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Vitamins rework

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How vitamins currently work has been bothering me more than it should, it's just ridiculous that you can chug them for an instant energy boost. So I was thinking how it could be made more realistic in an interesting way.

 

* Add two internal values (similar to how the game keeps track of hunger and thirst) for the player: vitamins and minerals.

* Add vitamin and mineral content to all food items: Vegetables have high vitamins, meat has high minerals, junk food is low on both, etc.

* If the player doesn't get enough of either vitamins or minerals for an extended time (e.g. eating nothing but chips and soda for weeks) they get tired, weak and more prone to illness.

* If the player gets too much of either by munching vitamin tablets they could get queasy, but this shouldn't be possible by eating normal food.

 

The goal is to give the player a reason to seek out more healthy food, which is also more difficult to find than the candy and snacks that is everywhere and never goes bad. I'm not trying to take a stance against junk food, I just think the game is more fun when you have to go questing :)

 

* Add caffeine tablets as a game item. Eat these to get instant energy boost

* Eating more than 3 starts making the player anxious, eat 10 and you get queasy, eat 50 and you die :P

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I was always curious about what could be done to heighten the whole nutrition mechanic, and this isn't a bad idea for it.

 

I think it'd be a neat idea to have "Vitamins" be split up into additional items or have variants of it to act as supplements, or just various consumables that could help the player stay healthy over longer periods of time or to combat (non-zombie related) sickness.

 

One effect of neglecting your health like that could be higher chances or sensitivity to illnesses. Alternatively, you could possibly even just have a slightly lowered health value, or have your physical stats (Strength / Fitness) start to degrade very slowly. It's a good incentive to pursue a healthy diet beyond just managing your weight.

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15 hours ago, Fuzzy Wolfy said:

I think it'd be a neat idea to have "Vitamins" be split up into additional items or have variants of it to act as supplements, or just various consumables that could help the player stay healthy over longer periods of time or to combat (non-zombie related) sickness.

 

I thought about that too, but I keep remembering how it turned out in ATLAS (they had 3 different vitamins that you needed to manage IIRC, though the number of them wasn't the only issue)

 

What some fans thought about that:

Quote

So, this is quite possibly the dumbest idea EVER. It is tedious and adds literally nothing to the game. May as well add in doctor and dentist appointments! Don't know when my teeth might be in jeopardy!

 

The risk is that managing your vitamins isn't a *fun* mechanic, it's not something that you're looking forward to doing and I'm sure many players will hate it if it becomes too present. What I hope it would do is to add a little flavor to the game and break the monotony a bit, not for it to become a chore.

 

Depending on how you balance it, having more different micro-nutrients would either force the player to diversify their food sources even more (e.g. seek out specific items to fill each need) or you'd get enough of everything from just eating normally. I'm just not convinced the former would make the game more fun for the majority of the player base, and the latter would make it feel unnecessary. Perhaps it would make a great addition as a mod?

 

Another problem is that it would be massively unrealistic to show the vitamin/mineral levels to the player, so if their character suddenly got sick they would have no idea what caused it. I was thinking there could be a new moodlet, for example "lethargic" and it says something like "you might be low on vitamins or minerals" if you hover it, but with more micro-nutrients it would be impossible to know what you were missing. Normally you wouldn't know what kind of deficiency you have without doing a blood analysis :)

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You really wouldn't be going down to the micronutrient level. A, C, B1, niacin and protein/carb imbalances pretty much covers the 7 or so  major long-term nutrition-related illnesses necessary to represent in a survival game.  Most of those diseases have pronounced symptoms, such as scurvy, goitre, or beriberi and therefore should be "easy" to recognize. 

 

The point would only be to discourage people from eating cabbage year-after-year vs. micro-managing energy levels and individual nutritional values.

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Posted (edited)

Considering you can turn nutrition off altogether to avoid micromanaging that stuff, I don't see the point in people complaining that this is too in depth. At worse, this could be another toggle option alongside Nutrition—like, "Vitamins".

Edited by Fuzzy Wolfy

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Just to clarify so that we're talking about the same things: Vitamins and dietary minerals are considered micronutrients, as opposed to fat, protein, carbs, water and fiber that are macronutrients.

 

The reason I suggested the system should be simplified to just 2 different values (+the existing macronutrients ofc) is to keep it easy enough to be playable for people with minimal nutrition knowledge, and I think 2 values could be enough to force the player to diversify their food intake. For example cabbage should be low on calories (making it a pretty inefficient food source), low on protein (protein intake ought to be connected with strength gain IMHO) and with the proposed simplified system it could be low on minerals. As long as all the easily obtainable foodstuffs lack at least one nutrient I think you have a good start.

 

12 hours ago, EnigmaGrey said:

scurvy, goitre, or beriberi and therefore should be "easy" to recognize. 

Not sure I'd count on the majority of the PZ player base would be able to recognize them. I've read a bit about nutrition, though with focus on the macros, so I think I probably know a little more about it than the average Swede (or at least I'm sure I know more about nutrition than all my coworkers :) ). I knew the cause and symptoms for scurvy, I had heard of goitre but didn't know exactly what caused it, and I don't think I had ever heard about beriberi before I googled it now.. "Eat iodine when your throat swells up" is much less intuitive than for example "put on gloves when your hands are cold" (comparing with the body heat system which is a fairly complex and  accurate model of the human body).

 

But I don't know, maybe throwing up a "malnutritioned"  moodlet will be enough for anyone to get that they need to vary their diet, even if they don't understand the mechanics behind it. And it's your game, so if you want to model more micronutrients I'm definitely not going to complain about it, I just wanted to explain my reasoning behind the suggestion.

 

8 hours ago, Fuzzy Wolfy said:

I don't see the point in people complaining that this is too in depth

Options/sandbox are great, but having good default settings is also nice. Also don't underestimate what people will complain about :D I've seen a couple of threads with people saying some aspect of the game "must" be changed, just because they refuse to use the sandbox mode

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Yep, brain fart on my part re: micronutrients. Regardless, I don't really care if the player base can't recognize the effects of nutritional deficiency right now. They'll learn. :P

 

I just think if we go back to the "energy levels" + have a dedicated Moodle for it, it'd fall into the same trap curtain vitamins do. It doesn't. have to, of course, it just feels a tad regressive.

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