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Nutrition past food types


TheBrian
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If it weren't too much trouble it would be nice to see a full nutritional scale not just vegetable, fruit etc etc. Something with the protein that's in but also, calcium, iron, vitamin b etc etc. And each could boost something ie: Vitamin B makes you a little faster since it gives energy, protein gives you melee damage, vitamin a helps with ranged accuracy....food for thought

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This is a more complex topic than you might think. There is one game that implemented something like that, and it is kind of a mess. Popping open the character info fills like two thirds of the screen with a giant pile of graphs and numbers.

While conceptually interesting, I don't think this level of simulation fidelity adds much to actual gameplay.

You want a system that drives players to engage with the survival mechanics, and it's fair to ask the question if the current one is good as it is. But there is a point at which a system becomes so complicated that just reading the character info screen requires a video tutorial, and that starts defeating its own point. Players will engage less with it, not more, because it is so complicated.

Nevermind the development effort...

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I mean it should be possible to instead of having food types having nutrition types like "vitamins", "proteins", "minerals", "water", "calories" or something like that.

Why? because the sliders at this moment implicate you'd need milk products and you'd need grains in your diet. Both are not true, you can (theoretically) eat perfectly healthy by just eating vegetables and fruit. Though I still prefer to have cheese, eggs and bread, it's not actually necessary. And as soft realism (and possibly a certain educational worth) is a goal for VS I very much would like the option to go fully vegan in it without my character not able to reach peak performance.

I mean I wouldn't oppose to see some detrimental effects for each of those to be either too high or too low. idk, too low minerals and you lose water faster, too high (or too low) calories and you become slower, too much water you lose water faster and are slower, too little and you lose max health...

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Calories are covered by your main hunger meter. You run out, you start starving. I don't believe there are currently any plans to implement a need for drink, so a "water" measurement doesn't make sense. Implementing one and then having it only supplied through food is worse than not having it at all.

You could still have meters for vitamins, protein, and minerals, sure. However, that loses you two out of five meters, so you lose variety. And then you could say okay, let's make up some more, but that still runs into a different problem: mixed nutrition from basic foods. Which doesn't sound like a problem at all at first glance, until you start considering the core game loop.

Right now, each ingredient gives you one type of nutrition. Mixed nutrition is a perk you earn through progression. And even when you can combine ingredients into mixed nutrition meals, you need ingredients of all five types to satisfy all five meters. That means the player must actively grow and rotate two different kinds of crops, organize an orchard, engage in animal husbandry, mine or trade for salt, mill and bake and store things, and build appropriate spaces for all these things. But give a player the option to just eat the same two basic, uncooked ingredients over and over because the combination just happens to fill up all five bars if you spam enough of it, all of the above steps are no longer necessary, and you've given your player the tools to circumvent parts of your core gameplay loop. There are now fewer reasons to explore and acquire, fewer reasons to design and build, fewer reasons to interact with a wide variety of game systems... and much more room to sit in place and say "well, there really isn't that much to do around here, is there?".

Like, I know myself. I used to play Minecraft with Pam's Harvestcraft installed. Even back then it supplied dozens of crops and over three hundred meal recipes from all over the world. I found one of those recipes, the first one I could make with whatever seeds I had at hand, automated the farming of ingredients, and completely ignored the entire rest of the mod for the rest of my playthrough. Because there's literally no need for any of it beyond fluff and roleplay; there is no actual gameplay loop in it.

I don't think Vintage Story is a game that thrives on fluff and roleplay; I want it to be a game that makes each additional nutrition bar a goal for me to reach through progression. A bonus for advancing my level of civilization. Dairy may be a bullshit nutrition type, granted; but as a player goal, it is excellent. And when choosing between realism and having engaging goals and robust gameplay, I'd personally pick the goals nearly every time.

So we should not just be asking what we can replace the nutrition meters with to make the game appear more realistic. We should also be thinking about how to maintain an engaging core gameplay loop related to food acquisition and preparation that includes progression-gated long-term goals in multiple steps.

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14 hours ago, Streetwind said:

This is a more complex topic than you might think. There is one game that implemented something like that, and it is kind of a mess. Popping open the character info fills like two thirds of the screen with a giant pile of graphs and numbers.

That is the funniest game UI I've seen in a long time.

image.png.ed52d1ad06eae7c9505819c7f89bcb43.png
"Aw shit, I need a reload!"

Edited by l33tmaan
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8 hours ago, Streetwind said:

I don't believe there are currently any plans to implement a need for drink, so a "water" measurement doesn't make sense. Implementing one and then having it only supplied through food is worse than not having it at all.

Tyron mentioned that it is planned to implement thirst and we have milk, juices, wine, ... additionally potions are on the roadmap and implemented through mods... adding a nutrition value to water in a jug or water in a bowl isn't that much work. And that didn't even take into account stews, fruits and vegetables with high water content. The water meter should be relatively easy to maintain...

9 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Calories are covered by your main hunger meter.

Not really but at the same time yes. I used calories as a substitute for fats and sugars, things that basically are only fuels with no other use for the body. Both have massive detrimental if one eats too little or too much of them. But you can go on for quite long without them. The hunger bar and its satiety would limit how much you could eat, kinda like foods high in fiber or even just plain water in huge quantities do satisfy your hunger but may have little to no actual nutritional value.

9 hours ago, Streetwind said:

But give a player the option to just eat the same two basic, uncooked ingredients over and over because the combination just happens to fill up all five bars if you spam enough of it, all of the above steps are no longer necessary, and you've given your player the tools to circumvent parts of your core gameplay loop.

That's not what I suggested though. For one I suggest to give negative effects if you overindulge on any one nutritional value, meaning you'd need to fine tune your meals, if you'd spam the same foods over and over you will reach the negative side of at least one nutrition type, additionally you can limit that problem as you can only eat (or rather get benefits from it) if your hunger bar is low enough, else you are full to the point of not being able to stuff anything more into your stomach. Furthermore husbandry would still be the easiest source of especially proteins, as you might have to explore quite much to find peas or beans. Additionally cooked ingredients would be easier digestable and as such the ratio of nutrion value per satiety would be significantly higher.

9 hours ago, Streetwind said:

That means the player must actively grow and rotate two different kinds of crops, organize an orchard, engage in animal husbandry, mine or trade for salt, mill and bake and store things, and build appropriate spaces for all these things.

Really? In the vanilla game you'll find so many wild crops, I usually do not need to have an efficient farming setup for grain and vegetable nutrition, berry bushes are everywhere and provide easy fruit nutrition, while killing wild animals is a fast way to raise the protein bar to the max. Salt isn't needed too much with a good cellar, baking I never even dabbled into because raw grains are easier sources for grain nutrition.

10 hours ago, Streetwind said:

There are now fewer reasons to explore and acquire, fewer reasons to design and build, fewer reasons to interact with a wide variety of game systems... and much more room to sit in place and say "well, there really isn't that much to do around here, is there?".

Again, really? If you'd wanted to do a vegan play through, finding protein rich crops would be a big reason for lengthy exploration (still haven't found soybeans without modding until now), if not than you'd need the same amount of farming, husbandry, etc. You wouldn't lose anything, quite the contrary as raw grain and vegetable could be made quasi realistic and being filling but of (relatively) little nutritional value on their own, you would motivate the player to cook meals, bake bread maybe even bake pies as those forms of food would be significantly more efficient food sources, and by lightly punishing overeating .

20 hours ago, Streetwind said:

We should also be thinking about how to maintain an engaging core gameplay loop related to food acquisition and preparation that includes progression-gated long-term goals in multiple steps.

The suggestion does not touch your game loop for the most part only add the option to replace husbandry as a means for getting meat and milk somewhere in mid to late game (earlier if you're really lucky or start in warmer climate), you'd still may need feathers and leather and wool, hence it wouldn't replace husbandry as a whole.

Furthermore without that part of basically milk industry propaganda, which is the dairy slider, and a more (but not too) realistic nutrition system there'd be another reason for marketing the game as partially educational.
 


At last I'll put out a few more ideas and elaborate on the concept a bit more:

The hunger bar is kinda only a how-full-is-my-stomach gauge, when it's empty you get a slow poisoning effect eating away on your health (though not on your max health and without the I-have-been-hit-sound), when it's full you can't eat anything, though still drink. Like now there'd be no effects other than for completely filled and completely empty stomach. Every time you eat you stop it from dropping for 30minutes ingame, but after that the bar drops continuously but the speed it does it is anti proportional to how full you are, I'd say from completely filled to completely empty in 2/3 of a day?

The nutrition bars will deplete significantly faster than right now (where they basically do not drop once maxed out), but not at the same rate, too low levels would mean less than 25%, while with overindulgence I mean the top 25% of the bar, everything else is considered healthy levels with the ideal being slightly above 50%.

Water/Hydration is a necessary value and hydration changes fast, from healthy to too low in just a day, but basically any food or drink will provide at least some, with the exception of raw grain maybe. When it reaches unhealthy low levels you'd get a poisoning effect similar to empty hunger bar, but becoming more severe the more dehydrated you are (and still without audio effect). Overindulgence should only be possible by drinking several liters at once, giving you a debuff on movement speed and a heightened water loss until you reach healthy levels (for simplicity's sake we should ignore rupturing once stomach and lethal doses of hydration). The best sources for hydration would be drinks and stews, but water would be fine too, just wouldn't have much more nutritional value than that.

Calories are basically the bodies fuel, they build up slowly but you lose them slowly too. Too little of them and you'd get overall debuffs: movement speed, damage output, max health, ... Same is true for overindulging in them. Similar to the hunger bar now, it depletes mostly by doing stuff, but doing nothing would deplete it from ideal levels to low in about 2 months (we could ignore that completely). The best sources for calories would be cooked fatty or sugary foods: cooked meat & grain, as well as honey and processed fruit (juices and pies for example)...

Proteins are responsible for cell regeneration, as well as a fuel source (but we'll ignore that mostly). Proteins do mostly deplete by regenerating health (that includes the damage done by an empty stomach or low hydration for example, potentially reducing or even balancing out those effects), low levels would result in slower regeneration, overindulgence will use up proteins instead of calories for activity until in the healthy levels again. Best sources of protein are meats, dairy, cooked beans, peas and certain mushrooms.

Vitamins are a nutritional value that you can only overindulge on through supplements (the body usually just doesn't absorb more than it can handle, if not totally overwhelmed by supply), gets partly destroyed by cooking the ingredient and which the body needs a regular supply of, the bar could deplete rather fast over the course of a week or something, overindulgence might be gone after a day and actually cause some light poisoning effect (several vitamins become toxic or are suspected to cause cancer if their levels stay too high for long, though they tend to partially counteract and regulate each other if the body is not constantly overwhelmed though supplements), too low levels would reduce max health (or you get a bonus to max health by keeping the bar in the healthy region). Best sources for vitamins would be: uncooked fruits and vegetables.

Minerals are an essential part of nutrition, but I'd simplify them to being mostly for structural support of the body and water retention, they fluctuate at a quarter the rate as hydration, as losing hydration usually comes with losing minerals. As that low levels would negatively impact taking in hydration and damage reduction (brittle bones etc.), overindulgence would lead to binding and excreting water and hence increase the rate in which hydration and minerals are lost. Most foods provide decent amounts of minerals, though nuts, dairy products, salted and/or pickled foods provide more.

 

Recapitulatory    (rates below are meant as percentage of the full bar):

Hungerbar depletes from 100% to 0% over 2/3 of a day, depletion is faster when more full and slower when low
after eating something does not drop for 30minutes
empty: light slow poisoning effect eating away on health
full: no eating possible
everything is at least somewhat filling, most filling are raw foods, least filling are liquid foods

Hydration depletes with a rate of 60% per 1 day
below 25%: poisoning effect eating away on health, more severe the lower the bar
over 75%: debuff to movement speed and increase in depletion rate for hydration, both effects stop when bar goes under 75% mark
liquids are the obviously best source of hydration

Calories deplete through activity additionally to the rate of 25% over 14 days
not between 25% and 75%: debuff to movement & mining speeds, max health, damage output
cooked/baked meals from meat and/or grains as well as juices do provide calories the best

Proteins deplete through regenerating health, with exception
below 25%: health regeneration is slowed down
above 75%: depletion of proteins instead of calories until below 75%
best early game sources are meat and some mushrooms, later dairy products and cooked beans/peas are good alternatives

Vitamins deplete with a rate of about 10% per day, higher (up to 25% per day) as long as above 75%
below 25%: debuff to max health
above 75%: light slow poisoning effect eating away on health
best sources are raw fruits/vegetables

Minerals deplete with a rate of 15% per day
below 25%: debuff to damage reduction, decreases the amount of hydration you get
above 75%: increases depletion of hydration and minerals
best sources are salted/pickled foods, dairy products and nuts

 

Other than now just making stews, or eating raw whatever can be harvested on the way when travelling wouldn't suffice for best performance. A trip over weeks into completely unknown territory would require at least some preparation.

 

 

We could have another type of bars that only have negative impacts too.

Heavy metals are toxic and will build up over time, especially when casting metals (an additional incentive for progressing to smithing, bloomeries and more durable tools) and mining ores. Low levels do not impact the character, while higher levels will increasingly more severely poison the body. The bar basically doesn't drop on itself, but with implementation of basically magical potions there might be a way. Fish and some plants take up heavy metals and when eaten add to this bar additionally.

Radiation is bad for you, teleportation would expose a being to huge amounts of radiation. Assuming seraphs are somewhat resistant I would ignore other sources for now and potentially most of those ionizing effects would create isotopes with short half lifes hence depleting the bar should be relatively quickly. Maybe each translocation adds 20% of the bar, the bar depletes linearly with about 50% per day and above low levels you get a slight luminessence effect as well as poisoning? Maybe someone would like to have it for uranium based tech in mods later.

Germs cause diseases, you can't protect yourself from them. Getting hurt and eating raw and/or spoiled foods increases the bar, but it depletes relatives fast (thinking 100% per week). If you get into the high levels you'll get random debuffs for as long as the bar doesn't drops into the low levels. Alcohols, honey and several other food stuffs could deplete some of the bar, same with bandages if those help regenerating health (you can't just use them to lower the bar).

Toxins do accumulate but are broken down by the body, eating poisonous foods and drinking alcohol would be the most prominent sources, but maybe we get venomous animals at some point? The toxin bar would deplete completely over the course of 1-2 days, low levels would induce the same effect we already have for drinking alcohol, above that we could get an additional poison effect and at high levels we could lose all hunger and somewhat significant amounts of hydration for a quick drop one-off of the toxin bar (by idk 10%) and a deadly severe poisoning effect if that's not sufficient.

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