Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More on this Mars idea

I was contemplating this "exploration and colonization of Mars" idea a bit, and here are some of the ideas floating around - starting to come together...

There could exist several different types of resources, we'll call them cubes, which can be gathered on Earth and sent to Mars to help you explore and build. Different actions on mars will require (cost) different cubes.

Each player will have a ship that travels back and forth between Earth and Mars, carrying these cubes. The ships can be configured to carry only 2 or 3 types of cubes at a time out of the 5 or more different types that exist. While on Earth, players will set the type and quantity of cubes they want their ship to carry. Then it will go on autopilot delivering those cubes to Mars as scheduled while the player does actions on Mars. Over the course of the game, players will need a different mix of resources, which means they have to take time to travel to Earth and adjust the configuration of their ship.

For example, in the mid game maybe a player will have constructed the means to mine one of the early game resources on Mars, so they will not need to collect it from Earth anymore. then they'd rather reconfigure the ship to bring more useful cubes.

One of the types of cubes will represent people, which will be used in 2 different ways - operating certain buildings (which will then produce some in-game bonus), and simply living in residential buildings (which will earn points). In order to have people living and working in the colony though, there needs to be enough living quarters and feeding capacity to support them.

Player Differentiation
What will differentiate the players so they won't all just do the same thing all the time? Well, this game is about Exploration as well as colonization, so I envisions a grid of face down square tiles, which a player can explore, some of which are better suited to certain types of buildings than others. For example, maybe a plot adjacent to a canal would make a desirable place to live, so it might add to the value of living quarters built on it. Other tiles might lend themselves better to certain types of production buildings. Maybe some tiles aren't suitable for building on.

I think it might be neat to have a building that allows you to peek at nearby plots to see if you want to explore them. I also like the idea of an Assay Office, like in the old video game M.U.L.E. - where you have to go to see how well suited your plot is for various types of production.

That's about all I've got so far. djnkirk from BGDF suggested a Moon board as well, where one could build a sort of substation, thus requiring less travel time then going all the way back to Earth. That's a neat idea, but I'm not sure it really works to well. I really like the idea of investing in a sub-base for potential future efficiency though.

No comments: