Our Food Fight programmer shares how he developed the new game mode to promote food selection.
Players need to feel like their choices matter in a game, especially when it comes to choosing food. Even though broccoli is an extremely healthy food, some people don’t enjoy it, so why should they be forced to eat it in Food Fight? The idea of a virtual pantry, where the player can choose items from their pantry featured in the game, is now being developed. For players that want more control over what they eat, they can design their diet in the Pantry. This game mode is completely optional and does not affect core Food Fight game-play, but serves as a method for players to explore diets and tailor it to their own tastes within a single level. The Pantry Selection game mode consists of:
- A slow-moving conveyor belt where food will appear for the player to grab
- A trash bin where undecided food will go
- Healthy and unhealthy bins where players will throw good/bad foods and an ongoing display of the foods deposited
- A UI allowing the player to choose which diet they want to follow, what food allergies they have, and other dietary considerations
- Dietary feedback on their food choices, such as having too many unhealthy options for that diet
The conveyor belt system is already featured in the target practice level and is upcoming in the planned tutorial, so players will already be accustomed with its functionality.
Game Modes Available
There would be two modes that the pantry would operate under:
- Free Mode: Players can choose from all foods available in Food Fight. If they like a food item they throw it down the appropriate bin and it’s added to the foods that will appear in the main game. If they don’t like the food that’s presented to them from the conveyor belt, they can let it fall into the trash can.
- Sync Mode: If players are using the diet planning application, they can sync the food choices they made when grocery shopping to the foods available in the game. When booting the game, players will see that they have items to sync in the pantry. Upon entering the pantry, all new foods that the player checked off in the app will now appear on the conveyor belt. The conveyor belt will continue until all food from their synced list has appeared.
Healthy and Unhealthy Bins
Having healthy and unhealthy bins to place food give players a first chance at exploring a diet. Placing food in an incorrect bin will alert the player that they made a wrong choice and that food item will shuffle back into the conveyor. Once the player gets it correct, it will appear in the game’s food list. The pantry will also need to have a large amount of foods for the player to choose from so there is enough variety across the game; more so for higher difficulties where a larger variety of food exists.
The goal for the pantry is to give players more customization in the hopes that seeing an active snapshot of what they currently consume, as well as suggestion of adjusting these selections to fit a healthy lifestyle, will provoke real-world change. Allowing players to come back and adjust their diet while they play is a powerful tool, as long as the game-play keeps the player engaged enough to follow through with it. We feel the pantry selection concept will be a great addition to Food Fight and will serve as a foundation for expanding diet-based game-play.
You can read more about Food Fight on the game website, or download the game for free on the Oculus store.