Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by Nicholas, Feb 16, 2016.
Thanks for proving the point.
Trying for cute. Yeah. Well you can make cooking food more or less productive. That "challenge" doesn't add any other options. So your point is that more crops need to be added?
Maybe a whole continuum of which of course there's either one (1) most efficient crop, or several basically identical most efficient crops?
Oh yeah.... I forgot there's pumpkin huh... though Maize is about as efficient.
Antipodea: Maize, Pumpkin (Strictly worse than Maize), Wheat
Sogwood: Maize, Sugarcane
Well as far as quality food goes, unless Sogwood actually has chillies, they're stuck since there isn't an infinite source of the raw goods to make quality food.
There are entries for farmable lingonberries/saskoonberries/coconuts. But these are placeholders...
And yes, in the long run (once you get over issues of switching production processes) the main 2 dimensions are: 1) Efficiency in converting worktime to raw food and 2) use of farm space (more specifically can your supercrew overload a 14x14, which is true for pumpkin but not maize)
If that freezer/cold storage had the added behaviour where it locked those goods for only kitchen processing, definitely.
All other goods as part of the colony economy such as wood/stone/bricks/iron/planks/modules already pretty much work on this 'locked down' concept in that they are only consumed at the demands of the player. You have absolute control over if any wood is consumed. If any stones are consumed and so forth.... if you don't order any buildings to be made or modules needing stone to be constructed, a colonists isn't about to pick up 20 units of stone from your stockpile and throw it into the ocean for laughs.
If they did, then I suspect we'd have all industries in the game having the exact same problem food production has.
Because when you get down to it we have exact control of what goes to where if you wish it by simply staging your construction behaviour. If you don't want iron consumed because you only have 1 iron ingot and there's no surface nodes so you MUST have a mine, you simply don't order anything that will consume that iron ingot until you're ready to build your mine shaft.
Food however doesn't function within such system, because it's consumed at the whims of outside factors with no control by the player.
You may set up your farms to produce a frequent influx of 30 pumpkins with the plan for them to make 16 basic meals and 7 middle class meals to feed 20 colonists with 3 extra meals either way. But it will unlikely ever go down that way working to demand, because if a colonist in the mean time decides they're hungry or are artificially prompted to eat before the kitchens full cycle has had time to finish they'll openly claim a pumpkin and eat it, followed a little later by yet another because they didn't have a 'full meal' whilst your kitchen is still attempting to process your orders one by one claiming each unit individually as they need it, only to find that by the time they get near the end of the cycle they can't fill the request, which means more colonists don't get a proper meal, which prolongs the spiral.
Now if colonists hadn't (or couldn't) have taken those pumpkins in the mean time they would have gone a little while slightly more hungry then they would have liked, but once the kitchen had been allowed to complete it's cycle would have had a lovely meal to sate them and restore things back.
But without a means of locking away raw resources for your kitchen to secure them for that part of your colonies economy (or removing the colonist problem all together see #2 and #3) then the only option available to the player is "Over produce significantly beyond your needs to counter the problem", and there's realistically only one avenue open to anyone to do that once you get to proper population numbers, because the sheer volume of impromptu consumption and potential disruptions before a kitchen production cycle is fully complete doesn't allow for targeting demand like every other aspect of the economy does, and only a specific crop type has the capacity for that overproduction on a scale needed.
So you have a fundamental system where there's only one approach to counteract a problem you don't know you need to counteract until you know it, hit your head against it a dozen times or more and then realise what problem you've hit.... and in my book that's neither intuitive nor even really a functional system for something that's so critical a foundation to the entire game.
Yes you can 'play the system' as it stands and figure out the overproduction routine to get yourself by and figure "Because I can make it work, the system is fine", but if you've identified that there's only really one single and restrictive means to make it work because all other approaches simply can't work, then perhaps it's time to consider that's a clear indication that it's not actually fine.
That isn't to say "Kitchens have to lock down food, there's no other option". As that's not the case at all but to me it's the most immediate solution that wouldn't require several additional layers added to the game as well, though it does likely have a issue of how to introduce it within the existing constraints.
But there are indeed several ways to tackle what I consider the actual problem, 3 of which I listed in a previous post.
By "over production" you mean "the freedom to add more farmers/cooks" then yeah. It would be hilarious if somehow there was no way to feed yourself.
I mean if you feed 100 people then I guess producing 101, 102, 103, cooked meals is "overproduction" but uh... I don't have such fine control, you know, if I add one more farmer it goes from 95 (not enough) to 103 (overproduction) so yeahhhhh
I mean there's a few ways I can easily see.
1. Farm maize and cook it.
2. Farm pumpkin and cook it (antipodea only)
3. Farm wheat/sugarcane and cook it
With a side of "adjust your numbers a bit, so just add a few more~~"
You know why I quote some numbers? Because it is what I have in mind after experimenting. I basically did a thing early on, you know, like:
1. Huh, on 25% farmers, so 1 farmer feeds 4?
2. Ok... it seems a maize farmer can feed 5. sweet, I now know a bit more
3. Oh wait, wheat seems to feed 6?
4. Oh wow, when the overseer gets skilled and you add science, one wheat farmer can feed like 8 or 9....
(And yes, the maize farmer can probably feed like 7-8 people with skill and science.)
So yeah, you do have options. I don't feel like listing exhaustively all the options (start farming on day 1? maybe on day 2? well if you have starting food and forage, perhaps day 4, 5 ??).
Perhaps in your mind the idea of foraging the world to feed or hunting (farming fishpeople?) is a critical option, but the fact is the game gives you one (generalized) source that allows you pull out as much food as you need. The farm. And one way to cook it. The kitchen.
Oh yes, you can farm different crops.
And you have two types of ovens to choose from.
It isn't "playing the system" to be not trying to forage enough food to feed 50 people every day.
Actually come to think of "playing the system." You are supposed to farm to some extent, and are supposed to cook the food. How is farming and cooking "but with more people" now "playing the system"?
Unless you mean "playing the game" because yeah it's fun.
Unless perhaps writing guides so other people can just see "oh 1 farmer: 4 people is what I need to not starve on day 5" is playing... the forum, isn't it.
Not quite. If all your colonists had a a cooked meal yesterday, no one will eat raw food today, even if there's no cooked food for them. Now, tomorrow is another matter...
Nope, not as long as you had ensured they all ate something cooked yesterday. They won't be hungry enough to eat raw, but they will eat a cooked food.
Nope. We got along just fine with Maize at the start when overseers were Inept and there was no science, before this doubling of cooked food output. And when there was no cooked food at all on day 1 for people to eat.
So it's not at all requiring you to use Wheat/Expert overseers/science upgrades to survive. One just chooses not to since we love freeing up labor to do other things like Military Training or Diplomacy.
I haven't gone into nearly as much depth as Alavaria, but I'll just chime in and say I've had no problem keeping up with cooked food production lately, all the way up to 100 pop. Don't even have to bother with the laboratory buffs. Doubling kitchen output will pretty much be ultra easy mode.
The issue is not:
1. Completely broken and no one can survive
2. Completely broken in that only an MLG 4gate or 2pool opening will let you survive
3. Completely broken in that you can never figure out how to survive.
Pretty much any system has:
1. A best solution OR
2. Multiple best solutions
(along with other solutions which are also doable, and then of course ones which aren't doable).
Now the issue is definitely that either:
1. People aren't figuring out what is going wrong, possibly because by the time colonists start starving to death it may be too late to fix (especially now with happiness workshifts)
2. People keep trying the same things that go wrong because it "feels" like things like fishpeople actually caused the problem (which may or may not be the case, certainly if everyone dies then it's clear)
3. People aren't experimenting (or the substitute: reading the crop post which essentially is just getting the results of experimentation, but you can certainly do your own experiments and have fun)
You know what the thing I *thought* was the real issue? The whole barracks/weapons thing. It matches, you know. Check thei ssues above:
1. Didn't have a barracks when attacked. It's too late now, but of course you blame the fishpeople attack, though you can make a barrack really fast (see: fixed by using the 4day alert to remind people)
2. Dying to bandits etc. Especially when you could use diplomacy to turn them off
3. Not having weapons (and dying) which is because you need a bit of a production chain to get these. I can get them out pretty fast (day 14 or so I had some pistols & muskets) but people go to day 20 or 30 without getting any weapons and then die to fishpeople or something.
This is really hard as it can take a while to set up (even more than barracks on day 1), and if you just go and do the same thing again then well... you still won't have weapons when the fishpeople attack, and then you try again...
There was, I can't remember, one of the video makers who commented "oh I don't know how to make weapons, I never bothered checking" after getting beaten up by fishpeople, for like the second or third time. Yeah, if you're just using your NCO with their starting pistol, then yes, the fishpeople raiders will get you eventually.
Now really really early attacks (like 6 fishpeople on day 10?) really push you though, you sorta have to be beelining in order to survive that. However, there is an option, the military loadout** (which last I saw had you start with like 4 pistols and a musket).
Is military loadout "the only way"? Actually I think it's the best (and apparently others think so too) but ironically, this time I don't play "the best way". But perhaps using a provided loadout option to hedge my bets is "playing the system".
**It is a good loadout, has some Bread/Sausages (so cooked food for everyone and even Quality Food for overseers), weapons which would take a while to build up to, and then plenty of wood and stone for fast construction. Even gives you cloth, which again would otherwise need waiting for flax harvest and processing. It's so perfect for a happiness workshift world. But I didn't use it on last colony and won't on my 47D.
Aye, I've not had any problems either at larger population (Talking 65+) either though largely because I'm already aware that:
* I need to over produce significantly before I hit those population levels, and generally when I need to start over producing a reserve. And that wheat ensures it's possible.
* When to scale up my farms mid-colony to make sure the spirial never gets started once I hit those larger populations.
* When I need to make sure I already have a 2nd kitchen.
* That if any significant disruptions from outside events occur, already have established the needed buffer.
And the same, I don't bother with the lab/research buffs. Heck I don't bother with a lab at all unless my colony is rather old (7 weeks in or more).
But not everyone knows when they need to over-produce or even that they need to over-produce to sustain a colony that size with a buffer.
Nor do they realise that there's realistically only 1 viable crop to secure a larger colony is sufficiently fed without having to spend all your time juggling.
And definitely not when they have to have that 2nd kitchen already going.
If you fire up the game pre-kitchen output buff, and go "Right, I'm going to take general quick crops and cater to the population demands as they are and keep doing that", and see how far it gets you before you find yourself instinctively just building giant wheat fields by the time you're trying to feed 80 colonists because you know what you need to do.... then imagine what it's like for everyone who doesn't know, and how sustainable the system is for any other attempts to approach things.
Substitute crop names sure, but if you took a long standing 80+ population colony save from all the long term players who have followed the experiments, findings and know what doesn't work, I very much think you'll discover everyone is sustaining their colony the same single way, because anything else is too unstable and prone to triggering a raw food spiral at any kind of disruption.
You can use Maize. I choose not to, but you can. You don't have to juggle, just set your farms and add more as you need. Same as with Maize, I add farmers as I need. (Cooks, too).
In a way, it is perhaps preferable now as I don't have to set a Minimum Order of 600 (as for Bread) since the Cook Basic Food seems to go to infinity (I had a minimum of 10 Basic Food, and the cooks happily stocked up 100 Maize Chowder)
The real reason I overproduce is I can't beat a very very early image showing like 4000 cabbage in like version 35 or whatever when you only had cabbage.
Ok, so let's just come clean on something.
If you look at Long-Run Colony of Hellish-Pleasure you'll see I've been trying for the last few versions to build this.
47B: No flattening
47C: Serious slowdown
47D: ??? We will see if I stop posting on the forums.
I recommend Wheat in part because I am using it, and there's a couple reasons (Maize can produce enough food but...)
Reason 1: 5 farmers can fill up a 14x14 wheat field, but not a 14x14 maize field. Have you ever seen so many crops at once? CROPS CROPS CROPS!!!!
Reason 2: Cook Basic Food will take both maize and pumpkin and turn them into Basic Food. As you see from A Numerical Gastronomy this is not a good thing. Thankfully I can use Wheat and Make Bread to satisfy the Basic Food needs and Pumpkin and Cook Farmers' Stew to make the Quality Food.
Is this necessary at all? Nah, of course not, you're looking at day 40, 50+ before I'd bother going to this length, so no. But it wouldn't be hellish pleasure without the good food, you know?
Oh yes, there is an alternative. Make two sets of farm-stockpile-kitchen areas, so that the pumpkin fields, pumpkin/Farmers' Stew stockpile and Farmers' Stew kitchen are separated from the Maize fields, Maize/Maize chowder stockpile and Baisc Food kitchen
That sounds like 1. even more lame, and 2. I want my hellish Big Agrifood complex to be a single complex with the 6 farms and 3 kitchens (and yes I carefully planned it out too, such fun)
I haven't checked, but if Sogwood is stuck with Maize and Sugarcane they can't even make Farmers' Stew (the only Quality food with only farmable ingredients).
Maybe if I hadn't spent 2 hours posting on a Clockwork Empires forum, I might have been playing the Clockwork Empires game and be quite far on the way to my ideal of a hellishy pleasurable colony, but alas, this is fun for me too.
More fun, which is why I did it, presumably. I'm "playing the system" on my own life. But the game is a viable alternative, I might do it tomorrow~
And yes, I will build the 6-farms 3-kitchen setup even if I no longer need like half of it anymore... as it goes, I can still fill the fields with workers so that at least the fields will be full of crops, and look nice for the screenshot.
That level of care to Science!! is admirable, I would never accuse anyone of taking it too far.
But FEELINGS and SCIENCE have a role to play too, surely. At least when happiness is part of work schedules and we have cults.
So here are my thoughts on the food changes:
With 50% larger yields, food is no longer a concern - I don't have to manage the farm crews anymore, I just let them do their thing and forget about them. By the time my population hit 30 people, I had a surplus of over 100 maize chowder in storage, and my farm crew that entire time had been 1 overseer and 2 workers.
Before the food yield adjustment, at the point at which I'd reached 30 colonists, I'd have to start swapping crews around between workshops so I'd have a second crew to work a second plot, in addition to the first max-size farm crew. And there no surplus, cooked food would be eaten almost immediately, with unhappy colonists occasionally dipping into the raw food stores.
Bottom line, food is, not surprisingly, more abundant. Leaves more workers to work on hauling and constructing and staffing workshops, and most significantly, free for military duty.
Step 3. Uuuh, just wait for a module to become broken and it turns invisible (in 47c). =)
As of 47D, It feels like we're 'alllmost' there in the food production sweet spot.
I foraged the surrounding area, and had a team of 3 people working a 10x10 maize field, and I kept at a pretty comfortable 100 stew/chowder up to about 30 or so people before I had to worry about growing another plot.
Maize has been my go-to crop for quite a few releases now, since wheat doesn't feel worth the effort compared to the time it takes to grow. Unless bread becomes an 'extra fulfilling' food source, I generally never mess with it until i'm ready to make booze later on in the game.
I want to really look forward to a harvest, not feel underwhelmed by it.
It'd be cool if we could harvest and plant the fungus and berries we pick some time in the future. It'd help the colony feel a little more sustainable in the long term, compared to my colony deforesting and razing the entire map like it does now.
Your 3 farmers would be producing somewhere between 12 to say 14 raw maize per day. This translates into about 24 to 28 maize chowder per day currently.
Under the old system, even with 5 farmers you'd only be at 20 to 24 raw maize per day, and thus need another farmer or two (ie: second farm). Certainly this is why I begin second farm at ~20 population.
All plants pretty much trickle in their output due to the way they are planted in the ground and grow. Wheat is a larger trickle than maize is, the only difference is it takes 4 days to get the faucet open compared to maize's 1 day.
You don't have a "harvest", you have "these first 5 plants are harvested" and then "the next 5 plants are harvested a little bit later" etc etc. Just think about it for a second, this isn't like your real life crop, if I plant one wheat seedling now (t=1), it comes out 32 (say t=33) shifts later. When your colonist plants another plant on the next shift (t=2) it also comes out about 32 shifts later (t=34) and so on and so forth.
So at shift 15, that one matures on t=47, and just before you begin your first harvest, at t=31, your colonist might put a plant in ground that will be ready at t=63.
What gets people I think is either starving before the faucet opens (yes, there's a way to 100% avoid that that doesn't rely on just filling stockpile before switching) or they don't realize if you adjust your farmer#, it will take 4 days to fully show (ie: 4 days for the faucet to start, if you open the faucet more, it takes 4 days for that to take effect)
Though... yeah I still like the way wheat looks. A filled 14x14 field just looks so Frontier Food Production, you know?
moved crew from barracks back to farm
when I start game, I generally build a quick naturalist building while everyone else does some scouting. In 47c I attempted to let naturalist just go, and he went nowhere on his own. This time I selected quite a few places to do survey's, and he proceeded to go from way out one direction, do one, then go way out another direction, do another, even if I had selected lets say 4 in one swipe for surveying. He was only getting 2 surveys a day when he should have been getting many more if he'd of been wandering to "nearest next" or at least within some kind of range.
I'm not sure what can be done about this right away, but I thought I would bring it to your attention.
It just occurred to me it's now possible to go 100% pumpkin farms and feed everyone nothing but Farmers' Stew (should be 2 pumpkins -> 2 Farmers' Stew?). Heh, will have to check this, already everyone sleeps in middle-class beds.
(Just to be clear here, farm output is unchanged -- but we DID fix a tangle in how assignments/jobs were being handled inside of farms that potentially improved efficiency. It is only cooked output that has been doubled!)
Very easily possible now, as is any kind of middle class meals. Little reason for basic food to exist.
Whilst on one hand this change does give a welcome opportunity to test other parts of the game without being quite so focused on managing food and doing the same old routine as the colony grows, this change very much buries the problem by making food a non-thing so everything is brought back to the old setup as it's very much exactly how kitchens and food production used to be.
I think the key issue when it comes to farming for new players is conveyance. New people playing on steam or what have you who don't read any of the super helpful crop, build order, military or what have you posts, or watch any of the videos, or never listen in any way to Alavaria, Alphared, Tikigod, and the others whose names I can't remember or look up because I'm supposed to be working right now is that they won't ever have any idea something is going to kill their colony before it does.
I like the doubled food production because it places the emphasis on protecting your stockpiles rather than on optimally building farms, though I haven't had trouble in keeping up with food in forever. However I love love love military stuff (I mean I did pick Corazon Santiago for the forums) so I like the doubled output from kitchens.
What we really need, regardless of 1:1, 1:2 or N:N production, is CHARTS.
charts charts charts charts. Let me see a line graph IN GAME of food production and consumption over time, let that shizzle update in real time.
Show me a line graph of productivity per person per module per workshop. The lack of conveyance of information in the game right now is it's achilles heel, players can easily get lost and not see problem areas. You can tweak and adjust and fiddle all you want but at the end of the day unless you give the players more tools to find optimal paths on their own, you're just shooting in the dark.
Put in a chart and then someone will be like "oh maize produces x food every y days, but every z days wheat produces n food, yet in between these periods I have a slump." The information available isn't very granular, and it isn't charted out, all you see is what you have right now.
The addition of a warning at 4 days for building a barracks is a great first start, but other popups would be good too, such as "I see you are at 16 people, you should make sure your farming crew has at least 1 laborer in it" or something to that effect. It will seem perhaps a touch hand holdy in the current sandbox only mode, but when the campaign is added then it's no big deal.
Also the consideration, what is the part of the game you want people to spend time playing on? Food Production? Military? Cultists?
Also, as optimal and awesome as it is building a 2x2 workshop, I don't find it particularly "fun".
I don't know, I guess I feel that right now the constraints on success/failure are a touch too tight, they'd be fine for "hard" difficulty, but it's difficult to explore the later game mechanics right now without being super optimal.
Just my 2 cents, still loving the game, still loving the forums.
Edit: Meant to also say that an indicator of "Time in Use" vs "Time Idle" for modules, work crews, etc, would be great, in my rambling part about charts way up at the top.
A slight break from the food talk, I'm noticing a increase in my colonists ignoring built cots and still sleeping on the floor across a few early 47d colony attempts so far.
At first I thought colonists were sleeping on the floor because someone else had already claimed the cot and just hadn't got there yet, however that clearly wasn't the case.
Separate names with a comma.