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 Update
about 1 month ago – Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 01:41:55 AM

Hi,

Welcome to the latest interstellar mission status briefing! We'll take at production news and also talk about what the quality control process in board games is all about.

  • Production update — Tray, playmat, miniature molds, and more!
  • Quality control — Learn more about the process here.
Space Race custom tray sample with a logo on the transparent lid.

Production update

Custom tray: Check out the two pictures (one above and one below) — that's the latest sample of the custom tray for the game! We are currently tweaking small details to further improve some of the compartments. Compared to the prototype on the pictures, the final version will have:

  • a bit more space to fit unsleeved cards,
  • elevated elements near the corners on top of the transparent lid so it keeps the folded board that will lay on top of it securely in place,
  • more room in the areas for taking out the rocket models out of the tray,
  • more room for colored snap bases at the bottom of the rockets,
  • more room for the Project tiles (upper-right corner),
  • tiny tweaks to the compartment divisions between the cards.

The insert will hold both sleeved and unsleeved cards. Unsleeved cards will fit vertically (as you can see on the picture below) while sleeved cards will fit into the same compartments but horizontally.

Prototype of the custom tray with some of the components inside.

Rocket miniatures: The manufacturer made the mold for the rocket miniatures, which they are currently tweaking to make sure it's absolutely perfect. This should be finished during this week. Once it is done, the manufacturer will send us samples of the final rocket models including three different color variants.

This is the mold for the five rocket models from The Rockets expansion. Can you make out the individual rockets?

Printed components: Data for all printed components are finished (that's the rulebook, cards, Mission tokens, Project tiles, and Player Aids/Faction HQs). At this point, the printer is checking the data and preparing them for the printing process.

Playmat: All work on the playmat is finished and it is now ready for production. We're really excited about how it turned out, check out the photo below.


Space Race playmat Sample.

Quality control in board games

In the last project update (Update #34), we were talking about the sampling process. But we thought you might also like to know more about what the actual quality control process looks like, and what is involved in making sure all the game components of Space Race are absolutely perfect.

We have published an article based on an interview with Marek, Boardcubator’s art director, in which he shares what goes into the quality control from the first reference prototype all the way to the final mass-production copy of a game.

Marek, our art director, about to open mass-production copies of a game for a quality check.

That's all from us for now. Have you enjoyed reading the article? And what do you think about the trays? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you very much for your amazing support!

Michal

Production Process and Delivery Estimates
2 months ago – Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 07:47:32 PM

Hi,

Welcome to our regular mission status broadcast! In this one, we'll show you the latest version of the rulebook, talk about the production process, and show you the next steps and updated delivery estimates based on the production timeline of the manufacturer:

  • Production process — A detailed look into the production.
  • Next steps and delivery estimates — Check out what will happen next.
  • Rulebook preview — Take a look at the improved rulebook!

Production process

In the last update (Update #33), we went through the complete checkup of all the components. Now let's take a more detailed look at the whole production process. As you know, we pay a lot of attention to every step of the production because we believe that component quality plays a significant role in the overall enjoyment of a game.

A great asset to the final quality of the production is the ability to supervise it in person, which is why all the printed components will be made in the EU which is within our reach. This includes the game boxes, rulebooks, cards, player aids/faction HQs, mission tokens, and project tiles. Apart from having more control over the final product, it saves a significant amount of time during sampling and quality control.

Marek supervising printing of the Space Race posters for the card game Kickstarter campaign.

Rocket models, astronaut meeples, and custom trays (that's the rest of the components) are being made in China since it's not possible to produce them in the EU in the quality we expect for a reasonable price. This, however, means that it takes more time to do proper feedback and quality control of the production samples.

Every time the manufacturer requires a feedback on a component, they send us a sample so we can evaluate it. Unfortunately, deliveries from China are still delayed by coronavirus-related issues as the delivery companies are currently overloaded with parcels. This means that every sampling round now takes approximately three weeks instead of the usual one week.

Saturn V 3D sampling data.

There were quite a few sampling rounds necessary before the components reached the appropriate quality. For example, upgrading the thickness and mold of the custom trays required additional data transfers between us and the manufacturer, which was also the case with the Private Sector astronauts that we wanted to look better on the board than their former models. Yet, the most difficult part to get right were the rocket models which required multiple sampling rounds as we were increasing the level of details on them. The manufacturer has also redesigned some of the rockets so they are easier to make with the mass-production technologies (the most notable changes were on the fins and boosters — see the image below), and we were working on getting the proper shapes back so they look as close as possible to their real-life counterparts.

This is an example of the changes the manufacturer suggested for the Soyuz rocket fins. See the view from top on the right, where the fins do not create a straight cross. The final Soyuz rockets will have proper fins.

Next steps and delivery estimates:

According to the manufacturer in China, all the rocket models, astronaut meeples, and custom trays (these are all the components that are being manufactured in China) will be ready to leave the factory on 28 September. After that, they will be loaded on ships and sent to a factory in Europe, which will in the meantime produce the rest of the game (that's the box, rulebooks, player aids / HQs, cards, mission tiles, and project tiles). Once all the components are together, they will be assembled into the finished games. A part of them will be sent into the EU fulfillment center that will process EU deliveries, and a part will be loaded on a ship that will deliver them to the US.

We have updated the delivery estimates based on the manufacturer's production timeline:

  • EU: 01/2021
  • USA: 02/2021
  • RotW: 02-03/2021

Rulebook preview

Thanks to the amazing help from Paul Grogan and the rest of the Gaming Rules! team, we were able to reduce the rulebook to less than half of it's original size! The resulting clarity of the explanation will let you to read much less and make the general experience of learning the game a lot easier. Still, if you're not a fan of reading the rules at all, Paul will make a live tutorial and playthrough video of the game as well.

The current version of the rulebook is almost finished, as it is only missing some extended flavor texts and an update of a few images. Take a look!

Click on the image to look at the almost finished version of the rulebook (still work in progress).

This is all from us for now. What do you think about the rulebook layout? We're expecting to receive more samples from the manufacturer, so we'll be back once they arrive.

Thank you very much for your amazing support and for being a part of this amazing mission!

Michal

Production Status
4 months ago – Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 04:56:39 PM

Hi,

Welcome to the latest command center briefing! In this one, we'll take a look at the latest developments in our space mission and see where we're heading next:

  • Production status — Check out new samples and the next steps in production.
  • Giveaway — What's your take on game components? (enter the giveaway here).
Marek's hands as he goes through a pile of Astronaut meeples.

Production status

Astronauts — Samples of wooden astronaut meeples with silkscreen print arrived, and they're just splendid! We'll be tweaking the black Private Sector Astronauts in order to make their table presence more prominent, and so we'll get another set of samples to make sure they are ready for the first mission. Apart from that, the Astronauts are ready for production. Which one is your favorite?

Samples of Astronaut meeples of every space agency. From left to right: China, Soviet, ESA, Private Sector, and NASA.

Rocket models — Rocket samples have landed successfully! Since the rockets are the most difficult part of the whole production process, we're so excited to say that the samples have passed the pre-production check! Compared to the picture below, the only tweak we made was rendering the characteristic cross pattern on the N1 (third from the right) more prominent. With the samples are approved, the manufacturer has already started the tooling process, which means that molds for them are now being made. Once the molds are finished, we'll get the rocket models in the final quality to make sure everything is perfect, after which the production gets a green light.

Samples of the rocket miniatures. From left to right: Ariane 5, Falcon Heavy, Saturn IB, Saturn V, N1, Soyuz, and Long March 2F.

Plastic tray — We've made several upgrades to the tray that will hold the components. It will be manufactured using an aluminum mold instead of the usual copper mold, which will make a significant difference to the level of detail it can produce. The tray itself will then consist of 1.5 mm polystyrene instead of the standard 1 mm to make sure it is strong enough to handle all the custom compartments. 

New illustrations — Our illustrator Dalibor has completed all the illustrations for the rocket-specific Control cards! Each Control card in the game has an initiative value between 0 and 7, and the higher one you use, the more likely it is that you will be the first who gets to play. However, this is not just a number on the card: All illustrations on the Control cards have unique elements that reflect not only the specific rocket / faction you play for but also its initiative value! Check out the examples below.

Illustrations for new rocket-specific Propaganda Control cards: Saturn V (0) vs Long March 2F (5).
Illustrations for new rocket-specific Technology Control cards: Ariane 5 (0) vs Falcon Heavy (5).
Illustrations for new rocket-specific Breakthrough Control cards: Saturn IB (0) vs Soyuz (7).

Rulebook — The graphic layout and most of the text is now finished, and it amazing to see the piece of art that Paul Grogan and Pavel, our graphic designer, have created together. What's left is just a round overview that goes to the last page and a final check to make sure that the text corresponds to the layout (references to page numbers and so on). We'll share the rulebook with you once this is done.

Printed components — All the other printed components are finished, and today we have submitted the data to the printer. Among these are cards, Mission tokens, Player Aids / Faction HQs, and Projects.

Cover page of the rulebook.

Giveaway: What's your take on game components?

You have probably noticed that we pay a lot of attention to the quality of the components and to the tactile aspect of games, so it is great to both play the game and play with it. Being so grateful for all the amazing feedback we keep getting from you, we'd also really love to hear what you think about what kind/shape/material of components you enjoy in games, and we want to give away one of our games in the process.

Let us know what you think by following the link below — we would appreciate is so much!

Soyuz launch: The illustration for the Soyuz rocket-specific Space Program Control card.

This is all from us for now. Which rocket model is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you very much for you amazing support!

Michal

Project Status
5 months ago – Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 02:27:24 AM

Hi,

First of all, we sincerely hope that you are healthy and well, and that it will stay like this throughout the difficult situation that everyone now has to face. In this mission control briefing, we'd like to show you pictures of finalized components and let you know what's right ahead of us.

  •  Production status — plenty of new things to check out!
  •  Next steps and what we're currently working on.

Project status

Faction HQs / the Player Aid: Both ready. These are actually two sides of the same thing. The Faction HQs (see the Soyuz Faction Headquarters picture below) are used for the game setup. They show you the rocket that belongs to your faction with technical information about its real counterpart and a bit about it's history. They also contain the standard and thematic setup. In the standard setup, all players start on the same position, and if you play with thematic setup, the HQs will tell you how to prepare your set of Control cards by switching the Rocket-specific Control cards for some of the standard ones, how many Astronauts you get in the game and where they land at the beginning, and the starting position of your rocket on the progress tracker.

Soyuz Faction Headquarters

Once you finish the setup, you can flip it to the other side (see the image below) so it shows the Player Aid that contains the most important information that you might need during the game, such as what the icons mean and how to read abilities on cards. This side will be especially useful when learning the game.

Player Aid

Astronauts: The data for the Astronauts are ready as well. Take a look at the image below which shows the custom wooden meeples for each faction with the silkscreen print outlining their space suits.

Visualization of the Astronaut meeples with silkscreen print.

Mission tiles: Also finished. The front side of the tile (they will all be like this at the beginning of the game) show you what will happen at the end of each round when you check the mission status. New Projects can open, old ones can close, and there can be scoring of the Breakthrough Domination, Lab Research, or the Stage Output.

Visualization of the front side of the Mission tiles.

But one thing will certainly happen: The Mission tile for the current round will be flipped over, so as the game progresses, an illustration corresponding to the Mission you're playing through will gradually reveal.

Thematic backs of the Mission tiles.

Next steps

The text of the rulebook is now finalized, so our graphic designer is working on the visual side of it. In the meantime, Max, the illustrator responsible for all the art on cards, is working on the updated artworks for the Rocket-specific Control cards. Once he finishes them, all the cards in the game will be ready for print. Since the Mission tokens and Projects are also ready, we'll now prepare the print data for the die cutting process according to the manufacturer's specifications.

We're also working with the manufacturer on the updating several aspects of the rocket models to make them possible to be manufactured while preserving as much detail as we can. As soon as this is finished, we will receive samples of both the rockets and the Astronaut meeples so we can give the production of them a green light.

This concludes the mission briefing. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Thank you very much for all your support.

Michal

Production Status and Updated Delivery Estimates
7 months 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