Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Wee interview with some Warriors and Traders - Part 2

Welcome to the second part of the interview with the Andrei and  Agnieszka from NSKN (first part of the interview).  NSKN is a company that grew out of the creation of a game, Warriors and Traders, which they took to Essen 2011.  Now we continue looking behind the scenes of NSKN and their first game Warriors and Traders.

7- How Many People Have Been Involved In Creating Warriors and Traders The Game? 
At first it was Agnieszka and I who played, made changes and argued about it. After a few months, we had a lot of people involved in testing Warriors and Traders, but there were four major contributors for the game development. All four of us are now part of NSKN Legendary Games. If you meant over all, I think there were more than 150 people play-testing and giving feedback, all contributing to the development of the game in some way.

We also had two great graphic designers who also played an important part in the making of Warriors and  Traders, especially because they had a lot of freedom to recreate medieval Europe.

8- What Games Have Inspired You Over The Years? 
I enjoy equally empire building games and Euro-games. One of my favorite games is Agricola - I guess everybody knows it - which is almost perfectly balanced and every time I play it I discover something new.

I wanted to accomplish the same with Warriors and Traders, to give the game good replayablity and to let the random factor come from the players rather than the game itself.

9- What Advice Would You Offer A Budding Game Developer Based On Your Experience? 
I myself have little experience in the game design world, this is my first published game and I am not sure I should be the one lecturing over game design. But if I must ... I would say that it is very important, at least in the beginning, to believe in your game and stay super motivated. The competition is fierce, but the final reward is worth all the efforts, just the thought of other playing your game.

10- What’s The Next Big Plan For You Guys? 
Our plan is to make more games! It's simple and straightforward, we are supporting Warriors and Traders, making rules updates and staying in touch with people and we are working on a bunch of new games, designing, testing, and improving. We are hoping to get a game or two out in 2012 and a few more in 2013. We will also diversify our games portfolio.

We covered gamer's games with Warriors and Traders and we will not abandon the genre, however our next game is a lightweight party game, appealing to more categories of players. My personal goal is to release a full 4x empire building game, a truly epic game. I started the work on this, but it requires a lot of testing and development, so this will be included in our longer term plan.

11- Are There Any Plans For Expansions? 
We have such plans, but it all depends on how Warriors and Traders will be received by the market. There are request already from Italy for a map with the countries around the Mediterranean. We also have an extension with a new technology path, whenever the market will ask for it, we are ready. I am also considering a print-and-play expansion. I saw that this genre has almost vanished from the market and I believe it's a great way to provide good value for... no money for your customers. I can say for sure that we will do this, but it is a personal goal for me.

12- Okay The 'Fun' Question. So Your A Dark Age King, Hell Bent On Domination - Which Nation Would You Start As And Why? And Who Tastes You Steel First?
First, let me confess, I have very rarely won the game, I'd say that everyone else who played this game has a good chance of having won more times than I did. Coming back to your question, I would start in Burgundy - just a personal preference to be in the middle of the map, wide option to attack the others :). Now, I would normally attack to get some advantage, mostly Victory Points, but I have had to just choose, I would go medieval on France - large country and lots of resources. Nothing personal though. Agnieszka’s thoughts on the matter: I would actually play Ireland, as I have already worked out the best strategy for me. Whenever I start in Ireland and there is no one playing in Scotland – Woo hoo! - and when Florin is playing on the main land (he is a Warrior 100%), then I know I will be calmly implementing my strategy and most probably win!

13- Where Can Fans See You Guys Out And About This Year? 
For sure we will be in Spiel 2012, in Essen. That's where we'll launch our newest games. Before Essen, it’s difficult to say. We would like to attend as many conventions as possible, but we are few and very busy. Also, living in different countries makes it even more difficult to plan and travel. If for 2012 we still don't have a definite plan, I can promise this much, in 2013 we will be more visible.

I would say that we would love to go to many conventions and event, however it costs, usually it costs a lot. I am more than happy though to have board game play evenings, and I am actively looking for some play groups at the moment in Belgium. Personally I like friend-alike groups where you can actually talk to people and get to know them and play good games. 

Now hopefully that has given you a good run down of the background to NSKN and the game Warriors and Traders.

In the not too distant future we will have a Wee review of the game up, so watch out for it!

NSKN will be attending Salute this year as well as Essen.

You can also find more about NSKN on their website Facebook
Warriors and Traders can also be found on its own website | Blog |  Facebook | BoardgameGeek

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