Aw yeah roll on 2017! As I’ve been scheduling what I need to do and what is left, I’ve been working twice as many hours each day as I was before this month, as I am determined to get this finished as timely as possible, without sacrificing quality. So, I’ve penned in a release date that I feel good about. I’m not going to say what that date is, because quite frankly anything can happen, but it gives me enough time to really make this the best game ever, while being a little bit closer than I had originally planned.
What I can tell you is that I’m trying to get the game to a “content complete” state by March 31st. This means that by that date I hope to have all the art finalized and imported into the game, and all ~180 foods and chores programmed in and ready to go. From there I’ll need to make menus, do the progression system, create some challenges and polish it up before release. This means the game won’t be releasing before that date…but if I make my deadlines (and I’m on a good track right now to do so) the game will be much, MUCH closer to being finished by then. So much so that I’ll probably feel good in announcing a release date at that time. But, we’ll see how it goes, because there’s still much to do!
I have a glass whiteboard next to me and it’s oh so satisfying to keep erasing and making that number bigger and bigger each day. Soon I will reach 188. Soon.
The New UI, Part II
In the last update I showed off a lot of the menus in the game, and the new UI that was still very much under development. Since then I’ve rehauled at lot of the systems at work and changed things that I felt weren’t working, needed improving, and better balancing of the visual design. The interface is still cookin’ but I’ve made enough progress to share how it’s going so far. Here is what the UI looked like in the last update:
And here is how the in-game UI looks right now:
Let me break down what the changes are for this new UI.
A) I’ve removed a Holding Station from this row to bring the total count to 8, down from 9. Specifically, I’m removing the drink station (which is still in this pic but will be replaced with a standard holding station). The drink station was a bit too much for players to keep track of, so I’m instead integrating the functionality of it into the game itself. Now when a drink station needs service, it will appear in your Prep Station as an order, like a chore. This is much easier than having to manually check the drink station and service it that way. Everything I talked about in terms of drinks still apply, you’re just getting it served to you in a more comfortable way.
B) The recipe ticket has gotten a big change. First, I’ve reduced the size by around 20%, as it was just a tad too big compared to the other UI elements. I’ve also created a cleaner look and changed some of the font elements to make it more fun.
Something I really liked about the iOS/Android version of CSD 1 is the way you serve orders- you just tap the recipe ticket to serve. It seemed natural and prevented accidental servings of foods when using touch controls if the serve button was placed in the ingredient bar. I always liked that and I wanted to bring that functionality to the desktop/console versions, so the cook/serve button will now be located on the recipe ticket. Those of you who exclusively use keyboards and gamepads aren’t affected by this change at all, just mouse and touchscreen users.
C) I’m strongly considering switching the ingredient menu design to the classic mode as standard. I have found that the other clustered design of ingredients had too many problems; too confusing, and could not handle long names well in the small ingredient windows. This classic design feels like a better fit. For now, that’s what I’m going with. I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping the cluster menu as an option or not, we’ll see how the private beta tests go.
The Cook/Serve button has been removed from the ingredient menu and placed with the recipe ticket as noted earlier, and as a result the ingredient menu looks much less cluttered. I’ve also added a few visual changes.
D) I’m still very much changing the design of the main information window. The time changes color to reflect the time of day, and the small gray bar shows how many perfect/bad/average/gross/delicious orders you’ve gotten (and can be toggled on or off). This new feature was designed for streamers in mind, so that viewers just joining can see how the day is going so far. Your progress is also displayed in the info bar now, with the stars of your restaurant and your current rank, part of an updated progression system that I’ll be outlining in a future update.
The UI is still very much in development, but I’m taking a lot of notes on what works and doesn’t work and getting closer to something that I feel will really pop and shine nicely!
Deleted Content: Roach Patrol
Sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to work and not work until you put it into the game. An idea can get really far along, to the point of having final art drawn for it, until you realize it’s just not gonna work out. I wanted to take the time and salute a chore I had planned for the game that I am cutting…the Roaches chore.
See, if you didn’t throw the trash and let it expire, you had a 50% chance of having to kill roaches with bug spray. If you let that happen enough times in a single day, a superroach could appear and take twice as long to kill. What I found was that going from delicious plates of food to staring at disgusting roaches was quite a jarring element. Sure, that was intentional as no one wants roaches running around in their kitchen, but it was a bit too much. With the hyper-realism I’m aiming for with the food, having HD roaches with enough detail to make out their hairy legs was just a tad overboard. So, I’m cutting it from the final game. RIP roaches.
And RIP bug spray, which kills me inside that I’m cutting since it was such a good Starship Troopers reference.
Coming up Next Month
I’ll be outlining the new Chef for Hire mode in Feb. (previously called Daily Shifts/Shift Work), which changes the way you can play the game, so much so that you can just exclusively play this mode to beat the game if you wanted to! I can’t wait.
I’m also starting my programming streams back up this Monday, January 23rd. Stop on by twitch.tv/chubigans around 1pm central time for some live codin’!