Mar 04 2014

How Nexus Fits into Tyanaphos — Part 1: Why We're Doing Small Games

NEXUS: The Zoraidian Oracle is designed to be a buy-once own-always card game. Once it's done, it won't need any other purchases for play; while we can (and probably will) release additional music and backgrounds, and could even release an entire different card set for it, the reality is that it is fundamentally a small game. Our next expected title, Chimera, will be another small game, albeit of an entirely different sort. We have an additional two or three projects that have been proposed as well, all of which are small games that can be developed for all of the platforms that we're trying to reach; some of which also tie back into the world of Tyanaphos, much like NEXUS does.

However, as indicated in a previous entry and strongly implied by all of the stories and histories attached to the Tyanaphos and NEXUS project pages, Tyanaphos is a much larger world than NEXUS would account for. So why have such a small game attached to such a large world? Why not go for a larger game — a hidden object game, an adventure game, or even a MMO?

The answer is actually pretty simple, and disappointingly prosaic — we can't afford to yet.

We're a small, currently unfunded studio, and we're doing what we can with what we have. We're actually doing amazingly well despite the usual startup handicaps of short money, short time, and short staff! During this startup phase, we're reaching for the projects we can accomplish, to prove that we're capable of doing what we say we will even with short resources.

Another reason we're producing the small games right now is that in the process, we're able to lay the groundwork for the larger games to come. NEXUS allows us to start releasing some of the stories and background information that make up the history of Tyanaphos. This will allow role-players and story-tellers to start dreaming up characters and situations that can fit into this world, so that when we're able to release a larger chunk of the world, through a bigger game, they're eager to see what happens next and how their creations fit into our storyline — and this is something we strongly want to encourage. Chimera is a game that rests on top of a specific system that we want to build for ourselves — a tool that we'll be able to use while building other, larger games. However, when that tool can be given a neat interface, some interesting additional artwork, and a few other goodies, then why not? The tool becomes something more, something greater than itself, and we are able to bring another game to the table.

Each time we consider the games we're releasing, we consider several factors: 1. Will we be able to produce it with the resources we have available or can acquire? 2. Will it be something we will be proud to have our name on? 3. Will it be something we believe will be fun for the people who play it? If the game we're considering doesn't fit all three of those criteria, then we put it aside until we find a way to make it do so… and right now, we have a small but growing pile of games listed as pending under item 1.

Which leads us back to, How does NEXUS fit into Tyanaphos? NEXUS is the introduction, the gateway, to the world of Tyanaphos. Through NEXUS, and the stories behind the cards, the players and readers get glimpses of a larger world; a world where magic and science both work (mostly), where many races live in harmony — or not — and where the gods are not afraid to take an active hand when they feel the need to. The Oracle deck will appear, time and again, throughout the games to come, helping to provide a sense of continuity between the games set in Tyanaphos. The deck tells stories about the history and myths of Tyanaphos, and the people who populate that world — and knowing the history and myth of a world is a great place to start when you want to tell stories about the present.

And telling stories about the present of Tyanaphos — well, now… wouldn't that just make one heck of a game?

Have something to say related to this blog entry? We'd love to see it, and so would others. Go here and share your thoughts.