Student kick starts board game enthusiasm

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Raechel Mykytiuk displays her first successful Kickstarter project, Barrage Battle. The medieval boardgame was created by Mykytiuk and her fiancee Matthew Kuen. Photo by Christopher O’Neill

By Christopher O’Neill

The stone tower shakes as the impact from a large boulder hurled from a catapult reduces the heavy timber gates to splinters. The enemy has breached the outer wall.

The King! You must protect the King!

The unmistakable sound of battle rages ever closer, your forces are spread too thin! Your only hope lies in a wizard’s spell, powerful yet unpredictable.

The air around you crackles with energy as the wise one begins to chant. Having no choice, you roll the dice of fate, allowing her to decide the tide of battle.

This is Barrage Battle, a project on Kickstarter described as, “a tactical card and board game that blends strategy and dexterity requiring players to throw projectile dice at enemy targets.”

The brainchild is a labor of love by Rachael Mykytiuk and her co-creator and fiancee, Matthew Kuen.

Mykytiuk, a high honors DCCC business major, along with her partner Kuen, launched this Kickstarter project May 26, 2016.

“I have always loved games,” Mykytiuk said. “I grew up playing poker and other card games. I was a county chess champion back to back in junior high, and volunteered at an elementary school when I was a teenager teaching kids the game.”

After securing nearly $11,000 and more than 100 backers Mykytiuk and Kuen raised enough money to print 500 copies. Mykytiuk said this number exceeded their goal and they considered it a promising first step.

Mykytiuk recalled the humble beginnings of their creation taking place three years ago in Colorado. “Me and Matt are pretty big chess nerds,” Mykytiuk said. “We got into gaming together.” Mykytiuk explained that their tastes stretched from fantasy card games, such as Magic the Gathering, to tabletop strategy games like Risk.

One night they both agreed that they wished there were more games requiring dexterity.

“The first prototype was made in my studio apartment in Denver with a cardboard box, index cards, sharpies and some dice I bought at a Goodwill,” Mykytiuk said.

Because Kuen was still in school, they decided to put their idea on hold until they were more financially stable to invest in releasing their game to the public.

They moved to Pennsylvania, where Kuen completed his undergraduate studies at Penn State and got a job that allowed him to work from home.

After moving to Pennsylvania, Mykytiuk said she felt it was time to return to school and attributes her academic successes for giving her the confidence she needed to go through with Barrage Battle.

“I think it helped me realize that I could do something like this,” Mykytiuk said. “I can make my game and my dream come true.”

Once their project was launched Mykytiuk noted that it was tough at first to gain recognition.

“There’s a lot of reviewers that won’t review an unpublished game,” Mykytiuk said. “I was very aggressive with…trying to find established reviewers.”

Mykytiuk said that once they secured reviews from well known game reviewers, such as Undead Viking, people started taking notice.

“He has a very large following…that was really huge for us,” Mykytiuk said.

The next problem they faced was affordable shipping, according to Mykytiuk.

“We weren’t getting the backers for the game because shipping was too expensive,” Mykytiuk said. She explained that shipping costs, including the cost of the game, would sometimes be in excess of $50. “No one’s going to pay that kind of money for an unknown [game],” Mykytiuk said. “It’s just not gonna happen.”

By partnering with Amazon, Mykytiuk and Kuen were able to lower the cost to their customers considerably.

Another remarkable moment for Mykytiuk and Kuen was when Kickstarter recognized Barrage Battle on the site.

“When we became a ‘Project We Love’ for Kickstarter…I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so Happy!’” Mykytiuk said. “Afterwards, [we] started MK Games to launch [Barrage Battle] under.”

This enabled them to release Barrage Battle sooner then they anticipated, “We are actually ahead of schedule now,” Mykytiuk said.

The game was released to Amazon on Feb. 4.

Mykytiuk also revealed that a local venue would be selling Barrage Battle as well.

“There’s a wonderful game store in the West Chester borough called the Games Keep,” Mykytiuk said. “The owner Carl was an angel and I love him. He actually hosted our launch party for Kickstarter. He’s our first customer and he’s buying a dozen games for his store.”

Mykytiuk said that this will be the only store selling Barrage Battle although it will be available for purchase at the Games Keep by mid February as well.

Mykytiuk said she does not plan on stopping after one game though.

“I helped raise money to support Girl’s Game Shelf, an all-female game reviewing team based in L.A. and will be a guest on their show for Season 2,” Mykytiuk said. “I am actively involved in the female gamer’s support group, Board Game Broads, giving advice to budding designers and helping promote current publishing campaigns.”

When discussing the future of MK Games and Barrage Battle Mykytiuk added, “I hope to launch other original games by myself and other independent designers in the future. I have a whole list on my computer of card expansions. I want to put out deck expansions, new characters, and new spells and things like that. There’s actually a card Matt got designed in honor of me, ‘The Dame.’ That’s some real geek love right there.”

Contact Christopher O’Neill at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Workshop encourages students to get organized

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By Emily Craft

DCCC Counselor Jennifer Kalligonis held a workshop titled “Getting Organized for the Semester” to help students become more organized in their classes and personal life.

Nine students attended the workshop held in Room 2185 on Marple’s Camus during Q-time on January 31.

Kalligonis started off with a PowerPoint slide titled- “Why get organized?”

When students are organized in, school, home and work, they are more likely to feel in control of their life and will save time by knowing exactly what is going to happen and when, the PowerPoint emphasized.

According to Kalligonis, college students tend to already be stressed out, so why cause more stress?

“When you are organized, you will also impress others by knowing exactly what is going on” Kalligonis said “This is a good tool to use in your work life as well.”

Killagonis told students, when they themselves are looking to be more organized, they should start by setting short term goals and long term goals for themselves. This will help students feel that they have a purpose and motivation to stay on track and know that you are heading in the right direction.

These goals should be realistic. “You should not set a goal to get an A in math class if you struggle in Math,” Killigonis said.

The presentation recommended students create an action plan for how to accomplish that goal so they are more likely to achieve it according to Kalligonis.

Kalligonis listed many helpful hands-on tools that students can invest in to help stay organized: a day planner for writing down everything students need to remember; a calendar; and students smart phones that enable students to put all due dates in your electronic calendar with a set alarm to be alerted.

As the workshop went on, students raised their hands and gave advice to one another about helpful tips to keep everything on track like printing out ones schedule from Canvas, the online program DCCC uses for students to maintain contact with professors and view their grades.

Catrina Jacobs, age 35, a Liberal arts major, said this was the first workshop she has attended at the college. “I feel this workshop has definitely helped me think of ideas to stay organized in my classes,” Jacobs said. “I feel a before and after difference.”

Jacobs is an event planner but feels sometimes it can be difficult to stay organized when it comes to school.

A survey conducted by Greenfield Online, an online organization that collects data from consumer feedback, reported that 47 percent of college students do not feel their high school properly prepared them with organizational skills to do well in college. The other percent felt they would do better in college if they were more organized.

“I consider myself an organized person but school can get a little funny sometimes,” Jacobs said. “There’s nothing wrong with a little help.”

Contact Emily Craft at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Inauguration ignites resolution, resistance

Crowd scientists and Washington D.C.’s Metro system estimated approximately a half of million people marched on Washington the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. According to several news outlets, hundreds of thousands more marched in major cities around the world the same day. Photos by The Communitarian Staff

In publishing these controversial images, The Communitarian is adhering to the National Press Photographers Association’s code of ethics stating, “Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding.” We apologize if such images offend our readers.

A local favorite passes the palete test

A three course meal featuring grilled chicken tacos, margherita pizza, and chocolate lovin’ spoon cake at Fresco Pizza & Grill. Photos by Nicholas Gallo

By Nicholas Gallo

Are you in the mood for bruschetta, gyros, and chocolate luvin spoon cake? If so, head down Route 252 to Fresco Pizza & Grill in Newtown Square, a small fusion restaurant with reasonable prices and ample parking wrapped around the building.

Inside the restaurant, all the tables are made of wood with a smooth surface. They were so clean that I could see my own reflection. I sunk in the black leather seats like quicksand, feeling immediately relaxed. The lights were dim and easy on the eyes. I didn’t feel like I was sitting in an early morning class with the fluorescent lights flickering.

Tan curtains near some of the tables offer creativity but are hazardous as there is a high risk of tripping or hitting another person’s chair.

Walking in, I noticed the families and friends socializing with each other having a good time. My social anxiety melted away, like snow in March. Within five minutes, a employee greeted and seated me at a booth.

The staff kept themselves occupied by monitoring the dining area to keep the joint clean. The staff had an assembly line process that helped customers enjoy their dining experience.

On the menu, I saw a variety of choices that interested me. What caught my attention were the first bites, the specialty sandwiches, and the desserts. The menu also included stone fired pizza, pasta, panninis, wraps, salads, angus beef burgers, a children’s menu, and coffee and drinks.

The first bites section offered bruschetta as my appetizer. When the waitress set my plate down on the table, I notice the presentation of the dish was well put together. The baguettes were spaced out properly with lines of olive oil going across them and tiny squares of chopped up tomatoes topping the dish.

According to the menu, the ingredients consist of “diced roma tomatoes marinating in extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, on a toasted Lebus Baguette.” The baguette was firm and crisp. I could hear the crunch with every bite.

Juices from the chopped up squared tomatoes and sprinklings of the olive oil helped contrast the thick baguette to excite my taste buds with flavor.

After my bruschetta, I ordered a gyro for my entree. Wrapped in pita bread, seasoned with ground lamb, topped off with tomatoes, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and was served with a side of either fries or chips. The sizzling dish arrived, bursting with flavor. Tzatiki sauce combined with the pita bread, lamb, and tomatoes created a complementary flavor that flowed like waves on a beach.

With my first bite, I felt a light texture with the pita bread. The tin foil wrapped around the sandwich helped keep the flavors of all the ingredients together so that in one bite I could savor the flavor.

For dessert I splurged on chocolate luvin spoon cake. Before even taking the first bite, I noticed the drippings of raspberry sauce, whipped cream sprayed so nicely on the side, and the slice of chocolate fudge cake waiting to be eaten. Mixing the whipped cream with the chocolate cake made the dish melt in my mouth.

In short, Fresco Pizza & Grill was an enjoyable dining experience. Although some items are pricey, I recommend reserving a table for a first date or a group outing with a bunch of friends.

Contact Nicholas Gallo at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Stars, stripes, and sympathy

By Shannon Reardon

As a journalist I have, not only the right, but the responsibility to present the facts that are made available to me without interjecting my feelings or my personal biases.

With the inauguration having just passed, an influx of emotions have surfaced, and rather than using The Communitarian to spew the abundance of thoughts that circulate in my own head, there is merit in looking to the other side of this debate.

Clearly, there were enough people in the country who voted for Donald J. Trump.

But why?

Part of the reason stems from Trump’s promise to bring jobs back to America.

Having lived through a fight to keep the house my family lived in from being foreclosed on in high school, I understand the need for more better paying jobs.

I also work, sometimes more than 40 hours a week. As a waitress, I make $2.83 an hour to cover the taxes against our tips; most servers never see a paycheck.

But fighting to make rent, while it can be extremely taxing at times, makes me appreciate every cent earned.

Another issue that was brought to the table was gun reform, because as soon as a Democratic politician runs for office, opponents say, “they’re coming to take our guns.’

No, they aren’t.

I go target shooting for fun and have never felt fear that a government official is going to come and take the rifle out of my hand as I’m lining up for my next shot.

The worst that may come out of gun reform would be stricter gun laws, which would just help to eliminate the number of sociopaths wielding automatic weapons.

The list of issues that follow Trump’s newfound presidency fall under a category of “too personal.” I will agree to disagree with anyone who wants to talk with me about the human rights that are being flipped, twisted, and reversed.

As outraged as many are by the outcome of this election, it is worth noting that this movement was not an accident or the cause of the Russian government hacking us to influence votes.

The votes that President Trump received came as an outcry from a frustrated, underpaid, and overworked middle and working-class who were tired of being overlooked.

These same voters fear that the jobs that are already sparsely available are going to either be moved overseas to alleviate tax burdens in the United States, or taken by illegal immigrants who would be willing to make lower wages, thereby making Trump’s campaign promise to harden borders against incoming immigrants sound like the most promising for economic growth.

And while the outspoken may dispute his presidency, we have to remember that some of our family members, friends, coworkers, classmates, and those within our communities voted for this man; so while I may not respect the president, I respect those who voted for him.

Contact Shannon Reardon at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu