Ad Hoctober DMG Game Jam

Just coming off a fun & intense weekend of jamming at Bento Miso for DMG’s (Dames Making Games) October game jam.

I feel so lucky to have worked with such talented people; Lee Tran, our amazing programmer (and also my fellow co-worker at Good World Games) and Kim Koronya, our super talented artist.

Though the jam theme was a no-theme.. don’t plan… I couldn’t resist and planned anyway! Would you really take me any other way?! šŸ˜€ I am a compulsive planner. Sorry. Not Sorry.

The game concept was inspired by David, my boyfriend, who has been attending (now frequently) all my Russian family-related events.


A Russian dinner party is a unique experience that takes you to another dimension where all social expectations and rules are put to the test. Attending these parties my whole life, I became nearly immune to the social pressures. Once my partner began attending these parties with me, I started seeing them in a whole new light, through his eyes.

Each party was a series of tests to see if you were good enough to join the clan. From saying the right things, drinking to each toast, trying each dish of food & pulling out all the 90s moves on the dance floorā€¦ it was a 5-hour endurance test.

By the end of the party, you have a stuffed belly, a tipsy swagger, an achy head & a desperate desire for approval. The moment you walk out of those Banquet doors, squinting at the daylight, realizing you have been in an alternate dimensionā€¦ the fog from the past 5 hours begins to clear, and you snap out of your Russian party trance.

The team got super excited when I told them I wanted to make a game about a Russian dinner party and all its wacky family glory that we set out to do just that. The result is even better than I imagined because my talented teammates are just too good for words to describe!!

So here are some pictures of the game, titled “Za Vas”:

Za Vas











Kim had the genius idea to have the characters be Matroshka dolls — and OF COURSE they had to be. I can’t help but laugh and adore these doll-like characters that are my family… they are just too perfect.

Za Vas











Each family member has expectations of your behaviour! And your job is to try and make everybody happy… while making sure you survive the party and don’t collapse from tiredness, drunkenness, fullness and/or from an exploded bladder (Ah!!). It’s a lot to manage… and you must do it all for family approval!

Za Vas











The nameĀ “Za Vas”Ā means “to you” in Russian. It is a classic thing to say during a toast and it is saidĀ OFTEN. And the irony of it all is when you say a toast during a Russian party (to a parent, grandparent, child, ect.) they are said in vain, because all the toaster wants, is to get a toast back. And that is the purpose of a toast at a Russian party. It is the old fashioned “tweet”, hoping that somebody is listening and will tweet you back. So, when the toaster says “Za Vas”, they are really saying “to me”.Ā PleaseĀ Note: Don’t mean to offend any fellow Russians out there. This is purely my own experience and I am expressing this in a game.Ā 

Can you handle the pressure? Come join the party and see for yourself.


We will be working on “Za Vas” for the next few weeks to get it more polished for DMG’s October social. Stay tuned for more!

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