Exclusive: Tradewars - Homeworld: Exterra Edition Interview

We had a chance to talk to Tradewars - Homeworld creators Kristopher Kycia and Joe Pilkus about their current Kickstarter Campaign for Tradewars - Homeworld: Exterra Edition,  Check it out!

Decapitated Dan: Thanks for taking time to talk with me about Tradewars - Homeworld. First of all lets talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?

Kristopher Kycia: My name is Kristopher Kycia and I am the Designer of Tradewars - Homeworld.

Joe Pilkus: My name is Joe Pilkus and I’m a freelance Developer who has also served as a co-Designer on TAU CETI and now as a Developer for Tradewars

DD: Let’s talk Tradewars. What is it all about?

KK: Tradewars - Homeworld is the story of Four (4) Factions (known as the Mega-Corporations) which have gone into space in order to establish new colonies to collect more resources.  Obviously when Four (4) Factions begin to explore the galaxy there are bound to be “turf wars” or border skirmishes ... fundamentally differences in controlling space.  Tradewars - Homeworld is the continual struggle to control space by the opposing Factions.

JP: You take control of a Megacorporation’s faction in pursuit of controlling planets, exploiting them for their resources, and keeping your enemies at bay.  Defend your homeworld against starship attacks while launching raids on your enemies’ Homeworlds.

DD:  Where did this idea to make the game come from?

KK: The idea came from another Designer who said I should think about designing a game like “Dominion”.  When I decided on a Sci-Fi theme (since Dominion is Medieval Fantasy), it became very apparent that given it’s Dominion origins, the game would be very much about “Trading” - Hence the name “Tradewars - Homeworld”

DD:  What kind of game is it?

KK: The core mechanic of the game is “Deck-Building”.  But the game is comprised of several mechanics such as “Set Collection”, “Role Selection”, “Hand Management”, “Dice Rolling”, and “Take-That”.

JP: Deck-builder with role selection and dice-combat

DD:  Since this is We Roll Solo, what kind of Solitaire play does the game offer?

KK: The game currently offers one (1) Solo game scenario.  In the future we would like to see this become two (2) in an extension “core” (or Expansion).  The Derelict is an alien starship that arrives in space and is threatening to destroy your Homeworld.  The Derelict’s actions are determined by a d10 and an AI reference card.  Depending on the roll, different things may occur.  Sometimes the Critical Mass goes up by +1 (At 6 the starship explodes - and you lose the game...), sometimes it’s an attack on multiple starships, and even a direct attack to your Homeworld (Hyper Cannon).  The game can be divided into three parts:  Early on when you are taking direct fire from The Derelict,  Mid-Way when you are sparring with The Derelict as you build your Deck and towards The End when you have taken sufficient damage and the ali en starship has almost reach Critical Mass.  The start and ending provide the most game tension...

JP: An excellent solitaire scenario, entitled The Derelict in which you must defeat a Derelict ship which is poised to destroy your planet!

DD:  So what can people get for the pledge levels?

KK: We will be offering two versions of the game:  Novice and Vanguard.  Novice features the “core” game + whatever Stretch Goals we reach.  The Vanguard version adds the “Planetary Scenario” and custom dice.

JP: For $29, Backers receive a copy of Tradewars, while for $39, Backers receive a copy of Tradewars and the Planetary Expansion

DD:  How did you find yourself getting into making games?

KK: Quest Adventure Cards(tm) was my very first game.  It was simple and made for kids aged 8-9.  I made a solid product - but marketing to children is very hard.  I went 75% of the distance:  I designed, had art made and produced 10,000 boosters for the game.  But I could not land a distribution deal to “resell” my boosters - and so that venture was a loss.  The good thing is that I did not give up, I continued and designed a far superior game...  But only the fans will ultimately be the judge of that!

JP: I returned to gaming in 2009 in earnest after being introduced to my Gateway Game, Arkham Horror.  Within a year, I was playtesting war games for Decision Games’ two magazines, Strategy & Tactics and Modern War.  After that, I got picked-up by Compass Games and am currently working on The War: Pacific 1941-1945.  Additionally, I’ve been a playtester for Jamey Stegmaier’s Scythe expansion, his new game Charterstone; and serve as an editor for Academy Games newest hit 878 Vikings.

DD:  What kind of board games do you prefer to play?

KK: I prefer “Card Games” - both games that I have designed are card games.

JP: Generally, thematic games (Arkham Horror, Shadows Over Camelot, and Game of Thrones), but also enjoy really crunchy abstract games, including Castles of Burgundy and Troyes.

DD:  What is your favorite solo board game?

KK: I have not played many solo games.  In terms of board games - My favorite all-time game is “Pandemic”.  But I have always been attracted by the excitement and customization of “Magic: The Gathering” (again not a solo game).

JP: Arkham Horror

DD:  So let’s recap. Why should the readers go check out Tradewars - Homeworld and back it?

KK: To be real honest - it’s a really GOOD game!  The mechanics all “mesh” well and the game is FUN to play.  On one demo day, I played the game over 12 times with various amounts of players...  I never got bored, I personally really enjoy playing the game and I would really like to EXPAND the universe with more “core” sets and expansions.  That’s the nice thing about Tradewars - Homeworld, it was DESIGNED for “expansion”.  So huge replayability value, additions that can speed up the time for an all out “Spacewar” and more in terms of solo play ... as we add more (if the fans/gamers want to see more!)

JP: If you enjoy deck-builders, coupled with a great role selection mechanic, but want a fast-paced game, this is the one you want to check out

DD:  Thanks so much for your time, and good luck with the campaign! 

Now go check out the Kickstarter Campaign

Dan Royer Dan Royer Author