Idea Fragment: Ship Defender

I have this idea fragment of a ship in deep space, fending off attacks from waves of enemies. In defending itself, the ship can either disable enemies or destroy them outright. It can salvage disabled enemies and use them to build more weapons to defend itself. And so on and so forth.

That’s where the idea fragment ends. Ideas can be rich and detailed, but idea fragments? They tend to be short, vague, more of a feeling than a blueprint. Still, I was curious to see what this looks like.

I chose to build this as a board game. The idea fits that medium well. There’s no reason this couldn’t work as a tabletop RPG encounter. Who knows – maybe this idea fragment will find life as exactly that. Still, for now, this is the direction it has taken me.

This is not going to win any awards in Germany. It doesn’t have longevity or replayability. If you aren’t bored after five minutes, I’m impressed. Still, none of that matters. It is a board game about a ship in deep space that fends off attackers, and uses crippled enemies to build better guns – exactly what the idea fragment described. And it only took me about an hour to throw together.

This is not a finished game, though it was never intended to be. But as an exercise in creativity, it was pretty fantastic. I took a half-formed notion and ran with it, reaching a milestone. Moving things from thought to screen is good practice and it feels great. The end product is almost irrelevant.

Having talked it down so much, I will say this about it – it’s simple to learn and not a bad way to kill five minutes. I had fun mucking around with it. And with a few more idea fragments, extra features and balance tweaks, this could be a lot of fun. But for now, I’ll just leave this here. Criticise it, steal it, change it.

You have an idea fragment of your own. I don’t know what it looks like or what it entails, but you have one. Everyone does. So why not follow my example and bring it into the world? It’s going to be better than this and besides, you’ll feel awesome afterwards.

Game board: Ship surrounded by enemy approach vectors

Game manual: shipdefender_manual

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