This site is devoted to my current WIP, tentatively titled Food Cart Express. It was loosely inspired by Richard Hofmeier’s rather more famous work Cart Life; by which I mean that I took the general idea of Cart Life:

Player plays character, character has cart, character goes through daily life juggling a desire for commercial success with the pressing responsibilities of a not always easy personal life in what turns out to be a cutting and incisive indictment on the horrors of modern society

And rejigged it a bit:

               Player plays character, character has cart.

So in that sense at least Food Cart Deluxe is very much Cart Life’s spiritual successor.

In a broader sense of course it has precious little to do with Cart Life, and takes a lot more from games like the Patrician series of games, once by the now, sadly, departed Ascaron company and now by Kalypso Media.

What I envisage is a game whereby the player starts with a cardboard box and a bunch of fivers and try, over time, to convert it into a bigger box and more fivers, then a wooden box and some tenners, then a cart then a stand then a restaurant etc. etc. etc.

To achieve this the game needs a crafting system that takes inputs (flour, milk, eggs etc) and combines them in/with machines (whisk/oven/breadknife) in order to produce outputs (bread buns/cake/fried eggs) which can either be sold and/or eaten (fried eggs/cake/bread buns) or recombined with other things (bread buns/cake/fried eggs) to make other things (sandwiches/decorated cake/fry-ups) that can be sold and/or eaten.

Simple enough? I think so.

Add into the mix RPG elements in the form of skills for the player. It is a bit of a toss-up here, either to fall on the side of making elements of the game players’ skill based, as in Cook, Serve, Delicious and, indeed, Cart Life itself was and have the player’s performance determine the quality of the goods being produced or have a series of stats for the player’s avatar determining his skill with cooking and the like.

Personally, I prefer the stats method on the grounds that that kind of thing just isn’t my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Cook, Serve Delicious and it has its place, but in a choice between that or, say, The Guilds: Renaissance I would rather play the latter. By some margin.

What I want to achieve with Food Cart Deluxe is to lay the foundation for that kind of game: one with a complex economy and simulation aspects, and I think that the key to this is a reasonably detailed series of characteristics for both the player’s avatar and the potential customers.

This gets me to the last bit of this brief outline: the reputation system, and all that that encompasses.

The third large element that I envisage at this stage is a reputation system of sorts; at least, a system by which potential customers decide that they do want to consume pies/coffee/cola from the player’s stand or don’t.

To do this I’m going to have to tackle the big questions in life: “Can a person truly be considered an individual when so much of our character is determined by society as a whole?” “Is the ‘me’ that I am with my friends the same ‘me’ as I am with my friends parents despite the difference in the ways that I behave?”

Again the depth and value of the answers to these fundamental investigations into the nature of the soul is somewhat watered down as in the context of Food Cart Express it comes down to the manner of handling decision-making for individuals within the crowd; but more on that later.

For now though thank you for reading and I hope that you have been at least mildly entertained; enough at least to consider supporting the blog and Food Cart Express’ development through a tiny donation and will join us for the next instalment in this erratic and occasional blog.

I'll leave you with a final thought: a big "THANK YOU!!" to Ben Tristem and Brice Fernandes of the Learn To Code by Making Games - The Complete Unity Developers' Course on Udemy without whom none of this would be possible at all.

Toodle Pip fr now then!


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