Cryptozoic Entertainment had something unusual in their booth at this year's Gen Con: An extremely early prototype of an untitled Attack on Titan board game. Printed on a home printer and hastily glued together, the two-month old model looks pretty rough. In fact, it's rare to see board games in such an early state being publicly shown off. But the concept immediately resonated with players, and it quickly developed good buzz on the vendor floor.
As the game concept was presented to Polygon, one player takes on the role of a Titan while up to five additional players take on the role of Scouting Legion troopers. Scouts begin the game on the ground, and must use their 3D maneuvering gear to zip between a model of a human building and a model of a Titan.
Titans have two attacks, but only one is ever visible to players. That means the Titan could always do something unexpected and deadly before Scouts have time to react.
"The term that we’ve been using is ‘vertical board game,'" explained Cryptozoic's Sara Miguel. "You have to try to plan ahead. There’s strategy and a luck-factor as well, so it’s a combination of both so it can appeal to beginning game players who are really into the show, as well as more hardcore players."
Trouble is, the version of the ruleset Cryptozoic brought to Gen Con is still a little broken. But Miguel, for her part, isn't sure that's a bad thing.
"It’s a little broken," she admitted, "but probably in the best way possible. It’s thematically accurate in the sense that the Titan almost always wins. So, that’s what I really like about it at this point.
"We’re still trying to balance it out and get a lot of play testing in while we're here, and get a lot of feedback."
Miguel said she expects the game to ship with four Titans, as well as plastic miniatures to represent the Scouts. It could be out as soon as 2016, but right now their biggest hurdle is production.
"It depends on what kind of components we make it out of," Miguel said, "because if you’ve seen any of our older games like Epic Spell Wars you know that we have standees in it. But those are, while not super flimsy, they’re not stable enough to hold a Titan together.
"So, we’re going to have to research how we want to put that together, because this is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this."
For all the stories from this year's Gen Con convention in Indianapolis, see our StoryStream.