Monday, June 04, 2007


Before I start crafting, I have to explain what my criteria are for picking a certain minigame. They are :
- Minigame must be fun. I wouldn't consider it a game if there was no fun to be had by playing it.
- Minigame must be challenging. If it's not challenging, then you might as well not have a game, since everyone would get pretty much the same results.
- Minigame must be hard to automate. I know fun minigames shouldn't need to be automated, but if a bot can outperform a person, then I want to at least make it hard to MAKE a bot for the game.
- Finally, the minigame must reflect the crafting in progress. A lot of the crafting skills have real-world counterparts, and those that don't can either have a parallel to real world, or have rules made up that need to be followed.

With that being said, here comes the first crafting skill.


The cooking minigame is a multi-part one; not all cooking recipes will use all parts, but these parts constitute the maximum in term of minigame playability.

First, you prepare the ingredients. That includes cutting, dicing, pureeing or otherwise modifying ingredients as long as necessary. To do this, the player is given instructions coming at them at high speed, and they must try to follow them as best they can; those who played dancing games would recognize the formula, and it should be easy enough to understand by most. You just press the four direction keys, with a few extra keys (Numbers, maybe, or perhaps clicking) once in a while to change the instrument.

Then, you prepare the dough. This is done by reading the recipe booking (potentially with simple captcha, in the form of ink stains and spilled food) and scooping the ingredients with the proper instrument. If the recipe requires one cup of something, then you take the 1-cup cup and try to take as close to the right amount as necessary. A skillful cook will get it right almost every time, and thus save time cooking.

After the dough is prepared, you cook it. When the dough is in the oven, you have to watch the fire and make sure it's not too cold or too hot. You can open the oven to let the heat out (Though you risk damaging your recipe) or add fuel to the fire. You also have to watch the dough to take it out when it's ready.

After it's cooked, you can add ingredients. You are presented with an image of the resulting food, and have to come as close to it as possible. In a cake, for example, this means adding the frosting equally everywhere, and the decoration, for example fruits or chocolate, as indicated. Some recipes, say, a pizza, could require you to put these ingredients in before you take the recipes to the oven.

Once you're done with any number of these games, the food is ready. Enjoy the meal, knowing it was created with your hard work (By opposition to your hard waiting for the bar to fill up).

Now, as I mentioned before, crafting minigames should be optional. One ought to chose a minigame they can more easily relate to and excel at, but it doesn't mean that they are barred from a crafting skill if they don't possess the related player skills. The game will just be a little more boring if they choose not to play it fully.

See, cooking is easy! Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the next crafting skill.

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