EXP recently launched on Indiegogo with a goal of $50,000. Focusing on the mature gamer (or at least, the gamer who can drink), patrons gain 100 experience points for every dollar they spend, “leveling up” over time to get free stuff and discounts. The Vancouver restaurant will free feature console gaming at each table, tournaments, social mixers, game industry Q&A sessions, and other pro-gaming events.
EXP is the natural evolution of the secondary framework of gaming as defined by Gary Alan Fine entering the first framework as described in The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games:
The secondary framework is the player framework. Players operate within the game using the rules as they understand them. They operate their characters according to what the game allows, make statistical checks, take damage, and otherwise interact with the variables of the game abstractly, usually through random number generation.
The primary framework is what gamers commonly refer to as real life. It is separate from the game but inextricably part of it. Real life is understood to be outside the rules and its realities may define or even contradict the game itself (i.e., having to finish a game quickly because the players need to go to work). The membrane between imaginary worlds and real life has become increasingly porous, allowing participants to take the very best elements they enjoy most from each gaming medium (Castronova 2005:158).
Envisioned three years ago by Creative Director Brian Vidovic, Vidovic partnered with two others to launch the restaurant: Production and Financial Director Julianna Kolakis and Executive Producer Azlan Mustapha. Together they formed the ownership of the company and began the long road towards opening up EXP. The team enlisted the help of restaurant consultants, The Fifteen Group to help avoid some of the most common mistakes in opening a restaurant and get a solid financial picture for the restaurants first five years. Then they ran into trouble:
We locked down a lease at 309 West Pender in July of last year, hoping to be open for October. We were hit by delays in engineering and permit approvals. Heavy costs and misleading quotes in the early stages set us up for a very rough path. We entered this lease assuming we would be clear for funds, but reality weighed in soon enough. Leaving behind our contractor that led us astray, our landlord offered his help and expertise. John was an accomplished carpenter and project manager, and because he knew the building inside and out, he decided to be awesome and take the management role over construction. We are now in a situation where EXP might be able to open if we delay payments, but our credit would deteriorate and our funds would be too thin to operate effectively. This is why we are here at IndieGoGo asking for the help of the community.
The Indiegogo ends in 26 days and is just about at the halfway mark.