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jeanfeels

Cooking quality of life: "Add unique ingredient", "one click unique meals" & "Only show one of each ingredient"

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TL;DR summary:
• Add/modify the random ingredient function to prioritise selecting unique ingredients  (the current random one feels like playing russian roulette)
• Add a one-click button that adds unique ingredients until nothing more can be added to a recipe (to fix RSI/frustration/busywork)
• Prevent ingredients, especially spices, from showing more than one entry in the cooking menu to ease eyestrain and RSI from scrolling

 

Full proposal:
I wish to fix the issues explained in the next section, to make cooking less boring and mishap prone and more accessible for disabled gamers.

  1. Modify the random ingredient button or add a new button which selects a random unique ingredient that is NOT already in the recipe;
  2. Add a button to add random unique ingredients one at a time until the recipe can no longer have ingredients added.
    This should include spices, herbs, et cetera instead of being limited to just vegetables or just meats or just spices. The goal is to have a one-click solution that assembles a unique meal with as much as can be crammed into it as possible with unique ingredients.
  3. Modify the cooking menu to show one and only one of each unique/identical/stackable ingredient. It serves literally no purpose to have 30 identical Small Bird Meat options to choose when you can't see each ones' nutritional value, even if they have variation. The same goes for salt and pepper, which you can only add ONCE and yet shows every unit of spice in range, cluttering the menu to the point of near unusability. 


Justification for these changes:
There's a few suggestions from the last few years that agree with my own feelings that cooking meals is sluggish, repetitive and frustrating when you have a lot of ingredients and just want to slap together meals. The "add random <ingredient type>" button is nice to have but it has one glaring, unforgiveable flaw: It randomly chooses items rather than choosing random unique ingredients. It works exactly as it says it does, and that's not necessarily a good thing. After all, the pitfall of seeking true randomness is often something in game design that conversely leads to player frustration. 

 

What this means is that if you just hit the random button you will often end up with multiples of the same ingredient, which can lead to a meal with worse stats or unhappiness than if you manually add to the meal. This is, arguably, an unintentionally hostile design choice that has made the random button something I never even use anymore because it's just too unpredictable and can screw up a meal. Though at least it doesn't randomly add bleach if it's nearby, so it's not all doom and gloom.

This is compounded by how frustrating it is having to scroll through that tiny eyestraining list on the craft menu past 30 cabbages, 50 salt/peppers, etc etc etc for every single ingredient unless you micromanage your food storage by having two fridges and ferry stuff from one to the other in small amounts. It's busywork that adds nothing to the game but frustration and makes it feel like a complete waste of time.

 

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Currently, making more than one meal at once is not just busywork but a janky and gimmicky process that gets old very fast. Having the option to carefully select every ingredient to your liking for roleplay purposes is great and I do like how much better this system is than the right click menu, but when you have 100 random foraged berries and a cupboard full of bowls making these meals becomes an eyestraining, rsi inducing nightmare. Cooking simply does not scale beyond single meal preparations, and single meals often cannot sustain a character with the limited nutritional content available.

The experience is worsened tenfold if you have mods that add more than a dozen new ingredients and/or run Zomboid off a hard drive rather than a SSD like I do, as between each and every ingredient the game freezes for a split second as it refreshes the list of available ingredients to add. While that factor is unique to mods and out of the control of IndieStone, you do have the power to nullify it as a side effect of the changes i'm proposing if you find this idea worth trying out.


A related post, and final thoughts:

Since this post seems to have been languishing since early 2020 I felt i should point to it as it is a suggestion that is tangentally related to mine with the same motive which I agree with wholeheartedly, just in case it slipped under the radar. 

I invite input and discussion on the suggestions i've made above from anyone who has an opinion on the subject. I can see some grey areas, points for confusion, and I am not convinced that i've explained this well. There could be flaws in my reasoning I can't see without perspective from the community as a whole, and discussion will help hone and shape the suggestion into something more persuasive and positive, or reveal that the status quo is better left as is.

Do you think the system is fine as it is and needs no change? If so, could you explain your thought process? Every opinion is valid! 


Do you feel like my suggestions above are not feasable, realistic or would detriment the experience? I'd love to hear from you ♥


Do you agree with some of my reasoning but see flaws in other areas? Please do bring it up!

Do you simply agree? Say so, or leave a reaction to let the devs know this is an issue, and that i'm not insane! I'm not insane, right?? :unsure:


Are you reading this in 2030 and wanted to chime in? Leave a comment! it certainly can't hurt, can it?


 

Edited by jeanfeels
Formatting oopsie

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On 9/8/2021 at 2:39 PM, Guicsr02 said:

i think that need a separate menu only for cooking, And itens like have counts liKe salt or sugar come back Again to Your Places, NOt Keep in YOur "HandS"

I would agree there. Often things like spices, bowls, refridgerated foods, tools etc getting slurped into your inventory can be a bit annoying when you have to manually sort it all back where it's supposed to go. Not sure how feasable it'd be but having items return to the shelf they came from after taking however much is needed for a recipe would be a great QOL improvement in my eyes.

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20 minutes ago, jeanfeels said:

I would agree there. Often things like spices, bowls, refridgerated foods, tools etc getting slurped into your inventory can be a bit annoying when you have to manually sort it all back where it's supposed to go. Not sure how feasable it'd be but having items return to the shelf they came from after taking however much is needed for a recipe would be a great QOL improvement in my eyes.

Sometime its even lazy make some complex food, cause you remember that you should have to organize everthing again after kkk

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I used to cook a lot in the game. Now there are much rarer and simpler dishes.
I agree with the suggestions of the author of this topic.
On my own behalf, I want to add that if each product is shown in one line in the list of ingredients, then when you click on it, you should use the one that should spoil first (go to the next stage faster)
Any hostess will say that she first uses that bottle of milk, the expiration date of which will expire faster.

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