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Question cooking/crafting system -- or gameplay design

Discussion in 'Open Projects' started by Zold2012, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    So I'm proposing a cooking or crafting system in response to a few things:
    • The initial concept is very concerned with cooking. Our hero is a 'chef' the goal is a 'recipe' why not let the pig do some of the cooking?
    • There has been quite a bit of talk already about an inventory system, collecting resources to craft would utilize this system
    • There has not been much talk of what gameplay will entail. Brief nods to zelda-likes like Tunic have been made, but with the express notion that combat wouldn't be the primary component. cooking meals for people, crafting items to use could be the main component.
    Food could be created to serve as health items, food could be created to serve as abilities. A hearty dish could make you run really fast, you could feed food to the Phoenix Chick to have it shoot out fire blasts. Food could be made to pacify large enemies, stinky food could be made to scare enemies. Food could be made to create lures for rare creatures required for more complex recipes. Food could be used to interact with NPC's to gain favor with guards, to help hungry/sick NPC's feel better. Of course, the cooking system could also be seen as a crafting system and used to create items that weren't strictly food.

    Players would have to collect the necessary recipes from NPCs or recipe books beforehand and then go out into the forest to collect the necessary ingredients, using a minimal combat system to deal with close dangers and 'collect' creatures. Players might even have to trade ingredients with an NPC to get the specific ingredients they need. Certain dishes might require a special oven which is only available in a set place with a specific NPC.

    Crafting could take place completely in menus, but really I think it would be more engaging if it required player input in the game world.



    gameplay from Overcooked comes to mind. The Chef could carry a pot and a small mat/cutting board that could be deployed in the gameworld (sorta like the deck from quadrilateral cowboy, quicker though)

    the player would have to manually place/combine ingredients and use tools to prepare the dish, using the Phoenix Chick to cook the dish on the pot or broil it on the mat.

    I realize this is maybe a bit big, and I'm okay if we don't go down this route, but I would appreciate some discussion on what we want the moment to moment gameplay to look like. Should it be mostly exploration? Talking a bunch to NPCs? Solving environmental puzzles?

    googledocs link:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kGQXAkZul-dptwB6cXT71QrpBMDb8iQW3sdVfDaQ26g/edit?usp=sharing
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  2. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    i know you'll make the right choice, my record speaks for itsself2.jpg
    DEAR LORD ALMIGHTY!!!

    LET THE PIG COOK YOU A MEAL!!!

    ~thats all im sayin~
     
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  3. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    I immediately thought Overcooked as well but didn't want to rip that off completely. Another option (although definitely more violent) is Battle Chef Brigade, where defeating enemies becomes ingredients to cooking.

    Since we didn't want to go down the killing road, how about to defeat enemies, chef must give them their favorite dish? @invadererik suggested this in another thread. Perhaps chef builds a special cooking energy via a collectable resource, and after a set amount of resource has been consumed, chef can do some kind of QTE or solve a puzzle like in Pokemon Cafe Mix. Loving the idea of throwing out food to placate any hostiles more and more!

    We could also have a collectable resource that works like a korok seed quest, although instead of inventory expansion, it's cooking capability expansion, i.e. after X amount of resources collected, gain a new ability/recipe.

    In the interest of keeping it lean per @cirocontinisio 's request in the Official Dialogue and Narrative thread, we might choose only one of these ideas for now? Although I think both could go hand-in-hand if we have the bandwidth to make it happen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  4. farhangulkhan29

    farhangulkhan29

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    I think we should definitely have some sort of cooking/crafting going on in the game.
     
  5. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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  6. erizzoalbuquerque

    erizzoalbuquerque

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    hey, @Zold2012 I really like the idea of having a cooking/crafting system. It fits the theme perfectly.
    Using the dishes for combat but also for all kinds of non-combat tasks can really expand gameplay, so we can put less emphasis on combat. Also, cooking in the game world is charming, and using phoenix for cooking is a great way of giving the one tool multiple uses is a game (light env, combat, cooking...).

    What I'm not very fond of is a complex craft system or be limited to only cook something after you get a recipe. I usually prefer something that the player can explore and discover, and that doesn't require memorization or checking a list.

    What I propose is something inspired in Kirby 64.



    A recipe would consist of a combination of 1 or 2 ingredients. Maybe 3 at maximum. We wanna make it simple. The output of a recipe is usually something very intuitive based on the effects of the individual ingredients. For example, if you have a fruit that makes you transparent and a fruit that sets you on fire, the combination of them could maybe turn you into smoke. Or the combination of an ingredient that makes you havier and an ingredient that makes you stronger, can give you super resistance.

    The focus of this design is having fun combining different ingredients and discovering what effect will you get. Also, every time you discover a new ingredient you'll want to combine it with the ingredients you already had.

    By making it easy and intuitive, the main gameplay loop could be finding the combination of ingredients that will allow you to complete the different kinds of tasks in the game. For example, combining ingredients tom make you super strong to overcome battle, or finding a recipe that makes you super heavy to explore underwater, or even a combination to make you bouncy to reach high terrain.

    Also, a simple crafting system can make it easier to combine the ingredients in the game world as it has already been purposed. The different ingredients could be found by exploration, combat, or quests like @Zold2012 or @shuttle127 suggested.

    What do you think, guys?
     
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  7. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    discovering recipes through experimentation definitely has possibility @erizzoalbuquerque
    It reminds me of alchemy in skyrim where if you discover a useful recipe it's recorded for later use. That actually highlights a progression issue I hadn't thought of yet. If dishes aren't locked behind first collecting a recipe, then the factor limiting progression would be the collection of ingredients. They would need to be gated to ensure players completed tasks in the intended order.

    I'd like to try something a bit more complicated for the cooking so it feels like cooking, but it might not be feasible. Recipes in Overcooked largely consist of 1-3 components, but there is an order you have to construct them in.
     
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  8. erizzoalbuquerque

    erizzoalbuquerque

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    I like the idea of using ingredients for limiting player progression.

    An ingredient would work kind as a power-up in a metroidvania. Once, a player got access to a new ingredient he could combine with his previous ingredients to get access to new skills and upgrades. Then it could use it to access new areas or complete quests.

    Also, the rarity of an ingredient could be used to make very powerful skills more expensive to be used.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  9. invadererik

    invadererik

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    I imagine something more like cooking mama, where each individual dish is its own thing, and you are rated on how well you achieved it at the end.

    So basically you collect ingredients through out the level, that unlock a recipe, then based on how you perform the recipe, the creatures that eat that type of food are satisfied ( the smaller versions of the creatures fall asleep with lower grades, and the bigger versions of the creatures dont fall asleep unless you get a high grade), therefore you can skip some fighting depending on how you do.
     
  10. vak1793

    vak1793

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    I like your idea @Zold2012 and I have some suggestions for the main gameplay.

    I was thinking that combat could be about protecting the ingredients that you have gathered. Something along the lines of critters will attack you based on what ingredients/items you are carrying (the idea being that critters are attacking you for food) and if you lose the encounter you will have to gather the ingredient again.

    I also like the idea of using recipes to limit player progression. We could have smaller or simpler recipes which we will need to cook in order to progress.
     
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  11. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    So here’s my ‘blue sky’ approach to the cooking system. I largely see it as an expansion of the mechanics present in Overcooked.

    You have a pot/skillet, Camp grill/wire rack, and a cutting board to prepare food on. These would be carried with you and deployed into the game world at any time to prepare food on. There are other prep stations throughout the world like ovens that would be required for specific dishes.

    To actually prepare food you would use utensils. Utensils would be a wooden spoon, knife, or the Phoenix chick. Spoon would be used for stirring, flipping, serving or transferring food. Knife would be used for peeling/preparing, chopping, and mincing. Torch chick would be used in conjunction with the Pot or Grill in order to cook stuff.

    We talked about using ingredients to gate progress, but prep stations and utensils could also be used as gates. Instead of locking components of a recipe, we lock the tools necessary to prepare it. Also, I'm almost immediately thinking it would be a good idea to drop the grill/cutting board from your portable prep stations as it just sounds like a lot of stuff for the player to manage. Instead, you would have to reply on flat rocks/tree stumps to provide space to prepare ingredients on. It might also be possible to chop stuff on a skillet? just a thought.

    In Overcooked the main gameplay is concerned with the logistics of moving ingredients from one prep station to another in order to prepare as much food as possible within a timeframe. In our game, it's unlikely we'll have to worry about preparing more than one dish at a time, which would open up space for the actual preparation to receive more focus.

    Actions with utensils could be delineated by different lengths/different amounts of button presses. For instance, a long held button press with the knife would peel a potato, ~3 short button presses would chop, and 3 more (6 total) presses would mince it. The spoon would operate similarly, Long press would flip an egg, short presses would scramble the egg. So to cook an omelet, you would put the egg on the skillet, scramble it with a few short presses, let it cook, add a second ingredient as a filling, then flip it with a long button press.
     
  12. itsLevi0sa

    itsLevi0sa

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    Since our game is a single-player adventure that has a story, I am trying to think of ways to maintain flow while achieving qualities such as simplicity, clear goals and direct feedback like what Overcooked implemented. For this reason, I’ll try to fit what is being discussed under some main questions that I think we are trying to answer here:

    What role does cooking play in our game?
    1. Survival for us and our Phoenix chick - produce health items (@Zold2012 ).
    2. It could provide an alternative way of “defeating” someone by entering a cooking challenge with that character (@invadererik) .
    3. It could lure creatures that are needed for recipes (Zold2012). (or are we going vegan?:D)
    4. It could keep aggressive creatures away/busy/calm (Zold2012, @shuttle127 ).
    5. It could become a social tool to achieve some goals and affect the narrative – used “to gain favor/provide help (Zold2012)” or “reputation” or “bonding” (as @michaelgrilo has mentioned in the Level Design thread).
    6. It could produce some temporary power ups/abilities for us or the Phoenix chick to use (Zold2012) .
    7. Mixing ingredients to produce other outcomes than food to tackle perhaps different kind of puzzles (@erizzoalbuquerque).

    How do the players get a sense of progression in gameplay (apart from the story)?

    1. You could gather certain special ingredients that start becoming rarer and more challenging to get – or protect (use of combat as defense, @vak1793 )
    2. You could learn special cooking techniques that become more complex along the way allowing for more unique dishes to be made.
    3. You start learning new recipes, that become more demanding/challenging to follow
    4. You could get access to/upgrade specific cooking tools that unlock new ways of cooking (like the ovens that Zold2012 has mentioned above, and @shuttle127 has made a simalar mention before in the LevelDesign thread).

    Since we have an inventory and potential quests/abilities, it’s easy to assume that our character might gain XPs on some things along the game. Maybe that “Silver Knife” needs a Lvl2 in “chopping” skills to be used. Or maybe an uknown ingredient needs a special technique to get its juices out that could be unlocked after Pig Chef… [Insert Story Here].

    How can the cooking experience become translated in controls?
    Concern introduced by Zold2012 right above.

    What do we want the players to experience? What kind of gameplay do we aim for?
    I would love to allow our players to become creative. After all, that’s what cooking is all about. And creativity is indeed based on intuition! It can make the players feel so smart and proud that they thought of an interesting combination and brought a solution to a problem. It would be great if they could surprise themselves, and us.
    So, in the same line of thought with @erizzoalbuquerque , I think it’s brilliant to play with the idea that A + B can produce C to tackle a challenge, and introducing special fruits with unique abilities/powers that enable other kinds of “cooking”/tasks when mixed together to tackle maybe environmental/combat/quest puzzles.

    These fruits could provide a hint of their ability in a very straight-forward way, so it will be up to the observing skills of our players to spot one and collect it. We could even provide a record of how many there are on the map to keep the players searching and scratching their heads.

    For example: Since erizzoalbuquerque mentioned an ingredient that could make something invisible, I can imagine having an actual invisible object for our players to spot on the map. A hint could be having some elements (ie. rocks) standing peculiarly mid-air, as if standing on a hidden object, a hint to the invisible fruit. Speaking of fruits...I can't stop thinking of the Devil Fruits in One Piece (for the anime followers) so I am going to leave this here as a reference.

    To conclude, I think that could be the kind of excitement that our game could provide:
    Figuring out interesting combinations of elements, that will let the players come up with a fine ”dish” to tackle challenges in unique, creative ways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  13. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

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  14. GhAyoub

    GhAyoub

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    I immediatly thought about Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma Anime when I first saw the idea of the project :p:D
     
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  15. erizzoalbuquerque

    erizzoalbuquerque

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    Apparently, most of the cooking design is being discussed and decided outside this thread. But, even so, here some comments.

    As in Zelda Breath of the Wild that you have just a little number of skills, that can combine intuitively into a lot of different results, I think the cooking system should be simple, with only a few ingredients that can be combined very intuitively into new outcomes that are usually the expected result of summing the effects of the ingredients.

    I think this system rewards creativity, curiosity, and the player's capacity to inferring new recipes based on his prior knowledge of the ingredients rather than just following instructions or memorizing combinations of random ingredients.

    I think @itsLevi0sa idea is perfect for this kind of design. The player needs curiosity to check/notice the strange rocks floating and, after getting the ingredient, he can immediately imagine its effect without being told. Besides, he can create expectations of what effects he will get by combining this new ingredient with the effects of the ingredients he got before. Sounds like a very fun toy to me hehe :)
     
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  16. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    I really appreciate @itsLevi0sa 's post collating the design ideas up till now. I also think our next goal should be thinking of specific challenges that could be solved with the cooking system. Maintaining player flow is also something to be concerned with. Gameplay should have a certain rhythm comparable to a more action-based game.

    I would group cooking challenges into two groups:

    moment to moment dishes
    • used during adventuring in response to obstacle challenges (enemies, locomotion, environmental danger)
    • component ingredients are in the same area as the challenge
    • OR more difficult areas might require a few (1-2) ingredients to be stockpiled from another area beforehand
    • could require experimentation to discover rather than being prescribed by a recipe

    goal dishes
    • dishes used to progress the story, whether that be by interaction with an NPC or unlocking a new area
    • rarer ingredients/preparation tools.
    • recipes are given as they should require more complicated cooking and thus would be less prone to success by experimentation

    Basically, use the moment to moment dishes to gather necessary ingredients for goal dishes. Moment to moment dishes would exclusively use the Pheonix Chick and your personal prep stations (player can cook when they arrive at a challenge), while goal dishes could be required to use world-based prep stations like ovens.

    I would guestimate having 3-5 goal dishes would be a good target? This is where the narrative thread can start suggesting stuff/characters to interact with.

    Again, dish challenges are obstacles that require a recipe to overcome. Moment to moment dishes are made in response to an immediate obstacle. Goal dishes are made in response to a known objective.
     
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  17. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    Also, somewhat of an amendment/response to cooking mechanics. Originally I had workspaces separate from utensils, but this isn't how Overcooked does it, and honestly the more I think about it it's hard to justify using a knife with a pot or a spoon with a cutting-board. But there would be room to use the Chick on the pot and the Chick on the cutting-board (broiling) so maybe the Pheonix Chick is its own thing?

    Also in the narrative thread @cirocontinisio mentioned having the cooking mechanics contained within a UI system. I'd prefer there be some feeling of world interaction with the cooking system, but if it does need to be simplified to a menu-based system then I'd like to outline what the important parts I'd like transferred over.

    I'd like there to be an order of operations necessary to complete recipes. Most crafting systems (BOTW cooking included) work on an x+y = z formula. But actual recipes usually require more steps than 'throw everything in a pot and heat it up'

    In the LOZ:Wind Waker, the wind waker could open a dropdown menu of all currently known spells for the player to choose, but instead of this, wind waker requires you to perform a specific melody with the controller movements. This is part of a franchise theme in Zelda games of playing musical instruments. There is nothing inherently satisfying about choosing a song to play on an mp3 player, but there is something satisfying about playing a melody on an instrument. In the same vein, I'd like cooking in our game to receive similar treatment to music in Zelda. Being able to prepare a dish quickly after learning the muscle memory for it would feel satisfying in the same way playing a melody in Wind Waker from muscle memory would.

    In a menu based system, you could still have options to do different actions (peeling a potato vs chopping a potato) to different ingredients, and the order you performed actions would change the outcome (adding omelet fillings after scrambling vs before)
     
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  18. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    What about a mini match 3 game of ingredients? The board only fills with the ingredients already collected, and chef needs X amount of matches to make the dish.
     
  19. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    Maybe? I know that's how the Battle Chef Brigade game you mentioned worked, I'd need to investigate it more
     
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  20. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    I suggested QTEs once or twice in other threads, but crickets in response. Yes many people don’t like them and I can see the breaking immersion angle, although maybe they could work in a closeup/first person view? Something like a rhythm game now that I think of it, having to time when to slice, when to dice, when to shake, when to stir, etc.
     
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  21. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    When it comes to progression, the chef can gain chef titles from completing different types of recipes, and the festival could be all about only letting the Executive Chefs (some of which have names similar to famous chefs) compete for the right to cook for the legendary chef and earn the coveted golden spork.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  22. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I like the botw + specific cooking table for pacing issue in an action adventure game. Is select a bunch of items, toss them into the table, animation ensue, dish is prepared. Maybe intermediate steps where you obtain a recipe thatis needed for a more complex dish.

    Preparing some dish could attract some critters in some place, notably those old cooking civilization ruin, and we would have to defeat it while it cooked.

    Also the phoenix can be source of traversal puzzle, we can't go inside water with it, so we would have to drop it for a while, and find a way to make it with it. It could be a soft gating were the player could go to some place without the phoenix but can't properly interact in the new region without it. Which mean we could also upgrade the phoenix, like having an impermeable cage to swim with. Another idea is the phoenix is a torch in unlit area, which attract moth and defeat stealth on enemy, dropping the phoenix would allow to stealth better.
     
  23. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    been spending a couple of days thinking stuff over and watching where other people were going on stuff. I have a new cooking system in mind and some ideas for impromptu dishes (previously known as 'moment to moment dishes')

    Impromptu dishes are to serve as abilities that can be used in the environment. Eat a certain dish, gain a helpful ability. But before we get into that lets talk about the Pheonix chick.

    Everyone seems to be on the same page with the Pheonix chick either being part of your starting kit or being obtained very early on. Everyone also seems to agree that the Pheonix chick should play some part in the main gameplay, and have some part in the cooking system. Therefore, I am suggesting that the special button (y) listed on the controller layout be reserved for using the Pheonix Chick. During exploration, this would be represented by an animation of shaking the chick's cage like a lantern. During a cooking sequence, this would add heat or cook the recipe being worked on.

    Before, we were talking about dishes that would give the Pig status effects (health, invisibility) but the Chick can also eat dishes, and as it operates similarly to a piece of equipment it can be used as a 'magic wand' of sorts that you can feed with different spells(dishes). Pressing the Chick button during gameplay would activate the dish effects of the meal last fed to the chick. Each meal provides only so many charges or an available time window of ability before it runs out or is overridden by another dish.

    so, possible dish effects on the pig:
    • recover health - tastier food restores more health
    • protect against poison damage
    • protect against heat damage
    • faster movement
    • invisibility/stealth
    possible dish effects triggerable after feeding the chick:
    • fireballs projectiles
    • ice projectiles?
    • poison/sleep projectiles?
    • jumping - a large blast of flame that pushes Pig and Chick up to a higher level
    • flying - a dash, a horizontal form of a jump or a teleporter type effect

    other:
    • distract enemy - distract creatures by placing a tasty meal to lure them away from their eggs

    These ability ideas could be used to start laying out level design and overall game flow.
    To review, the pig chef would collect ingredients in an environment to make dishes that provided abilities that were useful in that environment. Dishes could be fed to the pig for passive effects, and dishes could be fed to the chick for triggerable effects.
     
  24. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    my revised cooking system functions as an unholy communion between the functionality of the wind waker from TLOZ:WindWaker and the combat system from LISA as well as being inspired by @shuttle127 's mention of QTE and rhythm game mechanics



    basically you input different controller sequences to prepare ingredients in different ways.
    for this explanation, I will be describing the controls using a gamepad control sticks but it should continue to be functional on a keyboard using wsad/arrow keys.

    When you have an ingredient or mixture of ingredients you can perform an action on them.

    Say we want to make chopped potatoes and bell peppers.
    We select the potato from our ingredients inventory and begin chopping them by spamming up/down/up/down on the control stick. we do the same to our bell pepper. then we combine the two results and mix them by inputting left/right/left/right while tapping the torch chick button to apply heat and cook the mixture. Our meal is complete.

    But let's say we want to make a nicer dish of chopped potatoes and bell peppers? We'll start by peeling the potatoes. We begin with 'up' to indicate we're using a knife, but next, we input 'right' to communicate that we aren't "chopping", we're "preparing", we continue the sequence with 'left' and 'down' and at the end, we're rewarded with a peeled potato. Let's do the same with the bell pepper, removing the seeds. Again, we use the "prepare" sequence up, left, right, down and we have a bell pepper with the seeds removed. We chop the items and then mix them while heating. A much nicer meal of the same type.

    Let's look at eggs again. grab an egg, mix it with left/right/left/right while applying heat with the chick. We now have scrambled eggs. Let's keep going. Switching to a bell pepper we prepare it with u/l/r/d, then chop with u/d/u/d, then we combine with the scrambled eggs we made previously using the inventory menu. Apply more heat, and flip with d/l/u/r/d. We now have an omelet.
    upload_2020-10-10_20-47-44.png
    Actions are defined by input patterns + the Pheonix Chick button to add heat/cook (too much heat and the result is burnt?) Ingredients can be combined via menus. Animations can be added to actions by making each action have different beginning patterns to indicate which action is being attempted. In addition, a small timer/gauge/metronome can be used to time input patterns. (think Gears of War's active reload) precise timing results in "better" prepared food.

    There are a couple of benefits to this system:
    • multiple dishes with different effects can be made from the same limited set of ingredients.
    • allows for mastery of cooking mechanics, important if we want to have an in-game competition to test the player's ability
    • its probably fun??1!? I hope...
     
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  25. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I don't like this, especially for pacing. Zelda is just one actions, and after a while you try to do it as fast as possible, it become an hassle. You propose many actions for one result, it's just a fancy and convoluted menu system. KISS
     
  26. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    While I can see how the proposed system is too complex for a 6-month endeavor, saying Zelda’s system becomes a hassle comes across that it’s tedious/boring because it’s so simple.

    This system is unique, is there a way to compromise between it and Zelda? Maybe just do one variation of motion for everything and then the challenge is to do it faster and faster? This is how Final Fantasy VII Remake did the gym mini games.
     
  27. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    The gym mini game is optional and not a blocker of progression.

    The thing is there is probably a problem with the frequency at which we need something that require no challenge and has no variable outcomes.

    Especially if it is mixed with a tonally different gameplay like action adventure. Even in zelda, playing instruments was infrequent as we didn't need to constantly fast travel, that mostly happen after a good gameplay chunk like dungeon, or at set progression gates for puzzles.

    If we are going to do x long actions just to make one potions, each time we get hit, it will get old fast.

    That's why people complained about crafting in animal crossing new horizon, and those who made all sorts of contraception to circumvent it got viral. And that was a much simpler procedure.

    A counter example would be the first jet set radio, where you need to draw graffiti with long gestures and is akin to the system proposed. But that was part of the risk reward and progression gameplay, as you had to planned around increase threats, and the move teleport you around at each input so it doubled as evade maneuver. Then it got axed completely in the sequel.

    Imho we can probably split the apple in two:
    - on exploration duty we can have a botw/genshin impact style cooking, ie with the adventure pot you can place everywhere to cook basic food. The way it could work is, select the ingredients in the menu, and it automatically place them with the pot in the field, the pot do an animation like botw with a qte like in genshin. The animation is there for a risk reward timer so if there enemy they could interrupt the cooking, or the player can cancel it, so there is an element of push your risk. That also supposed a more relax game to let the player have time to set that through, if we have critters interactions instead of full blown aggressive monsters, that would work.
    - at the various specific cooking tables, where we do refined dishes, we have the full mini game proposed. Refine dish is infrequent and likely to follow adventure sequences, so it act as a change of pace and also closure to a progression beat, and it let the player role play the character.
     
  28. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I would also make a proposition for "enemy" design, i jump on the fact that some people start calling them critters instead, as the gameplay is probably richer than kill stuff on sight.

    So let's formalize combat as more of a gathering technique. Ie the hisl isn't to defeat enemy, but interact with critters to get ingredients or specific effects.

    That mean we could start by categorizing critters as broadly 4 types, cowards, aggressive, neutral and mischievous. Then further precise behavior with a set of traits and senses, like gregarious animal move and react as a pack, protective react if another member is messed with, etc. , and critters can react by sounds, vision, odor, etc...I'm basically taking note from xenoblade chronicles... we would probably need basic stealth like the usual walking in tall grass to not overload control and animation.
     
  29. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    I have used a somewhat complicated dish to describe how in-depth this system could be, not every dish would be or should be that long.
    Separating the cooking system between two different systems feels like it would confuse the player and wouldn't be condusive to mechanical mastery. Furthermore, your suggestion isn't actually that different from what I've proposed here. impromptu dishes (made in response to the game world) would be simpler to cook than goal dishes which would be used to test mastery of learned cooking techniques. When I say 'simple', I mean, "throw stuff in the pot and heat it up" that's how simple they could be.
    this could be remedied by making every food item heal the player, but only prepared meals heal the player fully, or having prepared meals heal the player significantly more.

    Another thing that I feel that is being overlooked is that once a dish is made it wouldn't be necessary to eat it immediately. Players could stockpile dishes they know they would need before they go into an area. Or, if they're fool hearty they always have the option of cooking meals right in front of a baddie. We have to give players the option to "mess up" but im not trying to limit player's ability to prepare.
    Animal Crossing's crafting system was not testing mastery, it was gating predetermined cosmetic items. Every time you cook with this system it could produce a slightly better or worse dish which makes practicing and repetition of the process rewarding (or at least interesting)
    No. The idea for a system with variable outcome that requires mechanical skill is a direct response to the story thread's decision to feature a cooking competition. If two characters are going to compete, one needs to perform an action better than the other.
    Battle Chef Brigade does this very well, awarding a point value to each dish. I didn't necessarily want to go that in-depth, but it works.
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  30. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    So an issue I'm trying to contend with is how the cooking system, whichever system we choose, gets implemented within the game. If it's so simple you don't have to think much about it, all we're left with are the dish effects and scenario we use them in. And if the only thing its accomplishing is getting in the way of the other systems, yeah, that's probably going to get annoying and I begin to ask whether we're interested in cooking mechanics at all. If the cooking system is present, there needs a way to be good at cooking and a way to be bad at cooking beyond collecting the right ingredients. Simply collecting ingredients is a fetch quest.
     
  31. neoshaman

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    I was thinking ingredients quality grade would make the difference, competition would be simply performative of choosing the right ingredients and having the dish meet a given grade. Basically pushing back the challenge to navigation and resources management risk and reward. To me it's not a cooking game, but an adventure game with cooking theme, else it's two games, I think focus is important, but that is how I interpret it.

    The way you describe it, it looks like simply either performing the preset move like are, maybe with time sensitive like a rhythm game. You use Zelda instruments as an example, there is no challenge there, it's a fancy menu selection. Functionally it's no different from animal crossing.

    Maybe try to define the mechanics more.
     
  32. ShinAeon

    ShinAeon

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    My first thought was something along this line as well, but a couple of additional thoughts, calling back to Skyrim what if the ingredients had discoverable "flavor properties" that would allow them to be used more broadly across multiple recipes as the character gets "better".

    To that end, what about a sort of "hidden experience system" where the more the player uses a specific tool or ingredient the more skillfully they can execute their creations.

    Maybe not so prominent as to require some kind of skill grind in order to progress, but certainly in a sense that would reward players that want to spend more time perfecting individual abilities.

    This might be a lot more involved than people are looking for; but I feel like it could be hidden away in plain sight artfully enough that if you don't go that route it doesn't hurt you.

    Was also thinking it would be interesting if there were multiple possible ingredients to fill specific roles within a recipe, some maybe producing better results than others.
     
  33. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    That's what I was thinking, omelette can be done with regular eggs, wild goose eggs, or hairy eagle eggs. Each having different grade.

    Aside from that I would say beware of design ambiguity, player can't make decisions on unknown factors. Also it's best to test design against the need for cognition, then progression and pacing, then the need for immersion. The mechanics and rules have no value in themselves, they are tools to define the player experience from his perspective.
     
  34. ShinAeon

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    It would be good to start nailing down a few ideas about how recipes will work as well as a rough list of ingredients and how they might fit together.

    When I worked at restaurants the basic premise for every menu item typically consisted of a protein, a sauce for the protein, a vegetable side, and a starch of some kind. Maybe that's too broad or repetitive to make an interesting game, but it was really just a general guideline that I think could keep recipes simple.

    Ingredients could be broken down by broad classifications; these are just examples:
    • Animal ingredients - things that come from animal sources,
      • Cuts of meat
      • Eggs
      • Milk
      • Yak sweat or whatever
    • Vegetables - things that come from plant sources that aren't the seed bearing parts
      • leafy greens (lettuce, romaine, collard, cabbage, radicchio)
      • radish
      • potatoes
      • carrots
    • Fruits & berries - things that come from plant sources that ARE the seed bearing parts
      • Apples
      • Bananas
      • Strawberries
      • lingonberries
      • Olympian ambrosia
    • Peppers - yeah, yeah; they're technically fruits but they get used like veggies (but are good in sweet stuff too)
      • Jalapenos
      • Bell peppers
      • Habaneros
      • Doom peppers that only grow on the shores of the river Styx or something
    • herbs and spices - things that are specifically meant to alter the flavor of a dish
      • salt
      • ground pepper
      • thyme
      • sage
      • parsley
      • rosemary
      • mint
    • sauces - typically complex ingredients, potentially made from a combination of the other ingredients on this list
      • bechamel
      • Veloute
      • Espagnole
      • Hollandaise
      • Tomato sauce
      • Soy sauce
      • Fish sauce
    • processed ingredients - simple ingredients that are created by processing other ingredients
    • Flour
    • Butter
    • Sugar
    • Molasses
    • leavening agents
    Maybe the "intermediary challenges" @Zold2012 mentioned could be steps to create complex ingredients like sauces or specially prepared ingredients.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  35. ShinAeon

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    Oh sure yeah that makes sense; when I said hidden I more meant don't saddle them with all the minute details of how many XP they get towards "skill X" for performing "action Y" maybe just give them a sort of sense of progression by having a listed set of skills and a simple level associated with each and every now and then some prompt will let them know that they've increased that skill. It gives players looking for a deeper experience something to grind towards while also reinforcing the "sense of discovery"; no long winded tutorial about pan flipping and leveling; just do this thing and suddenly you're told you've gotten better at it.
     
  36. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    so. one final amendment to the cooking system I discussed.
    Instead of inputting a pattern, you could have to have to perform a single action denoted by one button press on the controller. maybe 4 different actions max. You would need to time this button press alongside a metronome in order to get the best meal possible (or not) it would be a reflex test. You would have to perform 1-2 actions on a dish to prepare it, more for the "goal dishes"
    Instead of a menu telling you you've become more skilled, you would actually become more skilled at preparing the dish. Although yes, this form of abstraction would provide for a way to be bad/good at cooking
    I really feel I have and I'm sorry it doesn't seem that way. I tried to introduce a framework for thinking about and designing cooking challenges, with impromptu dishes made when your health gets low, or you need to bypass an enemy or navigate the world and goal dishes being the rare ingredients you collect or cooking contests you have to enter.

    I honestly didn't notice the update on the live steam so I need to still go through that and see if anything specific got mentioned. I'd be okay with the cooking system being more of a fetch quest where you go around collecting ingredients to be made back in town but that leaves the question of what gameplay will look like.
    When combat was brought up it was supposed to be deemphasized and wasn't talked about much after that so I was trying to think of other engaging things for the player to do that would be as interactive as combat is.
     
  37. Zold2012

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    having multitudes of ingredients that you would need to collect in order to cook better/worse would work, but it would mean creating a 3d model, inventory icon, and specific stats for each individual item and that might be pretty hard on the content creation side of things.
     
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  38. ShinAeon

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    That's a good point; though you could always steal a page from classic RPG's and just recolor a single model or something lame like that. It's good to have a voice of reason in this case to dampen open ended creativity.

    Also the notion of having a skill system doesn't need to be exclusive of a more "action" oriented element; for instance if you treat it kind of like a rhythm game having higher skill levels could give you more "wiggle room" in the timing of your button presses.

    I'm pretty excited to see where all of this winds up.
     
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  39. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    yeah that's actually a really good point, it would reduce players becoming frustrated with the system if they were bad at timing challenges. would reward time investment regardless of skill, but would also reward mastery of skill.
     
  40. alexchesser

    alexchesser

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    OK - so it's a long and very detailed thread, but based on a skim/read it looks like this angle on cooking hasn't been mentioned.

    What if there were some recipes that were inspired by classic adventure games like Monkey Island and Deponia. Perhaps a few ingredients could combine together in "punny" ways to solve quest-puzzles.

    I'm not sure it's the way you're all thinking but - maybe hamlet finds a vollyball & some paint and he makes *wilson* (the vollyball from the Tom Hanks' movie castaway) he adds an upside-down mop and it becomes "a beautiful vollyball"

    The vollyball-date can then be used to distract an enemy who falls in love with it.

    Or maybe cooking a few different ingredients turns into glue or "flubber" allowing new skills, jumping? Run/walk up a cliff-face with gum-shoes? Learn a new attack-by-bees ability when you figure out how to lob honey grenades that attracts a swarm of bees?

    Actually I do see @Zold2012, you've mentioned the triggerable effects part of that. Anyways, just something that sprung to mind as I started reading about your ideas.
     
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  41. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    That would technically work. I haven't been thinking about individual ingredients(components) yet because any recipe's ingredients would need to be able to be part of multiple recipes. We'd need 2+ recipes involving volleyballs and 2+ recipes involving paint. That said I'm sure there would be exceptions along the way, especially if a dish is for a goal challenge.
    Yes, having recipes alter your jump height, provide you with a jump, was something I had considered. I was imagining an explosive blast of sorts. Walking up a cliff face might not be a great idea due to its complexity (in comparison to jumping) It could be difficult to program and it would change level layout drastically (but then again so could jumping I suppose) Triggerable' effects could be contextualized by feeding the dish to the Pheonix Chick.
     
  42. ShinAeon

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    Oh that's a really cool idea, you could even have things that make it's flame hotter for certain recipes or cold instead for making frozen treats
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  43. davejrodriguez

    davejrodriguez

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    I've been following this thread and there are some great ideas in here. I've been starting to model some of the data structures I think are common using this video as a reference:


    So based on what I'm seeing we'll need:

    Effects
    • Effect : ScriptableObject <-- Need to do some more research into effect architecture. Might just stub.
    • IEffectTarget
      • ApplyEffect(Effect effect)
    Items
    • Item : ScriptableObject
      • Name
      • Icon
      • Description
      • Quality/Grade <-- maybe not every item has quality, so subclass?
      • Effect[] effects; <-- maybe not every item has effects, so subclass?
      • ApplyEffects(IEffectTarget target)
    • IItemContainer <-- can be implemented by inventory, crafting bag, loot chest, etc.
      • Add(Item item)
      • Remove(Item item)
      • Count(Item item)
      • IsFull()
    Recipes
    • Stock
      • Item
      • Amount
    • Utensil : Item
    • RecipeAction <-- not certain what this may look like yet, but may involve using/having a Utensil combined with Input Action References? Might just stub for now.
    • Recipe : Item
      • Stock[] Ingredients
      • RecipeAction[] Actions;
      • Stock[] Yield
      • Craft(IItemContainer from, IItemContainer to)
    -----------------------------------------

    Trying to design a manageable first PR that we can expand upon later one with some of the more advanced ideas. Any feedback?
     
  44. Zold2012

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    I'll have to review this fully a bit later. If you havnt already look at the inventory thread, items/ingredients would need to be compatible with this system
     
  45. ShinAeon

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    In this case I'm not sure if there's any particular advantage to inheritance over composition; though in general It seems like the consensus seems to lean more towards the latter.

    Same could be said for the quality aspect, though composition might make somethings a bit harder to interface.

    OTOH if you subclass and your use pattern is typically to deal with "items in general" you wind up downcasting a lot to get to more specific parameters in your child classes.

    Apparently in C# downcasting is considered idiomatic behavior but my C++ background rails against it...

    Sorry for the digression; it's a bit off topic for this thread...
    Overall I think my first take would have been something pretty similar; but I hadn't put much thought into it yet and there are people here with FAR more experience than I have developing for unity.
     
  46. davejrodriguez

    davejrodriguez

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    How would you propose composition of ScriptableObjects?

    To be clear, I wasn't envisioning a deep subclass hierarchy. Just one level is all that would be necessary IMO. Like Ingredient : Item would have a Quality field, but Utensil : Item would have Durability field. I am completely on the composition over inheritance train, but struggling to see how you would use composition when dealing with ScriptableObjects.
     
  47. itsLevi0sa

    itsLevi0sa

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    That's true.. But we are not Link trying to save a Kingdom, we are a cook trying to prepare a dish right? Since the genre is adventure, that means exploration and puzzle-solving should make the core gameplay. We carry a knife, and of course we will have some combat, but how do we implement the puzzle-solving aspect and how could cooking support that? I think Unity is trying to make the puzzle solving revolve around NPC interaction pointing us to all necessary ingredients we need to gather to find that winning variable X for a succesful dish. However I think we could also introduce “fun” ways for more mini puzzle-solving tasks that are recurring in the discussions above regarding how and what kind of dishes could be made.
    To avoid misunderstanding it has been declared that you are not competing against any other cook directly (1vs1), you just prepare a dish that because of a reason X it will impress the Fry King. Sorry if this has already been mentioned.
    @alexchesser loved your example :D Similar input has actually been brought up before by @erizzoalbuquerque here and @ArtofRemo in the Narrative thread, I also support that direction of "mixing" things to achieve an outcome - gain abilities as a puzzle answer.

    @Zold2012 Your coordination mechanics suggestion exploring muscle memory - reflexes that could potentially deliver an experience of “cooking” with real skills is reasonable, your diagram was indeed well explained. However I personally think it might overcomplicate things. Because you mentioned Overcooked as inspiration further up above, I think it’s not a good example to look upon, because it required coordination between two players and didn’t introduce any joystick finger coordination/rythm for the act of cooking other than pressing the same button to chop, to boil etc. We might want to implement similar animations perhaps when preparing a dish, maybe with a simple button press to feel a progression/tension?...But purely as a secondary touch.

    Actually I think it could help us if we tried to figure out what we think should be the core gameplay mechanics and what mechanics could support the core at a later stage as secondary..Especially since we are talking about 15-20 min gameplay.
    For me, the main mechanics that make more sense to be implemented after our discussions would be (just a proposal):
    1. Using combat to gain an ingredient (already introduced by Unity)
    2. Mixing ingredients to create a Custom Food (for healing/quest etc)
    3. Mixing special ingredients (ie Fruits) to create a Special Food (for temporary special abilities & tackle ie. an environmental challenge = reach an area)
    ie. bouncing fruit + balloon fruit = Long Jump ability
    4. Do an action to gain ingredient (ie. harvest) (?)
    where the above together with cooking tools, recipes, techniques you learn/get along the way, will lead to the Final Dish. (not even sure if just these 4 could fit in 20 min).
    On top of these main mechanics we could then discuss further on:
    • Having a reputation-ranking system (@neoshaman)
    • If and how we would implement impromptu dishes (for health/abilities) alongside main goal (quest) dishes (Zold2012)
    • If we are gaining any Levels (XP) anywhere to become more skillful on something or unlock something(@everyone?)
    • Using environment elements to tackle challenges (ie. cover in mud) @shuttle127 from Combat thread
    • Using ingredients that might produce better results than others for the same recipe @ShinAeon + @neoshaman
    • Preparing and stockpiling food for later uses (Zold2012)
    • How much skills + controls could affect dish outcomes (Zold2012)
    • What roles NPCs will play to support gameplay (@everyone in the Narrative thread)
    • Maybe at the end of this adventure you actually get a chef title (the one of Fry Chef) that will help you towards a goal of becoming Head Chef. @shuttle127
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  48. ShinAeon

    ShinAeon

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    Oh, I'm not sure I would, I was more "thinking out loud".
    I'll have to refresh my memory a bit with scriptable objects; but TBH that's why I'm sticking mostly to the design threads; it's been a bit since I did anything useful with unity.

    Sorry if I came across as judgmental.


    yeah this is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking about that could make doing something like composition more difficult.

    you could do something like key value pairs; but then you'd have text keys and that just feels like inventing nightmares.

    at that point a shallow class hierarchy with downcasting when appropriate is a much better solution.

    It seems like you're thinking in the right direction.
     
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  49. davejrodriguez

    davejrodriguez

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    Not at all. I legitimately want to know if there's a best practice for SO composition.

    The idea is that casting would be unnecessary. Items would get filtered by their subclass depending on the context. For example, a general inventory doesn't care if an Item is an Ingredient or a Utensil. But perhaps an equip bar would only allow Utensils. A scriptable object Spoon which is a Utensil : Item could go in either inventory. But Milk which is a Ingredient : Item could only go in the general inventory.

    Additionally, a recipe could have an Ingredient input slot, a Utensil slot, and an Ingredient output slot. Can't put Spoon in an ingredients slot. Can't put Milk in the utensil slot.

    But hey, maybe we would like that freedom. Everything could be an Item, no subclasses. Want to turn a Spoon into a Fork with a little Milk? Why not? :D
     
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  50. rcabreraortiz

    rcabreraortiz

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    Nice list! For the following item:
    2. Mixing ingredients to create a Custom Food

    I would like to suggest for future iteration:
    - Some Custom Food combinations will make some townspeople trade a rare ingredient that you can't find in the forest.
     
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