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Champions of Nexum – First Look at a MOBA Board Game

Interview with Marek Zamojski, the creator

Video Games from the MOBA genre have turned electronic entertainment market upside down. Smash hits like League of Legends or DOTA 2 make millions of players and viewers glued to their screens. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games consist of simple real time strategy gameplay mixed with RPG elements. Each player controls one unique hero. The goal is to cooperate with your teammates, deal with obstacles, fight and conquer opposing team’s base.

Champions of Nexum is an attempt at moving a MOBA game from computer screen to a tabletop board. Poles from Board Legends team have decided to try their best at making it a reality. Marek Zamojski, one of the three authors, agreed to give us a behind the scenes interview and share some details about the upcoming game.

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Kick.Agency: How was the idea for creating Champions of Nexum born?

Marek Zamojski: The idea for creating Champions popped up during a coffee break. My colleague blurted that he’d love to make his own board game. It was just another talk to pass the time. We hear claims like these every day and usually nothing comes out of them. For me however it felt different. I felt shivers of excitement on my spine and already knew, what I had to do. I felt like creating something completely new. Something that no one has tried before.

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I imagined a board game that would bring MOBA players together. My love for MOBAs was already strong back then, and I devoted tons of time to them. I wanted to create something that would make players of LOL, HOTS and DOTA feel familiar emotions during a tabletop session with their friends.

K.A:  How long did work on the project take?

MZ: We’ve  been working on the game for over 2 years and we keep devoting all our free time to Champions of Nexum. Since we originate from programmer environment, we approached the game like an IT project using Agile methodology. This approach focuses on client feedback, continuous testing and iterating. Thanks to countless conventions and sessions with fans, the game came through over 400 tests and 4 huge changes. Right now we’re perfecting the final prototype, that we plan to show on the Pyrkon convention soon. Later in June we plan to showcase first gameplay sessions. Don’t miss these 🙂

K.A.: How big is your party?

MZ: Our party is really strong right now. Starting as a fellowship of six we quickly ended up as two. 2 years later though the team grew up to a proper 7 person warmachine.

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K.A: We love your character arts and miniatures! How did you pick your artists?

MZ: Thanks! All praise goes to Tomasz Kalisz, who’s responsible for developing figurines, and takes care of their visual identity. Apart from being a graphic designer, he also works on mechanical side of the game. Every single miniature you see here was made thanks to his talent and knack for the genre. We quickly hit it off together and I’m glad we had the chance to meet and join forces on Champions of Nexum.

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KA: The idea to create a soundtrack for a board game sounds unusual. Why did you decide to do that?

MZ: As D&D fans (well, more like fanatics) we often use some atmospheric music during our sessions. It makes them even more enjoyable. Krzysiek, guy who professionally makes soundtracks for video games and animation, came to one of our game testing sessions. After hearing his incredible musical pieces we said: “damn, w must make this guy join us”. Armed with axes and clubs we went to see him. Surprisingly, there was no bloodshed, as he himself proposed to compose something epic for our game. And that’s how the idea for Champions of Nexum soundtrack was born.

K.A: Naming heroes and monsters on your Facebook seems to excite lots of your fans. Got any favourite submissions?

MZ: Of course! Character names and entire cards are being introduced to the game all the time. We’ve already created over 50 cards with the help of our fans. We keep gathering new ideas and perfecting the game. My favourite submission is Dzikun, our wild boar from the jungle, that was already added to the final prototype.

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K.A: 90 dollar price feels pretty steep. Do you have some less expensive options in planned?

MZ: We want the game to include as much possible, for as little money as possible. We’re thinking about cheaper and more budget option, but in the end it all depends on our negotiations with suppliers.

K.A: Champions of Nexum was inspired by MOBA genre games. Do you play them a lot? Any favourite titles?

MZ: Right now, we’re focusing on completing our project so there’s little time for gaming :).We played tons of MOBAs back in the day. Each of us liked a different title. I got into LOL from the second season and still watch tournament streams as well as some regular matches.

Lately our team was joined by Bartek, who’s one of the creators of the KLINIKA youtube channel devoted to League of Legends. He has over 124 000 subscribers.

Bartek is about to start streaming Champions of Nexum game sessions with other League players. The game is gaining lots of popularity among streamers and professional MOBA gamers. We have some surprises prepared for the fans of the genre.

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KA: Champions of Nexum has already visited tabletop game conventions. What was the response from the players?

MZ: One word: incredible. To be honest we haven’t expected such a warm response. The biggest surprise was, that despite 3 tables with Champions of Nexum (each hosting 6 players), people still kept queueing. The game turned out to be fast and dynamic (single session takes up to 60 minutes). I’m also super happy that many want to play again and bring their friends with them. If you’d like to check out the game yourself, please visit us at next Pyrkon convention in Poland.

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K.A: Champions of Nexum is your first Kickstarter project. How’s your morale before the campaign and when are you guys launching.

MZ: We’re 110% motivated! At the beginning we were just a tiny goblin army chasing their goal and believing that we can complete it after a single year. Now we’re more like elves and realistically plan to launch near the end of 2018 and February 2019. Game in its final version will be sent to polish and foreign reviewers. We should be able to announce the launch date in June. We’ll do it on our fanpage. Don’t forget to drop in! 🙂

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