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Designer interview with G. Wesley Cone

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Quick Look: The Market: A Poket Game + The Upgrades: A Market Expansion

A Publisher/Designer Interview


Designer: G. Wesley Cone
Artist: Raphael Quek (@bananasboy_)
Publisher: Mere Pursuit
Year Published: Expansion just launched to Kickstarter (Link. at bottom of interview)

No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 5-10 minutes.
 
Find more info HERE.
 
From the Publisher:

Following years of calamity in the world of Tempo, “post-apocalyptic” has become cliché. Following a massive economic boon, the neighborhood of Plaka became a city in its own right. However, the Great Eruption changed everything, and in the year 2121, the people of Plaka are doing their best just to make it from day to day.

In The Market | A Pocket Game, you are a citizen of Plaka building up permanent resources that provide Hope for a better tomorrow.

 

 


Interview:

I want to take the time and introduce you to a game designer that will be bringing an expansion to his published game The Market: A Pocket Game. In February, G. Wesley Cone will be launching the Kickstarter for the upcoming expansion “The Upgrades: A Market Expansion. Please enjoy learning more about the designer and a preview for the upcoming expansion for The Market: A Pocket Game.

Introduce yourself to the reader

Wesley Cone hails originally from North Carolina and has lived in Dubuque since the summer of 2021. Husband, father, & church plant pastor are just a few means by which he serves. His business Mere Pursuit carries the weight of its name. Based on CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and AW Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God,” Wesley has a heart to bring hope & life to a world in need.

While his non-fiction content is directly Christian in nature, he also builds fiction content (books, games, etc.) that is much more allegorical in nature, maintaining Christian undertones with a heart to produce excellent products engaging for all audiences.

What type of game is The Market: A Pocket Game?

The Market: A Pocket Game is a quick 18 card game, combining resource and risk management in a 5–10-minute filler game. Players acquire rich igneous compost from the edge of the volcanic flux, gather fiddleheads which have become a staple vegetation in future Plaka, and synthesize photonic light energy. Then, it all comes back to the Market where players trade in temporary resources for permanent ones that also provide Hope.

Gather temporary resources, Explore the Market, and Purchase permanent resources as you aspire to attain Hope for the win.

 

Can you give a brief description of the expansion and how it adds to the base game?

The Upgrades: A Market Expansion takes The Market: A Pocket Game and expands it from a 10-minute filler into a 20–30-minute lightweight strategy game.

In The Upgrades: A Market Expansion, you no longer simply trade Temporary Resources for more Permanent Resources. You will now sacrifice your only source of sustenance for Hope that you might find Power to change everything.

What’s new?

  • Hard Fire (a new resource building card)
  • Upgrades (new wares to be purchased that can be leveled up)
  • Power (a new potential win condition)

In a temporary world, even permanence is fleeting.

 

You stated that The Market: A Pocket Game is one part of an expanded universe, how do The Market: A Pocket Game and The Upgrades: A Market Expansion fit into that Universe? And can you elaborate more on that Universe?

After years of calamity in the world of Tempo, “post-apocalyptic” has become cliché. Following a massive economic boon, the neighborhood of Plaka became a city in its own right. However, the Great Eruption changed everything, and in the year 2121, the people of Plaka are doing their best just to make it from day to day.

In The Market: A Pocket Game, you are a citizen of Plaka building up permanent resources that provide Hope for a better tomorrow.

In The Upgrades: A Market Expansion, a mysterious smith has begun to appear in the marketplace providing unique and mystical wares, created from resources laid down by the locals.

In times past, staffs, shadows and rags have seemingly been imbued with a similar ancient Power. But, these objects hold no Power in and of themselves. No, the Power comes from another source, and the Power provides witness. Is it the Hard Fire, or is it something more?

The locals have taken to suggesting that the smith is selling his wares. But, this smith cannot be bought. Nevertheless, he doesn’t offer the provision only to those who see him rightly. He offers freely to all who approach.

Both games are set in the greater world of Tempo as depicted in the first novella, The Empyrean Call: Isaac’ Story. Tempo is a future version of our world in a fantasy-based setting where the Cataclysm has brought about a merging of the seen and unseen realms.

Dystopia is just another name for normal, and the world is fractured at the seams (not unlike our own). The wealthy live in floating cities, the poor live in a world wrecked by the Flux and other acts of nature. Everyone else falls somewhere in between. The River is a myth, and Horde are seeking a way to be accepted by society as human. The Empyrean Call: Isaac’s Story follows the origin story of a man by the name of Isaac who is framed for murder by corrupt government officials. He is seeking escape, only to find himself in the midst of a much greater reality.

Some citizens seemed to have died for unknown reasons, and yet, while the media portrays them as crazy, they are more alive than most. These citizens are Riverborn: a cast of heroes, reborn within the multifarious cultures of a cataclysmic dystopia who battle side-by-side in eternity itself–as they train for the greater war against horde in the world of Tempo. The training ground can be found not only in the book but in the game Empyrean Hero: The Card Game, which successfully Kickstarted in 2020.

 

What are your goals with this universe and are their future plans for more content?

Regarding the world of Tempo, my hope is to develop a full-fledged universe moving forward. The novella alludes to a great deal of story that’s not included but is mapped out to some effect, leaving plenty of room for future content. While my hopes are high to write more books, develop more games, and hopefully break into further media opportunities, the audience will ultimately decide how far this universe develops.

Outside the world of Tempo, I love to serve others. I involve myself in other game designers’ projects and dreams, seeking to improve their product offerings. My heart is for people.

In regard to Mere Pursuit, my hope is ultimately to produce a great deal of content in the forms of a devotional, a systematic theology, a commentary, and apologetics’ articles.

Time to brag, what makes The Market: A Pocket Game and The Upgrades: A Market Expansion a must have for gamers?

Though bragging isn’t quite the language I’d use here, the heart of the matter is that these games were created to provide quick, light, & fun gameplay. The Market: A Pocket Game was created as a filler game, heavily reliant on what some might call “luck” and risk management. You take it to the restaurant and play while you wait on the server. You play it in the game shop waiting for friends to arrive. You play multiple games in less than an hour, learning the cards, and increasing your understanding as you and your gaming buddies master the game very quickly.

The Upgrades: A Market Expansion was developed at the request of some of my supporters of the first. There was a desire for a longer, more strategic game from some of them, and this is a step in that direction. Layers of strategy were added, new mechanics, and a tangible depth that make the game more suited for play during an afternoon in a coffee house than between courses at a restaurant. Rather than being the filler game for waiting for a full group to arrive, The Upgrades: A Market Expansion is a great first game of the evening as you wait for your last friend to arrive – you know, the one who always shows up a little late to party.

Can you briefly explain the gameplay mechanics and goal of the game and the expansion?

In The Market: A Pocket Game, players rotate building cards (Compost, Fiddleheads, & Synth Light) to attain temporary resources. They explore the Market deck, flipping up to two Permanent Resource cards into the Market and may purchase one of these with their current resources. Permanent Resources may be used for future purchases as well. Likewise, Permanent Resources hold point values on them, known as Hope. Attain 10 Hope to gain victory.

In The Upgrades: A Market Expansion, a new building type (Hard Fire) is added to the game, but to attain it, players must sacrifice other temporary resources. Also, 4 new piles of cards have been added to the middle, face-up. These are the Upgrades. Each pile has a legendary object on topic that can be purchased at a higher price. It can later be upgraded, and the current object can potentially be discarded to reduce the cost of the future object. Lastly, the Upgrade on the top of the Upgrade Discard Pile can be purchased by other players. One man’s trash may yet be another man’s treasure. Lastly, Upgrades have point values on them as well. In one corner, a certain amount of Hope is given. In the other, a certain amount of Power is shown. To win, players must attain either 50 Hope or 15 Power.

Where can people find out more about Market: A Pocket Game and Upgrades: The Market Expansion?

On February 23, The Upgrades: A Market Expansion is coming to Kickstarter. Go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gwesleycone/the-upgrades-a-market-expansion?ref=de0f5l

You can visit the prior successful Kickstarter campaigns for The Market: A Pocket Game, Empyrean Hero: The Card Game, and The Empyrean Call: Isaac’s Story to learn more about them. There are also a handful of videos on Youtube about the three games, and all three games are on BoardGameGeek.com. The Market and The Empyrean Call will be available as add-ons during the Kickstarter for The Upgrades.

Lastly, there is a Facebook group titled Mere Pursuit. This is where I share all of the Behind-The-Scenes details. I also drop info via a Subscribe email list, which people can sign up for when they join the Facebook group.

Are there any other comments or information you would like to let the readers know about?

If you see value in the vision I’m building, please consider getting behind the upcoming Kickstarter for The Upgrades: A Market Expansion. There’s a lot of media out there that has left the path of that which is good, and my hope is to build a fandom that not only my daughter will enjoy but that a generation of families can get behind.

Again, please consider getting behind this project at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gwesleycone/the-upgrades-a-market-expansion?ref=de0f5l

If the expansion The Upgrades: A Market Expansion sounds like something you would be interested in, please consider backing the project on February 23rd. I will be doing a full review of the Market: A Pocket Game and the Upgrades: The Market Expansion in the near future please check back for that.

 

After reading Steven Foster’s interview, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting The Market: A Pocket Game + The Upgrades: A Market Expansion will be live on KICKSTARTER until Sat, March 30 2024, and has a funding goal of $12,000. Check it out and back it HERE.

Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!
 

 

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Check out The Market: A Pocket Game + The Upgrades: A Market Expansion and Mere Pursuit on:

           



 

 

 

Steven Foster – Reviewer

 

Steven is currently a stay-at-home dad, homeschooling his two young sons. He is a father of 8 children ranging in age from 26 to 7. He and his wife of 22 years have been foster and adoptive parents for 15 of those years.

Steven began gaming as a young child playing family classics like Monopoly and Uno. In the
early 90s, he started playing Magic the Gathering with the alphas and started his first Dungeons and Dragons campaign in 1995.

His first Euro-style board game was Catan in 1997 but board games would soon be out. Steven left tabletop gaming in the early 2000s and got into online competitive gaming with Counterstrike, and Halo then eventually started competitive Call of Duty tournaments.

He started playing board games again in 2019 at the start of the Global Pandemic. Board games became an escape during a time when a family of 9 was stuck in the house together. Steven fell in love with board games and quickly amassed a decent collection. Steven enjoys board games and their ability to bring people together and create lasting memories. Some of his favorite types of games are polyomino, tile placement games, and worker placement games.

See Steven’s reviews & interviews HERE.

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