Watch a Triathalon.
Make a game!
Nikita was inspired to make Tri To Win after watching a Triathlon on Saturday and visiting the
UKGE Sunday. Now with a second game, Mini Memory Mischief hitting Kickstarter, we sat down to find out more about life at Atikin Games.
First up could you talk a bit about your background in designing games?
I had some experience with working on small video games whilst at university and as side projects since and I’ve been designing board games in abstract for a couple of years. It’s only since November 2019 that I started working seriously on my first tabletop game and getting it funded. This was for Tri To Win: the triathlon card game which funded on Kickstarter in February this year.
What got you into the hobby as a player
This one is really hard, I feel like I’ve always played games. With family when I was young and friends as I grew up but I think it’s only since my early 20s that I played less mainstream games and with larger groups of people. I did IT at college and Computer Science as a degree before getting a job as a software engineer so I have always surrounded myself with the best geeky friends for playing games with.
And how did your first game come about?
Well I had a curious weekend where I attended a triathlon my husband was competing in on the Saturday and the UK Games Expo on the Sunday. So, with a triathlon still firmly in my mind and the inspiration of UKGE Tri To Win just started to form in my head. I discussed it with my husband and friend I was with who thought it was a great idea, I’m pretty sure they just said “do it!” However it still took me a long time to feel the idea was fleshed out enough to prototype, once I’d started prototyping and play testing my own game though that was it, I was sold, this was what I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me.
Good on you and what a fun weekend! Tell a bit about it and what makes your game fun?
In Tri To Win you play as an athlete preparing for and then competing in a triathlon. In phase one of the game you prepare by both building the race course and building up your skills. Whilst all players can see the course you’re all building, only you know which skills you’ve collected and therefore how well your athlete will perform during the race. There are also some tricky action cards you can use to remove some of the course, steal cards from other players as well as stealing valuable skills from their athlete. In phase two you reveal your skills and race using tokens. Yep! You’ve played a card game where you build a board game as you go.
Sounds fun! I hope to play one day soon. What do you see in the future, what’s next for you?
Currently I have my second game up on Kickstarter, it is running from 28th September until 28th October. It’s a two-player mint tin game so all the components are small and cute. The characters in the game are Mikro and Chip; 80s microchips who aren’t used by us anymore so they while away the hours of their retirement playing games with each other. This first game of theirs is called Mini Memory Mischief. The player boards represent the microchip’s memory stacks, and the objective is to use operators to get letters in order on your memory stack, but it’s not as easy as it sounds! You can mess with each other’s stacks and even use your opponent’s own letters against them. It’s quite a nerdy theme but you don’t need to be a nerd to enjoy the game and its retro pixel graphics.
I also have a larger project coming up next year, it’s called Malum Hortus and it couldn’t be further away in theme and gameplay from my first two games. Malum Hortus is a co-operative board game for 1-4 players, the art work is also very different as I always knew I’d want a different style to each game I make. You play as magical nymphs who have been drawn in to a garden by its beauty and aroma, but as night falls you realise there’s something wrong. The flowers start to move, you see teeth and snapping vines where once there were petals and leaves… You’ve stumbled into Malum Hortus, the evil garden and now you must find a way out!
Good luck with that. both sound brilliant! If you could have any other game not made by you in your roster of designed games what would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Takenoko, it’s adorable, tonnes of fun and one of the most played games in my household.
Which other designer would you most like to have a games night with and why?
It’s a really hard choice to make, I’ve made friends with so many other indie games designers recently. I could maybe narrow it down to two. Janice from Wren Games and Jackson from Eurydice Games. Not only are they lovely people who I think would be great fun at a games night but they’ve designed wonderful games themselves.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us Nikita. Good luck with the kickstarter!
You can find more infomation about Atikin Games here
And more information on the kickstarter here: