Pre-Order Space Race

Created by Boardcubator

Space Race is a unique engine-building strategy game with amazing artwork and stunning rockets.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Production Status and Updated Delivery Estimates
27 days ago – Fri, Mar 06, 2020 at 12:22:03 AM

Hi,

This regular command center broadcast includes a detailed summary of the project status, next steps in the production, and updated delivery estimates.

  • Project status recap — The state of our mission in detail.
  • Next production steps and updated delivery timeline.

However, before we delve into it, we want to thank all of you so much for the amazing feedback and suggestions we have received for the name of the "buffer" section associated to Projects (Update #29). There was a great number of ideas to think about, and after weighing them against the thematic foundations of the game, potential clash with other zones, and graphical considerations, we leaned towards "Standby". Thank you again very much!

Project status

Rocket models: Production data for the rocket models are finished and are 100% ready, so the manufacturer can proceed with the next step of the mass-production, which is the sampling process. If you have missed it, check out the visualizations of the rockets from the previous update (Update #29).

Astronaut meeples: Just like the rocket models, production data for the astronaut meeples (wooden with silkscreen printing on them) are ready for the manufacturer (see Update #28 for visualizations of them).

Rulebook: We have started working with Paul Grogan (Gaming Rules!) at the end of February, and it has been an absolutely amazing experience! He was able to finish most of the rulebook wording by now. What's left is mainly the solo rules section, which will be finalized as soon as all the core rules are 100% done. The next step is to pass the rulebook document to our graphic designer, in order to produce the final printing data with graphics and final component images. We honestly can't wait to show you the result!

Working on the rulebook with Paul Grogan.

Cards: With the balance, mechanics, and also the new iconography finished, all cards were updated with an improved layout and wording (see the picture below). We're now looking forward to when Max, our illustrator, finishes updating the artworks on the Rocket specific Control Cards, which will mean that all the cards are ready to be printed.

Examples of the Space Race cards with updated iconography.

Board / Playmat: The layout of the board was updated to better match the flow of the game. The game starts in the upper-left part of the board (the top of the rocket) and moves clockwise through the zones. Players start the round by drawing cards and placing some of them in the unexplored universe. The game then proceeds clockwise through the board as you play through the individual stages (Propaganda, Technology, Space Programs, and Breakthroughs) and then proceed to resolve Bureaucracy effects. The Investments area and the Breakthrough tracker are nearby as playing through the stages may affect them. At the end of the round, you update the Projects (these were initially placed next to the board) and possibly also scoring, which in turn resolves the bottommost part of the mission. Then you are ready to start the new round.

Many of these changes were a result of the feedback that we have received during playtesting. Thanks to the updated board layout, it is now much easier to explain the rules and to internalize the round structure. Other changes to the board we have implemented (Update #29) include longer progress tracker with larger individual spaces (to fit the bump-proof rocket bases and their colored rubber snap bases), separate Launch Pad area of the Breakthrough Tracker (more Astronauts can wait there for the start of their mission), and initial turn order for the standard setup (the square on the bottom-left). The whole board is also slightly smaller so it doesn't require as much table space.

The overall design and layout of the board is now finished and what's left is to double-check it to make sure all the changes were integrated.

Latest version of the Space Race board with updated iconography and improved UX design that gives the game a very smooth flow.

Mission tiles: Print data for the front side are finished. The next step is to add artworks for the backs of the mission tiles, which will gradually appear as you play through the 7 round of the game. At the end of each round, the bottom tile will be flipped over and reveal part of the mission artwork relevant to the actual mission being played.

Layout of the print data for the front side of the Mercury Mission tiles. The red outline marks where the individual tiles will be separated during the production.

Faction HQs / Player aids: The faction HQs will have an illustration, standard setup, and thematic setup on one side and will work as player aids from the other side. The information on the Faction HQ side is needed for the initial setup, after which it can be flipped and serve as reminders of the most important aspects of the game. Mechanically, the Faction HQs are finished, and they are waiting for the graphic designer to make them pretty, which, along with new illustrations that will be on the Faction HQ side, is the next step concerning them.

Project tiles: Print data for both the front and the back side of the Project tiles are finished. Based on the playtesting feedback, we made sure the readability of the project tiles was increased.

Example of one of the Projects.

Next production steps and delivery estimates

Non-printed components: (rockets, playmats, and astronauts) During the following weeks, the manufacturer in China will start working on the production data for the rocket models and astronauts. Production of these components is the most difficult part of the whole process, which is why are triple-checking everything to make sure the components in the finished game will be absolutely perfect. The manufacturer will then begin the sampling process, after which we will receive pre-production samples to check. Once we confirm they are ok, the tooling will start, and the final rockets and astronauts will be made right after. This whole process from the start of the sampling to the final components will take approximately 13 weeks. Once the rocket models and astronauts are finished, they will travel on boats to the EU (this takes about 7 weeks) for the final assembly.

Printed components: (the box, rulebook, cards, player aids/faction HQs, mission tiles, and project tiles) Before the astronauts and the rockets models arrive to the EU for assembly, the printed components will be manufactured — it's the faster part of the production. Based on our past experience, we knew we wanted to produce as much of the game as possible locally so we can be present during the production in person, which makes the quality checking process much more reliable. Once all the components meet in the EU facility, they will be assembled into the final games and shipped to you.

Updated delivery estimates: Our topmost priority was always to produce and deliver the game in the best possible shape both from the standpoint of gameplay and the quality and design of its components. This is why we took extra time (more than we originally anticipated) to make sure that every part of the game is working perfectly. As a result, we did additional iterations of the graphic design, cards layout, mechanics balance, and subsequent playtesting during the pre-production stage of the project, which cut through the buffer period we initially had. This, together with issues caused by the extended period of time during which the factories in China were shut down due to outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, led us to the following update of the delivery estimates:

  • 09/2020 — EU
  • 10/2020 — USA and rest of the world

Now that the gameplay mechanics with the graphical design combines together as well as we can imagine, we can't wait to get the first production samples so we can share them with you.

Latest playtesting session of the new version of the new board and updated iconography.

This is all from us for now. What do you think about the updated board?

Thank you very much for your amazing support.

Michal

BackerKit Deadline & Projects
about 2 months ago – Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 02:29:20 AM

Hi,

New command center briefing is here with important BackerKit information and a progress memo. Let's take a look:

  • BackerKit deadline — Finalize your pledge by Monday 24 February.
  • Projects — Help us name a section of the board.
  • Project Status — Check out what we're working on at the moment.

 BackerKit deadline: Monday 24 February

BackerKit surveys will lock on Monday 24 February (you will still be able to change your shipping address). Please make sure to finalize your survey by then. After that, your card will be charged for shipping and any extra add-ons that you have added to your pledge.

You can find more information about BackerKit and how to finalize the survey in Update #25. If you can’t your survey, retrieve it by following this link. If you encounter any problems, send us an email to support@boardcubator.com

Klobouk playing Space Race against three AI opponents.

Projects — Help us name a section of the board

At the beginning of the game, 5 random projects are placed on a designated place on the board, 4 of them closed (face down) and one opened (face up). As the game progresses, new projects open and old projects close. This represents opportunities to advance specific projects that are in demand at a particular time. The more an agency works on a project, the further ahead it will move on the progress tracker (working on projects are one of the ways to gain points during the game).

How can the agencies work on a project you wonder? That's simple: by fulfilling the condition on it. Such a condition can be, for example, to place a card into your lab. Every time you fulfill a project's condition, you place an astronaut meeple on a "buffer" zone next to that project. When your turn ends, these astronauts will move from the "buffer" zone to the actual project (see the picture below that shows astronauts on projects). 

We thought that Standby could be a good name for this "buffer" zone, but we'd love to hear your thoughts. Can you think of a better term? Let us know in the comments!

You can see two (and a half) opened Projects (paper prototypes) on the left side of the photo with Astronauts already on them. The "buffer" area is located on the board right next to the projects. (Note that the picture shows a black-and-white board layout prototype.)

Project status and next steps

During the last weeks, we have focused our attention towards finalizing the printing data, so it is ready to be submitted to the manufacturer (now 90% done). Let's take a look at what's new:

Board: This is the big and exciting one! Certain sections of the board has been rearranged so it provides natural guidance to players in terms of the round structure and user experience. The structure of the board is updated based on playtesting feedback and seeing how different people approach the game. It's also a little bit smaller in order to comfortably fit into the box. To further preserve table space, we have moved the projects onto the board itself (they were originally supposed to be placed next to the board). The progress tracker now has 100 instead of 70 spaces, which are larger to provide more room for the enlarged "bump-proof" rocket bases. The sections of the breakthrough tracker are also a bit larger so more astronaut meeples can fit inside.

Solo variant: All the game rules and developments are now implemented into the solo variant, which works as an extra AI player (or more of them) that you can add to play either against. The overall difficulty is based on the mission you choose and on how many of the AI opponents appear in the game. We will now continue testing the behavior of the AI opponents in multiplayer games.

Iconograpy: We have finished updating the iconography, so the next step is adding the new icons on the board with and finishing the layout of the cards. What's left is designing the reverse side of the projects and mission tokens.

Playtesting the new board layout prototype (this is just a black-and-white print).

This is the end of the command center report. What do you think about the name of the "Standby" zone?

Thank you very much for your support!

Michal

The One With The Rockets
3 months ago – Fri, Jan 03, 2020 at 12:26:59 AM

Happy New Year!

We hope you'll launch a lot of successful missions in 2020! Let's look at the latest Space Race news, including finished designs for the rocket models.

  • Production news — Designs for the rocket models are ready, check out the renders!
  • Next steps — We're working on finalizing the visual design of the game.
  • What's your take on KS updates — The results are here.
Render of the Long March 2F.

Production news

  • Rocket miniatures: Design of the remaining rocket miniatures is finished — which one is your favorite?
  • Rulebook: We've started working on the rulebook with Paul Grogan from Gaming Rules, and we can't wait to show you the result along with the live tutorial and playthrough video of that he will make.
  • Visual design: Our visual design team is now working on finishing the iconography and the layout of the board (see the Next steps below).
Render of the Soyuz and the Saturn IB (please note the visualizations are not to scale here).

Next steps

At this point, we're finalizing the visual and UX design of the game. The step number one is the board, which includes rearranging certain areas on it so it better facilitates the gameplay experience and guide players throughout the game. The progress tracker will be longer (adjusted for higher scores) and the individual fields of the tracker larger to fit the bump-proof rocket bases with colored rubber snap bases on them (the rubber snap bases are not on the pictures). We're also working on the layout of the Projects since we'd love to include a designate place for them on the board in order to save table space.

The next steps also involve finishing the iconography of Breakthrough-related abilities and updating the cards with these new icons. Finally, we continue with playtesting to make sure the visual and mechanical parts of the game fit together perfectly.

Render of the Ariane 5 and the Falcon Heavy (please note the visualizations are not to scale here).

What's your take on Kickstarter updates — Results

In one of the previous updates, we asked what you like and expect from Kickstarter updates, and it is incredible that 559 people joined the discussion! If all the responses were boiled down into just one word, it would be balance.

Yet, this is much too simplified and deserves a deeper commentary with charts and whatnot, which is exactly that you can find here. Check out what people look for when reading Kickstarter updates as we delve into the topic in detail. Do your own expectations match these? Let us know in the comments!

What's your take on Kickstarter updates — Results.

That's all from us for now. What do you think about the rocket models?

Thank you very much for your amazing support.

Michal

Post-Essen SPIEL News
4 months ago – Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 10:36:35 PM

Hi,

The command center is here with a report outlining the direction of our flight with a special memo about art direction in board games and a note about the intermediate landing at Essen SPIEL!

  • Production status — Let's take a look at what's ahead of us.
  • Project timeline of the Space Race mission.
  • Look back at Essen SPIEL 2019 — Check out our Essen SPIEL in pictures post here.
  • Art direction in board games — Read an interview with Marek, Boardcubator's art director.
Jan and Klobouk with a prototype of Space Race during the Essen SPIEL.

Production status and next steps

  • Rulebook: During Essen SPIEL, we've talked to Paul Grogan (Gaming Rules!), and he has agreed to work with us on the final rulebook for Space Race a also do a tutorial and playthrough of the game!
  • Rocket models: Both Cold War expansion rocket models are now finished, and our sculptor continues working on adding more detail to the remaining 5 models from the base game.
  • Astronauts: Check out a visualization of the astronauts designed by Jeff McDowall on the gif below. The areas that will have silkscreen print are shown as recesses on the gif.
Visualization of Jeff McDowall's astronaut models, which shows recessed areas in places where the wooden meeples should have silkscreen print.

What's ahead of us

Given that the game design is finished, we are now compiling a technical version of the rulebook that includes all the mechanics with the correct wording and consistent terminology. This should be finished in two weeks. After that, we will send the rules to Paul Grogan for professional editing while, at the same time, our graphic design team will start working on the final iconography, and on the layout of the cards and the board.

The complex part of the production, and also the one that is most time demanding, are the plastic rocket models. This week, we have an appointment with a local manufacturer to talk about the different possibilities for manufacturing the plastic components for the game.

Project Timeline

The project timeline posted in the previous update remains unchanged:

  • 11/2019-03/2020 — Mass production
  • 03-04/2020 — Sea freight
  • 05/2020 — Fulfillment processing & deliveries
  • 06/2020 — Buffer
Saturn V and the N1 rocket prototypes.

Look back at Essen SPIEL

Essen SPIEL was amazing! It was a blast to see how many people stopped to say hi and talk to us about the recent developments in Space Race! Thank you so much for visiting our stand and checking out the rockets from the Cold War expansion (the picture above)! These are the actual sizes that will come in the Cold War expansion. For scale reference — the astronauts behind them are about the same size as a standard meeple.

Check out our Essen SPIEL in pictures report where we share a lot of photos from the convention.

Marek (third from the right) supervising the shooting of the Space Race Kickstarter video.

Art direction — There's more to games than meets the rules

Do you like the way Space Race looks? Would you like to know more about making games? Then take a look at an article about art direction that we have published. It's based on an interview with Marek, Boardcubator’s art director, during which he talked about the specifics of this role. It's all about how art and visual design influences games.

It's the first article in a series in which we want to share with you insights about all possible aspects of making games that we've learned in the past years. Let us know what you think about it — is there a particular topic that you would like us to explore next?

Marek in the Boardcubator office talking about art direction.

This is all from us for now. Let us know which aspects of making board games you would like to read more about!

Thank you very much for all your support.

Michal

Project Status & Essen SPIEL
5 months ago – Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 03:46:59 AM

Hi,

The long-awaited briefing from the control center just arrived! The transmission includes information about BackerKit, a walkthrough of the construction progress, and the destination of the upcoming landing — Essen SPIEL 2019!

  • BackerKit Surveys — The deadline is extended to February 2020.
  • Project Status — A complete overview of where we are now and what's ahead.
  • Essen SPIEL 2019 — Meet us at Hall 2-C144!
We can’t wait to see you in Essen!

BackerKit Surveys

Many of you haven’t completed the BackerKit survey yet, which is why we are extending the deadline to February 2020. We will remind you again before this happens. Once the surveys are locked, credit cards will be charged.

If you’d like us to lock your survey and charge your card before February, send us an email to support@boardcubator.com

You can find more information about BackerKit and how to finalize your survey in Update #25. If you can’t your survey, retrieve it by following this link.

Project Status

There’s plenty of exciting news about the development we want to share with you. Take a look at the detailed overview below or come check out the progress Space Race has made to our booth at Essen SPIEL — we’ll be at Hall 2-C144.

Space Race Cards: All the mechanics and abilities on the Space Race Cards are finished, so the next step is to finalize their wording and layout. During the development, we have added a lot into the game in terms of abilities on cards compared to the original card game, so the next step will also involve extending the iconography so it fully grasps the new mechanics.

Control Cards: All mechanics of the faction-specific Control Cards are finished as well. What’s left is to create customized illustrations and layouts so they reflect the faction/rocket to which they belong.

Faction HQs: The headquarters are designed, and we are really incredibly excited about what they bring into the game! Every Faction HQ lets you choose several different setups that will extend your options for the start of the game and also lets you use a specific combination of the Control Cards unique to your faction. Every HQ setup option leans towards a distinct playstyle, so there is a lot of additional variety in the game. The next step here is to do a series of tests that will focus primarily on the HQs and the different Control Card setups.

Martin and Jan working on the Faction Headquarters.

Missions and Projects: The design of all the Missions and Projects is finished, so the next step is to incorporate their story and theme into their graphic design. Projects also have two ways they can be set up, one of which will be included in the standard game rules and one as an optional variant.

Solo variant: The solo variant in Space Race replicates the same experience that you have when playing against other people. Now that the mechanics on all the cards, projects, and missions are finished, we can update the solo variant to incorporate all the recent tweaks to the gameplay.

Rulebook: Once the iconography is extended and the solo variant is finished, we will put together the final rules and find a professional rules writer who will give them their final shape. We're currently looking for one — do you have a favorite?

A prototype of astronauts and the N1 rocket (left), the work-in-progress board with handwritten notes (top right), and a detail of the bottom part of the N1 rocket prototype (bottom right).

Rockets: Our sculptor is currently reworking the initial prototype designs of the rockets by adding more detail into the miniature sculpts. He’s also working on the large rockets from the Cold War expansion (you can see the N1 prototype above). The new sculpts include larger bases for a bump-immune level of stability, which is strengthened even further by adding rubber snap bases that match the color of the rockets' faction.

Board: We are playtesting the board as we are tweaking its size to make sure it comfortably fits into the box. There are marking and drawing all over it to note places with too much / not enough space, icons to be added / removed, and sectors to be moved to a different place for smoother gameplay experience. We're also working on a new Progress Tracker that will be both longer and updated to work with the larger bases of the rocket miniatures.

Astronauts: Jeff McDowall has already finished designing unique shapes for astronauts of every faction. We’ve made resin prototypes of them to see how great they look (above), and we can confirm they look pretty great! The final astronauts will be made of wood and have silkscreen printing on them.

Jan putting together a prototype of the N1 rocket.

Next Steps

In November, we'll start the production of the most complex parts of the game, which are the plastic rocket miniatures. At the same time, we will continue blind testing the updated mechanics and the HQs. Below is a list of what’s right in front of us:

  • Finalize the extended iconography for abilities.
  • Incorporate the updated mechanics into the solo variant.
  • Finish sculpts of the rocket models.
  • Update the board.
  • Have the rulebook professionally written and edited.
  • Create thematic backs for projects and missions.

Updated Project Timeline:

  • 11/2019-03/2020 — Mass production
  • 03-04/2020 — Sea freight
  • 05/2020 — Fulfillment processing & deliveries
  • 06/2020 — Buffer

If you will be at Essen SPIEL, come take a look at all of it!

It was so amazing to meet so many of you during the last Essen SPIEL!

Meet Us at Essen SPIEL — Hall 2-C144

We know that many of you are looking forward to Essen SPIEL 2019, and we'd love to meet you there in person! We'll have a stand at Hall 2-C144, and we'd love to show you the game and talk to you about all the Space Race news!

Stay up to date: In case you cannot make it to Essen, keep an eye on our Facebook page where we will post regular updates not only from the convention, but also from the three days leading to it!

Marek, Michal, and Jan ready for Essen!

That’s all the news for now. What do you think about the N1 prototype? Let us know if you have any favorite rulebook writers.

Thank you very much for all your support on this incredible journey!

Marek, Michal, and Jan