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      Only help if you can be helpful

      Hey All, A topic has come up of late in the IRC channel in regards to the general feel of the forums and the community that supports them. Things have progressed further than I would have liked with out this being addressed more publicly because I would much rather have snubbed this out sooner rather than later.. but I have been busy. Here is the general rule I would like people to follow: Wheaton's Law "Don't be a dick." Those of you from the IRC channel know that this is the only rule I ask people in there to follow and we generally have a good and lively time chatting about all manner of things. This is basic rule that just about everyone understands and I am going to expand it to the forums from here moving forward. If you can not help people in a helpful and polite manner then I simply ask you to stop. Now I generally take a back seat to moderating the forums as I like to participate in the suggestions forum fairly heavily at times and would rather do so as a forums user than a moderator. But I am also fairly well known for being the person who constantly puts their foot down and so I am stepping up and doing so on here. If you find yourself unable to respond to a message politely then I ask that you do not respond. This mostly focuses on the increasing level of hostility found within the Suggestion forum as well as the Server forum. I do not care if this is the 30th some odd time you have seen someone make the same suggestion. Or even if the new post on an older topic is one entry above the old one. I expect the members of this forum to respond politely to the user, new or old, and point to the older topic if it applies and even go the extra step to suggest they either add in new information or to summarize the outcome of the previous discussion based upon the new post's entry into it. That is what we are here for, that is why I close most topics instead of deleting them, so that they can be found and referenced down the road. The next topic is the slew of derailment attempts I have seen as of late. If you want to have fun and joke around that is what the off topic forum is for and pretty much anything goes there. I do not expect to read a suggestion thread and have to go through 3 pages of image memes people have shot back and forth. Quite simply this is a waste of my time to read and then have to clean up. Now for the summary. I am going to start taking a more active role, especially in policing the suggestion forum, and handing out warn levels to people whom I see doing this. These will be indiscriminate and applied not to just the first person who derails or is impolite on a topic or response, but to everyone whom follows the lead of that person. As I do not like doing things with out giving you all warning this post shall serve as that warning. If you have a desire to bring this topic up with me then I invite you to do so on the IRC channel. Lets raise the level of quality and grow the community. Let us not descend into the quality often found on the minecraft or league of legend forums. There is simply no need for that here. Be passionate about things, just do not be abusive.
    • Kittychanley

      Offline Servers

      Recently I've seen a few server listings showing up on the first page of the Servers forum that have been closed for an extended period of time, but have recently gotten a reply from a new member who didn't realize the server is offline. To help prevent this from happening in the future, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the report function on the original post of any servers that have been confirmed as offline, so that the topic may be locked. If you are the admin of a server and plan on taking the server offline, please use the report function on the original post of your topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be locked. If you are the admin of a server that has a locked topic, and would wish to bring the server back online, please use the report function on the original post of the topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be unlocked. As always, please remember to follow rule #3 of the servers forum and update your topic title to contain the version of TFC that the server is currently running. You can do so by editing the OP, and then clicking on "Use Full Editor."
Balthizarlucien

More Accurate Tastes to TFC2 Foods

27 posts in this topic

More Accurate Tastes to TFC2 Foods

Taste is one of a very few things which helps a person build a sense of self. When you are asked to any major gathering there is more than likely going to be food involved and each culture has built an identity unique to itself with its diet.

Imagine in your mind a country. I will use Japan as an example as it is distinct from my own home cuisine. So in your mind picture Japan and list the first five things that come to mind. One of those was food related wasn't it? Personally my five were Samurai, Sushi, Kimono, Geisha and Shinto. Food was number two! Lol.

To honor this, the creators of TFC created a taste system as well as a way to randomize an individual's preference to taste. This is a wonderful dynamic that plays into the food system nicely but I was shocked to learn something in my process of discussing a different suggestion I had posted: much of the TFC food tastes the same! Where is the subtle variation? Where are the distinct twists? How is one supposed to learn how to express themselves culinarily when there lacks diversity?! This is a tragedy and a disgrace to the system whose backbone is strong and well designed to accommodate a whole host of flavor profiles. This needs rectification within the next iteration, TFC2.

Assuming that we are all humans within this forum (no offense to non human entities intended but honestly if you fall into this category let me know because I would love to meet you! :P ) it can be assumed that we all have the same basic tastes sensory capacity.

A human has seven distinct taste sensors but only five consciously observable ones. Those flavors, as per the smithsonian institute are as follows:

Sweet

Sour

Salty

Bitter

Umami (also called savory)

Each of these illicit a consciously observable response within our brain. It is this response along with the response from the input from our olfactory nerve that allows us to avoid toxic or otherwise dangerous food into our mouths. If this had not come about then people would most likely consume something that is toxic and this would lead to our imminent death.

Each flavor we are able to observe comes from the presence of specific chemicals or their compounds and it is these which the TFC2 flavors should be based upon to create the appropriate flavor profiles for each distinct food. Allow me to explain these tastes to you as well as how they work so that perhaps this could be a minor change to the current system that is made which represents a major shift in the way cooking is handled within TFC2.

Sweet

Of all the flavors which we are able to detect only sweetness and saltiness exist because of our need for them in our diet. Primitive man most likely evolved this ability because those who had a taste for sweets were able to gain a quick boost of energy during a hunt and avoid becoming the hunted. Sugars are important for us to maintain a balanced chemical makeup and does quite a bit for our bodily functions but its quick boost is by far the most useful.

When you place something sweet in your mouth you are actually sensing only one of three types of chemical compounds:

Glucose

Fructose

Certain Amino Acids

Glucose is one of two naturally occurring sugars and is also one of the most basic carbohydrates as well. Glucose gives you a extra burst of energy that wakes up your senses and helps you keep moving but it also triggers the production of Insulin whose byproduct can also cause you to have a sugar crash. Glucose is produced not only within your body by the breakdown of other more complex carbohydrates but is most commonly found within foods such as dried and fresh fruits with plums carrying around nine grams per piece by themselves.

Fructose is the second naturally occurring sugar and is slightly better for you than Glucose because unlike Glucose it cannot cause you to feel a sugar crash and it is less likely to cause problems for those people who suffer from Diabetes as it will not trigger the insulin response. Fructose still provides that boost of energy needed on the go. Apples actually contain a very large amount of Fructose, averaging around 25 grams per piece.

But the sweet response is not only triggered by sugars. certain amino acid types can trigger the same sweet flavor because they act in much the same way when interacting with the tastebuds. meats which are commonly attributed a sweet flavor would include horse and lamb but is not limited to these.

Salty

Like sweet flavors, the taste of salt is essential to the human body. almost every single function within your body requires sodium and it is this fact that causes us to need salt. When you taste something salty it is always caused by some chemical compound which contains sodium in some form but more often than not what you are tasting is sodium chloride. The quantity of saltiness is a specific marker for the quantity of sodium and we are very well geared for this flavor. Naturally salty foods are foods like seaweed which is grown in what is essentially a salt bath.

Sour

sour flavors are both enjoyable but also a early warning system that you may be eating something which is toxic. the sour flavor is caused by hydrogen freeing acidic compounds that are naturally occurring in things such as lemons but are also the byproduct of certain bacteria involved in the decomposition process. Those who could not taste sour most likely did not have as much of a chance to breed do to either food borne illness or death which is why a lemon yogurt sorbet sounds marvelous but if I stick a steak in my mouth and I taste a sour undertone not intended to be there I will most likely spit it out immediately!

Bitter

Bitter tastes are almost entirely a early warning system on your tongue as those things which trigger the sensation in the first place are already considered to be mostly toxic compounds to begin with. the chemicals which trigger the bitter sensation are:

Sulfonamides

Urea

Alkaloids

Sulfonamides are compounds which are sulfur based and contain compounds which are almost exclusively produced by bacteria which are essential to the decay process. Spoiled foods would exhibit a bitter taste making the food quite unpalatable.

Urea is exactly what you think it is. it is a constituent part of urine. To paraphrase my three year old “Pee is yucky, daddy!” lol.

but not everything which is bitter is poisonous because the most common mechanism of bitterness in food is usually perfectly harmless. Alkaloids cause you to taste bitter and there are lots of foods which contain alkaloids such as cranberries and dill. I personally am a huge fan of bitter tasting greens and whole cranberry sauce at thanksgiving dinner ;)

Umami (Savory)

Umami is a difficult flavor to pin down but it is essentially that rich, savory flavor which you commonly find in that amazing steak or the rich gravy on those mashed potatoes. Umami is cause by two chemical constituents:

glutamate

aspartate

As I said, foods like meat taste savory so foods like chicken, beef, pork and duck are all savory but this would even include things like tomatoes and mushrooms.

Right now with the current TFC datasets all the meat tastes the same and I assume things like apples and plums do to… I think this is wrong. Have you ever eaten a peking duck and thought, “Wow this steak is good!” of course not! If you got a BLT and the bacon tasted like beef you would most likely not even eat it and may possibly seek medical attention for what you assume is about to ensue.

What can we do to fix this?

I simply request that these flavor profiles get corrected to appropriately reflect the right quantities of compounds present in each food when TFC2 is released. No changes need to be made to the system itself just the specific flavors as that system is quite well laid out to begin with. If this is done then when and if the developers or modders within the communities wanted to add foods or recipes they would have no issue adding that item with the correct flavor profile without needing to guess.

How about cooking?

“Cooking is a well respected and known art form Balthizar! There is no way you expect the developers to be able to mimics this process accurately!” actually, yes. Cooking is an art and I will agree to that but, there is a lot of science in cooking and controlling flavors. since it is the flavors we are shooting for in this discussion, I will focus on that.

Maillard Reaction

Essentially this reaction is responsible for the flavors of foods that are quite distinct from their raw counterparts. Garlic will taste sweeter, onions will have more umami, and meats slightly increase in their apparent saltiness.

Further reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

Burned Food

Food which has been cooked until blackened would end up increasing in bitterness. Although this is a valid technique for certain recipes, it is typically not a positive result.

As this set of changes would easily be applied to TFC it could be done without adding any special cooking equipment. However, as I am making this recommendation for TFC2 I think we would be missing out on an opportunity to broaden our cooking supplies.

Boiling

Humans have been boiling food since Neolithic times and have used everything from animal hides to cast iron pots to achieve this. The nice added bonus to boiled food is that the broth can hydrate and nourish you quite effectively. The warmth of the food and broth can also help keep you warm in cold weather too.

Baking

Baking is a more advanced technique but was achieved around the same time as boiling. An oven is not required but Adobe ovens have been used in essentially every culture in some form or another. It would be quite awesome to be able to craft an earthen oven in which to bake our foods. Baking is also the best way to achieve the Maillard Reaction.

Frying

This is a much more advanced cooking method and would require a cast iron frying pan. This is great for searing meat, toasting breads and much more.

With these added ways of cooking and more consideration for the flavors of the foods within TFC2 cooking could be turned back into an art and we could eat more than just sandwiches and salads ;)

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So it appears that much of this suggestion is based off of an incorrect interpretation of how the system currently works. Because quite frankly, there already is a lot of variety and claiming that "much of the TFC food tastes the same" is a bit absurd.

 

First and foremost, let's start with the base values for each food.

 

Tastes are Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Umami

 

//Proteins
porkchopRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 40
fishRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 40
beefRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 50
chickenRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 40
Soybean  10, 0, 0, 0, 40
EggCooked  0, 0, 0, 0, 25
calamariRaw  0, 0, 20, 0, 35
muttonRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 40
venisonRaw  5, 0, 0, 0, 50
horseMeatRaw  0, 0, 0, 0, 40
 
//Dairy
Cheese  0, 10, 20, 0, 35
 
//Grains
WheatGrain  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
BarleyGrain  10, 0, 0, 10, 20
OatGrain  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
RyeGrain  10, 15, 0, 5, 20
RiceGrain  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
MaizeEar  25, 0, 0, 5, 20
 
WheatWhole  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
BarleyWhole  10, 0, 0, 10, 20
OatWhole  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
RyeWhole  10, 15, 0, 5, 20
RiceWhole  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
 
WheatGround  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
BarleyGround  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
OatGround  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
RyeGround  10, 15, 0, 0, 20
RiceGround  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
CornmealGround  25, 0, 0, 0, 20
 
WheatDough  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
BarleyDough  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
OatDough  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
RyeDough  10, 15, 0, 0, 20
RiceDough  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
CornmealDough  25, 0, 0, 0, 20
 
WheatBread  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
BarleyBread  10, 0, 0, 5, 20
OatBread  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
RyeBread  10, 15, 0, 0, 20
RiceBread  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
CornBread  25, 0, 0, 0, 20
 
//Vegetables
Tomato  30, 5, 0, 0, 50
Potato  0, 0, 10, 15, 20
Onion  10, 25, 0, 0, 20
Cabbage  10, 0, 0, 0, 30
Garlic  0, 0, 0, 10, 20
Carrot  20, 0, 0, 0, 20
Greenbeans  20, 0, 0, 0, 20
GreenBellPepper  10, 0, 0, 0, 20
YellowBellPepper  15, 0, 0, 0, 20
RedBellPepper  20, 0, 0, 0, 20
Squash  20, 0, 0, 0, 20
SeaWeed  0, 0, 10, 10, 10
Sugar  30, 0, 0, 0, 0
 
//Fruit are in the foodID range of 50,000
RedApple  25, 5, 0, 10, 0
Banana  30, 5, 0, 0, 0
Orange  50, 30, 0, 10, 0
GreenApple  30, 15, 0, 10, 0
Lemon  30, 50, 0, 10, 0
Olive  10, 0, 3, 10, 0
Cherry  30, 5, 0, 0, 0
Peach  25, 10, 0, 0, 0
Plum  20, 15, 0, 0, 0
 
WintergreenBerry  30, 0, 0, 20, 0
Blueberry  30, 20, 0, 0, 0
Raspberry  35, 15, 0, 5, 0
Strawberry  30, 5, 0, 5, 0
Blackberry  30, 30, 0, 0, 0
Bunchberry  20, 5, 0, 0, 0
Cranberry  30, 5, 0, 45, 0
Snowberry  10, 0, 0, 90, 0
Elderberry  20, 40, 0, 10, 0
Gooseberry  20, 40, 0, 0, 0
Cloudberry  40, 40, 0, 30, 0
 
Sugarcane  30, 0, 0, 0, 0

 

Now you may want to point out that for some of the proteins such as pork chops and fish, the values are the same and therefore they must taste the same. However, we're not done yet. Now let's take a look at all the different ways that the default values can be modified to result in a new taste profile:

  • Killing an animal adds a slight variation to the meat that is dropped. This means that pork that is gotten from two different pigs will actually have slightly different taste profiles. While it is still possible to get a piece of fish and a piece of pork that have the same taste profile, this random variation makes that statistically improbable.
  • Harvesting a crop that was planted on farmland adds variation to the taste profile depending on the pH of the soil in the area, as well as the drainage determined by the amount of gravel in the area. pH cannot be changed, but drainage values can.
  • Cooking food alters its taste profile.
    • But not only that, the duration that it is cooked in addition to the fuel that is used both affect the taste profile independently.
  • Smoking food alters the taste profile, and the fuel that is used to smoke the food will also affect it differently.
  • Brining food alters the taste profile.
  • Pickling food alters the taste profile.
  • Salting food alters the taste profile.
  • Infusing cheese alters the taste profile, and is based on what food is used, as well as how much of that food is used in the infusion.

 

There comes a point in time during any development process where you have to drawn the line when it comes to just how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go. You must take into consideration the amount of time that it will take developing a system that is even more in-depth, and compare it to the impact in gameplay the extra depth will actually have. If anything, I would honestly say that we've gone a bit too far with the taste system in TFC, and that it should actually be simplified for TFC2.

 

Edit: I would also like to point out that we went to the community to determine the base values for all of the food. http://terrafirmacraft.com/f/topic/6141-need-help-adjusting-flavor-profiles/

So it's not like we pulled these numbers out of thin air, and didn't have any discussion about what they should be.

Edited by Kittychanley
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I just find that the actual taste system, even if its well made and nice to experiment, just lacks of punches.

Panoramix's (Getafix) potion recipe was so awesome! :)

Edited by landryx
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before I talk about taste, I have a question. How much personal variation do we have between player and player? Will a food taste not sweet for me and ridiculous sweet for someone else? ( I actually do not know, this is a real question, and not rhetorical )

One of the problems I see with so much individualization  is  when we play in multiplayer. I dont really know, but it gives me the impression that the Dev's worked many and many hours to code this taste system, and in multiplayer it gets totally ignored. At least I have never seen any player in my server care about the taste of the sandwiches. Usually we go to the meal table and whatever is left from the last player we use or complete the missing ingredient.

I am not really sure what would need to be change to make it work and worth for multiplayer. Maybe a system where it would be possible for someone to create a meal that everyone finds it really tasteful. I understand that the idea was to recreate real life, where some people love hot pepper, and others cant take it. But we also do have something as good food, where the majority of people will agree and pay extra money for it.

Lets take for example a cup of lemonade, Lets also assume that 2 spoons of sugar is what most people like, there is a percentage of the population that will find 2 spoons too much, and another percentage that will wish for less sugar in their lemonade. But the lemonade with 2 spoons of sugar cannot in any way taste no sweet at all or ridiculous sweet.

Like I said if the system remains the way it is now I can just keep ignoring it and go about building my Castles in tfc. It just seems like a pity so much work invested and players not using it.

Think about your last thanksgiving meal, whoever cooked for you was able to create a meal that was perfect or close to perfection to all the people sharing the meal.

 Going back to the time frame of tfc. 

Maybe an idea would be to make it possible for a player to get skills points as a cooker and then be able to create a fantastic meal that he would be able to share with other players in the server. As a incentive for the cooker and the players sharing it for anyone eating this meal it would take 7 days for the hunger bar to go down, so players would be able to accomplish more without having to worry about food. Now this meal would have a accelerated decay time, so it needs to be consumed immediately.

For traveling, ancient societies use to bake a kind of cake with concentrated ingredients, They were made with some kind of grain, dry meat, and dry fruits, also lots of fat as the intention was to pack nutrients and energy.  Having these meat cakes in the game should work in a way so one cake immediately fills up your hunger bar completely. They would be very valuable to players going on explorations or mining for resources far from their bases. they would not give any increase in health, but would be such a low decay rate that it would last for a long trip and back.

Again for cookers able to make these cakes ( that should not be easy to make, they would take time and care, and a high skill cooker ) they would make money in a server selling these, the same as a smith makes money selling tools of higher quality, because they have more durability.

This idea is not perfect, it has some unbelievable aspects, I am aware of that. Maybe someone will be able to take it and make it better, but I believe is a start.

Edited by TonyLiberatto
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Every player has their own unique taste profile. The system was designed so that if you wanted to take advantage of the depth there, you could. Or you could completely ignore it if it wasn't your thing and just slap together whatever you wanted into a meal, and you'd still be able to survive just fine, though you'd need to eat more often.

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There's also the key factor that the skill level for the tooltip on prepared food is determined by the player who created it. So a server only needs one master chef, and all the players will be able to see in-detail how food might need to be tweaked after looking at sandwiches and salads made by the master chef.

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I will add that the food system is definitely not perfect, but at this time I don't think that the problem lies in any kind of lack of depth with the taste system. It seems to me like that in some ways, it still just isn't player friendly enough.

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I thought about an affinity system. Basically, a player has likes and dislikes. Now, even if you craft 2 different meals that have the same taste profile, it would still have different ingredients, and thus different favoritism bonus.

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I thought about an affinity system. Basically, a player has likes and dislikes. Now, even if you craft 2 different meals that have the same taste profile, it would still have different ingredients, and thus different favoritism bonus.

To play devils advocate here, I would say that a system that determines specific foods for a player might be disliked by many. If you're one of those people that hates onions irl and the game makes that one of your favorites, it might annoy you. Granted its not a big deal, but I can see that being a complaint.

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I think the only 'problem' with the current system is that the effort required to fully take advantage of it doesn't really seem worth it.  It's nice to craft a better meal when possible, but overall, food is so plentiful that being full longer isn't worth me digging up all my gardens to change the gravel depth, or even for me to pay much attention to what wood I'm cooking with.  I've never even attempted to figure those out. 

The main reason to use sandwiches imo is to take advantage of the slight nutrition help it gives to everything.  Despite food's abundance, I think people tend to value it's preservation over taste, so even though salting and picking meat shoots the salt level of anything made with it through the roof, it's just not important vs keeping that meat around longer. There is something nice about knowing you've got some pickled stuff in reserve, and maybe you can skip gardening for a year.  The system is plenty deep.  It's just that the benefits are not really compelling enough to make me want to master it via changing some of the more esoteric factors.

Edited by Darmo
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That's a good observation. The question now becomes, what do we do about it? I'm open to ideas at this point since I haven't yet settled on what form that I want food to take in tfc2.

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I knew upon posting that I most likely did not have a full grasp of the entire system but I was hoping that the post would encourage discussion. I am exceptionally happy to see that this is the result!

I think that the system of tastes can be simplified in some ways (such as removing the influence on garden drainage) and have the effort go into cooking the food once it has been obtained. Expanding the cooking methods to include stew pots and earthen ovens would be quite fun as I have always wondered why the fire pit and grill were the only cooking methods. Using basic chemical reactions to modify the flavors would put the control back into the players hand (even if that control was already there it was not quite as obvious)

But I am glad I triggered such a wonderful discussion :) thank you all for your input and insight!

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TFC1 was limited to the grill and firepit simply because when I was designing the meals, I was running on fumes and we were due for an update. Then 1.8 came along and I didn't feel the desire to continue expanding upon TFC1 any longer. 3 years working on the same thing had really taken its toll.

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The point remains, just creating new recipes and ways of cooking, like stew pots and frying pans will not help, if the player can get the full benefits by just eating raw food.

Maybe an idea would be to include the nutrition system, with food variety, after all that's the reason for eating.

Second we can create elaborate recipes that would be hard to make and require skill, but would feed you for a long time. Its a question of reward. So if the cooker ever gets to make a perfect meal it would get your saturation level out of the roof, ( think on the sensation you have after eating at a feast you feel like you will not be able to eat for the next 3 days ) The disbelief here would be to make it so the player does not need to eat so constantly. It needs to be  a gradual system, that gives increased rewards as the cooker level up and learn how to create better meals.

Third we could create the traveling cake. this would have all the main ingredients, and keep up most of your  nutrition bar, not necessarily all of it, the idea here is to create something that satisfies you hunger, while been small, stack able and with a decay rate so low that will last for a long time, so long that is possible to be trade and kept for your next trip. Maybe instead of having decay in the way we have now it could just have an expiration date, of one year, less than that and you break trading, I would just remove decay altogether from this particular food, because food with different decays or expiration dates would not stack , and this is the traveler/explorer food. It feels your hunger, not your inventory. Again only experienced cookers should be able to produce this meal. 

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That's a good observation. The question now becomes, what do we do about it? I'm open to ideas at this point since I haven't yet settled on what form that I want food to take in tfc2.

that's easy but a nice effect that globaly increase player's skills could already be more rewarding... (health, mining speed, running speed, strenght) like an adrenaline effect.

Edited by landryx
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It's a little hard for me to make suggestions because, as mentioned, it's not a system I tend to pay a lot of attention to.  Also, I've only really played two games long-term enough to improve my cooking skill noticeably.  I think the satiation could be more compelling if food were not as abundant. But that's a tightrope to walk, between making the game annoyingly difficult at the start.  In the end I'd guess we'll always have more food than we really need.  And for some people, they don't want the game to be about that, they want to build cool stuff.  They'll tolerate a certain amount of early game overcome-the-environment game mechanic, but they do want to be able to build without much annoyance eventually. 

 

In terms of making the system more attractive to master, you either have to decrease the amount of food available, or increase the benefits of cooking.  I'm honestly pretty happy with the system.  I don't try to to figure out the drainage or wood influence, and I don't think I have any way at all to determine PH even if I wanted to.  But I feel like cooking is useful enough that I do use it.   Those esoteric factors do kind of serve as a bit of a randomizing factor, which isn't a bad thing.

 

COMPELLING REWARDS

A revised nutrition system that better rewards well cooked food would probably be the most direct way to encourage mastery of cooking through better rewards.  But there's the balance of making cooking not required, vs. basically required.  Tony's idea of having better nutrition required for >200 hp amounts is pretty good I think.  It maintains the optional nature of the early game cooking, since you can maintain 1000hp by just getting your food groups, raw or cooked.  But if you are higher level and want to actually have those high level hp, you need eat good food.  In TFC1 it probably would still not be super-compelling for me personally, as I don't do tons of fighting really. 

But if TFC2 has greater challenges, presumably requiring more hp, that would probably be a good way to bring some urgency to cooking.  But to really emphasize cooking it would probably need to be based large off the dialing-in of the food, as opposed to just having more variety of vegetables, etc.   Because again, getting food, even a variety of food within groups, is currently fairly easy.  Truly dialing in your cooking skill though, is not.  If the first 200 hp were based on food groups, but beyond that was based on...'vitamins' - sorry Tony, I know you didn't want to call them that ;-) - or whatever, and cooking was the only (or primary) way of getting the 'vitamins' required for high level hp, I think that may be a compelling reason for players to seek out good cooked food.  You could just name them vitamin12345, which is just an abstraction like soil nutrients (we avoid letters to avoid the association with RL vitamins) and each is associated with a specific food group.  You could have some cooked foods focus more on certain vitamins - a steak dinner is more about meat and vegetables and gets you those vitamins.   A strawberry pie is more about grains and fruit vitamins.  A ham and cheese casserole is dairy and meat.  Etc. These would be the next 'tier' of cooking, above sandwiches, which would not provide vitamins.  These tier 2 recipes might still provide satiation, but they're more about the vitamins, and they provide more vitamins - perhaps very significantly more - if they're more dialed in to the player's tastes.  That isn't really 'realistic', per se - irl you get vitamins whether you like the food or not - but in terms of a mechanic to encourage cooking, I think it would work.  Maybe there's a better name than vitamins?  Whether these tier2 recipes involve new cooking utensils, or just different disposables, I don't know.

 

FOOD SCARCITY

With regards to food scarcity, there might be a couple things we can do.  One would be to make it so that immature plants do not drop seeds (which is logical).  That would make it harder to just mass-gather seeds at the start and have a gigantic garden right off the bat.  The player might have to actually leave plants in place till they mature, come back, and get the seeds. 

Second, if a plant is mature, and then force-drops it's seeds, either through overshadowing, or cold, the seed that becomes a tile entity cannot be harvested.  It sprouts again in the same spot, the next time the temperature reaches a certain point.  It will sprout with less nutrients since it was already previously growing in the same spot, so second time around it will be slower growing. Nothing new can be planted on that spot with a seed tile entity.  This is representing the fact that many plant seeds, once dropped on the ground, would be almost impossible to distinguish from the dirt and pick up.  Many will germinate very rapidly.  You could differentiate by type - corn and potatoes for instance are pretty easy to salvage, but for balance sake maybe treat them all the same.  If the seeds are popped off by a tree, they could germinate as soon as they have more light and high enough temperature, but may well not have enough time to mature to produce seeds.  Or if there's a warm spell in the middle of winter.

I think the overall effect of making seeds a little harder to get, might be to reduce food availability a little bit.  But probably a lot more in the early game, so there needs to be consideration if that's desired.

In a related way, crops could become 'over-ripe'.  Currently in my tropic base, I just leave my food in ground forever.  Who needs a sky freezer when the crops are just there forever?  It might be a good idea if crops reach a point where they mature, die, and drop a seed, in the forced replanting described above.  This would require a bit more garden care and overall, reduce the ease with which one can accumulate food, I think.  Irl, most plants, once they've born fruit or seeds, they either naturally disperse those seeds, or the fruit becomes so ripe it drops.  In either case, the food value is often lost. 

 

Second, weather effects - drought, hail, floods, blight.  My impression is that right now, rain is just rain.  But there could perhaps be varying levels, and the highest levels might raise the level of freshwater rivers and lakes by 1 meter?  This would flood all adjacent low-lying farmland, and wash away the crops, seeds and all.  There'd be no way to prevent natural disasters though, so they'd need to be kind of rare. For flooding to make sense, it might need to perform a broad check to make sure it happens in a basin - for instance around a land-locked pond.  Otherwise things might get out of hand? Reeds and sugar cane may be unaffected by flooding.   Special coding might be in order in some cases.  Hail damage may pop off seeds and food, but the food is just loose.  So if the player isn't there to get it, it vanishes (rots).

 

 

Third, perhaps make there be 'crop-hasslers'.  These could be wild animals - birds, raccoons, squirrels, deer - or, depending on the plans for TFC2, actual hostile mobs - orcs or other mobs raiding your place, burning/trampling your crops.  The advantage to this mechanic is that it could scale with the player.  Player has more crops?  This attracts more pests, especially if close together.  IRL, deer will run wild in corn fields.  More buildings/wealth/food might attract hostile raiding mobs.  Oh, and locusts, which would be a mix of natural disaster and crop hassler, in that the player could not fight them, but they would be more likely to attack if the player has giant fields.  There could even be crop-specific insect swarms.

 

Fourth, blights.  Maybe specific diseases for each crop, maybe a general blight for all crops.  The more crops in close proximity, the more you lose when it happens.  This would encourage crop diversity, if each plant has it's own disease, or spreading out of crops, if it's one general disease.  A contagion radius of 4 blocks would require the player to either use half (or less depending on layout) of their farmland to avoid blight.  As an aside, the preventatives or antidotes for such blights might be a good use of chemistry, if a chemistry system comes about.

 

Now, if crop diversity becomes beneficial, it might make sense to limit natural crop spawns a bit more.  I haven't performed any detailed examination, but right now it seems like about any crop can naturally spawn almost anywhere, aside from reeds.  I could be very wrong about that though. Rice and sugar cane for instance, should probably only spawn in tropics.  Same for banana trees. Olive sort of Mediterranean.  While it's true that most crops *can* grow in about any climate with human help, they all had a natural origin.  Tomatoes in South America for instance.  Limiting the natural crop variety would encourage exploration a bit more, if food variety is desirable.

 

The net effect of the above would be to make food more uncertain.  This would encourage more preserving possibly.  It might also have the knock-on effect of making the cooking system more worthwhile to master in order to get the most food value from your food, but I would not bet on that, especially in the later stages.

Edited by Darmo
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Here's a quick idea on how to dumb the flavor.

It could be a flavor profile based on cooking time?

Ex: player1 prefers:

-Proteins: Medium well

-Vegetable: Dark

-Grains(Bread): Medium

-Fruit: Very light

Cooking on a grill or smoking could make food more saturating than on a firepit, etc.

It would give an incentive to pay attention when cooking. Figuring out your profile would be easier and worthwhile.

I totally agree with Tony's idea for travelling cakes. As long as they give less nutrition per weight and cap out at, say, 80% of maximum nutrition.

Don't want it to become a primary food source, just an efficient way to carry your food on long trips, or as an emergency winter ration.

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Had another thought on how players interact with the food system.  I think it falls under the category of 'more depth'.  I thought I'd toss it out here, even though I'd said I already thought the system was plenty deep.

 

The idea is, spices.  Basically, you could take the existing flowers in the world, which have no use I'm aware of, nor even a wiki page as far as I could tell, and make it so the player can grind them up to make spices.  There would need to be at least 10 spices - each spice either raises or lowers one of the taste categories.  That's the TLDR version.  It would allow the players to dial food in a bit closer.  That would make the system easier to manipulate, which in itself might not be desireable, but I think it would also help players feel like they have more influence over it, and make the system a bit less impenetrable.

 

Complication can be added in several ways to balance:

1. what plants have what flavor effect is randomized per world seed

 

2. Assuming we get more dishes beyond salads and sandwiches, make it so more advanced dishes can use more spices.  So raw food can't use any spices, nor can tier 0 food (salads currently).  Perhaps tier 1 (sandwiches) can use 1 spice.  The tier 2 food can use 2.  etc. 

 

3. Different levels of cooking mastery allows different quantities of spice use (I don't really recall all the different levels, so don't quote me on these).   So a novice could only use 1 or 2 pinches of a single spice on a sandwich.  1 or 2 pinches each of two spices on the tier 2 food, etc. And adept get maybe 3-4 pinches each. 

You could also link skill level to number of spices, so a novice can only use 1 spice on any tier of food, even those that can allow multiple.  The further spice slots of higher tier foods are locked to novices.  An adept can use 2 spices, etc.  In this way you have to both cook a higher tier food, AND have higher skill, to use multiple spices. 

You could also make an overall pinch limit per dish.  In this way, there might be levels of spice, so if you need to change a profile a lot, you have ot use a spice that changes it more drastically, because you have an overall pinch limit. 

Basically you could link all three factors (number of spices useable, number of pinches per spice, overall pinch limit) to both food tier, and player skill. 

 

4. Spices have narrow climate requirements.  So you'll only find blue orchids where avg temp is 30 or higher, others where moisture is below 500, and some might even require certain altitudes. It might require addition of more flowers/spices if we want to stay close to real life counterparts - saffron, pepper, cumin, etc.   Spices might be weighted toward the tropics, to give them a 'special something' besides year-round crops, to help make up for their lack of sheep and cattle.

 

5. Spices might not be farmable.  This would make them more precious.   Each plant might have to yield a lot of spice though, since they would not be renewable.

Or, the seed giving might be linked to skill, so lower level agriculture skills do not yield seeds.  Maybe only master or higher, but never more than 1 seed per plant.  This is in order to keep them a limited commodity.  They should also have growing requirements similar to their native ranges, and perhaps if you grow them outside that range, they won't yield seeds no matter what.  The idea there is to have them somewhat renewable, but not outside their native climates.

 

As for the process, I'd say drying them.  Use the current line that's used for smoking, but no fire pits required.  Instead they must be protected from the weather (i.e. no sky access directly above) but yet have chimney-like access to the sky (i.e. one or two offset to the side, like the forge chimney).  This to simulate the air movement needed to dry them.

 

That's the idea.  I thought it might both improve the cooking system, and give a use to flowers at the same time.  I think it could be worked into a nice gradation, where the only way to affect all five tastes with spices, would be to both use a high tier dish, and be highly skilled at cooking. This allows for the player to dial in the taste profile via foods used and other methods early in their skill, but at high skill it will become easier and more precise, provided they have access to the correct spices.

Edited by Darmo
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Have you read, understood, and followed all of the rules listed in large text at the top of the suggestions forum?(Yes/No):  yes
Answering "no" to the above question will result in your post being deleted.

I'm excited for this re-write and understand it will be one hell of a mammoth task, so hurray for taking it on! Now something I always really liked about TFC was the veriety in food, decay on it and preparing it. I love that you have to scout for seeds and food at first and then slowly get a farm going, mix foods to keep yourself healthy and hunger affects your work efficiency. 

 

How ever I always felt that the food preparation was woefully limited to sandwiches and salads. I know things will be different, but maybe new food preparation techniques and "tabs" for them can become available as your cooking skill increases? I've always felt a severe lack of stews and pies in game myself, and things like mugs and pans or crockery would also increase our options. The tiered access through skill levels could also make for a more gradual increase in effectiveness of food. 

Another thing I love is the taste profiles, but I'd like some spices and herbs. Just little things like mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary and other plants that have a strong flavor changing ability that have been around for a long time. These herbs and spices (which are harder to get and won;t be available until you get a higher gameplay tier) should be rare, but could also be used in magic/religion/ritual and or healing. herbs are ofcourse weak in their natural forms but can, with a high enough skill level in agriculture, be cultivated into more potent forms.

 

The drying and smoking mechanic is cool, but not very early game, while as a hunter gatherer the main thing you would do to make things last through winter is attempt to dry the berries and strips of meat or fish in the wind and sun. Especially fishing could use some early game access, maybe with sticks creating a small fish trap in running water. This could extend the stone age/ hunter gatherer experience. Or possibilities of gathering small amounts of protein in the form of slugs, bugs, cockles and mussels on shorelines and from tree stumps, or in caves. Wild birdsnests providing small eggs could be interesting too.

 

Getting a huge food surplus is also quite remarkably easy, especially when you play on your own. Many servers I've seen either remove decay or severely weaken it because of the nature f servers to run all the time, but this means every player has so much food, they can never eat it all. but even on single player, once you have a few small farm plots set up, you're set for life. I'd like to see yields of crops and seeds, even in the wild, to vary with your agriculture level, aided by possible technologies (such as soil enrichment with woodash or compost, irrigation ditches and staking plants) and environmental factors ( riverbeds that get inundated with fertile muds, rain or other soil related things) plus disasters that can ruin yields, like droughts or crop disease (especially with large monoculture farms). Maybe even allow us to cultivate purely cosmetic plants with high agriculture levels, to beautify our builds, ranging from bushes to flowers.
 
This way food will remain a challenge for a long time. Disease or natural death in livestock may also make this more challenging, because now once you have a couple of breeding animals, you're set for plenty.

Possibly these factors can increase and decrease with game difficulty, increasing decay, disaster, drought and disease with difficulty, and decreasing yield and the effectiveness of technologies.

I hope this wasn't too long or difficult, but I really like the farming and cooking aspect of TFC and feel it can be so much more. And pies, who doesn't love pies? ceramic pie shape, dough, ingredients give you a raw pie, bake it in your firepit or oven, and you have pie! yes, a reference to current tfc, sorry for that.

 

I really hope I didn't break any of the rules, as I went from food prep to early game gathering to agriculture. thanks for reading! :)

Edited by Nimindil
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I honestly would hope for the tfc2 to switch from taste to nutrition.

Very easy system:

New player has 1000 health points and to maintain it has to eat of the 5 food groups, the same way it is now.

Instead of level points and experience the way to get more health points would be to eat variety.

So you would need to eat 3 different vegetables to increase your vegetables bar and 3 different grains and fish, bird and red meat and so on and so forth.

In a sense to keep taste as a part of the game IMHO we would need to get rid of the personalization. Yes, people have different tastes, bug good food is almost universal. Right now there are so many things altering the taste of food that the only way it would be worth for anyone to invest time into looking for a very tasteful meal is if it was possible to share the food.

If we could make a very tastefull meal and as a reward have the hunger bar increased just so we would not need to eat so often, a meal like that would be worth to be traded with other players. It would have value.

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As far as I'm concerned the basis of the taste profile system is great for me. I get a good reward from making meals that have perfect flavors, and enjoy the experimentation of cooking with different fuels, times, and ingredients. The problem of food being a post-scarcity commodity in TFC is one thing, but even with less availability there comes a time when every TFC player has full food security.

I think the best way to get people to care more about the cooking system is to add more reward without overly complicating it. If a perfect meal did more than give saturation and high nutrition, but even gave buffs, perhaps based on which flavor was perfect. The duration of these boosts could be equal to how ever long a player has some saturation.

 

For Example:

Sweet - Could give a small boost to movement speed

Sour - Maybe this flavor buffs the magic user's ability? In a magic-less world maybe improves harvest rates on crops or fruit

Salty - Gives a small percentage of combat or environmental damage reduction

Bitter - This flavor might could be the potion brewer's best friend, buffing mixing time, or maybe given a chance for improved potions? Non-magic boost could be improved mining rate for ores or all blocks.

Savory - Improves combat damage

 

These buffs could be small, but any player looking to complete dungeons, be more efficient, or win pvp wars would definitely want even a little extra edge from eating the right food. I think a buff system is not unreasonable when we look at real life. Who performs better at tasks, someone with a good, balanced diet? Or, someone who never eats well, even if they are just a physically fit?

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This is one of those areas of games that kind of can't be conquered. In reality, we cook foods certain ways because they taste better, but in a game we can't simulate taste. In reality, we drink beer because it makes us feel better, but in a game, the best we can do is make the player's vision impaired or something like that. One way around it, and this is not likely to be a popular idea, is to have some kind of mood meter, where eating better food, staying dry, having a bit of a tipple etc., can improve your mood. If your mood gets too low... then, I don't know, something bad happens. Maybe you move slower and certain actions just get ignored because "you're feeling too depressed to cut down trees right now" etc.

 

The next best thing to do with food apart from this would be to get more benefit from eating "better" foods.

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This is one of those areas of games that kind of can't be conquered. In reality, we cook foods certain ways because they taste better, but in a game we can't simulate taste. In reality, we drink beer because it makes us feel better, but in a game, the best we can do is make the player's vision impaired or something like that. One way around it, and this is not likely to be a popular idea, is to have some kind of mood meter, where eating better food, staying dry, having a bit of a tipple etc., can improve your mood. If your mood gets too low... then, I don't know, something bad happens. Maybe you move slower and certain actions just get ignored because "you're feeling too depressed to cut down trees right now" etc.

 

The next best thing to do with food apart from this would be to get more benefit from eating "better" foods.

 

Yes, foods are cooked a certain way to taste better, and this is in-fact represented in the game. Hickory gives a more favorable profile than say pine, or peat. Cooking foods to different temps gives different profiles as well. While under cooking some foods will not give much of a benefit. And since player taste is randomized, each person will have their own preferences. While some methods of preparing food may seem straight forward to you, persons of a completely different culture may find your way of cooking horrific. The randomized player taste gives a strong opportunity for depth/diversity in a minecraft system that is largely taken for granted.

 

I read mention of sanity system. If sanity was added, eating perfectly flavored meals could become essential for good mental health. I actually really like this idea. Creates the situation where people who haven't eaten a proper meal in a while just don't feel themselves, or function well.

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I like the idea too, but it does add an entire new mechanic to an already very complex game system though, which is no small thing. And it would obviously punish the early player a lot. Unless you spawn feeling amped up and it was a very slow process to lose morale and you could get some tech advancement before it became an issue of course.

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Yes, foods are cooked a certain way to taste better, and this is in-fact represented in the game. Hickory gives a more favorable profile than say pine, or peat. Cooking foods to different temps gives different profiles as well. While under cooking some foods will not give much of a benefit. And since player taste is randomized, each person will have their own preferences. While some methods of preparing food may seem straight forward to you, persons of a completely different culture may find your way of cooking horrific. The randomized player taste gives a strong opportunity for depth/diversity in a minecraft system that is largely taken for granted.

 

I read mention of sanity system. If sanity was added, eating perfectly flavored meals could become essential for good mental health. I actually really like this idea. Creates the situation where people who haven't eaten a proper meal in a while just don't feel themselves, or function well.

While I agree that taste is an individual experience. I also believe there is such a thing as general taste. There is such a thing as good food and bad food. Why do you think certain restaurants can charge so much for their food? Yes, if you take someone from china and another from USA they will have completely different eating experiences and we always love the food we got used to eat as children.

For instance the first time I try a Taco I was 35 years old and even so 18 year have passed I still do not like Tacos, I put then in the same category as Hamburgers and Hot dogs, Junk Food.

Not a professional cooker, but I love cooking for my family and extended family on special occasions. I dislike the taste system the way is currently because is discourages the Multiplayer experience in the sense of having a cooker for the town or tribe.

All the individual components that we have now for taste could work better if when the cooker found the perfect taste food he could share with other players.

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