Project Nexus has a weird origin story;
Andrew Ogunnaike, the game's designer, and one half of So and So Games, was and is still writing anime-inspired fantasy books, and on a whim, decided to inject a card game into the book's universe to give the world some hobbies that didn't necessarily relate to the universe's main ability.
The more he thought about it, the more the game developed, and now, with the book shelved for the longest time, the card game that spawned off of a side idea has been iterated and refined. It's ready to step out from being a side project, and be played by both experienced card game players, looking for a new game to compete in that won't drain their wallets like traditional card games, and fresh faces who are new to the genre or felt fluctuating card prices and micro transactions would stop them from truly getting good or staying relevant in the game.
Project Nexus is currently planned as an online-only card game, similar to Hearthstone in that regard. Before the other major card games also identified the lack of online, automated card games, really, there was no other official card game out there except the aforementioned Hearthstone, and the push for Project Nexus began.
At So and So Games, we hate having to shell out for every new expansion that brings in a the next meta viable card, haggle with scalpers and just bet on Lady Luck bringing us that expensive Triple Rare that you need to show up in a booster pack, so we've vowed to keep our game free of micro-transactions for buying cards. If you see micro-transactions in the game, you can rest assured they'll only be for cosmetics; everyone should be able to play card games with an even playing field, where no card is locked behind a paywall, so that's what we're offering!
Whether this is your first real card game, or you're a veteran of the genre, we look forward to everyone finding an element playstyle in this game that speaks to them.
For those of you that have been part of our wonderful community for longer, you may know that we also have a Patreon in addition to our other social medias, so you may be wondering, why do we have a Kickstarter too?
Unlike the Patreon where you can support us as a company monthly, or our twitch were you can support the streams and more fun side of what we do, this Kickstarter is FULLY dedicated to the development of what will be our biggest game, both as of current and more than likely in our future as indie developers.
We're putting it all on the line here, so we want to do things right, and in order to do that, we need support from outside our company, and that's where our existing community; our new soon to be friends; our experienced card game enthusiasts; and people just out to try something new come in.
Space Cruise left a lot to be desired in the art compartment, and the music, whilst fun, wasn't unique to us; card games are a very art focused game wouldn't you agree? In order to bring the best quality possible, we've paid out of pocket to find artists and a musician to make this game look and sound as polished as any other online card game out there, and leave our own personal mark on the card game space.
We have so many more ideas for cards to come, but without support from our fans and other willing to take a risk with us, the game's scope will have to remain small; in order to keep updating the game with a multitude of expansions that don't drain our player's wallets, we want to give kickstarters, patrons, twitch subs and early access players the chance to support the game early and receive rewards they can show off to anyone they meet online.
There's still a lot for us to figure out in terms of how we price everything, as we want to make this game as cheap to play and easy to access as possible, but at the end of the day, we want to stay afloat to make even more games in the future, or possibly just support this one forever ;P
There's a lot of card games out there, and when you break them all down to their simplistic forms, there's a lot of crossover, similarities and effectively repeated mechanics, so what makes ours different?
The main focus we had for this game, was avoiding the notorious First turn kills/One turn kills that plague games like Yu-Gi-Oh, or the sinking feeling of being behind immeasurably due to field or hand advantage. The second focus was having identifiable play-styles / deck types based on a theme, similar to how Cardfight!! Vanguard's nations and clans function.
Luckily, we had already had a system ready for this without having to think about it, all the decks are based around magical spellbooks, so, if you have a certain playstyle, finding the elemental type that fits that playstyle is much easier.
What took some thinking though, was how we would prevent our players from creating notorious One Turn or First Turn Kills (OTK/FTK) no matter how hard they tried, and with our Charge system, we think we’ve achieved an intuitive system that helps dictate game progress at a glance, as well as make the dreaded FTK impossible.
The process of Charging is as simple as taking a card from your hand, or sometimes elsewhere, and placing it in the Charge Zone. The Charge Zone (which maxes out at 12) dictates your maximum Mana, the rank of an Avatar you can summon and the number of actions you can perform in a turn. If you have 6 Charges, you’re probably looking at a maximum of 6 actions that turn; if an Avatar is Rank 9, then you’ll need at least 9 cards in your Charge Zone.
With this system in place, the length of a game is less likely to fluctuate as much, and the possibility of FTKs is removed from the picture. It also means that if you play your cards right and stack your Charge Zone, the ability for you to pull off long, flashy combos increases, and visually at a glance, if a spectator can look at the board and see roughly who has advantage from the difference in Charge Zone level alongside the difference in their Life Points.
Whilst the decks may differ, we will always try and have a deck built around a specific element geared towards a specific playstyle.
As much as overheads such as rent plague us, we promise that a large majority of the funds will go towards development of Project Nexus, its decks, and the artwork to go with the cards. We spent nearly £2000 out of pocket to fund the first 40 unique cards, which currently spreads to about 2 decks (although not everything is confirmed, as some cards have enough utility to fit into multiple decks), and we estimate that at this rate, every deck will cost us about £800 to be fully artworked.
Our goal is to launch Project Nexus with 4 discreet decks, one for each of the 4 spellbooks we plan on releasing, out of an eventual 10(+?).
Of course, as its an online game, we could release the cards without artwork so the game is more playable and there's more variety of gameplay without having to wait for the artwork... but when we have plans for full art/rarity in a game, we'd like to go as long as possible without having to use blank cards.
Who knows, maybe if there's enough interest, we can do physical cards in the future too...
Our main goal, is £1,600, with that, we can launch Project Nexus with 4 fully artworked Starter Decks, card backs, implement a rarity system that maintains our commitment to not making use of micro-transactions to drain your wallet, and start making use of game sales to fund further expansions of the game.
However, we believe in this game's potential and this campaign, and want to make this game as good as it can be, as soon as it can be. With your help, we can start this game with more than just 4 Starter Decks, we can reach out to more artists to design cards that we develop.
Risks and challenges
We acknowledge that we're definitely a smaller indie studio and we don't have the massive following that helps find play testers or funding.
Servers are expensive and unsustainable for a smaller studio like us, so Peer to Peer is our current connection model, in the future it would be something we'd like to change, but for now, to keep the costs down, and the focus on the game.
As the game gets larger, the game gets more expensive, as you can see in our funding breakdown, art is where most of our funding will go and has gone.
Marketing and keeping the game fresh will be a challenge we look forward to overcoming, as we have many backgrounds in card games, and it will be using all of our brain power to find solutions to the problems that arise and new cards to create.
Our team is small, but our testing team for new decks is dedicated, and with an expanding player-base, we'll be able to balance cards much more effectively once we get into a rhythm and the community gives us feedback.
We don't see any problem seeking out interested artists in the future should we reach our funding goals, and we'll try and get as many unique artists involved for a great range of art styles, it just comes down to funding negotiations and interest. We'll do our best!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)