Team Size: 15
Studio: Leaf Eater
Development Time: 8 months
Culinary Coalition is a top down cooking-themed bullet hell. You play as a young man in a chef costume who was mistaken by aliens for a real chef and abducted on Halloween night. Taken prisoner in a space arena, you must dash, dodge and deep fry your way through this deadly cooking game show to please the alien food critics.
Worked on and continually updated the Game Design Document
Concepting the design intentions for the levels' layouts
Assisted in systems design for the game's mechanics
UI & UX design
Designed bullet patterns for both levels
Difficulty balancing for the two levels
Created and implemented VFX for solid feedback using shader graphs
Working as a point of contact for other specialisms - namely Art/Audio
Additional UI art/animation to make the game feel more polished
DESIGN INTENTIONS + PILLARS
A Bullet Hell...With a Tasty Twist?
Culinary Coalition at its core is indeed a bullet hell however, it changes up tempo by having the player get up close and personal with the onslaught of bullets instead of staying back and shooting.
With the ingredients being a part of the bullet patterns, players need to familiarise themselves with the ever-changing bullets to collect the foodstuffs they require while avoid bullets that could end their run.
This additional mechanic shifts the common stress of focusing on a barrage of bullets while also pinning down a target to shoot back at and shifts it into something where the player is always learning new bullet patterns whether they know it yet or not.
Themed Levels That Bring Their Own Flavour
Our game's eccentric narrative and wacky tone lends itself to a variety of equally strangely level themes - which, in turn, gave way to a multitude of creative patterns to both challenge and engage the player.
A Variety of Combos to Feast Your Eyes On!
Whether the player wants to optimise their playthrough or just like discovering new ways to play, the combo system adds yet another layer to the cooking mechanic by generating meals unique to the level with the correct combination of ingredients.
The additional audio and visual feedback that accompanies the creation of a new combo as well as the boost in points will leave the players satisfied and hungry for more combos to discover!
RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION
GDDS, Levels, and Bullets! Oh my!
A few examples of the documentation used
to illustrate and flesh out our ideas for the game!
I'm overall really proud of the end result of this project! With a second year team project with so many moving parts, certain oversights will usually come with the territory. It's only natural that there are a few things I regret such as overall scope and time management as well as the choices that could've been made to avoid complications early. However there's an abundance of new experiences and knowledge regarding systems design and overall project management that have refined and sharpened my skills as a designer. Things I'll be sure to carry with me for projects in the future for sure!
What Went Well
Two completed levels that are able to differentiate from one another with their own unique visuals, bullet patterns, and level music
Juiced gameplay feedback such as slowdowns/screen shakes on hits, additional UI elements, and dynamic audio to make the game feel satisfying to play
The game's concept and the world built around it lends itself to vast opportunities for more loose and fun gameplay experiences should we continue development
What to Improve
A more modest scope from the get-go would have been a better plan of action - a lot of features and plans for the game did not make the cut and were trimmed out from the final product. Workflow might have felt a little more smooth had we considered some features' feasibility sooner
Narrative was not allowed to grow as much as it should have due to time constraints, the flow of the the game is abruptly halted as there is no real "ending" to its narrative
The levels could have had another layer of unique mechanics by pushing the level themes and environment to their fullest potential with unique level mechanics (i.e. crossable fruit rivers in the jungle level, slippery ice cream terrain on the dessert level)