This is more or less a Feedback post in two parts. The first part is my take on the new Nutritional system: What it does right but also where it falls overwhelmingly short. The second is more or less me whining at the devs, so I do apologise if I do come off as annoying, but this is an issue that I’m very passionate about, and I do my whining out of love.
I’d like to preface this by stating that a nutrition system was necessary. I’m not part of the crowd that wishes they could go back to the “Good old days of Township” where players didn’t have to worry about shoving hundreds of Pumpkin Chunks or even the dreaded cooked Apple Slices into their gobs.
My issue lies with the execution of the Nutritional system from both a realism and gameplay point of view.
Firstly, we have realism. This is quite a simple issue, at least for me. Why are players punished with fullness for eating 4 Pumpkin Chunks, but rewarded with low fullness and large nutritional gain when they throw those same 4 Pumpkin Chunks into a Cauldron of boiling water? That does not make sense on any realistic level, and the same issue is present with eating every other raw ingredient vs throwing it into water.
That isn’t how nutrition works. A good nutrition system would be tracking what the player eats, and then rewarding them based on how varied and nutritious it is. Punishing a player for eating a single Pumpkin Chunk is ridiculous.
Secondly, we have the nutrition system from a gameplay perspective. This more or less leads me onto my general grievances with the game, so I’ll try to keep this brief.
New players are not told anything about this system. They are not taught what the fullness bar is, and they are not told how to combat nutrition and survive.
The current nutritional system is just an annoyance to older players, and a massive and horrible challenge to overcome to new players. Neither party benefits here.
This whole issue represents my biggest grievance with all of Township (and ultimately the developers).
Far too much of the “teaching” part of the game is still left to the community, despite this being a horrible design choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore that Township is lucky enough to have such an awesome Community that has been able to fill in the role of “tutorial”, but like I have stated in some of my previous Feedback posts, that isn’t a guaranteed way of teaching. The developers have far too much reliance on this Community, and we have already seen how this plays out badly.
The introduction of Private Servers, and allowing every Supporter to own a private server is partly the cause of this issue, as players are no longer forced onto the Public Servers to be taught how to play. This, alongside the lack of any meaningful tutorial, are the main contributing factor as to why so many new players struggle.
The worst part about this whole situation is that there is a perfectly good case study of all of Township’s pitfalls in game design right here!
This video perfectly shows how two completely new players struggle with the whole game, including the food system. They even have to die to regain their hunger because they don’t understand, and even that was taken away from us! You can no longer die to regain your nutrition?! In what world was this a good idea? You guys have had a fantastic case study of these issues, and yet you did a complete 180 and decided to make it overwhelmingly difficult for new players?
All of the issues Township has in terms of early game progression are issues lack of foresight as to the implications introducing a half-baked system such as the Nutritional system will cause. If you’re not willing to introduce a new system without explanation, and having it rely on an update to the game that is not coming for over a month now, then it should not be released.