Starship Captains: Designer Diary 3: Designing the mission cards – Tomas Uhlir

In the second designer diary of Starship Captains you could read everything about the prototype and how the first miniatures  wer made. Today Tomas Uhlir (Under Falling Skies) will discuss the artwork of a small selection of mission cards, so you can get an indepth insight.

Hello again, future Starship Captains! In our last installment of behind-the-scenes articles on BGG, we shared lots of images (including a WIP player board) and explored how we prototyped the custom miniatures in-house at the CGE office. Today, we wanted to share some before and after artwork for a handful of the mission cards, along with some commentary from the game’s designer, Peter B. Hoffgaard.

In Starship Captains, you can use a crew member from your available pool each turn to take different actions—depending on the color and type of crew and what sort of tech loadouts you have on your ship. To tackle an available mission near your ship location, however, you spend multiple crew at once and gain rewards for that mission based on the crew requirements you met.

Here are some images and notes from the designer for a few of the missions you can explore in the game!

Shipwreck Salvage
Designers comments: “Salvaging a Shipwreck (it’s actually a pirate ship). The crew can either use the parts for repairs or fix it up and give it back to the Ni’an (the pirate faction in the game) to gain reputation with them. This mission features our most common alien crew member (that we also have as one of the miniatures) and a yellow security crew member standing guard. I love the green background and how it sets the whole tone of the mission.”

Prototype Shuttlecraft
Designers comments: “This mission is about the crew building a new prototype shuttle based on a pirate ship they defeated in the game (mechanically, you have to have defeated a pirate ship to complete this mission). I love the illustration, and the red uniformed crew painting over the pirate logo on the ship. We’ve tried to tie the mechanical effect of the missions to the illustrations, and I think this is a great example of that. In this mission, like so many others we try to let the crew do what’s appropriate for their profession, so here we have the blue (engineer / scientist) doing the welding.”

Anti-time Anomaly
Designers comments: “This is one of my favorites. The mission illustrates the crew having to deal with some kind of “Anti-Time Anomaly.” The title (that might change in the final version of the game) is actually a reference to the very last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I wanted to give it a super fun twist here. The mission offers some sort of time manipulation / travel (that allows the players to get crew they used back to use again). It’s also exactly what the mysterious Omega 13 device in the awesome movie Galaxy Quest does. So The illustration is actually very inspired by a scene from that movie. Now most people won’t even get that, so we decided to add some markings on the wall to support that. I hope it will give people that get the reference a laugh.”

Alien Bazaar
Designers comments: “This is actually a fun story. Originally it started off as a Dune reference. I called the mission “Acquire Spice,” so the blue science crew member was meant to be standing looking at “spice.” But the amazing illustrator did such a great job that the mission felt more like an alien bazaar kind of mission, so we changed it to that. It still has hints of the Dune reference though, and I really like that.”

Designers comments: “This is one of my favorites. The effects of the mission are pretty simple: you can find some spare parts to repair your ship. But look closely at all the stuff in this Scrap Yard and you might find some other familiar sci-fi references. It has a really unique background and setting that helps it stand out from the other missions.”

Thanks for much for reading!

Published on,
on June, 1st 2022.


Starship Captains is designed by Peter B. Hoffgaard and for 1-4 players from 12 years, a game lasts 30-60 minutes and it’s available in our online-store.

The space adventure contains 4 two-layered player boards, 1 star main game board, faction bars, mission cards, technology cards, figures, overview cards, scoring pad, markers.