Today marks the grand opening of Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition on the App Store. Based on the mega hit Facebook game from our friends at Playfish, you can now savor the haute experience of owning your own gourmet restaurant for free on iPhone and iPod touch. It’s epically epicurean.
Collect and master recipes from around the world. Spice up your restaurant with furniture and decorations to your taste. Optimize your space, discover your recipe for success, and feast on your popularity. You can even invite friends from Facebook to dine at your upscale gourmet eatery.
Before you head off to the kitchen, though, you may want to check out our interview with Alex Hyder, one of the key people behind the development of the game.
Thanks for being here with us. Could you tell us about what you do at EA?
Sure. I'm the producer leading Playfish's new Montreal studio. Our mission is to bring Playfish's social games to the mobile platforms like the iPhone and iPad.
Could you tell us a little bit about Restaurant City on mobile platforms?
Restaurant City is the first title we're releasing. It's an updated version of the popular Playfish hit, re-interpreted for iOS devices. Similar to the original version, you can create and operate your own restaurant, learn and upgrade recipes, trade ingredients with your friends, visit your friends’ restaurants, and show off the restaurant that you created to everyone.
What was the inspiration behind the game?
Well, in this case, the game is solidly inspired by the existing Restaurant City game. We wanted our first title to be something instantly recognizable.
What makes this version of Restaurant City unique from the existing one, and what makes it stand out amongst other mobile games like it?
Restaurant City really is a full experience on the iOS platform. It stands out from other similar games with its depth of gameplay and full feature set, as well as the amount of content included. Your restaurant is highly customizable, with a wide variety of decorative and functional items. There’s an interesting and diverse set of dishes for the player to learn and serve in the restaurant, and also some cool rewards to unlock as you level up your menu. We’ve put a lot of effort into developing a really complete game for players right on day 1.
What’s your favorite feature/part of the game?
Being a foodie myself, I really love the wide range of recipes and food that's available.
What games do you play in your spare time?
I get to play a lot of games of different genres and platforms as part of my job, which kind of blurs the line between work and spare time. But I have to say I think the Portal games are really cool.
What’s the creative process like for creating a game like this one?
First and foremost, the game has to be true to Restaurant City. That means playing and understanding the original game, and getting a good feel for what makes it great. We also need to find the opportunities for improvement, while staying true to the original spirit that people clearly love. As we start building it out, we need to play it constantly until we're truly happy with everything that we’re creating.
What is it like creating a game on the iOS platform – is it a lot different from the PC?
It’s very different from the PC, for sure. It feels much more like developing for console, with the addition of the touchscreen, which makes for a different style of interaction.
If you could say one thing to motivate people to get this game, what would it be?
I think we have succeeded in making a game that is truly "the best of the best." Combining Playfish's know-how in social with EA's mastery of the platform gives us a can't-miss hit.
And what’s next for your team?
We have some more surprises up our sleeves. But we're also going to be adding cool new features and content to RC to keep it exciting, surprising, and fresh.