An Interview With the Developers of Battle Chef Brigade
During the Nindies showcase, we were intrigued by the entertaining concept of Battle Chef Brigade from Trinket Studios.
After the presentation, we got in touch with Trinket Studios to learn more about Battle Chef Brigade and its Switch release.
Orcs, elves, and humans hunting for ingredients and then showing off their cooking prowess in a sort of fantasy Iron Chef? There must be a story there. What inspired you for the premise of Battle Chef Brigade?
We spent quite a long time brainstorming ideas and really struggled to come up with anything that excited us. After one particularly fruitless morning brainstorming session, we started making lunch and turned on the Food Network. We immediately started discussing how barren the cooking game genre is. Of course, it took a long time to get from there to Battle Chef Brigade. We prototyped about a dozen different core mechanics for cooking, ranging from table space management to poker-like pairing systems. We always wanted to capture the improvisational feel of shows like Chopped and Iron Chef instead of recipe-following. Moving into a fantasy world helps that a lot since players aren’t trying to replicate their own favorite flavors or recipes.
It sounds as though the game has two very distinct styles of gameplay—action combat with RPG elements while gathering ingredients and match-three puzzle gameplay while cooking. What prompted you to combine these two styles, and what games would you compare them to?
The hunting aspect evolved naturally from wanting to make an action cooking game in a fantasy world. Cooking uniforms and cookware already share a lot of similarities to RPG standards, so it was a really fun area to think about. The idea of a cooking duel drove a lot of our initial character concepts and the fighting and hunting aspect felt right. We took inspiration from a lot of games, including Guardian Heroes, Super Smash Brothers, Tetris, and Bejeweled.
When we saw the match-three puzzles, it immediately brought to mind the unexpected sushi combat game announced for the 3DS at E3, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido. What do you think—is it a coincidence, or are food-based puzzle games the next big thing?
Whoa, I hadn’t seen Sushi Striker – that looks great! I think that food games have been underrepresented for a long time. As we were prototyping action cooking ideas, we found a bunch that would make for fun games but didn’t match our vision for BCB. It’s great to see more teams exploring the space! Overcooked was also really exciting to see. Hopefully we do see an explosion of great food-based games.
Did anything in particular draw you to the Switch? Will Battle Chef Brigade make use of any of the Switch’s special features?
Battle Chef Brigade’s core loop and Daily Cook-Offs fit pretty well with both a pick-up-and-play experience and with a longer TV session, so it was cool to see a console allow for both possibilities. We also really love how it feels to see all of our art up close on a really vibrant screen. The graphic novel-style conversations in BCB feel right on the Switch. We’re also doing some really fun things with HD Rumble, especially when cooking and chopping – it’s really fun to hold!
There are four playable characters in Battle Chef Brigade, correct? How will they play differently from one another? Is there a story to follow, or is the gameplay the primary focus?
At launch, we’re focusing on Mina and Thrash. They each feature in lengthy, linked stories involving tons of fun characters. They also play completely differently, with their own combat moves, cookware, dishes, and custom ingredients. Mina is much faster and has lots of quick attacks. Thrash, on the other hand, is all about strength and can use his sword to consume ingredients and unlock Berserk Mode.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about Battle Chef Brigade?
We’re just wrapping up integrating a huge amount of voiceover work from some amazing actors and I’m so excited for players to experience that. The characters’ personality really comes through now in their voice in addition to their artwork. We didn’t initially intend to make such a character and story-driven game, but we’ve mixed together a lot of really great ingredients. The end result is quite delicious!
What are your thoughts on this action-meets-cooking game coming to the Switch? Let us know your thoughts on Battle Chef Brigade in the comments below.