Buyin ‘Scrap Iron is Trinidad and Tobago’s new board game

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Christopher Naranjit, creator of Buyin ‘Scrap Iron; Old Battery Buyin ‘board game, with a copy of its game –

In this time of confinement and limited recreational activities, some people are entertaining themselves in board games. And board game creator Christopher Naranjit is hoping people will add his new game, Buyin ‘Scrap Iron; Old Battery Buyin ‘, to their collection of games.

The game takes its name from the popular slogan thrown over a loudspeaker on a truck driving through various communities in Trinidad to announce its mission.

Naranjit, 31, director and parenting consultant for the Zenith Preparatory Learning Center, told Newsday that Buyin ‘Scrap Iron was his attempt to make a game simple and affordable.

“It plays from one to six players and can last up to five minutes. It’s designed to be played multiple times in a row like All Fours.”

He said he’s played the game with eight-year-olds, but it’s mostly played by 20-35 year olds.

Art and graphic design were done by Ryan James and Kamron Julien respectively and Naranjit said the three put the game together during the lockdown in 2020.

Buyin ‘Scrap Iron is his third board game released; in 2019, he released Not A Real Place (NARP), which was a monopoly parody; and 2020 Trini Taboo, a printable Trini version of Taboo, which he released for free during the first lockdown.

Naranjit explained that all three games are products of his main board game company, Board at Home, which is a board game library where people pay to come and play from their collection of over 200 board games. .

Local board game Buyin ‘Scrap Iron; Old Battery Buyin ‘Game Box.

“The goal of Board at Home and Buyin ‘Scrap Iron is to increase the physical time families and friends spend together and to increase the amount of mental exercise Trinidadians and Tobagonians do in their free time. “

Epiphany of the board game

With a board game business and three games under his belt, one would assume Naranjit has long enjoyed board games. But he explained that while he was playing them growing up, he was doing it passively, and if his friends invited him to a board game, he wouldn’t be interested.

“I’m not a fan of Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, Snakes and Ladders. But I would play it to appease others. I didn’t like them.”

Then four years ago he played a game called Munchkin, a dungeon card game, and he found it a bit more complex and designed for adults. It has been exposed to designer board games where the creator puts their name on the packaging and puts a lot of work into it.

He also learned that there were over 40,000 board games that he hadn’t heard of and he became fascinated with math and how much psychology (which he trained) was involved in some of these games. .

“(I was fascinated that they) took pieces of cardboard and wood and created emotions.”

He said starting Board at Home in 2017 was an “obvious transition” for him and the response was better than he was prepared for.

Buyin Scrap Iron: New TT Buyin ‘Scrap Iron board game; Old battery and game cards purchase box. –

“I saw how games can bring people together and how they made people think in ways they didn’t normally have. People will find a job and stick to it and think about it. “One way. There are parts of the brain that never exercise. Board games give people a chance to do so.”

He said Board At Home was very important at first, but after the business was hit by the flooding it was closed for a while and after it reopened it never got the same traction.

“At that point, I became more interested in making my own games.”

Not a real place

His first game, Not a Real Place, was inspired by Triniopoly, a work of art made of wood and pinpointed dots on the board. Naranjit decided to create a version of the monopoly that looked like Trinidad instead of looking like Trinidad. He experimented with game mechanics and opted for corruption, nepotism, potholes and accolades.

“It doesn’t sound like a monopoly, but it’s familiar enough to attract people intimidated by more complex board games.”

He reported that the game performed very well and sold over a weekend at Christmas 2019.

“I worked really hard to make it the best looking board game in Trinidad. It looked better than the 200 board games I have. I wasn’t surprised people wanted it.”

Naranjit said he was surprised people wanted to pay $ 500 for it.

“I wish it was cheaper but it was very expensive to make.”

He said people who played there were surprised as they thought it would just have been Monopoly with TT names and found it felt “different and Trini”. He recalled people commenting, “This is not a Trini game” due to the quality of the aesthetic and the high value of the production, including 3D resin models.

Last year, during the first lockdown, he released Trini Taboo, whose PDF files he downloaded online for free. He remembers that a lot of people downloaded it even though he didn’t market it much.

“It was a simple game that was free and I had fun playing it. There was nothing impressive or remarkable about it.”

Buy scrap metal

Naranjit decided to make a new game every year and for his 2021 game he wanted it to be cheap and made only with cards instead of 3D printed models. He opted for a game based on an old Indian game of chance using pieces of straw. He laid out the mechanics and spent a week thinking about the theme of the game.

“My main focus (was the) name of the game would do half the marketing for me.”

The name Not A Real Place comes from “meme culture” and he decided to do the same for his new game. He went for the popular recorded slogan “buy scrap, buy old drums” created by the scrap dealer Jairam Seebaran.

“I was so in love with the grammar of buying junk, buying old batteries before it even became a meme. When it became a meme, I was happy. I changed the name. in history and I superimposed the history on the mechanics that I had. “

He explained that his game is an auction game where all players play simultaneously to try to get the most valuable piece of junk and the player with the most points at the end wins. The cards offered have a positive or negative value and the value at the end of the game wins unless one person gets all five cards with negative value.

“The story is that six friends get an HDC house and they are competing to see which house they will throw the celebratory lime in. To do this, whoever decorates their living room first will win and they will go and buy scrap metal for it. get money to furnish their living room. “

Buyin ‘Scrap Iron launched in late March and began marketing in April.

“The response has been good. People love the game.”

He added that some people feel uncomfortable leaving their homes to buy the game and that finances are difficult for some.

“Regardless of that, sales are going well but not as fast as in Not a Real Place. I’m happy with the response so far, but it will take some time for everyone to hear about it.”

Naranjit was not happy, however, when the game arrived in Trinidad and he was told that the rights to board games were reduced from 20 percent to 40 percent.

“We are trying to do something for Trinidad and Trinidad is making it difficult.”

He added: “Especially at a time when families are forced to reunite, they should be given the opportunity to access products to improve their quality time.”

He said some local board game makers came up with the idea first and then came up with it, but he said aesthetics were important as well, and he cited Santimanitay (created by Newsday graphic designer Warren Le Platte) as an example of good production value.

He said all of his games are tested for months and played over and over again.

“You change the rules and the aesthetic to meet the needs of the data. I want other game designers to know that this is something they can and should do. “

The game is available online at find.allyourlocal.com and tootoolbay.com.

For more information: Facebook and Instagram pages.


About Douglas Torres

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