Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pictures, pictures and more... pictures

An image is worth a thousand words. Following this principle, here are lots of pictures from Exodus: Proxima Centauri. Without any further comments...

Cannons

Shields

Rockets

Centaurian Resistance ships

...in the colors of each player

Upgrades, hexes, blueprints and ships

Plastic spaceships

Hexes, upgrades, cards, ships


All the game components, player boards on top

The back of the box

6 colors

3-player hex map


Rules cover

Inside the rule book


Player boards

9 punch-boards


Punchboard - closer look

Upgrades and resources

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

All about Exodus - news and unboxing

It has been almost a week since we received the sample copy of Exodus: Proxima Centauri and we've playing it and with it ever since.

Our first attempt to make an unboxing video featured Exodus


We realized that we need professional equipment or we can just leave that part to the experts and we can stick to our side, making board games. At least everyone can have a glance at what is the game box.

But that's not all what we did, we also had a few game sessions with Exodus, just among friends, some went really late into the night and so far everyone seems to be quite impressed with the game.

Exodus 3-player game
We haven't forgotten about IndieGoGo and Exodus is 40% funded as of today. Even if we had a short campaign, with more that 2 weeks to go we are confident that Exodus will come out with a bunch of extras to make the game even more entertaining.

Everyone is asking us if we'll have copies in Essen and it's still too early to know. This part is completely out of our hands and other than pressuring all the parts involved in shipping to hurry up there's not much else we can do. We're still hoping that we'll have commercial copies in Spiel Essen, but we will be able to confirm only one week before the event.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Unboxing Wild Fun West

A few days ago we received a sample of Wild Fun West - the final game box as you will find it in the games stores in a few months. We could not help to open it immediately and we put together a late night unboxing video.


You can see all the components of the game, the rules, punch boards and many, many cards. We have limited experience in front of the camera and we're also overexcited from seeing the copy no.1 of Wild Fun West, so don't judge harshly...

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The week in rewiev


The GoGo factor increase for Exodus: Proxima Centauri and it brought it to the first page of Gaming on IndieGoGo. It also reached 33% with your help, so we have high hopes that Exodus will reach its goal before the deadline.
There are only two more steps to take, to get to the front page and to ... get funded!



Wild Fun West started it's ascension, we gained a few backers and with everyone's help will give it another push over the next days.

The manufacturer from China sent us a sample of each game and last night we unboxed them in front of teh camera. It will take some hours of editing since we're not professional movie makers, but you'll get to see what's really in the game boxes.

Warriors & Traders: Italia i still available for preorder. We got some retailers interested but we had to turn them down (sorry guys), we're keeping every copy for end users and there are some 30 copies left.


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good news from China

Today we have just received some very good news from China. The news come in the form of games, samples to be more specific.

Rush picture with Wild Fun West and Exodus boxes

In the photo above you can see one copy of Exodus: Proxima Centauri and one copy of Wild Fun West. These boxes contain absolutely everything that the final games will contain and we will unbox them in front of the camera tonight and share it very soon with everyone.

We did not even have time to browse through what's inside each of the game boxes yet, we wanted to share the good news first.

Stay around, in two days at most we will start posting pictures and videos with the contents.
  
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Exodus under the magnifying glass (2) - Cannons

In my previous article I started talking about the technologies in Exodus. Today I will continue with the Cannons.
The cannons in Exodus: Proxima Centauri

Particle beam weapons


Most of the cannons in science fiction are particle beam weapons. Compared to the technology of the far future, today's conventional weapons, including nuclear devices, would seem obsolete. The main reason behind this, in my opinion, is that the space ships of the future move fast enough to dodge any kind of conventional missile which needs to travel from the source to the target in a matter of seconds, minutes or hours. Just accounting for this and it starts to make sense why in most sci-fi movie, books or games the weapons are far beyond what we can touch today. However, there were already ongoing projects on Earth (and I mean especially the US Army) aimed at developing anti-ballistic particle beam weapons.

But what are particle beam weapons? According to Wikipedia, "a particle beam weapon uses a high-energy beam of atomic or subatomic particles (either photons or forms of charged particles) to damage the target by disrupting its atomic and/or molecular structure. A particle beam weapon is a type of directed-energy weapon, which directs energy in a particular and focused direction using particles with negligible mass."

Cannons in Exodus


The Phase Cannon is the basic ship-to-ship weapon in Exodus: Proxima Centauri and my source of inspiration for it was Star Trek. Without specifying what kind of particles it directs, the Phase Cannon outputs a beam of accelerated particles which can affect the structure of a target object or, if the object is shielded, disrupt the target shield. It is considered the oldest type of cannon, developed by the Centaurians several thousands years ago, using technologies which resemble those on 21st century Earth.


The Plasma Cannon is technically not a particle weapon. The 'design' is inspired by the coilgun technology, in which a projectile containing ferrous minerals is accelerated through a series of coils to reach a very high speed. The Plasma Cannon, is a two stages weapon. First, large particle accelerators heat up the plasma, confining it to a high pressure. Further, the projectile is accelerated to a relativistic velocity by lenses (or coils) which focus the plasma towards its target. This whole process is a combination of imagination and nowadays edge technologies, resulting in a large cannon, not very popular on Centaurian space ships, but quite inexpensive and a weapon of choice for some of the human factions.


The Solid-State Laser (SSL) Cannon is the pièce de résistance in the Centaurian weapons hall of fame.Let's admit it, we have all been fascinated with laser weapons since we were kids. I think everyone dreams of holding a lightsaber and impersonating a Jedi knight. 

I introduced the SSL Cannon to Exodus after having read about diode pumped solid state lasers. A laser is a device that emits highly coherent electromagnetic radiation through a process of optical amplification (Wikipedia) and it consists mainly of a light source and a gain medium. There are several types of gain media, from gas or water to solids. The solid-state lasers are both accurate and provide a large yield and weaponizing them is already becoming reality. In Exodus, the precious and rare Phasium crystals are used as a medium for generating high power laser beams, making these weapons both destructive and compact, easy to mount on any kind of space-ship.


The last and likely the most destructive weapon in the Centaurian arsenal is the Antimatter Cannon. I must confess there's little innovation here, you can find these cannons all kinds of sci-fi games or movies (e.g. Star Trek).

Antimatter is the 'material' made of antiparticles which are just like the 'normal' particles (same mass) but they have opposite charge and quantum spin. When matter and antimatter meet, they annihilate each other in an epic discharge of energy in forms of gamma rays and other particles and antiparticles. The resulting energy is equal to mc2. No wonder that we've been fantasizing about weaponizing antimatter, the destruction this kind of weapon could bring is beyond imagination. 

Humanity has succeeded to produce antiparticles since late 20th century, but in very small quantities and with a tremendous cost. Furthermore, the difficulty of storing antimatter is another concern. Several grams of antimatter would be necessary to reach the same yield as a nuclear weapon and this does not seem possible in the foreseeable future. So, we're left with the science fiction.

In Exodus: Proxima Centauri, the Centaurians have developed such a weapon, using some sort of magnetic fields to contain the antimatter. There is little to nothing known about this technology, other than the antimatter cannon can only be fired in the outer space in vacuum  otherwise it would react immediately and destroy the carrying ship.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Exodus under the magnifying glass (1) - Drives

Now that Exodus: Proxima Centauri is only one step away from getting in the hungry hands on the players, it is time to give a more detailed overview of what is happening in the game and the background strory of those parts that required long hours of research, thinking and evaluation.

I always said that I wanted to give my board games a hint of realism. Exodus is a sci-fi game, which makes it on one hand easier because it states from the very beginning that everything is permitted and on the other hand harder because people expect to find things at the border of their imagination making it hard to stay realistic.

But enough with the introduction, I will get straight to the point and in this first post I will explain the Drives.

Drives in Exodus: Proxima Centauri
Every space ship has a drive that provides power for it and allows it to fly at very high speeds. But before I get into the Exodus drives, let's go through a quick overview of the fastest man-made vehicles today.

Speed records today


The record for the fastest manned vehicle is 39,985.2 km/h (or 24,846 mph) and it dates back to 1969 and it was achieved by Apollo 10 on the way back from the moon. At this speed, Apollo 10 would take 1 billion hours or 114,000 years to fly the 39,900,000,000,000 kilometers (or 24,800 billion miles) to Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth.

The speed record for the fastest man-made object is 252,800 km/h (or 157,100) reached by the solar probe Helios-2. At this speed a trip to Proxima Centauri would take 18,000 years. That's still a very long time.

Space travel projects


So far, the majority of man-made spacecrafts are using conventional fuels. The limited speed and distance they can travel make this technology unsuitable to attempt interstellar journey. The hope lay for a long time with nuclear (fission) propulsion. Projects like Longshot proposed nuclear fission engines that would take an unmanned vehicle to the Centauri system in about 100 years.

Taking into consideration initiatives like Project Icarus, one can assume that during the next hundred years humanity will have the technology to reduce the travel time to Proxima Centauri to less than 1 millennium.

Space travel in Exodus: Proxima Centauri


The story of humanity in Exodus: Proxima Centauri starts with leaving Earth in 2389 in space crafts powered by nuclear (fission) drives that would cover the distance to Proxima Centauri in a few hundred years. But this happens before the game starts...

The first ship engines in the game are still the 'classical' Nuclear Drives. They're using fission reaction and pushing the space ships to speed up to 30 million km/h (or 8300 km/s). I imagined these engines would be an upgrade of what humanity is researching in the 21st century, based on a technology that we can already master. Even if this speed seems enormous, it is still several level of magnitude lower than the speed of light, making a trip from Earth to the Centauri system last for a century and a half. The only use for such a drive would be interplanetary travel. For example, a trip across our solar system would take around 1 year.


In Exodus, the Fusion Drive is the first transport technology that humans learn 'from scratch' from the Centaurians. There have been projects on Earth to develop fusion engines, but until today humanity is still quite far from being able to produce fusion energy for civil use. The technology in the game "uses the principle of magnetized target fusion, confining super-heated plasma with very strong magnetic fields". 

The source of inspirations is an ongoing project which attempts to achieve nuclear fusion in an efficient less expensive way. Magnetized target fusion "features of the more widely studied magnetic confinement fusion (MCF) and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) approaches" (Wikipedia). There are two ways we are trying nowadays to develop fusion reactors. The first one is to confine fissionable matter using magnetic fields to achieve pressure and temperature for the fusion reaction. Its advantage is that it can achieve the conditions for up to a second, quite long compared to the second way which is to compress the fuel using ultra high-energy lasers. 

A superior civilization like the Centaurians from Exodus: Proxima Centauri managed to combine these two methods, using magnetic fields for confinement and high-power lasers for ignition and the result was a stable average size fusion reactor which they further adapted for space travel.

In the game, the Fusion Drives are pushing the ships to velocities up to 120 million mph  (or 190 million km/h), almost relativistic speeds, fast enough to cover short interstellar journeys (Earth to Proxima Centauri in 24 years). Even though humans have researched this technology for centuries, it looks like the more advanced Centaurians perfected it.


The last drive featured in Exodus: Proxima Centauri is the Antigravity Drive. This idea came to me while browsing the internet when I stumbled upon an article about a "new antigravity solution will enable space travel near speed of light".  Dr. Felber found a new solution to Einstein's gravitational field equation which is supposed to offer a solution for space crafts to achieve relativistic velocities allowing at the same time the space vehicles to be manned. Although some believe this is yet another piece of pathological science, the scientific community did not dismiss this theory. This theory states that a body moving at more than 57.7% of the speed of light repels masses in front of it "creating a narrow antigravity beam". The repelling force grows with the increase in speed and any body inside the beam would "fall weightlessly", being some sort of "hitch-hiker". We haven't yet found the way to accelerate anything close to the speed of light, but apparently the Centaurians did.

The Antigravity Drive powering a space ships can take it to speeds up to 610 million mph (or 980 million km/h) representing 90.8% of the speed of light. This technology remains largely not understood by humans, though they are eager to use it. It would allow medium interstellar travel, a trip from Earth to Proxima Centauri taking around 5 years at full speed.

Stay tuned, in the next article, I will debate the Cannons.


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Warriors & Traders: Italia is coming back

Lately all we've been talking about is Exodus and Wild Fun West, so Warriors & Traders 'felt' a little neglegted. And by this I mean the game's fans, so it was time to bring some good news.

In June this year we announced the first expansion for Warriors & Traders, called Italia, which came with a new map and a layout of the countries that allowed a more interactive game play. We did set any expectations and we only printed a small amount of copies in co-operation with our Italian friends from Tana dei Goblin. The expansions sold out much quicker that we expected and there were still people asking for it.



Yesterday we announced a re-print of Warriors & Traders: Italia, this time in English. It is available for pre-orders on our website, again in a limited run of 40 copies.

The interesting fact is that on BoardGameGeek, the expansion has a much higher rating than the original game and it attracted lately quite some attention. I haven't been able to figure out if it's because of the more intense game-play or simply because it's printed on cotton which gives it a strong dark ages fell, but it makes me (and the whole team) feel really good that the request from people pushed us to do this reprint.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NSKN @ Spiel Essen

As you might have seen on the NSKN website or might have heard from various other sources, we're going to attend Spiel Essen once again. We received the confirmation a while ago, but caught in the moment with our crowd-funding campaigns for Exodus and Wild Fun West, we forgot to share all the details.

Map of hall 6 - NSKN booth highlighted in green
So, all of you who are going to visit Essen between 18th and 21st of October this year, come by hall 6, booth 205 and meet the NSKN team. We will have there the 'old' Warriors & Traders and at least some demo copies of Exodus and Wild Fun West.

You can play, ask, give feedback, meet the team and get your own games. 

Oh... there might be some of you who don't know what is Spiel Essen. In a nutshell, it's the largest and most important game fair in Europe (and in the world, according to most people), there are thousands of new and/or famous games and around 150000 visitors. All the cool/trendy/famous and underground/heavy/promising games are there. Not to mention the discounts.

See you in Essen!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Exodus:Proxima Centauri

Some call us crazy, but these days there were just too many people asking about Exodus... Since 15 minutes ago, Exodus: Proxima Centauri is also online, ready to be funded on IndieGoGo.





I wrote so much over time about this game and now in the excitement of the moment, I just don't know what to start with. So, please help us spread the word, a great game is knocking on the doors of the hobby market and with your help will bring it with promos and expansions.

The best way to get to know Exodus: Proxima Centauri is to check our IndieGoGo website  and see Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower showing you how to play the game and what he found interesting about it.

Get ready, Exodus is coming!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Wild Fun West on IndieGoGo



It finally happened! Wild Fun West is live on IndieGoGo!

Since a few minutes ago, our funding campaign on IndieGoGo is up and running. For the next 36 days, everyone who wants to get his hands on this fun, fast paced game is welcome to visit the campaign page and make a contribution. In return, we're offering great rewards, mostly related to Wild Fun West, but we also feature our other games, both released and upcoming.

http://www.indiegogo.com/wfw/

This is our first attempt at crowd-funding, so we would much appreciate any advice, suggestion, pretty much anything that you think might help the success of our board game.

Check the link and you'll get all the details about the game, our battle-plan, a video preview of Wild Fun West by the Dice Tower - one of the most trusted board game reviewers and ... well everything is in there.

There are ways to contribute even without pledging. If you have friends who like board games, if in your group anyone is looking for a game that plays with many people, please do tell! Spreading the word about our campaign will be of great help and you will have our gratitude.

We'll get back to you with news, do expect more surprises!


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Follow us on Twitter: AgniAlexandraAndrei and Vlad 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New residence: Warsaw

Wola Mall withing walking distance
This is not really about board games... actually it's not about games at all. I just moved to Warsaw and this caused the week-long absence from the great online.

I won't go over details of how and why, it happened very fast and I must admit that I enjoy the change of environment  from rainy Brussels to (so far) sunny Warsaw.

Having strong personal ties with Poland, I welcome a new challenge, including trying to learn the language and getting to know the local gaming communities.

Last but not least, my moving here will not affect the well being of NSKN and our plans for the future. In just a few days we will launch two IndieGoGo campaigns (Exodus and Wild Fun West) I told you about in one of the previous posts. But I don't want to spoil the surprise yet.

So... stay tuned, more gaming related news will come until the end of this week.


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More about NSKN Legendary Games on the website Facebook | Twitter | BoardGameGeek | (...) Magazine
Warriors & Traders can also be found on its own website | Blog | Facebook |  BoardGameGeek
Follow us on Twitter: AgniAlexandraAndrei and Vlad