Astrolabe of the Bees – GameChef draft


I thought I’d give Game Chef a shot this year even though I didn’t have a lot of available time.  But, ultimately, there wasn’t enough inspiration and enough time to work it all out in the short period available.  So this is just an incomplete, preliminary draft of some first thoughts (plus the half-page chart idea).

astrolabe card

The general ideas behind the game were to have a game in which bees are seeking to develop technology in order to improve their hive.  But how this is expressed and what the steps of play are -even whether this is a solo game, almost like a hex crawl RPG, or whether it could be a multi player game (either competitive or cooperative)- and what other levels might also fit in.

The reason for posting this is to see if there are some ideas that are good enough to resonate with others.  Maybe someone reading this will have some comments about the idea andit’ll turn into a collaboration, or just some general ideas will resonate with someone else, and the discussion will help push things along a little more.

Astrolabe of the Bees

Thinking about a hexcrawl-based kind of game that would be about the development of a hive.

Maybe some Civ-like elements where, as technologies are developed, movement or processes become easier to accomplish.

Less about competing against other colonies than about addressing various environmental threats, so I guess it would be good as a solo game (in which case, maybe it wants to be a computer game)

I was originally thinking about astrolabes and other technologies as goals/elements for the game. That seems kinda off-topic in a way, now, but I haven’t given up on it totally, yet.

There was also that online “chop wood” game (found it: A Dark Room) that led to greater and greater development to the point where you were eventually travelling to the stars. Something like that would be a strong entry for this (except for it being already done and all that).


alarm, dance, sketch, and sunlight

Queen action – produce [D(tech)] offspring (Larva) – Roll corresponding tech level die and produce that number of offspring. Larva are arrayed in open cells around the queen. Only as many larvae as open cells are available may be produced. If more offspring are indicated than open cells are available, the extra are lost.
A queen may also attempt to produce a young queen as part of a queen move. To produce a young queen, roll the appropriate die and subtract 6. As long as the roll is not negative (ie at least a 6 rolled) a queen is produced. If the roll is higher than 6, the remainder after subtracting for creation of the young queen are additional offspring (ie, if an 8 is rolled, then a young queen as well as (8 – 6 = ) 2 ordinary offspring are produced).

Larva action – evolve [D(tech)] larvae into either drones or workers. Only one type may be evolved (either to produce Drones or Workers), but the choice may be made after the die is rolled. Each newly evolved drone/worker may then immediately move one cell.

Drone action –

Worker actions –

Hive Actions
Hive Dance – roll a d6 for each active bee (drone/worker) and queen. Larvae do not participate in the dance. Move each bee to the corresponding cell based on the roll. Queens may opt not to move, if the roll seems unfavorable.

Stages for increased tech where you are able to do more and more things:

d4 Tech
1- Harvest – all drones/workers at

d6 Tech (or roll on d4, and choose if roll is >4)

d8 Tech (or roll on d6, and choose if roll is >6; or roll (2) d4)
d10 Tech (or roll on d8, and choose if roll is >8; or …

d12 Tech (or roll on d10, and choose if roll is >10; or … …


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