understand game. Have a golden camel goldencamel

Thematically I would expect the fall back to cost 1 fuel (manoeuvring and such), but that is just an opinion. If you cannot pay in fuel you pay in throwing a resource overboard.

The player interaction here is to grab resources no one else has sold (those in demand) and also to vote on which resource to reset.

Could be interesting to try a bidding mechanic to see which player decides which resource to reset. Are you willing to pay loads to reset Titanium because you have loads of Titanium on board?

What prevents people from mining only face up resources and so never ending the game? Are credits kept secret to encourage someone who thinks they are in the lead to reveal the last asteroids?

Would the game run faster if you didn't return tokens back to the asteroid field?

What would happen if the credit for resources reduced at a faster rate i.e. 1 space at 5 credits, 1 at 4, 2 at 3, 2 at 2 and rest at 1? Is it possible to have different rates for different resources?

Some food for thought
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Levi Mote
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Thanks for the golden camel Avianfoo! I'll try to address all of your comments.

We decided to make it free to fall back to help the fuel selling strategy.

We played with a bidding mechanic for resource processing that cost resources, and another that cost you cash, and another where a die roll decided what was processed. None of these worked as well as the current voting mechanic.

Allowing players to mine face-up resources allows two things to happen. First it creates a strategy as to where you place the face-up resources back in the Asteroid Field and allows players who have fallen behind a mechanism for potentially catching up before the player in the lead can uncover all of the Asteroids. The game does end faster without returning captured resources, but it is much less dynamic and makes it almost impossible for someone to catch up if they fall behind.

In our playtesting, games are being decided by less that 10 credits difference between first and last place on average. For this reason, I would be hesitant to change the payment rates. However, I'm not against this idea if it would enhance the game in some way.

Thanks for all of your feedback / questions Avianfoo!
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Levi Mote
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It doesn't look like I'm getting any major objections or missing any critical flaws in the game based on the feedback.

What suggestions do you all have for the art / graphics?
 
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Herc du Preez
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I can't really comment on the art/graphics. I don't see anything wrong with them.

Here are some upgrade questions

Are the 4 upgrades shown the only 4 upgrades available? Are there 10 of each then?

Isn't the long range scanner a bit powerful? Could the upgrade not be +2 distance from your ship? Then you have a trade off between spending fuel to see those last few asteroids or get another precious upgrade to see a little further. So you need 3 upgrades (basic scanner, scanner boost, scanner boost) to see the entire field.

When you upgrade, do you choose one, or draw one randomly. I don't think its mentioned anywhere in the rules. (a bit of a hole).
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Levi Mote
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Avianfoo wrote:
I can't really comment on the art/graphics. I don't see anything wrong with them.

Here are some upgrade questions :)

Are the 4 upgrades shown the only 4 upgrades available? Are there 10 of each then?

Isn't the long range scanner a bit powerful? Could the upgrade not be +2 distance from your ship? Then you have a trade off between spending fuel to see those last few asteroids or get another precious upgrade to see a little further. So you need 3 upgrades (basic scanner, scanner boost, scanner boost) to see the entire field.

When you upgrade, do you choose one, or draw one randomly. I don't think its mentioned anywhere in the rules. (a bit of a hole).


Upgrade answers.

Yes. there are only 4 available upgrades. The game will come with a set for each player (5x Sensor, 5x LR Sensor, 15x Extra Cargo, 15x Extra Fuel).

Originally there was no LR Scanner, but you could purchase the Scanner multiple times each one increasing the range by 1. However, the asteroid field is only 6x6 so no one was ever buying the third upgrade. In fact the second upgrade didn't seem like a good enough trade off for cargo or fuel so we added the LR Scanner and changed the Scanner to be replaced by it.

You're right, the Upgrade section was a bit vague, here's the updated language...


6. Upgrade Phase
Each Player who came back to Mars may now buy Upgrades at a cost of 5 Credits per upgrade card. Upgrades are chosen, not randomly drawn from the pile. No Mining Rocket may ever have more than 3 Upgrades on it. If a player decides to purchase a fourth upgrade, he or she will have to discard one of them before the end of this Phase.

Note: The Long Range Asteroid Sensor Upgrade replaces the Asteroid Sensor Upgrade.

Thanks for the art comments. I've been on the fence about commissioning an artist. I made these myself and I've gotten some good feedback on the look / feel of the game.
 
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Herc du Preez
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Would a +2 range scanner upgrade not be a good trade off instead of having the different scanner types and having a special rule for the long range scanner? Or just text on the card which says +2 range for every upgrade beyond the first. Or a table on the card itself:

Asteroid Scanner
Look at an asteroid near to your ship. The power of the scanner depends on the number of scanners you have.
1 scanner: 1 space away from your ship.
2 scanners: up to 3 spaces away from your ship.
3 scanners: no range limit.

There is probably a better way. Just a thought.
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Levi Mote
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I appreciate the input. You're actually thinking along the same lines I was when we started out. We just found in playtesting that no one was buying the scanner upgrades. After a couple of turns with 5 players, half of the asteroids are revealed and the scanners become less attractive. The good part is you can retrofit your ship each turn with new upgrades.

Avianfoo wrote:
Would a +2 range scanner upgrade not be a good trade off instead of having the different scanner types and having a special rule for the long range scanner? Or just text on the card which says +2 range for every upgrade beyond the first. Or a table on the card itself:

Asteroid Scanner
Look at an asteroid near to your ship. The power of the scanner depends on the number of scanners you have.
1 scanner: 1 space away from your ship.
2 scanners: up to 3 spaces away from your ship.
3 scanners: no range limit.

There is probably a better way. Just a thought.
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Levi Mote
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After playtesting feedback was gathered, we heard that the game felt too much like a claw machine with not enough randomness. So we added an Earth Resource Exchange deck to create a bit of randomness from back home.


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Cat Lord
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Having only done a quick overview, I apologize for anything my questions might have overlooked.

1: I saw something about movement happening in order of the player with the least cargo, but that's in the middle of the turn. Is there any way that turn order is established?

2: I might recommend ending the game after a set number of turns, or perhaps each player has an "Investor" that says when they bring back X tons of Mineral Z, they win.

3: What is the penalty for running out of fuel? Does that player have to spend credits to call for towing?

Side note, are you familiar with the Sega Genesis game Starflight?
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Herc du Preez
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PhantasyIV wrote:

2: I might recommend ending the game after a set number of turns, or perhaps each player has an "Investor" that says when they bring back X tons of Mineral Z, they win.


Hidden "job" cards (Why do I want to call them Quests cards?) which ask for specific resources for a large payout might be interesting as well.

Wouldn't the earth resource exchange reduce the effectiveness of the processing phase bidding?
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Levi Mote
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PhantasyIV wrote:
Having only done a quick overview, I apologize for anything my questions might have overlooked.

1: I saw something about movement happening in order of the player with the least cargo, but that's in the middle of the turn. Is there any way that turn order is established?

2: I might recommend ending the game after a set number of turns, or perhaps each player has an "Investor" that says when they bring back X tons of Mineral Z, they win.

3: What is the penalty for running out of fuel? Does that player have to spend credits to call for towing?

Side note, are you familiar with the Sega Genesis game Starflight?


I'll reply as best I can...

1) Generally play order is only established during the Phases when it matters rather than for the entire turn. In this way, choices made during the turn effect turn order.

2) Leaving the end of the game open allows players who have fallen behind a chance to catch up and gives an incentive to the player who has the most credits at the time to hurry up and end the game before they can catch up. I have incorporated the secret contract idea you and avianfoo put forth (see the newest rules version above).

3) After reading this and looking back through the playtest feedback notes I realize that Fuel management was basically a non-factor and I agree that adding a tow charge changes this. We'll see how it plays as we begin testing the newest rules set.

Thanks for contributing!
 
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Levi Mote
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Avianfoo wrote:
PhantasyIV wrote:

2: I might recommend ending the game after a set number of turns, or perhaps each player has an "Investor" that says when they bring back X tons of Mineral Z, they win.


Hidden "job" cards (Why do I want to call them Quests cards?) which ask for specific resources for a large payout might be interesting as well.

Wouldn't the earth resource exchange reduce the effectiveness of the processing phase bidding?


I really love the idea of Secret Contracts which will be revealed at the end of the game. I have seen this in several other games and I like what it adds to those games in general, we'll see if my playtesters agree.

The ERE is designed to add an element of randomness before players choose what to Process. Hopefully it accomplishes this goal in testing, otherwise we'll be removing it as it adds another couple of dollars to the production cost, which I wouldn't want to do if it doesn't add anything to the game.
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Cat Lord
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Updates look good on 'paper'. Would need to play to weed out the rest.
 
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Levi Mote
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Here are a couple of examples of the Secret Contract cards and their common back. There will be 14 Secret Contracts, which should be a good amount of variation for a 5 player game.




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Cat Lord
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Looks good. Just keep an eye out about space - your Hydrogen card runs past what we can read by one word.

EDIT: I recommend narrowing the side borders a bit since it doesn't look like a good idea to shrink that font.
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Jason D. Kingsley
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I've enjoyed following the progress so far, Levi. I hope the changes prove to be solid during playtesting; they all sound good!

I had a few minutes this afternoon and thought it sounded fun to play with some different typefaces in relationship to your upgrade card. It's nothing super fancy; just something to stimulate ideas. I kept your art and layout. I like the overall feel and simple art style... especially that asteroid! The ship feels pretty flat in comparison, perhaps. I can't put my finger on exactly what, but a simple texture or some simple stars in the background or an offset printing look might help add a depth to the card. Perhaps we can come up with something. Cheers!
 
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Sam Mercer
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Haven't had chance to look at the rules yet my man, as I am too excited about the art-deco retro art.

I found this for you

http://www1.coe.neu.edu/~dan/skelly/go.html

I also have forwarded it onto your possible future artist

Also I will do something for you in one moment.
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Sam Mercer
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POW.

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Levi Mote
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Sam,
I already have your friend from Scotland working on a landscape type cover for the game, but I really want to use your piece as well. Can I have it? Is it an original piece you made? It would make a great recruitment poster and advertising poster for the game.

YOU SIR ARE A PRO!

Levi
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Sam Mercer
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Heya levi!

Yeah cool isnt it? ^^

well I suppose you could have it! But only if you do something cool for me - I am unsure of what ¬_¬

I must say: the middle watercolour picture is not mine, it is a way old 1960's retro spaceship design from some crazy old painter - you need rights to it, or to hope they dont notice, or to copy it, or to get someone else to do the illustration for it - ideally have the tip of the spacecraft actually pointing outside of the circle somewhat - that would be cool.

The background is an old nasa image with a load of filters on it -I think it is open public stuff anyway, so that should be ok. Inspiration for certain elements has come from other bits and pieces but basically the rest is mine, knocked it up today when I perhaps should've been doing otherthings!

Are you a photoshop kind of guy? Would you like me to send it to you like that or as a jpg or what do you want to do?

I'll maybe make another one maybe ^^
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Levi Mote
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Very cool.

I'll gladly owe you one Sam.

NASA stuff is generally public domain (we Yankee tax payers paid for it afterall).

I am not an owner of Photoshop, but I get on pretty well with MS Paint and Office. lol

PNG format works best for preserving colors for people like me (PS impared). Especially if you decide to make one with an original ship sticking through the circle, which I agree would make this already cool-ass piece pop even more.
 
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Sam Mercer
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haha no problem, well remember that I am by no means an illustrator, so would be pretty unable to do a new illustration piece for you: I could "lamely trace" the middle pic, but it would suck pretty hard. I have included the pic in my gallery for you to copy and save if you want. Also remember that if you want to change anything I would be happy to oblige: text font / colour / information / position etc etc
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