Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Deus ex machina - it's time to research

There are so many games out there with some technology tree that you can research just so you get more resources, better weapons or all other kinds of advantages. I know I've been playing lots of them and two of our own games (Warriors & Traders, Exodus: Proxima Centauri) feature the same mechanisms and it so much fun to research.

I've seen gamers who play just to be able to research, oblivious to the fact that technologies were simply means not purpose. So, what is technologies were the purpose?

OK, enough small talk and introduction, let's skip to the main topic - what do you think about a game which is all about research?

Our new prototype called (at least for the moment) Deus ex Machina is a game in which 2 to 5 players research technologies. Each player takes a civilization in its earliest stages and develops it to the 20th century.

You'll start by discovering the wheel, agriculture, religion, move through the middle ages with arts, cannons or alchemy and end up developing jet fighters, artificial satellites or social media.

The game has a total of 500 research cards depicting 159 different technologies divided into 5 ages, ancient, medieval, industrial, modern and post-modern/contemporary and also into 5 types, according to their purpose, government, military, science, engineering and culture. 

Guilds Tech card, first prototype 
Every player starts with 5 cards in his hand and takes one action per turn. The action can be to play a technology card, to place a card in his personal stash or to draw new cards. With each technology he discovers, a player gets an advancement or a number of victory points. 

Every technology requires some older technologies or an amount of knowledge progressively higher as you advance through the ages and it open the path for one or more new ones. The same cards can be discarded to pay the knowledge cost of another technology, making the game streamlined and fast paced.

We are still in the early stages of play-testing, but things are looking well. We're going to start mass testing soon and we are hoping that Deus ex Machina will go to print before the end of the year.

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  1. Andrei, there is a series of computer games called Deus Ex, take a look not to get into copyright/trade mark issues.

    PS: Deus Ex games are quite good, if you're into computer games I recommend to play them; especially the classic from 2000.


  2. Thanks for the heads up, I haven't heard of or played that game, but this is just a working title. We'll probably look for a better name.