Not sure what we mean by a Space Opera? Want to know how Campaign Mode in The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby work? Here we go!
What is a Space Opera?
Emerging in the 1940’s as a new genre of science fiction, the space opera was a piece of creative storytelling that emphasized warfare, adventure, romance and risk taking, all taking place in space or non-terrestrial worlds. These space based conflicts focused on the story of how heroes fared against vile opponents with advanced technology and abilities. John Carter of Mars, The Martian Chronicles, Foundation, Dune and Starship Troopers are just a few of the most well known Space Opera novels.
Josh Kirby’s intricate details and alien vistas from the 50's - 80's epitomize the space opera era. His works inspired generations with epic space landscapes and larger than life images of humans in galactic situations.
To capture the Space Opera trope of 'good versus evil', a key component of The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby is the Morality Tracker on each player board.
Committing 'workers' to collect World Cards is an alignment choice. Settling worlds imposes your good will, and can add an end game scoring bonus as a "Savior". Conquering worlds subjugates them, leading to the "Tyrant" end game bonus. In both cases your action dice control is sacrificed for more end game victory points. A third option is to play both sides of the moral spectrum, Saving and Conquering worlds in an attempt achieve a Scoundrel's victory, foregoing the end game bonus for maximum dice and decision control.
Ultimately, the Morality Track drives the game's Space Opera narrative. Players instinctively choose sides in a 'good versus evil' struggle for the galaxy. Expect evil players to develop a wicked cackle...
The core game is a fast paced, "roll actions, spend resources, unlock powers" style victory point game. The Morality Tracker, coupled with the story telling art of Josh Kirby, then drives a science-fantasy narrative. But, to be a true "Opera" players need to feel as though they are fighting for the Universe... and that is where Space Opera Campaign Mode begins.
Inspired by 'legacy style' games, Space Opera Mode introduces a large galactic map, 5 competing sci-fi Factions inspired by Kirby art and the ultimate race to unlock asymmetrical powers and win a massive victory across multiple games.
Each world you conquer (and between game scoring) permits players to place Faction Stickers and claim sectors on the Space Opera map. Driven by the performance during the game, players are now settling or conquering galaxies to unlock new powers, name sectors of space, develop Strongholds and unlock Hypergates. The player who amasses the most Campaign Points when the galaxy is fully explored wins.
And, like the Player Board, your campaign score is heavily influenced by your Morality across multiple games. Now you can compare yourself to Buck Rogers, Ming the Merciless or Han Solo... if you win.
Play-testing a Beta prototype of Space Opera Mode
Space Opera mode has been tested with all the possible combinations of The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby; base game, Epic Bonus Die and with/without Event Cards. In every case it plays wonderfully. Five semi-experienced players can complete Space Opera Mode in about 4-5 hours.
A significant advantage of our design is the sticker driven map can be folded, put away, and reopened to resume Space Opera Mode at any time. Your epic campaign can occur over several game nights without blocking your game table.
Another key design feature was ensuring that Campaign scoring is close. The winning strategy requires a careful eye on managing your Morality Tracker. This forces competitive players to reveal their 'morality' early in the campaign, and then eek out a victory with the best game play.
Now the game flips from an easy to learn, casual play to an epic, strategic battle to outwit other players to achieve your moral plans... in other words... win a Space Opera!