Developer Interviews #7: High Tea Frog’s ‘Cake Bash’

Cake Bash is a frantic four player party game where adorable cakes with hand-drawn faces compete to be the tastiest of the bunch! It can be played by yourself against AI, with friends in simple couch co-op, or you can hop online to find other challengers!

The game was featured in the Xbox Summer Games Fest Demo Event and I loved trying it out. The demo had 4 different mini-games to try, all of them with unique goals. You’ll find yourself competing to be the last cake standing in Fork Knife (aka Gateau Royale), or covering yourself in the most sweets to win Sweet Victory. Cake Bash is a joy to play or watch and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the mini-games will be.

I was lucky enough to have some questions answered by Clement Capart, Programmer and Director at High Tea Frog. Let’s jump in and find out more about Cake Bash!

Credit: High Tea Frog

What previous experience does the team at High Tea Frog have?

‘We have been in the industry for around 8 years now and spent a good part of that working in different Ubisoft studios. Back then, we’ve been part of big titles like The Crew, Far Cry 4, The Division and Watch Dogs 2, but we’ve also worked together on smaller indie-like projects called Grow Up and Atomega. We left to start High Tea Frog now 3 years ago and are super happy with the new kind of experience we’ve had!’

Credit: High Tea Frog

What inspiration did you have for Cake Bash? Party games must be, any in particular?

‘Interestingly, Cake Bash did not really start as a party game! At first, it was mainly an arena brawler game like Power Stone or Gang Beasts. It was only later, after discussing it with our soon-to-be publisher, Coatsink, that we realised that we could actually do even more with our cool characters and add tons of game modes! For these, we’ve mostly been inspired by things like Pokemon Stadium mini-games, Mario Party, Raving Rabbids, and Crash Bash (no the similarity in name wasn’t intentional at all!).’

Credit: High Tea Frog

Did you have any experience making something like this mini-game collection/party genre before Cake Bash?

‘Not at all actually! We have experience mostly with single player games or online-only multiplayer games. It was really interesting to face the design questions of a local multiplayer game, especially since we wanted everyone to enjoy it, whether it’s players used to the genre or parents wanting to try it out with their kids. It’s a lot of fun to try and design different mini-games while also keeping to the main theme and core pillars of the game. It’s also a lot of work, it sometimes feels like we made 10 games instead of just 1!’

Credit: High Tea Frog

In the demo, we see 4 different mini-games, some iterations of popular modes like Gateau Royale, others unique like Sweet Victory. Can you tell us how you developed each mini-game? What process was there? How do you make sure they are all unique?

‘We have two different types of games in Cake Bash and we design them in really different ways. We have the “Bashes”, which are Sweet Victory and Fruity Pie in the demo. These are all playable in a common pool of arenas. They use the same control scheme and character mechanics, they are focusing on getting the players to fight against each other directly. Chaos is key here!’

Credit: High Tea Frog

‘On the other hand, we have the “Snacks” (Campfire and Fork Knife), which are closer to what we’d call mini-games. We don’t want players to directly fight each other in them but only to compete, to do their best without being stopped by their opponents. We thought it was important as it helps give a chance to everyone, and alternating between these helps a lot to reduce the feeling of getting bullied when losing a lot in the Bashes.’

Credit: High Tea Frog

‘I’m saying all that because, to design them, the first thing we keep in mind is the core idea of what type of game it is. We usually then list one-sentence ideas which make us laugh on paper, and go from there, prototyping it all, throwing away things which end up not being fun, or changing them completely. It takes a lot of time to get them all to a stage we are happy with, but since it’s the core of the game, it’s what we dedicate most of our time for.’

How has the reception to Cake Bash been so far?

‘The game has been to a few public events last year, and we always got good feedback and people laughing, screaming and having a good time! More recently, we’ve added a demo of the game on Steam and Xbox One and we are blown away by the reception and number of players who got to try the game out! It’s so good to finally see players enjoy the game on YouTube or Twitch. It makes us even more motivated to get to the time we can release the game and watch players have fun with Cake Bash!’

Credit: High Tea Frog

Do you have a release date planned for Cake Bash? When can we expect to hear more?

‘We haven’t confirmed our release date yet, but we are working hard to get the game ready for players as soon as possible.’

Credit: High Tea Frog

Cake Bash will be releasing on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch & Steam later this year. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below, and follow Cake Bash on Facebook and Twitter.

Credit: High Tea Frog

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