Recommended Posts

Hi, this is my first post. It probably won't be the best, but I won't let that stop me from trying.

 

Let's take a look at the role of food in games, then see how it applies in a game like Astroneer. In your traditional combat oriented games, food is a health restore, either instantly returning a portion of the health bar or providing a temporary regeneration effect. Its function is keeping the player alive by using a limited resource in time of need. In MMO type games, usually, the food either provides the aforementioned effects, or it provides a temporary boon of another nature, ranging from increased damage to improved maximum health to damage mitigation or any number of other effects. Then there are survival games. Most survival games, like Minecraft, use a meter to gauge hunger, which provides a boon to the player when it is full, but a debuff of constant health drain when it is empty. By having this feature, Minecraft requires the player to hunt or farm any number of sources, hold space in the inventory specifically for food, or suffer the consequences of not remaining nourished.

 

What I wonder is how food would fit into this game. There isn't enough backpack space to constantly carry around food, and having to look for food all the time on desolate planets would be more of a chore than would be fun in most cases. For the Energy and Oxygen resources, we already have to watch our usage, meaning if we are just starting the game, the player has to act quickly when moving away from the lander in order to get the first resources so they don't suffocate. Later in the game, after the base has been set up, the player can sacrifice a good chunk of their backpack space with batteries, tanks, solar panels, etc. in order to extend their independence from the station. Both resources refill for free; oxygen at the base, energy over time and with the help of generators/solar panels/etc. Food, in the case of having to locate/grow/harvest a resource to keep a meter filled or face death, doesn't really fit in line with the quick treks into the unknown, as it pushes the player to either never wander too far from a food source OR to constantly be looking for another food source. The latter is dangerous, as Astroneers has already reinforced the idea that wandering too far from the base is dangerous without the right tools.

 

In my opinion, food in a game like this is just an unnecessary meter to constantly have to keep topped off. I enjoy the measured care I have to take with my energy and oxygen. They are just short enough meters to make venturing out a calculated risk. The reason Oxygen is mechanically interesting as it is happens because there isn't a need to constantly find more oxygen to fill up the ship. It is a free resource that is quickly topped off whenever one returns to the ship. Air actually behaves more like an expedition timer than a true resource to be gathered. Alternatively, Energy is only consumed when a player uses it, but slowly regenerates when they don't. We can amplify our energy output by adding on a solar panel or wind turbine to the backpack, or tethering up to a base or vehicle that has them equipped.

 

Food cannot provide the sorts of time-restricted meaningful decisions that oxygen and energy currently do. Either food burns so fast that it takes too many inventory spaces to stay alive, or it burns too slow and doesn't have any real impact in the game other than being that one resource that has to be filled up every so often.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead