Many long hours are spent in the Parks household with family and friends playing V.I. Combat. (Photo submitted)

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

Board games are making a comeback to entertain bored families housebound due to COVID-19, but the Parks family of Crofton is already well ahead of the game.

Darryl and son Zebb Parks designed and started playing a board game they call V.I. Combat three years ago. The awareness of their game has realized a resurgence as people combat their longer hours of downtime created by the virus.

“Mostly coincidental, for sure,” said Darryl of the opportunity to market their game to a suddenly wider and more captive audience.

Daughter Zoey, 12, famous along with Zebb for a recent video on COVID-19, also become involved and the family’s teamwork is making the game take off faster than a fighter jet.

The game, Darryl said, is much like Risk but designed from the map of Vancouver Island. Timing was everything for taking it public at the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn.

“At the end of February in the Chemainus hotel, we had kind of a game launch,” he indicated.

Around 30 people showed up to give the game a try. A big tournament was played on the Pro Map and Trevor Brown became the first V.I. Combat champion.

“After playing with friends for the last year, we have decided to launch the game to save up for a 3D printer to help produce pieces,” Darryl noted.

A Facebook page and YouTube channel were both started in the past month and a half, attracting plenty of attention.

The Parks family is not only creative with the game, but also in the marketing department. Zebb and Zoey have starred in YouTube commercials touting the game and show a definite flair for the dramatic.

Before formulating the game plan, Darryl and Zebb were playing a lot of Risk and also a game called Axis and Allies. As Zebb was learning how to play three years ago, he thought it would be neat to incorporate Vancouver Island, and since he goes to Gulf Islands Secondary School and lives in Crofton, those areas specifically.

They started to design a board of Vancouver Island, spending many weekends adjusting the map on Photoshop and turning it into a board game map.

”We never intended to make a game to possibly market, we were just having fun designing and trying to make it into a working game,” recalled Darryl. “The board kept getting better and better, and we kept slowly adding things to it.”

As a group of players joined them once a month, seven main regions of Vancouver Island were designed into the game: Greater Victoria, Cowichan, Nanaimo region, Pacific Rim, Comox Valley, North Island and the Gulf Islands.

Everything changed when Zoey wanted to play.

“The game was a bit tricky to learn, and we noticed it was a bit complicated to learn for someone new,” noted Darryl.

Zoey suggested a shorter and faster version of the game was needed for those who didn’t want to Monopolize their time in Monopoly fashion for four hours or more. Thus, the V.I. Combat 1/2 map was created with basically half of Vancouver Island and a half map of the original but still an advanced game to play.

”At this point, we had given 3-4 games away for Christmas presents and the kids wanted to try and sell it,” Darryl indicated. “Our main issue was how complicated it was to learn how to play. We had talked about making YouTube videos, but were still stuck on how to do the rules. We finally came up with a solution. The solution was to make a third game which taught players how to play. Our solution was V.I. Combat Jr. It was easy to play, and it was great for younger and new players to teach them how to play our more complicated game.”

Three games eventually led to a fourth, V.I. Combat Pro, with a better map, more islands and more additions to the original board for hardcore players. So there’s now V.I. Combat Jr., 1/2 Map, Full Map and Pro Map.

“I really like the junior,” said Zoey. “It’s really quick and easy. I can also learn about Vancouver Island a lot.

“We play quite a bit because it’s a big family game we play together, especially since we’re all in the house together.”

“I always thought it would be so cool if we could play on Vancouver Island – that’s where we live, obviously,” said Zebb, 15. “It’s so cool we got all the geographical stuff in. It was awesome. It’s so fun to play.”

They were buying pieces on-line but it was getting expensive. Since the launch, they’ve been selling the V.I. Combat Jr. game in the community to raise money for a 3D printer to make their own custom pieces soon.

With everyone currently staying at home, they’re charging $45 for V.I. Combat Jr. and will deliver it by contacting them at vicombat@icloud.com.

CoronavirusFamily activities

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

It’s all about strategy that gets everyone thinking in the Parks family’s V.I. Combat game. (Photo submitted)

V.I. Combat game gets the big thumbs-up from Parks family members and friends. (Photo submitted)

Zebb Parkes with V.I. Combat maps, a game that’s been refined and developed over three years. (Photo submitted)

Zoey Parks with the V.I. Combat Jr. game that she lobbied to be developed from the main game. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read