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On Rye

Progress on my Food-Based RPG - Adding dishes!

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A while ago, I asked if it was possible to make a food rpg [link to that post]. After receiving a lot of great advice, I've actually started making progress on it.

 

Game Snapshot: A childhood friend of yours (you are the protagonist) recently opened a restaurant in Metro City and wants you to be the co-owner. Create custom restaurant themes to attract customers, serve customers three-course meals composed of three dishes of your choice, hire talented chefs from several different classes, level them up for new dishes to add to the menu, and increase the national fame and ranking of your restaurant. Eventually, you may qualify for entry in the Diner Ring, the winner of which is invited to cook for the Chief of Rivulet Region (your country's leader)!

 

Right now, I'm working on creating various unlockable menu dishes for this game. My goal is to add at least 100 different dishes. Here's where I'd like your help.The following is a list of character classes. I was wondering if you had any ideas for possible dishes they could prepare, or thoughts on the gameplay of making those specific dishes.

 

Each dish would fall under one of these categories:

  1. Pastry Chef -- makes pastries and desserts, prepares baked goods including bread
  2. Sauce Chef -- prepares the sauces, soups, stews, and sautés
  3. Fish Chef -- prepares seafood dishes
  4. Fry Chef -- fries meat, potatoes, and vegetables
  5. Vegetable Chef -- prepares soups, vegetables, starches and egg dishes
  6. Grill Chef -- grills meat, poultry, and vegetables
  7. Pantry Chef -- prepares cold items such as appetizers, cheeses, and spreads
  8. Cook -- works under the various chefs

As an example, here's how I would classify a dish:

 

Dango > A sweet dumpling made of rice flour > Gameplay: Boiling > Class: Pastry Chef > Example

 

*Very Important Note (Please read this!): I'm certainly not asking you to do my research for me. I've already begun compiling an extensive list of foods and information about them. I'm only asking for your input. You might have been exposed to or seen foods I've never heard of, or thought of gameplay I never considered!

 

Thanks for your help thus far!

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Hmm... So am I correct in understanding that you're looking for regional dishes--koeksisters, for example--and not dishes common in the West--cheesecake, for example?

 

Additionally, what about dishes that might involve multiple classes, such as stews that include both meat (or fish) and vegetables?

 

One quick side-thought (if this was suggested in the previous thread then my apologies!): I see that you have a dedicated "sauce chef"--what about making that chef more or less the equivalent of the bard/cleric class in combat-oriented games, with sauces acting as "buffs" for meals, allowing you to more finely tailor a meal to a specific diner when called for?

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If restaurant themes are possible, you're going to want about the same number of dishes per theme, maybe?  Also, are dishes that take only one cooking process better than those that take more?  (E.g. pierogies need to be boiled then fried.  Bagels are boiled then baked.)

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Add some Indian stuff.

Like Kulfi.

Kulfi is yummy. Kinda like ice cream except homemade, and without the excessive amounts of sugar.

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Gameplay-wise, I think an important division would be things that you make on demand vs. things that you have to (or tend to) make ahead (esp. breads and many desserts, which take hours to make and would be made by your bakers and pastry chef in the wee hours of the morning). For an RPG analogy, make-ahead dishes are like Vancian spells, like in the original D&D, where mages queue up their spells well in advance of their use and anticipate what's going to be needed. So your "fighter" equivalents could be the fish, fry, and grill chefs, whereas your "mage" equivalents would be your pastry and pantry chefs. Like Thaumaturge said, the sauce chef is a bard, the mage type that enhances. Veg chefs are a bit in between.

One stat about restaurant dishes that cooking games sometimes (usually?) miss, and that might deepen gameplay for you, is how a dish scales when you need to make more than one. Some dishes take X amount of labor, and making 10 of them takes 10X labor, whereas some dishes might take Y amount of labor per unit, but making 10 of them only takes 2Y labor. That's why creme brulee is a classic restaurant dish that people don't tend to make at home; it's really inefficient just to make one or two of them, but very efficient to make a ton of, and they store well. Eggs benedict is similar; it's kind of annoying to make one or two of them, but if you've got a four hour period where people are going to order hundreds of them, then you're gold. The related stat to this would be how long you can store a dish after it's fully or partly made.

So anyway, I think one interesting thing would be to think of "make-ahead" counterparts to "on-demand" dishes, things make with the same ingredients but that you queue up like a Vancian spell. For example, if you have sushi, also have ceviche. You have to make it in advance of people ordering (because they can't wait for you to marinate the fish) but you also have a much longer "readiness" window once it's made. For every grilled item, have a slow-cooked BBQ version as well, etc. Edited by valrus

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Hmm... So am I correct in understanding that you're looking for regional dishes--koeksisters, for example--and not dishes common in the West--cheesecake, for example?

 

Additionally, what about dishes that might involve multiple classes, such as stews that include both meat (or fish) and vegetables?

 

One quick side-thought (if this was suggested in the previous thread then my apologies!): I see that you have a dedicated "sauce chef"--what about making that chef more or less the equivalent of the bard/cleric class in combat-oriented games, with sauces acting as "buffs" for meals, allowing you to more finely tailor a meal to a specific diner when called for?

 

Well...really, I'm looking for any kind of dish. There're lots of western dishes that I haven't heard of as well. Even if I have, there might be something more common like cheesecake that I happened to miss (I made note of cream pies, but not cheesecake for some reason!). I actually have a folder of food pictures sitting on my desktop. So if there's something you eat on a regular basis, a food you like, or even a regional dish like koeksister in mind, I can use the reference for sure. In any case, I just learned about a new food!

 

For multi-class dishes, it might make sense for the various chefs to work together--passing the dish along to the appropriate chef's station when they've finished. It might be necessary to hire the chef classes required before being allowed to make certain dishes. I was thinking about making the player a general purpose chef who can prepare dishes of any class, but only the ones that have been unlocked by the other chefs (who specialize in those dishes).

 

That's a great idea. I'll be sure to make note of that. Thanks!

 

If restaurant themes are possible, you're going to want about the same number of dishes per theme, maybe?  Also, are dishes that take only one cooking process better than those that take more?  (E.g. pierogies need to be boiled then fried.  Bagels are boiled then baked.)

 

Hmm. I didn't consider balancing the number of foods available for each theme, so thanks for bringing that up. I do want to have a relatively even amount of dishes available, but it's not something that would cause an issue for me right now. I suppose I could always balance them later on.

 

Dishes that take more than one cooking process, like the one you mentioned, would take longer to prepare; but it wouldn't affect the customer's rating. The dishes would be rated based on the cumulative quality of all the steps. But just now I realized that I might have misunderstood your question. Were you asking if I only wanted suggestions for dishes with one cooking process? If so, not at all! I'm open to any and everything you'd like to see in a food-based game. Thank you for responding!

 

 

Add some Indian stuff.

Like Kulfi.

Kulfi is yummy. Kinda like ice cream except homemade, and without the excessive amounts of sugar.

 

Will do! I did a quick search on that item as well just now and found it pretty appetizing. Creamier than ice cream? It takes longer to melt? Count me in. I do wonder if it'll be more difficult to find instructional videos for dishes from other countries. I'll just have to exercise my google-fu and find out! Thanks for the suggestion.

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I do wonder if it'll be more difficult to find instructional videos for dishes from other countries

This recipe seems alright: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/kulfi-recipe-basic-kulfi-recipe/

 

My family tends to use more 'modern' (Factory made :P) and readily available ingredients here in the US, such as heavy cream, whipping cream, half and half, etc.

Edited by Ovicior

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Gameplay-wise, I think an important division would be things that you make on demand vs. things that you have to (or tend to) make ahead (esp. breads and many desserts, which take hours to make and would be made by your bakers and pastry chef in the wee hours of the morning).  For an RPG analogy, make-ahead dishes are like Vancian spells, like in the original D&D, where mages queue up their spells well in advance of their use and anticipating what's going to be needed.  So your "fighter" equivalents could be the fish, fry, and grill chefs, whereas your "mage" equivalents would be your pastry and pantry chefs.  Like Thaumaturge said, the sauce chef is a bard, the mage type that enhances.  Veg chefs are a bit in between.
 

One stat about restaurant dishes that cooking games sometimes (usually?) miss, and that might deepen gameplay for you, is how a dish scales when you need to make more than one.  Some dishes take X amount of labor, and making 10 of them takes 10X labor, whereas some dishes might take Y amount of labor per unit, but making 10 of them only takes 2X labor.  That's why creme brulee is a classic restaurant dish that people don't tend to make at home; it's really inefficient just to make one or two of them, but very efficient to make a ton of, and they store well.  Eggs benedict is similar; it's kind of annoying to make one or two of them, but if you've got a four hour period where people are going to order hundreds of them, then you're gold.  The related stat to this would be how long you can store a dish after it's fully or partly made.

 

So anyway, I think one interesting thing would be to think of "make-ahead" counterparts to "on-demand" dishes, things make with the same ingredients but that you queue up like a Vancian spell.  For example, if you have sushi, also have ceviche.  You have to make it in advance of people ordering (because they can't wait for you to marinate the fish) but you also have a much longer "readiness" window once it's made.  For every grilled item, have a slow-cooked BBQ version as well, etc.

 

 

Wow, thanks! I think a lot of cooking games do miss that aspect of gameplay. It's a unique game mechanic, for sure, and I think it would make gameplay a lot more fun because now strategy and prediction are involved. It might be necessary to include a restaurant critic, trend-following, friend who occasionally gives the player hints for what sorts of dishes the locals might like to have. I played a casual stock-market sim a while ago, and there was a guy who would sometimes give hints as to which items would have higher stock values the next day. Something along those lines, so that the player won't waste a lot of ingredients preparing items that won't sell very well. Or, perhaps that's completely unnecessary. It depends on how everything falls into place once I add those mechanics. The player might be able to predict which dishes would sell the best based on what's popular at the moment.

 

Also, it's good to use those RPG analogies! It helps me understand how those concepts could apply to this game.

 

 

 


I do wonder if it'll be more difficult to find instructional videos for dishes from other countries

This recipe seems alright: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/kulfi-recipe-basic-kulfi-recipe/

 

My family tends to use more 'modern' (Factory made tongue.png) and readily available ingredients here in the US, such as heavy cream, whipping cream, half and half, etc.

 

 

Ok. It looks pretty good to me. Thanks for that link!

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I've watched a bunch of Food Network over the years and I noticed that in mystery box competitions the results tend to be like "I made a [base ingredient] [general technique] with a [some other paired ingredient] and [sauce]." That is, you have some assorted basic known forms of dishes and chefs apply one or more known techniques with whatever ingredients are available to attempt to result in flavor combinations and textures that are general seen as desirable for a given regional style of cooking. The result also being quite dependent on a chef's level of experience with each of these as well as fundamental skills like knife handling and time management.

It seems to me that there's a formula here which could perhaps allow for procedurally created dishes rather than having to be limited to a set of per-defined recipes. Although like any procedurally generated element, it could be pretty tough to get just right (and it might not fit with your current vision).

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I've watched a bunch of Food Network over the years and I noticed that in mystery box competitions the results tend to be like "I made a [base ingredient] [general technique] with a [some other paired ingredient] and [sauce]." That is, you have some assorted basic known forms of dishes and chefs apply one or more known techniques with whatever ingredients are available to attempt to result in flavor combinations and textures that are general seen as desirable for a given regional style of cooking. The result also being quite dependent on a chef's level of experience with each of these as well as fundamental skills like knife handling and time management.

It seems to me that there's a formula here which could perhaps allow for procedurally created dishes rather than having to be limited to a set of per-defined recipes. Although like any procedurally generated element, it could be pretty tough to get just right (and it might not fit with your current vision).

 

Great input! I think this allows for interesting end-game content. For instance, after completing the main story this form of gameplay can be unlocked. At that point the player can begin experimenting with that model in addition to using the dishes already unlocked, and will also have a better idea of how food construction works due to having made various dishes already throughout the game. That way, I can avoid [initially] confusing players with a large variety of options while still giving them the freedom to make whatever they like after they've had enough in-game experience.

 

Thanks for the suggestion! I also watch various food shows on occasion.

 

 

As far as gameplay design goes, I've narrowed cooking down to the following categories. I'm mostly using this list as a reference, but there's a more extensive list here.

 

Cooking_Reference.png

 

I'm not quite sure how I should format each of these. I imagine a minigame would trigger when the player wants to make a certain food, but I don't know how I would make each one unique and different. I have an idea of how I want to structure the boiling minigame though. When the player wants to boil something (say, dango for example), the items would be dropped into the boiling water sprite and the player would have to remove them after a set amount of time. This could be done with a timer (invisible to the player). The player would be given a visual indicator that the food is done, but if he or she doesn't react fast enough, it could overcook (subtracting points from the final score). For dango, the balls of dough float to the top when they're done (before screenshot and after screenshot, courtesy of Google images).

 

But how could I make this fun (sorry if my wording is weird there)? I was watching a Let's Play of Cook, Serve, Delicious and I was having fun just watching the guy play. That game uses button presses to prepare food (ex. press arrow keys in a certain order to slice fish). I'm struggling with design...

 

It's a bit important to note that I don't really intend to make a realistic simulation game. I'm hoping to use 3D model renders for the animations, but they more-than-likely won't be entirely photo-realistic. I just thought it was necessary to mention this so you'll know what the limitations are [and what they aren't, I suppose].

 

If you compare the following, my graphics would be a cross between the two:

 

resize_image.jpgtumblr_lhip176J9B1qhcocko1_500.jpg

Edited by On Rye

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