Gaming Project – Sat Elite

I was inspired by a local festival, Sputnikfest, celebrating pop culture and framed by Cold War Era aesthetics.

The goal is launch a satellites into orbit, or at least get it close as possible, even if it doesn’t stay in orbit.

  • Each round, players plan their launches; deciding which satellite to launch into orbit and how to get it there.
  • As the rockets fly they’ll fight against gravity and the atmosphere, to try and get they’re payloads to the right altitude.
  • Launches that go too high are lost to space. Launches that don’t go high enough smash tremendously back into the planet.

Do you have what it takes to join the Satellite Elite?

Each Satellite has a specific target area; low orbit, medium orbit, etc.

Players use support cards to help control their launch, or there’s a chance of losing the launch all together.

Each rocket or booster adds to the Delta-V of your launch, determining how far your launch will go.

Playtesting updates:

playtested with a 5 player game:

  • We established a half hour time limit.
  • The winning player had 6 points at the end of the time limit. Early playtests have gone to 10 points.
  • This was the first game played with the deploy payload card, which was used by the winner.
  • I played using the strategy of launch each round, always have something flying. It didn’t go well.
  • The Catastrophic Failure card was as devastating to the players it effected as I had hoped, though scheduled launches should have immunity to the random nature of it.

Update 12/24/16

  • Catastrophic Failure will continue to need reworking
  • The idea for an additional Upgrade Card will be sketched out shortly
  • Players will each get a reminder card with turn order and the fluff of their space program.

Update 12/27/16

Based on the suggestion of a play-tester, there’s now a new Support Card: Automated Guidance, Allowing you to re-roll a less than thrilling Delta-V result, but forcing you to keep the second result.

All of the Support Cards and Rockets now feature the symbol for Delta-V, because I feel it’s more thematic to the game to show it as it appears in formulae, rather than spelling it out.

Catastrophic Failure has been reworked, removing the sabotaging capabilities of it, and making it less detrimental if it destroys your launch, you get to draw new cards replacing the lost ones. Effectively it only causes you to lose the turn and the planning from being destroyed.


Update: 1/26/17

New game board! or at least a slightly larger one. Tracking Delta V on the game board became problematic for multiple launches or players with the same or values close to each other so the larger space should be very beneficial.


I zoomed to actual size on my laptop screen and placed pieces to see how they fit.


The dotted lines will also help to track multiple launches in the event that a player may have up to 3 satellites launching at a time, as Hasty, Delayed, and Scheduled.

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