Interview with the Designer of Nexus: Scrapyard
Some people may not know about you, since your company is quite new in the Industry. So, let us know some things, like your goal, philosophy, future projects?
One of things I enjoy about board gaming is how they can bring people of different walks of life together over a similar goal. But not all games are for everyone. My wife won’t play Risk for example, a game my friends and I have played extensively growing up. The games I’ve taken to play in my adult years are the games that most people I play with enjoy, games that I would describe as “Fun for Everyone.” That is what I strive for in each game I design.
As for future projects, I have many. Nexus, for example, is the first of five in a series of narratively connected games. As someone who grew up with YuGiOh and MTG that now plays Netrunner, competitive card gaming is something I am interested in pursuing far in the future.
What inspired you to make sci-fi themed game about entrepreneurs, such a unique theme?
When I design games, I focus entirely on mechanics and flow. When the very basic core mechanics of the game are working properly I start to formulate theme. The earliest theme of the game was very much like buying a used car. I didn’t like it. I wanted something more. Tapping into my notes from my teen years I rediscovered a universe of characters and places I created labeled “Nexus.” It is an interesting SciFi universe and I decided to adapt the theme to fit into this universe.
I have to ask, when I read about “Nexus: Scrapyard” some words caught my attention, what do you mean by it being the first chapter in a series? Also, the word “Chronicle” means that each game will affect the next one, how close is it to the well-known “Legacy” system?
Nexus: Scrapyard is the first chapter of a five chapter narrative series. Each Chapter allows the players to participate against an NPC as he works to outwit and battle his opposition (the players) to acquire Galactic power.
Chronicle is a word I’ve coined for this type of game series. Similar to Legacy games, Chronicle games will change each time you play. Unlike Legacy games the changes happen to the next game in the series. As an example, the winner of Nexus: Scrapyard will earn a small benefit in the second chapter. Random events that transpire in Nexus: Scrapyard will affect setup and mechanics in the second chapter. Events in the second chapter will affect the third chapter and so on.
In legacy games the same group of players need gather repeatedly, often on different nights and destroy/can’t play the game again after completion. Chronicle games, in comparison, can all be played in the same night, by different groups each time and can be played again after completion.
What was the greatest challenge you faced during the designing and development of the game?
In almost every early iteration of the game, player would rush to buy CivShips from the Scrapyard. CivShips equals points and the ability to hire Crew cards that come with effects. The problem is that players would buy CivShips with one component card installed, the CivShip wasn’t worth much with only one component – the player just wanted to hire Crew. I went through several mechanics and adjustments to try to slow the rush play so rush players couldn’t abuse crew before other players. I came up with the Voucher system to award players for playing components. This fixed the rush play.
Secondly, as I continue designing the Chronicle, balance between games is going to be a massive challenge.
What aspect or mechanic of the game excites you the most?
The Chronicle excites me the most. I have never played mechanically connected games nor have I heard of one. The mechanic I enjoy the most in Nexus: scrapyard is the secret programming of the component cards. It is a mind game. Similar to something you would experience in Netrunner. What is that facedown card?
What kind of gaming experience do you want to create and in what kind of gamers will it appeal to?
I want player to experience what it would be like to start an enterprise in a dangerous future. I want the player to feel the excitement of sabotaging a CivShip with several negative scoring cards and watching their opponents purchase the ship. I want players to cleverly outwit their friends.
Can we have any hint about the upcoming game(s) of the series?
Chapter One – Nexus: Scrapyard involves player customizing and buying CivShips as well as hiring crew to aid themselves or sabotage their opponents.
Chapter Two – Nexus: “Going-to-have-to-wait” involves players using the CivShips purchased in Chapter One to transport or smuggle commodities or pirate their opponents.
Chapter Three – Nexus: “Deckbuilder” I don’t really enjoy a lot of deckbuilders so I want try to build one that I do like.
Where people can find more about you and your upcoming activity?
More information can be found at my website www.pawnjokergames.com and board game geek. I have twitter, Facebook and Instagram /pawnjokergames as well.
Thank you for the interview!
Nexus:Scrapyard launches today on Kickstarter! Check it out!