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New building- and profession- "food preservation"

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by skintmark, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. skintmark

    skintmark Chieftain

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    Back in these days salt was a very important asset for preservation of food. In this game, especially if you have a city with "lake" tiles, you can grow a city very fast and get tons of food, but most of this food, fish, would go bad and spoil. The same with meats you get from butchers house. I think salt, and spices, can be used as goods to represent this.

    A building called the preservation hut or whatever the community decides is better will be introduced to the game. The professional "food preserver" will work this building.

    There will be a mallus in the form of reduced efficiency of food storage. This mallus does not apply towards food that is being eaten by citizens turn by turn. Perhaps -10% efficiency beginning and scaling up the greater the rate of food surplus. The idea is that food in We The People can grow colonists too fast in some ideal cases (multiple food resources) and it can be overpowering and much more efficient than getting colonists from crosses. In my capital I have 55 foods surplus a turn and the city is growing like a weed.

    Each citizen working at this building must use salt or spices, and while they work, they contribute towards reducing this mallus. A city that has many workers on this building will still grow fast. Combined with the health concept in this game I believe there will be a good balance between growth of cities by food surplus and the other sources of crosses and buying them from Europe. Thoughts?
     
  2. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    Are you using the 1 or 2 city plot version of WtP? Because if using the 2 city plot a city grows to include 25 squares and by that can produce much more food than a city that contains only 9 squares.

    Which means that we can not simply deduct a certain percentage from the food that is stored after the population has eaten, because using the 1city plot would be punished by that much more than the 2city plot player.
     
  3. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    I have another problem with this feature considering game design.
    (There are a few "golden rules" for designing games and their features. I will try to explain one of them.)

    A feature should never have only negative aspects.
    If the player uses the feature efficiently he should also have chances to be rewarded.

    Here with "Food Preservation" all we do is to add a negative effect (malus) and some way to counter it.
    (We negatively impact food surplus / food storage and give the player a way to counter it by an additional building and profession that consumes Salt and Spices.)

    1. Negative: Impact on food storage
    2. Negative: Needing to build a new Building (with Upgrades) and employ Workers (that will not work for anything else)
    3. Negative: Consuming precious Goods (Salt and Spices) that can not be sold anymore.

    Where are the positive effects? - Of course only if the player uses the feature correctly.
    (e.g. in Health you can even increase your Productivity if you produce enough health, Happiness also has positive effects)

    -----

    This is also a really huge amount of effort where players will later on complain:
    "This is tedious and boring!" - I just have a profession that does nothing interesting.

    Pretty much a similar discussion as we just had recently with Health.
    We found a concept to "Improve Health" but what shall we do with this to make it more interesting?

    -----

    There are even more problems with this.
    (Those are mainly technical though. Thus we modders would need to solve.)

    A) Balancing considering 1plot and 2plot DLL
    B) Limitted Space for new Buildings in City Screen (I will already need more Space for Happiness - giving Tavern Profession slots)
    C) How to teach this to AI

    -----

    Summary:
    This currently does not convince me personally. There is simply no fun in this concept.
    But maybe our community has good ideas and we can make it more interesting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
    Schmiddie likes this.
  4. skintmark

    skintmark Chieftain

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    I fleshed out this idea a little more. If I build a city and devote it to a lot of food, this is not realistic to the time period. My city should not have a surplus that can feed twice the population, instead this is INDUSTRIAL farming and food policy that occurs hundreds of years later.

    Now to balance this, I do not want to punish a smaller food surplus cities, that is not the point at all, but it is to nerf run-away city growth.

    I propose that the mallus be scaling, for example, the first 10 surplus food have no mallus, there is not such a large surplus that the population will be able to use the food supply efficiently.

    For city with surplus at 11-30, now 10% of this is wasted due to inefficiency, then at 31-60 surplus, this inefficiency is increased to 20%, then any further surplus there will be capped at some number, perhaps 40%. I am just making up numbers, but for cities that use 1 tile radius, this mallus is very small, for the vast majority of cities. You would only lose 2 out of 30 foods if you grew 30 surplus (10% of 20), and this mallus is not even worth buying the building, because if you did, the workers two food to feed him breaks even.

    Now if you have a mega city that is devoted to food production and 2 tile radius, at 100 food production surplus, this city wastes a total of 24 food, which is significant and worth investing the building and the salt required. Since the AI does not specialize in food production like a human would or most cities playing 1 tile radius also do not have large surplus, the effect is very negligible unless you have very large food surplus which back then without our freezers would go bad without preservation.

    A possible positive effect to these workers, perhaps they can produce a small amount of a new luxury good like smoked fish or smoked meat which has a premium price, while they also perform their primary function, to preserve the food and delete the mallus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  5. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    You still did not answer if you are using a 1 or 2plot city.
    If using the latter, then naming that a "city" is already somewhat off. Considering even the largest mapsize (e.g. Americas gigantic) a city covering 25 squares is less "Jamestown" (the city) and more like "Virginia" (the colony/state) as it covers a huge part of the map. The city itself would be only the center square and the 24 squares around it rural land used to produce the food to feed the city.
    So nothing "industrial" about that. After all we already had the arabian agricultural revolution
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture#Revolution
    and the columbian exchange which provided a lot of new crops to be used, giving a much better flexibility what to grow and where.

    So the whole malus could be avoided if I have a few wagons, load the surplus on the wagon until its full, store it there until I have the sufficient amount to grow another settler in the city, drop the whole amount off and avoid several turns of spoilage?

    About buildings: We already have a building that fits the food preservation theme - a granary just as in Civilization. And it practically does a similar job by preventing spoilage of food (once the city saved the amount of food necessary to grow a settler the food vanishes and you get a settler - with a granary you keep a small percentage preserving food.

    While salt is the most common known historical preservation of food there are others. Drying (e.g. "Stockfisch") and we already have a drying house for pepper, fumigating/smoking meat in a hut, Root cellars
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_cellar etc.
    or even sugar (cooking in marmelade or gelee in glasses with lots of sugar).
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  6. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    This... and I also agree it doesn't add any fun.
     
  7. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Yeah, don't see much fun in the concept either. The only feature I would consider interesting would be a second category of food manufactured by a preserving house. The output would be preserved food and would be the only food you could transport out of the city so it wouldn't spoil by the time it arrived. So if you wanted to support a mega city with food from satellite cities, you would have to create preserved food. This would just add to you planning. While not really added fun, part of the charm of Colonization is the macro planning.
     
  8. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    If you would add spoilage to transported food - or require to prepare preserved food for transport because the distance and turns would mean it would be transported for years - then you would have to add a lifespan to units too. Otherwise I could not understand how a Farmer could walk across the continent on foot, taking 30 years and then build a settlement and keep on farminĀ“ for another 250 years - all the while the food he does not eat immediately rots away...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  9. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Certain things you just have to ignore in a game that spans centuries on a small map that represents a continent.
    But yeah.
     
  10. CptBadger

    CptBadger Chieftain

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    Yeah this sounds horrible in terms of gameplay. I'm all for most realism/intricacy, but there are things that a game just wont benefit from
     

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