IF you’ve been to a large-scale outdoor event in the past decade or so, you might have enjoyed something tasty from one of the many food trucks there.
From the customer perspective they’re basically a truck with magic food providing abilities and a clever, often pun-tastic name, but as the subject of this preview shows, behind the vehicle body there’s a lot more to contend with.
Food Truck Simulator is being developed by Drago Entertainment and published by Movie Games on Steam, and I’ve had a chance to play around with the preview version; it will be available as a free demo during the Steam Next festival from February 21-28.
The premise – as the title suggests – is that you are running a food truck. You’ve inherited it from your late father and restoring the truck is a passion project intended to help honour is memory. It’s a nice setup and works well in establishing the tone of the game, too.
There’s a few elements to the game – upgrading your truck, driving around a city to destinations, and managing the ordering of ingredients (which you then go and collect from the supplier).
According to the press kit, the various elements include:
- Renovating and expanding food truck.
- Wide range of customization options.
- Large catalogue of equipment options to choose from.
- Driving with traffic system.
- Detailed cooking system.
- Different locations across an entire city with different types of customers.
- Managing [the business]
- Living city with dynamic day and night cycle.
The 3D city is a nice touch that reinforces the “Truck” aspect of the whole thing too – you actually drive from your garage to the supplier to wherever you’re setting up your truck.
The main focus of the demo is making food for people, and you get walked through the process (and there’s a helpful guide on the screens in your food truck) – one of the things to watch out for is people wanted a medium patty but well done bacon, or they want two slices of tomato instead of one, or whatever.
Like many of us, I worked in fast food when I was younger and I know that the reason it doesn’t take long to make a burger is because most of the ingredients are pre-readied – the buns are there, the patties are there, the onion and lettuce and tomato are pre-sliced.
That’s not how it worked in the Food Truck Simulator preview. For each burger, you had to get the individual components (bun, salad) and chop them up on the bench, then get on with the grilling of the meat and the frying of the fries and so on. You can certainly spend some time out of the first order prepping a few burger’s worth of buns/salads etc, but the clock is ticking so you have to trade off getting a poorer score on your first order with being able to get the others done faster.
It’s obviously a game, and a demo at that, so it very much appears to be a decision made in the interest of gameplay, however. Juggling all the various elements of a food truck makes for quite a busy experience, especially when the clock is ticking.
The Food Truck Simulator preview has certainly piqued my interest for playing the full game when it launches – obviously it’s still a work in progress, but there’s a lot of promise here, especially if options like customising the menu so you can only offer specific things that you feel like making are added.
Food Truck Simulator demo is available for free on Steam from February 21-28, so you can check it out for yourself then.