After the whirlwind that is Gen Con, I usually like to take bit of time to simply fulfill orders, email customers directly, and generally play some of the other games I picked up. Well, I’ve done that, and then some. Now it’s time to take stock of what’s actually happened.
Mars Colony sold well for a small press release at the Con. Of those people who have played the game, I am nothing but happy. The rules seem to be communicating how to play the game well. And although sci-fi and politics is not the hottest genre in the gaming market, Mars Colony has certainly connected with a particular subset.
Tim C. Koppang’s Mars Colony, found at the Design Matters booth, is a tiny package of great ambition. In this two player game, the attempts of a colonial governor to right the many crises besetting a troubled Martian settlement provide a framework for the participants’ feelings about government and personal failure. The game brings the author’s interior life to the game table in a way few others have attempted.
There have also been some very nice actual play threads popping up on Story Games. For example, this is from Bret Gillian’s actual play thread, “Find a doctor, Roberts!”:
Kelly Perkins hiring a hitman to kill Council-member Stuart, who was one of the people to stand up against Kelly Perkins’s universal healthcare plan. He was actually one of the key individuals indirectly fostering anti-government terrorism. After his death, terrorist attacks subsided and there were rumors that he was supporting them more directly.
After initially passing a limp compromise bill that was never really intended to kick in, a gravity normalizer malfunction causes mass injuries in one of the domes revealing that healthcare is still a problem. The gravity normalizer malfunction, by the way, was caused by a new experimental wire created by a graduate physics student that was supposed to correct the problems in the old normalizers. The public blames Perkins.
Another interesting tidbit that I did not expect is the high ratio of international sales to U.S. sales. I’ve sold books and PDFs to people on almost every continent! Mars Colony seems to be doing especially well in Europe. Either Gregor has been pumping my game more than I know, or there is some sort of pent up demand for sci-fi overseas. Either way, I’ll take it!
Thanks to everyone who has purchased, played, and/or enjoyed Mars Colony so far. I hope the word gets out to everyone else who might enjoy political sci-fi and story-telling.