I just got home after watching the Great British Bake Off, and thought that it could be quite a nice theme to try in a game, but maybe in a slightly different type of game than one I normally design. Given the recent buzz around X-COM and digital implementations in games, I thought you could maybe try something like that for a theme of a baking competition.

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Day 51: The Great Tabletop Bake Off

The game is played between two teams, with each team having to have at least 2 members. These teams are taking part in a baking challenge, where they will each have to produce a bread, a pastry and a cake by the end of 15 minutes of gameplay. This gameplay is facilitated by an app, which throws up unexpected situations for the players to take care of.

Each of the players has a different role, and they can switch roles during the game. One person for example is buying ingredients from the shops, and can only bring back a certain amount of ingredients each trip. So the other players need to discuss between themselves quickly what they should go out and buy early in the game. Another player can be in charge of one oven, and has to try and work out how long to leave each item in. The app helps decide how well they are doing – when a player decides to put a cake in the oven, they touch a button on the app screen to notify this. Then can then ‘check’ the cake by tapping another button at a later point, which will give a message to the player, such as ‘the cake has risen greatly and is a nice golden-brown colour’. The player then chooses when to take the cake out of the oven (either following the message, or they can choose to wait a bit longer if they feel it will benefit them), and touches another button to do so. The app then knows how long the cake was in the oven, and based on what ingredients were in there (there might be a code to input which recipe card is being used), the app will tell the players at the end of the game how well done it is.

Other time based tasks can also be judged by the app, as it could give messages at random intervals that players have to respond to. For example, after tasting the batter of a cake, the app might say whether you want to add something as the batter is too dry, and you can choose what you would like (as long as you have bought it already) that you think will address the problem; the app will decide whether you made the right choice or not.

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I like this idea of a pressured situation that the app is moderating, as players could have a lot of tasks to do on the board (such as rolling dice to try and knead dough, for example), which means they could even forget to check the cake in the oven, leaving it burnt. The game probably needs some sort of interactive element between the teams though, perhaps there could be a common store that has a limited stock that is offered between the teams, and players need to work out when to buy ingredients so that they have them before the other team nabs them (but they don’t want to buy too much that they don’t use, as they would be penalised for going over budget). Do you think the world is ready for a bake off themed game like this?