Developed as a “20% Time” prototype, Nova: First Contact was an experimental hybrid of digital and physical game design, reinventing core concepts from physical games like ‘Agricola’, ‘Android: Netrunner’ and ‘Space Alert’, and combining them with the immersion and real-time action of digital gaming to create an unique experience for its players. Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology allows players to control the game using physical game cards, providing the ease and speed of digital gaming alongside the tactile pleasure and social experience of board or card games.
Working on Nova represented a significant experiment for Six to Start, requiring the development of in-house physical prototyping processes alongside the exploration of cutting edge NFC technology. After extensive iteration on its core game design, a promising prototype for Nova was completed in late 2013. Unfortunately, widespread adoption of NFC was slow to arrive, and the cost of producing the NFC-enabled playing cards upon which the game relied remained prohibitively high. This led to development on the game ceasing in early 2014.
Despite the project never making it to market, the development of Nova laid the foundation in the company for later work in the physical gaming space, such as the Zombies, Run! Board Game, which similarly combined physical and digital gameplay to great effect.
Six to Start
- Adrian Hon: Executive Producer, Additional Design
- Matt Wieteska: Lead Designer
- Alex Macmillan: Lead Developer, Additional Design
- Jeremy Stevens: Additional Development