This is a time of year when many Americans begin planning three of the biggest food consumption holidays of the year. I've personally been on Epicurious for the past two weeks preparing for Thanksgiving. And all too quickly, Christmas will be here, necessitating the preparation of another tasty family feast.
Feasts Feasting Tables
As I started redesigning my EQ2 Extended furniture showroom, I decided to create two "Feasting Tables". It's a timely inclusion for the season and satisifies a request I'd received a few weeks ago to provide an estimate for creating one. At the time, I'd never considered it and had nothing to display for options. Worse, I had no idea what was possible from a crafting perspective.
My search revealed that recipes for craftable food and tableware was very thin. The vast majority of items in this category are provided as quest rewards and holiday events, which means I can't mass produce them to sell. Daunted but not defeated, I decided to press on using what I could make or creatively devise.
The Darker Side
Halloween decorating being the exception, I've avoided crafting the more sinister looking carpentry items. I don't even make one for the bonus crafting XP since my levels come quickly just by producing customer orders.
I know sinister themed items appeal to a portion of the players, especially in a game with "evil" races living in sinister style zones but it doesn't appeal to me. That being the case, I don't feel as though I possess any knack for styling those types of displays but decided to include a mild one for display.
This first table was straight forward and uses table item recipes I readily have available for place settings. Note the absence of empty plates and silverware, all of which can only be acquired as quest rewards. Players can obtain those on their own and add them as desired.
There are very few decorative food items that are craftable. Like the tableware, players acquire these as quest rewards. Therefore my approach was creative use of what I can create, which can serve as the base on which a customer can build.
The basic elements of my table designs are to use breads, pies, eggs, shrubs, candied apples and Fen leaf bowls as food items. I combine those with Xegonite bowls, Halasian boiling pots and Sinister cauldrons for smoke effects and to act as plating vessels. When you throw in potion bottles as wine and jugs as any cold brew, the overall look is decent.
No celebration is complete without sweets. I pondered a long time over what I can make that would dress up a table as dessert. In the end, I used candied apples for splashes of color. When resized very small, they remind me of Marashino Cherries which let's me use them in different ways.
For the centerpiece I decided to stack alabaster eggs to form a meringue inspired confectionary dessert, which can be placed on a pie or decorative platter. Mini cream pies can also be fashioned with just one alabaster egg item.
The displays include sets and ala carte prices. Players can also use my designs just to spark ideas of their own and only purchase the base elements from me. Some of my customers are carpenters themselves who visit primarily for the decorating ideas and only purchase rare items from me. Either way I don't mind. I enjoy that people like my work enough to want to visit for inspiration.
I'm pleased with the end results. I'm a foodie in real life and have found myself focusing on kitchen and dining elements as a specialty in EQ2. I'm rapidly approaching the juncture where I'll need to crack the egg of editing the game layout files to achieve my visions. If I were skilled at doing that now, I would have used the red Halloween bottles turned upside down to make cherry pies.