The Pub Game, for designers!

 Posted by (Visited 9949 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Feb 202009

From Sheri Graner Ray, The Pub Game. In short, you take an experience, in this case a restaurant, and describe it as if done by different designers. For the record, I think she overestimates my design skills. 🙂

If Sid Meier created this restaurant, first we’d have to invent the Chinese, and the Koreans and all the other Asian cultures before we could invent the food that would then be served in the restaurant…

If Will Wright created this restaurant, we’d have to continually monitor what each employee was doing, instructing them when to cook, when to clean and when to go to the bathroom, but eventually, it would burn down anyway.. and if it didn’t a natural disaster would occur to make sure it was destroyed.

If Richard Garriott created this restaurant, it would have been started by him and a number of his friends. At the restaurant, the customers could harvest the grain, mill it into flour, mix it and bake it into bread… which of course would have nothing to do with anything on the menu

If Raph Koster created this restaurant, it would be completely self contained. It would be completely automated, adjusting its menus to reflect the changing seasons, regulating its resource consumption based on available crops and making the food. It wouldn’t even need customers.. in fact, customers could just watch as it ran itself!

If Brenda Brathwaite created this restaurant, it woud be staffed by naked people and the customers would have to order their meals from a terminal equiped only with an excel spread sheet

If Sheri Graner Ray created this restaurant, there would be extensive discussion on the new diner experience and how to create the easiest onramp to the restaurant and making sure all dining styles were accounted for.. this would all then be put into a visio flowchart before any work on building the restaurant could begin.

via twylite1 – The Pub Game...

If John Carmack created this restaurant, it would be just like his other restaurants, except much prettier.

If Steve Mereztsky created this restaurant, an octopus, a priest, and a cowboy would immediately walk up to the bar….

Add your own!

  33 Responses to “The Pub Game, for designers!”

  1. …If Keita Takahashi created this restaurant, customers would be handed a ball of very sticky rice and then be unleashed upon a buffet, sans plate.

    …If Shigeru Miyamoto created this restaurant, customers would gesticulate their orders in charades fashion to their waiter, who would then promptly bring them all the same order regardless. CUstomers would deem it the biggest food ever.

  2. If John Romero designed this restaurant you would wait years for the food and it wouldn’t be as good as promised.

  3. ooh another one, sorry.

    …If Cliff Blezinski created this restaurant the food would look very pretty but he would insist that you ate it at the McDonalds next door as he’d had problems with people stealing his plates.

  4. Argh, the commenter on the site itself beat me to Peter Molyneux.

  5. If Derek Smart designed this restaurant it would be the size of the universe, the menu would be 1500 pages long, turning on the stove would require an inordinately complex sequence of knob-turning, and the refrigerator would have a 1/4-inch gap in the door that is apparently impossible to fix.

  6. But, of course, if Enlight designed this restaurant it would be called “Restaurant Empire”, and would actually be somewhat fun.

  7. If Al Lowe created this restaurant, you’d never know how the food tasted because you’d be staring at the waitresses’ enormous… um… smiles.

    If Philip Rosedale created this restaurant, you’d have to make your own food, but then you could sell it to other diners… and sue the cook next to you for copying your recipe.

  8. If Jonathan Blow created this restaurant, the courses would arrive in the wrong order, half of them would need to be regurgitated and eaten again before you could move on to the next course, and the last one would be radioactive. And the menu wouldn’t contain any descriptions of the food, just a note explaining how stupid you were for not being able to work it out for yourself.

  9. If PopCap created the restaurant, the food would be cheap and predictable, but you would eat and eat and eat until you burst like an overfed goldfish.

  10. If Ron Gilbert created this restaurant, you’d have to buy a treasure map from a shady character loitering in an alley, follow the map through a maze of eerily similar looking alleys that would eventually lead you to a dumpster where you’d find a t-shirt saying “I wanted to eat at Ron Gilbert’s restaurant but all I got was this stupid T-shirt!”. You’d then need to pois…sedate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s guarddogs to steal a fabulous idol (golden globe) from his mansion, gather a crew to man a low-cost ship you buy from a used-ship-salesman, beat Orlando Bloom in an insult Sword-Fight, steal a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle from some old lady from Haiti, convince Vin Diesel to join your crew by facing a ferocious creature that once bit his hand off (a parrot), mix some cinnamon and a piratebay banner in a big kettle once on your ship, and voilá – a fancy particle effect will occur and you will wake up on a tropical island where you’ll eventually NOT discover his restaurant inside the second biggest monkey head you’ve ever seen.

  11. If Judy Hornaday created this restaurant…

    The bouncer would gain bicep mass from successfully frisking patrons waiting to dine. Bonus points for finding a forged ID.

    The wait staff would gain flair points for catching patrons loading purses, pockets and briefcases with all you can eat items.

    The bartenders would gain bottle flipping agility skills when identifying intoxicated patrons, stealing their keys or seeing them safely in a taxi.

    The chefs would gain rave review points for matching dinners to diners and using as much garnish as possible without diners complaining.

    The patrons win if they circumvent the staff.Bonus if they manage to skip out on the tab without getting caught.

  12. ^^ +1. Thats the best one yet IMO.

  13. If Ken Levine was to create a restaurant, the menu would be very tasty indeed; Yet people would ignore it for years until a chain buys it and gives it a lick of paint. Then, all of a sudden, people would all rush in… Even though the menu would remain exactly the same.

  14. If Chris Crawford created this restaurant, all of the waiters would walk around in big mascot suits that look like they were dyed with crayon, and the customers would have to engage in bidding wars with their neighboring tables in order to get their order. Of course if the bids got too high, everyone would get kicked out and have to start all over again. It would be relatively ignored by the masses passing by, but would be a familiar name to every restaurant owner in the business. It would have sister chains involving rock-paper-scissors tournaments and the waiters would all be trying to learn some new form of inverted speech that the customers always feel they can almost understand… At the end of the day though, it’ll still be completely ignored by the public.

    If this restaurant were created by Emily Short, getting seated on the left side of the restaurant would mean getting a crossword puzzle instead of a menu, and sitting on the right would mean that you don’t get a menu, instead you have to carefully construct a series of questions, while monitoring your waitresses’ emotional state and attachment to you in order to tease out what would be on the menu if you had one. Depending on what you ask the menu may change. The front would be decorated in classical french style, while the chefs would be aboard a spaceship hovering over the restaurant, desperately trying to work both a distress signal and their life’s story into their cooking.

    (Just to be perfectly clear, I really like the works of the aforementioned, but this is too fun to pass up on.)

  15. Let’s not forget, if Roberta Williams created this restaurant, you could only get served if you sat at the exact correct table at the exact correct time. The only way to find out which table and which time would be to call a toll number.

  16. If Richard Bartle created this restaurant, customers would enter only after speaking the secret password, and then stumble around in the dark for weeks. Screams of nearby customers would be heard as awful fates befell them.

  17. Got my second wind..if Andrew Tepper created this restaurant, he’d make sure that it also contained, entirely within its four walls, a hardware store, an auto mechanic, an ice cream bar and a gelato bar, a travel agency, a small theater, six miles of pristine shorefront, the world’s only six and a half star hotel, the missing 18 minutes of the Nixon tapes, and terrible graphics.

    (And I would eat there every single day.)

  18. I have to admit I don’t follow how that one has anything to do with Bartle’s design style…

  19. If Brad McQuaid created this restaurant, you’d only be able to order appetizers from the menu unless you brought at least 100 of your friends along, at which time you could then sit and wait for a week until your waiter showed up to take your order. You then wouldn’t actually get your food, as the restaurant’s kitchen hasn’t actually been completed… they’re planning on adding an expansion to the restaurant in the near future.

  20. I have to admit I don’t follow how that one has anything to do with Bartle’s design style…

    I’m not familiar with MUD1. I just went with the general feeling of MUDs.

  21. Morgan Ramsay>I’m not familiar with MUD1. I just went with the general feeling of MUDs.

    My idea in designing the restaurant would be for everyone who entered to discover, after some consideration, that the menu was exactly right for them personally. However, no-one actually would enter because from the outside it would look like a soup kitchen, the reviews would be based on visits to other, nearby restaurants, it would only seat 36 people, and the sign above the door would read “TRUBSHAW & BARTLE’s DINING EMPORIUM” but no-one would know who Trubshaw was.


  22. […] a fun thread on Raph Koster’s Website today about a game begun by Sheri Graner Ray, with amusing little […]

  23. If Matt Mihaly created the restaurant, every guest would have to be initiated into their table by a by all the people already sitting at that table, after a modest amount of hazing.

    You could write your own menu, with anything you wanted on it, but blank menus would be the most expensive thing the restaurant sold.

    The food, which would be roleplayed by devious staff members, would seriously mess with your head, and sometimes eat YOU.

  24. And if Rob Pardo created the restaurant, it would be a traditional sushi restaurant with VERY comfy seats.

    You’d take your mom there and she would say, “Wait, this is RAW FISH?” but by the time you got back from the bathroom she’d be happily devouring raw fish eyes and live eels.


  25. Going to have to say that doesn’t sound quite right for Andrew Tepper. Here’s my stab.

    If Andrew Tepper was to make a restaurant, they would serve hot soup right into your hands. Repeat customers would bring their own bowls and spoons, and explain how it was all part of the creative process.

    The soup would be the greatest soup you have ever had. No, it was the greatest food you’ve ever had. You would talk about it, putting it forth to other people as an example of how good food could be.

    You’d go back every chance you could, and the line would get longer every time. At first you thought it was getting popular, but you realized the line is just moving slower. When you get to the front of the line you find the cashier is just counting to 100 before helping the next customer. You’re told this is to make sure they never run out of food, but it looks like they throw out extra food every night. A few weeks later she’s counting to 1000 and you notice that the line is moving so slowly some people have starting bringing food to eat while waiting.

  26. If Fumito Ueda created this restaurant, there would be neither maître d’ nor waitstaff. You would meander through the impressive architecture, vast and towering, gleaning details here and there which indicate that surely there must have been cooks in this place once, long ago. Perhaps you have your girlfriend or wife in tow, perhaps she is… parking the car. At last you reach your private booth, with a table for two, and then — just as you come to associate the emptiness of your stomach with your insignificance in this desolate yet highly-rated restaurant — your nose detects a sublime aroma. You smile, close your eyes, and await the inevitable meal…

  27. If Tim Schafer created this restaurant, all of the wait staff would have something funny to say and the furnishings would be exaggerated and crazy. The food would be decent but you’d probably come for the other aspects.

  28. If Sean Stewart, Elan Leeand Pete Fenlon created a restaurant, you’d hear rumours of it opening somewhere across the town. Conflicting reviews from customers would pop up across the web and a crowd of people would create a Yahoo group tracking down and painstakingly documenting how to book a table there.

  29. If Raph designed this restaurant: There would be a very low barier to entry, as the restaurant would be located just outside each customer’s home. There would be a nice sampling of professionally created food, but most customers would be encouraged to create their own food and make it available for other customers to eat. Each menu would come with a complete explanation of why food tastes good, and copies of the menu would be available on Amazon for $15.63 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

  30. If Raph created this restaurant, after he left to do something else, half of his previous customers would blame him for the new owner’s mistakes. 😉

  31. If the guys from ID-Software would have made one
    You would have to kill a couple of hundreds ugly DOOMIES befor you come close to the entry, where, of course, the master monster would wait on you to serve the final drink

  32. […] the Guardian’s games blog, Sony Online designer Sheri Graner Ray and Metaplace’s Raph Koster have set the wheels in motion on The Pub Game, which asks you to create a hypothetical […]

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