Co-Optimus: Despite the straightforward premise, there's a lot going on in this game. I'm curious to hear your explanation on what a typical round of play entails and what players are doing.
Adam: We prioritized making each role feel really different, almost like you’re playing four different games that all tie together and depend on each other. Every turn is a balancing act between doing your own job and helping your teammates do theirs. You want to empower yourself as much as possible to be an awesome captain, for example, so nobody will be pointing the finger at you if we lose. But at the same time, you can't hog all of the good cards for your own deck, because you won’t win unless everyone is doing well. We worked hard to make sure that every job matters, and that you have to keep an eye on how your friends are doing.
You can’t do your teammate’s job for them, but there are lots of options to help each other out if you coordinate. We’ve included some abilities that can either do something cool for yourself or for one of your teammates, like the Unomas Remote that lets any player draw a card. You can even give a card from your hand to a teammate’s if you’re in the same room on the ship. Then at the end of your turn when it’s time to buy a new card, you’re weighing “what’s the coolest card I can afford” with “which of us really needs that card?” Each turn you have a choice of focusing on your own job, helping a teammate out, or maybe a little of both.
Co-Optimus: Alright, so with that, where do you feel the cooperative elements come into play? Yes, you can go through those conversations with your teammates about what each member of the crew can do, which cards to play/draw at the end of the turn, but you can also do all of that in a single-player game. What makes adding more players to the mix cooperative?
Adam: Whether you're playing single player or with friends, it's still a cooperative game in my view. The four decks you're controlling need to pass cards and work together to solve problems, you're just doing the thinking for four people. It's not the best way to play Space Food Truck. Really you could play most turn-based co-op games by yourself, if you wanted.
SFT is much more fun (and less stressful) when you have a friend or two to spread the responsibilities around. You get better insights for solving crises because your objectives are more focused. You can plan your next turn while other characters do their thing. Best of all, you can ask the crew "can anyone get me some good power cards before my turn?" instead of digging through 3 inventories yourself to find out. There's a lot to keep track of, so having more brains on board definitely helps your odds for success. Plus there's a special joy in having someone else to blame when things go south.
Alex: In an action coop game, most players may know the proper technique or tactic to employ in some scenario. But you may have someone who has above average execution in that role you’d wish to use in that game. It could be better reflexes or better decision making. Analogously, If a player starts to specialize in only playing the engineer, for instance, they may bring more to the table than someone who plays all roles generally. Also, a major part of SFT, and many co-op games, is consensus building. Having multiple people bringing in various ideas helps open up very different strategic choices and outcomes.