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Intergalactic Ace by Art of Steel
In the simple, strategy/chance game, Intergalactic Ace, players compete to be the first to shoot down 5 enemy ships. Upgrade your ship to prepare for battle, take your chances in dogfights against enemy cards, and go head-to-head with other players to steal their hard-earned kills. Each game comes with 6 beautiful laser-cut wooden spaceships to keep track of each players stats and Kill count.

Project story

2 - 6
Play time
30 min
10 +
resource management
two player

What's in the box?

The Cards

Laser-Cut Game Pieces Manufactured In-House

We manufacture all of the wooden pieces ourselves using laser engravers. Since it is not usually typical for small, independent game designers to also manufacture major components for their own games, I thought that I’d like to talk about both why and how I will be doing that.

To give some quick background, my wife Elise and I have been running our company, Art of Steel, for over 7 years now.  We started it from nothing and built it up to be a pretty big deal.  We are the only 2 employees and we make a pretty good team.  What do we do in our company?  We make products with laser engravers and ship them all over the world to customers who order them online.  In the last 12 months, we have made and shipped products for well over 4,000 individual orders and we offer more than 100 different items in addition to the many custom ordered products that we make. We have 4 laser machines, the largest of which has a cutting bed of 36 inches x 55 inches  When we started developing this game, it just made sense for us to manufacture everything that we could ourselves.

What does this mean for you, the customer?

  1. The game costs less.  We are able to cut out a lot of middle-men as well as the costs of having items shipped from other companies to us.  We are able to streamline the process and use of materials to maximize efficiency and savings.
  2. We can fulfill pledges much faster.  We are not at the mercy of another manufacturer’s schedule and we don’t have to wait in a long queue of other customers before an outside manufacturer even starts to make our order.  Typically with crowdfunded campaigns, the creators wait until the end of the campaign to see how many of each item they need to order so that they can order them all at the same time and take advantage of quantity discounts. With the items that we are manufacturing, we don’t have to do that.  As soon as the campaign reaches its funding goal, we will start pumping out the laser-cut components even though the campaign won’t be over yet.  That way, by the time the campaign does end, we will already have most of the laser-cut parts made and ready to throw into a game box.
  3. We can ensure excellent quality.  We aren’t simply sending designs off to a manufacturer (probably overseas) and hoping that they do a good job with them.  We are the manufacturer and we have already put a lot of time into perfecting the designs AND perfecting the manufacturing processes that go into making those designs a reality.  We have been able to do several iterations of each component: making it, testing it, making small improvements to the design, and then making it again with the improvements.  We will personally assemble each game and make sure that not only are all of the components in the box, but that they all meet our quality standards.
Do you manufacture all of the components yourselves?

No. We take advantage of specialization.  We are great at design, laser-cutting, painting, and shipping, but we do not have the expertise or machinery needed to make game cards, custom printed boxes, etc.  We will be ordering the cards, boxes, instructions, and dice from suppliers that we have already lined up.


Stretch goals ( - / - unlocked)


Game Reviews

We were a little late in getting reviewers to review the game, but the reviews are starting to come in now. You can also check out the ratings on BGG, where as of 8/15, it is sitting at 9.1/10 stars. (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/367511/intergalactic-ace).

Who is this Game For?

Short Answer: Everyone 10 and up.

Slightly Longer Answer: People who love playing strategy games AND those people's parents, friends, in-laws, etc. who think that strategy games are "too complicated."

Full Answer from Creator with Personal Examples: My favorite thing to do while spending time with my friends and family is to play board games with them. While I enjoy all games, strategy games tend to be my favorite. While some of my friends and family love these games as much as me, many of them are reluctant to play for the following reasons:
  • "It's too complicated"
  • "I've had a long day, and I don't think that I can handle that kind of thinking right now"
  • "That looks like a lot to learn"
  • "Can't we play something easier (that's super boring and requires no skill)" <-- I may have added that part in parentheses
My goal when designing this game was to make it something that I (the serious board game enthusiast) and my in-laws (who barely like games at all) could enjoy together. Intergalactic Ace meets that goal perfectly because:
  • It's simple. My Father-In-Law who kind-of hates strategy games said, "I felt like I knew what to expect from the game and how to play confidently from almost the very beginning of the first game. I've never felt that before when learning a new game."
  • It has a good balance of strategy and chance. You get plenty of opportunities to make important, strategic decisions, but chance plays a healthy enough role to level the playing field a bit for those who are less strategically inclined.
  • It's engaging, but light enough that you can still chat about other things while playing the game.
  • It doesn't require a perfect table. I like to play games at a real table with plenty of space, but life doesn't always allow for that. Because of the simplicity of this game and the way that all of a player's pieces fit into their own ship, this game can be played on a couch, on the ground, or even outside. It's the perfect game to take on trips or camping because it is compact and rugged.
It's fun. Try it for yourself and you'll see.

Written Instructions

Shipping Costs

In countries where applicable, (namely the European Union), a VAT (Value Added Tax) will be applied in the pledge manager.

Risks and challenges

Despite this being our first foray in the field of game design, our risks are relatively low. We have already lined up suppliers for the games and cards. We have ordered samples from those suppliers and are satisfied with the quality.

We will manufacture all of the laser-cut pieces ourselves (the Player Ships, Stat Pegs, and Kill Markers). We have already designed all of these elements, cut out several, and worked out the kinks. With 7 years in the laser-cutting business, and 4 laser machines at our disposal, we know how to crank these parts out quickly, efficiently, and so that each one comes out with perfect laser-precision. We will also start manufacturing these parts before the campaign even ends (we don't have to wait to order everything all at once since we manufacture it ourselves).

With our normal business, we receive over 4000 online orders per year for over 100 different product SKU's that we manufacture ourselves. Not only do we manufacture those products ourselves, but we also ship them all over the US and a few internationally. We know how to handle online orders from start to finish and we will make sure that each pledge order gets fulfilled promptly and accurately.

Refunds and cancellation

We will fully refund pledges cancelled before they ship.

Eco Friendly Packaging

To save on costs and reduce our environmental impact, the outer packaging that your game ships in will be composed of re-used boxes or boxes made from salvaged cardboard.  To clarify, this is not the game box. This is the box that we will ship the game boxes in so that they stay nice and pretty inside while the outer box gets kicked around several delivery vehicles and sorting facilities.  We will be shipping many of the orders in re-used packaging such as small Amazon boxes and old shoe boxes.  Our supply of used boxes that are appropriately sized is limited, so when that runs out, we will be cutting out our own folding boxes from salvaged cardboard sheets.  We cut those out with a laser cutter that cuts the outer shape and scores the lines where the boxes will be folded.

It's a bit unorthodox to make packaging this way, but packaging is pricey and making our own lets us charge you less for the game and maybe save a few trees. We think that makes it worth it even if it means that the package that ends up on your doorstep might look a little funny.