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August 3, 2009 / jadettman

New Boardgame Idea

Lately, I’ve been playing around with boardgame design more than RPG design. My latest idea: Hyperspace Rails.

If you’ve played a crayon trains game before (Empire Builder, Lunar Rails, Australian Rails, etc.) you’ve got a basic idea of what I’m talking about.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, the theme of crayon rails games is that you are playing train companies with the goals of building track lines, delivering goods to cities, and connecting your track to major cities on the board. The first player to get $250m and is connected to six major cities wins the game.

As far as games go, crayon rails isn’t high on the interaction scale. Turns frequently boil down to moving your marker toward a destination and saying ‘Go!’ There is, in fact, no player interaction in the game. It is purely a race to the finish.

A big part of the fun, though, is drawing your track on the board. This is one of the major appeals to crayon rails. The board is specially coated to allow you to draw on it with a crayon (or you can get laminated roll-up versions of the board).

– – – – –

Anyway, while walking home from work the other day, I had the idea for Hyperspace Rails. The concept is really rather simple: crayon rails but spread out over multiple planets throughout our galaxy.

I’m already at work on a mocked-up board so expect to see that in the near future. 🙂



Leave a Comment
  1. Paul / Aug 3 2009 3:11 pm

    Intriguing, Jason. I’d play it.

    Have you read Peter F Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained duology? The star spanning technology in that SF universe uses wormholes to connect to other planets, and trains to navigate the actual passage through the (permanent) wormholes.

  2. J.A. Dettman / Aug 3 2009 3:53 pm

    I may have had those novels in the back of my mind when I came up with this. 🙂

    I am a fan of Hamilton’s works and they’ve just been getting better. I was very happy when I discovered that The Dreaming Void was set in the same universe as Pandora’s Star.

  3. Peter Martin / Aug 3 2009 5:08 pm

    I like the idea. I’ll be anxiously watching to see how this develops.

  4. Paul / Aug 3 2009 5:34 pm

    I haven’t gotten to the Void novels…yet (too many books, too little reading time). Just finished Judas Unchained a few days back.

    How many points is a rail line to Far Away? 😉

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