The short story
Sweet Dreams Café is a premium game for iOS. It’s a dramedy set in Paris, following protagonist Amira Day as she tries to renovate a patisserie. It is currently in soft launch in certain territories (US, UK, Phillipines). My responsibilities spanned the entire narrative pipeline and beyond:
- Creating the entire story and all the characters.
- Creating a workflow for authentic representation of different backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, etc., and working with sensitivity readers to execute this workflow.
- Designing and prototyping gameplay systems and UI/UX to support the narrative, including the dialogue system.
- Working with coders to construct a bespoke narrative tool within Unity.
- Contributing to other general game designs to ensure narrative cohesion.
- Working with internal and external artists to produce art for the 2D and 3D characters, the 3D animations, the world, etc.
- Writing a script for the intro cinematic, and working with artists to storyboard and produce the cinematic.
- Writing screenplay-style scripts for the game’s Chapters.
- Implementing those scripts in the game engine, bringing all the assets together in lively scenes.
- Working with external localization partners to ensure proper localization in 13 languages.
The slightly longer story
Sweet Dreams Café is a renovation and Match-3 game that follows Amira Day, a Moroccan American who inherites a run-down patisserie in Paris. Apart from having to renovate the building and start her business, she has to uncover family secrets, contend with an antagonistic chocolatier, find love, and much more. The game was developed for a publishing partner (that I cannot disclose). Designed as a premium game for a subscription service, it omits the free-to-play mechanics that most Outplay games usually contain. I played a bigger role than ever before; I was the unofficial narrative director, responsible for the narrative and everything related. I also did some UI/UX design, for which I made prototypes in Adobe XD.
Authentic representation is a very important pillar for the team, and I worked with sensitivity readers and other specialists to create and maintain a workflow that ensured our characters and stories were faithful to those values. I’m very proud to have done a small part for normalization of sexual, racial, and gender diversity in mainstream media.
Check out the cinematic intro to the game (and FTUE) and some of my favorite scenes below: