Almost out of nowhere, the term cozy games has slipped into the lexicon. But what exactly does it mean, and how does one make a game “cozy”?
Whether you’re looking to make your own cozy game or searching for your next package idea as a Unity Asset Store publisher, read on to learn about the cozy genre and the creative opportunities woven into the fabric of cozy games.
Many believe that the cozy label originated as an offshoot of the life-sim genre, but we’ve seen it applied broadly to any game that’s considered low-pressure. Games where the play comes from doing something relaxing or meditative are considered cozy. Examples of Made with Unity games in this category include Aka, Unpacking, PowerWash Simulator, Potion Craft, and Townscaper.
These games all have bright and peaceful environments, meaningful interactions with characters, and tasks that feel therapeutic to complete. Let’s unpack how these kinds of environments, interactions, and tasks can be created with some examples from the Unity Asset Store.
Cozy games offer an escape into a happy, immersive world. Whether it’s simulating a real-life setting or magical forest, the environments of cozy games are an integral part of the experience.
If you’re thinking of a real-life simulation, you may want to play around with assets like Complete Home Interior Pack by Nekobolt or Coffee House Kit by Brick Project Studio. If you also want to cozy up an environment you’ve already made, you can add depth with COZY: Stylized Weather 2 by Distant Lands.
For more of a fantastical theme, Monsters Forest Pack by SURIYUN is a great resource for adding mythical elements and characters to your game.
|Tip for asset creators: Think of all the relaxing environments where players could want to simply sit and enjoy their surroundings, or places that lead to a serene feel and actions. Create out-of-the-box environment packs, or 2D and 3D objects that can be used to customize these spaces.|
Another part of the often slow-and-happy flow of cozy games, is tapping into warm fuzzy feelings with NPCs and other players.
Instead of basic interactions, many cozy games allow for thoughtful dialogue, which you can enable with tools like Dialogue System for Unity by Pixel Crushers. You can also add some whimsy to your text with tools like Text Animator for Unity by Febucci Creations.
|Tip for asset creators: Players of cozy games are often looking for richer interactions with NPCs. Ask yourself, “What types of tools and animations can I create to allow this?”|
One of the things that gives players of cozy games the warm and fuzzies – and that contributes to a game’s relaxed feel – is tasks. These can range from simple and repetitive to creative and environment-based.
Offering players opportunities for creativity and personalizing their characters, environments, and more is a sure-fire way to establish cozy feels. Some popular assets for task completion include:
Tip for asset creators: Use the below questions when starting to design this type of asset.
It seems to us like cozy games – visually captivating experiences that are stress-free and blissfully easy to play – are here to stay.
If you need an equally warm and welcoming community to join as you explore building within this genre, the Unity Asset Store Publisher program is a great place to share and sell your own cozy game assets that you build along the way.