But that's history, let's talk about the present.
This blog has been created to journal my game development endeavors in both tabletop and computer games. My current project is a board game that has the working title "Awakener". It is an exploration of the concept of a robot on board a starship that must wake the humans from stasis to deal with an imminent calamity. Some of the humans are fine, but others have died in their stasis pods. And some are not quite... human anymore.
The idea started as a concept for a rogue-like computer game. The board game arose from a desire to "paper prototype" that idea. As I pushed bottle caps and cardboard around the table, I started to think of it as more of a board game, so I decided to go with it. Hopefully, the process of developing the board game will help me when I make the computer game.
The board for Awakener is tile-based and emerges piece-by-piece to define the corridors and of the starship. These tiles will also define the alcoves in which the stasis pods are stored. The robots pick up pods and attempt to deliver them to the correct areas of the starship -- morgue for the dead, medbay for the living, airlock for the creeps (the once-human monsters). Creeps in pods will escape eventually, so getting them to the airlock is priority.
For the majority of the game, players are taking turns moving their robots around the board, collecting survivors and disposing of the rest. The more survivors collected, the more influence the player has on the game board state. Survivors can lash out of the medbay to stun creeps or toggle power to map tiles. With each turn, power drains from the ship based on how many map tiles are active. This drain can be slowed by selectively powering down tiles -- which destroys all pods in that tile and makes the tile impassable to any living creature (creeps and colonists).
There is a cooperative nature to this first, major, part of the game because a minimum number of survivors must be rescued to make the resulting colony viable. Everyone's racing against the clock in a way.
To add flavor and an interesting end-game, each colonist is given a unique "card" with a portrait, brief description and, most importantly, a set of traits. These traits come from a common pool and play a big part in how scores are tallied in the end and define the "story" of the colony that emerges.
But more on that later, after I've had time to get a dozen or so playtests in.
For now, I'll leave you with a glimpse of my prototyping materials in action --
|Sculpey, bottle caps, beads and 2x2 square-punched frozen pizza-boxes.|
[Edit: Attention! The game's name has changed to Starship Rex. Carry on.]