Space Chef’s Kickstarter builds an inclusive community to “hunt, cook, deliver”

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Independent developers and industry professionals can turn to Kickstarter for a number of reasons. The popular crowdfunding website can make or break a project that otherwise couldn’t find a publisher, or it can give veterans like Koji Igarashi the freedom to work on their own ideas. BlueGooGames project manager Niclas Marie said the Kickstarter for Space chief above all aims to create a community.

Space chief is a hybrid action and cooking game, taking inspiration from titles such as Valley of stars, Don’t starve, and Overcooked. Players enter a procedurally generated galaxy that has hints of comedic sci-fi shows like Futurama and Rick and morty, mixed with space westerns like Firefly – a personal favorite of Creative and Artistic Director Tobias Tranell. It’s up to players to learn how to solve environmental puzzles so they can gather ingredients and thrive as a chef, and BlueGooGames hopes to make this experience as personalized as possible for each person. Game Rant spoke with Marie and Tranell about Space chiefthe origins of, the all-inclusive design aspirations and the Kickstarter campaign.

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Space Chef: a project in the making

blue goo games kickstarter interview november 2021

Marie and Tranell are Swedish developers who met around the third or fourth grade. Tranell said he was a longtime player, which he considers his greatest experience in Space chief, but he first approached Mary looking for help in solving a riddle in THE Legend of Zelda on NES. After that, they grew up as best friends; some evenings they would “go out to parties”, others they would sit down and try to play games together. They created personalized cards in titles like Counter strike, and tried a few fleshed out projects in different engines that never got beyond the prototyping stage.

Over the course of life, their experiences have led them down different paths, and those aspirations as game makers have faded. Marie has 20 years of experience as a software engineer and team leader in different companies, while Tranell built on a childhood of creative companies designing worlds and mechanics for RPGs by becoming a cartographer. professional. In 2019 he won an Ennie Gold Award for “Best Cartography” thanks to his work at Free League Publishing’s Forbidden lands table game.

The duo are both married and have families of their own. As of this writing, Marie has a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter, while Tranell has two sons (seven and nine) and a new baby girl. In 2016, Marie discovered Unity through her brother-in-law and “started playing with it,” realized that it could be used to develop a game, and soon after, she started spending more. time with Tranell.

After playing around with a few concepts that “didn’t sound right” – Metroid– stylish adventures, racing games, tower defense games and online multiplayer experiences among them – Tranell brought Marie a photo of a burger. He said he was inspired by the caricature “sloppy” art style of a children’s book illustrated by Kjell Thorsson, which became the basis of Space chief.

“To be honest, we had no idea what the game was about to be when we first started. It grew on us, and we continue to brainstorm. Today we have a picture. pretty clear what it will be, though. ”

Design Space Chef so everyone can play

blue goo games kickstarter interview november 2021

This artistic style, with the lighting and ambient effects of Unity layered together, spearheaded the next two and a half years of development. Marie and Tranell wanting to avoid the glut of 3D and pixel art games out there, however, Space chief has changed over time. Russian artist Tanya Tengri joined BlueGooGames in September 2019 after Marie conducted a series of auditions. Tranell said they “wanted someone who could draw my style to be consistent throughout the game,” but while Tengri excelled, his work looked “too good” so they met in the middle.

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The team also recruited programmers and animators, mainly as contractors, with representatives from all over the world: Greece, Pakistan, etc. Marie said, “There is no discrimination based on location, gender or anything” in BlueGooGames, and according to Tranell, “it felt good, felt good” to capture that open-mindedness. in Space chiefthe design of. Similar to Valley of stars players don’t need to define themselves, they just choose the body type and hairstyle that suits them best. Interactions and romance with NPCs follow the same principle, with players able to learn and woo various characters while delivering their favorite foods.

Marie said he’s in touch with people and organizations that work on both representation and accessibility, and he’s open to more player feedback to make the game as inclusive and welcoming as possible. A number of ideas are already in motion, from creating vegetarian and vegan menu options to finding games with different text sizes and color blind modes. Still, they plan to do more research to find solutions to potential problems, like translating comfortably. Space chief in languages ​​like Spanish with gendered words.

blue goo games kickstarter interview november 2021

Much of the aforementioned comments should come with Space chiefalpha and beta of – are expected to begin in Q1 2022 and Q1 2023, respectively. Access is a boon for Kickstarter contributors at different levels, and so far around 130 people have signed up to join the Alpha, according to Marie. As of this writing, Space chief has raised nearly $ 40,000 since October 19, when it originally asked for $ 19,909.

Building a community with independent developers and global fans has been a goal for BlueGooGames maintainers from the start. Marie said they had around 6,000 Twitter followers from sharing the early images that helped push the Kickstarter, which follows some attempts to start YouTube developer logs. These active connections also helped by answering questions about mechanisms such as procedural generation and general marketing. For example, BlueGooGames contacted Game Rant on the recommendation of Konitama’s Chris Gottron, who was interviewed about his game. Cloudy landscape in July 2021.

Crowdfunding has other advantages. Marie and Tranell said they would like to work on Space chief full-time, and the game’s Kickstarter says BlueGooGames wants to hire more people. Additional features such as online multiplayer could also be added if they fit the team’s scope and intended roadmap, although there is no physical element included in the Kickstarter to avoid ” unnecessary waste “. He said, “If we want to prevent our real world from resembling the universe of Space chief 100 years from now, we have to deal with it. ”Any additional funding the team might need can still come from investors or publishers, according to Marie, because this Kickstarter is a good proof of concept.

Marie feels Space chief has captured a niche combination of genres that people want to explore, despite “trolls” who compare her style to “scam” pulling ads for games like Garden landscapes on Facebook. Tranell said he was “honored” by the response and the team wanted everyone to feel involved.

“The idea of ​​having people like our game is totally new to me, I have never experienced anything like this before. I am very touched by the people who love our game.”

Space chief is in development for PC, PlayStation, Switch and Xbox, targeting a release in the third quarter of 2023. Its Kickstarter is live until November 18, 2021.

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Source: Kickstarter


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