Kitchen Scramble is a time-management game on Facebook, iOS, and Android. It stars Pepper Mills, an owner of a tiny food truck, moving from town to town making delicious food from scratch.
Visually, I worked on Kitchen Scramble in crafting App Store screenshots, App icons, and platform featuring graphics for Facebook, iOS, Android, and Amazon. Collaborating with product marketing and user-acquisition, I also designed mobile interstitials, community engagement content, user interface for gifting, as well as the web and mobile landing pages for the game.
The target audience for this game is mostly female ranging from 20-40, thus the visual style is bright and colorful. The game was first launched on Facebook in June 2013, then optimized for the mobile launch a year later. Visually, there are shadows and highlights in all the artwork and user-interface, outlines are added to all the gradient values so that characters and food items can be as recognizable as possible.
In crafting the App Store screenshots, the brightest and most representative game levels were chosen- one near the beginning with colorful green and blue backgrounds, serving traditional diner-style food, as well as an oriental location, showcasing sushi and other Japanese recipes. In addition to making food, serving them to customers on time, the game is also about traveling along the saga map in the food truck, and sharing your milestones with friends.
The user interface for captions are inspired by a wood cutting board. A slight dark green gradient is used for the text as it is neutral yet reminiscent of organic, fair trade ingredients. The visual sequence is intentionally balanced where busier game play screenshots are followed by zoomed in versions of composed game elements.
App icons were tested during the Facebook phase of the game as game icons could change without pushing a mobile update. Pepper, the main character, holding a recognizable food item was the consistent winner. As a result, the mobile App Icon capitalizes on this finding.
For retention, reactivation, and monetization, a large number of interstitials were made to retain a largely engaged player-base. Many of these interstitials are consistent with the visual style of the game and features new content releases. We found that with the game’s target audience, colors such as pink and orange and foods such as ice cream and pancakes were received well amongst first time players.
As the interstitials attracted players and new content releases maintained a high retention rate, community building was one of the key channels we focused on. Kitchen Scramble’s Facebook fan page was customized with in-game stylized art and buttons for photos, events, etc. Special content were also made for the Facebook fan page on a weekly basis- some of which introduced in-game character while others offered tips and tricks for mastering certain levels.
User Interface visuals and hierarchy were also established for in-game monetization and gifting features utilizing the same chopping board and orange button style. These are created so that when players claim a gift or make a purchase, the experience remains in-game rather than stepping to an outside engine. Players would remain within game interface and are encouraged to continue playing after making the purchase.
Previous to the worldwide launch of Kitchen Scramble, a .com landing page was created as a portal where players could choose their devices and download the mobile App or play online. This 960px flexible grid layout has also been developed to detect and run a version with significantly larger and vertical content on mobile browsers.
This landing page consist of the key art header with Pepper in the blue kitchen showing game play and three platform specific links to download the App. On mobile, the buttons are orange to attract more attention and the trailer is also above the fold. Both the web and mobile designs also capitalizes on the recipe book visual style and includes a short list of major features of the game.
It was an incredible experience working with the Kitchen Scramble team at Disney Interactive and mature with the game from web to mobile. Shortly after launch, it received iOS App Store featuring and became the #6 Top Free App during August, 2014. New content are still being produced and please check out the game! Thanks!
© Sophie Ying Su, 2017