Deep Rock Galactic is becoming a crazy co-op adventure board game

Deep Rock Galactic, a cooperative four-player first-person shooter, is getting the board game treatment. Initial announced in October, the creators of the Ghost Ship Games franchise are collaborating with Publishing Mood to bring the tablet version to market. The next step is the crowdfunding campaign, launching on Kickstarter at the end of this month. Polygon spoke with lead designer Ole Steiness and Ghost Ship CEO Søren Lundgaard to learn more.

Deep Rock Galactic Released on Steam in 2018 as an early access game, quickly earn a dedicated fan base first Released in 2020. The The remaining 4 people diedThe game-like co-op game puts the player in the role of dwarf miners working hard on an asteroid in deep space. Between them and countless riches are countless sworn enemies. Players can return to the rig with loads of loot, or die horribly beneath a tsunami with icy claws.

First-person shooter video games have traditionally been a challenge to translate to the tabletop. It seems that for every excellent adaptation – like the original Tannhauser or CGE’s Adrenaline – has four terrible releases. A great example that served as Steiness’s inspiration: Jonathan Ying’s Doom: The Board Game, published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2016. It blends gameplay of medium complexity with stunning production values. Ghost Ship and Mood both go in the same direction, including large, detailed thumbnails and quality-of-life upgrades like a dual-player sideboard.

A render of the core game, including a two-layer player side panel and loads of thumbnails.

Image: Ghost Ship Games and Mood Publishing

“[Doom] is the framework,” Steiness told Polygon. “It’s also the countertop presence that we’re looking for. We knew it would look great with all those little elves running around. We can have some custom dice, and you can have all the great minerals you have to cut out of the cave walls. That’s how it was set up, and then we had to dig in and look at the different features. “

Steiness is perhaps best known as the designer on Champion of Midguard, a fusion board game that blends some of the more traditional European gameplay mechanics with rich themes. It’s the same kind of hybrid approach he’s using these days Deep Rock Galactic.

“There are also minerals [extraction] and the creature of carnage [was difficult], “Steiness said,” and discovered, [but] I think we succeeded quite well in getting them in there.”

The game includes a quest book where players will be able to choose which challenge they try during a given game session. The action will take place on a hexagonal grid, with the dwarves moving along and performing actions on each of their turns. Different locations will be pre-positioned on the map, but shuffled and laid face down. For example, you’ll know you’re headed for an open chamber inside the rock, but not exactly what you’ll find when you get there. And that’s where the game departs from other FPS-style dungeon crawlers.

“You create your own way,” says Steiness. “That’s the unique aspect of the game compared to other dungeon crawlers. You find your own way, you come up with your own strategy about where and when to go. […] That’s your challenge as the player: How do you best use the terrain to survive this encounter? ”

A miner dug deep into the rock, revealing the outer cavity.

Image: Ghost Ship Games and Mood Publishing

Alien creatures pass to the other side. Dwarves use fire. It's super efficient.

Image: Ghost Ship Games and Mood Publishing

Meanwhile, says Steiness, different events will spawn from a random deck. Perhaps there’s a hidden loot box to refill your supplies. There may be a predator – a non-flying insect – coming to pluck one of your dwarves off their feet. Adding to the tension is a slowly ticking swarm counter, indicating how long your dwarves must prepare for the next wave of enemy creatures that will emerge from the abyss.

Video game fans know that the majority of the meta class in Deep Rock Galactic is about improving each of the different classes of dwarves, unlocking new abilities and upgrading weapons for the next mission. How will that style of play translate to the tabletop?

“We discussed that a lot,” Lundgaard said. “It’s definitely a huge part of computer games. On the other hand, that requires the player to play multiple consecutive sessions of the board game, just as if you were in Gloomhaven or something like that. Of course, that speaks to a certain type of player, but perhaps not all of the players we want to be in. So we decided to focus on making a board game fun.”

Lundgaard says upgrades will be available in each session, meaning the dwarves will end the game stronger than at the start. But those upgrades won’t carry over to the next session.

Another rendering of the miniatures available in the core set. There are enemies big and small, along with the flying people.

Image: Ghost Ship Games and Mood Publishing

Like other crowdfunding campaigns, Lundgaard said there will be a lot of stretch goals and expansion to the base game available in the campaign. That includes additional miniatures. like MULE, Deep Rock Galacticfour-legged robot mascot.

Final pricing is still being announced, but the team says fans should expect it to be comparable to recent crowdfunded board game adaptations of video games like Frostpunk, The Darkest Dungeon, Skyrim, and The Witcher. A retail release is possible depending on the success of the campaign. You can registration to be notified when the Kickstarter campaign launches on February 10 at 1 p.m. EST.

Deep Rock Galactic continues to thrive on Steam and on consoles. The latest patch arrives on February 11 for Xbox one. It is also available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, where the game just launched last month.

https://www.polygon.com/tabletop-games/22912132/deep-rock-galactic-board-game-preview-interview-release-date-price-kickstarter Deep Rock Galactic is becoming a crazy co-op adventure board game

Aila Slisco

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