BATTLE CHEF BRIGADE

Created by Trinket Studios

Play as a magical chef! Hunt monsters and cook them into exquisite dishes to wow the judges and crush your opponents!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Cutting Board
over 2 years ago – Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 10:07:56 PM

Hey Battle Chefs! It's been a while due to the holidays, so we're got a lot to cover.

Backer Demo in the Freezer

The Backer Demo will continue to be available to everyone at that tier, though we won't be updating it until closer to launch. We'll use that beta as an opportunity to test a ton of the big changes we're making to the game as well as all the new content. The Daily Cook-Off leaderboards are likely to break in that old version as well (the backend service we used has been shut down), but the next one will use Steam's service instead.

Campaign

Mina's campaign is fully implemented now, in a rough state. Not all the characters have color, the dialogue needs another couple passes, and a few bits of gameplay are missing. However, it's playable from start to finish, which is a big step. Playtesting and polishing have already begun. There were some systems, like the Town's job and shop economy, that needed the entire game to be functional before iteration could really begin.

Mina's campaign introduces Sauce, Chopping, Poison, and Bone mechanics, which we need to playtest a lot to make sure players don't accidentally poison Judges! Weaving those teaching moments into the narrative has been really fun - and involves a few surprises! We've also added better controls for difficulty. Previously, the AI could arbitrarily either satisfy a Judge's preferences or forget to, which resulted in big random difficulty spikes. We now have full control over how well the AI cooks.

Chop Chop

One scary aspect of the final phases of game development is figuring out what's not going to make it into the launch version of the game. A lot of the promises we made so long ago during this campaign seem rather silly now given how BCB has evolved. For instance, multiple playable chefs seemed reasonable when each chef only had a few attacks and shared a generic story. Whoops! As the hunting portion of the game improved, it became harder to imagine putting that character into a bland, recycled story, so the narrative and dialogue improved too.

The result is certainly a better game, but our focus on quality will mean that some quantity will need to be postponed. We're working with Adult Swim Games to decide which features, languages, chefs, and stretch goals should be prioritized and which can be released after launch (in the style of Shovel Knight). That may sound rather dire, but fear not! We've got a great game here and have to walk the balance between shipping soon and having a feature list like a AAA game. If you have a favorite stretch goal, localization language, or extra mode, please let us know what it is, either in the comments or in a message. Your opinions matter a great deal to us!

Arenas get a new coat of paint

The Hunting Biomes have been really hard to iterate on because they're made up of enormous illustrations. In fact, the Forest we've been showing off since this Kickstater campaign hasn't changed at all, despite the removal of default double jump and many speed changes. We've been improving our toolset to address that and are super proud of our first tests in the Caverns.

Not only can we now easily edit a level's jump heights, ecosystem, and combat areas, but we have the opportunity to make custom hunting levels for specific Hunter's Guild and Break the Targets challenges. Here are some shots of the remodeled Caverns.

 

Caverns monsters

The Caverns is full of monsters inspired by Backers! A couple are still being colored, but the (codenamed) Lobster, Lizard, and Slime are integrated already. We're thrilled to finally have them in the game and can't wait for you to discover how to hunt and cook them.

 

 

Dynamic Music

Tom Dunkin has started composing a bunch of new songs, some of which have dynamic variation. We've been working on the Brigade Town set lately, where the Inn, Town proper, Workshop, Hunter's Guild, and Restaurant all have variations on the same theme. It sounds phenomenal and makes the Town feel very alive. We'll be sharing those as they get their final mixes!

Miscellaneous

This is going too long, so here are some other cool features we've been working on:

  • Controls remapping (keyboard and controller)
  • Controls improvements - streamlining the cluttered keyboard interface in particular has made big strides
  • Directional hit reactions are now fixed
  • Inspired by a bug discovered at PSX, AutoMina now runs continuously while we work, finding bugs and errors. She basically presses buttons faster than humans can and "plays" the game while logging bugs directly into Trello.
  • The Loadout system has been improved by categorizing items - you can no longer enter a Duel without cooking vessels! This change also makes your many items way more understandable.
  • More items and containers - the backer demo only had about a third of the items that are now available in Mina's campaign.

 Around the Kitchen

We want to highlight two amazing fan creations this month: Victoria's real-life Beef Udon Soup inspired by the in-game recipe and Twylark's delightful Perler bead portraits!

 

Catch you in the Kitchen next month, Battle Chefs!

 

Feasting
over 2 years ago – Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 11:09:01 PM

Hey Battle Chefs! We hope your November has been full of tasty food and happy moments :) We tackled a giant swath of features, so let's check them out!

PSX

Tom and Eric will be showing off Battle Chef Brigade at PSX this weekend in Anaheim, California! Somewhat oddly, we don't have anything concrete to announce yet, but we can at least confirm that consoles are cool and controller support is important to us ;)


Combat Improvements

We've reached the point in development where iteration is fast and the little things matter a lot. A bunch of Mina's moves have been tweaked slightly since the Backer Demo, ensuring that her movement is smoother and more responsive. No one has noted the lack of some of the things we improved, but I think subconsciously you'll love the way your chefs move from attack to attack.

A more obvious upgrade was to Mina's Whirlwind spell. We decided to bump it up in size and damage (as well as mana cost) and made the upgraded version even cooler.

We haven't added any new FX in a while, so added a first pass at a monster death explosion! The fact that our monsters just disappeared into a couple ingredients has always bothered us.

Shadows Upgrade

We solved a few longstanding annoyances with our character shadows by using the stencil buffer! In the Backer Demo, shadows would appear even over the edges of cliffs. No longer!

Exaggerated shadow fix
Exaggerated shadow fix

Cooking improvements

From the Backer Demo, we got a lot of good feedback for what aspects of cooking are well understood and taught. One key area that we didn't explain and wasn't transparently clear was the Cooking Combo system. So, we've added some FX and moved your combo rewards entirely into your control. Belchior also now teaches you about how the system works!

Fragile, Poison, and Bone have also been iterated on. Fragile in particular is much friendlier than before. Now, it demotes Taste Gem levels if it cracks fully and resets instead of shattering the first time.

Loading screen animation

We finally got around to adding a proper loading screen animation for slower computers and consoles. Now the Stealbird goes for a jog in the corner of the screen!

I reckon that's enough for this month, Battle Chefs. Catch you in the Kitchen Colosseum next month!

 

Boxed Lunch
over 2 years ago – Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 05:45:00 PM

Hey Battle Chefs! It has been a wild month thanks to the Backer Demo we sent out to everyone at the Beta Buffet tier and up. We did it, though, and it's been wonderful having so many of you play!

Backer Demo

We kicked off the Backer Demo release with an awesome Giant Bomb video for their Unfinished series. It was great to expose BCB to many more folks and even, very carefully, read the comments.

It's extraordinarily stressful to release even this little bite of the game, especially to backers and press, but our fear was met with overwhelming positivity. It's hard to look at the demo objectively because we only see what's missing and incomplete, but apparently many of you had a great time and have been playing the Daily Cookoffs every day! You can see a lot of the happy backers here in our Twitter feed.

One of the scary parts of releasing a demo is that the number of people testing goes from about 10 to hundreds. We had missed a few dumb bugs (like what happens when you play the Daily Cookoff many, many times a day!) and some really tricky ones. One terrifying one occurred only for people with extra-wide monitors, which we thankfully tracked down quickly using our in-game bug reporting tool. Just looking at these cards revealed the issue!

Trello cards generated from the in-game bug reporter
Trello cards generated from the in-game bug reporter

I'm so happy we got that feature in for the demo - it helped us immensely, not to mention how powerful it is during development to be able to pinpoint a bug with an image, output log, and save game!

It's also been heart-warming to watch players discuss strategies on Twitter and in the Backer forums. We had to almost immediately nerf the Crock Pot due to it being exceptionally powerful, though now I'm excited to introduce more passive cooking vessels.

Art

Not surprisingly, a ton of art needed to get done for the demo and Eric delivered! One of our favorite final additions was the emote system, which lets us pepper dialogues with little animations. Here's a GIF Eric made to show them all off.

Eric has also moved on to finalizing the Caverns monsters, which are looking great. Here are some key poses for the Hydra!

 And some re-done portraits for a bunch of characters:

Articles

I did a solid interview for a Gamasutra article. It covers our inspirations and touches on some of our Kickstarter regrets. Give it a read here.

Geek.com wrote a humorous article naming BCB demo the Game of the Year, which gave us a good laugh. Check it here.

That's enough for this month, Battle Chefs! It was great to spend some time polishing up the beginning of Mina's campaign, but now we're thrilled to get back to the rest of the stories and monsters.

 

Battle Chef Brigade Backer Demo!
over 2 years ago – Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 08:27:12 PM

Hey Battle Chefs at the BETA BUFFET tier and up,

The time has finally come for you to test and give feedback on this early version of Battle Chef Brigade!

You will receive an email from BackerKit (same as the survey) with a Steam key. If you don't receive that email shortly, please message us on Kickstarter and I'll get it sorted out!

Things to know:

  • The game is still a bit rough and certainly not final, but feel free to let us know which things stick out to you the most so we can prioritize!
  • Press the F1 key while playing to send us bug reports or feedback. That sends us a screenshot and the output log so we can track down issues quickly.
  • The Daily Cook-Off and Challenges all have leaderboards, so good luck beating my times! The Cook-Off does indeed randomize each day (midnight CST), so we're looking forward to competing with you each day.
  • If you haven't used Steam to download games, visit this page to download it:  http://store.steampowered.com/about/
  • You'll then enter the key following these instructions to Activate a Product
  • Join us in the private Steam forums to discuss demo and final game here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/452570/discussions/1/
  • PC and Mac only for now because we haven't had much time to test on Linux. If you are interested in testing a Linux version down the line, please send me a message :)
  • It is ok to stream or share screenshots from this build. Press and streamers will be getting keys later this week.

Thank you all so, so much for your patience. We can't wait to hear what you think about the demo!

Best,

Tom, Eric, and Ben

 

Into the Blender!
over 2 years ago – Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 07:44:04 PM

Hey Battle Chefs! September was the wildest of months, starting with an exhausting yet excellent PAX West followed by a ton of hours spent polishing up the Beta Buffet Backer Demo.

Backer Demo

The 250 or so of you who backed at the Beta Buffet tier and above will be getting the Backer Demo real soon. It turns out that finalizing all major game features takes more than a week after PAX! If our final testing and marketing efforts go as planned, it should be in your hands very soon!

Let's take a look at what we've been jamming into the demo:

Dialogue System Upgrades

What started as a straightforward way to have characters say a few lines has evolved into an awesome digital graphic novel cutscene tool! Camera movement, character positioning, camera shake, sounds, particles, tweens, and more are now supported, which brings a ton of life to all of our characters. The Backer Demo has examples of a bunch of these effects, but there will be a pass later on where we really amp up the story's big moments.

Mina runs into Kirin rather violently
Mina runs into Kirin rather violently

Menu Updates

The challenge modes got some attention from UI maestro Benn Marion! Not all the UI in the demo has gotten an update, but the look is coming together really well.

Challenge Modes Menu Mockup
Challenge Modes Menu Mockup

Break the Targets

In the demo, Mina and Thrash have one challenge level each. Here's a test version of Mina's, showing an ok run by yours truly.

Break the Targets Test Run
Break the Targets Test Run

 Daily Cook-Off

The Daily Cook-Off is a really critical part of the demo because it contains some of the more advanced mechanics (like Saucing and the Crock Pot) as well as Thrash! From those players who are up to the challenge, we'll get great data about what's working well and what's too confusing. A few PAX West players returned multiple times to beat their friends and foes as Thrash in the Daily Cook-Off and it was splendid to finally see our true design goals manifest on the leaderboards. It's gratifying to see multiple dishes under construction at once for two or three judges.

Daily Cook-Off Mockup
Daily Cook-Off Mockup

 Forest Practice Kitchen

Not all cooking duels are sanctioned by the Battle Chef Brigade, so chefs visiting Brigade Town sometimes have to take a hike into the nearby woods to battle. It's especially fun to see this realized in full because one of Eric's original BCB mockups took place in a forest kitchen just like this!

Forest Practice Kitchen
Forest Practice Kitchen

 The Farm

No fantasy cooking game can be without a farm! In the demo, Mina and Simon have a chat here about her not-so-surprising roguish plans to "borrow" some gold.

Field outside Windy Village
Field outside Windy Village

 PAX Press

For the majority of you who couldn't attend PAX West, here's a bunch of the great press we received. The combo of Indie Megabooth and Adult Swim Games' booth was exhausting but incredible. These headlines are excellent :)

| Destructoid - Battle Chef Brigade: two tastes tasting great together

| Paste Magazine - The 15 Best Games at PAX West 2016

| Can't Talk Media -  Battle Chef Brigade at PAX West 2016

| The Zero Review - Marriage of Streets of Rage and Chopped

| ZAM - Batle Chef Brigade is fantasy Iron Chef

| pixelkin - Battle Chef Brigade is just like Iron Chef

That's all for this month, Battle Chefs! Backer Demo-tier folks will receive some extra emails soon and everyone else should keep an eye out for new press, Youtuber, and streamer videos of the demo. Cheers!