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Subject: [WIP] NEXUS: Scrapyard rss

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Nicholas Markgraf
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Minnesota
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Hello everyone! Here is a little copy pasta from my blog a few months back.

I am proud to announce that the duration of 2017 will be dedicated to a game I've been designing for years. A game that spawned the passion and drive to self-publish games. The game I have been waiting to unveil. This game - Nexus: Scrapyard.

Nexus: Scrapyard is the first in a five game series detailing the rise of a galactic tyrant. In this first chapter, you will play as a rival entrepreneur attempting to outwit others while purchasing ships at a great discount and hiring crews to either mass a fortune or to sabotage your rivals.

A brief rundown of the basics of Scrapyard.
During your turn you will have the option to do ALL of the following options ONCE - OR ONE option TWICE.
1.Draw up to one card.
2.Play up to one Component card under a ship in the scrapyard. (The scrapyard is a collection of ships in the center of the table. Players will be placing components under these ships until they are bought and eventually scored.)
3. Play a crew card on any ship with room in any fleet. (A fleet is a collection of ships purchased by a player. Each ship will have room for only a few crew cards.) They player that owns the fleet the crew card is placed into resolves the effect of the crew card.
4. Purchase a ship from the scrapyard and add it to your fleet. (To purchase a ship you must discard cards from your hand that have a combined credit cost equal to or more than the purchase cost of the ship. The purchase cost of the ship decreases with every component played under it.)
5. Inspect cards under ships in the scrapyard. (To inspect cards, discard cards from your hand that have a combined credit cost of 2 or more to look at cards under ships in the scrapyard. Credit 2 = look at 1 card. Credit 5 = look at 3 cards.)

The chapter ends when all the ships in the scrapyard are purchased. Players total the VP from components and crew and the player with the most VP wins!

At this moment you are probably thinking "another VP salad type game, sigh." Kind of... I'd like to add more thoughtful and interesting scoring systems and hopefully, some come out during playtesting. If you have any ideas about the scoring or the game in general, feel free to drop a comment here or by emailing pawnjokergames@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading and if you'd like to follow along with the progress, please sign up for the newsletter at www.pawnjokergames.com

Ill be posting more of the blogs as the week(s) goes by but yoi can check out more at the website!

Thanks for reading!

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Nicholas Markgraf
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Minnesota
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So now you know what to expect when playing Nexus:Scrapyard.

Nexus: Scrapyard is a game I've been designing for a while now and has gone through many changes and balancing modifications. I'd like to take you on a tour of how the game has changed up to this point.

The Original Concept (TOC) only allowed for one action per turn. This was a shallow decision and one that had to be replaced. Players begged to do more per turn. One player, lets say Steve, even erupted violently when the player on his left bought the ship Steve spent his last two turns prepping with great components. I opted to add abundance by allowing all actions once or variability by taking one action twice.

TOC didn't have crew limits on any of the ships. I didn't think that playing crew onto a ship was as important as playing components to up the value of the ships. I was wrong. With no crew limit players would race to buy a single ship and load it to the brim with VP generating crew. Of course other players could set that player with negative scoring crew, but then they aren't progressing themselves in the game due to the one action per turn restriction. The limited crew slots both encourages players to continue trying to purchase ships to get more crew slots, and creates a tense race to hire your own crew before your rivals sabotage you with negative crew.

TOC ships didn't have a cost, they had a repair limit. A ship required at least three components before it could be purchased, which in TOC was simply discarding a card and adding the ship to your fleet. I like this idea because it forces players to play components until a ship is ready to be purchased. What I didn't like is that the player who plays the last required component isn't able to buy it with the one action per turn restriction. The ship cost method is essentially the same thing. Ships get cheaper with the more components under them and they begin too expensive to buy with components. Players NEED to add components to lessen the cost of the ship.

TOC started with positive and negative Victory Point cards. Around the second iteration I removed the negative point cards thinking that players would feel better about the game if they don't lose points. I was kind of right. What happened was unexpected to me but, in retrospect, was inevitable. Players NEVER played crew on other fleets. Even the really bad effects were either not played or played at the end to bolster the final score. No player felt it was a good idea to give their rivals more points through crew cards. Changing back to positive and negative point cards saw players more willing to toss crew cards onto their rivals fleet, causing either negative points or negative effects. Even giving your rival a few points through a crew card is okay with the points this way, especially if you know some of the components in their ship are negative point cards.

TOC didn't have the inspect mechanic. This is a fairly new mechanic so I can't say much to its impact. Theory is, knowing more information about what a ship has under it will impact whether you need to make it better before purchasing, or if it is a lost cause and you can ignore it.

So that's a storied list of major changes over the years of play testing. Of course various balancing has happened. This effect was changed to that, this number was changed to that all to better the game. But is the game better? I think so. Do you? Do you have any input to make the game better? Please let me know at pawnjokergames@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading and if you'd like to follow along with the progress, please sign up for the newsletter at www.pawnjokergames.com
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Nicholas Markgraf
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Minnesota
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The Nexus games take place in a universe I have been designing since I was 14. Now that you know the base of the game and some of the changes that have been made, lets take a journey to the universe of the Nexus theme.

Nexus is actually a code name for the third Protoplanet, P-Charlie. Protoplanets are massive mechanical constructs emulating Earth living conditions. On the surface of these constructs are independent domed cities and underneath the surface, a thriving metropolis built in spherical layers, corridors and elevator lifts.

The Nexus, P-Charlie, was overtaken during construction by criminal organizations. Without the lack Government funding, upkeep and peacekeeping, Nexus has become quite a dangerous place to visit. Constant power failures and the more than seldom life support failures only begin to illustrate the dangers of such a place. Take all that and consider the Thirteen factions that united to take over Nexus now numbers twelve. The thirteenth lost in an ever escalating game of criminal power.

P-Charlie joins P-Beta, P-Alpha, the under construction P-Delta and KS as they all orbit around Omega, the bright sun that illuminates the Helio Galaxy. A ring of satellites orbit K2, much in the same way the Disc orbits Earth hundreds of light years away. But this is a discussion of Nexus, so lets save the other details for later...

The dangers that lurk in nearly every crevice of Nexus make the Protoplanet a natural hub of criminal activity. Although not every criminal organization in the galaxy can be found on the Nexus, it is a sure bet that if you are looking for a criminal, you can find them on the Nexus.

Many eager entrepreneurs make their way to the Nexus to escape from the many bureaucratic restriction on business. In Nexus: Scrapyard, you play as one of these eager businessmen. You will bribe Sid, the homely scrapyard manager, to customize a craft to your specifications. Be careful though, other entrepreneurs are sure to be doing the same thing! Knowing this, maybe you bribe old Sid to install a weak window or ruptured fuel cell into one of the crafts, sabotaging it for the buyer. But that's not all - you can't manage a ship without a crew! Hire the best of the best to help you or hinder your competition.

This is just the tip of the lettuce. More on the lore of the Nexus as well as other Protoplanets and areas of the universe will come in time. Right now, it is the Nexus I want to show you.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the lore so far! If you would like to follow along with the process, please sign up for the newsletter at www.pawnjokergames.com
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Bill Sharp
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Heya!

I saw this listed in the Gencon events. It sounds interesting. Is this a prototype or finished game? What is the artwork like?

I'd love to see more.
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Nicholas Markgraf
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Minnesota
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Awesome!

Ill be running some introduction events at GenCon. Mechanically, id say the game is 95% complete. (Nothing is ever complete until it hits the printers, and even then some games get errata.) Art is less complete, but i do have a healthy amount of art to show off!

Keep following for more updates!
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Nicholas Markgraf
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Minnesota
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Some more information about Nexus: Scrapyard from the blog.

I personally don't feel excited when I see "Legacy" in a board game title or description. I have multiple groups I play with and IF I were to introduce a Legacy game to one group, I spoil it for the other groups. Take Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective as an example. Though not a Legacy game, I cannot play the same scenario with two different groups because I have already experienced the mystery.

Yet I dub the Nexus Series of games as Legacy. Please allow me to explain. Much in the same way previous plays of a Legacy game influences the next game, each installment of Nexus will be influenced by the events of the previous game. This carries a similar excitement and impact from game to game yet it allows you to play the game with various groups without any spoilers. The inevitable goal is to gather a group of friends and play these five games over 6 or 7 hours and have a different experience every time. No need to organize the same group of players for the next month of a Legacy game, just pure enjoyment.

So how does the Legacy work in the Nexus games? All players are testing their guile against an NPC as well as the other players at the table, trying to score higher than this NPC. Much in the same way the players are trying to score better than Sherlock in Consulting Detective. As of now in testing the average score is around 10 so let us use this a base point. In Nexus:Scrapyard any player that scores higher than 10 points will receive a bonus in the next installment of the Nexus series. Likewise, the winner of Scrapyard will receive another special bonus. Neither of these bonuses will be in any way game breaking but will be a benefit worth striving to for.

That is the simple Legacy portion, this next part is a little more involved. In Scrapyard, players will be randomly drawing from a deck of cards. In this deck is an event card. When drawn, the player who draws it will reveal the top card of the event deck (only three cards right now but more are in development.) This event will impact Nexus: Scrapyard immediately, generally removing a ship from scrapyard, or a players Fleet - representing the NPC invloving himself in the game. More importantly, the event on top of the event discard pile at the end of the game will influence rules and mechanics in the next installment of the Nexus series. I can't say exactly how right now but know these influences will be dramatic.

You might be able to see how these events could impact the expeirence of playing these five games. No sitting should ever be the same with all the random events that occur and impact the next game. To my knowledge this is something that hasn't ever been done and makes my job in developing these games much more difficult. Not only do they need to be good games but the need to be balanced and fun between five different games.

Thanks for reading!
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