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MAKER FRIDAY: Let This Ang Moh Enlighten You About The Lepak Game

Aug 30 2019

If you're religiously involved in the card game scene, you've probably heard of or even played The Lepak Game. For those who have not, The Lepak Game is basically a simple word-matching game that is quintessentially local. Some say it's similar to Cards Against Humanity, but of course with a Malaysian twist!


(Photo credit: Rojak Culture)

In this feature of Maker Friday, we asked Stephen and Trixie, the masterminds behind The Lepak Game to share with us insights of the first Malaysian party game. Read on and don't miss our giveaway at the end of this Q&A!


(Photo credit: Rojak Culture)

Q: How did you guys come about the idea of creating the first Malaysian party card game? 
A: We’ve always enjoyed cooking and having our rojak (ethnically-diverse) friends over. We discovered that party games worked like magic to break down walls among strangers. After playing and laughing together, everyone starts to open up and have more meaningful conversations because they’ve had a shared experience.

 

Q: I guess many wouldn’t have guessed that the maker behind this Malaysian card game is an Ang Moh. How do you respond to these shocked faces? 
A: The developers are Stephen, the Ang Moh and Trixie who is a Malaysian. So it’s 50% Ang Moh made. Haha!

Believe it or not, helping Stephen navigate Malaysia and seeing his excitement over Malaysian ways of living turned out to be a blessing to Trixie because it helped her get over her frustrations and rekindled her enjoyment in being Malaysian again! Trixie also found a new appreciation for the distinctiveness of her Malaysian identity and how Malaysian she actually is!



Q: How long did the content creation process take to finalize the card game? We want to know the fun and tough part!
A: We started working on the idea around the end of 2015. Content creation was quick since Trixie has already been helping Stephen ‘becoming Malaysian’ and the game mechanic was an adoption from an older game called Apples to Apples. In 2 months, we came up with more than 1,000 potential cards, which we filtered down to 600. We then playtested it with friends, neighbours, boardgame cafes and other Malaysian game designers, all of which from various ethnic groups for feedback and suggestions. We'd lots of fun and learned a lot of new words/slangs along the way.

There were many challenges in the first year, the biggest being manufacturing. We took some time sourcing for a competent local manufacturer, hammering out the right specifications balancing quality and affordability. We also hit some manufacturing disaster and we found ourselves joining the factory line helping to sort and assemble the cards for days! Haha!

 

Q: As our local maker's industry is developing, what are your thoughts on seeing more and more Malaysian-themed card games coming out in recent years like Kaki Lima game, The Cikgu Life, Politiko, etc?
A: We have met many of these designers either through our monthly Jom Lepak game sessions or via TTGDMY (Tabletop Game Designers Malaysia) meetings. These local designers are all very creative, talented and resourceful in their own way! We are encouraged that the local Tabletop game industry is slowly growing despite some of the very real challenges and complexities. We believe that if we all support one another, the industry can grow and flourish together!


(Photo credit: Rojak Culture)

 

Q: Let's talk more about the mini version of the original The Lepak Game. How did the idea for the Expansion Pack come about?
A: The main difference between the original The Lepak Game and the expansion is in its prompts, the Yellow cards. For the original game, we had kept most of the prompts as one-word descriptive words so it is more of a word-to-word match. While we think the most meaningful part of the game is in its allowance for persuasion (bodek the Boss) and conversation, plus feedback requesting for the game to be more like Cards Against Humanity, we've included more complete-the-sentence match as prompts for the Expansion Pack! 

 

Q: I guess many are confused whether the Expansion Pack is playable on its own. Can you clarify this with everyone? 
A: Yes, the Expansion Pack is playable on its own and it’s also very portable! There are a total of 100 cards in it!

 

Q: For those who wanted to try out the game before investing in the larger original version, is the Expansion Pack the go-to?
A: Yes! It is the edgier version, guaranteed to spark some serious Malaysian-style fun on the run!

To give you a taste of the expansion pack prompts, here’s some them:

     1. My Toyol goes around stealing _____ from my neighbours at night. 
     2. ______ will make Malaysia great again. 

 

Q: How do you see The Lepak Game impacting the people playing it?
A: We’ve been fortunate to hear very encouraging feedback so far. Just last week a group of friends dropped by our booth at an event and raved about the game saying that it has brought them closer as they didn’t start out that way. People have also told us they’ve learned more about another culture because of the content of the cards. We also love seeing social media pictures of Malaysian overseas playing the game together while they gathered to reminisce home. 

The Lepak Game has helped to create intercultural curiosity, facilitate fun and engaging conversations, foster friendships, and give people an opportunity to hear different perspective while cultivating an environment that celebrates our inclusive Malaysian identity. In seasons when racial tensions run high, being able to recall and reminisce our shared experiences, retain our ability to agree to disagree, and celebrate what we have in common is essential to moving forward. 

 
(Photo credit: Rojak Culture)

Q: Is there a way Malaysians can contribute to your future expansions?
A: Yes! Feel free to email us at rojakculture@gmail.com or head on to our website www.rojakculture.com and there’s a space to give us your word suggestions. We look forward to seeing what you come up with! 

 

Scoot over to watch how the guys at JinnyboyTV play The Lepak Game. Be warned for excessive laughter, bodeking and some screaming!


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JOIN OUR GIVEAWAY!!
Here's a chance for you to win a set of The Lepak Game to play with your multi-ethnic friends, have meaningful conversations and celebrate our Malaysian-ness!

Rojak Culture is giving 2 lucky winners a set of The Lepak Game + Expansion Pack each worth RM145! Head over to our Instagram page @naiise.my now to participate in this giveaway!

Naiise.

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