Food system with three types of calories


Recommended Posts

After some time playing, I could not stop thinking that the food system could be improved a little to work better with the variety of food available. Currently, it doesn’t feel right that 300 calories of chocolate work the same way as 300 calories of meat. Certainly, both give energy, but we all know that after a chocolate bar we would be hungry again earlier.

Trying to think about a possible solution that would keep things as simple as possible, my suggestion is to add 3 categories of calories. Each category represented by 3 colors in the calorie bar and in food descriptions: red, yellow and green.

Using each type of calories will affect the winded bar in a different way. Red will reduce it a little faster, yellow normal and green a little slower. In other words, red calories will get us tired earlier than green calories.

The calorie bar will then work as a common First In, First Out stack (FIFO). Each food eaten will enter the calorie bar through the left, while the calories spent will be taken out from the right of the bar.

I believe this system will give more value to foods taken from the land (meat, fat, etc), which also require more effort and resources to get, cook and carry.

Edit: Following comments and summarizing my answers below, here I explain why I chose this idea over a more complex fat/carbohydrate/protein system. Basically, I could not achieve a way to implement the time factor into the calorie bar in a simpler way. That's why I thought that directly affecting how tired you get with certain foods was the easiest way of simplifying the whole complexity, favoring foods with fat and proteins over foods with just sugar. Another more complicated idea I was thinking about was to have two calorie bars. One called "potential calories" and the other "active calories". Everything you eat goes to the potential bar, as if it was your digestive system. Then the active calories bar was being filled from the potential calories with time constraints. Carbohydrates would generate active calories faster and over a short time, while fat and protein foods will generate active calories slower but over a long time. This will also simulate the need to digest your food before actually getting something from it, which also feels weird in the game where you just eat and can use calories right away. I abandoned this idea because it felt too complicated, although I'd love it.

 

Edited by Kyopaxa
  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

That..... isn't how "calories" work.

A "calorie" (really, kilocalorie) is a unit of measure. It measures how much heat is needed to raise 1 gram of water, 1 degree Celcius. Different foods provide different levels of calories, but the actual "calories" is all the same. 300 calories is 300 calories, no matter where you get them from.

Instead, foods differ through the different "things" they provide/are made up of: carbohydrates. fats, and proteins. Fats provide the "most" energy / weight, but take a long time to digest, carbohydrates are easy and quick for the body to digest, but require water as part of the process, and protein is needed to repair bodily tissues.

Most "wild" food ( and plants in general), with the exception of meat, is going to be pretty much made up of carbohydrates. In "real life" survival, you need to eat a heavily meat-based diet, as plants just don't cut it. You need meat (protein) and fat in your diet, especially in an environment where it is cold and you are undertaking heavy labor.

Now, you shouldn't take this to mean that "processed" foods should be made "lesser" than "wild" foods, very much the opposite. Something like peanut butter would be "better" than almost anything else, except for pure fat. A can of beans is almost "as good" as a similar quantity of meat/fat, with the added benefits of being really easy to catch (don't need to chase down a can of beans, for example), as well as being really common.

  • Upvote 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting suggestion but I don't think it's strictly necessary. Calories are calories. You're right that sugars, fats and proteins are all metabolized differently (and at different rates) but your body will use and store all the energy you consume. A larger concern (and subject of another forum) that you also touch on is nutrition. Mainly that an all meat or all candy diet would leave you lacking in fats and vitamins. However, I think keeping the simplified current system would benefit the game more than trying to bring in anything that's more realistic. Fewer bars to optimize mean the developers can focus on giving players more gameplay and more meaningful interactions as opposed to ensuring each map has enough of the right colours of food.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Boston123 said:

That..... isn't how "calories" work.

A "calorie" (really, kilocalorie) is a unit of measure. It measures how much heat is needed to raise 1 gram of water, 1 degree Celcius. Different foods provide different levels of calories, but the actual "calories" is all the same. 300 calories is 300 calories, no matter where you get them from.

Instead, foods differ through the different "things" they provide/are made up of: carbohydrates. fats, and proteins. Fats provide the "most" energy / weight, but take a long time to digest, carbohydrates are easy and quick for the body to digest, but require water as part of the process, and protein is needed to repair bodily tissues.

Most "wild" food ( and plants in general), with the exception of meat, is going to be pretty much made up of carbohydrates. In "real life" survival, you need to eat a heavily meat-based diet, as plants just don't cut it. You need meat (protein) and fat in your diet, especially in an environment where it is cold and you are undertaking heavy labor.

Now, you shouldn't take this to mean that "processed" foods should be made "lesser" than "wild" foods, very much the opposite. Something like peanut butter would be "better" than almost anything else, except for pure fat. A can of beans is almost "as good" as a similar quantity of meat/fat, with the added benefits of being really easy to catch (don't need to chase down a can of beans, for example), as well as being really common.

I am sorry, I choose the wrong words. When I wrote "taken from the land" I meant mainly meat. And I surely know and took into account everything you say about fats, carbohydrates and proteins when thinking about this idea. The problem is the complexity it takes to implement something like this into a game. Personally I would love it, including a system where you only have certain amount of calories available to use and transform unused calories into fat over time, introducing your weight into the game as another factor for physical activities and health. But I totally discarded it in favor of simplicity and because it certainly will confuse a lot of players. That's why at the end, I thought about affecting the winded bar and just add three categories of calories.

If you think about it, whenever you eat a high sugar processed food, you receive a certain amount of energy quickly, but then later you can feel the opposite, feeling tired and hungry. It depends on the food of course, like the peanuts. That's why I thought that directly affecting how tired you get with certain foods was the easiest way of simplifying the whole complexity, favoring foods with fat and proteins over foods with just sugar.

I simply could not achieve a way to implement the time factor into the calorie bar in a simpler way. Another more complicated idea I was thinking about was to have two calorie bars. One called "potential calories" and the other "active calories". Everything you eat goes to the potential bar, as if it was your digestive system. Then the active calories bar was being filled from the potential calories with time constraints. Carbohydrates would generate active calories faster and over a short time, while fat and protein foods will generate active calories slower but over a long time. This will also simulate the need to digest your food before actually getting something from it, which also feels weird in the game where you just eat and can use calories right away. What do you think about this? I just think its too complicated, although as I said before, I'd love it. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont really see the point in adding slow/fast calories. If game would represent actual human body energy storage potential, allowing to go for days without eating, then it would be a great addition. So that we could have general value(that slowly decreases or increases, depending on how regularly and how much we eat and what), and current value(that represent out state of "fullness" at the moment, that affect how effective food consumption is and how it would affect player performance). But with current system it would be more hassle than an actually helpful feature.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's well known that you can't survive on a meat only diet; you need animal fats. I think the idea is here but how to implement it remains to be elaborated a bit more. We have proposed ketosis as a medical risk so this type of metric could give some insight into the kinds of foods the player needs to focus on to satisfy those needs. It therefore adds more things to think about and consider when on the search for calories. It sounds like it could have far reaching implications for code changes however that is pure speculation (based on experience in the S/W industry) If you had fatigue as a result of low calories (a reasonable assumption) then the fastest way to recover energy levels is to eat carbs, then fats and then proteins. The Inuit have a different metabolism from other populations in that they can quickly metabolize energy from fat because of genetic adaptations.

Currently, in TLD, we don't distinguish fat from meat and other resources from animals. Animals have a lot of resources. If fat could be rendered to tallow, we could solve the problem of needing a renewable source of light via candles. We do have torches that come from wood; candles are an alternative approach for getting light.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe that this represents real life experience, although it is a good idea. Yes calorie intake is not sufficient representation of how hungry survivor gets but it is actually not that complex. The more carbs the food contains or specifically monohydrates (Simple sugars like glucose, fructose) the less filling it is, it metabolizes faster leaving you even hungrier than before. Consuming fats or proteins on other hand gives you the feeling that you are full, and you can go on more time without eating. However depriving yourself from carbs after 3-4 days has the following effect: your head hurts since the brain feeds only on carbs, you feel little tired and unwilling to be active but after a while you body adapts your liver produces more glucose and you adapt, and your body burns fat like a furnace the result of which is weight loss. This process is healthy but it is damaging your mental health you often feel depressed weak which is not true. Also consuming proteins makes you stronger, you can carry more weight you can run longer but not faster, you can be more active as on the other hand consuming more carbs makes you lazy, all in all the best option is balanced diet. For a normal person: 150 grams protein 300 grams carbs and 75 grams fat :)  I hope this helps to modify your idea accordingly .

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now