Sunday, June 29, 2014

Introducing Rayguns and Rocketships!

A thought occurred to me... if anyone is going to get excited about my Rayguns and Rocketships prototype, they need to see what the game looks like and know a little about how it plays.

Below are images of the latest prototype - which means the star map board, rocketship maps, achievement card, rulebook, graphics on the cards and even the box are still all placeholder.

Rayguns and Rocketships setup for a 4 player game

Each player controls a Planeteer faction using a deck of cards and action points
The rocketships miniatures navigate and battle on the star map.

The Planeteer crew fire the rayguns and provides bonuses and special abilities.
Crew can also jetpack their way across the star map to board and fight on enemy ships!
Each Planeteer faction plays differently - The reptilian Zard (pictured) are excellent at close-combat while the horrible alien Blaarg can use mind control against their enemies.
Gameplay ends when one rocketship or Planeteer crew is destroyed and victory points are totaled up. The player with the most points wins!
Next up - building a universe from scratch! Brace yourselves Planeteers! More adventure ahead!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Making my own Star Wars!

Welcome to my developer's diary chronicling the creation of my board game prototype Rayguns and Rocketships. I hope my ramblings are inspirational (or at least interesting) to other board game creators who are curious about the creative process can happen.

In 2006, my day job was making video games. However, no one was making the game I really wanted to play - a third person shooter where the player could start inside a spaceship, exit out into space, blast some bad guys in space and board their ship to fight against them in hand-to-hand combat. As a fan of such pulp comics as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, I wanted my heroes to have a laser pistol in one hand and a fencing sword in the other.

The idea had been brewing in my mind even longer than I realized. The imagery I was dreaming of was inspired by the cover of a 70's Marvel Star Wars comic, where Han Solo has shoot-out with pirates in outer-space. This is the game I always wanted to play.

The other moment of inspiration was from my friend, Hardy, who when I told him I always wanted to work on a Star Wars video game said "Why don't you make your own Star Wars?" I decided that this was good advice worth following.
The first indication of anything pertaining to Rayguns and Rocketships was a small diagram from my 2006 notebook. All it mentions is that a crew man needs to stay in a spot on the ship to get a benefit. Not much, but it was a start.
Speaking of notebooks, I assume I'm preaching to the converted, but I cannot over-emphasize the importance of keeping some sort of journal, notebook or sketchbook. I have lost too many good ideas to the ages (and crashed hard-drives) to not stick with good ol' fashioned paper.
In the same notebook (on a page dated 5/08/2007), I found a page filled with several character and planet names. The name of the Astro-Rangers captain - Jett Novastar - first appears (although he was almost "Jake Novestar") as well as his arch-enemy Count Ventura. Also appearing are the "Nova Rangers" (who will later become the Astro-Rangers) and a picture of their uniform.
Having piping on the pants was obviously very important! Next up, the Rayguns and Rocketship universe takes shape!
Stay tuned Planeteers! More adventure awaits!

Welcome Planeteers!

One rainy afternoon, you find yourself exploring your Grandfather's dusty old attic. Against the furthest wall, you find an weathered old chest. After fumbling with the lock, you manage to pry it open - wondering what treasures you will find inside.

Underneath some old military uniforms and blankets, you discover a board game that has to be from the 1930's. While wrinkled by age, the box's cover is still wildly colorful - blazing rocketships and laser bolts ignite the inky void of space while spacemen duel against star pirates, lizardmen and horrible one-eyed aliens. The game's title dares you to open it:


Turning over the box, you read the following text:

"Welcome to a galaxy of adventure!

In the frozen heart of space lies a fantastic galaxy of planets populated by space-faring factions called PLANETEERS.

These PLANETEERS wage a never-ending battle of RAYGUNS AND ROCKETSHIPS. Some seek adventure like the brash ASTRO-RANGERS, others desire riches like the fearsome STAR PIRATES. Some will to conquer like the horrible BLAARG or hunger for honor like the reptilian ZARD.

Which Planeteers will win? That’s up to you!"

You slowly lift up the lid and take a look inside...

Rayguns and Rocketships is an action strategy game I've been developing since 2006. Inspired by the great sci-fi classics of the pulp era, Rayguns and Rocketships has the aesthetics of a classic board game but features fast-paced, exciting, modern gameplay. And miniatures! Lots of original miniatures!

I'll be posting the development history of the game as well as my progress taking the playable prototype to the next stage of this adventure. I leave you with an image of the game's box:

Stay tuned Planeteers! Adventure awaits!