How to cook a nice gammon (a.k.a. too much meat in NS)
There seems to be a balancing issue with the amounts of food in the game, that started with introduction of corpses and big chunks of meat. That made obtaining food very easy for fighting characters, as the game is filled with relatively easy to kill creatures (namely: Looters and Melonheads).
Also, since the change of a way enemy spawning works (they road instead of appearing while scavenging) there seems to be a lot more in-fighting between them, or at least bodies staying behind made it more noticeable. And those bodies can serve as a steady supply of meat as well. Found an interesting one while reading through a particular post on NeoGAF forums, where a guy, when discussing the food situation, said: "Food I struggled a bit on, but I found enough corpses to keep going."
And that kept me thinking: there is something wrong here. However, since NS is, at least to some degree, trying to stay realistic with it's mechanics, I decided to do a little Google research first. And I did found two... issues, when it comes to the way game is handling it's meat :D
First of all, how long the body (of any kind) can be dead before the meat is spoiled? I found some hunter's site where people were discussing this issue, and it stood on such: in rather hot weather a clean-killed deer needs to be gutted before 2-6 hours, otherwise it's internal warmth and humidity will spoil the meat fast. In the game it is cold, but there are rarely a clean deaths and the bodies are loosing 2% per turn (50 hours).
Secondly, how long it takes to actually prepare a piece of meat? It occurred to me, since not so long ago I was preparing a nice piece of ham and it took a long time to cook it nice and juicy (and not raw) :D. So I checked a recipes around the internets and it seems that estimated 20 minutes of cooking for every half a kilogram of ham is required to roast it good. In a modern, pre-heated oven. Now, NeoScavenger is a game about resource and time management, and yet cooking a 3 kg piece of meat, on a stick, over a small campfire takes only... five minutes (0,4 move).
So, my two propositions, to lover meat's impact on game-play, are:
- cut "useful" time for corpses by 30 turns (maybe a new item called - Bloated Remains could replace them then to still litter the landscape with some corpses, without endlessly feeding the cannibals);
- cut the "medium" chunks of meat size (and nutritional value) in half (to 1,5 kg) and rise preparing time a lot (preferably to 1 hour (5 moves) but since there is no such recipe as of yet, one move would have to do;
TL:DR - there is too easy access to too big amounts of meat in game and it have to be limited somehow to keep balance.