In anticipation of the Project:Orbits playtest tonight at Beulahland here in Portland, I’m releasing the latest version of the rules, v0.4. I haven’t added much to the cards and planets, the most notable difference there are the different Status Icons in the repair tables, and alternate tracks on the backsides.

The real goal with this version, and tonight’s test, is to see how well the Icons translate. Earlier decks used Letters to signify the connections between the status, remedy, and equipment cards, but my intention was always to use icons. So, I need to check and make sure that having matching icons is enough to make that connection. I also want to see how well the game plays when I’m not there to direct it. I’m going to set up a short course for the first folks, to teach them how to play, then I’m moving on to other games and will let players design their own course.

I’ve clarified many sections of the rules, and simplified the turn order a lot. I took the rules covering selling cards out of your hand rather than playing anything and moved it into the Play phase of your turn. This allows players to do this at any time, rather than only when in orbit at a planet. It also makes the option to discard somewhat redundant, so I took that out entirely. Since this is the first time I’ve made a set that included back sides on the planets and track cards, I made sure to add those sections to the rules as well.

I also added a section of ‘Expedited Rules’, designed to speed up the game considerably. One of them makes the game a real-time game, where the racers don’t stop to wait for everyone else to take their turn, they just play as quickly as they can until the deck is depleted. Be warned, many of these haven’t been fully tested yet, so I can’t guarantee a balanced game. I’ll be trying a couple of these rules tonight, for sure!

After tonight’s test I’ll be bundling up a set of all of the components to open the game up for blind playtesting, so keep an eye out here and over at the BoardGameGeek thread for Project:Orbits! Thanks!