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Making harvesting berries and skinning/butchering animals less stale


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One thing I always found odd about VS is how many "hold mouse button" interactions there are.

What first comes to mind is obviously breaking blocks, which adds a processing damage layer over the block you try to break and after the maximum damage drops the item.
Another similar interaction is picking berries. You simply hold the button and after a small amount of time, berries get added to your inventory.
Or skinning/butchering a dead animal. After some time a small inventory opens with some meat and skin.

However picking berries and skinning/butchering lack one thing compared to breaking blocks: Progress feedback.
This may seem like a small thing, but it makes the interactions feel much worse in comparison. It makes it feel like an endlessly long meaningless interaction.

So, how to fix this? Simply add a progress indicator. I would just prefer something simple on the HUD, near or around your crosshair, like the drawing the outline of a circle around your crosshair.

Another thing that annoys me about these interactions is how inconsistent they are: They provide the player with items in three different ways:

  • Breaking blocks drops the block
  • Picking berries adds the berries to the players inventory
  • Skinning/butchering an animal opens an inventory containing the loot

I personally would prefer if they all just added the blocks/items to the players inventory (with the pickup sound playing), as it is the most convenient and logical interaction, only dropping things onto the ground when the inventory is full.

To make skinning/butchering an animal even more satisfying, instead of providing all drops at once after the process is finished, only one drop is provided and the process is repeated (restarted, so new progress bar) until there are no drops left in the animal. This makes the rewards more gradual and adds a bit tension, as the animal may provide another piece of meat after one the player is currently butchering. The player not only gets rewarded a piece of meat or skin after skinning/butchering an animal, but the chance for another one.

As a side effect, also allows for multiple players to skin/butcher the same animal at the same time in a shorter amount of time.

Accessibility options:

One thing that should also be noted about "hold mouse button" interactions is, how many players dislike them, because they have an affection or disability that makes holding the mouse button for a long amount of time really discomforting. It was even the main point of critique a certain developer gave for my smithing mod :P. However the issue could be very simply fixed by adding two keybinds for a "toggle left/right mouse button press" emulation or just having a setting that turns all "hold mouse button" interactions into interactions that are started by a simple click and canceled/ended by one (or looking away from the interaction).

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