Carlos Viforcos Girón (@viforsteel) is the creator of innovative games such as “La Llama del Amor”, he has his own YouTube channel and played a twenty-minute game with the creator Enrique Prieto Catalán (@todoesjugable), during the last International Fair of the Cordoba game. He then started a relaxed chat with him in front of the camera, solving in advance any doubts that might arise to all those who want to book the first before their next trip to Kickstarter by the hand of the ECLIPSE publishing house.
CARLOS: Very very good game, I have to tell you, Enrique… I love “NEXUM: GALAXY”, it is a great game, congratulations, and I think a game of these characteristics was needed in the panorama, a game set in the space of pure and hard strategy, with a very low or practically non-existent component of chance, and good for all the people who are watching us. We will summarize: it is a strategy game in which what do we have to do?
ENRIQUE: Well, there are two objectives you can go for, one is to achieve, in the case of 2 players, six victories in combat. The combats are simple, they are by the majority, the one that faces more starships wins. And the other objective is to get, also in the case of 2 players, four Ancestral Modules that are scattered throughout the planets. One player can take it away from the other, and the moment he has all four, he can win that way too. If it’s three or four players, then you need one more combat victory or one more Ancestral Module to win.
C: That is, we are facing a game with two to four players, which also has a solitary mode …
E: The “solitaire” really belongs to the “Nexum Galaxy: Asteroids” Expansion, which expands and modifies the BASE GAME “NEXUM: GALAXY” becoming a “Pure Strategy” game to what is known as “4X ”: EXplore (map exploration), eXpand (territorial expansion), eXploit (resource exploitation), and eXterminate (extermination of the enemy), and will be published simultaneously on their imminent release on Kickstarter. The expansion also incorporates the “adventure mode“, which has “AI” so that several players can be automatic, and expands the “campaign mode” which also comes standard with the basic game.
C: You had even told me about other game modes…
E: Yes, it also has the “multi-battle mode” in which several tables are played in parallel and there could be up to twelve players. Sometimes we have done tournaments in associations and events that are very fun because you have a wormhole in the middle and you send your team ships, resources … and your teammate from another of the tables has to take it, then there is one meta-strategy of each side to dominate the entire galaxy (called GALAXY) that goes beyond the game of each one’s table, which only represents one of the sixteen sectors that make up GALAXY.
C: So we have a game with many possibilities, although we only played with the BASE GAME, which consists of moving through some systems, each system has a sun and planets that are going to give us energy, and that energy is the main resource through which we are going to create new ships and we are going to be able to move them to other planets, to other systems. With that we will be able to win the game, that is, control the galactic sector for which we are battling in either of these two ways: either by conquering four scattered Ancestral Modules or by attacking and winning on six planets where there are enemy ships, understood!
As you told me, in “Nexum Galaxy” we are going to find the settings for this BASIC GAME, which is the game that we just played for 20-25 minutes … I liked the intensity it has, the progression it has, It is very short, it is very enjoyable. I think it’s a game for almost any player right? Apart from the strategy, it has a little euro for resource management, a little Ameritrash too, if one opts for the addition of plastic warehouses as alternative components to tokens with images …
Then all this is enriched in the “Nexum Galaxy: Asteroids” Expansion, which to make it clear, I understand that we are going to have the “campaign mode” as in the basic one, but also the “solitary or cooperative adventure mode“, all the issue of meteorites from which the “NEXUM crystals” are extracted, which means many more resources for us to manage that allow us to move forward and then we also have everything that brings more wealth to the four factions that we have. Tell us a little more about this.
E: Yes, each player is the general of a group of civilizations that come to Galaxy through the Tannhäuser gates that are in each sector for each group. As you master the games you can test the next generation, level up the game, progress the difficulty and acquire new abilities exclusive to your civilization in correspondence with one of the four Nexum elements that you control (matter, energy, information and space- weather). You start without skills, and then each player acquires up to two skills in the basic game, and another two in the first expansion, then in total you decide.
C: So we are also going to have a “lore” behind that is going to enrich and we are going to discover little by little as we play the game.
E: Yes, the associated literature is not necessary to play, especially in the case of the BASIC GAME, but it does increase the enjoyment and immersion of those who like to read it because it is a series of games that are somewhat different but related. That is why the BASIC GAME, the first Expansion, and the different ADVENTURES, take place in different places and moments of a Universe with a common history, which at the moment has developed for the first twenty-nine billion years after the Big Bang. In each of these games, we are going to discover what has happened to each of the groups of civilizations that have arisen, those that have become extinct or simply disappeared, and the forgotten relationships that existed between them. We are also going to discover a background, a terrible secret that is behind everyone, and responsible for the four major groups of civilizations that have evolved and remained in the Universe come together in GALAXY. For some reason, they have coincided to mutually rob each other of the four NEXUM powers, and reach the fifth whose secret lies behind the Ancestral Modules and the NEXUM Crystals. All that history is apart from the game, in three Codices whose files have supposedly been recapitulated for thousands of years. One of them is used in the game, the NEXUM CODEX “STELLAE ESPHERAE” (ATLAS OF PLANETARY SYSTEMS IN GALAXY) whose pages indicate on the one hand the situation of the solar systems of each of the galactic sectors.
C: I understand then that it is a “NEXUM” Universe that has given life to this game, “Nexum Galaxy”. I have realized that it is a very complete game, and within the complexity that it can reach the strategic level, and the level of other situations when you add the Expansion, it is nevertheless very easy to explain. This is what happens to me a lot when with a new game it takes half an hour to explain it and two to play it. Here it has not happened, the game was explained in just two and a half minutes…
E: Well, this game has been tested for more than a year and a half in more than thirty events throughout Spain, much in the association of LUDO creators, which is a tremendous help and support to game creators. So, tested both in fair events, as in associations or bars with games, families, children, role-players, wargamers, eurogamers, not started in games, I have played many games and the game has experienced a lot of evolution due to the comments and the facilities and difficulties that the different types of players were showing,… I honestly consider the game as a “collective work”.
C: Look what I was saying now, strategic player, casual player, really all kinds of public, even children, you said, in this game that is going to come from the hand of ECLIPSE EDITORIAL, from what age can it be played?
E: Yes, that’s the publisher, sister of DRACO IDEAS, the illustrator and graphic designer Matías Cazorla, from the cover also Paco Casas, and the 3D minis are designed by 3dBreeds. And concerning age, children from ten years have won games perfectly, and they have been quite hooked.
C: If I have won a game I, a ten-year-old boy too, hahaha.
E: Ha Ha, well in a way it happens like chess, in the sense that it starts from simple rules, but then the level of difficulty is set by your opponent. What happens is that since it is not so obvious … in a chess game that a novice plays against an expert he can have a bad time for a long time. But in “NEXUM: GALAXY” the game is aimed to be short, and has many different game configurations … that is, a player who gets used to winning in a way in a sector of GALAXY that has a certain configuration system, it will not be worth the same strategy to win in a different sector, which will have a different configuration of all systems.
C: True, and regarding the components, I highlight the fantastic work of Matías, for the visual simplicity that it could have, the reality is that it contains all the characteristics of a visually attractive and desirable game to have on any shelf just for the graphic design, and if we get into the plastic component as you said, I’m sure it will be a collector’s item for a long time. But I take the opportunity here to highlight the issue here of the components, and that is that you were talking to me about the configurations of the maps, and how they are created seemed ideal, with the disks-systems that are placed next to each other, and others that are more “exotic”, that we are going to find in the EXPANSION …
E: Right, and disks that are “asteroid clouds”, “wormholes”, “black holes”, …
C: Yes, and I have seen that all distributions are symmetric in a way that they ensure equal opportunity from the beginning regardless of the number of players, another sign that the balance is very well thought out, which is something that worries many gamers. That is not twenty-five minutes thrown away by a simple matter of chance, but that it starts with the same conditions and all players start with the same chances of winning. Because we are talking about how many scenarios? In other words, how many different games could we get to play?
E: Different games, innumerable. But what are different initial scenarios, you have sixteen for two players (or solitaire against AI), as many for three players and the same for four-player tables, up to 48 sectors without wormholes that we can access through the respective doors Tannhäuser, each assuming a different set-up for all the BASIC GAME games and the EXPANSION non-multi-battles. On the other hand, it will also contain another 48 sectors with wormholes for the multi-battle games of the FIRST EXPANSION. A total of 96 different planetary system configurations.
Then there are the game modes that we have discussed before, which, combined for different numbers of players and AI, makes more than a hundred different game modes, each with five levels of difficulty. So if we multiply 96 times more than 100 times 5, that’s almost 50,000 types of board-mode-difficulty combinations possible.
C: I have to ask you that, although the game is aimed at all audiences, who would you recommend it to the most?
E: I would recommend, on the one hand, the BASE game to people who want to return to the world of the game and who like challenges, strategy, playing with their children, their partner or friends, but also to those gamers who like to have an A game that continues to be a challenge for you but that you can take out your friends who are not so gambling and that is not the last time they go to play at home after the experience.
On the other hand, EXPANSION, I recommend it on the one hand to those who already know and control the BASE game, even who have played it increasing the difficulty until the “Third Generation”, and I strongly recommend it for those groups of friends who love it. take afternoons or nights of pique and they are not new at all in the games or for associations since they can play from a single to tournaments of twelve in four parallel tables.
C: By the way, where did the idea for “Nexum Galaxy”, the game and all its backstory (“lore”) come from?
E: I like science since I was a kid, astronomy, astrophysics, had my collections, science fiction, alternative futures, prospectivism. On the other hand, creating games is something that I have liked a lot since I was a child and I have always had it as a background. So, when I thought about making a game at a professional level, I thought of a three-dimensional game of stars and their planets in three dimensions, that you could navigate from one to another and attack using rules or graduations on the supports, I wanted that feeling of space navigation between different solar systems, starting from a very visual, plastic, aesthetic and immersive point, without a specific mechanics unless military expansion depended on good resource management, as happens in wars where the management of resources is a very important part. resources. I even printed a 3D prototype, something that may seem unthinkable at the moment in the board game industry, especially in a small market like Spain.
C: In that sense, let us remember for those who are watching us that Kickstarter is a micro patronage system (“crowdfunding”) that helps to carry out projects that are started or “founded” when a certain objective of money contribution is reached ( Initial “pledge”) of all those who want to see that project fulfilled, and extras are unlocked as intermediate objectives or “Stretch Goals” are achieved, and then there is also access to additional purchases or “add-ons”.
E: Yes, backers have access to what they buy (base game and expansion) then to possible extras (3d resin injection ships) and others that may appear, still undefined (mat, extra adventures, …)