A radical change to food and sleep

Post here your suggestions for future Towns releases

A radical change to food and sleep

Postby YetiChow » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:06 am

Towns has always handled food and sleep needs on a "count-down timer" system; and I can see why that's the first choice the Devs went for. However, it's a very primitive system - even the best count-down system is very very primitive compared to actual food requirements.

In real life, people's metabolisms aren't run on a clock - they adapt to the environment and the availability of food and rest opportunities. Night-shift workers learn to sleep by day and stay up, fully alert, at night; people who live at either pole actually develop a "seasonal sleeping pattern" to become more active in summer and less active in winter.

I think Towns could simulate something like this - not so much a fully immersive "metabolism simulator", but a mechanic which lets townies eat and sleep more like regular people. What I propose is a 2-part mechanic based on a daily cycle (taken from the day/night cycle of events) and then a countdown timer "modification".

In short, what I imagine would be that townies wake up in the morning, eat "breakfast", work all day, eat "dinner" in the evening, and sleep from the start of the night period until the dawn of the next day. At each "threshold", the townie has a count-down timer in which they try to find a meal; and if they can't eat the meal they suffer a minor (but cumulative) penalty carried over to the next period. If a townie misses breakfast it's not a huge deal, only say 10% slower, but if they also miss dinner then the next day they'd be another10% slower (on top of the existing penalty) before even checking for breakfast. In other words, if a townie doesn't eat one day then the next day they're already at a 20% penalty, and if by the end of the second day they still haven't eaten then things will be looking grim for the third day.

The same would be true of sleeping; if the townie is woken up (by a siege/monster attack or by a supervisor yelling at them to get to work) then they'll have a minor penalty; not something that would really damage their productivity, but then if they miss another night's sleep they're going to be noticeably "tired" and less effective at their jobs. Of course, if they're woken up at night and get back to bed quickly then they might be able to get back to sleep before morning rolls around, so it's not an immediate "oh look you picked a task you weren't up to and now you're going to take longer to finish it and have even less chance to survive" situation.

I think that a system like this would be more immersive for players and more survivable for townies, especially in new players' towns when they haven't learned to pick up the warning signs of fatigue. Having the system based off the day/night cycle, instead of a countdown started at whatever random time the townie spawns, would eliminate some confusion for new players. It would also open up a great new management aspect, since there could presumably be "working shifts" or a way to advise the townies when to work and when to rest - setting up night watches amongst the guards and even organising shiftwork among the work parties would be great for those players who enjoy min/maxing production, or other "macro" players would get the equally inspiring sight of seeing their town wake up in the mornings and go to sleep at nights.

Naturally the idea isn't as simple as I make it out to be here, and even here it's pretty abstract and complex... :lol: However, I think that if this were added then it would be a big step towards the "reverse RPG" feel - having to cater to both work in the day and recreation in the evenings adds a whole new layer of life to the townies and a new layer of gameplay choices.
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.
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Re: A radical change to food and sleep

Postby Madara Uchiha » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:37 pm

If the game's built the way I think it's built. This is a long-way dream.

Doing something like this would require an actual system in place. I'd imagine a "SleepHandler" and "FoodHandler" object on the "Townie" object (You are using objects, right?!). If it'd be built that way, then simply replacing the methods to SleepHandler and FoodHandler to match the time of the day, or something similar, seems a whole lot more doable.
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