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Question cooking/crafting system -- or gameplay design

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

  1. ShinAeon

    ShinAeon

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    I LIKE the way you think :D
     
  2. rcabreraortiz

    rcabreraortiz

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    Btw, these discussions are great and I enjoy reading up on everyone's ideas, but it's easy to get lost with what has and hasn't been said already. It would be nice if each of these topics had its own "backlog" that others can view and add and refine. Since we don't have access to codecks, and someone had previously mentioned opening up a Google doc, can I suggest using a cloud tool like Jira, Google Sheets or Docs to help make a product backlog for this particular topic?
     
  3. ShinAeon

    ShinAeon

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    Yeah that's a really good idea, I'm at work now; but if no one else gets to it first I'll look into it later.
    Any preferences?
     
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  4. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    I've gone ahead and made a googledocs for this thread
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kGQXAkZul-dptwB6cXT71QrpBMDb8iQW3sdVfDaQ26g/edit?usp=sharing
    I'd be open to using other stuff if that works better. I could also alter the first post/thread label if that would help people
     
  5. rcabreraortiz

    rcabreraortiz

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    This is great! Thank you so much for doing this!

    Thanks for the input and I hear ya! I was also catching up on this forum during my work break. :)
     
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  6. ShinAeon

    ShinAeon

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  7. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Think monster hunter or Zelda sidequesting, the combat, exploration and collecting ARE the puzzle:

    Figure out critters behaviours that and what actions lead to a specific ingredients, for example some critters are territorial, invading their space elicit a reaction, some are cowards, you need to corner and catch them, some are michievious they like to mess with things, some are neutral, they ignore you until you do something that trigger them, some react to specific stimuli like sound, visual or odor, and they have different different perception threshold, some are small and can go through cracks, some are big and can't traverse narrow passages, some can climb, fly, jump or swim, maybe you can break their horn, topple them upside down, remove them from their shell or make them hide inside them. Any combination of sequence of that, for example slam a mollusks on the back to extract him, and cut the smelly fungus on his exposed body, that is used to bait the shy rodent out of its nest.

    Basically combat is an extension of exploring, ie level design affordances, and collecting. Request by NPC is just the goal directing to the subset of specific puzzles as combat, exploration and gathering. Figuring out where to go (exploring), what to pick (gathering), and how to pick (combat and interacting) IS the puzzle.

    If you look at combat in Zelda it's not really different, maybe less emphasis on collecting as part of combat unless you do chained sidequests or collectibles quest like skulltulla, in which figuring out how to take out the skulltulla is a whole puzzle in itself, you have to find the skulltulla using sound, then figure out where it is, then figure out how to take it down then figure out how to collect the token. The behaviour of skulltulla is very basic but they leverage the level design to add variety of interactions in each of the steps. Which mean they didn't have to create specific move, just reusing the tools they already had.
     
  8. itsLevi0sa

    itsLevi0sa

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    @neoshaman I see now. So you are proposing the main focus of gameplay to be figuring out how each type of critter behaves, and then through a potential strategic use of cooking and the environment you will gather the necessary ingredient from them. Your ideas are interesting, I liked your behavior proposals (added them to our shared word doc). My concern regards the amount of animations these different kind of behaviors would require. Unity already introduced us with 3 types of aggressive critters with analogous animations, so maybe for now we should stick to that and see where we can go from there? From the concept art each type of critter may have variations that refer to an element (water, fire etc) so maybe its worth discussing:
    How could you keep each type of critter distracted – what kind of “dish” could help us in each critter encounter? (dish=food or dish=ability)
    The animations will stay the same, but we might think of conditions to stop/avoid these animations from playing to introduce some puzzle-solving apart from that cane swinging. (Personally I would make the enemies tough enough that the main way to tackle them is through cooking and strategy). For example:
    • You could place some food strategically along an area, so just one reaction could lead to a desired domino of other reactions (figure out a desired movement pattern of the critters to proceed)
    • potentially with a “right” dish placement you could trap some critters in a setting that they cannot escape from
    • some critter combination (water + ground critters from concept art = mud?) could give you an ability to continue unnoticed (mud coverup) as mentioned before
    This will require a lot of playtesting and level design refinements to get it right. Still it would be great if we could bring in examples, like the Zelda skulltula one, to get some ideas.

    So what is the main puzzle?
    It seems to be around figuring out:
    I am also adding the figuring out of:
    • what ingredient could be combined with what to achieve a dish or ability/effect that’s needed
    And Unity seems to propose the figuring out of:
    • which locals are key-locals in terms of pointing to the right direction or providing us with key ingredients/tools
    • which NPCs want what kind of ingredient/dish to complete a quest?
    • what the final right combination of ingredients is to make the winning dish from gathered information
    I think all of the above makes our game in the end? Is it now a matter of preference of where we should put more focus on? (story - combat – dish making/crafting?)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  9. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    Right now we seem to have a bunch of good ideas for how to use a cooking system to define gameplay scenarios and ways for enemies and obstacles to challenge the player.

    I was hoping that the narrative thread would have some concrete direction for us to riff off of but that thread seems to have slowed down now (although it's still jam-packed with ideas). Meanwhile, the white boxing thread has opened up. I think this would be a good point to start designing the challenges for the first area of the game and then use that to further define the systems we have in mind. Some people can move on to white boxing areas and others can look at what it would take to program some of the features mentioned.

    I could start by referencing the codecks
    https://open.codecks.io/unity-open-project-1/decks/64/card/14f-1-the-arrival
    https://open.codecks.io/unity-open-project-1/decks/65/card/14q-story
    or the miro board
    https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_kkiU1T0=/

    but really, between the level design thread, story thread, and this thread we've been thrown every which way and it's a bit unclear how this game starts or where it needs to go. So first, I'd like to see if we can agree on a few key points to help guide us.
    1. The Chef Pig is arriving at the island to attend (and cook in) the festival.
    2. The final goal is to impress the Fry King (to either receive a physical award or social status)
    3. Story Quests/Dishes are assigned in response to requests from villagers. "I want this type of dish"
    4. The Chef Pig arrives with Pheonix Chick as a companion. - I know there has been a lot of discussion back and forth on this one, I think in the interest of keeping the game short we treat them as a duo on their latest adventure
    5. The game should be playable within 20 minutes
    6. The Chef Pig can do a simple attack with his cane and do more elaborate attacks by cooking/feeding the Pheonix Chick
    7. The Chef Pig can unlock temporary passive abilities/effects by eating a dish
    I'm going this route as the overworld design (environment flow) needs to be tweaked in order to facilitate our new direction. We need areas (2?) that we can harvest ingredients from, a central area for the festival to be centered around, and a beach area for the player to arrive from.

    In addition to these main points, there are another couple of issues I'd appreciate some feedback on. Early concept art showed the game from an orthographic perspective and the main reference for gameplay is fixed camera games like Tunic. Right now however, the game uses an orbit cam similar to later 3d zeldas. If it was me, I would make it a fixed camera locked to a certain angle. It's fewer things for the player to think about controlling, it allows us to always know what will/wont be visible on screen, and it might help sell the cell-shaded art style better. That said, it will most likely work either way
    also,
    Zelda-likes don't usually incorporate jumping, right now you can jump in the project. If jumping wasn't a default ability it could be unlocked via a dish, and it would free up a button on our controls.
     
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  10. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Not really, on a basic level what you need is orientation, positioning and moving away from and to something or the player. These basics signal intentionality more than raw animation.

    For example approaching something mean interest, the speed modulate intentionality, and placement shift context. So with basic movement you can express a whole lot of behaviors.
     
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  11. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    So I had one last (final-ish) idea in regards to the cooking system. There seemed to be a sizable sentiment that the cooking system should be more focused around "choosing the right ingredient" rather than "performing a cooking minigame perfectly"

    I was a bit hesitant to go down that road, because in my mind it either makes cooking challenges very unengaging, or we add so many different possible ingredients it becomes a hassle to program for us and a hassle for the player to figure out all the different possible combinations. That said I've sat on it for a few days and I think I have something that would address both of these issues.

    Each item could have a different "quality" value. A fruit with bruises would have less "quality" than a fruit without. Judging the quality of items could replace the engagement of a cooking minigame, and leave the actual cooking system a very simple "combine a with b"

    The quality of resulting dishes wouldn't be a factor for impromptu dishes used to create gameplay effects. But goal dishes made for npcs might be rejected if they were made from rotten ingredients.

    After acquiring an ingredient the pig could "inspect" that ingredient, bringing up a more detailed 3d model that could show evidence of wear and tear, decomposition, or flawless luster. The player would have to learn what to look for in order to make the best dishes.
     
  12. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    Pending @ChemaDmk ‘s review, this is a neat idea that probably wouldn’t affect the proposed inventory system too much.
     
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  13. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    honestly just feels like allot of the ideas already mentioned

    im just trying to standardize and streamline it.
     
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  14. grandours

    grandours

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    Hey guys,how about dishes' style?
    Is it more like realistic,eg:spaghetti,lasagna,hamburger,which really exist in reality.Or is it completely made up,like fairy tear,Goblin's finger,trolls leg.Otherwise,we combine two styles mentioned above?Dish is named of realistic cook style + fantasy ingredient,for example: fried Goblin liver,bug sashimi,Kung Pao troll meat,etc?

    But does the character controlled by player come from a traditional fantacy world(like Mid Earth),or a parallel universe where fantasy creatures can buy their food through a chain fast food store?Personally,I prefer the latter,mordernized cooking system offers more cooking methods and is easier for player to get familiar with.

    BTW,can we name dishes while thinking about some puns?That will be funny probably.
     
  15. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    I vote for fantasy food and silly dish names that should be entered in the naming thread.
     
  16. ChemaDmk

    ChemaDmk

    Unity Technologies

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    Hey everyone !
    We updated the Cooking card in the Game Design Wiki here . Please tell us if you see something missing or that needs more information.
     
  17. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    what problems does the cooking system solve?
    is it only for making dishes for NPCs or will the dishes have gameplay effects?
     
  18. Smurjo

    Smurjo

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    How about the player doesn't know the recipes at first. This is exotic island and might not know the special ingredients growing here (e.g. murder pepper, marble peas, twin carrots, triangle lettuce). He would randomly throw stuff together - than taste it - and then one of 3 things can happen:
    - it's inedible - he feeds it to the chick (no wonder the poor chick breathes fire), ingredients are lost
    - it's promising - just missing more ingredients - the player can add more ingredients and taste again
    - it's perfect - the recipe is added to the players recipes
     
  19. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    but what does that accomplish? is the pig's goal to find new recipes?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kGQXAkZul-dptwB6cXT71QrpBMDb8iQW3sdVfDaQ26g/edit
    we have a list of ways the cooking system could be used in an "action adventure" game. are any of them something that unity wants to pursue...
    and if not. what problems does it solve? does this game need a cooking system?
     
  20. Smurjo

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  21. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    but what makes them the 'right' ingredients and how would a cooking system affect the game outside of this 1 scenario? is the whole game experimenting endlessly to find the "right" recipe? or are the ingredients 'keys' placed in the environment that need to be collected? because we dont need a cooking system to collect one set of 'keys'
     
  22. Smurjo

    Smurjo

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    Acquiring the ingredients is a different system, but obviously you need them - and then you would have to gamble your laboriously obtained ingredients to find the recipes. Indeed the experimenting and gambling would become the core gameplay beside obtaining the ingredients - it mustn't be too easy - else game is over too soon.

    How "endless" the experimenting will be can be calculated, it depends on the probability a combination of ingredients leads to a sucessful recipe. If e.g. the probability is 50%, you have a 50% chance with 1 attempt, 75% chance with 2 attempts, 87,5% chance with 3 attempts, 1-(1-50%)**n with attempts. Of cause you can replace the 50% with any other probability, thus making it harder or easier.

    You can also tune the number of attempts likely to be required: Let say e.g. "I want the player to find a sucessful recipe with 3 attempts with 90% probability" and then calculate the probability required:
    probability for number of attempts.JPG
    Here you can of course replace the 3 attempts and the 90% with whatever number you like. It's only a 100% you can't get, but you can get very close. We might come to the rescue by giving the player some hint after e.g. his 10th unsucessful attempt (which in the example will only happen about once in 2000 trials).

    We have 2 options BTW to ensure the desired probability of finding a sucessful recipe. One would be we have predefined recipes, to be taken from some kind of database. I see a challenge here, since the number of combinations can become quite high depending on the numbers of ingredients and we will need recipes for 53.6% of them. Therefore we other possibility would be we simply decide by random, with a probability of 53.6%, whether the recipe is perfect (And afterwards we randomly decide whether it is promising or inedible, if its promising the player has yet another shot on obtaining perfect with the same ingredients).

    Once it was decided the recipe is perfect we need to pick a name for the recipe (faking we knew it a along) which we randomly pick from a list of templates like "A, B and C pizza", "A and B soup with C", "B salad with A", "A-C sorbet on B", "A a la Hollandaise", etc.(we might take some inspiration for fancy naming from gourmet restaurants' menue cards). The name will end up being "critter egg - peas sorbet on vanilla" with ingredients "critter egg", "peas" and "vanilla", whether it makes any sense or not. I guess our players will cook up some pretty funny, even impossible dishes when he takes also previously obtained recipes as ingredients, e.g. "mushroom and critter egg - peas sorbet on vanilla soup" and "mushroom and critter egg - peas sorbet on vanilla soup, onion and chocolade pizza". The game is also replayable, as the successful combinations will be different every time.
     
  23. aby_gamemaker

    aby_gamemaker

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    Now the cooking card is updated but I am still putting down my initial thoughts I had on the cooking mechanic when I started reading this thread.

    For the cooking mechanic I came up with a permanent cauldron in the pig chef's inventory. There will be more modern utensils as he progresses and does side quests.

    At the beginning, to cook he just has to select upto 5 different ingredients and drag them to the cauldron which exits the inventory and shows cooking animation.

    Recipes range from minimum 2 ingredients to maximum 5 ingredients.
    Denoting the recipe rarity/difficulty with colours as follows:

    2 ingredient recipes - green accented scrolls or green covered books( whichever form wins the vote)
    3 ingd recipes- blue
    4 ingd recipes - orange
    5 ingd recipes- purple

    Recipes using full 5 ingredients will be very hard at the beginning and the chef might not even unlock 4 and 5 ingredient recipes save for few key story progression quests.

    I was going to suggest either cartoony animation like the one that introduced new birds in angry birds OR the cooking animation from Facebook game cafe world that employed text and loaderbars to go through cooking processes required for a dish.

    For limiting progression to make story feel cohesive we could use durability of utensils.
    To explain the concept of durability lets take an example:
    The default cauldron has a durability of 10000 points. Now if pig chef tries to make 5 ingd purple recipe without first acquiring the skill level and it fails the cauldron would loose 100 durability.
    Whereas other utensils that he earns as quest rewards or buys from shops that unlock with story progression will have less durability.
    Clearing up further on that, the utensils he unlocks are definitely better gear than his cauldron but they lose on durability what they gain on efficiency and speed.
    So pans, cookers, etc will have a max durability of 5000 and failed recipes will deplete them by 1000 points.
    Repair shops will unlock but the modern utensils can be repaired only a fixed number of times.
    Utensils can be upgraded via crafting into superior quality. Every two upgrades will increase durability and dish success rates.

    Crafting shops open up at few npc's when you finish their quest chain and the crafting currency will drop from these quests.

    For recipe acquisition there can be many ways, like quest reward, cooking duel reward,
    A rare loot shop that happens to sell the recipe books/scrolls.
    We could have dungeons with huge critters(something like a huge version of pokemon parasect)that drop recipe books of 1 level above our character's skill level.
     
  24. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    okay, lot of ideas here, we've talked about some of them previously. what problems would the cooking system solve? What's the benifit of having a purple dish over a green dish?
     
  25. shuttle127

    shuttle127

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    Judging by the latest UI wireframe Miro board, where the inventory screen merely shows being able to select dishes to eat or give to NPCs, I don’t think the cooking system is going to do much other than replenishing energy based on what’s stated in the fighting, cooking, and controls cards. Anything else is probably being treated like the last paragraph of the scope card.

    I know we don’t want the UI to determine gameplay, but there are many more ideas on the forums than there are PRs for them, so the question is really what information do we need to get people cranking out the code? Or is the minimalistic feel/impact make it not really a system anymore and more just a bunch of one off interactions?
     
  26. Zold2012

    Zold2012

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    I mean yeah, at this point I just want actual clarification on what is going to be built. It wasn't clear to me when we started what the gameplay was gonna be. The prompt was, "a chef in an action adventure game" so it seemed logical to have a cooking system that helped you fight/navigate. but if the only use for the cooking system is healing we dont really need it...