VANCOUVERPOST: First Playtest, First Fridays & Diners

I said the next update would be quick, didn’t I?

Pre-school breakfast.

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There are so many diners in Vancouver. It’s kind of weird, being from Australia, where diners are niche and expensive because they’re reminiscent of the American lifestyle we crave from all the American media our generation and the one before us consumed.

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Nick’s starting to get the hang of my camera.

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Mornings are better with food.

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A BUTTLOAD of food!

Nick had 2 eggs sunny-side up, biscuits (a less dense version of scones), bacon and chilli.

I had apple juice, 2 giant choc-chip pancakes and a side of hashbrowns.

We may have been late to school.

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Nick working on the artwork for our board game during a class break at school. More on this later.

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Magical jump from breakfast to lunch time!

Dudes in my class from left to right: Scott, Spencer (head blocked by Scott), Daniel (AKA Brown Guy) and Adir.

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Our school is in the heart of Chinatown.

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Rock on Vancouver.

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It’s a beautiful city.

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I found a snazzy little Japanese buffet hidden in International Village Shopping Centre.  Around $8 for a takeaway lunchbox.

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I ate so much: yam tempura, yam tempura sushi, Chinese doughnut, various stir-fried noodles and veggies and rice, edamame, spinach salad, seaweed salad etc.

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First playtest! We have to make playtest reports for each session.

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Our game is called ‘Make-a-Mini-Mega-Monsterus’.

The written introduction is as follows:

In Make-a-Mini-Mega-Mutant-Monsterus, you add monster parts to your Monsterus (monster foetus) to create the strongest monster baby by Labour Day! But beware of sicknesses and other obstacles that you and your fellow pregnanteers will inflict on each other’s’ Monsteruses!

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The concept started off with myself wanting to make a board game using fantasy folklore as an analogy for the trials and tribulations of pregnancy.

The game’s changed a bit since then.

Our two play-testers were Nicha (Thailand) and George (China). Asians represent!

It was kind of a blessing to have two non-native-English speakers play-testing because it forces us to be extra clear with our rules.

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It soon became clear that the main mechanicscustomization and messing with your opponent’s Monsterus (monster foetus) was fun enough to engage players amongst a pregnancy theme, regardless of gender.

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We discovered pages worth of bugs and issues we had to change for future playtests, making this a very useful session.

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This guy.

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Our classmates were also busy play-testing their games. Here Chris and Sean are play-testing a game whose inspiration was Yu-Gi-Oh and other deck-building games.

I play-tested this last week and it was frustrating trying to get on top of the strategy on first play-through, since many of the tactics are buried in the cards, which were difficult to read. But overall a nice effort by the makers, Chris and Paul.

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This is Jay Cormier, our Game Theory Analog teacher

You may recognise him from board game titles such as Belfort and Train of Thought.

He’s always trying to convince us to buy his games.

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Belfort.

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Next up, Nick, George, Nicha and I play-tested Nicha’s game, where you have to be the first to kill 30 cockroaches using a bevy of weapons.

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Nicha’s cockroaches.

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How to kill Nicha’s cockroaches.

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How to stop other players from killing Nicha’s cockroaches.

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Other play-tests in progress.

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Paul and Jeremy.

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Will and Kdu.

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Reading the rules before play-testing Scott and Spencer’s game, Pants on Fire.

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Spencer.

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Their game is a mixture of poker and bullshit.

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Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time left in class to do a proper playtest.

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Rules of Pants on Fire.

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Post-Class Snacktime.

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Bread is my vice.

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What do you think I got?

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But of course. The browneo. Oreos sandwiched between a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie.

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This one’s never had Tim Tams.

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Time to stock up on the national treasure of Australia.

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Often times I’ll come across buildings that strike me with their beauty.

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Other times, it’s the view that does it for me.

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The Gastown Steam-powered clock. It goes off every hour, and it’s always surrounded by a swarm of tourists.

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Real nom times.

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Musing over the menu.

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Nick’s Halibut Karaage. 

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Nick’s Chicken Bang-Bang-Z Salad.

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He seemed to enjoy himself.

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My mushroom cheese bibimbap. 

Holy shit this stuff was delicious. The combination of ao-nori (seaweed flakes) and melted cheese, with just the right ratio of rice to mushroom varieties was just heavenly.

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What an angel. heh.

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Reminds me of when I got my wisdom teeth removed. Madam puffer-fish.

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Guu’s got a great view. Unfortunately since it was cold the windows were closed.

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Deep-fried Yam fries with Honey Mustard sauce.

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On the first friday of each month, current VFS Game Design students as well as alumni meet up in the back room of Yagger’s, a bar/restaurant on West Pender St.

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It’s encouraged for networking purposes – success = hard work + opportunity, and all that jazz.

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This is Annie, the wife of one of my classmates, Chema.

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She’s a super lovely girl – she’s a dancer.

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Adir is a poop tart from Israel. Super talented at everything he does though.

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Daniel (left) got way too drunk. Kdu’s (right) from Brazil – happy chap.

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Chema (left) describes Annie as the best bro ever. True love if ever I saw it.

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Like I said. Way too drunk.

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Another form of love.

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I love these guys.

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Morning after breakfast. Smile diner.

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Nick was a teensy-bit hungover.

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This place makes amazing milkshakes. They’re basically ice-cream with a straw in the middle.

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I had French toast.

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And a side of hashbrowns.

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I drenched them in maple syrup and tomato sauce.

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Nick had meat-n’-stuff.

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The owner, Lisa Lin. She was a lovely hostess, who lamented her appearance when I showed her this picture. I told her not to worry – “You’re very beautiful!”

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Good prices, good food, good service.

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Food coma.

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I like the pastel teal atop this building.

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A street near my home.

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Nick’s attempts at photography are endearing.

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Nick the Ninja out.

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