Quantity of foods

Stoutman 3 years ago updated by Tyler Owen (Lead Developer) 3 years ago 7

Started a new game today, got the systems up and running. Finally got enough O2 to go explore for more supplies. I took a walk and found 4 boxes of supplies. There were only 3 food items among all the other items found. As we can not eat when in the EVA suit, I picked everything up and returned to the hab.

I ate the food I had when I got back, but it was only about 400 calories worth. This will not provide enough energy to find more boxes or another hab. I was already out of food when I went exploring.

I'm thinking that the rate of food consumption is too fast. Water is constantly being made so is not as much of an issue. Increasing the starting food quantities seems like a good idea, as well as making at least the largest box in the caches full of high calorie foods. Foods which only give 100-400 seem to be a waste of time as they offer little gain. Astronauts would have high calorie foods on hand to prevent excessive weight and storage needs. I'm thinking 400 calories minimum for any food, and 800-1200 should be the norm. Call it a meal maybe? The escape pod should have some type of food and medical supplies in it. I did not find anything in the pod's storage when I ran across it again while exploring.

Also, not being able to eat while in the suit is an issue. If I am starving and find a box of food but can't eat until i make it inside a hab then I die. OK, I can see having to plan your trip and eat before you go. But with long exploration trips required to explore most of the map, we need to be able to eat when in the suit. 

I suggest that 25% or so of the foods be in a tube which can be plugged into the helmet and we can eat as we are in the suit. Limit this type of food so we have to save it for when we are not in a hab where we can eat other foods. May want to do this with water too. Perhaps water could be recycled in the suit. There could be filters we need to replace in the suit to keep the water recycling working.


I'm definitely working on revamping the food/calorie system of the game a little bit. The last balance update only decreased the rate at which you burn calories slightly, but I agree that more can be done in line with your suggestions. Thanks.


Food variety is an important thing for long term missions such as a Mars expedition, so I'd say that the large number of different food types avalable adds to "realism" as such. Revising their calorie count would probably still be beneficial for those really low ones. However, that would effectively mean more food being available (same amount of items spawned with more total calories combined) so that would, on the other hand, lower difficulty. One way to somewhat compensate this could be to review the weights of the various food packages and slightly increase them, especially the ones that give more calories? I never really looked at the current weights and how "realistic" they are, but maybe it would be possible to "sneak in" a bit of extra weight here and there.

In terms of calories while on EVA, I was thinking more along the lines of "energy drinks" (not the "caffeine overdose" kind), which give less hydration but also some calories. Maybe even a way to combine items like that "orange drink <something>" with water to make these kinds of drinks from the low weight packed dry component and the water produced on site?

Yeah, I am planning to provide a food preparation mechanic that would utilize the kitchen unit in the habs. This would be be the place where you could hydrate foods, mix the orange drink, and improve the nutrition provided by certain food items. All good ideas here that I may incorporate into that update.


Just thought I would add to this thread to point out that you can now eat food while inside a deployed pop tent when you are away from your hab. The health decay rate for being starved will also be adjusted soon so that you will last roughly 7-9 days without food. Currently there is a bug that makes you last only about 2 days without food.

I'd say 7-9 days would be way too long, especially now with the pop tent and remote outposts (and even more so once there will be drivable vehicles), but maybe 4-5 days could be a good middle ground between "unrealistically" short and so long that you don't have to worry about it at all.

Even the current 2 days or so works quite well as far as gameplay goes, except for the part where it feels way too short a time to effectively starve to death after.

One of my major gripes with a certain other survival game is that because of how the vitals interact and define the character's health, the player can completely ignore any one of the 4 vital stats there indefinitely, and somehow stay alive without, say, ever eating. Something like that should be avoided, as it feels really wrong.

I think 7-9 days would be realistic, but perhaps you could make it both more difficult and realistic by increasing the calorie intake? Our hero's a lass so she should burn 2000 cals a day. She doesn't exactly have an office job either, so I think it's safe to add at the very least some 500 cals to that, whereas I can't remember ever having even been close to 2000 cals a day. 7-9 days with a higher calorie requirement  would also give what I think is both a more realistic and more fun starving effect: rather than not eating for a day or so and boom you're dead, you'd slowly get weaker each day (thereby increasing your susceptibility to other dangers such as exhaustion) until at the end you're too weak to go on prolonged EVAs, while at the same time food is a higher priority since you burn it up quicker. 

This is actually pretty close to how it functions right now. You are more susceptible to exhaustion and dehydration when you don't maintain a reasonable calorie intake per day. That's kind of how I think I want it to function. Not eating anything will definitely lead to an eventual death, but I think it's more interesting to have starvation work more as a modifier for other gameplay systems. I can add to this more in the future, like by having crafting take more time if you are low on calories.