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Concept Art & Game design : Farms & Food. +Wild life.

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by JassBefrold, May 21, 2016.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    Hello there,

    This time I would like to approach, what may be one of the last step missing, in my opinion, for Space Engineers. After oxygen, water, power, the possibility to create a perfectly liveable place is still a engineering challenge into space as creating a decent greenhouse with the right exposition to the sun. Design a greenhouse may vary through different players as the way to protect it.
    Ref - Elite Dangerous

    -The farm could be optional: SE let players to custom their own experience on their own game. Just as Oxygen management and others options, this idea could be optional. It is not a threat to anyone's game nor an obligation. Don't wanna deal with food? Great, disable the option.
    -This is just a raw suggestions, a proof of concept and so, it is not perfect and it is open to anyone to modify, make it simpler or find better. The game design part (gameplay mechanics) is still greatly open to fix and balance as well.
    -Some may forget about it but a suggestions does not implied priorities development. It is up to Keen software discretions.
    -Some will probably says: "It is not farm engineers." I will answer: "It is not mining engineers either." Yet that what we do half of the time. Building a greenhouse in a hazardous environment such as space is an engineering challenge, so I would says that it is perfectly acceptable to think about it in "Space Engineers". Even if all the idea is crap to some, I'm sure some little 'bits' still interesting to mention and share to fellow engineers. It cannot hurt.
    -I have not watched mods in the Steam workshop to not be influenced and try to create something 'new'.
    -Sorry for my french.

    Gameplay - Offering more challenge
    -Give a real attach to the player. A base or a mobile base, you'll be more cautious about those choices,
    it will define your consumption and give the player a limited area of action.
    -New challenge for the player to create greenhouse design.
    -Give a sense to the word 'Expedition' in the game. It will ask the player to make plan and have enough resources and so enough food during his exploration far away from the base. Ex: Going to explore a planet, loading the ship with foods, ammos and few components just in case for repair.
    -Invite the player to use more drones. You don't have the resources for long travels. You will send drones in order to do long distance job for you.
    -[Food creation]: In order to stay simple, compare to 'Minecraft', the type of crops doesn't define what food you can create. All matter is the amount of differents colored crops. Example: 1 blue crop alone or 1 red crop alone will always give the same type of food (Ex: Cereal bars) . / If you do 1 blue crop + 1 red crop together, it give access to a new type of food.
    -Edit [22/05/2016]: The excess of food could be recycled into biofuel. For energy or thrusters.

    [Edit 01/06/2016]: Possible misunderstanding:

    -Because of the basic of survival game, Food will always be a death meter. As Oxygen, Power and health. The more death meter you have to deal with, supposedly harder it get. (Like a flight sim, more stuff to deal with).
    The subject here is to add a food mechanics that will always be, a typical and classic mechanics of a sandbox survival. The idea is to find a way to make it interesting and useful as possible.
    To resume, for some, the real problem is the lack of challenge to oppose these death meters. Not the death meter itself (food). They have the right to exist. Food is a logic path in a survival and more in space. The lack of danger to challenge these is another subject, that fellow space engineers fan need to find aside (Create or propose in the suggestion).

    -After long talk, a point show up: "What is acceptable in Space Engineers?" "What is a grind in Space Engineers?" Everyone has their opinions on that because we have different tastes and expectation for the game. Same for this food gameplay. But it would be wise to avoid any debate about taste because we never will be all okay with this and won't lead to anything. Some have their reason to be against it, as some have their reason to not be interested in and some have their reason to be with it. We may know the reason but may never find any solutions if it's personal to that person. It is why, it should be nice to try to focus on ideas and solutions. As much ideas there is as much is good to everybody. Keen will have the last word to this.

    Video Explanation:

    Game Design:

    Food Replicator (Tier1)

    Farm plot (Tier2)

    Overview (Tier 2)

    Automatic Farm Plot - Customizable (Tier 3)

    Automatic Farm plot - Variant (Tier3)

    Automatic Kitchen / Oven


    Water farm


    +Extra (Not related) : Wild life

    (Because I don't wanted to spam the thread, i've decide to add this minor idea right here)

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    • Like Like x 21
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. Jappards200 Apprentice Engineer

    What do you mean with water? Do you mean ice? Water is not really a problem on planets. Ice is plentiful on Earth.

    • Seeds: There should be alien seeds as well, otherwise the alien planet would be nonviable to put your base on as you would need a lot of energy with a relatively small amount of uranium available.
    • Food replicator: Uranium isn't much of a problem in the late game, even if you need 1 large grid small reactor to synthesize one batch of food. You just have a very large mining ship to mine it within a few minutes or maybe even seconds. There should be something else.
    • Crops: Crops should require a pressurized environment to work. Carbon dioxide should be added as a gas and these crops should turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Vents would dump it into space unless the ship has crops. If the ship/station has crops, it would
    • Automatic kitchen: Why does it need to use water? Ice should only be present for it to work, not used up in most foods you would create.
    • Water capture: Calling it a windmill will be confusing, because people would expect it to generate energy. A better name would be "Water Capture Vent" and "Water Capture Sail". But why would we need to capture water when we can mine all the ice we need?
    • Wild life: The Rockkor, Capri and Dragon should be on Earth as they look very terrestrial compared to the alien planet. All other should be on the alien planet. No wild life on asteroids, because that isn't realistic and doesn't even make sense logic-wise.

    I have never heard about the "this is not farming engineers" in similar suggestions.
  3. JNC Apprentice Engineer

    What a great job with all the drawnings!!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. SenorZorros Master Engineer

    generally I don't mind more gameplay but this really sounds like a bunch of things you have to plop down, automate and forget for the rest of the game. it is more of a grind than a feature.
  5. w0ps Apprentice Engineer

    It's a feature that enables players to decorate their homebases, or traveler starships with, and a break from all the bleak monotony of space. Allowing you to distinguish on sight between peace engineers and bandits and imperials!
    Sure it's a load of work, but boy I hope this makes it
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. JNC Apprentice Engineer

    Well, if food and stuff is added, something like this would be needed in order to explore vast distances more efficiently... otherwise you'd have to land and go foraging or just bring huge stores of supplies for your crew?

    The water capturer got me thinking of the Dune wind traps +1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    Ice is just water in solid form, so it still water but yeah that's the idea. It's still important to keep as much simple as possible with the limitation of the engine. In the video that the point of a greenhouse: Gravity and pressurized area indeed. For the other suggestions it's sure open to a lot of choice indeed.
    Pointing out realistic in Space Engineers will depend on everyone tolerance so far.

    Thanks you very much

    What is a grind to some people, isn't for others. This is why, as I've mention on top and in the video, the possibility the deactivate the food gameplay if necessary. I'm sure for some people dealing with oxygen is a grind. Automate and forget is a basis in SE. It also give interest to create outpost if nobody like doing mobile base. A place where you can refill on all with decent amount of cargo. Plus, it would invite the player to use more intensively waypoint and automated cargo ship in order to create a logistic line between your outpost and your base. I don't see that as a grind. Maybe you do, and I respect that. If people want to have one more reason to use all these features, then food is one of them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. SenorZorros Master Engineer

    You are assuming food will be in the game in the first place. Now I do not have any problem with food mechanics in general. However, I have not yet found anyone who has an interesting way to implement it. If we look at minecraft for example, it does have food mechanics. However, you can make sure you will never starve using a lake, some dirt a bit of tall grass, two sticks and two blocks of wood. If you get three iron bars you can make an even more reliable food source and for three pieces of string, thirteen iron bars, a lava block and 8 pieces of redstone you get an automated chicken farm resulting in infinite food.

    The proposition made in this thread is very similar. all the food would be automated and therefore forgotten. All it would be is some bookkeeping because you might end up going back prematurely because you forgot to take food.

    I am neither convinced that multiple tiers will help. for starters what would their benefits be? also, how do you make getting them an achievement?

    lastly, someone

    also, in any case I would replace the food replicator by algae tubes because those are cheaper and have a similar function.

    oxygen is different from food in that it is not only a resource but also a meaningful choice. now I must say that it needs expanding and refinement but there is a real dilemma between having pressurized rooms or not. I personally hope keen will improve this part to become a real design decision since at the moment it is quite skewed to the non-pressure

    Now I have heard people complain that I shoot down any idea. please understand this is not my intention. instead I try to bash ideas as hard as possible to see where it falls apart so it can be reinforced where it needs work. I am fairly impartial on the issue and if someone can make a case that I find sufficient I will happily agree.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    No worries about that, you are making a good point and at least you give your reason which help a lot to push the subject further. Thanks.

    As i said, the idea need a lot of refinement and gameplay balance, but I'll make my best to answer.

    -Compare to Minecraft, all that saved ice is now usefull, you'll have to make sure to never run dry of it, which is not the case in Minecraft. Because each survivals I'm doing, I have huge stock of ice I don't know how to use. Except for hydrogen for planets to Space travel, after that I switch between atmo and Ions engine only.

    Tho, beware, I need to remember that in Space Engineers, that is sandbox survival, there is no real reason to build stuff, we don't have any objectives except our own. I mean, we could easily survive in a rescue ship just fine.There would be no reason to want to gather resources except uranium and a bit of ice for oxygen and sit in a cryo room and that's it. The survival mode so far exist just for player to get his own objectives and to be challenged in the same time. Drones, wild life, meteors, they are here for that purpose. But with options, possibly immersions elements and things that make sense , it is why player tend to expand, because they want to reach their objective with the difficulties they've decided. Completing it, is a personal achievement.

    -In the video, I explain that each tiers got their on Con / Pro by themselves. Giving different adaptive gameplay.
    Tier1: Entirely automated but reduce your range of action if it's on a base. If it's a mobile base, moving with that thing make your ship heavier add with that the the energy consumption when moving the ship to a point A to B. Even if it's easy food, it require a lot of components. (Like a jumpdrive for ex) But the trade is doesn't need anything else and produce enough for one guy. If Tier 1 and 2 loose, you still have it to save you in worse case.
    Tier2: [To trade with massive reduce of energy you'll need gravel, water and seed] : -80% more or less energy consumptions, but take space, need oxygen environment and a direct contact with the sun. At least this time creation of a greenhouse, but since it require the sun, you'll have to protect it from debris, meteors or any attackers.
    Tier3: [To trade with massive reduce of energy you'll need gravel, water and seed] : A middle between the tier 1 and 2, require more components than tier 2 but less than tier 1, consume more energy than tier 2 but less than tier 1, doesn't need sun contacts, but may produce less than the Tier 2 because of it and the less amount of bloc require. You'll need multiple of them. (Still open to debate)

    Really, it depend of your adaptive situation, each of them have their trade and would tell the player that there is multiple possibilities

    -Algae tubes are interesting and would be logic to have a lot of them like oxygen farm in order to make something out of it. Gameplay wise. For example the power ressources.: It's like the solar panel = infinite energy, but you need plenty of them. But as alternative to solar panel, you got the nuclear reactor. Those 3 tiers are alternatives.

    So far, the player will have to manage more things (if they want it aka options). We had to deal with power for the suit, now oxygen, now hydrogen, (all removable options) and now food. With this concept and power/resources management challenge added, this will lead to the creation of various types of greenhouse created by players. And why not some self sufficient puzzles. Yet, crops aren't that complicate and let the players goes to do other things but will have to be careful with his energy or/and water.

    Edit: Tho, The farming system and food should be as simple as it is to mine and create components. It's to keep this balance between the two side and keep it harmonious in term of gameplay.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. JNC Apprentice Engineer

    Well put!

    If you want to make things more difficult, or less automated, we can look to the recent film The Martian. Plants in space (or on alien planets) are quite fragile things and if our player characters depend on them for survival, as they do oxygen, than ship mishaps could become much more daunting! Sure, growing / harvesting them could be automated but building them, getting the plants going (takes a long time so bouncing back from crop failure would be hard), and maintaining them isnt exactly automatic. Buuuut before that could happen we would need temperature to exist (plants dont like too hot or too cold), liquid water would be nice, and im just guessing but it probably takes a lot of plants to feed someone comfortably 24/7. These farms are all ship based so that would be a substatial amount of structure dedicated soley to feeding your crew.

    If crops start growing on planets than maybe we could have a ME farm worked with hand tools or something but i doubt that'll be a thing since SE is in the future... and the two games dont seem to share a whole lot for some reason :/

    Having said that, there could be a lot involved in growing a space based farm, which would be an achievement in and of itself. (also, how does 0g affect plant growth??)
    - gather loads of seeds
    - construct environmentally controlled area on ship that carefully matches terrestrial environment (and stays that way)
    - gather sufficient ice / water / nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) to get plants started (fertilizer requirements can be vast depending on soils used, if any [no soil = tier upgrade?])
    - plant crop
    - ensure nothing bad happens to plant habitat (asteroids, spiders, pirates, etc)
    - dont starve waiting for produce
    - plant diseases?
    - collect crop at proper time (automated?)
    - prepare food such that it doesnt rot in storage
    - repeat process

    Fertilizers can be made from lots of different things, so if that level of complexity is chosen for SE farming, that could be another block that must be built and supplied with stuff, to make more stuff (plant food).
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. SenorZorros Master Engineer

    NOTE: this is a response to @JassBefrold. people shouldn't post when I'm writing my essays!

    I not really a fan of the gravel and water requirements since those are non-renewable resources but that is mostly a frustration of mine and not a valid argument. I do agree with your framing of survival mode. however my fear is that this concept though it has been shown quite beautifully is not worth of development time because is does not add gameplay enough elements.

    Now I think it is good to define gameplay elements. in general I see one "passive" type of game play elements, statistics, and three "active" types of gameplay elements: challenges, choices and abilities. Now remember that I'm just a guy on the internet with slightly to vocal opinions on unimportant topics so this list is far from extensive and can very well be complete rubbish. if anyone has any opinions on it I would gladly read it.
    Statistics are just what they are, numbers. Things like hp or inventory space. they serve a role for other parts of the game and tend to not stand on their own. Therefore I won't discuss them.
    Abilities are ways the player can influence the game things like the jump action in a platformer or the ability to fire the assault rifle in this game as well as for instance camera control or even the ability to click on this.
    Challenges are elements that check if the player has some amount of skill and react to that. they can range from requiring the player to press w in a walking simulator to the ridiculous feats of dexterity required for max-difficulty bullet hell games to the information someone needs to process to play an rts to to the insight needed in a puzzle game to the ability to make everyone think someone is a fascist in Secret Hitler. important is that challenges do not imply that there is a matter of choice.
    Choices are instead another gameplay element. they are simply the option to distinguish between several options with several outcomes. They can be distinguished further but for this post the definition should be sufficient.

    lastly I would like to define "grind". for me a grind is a situation in which the game has unavoidable challenges of choices which do not enrich the experience by virtue of being too easy or to monotonous. an example of a grind would be the classic item farming in mmorpg's which is often simple because the mobs are relatively weak but cannot be skipped because one needs them for money or experience and one is unable to obtain said values in another way.

    Now comes my main criticism. the problem is that the feature as laid out seems to add no additional challenges. No additional abilities that expend what we can do right now in a meaningful way* and only a few choices.
    You said yourself that gravel and water are almost worthless at the moment. Furthermore you give options to create water from nothing yourself. Therefore the only choice if between renewable or not renewable which is a choice that would be easy to make since I don't expect an astronaut to eat an asteroid in a month. the only other choice is the added weight from the system. While I do admit that this adds some things to consider power is quite cheap and rightfully so. furthermore this whole thing is fairly easily circumvented by building a food base and using a jump drive making the Range of operations time-based bu fairly extensive.

    This minimal choice does come at a price though. keen does not work for free and making these features require dev time that might be better spend on other things like improving the multiplayer and updating the blocks or a myriad of other suggestions on this forum. I do not believe the concept as is is worthe of taking so much time and would therefore like to see ways to increase player interaction which do not end up being a grind. Sadly, I do not see any options for this myself.

    I hope I'm not too boring and my apologies for any grammatical or spelling mistakes.

    *I do not consider the ability to press x to not die meaningful

    This is a reply to @JNC,

    generally any problem except a meteor in can be protected against. crops can be modified to grow faster, any maintenance can be automated. especially if the crops are modified to make it easier, temperature can be regulated and systems can be isolated, water can be recycled and plants can be modified to increase production and handle zero-g environments. I have to disappoint you but it is a lot easier than it seems.

    - gathering seeds is impossible but it wouldn't seem too impossible that any space engineer has a bag of seeds in his standard equipment. it is quite light to carry and very useful for a stranded engineer.
    - construction is not an issue because our engineer has all the blueprints he ever needs stored in his suit's computer. if one can assemble a nuclear reactor making a greenhouse isn't hard anymore. the construction itself would be quite easy.it would probably be a combination of a thermos flask, lighting and a heat exchanger.
    - fertilizer is produced by the astronaut and while I do have to admit I do not know how one converts gravel into soil but I believe you are able to grow plants in moon rock so I don't see why asteroids wouldn't suffice either.
    - any maintenance can be done with a machine less complicated than your dishwasher. I am more surprised at the engineer's ability to build a complex assembly machine out of basic components.
    - ensuring nothing bad happens is part of the standard procedure and needs to be done with or without farms.
    - plant diseases don't happen in a sterile environment. if your environment is not sterile, why did you take the effort to make your farms less efficient? (the vacuum of space is unsurprisingly good at killing things)
    - rotting food again would be quite hard to do. off course food might get a bit stale but we have the magical science of freezing and canning at our disposal. there is no reason for food to decay in future and since zero-g makes everything taste bad anyway we don't need to care about that either.
    - repeat process. well that's where the grind comes in.

    I hope you con't see this as an attack but the problem is that these ideas do not really add gameplay. just grinding and distractions.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  12. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    Replay to @SenorZorros

    Water and gravel are excessively abundant. Water can be unlimited if you extract it from a planet humidity. I've never said from nothing, it would require a lot of them tho and be on a planet with oxygen. Gravel could be remove tho, but i'm not that worried about it. But then, if I follow your modus operandi, it make oxygen not worth it. Except to keep us alive, it doesn't have any other purpose. It had no features. Pressurise an area doesn't give me more things than having a oxygen bottle on me. As even to deal with oxygen doesn't give me feature either, it's a survival condition I'm forced into. As to keep my suit power ON. As I said, if I was in a peaceful world with my rescue ship, then, mining a bit of uranium and a bit of ice become grind. Because it easy and because it doesn't serve any purpose except to press X to not die. The lack of attention as always been one of the reason we die. All depends what kind of lack of attentions: Driving skill, piloting skill, management skills, etc...)

    Its where, I believe considering something as a grind is totally a personal things and so, it is why Keen studio leave each individual to customs their game difficulties. Everything in a video game can be consider as a grind but each individual decide what type of grinds they prefer. DanceDance Revolution (faster music, more steps), MMoRPG bashing (WoW - more hp, more resistants. For some people, monster bashing and/or fetch is challenging to them), GTA (You could just keep your 20$ and your crappy car, but you'll have to do activities, if you want a sport car and other stuff that doesn't give much features). As GTA, the Space Engineers players is free to do nothing and be in a peaceful world with his fully equipped ship, every forced action would be grind, because they do not serve any purpose except keeping us alive. (As I follow your modus operandi)

    Because I like space and I like survival, I take in consideration all these surviving conditions into play, even if it is easy. Power, Oxygen, Food, Fuel. And with that, I setup my own objectives with all the survival conditions as to face any managements it require, even the simplest. How many time people miss easier things, sometimes? You said yourself, you could forget about this management part and die 'meaningful' but that would be your fault. How many time you can get kill because of lack of attention "Ah i forgot this guy could do that". It is not grind to me. And yet it can be consider as grind. The food system add a new condition to fulfil in the game just as oxygen. The difference is that you have now more blocs to protect. Some of these blocs require a pressurise area (now giving this feature of oxygen a purpose) and more spaces. Which would invite you to create more defence, consume more ammo, find resources to make these ammos, ask the player to create intelligent design of green house, to manage blocs spaces, manage your resources consumptions and finally, to be carefully and have more strict modus operandi every time you go on EVA. Because yes, having more conditions to fulfil tend to make the game harder in some way. I accept to deal with meteor as i accept to deal with pirates and spiders. So they can come and challenge what I have done.

    To me, a grind is adding more HP to a enemy. You can repeat what you done on beating him except your repeat it 2times more. In a sandbox game as space engineers you can plan to avoid doing that. Changing that small mining ship into a bigger one. etc etc. Remember, each time, we create a new custom game and we are checking each of these square, it is more obstacles and conditions we have to fulfil. And because of the context of the game I do not understand your point of view: why oxygen is more worth that food at that point. It is simple at that point. If you do not want to manage more things, uncheck some of these squares. To me, I'm ready to take that on the face as it would be my fault for not being prepared to deal with more conditions to fulfil and protect more essential blocs.

    To resume, what you call as a grind, it to keep something working in order to survive. Which is exactly, the same way, uranium and oxygen does work in SE. Ice and uranium are easy to get but you need to look for them. Which is a grind to you in a case of total peace. But if you think of the situation with the player objectives (building a massive base, building a massive ship) and random enemies (meteor, drones and even yourself with lack of attention) then it is more things, with food include, you have to protect, manage and build smart. Space Engineers in all its definition.

    To finish, as I mentioned on the disclaimers and in the video, this is a suggestion. It is not to debate about what Keen studio should do first or not. Nor how they should deal things. It is up to Keen's discretions. Otherwise, if we all follow that idea, a bug thread rather than a suggestion box should be more useful. I believe this should not be a reason for us to stop thinking or share ideas, even the craziest one, as long they are pertinent.

    Do not worry for your explanation I've read it all. If you mention it, there will be probably other people that think the same way. Telling it here actually open some points here and here, and remove more of that fog around certain problem, no need to apologies. :]
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Shabazza Junior Engineer

    I'm not generally against the concept of growing food in hydroponics as a game mechanic.
    But I think, survival in SE should more be a thing of engineering a way around environmental hazards and random incidents like environmental
    ablormalies (particle storms, sun eruptions, micro metheorite showers, explosive gas clouds, ...) or random defects on ship parts dependend on some MTTF,
    than a standard "get food to not die" mechanic.
    If it's just a grind to process raw food to eatable food to only fill yet another death meter, I see no point in implementing it.
    Even in survival, that's not what I personally aim for. It's dull.
    Once you have automated this food growing, the exciting survival factor "getting food to not die" is completely gone.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. LATENT PRECISE-IMPOSER Apprentice Engineer

    I have to agree with most of the people on this thread. As it stands, getting food in games (or building a farm for that matter) is a "tier 0" necessity below "Get Base" and "Get Gear". Players will find a way to quickly mass-produce it, automate it (either by mods or taking advantage of game mechanics) and then move on their merry way. Now if you can make it into a "quest" where players can trade it for rewards and stuff "The Colony on Space Station Ulysses is in need of 30,000 Space Potatoes --- Reward: 5000KG of Ice" and tweak it to where Food is both a necessity as well as a risk "Pirate Soldiers have no problem stealing Space Potatoes when given a chance, they also have a fetish for burning farms" and maybe we'll see a warmer reception to food.

    but until that happens, no thank you, I'm not hungry.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    I think i start to understand what is the problem to some now,

    As to remember, when I play a game called Space Engineers, I expect to be challenged in the offered "survival" mode, to keep those death meter full while I tried to complete my objectives. Because health, oxygen, power and food will always be death meter in the game, no matter what we do. Basic mechanics of a survival. So far, the argument given are not really appropriate for this thread. Some seems to be looking for their death meter (health) to be challenged. The subject here is for those that look for a new (death meter) and a logic one to be available for those who wish it to face it. (Remember the option you can deactivate?). Food. If there is a necessity, then it would be good to create a new thread to challenge these deaths meters, which is what some people seems to be looking for and has nothing to do with food itself. (As Shabazza mentioned, random defects, explosive gas, etc...) all of those are different subjects that exist to stop player from filling those death meters while trying to achieve their personal objectives.

    To resume, for some, the real problem is the lack of challenge to oppose these death meters. Not the death meter itself (food). They have the right to exist. Food is a logic path in a survival and more in space. The lack of danger to challenge these is another subject, that fellow space engineers fan need to find aside (Create or propose in the suggestion)

    Back to the two arguments. As I've said in two of my post:
    Building a greenhouse is engineering. The way you use it and create it is. The way you protect it and manage the resources it require is too.

    So if I follow your both point of views, as I've mentioned on my last post, then oxygen has not point to be here no more. It doesn't serve any purpose and it is a constant "get oxygen to not die". Until you have big pack of ice, you ignore it and just come time to time to fill your bottle. Nobody seems to complain about this. Yet, the argument used there could be used the same way for it. What about it?

    -Oxygen is easy to get, easy to protect, is a constant "keep me to not die" and offer no challenge at all nor invited conditions to complete. Take a big chunk of ice, and the "not die" conditions is gone.

    -As I've said on the previous post, with a farms, at least you have to keep it constant pressurize area (now oxgen in your base has a point - Tier2-tier3), more bloc to protect, more management (energy, space and water wise = engineering); if the place got depressurise, you loose it all. Never mention it but at least the excess could be use as biofuel. Energy and/or engine maybe, that's why it's open to debate.

    Now, look both of them Oxygen and Food. Which are the more useless if I use the point of view you explained?

    I propose we should find a way to make it interesting, if it the main problem of some people. Ignoring and pointing a problem is easy, fixing it and optimize it require more efforts. Shall we not focus of that instead?
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  16. Thedevistator Senior Engineer

    There's 2 things I really want with food. 1. I don't want to have to eat every 5 minutes more like every hour or so but balance that by making food hard to grow/get. 2. The way I want food to be a challenge is making it hard to find so you have to develop machines to find them. I also want it so when you grow food at first it takes awhile and is all manual. Later on you can engineer your own automated systems to harvest and process. I think that will make food a challenge and will require engineering to truly overcome it.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Levits Senior Engineer

    Food is no more a grind than harvesting Ice ore Uranium. In fact, it is less so. With the automated system of the farming blocks, it would be an early stage survival requirement (THE only requirement needed really). It would be the same as getting your first assembler or refinery established. <But then again, you don't even need to establish or build your first refinery or assembler because the default starting scenario has you in possession of those things. You have no survival needs the moment you start the game as is.

    The concern of having to constantly eat to keep your bar high is notable, but not such a massive concern. 1 to 2 hours of play between small meals (aka: a snack bar). If you want to have longer times between meals, setup a kitchen to produce actual meals which give you far longer times between having to eat. In addition, you can also have this setup to count towards the number of crew you have aboard your ship. A single small farm may be able to keep you alive, but not all of your friends, AI crew, or Faction members. You will want and need to provide for them in some way.

    Then, with that comes the challenges (because, as stated before, this food stuff would be nothing more than forgotten after it has been established).

    Hostile forces would have a new target, one that can cripple you and your entire empire if you didn't take extra precautions. Instead of attacking your super-fortified spaceship/station, they now have the option to taking out your farms. Blowing up your reactor may be a bit of an annoyance, but you simply say that you have extra or spare batteries lying around. Things keep going and can still keep going once your repair or replace the blown up part.

    Oxygen isn't an issue either. "I'll just get more ice and/or patch the hole and pressurize the ship again. No biggie.". I still have an O2 bottle on me and it costs nothing to make a small ship oxygen gen so I'm not concerned about it right now.

    But have the enemy hit your hydroponics bay or depressurize your farming space and you now have a bit more to concern yourself with. You not only lose your crop, but you have to start over again. If you have only established the bare minimum and not built enough to stockpile, you are in trouble. A single person would have little concern with it. But if you are part of a faction or have a crew and you all need to have a means to eat, having the enemy take out your farms is going to cause some serious problems <problems that you will need to "engineer" around. And, depending on which tier and preference, you can either burry them into your ship or have them exposed.

    Heck, I like the aesthetics that come along with it alone. But as far as survival goes, there is not much to be concerned with at this time that benefits an actual "Survival" scenario. Electricity and Oxygen. Each almost exactly identical to the other in terms of concept. You need both, once established they are not a concern. Even having to restart from scratch, they instantly solve a problem. Need O2, no vent required. Just ice and a small-ship oxygen generator and a solar panel. Need power. 1 solar panel and a seat. A farm is a bit more of a commitment and a lot more frail. You don't just shrug it off and build a new one. You start over from scratch and have to try not to starve while the plants are growing. <Which may be a perfectly reasonable reason to go pirate someone else's food reserves.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. Harrekin Master Engineer

    If it means more "mission planning", I'm in.

    Make it so you need planets to get it started, possibly to keep it maintained too.

    Give us a reason to land on those big sexy but ultimately "barren" planets.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Jappards200 Apprentice Engineer

    I know ice is water in solid form, but the only water we got in Space Engineers is ice. Calling it water is confusing, to readers it might seem like you are adding in a new concept called "water" while you mean ice.

    Realism depends on how much everyone can tolerate, yes, but I was stating an opinion. Even if we don't think about realism, What is the point of using ice?
  20. Levits Senior Engineer

    A "component" for building defined as "Water" would be a potentially good idea for later use and integration into other aspects of the game. Geothermal Generators could effectively be added with a component/resource being liquid water (or as a simple component, being termed Water (with its own weight and stuff being based on liters or whatever)). Using water as a form of fuel source similar to uranium, or as a sealed system where the water remains sealed in the system and only has to be replaced if the pipes are ruptured.

    Having it introduced for a single purpose isn't going to be enough to get it into the game. But this one, single addition could be used for multiple things such as a potential use for "heat management/cooling", Getting more ice up into a container with less space (ice takes up more volume than liquid water). For radiation protection (water infused walls would soak up a lot more radiation than just plane ole steel). Even going so far as to be used for ballast and/or whatever else might fit into the game.

    The way I see it, ice and liquid water are two vastly different things. In space, at least in a realistic sense, Ice is not hard to find. It's everwhere. What's hard to find is liquid forms of it. Even the process of electrolysis has to convert this ice into a liquid regardless before it can split the two. Perhaps having "water" used in-place of "ice" can also benefit the energy cost and time/amount of oxygen and hydrogen produced from the electrolysis device... Oxygen Generator...
  21. JassBefrold Trainee Engineer

    If it come to eat, I guess it would be simple to do it just as oxygen bottle. Having some food on you, use it automatically. It's sure that the hunger should drop less than oxygen of course, but then, growing crops or awaiting for the food from the food replicator should create less faster then.

    @Harrekin : Gotta agree, so far, not much reason to go there except for water and massive amount of oxygen.

    @Jappards200 : Yeah, but since SE doesn't bother about the state of turning the ice into water before, I've just been thinking saying water instead. But you are right, at this point, it would be nice to give one step with the ice. Since we tend to turn raw ore into ingots, it's should be ice turn into water.

    @Levits : Yes, it's true. Now I'm thinking, as I've mention to Jappards, it would be nice to turn that ice into water and stock it into massive or smalls water tanks. I can already see those water tanks on base or on some spaceship, close to greenhouse. Later, the player can choose what to do with this water.

    Ice -> Water (Tanks):
    --> Oxygen
    --> Hydrogen
    --> Used for crops
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  22. Bruce LeedleLeedleLeedleLee Junior Engineer

    I'd love to put a garden into my ships.
    Currently you have no real interiors besides some seats, semi constructed decor blocks and medical stuff. This enhancement would change a lot, but I really like your Concept art, and fully support the ideas.
    Also some of the wildlife looks dangerous to ships, which is nice. I wanna go whale hunting with missile launchers.
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  23. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Yeah I'd take his aliens over nearly all others I've seen, they're plausible "semi-terrestrial looking".
  24. 666Savior Apprentice Engineer

    I've been wanting food to be added, call me weird but I always imagined sitting on a planet looking over my fields of corn or wheat or whatever crop with my cargo truck parked in the background and enjoying the view.

    Compared to other food based ideas I feel this is the most fleshed out and practical one. I am also in that group that doesn't want to have to eat every 10 seconds. If they had it every 2 or 3 hours, that would be fine. And have it where if you have food in your backpack it will automatically be used, just like oxygen or hydrogen.

    A gardening section in a ship would be cool. Either that or it could add to the practicality of fleets with support ships. You have your group of ships and one is a food barge essentially, while others fulfill other roles.

    And i like the alien concepts. I think i saw the picture a while ago but they all look really cool, and would think it would be cool if some were passive as well.
  25. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

    Buried deep within the Elite Dangerous Production Mod is a great food mechanics system. It's a lot like what has been outlined here except no large farms. Everything is designed to work on a ship. That mod was built off the Advanced Life Support Systems mod. The ED mod didn't make the DX11 cut and has been abandoned. The Advanced Life Support mod was resurrected by @SEModder4, and then @RobCob and @rekcah actually included the food mechanic. The original models for the machinery came from @not7cd, I believe.

    I will just help state that he said from the beginning that it should be optional.

    There was another thread on this subject but I can't find it. However, a lot of people felt that because we're already watching energy and oxygen that having to pay attention to hunger and having to eat was too much. I blame this on the way other games handle hunger. Usually in game that require you to eat, you have to do it often and not doing so has dire consequences. It doesn't have to work that way, especially in SE. I couldn't find anything definitive on the subject, but it is generally accepted that a person could go two weeks or longer without food. In SE an astronaut could carry several "space food bars" that could sustain him or her for months. Eating aboard ship or at a station could be more... appetizing, but starvation should be the absolute last thing that will kill you in SE.

    I agree with the comments made about the construction and maintenance of food production facilities on both ships and stations. I hardly understand how it can be called "survival" if food is not part of the equation. Every Boy Scout knows that survival means food, clothing and shelter. Without all three you don't survive. Incidentally, the Elite Dangerous mod had a hydroponic plant that produced cotton. Plant fiber can be used for a number of things. It's not all about food.

    It was also agreed in the other thread that we don't need food from Keen, just the mechanic and maybe a basic block that dispenses "space food bars". Modders can take it from there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  26. Maddo Trainee Engineer

    I like that food could be a long term goal (only needed after several hours of gameplay), and could require a relatively large amount of infrastructure to support it. That gives us something to work towards (since oxygen+energy we get for free with most starter ships).

    That said, I think your design is overly complicated. In comparison energy just requires power and a chair, and oxygen only needs power, a cockpit, ice and a single machine. Even a complicated oxygen setup isn't all that much more complicated.

    I'd make food similar. Power + Oxygen + Ice + One or two machines. I'd probably require it to be grown in at least low oxygen environments, to encourage the use of that existing game play element.

    I'm not a fan of:
    - Requiring harvesting seeds or bio-mater from planets before you can grow food.
    - Requiring sunlight to grow food. (Maybe have a farm block that can use either power or sunlight)
    - Lots of different types of plants or types of food. (Leave that as an opportunity for modders)
    - Requiring you to eat food every few minutes. (I'd have it so you only starve after 4 hours or so)
    - I'm undecided about eating with the helmet closed. (Technically feasible, but might be fun to encourage living areas)
    - I'm undecided about processing plant matter into food bars. (Personally I don't like cooking, so this just seems like extra fluff)
    - Needing to manually plant/harvest food. (Did that way too much in Minecraft)
  27. Hakon102 Apprentice Engineer

    at First: very beautiful draws! I want to see a good food mechanic implemented in the Game.

    My two cent's on this topic.

    Yes, it's Important that there is an option in the World settings (If you have to eat or not). So that the people "who don't like it" can turn it off. But i think, if it's well implemented, many people will like it, how oxygen.

    And i fully agree, that it would really bad if you must eat every 5-10 min. Or that you suddenly begin to die, if you don't eat 2 hours. (It's not oxygen).

    What i suggest for the "hunger/Starving mechanic" is something like this:
    Stage 7: you are full, you cant eat anymore (no disadvanteges) /after 20 min you drop to stage 6

    Stage 6: not hungry (no disadvanteges) /after 1 Hour you drop to stage 5

    Stage 5: little hungry (no disadvanteges) /after 1 Hour you drop to stage 4

    Stage 4: Hungry (little disadvanteges: walking in gravity is slower 90%, slower Handtool welding/grinding
    speed 80% etc.) /after 1 Hour you drop to stage 3

    Stage 3: very Hungry (bigger disadvanteges: walking in gravity is slower 80%, slower Handtool welding/grinding speed 60%, your view blurs slightly) /after 1 Hour you drop to stage 2

    Stage 2: Starving (biggest disadvanteges: walking in gravity slower 70%, slower Handtool welding/grinding speed 40%, your view is blurred) /after 2 Hour you drop to stage 1

    Stage 1: Dying (you loose 1 max. HP every 10 min. and disadvanteges from stage 2)

    Times/ Values are only examples! I choose these stage times, because you build things much faster, grind much faster, mine much faster as in real life and the hunger system should be some challenging. But this is only my opinion.

    I think this system is more realistic and absolutely not annoying.

    Edit: reasons are in the post below.
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  28. Levits Senior Engineer

    I like the idea of blurry vision. It fits pretty well with whatever FPS thing the Devs want to add and even going so far as to affect accuracy (I'll say that the whole "Head-bobbing" thing isn't my cup of tea, but a starving person isn't the most stable on their feet). After a certain point, it could be a good signaling system to let you know just how bad off you are.

    Not a fan of the welding/grinding speed alteration though. Those are based on the machines equipped and I wouldn't change anything with them. The walking speed for the astronaut though is acceptable (not movement with thrusters but walking with gravity). You definitely aren't going to be jogging anywhere when you're starving to death.

    The span of it would be hours, not minutes. The suns default time is what?... 12 hours? I figure about 3 in-game days and you begin to become affected by starvation. Plenty of time to get to work setting up your food production.

    I figure if you can begin to starve in 3 days (extended out to a max/around 10 days without food), the simplest "Tier-1" (Algae growing system) would only be able to produce the most basic form of food (aka: those nutrient bars) and that would be just enough to keep you going but not enough to survive off of if you are ever caught off guard or away from it. 2 or more of those would have to be used in order to stockpile for emergencies; but 1 to keep you stable and fed. Any larger versions would take longer to begin producing edible material. 5 or even 10 in-game days for Tiers 2 or 3 (Actual plant farming) to get to maturity. Once they have reached maturity, the "organic material" would be provided at a steady rate.

    Balancing and stuff would need to be worked in regarding the time-frames of growing and harvesting and such.

    But yeah, once you reach the bottom of the barrel in terms of starvation. Death would slowly occur... http://graphs.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Hunger-strike-effects-on-the-human-body.jpg
    • Like Like x 2
  29. Hakon102 Apprentice Engineer

    @Levits ,thank you for your feedback ;) I have often problems to expressing myself in english.

    - slowing welding/grinding speed is only for "working with handtools" :) If you work with a ship Grinder/Welder, there are no disadvanteges.
    you need some power/strengh and concentration to work with a hand grinder in RL.
    But I think, I know what you mean. The debuff is only a multiplier. World setting grinding speed *equipped Handtool multiplier (e.g Tier3) * hunger debuff multipier (e.g. 80%) = grinding speed. But if you dont like it, it's ok.

    - Yes, "moving speed" only means walking in gravity.

    - i thought the same of "loosing life/starving" should need much more time, how in RL. My intension was, that the player can easely refill his life on a medbay. But, you bring me to the idea to reduce the max. life every 10-20 min instead of simply loosing life. So you loose 3-6 max. HP every Hour. so you can survive 16,7-33,3 Hours in stage 1 before you die. What you are thinking about?

    Side Note: i choose these stage times, because you build things much faster, grind much faster, mine much faster as in real life and the hunger system should be some challenging. But this is only my opinion.:)

    I edit my post above.
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  30. Einharjar Junior Engineer

    I agree with these disclaimers here. Food can be a game play option, something already engrained in SE's player catering. We've got options for cargo ships, pirates, hounds, bugs, meteors showers, hell we can even make our character a total android and even shut off O2. So basically, the game makes itself available to being absolutely baren of any challange what so ever. For people to get upset over a suggestion that can be added in the future when Keen has finished a bit of optimization - and the mechanics be something that's OPTIONAL in game like everything else, I really think the hatred is VERY unwarranted and misplaced. There's no reason for such argument against these features being added, at all. There's no grounds for most of them. I'd rather see people's arguments about HOW these features are portrayed, than simply say "no" when there's a litany of options added in SE that are already letting you shut them off. So, bravo. I agree. Moving on!

    I love how you're approaching the Risk vs Reward method here.

    "Should I stay or should I go!", the common question for settling in space. Should we be nomadic, or should we settle? Well, we all know from history that civilization could NOT take hold until mankind become permanent farmers instead of nomadic foragers. The same would apply in space and we can use this reality to our advantage by creating Risk vs Reward scenarios.

    People need to realize how much of Game Design is really just... psychology. The designer's job is to create an experience that users can relate too by either convincing them the experience is authentic through creating immersion or by creating a simulated experience by simply recreating details as accurately as possible. Now, SE is no DCS simulator so, we will go with the latter. We're attempting to create the potential of a convincing experience of what it's like making colonies and surviving in expansion through space. That includes food. We can erase this notion altogether by replacing the engineer with a Robot of some sort, but that doesn't feel as authentic does it? We can't relate to robots. Even though our future may be as purely machines, we'd rather feel that it's US that's in that suit, not a machine.

    There for, we gotta' eat. Some how. It's one of the most surprisingly underrated factors in space exploration. We need to eat, and we need to make sure we've got enough energy and thrust to ensure we can take that food with us.
    Because space is so vast, when colonizing, we should only be taking enough food to get started, but not enough to sustain. Thus, we need options for making food ourselves. This is all based on reality, which designers STUDY in order to see how they can translate that reality into experiences in games.

    In this case, we translate the food system into another risk vs reward feature. A health mechanic will need to be decided, but for now, I'll focus on your resource system.

    A food resource system such as your own may have to be expanded, simply because even SE currently has pushed the boundaries of immersion here. Not all planetary bodies are habitable. Thus, creating farms on worlds that are NOT Earthlike need to be taken into question. I can see what you're leading up to - Food requires pressurized habitable atmosphere to let them aspirate, they require a gravel/soil with the nutrients to consume, they require water and they also require seedlings of some sort (components for starting the food consumable).

    Here's a few things that need to be worked out however:
    -Mars for example DOES have enough nutrients in it's soil for plants to grow. Some areas don't however, which means we need a way to create a "fertilizer" which is basically a booster. Would your modules do this? If so, this would even allow moon colonization!
    -Plants need lighting, which means like Solar Panels, plants need to be able to respond to being lit and once lit, they're state becomes "active" in game, thus they produce a consumable. We'd need the game to not only know when the Sun is providing power, but also when lights are providing power. Plots that use built in lights make this easy - it's simple. The power to the plot is off, no lights, no plant production (unless sunlight reaches it). You agree?
    -What about food degradation? Food only lasts so long. Standard storage containers my not work. Just like other consumables (O2 and H), what say you about adding special refrigeration containers that use a lot of energy to store food so that the food doesn't expire?

    These are just a few questions. There are more but I'll save them.

    On my review of what you have so far -

    I do NOT prefer a tier system, where each Teir is suddenly better than the last. Why? Because that removes the engineering aspect of the game. I should NOT be able to just "build a better block" to achieve better results. If I want an automatic harvesting system, I need to build one. Mods like "Gears'n'Things" are to me, really good staples for what Keen to needs to think about adding to the game. I can already see, with your farming plots alone, people making automated gantries for picking and harvesting the food using scripts plus the gears, rails and rotors. THAT is Engineering, not these "auto blocks".

    I'd there for remove the idea of Teired blocks, and instead seporate the blocks by their obvious Risk vs Reward function.
    One block series is made to be mobile, like the Food Processor. It's made to do it on the fly. An auto-block. I don't like it, but it needs to be an option. It uses a lot of power and needs a like of computer components - making it expensive. Hydroponic farming on the other hand needs little power and can even use the SUN to power the plant's production of consumable material. So you have the setup for the Risk vs Reward, I'd just remove the "better and better tier" system. HOWEVER, Even Keen is trying this with their engineer tools. Notice However, that Keen doesn't just settle with "higher tier is simply better" philosphy. The better the Gun for example, it also gains different functions - such as burst, higher accuracy or both. Something similar could be done with your farming modules. You could have higher teir modules that also produce fertilizer on the fly, rather than having you go harvest it (like a Teir three farm module would also come with it's own Compost System for example). Something of that nature. I think creating teirs by adding function is FAR FAR Better for game play than just "it produces more". That's boring.

    I'll send a PM of what I feel would be a good option, then maybe you can provide feed back. The "food meter" is really tried and old. I don't see a reason for it. Everything relates to the health meter. Even O2 taxes the health meter. So if the O2 system doesn't need it's own meter, and it's a consumable as well - why does food?
    We need something though. We need an effect that tells people to eat, but note that it HAS to be incentive. A simple "don't eat you die" problem is not exciting. It's monotinious and it just reminds the player to repeate simple tests to be granted more time to play the game. Food should be a BOOST to game play, not a detriment. We will have to break realism there and consider food as a BONUS, not a Death Sentance. We shouldn't automatically design consumables to simple be "the price of play time". That's counter productive. It's excusable with Oxygen, but food is going to be a far more complicated and tedious consumable. This means, it shouldn't be as punishing. It should be a reward instead, a reward that pushes players to WANT to engineer it. I'll send a PM.

    Pokemon Red or Yellow?

    I hope to veer food away from that as well. Food is really a "eat or die", but for the sake of game-play, I really food should be a incentive "bonus". You should be required to eat, yes. However, I don't think it should out right kill you - just make using your character more difficult. Blurred vision, reduces walks/run speed, reduced inventory capacity, all options. But I would remove outright death.
    Instead, I see food being a Booster to these same stats. Kind've like how Sektan makes suits with different stats, food would give temporary buffs to certain PC (player character) stats. We can even make new ones. It'd be great to have fun making your own recipes for food types that fit your play style.

    The last thing I would add is how awesome it would be to have all of this, PLUS NPCs. I'd love to make ACTUAL COLONIES or ACTUAL EXPLORATION ships populated with members of my species. MP isn't stable now, and even when it is, 12 people would be okay? But I'd love to compete with my friends or my brother with "whos colony does better" scenarios.
    So along with this, NPCs are the top thing I want to see in SE that'd complete the game to me. This and NPCs. With those two together, SE will be complete and anything there after will be just improvements and extras (such as a dynamic mission system of some sort... hint hint).
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