A Second of Knowledge!

January 16, 2017

So now you know what to expect when playing Nexus:Scrapyard. What? You don't? Read this...... okay. 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.... that. 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!

 

More.... later

Nicholas Markgraf

PawnJoker Games

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