Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19] [RELEASED]

NaNoRenO is an event where creators make a game from scratch during the month of March.
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PeroxidePrince
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Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19] [RELEASED]

#1 Post by PeroxidePrince » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:04 am

It's out! The new thread can be found here.

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Perry is, to put it nicely, a bit of a mess. So they can hardly believe their luck when their crush, Lily, agrees to go on a date with them!
When the day of the date rolls around, Perry's all set: they've scrounged up some cash, and got a reservation at the nicest restaurant in town.

Except... where's their wallet?

With nothing left to lose but their dignity, Perry's determined to whip up a fantastic dining experience at home.
Sure, they've never cooked before, but how hard could it be, right?

ABOUT

Cooked with Love is a comedy/romance visual novel, with crafting elements.
There will be 2 routes, with about 4 endings per route.

CHARACTERS

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TEAM

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Hello, we're STARDUST★SODA and we're back for our fourth NaNoRenO!
We'll try to keep this thread updated, but please feel free to follow us on twitter for more info as well.

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PeroxidePrince
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Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#2 Post by minyan » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:26 am

Aahhh crafting and awkward first dates?? Sign me up ^^
This looks super cute and I love the art style, including the logo. Can't wait to see more of this!
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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#3 Post by Shamsia » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:45 am

Wow, I want to see how this turns to be. I love the idea of crafting and cooking, and I want to see all the possible endingd.
The art looks adorable and nice. I want to see more!
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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#4 Post by FishyFeathers » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:14 am

This looks like tons of fun! I'll definitely look forward to seeing how it progresses :D

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#5 Post by Zelan » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Glad to see you guys here for your annual NaNo project! I always look forward to these. ^_^ The hairstyle that Perry has on the left looks almost exactly like mine, haha! This is a really cute idea, I'm definitely excited to see the final product.

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#6 Post by pumpkin spike » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:41 pm

This sounds super cute and I love the art style! Can't wait to see this!
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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#7 Post by PeroxidePrince » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:09 am

@minyan: Thank you!! There are definitely going to be some very awkward first date icebreaker conversations, so hopefully you get what you signed up for haha!
@Shamsia: Thanks so much! We basically structured this whole project around wanting to make a cooking/crafting game, so hopefully we'll manage to pull it off.
@FishyFeathers: Thank you! We'll try to keep this thread updated as we work on it!
@Zelan: Haha thanks, always great to see you every time we've made our annual trip back here! And that's a coincidence -- I hope you find Perry likeable/relatable once the game is out!
@pumpkin spike: Thanks very much!

🍳 Update 🍳

We started planning a little later than usual for this NaNo (normally we start in early Feb), so we're still in the planning phase in terms of writing & working out recipes!
We're almost done with outlining the VN parts of the game, though, so we should be able to start script writing soon.
In the meantime, I've also been working on the sprites for the characters! Here's a look at short-haired Perry's poses and some expressions.

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🍳 Question Time 🍳
(Please help us)

We're currently also trying to decide on how much guidance we should give players in terms of the crafting/cooking portions of the game, and we'd love some opinions!

In our game, you'll be trying to cook a 3-course meal with a set amount of ingredients that Perry has found in their house. Not all combinations will result in success -- we have specific combinations of items that will result in certain dishes, while any other attempts will end up as "failed dishes" (which you will still be able to serve on your date, to... interesting results).
Perry has never cooked before, so it would make narrative sense for most of their attempts to end up in failure. However, we can understand that as players this would be frustrating, especially as what you cook will impact the story.

So we were wondering: in a story-focused game with crafting elements, how much guidance do you want? Do you want to try all combinations and see what works, to have some hints like ingredients sorted into categories, or to just have the recipes given to you?

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#8 Post by Zelan » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:43 am

What would probably take more time to code, but would cover all of your bases, would be to have some kind of list of ingredients that can be viewn optionally - maybe it's toggleable from the beginning, or maybe it works after getting one or a few endings.

If you'd rather just commit to one way of doing things, for me personally I wouldn't mind having to puzzle out the recipes for myself, especially if the "failures" still resulted in unique and interesting endings. I could see some of the failed dishes being actually bad enough to chase Lily out or maybe even be bad enough as to cause food poisoning, but it would also be cool if maybe we throw together a really crappy pot roast and she's just like "I make pot roast all the time do you want like..... help?"

Lmao it's late and I'm pretty tired so I'm not sure if that reply made any sense but hopefully it's helpful to you. c:

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#9 Post by Wight » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:24 pm

A cooking/crafting system sounds interesting, I'd like to give this a shot. I haven't played much of that sort of thing before.

I was about to ask if it would be more about luck or some sort of skill, but it seems like you're still figuring things out. I'm not sure what I would prefer, I suppose it depends how much I look at it as a story or game once I play it. If it feels more like a game to me, I would expect a fair challenge as part of the appeal, or enough fun to justify spending time on that section rather than the story. But if it's more like a story, then I would expect it to be quick, simple, and minor enough to not get in the way of fully enjoying the story. I think I would be fine with either, but I can definitely see the challenge of finding the right sort of focus and balance.
I don't know if this will be simple to implement or if it can even be applied to the crafting system you have in mind, but perhaps you can try and mix luck and skill like a code-breaking game? Similar to Mastermind, where it's still guessing but you have a limited number of chances to figure out the correct combination. I dunno, I'm just throwing that out there as an idea, but good luck on finding the right balance!

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#10 Post by nerupuff » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:30 am

The art is so adorable!! The premise reminds me of my own awkward first dates (definitely relating to "where's my wallet?" to some extent) :--) I love VNs that add extra spice by using extra elements for gameplay.

In any case, I think having a balance between some guidance and letting the player explore the possibilities in the crafting component of the game is ideal, but somehow that'll be hard to gauge. For me, I want to be able to try all the possible combinations (I love doing completionist runs for a lot of games, so maybe that's why). Maybe you can implement a difficulty system for the player to choose at the start of the game? Using conditional statements/extra python stuff for it might help you to show hints if the player agreed to have some at the start of the game, but that might be extra work.

I hope you find what fits for your game! Looking forward to this!
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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#11 Post by PeroxidePrince » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:56 pm

@Zelan: Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, and no worries -- totally makes sense & very helpful haha! I quite like the idea of having something that unlocks after getting an ending. You will definitely be able to give yourself/Lily food poisoning if you serve too many failed dishes (which will be an early bad end), so maybe extra hints will unlock after you've seen that, or something.
@Wight: Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts! We mostly saw it as more of a luck-based thing going in, so that's why we were concerned it might end up being frustrating. We're leaning more towards having this be story-focused rather than a really in-depth crafting game, so maybe we should keep it simple, since we're quite worried if it gets too frustrating it'll ruin the enjoyment of the story as you've said.
@nerupuff: Thank you very much! Yeah, we're definitely leaning towards giving the player more guidance at this point -- being able to toggle off hints/change difficulty might work; it might be good to add in an option to keep hints off even after you've unlocked them for people who are really determined to figure it out themselves haha.

🍳 Update 🍳

The main routes have mostly been planned out, and we've just about finalised the list of all the dishes you can make in the game.
The one thing we're still outlining are the conversations about each specific dish, since we're hoping to have the dishes open up unique dialogue so it feels more worth it to explore all the things you can cook.

In terms of art, I've been pretty focused on sprites and backgrounds these past two days. I'm hoping to get the bulk of the art assets (sprites/bgs/UI) done within the first week, and then focus more on writing/programming the second, and go back and draw all ingredients/dishes in the third.
Part of the reason we went with a more stylised and simple art direction for this project is just so that I can whip these out really quickly lmao.
For now, here's a look at Perry's other appearance option.

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#12 Post by PeroxidePrince » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:39 pm

🍳 Update 🍳

Writing is coming along, and the bulk of the common route/introduction has been drafted.

In terms of art, we've got all the major bits like sprite art and backgrounds done, and sprites have been coded into the game as well.
Here are the sprites of the other two characters, Lily and Brooks.
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I'm still working on some of the screens, but a good portion of the UI is done, and it's being put in the game as well.
Here's a gif of the character creation screen at the start of the game:
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I think we're well on track for what we planned for the time being -- ideally I did want all the UI stuff designed by the end of the first week, but I'll try to finish the remaining bits up as quickly as possible haha.

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#13 Post by Zelan » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:04 pm

Oh noooo, I'm already wincing in sympathy at those food poisoned sprites lmao. The character creation screen is really cute! I showed it to my roommate and she thought it was pretty funny so fingers crossed I'll be able to get her to play the game when it's out. ^_^

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#14 Post by NiccyNeko » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:16 am

We Love this character customization UI you have shown here, that's a great way to pull players into the story. This is shaping up to be a really adorable game and we can't wait to see how it progresses! Keep up the good work!
~~~ <3 Allie and Lexie

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Re: Cooked with Love • [Comedy/Romance] [Crafting] [NaNo19]

#15 Post by PeroxidePrince » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:11 pm

@Zelan: If it'll make you feel better, Perry can also give themself food poisoning so uh... at least it's fair all around haha. And thanks! The whole game is intended to be pretty silly, so we're hoping that it'll be a good game to play with others.
@NiccyNeko: Thanks very much!

🍳 Update 🍳

For writing, the common route/introduction is done, and the individual routes have been started on.
As far as art assets go, all the ingredients have been drawn, and I've started on some of the crafted dishes.
UI elements like dialogue boxes, choice menus, and the menu screens have also all been finished and coded into the game, with the exception of some extra screens, like credits and recipe/ending lists for the completionist players.
Here's a look at one of the backgrounds in the game, Perry's bedroom:
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I've also started to put together the crafting parts of the game! Here's a look at the crafting screen for the starter course:
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We've decided to sort ingredients into certain categories so it limits the combinations players can try.
Most likely what we'll end up doing to help players along is for there to be unlockable hints in each ingredient's description. We're planning to have that unlock after playing through the game once (you'll get an early bad ending if you make too many failed dishes, so it'll be easy to unlock hints.)
You're also stuck with the same ingredients for all 3 courses, so after using an ingredient, you won't be able to use it again. Starters and desserts will be made of 2 ingredients, while the main course will take 3 ingredients.

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