A competitive cyberpunk game. Take underworld contracts to survive dystopian 2099. Sell out to get an edge but risk losing yourself.
A society crumbling into anarchy.
Crucial decisions, calculated risks.
Get ahead or get taken down.
Birmingham, England, 2099.
The world has faced 80 years of disasters, wars and increasingly authoritarian government control and intrusion. But the tighter they squeeze, the more people resist. The government has lost control, cities are split into controlled zones where the police keep the peace by draconian measures and slums where people are left to fend for themselves. The slums-dwellers are caught up in a world that threatens them with constant danger from violent gangs, death cults and neo-luddites. They are beaten-down, living in fear, and trapped.
A few determined individuals rebel against the world that threatens to overwhelm them. Their reasons are their own - some want to establish a better place in the slums, to build something better. Some want to take control back from people who claim ownership of their lives. Some want to escape to somewhere better, so they can make a life of their own free from violence and authoritarian control.
They take on whatever opportunities the slums give them to get an edge on the dirty streets. Take on shady jobs from shadier employers. Make use of contacts through the city. Use black market hardware, cybernetics and exotic drugs to boost their performance.
Some invest in their own future, some in the people they can help, but all want to get out of the violent life when they can. In doing so they have to hold on to their ideals, or they will be so battered or desensitized by the violent world that they stop caring enough to struggle against it.
People call them the Nightlancers.
Nightlancer is a competitive cyberpunk game.
Choose your unique Nightlancer, trade on the black market, use your contact network and take on challenging missions to improve your prospects and survive the dystopian world.
At the very heart of the experience is living out the career of an underworld operative in a world gone bad, with the aspiration to eventually give up that violent life.
- 2-4 players, with rules for cooperative or solitaire play
- 120+ minutes
- Strategy game
- Strong, integrated theme
- 8 unique Nightlancer characters to control
- Character building, risk taking and resource management elements
- Extensive replayability
I have been developing Nightlancer for 5 years, it has been through many playtests and revisions, and it's now ready. The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds to cover the costs of artwork and publishing. Then I will finalise the game for printing and get it made.
Retailers: If you are interested in stocking Nightlancer contact me privately to make arrangements.
Comparison between prototype and sample final artwork
All cards (playing cards and large size) are 300 GSM and double-side printed making them attractive, strong and durable.
The tokens have 1.3mm core for strong, sturdy pieces, and covered with thick printed paper to look great.
The dice have a custom painted design.
All components have a matte finish.
This game is well-made enough to survive many plays. This is important as the variety in the game gives a lot of replay value.
The contents of the box will all be high quality. I will not put a "good quality" version as a reach goal as I do not want to publish this game at all without good production quality.
In each round of play there are three main phases: Prep, Streets and Missions.
In the Prep phase players will first draw contact cards and potentially face a dangerous event. They will then have the opportunity to take on one of a number of missions. If they take on the mission they will attempt it at the end of the round once they have prepared, if they do not they will have a chance to recover so they will be ready in the next round.
In the Streets phase players will have a chance to take out loans with loan sharks, buy equipment from the black market, complete their agendas and invest in prospects. It continues until all players have finished their preparations and passed consecutively.
Finally in the Missions phase players now attempt their missions. They go through the three mission stages, choosing one of two possible paths at each stage. They attempt the challenge on each path, either succeeding and continuing to the next stage or failing and facing a penalty, getting into a fight or failing the mission. If they get past all three stages, they've succeeded! They get paid and have a chance to buy a skill card. Players can cooperate on a mission, pooling their skills at the cost of splitting the money, or compete and go head-to-head so only one of them can finish the mission!
The game ends after 8 rounds. At the end of the 8 rounds, the players have one last chance to increase their Prospects by fulfilling Agendas and spending money. Their Ideals will give them additional Prospects, and whoever has the most Prospects wins!
But what about Techshock? A player loses an Ideal whenever they are Shaken (by running out of Health or Resolve) or when they finish a Dirty mission! If they run out, they hit Techshock and can no longer win! They must either get some Ideals back, or drag everyone else down to their level.
There are optional rules included for purely cooperative or solitaire play.
Prototype rulebook link
"The box art gives you an idea of what they are aiming for, and if that is the case then anyone who has played Cyberpunk 2020 than you will have a pretty good idea of what the art work is going to be like. The whole game has that genre at its very heart, and certainly you can tell that they really are looking at condensing the feel of that RPG into a semi-cooperative/competitive game."
“Whilst not a true role playing game or a game where you can replay the characters over and over while carrying over stats, I did get the feeling of a character progression within the game session and I liked that. As a player, you feel invested in being a Nightlancer and trying to better your life without succumbing to TechShock.“
Video review from I Teach Her, She Wins
Video walkthrough by jPlay (part 1 of 2)
Video walkthrough by jPlay (part 2 of 2)Review from A Board Game A Day
"At the end of the day though I definitely enjoyed fighting for my character and I thought a majority of the elements in it were extremely well executed. The longer I've thought about it the more of a fan I've actually become. I look forward to seeing the finished product and would love to try it out once the last bits of adjusting have been completed."
Out of this funding target I will not be taking anything and will complete the final production of the game in my free time. The funding goal of £20000 will cover the costs of completing these components (rounded to the nearest £1000):
This is the heart of the costs to print a minimum run. Nightlancer is a big game with a lot of content. I've inspected the facilities (via a video call) to see the work being done in their factory.
This will cover upgrading all of the prototype artwork to a finished level, with Manolis Frangidis and Christos Zabaras.
This is to cover both the shipping from the printer in China to fulfilment centres (in the EU, US and Canada), and the shipping from the fulfilment centres to backers.
This is to cover any final development costs (such as final proofreading) and business expenses (legal, accounting, etc).
£2000 Kickstarter fees
Finally there is of course the Kickstarter commission for providing this great platform so independent developers like Adversity Games can get started!
The game will be shipped from China to fulfilment centres in the EU, US and in Canada. From there it will be shipped out to individual backers.
This will allow for low shipping costs and no problems with taxes or customs for all these regions.
Worldwide shipping is available and will be fulfilled from the UK. I can not responsible for customs fees to countries outside of the EU, US and Canada. I can not be responsible for damages or losses to Russia, Africa or South America.
I'm Joseph Norris, director and designer for Adversity Games. I have been developing Nightlancer in my free time for the last 5 years and have decided it's good enough to publish. This will be the debut release for Adversity Games and ideally I would like to become a full-time designer.
Adversity Games has no regular employees. I have a lot of respect for the freelancer life, with the independence and personal responsibility that it demands. I enjoy working with freelancers on this project and look forward to continuing to work with artists, translators, editors and many other skilled individuals under these terms.
I've been a gamer since I was a child, starting with the likes of Heroquest and Space Crusade. I soon moved on to Battletech, Squad Leader, Warhammer 40,000, Cyberpunk 2020 and a myriad of other games. I created my first prototype when I was 14, but never had the confidence to try publishing it.
I like challenging strategy games with a strong theme, including two of my favourite games: Dungeon Lords and Eclipse. I also play RPGs regularly, running games as often as I am a player in them, and I play a lot of video games.
I've been a huge fan of cyberpunk since my first contact with it with Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberspace, Spacetime, (original) Netrunner and Deus Ex. I'm a big fan of movies such as Bladerunner, (original) Robocop, as well as anime such as Ghost in the Shell. The dystopian settings are powerful tools to shine a harsh light on the problems in the world.
Finally, I design games because I enjoy it and am constantly improving and testing my designs and skills. So between my love of game design, cyberpunk and freelance work - self-publishing a great cyberpunk game is the perfect intersection of my interests. I'd love to be able to make this into my life's work.
I have many plans for the future of Adversity Games and the Nightlancer world. These are a few of the other projects I have in development.
Expansion packs are already lined up for Nightlancer in the future.
This expansion will bring military hardware, heavy weaponry and armour, powered exoskeletons and combat drones.
The Hypertech expansion will bring the most advanced tech of the Nightlancer world - gauss and laser weapons, exotic cybernetics and special equipment.
The collapse expansion continues the game past the collapse of society, giving Nightlancers a chance to push their improvement and agendas under the harshest conditions.
The hardcore expansion brings in some features that make the game even tougher! Psychosis and injuries when Shaken, more opportunities to fight head-to-head, and extension up to 5/6 players with an option for opposed teams.
My focus is mostly on Nightlancer at the moment, but I have a number of other small projects I'm working on too.
So even if the Nightlancer board game is not for you, there are other reasons that you could pledge. If you have interest in supporting my indie company – Adversity Games – or look forward to seeing some of these other games completed then a pledge would be a great way to help me produce more great games sooner.
- Thanks to Shirow Masamune, William Gibson, Ridley Scott and Mike Pondsmith for their work that introduced me to cyberpunk and transhumanism.
- Thanks to Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier games for his extremely informative blog about Kickstarter.
- Thanks to everyone at the Board Game Designer's Forum for a lot of interesting discussions and good advice.
- Thanks to Hannah Bechara for organising blind playtesting.
- Thanks to Naji Bechara for filming and editing.
- Thanks to Lulie Tanett for photography.
- Thanks to @BigGrumpyGamer, @TheAngelOfDice, jPlay, I Teach Her, She Wins and A Board Game A Day for their reviews.
- Thanks to Manolis Frangidis and Christos Zabaras for their artwork.
- Thanks to Stilz for the use of music from his Judicator album.
- Thanks to my RPG group for playing the Nightlancer RPG prototype and taking part in the growing Nightlancer world.
- Thanks to all my many playtesters for their time and feedback over the last 5 years.
- Thanks to all my friends for their patience with my self-absorbed obsession to make a great game.
And thanks to you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to comments, questions and feedback.
Keep up to date with Adversity Games
Risks and challenges
Artwork is a complex task and I will be working with the artists throughout the months after the campaign ends. We will do our best to finish on schedule, but if I am left with the choice of taking longer or using artwork I'm not entirely happy with I will give the artwork extra time which will cause a slight delay.
There may be delays in printing if there are production problems. I will double-check everything before launching the full print run to minimise any possibilities of setbacks.
Shipping and fulfilment is always a difficult process and will ship out as soon as possible, but may take longer than expected.
Overall I have been generous in estimating how long all of these tasks will take to account for potential delays. I am confident the pledges will be delivered on time or early. I will keep backers up to date as each stage of the development is completed and if there are any delays.
It is possible that unpaid pledges and unexpected costs may come up but I have taken care to leave space in the budget in the event of these problems.
All elements of the Nightlancer setting are fictitious and not intended to portray real people or events. Adversity Games does not take responsibility for the danger of any of the events in the Nightlancer setting coming true.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)