After landing a demanding job at a board game cafe Jacob finds himself falling in love when he begins an affair with his bosses husband. Attempting to balance his new friendships, his religious family and a taboo love, he soon finds out that there isn’t a rule book for the game of life.
Games revolves around relationships and the desire to be creative. Much like a traditional board game, each character makes choices to maximize the amount of fun they are having. With a light hearted atmosphere, Games seeks to blend the fun of a party game with the depth and complexity of a heavy strategic behemoth.
Inspired by a traditional board game café, Games. On the precipice between shattering significance and bankruptcy this small cafe employs a small handful of employees whose dynamic characters ensure that there is never a lack of drama in the space. The quirky characters from wannabe designers, failed artists, actors and fortune tellers, Games, like most cafes of this type, attracts the best talent in the industry with its off kilter attitude and promise of cheap food. However, the business of play is no joke- and before long all of the employees at the cafe must decide what it is that they want to do with their lives once they pass GO.
GAMES explores the dynamics of friendship, relationships and love in the confines of a modern board game cafe that promises big characters, big adventures and a love story that lives outside the box.
The main focus of Games is Jacob, a naive young man who steps into the cafe wanting a better life for himself. Despite possessing an unparalleled knowledge of board games, he knows very little about how to handle the personalities that play them. Coming from Northern Ontario, Jacob comes from a privileged background but finds himself disadvantaged as he tries to figure out how to tackle his unfamiliar role as a server. Overwhelmed by the many different personalities that surround him, Jacob develops an obsession with Ray, the boss’s husband and quickly realizes that he may not have all the answers he was looking for.
Ray is a conflicted man who was an idealistic artist seeking to make his place in the world. Now Ray is jaded and uses sarcasm as a defence mechanism. He has worked at Games since it opened and works for his partner, Maria, who runs the cafe with a gentle but ruthless hand. Growing up with an abusive father Ray has struggled to prove himself reliable. He has dedicated his free time to improving the cafe instead of his own artistic projects. As a result he blames the cafe for his growing alcoholism and resents those who criticize him.
Maria is the boss at Games who runs her cafe with ruthless efficiency and great care. Getting the idea from a visit to Korea, Maria sought to open up her own board game cafe and using her limited resources, she created Games. Throwing herself into the cafe, she has worked tirelessly to create her dream and takes great pride in her creation. While she is deeply passionate, her focus on the store often means that she can come across as cold or unfeeling. Coming from wealth, her parents were thrilled to help her, but at a price. Despite their support of the store, they never approved of Ray which had always worried her. She worries their relationship is built out of convenience instead of love. Although there is and always will be a strong bond between them, she questions if Ray can be relied upon and the future of their relationship.
Fred’s is the host at the cafe and ensures the store is flowing properly. Eccentric and full of spunk, Fred is a fashionable tomboy who loves games and attention. Her love of conversation is only enhanced by her flirty nature and quiet confidence. She exudes a confident sensuality that she uses to her advantage. Her biggest struggle is keeping her temper in line. Quickly forming a friendly bond with Jacob she guides him through the inner workings of how to be a server. She thinks of herself as highly spiritual and believes that she has all the answers for life's problems. Despite this, she has no idea what she wants to do with her life but will happily help you with yours.
Janelle is a struggling actress with big aspirations. Hopping between auditions, theatre roles and serving, she works hard to get out of her current situation. She is independent, but has a soft spot for her on again/off again boyfriend Coen in the kitchen. While they never get along their chemistry is undeniable and despite her confidence, Janelle fears that she will always be stuck serving in the cafe and just wishes she could get better tips.
Tai works behind the bar at Games. A recent college dropout, Tai want to find himself. He pretends to be sarcastic and apathetic, but his youthful enthusiasm gets the better of him. He has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth and will often over share in social situations. This blunt nature may be why he gets along so well with Ray, and so poorly with everyone else. Other than Maria, Tai may be Ray’s only defense against the rest of the cafe. Despite coming from a good home, he never figured out what to do with his life and is hoping to find his calling at Games. So far, he’s discovered a proclivity to make lattes and fine drinks, but doesn’t have a ton of drive to move beyond that.
Coen is a loud, obnoxious French Canadian with absolute control over his kitchen. Like many who work in a kitchen, his authority is absolute and his temper is fiery. This is not because he does not like his job, but because he is extremely particular with everything he does. He is very possessive over his menu and his kitchen and will defend both with his life. Despite his rigid nature at work, he is actually very laid back outside of it. He is one to frequent the newest and trendiest spaces, and longs to work somewhere with more prestige. Keeping him at Games is Janelle whom he wants to start a family with. He loves her deeply and encourages her to live her dreams, even if he can’t be a part of them.
- Darius - The Curmudgeonly Landlord
- Penelope - The Sweet Supportive Dishwasher
- Rose - Jacob’s Controlling and Religious Mother
- Dennis - A Relaxed Shift Supervisor
- Geraldine - A Renowned Game Designer
- Harold - A Semi-Neurotic In-House Game Sommelier (aka Game Guru)
EPISODE IDEAS1. Welcome To The Games
Jacob arrives at Games and applies for a job. Ray rejects his application, but Maria, the boss, hires him. Annoyed, Ray attempts to sabotage him by assigning Jacob to the busiest section. With no serving experience, Jacob initially struggles but manages to complete his shift with help from his serving sisters Janelle and Fred. While not a great server, he manages to impress the sarcastic barista Tai and catches the eye of the hostess, Fred. When Fred congratulates him with a complimentary drink, she is shocked to find out that he’s gay. Luckily no one cares, except for Ray who chastises him for not working harder. Leaving defeated but hopeful he vows to work harder on his next shift. After a troubled night, Ray walks into Games with a black eye and a bad attitude. He picks on Jacob relentlessly, but despite this, Jacob completes his shift even better than his first. After his shift, the other workers invite him to stay for a drink which progresses into an after-work afterparty. After having too much to drink, Jacob stumbles out of the bathroom to find himself alone in the cafe with Ray. Despite asking Ray what he can do to improve, Ray refuses. Jacob snaps and collapses into Ray’s arms. Jacob kisses Ray, who is initially stunned but then kisses him back.
2. Two Player Co-Op
A very hungover Jacob wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment. When Ray wakes him up, Jacob freaks out and leaves. He runs into Maria outside the building who asks him to help her drop stuff off at Ray’s. Stuck back in the place he just left, with Maria in the restroom, Jacob confronts Ray about what happened. Ray tells him that it was a mistake and wouldn’t happen again. Feeling relieved but disappointed, Jacob agrees that it’s for the best and leaves. To clear his head he attempts to find a place to live. After recruiting Fred, they go house hunting after work. After viewing a few terrible options, Jacob is offered a room with Fred who gladly accepts. Trying to clear his head, he plans to meet Tai in the park for a beer but is stood up. Coincidentally Ray runs into him in the park and the two share a few beers. While stargazing, Jacob falls asleep and cuddles into Ray who kisses him on the forehead.
3. Trading Monopolies
At work, Jacob is forced to handle the landlord, Darius. Maria comes to meet with him and requests his help on improving the security in the space. Initially resistant, Darius agrees to help if she agrees to his terms. Reluctantly, she agrees and Darius leaves. When Ray arrives she tells him about the meeting which upsets him as he feels cut out of the decision. She reminds him that even though they’re dating, he works for her and tells him to get cameras. Bringing Tai, Ray talks about his past as an artist and his frustrations with Maria. Tai suggests that Ray should start painting again. After a rough day, Fred offers to read Jacob’s fortune and encourages him to take a chance. She reveals that he should take a bold chance on love and Fred tries to convince him to download a dating app. Feeling empowered, Jacob decides to go over to Ray’s house, only to have his door answered by a half dressed Maria.
4. Do Not Pass Go
After encountering Maria in the doorway, Jacob leaves. He decides to focus on work by creating a small board game version of the cafe. After showing it to his co workers they are impressed, but concerned. Janelle and Fred decide he needs to be exposed to more of the city and take him out on the town. While adventuring, Jacob confesses there is someone he likes, but while they pry, he doesn’t say anything. To celebrate his progress, they take him to a local gay bar (Frank's) where he can relax. At the bar Janelle confesses to reigniting her relationship to Coen, the chef, and that he will be there shortly. In the excitement, Ray and Maria show up with Coen, claiming they’d make it a work outing. Ray buys himself a drink which Maria criticizes. Despite this, the two of them start dancing, prompting the others to join them. While dancing, Jacob accidentally gets into a fight when he staggers between a feuding couple. After trying to de-escalate the situation, he ends up getting punched and passes out. After Ray carries him outside, Jacob ends up getting taken to a hospital. When he wakes up he realizes that Ray spent the night there to make sure he was okay.