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Author Topic: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)  (Read 31605 times)

Jiri Petru

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2010, 05:43:20 pm »

Thanks everyone for posting more suggestions!

Also:
Quote from: NW_Kohaku
That is, it might be best for a more complex system to arise, with cafeterias serving prepared food, but also making "jerky huts" that specifically preserve dried meats, an option between soft cheeses and hard, salted cheeses, and a difference between baking soft rolls and baking hard, salted crackers with your grains.

Opps, I forgot to mention this. Thanks. I agree with you... a variety of workshops for preserving food, like smokeries, bakeries or cheesemakeries (?) would be nice. I would personally prefer a bigger number specialised workshops than a single, universal "kitchen" or "farmer's workshop", mostly because of coolness.

A kitchen for cooking food would be a completely different place.
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Angry Bob

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2010, 05:10:33 pm »

With the new rotting system in place, it seems like a hot biome would see perishable items spoil faster and cold ones slower. Throwing your food in a snowbank is an accepted way of preserving meat if you've no other way to do so.
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Phreak

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2010, 09:15:46 am »

Eh you put alot of work into the first post but doing that would be very inconvienient and time consuming to impliment and to test not to mention all the angry players who don't have time to get more food and want everything to last longer not rot in an hour as they may be too busy. This would be bad as imagine soldiers bringing cooked food in their back pack and they get trapped somehow what if the food goes off? It is a good idea but one a bit far reaching but it does open the mind to alot of possiblilities, I'm just saying not now but maybe later on when toady has cleared and cleaned a bit more of the game. Go ahead have a poll I bet almost all the votes would be no. Also toady has more important things to do at the moment such as adventure mode, farming problems, fight tweeks and balancing and maybe racial balancing as I suggested in an earlier thread. The thing is this might be a good idea if implemented into an option for those players who want the game more chalanging and realistic but I dont see it happening anytime soon. However most of the suggestions are really good buy maybe some are unconventional and far-fetched as if ppl are just throwing ideas In for the heck of it. I get the reasons for why you want it more realistic and with more micromanagement.

Ps: sorry for spelling mistakes I'm still perfecting my English. 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 09:21:33 am by Phreak »
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Rvlion

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2010, 09:30:53 am »

While the fortress in the presence of magma/lava would be very hot, the general corridors, bedrooms would probably be quite cool. Most of the smaller caves that I have been to during summer times were about 10 degrees celcius of lower in comparison to the sunny 25-30 degrees outside. Living inside a mountain would automatically mean food lasting longer before rotting due to lower temperatures.

Imho selling (any quality) food to traders in massive quantities is just weird and I would like to see the whole “dining room” changed. 1 or 2 kitchen workshops within the area of the diningroom and depending on the amount of workshops the same amount of cooks permanently stationed at that location making the food fresh at the moment that dwarfs enter the dining room to eat. Maybe even let different workshops produce different foods and let them be like different “restaurants” surving different foods for different dwarves.

Catering would also be a good idea… not only for food, but also water / booze.
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Jiri Petru

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2010, 10:40:09 am »

Quote from: Phreak
Eh you put alot of work into the first post but doing that would be very inconvienient and time consuming to impliment and to test not to mention all the angry players who don't have time to get more food and want everything to last longer not rot in an hour as they may be too busy. This would be bad as imagine soldiers bringing cooked food in their back pack and they get trapped somehow what if the food goes off?

I'm starting to think I'm really bad at explaining, because people always seem to get me wrong and fixate on the most marginal part.  ::) (My fault, Phreak). But Rvlion seems to understand me  :)

I'm not concerned about rotting rates... not in the first place... I'm concerned about storage and trade. The idea was to turn the system around 180°... no cooked food would be stored anywhere. No cooked food stockpiles, no backpacks carrying cooked food, nothing. Cooked food might even not exist as an in-game item, as far as I'm concerned. The idea was to store raw food or dried/smoked/salted/etc. food instead. Cooking would occur only right before eating, and the resulting food would be immediately eaten, not stored. Soldiers would carry dried meat or bread or apples or whatever, just not steaks, stews nor potato mashes.

In other words: I'm not proposing to make food rot quicker! I'm proposing to cook it after storing instead of before storing.

As far as players are concerned, almost nothing would change for them. No added micromanagement (perhaps aside from new workshop types like smokeries, which could be automated), nothing. The biggest change would be that dwarves would store raw/preserved food instead of cooked food. A very cosmetic thing, actually.


EDIT: I removed the mention of rotting from the first paragraph, because it seemed to lead people off the right track. It now says: Instead, dwarves would collect ingredients and cook them right before eating. Prepared meals would cease to exist as a game item, or would exist only as leftovers or refuse or something. No more cooking steaks, stews, etc., and storing them in barrels... nor selling them to caravans!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 10:46:24 am by Jiri Petru »
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Jiri Petru

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2010, 10:56:41 am »

Doublepost to separate topics.

When talking about eating establishments, I think we can use taverns, inns, food stalls, kitchens, common pots, etc. etc. Just no restaurants nor cafeterias/canteens, please! These would be completely ahistorical. I don't mean the terms, I mean the ideas:

Quote from: Wikipedia
The first restaurant in the form that became standard (customers sitting down with individual portions at individual tables, selecting food from menus, during fixed opening hours) was the Grand Taverne de Londres (the "Great Tavern of London"), founded in Paris in 1782 by a man named Antoine Beauvilliers.

Quote from: Wikipedia on cafeterias
Perhaps the first self-service restaurant (not necessarily cafeteria) in the United States was the Exchange Buffet in New York City, opened September 4, 1885

The thing is, the idea of ordering food from menus or having food cooked specifically for a customer was alien in 1400 or whatever our time frame is. In 1400, you would come to an inn and eat whatever they happened to have at the moment.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2010, 11:04:59 am »

Actually, it might be neat to have more set recipies in the cafeteria/kitchens, as I've never been particularly fond of the biscuits/stews/roasts we have had (even as I've made 80k db roasts to buy whole caravans).

You could have cafeterias set to provide a set number of certain types of food (like, say, 10 salads, 10 meat sandwiches, 5 candied plump helmets, 15 meat stews, 5 kidney pies, and 5 cream soups), where dwarves will walk into the workshop themselves to get the food to eat (and pay), eat at the nearest table, then return.  Cooks could move between kitchens to restock food as necessary.

These foods could have recepies with wildcards (meat sandwiches or stews might be made with any kind of meat, but candied plump helmets are made with dwarven sugar and plump helmets) and we'd get that whole "ability to make recepies for food" thing.



Ah, just as I was hitting post, Jiri's last post came up. 

Cafeteria, at least, as I'm using the term, is not anachronistic.

That said, I wouldn't worry the historical relevance of how food was served in the 1300s, so much.  Yes, we have a limited tech line because of an arbitrarily selected line in the metaphoric sand, but we are talking about a fantasy race in a fantastic setting who live underground and have very different psychology and physiology from humans, so we shouldn't assume that they are required to be exactly like humans (except where they already aren't) in every way along the "tech tree".
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Nil Eyeglazed

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2010, 11:49:03 am »

I have concerns about how this might play out....

Right now, you could kind of simulate what you propose by enabling cooking on all or most dwarves and forbidding prepared food from all stockpiles.  Then you have food sitting in kitchens (your "pot"), degrading, and waiting to be picked up; you have dwarves making meals for themselves or others, then eating.

The problem is that cooking is already of pretty minor benefit to a fort.  Sometimes you can get some small happy thoughts; you can sell meals, but then you can sell anything; and it saves some food space.  If you remove these benefits, or add new costs, I don't think it's very likely that any player will bother with cooking at all, not unless you expand on this idea-- you have to make cooking the solution to a problem that doesn't yet exist.

I kind of agree, regarding how much food a cow gives; the changes to butchery have led to an explosion of food.  And a mature fortress has no trouble maintaining enough food.  But I wonder how requiring multiple food items might affect a beginning fortress.  Starvation is a real risk in that first year, and the risk has been the object of a lot of careful adjustment.  Doubling food requirements would throw everything out of whack.

And what about the time requirements?  A dwarf would definitely spend more time eating were he or she to require more items-- at least in time spent hauling.  In some situations, that'd be significant.  Or prisoners, or the injured?
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Jiri Petru

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2010, 12:07:28 pm »

The problem is that cooking is already of pretty minor benefit to a fort.  Sometimes you can get some small happy thoughts; you can sell meals, but then you can sell anything; and it saves some food space.  If you remove these benefits, or add new costs, I don't think it's very likely that any player will bother with cooking at all, not unless you expand on this idea-- you have to make cooking the solution to a problem that doesn't yet exist.

I'm afraid I still don't get it. What benefits am I removing? What costs am I adding?

The only cost I can think of is the time you mentioned. Dwarves would spend time gathering ingredients before cooking their meal, yes. But this might actually end up being less hauling then before. It would be offset by not having communal cooks gather ingredients to cook a prepared meal, and not having haulers take the prepared meal to the stockpile. There might be a slight time difference, but with 8 meals per year, it would hardly be noticeable.

And that's only if we implement the "individual cooking" solution. If we implemented "communal cooking", the time spent hauling would be actually much, much lower!

Or prisoners, or the injured?
A good question, thanks. The answer is: if you had some communal "pot", the prisoners and injured would be fed cooked meals from the pot. If you hadn't, they'd be fed raw vegetables, bread, cheese, dried meat or any of the many foods that can be consumed without cooking.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 12:19:26 pm by Jiri Petru »
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Nil Eyeglazed

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2010, 12:45:26 pm »

Additional costs to the system you propose:

1) You can't use prepared meals to buy out caravans or increase the value of your fortress.  The meals will rot too quickly.

2) You can't use prepared meals to consolidate food stockpiles, since you can't save prepared food.

3) You can't take advantage of quality bonuses as easily.  both because you have individual, non-specialist cooking, and because with the dangers involved in degradation, you can't put a single dwarf on just cooking duty.

Regarding hauling: I'm speaking about the requirement for more than a single unit of food at a meal.  I fail to see how the hauling costs could ever be lower.  You argue that hauling costs could be lower by not requiring intermediate stockpiling, but this option already exists; you're free to leave your prepared meals in the kitchen, after all.  The additional hauling cost comes from a dwarf needing two units of food rather than one, say.  In some situations (by no means all situations) this would mean that a dwarf would have to visit multiple areas to gather his food.  (Like for instance, if your pot is down to a single unit of stew.)  I'm not saying this is a huge price-- as you say, there are only eight meals a year.  Still, with those eight meals a year, there are already situations where we holler at our dwarfs to finish their meal already and get to the depot.

My concern with prisoners/wounded isn't about cooking, which seems simple enough to me, but to your suggestion that dwarfs ought to require multiple units of food for a single meal.   If you do that, you increase the risk of jobs being abandoned and dwarfs going hungry, which already happens very easily.

The costs of your suggestion aren't game-breaking or anything.  But I'm concerned that they're significant enough that people would just stop bothering to cook meals.  The way I play, the only reason I have a cook is to make my food stockpiles smaller.  Your suggestions would just make me abandon cooking, and use an extra dwarf for hauling or military instead.

As I've said, a good way to test the largest of your suggestions is simply to ban prepared food from all of your stockpiles, and treat a kitchen as a pot.  How would this affect the way you play?
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Jiri Petru

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2010, 01:10:07 pm »

Additional costs to the system you propose:

1) You can't use prepared meals to buy out caravans or increase the value of your fortress.  The meals will rot too quickly.

2) You can't use prepared meals to consolidate food stockpiles, since you can't save prepared food.

3) You can't take advantage of quality bonuses as easily.  both because you have individual, non-specialist cooking, and because with the dangers involved in degradation, you can't put a single dwarf on just cooking duty.

Oh I see. All of these (perhaps except the last one) are what I hate about the current system, what feels weird and "unrealistic" to me and why I bothered to come up with a different solution in the first place  ;D Buying out caravans by steaks and stews might seem like a benefit, I call it an "exploit".

As for the second one, food would be stored before cooking instead of after cooking, but it would still be stored! The change is almost merely cosmetic and it shouldn't affect the size of your foodstocks in any significant way. If, as a second step, ingredients like vegetables or raw meat were made to rot even in barrels (they don't now), then we would get workshops to smoke/dry/salt/pickle them to preserve them indefinitelly. This might look as more micromanagement, but isn't, because these workshop would replace the current kitchen workshop and otherwise be almost the same. Instead of making roasts that last indefinitely, you'd make dried ham that lasts indefinitely. Not much of a change. The workshops could also be automated for less micromanagement.

But I do agree the end result might be that it would be a bit more difficult to keep large foodstocks - even if only because you had to build more workshops and divert some workforce to meat smoking or something. Again, this is what I call "gameplay" because the current system of having 2000 roasted steaks in a cellar sounds too much like an exploit. In medieval times, people were always on the verge of famine. I'm not saying to go this far (and this suggestion wouldn't even come close), but a bit more attention to food couldn't hurt.

Number three is very dependent on the actual implementantion, and whether we choose "individual cooking" or "communal cooking" or whatever. Dwarves right now use something like communal cooking. If they used my idea of communal cooking even in the new system, nothing in terms of bonuses would change. You seem to dislike the idea of "individual cooking" but please note this is only one of several proposed ways of implementation.

Hauling is the same as number three.

Quote
My concern with prisoners/wounded isn't about cooking, which seems simple enough to me, but to your suggestion that dwarfs ought to require multiple units of food for a single meal.   If you do that, you increase the risk of jobs being abandoned and dwarfs going hungry, which already happens very easily.

I'm not actually suggesting dwarves should eat more food units in a single meal. I was suggesting to limit the supply of food in fortress mode by dividing all food sources by 10. The end result: a single cow gives 1 to 2 meat and a single dwarf still eats 1 unit of food per meal.

---

Anyway, thanks for your questions. I now see I must rewrite the OP to prevent misunderstandings like these.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 01:12:53 pm by Jiri Petru »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2010, 01:18:49 pm »

Frankly, I don't see it as a terribly negative thing if we can't make 80k dwarfbuck export goods from a couple of shrubs that take essentially spring from nothing to purchase unlimited amounts of supposedly rare metals like gold and platinum from caravans.

With regards to the previous statement of being "The solution to a problem that doesn't exist", prepared food currently has a major positive benefit on happiness.  Lacking a better, more detailed system (of which, there are several suggestions), happiness would be a good way of dealing with creating the problem that this solves.

Frankly, how happy would you be if you had to eat a cold raw horse kidney that had been sitting in the back of the butchery's closest stockpile?

How much happier would you be if you ate a professionally-prepared fresh and hot meat pie, insatead?

I would say that for the first year or so, dwarves should have some sort of special condition that makes them less likely to complain of poor food quality, but only as a stopgap for more serious changes to the happiness system, so that dwarves in general demand better quality of life as your fortress matures.
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Deimos56

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2010, 02:51:23 pm »

These foods could have recepies with wildcards (meat sandwiches or stews might be made with any kind of meat, but candied plump helmets are made with dwarven sugar and plump helmets) and we'd get that whole "ability to make recepies for food" thing.
...First of all, sorry to nitpick, but it's recipes.
Secondly, this reminds me a little of the Tales of Symphonia (other Tales of games too, maybe. Haven't played em sadly.) cooking system.

...What about dried fruits and pickled (okay, that's been suggested) vegetables? In cold/freezing/etc biomes, would it be possible to create a rough sort of freezer?
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Nil Eyeglazed

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2010, 06:15:03 pm »

Oh I see. All of these (perhaps except the last one) are what I hate about the current system, what feels weird and "unrealistic" to me and why I bothered to come up with a different solution in the first place  ;D Buying out caravans by steaks and stews might seem like a benefit, I call it an "exploit".

Right, I understand that.  The problem is that the only remaining benefit for cooking is happiness, and the way the game works right now, that benefit is fairly small, especially if compared against something like increased risk of miasma.  So without these benefits, inappropriate as they might be, cooking ends up being pretty much irrelevant to game play-- there's no reason to pursue it.  Under the changes you're advocating, the game might be more realistic, but with the way I play the game, I would just stop cooking.  And I don't think I'm alone.  So then the question is, do you want changes that make cooking irrelevant?

Quote
As for the second one, food would be stored before cooking instead of after cooking, but it would still be stored! The change is almost merely cosmetic and it shouldn't affect the size of your foodstocks in any significant way.

Currently, a stockpile of, say, 500 plump helmets costs me 50 squares and 50 barrels.  After I cook those plump helmets down to roasts, I only need 25 squares and no barrels.  That's because I can store those roasts.  That's why I cook.  That's how cooking currenty affects stockpiles.  If I were limited by some mechanic to a single roast at a time, say, by cluttering workshops, or because of prepared meal degradation, that same stockpile would cost me 47 spaces and 46 barrels.  It probably wouldn't be enough of a difference to justify cooking for me.  I don't consider that a purely cosmetic change.

Quote
If, as a second step, ingredients like vegetables or raw meat were made to rot even in barrels (they don't now), then we would get workshops to smoke/dry/salt/pickle them to preserve them indefinitelly. This might look as more micromanagement, but isn't, because these workshop would replace the current kitchen workshop and otherwise be almost the same. Instead of making roasts that last indefinitely, you'd make dried ham that lasts indefinitely. Not much of a change. The workshops could also be automated for less micromanagement.

I don't think it'd really affect much if you renamed roasts as pickles, or biscuits as jerky.  I don't think it'd be bad to introduce food degradation.  I just wonder if there'd be any purpose to roasts in that situation.

Quote
But I do agree the end result might be that it would be a bit more difficult to keep large foodstocks - even if only because you had to build more workshops and divert some workforce to meat smoking or something. Again, this is what I call "gameplay" because the current system of having 2000 roasted steaks in a cellar sounds too much like an exploit. In medieval times, people were always on the verge of famine. I'm not saying to go this far (and this suggestion wouldn't even come close), but a bit more attention to food couldn't hurt.

Well, what'd you'd have is people storing 10000 plump helmets instead of 2000 roasts.  I agree that feeding your dwarfs is a little too easy right now, but changing cooking doesn't fix that.

Quote
Number three is very dependent on the actual implementantion, and whether we choose "individual cooking" or "communal cooking" or whatever. Dwarves right now use something like communal cooking. If they used my idea of communal cooking even in the new system, nothing in terms of bonuses would change. You seem to dislike the idea of "individual cooking" but please note this is only one of several proposed ways of implementation.

Individual cooking is the worst in terms of the way you changes would affect the impact of qualtity, but your changes would also affect communal meals.  If a meal has to be eaten now, you can't make a dedicted cook and tell him to cook everything in the fortress, then forget about him until he eventually shows up idle.  Doing so would invite famine.  That slows down skill progression, which means less of an effect from quality.


Quote
I'm not actually suggesting dwarves should eat more food units in a single meal. I was suggesting to limit the supply of food in fortress mode by dividing all food sources by 10. The end result: a single cow gives 1 to 2 meat and a single dwarf still eats 1 unit of food per meal.

That would work.  There's details to be taken care of though (stuff like, do you make a dog give a brain 1/10th of the time, or what?)  I think that would also have a massive effect on the early part of the game.  A lot of strategies that involve putting off farming, trading for food, or bringing reserves would stop working.  I don't think glaciers, coasts, or deserts would be viable starting biomes anymore.  I think 2 of your starting 7 would have to be farmers.  So it would have a really radical effect on the rest of the game.

To answer Kohaku: I disagree.  I believe that currently, cooking has a minor benefit to dwarf happiness.  If  food changes involved increased risk of rotting, that benefit wouldn't be worth the cost of miasma, which can be a major cost to happiness.  (You get to eat only four times a year, but miasma is continuous.)  As I said, if these changes were implemented, I would not pursue cooking, and I don't believe that I am the only one.

Why do you cook food?  For the happiness?  Because you can?
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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2010, 08:12:56 pm »

To answer Kohaku: I disagree.  I believe that currently, cooking has a minor benefit to dwarf happiness.  If  food changes involved increased risk of rotting, that benefit wouldn't be worth the cost of miasma, which can be a major cost to happiness.  (You get to eat only four times a year, but miasma is continuous.)  As I said, if these changes were implemented, I would not pursue cooking, and I don't believe that I am the only one.

Why do you cook food?  For the happiness?  Because you can?

You are misreading me.  I am saying to alter the rules to make eating uncooked food have significant unhappy thoughts associated with them, so that cooked food would then be preferable.
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