Wednesday, October 15, 2014

EXP Podcast #298: Eating Through Games

Kirby: The best chef in video games.
On your lunch break? Starving for a mouth-watering podcast to sink your teeth into? Look no further! This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I head to the kitchen to discuss food in games. We round out the podcast at our usual thirty-minute mark, but there is a bounty of food topics to discuss in games. What are your favorite hunger mechanics? What are the most effective examples of eating in games? What is your favorite game that features food and why is it Chronotrigger? Let us know in the comments below!

- Here's the show's stand-alone feed
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format, or click play below.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 30 mins 23 secs


  1. I like Minecraft's food mechanics. If your food meter is full, you will slowly regenerate health, so you can shrug off minor injuries or even recover from big hits gradually. But if you don't eat, the regeneration will first stop and eventually reverse itself, reducing you to one health point. Plus, the running mechanics are also tied to food. If you're starving you cannot run, so you will be weaker and more easily caught by enemies. Plus there is a subtle animation where your meters will vibrate to simulate pangs of hunger. An everpresent annoyance that makes it impossible to ignore your sorry state.

    I also like how it makes animal husbandry and agriculture into natural upgrades to your initially hunting-gathering life. Moving around and trying to find food also makes you hungry, but a field or a small herd of animals in a pen will not only feed you, they'll let you build a surplus of food. And that surplus will let you spend a larger proportion of your time on everything else.

  2. Minecraft! How could we forget? I love the idea that the game rewards concocting reliable sources of food. You could easily just always be on the move, but ridding yourself of the hunger-gatherer lifestyle in game really does unlock the power to build amazing stuff.

  3. Thanks for the shoutout, you guys! I am really enjoying all of this conversation about food in games across different sites.

  4. I remember the rationing scene in the Walking Dead (Season 1 Episode 2, I think) being quite compelling.

    And to add to your comments on Earthbound, I remember how Hamburgers are a recovery item for one person, whereas the Pizza is a recovery item for the entire party -- it is a social food, after all!

  5. Out pleasure. Keep up the good work!

  6. Kids eat first. Them's the rule.

  7. That's some straight up procedural rhetoric right there.

  8. Earthbound is a pretty special game. I don't think I appreciated it when I first played it, but there are just so many little touches. Great pull!

  9. Interesting podcast.I agree with what you both say.

    I sometimes feel hungry when food appears in games and the eating face of character especially in Harvest Moon. This games focuses more on the food system. You can cook a variety of food by choosing the ingredients provided. Every time I cook using this application, I become hungry because it shows delicious looking food by eating the face of the character. In this game, different food have different effect, but most of the food can increase physical strength.

    I like Monster Hunter food system. You can go fishing and collect meat by hunting some small size monster and then BBQ in your farm or in mission. When looking at the character's eating face, it is easily makes you feel hungry. The character eats very fast speed and show out the satisfying emotion after eating by beat belly. But usually players will spend more time to prepare ingredients.

    Usually food system is use to recover the HP of character but it also show the feeling of the characters. Like Dead Rising, even character is recovering HP, but it is show hunger by the quality of eating and eating different foods like pizza, burger, bread and so on.

  10. What a very appetizing podcast from Scott
    and Jorge^^.
    Undeniably food mechanism should be emphasized more in game
    industry in my opinion. It shouldn’t serve only as a recovery item/medical
    purpose that restores health in game. I mean come on!! Food is essential to
    stay alive!! It should have associated closely with STAMINA and HP LOL!! Not only
    drinking potion or consume herb!!

    Personally I really like how Monster Hunter
    has a pretty decent food mechanism system. The game not only associated food
    closely to stamina and HP but varies on what player eats, you
    restore/gain/deplete HP or stamina as the two components are very important in
    the game. On top of that, you may get boost up effect occasionally. This game
    also has a very unique way to make food where player can grill their own meat
    which can be obtained from dead monster and not everytime player can get a
    nicely grilled meat as it sometimes could turned out to be a rotten meat that
    depletes player HP upon consumption. Nevertheless I really enjoyed the moment
    when the character is grilling meat with the funky music background playing. I
    think this is one of the effective ways to represent a well-developed food mechanism
    system of a game as I rarely see games that required player to eat to regain HP
    and stamina or get boost effect. And this game at least has a graphically
    attractive food visual that makes me hungry hahaXD

  11. Interesting topic. Actually i mainly play MMORPG and i feel this genre not really care about to the food mechanism. Though my experience food will just give a special buff for player or maybe drink a potion will increase HP, MP or else. Normally in MMORPG food mechanism more importance for pet, they use to increase they pet usage period so that pet can collect money for them.If add on the food mechanics like Minecraft to player character i think it's would be more fun and logic. After see this podcast,remind me that lot of my just character drink potion to fill stomach for a long time. They life quite sad huh?(next time i'll buy a apple for them.)

    Food was a energy resource is part of our life, i think its should be emphasize food in game. I think food mechanics should be develop more for game industry. Through my experience i think that food mechanics still having lot potential, hope that one day could play a game base on food or cooking maybe.If can taste it i'll more happy~