WHY ARTISTS SHOULD PLAY A BOARDGAME CALLED “GALAXY TRUCKER”
My buddy and I have been playing Galaxy Trucker 1-2 times a week for the last month. This is one of his all-time favorite board games. He’s got it down to a science. He always wins. With flying colors. In spades. He always wins…
Anyway, apart from the “Combat Zone” cards, which completely take a dump on the losing player and compel this player (me) to flip the table and kick it through the sliding glass window of the dining room and then dive onto the glassy remains and roll around in my own blood until I die – I have a lot of fun playing this game!
But I really suck at it.
But I love it.
I love sucking at it?
Dudes, I’m literally always last in the race, because I take the longest time to build my ship (and as I said, this game punishes the weak). During setup, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of components available to me. Each one affects gameplay in various ways. Some can be combo’d, while others can’t be used unless you connect to this or that…
I ask myself: “Did I build enough cabins to pass crew checks in combat zones? Did I connect armories to defend them from Slavers and Commandos? What about aliens? Which ones do I want to bring aboard? Did I set up shields pointing in every direction? Do I have generators attached to them so I can block heavy cannon fire? Oh god, both of my friends are already done and they’re watching me with their judging eyes! Why am I so slow!? This is the ugliest ship I’ve ever seen… SHYTE! I FORGOT TO EVEN LOOK AT THE CARDS TO SEE WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN DURING THE RACE!”
I don’t think have ever felt Analysis Paralysis at this magnitude.
Yet, I think I love Galaxy Trucker just for that reason. It forces me to think with the left side of my brain.
You see, as an artist, I tend to work my compositions in a symmetrical fashion. I prefer “ordered chaos” (if that’s a thing) over asymmetry. My brush strokes may appear “wild” or “edgy” but lemme tell you: I planned all of it. I wasn’t “feeling the moment” or haphazardly throwing paint onto the screen in a fit of artistic euphoria. Nope, by then I’ve already outlined, thumb-nailed, silhouetted, and blocked in every ideas before I even started to add polish.
Plus, I'm OCD.
This is where Galaxy Trucker helps me out as an artist. I mean, unless I wanna trudge through the galaxy in an artfully-symmetrical ship the size of a punch bug, I better hurry and lay down more components. Since I began playing this game, I’ve noticed that my sketching ability has improved. I’m using the eraser less frequently. I don't even have my off-hand hovering over the macro for Undo.
I'm living with my mistakes.
Not just that, but I'm also finding myself allowing the mistakes to blossom into new ideas - asymmetrical ideas.
And that's why I love this punishing game that I will never win.