Hello, I have decided to start sharing work on the Prequel to American Megafauna. It is to be called Genesis, or perhaps Biogenesis. It starts in the Hadean Earth 4.54 billion years ago, and ends 250 million years ago. Just where American Megafauna gets started.
Those who wish to participate, playtest, quibble, or exchange ideas and metaphors are welcome to join the Yahoo page Genesis_Game. We really are at the pre-amino acid stage, so there is hardly anything posted yet. But I will be adding maps, rules, cards, meeples ideas. You are free to join the group, 0r send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Don't use my aol account which is not working at the moment.)
Playtesters who submit a report will be rewarded with a free game.
Here is a Genesis "blurb":
This prequel to `American Megafauna' can be played in a cooperative `Gaian' or competitive `Medean' mode. Release set for October 2011.
One to four players start as organic compounds forged in the primordial soup, such as phospholipid bubbles, amino acids, global slime thioesters, or extraterrestrial cyanohydrins. Or maybe I will call the quartet fat, protein, sugar, and pigment. Or maybe cells, switches, information, and batteries; I have not quite decided on the jargon level. In a cooperative manner, players use each other to catalyze their reactions, and coalescence to take advantage of specializations. The map represents various refugia: warm ponds, interstellar clouds, fumaroles, tidepools, hydrothermic vents, porous minerals. Expect to be repeatedly demolished by disasters, only to have the pieces be reassembled by cooperative catalysis. Players will start to accumulate metabolic and reassembly `information', which can be stored on crystal, lipid, or nucleotide genetic material. In the spirit of `free love', players in the same space can swap genetic material by mere contact, like many bacteria do today. Protocells can learn the secret of ingestion, but even when players start eating each other, cooperation is still possible. A swallowed or invasive player can become a parasite, an internal symbiont, a cellular component, a stromatolitic colonial member, or food.