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For Her Graduation Project, a Local Designer Turns Street Food Into Mobile Game

The game project, with its lusciously illustrated noodles and spring rolls, is tormenting us as we’re secluded at home not knowing when we’ll be able to feast on cơm tấm again.

Judging by the popularity of mobile hits like Cooking Mama or Diner Dash, culinary adventure is an evergreen genre of casual game that has stolen the hearts and savings of many fans. Vietnamese cuisine, on the other hand, is also an established name in the global food arena thanks to our diverse repertoire of dishes and intricate flavors. In her high-acclaimed graduation project that was unveiled recently, graphic designer Nguyễn Trần Như Hạ married the two areas of interest into a fictional game project that is as adorable as it is tantalizing.

The main screen and announcement posters.

Hạ is a Graphic Design major at Saigon’s Van Lang University. She posted the final deliverables for her graduation assignment on her Facebook a few days ago to a rapturous response by netizens. For the project, she conceptualized a mobile game named Gourviet — a portmanteau of “gourmet” and “Vietnam” — based on the idea of cooking competitions, albeit with distinctly Vietnamese dishes and ingredients.

Gameplay mock-ups.

The app features dozens of detailed illustrations of Vietnamese dishes, from gỏi cuốn to bánh tráng trộn; and local produce, such as sugarcane, kumquat and so đũa. To begin the journey with Gourviet, players take the role of Bé Gạo, an áo dài-clad protagonist, as she grows from an amateur cook to a culinary master through battling established non-playable characters (NPCs). These include cheeky pop culture figures like Cô Ba Sài Gòn and the infamous Cô Mía.

The main character and NPCs.

A battle between cơm gà xối mỡ and cơm tấm. Who will win?

It’s unfortunate that Gourviet is just a fictional game, though Như Hạ shared that through its creation, she’s identified game design as something she’s passionate about as a career path. Fans of Vietnamese food can look forward to other fascinating projects by the young designer in the future; in the meantime, take a look at the visual assets that she created for Gourviet below:

A sample of dishes available to be learned.

Adorable game icons.

A map of Saigon.

Alternative costumes for the main character.

Game achievements.

Pickling and fermenting can lead to better ingredients.

A full list of local ingredients.

For more projects by Như Hạ, visit her Behance here.

[Images via Facebook user Như Hạ]

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