Nexus #3- Twisted worlds

I am finding there is a lot that goes into creating a game from scratch. It is much more than putting together game mechanics that work well. There has to be a complete package that immerses the player into a new world where everything will take place. A world that doesn’t exist until it is created. — but how do you create a world that is different — allowing players to escape reality — but still immersive? Well, I asked our two heroes Jay Goike and Scott Rumptz to reveal their thought processes to me about the world of Nexus and how it came about. — Here’s what they told me.

dytopiaWhen creating a world for a game, it is important to have the lore — or story — coincide with what the players will be doing in the game. When I asked Scott how they came up with the idea, he said, “we needed to create an environment where it would be believable for two complete strangers to fight each other to the death without any complicated reason why.” Even though there doesn’t have to be a complicated reason people fight each other, there still has to be some sort of motivation or reason behind it. Typically in the fantasy realm of MMORPG’s that I’ve played, it’s fighting a dragon or beast that has been terrorizing the city — a place where I knew I was fighting for truth, justice, or some other moral incentive — But Scott and Jay didn’t want to go that route. They found different motivations for the battles that take place in the Nexus. And those two main motivating factors are fame and money. In the world of Nexus, where traditional morals seemingly have no benefit — fame and money can get things done and move people up the ranks of the social and economic hierarchy. This is something that is frighteningly familiar to our own world — some people would rather be rich and famous than just about anything else. The Nexus seems to exaggerate some of our flaws and spit them back out at us — in a often humorous manner — that makes you think — but mostly just laugh.

heroIntrigued, I asked Scott to share more about the motivating factors in Nexus. He said he didn’t want “heroes, quests, [or the player] to be saving the world.” Instead, Jay and Scott dreamed of a much darker role for the players. Scott goes on to say, “I wanted something that showed a society at its worst. Something that poked fun at the sanctity of life. I wanted to speak to the part of us that used to enjoy Robocop and Road House because it was graphic. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, in a lot of ways I think it is good for us to play pretend in that world. It is therapeutic.” –Ok, that’s a different twist I hadn’t thought of previously. It seems like in most of the video games I played, I was the good guy fighting against evil in some way, shape, or form. But in this word of Nexus, there seems to not be the usual roles of good and evil –instead you are either powerful and wealthy, moving up the ranks in the arenas, or you are a bit of goo stuck on the bottom of someone’s boot. –yea, it sounds pretty fun thinking about playing a ruthless, money and fame-driven character for once. But what kind of characters are available? Are there traditional classes and races in the Nexus?

When I asked Scott about what classes and races there will be in the game of Nexus, he smiled. He said, “this goes back to my love of character creation as a child. I hated the idea of picking a race or a class. I wanted to imagine my own thing, and have it go beat something up.“– So wait, there aren’t classes and races in the Nexus? I am definitely intrigued now. Jay mirrored Scott when he added, “our goal was to make something that sparked the players imagination. Each player will essentially visualize the world a little different. Seeing these different interpretations will let the players know that it’s their world just as much as ours. This is where imagination driven games shine!” Scott added, “yea, we wanted a way to make all things possible. Our main goal was to give the players the option to make anything they can imagine work within our world.” — I like this idea where my imagination can run wild and I am allowed to dream up anything I want and have it fight — and the very next round, I can dream up something totally different and go see how that creature does. So, if I’m not limited to an issued set of classes and characters, that seems to really open up the realm of possibilities.

toysI asked Jay about this openness and accessibility within the game of Nexus. He said, “you can start small and then build and upgrade your components over time. We decided to use standard polyhedral dice, a chess/checkerboard-style game board, and you can use any existing mini’s you already own.” Wait, so I barely even need to buy Nexus stuff? Sounds like with a set of rules, I could pretty much just make my own board and characters and just start playing — that sounds pretty cool. I bet my kids have some old toys that would be fun pitting against one another in Barge Battles — you know, just for fun. Jay tells me, “Helots (fighters in the Nexus) can look like almost anything. Everything can make sense given the right creative backstory. Have fun with it!” I really like this idea that I can mix and match Nexus characters with my own — and then make up my own backstory for a character and throw it into battle. I know Nexus has a lot of adult themes and isn’t for kids, but I think I could make a few adjustments and my kids and I could be battling it out in no time.

The world of Nexus seems to be a dark, twisted place where morals have gone out the window. I gotta be honest — I have always had a bit of a fascination with dystopian future settings — Orwell’s 1984 comes to mind — I can’t wait to get my hands on some more of the Nexus lore. I’ll be sure to share with you all when I do!

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To learn more about the game of Nexus, go here:

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