So, you've seen the working title above. The idea is to have players play the roles of test pilots and astronauts at the dawn of the space age.
|You know the 7, but do you know the 13 ?|
All of the games that I've seen that attempt to evoke or simulate this period of history focus mainly on the "Space Race" aspect -- i.e., one player is the Americans, another is the Russians, and they compete to see who can get to the Moon first, or whatever. Fritz Bonner's Liftoff is one example. Prolific DIY game designer Lloyd Krassner has another.
The overall idea, as it stands right now, is that each "turn" of the game will correspond to a time period of something like one year. The big events are the space missions, of course -- which can go well or badly, depending on the roll of the dice. But the astronauts can attempt to do other things in their "down time" to improve their lot, too -- training, publicity, research, and so on. Semi-random "events" can happen to them in each year: some personal (divorce? broken leg while water skiing off Cocoa Beach?), and some worldly (what did those Russians just do?).
I'm still not clear on how the game is won. Maybe there should be multiple options. A clearly defined "victory condition" would be nice for a version that could be played out in just an hour or two -- a casual party game. But I'd also like to enable people to be able to role-play an open ended long-term RPG-type campaign. (I'm in awe of what Greg Stafford has done with the Great Pendragon Campaign, for example.) To play John Glenn first going into space in 1962, then again in 1998, could be quite an experience!
Anyway, in future posts I hope to discuss more of the details that have been swirling around my brain about this game. The next post, for example, will describe how this game may just be something MORE than nostalgic historical simulation...