Ultimate Chef Workstation UI

UC-Workstation UI
The workstation UI was most complex UIs in Ultimate Chef if not the most complex UI.  The workstation plays an important part in the game because it is where players use the ingredients they’ve gathered to craft all the dishes that are served to the customers. It drives the main gameplay (cooking), and the dishes the player crafts allows them to gain coin and xp which allows them to level up, buy things for their restaurant, and advance through the game.

Since cooking is a core focus of Ultimate Chef, the UI is centrally focused around the dishes.  While this showcases the dishes very nicely it was a challenge to allocate the remaining screen space to display all the important information the player needed to know. Here is a breakdown of those elements in order of importance.

  • Dish Selector - allows the player to select the dish they would like to cook at this workstation
  • Ingredients - indicators to the player if they have the ingredients to cook the dish
  • Dish Stats - what this dish will be worth when the player completed cooking it
  • Dish Queue - how long it will take to cook the current dish, and other dishes that are in queue

  • Workstation Quick Nav - allows the player to quickly navigate between all the workstations
  • Assign Cook - Which chef, if any the player wants to assign to this queue
  • Ingredient Buyout - If the player wants to cook a dish without having the necessary ingredients

This UI was pretty challenging for the design and UI team. Building this took a lot of whiteboarding, some wireframe mock ups, and a few in game iterations to get it right. Ok, more than a few iterations (I stopped counting after version 9), but I think it came together pretty well, and here’s a look of it in action.