Virtually anyone can hard-boil an egg, and at some point you can even whisk one and fry it into a delicious omelet. But what happens when you send that tortilla into battle against a three-tier cake? It’s one of the many questions raised by GladiEATers, so – Game News caught up with the mind behind this upcoming turn-based strategy game at WASD 2023 to ask about Steam Early Access plans, culinary combat ethics and the undoubted potential cheese.

The concept of GladiEATers is quite simple: you cook various foods and then send them to fight your opponent’s creations. You can cook simple foods like boiled eggs, or take the time to cook something more sophisticated (and more battle-hardened) like a three-layer cake. It’s a simple yet charming concept that developer Oliver Georgallis of Milk Bubbles Games came up with on a long journey.

“It was a total silence that was broken by, ‘Tommy, I have this idea, okay?'” Saying to her friend, the response almost confirmed the idea in Georgallis’ head: “This could be called GladiEATers.” He loved the name so much that “Tommy” still has a small stake in the game just because of those naming rights. “I love puns – a lot of things in the game are called puns,” Georgallis tells us on the WASD show.

“The team pushes me back on that a lot,” he muses, “Like, there’s only one battle boss in the game who can talk about puns, because everyone said, okay Oliver, everyone needs to talk.” usual”. Georgallis says the team wants the characters to feel varied and interesting, however, and each has their own specific dietary preferences, such as who is raw vegan.

“It’s never really a hint of humor, you know? Nobody makes fun of someone for what they eat, or how they dress, or anything like that. It is very important for us too. So just real people, basically, that’s what we designed the characters for.” As a trained chef, Georgallis says, “The food is so easy to understand – I don’t need to explain to anybody what a fried egg is, you know, they just know. And I think that’s kind of a starting point to build a character or a creature.”

However, some foods may be a little less familiar to some – Ratatouille is now quite well known thanks to the Disney movie of the same name – but what about the egg and tomato dish Shakshouka? “Very few people know what it is. I wish someone would make Shakshouka in the game and then figure out how to do it in real life and find out it’s super easy and super tasty.”

Around 50 creatures in three categories of Eggs, Cakes, and Vegetables are currently available in the game, but there’s plenty of potential for new foods to come in the future. “Cheese, I mean, once we add cheese to the game…it’s cheesy veggies, soft tortillas, cheese bread, pizza, I mean all the floodgates open , is not it ?” This means that even one new ingredient opens up a whole world of possibilities. “I mean, that’s how the kitchen works,” Georgallis concludes.

However, one question burns on our lips. If this food is alive, created by a mysterious force known as the “CAL particle” that turns inanimate calories into food, what are the ethical ramifications of sending it into battle? “It’s interesting, because you said ‘send him to die’, right? That’s definitely a conversation we want to develop in the story,” Georgallis jokes.

“There will definitely be characters who will question the ethics of fighting these creatures, getting attached to them and watching them die hurts a bit. And then if he comes back to life, is it the same So there are some questions that we want to expand on later in the story, and it’s definitely a unique twist on culinary ethics that we’ve never seen approached in this way before.

GladiEATers is currently set to launch via Steam Early Access later this year, with plans to introduce multiplayer modes including both cooperative and competitive multiplayer play in the future. For now, you can add it to your wishlist if you are interested.

In the meantime, check out more of the best cooking games if you’re hungry, or other great strategy games for those of you who like the more tactical procedural side.

Interview by Nat Smith at WASD 2023.

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