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Kitchen, Salt and Drinks


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I want to start by saying that I really like the cooking system in the game as it is. You have easy to farm, no cooking required, low quality food; and the ability to grow things that have more demanding requirements (such as heat) for food that requires multiple cooking steps and gives large morale bonuses. This multilayered supply chain with progressing difficulty is fantastic. I think a few small things could make it even better:

 

1) Have a kitchen room

This requires the "Cutting Board" (maybe some better name?) station. This takes Salt as an ingredient and produces "Seasoning". Seasoning can be added to Gas Range, Electric Grill and Microbe Musher. In all cases it gives +1 to the food quality produced. Salt is removed from mess tables.

 

2) Drinks!

Drinks are in a weird place at the moment, not really necessary and bizarrely disconnected to how food works. I think drinks should be stored in mess tables in the same way as salt is now. If no drinks are present, food eaten at that table gets a -2 to food quality. Plain water gives 0 change, while coffee/smoothie/soda water give +1 each, in addition to their current attributes change. Drink Machines would no longer be a recreational building so give no direct morale boost for use. They would however be required for a great hall and their usage time greatly decreased to make stocking the tables with drinks a reasonable proposition.

 

For balance reasons, the food quality bonuses should be shuffled slightly so that rather than giving (-1 / 0 / 1 / 4 / 8 / 12 / 16 / 16) morale for food quality -1 to 6 it would  probably need to change to (-1 / 0 / 1 / 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 15 / 15) for food quality -1 to 8.

The main idea behind this is to increase the number of ways to get max food quality, and make drinks and salt far more relevant than they are now. Under this system you can get the max food bonus in a number of different ways: Frost Burgers with no drinks other than water and no seasoning; Stuffed Berries or Spicy Tofu with either seasoning or advanced drinks; Stuffed Berries, Surf'n'Turf or Mushroom Wrap with both seasoning and advanced drinks. Just like it is now, if you have a picker eater for a dupe, you have to work extra hard to get the max morale bonus. As an added reason to go for these changes, having a kitchen makes great thematic sense and is something most players do already.

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4 hours ago, Olleus said:

This requires the "Cutting Board" (maybe some better name?) station. This takes Salt as an ingredient and produces "Seasoning".

I think the seasoning buff is a good idea. Applying varying +1 food quallity rather than tiny static +1 morale may actually make salt worth it. The question is, how much salt should be consumed per recipie to keep it balanced.

I also thought about thematical meaning of the kitchen room, and have an idea - what if the kitchen room, or some kind of upgraded version of it, should require washing basin/sink/hand sanitizer? Thematically, kitchen workers should keep their hands clean to reduce risks of spreading Food Poisoning. What if having a proper kitchen would require to keep personal hygiene standarts? The effects of that room may also include reduction of Food Poisoning on it's building's output.

4 hours ago, Olleus said:

Drinks are in a weird place at the moment, not really necessary and bizarrely disconnected to how food works. I think drinks should be stored in mess tables in the same way as salt is now.

Interesting idea. I agree that drinking machines look like a separate subclass of recreation buildings and ask for ideas that revolve around treating them differently. Their use time is also feels painfully long, making me like the concept even more.

However, I think that punishing people with -2 foor quallity for lacking a water cooler is not a good thing. On the other hand, water cooler is a thing that is available pretty early, so rewarding player for just building it is also feels wrong. I think the exact effects of drinks should be rebalanced. 

4 hours ago, Olleus said:

They would however be required for a great hall

If the water cooler would be excluded from the list of drinking machines at least in terms of this requirement, it would be a pretty nice way to nerf the Great Hall :D 

 

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25 minutes ago, Meltdown said:

I think the seasoning buff is a good idea. Applying varying +1 food quallity rather than tiny static +1 morale may actually make salt worth it. The question is, how much salt should be consumed per recipie to keep it balanced.

I guess the easiest thing would be to keep it as 1g Salt for 1g of Seasoning per 1000 Calories, so salt consumption is at the same rate as now.

Quote

I also thought about thematical meaning of the kitchen room, and have an idea - what if the kitchen room, or some kind of upgraded version of it, should require washing basin/sink/hand sanitizer? Thematically, kitchen workers should keep their hands clean to reduce risks of spreading Food Poisoning. What if having a proper kitchen would require to keep personal hygiene standarts? The effects of that room may also include reduction of Food Poisoning on it's building's output.

100% agree. Easiest way would be to make washing basin/sink/hand sanitizer mandatory for the kitchen. If it's compatible with the code base, you could also limit the use of the cutting board to dupes with 0 surface germs

 

However, I think that punishing people with -2 foor quallity for lacking a water cooler is not a good thing. On the other hand, water cooler is a thing that is available pretty early, so rewarding player for just building it is also feels wrong.

I'm not sure I get the point, surely there should be some reward for having a water cooler (or punishment for not having it) otherwise, what's the point? Now at the start of the game when you haven't unlocked the water cooler and eating food of quality -1, the penalty of -2 food quality makes absolutely no difference. It only kicks in as you start improving your food source. The logic then is that you have to provide drinks before you start making better food, because without a water cooler food of quality -1, 0 or 1 is all exactly the same. As building a water cooler is easy, and thematically drinking is super important, this is a straight forward problem to solve in the first 20 cycles. It also keep water pitchers important beyond the super computer, and slightly diminishes the free water you get from lavatories.   I did have a completely different idea for how to include drinks, but I think its too much of a change for what it's worth

 

It would be to make "drinks"; a parallel system to "food". In the same way as dupes go hungry and eventually starve and then die without food, they would get thirsty and then dehydrated and then die without drinks. Drinks would come in different qualities, just like food. The twist I would add to prevent a boring duplication of system is that dupes need drinks twice a day, unlike needing food once a day. This would add some scheduling work by giving them a lunch break, and extra base planing by needing to place sources of drinks in the work areas of the base to prevent huge commuting times. Could be fun and more flavourful, but it feels like too much of an overhaul for what it's worth.

 

EDIT: No idea how things got nested... Is there a way to view posts in plain texts here? I can't even remove the double quotes in edit mode. Honestly, forums were easier 20 years ago...

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