Alien Invasion – a new idea (part 1)

This is the first of three connected posts about a game idea.  The first is some general background about where the idea came from and the second and third will include some ideas on how an alien invasion game might come to life.

I was on BGG the other day and added my two cents to a forum about creating a game based on the computer game X-COM.  In X-COM players control and build a team of soldiers who investigate and eliminate alien attacks on earth.  These alien attacks become more dangerous as the aliens create bases on earth and eventually start attacking the X-COM bases.  In order to complete these tasks players acquire wealth through selling resources obtained after dealing with an alien excursion, acquire new technology through the development of scientific research and upgrade their teams characteristics through the completion of successful missions.  The computer game is both part dungeon crawl and part ‘civ’ builder.  The difficulty in making such a game is that it could fall into the trap of becoming a fiddly game a la Sid Meier’s Civilization or even worse become a Descent like dungeon crawl – which has been done already with Space Hulk.

I am not a fan of fiddly 3 hour games or Ameritrash themed dungeon crawls.

Here are my initial thoughts (the next two posts will flesh the idea out some more)

Maybe a different way of approaching the game would be to have some kind of economic engine (cube pushing or meeple pushing or worker placement mechanism) where players increase there tech tree and strengthen their teams and the alien invasion and bases come in the form of event cards.  At certain points during the game event cards are revealed – or maybe laid face down.  Each event card has a geographic location.  Players bases are placed in geographic locations (maybe by continent) and then players react.  Maybe not all events are bad.
So four cards are revealed – Asia, Europe, South America and Asia.  Depending on what continents the earth bases were placed on there is a travel time.  So if Earth Base A is on Asia it only has a travel time of 1 to any event in Asia but longer to other continents.  The longer it takes to get to an event the more ‘potential danger tokens’ are placed on this card.  Players are also limited in travel by their tech tree.  Players choose which card to investigate – it is revealed and either they get a reward or the fight is on…meet levels on the card to get rewards.
Worker placement – place team members in areas to gain rewards – but balance that by keeping meeples at home because you will need to travel to events.
Draft agents at start of game. 



About Clive

Just an average guy who loves board games, movies, musics, books, comic books, video games and anything else fun.
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3 Responses to Alien Invasion – a new idea (part 1)

  1. Eric Sexton says:

    I started work on a game like this last year. I have some cool ideas but I think I ultimately went in the wrong direction. Shoot me an email if you are interested, I can show you some images of the cards and board I built.

    • Clive says:

      What direction did the game take for its main mechanisms?
      If we are on the same wavelength do you care to collaborate?

      • Eric Sexton says:

        I would love to share…..I think I would start over from scratch with my original idea. I will try to shoot you a brake down of the idea and some images later tonight. I am at work right now so my time is short.

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