Dwarf Fortress Talk #11, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:The button has been pushed, the recording has started and now we are doing our podcast, for Dwarf Fortress Talk! This is Rainseeker and our illustrious leader Tarn Adams, also known as Toady One.
Toady:Here I am, and I've got a cat on my lap, I don't know how long that's going to last.
Rainseeker:He's a very violent kitty.
Toady:He is a violent ... He's being so good right now, I'm rubbing his little chin and stuff, he's being so relaxed. This is very unusual ... This is more a wintertime thing because he needs to steal heat from somewhere.
Rainseeker:There you go. Now I wanted to start this episode shamelessly promoting myself. I am in need of a job! So I'm looking for work and if you guys know of anything please contact me, Rainseeker, via the forums, it would be really great. Looking for podcasting work or editing work, for games, for movies, for whatever. Anybody out there ... we have an intelligent audience, it would be great if you could help me out. That being said, we are splitting the podcast into two segments today. One segment is Tarn and I and the second segment will be Capn and Tarn. We are having trouble coordinating our schedules and that is putting it mildly, so we will do our best to make an awesome podcast for you anyway.
Toady:That's right. I guess we should give the Capn an opportunity to say hello again, like last time.
Capntastic:And me, Capntastic.
Rainseeker:That was amazing, thanks Capn. You just beamed your voice straight in there.
Toady:It's always good when people can travel through time.
Rainseeker:That's right, that's right. So today what we're going to talk about is dwarven personalities, and not just dwarven but personalities in Dwarf Fortress and how that's going to look. I wanted, before we get into it, to briefly ask you Tarn what you see as the mentality of the dwarves.
Toady:Well ... Dwarves always seem to me like people that are ... I wouldn't say they are more flawed than people, but they're amplified in certain ways that make them seem ... They're more immoderate in a way; they're given to boozing and emotional outbursts, but they're also geniuses in their crafts, in general when they put their minds to things. So they're slightly unhinged and savants in a way. It's kind of these amplifications of these human traits, it's like they're more human than humans, like replicants and stuff.
Rainseeker:We should have a danger in the fortress, that if your dwarven community gets too happy they start dancing a lot, instead of tantruming.
Toady:Yeah ... their parties are so disappointing right now! It's like a tea social or something, they're just like 'Oh hello, how are you?'
Rainseeker:'Och! That's a nice Earl Grey you've got there!'
Toady:It's completely out of character, I sit here talking about how they're kind of like these temperance movement rejects that should be stumbling around drunk, but how much do they drink at these parties? It's only if one of them happens to be carrying a beer barrel will there be anyone bringing alcohol to the party. They're just as likely to accidently carry a rock ... It's something that we've always wanted to work on but it never happens.
Rainseeker:Beer should be spilling everywhere, with puddles of beer and booze and other things.
Toady:And a bit of violence, some training accidents and so on ... and perhaps all kinds of raucous singing and so on ... maybe if you're looking at that part of the screen you'll be able to get announcements, song lyrics and stuff.
Rainseeker:That's right, that's right. People writing songs referencing earlier happenings in the fortress. Okay, so our dwarves are existing in this world and right now they have a very flat personality, they're either happy or sad and they have some tags that tell us if they're lazy or greedy ...
Toady:Yeah, these wishy-washy tags. It's like 'Well, he's not a liar, he just doesn't do things in a straightforward way'. The only thing that they seem to be really ... It's like 'They hate rats' or 'They really really really like the color blue.' But they've got the 'yes/no am I happy/sad' and then these strange modern personality readings.
Rainseeker:I once had a mayor that went out and bought every single sceptre that was for sale, and he had them all over his room; he'd never pack them away, he just left them lying about his room. He was a junkie, I couldn't help him.
Toady:I wonder if ... we could add what they like about sceptres, maybe it made the dwarf feel powerful or something to surround himself with these symbols of rulership. Who knows. Because you don't need more than a few.
Rainseeker:No, you really don't. Unless they're for symbolic reasons right? 'This is the Saturday sceptre, it is the weekend.'
Toady:Oh it's true, you never can have too many sceptres when it comes to fashion, it's like sunglasses. It's too bad we don't have rotating sceptre-holders and stuff for the poor guy, he just has to leave them stacked with his own personal flying system.
Rainseeker:They'd need to put feathers in their caps, and leopard skin coats, and strut around and let the dwarven women hang on their arms.
Toady:... That's right. You never can have too much of that ... We can make fun of it but that really is the only thing they have going for them personality wise right now. There's their propensity to get angry, so you do get more tantrums out of certain dwarves, and some minor effects; you may notice that certain dwarves don't go to parties too often, that's due to their personalities. I remember Footkerchief bringing this up, that there are quite a few effects in there but you don't really know a lot of it's happening because it doesn't really tell you about it, so that's certainly one of the things we're going to get at. I've been hesitant to really jump in to the personalities. After I went through all the trouble of adding those thirty personality facets or whatever, I found myself hesitant to do it because they don't have the feeling of a finished system, because they don't get at the heart of what a person's like; the things that would stand out about a person where you say 'Well I like this person, this person's a good person' or 'This person's a bad person', we speak in absolute terms but there are some things that fundamentally suck or don't suck about people and we don't have any of that, and I think that's what's missing, and what we've been thinking about a lot.
Rainseeker:So we're looking forward to having a more robust tag system, basically, and what also we've been talking about off-air is this idea of having events that shape a person's life, so you have the nurture side of things; maybe you can address what you're thinking about doing for that.
Toady:This has come up in the suggestion forum before, that it's like you're born with every single little facet of your personality mapped out right now.
Rainseeker:Right, he likes leopard meat as soon as he's born.
Toady:Yeah, they haven't opened their eyes yet and they know what colours they like; it's very strange. They haven't seen animals yet and they know which animals they like, they haven't tasted anything yet and they know what they like to eat; that's quite curious. While you have things like extra tags or the preferences we currently have there's nothing like a propensity for certain skills right now and there's no idea about ... if a dwarf actually had the choice to do something with their life there's nothing that says 'What do I want to do?' It would be nice if we had those things and then it becomes a nature/nurture question there. In dwarf mode you can only do so much because the time frame is limited. There are children growing up but it takes twelve years to get a grown up child from nothing, but there are other places where we can do it. I think you brought up world generation; we certainly go through the entire person's life and for a lot of things we go on a weekly scale so there's a whole lot of time that they spend being children: a whole lot of event phases. A lot can go on there, so if we want to go away from the pre-generated approach and move to something where you have a person's preferences being based on not only what their civilization has available but also what goes on in their lives ... This goes beyond just growing up because once you're an adult this can change as well; you might experience a new thing or have something horrifying happen and it could change them a bit. We were toying with the idea of ... this is something that I think came up in the Future of the Fortress ... what about adventure mode too? You have a character right, and your character's personality is an interesting thing because you might want to role play a specific kind of person and you might want it to recognise you as that person but you also might not want to be constrained, especially when it's the computer that's trying to do the thinking for you because a computer can't judge intent very well, and it also can't judge the entire situation so that if it's perfectly rational for you to do something that it says is an immoral action ... like a perfect action that operates against greed but the computer thinks it's a greedy action - it might be taking something that you're going to give to someone else later, something like that that the computer can't judge properly - then you don't want the computer to be in the position of making those judgements because it's just going to screw up your game. At the same time there's room for things like specific needs and likes and things. It's okay to say 'Your character likes the colour blue' or something because you can fairly measure that; whether or not there are blue things, whether or not your clothes are blue, what kind of gems are set in your dagger or whatever. That could be something that it fairly measures and so you could become subject to that if you want to create a character with those kinds of likes or dislikes ... or a character that lakes certain foods, then maybe you're only operating at peak capacity if you've had some sewer brew in the last week. That's a reasonable system, I think, that might amplify role-playing quite a bit, especially when it comes to the kind of problem you get in role-playing games when you start accumulating wealth but you have no need to use it and no want to use it, the same way that you would in real life. But if a good old night of debauchery is actually something that rewards your character's constant needs and makes you operate at peak capacity and makes you feel like you're playing your character right and you get rewarded for it by having a satisfied happy character then I think that all would work out and it wouldn't really fly in anyone's face in terms of being disappointed.
Rainseeker:Or at the very least letting your party members do that.
Toady:Certainly. It's always good to have to corral some guy out of the bar and set him in bed. It'd be good to be able to rent a cottage then so you can stash them somewhere. It's a thing where if you don't really want to worry about that ... like right now you have to worry about drowsiness, and you're definitely going to have to worry about hunger and thirst later on in adventure mode, and if you have to worry about, like 'Did I have a plump helmet biscuit every week?' or something, and you don't want to have to worry about that crap, then certainly you wouldn't have to choose that in character generation. But if you want to choose it in character generation it would be a way to do further role-playing, and it would be a way to have the computer do the bookkeeping part of your role-playing. I don't remember exactly where I came out on this, because this was a Future of the Fortress question before, and I don't remember if I ... I was probably a little more tentative about it, but I think it can work. It'd certainly be another way to do it.
Rainseeker:The adventurer growing up, of course, you have a back story. So you could create these ... he's always scared of goblins because his brother was kidnapped by a goblin, so your character has a negative two to some kind of check; maybe you freeze in fear, or something terrible like that.
Toady:As long as it's in a controlled environment where you can expect it, like if you knew it happened when you saw goblins that'd be cool. It's the kind of thing, like general terror ... that kind of bugs me, it's like you're not allowed to act because the game says you're afraid. You spent all this time going to find the dragon and then it's like 'No, you're just scared. Sorry.' But you spent two years trying to find it, you'd have worked up a little nerve ... So that kind of gets to an additional part of the overall personality rewrite which would be an emotion system. In adventure mode emotions are a tricky thing because you really don't want to get too far ahead of yourself there, getting into the players head, whereas if it's just doing some helpful bookkeeping for you with your favourite hobbies and stuff, that's actually a really good thing, but if it's actually trying to force you one way or another based on what it thinks you should be feeling, that's quite strange. But once you get to the other guys then emotions are a great thing. Right now we just have this slow descent into unhappiness and despair and psychotic breaks for the poor dwarves, and that sucks. They should be able to just snap, throw a tantrum, come back and be the happiest little dwarf that they could be, having worked out their issues, but it's kind of strange now how it's only long term despair and so on being tracked, rather than short term events. This is some distance in the future so we haven't really settled on a system there, we've just been writing up lists of emotions and so on, trying to think about when they might come up or how it might affect how the dwarves work and how we can just get rid of the happiness variable overall.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So we've talked about, in the past, inserting ourselves into a current, live legend person that you'll see in legends mode. I think it'd be really fun if we could, when generating our adventurer, choose from some people that are interesting and have interesting lives, and they've suddenly decided to become an adventurer.
Toady:I think the limiting factor there really, the only big limiting factor there, is that the most interesting people have the mechanics that are farther away. If you were like 'I want to be the lord of the castle' or whatever, then you become a much less interesting lord of the castle in a lot of ways than the lord of the castle was before you took them over because you can't really order people to do anything or give people quests or anything like that. But I think with the coming caravan stuff there's actually some good opportunities there because we'll have these merchants moving around and they're not going to be any more complicated than you'd be if you were doing the same thing. In addition they don't really have any bizarre skills or any kind of situation that couldn't be handled in the regular character generation so they're not really out of bounds in that way either. It's just like there's a normal guy who has some property and is moving things around, but if you found that you wanted to have that person's life there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that, I think. It'd certainly be something that would be qualified by a world generation option I think, so you could be like 'you can do this in the world', or not, because people might be tempted to take over all the competition and jump in the river and then start playing. There's nothing wrong with that, but people have mentioned in the past that if you can set it up in advance that you don't have that temptation then as you play you know that you have to compete on fair terms. I think that's a reasonable thing and there's really no difficulty in setting that up. I think we might start getting someone that's interesting to pick ... As it is now you'd be able to pick a nameless soldier in a castle, which is more or less pointless because you kind of start as that to begin with, or you can pick a peasant in a cottage, which you could also do if you started with nothing; if you didn't assign your skill points then you could be that person. But the merchants are interesting because they have some assets, they have an interesting situation, they have a gig that they're running, but it's nothing that you couldn't already attain. So it'd be a sort of starting point if you wanted to do that. Of course I don't have a guarantee or a timetable on this because we have a lot to do, but this is the kind of time when we're starting to see some interesting things. We should start seeing that some more when we get, like, bandit leaders, like if you have a group of bandits that has a leader then the second you can order bandits to do things, or order your little hirelings to do things - which is not that far off - that would be another good starting situation. One other thing that goes with all of this is if you're starting as a pre-existing historical figure ... One of the main reasons you're doing that is because they have interesting things in their pasts, and also maybe even more importantly they have connections with people, because when you start as an adventurer that you just make out of the blue you have a connection, being a citizen of that site, but you don't actually have parents or anything like that. So being able to take over a pre-existing person has that kind of appeal to it, but one of the issues is that you'd want that to matter. It would introduce being able to talk to your own father, which you can't currently do, and once you have that ability you'd like to be able to respect that to some degree.
Rainseeker:Right. 'Hey dad! Come with me and kill this dragon!' (implied paternal death) 'Dad! Nooooo! Dad! Oh no, dad! What have I done?' Anyway, that's going to happen.
Toady:Yeah, then he could just tan your hide when you do something stupid. It's interesting and it opens up that whole thing about whether or not we're even going to be capable of reproducing that scenario without that. If you wanted to make an adventurer that isn't a pre-existing historical figure but give them a history and weave them into the world, that's a lot trickier than just finding a person that's good enough, and if we have a lot of interesting people in the world maybe it's good enough. It would be kind of like one of those JRPGs where you pick among the four different people starting out, 'I want to be this guy, the orphan boy with the wooden sword' or 'I want to be the magic girl' or whatever. You have choices, so I guess it would be like that, except they'd be different every time so you wouldn't burn out so much.
Rainseeker:That would be kind of neat.
Toady:I think it's an admirable way to have an adventurer start, as long as you can do the other stuff.
Rainseeker:So we have goblins in the world too. Are we going to be able to pick them?
Toady:The only reason you can't pick them now is ... fill in the blank, I don't even remember. I guess it was because ... probably just because they're the bad guys. That's not so much true anymore, so you're probably going to get that ability before long, because now in the current world generation ... because there's not really enough political information, there's this free trade commune thing going on, and there's migration ... You end up with goblins in human towns just kind of hanging out and living there. The goblins don't eat anymore, so it's funny when a human migrates to a goblin tower, they're suddenly like 'We need food!', so they start buying food, they have to support their human.
Rainseeker:So goblins are nonetarians.
Toady:What? Yeah, nonetarians. I thought you said nometarians, I thought it had something to do with names or something.
Rainseeker:They eat your name! That'd be a strange game mechanic.
Toady:That would, that'd be some kind of magical thing or something, like word eating ... But yeah, there's this weird thing now, and we're not sure how much we're going to dampen that effect. The kobolds don't get to move in but that's because they can't communicate with people, but right now the goblins don't have these kinds of trouble ... We have wars, like even when wars are on people can still migrate around and trade and stuff; it's not like there's these sorts of national boundaries and people are all gung-ho and stuff; it's a lot more fluid. But it's too fluid right now, because you'll get fifty dwarves moving into the goblin place and fifty goblins moving over to the elves' forest. It's all really happy right now, so there's going to be some dampening of those effects, but we really want it to be able to happen. Now the goblins, when you look at their raw definition they have certain personality flaws; they're all sociopaths in a sense because they don't feel any kind of altruistic feelings. The thing we wanted for goblins is that they don't get that kind of buzzy, happy feeling that you get when you do something nice for someone else, so that has a large impact on their society. Having that kind of person in town, that person could be a productive member of society for their own purposes, but they'd also be one of those questionable individuals in town, where you can't really feel like they've got your back in every way or whatever. This is one of the issues, in fact, with the old personality system or the current personality system; we wanted to judge goblins a little bit, and the only way we found to do that was by zeroing out the altruism meter, but we would love the ability to judge them more. That's why we're going to add all these more traditional virtue/vice type things, that can kind of get at the heart of what it means to be a rotten individual, and then not go full bore with it for the goblins, so that some of them could still, for instance, live in a human town and be functional and really have to worry about unjustified xenophobia more than they worry about how rotten a person they are. Or I'd call it semi-justified xenophobia because on the whole the goblins are kind of bad. But we want that kind of freedom, and we don't really have it right now and it contributes to the difficulty of ironing this out where we'll just have to put in some hand wave that's like 'Well, they don't really live there a lot in those human places, and they hardly ever ever ever live in an elf place but sometimes they do' or whatever.
Rainseeker:There'd have to be conditions, probably, for that to happen.
Toady:Yeah. There's going to be some placeholdery crap until we get through it, as usual. But we do like the fact that everything's become way more smudged. Mostly in the towns; the countryside doesn't really have this happen so much because there's not a lot of migration the other way, like a goblin that wants to start a farm. That's not to say that couldn't happen, in real life we just haven't really worked at that, most people are moving to the towns to increase their populations and so on.
Rainseeker:Yeah I've noticed most goblins are not naturalists in real life.
Toady:It's true, it's true. I mean, the few I know.
Ollieh:(interlude music)
Rainseeker:And now it's time for our question segment, which is kind of miscellaneous, but we're going to address Argembarger: 'Will dwarves someday recognise and seek out things that give them happy thoughts?' I guess that's the gist of his question.
Toady:It's overall a kind of difficult thing. If you're trying to associate some event, in the gist of the question when you go through the whole paragraph it's like 'Can you associate a specific event or location where they had happy thoughts, or a whole series of events to get them to do that again?' and that's pretty hard to do. There are minor ways, like the things they already do, like just go get their favourite food or whatever, that's the really simple stuff. It would be difficult to do that conditioned behaviour, like going through some complex series of events to get them to do something happy, but there are things like enjoying rooms and stuff they don't really do that aggressively that they could do more of. Especially when they walk by a door and they're like 'Oh that's a great door', 'he really enjoyed that door lately'; they'd never go back there, it would be cool if they had their favourite place or their favourite statue or something. That would be neat, if a dwarf for instance had a favourite statue, went to go view his favourite statue on occasion. That would make it seem a lot more likely. That's probably as far as we'd get in terms of that sort of thing. I mean there's the party stuff we've talked about before where they'll go play their instruments and do things like that, there's certainly going to be more leisure activities. But in terms of going out and specifically seeking out places ... that's probably going to be the extent of it.
Rainseeker:Okay, so we have lastofthelight that wants to know about ruins. 'With the new changes to adventure mode are ruins going to happen?' basically, and 'If so, if we're still having them, can we colonise them with dwarf fortress.'
Toady:Ruins have gone through a kind of degradation through the entire game. We used to have these pyramids and they'd have zombies wandering around on them, and you'd fight on the pyramid ... Or you'd go into these underground ruins that had these rooms that were kind of these random rooms and you'd fight zombies in them or whatever, and then we got rid of that, and then there were just kind of these ruined towns. And then ... you don't really see those anymore either. So, the positive side here is that the new development page has a section for treasure hunters, and that's when we're going to go back and make sure that we're getting the proper ruins from ...
Rainseeker:(Indiana Jones theme)
Toady:That's right, exactly. The proper ruins from older civilizations, and we're going to have to go through world generation and make sure that there are enough wars and famines and plagues and migrations and so on to make sure that there are nice isolated hidden ruins, then you'd be able to go into those. In dwarf mode, right now all you can do is reclaim your previous fortresses, so there are a couple of angles here. Once there are actual fortresses with maps, which would be another adventure mode thing, just being able to go visit a fortress, then opening up reclaim on those is a lot more legitimate. Right now we just can't do it because they don't even have maps, you'd be reclaiming a blank cliff face and there'd be nothing there. So once that's handled then we can start doing that. I like the idea of a historical reclaim, it's just kind of a start scenario; you shouldn't just be able to reclaim your old fortresses you should be able to go to old ones. The only downside is that maybe you'd be getting massive amounts of treasure you don't deserve, but then there should be proper guardian beasty type things and trouble.
Rainseeker:Or else it'll already be scavenged.
Toady:There's kind of a risk/reward thing going on there that should naturally come out of how adventure mode works, and if the place is so isolated and hidden that there's treasure there with no-one guarding it then you probably wouldn't be able to reclaim it because you don't know about it, until someone finds a map, or whatever. So that's the situation there. I think when it comes to other weird ruins, like the ruins of a human civilization, I don't know if there's ever going to be like a dwarf mode colonization or claiming of that. It's similar to how you can't just settle inside a human town with a dwarf fortress anymore. But I'm not sure, it's certainly not as off limits as that, it would be a kind of legitimate thing. You'll probably more likely find an adventurer making a bandit camp there or something, but if they can do that there's probably no reason why the dwarves can't go to an old human castle and set up a mine underneath it or whatever. That'd be kind of fun.
Rainseeker:Yeah, especially if you went inside the castle before you started digging.
Toady:Yeah, and you could clean it up. It'd be a fixer upper. And you could rebuild the walls, and kill the zombies and stuff.
Rainseeker:All the skeletons in the closets. So I have a question here Andeers. His question is about your thesis, Tarn, which apparently he's read. His question regards your graduate thesis, in particular this part: 'Tatiana Toro has provided me with guidance for many years. While I was at Stanford, she invited me to a conference at BIRS in Banff where I learned many things and met many interesting people. I was surrounded by toads in the mountains. It was fantastic.' 'Would you care to elaborate on the story of being surrounded by toads?' I suppose this is very appropriate because your screen name is Toady One, for anyone who has been living in a cave and somehow downloaded this podcast on a lark.
Toady:That's right. It seems strange to be surrounded by toads in the mountains, but Banff is this resorty type place. It's in Canada and there are lots of trees and mountains and things, it's a really really beautiful location, and during this math conference we'd go and listen to people talk about math and stuff, but there'd also be time off to go just kind of hike around in the mountains and ride around on these gondolas and stuff. On the last day I went and just walked off by myself on one of the mountain trails and hiked up this little river valley and got to the top of this ... I wouldn't call it a mountain, I guess, just a little hill - we're in the mountains but it itself is just this tree-covered hill - and I got to the top of it and the trail had been narrowing and narrowing and eventually the trail sort of disappeared, and I was just stuck in the middle of these trees and couldn't really see where the trail was, and there's all these trees surrounding me and they had these giant grizzly bear slash marks on them and they always have these grizzly bear sightings up there and so on, and have grizzly bear warnings on different trails. So I was like 'Well, crap', because now I'm stuck in the middle of the woods and the bears are scaring me. But then I look down and there are all these toads, there were all these little toads hopping around. They were everywhere, and I was just like 'This is really really weird; I'm surrounded by toads up in the mountains.' I kind of wandered around and found the ... I was trying to stick with it, I could have just turned around and gone back down the trail but I kind of thought I knew which way I was supposed to go, so I went off in the trees for a while and eventually picked up the trail, it just kind of reappeared way down the line, and then I went down the other way. But yeah, there were just these toads sitting up on top of this hill. Very strange, I don't know what they were doing up there, I didn't see any water ... It was kind of a moist location, you have these forest toads that hop around and stuff, but yeah, it was very strange. No bears. Didn't get eaten.
Rainseeker:Yes, we're grateful for that.
Toady:Yeah, I got out of there alive, but I got to see my toads, so I was happy. We had toads ... When I was growing up in California we had this artificial pond we put in our backyard and the toads found it and colonised it, that's how I got my name ... Zach and I used to make little BASIC programs and we would call them 'Toady One the Great Productions' because that's what we named the pond ... We wrote it in the concrete with our fingers, 'A Toady One the Great Production', in this pond where we were expecting some toads to show up, but not in the hundreds - they did show up in the hundreds though, the pond was always filled with tadpoles - but we always called the early BASIC games, this was before we called them Bay12 games, we just called them 'Toady One the Great Productions'. When I started up the webpage in 2000 Zach and I were like 'Well, you might as well call yourself Toady One' and he had a guinea pig so he called himself Three Toe, and we were happy with that, so ... But toads, always toads, yeah.
Rainseeker:Well that's it for my segment. Thanks for joining me guys, I will see you next time. Tarn will be now chatting with Captaintastic ... I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Capntastic.
Toady:Capn. Capn ... Crunch.
Rainseeker:No no no. Tastic. Capn Crunch would be ...
Toady:A special guest host. To talk about cereal and how we're going to add cereal to the game. Also, high fructose corn syrup.
Rainseeker:All dwarves eat cereal with high fructose corn syrup.
Toady:It's true, that's why their ... beards ....
Rainseeker:That's why they have bad teeth, too.
Toady:Yeah I wonder if dwarves ... Do dwarves have bad teeth? That's the question, do they have to brush the ... We just added teeth recently and no, they don't have to brush them, so ...
Toady:Yeah. We're encouraging ... It's really the downfall of society. The kids ... we're spoiling the kids.
Rainseeker:(singing) Halitosis!
Toady:That's right, just stinky, stinky dwarves.
Rainseeker:When I think of dwarves I think that their breath would be bad, I think they would have bad breath.
Toady:Yeah ... Unless it smells like iron or something. But I don't think it would, I think it would smell like booze and rotten mushrooms.
Rainseeker:Yeah, and rotten meat too.
Toady:Yeah, lots of rotten little chickens and eggs and wool caught between their teeth.
Rainseeker:Exactly. Because they're eating the sheep with the wool on still.
Toady:And whatever else they ... Oil, and the clay. Just like parrots, parrots eat clay, don't they?
Rainseeker:They do!
Toady:Yeah, so dwarves are like that.
Rainseeker:Okay. It kills the bacteria apparently and any toxins.
Toady:Well there's lots of toxins in the game that we aren't dealing with, like all the coal gases or whatever, all the horrible things ... And you have forges underground, that can't be good.
Rainseeker:Yeah, and you can make lead goblets and drink out of them and it has no ill effect.
Toady:That's right, and it's because they eat the clay ... that we haven't added. So we should.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:Yeah, there are grasses. There are many many many many many grasses. I just went online and looked up some grasses, trying to get them from different places of the world.
Capntastic:Aren't some of them a little bit more fantastic than your typical Kentucky Bluegrass?
Toady:Yeah, there are fantastic underground grasses, and there are fantastic evil grasses, and there are fantastic good grasses, while we have the evil and good reasons. It should be entertaining. The screen gets a little busy right now, because we added alternate grass tiles so they're allowed to flip between things. So right now when you go to a really evil place there's all these wriggling worms and blinking eyeball grass and they blink and wriggle. The wriggling is a little too much, though, so I'm not sure we're going to keep it at the same speed it's going now. The good regions have like feathers and bubbles.
Capntastic:Nice. It should clean you as you walk through it.
Toady:That's right. It should smell nice, it should be like walking through a bunch of toilet paper or something.
Capntastic:Is there more moss now, or is it still just general 'moss'?
Toady:Oh, well moss could be done with this system ... it isn't right now, so we could do the mosses. Because moss ... you hardly ever see it. I think I forced it so that you see it in adventure mode when you go to the old shrines, then you get a lot more moss, but in the fortress I don't know that you get to see it that often. It still calls the code that makes moss grow in a fortress, but I think you have to somehow have hundreds of years pass.
Capntastic:Yeah, I remember somebody posted a screenshot saying 'Yeah, I've been playing this fort for like twenty in game years, and I have a moss tile now.'
Toady:Yeah, so that definitely needs a little bit of work, because I think moss can grow faster than that. But the grass system will work for anything. The underlying structure just tells the block that the tile itself, like the trees and bushes, is linked to a vegetation type and an amount, and it's just set up so that it doesn't have to track as much information as trees do. Trees care if they're on fire, and how long they've been burning. Grass just ... it cares that it's on fire, but it just kind of randomly moves from place to place, it doesn't store as much information because it's prohibitive to store. And the age, it knows how old the trees are, but it doesn't know how old every blade of grass is. So with things like moss it could just use the same structure to say what kind of moss ... And anything else, like when we do things like water lilies and duckweed and stuff over the surfaces of lakes, or any number of things in tide pools and the shore and coral reefs and things like that; there's probably a lot of different ways we can use this. It should be handy.
Capntastic:So along with the grass ... The grass is important for the animals that chew the grass, correct?
Toady:That's right. It stores the grass from zero to a hundred and the grazing animals chew up the grass and ... Grass kind of regrows, every single time it gets hit with the regrow routine that would normally just change the soil tile into a grass tile, it changes the soil tile into a random grass type and adds twenty five grass to it, and if it hits an existing grass tile it adds twenty five to it up to the limit of a hundred. So you have the grass growing, and it'll say 'sparse' and then the grass type or 'dense' and then the grass type, depending on how much grass is there. So your grass would be depleted as your grazing animals are walking around eating it, but it'd also be growing back. So we just need to make sure the numbers work out vaguely right there so that you can have a reasonable sized herd of cows or other grazing critters; they'll deplete the grass, and the grass will come back and it'll balance at some reasonable number of animals. It also means that if you try and keep your animals locked up in a teeny little pasture they'll soon over graze it and starve to death.
Capntastic:So they have to eat.
Toady:Yeah, they're going to have to eat, at least all the ones that are feedable. I don't know what we're going to do with animals like cats and dogs, if they're going to eat vermin or if they're going to be feedable. Because you don't want them to eat the same portions of food that the dwarves do, so maybe they won't eat at first. It's just going to be animals that you can get a ton of food from for free just by having them breeding; you should have to take care of them a little bit.
Capntastic:Yeah, human ranch mode.
Toady:That's right, so it'd just be a dwarf rancher out on the ... on the mountain tiles there's this alpine meadow area in the mountain biome at low elevations, so there's grasses up there so you can graze animals on the mountain tile, and it's all the mountain species of grasses, just the few that we could fine. There still aren't trees or large bushes, just these little grasses; it's only when you get higher up in the mountains that you just get rock. I should change the colour of the graphical map exports now, come to think of it. So, that should be sufficient to control that and then right after that we'll get to the finishing of chickens and then vegetable oil and clay, finally. Those will be the dwarf mode industry changes for this time, and then we'll flip back to worrying about getting merchants moving on the map and making the workshops and so on in the adventure mode towns, to get people linked up with their professions, what they're producing, all of the items that are now being stockpiled in world generation need to appear in the towns where they're at, and it'll have ... I don't know, but they'll just be distributed around between the backs of workshops and little storerooms, and people's houses and if the merchants have any kind of organisation they'll probably have some kind of warehouse.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:If you had a cow, just sort of like your normal cow, and then it eats the wriggling eyeball grass, will there be ill effects?
Toady:There could be at some point. Do we even have ingested poisons yet? We don't, we have ...
Toady:We have the syndromes, we have the contact poisons, we have the injected poisons ... I don't remember what there else, if we have ingested poisons ... It would be really easy to add, but I don't think it's in right now. So right now they just munch on the eyeballs, despite the ... you know, the eyeballs aren't exactly rich in plant-like materials, it's more like eyeball. They're made out of eyeball tissue right now, they're just made out of eyeballs; it has a material associated to the grass of course, and so there's the eyeball tissue, and the worms are made out of muscle tissue. So the cows shouldn't ... It should be more like grass for cats to graze on, and birds, there should be lots of little birds plucking up the worm grass. But right now it doesn't care, so you could just have your cows out there munching them. It might not be that way by the time I'm through but right now there's nothing. They should just be keeling over and dying, or the eyeball like stares and them and intimidates them or something. Of course the eyeballs are always staring ... except when they blink, so they're not always staring. Even if the grass ... it's called something like staring eyeballs, but they still blink, they blink on occasion, because you have to maintain the moisture of the eye to keep it at its peak efficiency.
Capntastic:Yeah, you've got to water it daily.
Toady:I guess that's what the rain is for, maybe they'll look up and don't blink when it's raining. Who knows, maybe when you pluck eyeball grass out of the ground it's like attached to a little guy who runs away.
Capntastic:That could happen.
Toady:Yep, there's all kinds of possibilities, all kinds of possibilities. But right now it's just grazable munchable eyeballs, it's like Fear Factor or something.
Capntastic:Some sort of weird food, you'd be like in some alleyway and there'd be a food stall and like 'Hey. Try this' and you get like a stick, and it's got some fried crispy stuff and an eyeball.
Toady:Yeah I guess that's what dragons are for, they can wander around the evil regions shooting fire and just kind of frying a whole bunch of worms and eyeballs, then you'd just need the goblins to come around with little sticks and make little shish kebabs.
Capntastic:The economy for Dwarf Fortress makes perfect sense.
Toady:Yeah. Feathers ... feathers are sensible too; going to the feather grass and plucking the nice ... It's not just feathers, it's not like flight feathers because that wouldn't be a good reason, it's downy, it's called downy grass, so it's downy feathers, nice fluffy chicks, and you can roll around in the thing and it's just nice and comfortable. And then there are the little bubbles, I'm not quite sure what the bubble grass is, but it's bubbles, because bubbles are good. I don't know what you can do with bubbles, you could presumably do something with bubbles. They're called bubble bulbs, bubble bulbs and downy grass, and starting eyeballs and wormy tendrils. Nothing but fun. Those are the only ones we added, because, you know, why overdo it? It's already overdone when you see the wriggling screen, it's quite scary. You'll definitely just want to dig your fort down so you don't have to go back up there.
Capntastic:Yep, then you track seeds in and ... well. I imagine it's like The Thing.
Toady:Yeah, I guess you could have dwarves kind of crowd surfing over the worm grass or something. I'm not quite sure how big they are, if they're as big as fingers ... maybe they're bigger, like big snakes or something, without biting mounts. Although, you could do snake grass too, I suppose. Or leech grass, that just latches on and just sucks your blood and then you don't go there anymore. Or anywhere else. So grass is intriguing, as much of a side excursion as it was, it's fun to have grass gone, because it was one of those things that just said 'grass' and it didn't really add to the game at all, but now you can do all kinds of things. With the numeric amounts we can have things later like clipping the grass to make hay, and then you could bring your animals in for the winter or something. We're not sure what the exact prognosis of that is, just because it's not quite done yet, then we'll see if animals are starving or freezing to death outside during the winter and then you go out to pull them in, but if you need food then for then and they're just sitting inside starving then we'd need to add haymaking, which would be easy enough; we'll just have a dwarf go outside and pull up a bunch of grass tiles for you, pick up a bundle of hay and drop it in some kind of pile for the animals, and then the animals will all just hang out there and eat their hay. It would be nice for the happy animals, everyone's going to be happy, it's all kinds of happy animals ... chickens going to their nest boxes and laying eggs and things. I'm not sure about them, if they're going to eat or not. They could either have some kind of ... they pick up bugs from the ground or something, and there's a certain bug density ... We already have searching in adventure mode where you search for worms and beetles with the search carefully command.
Capntastic:Yeah, 'You've found worms'.
Toady:That's right, you find worms and beetles, and then it doesn't let you search again, it says 'You've already searched this location' or whatever, but that's just a specific event for adventure mode, saying 'You've already searched this location recently', but the map might need an overall worm density or worm presence, meaning just any kind of small, microscopic - not microscopic, but microscopic effectively because you can't see them - vermin; then the chickens could reduce that, or other kinds of grazing insectivores. Chickens eat all kinds of crap, though, I guess, so we're thinking also of having the press cakes from when you run your rock nuts through the oil press and make some sort of dwarven vegetable oil, the after product there is a press cake, which I guess can be used for animal feed. So that could somehow be scattered in the chicken yard there with the pens/pasture thing, the zone where you store them like we store the cows. That could be another fun thing for the farmer dwarf to do, go grab his seeds if you have excess seeds and just scatter them in the yard for the chickens to eat. You have to maintain your chickens, maintain your cows and your pigs ...
Toady:Goats. There's all kinds of new animals.
Capntastic:So you're going to be able to assign an area, make like a fenced-in area and assign 'This is chicken zone one'.
Toady:Yeah, it's just like a meeting hall for animals, and they don't go there just because they want to go there, a dwarf needs to bring them first; but then they know it's their zone. I don't really have time right now just to do herding code, like constantly herding the animals back seems like it'd be a hassle for the poor dwarf because the animals will just wander away immediately, and then some dwarf would have to hunt each of them down, and they'd just keep coming out. So right now they just stay there, they don't need fences or whatever. That might be changed later, and maybe you could have a dog help you or something, but it'll be later. Right now the work time is spent just putting the animals there - that's the dwarf spending his abstract time as the days move quickly - that's what counts for herding right now, or accounts for collecting stray animals. Then they get put in their pasture and they stay there and then you just have to make sure that they're grazed and fed and have nest boxes available if you want to breed chickens or collect eggs. Those are the little dwarf mode things upcoming.
Toady:That's right. New little industries and new ... Most of what I've been doing so far is just the world generation stuff with all of the numbers being tracked now, tracking every little thing that's in every little place; so now it knows, and knowing is half the battle, and the other half is actually doing something with this stuff ... which seems to take significantly longer than knowing, but it'll be underway. We might do a series of releases or something because I have a feeling that it's going to take a long time to finish all the stuff we wanted to do for the initial caravan arc, because we wanted the merchants moving on the world map, we also wanted them to go to the dwarf fortress and change all of the dwarf trading. There's quite a few things, so once we finish the dwarf mode industries and go back and set up the adventure mode towns with the workshops, we'll probably put up a release and then immediately after that go to making the merchants move around and so on. Once the merchants move around then you can have the towns eating, and once the towns are eating then that's when stuff starts to get all crazy; you have to worry about whole towns starving to death just because the computer made a mistake, so it should be entertaining. It'll be a while yet before all that's done, so we'll probably try and slip something out sooner rather than later just to see that we have a release, because people seem to appreciate releases.
Capntastic:That is true, I've never really quite understood that.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:There are collections of people that get built up larger than the villages. The villages are generally sized between a hundred and a hundred and fifty people, and there's migrations to the towns. The towns also get food from the villages, so there's a large collection of food in the town which allows the population to be higher, and then there are large towns. One of the big challenges that definitely needs to be tackled is having towns that you can walk around in that have that many people. From what I could tell from the arena mode testing and so on, adventure mode can handle several hundred people already without any tweaks, but there will be several things that I can do to ... Because a person is no different from a tree - and there are already maps where you can have ten thousand trees or whatever - a person's no different from a tree if they're doing treelike things. So if they're just hanging out in their workshops and most of them are brain-dead, most of them aren't even loaded because you only load a section of the town at a time, but for the ones that are loaded if there are four or five hundred people loaded and most of them are just brain-dead and occasionally ... they'll have like a schedule where they're like 'Okay I need to stop pretending to work in my workshop now, and I need to go get some food or get some supplies or go to the market or whatever', then they can do that, and when you actually walk into their workshop - maybe not for this time but later on - then it'll be like 'Okay, now everyone in this building can turn on and go handle their business, or do things inside their house that they should have been doing this whole time, but there's no point in showing them'. You only need people to think, not just when you can see them, because you want to keep up appearances, you want the place to look as if it's bustling, and look like everyone's thinking all the time ...
Capntastic:Yeah, you've got to have some excitement.
Toady:That's right, so there'll be enough people walking around on the streets to make that interesting, and when you walk into a house or when you leave if people have been moving around objects when they work and so on it's going to have to do something with that. Either those people will be allowed to work, which isn't really that intensive either ... Because it's not like dwarf mode work where you end up walking quite a bit sometimes; that's the thing that you really want to keep down. You can't have like seven hundred people pathing all over the map, but they won't be pathing all over the map, they've got everything they need in their workshop to work; most of them shouldn't need to leave their workshops which double as their houses and so on, for most of the day. They'll just occasionally have to step out, but all in all it should be manageable to have towns that size, and then there'd just be towns that size, which is nice ... to have that many people be in a place. The only time where you get a little bit worried about the frames per second and so on is later on when you have dragon attacks, and suddenly everyone needs to be concerned, like 'Why am I in this town at this time?' or whatever, and 'Should I leave me house and run for the hills?'. Then we'll just have to do group pathing, or something, to get everyone running away in the proper direction. It's manageable though. That'll be good, I think, to have; everyone will have their place that they live, which will often double as the place where they work and also the place where they can sell what they're producing if they're that kind of person, and you'll be able to go to those places, so the shops in adventure mode are going to get revamped so that things make more sense. We'll have people with the proper professions working in the proper place selling the proper stuff, and there can also be market stalls in which case you'd have people coming in from the villages. There's lots of people in the villages too, so if you have a town with a thousand people there should be, I guess, theoretically there should be some eight or nine thousand people living around it; that's not how it works in Dwarf Fortress because we don't have that much real estate, or we can't have that much real estate, that many sites. So the farming ratio instead of being like nine to one is more like two to one. It's enough that you feel like there's an agricultural life, that there's stuff like that, and so what you can still have then is that on the market days when the market stalls and things are all going to be taken up by people hawking stuff, you'll have a lot of people from the villages come into the town as well, so it'll be bustling on those days especially, you'll have lots of people. Then you can ask people where they're from, and they can be like 'I'm from this village' and then you could go visit them at that village later, on a day when they're not in town. Hopefully that stuff will all be going in over a few releases.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:Yeah, so there's towns and there'll be markets and the markets will have workshops, there'll be people living in them, there'll be people coming in to work there and then we'll have to manage the merchants arriving; so it's not just people coming in from the villages to hawk things at that market, but then you've got the excess wares that people have that will need to be sold to people that are going to carry them to other towns and sell them there. That's one type of trade that'll be going on, just the people going around; those are the people who come into your fortress as well to sell you things that were produced in towns. Then there are big fairs which would happen once a year but last several weeks, and then you get people coming from all over the place to see stuff. Basically we're thinking because of the time structure in dwarf mode, where the year passes relatively quickly, that it might be more appropriate, at least when you're a little bit larger to treat your fortress trading a bit more like a fair; they come at a certain time of year and lots of people come. You can also have a trickle of people coming and then you'd be able to trade in your depot with various people and it would have more of an annual schedule, and it would fit it with the rest of the world. Because it's going to be kind of weird when a merchant arrives at your fortress they enter a sort of time bubble, because they're normally racing all over the world and they can go between two towns that are six tiles apart, they can just walk that in a day like you can in adventure mode, but when they enter your fortress suddenly it takes longer than a day to even get to your depot, walking on the map. So it's appropriate for them to be trading on a timescale where it should have taken them several weeks like it does with the fairs. It's still going to be off, they'll be staying for a whole season which is longer than they should be staying, but it doesn't really matter that much, it's like there's just a lag between when your goods are produced and how soon they should get to the market, so I guess you can never really quite capitalise the same way other people can quickly, but it shouldn't matter because you should have some mineral/gem type monopolies, and a monopoly on steel swords and all that kind of thing; it should be fine. You're not supposed to be a major agricultural player, because you're just a fortress, you're not several villages with thousands of people altogether farming big tracts of land and selling all the produce; you're more specialised than that, and you're dwarves. So those aren't the types of monopolies you should be shooting for, although as soon as you can get armies on the map then you'd be moving at a different timescale again and you would be able to create worldwide economic trouble by exerting your force in places. So it's not like you can't have that kind of influence. I'm not sure ... We haven't really thought about sending out dwarves caravans and how that might work, how that timescale might work where you'd have them do something and they'd be kind of off the map and on the map, if it works in that timescale. So it's kind of weird, there are going to be some concessions made to the timescale where it doesn't work quite the same way when you're playing dwarf mode, but overall there'll still be the flow of goods and so on and all the ... You'll actually see populations change a little: if you manage to play a five or ten year fort, then you should see changes in the world which will be good. I think it'll all still work out, and the towns themselves should also end up with places that you might be able to ... like cottages you might be able to rent as a person wandering in there, and there should be some ritzier places for you to wander into and talk to people and take their things. We're getting started now, finally, on improving that whole situation which was dire up until now. That's still going to take a while and we might split it up into a few releases, but all in all I think that's what we're looking forward to ... and the trade in dwarf mode is going to be changed as well, because it has to account for supply and demand basically now, right? So no more two thousand dollar cheeses unless it's actually a two thousand dollar cheese. That stuff's all going to get ironed out over the next few merchant releases, and we're thinking about different types of agreements that you can make with people, so instead of ... the guy comes and then you barter with him, instead you might give them something and then have a promise at a later date to receive something, or you might receive something and have a promise at a later date to produce enough goods for them to come pick up later. Hopefully that'll make trade more interesting, you'll just have more control over what kind of deals you're making. There still might be some of the shop around stuff where the guys come and just try and peddle stuff on you, just the random piles of crap they bring, but in general you'll get more out of trade if you have more control over what's being brought to you because you're essentially saying what your demand is, and people will be able to bring those things to you and you'll be able to bring them things that they need because they're going to have needs now that you'll be able to meet because you have control over a lot of finished goods and metals and gems and ...
Capntastic:Pretty things.
Toady:Yeah, yeah, and hopefully coinage will come into play in trade so that you could just agree to pay with coins later on, or you could agree to take coins from somebody if there isn't some kind of fortuitous ... because if they demand things and they don't want other things - unlike now where they just have a price for everything that's the same everywhere - then it's going to be harder for you to meet their demands with items necessarily, so coins might just smooth that whole thing over. It should be a lot more rewarding and a lot more useful to engage with the traders now, because I know a lot of people just find them useless after a point, they just don't have something they want to trade for. Forts are still kind of self-sufficient, that hasn't really changed. With the farming slowly moving over to you having to take care of your animals and eventually farming itself should be a little more difficult ... and there's a whole monkey wrench being thrown in there with the dwarves around your fortress, the whole dwarves living in the hills and all that kind of thing later on, but if the self-sufficiency of the fortress isn't guaranteed ... It's like, you could live self-sufficiently but then you wouldn't have as many trade goods, so you wouldn't be able to engage as much with the caravans. What I'm getting at is that it should be more fun to run a fort that isn't self-sufficient now, and you should be able to ask for certain things and be able to produce higher quality goods of a certain kind so that people will come to you for them and you can then become part of the world that way, rather than being more or less separate from it with these sort of incidental trade relationships. Hopefully that's how it'll turn out, that's what we're going for. After that we're moving on to just cleaning up, adding bugs ... adding bugs, yes, that's exactly what we'll be doing. That's what's going on now, and then we'll be fixing bugs, and I'll be doing that for a while because there's hard working bug tracker managers that need to see some progress over there, and then the army arc, which will be the second major way that you can have your fortress associated to the world; not to mention all the kind of obvious adventure mode stuff that comes out that. So, it's finally going to be interesting ... we're doing grasses right now, of course, but once we get through the dwarf mode industries then we'll get back to the caravan additions and so on. There's my ramble for you.
Capntastic:There you go. So when are ... Is anything happening on like the cultural kind of ... Like these guys like to fight people, these guys don't like going outside or something ...
Toady:Yeah ... I guess ... There hasn't been anything there because there hasn't been a lot to work with. In those villages you could have people saying like 'We're the people who stay inside', but they're all the people who stay inside right now. The more meat we have to work with - which hopefully the caravan arc will be giving us a lot of - then the more we have to do there. It's less excusable in dwarf mode, of course, where they've been sitting on toys and instruments for four years and not using them for anything, and that's a matter of finding a time for that, when I'm always occupied with all this other stuff. I'm not sure when we'll get to that ... I think, certainly, when we have the caravan stuff we've been talking about with the merchants, and trade all in, and then when we start getting into the army stuff, that's when you've finally got stark choices in ways of life sitting in front of you, and there can be a lot of variation there. But until then it's just the way it is now, where the cultural variation amounts to clothing, and ... that's about it with the humans, they just wear different stuff. They wear different stuff, they look different - the different cultures are drawn from different gene pools - so the people look different, and the clothing is different. That's what we've got now. As far as I can think of it there's just not enough meat on the bone to do a lot of differences. You could have people that become bandits less often, or you could have people that don't send you on quests to kill monsters, but that seems kind of like it's not that interesting. So, until we have more ... but we're getting to more. I think another thing that because of the ... Like, in world generation you had already in the current version, they have certain materials based on where they live, so it's like 'These people appear to be a culture that lives off of products from the sea' just because that's what they eat and that's what they wear, and you have 'This one that appears to be ...' 'This one and this one that appears to be ...' Even more so now, they're actually doing that, so that kind of thing leads to differences by itself and what trade goods they decide to produce ... Right now in world generation, in the version that hasn't been released, they work on building things with the raw materials that they collect ... they might work on building things, they could just be working on raw materials at a given location, and then trade them. Or you have people that work on finished goods and then they get specialisation points so they make better goods just because it's something they've been doing. So you get differentiations that pop up just because of the resources that were available, and because of the time that they've put it to developing a culture surrounding that type of item; you now get differences like you'd be able to go to one town and you would have a lot of silversmiths there, or something, and then you'd go to a different town and maybe they're just working on textiles. So that's going to be a big difference, and that should lead to additional alterations in what the towns look like and who the people are, and so on ... and just how many weapons are available and how many people are available are going to control - once we get to the army arc - how they behave, so ... I think maybe it isn't quite as depressing an outlook as I originally was saying, I think there's probably going to be some stuff that's kind of cool.
Capntastic:What about the leadership: what are the first steps you're going to be taking towards making those roles more important?
Toady:That's the army arc. The army arc, as its stated, might as well be called the army and political arc, or the nobles arc, or something, because there are people driving these actions, and that's what we're going to see a lot of the important changes in personality, and the changes in ... Like, right now there's like the lord and the lady in the castle, or the lady in the castle, there's usually just one or the other ... There's the lord in the castle or the lady in the castle and they're just there, during world generation it was like 'We need a person to sit in this castle and give quests', and so they assign a person to it. So they're more like a desk worker or an office worker who waits for adventurers to come so that they can send them places, and that's not how it's going to be, certainly. Each of those people should be concerned with themselves and concerned with what they want out of life, which is going to be varied, but generally they're going to try and be the most powerful person in the world, probably. Then you'd start to get things like this town and these villages are associated to this castle, and this person has an alliance with this person in this castle, who is associated with these towns and villages, and then when they try and have ... their soldiers will be coming up out of the population, and then they will have the things that they try and do to try and acquire more of those things, or to try and secure trade routes, and the types of things that the caravan arc is going to allow us to do, since we track all that information now. Then each of those people ... Those are just single people, but they will all have their associated hangers-on and other positions that become available so that more people can get pulled into that lifestyle; and then you can have marriages and all that kind of thing. So, it's really the army arc that's going to drive that kind of political information where you have aristocratic nonsense going on, and personalities like that. I don't know if the army arc is also going to lead to things like fellow adventure-type people wandering the world, and of course this all relates into dwarf mode. I usually fixate on one mode or the other when I'm talking, so that was kind of an adventure tangent but those things will all impact dwarf mode as well, especially when you kind of enter into that lifestyle yourself, where you get your fortress up to the point where you're allowed to appoint one of your dwarves as the baron, you kind of get to that. But that should imply that there's a sort of nobility there and there'd be dwarven barons and counts and dukes or whatever we've got now, and the king and/or queen or however the world generation turned out, and they'd be at those different mountainhomes. Right now it just places the king and the queen and you're the only baron or count or duke, it's sort of sad, it's like they just wanted a little buddy to be in the nobility with them. But there should be a whole slew of those things, and then you'd have the relationship with the other mountainhomes, and you might agree with this baron to do something to sort of combat the power of a different baron that just found a big gold vein ... if gold even lives in veins these days. So there should be lots of stuff like that coming in with the army arc: that's where we're starting with the army arc, pretty much; the other starting point with the army arc is just getting bandits and monsters running around in adventure mode and in dwarf mode headed towards your fortress or having them attack towns, or waylay travellers rather. Big monsters attacking towns is fine; four bandits going into a town isn't really an attack so much as just causing trouble. That's another angle ... I can't say exactly which I'm doing first, either one of those though leads to more personality ... There's the bandit leaders being fleshed out, the megabeasts finally getting some personality, but if we start with the larger army stuff then that's going to start a revamp of the political structure so that they can even make decisions; right now they can't really make decisions because there isn't enough information about who they're making decisions about, or what kind of things they want to do, and who'd they attack, and what it means to take a place over. Right now the world map just has these influence areas where all the civilizations are overlapping - that's more of a cultural map - but the political boundaries aren't really decided at all, you just have people all lumped in together and you have some random castle being built by some civilization between two towns of a different civilization, and that's the kind of thing that just wouldn't stand after they get to thinking properly about maintaining their own power and making armies and things so they can collect more power, and making crucial trade decisions and so on. That's all army arc stuff. Right now we're starting with the caravans and they don't think in the same way, they just want to make a good trade or whatever; it's not people going for a larger picture of the world with themselves at the top of it. That's army arc material, so we should actually see that when we begin that, whenever that happens. So, merchants, bugs, army, that's the plan right now.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:Part of the caravan arc is the adventurer being able to partake in these things, like being able to move from town to town buying things and selling them and that necessitated the pack mule, of course, so that you can lead mules around with your crap on them to sell in other places, and that implies having animals, having adventure mode animals, so that would go in first, and that's why we're just throwing mounts into this series of releases. And that's going to be intriguing and fun, riding around on your horsie and having your pack mule and having your trusty dog companion ... I suppose you just buy those in a village or town ... anyone who's willing to part with an animal, you'll be able to secure your animal from these people, whatever animal you should choose to secure, and they would be your little buddy, and you know, they'd have to eat now ... riding a horse I guess you'd have to stop every once in a while and let it nibble on things or feed it hay and apples and things; whatever horses are happy eating these days ... or those days, whenever it was. So that's another intriguing engagement, leading to Capntastic's great dream of having a sheep farm.
Capntastic:Yeah, a sheep farm.
Toady:Slowly getting there, slowly getting there. You'd be able to have sheep but they'd follow you around and probably kill people for you or something, and then it's a matter of when we're going to allow you to actually farm your sheep and shear your sheep. Of course the nice thing is that once we allow shearing of sheep we're almost already there because you'd be able to buy and sell at that point commodities like that, and you'd have your animals wandering around with you and you'd just need to be able to keep them in a place, and you'd need to be able to pass time faster; those are kind of the things we're missing for your dream to come to fruition. The passage of time is the big question mark, when are we going to be like 'I want to pass a season just hanging out in my rented cottage', like you press the button and then it's like 'You owe three months rent'.
Capntastic:Also being able to set up tasks like 'I want to build this fence in this area' and you designate it then hit a button and then it'd be like 'It took you three weeks to make the fence', kind of an autopilot thing.
Toady:That's right, then you'd have your own little environment, and you might have to deal with the occasional night creature that comes and steals your sheep, just wanders off with your sheep. You'd have to go rescue your sheep, I guess the rescue is something we haven't done, we tried to squeeze that in with night creatures but couldn't do it because there are some times in world generation where ... So they capture a person and then they convert them into a spouse and then they make night creature children - these twisted twisted bad peoples - and sometimes during world generation it stops at a point where a person has been captured but they haven't been converted. So those people are in a limbo that we didn't really define well: there are no rescue missions and if you visit that cave ... I'm not sure, but they probably just appear in the cave and then get killed by the monster, because the monster doesn't remember what they're there for. So it'll be like that for your sheep, I guess, you'll rescue your sheep. It's good to rescue your sheep. So yeah, you'll have a victorious time trading your sheep and you'll just breed sheep and sell them to people and stuff, and you'll know where your sheep here, like 'These are my sheep, I sold them to three different communities' and so on, 'and people all over the world are wearing my clothes'. You'll have to brand your clothes, call them something ... Mines. We were going to do mines. Mines are the very beginning of adventure mode environments to wander around in, but we really need to get to the ruins and pyramids and things so that you could go to a location and kind of have a proper roguelike game there, and then leave, like 'I just had a proper roguelike game' ... Although traps are scarier than they are in ... In a roguelike game generally you'll hit a trap and be like 'Oh no I lost eleven hitpoints' or whatever, but ...
Capntastic:... Like 'Oh no you lost your leg!'
Toady:Yeah, all traps kind of end your life, so we need to handle that responsibly to give you time to escape them or tell you what's going on or something, that's going to be important. So that'll be fun ... Markets, fairs, merchants ... I'm just reading through the list now ... Adding all the village furniture, making their houses look nicer, and giving them their work ...
Capntastic:Forks and knives.
Toady:That's right, you need silverware. And we've got that stuff now, the only people who have it are night creatures, they all attack you with carving forks and stuff, and no-one in town has a carving fork, where did they get it from? Did they make it? I guess ... I guess so. So that'll be explained properly by having that thing. And inns. Inns inns inns inns inns inns inns. Inns are good: so that you can stay in town, you won't just be able to bum in people's houses necessarily all the time; they should have a reason to have you stay in the house. Right now they're just being nice about it because staying outside at night is certain death unless you can kill bogeymen properly, which is difficult. It's kind of interesting when you add things like that to the night time, because it sort of changes the ethics that you want your people to have, because if you don't let someone stay in your house you're a murderer after a fashion, in an indirect way. So would an inn exist in a culture like that where people have to pay someplace to stay alive? I guess there'd be more stables, or there'd be these ... kind of like bus stops, just little shacks where people could stay, just shacks scattered all over the place along the road.
Capntastic:... those shacks in something like nature trails where it's a shack you go in and sign the guestbook and just stay there the night.
Toady:Yeah, I guess those would be all over the place, because you don't have to worry just ... the occasional bear is going to come and eat you or something, it's like you are going to die. Have them everywhere. I guess that would spur the technological innovations leading toward collapsible shacks that you carry in your backpack, or whatever, like a tent. We don't know what the bogeymen think about tents: does it count? Does it not count? Hmm, now what's inside ... Because they disappear when you're inside, so can you just cup your hands over your head? Use an umbrella? It's hard to say what counts. We'll have to think about that, it's one of those things with having a computer game is you always have to sort crap out instead of just handwaving, so we'll have to deal with that. Other big things coming up with the mounts is the move/combat speed split, which is incredibly important. So it's like, right now cheetahs aren't fast because if they were fast then they could quickly kill you to, because they run up to you and then they get seven attacks to your one, and then it's over with. So that's the big thing that's going to come with mounts, because you don't want mounts to be able to do the same thing. So that'll be really big, and that'll allow us to do all kinds of things we wanted to do with attack speed and so on, so that different attacks can go different speeds ... that kind of thing. That'll add a much larger tactical element to when you're fighting, it'll be interesting. Then there's jogging, running and sprinting stuff, which also comes with mounts having them move at speeds. Just having the speed available to us like that will be very convenient, all kinds of cool stuff coming there.
Toady:Jumping's more difficult, of course. It's not difficult to do for the adventurer, what's difficult is the pathfinding for other people who want to do it. When you escape from people by jumping over a little one tile river or something - not that those exist necessarily all the time or anywhere - you want them to have the same advantages in life that you do. But if it's just like ... Instead of necessarily enemy evasion jumping, but just more exploration jumping and climbing, where you do get the enemy evasion benefits but it's more for the ruins and caves where you'd be exploring them and using a lot of jumping and climbing; then I don't feel so bad about adding jumping before others are capable of understanding how to do it. Then you can have a lot of fun jumping and failing to land properly and falling off a three tile cliff in a ruin or whatever and then having to climb up a pillar to get out again, but your leg's broken ... All that kind of thing, you know, the stuff people consider fun. So that should be ... So I don't know, of course I don't know what I'm doing now, it's on the dev page though. So yeah, I guess I don't need to tackle the pathfinding stuff necessarily, because that'd be a hassle. They'd suddenly need to look like 'Well, can I go ... I might not be able to move one tile, but can I move two tiles?' and then that becomes very inconvenient.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Well I'm back to help do credits at this point. We thank you, thank you, we're very grateful for you listening and playing Dwarf Fortress and for contributing to the community and for donating to Tarn and his pocket book, and making sure he doesn't get bankrupt.
Toady:That's right, and making sure Rainseeker has a job.
Rainseeker:Yeah, yeah. Well, I don't have a job, but I want one, it'd be good. And you can send donations to Tarn and then he'll take the money and he'll laugh at me.
Toady:That's how it works.
Rainseeker:... we want all of the money to go there.
Toady:That's right, it goes straight to the belly, and then from the belly to the game. We have Ollieh to thank for the music ...
Rainseeker:Yay Ollieh.
Toady:... and mallocks to thank for the transcript.
Rainseeker:Thank you mallocks, I keep wondering how he's going to handle some of my sound effects.
Toady:That's right. And all the people that asked questions, we can always use more questions, even though we have questions we haven't asked.
Rainseeker:Thanks to my sister who did create some music too.
Toady:That's right, that's right.
Rainseeker:Emily Menendez.
Toady:And then other people, also, I'm sure.
Rainseeker:Yeah, there are other people to thank. I thank myself, I'm really glad that I came and that I did this.
Toady:We should thank Capn too, then.
Rainseeker:We thank you Capn.
Toady:He's not here to thank himself.
Rainseeker:He'll say 'You're welcome', we'll edit that in.
Toady:Okay, we'll edit that in. I have to get him to remember to say 'You're welcome', or I'll have to search for a 'You're' and a 'welcome' and then glue them together, for (high pitch) 'You're' (low pitch) 'welcome'.
Rainseeker:And then have him say something else abstract.
Toady:Well it's all abstract with Capn.
Rainseeker:(at various pitches) 'Tarn' 'you' 'are' 'an' 'amazing' 'person'
Toady:You should only do that to people when you have their permission, so I'll also have to remember to get permission to do horrible things to Capntastic's audio. Alright ...
Rainseeker:That'd be fun. So okay, well thanks everybody and make sure you give your little kitty there a pat for us.
Toady:That's right, everybody everywhere pet your animals.
Rainseeker:On the tummy tums.
Toady:(singing, presumably to Scamps) On tummy tum, we're a big lardy boy.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Rainseeker:Alright can you hang on one second?
Toady:I can. (Sfx vox: trumpet voluntary)

Capntastic:One second.
Toady:(Sfx vox: short trumpet voluntary) (singing) There is a boy named baby Scamps/he is the smartest cat/He's got stripes and spots and claws and fur/and whiskers and two ears (end singing) No tail. (Sfx vox: trumpet voluntary)

Toady:And ... and who's this boy sitting on my keyboard? Is this what I wanted out of life Mr Scamps? Come on Mr, be a good cat. (singing) Who's a little misbehaving boy? (end singing) Woah! There goes the CDs.
Capntastic:Well, there goes the source code.
Toady:Yeah. Copies, anyway. Mr mr mr, this is not an appropriate behaviour, we're going to have to train you, use little doggy bells. (Sfx vox: bells) You salivate whenever you hear the bell!

Rainseeker:(quasi-operatic) Be quiet in your bed or the goblins will get you!