Updated: Feb 2, 2021
My name is Tomislav Čipčić, the designer of the game "Attack at Dawn: North Africa". Why North Africa? I've always been fascinated with the North African campaign. Ever since I was about 6 years old, I was playing with models of tanks and soldiers and pretending to be Rommel. It all started when my Dad bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum – a small, black box that had shown me a world of magic. One of the games on my first game tape (yes, the games were on cassette tapes back then) was Tobruk. It was a turn-based wargame depicting the battle for Gazala (or Fall Venezia, as the Wehrmacht called it). I played against the computer and against my father, and was hooked from the day one. The name Tobruk has stuck in my mind ever since.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and I started having an idea of recreating the fun I had in playing that game. Not the actual game mechanics, but making the wargame about the campaign. I have read a lot about it since I was a kid, so I knew that it was an ideal material for a wargame. With its ups and downs, its 'pendulum of war' so to say it was bound to make a good game material, which was proven by many tabletop wargames made on the subject.
So with a help of a couple of friends I have started a game project. The game was called "Iron Cross" and the project lasted for about 6 years. We've made all the mistakes you can make – from creating our own game engine from scratch, filling the game with everything we thought of (including the kitchen sink), to making it multiplayer only (we thought it was a cool idea back then). So somewhere in 2012, we launch a beta version of the game. It went pretty well for a couple of days, but then the whole thing derailed. Since the game was only a prototype and a bit of a mess – no one was there to play it. In a couple of days, even the most tenacious players dropped from the server. The project was finished, the development team with it, and I decided not to venture into game design ever again. Who could have blamed me? After years of work, I had nothing to show for it. Quite a disappointing result.
In the following years, I have become a father and stayed away from computer games in general. I've started playing board games and gone deeper and deeper into that hobby. Not being satisfied with just playing, I've created a couple of designs of my own. And the last one – Brotherhood & Unity – I've successfully published with the help of Compass Games. Now that was the turning point, for once I was a recognized, published game designer. Btw, you can find the game here: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/255570/brotherhood-unity
It didn't take me long until I have restarted my failed project. And that finally leads us to "Attack At Dawn: North Africa". In 2018 I have made a fast prototype of what could be, using my updated skills and a great game engine – Unity 3D. In just a couple of months, I've accomplished something that would previously take me a year or more. I had made the operation Battleaxe, a multiplayer game depicting that small but important desert operation. And that was all I needed to begin making the game ..
Almost 3 years have passed. The game is solid, runs smoothly and is very informative and fun to play. It will take some time until we finish with all the playtesting, balancing and smoothing the rough edges. But I have no doubt that this game will make its mark.