Stage One at a Glance
Howdy folks! Jo Shindler here to give you some real meat on the game play of Shackleton Crater. As summarized on our Kickstarter landing page, the game can be divided into four different stages. These stages exist to define when and where the strategic goals of a player must change in order to win the game. This paradigm exists as it is meant to model the actual adaptation a lunar colony would go through in real life.
I'd like to talk specifically about the first stage of play in Shackleton Crater, the survival stage. In this stage, a lunar colony cares first and foremost about ensuring its long-term survival. Strategically, most colonies will be looking to achieve the following three goals:
- Self Sufficiency
- Production of Resource
- Establishment of Territory
How each colony goes about these three goals is an extremely interesting question: we want to guarantee that players have the flexibility to create the kind of colony that they believe is worth making. A lunar colony that is interested in creating a space port for deep space travel will solve each of these three objectives differently than a lunar colony that wants to create a new nation, which is different from a colony that wants to ship material back to earth for manufacturing. To make sure that the variety of colonies that could exist are possible we abstracted the core resources that all colonies want into four categories. They are as follows:
- Material - this category of resource includes building supplies, as well as raw resources for projects and equipment.
- Energy - this category of resource covers the need for electricity and other means of power generation for lunar facilities.
- Life Support - this category of resource is very important for sustaining human habitats, but can also be applied in other interesting ways.
- Scientific Data - this category of resource represents observations, experiments and findings that further our understanding of the Moon and our universe.
This means that from a strategic level there are no less than four ways to play Shackleton Crater - you build your colony to maximize one or more of these resources as the highest net worth player in each category gets a victory point. The winner of stage one is the person with the most victory points, with any ties going to the overall best performers. This is where the game gets interesting - not only can you choose to pursue any number of resource categories each player can trade resources with any other player, which means that players can cooperate, collude or compete in stage one to try and mass up as many resources as possible. This is extremely accurate within the context of a contemporary lunar colony; any base that is created on the Moon will be supported by space agencies (and other bases) around the world to guarantee that everyone can survive in the harsh lunar environment.
Stage One will be a relatively fast part of Shackleton Crater - our objective is to introduce a fairly simple economic and resource collection system that can be built on in Stage Two, Three and Four. Joe and I believe that by giving you the core strategic decisions of Shackleton Crater from the very beginning we can easily and intuitively expand on the game play in many interesting directions.
Until next time!
Vice President, Joe Got Game