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Should food and food quality have any impact in the game?


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Remember in the later Ultima games where you had to actually feed your companions? When people talk about U7 being a great game (it is) they don't bring that up.

 

Anyway food is hard to implement in a fun way.

Edited by oldmanpaco

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Food is nice for a situation where you actually have to gather supplies for a long expedition in a hostile area (e.g. the Endless Paths) but its awkward when you have to walk over to a shop and buy some food every once in a while for sake of realism. It could be handled as a healing resource: you don't rest as well, i.e. restore less hitpoints or none at all, when you're hungry. In a city you most likely sleep in an inn, and we can expect that your characters eat before they go to their rooms. But deep within the 11th level of the endless paths, it could be interesting when you can't restore health because you forgot to bring enough rations with you. It can also be an adventure hook, like hunting down those gremlins that stole your supplies.

 

For a single character game this makes more sense, though, in a party based game, especially when only the main character is player made, one should assume that at least one of them brought some food and is willing to share.

Edited by JOG

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Now I'm hungry...

 

 

I think the "food" mechanic in the BG series would be fine, where you can buy drinks for information or buy better rooms that come with meals etc. and a lot is left up to the imagination.

Edited by Sykid
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I like that a lot Sykid; I almost forgot about the various descriptions of your "room class" when staying in town. I always loved those, they added a bigger sense of realism and integration for me than micromanaging desires ala The Sims.

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Urgently hunting through every old cupboard for food is a pleasure (for me at least) in a first person perspective game like New Vegas, in Project Eternity I think it would be a chore, also survivalism doesn't appear to be a theme of the world, I vote no.

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I actually like the idea of eating in pubs, rations, and making rolls to urban living or wilderness survival to resist starvation. There should be a standard city law that taxes all visitors through the common gates to cover the potential expense of starvation and privation. Hence, characters can expect they will receive blankets and basic foodstuff should they find themselves homeless.

 

* There should be three states of hunger: hungry, starving, and dead. Hunger is a state of weakness that follows lack of sufficient nutrition. Hunger gives minor disadvantages in skills, combat, movement, "saving throws", or just reduces all attributes by a small amount. Starvation is the slow road to death, causing damage per day without food and negating any benefit of rest. Death occurs when sufficient damage has been taken by starving to kill the victim of malnutrition.

 

* If a character is in a pub or inn, it should be assumed they're eating enough to alleviate starvation but not hunger. If they buy food, it should be of the remarkable sort or something to alleviate hunger. If they buy a room, they should receive food and drink along with the room. This should be insinuated in the cut scene for resting. In a pub or inn, a character might become hungry but won't starve.

 

* If a character is in a city (or rural farmland) but not in a pub or inn, it should be assumed that food and drink are available, so they stop starving but do remain hungry. If a skill roll is made on Urban Survival, they manage to get sufficient food and assuage their hunger. They cannot starve but might become hungry (or remain hungry). Diseases are possible if their Urban Survival roll is a fumble. A critical success might yield an alleviation of fatigue (discovered a good place to rest).

 

* If a character is in a wildland, they must roll against Wilderness Survival to avoid hunger. A fumble can bring diseases. A critical can alleviate disease and poison.

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Food is fine as an item. It could heal or give buffs or whatever.

 

Hunger as a mechanic isn't that much fun, to me anyway. I would be all for having a survival mode though, for people that would want that. It can be a fun thing to do for a while, just not fun to be FORCED to do.

This. I think FNV did it right, with hunger (and some other things) as an optional mode.

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Realms of Arkania.

 

But I doubt it would be worth implementing in Project Eternity.

 

ZOMG someone else has heard of those games. They had some interesting aspects, to be sure.

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If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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Food as a maintenance item is unnecessary, but I have a larger beef (er, pun not intended) with food as a healing item. It's not only unnecessary duplication - I don't like healing potions either but it's the lesser evil - but also makes no sense whatsoever.

 

 

The only game I've played where I felt this made some kind of operational sense was Gothic, because you could eat all kinds of things which you could ALSO cook or turn into potions or whatever. Also, it was pretty clear that your health in that game didn't exactly represent your "wounds"--you got it all back if you slept in a bed, and people could beat you up without killing you.

 

I would much, much rather there be a role-playing aspect about food rather than a mechanical one. This is how I run it in my games and it works well, plus you don't have to track the stupid stuff.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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To me, having hunger as a mechanic needs to be related with the game world and the whole idea. I mean it makes more sense to have "hunger mechanics" in the wasteland deserts of Mojave than the lush landscapes of Sword Coast. If you have played Lone Survivor you will see that it makes sense that there is hunger. Otherwise doing it for the sake of reality does not add to the game much. It just keeps space in inventory and costs you money/gp (which you have like infinite after some time). On the other hand, it was nice the way food was handled in the IE games (buy it for small bonuses and role play).

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I would much, much rather there be a role-playing aspect about food rather than a mechanical one.
Could you expand on that?

 

A food mechanic would mean that food either heals you when you eat it or you have a "hunger" meter or something. A food role-playing aspect means that you may get periodic quests pertaining to "find some food" or "running low on supplies"--it's not a quantitative thing.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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I would much, much rather there be a role-playing aspect about food rather than a mechanical one.
Could you expand on that?

 

A food mechanic would mean that food either heals you when you eat it or you have a "hunger" meter or something. A food role-playing aspect means that you may get periodic quests pertaining to "find some food" or "running low on supplies"--it's not a quantitative thing.

I do know what it means, I should have been more specific in my wording. I was wondering what you wanted role-playing wise. Should quests regarding food be timed due to the nature of it? How would you make it different than your standard fed-ex quest if not? Should food be treated just like any other item or should they be limited to unique quest items? How do you stop food from being an junk item if you do not limit it to quests?
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Ultima Underworld had food and it could go old and uneatable after a while, thankfully though, time went so slow in the game, that this was almost never a problem. It never got much deeper than that though, so maybe not comparable, but still. I am unsure if I want this in PE, I could agree that keeping your characters fed is not a bad feature, any more than that would just be a tedious minigame, in my opinion.

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(Forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's point)

 

In my opinion, food in of itself is not an interesting mechanic. If, however, food is used as a way to guide players toward quests or interesting interactions between NPCs and such, then it could be interesting.

 

Take for example the feeding mechanic of Vampire: The Masquerade. It forced players to have to figure out clever ways to seduce people, sneak up on them, loot a blood bank, make a deal with some shady blood dealer, etc. It was a mechanic to drive players toward interesting encounters and formulate strategies.

 

Just having food as another sort of consumable is just boring and lame, imo.

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(Forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's point)

 

In my opinion, food in of itself is not an interesting mechanic. If, however, food is used as a way to guide players toward quests or interesting interactions between NPCs and such, then it could be interesting.

 

Take for example the feeding mechanic of Vampire: The Masquerade. It forced players to have to figure out clever ways to seduce people, sneak up on them, loot a blood bank, make a deal with some shady blood dealer, etc. It was a mechanic to drive players toward interesting encounters and formulate strategies.

 

Just having food as another sort of consumable is just boring and lame, imo.

Clever ways to seduce people? You mean "putting points into 'seduce'"?

 

And unless you modded the game, your blood meter never went down independently. It was really just a fancy mana bar that you could replenish in some neat ways.

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(Forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's point)

 

In my opinion, food in of itself is not an interesting mechanic. If, however, food is used as a way to guide players toward quests or interesting interactions between NPCs and such, then it could be interesting.

 

Take for example the feeding mechanic of Vampire: The Masquerade. It forced players to have to figure out clever ways to seduce people, sneak up on them, loot a blood bank, make a deal with some shady blood dealer, etc. It was a mechanic to drive players toward interesting encounters and formulate strategies.

 

Just having food as another sort of consumable is just boring and lame, imo.

 

Right. Quite apart from being just a hassle or meaningless obligation, if staying fed can actually work out to be challenging for the duration of the game, then it could be an excellent addition to the game's mechanics. And by challenging I dont necessarily mean difficult, or central; it just means that food will figure into the player's longer and shorter range calculations, which would make something like a survival scenario more interesting and appropriate.

 

Of course, if a food mechanic ends up hurting the game's aesthetics, overall, then it is probably best to leave it out. Mixing something as unsexy as eating into spectacular high fantasy stuff can be an odd fit, unless your setting is appropriately brutal.

Edited by Game_Exile
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I am rather skeptical toward a food system, let alone a 'food quality' measurement.

 

Maybe, when the group contemplates exploring a desolate area where subsistance and supplu are actually an issue (example: a desert, an icecape) then the game might introduce some sort of 'supply' indicator, which would be a numerical value that would deplete over time as you explore such areas, and replenish when buying food rations. Such an indicator would not apply in normal areas. The game should not go further in terms of food management.

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