Reaching the Horizon: Birth of an Expansion

As we are reaching the funding level of 300% on Kickstarter with Exodus: Event Horizon, Rainer Åhlfors, the lead designer talks about the creative process behind the expansion:

How the Event Horizon expansion came to be is a unique story in itself. In the summer of 2015, as copies of Edge of Extinction were being delivered to Kickstarter backers, I eagerly played my copy as soon as it arrived. Even before the release of Edge of Extinction, Exodus: Proxima Centauri was my favorite game of all time. Naturally, I had high hopes for the expansion.

It is no secret that Edge of Extinction was a success! Reviewers and gamers alike agreed that the expansion took the game to the next level. Its seamless integration with the base game; the staggering amount of new experiences it had to offer, but without necessarily making the game more complex; the flavor and asymmetry of the factions; the way the expansion simply made the game better, in all aspects — all of this made for a very good addition to an already great game.

I was over the moon! Edge of Extinction was everything I had hoped it would be, and more!

My mind was running wild with hopes and ideas for what might come in a future expansion. Not only had Exodus: Proxima Centauri become more solidified as my number one game, its relevance as a prominent game had become reaffirmed.

I took notes of some of the thoughts and ideas I had. As time passed, I returned to my notes to make comments and develop the ideas further. After a few short months, I decided to share these ideas with one of the game’s original designers, Andrei Novac. I really had no specific expectations with regards to the response. Maybe other expansion ideas were already in the works, or maybe he and the team at NSKN Games had altogether different ideas of where things should go next.

To my pleasant surprise, Andrei responded that he liked my ideas and asked that I would elaborate on how I envisioned them fitting into the game. After a few exchanges back and forth, I was asked to co-design an expansion with him! I had never expected such a response! The thought of my humble ideas making their way into an actual expansion for my favorite game was beyond anything I could have hoped for.

As time went by, ideas were developed into game mechanisms. Structure and balance began to form, and each idea grew into its own module. Over time, Andrei’s liking for what I brought to the table grew into confidence that I could simply design the expansion on my own, while remaining true to the spirit of the base game. With that, he also asked that I increase the number of modules, to ensure viability as a large-box expansion, and to provide more enjoyment and value for any gamer who would acquire the expansion.

The order of the modules, as they are laid out in the expansion, does not reflect the order in which they were developed. Instead, they are presented in Event Horizon in a way that makes them easier to digest and implement for players. Over the next couple articles, I will present each module along with a bit of explanation of the process that went into its development, from early idea to final design.

If you would like to know more about the first module of the Event Horizon expansion, you will find an extended version of this post in our newest Kickstarter Update.

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