When I began the current campaign of Strategic Primer, I made hunting, fishing, food gathering, and the like produce a small amount, based on the worker’s skill level, of undifferentiated food. The deficiencies of that model grated on me, so a couple of turns ago (after adding ways of telling what animals, plants, etc., are in an area) I started modeling what wildlife a hunter or gatherer comes upon, and (when I had the patience) running hunters’ encounters with their prey as battles. But this has brought its own drawbacks, so I plan to adjust it somewhat—but I’d like your feedback on the details first.
Since the “hunting model” switch I mentioned above, each turn I’ve described hunters going out, eventually finding and bringing down something, and (if it’s late enough, or if the animal is big enough) bringing that in and working on “processing” it for the rest of the day—but going out again the next turn regardless of how big the previous day’s “haul” was. Players won’t have any complaints, as this is essentially ideal for maximizing their population, but it’s highly unrealistic.
To help rectify this, I plan to add a rule that an animal a hunter (or a herder—no player has “culled” a herd yet, but that will eventually happen) kills needs to be processed for an amount of time proportional to its mass. This is in addition to any time spent processing it into a “preserved” form to avoid spoilage, but will be waived for any meat that will be immediately consumed.
I have some ideas of what the mathematical relationship between mass and required processing time should look like, but I’d like to see your ideas first: A linear relationship? A logarithmic one? A polynomial or exponential one? And with what factors?
Similarly, produce that farmers and (especially) food gatherers bring in will (if appropriate, which depends on the crop) have to be threshed, hulled, shelled, or otherwise processed after being harvested before being added to the available food supply.
Note that this processing does not have to be done by the same workers who killed an animal, or harvested a grain, or whatever; that’s merely the way labor will tend to be divided unless a player specifies otherwise.
I intend to put these new rules into effect in turn 12. (I’m in the middle of running turn 10 now.)