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  • Guntower Mike

PANDORA’s LOG: Stardate 23020303

So little time, so much to tell…


We’ve been sooo busy over this past month, what with new card art coming in almost every day, refining the look of our first 3 Crewmembers, writing the teaching scenarios and prepping for Airecon I hardly know where to begin - but let’s start with Airecon.

Airecon is one of the biggest games conventions in the UK, and it’s being held in Harrogate on the 9th-12th March. That’s right, next week – eep! We are at Demo Table 7 by the open gaming area in Hall 2, and we’d love to see you there. Come up and say ‘hi’: sit down, try the game, give us your feedback or just chew the fat. We’d love to meet you. So don’t be shy (we won’t). You can’t miss us, because we have this lovely big banner featuring the first art we commissioned from the super-talented Rick Bastos. It looks fab!


To get ready for Airecon, we’ve been working hard with Rick and the equally talented Kris Fosh prepping the look of the cards. And boy, does it look great! It’s amazing how some well-designed cards can lift a game from being just a great play to becoming an experience.

First off, meet the Crew. These are the Hero Cards of Flygirl, Skins and Cargo, the three crewmembers we plan to feature in the Demo Game. Ultimately, they will be joined by the Cap, Greaseball and the Kid in the Core Game – and we really hope that we can add other characters like Whiner and Science Officer Keni in the Stretch Goals if this game takes off.

Each of them has a personal deck which is tailored to the way they play. So Flygirl is a no-nonsense pilot who sneaks around in the Aircon and kicks butt; Skins is a slightly dodgy Company Android who can absorb lots of punishment and access all areas; and there’s not a tool on board this ship that Cargo cannot pick up and use.

And speaking of tools, here’s a selection of the kind of thing you can pick up as you move around the Ship. You can place these into the Ready Tool slot of your Player Mat and use it by playing an Action Card from your hand that matches any of the icons in the drop-down menu in the top left corner of the card. The more astute among you will notice that since every Tool carries the Tool icon, all Tool cards can be used to activate other Tools.

The other thing you can pick up as you run around the Ship is Memories. The idea is that as your sleep-fuddled brain starts to recover from the Cryo-Pods, you remember snippets of your self-defence training, or the layout of the Ship so that you can run faster through it, or where a useful hiding place might be...

And the things you’re going to be hiding from look like this. Meet the Bug family. These are the first set of Nasties you will encounter on the Ship, ranging from the extremely nasty little ScuttleBug (which burrows into you), through the Bug (which just attacks you), the SpiderBug (which binds you) and the MonsterBug (which has a tendency to kill you if you don’t run away fast enough).We’ll introduce you to these Nasty little critters in more detail in another post, but for the moment I thought you’d like to see what a great job Kris has done with them.


These are the first Nasties you’ll find, but the idea of Pandora Celeste is that the Ship is infested with a Pandora’s Box of Nasties that evoke monsters from the sci-fi universe, and you never quite know what’s going to be lurking behind the next dark corner you back into. If you want to suggest what kind of Nasties we should be working on, feel free to join the Crew at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pandoraceleste and have your say.

Some of these Nasties are lurking in the Aircon, where you will also find other interesting creatures like the Ship’s pet alien Li’l Nasti (created by my lovely Lynnie), as well as other useful stuff.


Some designers post pictures of their cats. Me? I post pictures of the cute little Nasti created by my wife…













So you go running around the Ship, picking up cards to try and shut down the Ship’s Emergency Protocols before they kill you, then fulfil your own personal Agenda which will give you the escape codes to get off the Ship. We’re still working on the look of these, so you can look forward to them in another update.


Now that we have some good art, I’m hoping to upload it into the TTS mod I’m slowly putting together. I know I’ve been talking about this for a long while, but our Facebook Crew advised me to wait until I had some decent art to show off, and I think they were right. If you want to have your say, do feel free to tell me in the comments below, or better still join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pandoraceleste and get involved.

In the meantime, I’ll work to get the TTS mod up and running once I’ve finished incorporating the artwork, and posting a ‘How to Play’ video, and revamping our Landing Page, and rewriting the ‘play straight out of the box’ teaching scenario, and prepping for Airecon, and getting our pre-launch page ready, and… and… Anyone got a spare body I can clone?


One final thing: some of you might have seen that Nemesis Retaliation has just been announced to launch in late 2023. We see this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Because, like Lifeform which got itself 200% funded in the very same crowdfunding window as the original Nemesis, we’re not in competition with Nemesis: we’re in symbiosis with it. There’s an appetite for these games, and if we can get just 5% of the 20,000+ people currently following Nemesis to also back our game just like they backed Lifeform, we’ll be comfortably funded. So the mission should we choose to accept it is to get ourselves noticed by the Nemesis crowd. Any suggestions as to how we can do this are very welcome. In the meantime, if anyone wants to post a comment like: “It’s a good year for space games, what with both Pandora Celeste and Nemesis Retaliation coming out,” in any of the Nemesis feeds, that would probably help.


Let’s get the word out any way we can. Until the next time, watch out for those dark corners…

M€








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