The Come Out and Play Festival is a street games fesitval dedicated to exploring new styles of games and play.

Come Out & Play 2008 in New York

Competitive Picnicking
A large multiplayer picnic in which players trade food and drinks to assemble the tastiest, highest-scoring lunch. Watch out for the ants!

Start Time: Sunday 12 PM
Starting Location: Tompkins Square Park inside the 9th St & Avenue A entrance by the columns
# of players: up to 12 teams of 5 people each
Duration: Approximately 1 hour of game play, 1-3 hours afterwards for unstructured picnicking
Notes: Kid friendly game
Designers: Adam Simon, Daniel Soltis, Mike Dory, Scott Varland

Throw down your blanket! Will you end the day surrounded by friends and eating a delicious meal, or will you be invaded by ants and left stranded and hungry on the edge of the party?

Competitive picnicking is a large multiplayer game of trading items and claiming territories, set on a big lawn on a sunny summer day and using food as game pieces. Players come to the picnic with the basic ingredients for lunch and play a culinary variant of go fish to assemble the highest-scoring snacks and sandwiches.

The Rules
The Food: Before the game, players are given a list of playable food items. These are broken down into categories: beverages, snacks, sandwich components (further broken down into bread, meat/cheese, vegetable, and condiment), and desserts.

Prior to the game, players select from among the list one beverage, one snack, one of each sandwich component, and one dessert. For a team of five, the team brings five servings of each selected item. For players in smaller groups, the group brings one serving of each selected item per person, to be combined if the groups join together. Players must conceal their food items in a picnic basket or other container.

Setup: The game take place on a large field, which has been marked out into a hexagonal grid. Players are given a pen and a score card, which shows the point value of the food items and meal combinations, as well as a grid for marking off completed actions. Each team also receives one oversized six-sided die, which has been marked "bread," "meat/cheese," "vegetable," "condiment," and "ANTS!" as well as a large stuffed ant.

Goal: To assemble the highest-scoring meal by collecting items from neighboring teams.

Playing: There are four rounds, each of which corresponds to a course of the meal: drinks, snacks, sandwiches, and desserts. In each of the first two rounds, a team make take up to 5 actions by asking (Go Fish style) a team whose blanket borders theirs whether they have a specific food item. In the beverage round, for example, they might ask for a Coke. If the team has even one of the requested items, they must surrender it to the other team, who places it in their picnic basket. The first two rounds, beverages and snacks, are warm ups which just involve trading single items.

The sandwich round is the main event, allowing teams up to 15 actions in 20 minutes. This time, the die determines which component of the sandwich the team may request, and the adjacent team must surrender all of their servings of that item. If the die turns up "ANTS!", the team may attempt to steal any non-adjacent blanket by tossing an ant on it. If the ant lands on the blanket, the tossers steal that location and force the ant-infested team to the periphery of the field.

Round 4, desserts, is a repeat of the beverage and snack rounds.

At the end of all four rounds, each team assembles five meals. Points are awarded for the raw items, valid sandwiches, and special combinations.

The team(s) with the most points win(s).

Then everyone eats!

Bios: Adam Simon, Daniel Soltis, Mike Dory, Scott Varland
Daniel Soltis has spent the last two years designing physical interactions and performative games at the Interactive Telecommunications Program. He never knows what to write in bios.

Michael Dory, Adam Simon, & Scott Varland are recent graduates of NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Program, and are currently designing pervasive social games for their own company, Socialbomb.

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