The Metaphor’s The Message…

Before getting into more of the design of the game, I wanted to work out what made sense in terms of a metaphor for the game / gameplay. My initial idea was that the iPad physically was about the same size and shape as a restaurant menu, so I had thought about using that idea to drive the design of the game.

The other thing that I had mentioned was that I wanted to incorporate some randomness into the gameplay to make it a bit more interesting than the standard ‘answer a question and move ahead a square’ model, and I thought that the famously mercurial behaviour of a chef would be a perfect metaphor to justify some unanticipated outcomes.

So after pondering it a little more, I decided that rather than take place front-of-house, the game would be set in the kitchen, with the players taking on the part of the kitchen staff, with the role of Chef being assumed by the person directing the play with the iPad, asking the questions and doling out the rewards / punishments for the round.

That led to a number of design decisions to help fit the metaphor:

  • The visual design of the app could be based around kitchen and food prep imagery, rather than a menu etc
  • The spaces on the board could be referred to as ‘stations’ as in ‘move ahead 2 stations’
  • The questions will make more sense as questions to Chefs staff – as opposed to the diners, and consequently the ‘punishments’ could be tailored to fit that context
  • You could have more fun writing the responses as it makes more sense for a Chef to abuse/reward the staff as opposed to diners…

So that’s the decision at this point, I think it could work – we’ll see once the design and the gameplay is fleshed out a bit more…

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