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I stood there in the dark, and gazed up at it. The sheer bulk of the thing, an unbelievable complexity of glass and rivets and polished steel, hydraulic pistons and copper tubing that glinted in my lantern’s light. A peculiar sensation came over me then, and I felt as if I were looking up at a giant wave about to crash down and drag me into the depths.

And now, as I sit in my study with the plans for the Engine laid out before me, I fear I may have been right.

The Gateshead Engine is a single-player game set in an alternate version of Victorian England. In it, you’ll take on the role of an engineer creating a steam-powered mecha for a powerful patron, chronicling your progress, thoughts, and fears in your diary as you go. It can be played in a single session (set aside at least an hour) or split across several nights of play.

The Gateshead Engine is a hack of Alone Among the Stars by Takuma Okada. Support the creator: https://noroadhome.itch.io/alone-among-the-stars

Written for the #sadmechjam

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(21 total ratings)
AuthorAdam Roy
GenreCard Game, Role Playing
TagsMechs, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Steampunk


Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:

The Gateshead Engine 679 kB
The Gateshead Engine (Plain Text) 5 kB


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Fantastic premise, and I had a great time playing this, even despite my playing it super strangely without a standard deck of tarot cards! I can see a pretty wide range of stories springing from these prompts, and it's super fun to imagine being the builder of the mech, rather than the pilot, for once. By the time the world-ender roared to life, I felt I hadn't had enough time in the world that had sprung up around the machine, so I improvised a second "phase" of the game, during which you as the builder are frenetically trying to make something to defeat your creation, and save the world. Improvising a set of mechanics to bolt onto the game really drove home for me how solid the underlying engine of the game is, and after it all, I really enjoyed the story I told. Definitely suggest picking this one up!

A great premise and I love when a game uses tarot cards as a randomizer. There is a lot of room to play in this game - making it as tech or as dark or as politcal etc as you like. I also think its cool that this is easily adaptable to other ttrpg rules, characters, and settings so if you have a character you'd like to play with on days your friends can't campaign, this would be a good way to develop and have fun.

My initial game play linked where I share my thoughts while setting up character, setting, etc and drawing a few cards

In all, I enjoyed it and will continue playing. 

Just finished on my own, and I got too afraid of my own engine haha. 

For my first solo ttrpg it really got me writing into the night. It got dark real fast so make sure to use safety tools! But other than that it was fun! 

Will definitely recommend to friends.


Got this in a bundle. My game was spread over four different evenings and resulted in a 12 page story (about 10 pages if I were to translate it to English) - much longer than I anticipated. The prompts from the Tarot-cards really helped my writing process.


The Gateshead Engine is a tarot-based journaling rpg about whether you really should have built that steampunk mech.

The PDF is 4 pages, with a bare-feeling, but easy to read layout.

You play by establishing some basic facts about your setting and the mech you are building, and then you draw from the tarot deck and journal the results.

Unlike other games of this type, Gateshead *really* gives you a lot of room to interpret the prompts served up by the deck, and it's the kind of game that you could spin a whole novel out of. However, if you're looking for a more quick and guided experience, this doesn't really steer in that direction.

Overall, if you're looking for a push to do some really intense writing, I'd strongly recommend picking this up.