Unity Focus: Bossa on developing the absurd I Am Bread - MCV

Unity Focus: Bossa on developing the absurd I Am Bread

We catch up with programmer Murillo Titon de Souza to find out the origins of its wacky new IP
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Surgeon Simulator firmly established UK developer Bossa Studios as a creator of quirky, entertaining and downright weird titles – but its slapstick surgical antics are nothing compared to I Am Bread.

This bizarre, physics-centric adventure puts players in control of a solitary slice of bread as they stretch, flip and bend their way around an abandoned kitchen, as well as the rest of the house. It’s the type of gameplay premise that only a YouTube trailer can do justice.

According to game programmer Murillo Titon de Souza, the origins of this title were surprisingly mundane.

“If I remember correctly, it came from [Bossa Studios’ game designer] Luke, who just wanted to come up with a game where you would play as a slice of bread,” he says.

“After asking ‘what would bread want most in the world?’, it was decided that the objective of the game would be to become toast, and that it would not just use a conventional ‘press forward to move forward’ control scheme, but rather something that would try to mimic the way an actual piece of bread might move around.”

With the concept in place, all that was required was an engine that could handle the odd way in which the studio imagined a slice of bread would move, one that would allow the team to get a build up and running quickly in order to establish whether the idea had merit.

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One of Unity’s key strengths in my opinion is that it’s very accessible, so get out there and start making small games, and you will pick up on the basics in no time.

Murillo Titon de Souza, Bossa

“Unity allows us to quickly prototype things, because it’s very easy to set up new projects and get them to a state where we can prove the concept,” explains de Souza.

“I Am Bread started as a small prototype that was made in less than 48 hours during a game jam, something the prototype team would not have been able to achieve without using Unity.

“Furthermore, Unity offered all the features that we expected would be necessary for this project, and our entire code team is proficient with it, which means anyone could easily jump into the project if needed.”

The physics engine proved to be one of the most useful features of Unity for Bossa, allowing them to define the unique way in which players traverse the terrain.

The editor also allowed artists to easily set up large sections of the environments, and Unity’s multi-platform support would help the studio reach as wide an audience as possible.

While Bossa is staffed by plenty of experienced games developers, the programmer believes that Unity would also help newcomers and start-ups create a similar game just as efficiently, and urges aspiring games-makers to try it.

“One of Unity’s key strengths in my opinion is that it’s very accessible, so get out there and start making small games, and you will pick up on the basics in no time,” de Souza advises.

As for I Am Bread, the game’s impact has been just what Bossa hoped for. The title grabbed the attention of both press and players alike, and dispelled much of the scepticism that surrounded its initial reveal.

“The responses have ranged from people laughing out loud all the way to some of them smashing gamepads in rage, as YouTuber Markiplier did in one of his videos,” he says.

“Overall, it seems the game was well received by those who tried it, with lots of people being surprised that it wasn’t just a shallow ‘YouTube bait’ kind of game. That said, the challenge of mastering a novel control scheme proved to be too frustrating for some.”

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