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Eggward’s Egg-sistential Crisis

For many of us, Eggs are the first thing we learn how to make. In GladiEATers, Eggs are the first thing you cook – emulating life! With over 13 Egg Creatures alone, we knew we wanted a chef to specialise in Eggs.


Initially, we thought up a character = Eggward, a crazy bald man, inspired by my own choice of hair at the time, who obsessed over Eggs. However, Eggward kind of gave us the creeps and we wanted to go a bit more upbeat and positive with GladiEATers’ first chef… that was the initial path that led into Eggie’s design.

Eggie preparing to command her fried egg GladiEATer

Laying down Eggie’s Posing

The yolk of eggs has a bright sunny imagery that we wanted Eggie to mirror. In our initial pose studies, we thought about what would embody that energy best. Of what we came up with, pose 3 ended up too delicate of a step for the bashful egg creatures Eggie commands. Pose 2 was a bit too reserved and hunched over but pose 1 has such a brilliant skip in their step that our choice was made clear.

Eggie's three leading potential poses
Eggie's three leading potential poses

Another thing that felt very natural for Eggie was her Egg basket, a prop that has that integral link with the process of raising chickens, collecting eggs and, in general, life on a farm. Eggie’s egg farm origin brings attention to how food is sourced, a vital part of the process for any aspiring chef.

Costuming Egg-stravagence

Eggie’s costuming started with a long maid dress and apron, visually incorporating her farmer heritage. There was a lot to love in this original sketch. Eggie’s side bird character was an adorable idea, but we felt it took the spotlight away from Eggie.

Cut out of Eggie's initial costuming sketch highlighting her scrapped  bird companion.
Close up of Eggie's forgotten bird pal

Also, we adored the puffy cloth shirt, inspired by traditional Portuguese garb

- it brought a puffiness to Eggie’s apparel that suited her so well.

Initial costuming sketch of Eggie, coplete with a long flowing dress, apron, egg basket and puffy white shirt
Eggie's first ever costuming sketch

Importantly, Eggie’s long dress had a great flow to it, but we scrapped it for

two reasons. Firstly, it covered up the exciting leg pose we had set out for Eggie in our posing sketch above; you can’t see that dynamic leg kick as well with the dress covering… her legs. Secondly, the dress didn’t feel very practical. If we wanted Eggie to invoke images of someone running through muddy fields chasing after chickens, a dress didn’t do that.

A initial costuming sketch for Eggie with her wearing jean shorts instead of a long flowy dress
Eggie's costuming sketch - complete with JORTS

Our solution to Eggie’s dress conundrum? Denim! A pair of cut up denim jean shorts or *jorts?* felt perfect to allow Eggie the movement she’d want. In terms of material storytelling, denim has always been an icon of farm life. Also, with the cup up nature of the shorts, you could almost picture Eggie cutting them up herself; her go getter attitude coming through again. A little band aid on her knee and Eggie’s active character was on full display.

Contrasting Colour

Eggie’s hair buns were originally set out to resemble two white eggs. We did try it – but ended up going with the more discrete egg similarity by letting that be her natural hair colour.

Final colour exploration sketches for Eggie. We see Eggie with white hair buns.
Final colour exploration sketches for Eggie

It was at this stage that we really saw the contrast between her upper, traditional puffed shirt, and her denim shorts come through. We leaned into this further by giving Eggie radiant golden hoop braclets and earrings.

Story Telling

We always want a chef’s design to speak for them. Eggie’s design tells a tale of family and the importance of food in one’s heritage. How do we give Eggie’s family a presence in her design, while not actually showing them?

Eggie's Grandmother, Ines, teaching Eggie to make her first boiled egg!
Eggie's Grandmother, Ines, teaching Eggie to make her first boiled egg!

For us, that was the heart-warming embroidery in Eggie’s apron, done by her sisters prior to her journey to the CALosseum! Each stitch is a different level based on their age, Benedita, Sofia and Camilla all wanted to stitch in pitch in.

A close up of Eggie's family stitches in her apron pouch
A close up of Eggie's family stitches in her apron pouch

Another key piece of Eggie’s family was her grandmother, avo in Portuguese, Ines. Ines was the matriarch of her family and prior to her departure, Ines gave Eggie her golden Egg locket. The gold matches her hoops, so it is both sentimental and stylish.

A close up of Eggie's jewellery
Eggie's Golden egg necklace and jewellery

Finishings

So that’s Eggie! As with all our chefs, once we decided that we wanted the chefs to have a physical presence in the CALosseum amongst the GladiEATers, we created a pixel art variant of Eggie. This was paired with emotes for when they are taking a turn, defeat a GladiEATer or one of their GladiEATers expires.


Thank you for your egg-ceptional support as always! We’re egg-stremely grateful the community’s interest in GladiEATers and can’t wait to share more egg-citing content.



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Warning, you are now entering our design-based bakery & boulangerie - we're here to speak about 5 Bread based GladiEATers!

Unleash the Yeast

Bread Loaf GladiEATer Idling

We knew Bread HAD to be in the original GladiEATer line up - a food *Icon* of the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.



Bread Loaf GladiEATer using their ability Crusttbutt
clip clop clip clop *MOO*

The line was designed around Bread Loaf as a core idea. Its’ blocky, rectangular shape was iconic we thought. We also wanted it to feel heavy, starchy and slow; so we gave it short-stubby legs to emphasise this weight - akin to how the tiny legs on sausage dogs or munchkin cats make them seem heavier.

Bread Loaf GladiEATer using their ability Rise Taunt








Bread Loaf's sound design emphasises this with cow-like moos and hooves. Those deep empty eyes add to the bread's character of being a plain and innocent ideal. We placed a huge mouth where the crust top and fluffy body begin which allowed us to give the bread air sucking abilities. It now rises as bread does when cooking = expanding its fluffy body.

Bread Loaf GladiEATer using their ability Sponge Up
Soaking up all those buffs and debuffs like sauce on your plate!

The Slice is (Up)-Right

Bread Slice GladiEATer Idling

The natural question followed, what is a bread slice? Not all that different from a bread loaf - it’s a thinner version of its big bread loaf brother. Same eyes and mouth.




Bread Slice GladiEATer using their ability Crusttbutt

It only needs two legs to give its quirky vertical slice body movement. We tried giving it four little legs and lying it flat. However, seeing that standing little bread slice balance as it runs is just the type of cute our carby critter needed.


It only needs two legs to give its quirky vertical slice body movement. We tried giving it four little legs and lying it flat. However, seeing that standing little bread slice balance as it runs is just the type of cute our carby critter needed.

Bread Slice GladiEATer using their ability Loaf Around
Just loafing around

Their abilities involve headbutting their opponent, inspired by their big loaf brother. Shaking off pesky crumbs for a boost in speed and taking a little loaf around nap to heal up. All adding to that charming plainness that bread holds in our hearts

Bread Slice GladiEATer using their ability Crumb Shake

From Fluff to Flames

Toast Slice GladiEATer Idling

But not all bread is plain and fluffy. Some have a darker, more intense side – and we've brought that essence in the Toast GladiEATer.





Toast Slice GladiEATer using their ability Crisp Bite
The biter becomes the bitee

The charred black crust, the sharp edges of toast and the smokiness of burnt bread. We took those smooth curves in bread slice and sharpened them out. We darkened the bread and added sharper eyes.


Toast Slice GladiEATer using their ability Burnt Screen

Previously, we tried out teeth in our Bread Loaf GladiEATer but e found it took away from that cute plain energy we wanted...and we are so glad we did. We brought in that previous design take out and added it into toast where that fierce edge was wanted. That little sad lip mouth in bread slice becomes a large, scary, gaping mouth of teeth in toast's stomach. This crispy toast bites back. It shoots out the smoke of toast and can defend its allies in a smokey fog. Menacing.

Bread Slice GladiEATer using their ability Carcinogenic Breath

Avo-can-do

Avocado Toast GladiEATer Idling

When we had designed Avocado Paste, we came back to Toast Slice for Avocado Toast. Seeing how it shaped into this sassy little green critter, we imagined the paste making its home on the toast slice when spread.




Avocado Toast GladiEATer using their ability Ripen Rip

For some visual storytelling, we thought the Avocado Paste would work great as a

face-hugging creature onto the toast host it’s been spread on.




Avocado Toast GladiEATer using their ability Healthy Breath
Like the Toast's Smoke - but healthy!

Its abilities are largely structured around merging the Avocado Paste's and Toast Slice's abilities - while giving the toast slice underneath an appearance to let the host-avocado story be uncovered.

Avocado Toast GladiEATer using their ability Pecatinate Consume
"Woah! Is that Toast Slice under there?"

*Flour* Power

Dough GladiEATer Idling

And finally, when we settled that we want EVERY minigame in GladiEATers to give the player a new GladiEATer - our Dough making minigame fell short of that. To fix this, we designed the Dough GladiEATer.





Dough GladiEATer using their ability Knead

The Dough minigame can branch into the Bread but also Croissant GladiEATers so the dough GladiEATer needed to be relatively faceless so that it could grow into both branches seamlessly. So, it has no face, just a bright wide smile cornered by floury cheeks.

Avocado Toast GladiEATer using their ability Rolling Gluten





Its abilities involve kneading itself for a power boost, rolling stickily towards its enemy and puffing out some yeast spores that give an ally a nice-power boosting sleep.

Avocado Toast GladiEATer using their ability Restful Yeast
*poof*

Resting Remarks

With that, we love our topic to rest. We're thrilled to share our passion for Bread and GladiEATers - we can't wait to feast on your messages and ideas for more flavour filled food creatures!

GladiEATers Discord Button with Hyperlink

The game devs guide you in great detail through the Cookbook!


Raw Egg Food Creature taunts Shakshouka Food Creature, gets punched.

Last time we briefly spoke about all the GladiEATers you can command; but how do you actually prepare them? What does it take to turn an ordinary egg turn into a Shakshouka monstrosity? The Cookbook is the player’s tool to dictate the flow of Cooking.


Raw Egg was not ready for this *eggsact* situation!

Minigame Selection Screen

When deciding what to cook, the cookbook appears central, showing your options for cooking on the left page, and the team your cooking has created so far, on the right page


Your options for cooking show what you’re starting with and where you can go. In the example below, the Egg could become either a

  • Raw Egg

or a

  • Boiled Egg

We found the best way to show this branching path choice was a flow chart, akin to an evolution or ancestry tree.

GladiEATers Cookbook UI showing a minigame being selected
Minigame Selection Screen

The team you’re bringing into the turn-based combat is shown on a plate *theming*, a preview of what the CAL particle will do when it transforms your yummy food into powerful GladiEATers

Pre-Minigame Screen

After selecting a minigame, and just before playing it, the cookbook slides to the left. This reveals instructions for the minigame, and a preview video – so you’re given familiarity with the game before getting stuck in.


In the example below, these are the egg cracking minigame instructions.

GladiEATers' Cookbook UI sowing the egg cracking minigame preview screen.
The cookbook shifts to the left revealing this preview page!

We put the preview video in this photo-like border and tape to mimic a polaroid in a home-made cookbook. This is obviously *theming* but more importantly it helps the player understand this is a preview.


Before this change we saw players trying to interact with the video – which was

funny… but probably not fun.


When the player clicks begin, the cook book slides out to the left and the player gets cooking right away. /wave/

Post-Minigame Screen

After finishing a minigame, the cook book appears from the right. The page shows the GladiEATer you’ve prepared, the grade for your minigame performance and how your performance affects your GladiEATer’s stats: their health, power and speed.

The results UI page in the GladiEATers cookbook sliding into view
The results cook page slyly appearing

Your rank can vary from F – S. With S of course being the first letter of the alphabet and therefore naturally the best score/sarcasm. What a funny convention.


When the player clicks next, they’re returned to the stage #1 - minigame selection.

A little more talk

Generally you’ll notice the cook book slides around a lot. This serves two purposes, the first is to hide one of the pages.


Originally, the second page always showed your current team. We found this irrelevant information. By moving the cook book to the edge of the screen and cutting off that second page, we keep the player focused on just one important page.


The second purpose of the cook book sliding is to help get the player into the rhythm of cooking. Our testers liked how it felt, the visual cues for the different pre and post minigame stages illustrated by a moving book and a turning page.


The foreboding timer at the top of the screen shows how much time the player has left to cook. This is important to know as even when paused (in the cook book) it's still good for the player to plan out their cooking in relation to how much time they have left.


Apolline, Chef Character, turning through her cookbook

That wraps up our little* cook book discussion!


Development wise, this book has seen many iterations and (with your help) will probably see many more.


Final CALeseum Ringless_edited.jpg
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