Dev Blog: Martian Sands

Working on a new board game right now, that I’m calling Martian Sands. The premise is simple; the players take on the role of robots working to get a Mars colony up and working before the humans get there.

There are three primary goals for the players. The first is exploration. I want the players to be able to construct a surface as they play and use that to satisfy their second goal, gathering resources. The resources are important for their ultimate goal, constructing the buildings for the colonists.

Here are a couple of pics of some early work:


Sheets of uncut hexes


Three up hexes



I have a total of 52 hexes, not counting the starting hex. Players get to arrange the board as they play. It’s part of the discovery of the landscape. It works really well.


But the not so far part of this process was writing the text on them. A playtest with using cards to describe what was found on the hex was a bit cumbersome. Having to keep track of what was found where didn’t work out so great. So I had to spend a few hours coming up with a key and then printing that out onto cards. Not exactly the most fun I’ve had in game creation.

Hexes partly done

Currently I have a good idea of what the rules should be, and the hexes have been marked along with a set of environment cards. It’s now a matter of sitting down to see what works and what doesn’t through playing. See where the weak points are, where things make sense and where they don’t. It’s the grunt work.

It’s also very, very fun.

I hope to post some next week after a few play-throughs.