Consumo is a project I worked on for TigerDev, Auburn’s game development club. Our team consisted of about 7 active members. Over the course of the semester, we made a ton of progress in the game’s development. I came into the group during the second semester of the game’s progress. When I joined, the team had a character that could move and pick up items. By the end of the semester we had a fully playable demo in the vision of the game’s final product. During my time on the team, I helped with many aspects of the game’s development progress, including art, sound, programming, mechanic design, level design, and various other things. Below I have listed some of the challenges we faced during the development of the final demo.

What is Consumo?

Consumo is a platformer game with combat focused on cooking. The player takes the role of a chef who must feed a band of adventurers to keep them alive during their battles. The game is not really focused on the player doing combat themselves, but instead helping out the adventurers who do the combat.

A battle in progress.

A shop room.



One of the first tasks our team undertook was a cooking system. Since cooking was going to be one of the biggest parts of the game, we needed something that would be fun all throughout the course of playing. We decided on a system that was simple, versatile, and complex enough to hold the player’s attention. Players can combine three ingredients into a vessel to create a meal after preparing them at the chopping table. The best part about this system is that any three ingredients can be combined, and will create a different meal with stats appropriate to the ingredients used. We hoped that with this system, players would not get confused by having to remember a bunch of pre-made recipe combinations, and instead could create them in any way they wish.

We also wanted our cooking system to reward creating superb dishes. To do this, we decided that dishes made with a lot of care should be much better than any other dish. This way, players aren’t encouraged to create a bunch of mediocre meals. As players get better at the game, they will learn which ingredients are the best at affecting certain stats, and learn how to combine them in the best way to create a perfect dish.

Cooking in action.


Another challenge we faced was the stat system. This goes hand-in-hand with the cooking system. Each meal the player cooks affects certain stats of the adventurers you feed them to. These stats are health, attack, defense, speed, elemental attack, and elemental defense. We decided to include all these different stats to make the cooking system more complex and engaging. So instead of spending an entire battle healing the adventurers, the player can also decide to boost defense or speed to give a different advantage in battle. To balance this, we decided that each stat should have a reachable upper limit. This way, after a certain stat is buffed to the maximum, the player is encouraged to cook different meals to boost other stats. We also included a hunger meter for the adventurer that fills up when they are fed a lot of meals at once. When it is full, they cannot be fed any other meals. This way, the player can’t just feed the adventurer a bunch of easy meals over and over, further encouraging them to cook superb meals.

The defense stat of the Rogue getting buffed.


Another necessary step in the game’s progress was an inventory system. As the player only has two hands that they can hold items in, we decided it would be a good idea to have a small inventory that players can store extra items in. As to not slow down the pace of the game, we made the inventory not pause the game when opened. Additionally, we decided on a radial menu for quicker access to items. This is also where our character Hacky the Sack comes in. He is planned to be the player’s companion throughout the game. He shows the direction the player can throw and also stores the player’s items.

The inventory system.


When I joined the team, the movement of the main character was already implemented. At some point during development, we decided it would be a good idea to completely rewrite how the movement worked because it just didn’t feel right. We decided on a checklist of important things that the movement needed. We first decided to increase the player’s speed as it just felt too slow. We increased the game to 60 FPS to make it smoother. We lowered friction and gravity. We gave the player variable jump height based on the length the jump button was held. We gave a coyote buffer to the jump. We added in sounds for jumping and landing to make it more responsive. Finally, we made the player able to turn around midair. All of these aspects greatly improved how it felt to control the main character.

Art & Sound

I helped out with a lot of the art and sound for the game. Before I joined the team, there was no sound in the game. I did my best to add sounds for several important actions in the game, like jumping and throwing. I also drew some tiles for the world, backgrounds, character art, and GUI. I worked in conjunction with another member of our team on the original character designs. He drew up the sketches for the characters, and I transferred them into pixel art. My favorite art undertaking was the textbox system. We needed cutscenes for the demo, so I added in textboxes, portraits for the characters, and voices to go along with the textboxes. I did my best to make the art and sound for the game match our goal for the world, lively and unique.

The rogue adventurer.

What’s left to do?

There is still a ton of work left to do on Consumo. There is still an area we have not touched—the ingredient gathering phase—that needs to be addressed. We would also like to add a bit more to the cooking and combat system, namely special ingredients and cooking vessels other than the pot. Luckily, almost all of the systems are in place to create the fully functioning game.

The Team

I love Consumo. Before joining this team, I was unsure of how I felt about game design. Now I am certain that game design is my passion. The Consumo team is the greatest bunch of folks I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone is truly passionate about making the game the best it can be. We have a great time learning together, coming up with ideas, and overcoming challenges. Working on this team has been a wonderful experience. I hope that in the future I can make games with teams as passionate as this one.

One of the weekly meetings.