Where to Start?
I have a pretty clear idea of what I want the game to be:
A game for 2-6 players – One player will take the role of the aliens and obstacles in the game [*]. The rest of the players will each take a single character that was present on Spaceship 47 when it left Earth behind. These characters from Spaceship 47 are collectively known as the Heroes.
10 Missions – The game takes place over 10 sessions, with the players playing a different mission in each session. The player playing the aliens and obstacles [**] uses all of the resources denoted for the mission to try and stop the players from succeeding at the mission. The players playing the Heroes co-operate to try and complete the mission successfully. Depending on how successful the Heroes were, denotes how much of a reward the Heroes get. I also want the missions to contain a bit of variety – combat heavy, stealthy missions, accompanying NPCs etc.
The Final Mission – The final mission sees the Heroes taking all of the allies, tech and information that they have gained over the previous 9 missions and use it to defeat the Draydun and take back Earth.
Tracker – Each Mission has a tracker that tracks something depending on what the mission is. This is designed to keep pressure on the players as this will be the fail-condition of the mission. It could be:
the number of rounds before the Space Station the Heroes are on explodes and they all die.
the security threat level which changes on successful and failed skill rolls – if it goes above a certain number the Heroes get captured.
Miniatures – During the game, each player will move a playing piece around the board and take actions (using weapons, opening doors, hacking computers etc.). The board will be different for each mission (Space station, desert planet etc.).
Dice – People love rolling dice, so the actions the characters take will be resolved by rolling multiple dice. I will be implementing a system that resolves the action quickly though. I don’t want the game stopping while someone works out some complicated maths.
Customisable character – There are a lot of characters on Spaceship 47, so I don’t want to limit the players by having a few pre-defined characters. At the very least, the player should be able to pick a Species (Human, Android, Chimpanzee or Stishak) and a Profession (Soldier, Doctor, Lawyer etc.) – I will blog about the Species and Professions in the coming weeks.
With that in mind – where do I start? The rules? How characters work? The missions?
The rules would seem to be the natural place to start. However, I don’t want to write the rules and then write the missions and find out that the there is something cool in the mission that isn’t covered in the rules. So I am thinking I will use the rules that I had written for the Spaceship 47 RPG as a first draft of the board games rules so I can get stuck into writing the missions and have something to use to initially test the missions. I fully expect the rules to change a lot while writing the missions.
Let me know in the comments below if that seems sensible, or if I have forgotten anything.
[*] I need a good name for the player that will be taking on the role of the aliens and obstacles. If anyone has any suggestions please post them in the comments below!
[**] Seriously, this would be much easier if I had a name for this person. 🙂