Theme Pitch: The Oort cloud is the last stop for a thousand light-years, so you better stock up! Dock your ships at the right stations to claim the best supplies and send their whole fleet further into space.
Gamer Pitch: This is an auction in which where you place your bid matters. A top bid only lasts once, but a lesser bid can persist for multiple rounds.
What Worked: Top bidder wins, but doesn't stay.
You must place bids at specific spots around that segment. Each spot is adjacent to other segments, but those aren't in play during the round. Only the one segment currently up for auction is what gets resolved.
The "ah ha" moment is that whoever wins the auction must remove their ships from that segment. Everyone else leaves their ships in place, allowing them to contribute to future auctions when adjacent segments come up for auction later.
Example: Players are auctioning on the station named Ride.
- Black already had a "1" disc in place from a previous round. They place a "14" disc this round.
- Orange already has a "9" disc on the space labelled "rim." They place a "10" disc closer to the core.
- Pink places a "6" disc.
- Lastly, Blue places a "5" disc. This ends the round.
First Place: Orange's total bid of 19.
Second Place: Black's total bid of 15.
Third Place: Pink's bid of 6.
Fourth Place: Blue's bid of 5.
After earning their awards, Orange wins the auction and will remove their chips from the board at the end of the round. Black, Pink, and Blue keep their chips on the board.
Theme 1: Pizza Coven
Theme 2: Fall of the Kingpin
But competing strictly for points was rather flat. This was a boom time for game complexity and modular elements. Publishers weren't interested in something that felt like it was designed in the late 90s. They wanted more content and expansion avenues that fit the stretch goal model of crowdfunding. The city prototype was a complete game in itself, without room for expansion. No powers, no secondary mechanisms, just a cutthroat spatial auction.