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 Naming the Food Mechanics
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Full Metal Lion
 Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 07:32 PM UTC (Read 8017 times)  
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Friends, Flithies, Islanders, I come before you today because the names of the different aspects of the Food System (still) make no sense. The way I see it, there are four attributes to food:

  1. Good (come NewDay, having more of this will reward you with more Stamina)
  2. Bad (come NewDay, having more of this will penalize you with less Stamina)
  3. Limiter (decreases your hunger bar, increases your nausea bar, limits how much you can eat)
  4. Stam (how much Stamina you'll immediately get from the food)
Now, I have no beef with Good being labelled "Nutrients", but the rest of them make little sense.

Stam is labeled "Daily Energy Requirements Score", which is really just needlessly confusing and space-wasting. It could just be called "Stamina" or "Stam." or "Calories" or "Cal.". (One imagines, though, that Stam is a combination of Calories and Awakeness.)

Bad is known as "Fat". Which makes no sense. While fat, in our modern sedentary lifestyle, is a reasonable consequence of eating unhealthily, Full Metal Lion just ran through a jungle fighting all day, then he hammered planks into a wall before collapsing of exhaustion. And you're telling me he's FAT?! I suggest Fat be re-christened to, say, Improbability Poisoning. Like food poisoning, but more Improbable.

Finally, Limiter is labeled "Mass". And even if there was some sort of rapid evolution going on to make the human digestive tract the size of a thimble by the 22nd century, Mass isn't the determiner of how hungry a human is. As you know, when you eat your brain makes a guess of how many calories the food you're eating will bestow upon you, and adjusts your hunger accordingly. I'd suggest "Deliciousness", "Taste", "Fillingness", or "Fill". And the reason you can't accurately judge the Stam of a food, leading to non-uniform Stam/Fill ratios, is Improbability.

Thoughts? Accolades? In-Character Death Threats?


 
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Ada
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 05:41 AM UTC  
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Calories? That's... not how your brain works, when you eat a food. If it were, people wouldn't be able to eat thousands upon thousands of calories in a single sitting. I can eat an awful lot of McDonalds and I guarantee you I do not need those calories. Likewise, for your problem with naming it "fat" - you can be active and still be fat if you are taking in more food than you need. I do think it's a bit weird that one can be as fat as the flavourtext tells us we are, but there's nothing stopping you from getting fatter and being active.

Why would you choose the words "deliciousness" or "taste" instead of mass? I can eat a spoonful of wasabi or a chocolate truffle - both much higher in taste than say, a loaf of bread - and not even get close to being filled up. The loaf of bread would fill me up, though. "Fillingness" makes sense, but I don't see how it's really an improvement over "mass".


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 11:00 AM UTC  
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I have to agree that the baffling/confusing "Daily Energy Requirements Score" instead of an easier to understand "Stamina" or "Stamina Boost" is kind of silly.


 
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Iriana
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 11:31 AM UTC  
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FML, I hate to say it like this, but are you sure you understand how food works? I mean, it's obviously completely normal to not understand how food works--in general people just shovel it down with no questions asked, and that's a perfectly functional way to go about it--but it's not very constructive to keep trying to apply real-world analogs to the Island food system when your real-world analogs aren't quite correct.

I think Mass is just fine for "how much space food takes up in your stomach". Actually, it's probably as good as we're going to get. If anything, it's slightly more straightforward than "Fill", which would be my second choice.

"Daily Energy Requirements Score" was so perplexing that it drove me to ask about it on the Enquirer the first time I saw it, so I'm for a change of that too. "Stamina Gain" or even "Energy Gain" would be much better.

Shouldn't being extraordinarily fat negatively affect your travel/action costs? That would be annoying as heck but quite realistic, and also a pretty good motivation to pay more for restaurant food/spend more effort getting good meat to cook instead of just subsisting on Ration Packs forever. Honestly, if I had a rookie or low-DK character, I'd suck up the minor stamina loss at NewDay from being fat and keep using ratpacks. Not if it eventually made me too fat to move, though.


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 11:36 AM UTC  
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That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 02:04 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll

You know... I have to say this... having the game inform you that your character is grossly fat is kind of a 'funny-once'.

After that, for roleplayers, if you are trying to roleplay a character who is not fat, it becomes either a 'wince and ignore it, the game is just being idiotic, that isn't really what happened,' or, if you're not that good at mental gymnastics, a turn-off that makes you want to skip the entire game side of the game altogether, or go play some other game where the player gets to choose what the character looks like.

Which means we're losing players over this.

For that reason, I am strongly in favour of renaming 'fat' to something else.


 
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Ada
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 02:35 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll




Yeah, I've wondered about this. It seems to me that fat stays with you longer in the new food system? Am I making that up? It seems to last for a really long time - which is not really logical given how fast you can get fat.



Sessine: we roleplay things that are different from the game all the time. Why do you think fat in particular is driving people off?


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:25 PM UTC  


I don't know if I think orphan-munching fatness would drive roleplayers to leave the game, as I barely even glance at the New Day panel long enough to spot it. However, I do agree that it's a "funny once" sort of thing to see, and would go on to say that after the first time, it's potentially offensive.

There are real overweight people in the world, and I'm sure there are overweight people playing II, and I can't imagine they'd find it very funny to be constantly told they look like they munch on schoolbuses for lunch.

Edit for clarity: I don't think the gameplay mechanic related aspect of your character being described as fat would drive people away. I do think the social feedback aspect of your character being called a grotesquely fat fuck would drive people away.

Double edit: This hadn't occured to me before, as Esc would go most of a DK without doing much eating, so I rarely had the schoolbus-fat message. However, with the new food system, it seems like that message appears a lot more frequently, for a much longer period of time. And with a socially-negative message like that appearing for everyone with far greater frequency, it seems far more liekly to hurt someone's feelings than it might have before.


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:41 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Ada

Sessine: we roleplay things that are different from the game all the time. Why do you think fat in particular is driving people off?

Many people struggle in real life with being overweight. Fat people are ridiculed and sneered at, a lot, in real life, by people who don't have that problem. They wince and endure because it's not socially acceptable to be offended at being called fat, but it is never fun being made fun of. If they're playing a character who is their alter ego in a game, having the game tell them they are, haha, fatter than fat! woohoo! what a big joke! is not going to be even slightly enjoyable.

Moreover, there are people with eating disorders for whom the idea that they are fat, even though they aren't, becomes an obsession that can kill. (I'm guessing the introduction of in-game 'puking' made those players really uncomfortable.)

We'd know it was wrong if the game went, "Haha, you did something wrong in game mechanics, now you're gay!" Or, "Now you are paraplegic!" Or, "Now you have anxiety disorder!" Or, "Now you are depressed and suicidal!" Or, "Now you are pregnant! Haha! Isn't that hilarious?"


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:46 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Matthew

That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll

You know... I have to say this... having the game inform you that your character is grossly fat is kind of a 'funny-once'.

After that, for roleplayers, if you are trying to roleplay a character who is not fat, it becomes either a 'wince and ignore it, the game is just being idiotic, that isn't really what happened,' or, if you're not that good at mental gymnastics, a turn-off that makes you want to skip the entire game side of the game altogether, or go play some other game where the player gets to choose what the character looks like.

Which means we're losing players over this.

For that reason, I am strongly in favour of renaming 'fat' to something else.



Not gonna happen. It'd mean remaking every type of food.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:50 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Ada

Sessine: we roleplay things that are different from the game all the time. Why do you think fat in particular is driving people off?

Many people struggle in real life with being overweight. Fat people are ridiculed and sneered at, a lot, in real life, by people who don't have that problem. They wince and endure because it's not socially acceptable to be offended at being called fat, but it is never fun being made fun of. If they're playing a character who is their alter ego in a game, having the game tell them they are, haha, fatter than fat! woohoo! what a big joke! is not going to be even slightly enjoyable.

Moreover, there are people with eating disorders for whom the idea that they are fat, even though they aren't, becomes an obsession that can kill. (I'm guessing the introduction of in-game 'puking' made those players really uncomfortable.)

We'd know it was wrong if the game went, "Haha, you did something wrong in game mechanics, now you're gay!" Or, "Now you are paraplegic!" Or, "Now you have anxiety disorder!" Or, "Now you are depressed and suicidal!" Or, "Now you are pregnant! Haha! Isn't that hilarious?"



Unlike in real-life, on the Island becoming not-fat is trivially easy. Nowhere do we say that being fat is unattractive, and nowhere do we say that puking is desirable (in fact, it's a definite negative action).


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:50 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll

You know... I have to say this... having the game inform you that your character is grossly fat is kind of a 'funny-once'.

After that, for roleplayers, if you are trying to roleplay a character who is not fat, it becomes either a 'wince and ignore it, the game is just being idiotic, that isn't really what happened,' or, if you're not that good at mental gymnastics, a turn-off that makes you want to skip the entire game side of the game altogether, or go play some other game where the player gets to choose what the character looks like.

Which means we're losing players over this.

For that reason, I am strongly in favour of renaming 'fat' to something else.



Not gonna happen. It'd mean remaking every type of food.

Call it anything you want in the code. All players see is what you write in the output statements.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:56 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Matthew

That's what I'm doing right now. Since I can't afford anything meaningful at the beginning of a DK I just slam ratpacks until level 3 or so when I can start actually affording restaurants, and the fat from that lasts the whole DK so basically I'm a busload of orphans all the time oooooooh welllll

You know... I have to say this... having the game inform you that your character is grossly fat is kind of a 'funny-once'.

After that, for roleplayers, if you are trying to roleplay a character who is not fat, it becomes either a 'wince and ignore it, the game is just being idiotic, that isn't really what happened,' or, if you're not that good at mental gymnastics, a turn-off that makes you want to skip the entire game side of the game altogether, or go play some other game where the player gets to choose what the character looks like.

Which means we're losing players over this.

For that reason, I am strongly in favour of renaming 'fat' to something else.



Not gonna happen. It'd mean remaking every type of food.

Call it anything you want in the code. All players see is what you write in the output statements.



So all the foods that are high in fat - the family trough, the sausage feast pizza - become high in Improbability poisoning instead?

EDIT: To expand on this; obviously the code would still say $fat, there's no reason to change it. But if we change the output of $fat to say, I dunno, Poison or something, then people are gonna notice that all of the foods that are described as containing the most fat also happen to be the most poisonous. My objection was to rewriting all of the output, coming up with new foods, to make it make sense that restaurants would sell poisonous food.


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:58 PM UTC  


I wouldn't say that aspects of the food system need to be renamed (then maybe I oughtta get my butt out of a thread called "naming the food mechanics?"), but I'd argue, at least, that the flavor text for certain food elements (ie fat) are offensive.

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Nowhere do we say that being fat is unattractive


You are looking... well, let's not mince words. You're fat. VERY fat. You look like you just ate a schoolbus full of well-fed orphans.

Confused I guess I could be misunderstanding the intent of this description? Obviously it's intended to be funny, but a lot of offensive things are intended to be funny.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:05 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Escemfer

I wouldn't say that aspects of the food system need to be renamed (then maybe I oughtta get my butt out of a thread called "naming the food mechanics?"), but I'd argue, at least, that the flavor text for certain food elements (ie fat) are offensive.

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Nowhere do we say that being fat is unattractive


You are looking... well, let's not mince words. You're fat. VERY fat. You look like you just ate a schoolbus full of well-fed orphans.

Confused I guess I could be misunderstanding the intent of this description? Obviously it's intended to be funny, but a lot of offensive things are intended to be funny.



Sure, gimme new text and I'll put it in.


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:23 PM UTC  


Alright, Esc, put your money where your mouth is, eh?

You are looking rather heavy! You lose some Stamina.

Rather/quite/very, heavy/round/rotund, take your pick. Mr. Green Maybe not quite as comedic as the original text, but it's in line with all the rest of the New Day fitness messages and somewhat less insulting, maybe.


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:28 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Ada
Calories? That's... not how your brain works, when you eat a food. If it were, people wouldn't be able to eat thousands upon thousands of calories in a single sitting. I can eat an awful lot of McDonalds and I guarantee you I do not need those calories. Likewise, for your problem with naming it "fat" - you can be active and still be fat if you are taking in more food than you need. I do think it's a bit weird that one can be as fat as the flavourtext tells us we are, but there's nothing stopping you from getting fatter and being active.

Why would you choose the words "deliciousness" or "taste" instead of mass? I can eat a spoonful of wasabi or a chocolate truffle - both much higher in taste than say, a loaf of bread - and not even get close to being filled up. The loaf of bread would fill me up, though. "Fillingness" makes sense, but I don't see how it's really an improvement over "mass".
FML, I hate to say it like this, but are you sure you understand how food works?

Well, of course I know how food works; I'm a nutritionist!*

Why wouldn't people be able to eat those calories? Sure, you may not need them, but your brain, fine-tuned in the "killing things with sticks and eating them for a job" age thinks. "OHMYGOD calories!! Who knows when I'll run into this many ever again?!" and so you eat them.

My problem with "fat" is that, as far as I know, "fat" is completely divorced from anything having to do with the purpose of fat at all. It won't go away as you work your self to physical exhaustion,** nor will it offer your character any extra energy. Its name is a bit confusing and immersion-breaking for me. And not Improbable in a funny way.

On mass, even if your hunger levels were based on how filled your stomach was, and not, technical term here, a whole buncha chemicals 'n' smeg,*** then I'd still be against the use of the word "Mass". You could eat a really dense small thing, like a marble made of gold, and not be full, so a more accurate word would be "Volume". Except not really, since you chew up and squish together things when you eat them, so you're able to affect the volume of a food. And then, in your esophagus, you even start digesting some starches, affecting the volume more. So it'd have to be "post-esophagus volume", or we could just call it "fill" to get me to shut up.

Quote by: CavemanJoe
then people are gonna notice that all of the foods that are described as containing the most fat also happen to be the most poisonous. My objection was to rewriting all of the output, coming up with new foods, to make it make sense that restaurants would sell poisonous food.

Improbability poisoning is found in higher quantities in places with more chemical energy stored in them, because The Drive converts energy to Improbability, and then you consume both but burn the fat killing things. There. I've explained it.

*The savvy reader of the Enquirer will note I'm not a dietitian, and, legally, anyone can call him- or herself a nutritionists. Like, at all. Try it some day, it's fun!

**Barring, of course, the effects of time passing.

***Which, come to think of it, might be how nausea works, I dunno.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:31 PM UTC  
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The "Fat" description is only for players who are waaay past the threshold. It needs to read severely. Here, have a look at the levels:

PHP Formatted Code
if ($fat<0){
                    output("`0You are looking `2trim and slender`0!  You gain some Stamina!`n");
                    addstamina(50000);
                }
                if ($fat>=0 && $fat<20){
                    output("`0You are looking pleasantly well-fed!`n");
                }
                if ($fat>=20 && $fat<50){
                    output("`0You are looking `4a little bit round!`0  You lose a little Stamina.`n");
                    removestamina(25000);
                }
                if ($fat>=50 && $fat<100){
                    output("`0You are looking `4pretty chunky!`0  You lose some Stamina.`n");
                    removestamina(50000);
                }
                if ($fat>=100){
                    output("`0You are looking... well, let's not mince words.  `4You're fat.  VERY fat.  You look like you just ate a schoolbus full of well-fed orphans`0.  You lose some Stamina.`n");
                    removestamina(100000);
                }


If you want to have a crack at rewriting these, be my guest. Do note that the levels must increase in severity, and that I won't take descriptions of body mass that use the word "Normal" anywhere.


 
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Ada
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:38 PM UTC  
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CMJ: you don't need to say fat is unattractive. We've all already been told that, in so many ways, all our lives. Unless your flavourtext says "You are so fat and it is beautiful and sexy and amazing!" without coming off as insincere or mocking, we are all going to understand that it is unattractive and undesirable without you telling us.

I'm with Esc here: I personally don't think the mechanic needs to be renamed (I can see why a sausage fest pizza would make you fat, and no matter how fat-positive you are I am pretty sure you would agree that it's not the healthiest thing to eat), but there's really no way to read the description that isn't offensive. Why not something simple like "You are looking REALLY round", which still says the same thing but is waaay less mean.

It's especially worth noting that it is basically impossible to play a rookie that does not get the "schoolbus of orphans" text. I've tried it - the only way I seem to be able to avoid it is to get all the "oh shit you're so malnourished you're going to die" messages because I'm not eating at all. It's not until the higher levels that you can pull in enough money a day to afford a Sneeze Supreme - and by then you're either already malnourished or already fat. A real new player is likely to go right for rationpacks because they're cheap and they don't want to stop playing (I know I found the stamina limits frustrating when I started out and wanted to get moving on the game) - so they're going to be told they're fat as hell for nearly the entirety of their first DK.


 
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Cherriki Ten
 Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 04:41 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Escemfer

I wouldn't say that aspects of the food system need to be renamed (then maybe I oughtta get my butt out of a thread called "naming the food mechanics?"), but I'd argue, at least, that the flavor text for certain food elements (ie fat) are offensive.

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Nowhere do we say that being fat is unattractive


You are looking... well, let's not mince words. You're fat. VERY fat. You look like you just ate a schoolbus full of well-fed orphans.

Confused I guess I could be misunderstanding the intent of this description? Obviously it's intended to be funny, but a lot of offensive things are intended to be funny.




I am not a terrible person, I swear but I have something to say about this.

It's the internet, people. I have seen FAAAAAR worse and offensive things. Personally, I cracked up laughing the first time I saw that.


People need to not be so sensitive to everything. This joke is not specifically directed toward you and if you get offended enough that you think it
is, maybe it's time to start exercising.

Next we'll have to be politically correct about midgets.


Edit: Esc, I am not saying anything specifically about your comment. I just figured it'd be the best one to lead into my small, non bitchy-ish, slightly terrible tirade.


"Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." -Mark Twain.
 
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