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Video Game Showcase - Restaurant Tycoon

If there’s one aspect of Restaurant Tycoon that keeps me coming back time after time, it’s the food, of course!  Restaurant Tycoon is a modern tycoon game by UltraGames with a plethora of unique and diverse cuisines to cook in your kitchen, including Japanese, Greek, Indian, British, and more. Starting out, you take on the role of restaurant manager, chef, and waiter. As your restaurant grows, you can hire staff to help you out with your growing business.

The main objective of the game is to create a 5-star restaurant. You work towards this goal by adding a variety of food to your menu, making sure your guests are entertained, providing a reliable and speedy service, and placing the furniture in a pleasing and useful way.

I chose to build a sushi restaurant. Being a lover of all things food, I was blown away by the unique dishes I could serve, ranging from ikura (salmon eggs), dango (colorful rice dumplings), and mochi (pounded rice cakes). On top of country-specific food, you can also hire “World Star” chefs who cook a large selection of dishes from a wide geographical area.

I spoke with lead developer Ultraw about the development and success of the game.

What’s your favorite thing about Restaurant Tycoon?

My favourite thing is when people send me screenshots of their completed restaurants! It makes me proud when I see how much effort and time people have spent building their restaurant and how much they enjoyed our game.

How did you research all the unique in-game food?

The developers and I researched the more uncommon cuisines (such as Greek, Japanese, Indian) and then created a brainstorm of all the possible dishes to include. We tried to include the most recognisable dishes associated with the countries and also needed to select a variety of starters, mains, and desserts. The food from the World Star European and Asian menus were mainly suggested by players!

Do you enjoy cooking in real life?

I’ve improved my cooking skills a lot recently! Although, it’s mainly because I will be going to university next year so will have to cook for myself.

Were there any challenges you faced during development?

Restaurant Tycoon was very challenging for me as a scripter, because previously I had only made normal tycoons. I was challenged with making pathfinding systems, object placement systems, NPCs, and more. At one point during the development of the game, the player needed to close their restaurant if they wanted to place down and pick up objects… Thankfully I got around that!

Why do you think the tycoon genre has remained so popular?

I think there are many reasons—the player has an obvious goal, they achieve objectives gradually, and nowadays, they have an opportunity to be creative and unique, feeling a sense of ownership over their creation. The most successful tycoons are those without a defined end point, like Lumber Tycoon 2 and Theme Park Tycoon 2.

How does Restaurant Tycoon stand out from other tycoon games?

The placement system in Restaurant Tycoon makes it different from many old-style tycoons. The furniture shop is also a very unique aspect because it makes furniture shopping very realistic. The level of variety in the game is also a great feature; there are now over 130 dishes and 10 restaurant styles.

Is there any advice you’d give to game developers starting out?

My advice is to collaborate with other developers in the same situation! The first projects I worked on were with two of my friends from school, and it really helped me to learn how to develop games and how to code. I would also recommend separating large projects into small activities. For example, instead of setting a goal to “make the map” you would split this up into many short activities that only take 10-20 minutes. I keep an active list of all the tasks I need to do on my computer and it really helps me stay focused and motivated.

You can check out other places by UltraGames here, and follow @RBX_ULTRA on Twitter to keep up with his latest work.

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