I think the pacing of the game as a generic third-person walkabout feels particularly slow and uninspiring when compared to the vibrant art / characterizations offered in the concept art. The pacing of the gameplay itself really NEEDS to match. So... to combat this... I am suggesting a "Frenzy" gameplay feature. Some backstory to provide insight into the humorous direction I'm thinking, if you're interested: Spoiler There was a fun game on the PS2 called Radiata Stories that let you randomly kick _any_ NPC you wanted. If they got mad enough (and everyone got mad at some point), you could get into a fight with anyone in the game. This was just a fun quirk though. You didn't get any EXP or any kind of reward for it (which kind of sucked), but it was still very interesting to see what kind of unique dialogue the NPCS had when it responded to your highly deviant behaviors. The "Frenzy" feature would be an NPC state that triggers when swiping a knife (or some other dangerous object) at NPCs (who are otherwise friendly). After a certain threshold of warnings, the NPC would either run away from the player, or enter "Frenzy" mode (and attack the player back on the spot). The player must either run or defend his way out of the situation (i.e. use some food as a trap -- for example, setting down a "Bomb-bastic Cherry Jubillee" -- or -- "Bedtime Burger" to stop the NPC or put the NPC to sleep so the player can escape. If the player escapes though, the enemy will 'remember' the interaction -- and may even seek to get revenge (or a meal!) by "hunting" the player outside of town (that is -- it spawns from the bushes or trees or behind a rock, or jumps from the ocean, etc, in order to attack the player while he's hunting for ingredients). The way I see it -- most players (who like food) will naturally see the player and NPC's as "food" already. This needs to be acknowledged somehow in gameplay -- especially since this game already has a strong "food" theme. Most players will already be inclined to find a way to "attack" the NPCs for no reason already in a "peaceful" game like this -- mainly just to discover what happens. So we should give them something unexpected (and more importantly -- exciting! -- because, in general, players will expect to be able to interact with the NPCs with any available buttons. They will be disappointed if they can't get _some_ kind of satisfying reaction to their probing cookware onslaught in the direction of some seemingly "helpless" NPC. While many games "punish" the player for this (arguably "natural" interaction), I think the NPCs themselves should seek the player out as "food" in certain cases, and deliver their own "food" justice. After all, if your pig man wants to chop on a fish man (from a distant land) with a knife, don't you think that fish-man (from a distant land) ought to either run away, or, potentially, even respond in kind? Maybe that fish man (from a distant land) has always wanted to taste pork? -- Our protagonist has just given him a reason (and the ingredients) to do so. To keep things kid-friendly -- a truce can be made if you "win" the fight for standard town NPCs (so that the town doesn't run out of NPCs). The NPC could cower in fear when you approach him again later on (thanks to Freeform Animation Rigging making blending poses like this easy), but if you run away, he either won't talk to you (or isn't very friendly), or, most dangerously, warns you to watch your back, as he could jump out from the bushes or the ocean to get you -- especially if he happens to fancy pork. This could be a funny reminder to the player that, yes, even YOU are "food" to someone. Some gameplay advantages that could come out of this mechanic: Acknowledges the game's "food" theme in a stronger, more clear, (less-generic) way Gives an additional purpose to meals / ingredients (i.e. "Bombastic-Cherry-Jubilee" can be used as an explosive, or a "Bedtime Burger" can put enemies to sleep) Secret gourmet ingredients like "fish fin" that can only be obtained by i.e. "fighting" a specific fish man NPC or other special ingredients can be found this way More engaging play experience than simply opening treasure-chests / chatting with NPCs Clears some "barriers" to enter another area -- (i.e. by making the NPC run away in fear!) -- (Chop Chop!) Adds a secondary (unconventional) "ingredient-hunting" mechanic that other (sketchy) NPC's might mention off-handedly, adding a layer of mystery to the game's hidden mechanics (and therefore increases depth and replayability) Acts as a mechanism to initiate scripted fights with "Boss" monster NPCs, letting you truly "cook" them for their ingredients (as you normally would), rather than simply triggering a cutscene accidentally (and automatically). Keep the player wary that he is also "food" by reminding him to be on the lookout for "surprise" attacks from the bushes (or from the ocean) by other town-based NPCs out to get a taste of bacon. I mean, come on -- who doesn't love a little bacon?? I'll draw out an interaction map if anyone thinks this is worthwhile -- I think the depth it provides is HUGE and is sorely needed in the current design. Thoughts?