Ezekiel Karnn is supposed to have died two millennia ago in a failed experiment of his own making. He created an artificial singularity. The experiment is now beginning to take the rest of the galaxy with it.
The singularity is not only pulling in the physical, but the dimensional, and the temporal. Strange things happen in the vortex and those who venture there are changed.
Strange artifacts have been appearing in the vortex with anti-grav properties and a strange form of dark matter that has been compressed into a solid form. The artifacts seem to draw power from the compressed dark matter.
Scientists on the Hub have figured out how to merge several artifacts and power them with dark matter. They believe that deploying them in specific areas of the vortex will slow the expansion and the heavy gravity spikes.
The corporations including the Karnn Consortium have been hiring ships to dive into the vortex to locate and deploy the machines. The consortium believes that Ezekiel didn't die, but is still in the vortex, trapped in another dimension sending the artifacts through to help stop and even reverse the vortex. Many others just want to stabilize the vortex to make profit from the resources that gets trapped in the gravity well.
The cooperative game pits the players against the vortex. They have to collect the proper number of artifacts and dark matter, deploy them in the Devil's Vortex before the next massive gravity spike pulls everything past the event horizon.
The Devil's Run: Escape
Every few cycles a number of Devil Runners enter the Vortex in a race to grab a dark matter and escape before the gravity spike clears the gravity well.
Players fight against each other and the Vortex to earn the most resources and in this winner take all fight to the death.
Debris: There are seven types of debris, each having their own peculiar properties. Red plasma storms that remove your energy
Blue energy resources that give you energy
Green ship displacement which allows your ship to move in any direction independent of your navigational movement
White gravitational anomalies which can protect you from gravity spikes or poor rolls for your movement
Purple wormholes which force you to travel to another wormhole on the board
Yellow quantum variances which are unidentified debris until you roll the variance die
Black dark matter which can be used to create any debris or convert a debris to something else.
Ships will interact with debris often and they will either help or hinder you in reaching your goal.
One of the best things about Devil’s Vortex is the way the board can change at any moment. Your ship may be out of energy and in the process of being pulled past the event horizon and a die roll saves you and even allows you to win!
Because of the debris interaction involved, players will often be rolling dice and moving even when it is not their turn.
The turns are quick without a lot of “phases” or complicated referencing.
It is balanced between the luck of the die rolls and the control the player has to use debris to their advantage while navigating the board.
In the Devil Runner scenario, there is no player elimination and you have the more Euro-style game play with economic incentives and an immersive game play experience.
Greg created some basic black and white concept art for the models and beacons. These designs are being used for laser cutting prototypes.
Acrylic beacon and debris token tests using the laser cutting process. The tokens now have their own individual colors.
Early develpment photo with generic tokens and ships. We were experimenting with a board design playmat option and tube packaging. Who knows?.
Early concept art by Lisa to frame a mood for the game.
This is a Photoshop conceptual mockup of the player ship token
2 – 6 players
In this cooperative game, players risk their ships to collect strange artifacts and compressed dark matter from the fringes of a black hole in an attempt to slow or stop the expansion of the vortex.
The Devil's Vortex has been growing larger threatening several local and heavily populated systems. Recent runs into the vortex has turned up strange artifacts that are powered by compressed dark matter. They create a anti-grav effect in the vortex. The scientists have determined that with the right placement these artifact machines could slow or even negate the vortex gravity field.
If the Devil Runners can get into the gravity well, collect and set up the "Ezekiel Machines" before the next vortex gravity spike there might be a chance to stop the expansion.