WeHOP is a 2-player, networked VR game. You can play as Frog or Bear to run the Intergalactic House of Pancakes. Players must cooperate to cook breakfast orders since each player has access to different tools. WeHOP was accepted into the 2018 Boston Festival of Indie Games, where we'll have a booth with a fully working demo.
We made the entire thing over a weekend at the 2018 Global Game Jam. We knew we wanted to do a social VR experience and Overcooked had just come out for a couple months on Nintendo Switch. We were huge fans and thought, what if we make a team cooking game for VR?
It was a crazy amount to get done in a weekend and I'm glad we stuck to our guns. Luckily we had some incredible coders who were able to get virtual reality AND multiplayer AND networked play to work in two days.
One thing we learned quickly was that cooking was much, much harder in VR. Even flipping a pancake was challenging and took several minutes to master. We had to slow the pace down. Then we got networking to work and there was a magic moment when you could see your partner in VR and interact with them. Nothing quite beats the joy of shooting pancake batter into a friend's face!
The mechanics we included:
- Fire pancake batter with a space gun
- Cook pancakes by flipping them on a pan
- Chop up grapefruit with a knife
- Picking up and throwing objects at one another in space
- Deliver food at a teleporter station
Because I was the solo artist, I picked a style that would let me pump out art like water from a fire hydrant. I started with pixel art in Photoshop, preserving the brightest colors for key objects.
Then I turned these assets into 3D art with MagicaVoxel, a free 8-bit voxel editor. It was my first time using this tool and I was impressed by how easy it was to pick up and use. It imported my 2D images into an initial 1 voxel layer that I morphed with a set of simple yet powerful tools.
After this, I exported each object from MagicaVoxel as an .obj file and imported them into Unity. This is also where I set up the environment and lit the space in an art test scene. And that's where I handed it off to the coders.
Overall it was a great game jam! We had an ambitious idea and were able to execute it in a weekend because we built off knowledge from prior game development on cooperative VR games. The key was to focus on just a few interactions and shoot for a playable demo as soon as possible. It still needs a lot of polish to be a great experience, but even in its rough state it's super fun to mess around with cooking equipment in VR with a friend.