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Tribeca Games Showcase 2022: Venba

Tribeca Games Showcase 2022: Venba

Venba is a unique title, as it plays like a puzzle game centred around an Indian mother that immigrates to Canada in the late 1980s. Something goes awry during the immigration process, and the grandmother’s cooking book gets damaged, forcing words of the recipe to be erased from the pages. It’ll be up to the player to decipher how the recipe goes and finish the meal.

Although you’ll be spending a lot of time cooking in Venba, players will also be exploring the story of the family and the unique challenges that they face. As the son slowly grows more accustomed to the Canadian culture, a wall slowly grows between the two of them, driving a wedge in their relationship. This generational and cultural miscommunication is a thematic point of Venba, as players will experience the mother slowly falling back into old habits in hopes of rekindling her connection to her culture and her mother’s life, as it becomes the main driving point for her to restore the cooking book.

In order to face the cooking gameplay theme, the developers took to working through trial and error in order to create the recipes for the cookbook. Facing challenges with the gameplay aspect, the developers decided against following other cooking games’ footsteps and took an innovative approach because they felt the way other games had been built did not fit with Venba’s narrative and style; that is how the puzzle elements of the cooking book came to fruition. Due to the struggle of not being able to showcase the wide variety of food present in the culture, the developers instead opted for selecting which recipes seemed like they might be the most interesting from a gameplay standpoint along with a focus on the realism for which ingredients would be available to the family in Toronto.

Every aspect of Venba was thoroughly implemented, as even the sound design received a lot of focus in order to create the best environment possible. The sound design was built to reignite a nostalgia in those who grew up in a similar household to the protagonist’s family, and as such the team tried their best to get the most immersive sound effects they could by using real kitchen utensils and cooking sounds in order to get the audio quality for Venba.

The narrative focuses a lot on the cultural differences between the family and the city they live in along with the struggles of trying to decide which approach is best for raising a child in a different culture. The team hopes that this deep and touching storytelling will encourage players to have the desire to call their mothers. The developers want to continue telling in-depth and emotional stories in future projects of theirs.

Summer Game Fest 2022
Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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