Battle Chef Bridgade launched on PC and Nintendo Switch in November 2017, with a recent update adding features like split-screen multiplayer and new game modes-- but alongside celebrating the additions, developer Tom Eastman warns against other indie creators putting life on hold to prioritize work.
Through a series of Tweets, Eastman highlights his journey of forming Trinket Studios, the studio behind Battle Chef Brigade, after wanting more creative freedom.
But the team was soon met with many challenges. "Making a character- and narrative-driven game with a new take on puzzle mechanics is a little insane for three people, but mixing 2D combat into that is, frankly, not smart," he writes.
When we formed @TrinketStudios, it was to get out of the creative constraints of being in a Disney game studio. We made two mobile games really quickly (2 months each!), one of which sold ok. We wanted to tackle something larger next, which ended up being Battle Chef Brigade.— ča« Tom Eastman ča« (@TrinketTom) August 28, 2018
None of us had explicit design experience when we left Wideload/Disney, so coming up with mechanics that felt like cooking while being understandable to both players and the computer judges was a painstaking trial-and-error process.— ča« Tom Eastman ča« (@TrinketTom) August 28, 2018
To see the project through, the studio ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, took out a loan, and signed with a publisher "all because we believed in this game and ourselves more than anything."
Annoyingly, BCB has done OK. It's neither a hit nor a flop. We'll see if the Deluxe edition changes that, but it's meant that we've been stuck in limbo. The most important lesson for us is that life can't and shouldn't be put on hold for work.— ča« Tom Eastman ča« (@TrinketTom) August 28, 2018
"A lot of indie games demand everything from their creators and it's super bad for developers and player expectations," he continues. "On the other hand, when someone says that BCB is their favorite game, maybe it was sort of worth it. We have the power to reach so many people."