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Jay Belarpin
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Post by Jay Belarpin » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:01 pm

As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

Jefferson Hendrix
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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Jefferson Hendrix » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:33 pm


Our existing meal plan is that players who attend pick a meal and split responsibility and costs to prepare/serve it/clean it up or bring X snacks or prpvide x $s. Which doesn’t always work out and it leaves our kitcgen coordinator to go cray cray when we're the week of and have gaps. (It's not fun for anyone when the lunch lady isn't happy.) Our system doesn’t account for last minute player cancels, or new players showing up or a bunch of other things. It also puts a larger individual burden on each other, or that's my perception of it at least. It also doesn't lend itself to dietary restrictions or needs.

Should we have a everyone for themselves system?

What about a paypal based food fund where players sign up for meals by paying a flat rate per meal or for an event?

Other ideas?

Keep this one?

(Btw, Steve, this is my PC account.)

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Jay Belarpin » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:52 pm

The new system is just as vulnerable to the same problems as the old one. Cancels, new players, lack of participation or signup, people bringing food and then expecting somebody else to handle it for them, all of these issues and more are just as big as before.

Where this system is superior, in my opinion, is in the fact that it moves a lot of the burden from one (or two) and spreads it around for everybody. It may seem like its more effort or a big hassle compared to the old method, but every time I was in charge of food I would have to handle all of that effort and hassle and it took its toll.

Now, the system does seem to have a downside in the sheer amount of excess food that has been at each event. Obviously ensuring nobody goes hungry is important, but too much is very wasteful. To fix this (should we keep the current system) I feel like we should re-evaluate the snack system or number of meals in a day.

One possible solution would be to hybridize the current method with the old method. You can take over a meal (with a partner) instead of paying food costs, but you are fully responsible for that meal and its cleanup. Otherwise, pay money and you will be assigned a shift to handle cleanup for.

If we do revert to collecting money, I would prefer full event, half event or none. Paying by the meal would just add a lot of headache for the food coordinators to save a few bucks for the players. So yes, you can pay half the food cost if you are only here for a day but no you can't only pay for lunch.
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by jazzman831 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:30 am

I admit, this is a toughy. I've started 2 or 3 posts now and deleted them. I think no matter what, the following should be true:
  • If you eat, you provide
  • If you provide, you clean
Using any objective evaluation, I think "everyone bring their own food" probably has the most pros for the least cons. That being said, for me personally, cooking is a collaborative experience and I enjoy cooking for people and having them cook for me, so I'd most prefer to stay with our current system (or a variation thereof). Plus, Morgan always brings the best cookies!

I think the issue with waste comes from two places. The first is, most people don't know how much food to cook and therefore bring extra. I know we intentionally make too much, with the idea of bringing the extra home to eat ourselves. As long as the food isn't getting thrown away, I'm completely ok with this form of "waste", as the alternative (not having enough to eat) would NOT be good, especially when people are expending a higher than normal amount of calories (speaking for myself anyway; sitting at a desk all day isn't a very active activity). I think there are ways to avoid throwing food away without risking people going hungry (that's the reason two games ago we brought individual bags of chips instead of large bags; you don't end up having 5 half-empty bags of stale chips at the end of the game).

In talking with other people, I think the other form of waste comes from having 3 meals a day, when most people only need 2. I know I, personally, need all 3 (and usually end up eating snacks), but it seems like in the last couple of games people ate a big breakfast, then mostly skipped lunch because they were still full from breakfast, then snacked in the afternoon because they skipped lunch, then didn't eat much dinner because they snacked. I can definitely see the benefit of eating at, say, 10 and 6 instead of 8, 1, and 7.

Here's what I don't want to see:
  • People being obligated to provide. If you don't want to participate in group food, you should be allowed to bring your own. This also means you can't partake if someone brings something that looks good and you change your mind (or at least, people who participated get first dibs).
  • People being obligated to cook. There should always be an option to provide money if you can't/don't want to/don't have time to cook. Hopefully, though, everyone won't choose this route, because then we are just back to where we used to be where a kitchen wench spends more time providing than playing.
So I guess the short version is: without a better system being presented, I think we should stay with what we have. I can probably come up with some complex "share" system to make it more fair, but I can't think of any complexity to add that's worth the effort. Little John's variation of paying instead of cooking is, I believe, supposed to be part of the system, but perhaps it's not being communicated clearly. If consensus agrees, we can cut the number of meals per day. Food waste can be avoided by making different choices about what to bring.
-Jebediah the Proud

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Ander » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:06 am

Disclaimer: I don't have much stake in this conversation, as my intention is to provide my own food for future events (for medical/dietary reasons) however here are my two cents:

1. I concur that three meals a day is too much. Breakfast and Dinner, plus having snacks available, is plenty.
2. I also don't want to see an obligation to provide a meal. (related side note: I am pretty ok with the obligation to provide water).

Both the current system and the old system have their pros and cons. I think the new system is better than having a single food provider, simply on the grounds that a person shouldn't be prevented from playing because they are too busy cooking. Wastelands is, after all, a game and not a restaurant.

[Barely-related side note on the topic of paying for individual meals] The in-game thanksgiving meal was fun, and I wouldn't mind seeing similar things in the future. If a meal is a plot event I think some sort of option should be available to "buy in" to it, even if the player is otherwise managing their own food.

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Swordguy » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:32 pm

I don't have a ton of preference as to what we actually go with, other than to say I totally agree with points #1 and #2 brought up by Ian. Especially the 3 meals a day thing.

I've been keeping a time log the last two events (the super-cold event last April and the November event), and honestly, we're getting about 10-12 actual hours of play time over Friday/Saturday/Sunday between meal downtimes, NPC prep time, and people just saying "fuck it" and dropping OOC to talk IT for a while. That's VERY low (NERO got about 24-30 hours while being onsite for ~40 hours from Friday to Sunday), and if we can pick up a couple of hours of play time by chucking lunch on Saturday, then I'm all for it.
Mission, Method, Morals...all negotiable.

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Drakkon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:47 pm

I believe that we should keep a structured breakfast and a structured dinner for the events. People can sign up to bring food for lunch such as PPJ or cold cut meats, just as an example. Lunch and snacks should just be whenever anyone feels hungry and needs a bite to eat. We shouldn't have to take a game break unless everyone or the majority wants to. This will let people who want to continue playing go on mods and anyone else can just hang out and eat if they do choose. I have never had a problem volunteering to take on a meal as extra rads and karma seem to make it more worth it.
Heh, Amature.

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by AnnalyseTaenarys » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:47 pm

Ok, so Bryan and I have been doing some back and forth chatting and I'm going to try to sum it up here.

I think it's pretty much a consensus to drop lunch on Saturday, which seems like a good idea (those of us that eat lunch can bring something if we want).

We have also been talking about things getting pushed to the last minute, so that I have to track people down. In addition, there is a bunch of confusion about obligation mostly because I'm sure the instructions have gotten overlooked despite the mention of them. :P (No worries, I know there were a lot)

So here is another option:

Prior to the event, we can post a poll for that event with the following options for people to choose from:
_I would like to provide a meal.
_I would like to be responsible for my own food.
_I would like to contribute money instead of food.

Then, I know who to contact for signing them up for meals. Since we would be dropping Saturday lunch, I think it might be a good idea to have people sign up for daily snacks (Friday snacks, Saturday snacks) in order to get those covered, but not have an overflow of them (with everyone bringing one snack item).

In this way, I would be the one filling out the meal plan excel to take out some confusion. This puts one person in charge of the organization and then the players only have to worry about the cooking and cleanup of their meal.

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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Ander » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:50 am

The poll sounds like a good way to handle that. Shared editing of documents rarely works out well in my experience

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Olive Wilson
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Re: Food/Mealplan

Post by Olive Wilson » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:28 am

I like the poll Natashia!

And I agree, take out lunch. I eat when my body feels well enough to eat so I typically snack throughout the day anyway.

I will always bring pretzle rods (need that salt!) and cookies/dessert. I actually enjoy bringing dessert because I know what allergies to cook for and what I can and cannot have so having that baked good that won't kill me or anyone else is something I like to do (I'm not saying no one else should bring dessert, just saying why I always bring one ;])

Regardless of the fact that I have dietary restrictions, I really enjoy participating in the meals/potlucks. The only two things I am pickiest about is peanuts and eggs. Peanuts will kill me. I don't mind so much people bringing things with peanuts, I can be in the same room, but I ask that peanuts be kept aside in a "nut area" of some sort so I don't accidentally get ahold of it and cross contamination is kept to a minimum. Last even I ended up handing a snack that had peanuts in it (which also meant possible oil on the packaging) and was not notified until I had been holding it for a few minutes.
When it comes to eggs, I cannot do scrambled eggs or egg based things (quiches, angles food cake, etc) but I can have bread and other things that may have an egg or two. It won't kill me but eating things like scrambled eggs will make me gag/puke. I am always okay with potatoes. I've been trying to do breakfast when I can so I know I have something to eat too so it's no big deal. Just no peanuts for me ;)

I might start to bring little snacks for myself that fit my dietary needs but I'll still participate and make things for meals. I love to cook.