The Elder Trek project was born out of the want to have a Star Trek Original series table-top game experience for the single player. While I enjoyed Bandai's Star Trek the card game it was designed for two players minimum. Since I enjoyed Fantasy Flight Games' Elder Sign, I embarked on a redesign project on a whim.

The first step was to get a full copy of the game to completely understand the mechanics and what the design requirements would be. Fortunately my best friend owned a completed copy, and I spent time going over the rules and examining the cards to gain a better understanding of the game and establish what would be needed in terms of design.

Next I found digital copies of some of the cards online to use as a template to design around. This was needed to establish a frame of reference, since I knew how big the cards were physcially I wanted to translate that into what it would look like in the design phase. With the proportions down I began to build.

In projects like these where I need a lot of cards, I begin with creating templates of each kind of card. Since I was aiming to have this project printed eventually, I also created a corresponding back for each of the cards.


Left to Right, these are Scanners, Equipment, Weapons, and Characters. Each corresponds to a 1 5/8" x 2 1/2" (41x63 MM) card from the original game. New artwork was created for each of the categories to match thematically with their new functions.



New Character cards and their backs were created for the characters. Sanity was retained since I couldn't think of a better concept to depict for this area of health, and there were cases in the original series where sanity damage was suggested (one example being "Is there in truth no Beauty?"



New adventure cards to replace the museum cards. Different front art was created for the pilot episodes (pictured). The adventure cards corresponded to select episodes in the individual seasons and would be distinguished by the color of the episode title. A concepted method of play would be to organize the episode by season and play through them sequentially.



These are replacements for the other dimension cards. The cards would pull thematically either from other select episodes, or represent different dimensions, times, or places the crew of the Enterprise visit (such as the antimatter corridor from "The Alternative Factor" in season 1). Art direction for the cards was inspired by the Romulan ship interiors from "Balance of Terror" and "The Enterprise Incident". The white border represents the placement of monsters. Here the icon of the Fesarius Marker Bouy was used to represent this challenge.



For this redesign I decided to make things a little different from the base game by introducing a new mechanic. The Barrier card shares the same back as the rest of the adventure cards, but when flipped all characters are moved to the barrier and the other cards are suspended. The barrier remains in place until finished, and once completed all characters move back to the ship card.


Elder trek would also call for customized dice to make. While the facings have been defined, no prototype of the new dice have been created yet. Each die would correspond to the department colors, matching the three dice colors used in the original game, only with thier colors changed (Red, Yellow, and Blue instead of Green, Yellow, and Red).

Elder Trek currently isn't ready for release, if I intended on going that far. While I have the templates and arrangement figured out, the next step is to define what all the cards do. Since I want to make this more than just a re-theme, but an actual variation of the game, it will require testing new rules and determinig what abilities work, which don't, which challenges are impossible, and so on.