Miechowski then showed me the scavenging element of This War of Mine. In the middle of the night, supplies begin to run low and somebody needs to go out and make a run for essentials, whether it be food ingredients, clean water, building tools, or weapons for self-defense. Players must then make a choice of who heads out to scavenge, who rests up at home, and who stands guard. The consequences are heavy and the choice is far from easy. For example, Miechowski sent out his most rested, strongest party member to forage for supplies. While he could have sent out a younger party member, his swiftness would have meant little, since he couldn't carry as many items as a stronger man.
Though the scavenging party member was able to bring something back, leaving a weaker party member to guard the camp turned out to be a mistake, because a scavenger invaded and stole some of the party's wood and sugar. A lot of thought is required, which Miechowski points out is a harsh reality of wartime.
It's also a stark reminder that the military isn't necessarily the biggest antagonist during wartime. Miechowski points out that when everyone is struggling to survive, everyone becomes a potential threat, which is illustrated throughout the game. However, that's not to say you shouldn't trust anybody at all. During Miechowski's supply run, he ran into somebody that lost his entire family and was on the verge of starvation. The player can choose to provide him with food, which could lead to him becoming a valued ally. The trade-off, of course, is parting with a piece of food, which is a valuable necessity. Refusing to help the stranger also runs the risk of the person turning hostile and potentially attacking with a concealed weapon.
Each new day begins the cycle anew. Players work with their supplies to make sure everyone's fed, nourished with clean water, and cleaned up with soap or other hygenic items. Characters can also use supplies to build new supplies. For example, Miechowski took some wood and build a bed to give some of his party members a better night's rest. Resource management can prove incredibly stressful, given the high stakes involved, especially when more than one action icon presents itself. Do you use your extra wood to build that bed or do you use it to build a fireplace to keep everyone warm? Choices will only get more stressful, as Miechowski points out that as time goes on, colder weather will begin to set in.
Permadeath should be expected, given that it's war