Some time back, say 1+ year ago, Dear1 and Dear2 were addicted to this flash game, H.K. Cafe, by Maggie Lau. She also made a number of other flash games which could be found on her website. Almost all her games revolve around providing a service to customers, such as serving food, doing a facial, taking care of babies, etc. And this was before Dear1 and Dear2 started playing Diner Dash. Which game came first? I’m not too sure, but it does seem like a period of time whereby such serving games were really going hot.
H.K. Cafe serves breakfast food to a restaurant of 5 customers. There are peanut butter toast, kaya toast, egg and sausages, egg noodles, coffee, tea and some other combinations. U have to cook the food by clicking on it and it will be transported into the frying pan or whichever appropriate cooking ware. The catch here is, u have to turn off the fire when the food is ready, not undercooked and not overcooked, then it will be suitable for serving. Once the food is ready, u have to put it on the correct plate, bowl, cup or saucer before serving it to the correct customer. Sounds fun ya? Sounds like alot of things to do too.
Dear1 and Dear2 spent a lot of time practicing and playing over and over again to beat the highscore. There was a period of time when we’d take turns playing on the same computer and challenging each other. And our nightly activity become serving breakfast to hungry customers. Obviously, Dear2 is the better player. It was just so fun. But then, frustration set in when we couldn’t outdo ourselves anymore. The problem was that there were too many things to take care of. Broadly, it is cooking and serving. The cooking required good timing while the serving took up too much time and often resulted in food being overcooked while the attention was away from the frying pan. Competition can only go so far, it is time for cooperation. Hence, Dear1 and Dear2 decided to tackle the game together.
However, there’s only one mouse so we had to delegate our jobs and maximise our efficiency. Dear2 was better at cooking and she would handle the mouse and focus on the cooking. Dear1 was in charge of taking orders from the floor and translating the orders to Dear2 to cook. As such Dear1 need to priorities what individual food item to cook and instruct Dear2 directly. After that Dear2 would put the ready food on the plates and Dear1 will tell her which table to serve to. In essence, Dear2 is controlling the whole game, cooking and serving, as she is holding the mouse, and Dear1 helped to analyse the situation and optimize the production flow of the restaurant. And we broke our personal records! And we continued to break highscore after highscore until there’s really not much room for improvement anymore.
What most enjoyable from this episode is working and playing together with Dear2. Through playing this game together, we have lots of interaction and also learnt to trust each other. Dear2 needed to be comfortable with my judgement and follow my instructions while I am certain that Dear2 will produce the right food at the right time without any wastage. It really showed that when the 2 dears work together, we’ll be able to scale new heights. Of course there were disagreements initially, but we worked out the difference, compromise on the management style and proceeded with the partnership in the game. It might be a simple game, but the lessons learnt are definitely applicable to real life situations. You should play a game with ur partner too. I think game playing promotes communication and builds relationships.
p.s. Just this week, Dear2 started replaying H.K. Cafe again, which prompted me to share today’s post with everyone.