Nutrition values

So kevingranade had the idea of adding in a nutrition system that allows for long-term effects of eating (and not eating), rather than the very short-term hunger system we have now. I’ll try to sum the conclusions we’ve reached as best I can:

  • Food has various nutrition attributes, such as fat, carb, protein.
  • Internal tracking of various nutrition values. These represent long-term values and are affected only slowly by eating (or not eating).

There are two purposes:

  1. Living off a certain type of food exclusively should have long-term penalties.
  2. It should be possible to survive on a lower amount of food over extended periods of time. However, this should lead to severe penalties that aren’t easily remedied by eating a bunch of food.

What needs to be worked out are the exact nutrition types (such as carb/fat/protein). There shouldn’t be too many of them, in order to avoid making keep track of food and types of food too complex.

I would track these

  • calories / joules - from carbs, fats and proteins
  • vitamins - from vegetable and fruit, some from meat
  • minerals - from meat, dairy and vegetable
  • amino acids - from eggs! (what category are these in?), meat, dairy and some vegetable
  • fibers (maybe) - from vegetable and fruit

I would not track carbs itself, humans can live without them for unlimited amount of time (minimum necessary amount can be created by body itself via Gluconeogenesis), just as calories. Fat is huge source of calories, i would not keep track of fat itself. Proteins are mix of calories + amino acids.

Tracking various vitamins / minerals would be probably overkill, illness could be picked randomly from lists related to lack of vitamins / minerals instead.

We could also keep existing ‘healthy’ attribute, if necessary, to simulate some drugs have detrimental effect on your health in general, if you consume lots of them. I would not use it for tracking healthiness of food though, to prevent flame wars about what is healthy food and what is not :slight_smile:

In broad strokes this has been suggested many times, I’m certainly not taking credit for that.
What I’m thinking is that as far as item definitions are concerned, we might be able to get the level of detail we want merely by tagging foods with “high fat”, “low fat”, “high protein” “low vitamins” etc…
A perfectly “ordinary” food that gives enough Calories for you to survive for a day is going to supply something like 90% of each nutrient you need for that same day, but if it has a “low bla” tag, it’s going to only supply something like 9% of that nutrient, and if it has a “high bla” tag it’ll supply something like 200% of the nutrient.

That outline leaves several questions:

  1. Which nutrients are important enough to track?
    Specifically, which nutrients will cause noticeable disorders if you don’t get enough of them, or consume too much of them?
  2. Is the list of the above nutrients short enough to be manageable?
    2b. Are the above nutrients varied enough to be interesting? If it just boils down to 2-3 rules of thumb like “eat your greens” and “don’t eat too much fat”, what’s the point?

Maybe just track vitamin C and protein? Then you get scurvy if you just stock up on a billion pounds of ant meat, and protein deficiency if you just stock up on triffids.

I mean it seems worthwhile to model scurvy if someone tries to live on 100% meat (it would certainly change my behavior) but I don’t know as worrying about getting enough fiber or whatever is something to really care about.

I was just going to track calories, but the PR is on hold 'cuz I can’t compile (mingw builds being fixed and fixed and fixed…). And I can’t into C.

Hmm… May be better off as a mod. It could provide some more immersion, but some players already find managing food supplies to be tedious, and adding more work to that without any real benefit beyond “not taking penalties,” so I’m not sure how it would work as a main feature.

I also think it would make the difficulty curve for new players even steeper than it already is… Not sure if tossing in yet another game mechanic to juggle would be a good idea…

It would take some time to get ill from this stuff, bad diet is not going to be number one killer of new players. At start, you just eat what is available anyway as you have other things to worry about. Like, having something to eat at all :slight_smile:

Really intrigued by the idea. My suggestion of what to track would be Proteins, Carbs, Fat and Vitamins. I think that those or the things most people are familiar with and have an idea what they cause, like eating to few vitamins giving you stuff like scorbut. While I’m all for complexity, I think going to much into things like amino acids, different vitamins etc. is probably going to overwhelm people and make the systems a bit too bloated.
However, in the end it all depends on what exactly you want to get as effects. If you don’t implement a simple body weight system (being to fat or being underweight should give you penalties.) it would probably be unnecessary to track carbs and fat individually.

Just to clairify, what we really need is a map of nutrients -> disorders, whether it’s for too little or too much of the nutrient. Opinions along the lines of “You should track bla, bla and bla” aren’t helpful without an attached rationale.

What we need is something like “Without trace amounts of vitamin C, you’ll develop Scurvy after a few months and will happen”. Most of that info is just a wiki crawl away, and when I have some time I’ll do it and post some results myself. Whoever does it, we can then see if we can make the list manageable and figure out what we need to track.