Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Newsflash: shipping preorders, awards and upcoming gaming conventions

After we took a few days to relax and enjoy Easter with our families, today we're back to work and we have some news which we'd like to share with all of you...


Preorders shipped!
 
The preorders for Praetor are now closed. As a "thank you" for trusting us and Praetor, we have already started shipping the preorders last week, way ahead of the proposed May 5th deadline. In the next two days we are going to send all the rest of the games. 

Club Fantasci has announced the finalists for their 2013 Board Game Awards and Exodus: Proxima Centauri is nominated under several categories including Most Innovative Game and Best Reprint Game. The designers of NSKN Games were not left out. We are nominated for the Best New Designer and we're so grateful for that.


Club Fantasci 2013 Board Game Awards

We have also confirmed the presence of NSKN Games at TIG-Convention in Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the end of May. This is a special moment for us because it's the first gaming convention we're attending in the country where the company is established and we'll have the chance of meeting many old friends. 


TIG Convention, Romania

Immediately after TIG we'll fly to Birmingham, United Kingdom to attend for the third time the UK Games Expo. But we'll tell you more about our plans in the upcoming gaming conventions in the weeks to come.

Last but not least, starting next week we'll have a new guest writer posting on the NSKN Blog. He's an expert gamer, a very good reviewer and soon to be a game designer. But let's not spoil the surprise just yet...

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The name of the game (part 2)

EDIT: Thank you all for voting, sharing and commenting, we've got everything we needed to make the best decision.

In my previous post I was asking for your help to brainstorm for an appropriate name for the upcoming board game from NSKN Games.


Philosophy - Artwork

We gathered your brilliant ideas on BoardGameGeek, on Facebook and here. In only two days we've got 111 possible names. We chose our top 9 and now we are asking you one more time to provide valuable input.

Thermodynamics - Artwork

Last but not least, we are wishing you all a Happy Easter!


photo: clker.com
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The name of the game

As some of you may already know, we are developing - and I must confess that it's going very well - a card game which we used to call Evolution.

While our game testers have been excited about how the game works and feels, there's a small hick-up on the road to publishing and that's the title of the game. Evolution makes people think of Darwin and species evolving in time, while the game is about the evolution of technology.

And here comes our cry for help - we need a cool title for a cool game. 



Artwork - Bridges
Artwork - Irrigation





















Choosing the name is a two-step process. First we'll gather ideas and feedback and we'll select the best 5-7 proposals. Then, we'll create a poll to make the final decision. We want to involve the gaming community in the creation process in our endeavor to deliver only the best products to the hobby market.

We are asking you to reply to this post, on Facebook or on Twitter and propose a new title which would suit this game better than Evolution. The person who proposes the winning idea will be handsomely rewarded.


About the game


Evolution is a card game for 2-5 players. Each player develops technologically one nation from antiquity to the first industrial revolution. The player with the most develop nation wins the game. 




The technologies are divided into three ages:
  • ancient (10000 BCE to 500 CE) - from the invention of the wheel or the development of agriculture
  • medieval (500 - 1450 CE) - from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and beginning of the migrations 
  • renaissance or early modern (1450 - 1740 CE) - from the invention of the printing press and the formalization of science
They are also divided into three paths or areas:
  • culture - focuses on arts and the development of human behavior and values and contains technologies like Burial, Musical Instruments, Opera, Newspapers or Sociology
  • engineering - covers the most practical discoveries and advancements in human history, such as Masonry, Cast Iron, Paper, the Steam Engine or the Railroad
  • science - focuses on rather abstract developments of humanity, like Mathematics, Astronomy, Cartography, Thermodynamics or Biology
The game play is streamlined, each player take a set number of actions per turn with the ultimate goal in mind, researching technologies to develop his nation and win. The main actions a player may take are:
  • research a technology by paying a cost (resulting in discarding one or more cards) or having one or two prerequisite technologies. Each technlogy comes with a specific benefit, thus enhancing the game play or making a step towards victory
  • developing a technology in time which translates in setting a tech card aside and letting scientists develop it over 4-5 turns
  • draw cards from a common draw deck
Researching a specific technology brings one or more of the following advantages to that player:
  • direct victory points which count towards the total needed for victory 
  • one or two steps up on the three tracks (population, army and prestige) on which players are competing for dominance
  • game play enhancement like having more actions, drawing more cards, discounts for technologies, moving to the next age, etc
Each tech card is used both for development and for paying the cost of a technology. Each player will manage his hand of cards, drawing cards, spending them for research or setting them aside for long term development in a competitive card game which is still missing its most important feature - a title.

If you want to become part of the development process of an interesting table top came, please share your thoughts with us and we will be grateful.


Artwork - Alphabet
Artwork - Education




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Monday, April 7, 2014

Praetor in the making

Praetor is getting ready to hit the shelves of the hobby stores and to give you a hint of how is this happening, we got some images from the factory where everything is taking place. In all honesty, most manufacturers won't allow taking pictures of they most well kept secrets, but this is what we can share...


Massive amounts of soon to be punchboards

... in 7 languages,

printed, cut and glued.

With the final cut they become City Tiles, all on nice linen paper and thick cardboard.

The preorders for Praetor are open until 21st of April and there are still around 100 copies left out of the total of 200.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

An expansion for Exodus - IV. Victory

Many people label Exodus: Proxima Centauri as ameritrash, a game in which fighting is the highway to victory. Besides fighting, there are several more way of accumulating victory points and the expansion will bring a few extra. Let's discuss them one by one, highlighting the changes introduced by the expansion.


Space combat


The expansion brings almost no changes here, the winner of every space combat will gain points for every enemy ship destroyed in that combat - and remember that in Exodus everyone is an enemy. However, players may end up sacrificing Dark Raider to deal damage before combat and without awarding anyone points with this action.

Centaurian Resistance cards


In the base game, a player had to make a choice after defeating the Resistance: keep the card for Victory Points or discard it for an immediate benefit. In the expansion, after a player has researched Quantum Reflection, he will be able to gain the benefit and the points.


Politics


In Exodus, the holder of the Chancellor title would get 5 points at the end of the game, the Vice-Chancellor would get 3 and so on. The expansion allows one player to gain extra points by having a relevant political role. On top of that, with Fringe Politics the same player will gain points at the end of the game for each active law. This is part of our aim for great asymmetric game play and a way to make politics more attractive throughout the game, enhancing politics as a strategic layer of the play.

Trading


The economy used to be simply means to an end. With the expansion, one player will be allowed to trade resources for Victory Points. I will not say more, this is a part of the game which requires more testing, so the trade rate between CP and VP is not final, but it is going to happen. A player less inclined to fight will have the option to... fight just a little less and harvest a little more. 

Research


I guess this is the part which everyone was expecting. Compared to other established 4x games, Exodus refused the "techers" the ability to invest heavily in research and thus achieve victory. The question "why?" was on everyone's lips every time we played Exodus in convention or in private. We wanted to keep the base game simple and deliver to those who wanted a classic combat oriented fast empire builder.

The design paradigm has changed when we decided to build this expansion, hence the introduction of points for research. There are two technologies influencing this path to victory. Fringe Science will allow every player to score points for each technology they have researched with a nominal cost above 11 CP. However, this technology is available to a single player who makes a decision which will affect everyone. The Technological Singularity will allow one the player to gain VP for the total nominal cost of his technologies.


I left space domination and control of the planets at the end because the expansion bring no changes to this part of the game.

Overall, the expansion brings new concepts on the path to victory, but neither one of the "new ways" is self sufficient. Exodus will remain a complex game and victory will be achieved with a mix of strategies and  best tactical decisions.

If you missed the first episodes of our preview of the expansion, here they are:

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