Posts By: Busayo Ajao

It feels really great to catch up with you again. Thanks for following us on this journey of making our entertaining food truck entrepreneur game called Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation. Here are some of the improvements we’ve made on the game over the last few weeks:

Game Weather Conditions 🌨⛈

We continued integrating the weather system and all its associated special effects. Here are the main implementations:

– Population dresses for bad weather (rain/snow)
– Bad weather condition reflects in population size and mood.

It’s still very much work in progress as we are trying to balance the moody look of the environment when it rains/snows with the overall upbeat experience of the game.

 

Customer Interactions 🤼

Your customer base consists of nine groups of people in the City. They are all particular about how your business can provide a food service 🍔🥂 that matches their lifestyle.

For example, Tourists want more cheese, sauces, patty, and less salad in their burgers. Staff and Managers are impatient with queues.😠 To keep them satisfied, you have to do something about long lines at your burger stand.

Customer segments in our Food Truck Game.
We’ve implemented their distinct characteristics and we hope you’d have fun trying to discover and meet their needs.

Marketing 💹

Marketing is an effective way of attracting more customers to your business and the only way to compete with AI or other players in the game for market share.

There are five marketing options available, and you can decide how much you want to invest in any of them. Or choose not to invest in marketing at all…😨

Marketing in our Food Truck Game can be by location or city.

Pamphlet 📰 and Social Media 📲 advertising are local marketing options. Use them to attract customers to your business within a single location.

Online 🌐, Radio 📻, and TV 📺 advertising are city-wide marketing options. They help you attract more customers to your business across the City. Of course, they are more expensive as you’d imagine.

We made sure to balance the impact of marketing activities with your food quality and customer service rating. This way, investing in marketing when your food and customer service quality is excellent will yield a higher return on investment. As in real life, marketing, food quality, and customer service should all contribute to growing your brand in our food truck entrepreneur game. 😎

That’s it for this update Heroes, catch you in two weeks…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries.

P.S: Did you know we have a bi-weekly progress report we send out to special members of our community? In it we present a slightly closer look at our activities every 2 weeks. You can start receiving your updates on our progress by clicking here.

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Hello,

We are sure you must have seen all the people walking around in the game clips and wondered about them. Today we will be sharing more insight into the nature of the game’s population. Nine groups of people live in the City. They are all particular about how your business can provide a food service 🍔🥂 that matches their lifestyle.

For example, Students are more concerned with your burger’s price than how healthy or nutritious it is. Fit Ones care more about the burger’s quality than its relatively low cost.

Parents prefer a burger package with more sauces because they are all about value for money.🛍 Environmentalists are wary of too much cheese and meat. They would pay more for a salad-filled burger that tastes great.

Tourists want more cheese, sauces, patty, and less salad in their burgers. Staff and Managers are impatient with queues.😠 To keep them satisfied, you have to do something about long lines at your burger stand.

Your ability to understand the primary needs of each group and provide burger services that meet those needs will play a massive role in your business’ survival. 💰

That’s it for today. Catch you in 2 weeks…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Hello,

Here’s your brief round-up of what we’ve been working on.

We continued working on the weather system and how it appears when it rains/snows. Because of the role weather plays in the game (it affects the outdoor population size and their mood), it was important to get the water puddles and snow to look perfect when they settle on the ground.

It was a bit tricky, but we ended up re-slicing all the city locations to get it to look just right.

It looks pretty good now though.

Catch up in 2 weeks…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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9 July 2021

In-game music 🎼

Hello 😁,

This week, we spent some time implementing the game’s music and audio effects. Created by genius music composer David Hollandsworth, the game’s music is a unique blend of uplifting and relaxing tunes. Uplifting to help you feel inspired, motivated, and optimistic while growing your business and relaxing to put you in a chill, calm, and mellow state of mind.

David’s music has been used across many channels like CBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, VH1, NBC Sports, History Channel, etc. He didn’t fail to add his touch of brilliance to the game.

Enjoy these two samples:

Positively Yes

Flow

Till next week!

Live long and prosper,
Kunal and the team.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by. This post is about some of the improvements we made to Business Heroes to make it more accessible to players with visual disabilities. Statistics show that about 8% of all men (1 in 12 men) and about 0.5% of all women (1 in 200 women) suffer from color vision deficiency. To put that in perspective, that’s about 300 million people living with colour blindness.

Adding the number of people living with other types of vision impairments to that number made us realize something critical. We had to take accessibility concerns very seriously in developing ‘Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation.’ We spoke a little about this here, but we thought to provide more details in this post.

We wish we could tell you that we designed Business Heroes to be more accessible from the start. But we didn’t. If not for the contributions and feedback we received from Redditors and other community members, we probably would have missed the accessibility issues in the UI until it was too late.

Business Heroes Inventory Purchase
Old Inventory Management Window

Anyone with low vision or even someone just trying to play complex strategy games on a smaller pc screen will attest to the difficulty of seeing some game elements. Like in the first version of our UI shown above, these games are particularly notorious for having smaller buttons and text because of the sheer amount of information usually presented to the player. Although Business Heroes is a business strategy game with many embedded data, we still wanted players with vision-related challenges to have an enjoyable experience playing the game.

So, when the community alerted us to the problems with the initial colours, sizes, and contrasts we had used in the UI, we knew we had to make Business Heroes more accessible. Fixing the accessibility issues eventually led to redesigning the entire UI. While this added an additional year to our development, we are pleased with our decision. We are optimistic that choosing to implement the following design decisions would enable far more players enjoy the game better.

Larger Buttons and Text Sizes:

We started off by redesigning the button and text size to also work for players with impaired vision. We redesigned the UI layout to create more space for larger buttons, and we moved several components to a new window entirely.

Improved inventory management UI in business heroes
New Inventory Management Window

Making the text size work for everyone was a particularly tough nut to crack. We had to consider the impact language translation would have on the interface text and spacing. That’s because we will be releasing the game in several languages. While we could not implement a solution that worked for all the text, we were able to allow players enlarge 90% of the game text to 24 points.

We also stuck with a font choice and text contrast design scheme that made all the information in the UI and environment easy to read.

Font size controls to make business heroes more accessible
Font Size Change

UI Colour Switcher and Icon Contrast:

For players with colour vision deficiency, we implemented a design option that accommodates their unique needs and works for everyone else. Players can switch the UI colour from yellow to dark blue depending on their visibility requirements.

UI Colour Switching

We also needed to reduce the potential effect of the UI looking crowded due to too many colours. To do this, we kept inactive icons at 50% opacity by default. You can see their full colour when you place your mouse on them. We also included a function that allows you increase or decrease icon opacity as much as you like. This also has the added advantage of improving the contrast scheme of the UI.

Improving accessibility with icon opacity and contrast
Icon Opacity

Plus, we also applied shapes to the different player colours to distinguish players and their competition. This way, players would not have to rely solely on colour to differentiate between other players.

Using colours and shapes to make business heroes more accessible
Player Colours with Shapes

Game Music Controls

One way we tried to cater to players with hearing symptoms is to give players control of the music volume in the game. We separated the music sound from the gameplay sound. Players can turn it down or turn it off completely.

Music and sound control in business heroes
Music and Graphic Controls

Detailed Tooltips:

Finally, we also implemented a detailed tooltip and business guide feature. This is to make the game easier for non-gamers, new gamers, and teenagers in general. To prevent players from feeling overwhelmed with the UI, we included clear and concise explanations. All the player has to do is mouse over it and viola!

Tooltips in making business heroes more accessible
Tooltip 1

Many young people might be seeing the business terms and concepts in the game for the first time. We included a business guide that provides deeper insights into the meaning of the concepts and business terms used. This way, players will never have to wonder about any aspect of the game while implementing their business strategy.

Tooltips
Tooltip 2

We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed sharing it. We’d love to read your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to share. Thanks!

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Welcome to the first Business Heroes development log of the year! Hopefully, your year is off to a great start. Someone once said those who don’t remember the past are those condemned to repeat it. So, we thought we’d start the year looking back on our journey developing the Business Heroes PC Game, how we started, where we are, and lessons learned.  

As you may know, Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation is an exciting turn-based business simulation PC game about growing and managing the operations of a business that sells burgers and drinks. You can read more about our motivation for creating the game and Wishlist it on Steam.  

Our journey started in April 2020 with a lot of research, brainstorming, scoping, and planning. Our goal for the game at this stage was, and still is, fun. We wanted our players to have fun while experiencing the thrills of running their own business.  

Lesson Always strive to have a clear goal and vision. Develop a plan and understand that it will change as you move towards your goal. 

Two months later, we had a plan. We knew what the game would look like, how it would feel to play, and what the mechanics would be. In June, we set two main targets. We aimed to run a December Kickstarter in 2020 and release an Early Access version of the game on Steam in February 2021. We started production that month and diligently developed the game based on the vision we had for it.  

Business Heroes Game: Screen shot
A screenshot of the interface in Business Heroes

LessonIn life, you’ll never discover certain information until you set out on your journey with clear milestones for yourself. Don’t wait to know everything. Prepare as thoroughly as you can, then just start. 

Well, three challenges soon made us realize that our targets were way too optimistic.  

We encountered the first challenge after engaging with our audience and discovering that they were expecting much more from the game in terms of complexity and engagement. This discovery was only possible because we were marketing the game while developing it. Our audience started giving us feedback early.  

LessonIt’s always good practice to get the perspective of those you create for during the creation process. 

The second challenge had to do with our User Interface design. Sometime in November, we realized that our game User Interface was not accessible and inclusive enough for all players. Primarily, we wanted to ensure that people with vision-related disabilities would play the game without experiencing any challenges. Another aspect of the User Interface design we had not considered was the impact language translation would have on the Interface text. Considering that there is much text in the game, and we will be releasing the game in several languages, this was a significant problem.  

LessonThis User Interface discovery taught us the value of adopting accessibility and inclusion in all we do. Being more considerate of the challenges others might experience because of their location, language, and/or disabilities helps everyone long-term. 

The third challenge had to do with a conclusion we reached after researching Early Access reviews sometime in October. We realized that we would have a much greater chance of success if we released a very polished and bug-free Early Access version. This way, early adopters who play that version will see that the game will be amazing when it’s out of Early Access.  

Lesson: What’s essential in life is to keep moving in the direction of your vision. Keep learning. It’s the only way to know when you need to course-correct and avoid crashing. 

To give us time to fix these challenges, we decided to move the Early Access release forward. We have made substantial progress since then, and currently, this is how the game looks: 

In the coming months, we will be working on Character AI, Pathing and Animation, AI Player, and Multiplayer integration. We’d be sure to keep you posted. You can follow us on social media for instant updates. 

Please support our development and campaign by sharing our journey with friends and colleagues who might be interested in Business Heroes or the lessons we’ve learned while developing it. As you can see below, your support is the energy that fuels our ability to deliver outstanding results. 

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