Suuri avaruuspako
(The Great Space Escape)

Format: Board game
Role: Concept/story/copywriting
Website: BoardGameGeek


 Cover of the game. Provided by Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

Cover of the game. Provided by Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

Suuri avaruuspako (The Great Space Escape) is a board game for 2 to 5 players created in a 25-hour event organized by the Helsinki Library as an experiment in crowdsourcing with the goal of producing a new game for the expanding library collection of board games. In the event, the three dozen participants all collaborated in an ideation session, and were then organized into three areas of responsibility: concept and story, game mechanics, and visual design. 

 Player board with a character card (Celebrity), a faction card (USA) and three out of the required four rocket improvement.  P  rovided by   Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

Player board with a character card (Celebrity), a faction card (USA) and three out of the required four rocket improvement. Provided by Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

In the concept and story team we were excited about the space race and a retro-futuristic aesthetic that would fit a reimagined cold war where different global superpowers try to scramble their own space programs to escape an inevitable global annihilation. This idea was matched by a card-based resource management game mechanic and a cartoonish visual identity of faded pastel colors.

 A selection of different event cards.  P  rovided by   Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

A selection of different event cards. Provided by Renni Honkanen via BoardGameGeek.

In the game, players take the roles of global superpowers which have different resource advantages, headed by different character archetypes who can use their special powers to influence the flow of the game. As the players use their resources for more and more advanced space ship parts, they must also try to find out the four launch requirements, which determine how advanced each component must be in order to survive the launch. Finally, to add to the sense of impending doom, each turn begins with drawing an event card which details a turn of events inspired by the history of the cold war. Each event card is accompanied by a quote or a piece of historical cold war trivia, and if the event cards run out, none of the players manage to escape!