Core Space is going to be around for a long time. It’s more than just a game, it’s a immersive sandbox universe where you can pick and choose the bits you want. We have so many ideas and our amazing community have got even more, and by giving the players more to pick and choose from they can make the perfect game to suit them.
The Story So Far
The Core Space Starter Set and its supporting expansions are built around the desolate region of space called the Barrens and the Purge, an aggressive machine species that have appeared there. There are 24 playable Traders (more if you count the NPCs) all trying to survive in this harsh galaxy, under attack from the Purge and the new challenges added with each of the four expansions.
Add all of this together and it’s a complete world for you to inhabit and create stories in.
The Perseus Arm campaign is the central story, but it’s not the only story. Not all of the Traders are involved at once, and they have many adventures before, after, and in between the main events. Mission Mondays, our regular, free, downloadable scenarios, add yet more replayability to the game and create yet more narratives. They tend to have a focus on objectives beyond simple cash, incentivising the campaign aspect of the game to make the most of the unique rewards.
Mission Mondays will continue throughout this year and beyond. Make sure you’re following the blog so you don’t miss out!
Core Space is a living system and the story doesn’t end with the Perseus Arm campaign. We wanted to create a second campaign to continue the saga and so Dangerous Days was born.
After a year of the game being out in the wild and reviewing all the feedback we also saw how we could ‘redirect’ the game to improve the experience. To support the new campaign we created some new campaign rules, which I’m sure you’ll agree add far more weight to the decision making both during and between games. Like all the Core Space extras it was important to us that these new rules added to the core mechanics rather than changing them, as we don’t want to invalidate anything in the starter set this early in the game’s life.
We also used the Dangerous Days book to expand the sandbox with new terrain rules, and we took the chance to print the Mission Mondays to date alongside the new NPC rules so that the entire year’s content was in one place. Dangerous Days is like an ‘annual’ for the game – with this and the Deluxe Rulebook you have everything you need to play. I say ‘annual’ for a reason – we’re planning another for 2021 :-).
Alongside Dangerous Days we released the Shift Change at MegaCorp and Rogue Purge expansions, each adding new NPCs and new challenges.
Unlike our previous plastic sets, these two are advanced hobby kits with resin miniatures that require assembly. Many of our customers have been asking for resin minis for years, so this was a godsend as resin allows for sharper detail than PVC and we are very happy with the quality of our resin casts. A large proportion of our customers are experienced hobbyists who think nothing of assembling miniatures.
To others, however, assembling miniatures is a daunting prospect and not something that’s part of their gaming hobby. We appreciate that unassembled resin miniatures are not for everyone and so I wanted to quell some concerns about the use of resin going forwards.
Resin is not our material of choice for everything, but it’s likely to be used for non-Kickstarted products. Battle Systems is a tiny company and the costs of plastic tooling are simply too high without very high production numbers – more than we could forecast without a Kickstarter.
Preparing another Kickstarter will take us a long time, and we didn’t want to leave the game for too long without any new releases. There is so much competition in the industry these days and games that go without support rarely survive. We didn’t want to run the risk of leaving Core Space quiet for too long, returning with new content only to find that people had moved on!
Getting new stuff out now was a choice between doing it in resin or not doing it at all. Of the two options resin was better than nothing – the expansions are entirely optional after all.
It’s also worth noting that although these expansions aren’t for everyone, our initial print run SOLD OUT within a week of the launch date! That says good things for our ability to do more with Core Space going forward!
Name: NAB-13 -2X4B
Species: Machine (Human origin)
Age: approx. 30-50
NAB-13 is a standard manual labour robot that was mass produced but has since been discontinued. The model has a distinct modular design to facilitate easy storage and cheap replacement parts.
Over time NAB-13 has developed a slightly defective personality, ranging from staring at sunsets, when it should be working, to a tendency to wander off for days at a time. Rather than fix it each owner has simply sold it on, usually as part of a job lot. NAB-13 is decades old and is far from its point of origin.
NAB-13 seems to have a certain degree of autonomy not written into its program, it is not unreasonable to assume it may be on the cusp of sentience, but, as none of its owners have ever cared to investigate further there’s no way of knowing. Despite its quirks NAB-13 can work tirelessly for weeks at a time and has a broad skill set.
To be clear, while resin was our choice for these expansions it is not the future of Core Space. Plastic is more accessible and we are committed to Kickstarting more plastic Core Space content as soon as we can. I talked about preparing another Kickstarter earlier – well that’s what we’ve been doing!
New Core Space Kickstarter
We’ve been thinking about how we can tell new stories with Core Space, and how we can add exciting new content without invalidating or bloating the game we know and love.
The character and charm of Core Space is in the Traders, the campaigns and the unique mechanics, so they had to stay. Instead, we figured that the perfect way to tell a new story was to build a new setting, and inhabit it with a new enemy to face…
The First Born
The First Born were an ancient race from the very tip of the Perseus Arm. They lived many millennia ago, long before any of the species that inhabit the galaxy today. They evolved to become balanced with the environments they inhabited, unlike the current races that eat up the resources of their worlds like a virus before moving on.
They developed advanced technology and were masters of both biological and synthetic matter, giving rise to a disease free and long-lived reign of their star systems, drawing near-unlimited power from their suns with massive Dyson spheres. Such is the depth of their scientific knowledge that others might perceive them as almost magical.
After countless millennia a fanatical sect broke away believing their species were doomed to die out. They believed their kind would become unstable, overpowered by the sheer repetitiveness of their lives, having seen every occurrence and mastered everything this galaxy could offer. This sect, obsessive and focused, constructed hidden temples and chose the most noble of their followers to go into the long sleep. They would remain sealed in their temples for an undetermined amount of time, ready to awake in a new galaxy with fresh experiences and challenges.
Unless somebody wakes them up first…
This summer we will be launching a new Kickstarter based on this new race – the First Born. We will be launching a new starter set, but don’t worry, this is not a second edition! Instead this is a standalone boxed game equally playable by new and existing players alike. It will tell the story of a Trader crew venturing into the ancient First Born temples, with unique new terrain and all the minis and accessories you’ll need. The core rules of Core Space remain the same – you’ll just be swapping the Purge phase for the First Born phase and its associated new mechanics.
With six crews already, we figured that adding too many more Traders wouldn’t do much to expand the gameplay, so we’re just putting one new crew in the box (making up the difference with more First Born!). The campaign will therefore be built for a single crew, playable solo and co-op – something that’s long been requested for the game! You can of course mix and match Traders as normal and we’ll have plenty of gameplay options for PvP games too.
We will be following up this new core set with supporting expansions and boosters, including new NPC types and some larger beasties to be found in the temples. Like the new starter, everything funded in this Kickstarter will be in plastic.
With one of the planned expansions we want to take the opportunity to further develop one of the key areas of Core Space – ships. We think of the ship as a character in itself, like the Serenity in Firefly. However, the current ships are purely functional – it doesn’t feel right that the Ion Hope is a simple cardboard rectangle.
Arianna may captain the “Crew of the Ion Hope”, but her story so far is just starting out. Imagine the ship she’s using now as her first ship, the old banger she’s using to find her way in the galaxy. Once she’s made a name for herself she can buy a ship to fit her new status. That ship is the Ion Hope – the ship she’s famous for commanding.
That’s the angle we’re taking with these new rules – the bigger, better ships that our captains are known for are something to save up for and earn. We’re planning to create a new plastic dashboard with customisable card inserts and peg sections for tracking ship stats. The inserts will represent different parts of the ship that can be upgraded in different ways (more important choices to make between games) and even spaces to allocate tasks to the crew that remain onboard during a game. The famous name of the ship will also play a part in the rules – once a crew has such a prestigious ship they will have a reputation to go with it. This will be tracked between games and will be affected by a crew’s actions (such as attacking civilians). It will in turn affect how the crew is treated by other NPCs as well as their access to stores and the missions they get offered.
We’re still working out the details, but we think this is a really exciting way to enhance the game.
That’s it for now. This lot is just a sneak peek of what’s to come – we’ll be sharing more over the next few months and if all goes to plan we’ll be ready to launch around the end of summer. To make sure you don’t miss out, sign up to our email newsletter.
Note: all details are still subject to change as the game is currently in development.
Until next time, happy gaming!