Auntie Donna's Diner (temp title)

Hi everyone, I’ve been lurking this forum for a long while now - since the christmas jam I think - and have decided to finally try making something for myself.

Without giving too much away (mostly so I don’t end up making promises I can’t keep), I’m working on a twine text adventure.
You play the role of the owner of a fast food restaurant/diner, starting off with you hiring staff, and then going on to maintain and grow your business (and also your customers) by making choices. So far the plan is to have five potential employees, with three positions to hire for (serving, grilling and working the register). From there, each employee will cary out their job to the best of their ability as you’re occupied with general management stuff. Along with improving the diner by buying better equipment, there’ll be key choices that’ll determine the fate of your customers, your staff and yourself once you reach the end. I’m going to focus on replaying to see different outcomes rather than a single, lengthy experience.

In terms of content, all the major NPC’s are female, there’s most likely going to be themes of overeating, messy eating, (no super hardcore slob stuff) tight/outgrowing clothes and have multiple endings with different combinations of each.

I’ve not finalised any random events and I’m still working on the character events, so I’d really like to hear any questions/suggestions/ideas anyone has.


I got a few questions

  1. Will it be a full-on management/tycoon fetish game or have some elements of management in the game?
  2. Since there is going to be light slob involved, will there be a way to be notified or to be able to turn off slob?
  3. Finally, will you be able using twine for the duration of this project?
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Hey! By no means do I want to insinuate a fight or have this thread turn negative, but I am noticing a lot of similarities between this idea and my current project, Burger Palace.

I don’t want to accuse you of copying me or anything, this very well could just be a coincidence, but I’d just like to put it out there.

This is by no means meant to be an accusation or attack on your game. I don’t want to discourage you from making this, and I’ll be keeping up with the development of the game.

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No don’t worry I totally get what you mean, and I really appreciate you being so chill about this. If you feel like it’s getting too similar, I can try and re-theme it. (Maybe milkshakes, bakery etc. instead?)
I saw your post the other day and did feel a little like I’d be stepping on your toes, however, if it’s any reassurance, I’ve got discarded versions/builds going back a couple of months. I guess it’s just the case that it’s a scenario that lends itself well to this kinda thing?

If I’m reading your plan right, I think project’s got more of a narrative going on - and respect to you for that, the mystery stuff sounds great. The player’s role in my project is more of a hands off managerial one. You set the dominoes up, and watch them fall, that kinda thing. There is a family owned theme to the diner, but it’s is purely a setup for the wish fulfillment in this case. ( like Stardew Valley).

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In my opinion your ideas are similar in that they feature weight gain in a fast food/diner type of setting. That to me is generally where the similarities end. And to be fair there are many employee (either playing as or interacting with said employee) or from a managerial roll of said restaurant that feature weight gain already on the site. It’s not a bad thing and I would assume from looking at both projects that they are going to be pretty different as to me they don’t sound much alike. But I wish you luck I’m interested to hear more in the future about this.

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Thanks for the questions, I hope this clears stuff up for you.

  1. The management stuff is mostly going to be an aesthetic thing, it’s not going to be a super in-depth tycoon game, mostly because it’s very important to me that I keep scope low enough that I can actually release something. The arc of a gameplay is mostly going to go like this: Choose a name, choose who you’re hiring for what role, then the core “loop” would begin.

This “loop” would consist of you arriving at work, dealing with a random event, having a lunchbreak where the player can interact with the staff (by which I mean check on how big they are). You’d then gather the day’s earnings and decide what to spend that money towards (ads, more seating, more high tech cash register) for different bonuses, and then start the next week. Rinse and repeat until the number of weeks runs out and then you’d get an ending based on performance and choices you made.

  1. The way I have it working now is that that stuff is all held behind a single choice towards the end of the game. It creates a big narrative change and would hopefully be easy enough to understand without needing a guide. That being said, if you think a more obvious “content toggle” at the start would be valuable, I wouldn’t have any issue including one.

  2. Yes, the whole thing’s going to be in Twine. I’ve barely any experience with code or interfaces of a more serious kind, and I find it easy enough to make stuff in the sugarcube format that I wouldn’t need to set any more time aside than I already have to work stuff out.

If that doesn’t help, I’m more than happy to answer any followups.


No need to, man. Like I said, I don’t want to feel like I’m attacking you in any way. Considering you’re way more into it than I currently am, I’ll probably downplay the managing aspect in mine a little bit.

Thanks for being understanding, too. Good luck with the game!

Alright, that’s all I needed to know, thank you for answering my questions. I wish you good luck and I hope this will be a good game later on in the future.

Just putting a ping here to say that the project is getting on fairly well considering I’ve not done a twine game before. Also I think I’m going with the title “Donna’s Diner”, unless anyone’s got any really good suggestions. (That is an invitation.)

So far we have:

3 staff roles and a hiring process
5 potential staff members with different skill aptitudes, personalities and shapes.
An opt-in gain mechanic for the PC and NPCs separately along with another opt-in slob factor later on. (As in the slob would only apply to the ones that you already opted into gaining in the first place.)
A daily routine system with a morning, work shift, downtime and bed section that change based on choices you make.

Haven’t got the actual finance mechanics in order and I still need to make a few more oneoff scenarios and plan out the ending portion, but most of the major creative legwork’s basically there.

Also, while I’m not going to illustrate the whole text adventure because I’m not insane, I do have some character illustrations I did recently because I got bored if anyone’s interested in seeing how the cast are supposed to look.

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This does seem like a cool idea so I am hyped you are continuing to work on it! Can you tell us what the opt-in process is like? And do you have ideas for the staff members and roles?

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As it stands, the opt-in process is a simple dialogue choice. It’s not quite as blunt as “Press this to make staff get fat”, but I think it should be fairly obvious when reaching that point.

The three jobs you hire for are a waitress, a chef and a cashier, though there’s not any events that actually rely on those jobs to progress, they function more like skill checks to influence the diner’s productivity for when I include the finance bits. Basically, each staff member has 3 stats describing their affinity for the waitiing, cooking and cashier-ing(?) jobs, then once they jobs have been assigned, the respective stats are added up to make an overall “score” for the diner which will determine how profitable it will be.

I’ve got 5 characters, they’re pretty well defined and have different arcs depending on what gaining elements the player imposes on them.
I don’t want to give it all away too early and spoil the fun, but here’s a brief bio of the characters.

Katie, an energetic sporty type, talkative and very enthusiastic.
Max, outwardly a reserved goth, but is more friendly than she appears.
Nadia, very warm and easy to talk to, slightly older than the others.
Maya, the slightly stiff but well-meaning daughter of a wealthy father.
Maria, ex farm-hand, bold and headstrong but a little out of her comfort zone.

Hope this explains it well, I’m more than happy to answer any followups you’ve got.

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I played through the demo you posted and like it a lot.

Have you considered making it so each girl has an opt in process? (Maybe have the option to give each individual employee free lunches or not). I think it could be fun to have thin staff members who could make comments about the girls who are gaining weight.

First off, thank you so much.

I’d have to do a bit of thinking on how I’d get that sort of system to work in my current build, but I think that’s a really good idea.

I don’t know if you had a look at any of Maria’s interactions, but I did try to do something along the lines of what you’ve described. Although I’ve tried to keep it to relatively low amounts, just cause that’s a lot of variable check headaches that sprung up from it, but I could definitely give that kind of interaction more attention if it’s something you’ve found enjoyable.

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I just played through and read all of the Maria dialogue I could and I liked it. I also enjoyed how depending on the player’s weight, Katie’s dialogue would change too.

I have peaked at your project in Twine, and it does seem like there will be a lot of variables and passages you would have to make if you go the route of making it so every character can talk about all other characters when they are thin.

If you have a passage like katie unformatted, will it only show text meant for if the player has the correct variables, or would it show the entire passage regardless? If it only showed the text related to the correct variables, you could limit the number of passages which would be nice.

The unformatted passages are all gutted versions of a previous build basically, what you see now as “Katie-0-3, -1-3, -2-4, -1-1 etc.” were originally all one passage crushed together by nested if statements. Which, as you’ve guessed used to work by only showing the part where the correct criteria were met. (E.g. Time = 2, FreeLunch = False)

However, white it was very efficient for passage counts, but it was an absolute nightmare to navigate within each passage. My current solution’s a bit bloated for passages, but I’d rather that than having fewer, much more diffcult to read ones.

I think I’d probably implement character-on-character comments in a similar fashion to how it worked in Maria’s final 2 passages and have a some general comments accented with small bits of bespoke text based on which staff are hired, maybe have them only trigger if certain pairings are met just to keep things a bit interesting?

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