The Journey to Spaceballs: The Board Game (or The Making of an overly expensive board game.)

As apart of a deal made with Lucasfilm, Mel Brooks was asked not to license any official Spaceballs merchandise as to allow parents to remain unconfused when looking for Star Wars toys for their kids (no, seriously). This is actually where the Yogurt “MERCHANDISING, MERCHANDISING” scene comes from as the joke being that none of this blatantly commercial merch was actually being sold.

Inspired by this scene and partially just desperate to find a subject for a school project myself and two others set out to make “Spaceballs: The Board Game” for a class project exploring what it is like to make a game based on a license. The request was simple, make a board game based on a license. Some drew a board on construction paper, some made cards by hand, but we wanted this to stand out.

First we set out figuring out how we want the game to be designed. We threw around some ideas and came down to a chase game that had heavy use of playing different categories of cards for an advantage or to slow down opponents and even the chaser.

While we still haven’t decided how we want the cards to be balanced and how we can even make Mega-Maid not completely broken, I started in on all print assets and oh boy, does it take a lot to prototype a board game.

I feel like I learned this the hard way, running from one print shop to another to a library in my church all to put together some cards in just a few hours. All in all 2 all-nighters were spent, and one other assignment ended up late and I was out 70 dollars in printing cost. It was a tough thing to put together, and while the game itself still needs a round or two of QA testing to balance itself out and I don’t know if I ever intend on making a physical version of it like I planned we do have it available on the Steam Workshop for Tabletop Simulator while we work out the kinks.

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