Hello there, and welcome to this very special interview, with Costin and Amber taking today to chat with Scott and Jay, the people behind Nexus, a brand new scum and villainy miniatures game you’ve heard us chat about before and even write some fan-fic on that sought funding on Kickstarter, sadly failed, but grittily made it back in force by going Open Source. The game has since had its forum launched and is looking to the community to help it grow over the following months.
What follows is a more in-depth chat on what the guys feel the game is, what it covers in the current market, and other, general brain droppings we’ve managed to collect over a short chat.
Costin: Guys, thanks for being here today!
Jay: No problem, glad to be here.
Scott: Our pleasure. Thanks for having us.
C: Let’s cut straight to the point here: people are designing games left, right, and center these days, what makes both of you, and the rest of the team behind Nexus, so worthy of people throwing their hard-earned dollars at?
J: I think we’ve really taken a unique approach to gaming, most games have been following trendy patterns to make a quick buck. But from the outset we have been trying to accomplish something different. Something that has nostalgic roots but some really nice modern day production.
S: It’s a game that will actually hit your table. It is something that even people who don’t normally game are drawn to. The best part is it is accessible and fun. You and your friends are going to have a blast playing this one.
C: Alright, alright, so you think you’re hot stuff, that’s all well and good, but ANOTHER miniatures game? These things have been spreading like the plague lately, what is this, the most successful attempt at flying under the market’s radar?
J: We do feel the oversaturation of the market but the at the same time we felt our game really lent itself to miniatures and really made the play more immersive.
S: I hate people calling this a miniatures game. What the fuck does that even mean? Kingdom Death, Blood Bowl and Grimm Forest all have miniatures, that doesn’t tell anyone anything about the game. We do have miniatures because meeples and little wooden blocks are lame. I don’t want my board game to look like it should be in a daycare.
Amber: Well… Yeah, but miniatures do play a big part in the game and are a big part of the visuals, and you’ve actually gone to a different scale than normal. How did you end up at “premium” in this sense?
J: Originally we intended to do more of a standard size scale like 30mm or something but as we were playtesting during the development we soon realized that 30mm just didn’t feel right for the game. We were a little hesitant to use a non-standard size but in the end we wanted to serve the game, not the mini market. I don’t mean that as a shot, just being honest of intention, we didn’t even make that decision to make it premium. 60mm mini’s just felt right for our game.
S: Yea, we didn’t think about it in terms of premium. We thought about what we wanted to play on our table. There isn’t an army of combatants on our table, we don’t need room for 50+ miniatures. We have 2-4 miniatures at a time. It is set up on a chess board essentially. Would you want to play chess with 20mm pieces?
C: I honestly wouldn’t want to play chess. Which is great, because the only similarities between this and chess are the 8x8 board.
A: What are the materials and casting processes you’re using for Nexus and why did you go that way?
J: Of course the prototyping has been all resin but we are doing Kickstarter so we can produce plastic molds. We will have them cast in a PVC plastic similar to Chtulhu Wars and they will be pre-assembled.
S: Everything is plastic, even the cards and the boards. We did that because we don’t want people worrying about keeping everything all pristine and nice. We want people playing and laughing at the person that spilled beer on it, not berating them. I have people in my life that see Kingdom Death and go, “That looks incredible! I want to play that!” Sure, no problem, let’s do a week long course on how to not fuck up my expensive shit first. If I am going to pay $400 for something that shit better be indestructible, ours is.
C: In the grim darkness of the D-Verse, there is only war. Sound familiar? That’s because Nexus is going for the same dark and dreary theme we’ve been getting on the market for a while. Don’t you think it’s borderline formulaic at this point?
J: We felt there should be a place for Grim darkness that involves a little pulpy tongue in cheek playfulness.
S: There is no war in NEXUS. Beings in the NEXUS have moved past all that. There is greed, violence and complete debauchery. War is something that dumb beings engage in over stupid shit like religion. Helots kill each other for more important reasons, fame and profit. Thematically it was necessary for us to set that tone so you don’t get too attached to these Helots that are literally going to die in every other fight.
C: Sounds like I’m gonna roll on a lot of random name generators so’s not to get attached...
So you’ve got the arena combat, you’ve got the cleanup details, but exactly where did the “giving guns to every child in the D-Verse” come in and make it past the planning stages? What do you expect real-life people to get from that fictional universe idea? Why won’t you think of the children?!
J: Certain people have picked up on a subtle social commentary that may be interlaced within the Nexus world. Specifically a certain country located in North America that embraces fame and wealth above any of the more puritan values and also has a penchant for extreme acts of violence against their own people. There may also be an unhealthy worshipping of guns and a disregard for children being raised in such an environment.
S: Fuck children. They don’t need to be a part of everything I do as an adult. If you lack the common sense as to what to expose your kids to and are looking to this game to help with that, your kids are screwed already.
We find it humorous that every sport, company or brand has to tie themselves to a cause to give people the illusion that they care about more than profits. If you think a corporation spends money on anything that doesn’t increase their bottom line, you are in denial.
As far as what do we expect people to get from it? I think they need to get that it may seem strange to have this in our game, but people are promoting that IRL. I can go to Walmart right now, look in the youth rifle section (yea, that’s a real thing) and buy my kid a Savage Rascal .22 Youth Rifle for $180. So yea, fuck them, too.
A: Your previous campaigns haven’t met success, but you’re not about to give up and that’s commendable. What are some of the mistakes you’ve made and how are you going to regroup for another go at this?
J: Not giving someone a nice intro pledge level we thought was a mistake but since we’ve relaunched the top pledge levels are by far the most popular.
S: Trying to do something niche and making it very expensive with lots of mold costs. We rolled out a Cadillac and put a GWAR sticker on it and people didn’t know what the fuck to do. There is a crowd for this, but it is going to take some time to find them all. We snatched up about 300 loyal backers in this last campaign and raised over 50k. We just got to keep getting it out there. Doug Stanhope spent many years finding his army of rejects all across the world. We are going to have to do the same.
A: You’ve had a lot of Stretch Goals planned out for the campaigns, what are some of the things that you hoped you would’ve been able to add to the box were it all successful?
J: Hardcover rulebook, metal coins, PVC plastic cards that are spill proof.
S: Stretch goals are stupid. I hate them. Every time this topic comes up I get mad and walk out of the room.
*it was at that moment, Scott got up and walked out of the room*
C: Ok, I get the concept, I get the story and the team behind it, and it looks like everything can do good once it comes back stronger. But it’s a tough world out there after you go to market… How can we be sure this isn’t just a flash in the pan? What are your plans for this going forward?
J: Of course we have plenty of plans on where we can take this to the next level. But first it all comes done to creating an active community that are really engaged and fascinated with the world. We would like to do some really nice expansions and expand on the rpg elements hinted upon.
*Scott grudgingly shuffles back in*
S: This game is a gateway to our future RPGs. The mechanics of the combat resolution is the foundation of what we are going to do in our RPGs going forward. NEXUS is literally the NEXUS of our game world.
You have a buddy you think would be into RPGs, but you know they are not going to just jump right in and play pretend time with you, it’s too complicated. So, you break out NEXUS. They learn the combat mechanics playing the one-off version. Then you introduce them to the legacy mode, now they are leveling up, spending money buying equipment and figuring out how EXP works. So, in a couple months when you introduce them to a D-Verse Publishing RPG, they already understand a lot of the core game mechanics and it isn’t so intimidating.
C: I need some more room on my RPG shelf for this…
A: The setting lends itself to some awesome offshoots, any plans to further expand it once you’re up and running? You’ve mentioned a roleplaying game? Card game? Drinking game?
J: Yes, everything, total syndication, oversaturation and market domination! Wait till you see the Nexus bath salts.
S: A NEXUS RPG is in the works now and it may even hit Kickstarter before we try this one again. It is a lot easier to fund an RPG book and afterwards, we can carry that fan base into the next launch of the board game. We have also been contacted about a comic book as well as some other things.
C: Alright, fine, I may be persuaded to back this after all… But my complete support of the cause depends upon your answer to the next question: how would you rate The Last Jedi out of 10?
Bear in mind that there are no wrong answers here, it’s just that some are… wronger than others.
J: Eh, 6
S: The last Jedi Movie? Shit that was a long time ago, in 1983 I think, but I’d give it a 10, I loved it! It was a lot better than the trash they are putting out now.
A: That may be the cheekiest answer we’ve gotten yet.
C: Expecting anything less would have just been setting ourselves up for subversion, to be honest.
So there you have it!
Sounds like NEXUS is very much a “plans within plans” type of product, and we’re thoroughly enjoying being a part of the universe and the game’s growth. Stick around as we get together with Jay and Scott in the future for a more audio-based interview regarding different aspects of NEXUS and the D-VERSE.
What we have here is an in-depth, thematic product that knows it’s directed at a very specific audience looking for a very specific experience and a certain level of immersion from their games, and one that makes no apologies for doing so. And tells you to go fuck yourself if you think otherwise.
Picking the guys’ minds is fun and all, but what we’re looking forward to is actually getting into the groove with it, getting some games in, and learning more about the lore (which is mouth-wateringly juicy!) that really sets this universe apart from others you may have seen before.
Yes, you’ve caught us, in spite of the good cop/bad cop routine you’ve seen above, we’re all very much excited about this one here at Gung-Ho Geeks, so expect us to munch through more NEXUS as time goes on!
Thanks for reading, and have as nice a day as you deserve!