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Ilya Zarembsky

Ilya Zarembsky aka the Wily Codger aka the Deadzone Don aka the Diamond Child is a single and strikingly handsome, adventurous, sensual, and generous game designer living in Brooklyn. He would have loved to make an end-of-year Best list at, but will probably have to settle for sweeping the IGF awards in a few years. When he's not crafting innovative action game mechanics or creating affecting and deeply personal abstract procedural narrative vignettes (or doing both at once!), he is usually crying and drinking alone in a bar somewhere. Just kidding! ....Or not?! He also sometimes writes about games, runs the legendary board game play(test)ing party The Jolly Gamer, and helps out with independent, subversive, groundbreaking, and generally badass game events and exhibits -- like Living Games and Different Games -- whenever he gets the chance. He tweets bad puns at @wly_cdgr and makes his internet bed at Text him at 978-473-3172 to make a drinks date at Happyfun Hideaway.

Why are you studying games?
The short answer is, cos I like playing and making them.
Describe your favorite project made by a classmate.
Misha Favorov made this prototype where you have to stroke the keyboard like a cat to move your character. Shoshana Kessock wrote a short LARP called Service that cast all of us as draftees into a dystopian future US army....except one of us wasn't supposed to be there. I also have a soft spot for most everything that Stephen Lawrence Clark and Zeke Virant make.
Describe your most embarrassing playtesting moment.
Most any playtest involving Eric Zimmerman
What's your secret weapon?
Describe one memorable lecture, assignment, or exercise you've had at the Game Center.
The first assignment I had at the Game Center was a game modding exercise in Eric Zimmerman's Game Design class. After an intense team design & prototyping session at Brad's (this was when we were over at the Tisch building on Broadway in Manhattan), we headed over to Washington Square Park to look for playtesters for our Matching Pennies mod. I approached two friendly-looking loafers and they gamely agreed to help us. Then, at the end of the playtest, they asked us if we wanted to hang out and smoke with them. I thought, well well this is a good field, game design.
How has the Game Center changed your thinking about games?
You mean, how have I changed the Game Center's thinking about games?
What do you hope to accomplish after school?
Make ends meet making the games I want to make; keep improving as a designer; foster diverse and vibrant game communities in NYC by helping organize events, teaching, curating...
What's the last great game you played and what's great about it?
Realistic Kissing Simulator, cos it's hilarious grotesque kinky and sweet all at once
What's your favorite New York City spot?
Happyfun Hideaway, Botanica, Milano's, Babycastles, Silent Barn, The Strand, Book Thug Nation, AFI, Film Forum, Grand Sichuan on St. Mark's, .....