I came up with the idea of ATK because I wanted a small game with lots of punch to it, all puns intended. Most of the kaiju-themed games are more on the friendly, light-hearted side. I wanted something that would feel like old-school giant monster battles. Who in my generation didn't grow up with Godzilla movies? The real ones, not that 90's Roland Emmerich movie. Yikes.
The original theme was supposed to be 8-bit, but there were a bunch of 8-bit looking games already around. Boss Monster gained quite a following. We shifted gears and realized that what we really wanted to do was make the game look like old-school black and white giant monster movies.
Our first test was almost laughable and about as bare bones as it gets. It was a grid with some colored cubes and small cards with a couple abilities on them. Then we discovered Table-Top Simulator on Steam. We quickly had a decent looking prototype in digital space, which made all the difference.
A lot of game testing when into ATK. Once we got the rough edges filed off, we just had a lot of fun playing. We rotated monsters so that we each played them all, though we each quickly developed favorites. Then, grudge matches broke out. Our play also showed that the more you understand the game, the more you can do with it. Experienced players do have an advantage over new players, because they already have proven strategies in place. A few games and those new players have it down and can already compete on a higher level. That's when the game gets really interesting.
We managed to keep this game to only $30. As we like to say, there's a lot of game in that little box. We already have people asking if we're going to do an expansion, which is a good sign.
I'll delve deeper into the more granular details in future posts.