Been working on a proof of concept in Twine, and would be interested to get some feedback on the idea before I get too far into writing!
The player character has taken a summer job as a barista, but finds out that more than a few of the customers are gaining weight (intentionally or otherwise). As the summer progresses, they get to know their customers and co-workers better - potentially putting on some weight of their own in the process.
So far I have a few NPCs in mind:
Cat is a more experienced barista. She’s a bit brash, but generally looks out for you - although it seems awfully suspicious that all of her other shift-mates end up putting on a few pounds…
Mara is a customer who has a rather messy public breakup, due to her crashing metabolism - she could use a confidence boost.
Erica and Tom are a couple who start frequenting the cafe - but why do their orders keep getting bigger every time?
Each shift, you get a random event - you might meet an NPC, you might develop your relationship with an existing one, or you might do something on your own (the randomness is both to add variety and to avoid me having to plot the order of stuff out in advance :p)
My questions are:
Is this an interesting enough premise? It doesn’t feel super original but I wanted something broad enough that I could do a decent variety of events without repeating myself.
What kinds of events/subplots/other characters would people want to see?
I like this kind of set up for a game, if you set up good exposition in the game it’ll be quite good, try not to have your characters say what they feel but show it, and man it is a pretty original idea, I haven’t really seen a café styled game like what you’re suggesting, if you feel like this is a good idea, it’s probably a good idea. As for me, regular weight gain is nice, if you feel like doing romantic interests for the game that would be pretty good, but remember, the whole point of game making is about appealing to the audience while making sure its a game that you yourself would actually play/replay. For me, this idea alone seems like something I’d want to replay. Hope you enjoy making it.
Edit: I think that you should add a character, a new employee, this would add another character who’s personality may be the opposite of Cat, she isn’t experienced, needs a lot of help, and is very kind to you. This will help with dynamics between the two workers. Just a suggestion, nothing more.
Yeah, I’m trying to strike a balance between getting to the ‘good stuff’ reasonably quickly (I have a bit of a tendancy to waffle on, which nobody wants in their kink games :p) while still keeping it reasonably ‘show don’t tell’ - we’ll see how successful I end up being in that regard
I would like to add some romance at some point, if I get far enough with this project.
This is a good idea! I’m already thinking of introducing an ex-co-worker of Cat’s at some point, but having another newbie there could be fun. At the same time, I’m trying not to introduce too many characters before I’ve fleshed out the ones I have.
I actually had a similiar idea but never got around to working on it so I have some character concepts you can use.
A customer could be a cop and a barista on staff could be really antipolice and you have to make a choice which character is able to be in the café more (who you choose gains weight).
College athlete takes the job as a summer job as well and it can impact her physique.
Foreign exchange student starts working as a barista and learns she loves the food here. She group up in a place where food supply is scarce. An event for her would be her going to her homeland on break and the results of her parents seeing her for the first time since she started working here.
Generally, I think giving players choices where they have to choose who gains weight is good for these types of games because if you give a player a choice to let one character either gain weight or not, they will always choose the gain option which makes it so there aren’t real choices for players to make.
Yeah, I don’t think anyone playing these kinds of games deliberately chooses the “don’t gain” option, other than perhaps for the novelty. My thinking was to instead have a group of characters who are going to gain weight no matter what - the choice is more what role you play in that
@falcon82mm’s suggestion ended up being really good advice - I’ve been struggling with some of the events only having one ‘good’ option, and making it more of a ‘who’ choice instead of a ‘what’ choice made them much more interesting.
For example, I have an event where Cat tries to sweet talk you into taking leftovers home, but I realized after writing it that duh, nobody’s going to say no! So instead of having the choice be yes or no, I made it so you can convince Cat to split them 50/50, which adds a fun extra dimension to her character (is she willing to put on a bit of weight in service of fattening you up?) as well as giving you reasons to not just speedrun gaining.
I definitely appreciate you taking my advice. It is something I learned from making a few games a while back.
Another thing I like to do which builds off of this is making it so that all of the characters can gain, but in order to get them to their max size, you have to make choices which cut off other characters from reaching max size. Depending on the size of the game itself, this can be a good idea because it will add replay value. If the game is big enough that replaying it is more difficult, it would make sense to make everything possible in one playthrough though.