While I was growing up, I also enjoyed playing this game by Sunburst called Hot Dog Stand: The Works. In that educational game, players manage their own business where they run a concession stand and are responsible for gathering information, keeping records, determining prices, and planning marketing strategies. Allowing them to practice critical math, problem-solving, and communication skills.
Around three years ago, I had the idea of creating a game similar to Hot Dog Stand, but to create more story into the world and give the player the ability to create the restaurant that they wanted. This was after playing Pheonix Wright and seeing how it is possible to make an interesting game out of almost any job. Thus, Culina was born.
The reason I bring this up is that I have finally released the first part of Culina: The Spirit of Cooking on its own website here.
That being said, I spent all of my free time working on some of the many other projects I worked on, so for once I put on a Producer hat and hired outside help to get the game done. I’ll do a post purely about working on teams online (so very different than student/professional teams), but I must say it is both challenging and rewarding to work on a project remotely. In this project, I did all of the programming, UX/UI Design, and concept while I outsourced all of the artwork and the writing.
The programming only took me around a month all things considered; I never worked in Python before this project, but over the course I’d become very familiar with it. Also to reduce development time, I used the RenPy engine that is specifically made for visual novels, but enhanced it adding in additional kinds of gameplay. This first game is mostly a visual novel, but I already implemented the game part, aside from balancing and getting assets in. That being said, most of that work was done a long time ago; most of the time spent on the project was waiting for assets to come in.
Should you wish to check it out, please visit its site: http://johnpdoran.com/culina