A quick, simple board game in which each player searches for and mines asteroids in an ever-moving field and attempts to strike it rich in a dynamic and competitive economy.

This project is solving the Asteroid Prospector challenge.


Challenge Rationale:

In The Black addresses two key topics of asteroid mining for the Asteroid Prospector challenge -- exploration of the Asteroid Belt and the effects an influx of the rare materials may have on their value here on Earth. The game presents the players with various decisions to make between speed and caution, between quick cash grabs and long-term capital investment, and between aggressive competition and benign coexistence. This allows players to have many equally-valid game strategies and contributes to a highly dynamic experience with excellent replayability. The game also addresses ideas inherent to exploring the complex and active environment of the Asteroid Belt, using several game mechanics to represent the idea that an area of space formerly uninteresting may later contain critically valuable resources.

The game itself has been designed with a focus on quick, simple gameplay so as to be easy to learn as well as to grab and keep people’s attention. Instead of bogging down the mechanics of the game with complex rules and text, it was quickly clear that we had to choose which ideas we most wanted the players to learn from the experiences. This keeps the game fun for players and allows for experimenting with many different strategies for achieving the game objectives. Our play-testing to date has not revealed any single “ultimate strategy”, and players have been able to quickly grasp the rules, develop and refine their strategies, and become engrossed in play.

“Back of the Box” Game Description:

In this board game, you play as one of several competing asteroid miners operating out of a shared materials-processing facility (The Base) moving through the Asteroid Belt. Each team has invested an enormous amount of time and money to get here under the promise of making a fortune from the valuable ores and materials waiting to be collected in the dimly lit reaches of the Belt. Each crew can only safely stay in space for a limited length of time, though, and they risk diminishing returns as the Earth’s markets are being flooded with once-rare materials. Now miners race against each other with a mix of calculated risks and blind luck to find and mine enough asteroids to demonstrate operational viability and put themselves In the Black.

Recommended 3-4 players, age 8+

Estimated Game Length: 40-80 minutes

Find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Project Information

License: Artistic license 2.0 (Artistic-2.0)

Source Code/Project URL:


Our project video -


  • windham graves
  • Forrest Hyden
  • Blayne White