Soup Pot is the first game by Manila based developer Chikon Club. It was showcased at the March [email protected] event and is a cooking game which has no failed state. Besides being a cooking sim, the game is set during the pandemic quarantine, and includes a fictional social media platform called ‘Cookbook’ with a live chat room where you stream whatever you’re cooking.
Another cute little feature that’s part of the game is that the ingredients talk – or at least make cute sounds. In a conversation with GameSpot, developer Trina Pagtakhan revealed how the feature was added to the game. “Oh, when we first started making this game, we initially just wanted to make a simple cooking game, and then it somehow evolved into a meme game in the process,” she said. “And we also had Gian, our audio designer who was just making songs for us, saying these ingredient names in a gremlin voice. And then he added it into the game, and he kind of edits it to make it sound really cute. So, I think that’s one of the reasons why our game blew up in the first place.”
Pagtakhan also explained that the reason there is no failed state in the game is because the developers wanted to encourage experimental cooking and having fun in the kitchen, especially at a time when people are confined to their homes, and in some cases were forced to learn how to cook. The game relies on another method to judge players, the chat room. You’ll receive messages based on how you cook. Mess up and people will wonder what you’re doing; cook well, and you’ll receive congratulations.
Besides the chat feature, the game also touches upon the isolation that the pandemic induced quarantine has resulted in. You can chat with online delivery places and even the delivery executives. “You’re suffering from the pandemic, and you have to feed yourself. So that’s why you’re chatting with new people,” said Gwendelyn Foster.
However, the in-game social media platform also showcases some irresponsible usage like the kind we’ve seen on real world ones during this time. “You will eventually discover who does fake news because of the pandemic. There is so much misinformation. It’s to recreate [the real-world]. There are certain things that would have gotten better if the proper information had been independently disseminated earlier,” said Foster.
While it’s primarily a ‘cutesy cooking game’ Soup Pot also includes a shallow layer of political commentary. It tells people that there are important things going on out there in the world, but you’ll have to dig past the memes to spot it.
The developers also talked about fleshing out what essentially sounded like a cooking based social media platform in the game. You can plate your dish anyway you want and put it up on your profile. The UI/UX director is currently working on avatars you can use as profile pictures.
The team also touched on the future of the game and the additional content that players can expect. “Actually, for the kitchen, aside from the Filipino kitchen that we showcased in the trailer, we’re also planning to add a Japanese and a Korean kitchen via DLC. At launch, we’ll be showcasing the Filipino food alongside the Japanese and the Korean food DLC so that you can recreate more recipes,” said Pagtakhan.
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