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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read