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June 17th, 2008, 16:19
If done right, it adds an extra dimension to the game strategy, if done wrong, it makes it tedious and ruins the game.

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June 17th, 2008, 17:06
I feel like I should step in and throw some cold water on the crowd…

First, I should reiterate that I agree with everyone who says food/water can be a pain-in-the-ass. There have been a handful of RPGs that have fouled it up, and no doubt many players cringe at the thought of stopping every 10 minutes of gameplay to spoon-feed your character. This won't be the case with Book 2.

Second, to anyone who is a fan of Eschalon and is concerned that food/water requirements may hurt the next game, you can rest assured that if we can't do it right, it won't be done at all. As noted, this feature should add to the experience, not take away from it. All I can promise is that if it is a drag during beta testing, it'll be pulled.

I can also say that a lot of thought is going into it. We are looking at making it optional via a difficulty setting at the start of the game, but for players who want it, we allow you to deal with food/water in the way that works best for you: buy food, forage for it, hunt for it, find it (via drops), or create it (via magic). Generally speaking, food should not be a challenge to obtain except for when it obviously would be: deep in the bowels of a dungeon, far out it a desert wasteland, or in the middle of a frozen wilderness. These are the situations when a player should take the time to ready his character for the journey by ensuring his water skins are full and an ample supply of rations are packed up.

There will also be quests and various challenges surrounding the use of food/water, so this is more than just another character micromanagement element. This is about increasing the depth of role-playing experience. It's about taking time out of an ongoing quest to spend a few minutes hunting or gathering food, or to put a little validation behind visiting an inn and ordering a serving of mutton and ale while you ask about local rumors.

Thanks for everyone's opinion on the matter. We read them all and consider each one!
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June 17th, 2008, 18:21
Whether I agree or disagree with the eat/drink decision, I'm simply impressed as heck with the level of involvement bw has with his players. Not only does he listen, but he reacts. Kudos! It's interesting that the developers doing this level of "customer service" are the most time-constrained as well. Atari could hire 5 guys with nothing to do all day but interact with players--listen and react-- but they don't. It's the guys that are practically a one-man show (bw with Eschalon, Vince with AoD) that make time.
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June 17th, 2008, 18:44
I liked the way it was done in Betrayel at Krondor. That poisoned food was a interesting twist to it all.
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June 18th, 2008, 00:59
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
I liked the way it was done in Betrayel at Krondor. That poisoned food was a interesting twist to it all.
I don't remember which game but I remember something like if you'd have your food too long in your bags, it would spoil and if you'd it your spoiled food you'd get poisoned. Was it BaK? Forget.

And thanks for taking the time to talk to us Wrangler!
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June 18th, 2008, 12:25
Originally Posted by BasiliskWrangler View Post
I feel like I should step in and throw some cold water on the crowd…
Sure, in our everyday reality, a cold shower (water) would jolt people's minds and reset the perspective to a less harrowing, less over-the-top, less hyper-obsessive reaction to a rather trivial game element.



My personal opinion (which is shared by anywhere from 5 to 95% of the RPG playing population), is that in NON-Fantasy, generally realistic RPGs like Fallout, having a requirement to stock water in order to avoid dehydration and death is consistent.

But in a fantasy RPG realm, where fire-breathing dragons, healing spells, aggressive/destructive combat spells, magically enchanted weapons, and a myriad of science-defying phenomenon exist, it's contradictory and inconsistent to say "yeah, the laws of 2008 AD science are out the window, but your character still needs to gather and consume 1000+ calories per day and meet the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamins, minerals and nutrients" is really quite silly, mundane, tedious, menial, entirely inappropriate and totally unneccessary *in the context* of a science-defying *fantasy* role-playing *game*.

I'd much rather see you great, creative and courageous indie RPG developers trash the temptation to include mundane 2008 AD realisms in favor of spending more time and resources on party-based play, dialogue depth, game size and NPC development.

Again, that's my personal opinion, and since we are talking recreational games here (yes, I have to remind myself of that, it's my own cold shower), the artistic inclinations of the creators (you) reign supreme and argumentative logic need not apply (in the realm of recreational video games).
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June 20th, 2008, 17:19
Its obviously a very polarising feature. Im as old school CRPG as you can get but Im still in the no camp. This sort of busy work simply isn't fun. I bought Book I and thoroughly enjoyed it ('twas a bit short though). Book II *was* on my must buy list, but I loath this proposed feature so much it's knocked it right down to a "try the demo and maybe".
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June 20th, 2008, 19:49
I'll be okay with it so long as it's optional. The darkness/torch factor of the dungeons in EI was enough realism for me.
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June 21st, 2008, 02:54
I'm not a big fan of the way hunger/thirst was implemented in many games to date, but it's not the 'mundanity' aspect that makes me cringe. I believe hunger tracking is only as mundane as the related game mechanics and/or its justification in terms of setting and plot development are.

It was completely superfluous (hence annoying) in Eye of the Beholder II, where, iirc, a cleric spell allowed you to create food for the whole party. This contributed nothing to the game except taking up one spell slot permanently.

In Dungeon Master (a game BW cited as an influence), lack of food and water prevented the player from camping all the time to get back to full health (plus, the possibility of starvation added some extra suspense). An important component of game design which worked well in that respect. It was nevertheless prone to becoming tiresome at times because of the micromanagement.

In ADOM (and other roguelikes) there is an even stronger focus on what your character eats: different races have different metabolism speeds, eating can poison you or make you sick, but also provide beneficial effects and special abilities (eating a fire dragon steak provides fire immunity, etc.). Which makes the whole thing fairly interesting (even enjoyable, except starving to death in a roguelike isn't exactly what I call fun).

To sum it up, the hunger/thirst feature is horrible only if it has no real significance in the game (as in, no real starvation/dehydration threat is present) and/or involves a lot of mouse clicking and drag&drop. Unless you aim for very detailed focus on food (ADOM-style), I'd recommend making consumption as automated (i.e. remove the need to spoon-feed your characters) as possible (or at least provide such option in the settings).
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June 21st, 2008, 19:33
I liked it the way it was implemented in the later 2 parts of the ROA trilogy : One had to built up watchers/guards for the night, and then assisn some "automated tasks" like looking for food, water and herbs.

Feeding was then automated (meaning the charactters were eating when their "hunger-meter" was full, as long as there was food "at hand".

What I would've liked to see there, but which was never implemented, was the use of a "sharpening stone" (grindstone) for the weapons, and automated (and manual, at wish) repair of both armor & weapons - not smithing/forging, by the way, because that was the domain of the smiths in the towns.

One *could* buy and manually use the "sharpening stome" (grindstone), though, which reduced the possibility that a weapon would break ( I almost wrote "brake" ) .
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