lord_steak

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An idea I'm considering, but haven't implemented just yet.  Thought I should what's the take as a general concept before delving deeper.

I am considering making food a requirement...not an optional after-battle thing like in the Tales series or relative healing items, but required.  As in, the party goes hungry and all stats are halved until the party gets another meal (whether at an inn, on any kind of transport, or just picks up the food someway, somewhere).  Since different people have different tastes, each party member should have different food preferences (such as, one character doesn't like spicy food, another won't eat anything dry, a third cares not for fattening fare, etc.). 

It's possible to take a leaf from the Tales-series book, and make different foods have different effects, such as boosting a given stat a little, improving evasion, or elemental defenses, until the next meal.

Obviously, different food has different costs.  Whether the party cooks or simply carries preserved food, well...options to choose from.

Thoughts?
 

cabfe

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That reminds me of the Hardcore mode of Fallout: New Vegas.

Some player love it, some hate it. So it was set as an option.

If your game obliges the player to eat, it risks becoming a survival game. Unless that's the point.
 

sai

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I like the halved stats part of the hunger system, but I think that each character having specific preferences would be the annoying part IF the food preferences are an absolute requirement in order for the character to actually eat the food. A thing that you could do is favorite/not-favorite foods, where characters would get better gains or replenishment from the foods they prefer, and if they eat things they don't prefer, they probably won't gain/replenish as much. Sometimes you have no choice but to eat what you have, lol.
 

Dalph

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Cooking Quests? XD

It's a good idea, I used a similar concept for one of my cancelled games, I say to go for it since it's certainly original. 
 

numfanklewhat

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Actually, I've already implemented such mechanic in my game, it's somewhat similar to hardcore mode in F:NV, but more closer to hunger system in old dungeon crawler RPGs, where you got stats penalty the more your character gets hungry. Each characters also have their own food preference and may react differently when being feed with certain food. One thing to note when making such system is, how to not make it become annoyance to the player and hinder the gameplay flows on the whole.
 

Tai_MT

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here's the major problem with a "hunger system" in an RPG:  It borders on somewhat tedious.  Eating in real life is easy.  Go to the store, pick up something, eat it, go about your day.  Eating in a video game requires stockpiling the food so you don't run out, navigating a menu whenever you want to eat something, and usually affects you negatively if you haven't done it.  Also, eating in a video game doesn't usually feel worth it to a player the same way eating in real life does.  In real life, you can taste food, you can smell food, you can feel the hunger go away and feel satisfied after a meal.  In a video game, you derive none of these primal pleasures from the action of your characters eating.  It's just a mechanic.

Here's what happens in Minecraft with its "hunger mechanic" for reference.  The first day or two of gameplay is about setting up farms in order to get a steady supply of food.  After you have that steady supply, you eat whatever you have the most of, all the time, because the slight benefits of "remaining full longer" don't mean jack when all you want to do is ignore the mechanic and get back to the actual point of the game.

Even in New Vegas, that's what players do with the hunger/thirst mechanics.  Whatever is easiest to obtain in bulk nearly all the time is what they will subsist on so that they don't have to worry about the mechanic at all.  It's what I certainly did!

Unless your hunger mechanic is a MAJOR feature of your game, it's going to be glossed over, forgotten, or even hated by your players.  If it serves little purpose other than to tack something on to have a "unique" game, then you should just drop the mechanic altogether.  I know that sounds rough and mean, but if your mechanic isn't somehow integral to the storyline or the gameplay, it's just going to serve as another obstacle for players to have to overcome in order to enjoy whatever storyline you've put together.

Ever run a D&D campaign?  I've run a few.  You know what players routinely refuse to buy?  Food and drink.  They just don't usually care.  Whenever I penalize them for lack of food or drink and that they'd get hungry, they usually ask me why I care if they're carrying all this stuff with them on adventures.  I tell them, "for realism!" and they ask me "do we have to go to the bathroom too?".  It's easier to simply assume your Adventurers are eating and drinking as they should because it's something every organism does every single day and it's somewhat mundane and boring when you can't even taste what your characters are eating/drinking.

Now, if your food mechanic was part of some "survival engine", then it makes sense.  It's something that contributes to your survival and won't really be in supply all the time.  The goal of a survival game, or a game with survival mechanics is usually to get to a point where the basics of survival are taken care of so that the player can then move their focus to something else.  Even then, that can become somewhat tedious.

Ever play "Don't Starve"?  One of the major mechanics is a hunger mechanic.  I spent a good amount of time just trying to figure out what is/was best for sustaining my life.  Honestly, with the amount of actual food items the game gives you, it's not difficult to sustain your life and it really becomes more of a chore after the first few days.  I spent the first 5 days of the game gathering seeds, berries, and carrots.  I use the carrots to trap and murder bunnies for larger food boosts (even cooking the meat) and use the seeds/berries to sustain myself when carrots are scarce (seeds are one of the most plentiful items in the game and respawn regularly, so they're a fantastic food source).  I assume as I get farther into the game, I'll be able to come up with farms and such as well, which will get relegate the hunger mechanic to something arbitrary in the future, but for now it's just something I worry about only if I'm in an area that doesn't easily grow food.

I don't know, the whole Food/Drink mechanic has always sort of made me ponder why they exist at all.  They're just one more meter to babysit on top of all the other things you need to worry about, and at a certain point in every game these things have been put into, the mechanics become pointless because the player has gotten so good at keeping stocked with food/drink that the meters don't mean anything.  Basically, food/drink mechanics work well for the early stages of games before players know all the tricks to obtaining ungodly amounts of the stuff...  But midgame to lategame, your meters have become defunct and pointless.
 

Probotector 200X

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I like how Ehrgeiz's Quest Mode did this....I don't recall all the details because it's been a while, and not gonna check a walkthrough right now just for this.

But, if I remember correctly...you have a hunger meter that empties slowly as you traverse the dungeons (it's a dungeon crawler). You can buy food in town, but also find some lying around the dungeon (usually bland stuff like mushrooms or "dungeon grass", yum, or something) or get it from enemies. (the bears drop bear claws, get it?). It fills up your hunger meter, but there's another effect. There's 4 or 5 types nutrients different foods have. Like carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and such. So eating one type of food boosts the amount of that nutrient and lowers the others, and this effects stat gain when gaining levels. But you know what I do? I just usually eat what I have on hand, and I do alright. If I recall you don't get better stat gains, just different ones, like carbs raise your speed or something? So if you want to be faster, eat lots of carbs, but your other stats will suffer a little.

That game has another feature that's even more optional, like tributing items to different Gods at altars and it effects...something. I don't even remember what it does, but personally I love those kinds of things.
 

estriole

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i like the eating mechanic in

The World Ends with Youbasically the food is your stat gain source.

to digest the food you require certain number of battle. and after eating. your max 'tummy' level decrease (to avoid major grinding). max 'tummy' level will replenished in the next day.
 

Probotector 200X

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I just noticed the creator of this topic is named lord steak, and their avatar is a pineapple. Why not just make a game where food is a major theme?? Could be interesting.
 

Eschaton

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Maybe eating raises health regen rate. Sounds like something that can be ignored with well-spammed heal spells by the player who wants to.
 

Aner-Dyfan

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One problem with food is that death by starvation (or from weakened stats), and that the last save might not be enough to resolve the issue resulting in a game restart. It is also a really anti-climatic way for the protagonist to die. As such, as already mentioned, it generally only affects the early game and later on it becomes a chore for playability reasons.

Where is does work is brutal perma-death games, the one that comes to mind is NetHack, where the game is constantly trying to kill you, there not only can you die by starvation, but passing out from hunger but also choking.
 

Gilsev

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Unless the hunger mechanic is a major part of the game something like this has always felt clunky and awkward to me, as a player. If the player has a means of creating self-sustaining food supply then there is a possibility of it working.

Before deciding to include the slightly more granular aspects of a hunger meter (balancing nutrients) it should be asked, what is this adding to the game? Does this add something my game needs? It can be very worthwhile to add interesting mechanics that add to the game, but adding it for the sake of adding it can ruin the game.
 

Eschaton

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What did everyone think of how it was implemented in MGS3?
 

BigEd781

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Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Not fun, just annoying. I don't play video games to be annoyed.
 

Quigon

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I'm implementing it in my game more like how it's done in Lone Survivor. Food and drink isn't a REQUIREMENT per-se. By removing the 'if I take 200 steps and then die of hunger?!?!' idea, and instead making it the player's choice, it really adds to the immersion. In LS, the regularity in which you ate, slept and a ton of other stuff was still monitored, and it affected your ending and overall sanity in-game. What made it cool is that it was your choice, and it wasn't 'IF YOU DON'T DRINK WATER FROM THIS CACTUS IN TEN STEPS OR LESS YOU WILL DIE'.

If you do go the route of having it kill players in the end, make sure it's not ridiculously out of balance.
 

Eschaton

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Well I think it's all in how you sell it. Perhaps you can play the game without eating just fine. But you get higher damage toasts because you're staying healthy and staying fed. Your PC doesn't die because he/she is the Chuck Norris of the game setting.
 

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