Nominee | Seamus McNally Grand Prize | Excellence in Design

Oli De-Vine is a programmer.

Each year at GDC, MFA students from the NYU Game Center interview the Independent Games Festival nominees, asking them three questions about their development process. In addition to this interview, you can read all the insightful interviews from 2017 here. These conversations, and much more, will happen when the Game Center returns to GDC in 2018. Learn more about the Game Center at GDC 2017.

Mary Kenney: What main concept, image or question began this project?

Oli De-Vine: We used to play games at lunch time among ourselves, and we wanted a game where everyone had something to do simultaneously. We took our ideas to conventions and saw what worked.

Kenney: Why cooking?

De-Vine: It’s universal. Everyone eats! There are so many small tasks. Everyone knows the basics of cooking, so we didn’t need to provide a tutorial. We designed it so you would play it with people near you, not necessarily fellow gamers. So we wanted it to be a game anyone could pick up.

Kenney: Describe a specific experience with another game or media that influenced you as you worked on Overcooked.

De-Vine: The game Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was a huge influence, as a great co-op platform. The game Storage Inc was another influence, and we played it a lot together.

Kenney: Is there a specific tool or methodology that you feel was important in shaping a unique characteristic of your game?

De-Vine: It’s a game that puts local co-op front and center. There are split paths in the game, which lends itself well to different levels of ability. Communication is a skill you need, more than any other, to succeed at Overcooked.


Mary Kenney used to be a journalist, but decided she was better at writing games. Ask her about gamedev, tabletop and owning a dog in New York.