Dwarf Fortress Talk #12, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome to a new Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is Rainseeker and I have here with me the elustrious Capntastic ...
Capntastic:Hey everybody.
Rainseeker:Elustrious is not a word ...
Toady:I thought you were going to say the elusive Capntastic. That's right, we're all here together this time.
Rainseeker:Yes we are, and here's Tarn. Of course, he's talking.
Toady:Yep, this is Tarn.
Rainseeker:And we are here to entertain you at the sacrifice of our lives.
Capntastic: I wouldn't be that dramatic.
Rainseeker:Well, we are sacrificing a couple of hours to record this.
Capntastic:I wasn't doing anything.
Rainseeker:Oh, well ... good!
Toady:That's right. I don't know what I was doing, I got up for this, so nothing's really going on. But I'm sure that this is going to color the rest of my day and make it all the more productive.
Rainseeker:It's going to make it beautiful Tarn.
Toady:That's right. I see the sun ... Well actually I don't see the sun, there's a cat in the way, but ... No there's a tree in the way too, there's no sun shining. I don't remember the last time I saw the sun, it's ...
Rainseeker:You live in a very cloudy city.
Toady:Well I live at night, mostly.
Rainseeker:Vampire Tarn. Okay, well, what we're going to be talking about today in this episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk is little pink ponies and strawberry shortcake ...
Capntastic:... and Pokémon White and Black.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:That's right. No. We're really going to be looking at inns, taverns, the ins and outs of taverns, ha ha, and what happens in those taverns and also we're going to be doing a ... Capn, will you take it?
Capntastic:We're going to be a retrospective on Dwarf Fortress from the past, the present and future.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:We're going to retrospectively look into the future.
Capntastic:Yes. If you've read Dune you know all about this.
Toady:Dwarf Fortress is the worm and the spice. It also makes your eyes turn red though, because you stay up at night too long playing it sometimes, instead of blue. Thank you very much, thank you very much.
Rainseeker:Oh, also before we start I'd like to mention that I have a new webcomic up. It's called Rattown. Check it out! I'd love to have people comment that they came from Dwarf Fortress to check me out, so come on over!
Capntastic:It gets my thumbs up!
Rainseeker:Thank you Capn. And he's read it!
Capntastic:It's actually got really cool art.
Rainseeker:Thanks! Let's start! Let's talk about ...
Toady:Taverns? Okay we'll start with taverns.
Rainseeker:We'll start with taverns and end on the retrospective.
Toady:And there'll be questions and answers too.
Capntastic:Sort of like a pub crawl.
Toady: Is that a new roguelike genre, the pub crawl?
Capntastic:Uh, well ...
Toady:You go through levels, and the more you drink the lower you go in the dungeon.
Capntastic:There'll be pub quizzes and stuff, and ...
Toady:So you're crawling under tables and finding all kinds of monsters there.
Toady:That's nothing but trouble. Woah, there goes the mouse!
Capntastic:I apologise to any Dwarf Fortress community members that are chavs.
Rainseeker:So what will be happening in these taverns? If I walk into a tavern in adventure mode what will I see, versus in dwarf fortress mode, what would happen?
Toady:I think adventure mode is going to have ... it's mostly going to be locals and people visiting for market days, as well as some travellers and people hanging out that you can perhaps hire. Whereas dwarf mode it's going to be more particular for dwarf mode at first, especially when you've got diplomats and merchants showing up as they do now. If they're going to stay for a while then they might need to eat and drink so you'll have to take care of them a little bit, and if they're going to stay a while - I mean how often do dwarves sleep - if they're going to stay a whole season you might need to put them up in a room. But there will be locals there. It depends on how soon we get back to a local economy inside the fortress, but it's basically making meeting halls more interesting for your dwarves at the very start, with the dwarves going in and instead of just claiming a room for parties or going on a break and just hanging out doing absolutely nothing they can take you up on the amenities you set up for them in your meeting halls, or dining room. It's kind of like a meeting hall and a dining room, those things might all get mushed together, and you'll have your dwarves go there, they'll be able to drink and play with little games and use their musical instruments ...
Menendez:(banjo backing)
Toady:... and I don't if the kids show up at the bars and use their toys ... We want to get toys and instruments in but I'm not sure the toys ... like their little mini-forges, I don't know if you go to the bar for that, maybe you do if you're a dwarf.
Capntastic:What sort of things will you be able to place, like amenities wise, and how much will dwarves care if the inn is not well stocked, what penalties could that incur.
Toady:I don't even know if ... Tavern-wise, it's not like your own dwarves are going to stay at your inn, that'd be kind of cruel wouldn't it, if the seven dwarves arrive and they make an inn and then they have to stay at their own inn, but for your dwarves it's basically the same as it is now, they just need to be supported drink wise, they need to have good food, and they need to chat with their friends to bolster them up a bit, and if there's specific pleasures that come out of playing music and listening to people tell stories and that kind of thing - I don't know about dwarven dancing - and then playing with different types of games, which we'll talk about in a bit I'm sure. Those kinds of things for dwarves, it's really just an extension of the current mechanics and getting them to ... Right now if they go to a party, if they're talking to people and making friends that makes them happy but the party should be really more of a release than that for the dwarves, especially if they've got a lot of their minds that they need to have cancelled out, then they should have lots of different funny specific happy things to do there. So that kind of thing for them in particular, just dwarves from your fortress coming in, it's really just going to be an activation of music and like I said story telling. I don't know if there's going to be a particular service industry, like people serving drinks to your own dwarves, if they just go to the stockpile and grab some stuff, they don't pay for it or anything, just hang out and it's just an extension of the meeting hall/dining hall concept for them. Where it gets more interesting is when you involve people that aren't economically a part of your fortress, then you've got people that you'll actually be able to charge for drinks, charge for staying, if you want to: it might not be something you want to do to a diplomat, but it might the dwarven way of doing things. I haven't quite decided about that particular one. But you've also got merchants coming in, and depending on the location of your fortress you might also have travellers showing up or bandits showing up. There's nothing that says that the bandits don't hang out at a dwarven tavern and then move on, because there's plenty of them just lingering around, and also if you build your fortress out in the wilds they're more likely to be the closest people. This might be the time when we start making adventurer type people and mercenary type people move around a little bit and in that case you'd have some additional visitors there as well. I know in the first release which is going to predate the tavern release there's going to be people moving between towns and villages, going to markets and so on, and depending on the location of your fortress you could bump into some people's associated movements like that, although jamming your fortress in between the villages and towns ... that's a little tight. It'd be kind of funny, but it's a strange location for a dwarf fortress.
Rainseeker:(as Urist McRainseeker) You can't tell me where to build!
Toady:There's a whole other large issue that's coming up before the army stuff which is the dwarves that live around your fortress, these sort of either hill dwarves or dwarves that live deep in the mountains that you're not specifically controlling, and they would also be really good candidates for not just your own local markets and stuff, but showing up and hanging out at your establishment.
Rainseeker:Right, right. How do you feel about perhaps goblins showing up to drink and party?
Toady:It's perfectly fine ... The way things work now goblins are not these slavering, evil, one hundred percent creatures, as we might have talked about before: you've got goblins integrating a bit into human towns ... it should be less so in places like elven forests and so on, but if there are goblins living in a human town, a few goblins, or there's goblins as part of a bandit group then they could show up. We had dismissed the specific idea of saying 'No goblins allowed in my inn', I don't know if it's a bit reminiscent of some stuff we don't want to drag into the game, but you should be able to eject people you don't want. We were thinking that if you've got people coming eventually to your fortress, say you have a reputation for having really good whiskey or something - we could add booze quality as one of the things we were thinking about adding - so you've got a reputation as a place that has good whiskey and you might get more travellers that way, and you might eventually have more well-to-do people showing up, and that might be involved with the gambling that we were considering adding too. Then you might ... I don't know if you have to kick all the bandits out of the tavern and then have a bouncer or something. If you've got a bunch of bandits showing up ... it might be a little more random until we get to all the personality rewrites, but we do already have the anger personality and so on, so if there's going to be more bar fights from bandits you might not want to have them around if you're trying to get some more well-to-do people to show up at your place.
Rainseeker:Throw down some good tips, come on.
Toady:I guess people who do bar fights, they might catch a case and go to the hammerer, you never know. So you could finally start hammering elves, just at your leisure maybe; picking them out, dragging them up on false charges and hammering them all. You want to be a little careful talking about this stuff, you're not necessarily turning Dwarf Fortress into Diner Dash or anything, because it seems a little weird, right? But when you've got merchants and diplomats coming, they don't have to eat or drink while they're there and you can't even offer them anything, it kind of fits into that. There's the option of perhaps having mercenaries stick around in your fortress, we thought about that a bit, you might be able to hire them and put them into squads ... you might not be able to change all their weapons, and you wouldn't have armor for them necessarily that fits, but it seems like a reasonable thing for people that don't want to focus on that; they just want to have some of those guys around. You'd probably just get the money right back from the drinking and gambling immediately. We were originally thinking about doing just adventure mode taverns and inns, and then we remembered ... there was this suggestion around 2008 or something on the forum for dwarf mode inns. I don't remember if we had talked about it at all before then, or if that was just a random suggestion that popped up back then ... So we saw taverns and inns on the dev page and we were like 'Okay, let's do dwarf mode inns too', so it's a little strange. It's certainly one of those things that popped out on the release list when we put that up, because we hadn't talked about it very much; that's the reason we're talking about it now. So basically you've got more interesting people visiting your fortress and you might be able to convince them to stick around.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So how do you feel the interface will be for setting these places up and keeping them supplied with cool stuff?
Toady:I think the hub of the inn and tavern ... whatever you want to set up, because we want it to be open-ended and have some options there ... The hub is the meeting hall/dining room, I don't know if they're going to all become one type of building now, just a place for people to meet up that may or may not have tables and chairs and ...
Rainseeker:Counters! We must have counters.
Toady:... counters, that's right, and whatever other furniture decides to come up. So that's going to be the hub of it, and then even if it's just a little counter where someone goes in to check into their inn, like if you wanted to set up something that was more like just a hotel type inn rather than having a big hall with tables and games and booze ... So you'd have this hub where you'd set up your services and link up rooms, it would probably just use regular bedrooms, so we don't have to change it that much for your inn rooms, and link them up to the main meeting all, and at the meeting hall you'd also be able to set up your prices and specifically what things you want going on at your inn, and perhaps you'd also - like with the workshop profiles - be able to attach the particular people you want to hang out there. So basically we wanted to set up the hub in those buildings and not deviate too much from what we've got now. There's obviously going to have to be a new kind of screen or options menu for the new stuff but it should all come right off of that screen. When you get into this economic stuff there's also this desire to jump into, 'I want my guest list with their winnings tab and how many drinks they've bought' and if for some reason you set up two inns you could have charts saying how well they're doing. I don't know how much we want to jump into Theme Park type of stuff, but it's reasonable ... Like, if you decide to start your fortress and you just set up this giant gambling hall and you attach some stockpiles filled with all kinds of stuff that's brought in and it becomes a big part of your fortress and basically booze is your main export straight to people into their stomachs and then they export it out of their bodies when they walk off the map or whatever, and that's your main source of income, then it would be reasonable to have tracking information for that kind of thing. But if it's just a small little place you use to make your diplomats and merchants more happy and more likely to have good trade agreements and that kind of thing then it doesn't need to be something that's in your face all the time. We're certainly not planning to have it at the end of the year pop up your earnings; that's not what we're going for, I don't want to scare people into thinking we're doing something completely off base and stupid with the game.
Rainseeker:I think the neat thing about what you're choosing to do here is that you're allowing it to be more grey, because there were enemies and then there were friends, but now there are people that are customers or are visiting that might be annoying that you want to kick out but are not per se trying to kill you.
Capntastic:I think that the important thing will be to keep the mechanics in line with what's already there, instead of making it like it's its own minigame within a game within a game.
Toady:It's all going in with ... There's going to be nothing wrong with having your tavern meeting hall, your dwarves decide to throw a party there, there happens to be a merchant there; that's actually part of the idea, to have your dwarves around those people so that one of your dwarves could challenge a visiting merchant to a Tacticus game or something and that was one of the main things we were planning to explore with that, these interrelationships and also just the games themselves. We were thinking, well, if you've got a dwarf and an outsider playing a game you should be able to pop in and control the dwarf and just pop up a little game screen and play with some games. The starting point for that was adventure mode, because of course going in a tavern and just rolling dice or playing a little game of some kind is a perfectly reasonable thing for an adventurer to do. The problem with adventure mode mechanics sometimes is that they don't make it into dwarf mode until way later, like with the combat reports where that kind of fighting was going on but you couldn't read the text of what actually happened until recently. The idea this time is to get the dice games and card games and board games - or whatever we end up adding first - into both modes at the same time, so that you'd be able to control your dwarves playing against the outsiders, and perhaps if your dwarves are playing with each other you'd be able to pick one of them to jump into. I'm not quite as certain about that but it might be required just to give you the opportunity to do this very much. If two people are playing a game at a table in a meeting hall then they're going to be playing that game for a certain amount of time, like several days in dwarf mode the way it works, or at least a couple of days ...
Rainseeker:A very addictive game.
Toady:So it'll probably just pop up a little notification in the top left corner, one of those little letters or something, just letting you know that you can jump into something if you want, and then you'd be able to pop in and play the game in frozen time, so no time passes while you're resolving it, and then when you leave the game would either adjourn or they'd continue sitting at that table for the same amount of time they would have, so that it doesn't feel like there's any meta-gaming going on that way. I mean jumping into someone's head and playing a game for them is already kind of meta-gaming, so it's not that big a deal. You could, if one of your gambling addict dwarves decides to gamble away your anvil or something, then maybe you can jump in there and win the game for him.
Rainseeker:Oh please, oh please let that be real.
Toady:It's one of the things we wrote down where we were like 'Do we want to do this? Is that too painful?' and well, you know, it might be too fun to avoid. But you don't want to totally annoy the player into quitting your game, but to some extent that stuff's funny.
Capntastic:Losing is fun!
Toady:That's right. Especially when ... it's all ... I don't know what I was going to say, it's alright.
Rainseeker:(as Urist McRainseeker) Och, you are banned from playing cards!
Toady:It should be entertaining, and it's good - even independent of all the visitors - giving the dwarves something finally to do with those instruments they've had for years just sitting there. And it's like there's all these attributes, like musicality ...
Capntastic:Musicality, and kinetic sense.
Toady:Yeah, all that stuff that they don't use at all, like musicality: there's zero use for it ... and also the language abilities don't get used that much and we can have people telling ... it would be cool, like the historical information sometimes it gives you on engravings, you can have a dwarf say 'Now I will tell you of the story of the time that I carved cheese pictures in my room' or something, and they'll sit there ...
Capntastic:Gather round.
Toady:So you have these really funny dwarf parties where ... more like the way, it'll probably use the same stuff - that was the point - of the military stuff where it says exactly what they're doing during their training exercises and that kind of thing. You know you'd have these activities that pop up at parties, like there's a storytelling activity going on, or there's a musical activity and then people can join in as participants in different ways, and just kind of hang out in the meeting hall doing this different stuff, and the same with the games that they play.
Rainseeker:Could you perhaps listen to the story? Like with the game, you could just jump in and listen to it?
Toady:You'd certainly be able to see what the story is about. If it's randomly generating the dude talking ... I threatened at one point to do a poetry generator, I've threatened these things, and if it comes down to it now it seems early because we haven't done the grammar rewrites and the things that I wanted to do with that stuff, so it might not happen immediately. Before I play too much with language I wanted to get through those things, but if it's just ...
Rainseeker:The dwarves from Nantucket will have to wait.
Capntastic:Tread lightly.
Toady:It rhymes with bucket.
Rainseeker:It does rhyme with bucket.
Toady:And buckets are really important in Dwarf Fortress.
Rainseeker:They are, you need them to build wells.
Toady:That's right ... You should be able to see what they're about, even if it isn't giving you the blow-by-blow, and there are things it can do, like if he's retelling the story of a war, he can talk about ... you know we've got the different list of events that happened and the storyteller might highlight a particular duel from that war, just mention it or whatever ... So you'll get some information, I doubt we'll be jumping too far off the deep end on that one right now, and what else ... singing, and dancing ... what else do people do to entertain themselves? I don't know if they're going to be putting on plays...
Toady:Yeah, just talking all kinds of crap.
Rainseeker:That would be kind of cool, have them lying about stuff they've done, they tell a story but it's actually a lie.
Toady:Yeah we can finally use those personality traits, those lying skills, and their creativity. And they could make up fake stories, it's not boasting, it's just telling a funny story or whatever. So it should be cool; one of the main things of that release is just getting your dwarves in there and not just having these stand around and talk parties. There's a place for that, but not in a dwarf fortress ... and they don't even have drinks, they're just sitting there talking to each other, I guess they've all just really close friends talking about old times and doddering around or something. But not anymore.
Capntastic:There need to be procedurally generated mixed drinks and dare drinks.
Toady:We had those old recipes, then they disappeared. I don't know very much about any of that stuff, despite having spent nine years as a student in college, but certainly people get into their booze and dwarves should be the rule rather than the exception there.
Capntastic:Oh yeah.
Toady:So yeah, I imagine there'll be some learning about that. But certainly drink quality, like I mentioned before, with the reputation of your fortress resting on that perhaps. Even if you don't make the best swords you probably have the best whiskey in the whole world.
Rainseeker:Can you allow us to craft our own microbrews, like invent a drink?
Toady:I guess that's what the Capn was referring to too, right? It kind of relies on this whole recipe idea we had before that you'd be able to take not just the number of different food items you're putting in, and then it says 'this is made of minced this and minced that and minced water and minced air and whatever else you can mince in Dwarf Fortress'; just running with that but that actually having named recipes is not that difficult, it's just something that ... The structures for it in a basic way were in the game at one point and they disappeared, I still have these trade tabs for recipes that aren't used for anything, so I'm not sure quite when I'm getting to that, because it's the kind of thing you could end up throwing in, you know? But certainly drink quality is going in.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:It's kind of a weird thing, there are all kinds of avenues that come out of taverns, like can you hire people, can you hire just soldiers or if your dwarves are all busy mining can you hire a cook, or hire a human to clean up all the forgotten beast blood that's tracked around ... well, you'd be hiring a series of humans to clean up the forgotten beast blood.
Rainseeker:(as Urist McRainseeker) Och, there goes another one!
Toady:It's certainly up for considering. We tried to think of all the different visitors that you can expect, and there's a lot of humans just kind of wandering around when they get their towns destroyed, and they live in the hills, so they could come and be some use to you. But we're not sure, and it would rely on ... You get a lot of migrants yourself, but in those fortresses that don't get a lot of migrants, or especially when migrants start changing over to something that actually has to migrate and come to your fortress then you might find that there are more other types of critters visiting. It doesn't mean you need to keep them, it doesn't mean you need to even welcome them, and if you don't have a tavern established you might not have to worry about this stuff, because I can definitely see the side of people that just want to have their dwarves without dealing with all this riffraff. So it's something that's only going to happen if you really encourage it to happen for the most part, although there are things like refugee crises that already happen in the game, but the guys just kind of go off into the wilderness and then re-establish sites in world generation, but if world generation is over they're just hanging out, and those situations might be thrust onto your fortress.
Rainseeker:You have your seven dwarves and then three hundred people show up. You're like 'Uhhh ...'
Capntastic:'Where's the food?'
Toady:There have to be reasonable limits and constraints, but ... You've got to worry about, you know, if you're allowing bandits to come to your tavern and there's only seven dwarves. Maybe they stay in line just because they don't know if there are traps and levers that a dwarf could pull. Especially when you're going into a tunnel in the earth you should be on your best behaviour, maybe they just come there to drink and gamble and stuff, although I imagine there'll be people building outdoor establishments, like big green glass casinos and stuff. It'll be interesting to see what happens, it shouldn't take too much dwarf power to help out your guests; you'd probably be responsible for serving them drinks. Maybe that means that goblets will finally be used for something too, but I'm not sure. Because right now what would serving a drink look like? They go a stockpile and grab a barrel and just pour it down the guest's throat and then bring it back to the stockpile. It's a dwarf bar, that's not far off I imagine. But maybe there'll actually be a point to making all those goblets now, you just stack them in your bar.
Rainseeker:I guess I assumed that the dwarf always took an actual mug with him or something; it just doesn't work that way huh? He just goes and sticks his head in the barrel and takes a drink?
Toady:Chugalug right out of the barrel, yeah. I guess you can imagine that there's a tap, but ...
Rainseeker:I want a barrel like that, full of beer.
Toady:It should be fascinating, it should be really fascinating. Ever since we put it up on the dev page we're like 'Dwarf mode inns are fascinating', it's just weird. But we're looking forward to it. The hill dwarves is a big thing later, we're not really sure how that's going to work into it, because the hill dwarves are army arc material, but that'll probably change the character of them a lot, especially if you have a lot of hill dwarves.
Rainseeker:I'm sorry, for those of us that don't know what you mean, what are hill dwarves?
Toady:Hill dwarves ... The main idea is that if you want to have an army arc and you want to be able to compete at the numbers that other civilizations are putting out there, and if you want to actually go on the offensive especially - because you can lock up your fortress and trap people and do horrible siege things to them and magma and later when we have moving fortresses I don't even want to know what people are going to grind the poor attacking armies into - but if you want to go on the offensive and you hope to actually make your mark on the world then you're going to need more dwarves than fifty or sixty or seventy dwarves, and this is where hill dwarves come in. Now hill dwarves, it's not just to say that you have a bunch of dwarves living just in hills, like their copies of hobbits or something, but it's just meaning that they're outside your fortress, either in the wilderness or they've colonised the underground lairs that you've got, you could make deeper colonies of dwarves as well. And that might be related to getting extra mining, it might be related to just getting extra farming, or they could totally just be subsisting by themselves. But the idea would be that you could send out dwarves from your fortress, you can arm them, you can train them and you can send them out to cause trouble. At the same time they'd be able to come to your fortress and trade, probably mostly food and other things like that, so you can do some exports that way without having to wait a long time for a caravan; if you want to do it. Like I was saying, this is only really required for a fort that wants to be an expansionist military rather than a strictly defensive dwarf military setup. At the same time that we're adding hill dwarves we'll probably - if they're not already in - we'll be adding the fortress embark scenarios, so that you can say 'We have three hundred dwarves left to go found a fortress out in the wild' or, whatever 'to go found a fortress on the border with the goblin kingdom'; then you'd have dwarves inside your fortress and you'd have dwarves outside your fortress. It totally changes the relationship with migrants and how many dwarves you have, so it's a big deal. But that's not to say that the old gameplay system wouldn't also be preserved where you can start with a small number of dwarves and have a different sort, or a smaller kind of operation going on, rather than one where you're worried about playing more of this world strategic game. But if you want to play the world strategic game, which is part of what the army arc is about and part of what having a world map is about - it's so underused in dwarf mode - then you need more numbers, and you can't just have them all on the map, it's just not practical, as we've seen with the frames per second that we get. The alternatives are like having ever dwarf count for twenty dwarves or something, but we just didn't want to do it that way, especially with it how it has to match in with adventure mode, and how adventure mode actually has all the people all over the place. So your fortress would have more sprawl to it itself.
Rainseeker:Are you thinking that you'd allow dwarves to train, or you could set up training that happens off the map, basically?
Toady:Yeah, and it could be all kinds of things. You basically have representatives from your fortress sent out to the ... kind of in the way we were talking about, as the player you're in control of the official capacities of the dwarves, it would give you that position over a whole population that you have even less control over, all these hill dwarves. I don't know if you have to take care of you hill dwarves, maybe they'll leave, maybe they'll just attack, try and get new people in charge of the main fortress. We've kind of put you in the position of being a noble from the beginning in a way, and then when you become a barony you would be a baron over your barony of hill dwarves, so taxing the hill dwarves might be a big theme, going out and taxing your poor hill dwarves. We don't want to get too far off topic, I guess, not that we ever had a problem with that before, but it's just I don't want to talk about something I haven't completely ... well, that never stopped me either, but let me just say that Zach and I have not one hundred percent worked this out, but that's the idea with hill dwarves, and that's the justification for hill dwarves, and no, you're not going to have to have hill dwarves.
Capntastic:They're your off-screen buddies and that's all you need to know.
Rainseeker:Okay, well let's segue into our second part of the show where we will be looking at our overview of what has happened over the past couple of years in Dwarf Fortress. Be right back!
Unknown:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:In August 2006 Dwarf Fortress had its first public release and a lot of people fell in love with it, not just because of what it was at the time but because of the large amount of goals and promise it had, and basically, personally I myself and I know quite a few others fell in love with the game because not only was it good now, but it was going to continue getting better with more things being added in. So, where have we come since that day in August 2006?
Toady:We should probably talk about where we were when we started, because a lot of people now playing ... there are more people playing the game now pretty much than there have ever been. It's not to say there are a lot of people but there's been a slow growth in the number of people playing, and a lot of people probably aren't familiar at all with what it was like in 2006. Things like you had fifty embark locations you had to cycle through on the world map, I think there were x's or something you had to cycle through, possible embark locations; dwarves could only move in four directions ...
Rainseeker:Mountain to the right, river to the left.
Toady:That's right, there was the mountain cliff face, the river on the left - the river often had a little island in it - you could scroll off the map infinitely in any direction and it would start telling you jokes when you got too far, and there was always a certain ... You always hit the river, then you hit the chasm, then you hit the magma, and then you hit the end and then it just set a timer and you lost the game. It was just like 'Oh, your fortress has crumbled to its end, who knows why?' and that was so that the adventurer could come back and fight the demon that had presumably destroyed your fortress, but you didn't even know. Of course the game was released with the civil war bug that caused tantruming dwarves to destroy the whole fortress, as they continued to fight each other and everyone was like 'You attacked him! Well you're against the fortress!' 'Well you're against the fortress, because you attacked him!' and then the whole thing fell apart. And there were those horrible floods where one piece of water could turn into an infinite number of pieces of water and flood the entire world, and ... Yeah, there's all kinds of interesting places we came from there. The adventurer ... there was no adventure mode travel except you'd start in a town, if I remember ... you didn't even start in a town at first, sometimes you just started in the last fortress you lost, but if you were in a town you could travel off the edge of the town and it would give you a menu of places to go. It was very ... it was intriguing how little there was back then, and I didn't actually go back and play it but I saw this thing in October - which was later, of course, because the game was released in August - it said 'specific pile types added', so perhaps there wasn't even more than one type of pile back then; I really don't remember, I'm sure people can go back and play, the version is still available if you want to go and check it out. But it was just intriguing how different it was. Of course people that played it back then ... there were things to be said about going through from the cliff face to getting better and better kinds of minerals, better and better kinds of gems, hitting different obstacles at times; you could expect to hit the river ... Sometimes when you hit the river it flooded and then it shot that flood out about forty tiles and then it receded, these were these kind of scripted events that would happen, and it was kind of gamey. But at the same time we haven't fully recaptured some of the good things about that yet. I took down some notes here just because a lot happened, so there was bug fixing, apparently through that entire year which is interesting, because there's lots of bugs and it's just like now. Just like exactly what I'm doing now, that's kind of the phase we were at then, but the thing that happened after that ... So Dwarf Fortress had been in development for years before it was first publicly released and then there many many releases really quickly right after it was released, but in the beginning of 2007 we said 'Okay, there are lots of problems with floods and bridges not working with water right' and so on, so we decided we were going to throw in a z coordinate, to make multiple levels up and down which was a huge undertaking and it ended up taking many months, I guess ten months or so. The thing though, looking back at that, it kind of reminds you of the stuff that we didn't have in the initial release, because when the z coordinates were added we also added the ability to build walls, eight directional dwarf movement, the ability to embark anywhere, the reactions went into the raws so that you could make your own jobs, we got activity zones, screw pumps, water pressure, hatches, grates ...
Capntastic:Tragedy Mule.
Toady:Yes, that's right, Tragedy Mule, one of the early famous videos, famous among like ten people, and we got machines with those gear assemblies and that kind of thing. So there's all kinds of stuff, the wells by necessity had to become vertical with the little ropes and buckets moving around, and many more mineral types were added at the time too I think, that was the first big geology kick that I went on. So an awful lot happened during that ten months or so and that was our first experience with how I can get too wrapped up in a release until it falls apart and then get puts back together. So we released it and obviously lots of bug fixes happened after that, that was in October 2007, and then the Mac port began around that time and it looks like we resisted the urge to fall into a big development cycle for about four months, then we dropped off the map again. So in the beginning of 2008, this is when we started saying - around that time - 'Okay, we're working on the army arc now', at the same time saying 'We really need the caravan arc to do anything in the game'. So about three years ago is when that kind of talk really started hitting its maximum levels of, you know, just being part of the culture of development, or what was said to people. So we started on that, we started on honestly what we thought was the army arc at that time, and it ended up being just a lot of world generation stuff, like all the legends and stories that you read now, that stuff really didn't exist in world generation very much when the game was released; there was a bit of information if I remember, but nothing like the wars and fights and duels and towns being captured and stuff like that. I'm not sure what exactly we had, but that's kind of when that started up. That release took five months and so that takes us into the middle of July 2008 now. We released it, there was no army arc, more bugs to fix, so we did some cleaning for a while and that process ended in around September 2008, you know, another series of releases. Then we decided that we needed to add in materials to the game, like actual material definitions, as part of the combat rewrite. We were still thinking in these army arc terms, you know 'We need to make combat better', 'We need to get rid of the phantom limb pain', there were some issues like that, and it all turned into this, 'Well, let's just rewrite the whole material system and give creatures material body parts'; that stuff didn't exist until this big release push began in September 2008, there was no ...
Rainseeker:And this is actually what spawned us doing our podcast, because nothing much was happening, so we decided we should just do something and talk about it.
Capntastic:Like a PSA.
Toady:Yeah, because that ... it took nineteen months, that release process. It was a long time and we did a lot, and people who played the game now are probably more familiar with this stuff because a lot of people came in during this time as well ... We did the wounds in combat rewrite; we gave the creatures descriptions; added a million new attributes; put in the health care system - such as it is, I'm working on those bugs now - venom ... we started putting in all those map features, like the big underground lairs and so on, just to slowly get back into that feeling that we had in the original cliff face we were talking about, about an actual underground progression which is somewhat restored, it's not as good as it could be but it's coming back; and we added entity positions in the raws and the whole military rewrite and more came in during that really long wait, and eventually we got that released. That was in April 2010, and since then there's been the big adventure mode rewrite with the night creatures and the travel, and we just recently did the economic world generation economy rewrite that was supposed to be the whole caravan arc, and then we were like 'We're not going to disappear off the map for nineteen months', especially with all the bugs that are currently out there we didn't want to disappear for that long ago. So we've got this thing released now which was kind of like a portion of the caravan arc that caused its own problems, and now we're in the bug fixing mode and we'll be going back to the caravan arc, back to bugs, back to the caravan arc. So we're actually doing the caravan arc, and we're going the army arc, and we feel like we've got the backing that we need pretty much for that. As I said there are things like hill dwarves that are going to come in first before the army arc, but it's finally underway which is good.
Rainseeker:Yeah. Don't forget we now have bees!
Toady:That's right. Bees, a recent addition. This is our retrospective on bees. Beehives, bee stings ...
Toady:Mead, yep. Hives, collection of hives, beekeeper dwarves and pressers that press honeycombs. We even have royal jelly, the roguelike staple royal jelly.
Capntastic:You've gotta have that.
Rainseeker:There you go! Makes you strong!
Toady:So that's the overview. I'm sure I missed all kinds of interesting stuff and screwed things up, but that's my understanding. I kind of like half remembered things and I had to go look at the devlog ... it's good it's there.
Rainseeker:We should have had Footkerchief come on and tell us exactly what happened.
Capntastic:'On March 3rd ...'
Toady:Well Footkerchief is a hero of Bay12.
Rainseeker:He is, he's great. We love Footkerchief. Thank you Footkerchief for your hard work and your community service!
Rainseeker:Because we know that the judge made you do it.
Capntastic:Yeah, but I mean, hey, he's paid his dues, he's a free man.
Toady:Even more than that, really.
Capntastic:Super free.
Rainseeker:Super Free Man.
Toady:Well there's that 'Get of Jail Free Card' so, next offense he can just be like 'Well look at all this stuff I've done' and he's like 'Alright, fine'.
Rainseeker:All that community service, already paid.
Toady:Not that Footkerchief committed a crime.
Rainseeker:Maybe some kind of white collar crime.
Toady:You never know, you never know what's lurking in the shadows. This small baby cat could even be thinking about things. Actually, we know that for a fact, what are you thinking about Mr Scamps? You're a troubled boy, always thinking about committing your next criminal activity. (as Scamps) 'Well I'm going to scratch you face and I'm going to rip the kidneys out of your back!'
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Continuing on with an overview of Dwarf Fortress's past and present and possibly future, Toady's previously just gone over the development aspect of it but I'd like for him to take some time to talk about the publicity versus popularity of it over time. Dwarf Fortress has become a media darling, a little bit of a baby celebrity in the indie game circles ...
Rainseeker:And not just that, but it influences many other people's games, such as Blizzard has put references to you in World of Warcraft multiple times, and other games.
Capntastic:Any game with a dwarf.
Rainseeker:Pretty much. Lord of the Rings really ripped you off dude!
Capntastic:I know, that ...
Toady:We've been very happy with how things are going. There's only ever been a handful of people interested, you've got to keep perspective, but it's been cool. From the beginning it was weird, like in 2006 I don't remember how long it took but it didn't take long for lots of people to come in from different places. We were totally shocked by how fast things move around on forums and so on because we had never really been actively involved with other internet communities, and seeing how that works ... Our own games that we released never caught on anyway, like Slaves to Armok and Liberal Crime Squad and the other games that we released prior to Dwarf Fortress. World War I Medic made it onto a magazine CD, that's the only thing I remember ever happening. So we didn't really expect that much out of Dwarf Fortress when we released it, and the reception was really great and then more and more people just slowly have become more interested in it, and people would ask to do interviews and stuff which is really weird.
Capntastic:You've been in a few magazines.
Toady:Yeah, it's strange. It's weird too ... We never had done a telephone interview when we were ... Because we'd had our website for six years but nothing had happened up to 2006 and then Zach and I tried to do - it's probably one of the reasons Zach is not on this podcast - we tried to do ... our very first interview on the telephone was with Gamers with Jobs and that was the two of us, Zach and I, and Julian Murdoch there, and it was awful, because we were in the room together, the two of us on Skype or something, and we kept looking at each other, we didn't know who was going to talk, and we were both really really nervous ... that was just a mess. Zach just cut out half way through, and I just was stuttering like 'I-g-g-g-g' and then finally I managed to answer a few questions at the end, it was such a mess. But it's good to see Dwarf Fortress being appreciated by a few people ... Especially a lot of people that make games like Dwarf Fortress. You mentioned Blizzard and there are a few other people that have written just saying that they're happy that something like that is out there and it's cool to see someone just plugging away at their own little project for years, and actually being able to survive without ... So it's cool.
Rainseeker:Were there any plans to ever change your model of donations to perhaps sell the game.
Toady:No. No plans, no plans at all. You really have to plan for ... You don't want to plan to fail or anything, but you have to think about 'What am I going to do if things start to dry up?' or whatever, but I really don't know, because I don't think selling Dwarf Fortress or changing Dwarf Fortress is really in the cards there. If I just go out and find a different job or start writing iPhone games or something. I don't know if I'd be any more successful there, but so far that isn't really an issue. As long as we have enough to keep going then we will, and while we're making two thousand dollars a month ... It's weird when you leave academics they're like 'Oh, well people out there make double the academic salary', and it's like we've been in general doing worse. Last year was an exception, that was the first year I did better than I was doing back when I was a baby professor, but I really don't see us having a year that good this year. Last year was strange because there was a ... the nineteen month delay ended in April last year and we had a huge, huge month, and in addition there was the animal sponsorship drive, and both of those things added up to just a little less than a regular year by themselves, and this year there's probably not going to be anything like that because we're trying to be more regular with the releases, and in a way that might be hurting us. It's strange, it's very strange. But I don't want to try and think in terms of how I should best set up the release schedule to make more money, because it seems like no releases at all is the best way to make ...
Rainseeker:Did you hear that guys? Quick, send money! Quick, quick, quick! Send money!
Capntastic:Do you see the signals you've sent.
Toady:No I don't ... It's very strange, it's interesting how it works. It would be nice to have another sponsorship drive or whatever but I have to finish this one first and there's like a hundred and twenty animals to write up, or more. Something like that. Especially if I'm adding a -man and a giant for most of them. Giant capybaramens and giant pandamens, there are no giant capybaramen and no giant pandamen ...
Rainseeker:Are there giant giraffemen.
Toady:There were not. In fact the giraffe ... Because the giraffe was a weird animal, right? The giraffe wasn't put on the sponsorship list, because you were like 'Add the giraffe!' and I was like 'Okay, I'll add the giraffe', but that meant that the giraffe ended up being crappier than a sponsorship animal because the sponsorship animals I'm like 'Ten people want this animal and I really really need to try and do a good job on it' and the giraffe ... the giraffe's like a big cow, it's just really pathetic, I need to work on the giraffe some more. Once I'm happy with the giraffe then I'll put in giraffe men.
Capntastic:Like a six foot tall guy with a four foot long neck.
Toady: Now is he six feet tall with the four foot long neck, or in addition to the four foot long neck?
Capntastic:He's just like a normal guy with a four foot long neck.
Toady:'Are you looking down on me?' Nothing but trouble with a giraffe.
Capntastic:It's very hard for him to put shirts on.
Rainseeker:It's a long process.
Toady:Just wears a sock.
Rainseeker:These jokes are a little spotty.
Toady:Well, we suck in general but ... is that because the giraffe has ...
Rainseeker:Come on, giraffes have spots, okay, you get it.
Toady:Well they have what I think Wikipedia calls a distinctive pattern.
Capntastic:I'm going to demand that you add in like ten seconds of silence after he says that.
Toady:So that we can insert the laugh track?
Capntastic:You can insert the cricket track.
Toady:That's degenerate is what it is.
Capntastic:Were crickets on the ... What do you think's going to be the hardest thing from the drive to put in?
Toady:Well if we do beavers right that's going to be impossible isn't it? Doing beaver dams ... making a six hundred long beaver dam or whatever that changes the entire world, or whatever beavers do these days. Leeches and mosquitoes are going to be fun.
Rainseeker:Ah, will they spread disease?
Toady:Well, that's the question right? When you get to the mosquito you can be satisfied in a way just making a creature that bites you that doesn't really suck an appreciable amount of blood necessarily - unless it's a giant mosquitoman, which is disgusting - but it give you this really annoying itchy thing ... If we did all that then mosquitomen would be considered a success for the swamps and so on, probably. But really you want to get to ... you know, do you add diseases and blood borne illnesses and that kind of thing? I don't know, I don't know. It's a question with all of these, really. Bees won so I spent a lot of time on them, and I just don't have time to spend a month on every animal.
Rainseeker:Please do not.
Toady:Yeah, that would be five years. It would be a great animal game at that point, but it'd be a long time. It's hard to say with any given animal exactly how much time I'm going to spend on that, because diseases is something we were going to put in in the big nineteen month release - I think it was one of the few items that got redded out on that list, along with formations and brain death and a few other things - so it didn't make it in and so it's fair to say that the game is ready for it and if you want to have world generation and then after that experiencing diseases and plagues and stuff, it's a really important force in world history and if the mosquitoes are the vector for that then that'll be great for them, that addition to the game. I don't know, they're coming though, at some point. We're getting the penguin first though, penguins next. I don't know exactly what's going in with the penguin either, you have to think about it. Every single animal you get to you have to think 'what little feature do I want to try and add to the game'.
Rainseeker:Well I won't be satisfied unless he's tap dancing, or surfing.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:We are back with questions from listeners. Our first question is ...
Rainseeker:Hi. Our first question is 'How are migrants generated? I've noticed that some come in with specific skill sets that could be useful for starting up industries or military early in the game. Is there some mechanic which is supposed to help the player along, or is it supposed to be another one of those things that players have to cope with and adapt to?'
Toady:So, migrants ... It looks at a list of the skills that are currently represented in your fort and there are weightings towards skills that are really important like mining and setting up your food supply and the basic craft industries and stuff, and it'll attract migrants that you are missing, on the other hand if you've used a profession a lot, you'll also get migrants that work in that profession more often. That's the basic idea, but on top of that it then creates a sort of past life for the migrants, so they get jumbles of extra little skills at different levels and sometimes those skills will overcome their current profession and then it'll change their type around, most of the time it gives them the skill that it selected for your fortress, but oftentimes they'll have quite a collection of other skills and sometimes it pushes them over the edge. That's basically what's going on, so yeah there is some mechanics in there to weight what happens, and there's a large random element.
Capntastic:Random, or procedural?
Toady:I usually say random, and other people say procedural. I sometimes say procedural. I don't even know, I thought procedures were used for most things at some point but I guess you've got procedures that are more procedures than other procedures.
Rainseeker:You've just made my head spin, I'm going to have to lie down.
Toady:I don't know, I just say random, that's what I've called it since I was a little kid, playing roguelike games and it randomly generates a level, but I guess it's also procedurally generating the level.
Capntastic:I was just joking because it's always on the forums, well I say random but sometimes I actually mean random, like it should be cool if there was random ...
Toady:The way I do it is probably incorrect in some circles, people probably shouldn't say random unless they're talking about something that's actually random ... and sometimes random means 'zany', I guess.
Rainseeker:Yes, of course, we're going to roll up a zany world now. A zany generated world.
Capntastic:The arc of clowning?!
Rainseeker:The clowning arc. There you go. I'm about to go and play a game of Mimecraft.
Capntastic:Ooh, snap.
Toady:Nothing but trouble.
Rainseeker:Alright, what's the next question here?
Capntastic:'How would an abandoned fortress look like when an adventurer finds it? Right now it just randomly scatters items around the whole map and populates the fort with some monsters. Will it be any different in the future? How do you imagine abandoned fortresses?' So basically he's saying that right now the game just moves items around willy-nilly, but will there be better and cooler forms of decay in the future?
Toady:Yes, absolutely. The whole treasure hunter arc is kind of built around the idea that ruins should be treated with respect. Not necessarily respect in the sense that we won't go in and grave rob them, but respect in that they need to be like ruins and not some garbage, which is what we've got now.
Rainseeker:Phew! I'm glad you clarified that.
Toady:So I imagine what we've got is that the ruin occurs at some point either in world generation and in particular we'll address the abandoned fortresses, but starting with the early ones ... In world generation you have a ruin, it occurs at some point when the place is destroyed, and right now the ruins can either be reclaimed, or they might be in a state of not having been reclaimed once it starts, and that's really all it does; it might add some moss to them or something, if it even does that anymore. Those sites should instead be available for whatever is going to happen to them; if the bandits take one up as a hideout then for as long as they're there it'll keep track of the amount of time and at what point in history it was possessed by bandits and then a night creature might move in there and then some bandits might try and take over from the night creature not knowing that it's there and all get killed, and those things ... just like how a night creature's lair in some respects - in some strange respects ... how they're all preserved - but reflects who died there as victims, there can also be these incidental things. If a hundred years later the same ruin then gets reclaimed and refurbished then maybe there won't be any reference to what happened in the past, but there could be some things that are still there, like if they hung the night creature's skull over the gate of the new place they built up. That's kind of what we're hoping to do with the treasure hunter arc, make ruins not just have themes - it's not like 'the orc level' or whatever you sometimes have, that's a good step forward having themes but actually using the history that we have at our disposal now, the things we've been working on for a long time - having the ruins all make sense. The problem that comes up here then, when you have your ruins make sense is that they can somehow become less interesting, there's fewer juxtaposed challenges, you're not going from one strange thing in one room to another strange thing in the next like what you typically get with a roguelike game when you're exploring, but that doesn't mean that there can't be layered challenges, that there can't be a number of different things that have happened at the ruin. We'll be aiming toward making the ruins in general have had a couple of things happen to them. But that doesn't really hold in dwarf mode, dwarf mode's different because your ruins typically - because you just made them - don't have any history at all, except having just been there. So probably what will happen with dwarf mode during the treasure hunting arc of the game, when you go into a ruin, depending on how the fortress fell apart - if the fortress fell apart just due to starvation or wild animals or just a big cave in accident or something - then when you go to the fortress if you're the first person that has arrived there should be no scattering at all, without reason; maybe a mouse a moved something or a guinea pig, we've got them now. So it's possible to have that kind of thing, but it shouldn't just do this scatter thing. The scatter thing is really an artifact I think from the very first release, where your adventurer would visit the fortress and it would be presumably after something has happened, after a year has passed. And it does pass a year, and I think it still currently passes a year when you start adventure mode, or maybe it just passes two weeks ... I don't remember from fort to adventure mode exactly how it passes time, but basically nothing should have happened in your fort. Now, once we've got the game moving around a little bit, which is the very first goal for the army arc - before armies, before hill dwarves, before any of the things we've talked about - is making monsters and bandits and small actors move around the world as kind of a test bed for moving armies that do things. What's going to happen then is that those ruins are going to be at their disposal, just like every other ruin; if there's a two hundred year old human crypt with traps in it, maybe your recently abandoned fortress which perhaps has traps in it is going to be more appetising for the bandits to take up residence in, so the idea is to do them that way. Now this was all assuming that your fortress had been starved out or wild lifed or whatever, but if you've got a fortress that has been conquered by an attacking army then ... this was something that hung out on the dev page for a long time but the army arc kind of brings this into focus now: are they still going to be there? What did they do that for; when they attacked you was their goal conquest, was it just a punitive measure and they're just going to Elamite you out and salt your fields and leave and take off leaving no one alive? Then the fortress, it wouldn't just scatter items around, I guess, it would just have a heavy obliteration and looting procedure that it runs on it. That's probably more likely to happen before we get to the treasure hunter stuff, but the bandits are moving around before then, so just coming up with the timeline you might have bandits inhabiting your fortress and then you might have the sieging stuff and finally having strange things happen to world generation ruins that might have some pushover into dwarf mode abandoned fortresses as well.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Got a question here from metime00, he says 'One of the things I'm most excited about on the Dwarf Fortress development page are the planned AI changes and opportunities for adventure mode. So I was wondering what sort of hurdles there are for making an AI that you could, say, interrogate, or that could try and capture you alive or do any of the other things on the dev log. Do you have any plans for how you're going to make that happen?'
Toady:So we wrote down our goals on the dev log, and there aren't really a lot of specific plans, we just kind of tossed out what we want to do, but we didn't do that lightly; I think that all the things up there are possible, and not just possible but completely doable. So you really have to go on a case-by-case basis, so I'll just take the two examples that you put there. So when you say making an AI you can interrogate, that involves a couple of things. You basically want to co-opt some stuff that doesn't really exist in regular conversations that we're going to have before that happens, which will just be being able to ask people for directions, and you're essentially asking people directions and there's going to be some resistance to answering, and there's going to be some opportunity for lying when you're doing that. We're not talking about necessarily twisting the guy's arm, but you're asking him things he doesn't want to tell you, the rest is extra on top of that. When you break it down ... This is kind of my approach on all these things, every single new feature, is just break it down into its little pieces and see what each of them are and what we can do. I think the things that I said are feasible, if you ask the guy for a location of something he's going to either just give you the location - probably with different text than someone who's telling you where the local pub is or whatever, right? If you ask him where the bandit hideout is he's not going to be like 'Okay, yeah, you go here and here and you follow the road and take a right and I hope you enjoy your stay there' or whatever, there'll be different text or whatever - but it's essentially the same principle.
Rainseeker:Some of them might.
Toady:Yeah, I guess if he's through with it. But then if you want to interrogate them further than that, or if they have some resistance rather, to that, then it can take the location of the bandit's thing ... If you're asking for a thing like 'Where is the store?' 'Where is the bandit's hideout? 'Where is one of these things?', you basically just need to go in and say how do people lie about things; they need to come up with a plausible alternate locations, and plausible alternate locations are basically going to be the bread and butter of bandits moving around to begin with, so it should all tie in very naturally, and the dude could just lie to you and send you to a cave. Now in addition to this you can start getting sinister about it and have him send you to a cave where something dangerous is that he would know about. When you talk about AI there's this thing where you're like, 'Well, don't you want him to just be able to come up with all of this on his own, "Well it's good to send the adventurer into danger so I'll do this" and you can get into this thing where there thing's all going to happen because you've written some sort of revolutionary value-weighting judgement and the guy can just make judgements like that on his own', and I don't think that's how those features on that list are going to work, I'm not going to make some kind of miracle happen. But I'm going to try my best to keep things general and to allow as much crossover as I can so that occasionally you'll get surprised by what they're able to do, that's all I hope for. So if the guy does send you off to a dragon cave, that's fine even if it's totally hard-coded, and if I can slip away from that so that the guy's evaluating danger, the guy's evaluating the goals that he has then that's icing on the cake ... well, it becomes the cake and then the result becomes the icing afterward ... you know what I mean, maybe, or maybe I'm just not making any sense at all. But that's not to say that there's not a basic AI change that's going to happen. With the personality rewrite we're going to be shifting over to a lot more goal-oriented building up of how people conceptualise each action that they take when they're doing things in their day instead of just following a script. So there should be some satisfying things that come out of that; we've written some test software that make people run around a city and do little goals that wasn't impressive at all but it was based on the new system, so I think it'll all work out, I'm pretty happy with it. Hopefully that'll work, but I'm not going to make any big promises because those things always frustrate me when other people do it, when they offer you up the world with artificial intelligence or whatever and give you crap. So this is ... Each feature that I put up there is going to be accomplished in some way, but it's not necessarily going to be done by a miracle. As for ... I don't know if we'll go into the other example as well of people trying to capture you alive. That really feeds into this idea of the personality with goals and so on, because it's more like a military objective, if someone wants to capture you alive there's two starting points there: how did they come up with that idea in the first place, and how are they actually going to carry it out? How they actually carry it out, that's the kind of thing where I don't think it's going to be based on some sort of magic AI, but it's just going to be something that they learn how to do, how to effectively trap you, box you in, and get you ... either use some kind of trap, or surround you and drag you down, whatever they might try.
Capntastic:There could be the option to surrender of course.
Toady:It's true, they could just yell at you and scare you and stuff. The new capybara sounds should really lead into a glorious future of people yelling at each other and stuff, that'd be great ... But anyway, the tactics there are probably not going to be interesting. When I get to the combat arc I'm hoping to open that up a little bit, but it's not very interesting now and I'm not sure how interesting it's going to get. But when it comes to the actual goal of 'We want to capture this person this alive for a reason', that's where we're hoping that the personality rewrite, which is basic to the army arc of them coming up with 'What do I want to do with my life?' - and that's not just for military goals, it's more general - but for military goals when they decide 'I want to capture this guy alive, why would I do it?' they'd need to have a reason for that, and that would be one of their goals that pops up, like 'I want to extract information from the adventurer', 'I want to hold the adventurer for ransom', 'I want to do this', 'I want to do that'; that would come up. Hopefully that all just fits into the overall system.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Ghouls asks 'Will we ever be able to receive medical care in adventure mode? I know losing is supposed to be fun, but smashing a bandit's skull with my peg leg would be even better.'
Toady:That's good, it come from a positive place rather than saying that losing is supposed to be fun but I hate losing ...
Rainseeker:It's not.
Toady:Yeah, it's not fun when I lose both my legs and can't walk around. But no, he's coming from a positive place where he wants to smash people's skull with his peg leg. The adventure more health care, I think we mentioned somewhere that it was one of those things, when we set up the new dev page and the dev page had all the stuff on it - the newest one that had a lot of adventure mode stuff and we were like 'you can be the hero' 'you can be thief' 'you can dive into ruins' 'you can kill night creatures', all this stuff - and adventure mode healthcare just wasn't on that list, even though it's important. It's definitely one of the things we're going to do and we just kind of blanked on putting it up there. We didn't talk about it that much, like exactly what you want to be able to do, but certainly the things you've got in dwarf mode like crutches and splints and being able to bandage yourself - all that kind of thing that you need to survive - you'd be able to do, especially overcoming those things like you're not dying but you are missing one of your legs. Right now the solution in dwarf mode, assuming it worked which it probably doesn't, and I'm doing healthcare bugs, is using a crutch, and so in adventure mode you'd be able to do the same thing. Now when we get to prosthetics, that's one of those things that has been up on the dev notes for a while and one of those things where it's like 'When is the right time?' Any time is the right time, but that's true of almost anything, so I don't know when that type of medical care is going in, no idea, but it's something we want to do because it's all thematically appropriate to run around with peg legs and hooks and Zach and I just saw Enter the Dragon last night, so you can have all kinds of replaceable hands I guess; a lions paw, and the big knives on your hand, and the natural iron hand that you've got that looks like your hand, and you can also keep your old skeleton of your hand there as a souvenir, apparently that's how it's done ... You will be able to see adventure care, but we're not sure when, it's one of those things that seems like a pressing issue because you die all the time in adventure mode, but that's not a new thing ... So I'm not sure when it should happen, it seems like something you want to do, but who knows when.
Ollieh:(backing postlude music)
Rainseeker:Well, thanks for joining us for our podcast of Dwarf Fortress Talk. I'm Rainseeker and with me has been Tarn Adams and Capntastic.
Capntastic:I hope you found everything as pleasant and enlightening as I have.
Toady:That's right. Pleasant, we're going for pleasant this time, that's our goal.
Rainseeker:We're not trying to put you to sleep, although people have accused us of that. So we hope you got a good nap or a good listen.
Toady:Yeah, and who else are we going to thank? We're going to thank all of the people that asked questions this time, and we're going to thank Ollieh for providing the music, and we're going to thanks mallocks ...
Rainseeker:Mallocks ...
Capntastic:Mallocks ...
Rainseeker:... for doing his wonderful transcript.
Toady:That's right, we might even give him advance warning this time instead of just springing it on him.
Capntastic:'I want this on my desk by Friday!'
Toady:And we'll thank Emily Menendez for having done some music before, and ...
Toady:And, and and and ... are those the people that have helped? I think those are the people ...
Capntastic:I'd like to thank Rainseeker.
Rainseeker:I'd like to thank Capntastic!
Toady:I guess I'll thank myself.
Rainseeker:I'd like to thank Tarn for making this game.
Toady:Okay I'll wait for others to ...
Capntastic:I'd like to thank Scamps for being Scamps.
Toady:Yeah! He was pretty good, he was pretty good this time, I think he didn't cause any real distortions. He knocked over the mouse once, that's about it.
Rainseeker:Thank you Scamps for not biting your master.
Capntastic:Thank you for letting us do this.
Toady:Scamps has no master. That's right. And thanks for listening.
Capntastic:That's right, all of you people out there.
Rainseeker:If you like this game, please donate, go to the donations page, there's a little button that says 'Donate' and it's with PayPal and it's really easy, and you can actually enslave Tarn by doing it because he will draw you a picture.
Toady:Yeah, and you don't need a PayPal account, it'll just take your credit card or whatever, doesn't need a PayPal account. Thought I'd mention it, I hardly ever do.
Capntastic:Dwarf Fortress is kept alive by players like you.
Toady:It's true, it's true, it's true.
Rainseeker:And by the Foundation for Better Gaming.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:We apologise if there is a Foundation for Better Gaming that does not want to be associated with us.
Toady:That's right ... there could be ... I mean there should be a Foundation for Better Gaming, there's so much crap. Support them, support us, it doesn't really matter as long as there are better games.

Bonus section

Toady:Well it's my little Dwarf Fortress Talk protocol there.
Rainseeker:I'd also like to, with your permission Tarn, mention my website?
Toady:Yeah sure, and does Capntastic have any microbrews and things he's working on he would like to talk about?
Capntastic:Nothing good. I have a peanut butter sat here but it's not very good, it didn't have a good texture.
Rainseeker:Wait. Peanut butter stout that you created?
Capntastic:Yeah, it tastes like a peanut butter cookie. So much potential.
Rainseeker:You made that? Or ...
Rainseeker:... You made it, awesome. But what was wrong with the texture per se?
Capntastic:It has a very watery mouth feel.
Rainseeker:Okay, gotcha.
Toady:It's all too sophisticated for me.
Rainseeker:Well your game's way too sophisticated for me, so what are you complaining about?
Toady:My game ... the last thing I saw it called was 'a convoluted wonder'. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.
Rainseeker:Well I'm pretty sure you do have the most complicated game I've ever played, and probably is in existence.
Toady:I don't know, it's hard to say. Chess and Go and things are more complicated in a sense if you're actually trying to have perfect place, but Dwarf Fortress has more going on.

Toady:(singing) You're my angel.
Rainseeker:So if they're literally on the same tile or in the same cage.
Toady:Well the cage now, well maybe, that could be a bug. But if the animals are in the same tile the animals on the ground will get aggressive after a while.
Rainseeker:Okay. Hey Capn!
Toady:(Sfx vox: short trumpet voluntary)
Rainseeker:I just noticed how my animals were killing each other yesterday.
Capntastic:We need fences and thatched roofs and then we could just do like Peasant Fortress.
Toady:That's right. That kind of fits in with the dwarf mode inns and stuff because ...
Rainseeker:'Bring out your dead!'
Toady:... going to be a theme park or something.
Rainseeker:'Bring out your ...' 'I'm feeling better!'

Toady:Mister! What are you doing? That's not for scratching.

Toady:Five minutes!
Capntastic:I've got like ... throat gunk.
Rainseeker:I don't want to waste these jokes.
Toady:Well they're all being recorded, they can be inserted. But yeah, we don't want to talk about ...
Rainseeker:Oh you started, okay that's cool.
Toady:Well this is all going to be blooper time, but only if they're bloopers.
Capntastic:I've got some great material for bloopers, I was up nights just thinking.
Rainseeker:I was thinking, too, of ways to make mistakes.
Toady:Of course that makes editing a little harder. (aside to Scamps) Who's this little fat ... who's this little fat boy? It's baby Scamps! He's too fat to survive!
Rainseeker:So I was losing livestock ... Good think I brought more than one of each, although I might have lost the only male drake, I think I only brought one.
Toady:You might have a dwarf bring a pet sometime, and you can trade for them maybe, although there are so many animals now, that ...
Rainseeker:A pet duck?
Toady:Yeah! Yeah. You can have pet ducks, pet ducks and pet guinea pigs, and it's funny with the pet guinea pigs, they'll just follow you onto the map.
Rainseeker:Are they little dots?
Toady:No no no, we made all the new ones unit sized. The guinea pig ... it's really kind of salacious making it unit sized, but it is. So you can see them wander in from the sides of the maps, in certain regions you'll have cavy boar and cavy sow wandering into the side of the map in herds.
Rainseeker:Are they aggressive at all, or do they run away?
Toady:They're the same as other benign creatures, that means they can fight back if cornered ... I'm not sure what that means, it probably means they can do more damage than they could in real life.

Toady:(Sfx vox: short trumpet voluntary) (aside to Scamps) Who's this little fat ... who's this little ...
Rainseeker:Fat kitty.
Toady:He's a little fat kitty who got a bit of tummy. (Sfx vox: short trumpet voluntary)

Rainseeker:Huh, pipe smoking.
Toady:That's right. It was a bloat and then ... I'm not sure where ... has gone.
Rainseeker:Maybe that's one of those features we could put on a feature list to sponsor.
Capntastic:Yeah everyone wants to be able to pay money to control Toady, it's kind of funny.
Rainseeker:It's true.
Capntastic:The unimaginable power.
Rainseeker:Hey Tarn, I want you to brush your teeth right now here's ten bucks.
Toady:I shou ... Well, I brushed my teeth last night but then I didn't do it this morning because I was running around doing laundry and stuff because I had forgotten to do laundry last night. Because you can't be all skeezy for the podcast, even if there's no one in the room.
Rainseeker:We can smell it over the computer waves.
Capntastic:I was going to shave but I figured it would be more in character to ...
Toady:I should have shaved because my mustachey beard thing - whatever I've got - is bumping up against the microphone occasionally. It's part of the reason I moved it further away ...
Capntastic:Is it trying to communicate?
Toady:Trying to tell me ... 'Shave me!' I haven't shaved for a while ...
Rainseeker:Does your cat like your beard?
Toady:I don't know ... He doesn't really seem to register facial hair at all, but he recognises me and he recognises Zach, and he flees from most other people. Fraidy cat. If people get close to him he doesn't get curious and reach out and try and sniff them, he just hisses at them and tries to kill them. He's a funny boy. He's on the lap for perhaps the duration of the podcast, but he's being pretty mellow so hopefully he won't be any trouble.

Toady:There might be, yeah I don't know ... There might be a bunch of different kinds of penguins if I can't think of something else. Little fairy penguins and big emperor penguins and big lardy stome penguins who (aside to Scamps) grab the fat tummy! (singing) Grab the fat tummy! Who's the little boy, little baby Scamps (end singing) I seize his fat stomach! Oh he get his little fat stomach seized!
Rainseeker:Preach it brother, preach it!
Toady:(still to Scamps) Who's got little feets? I seize his feets and make sure they is warm. Who's got little long feets ... Arr, biting his own feet, arr. (end aside) ... and the platypus, just getting the body right on that is probably enough, but they've got their venomous spurs and ...
Rainseeker:And they lay eggs and they're mammalian.
Toady:Yeah ... I don't know, if we had badgers we might have to add the internet ... all these internet memes related to badgers. Because badgers are after the platypus, and I guess there's the old badger video and now there's this other honey badger video going round or something. So there's all kinds of thing that people want out of that. Then there's moose, the moose, and then the red panda, ostrich ... There's all kinds of cool stuff, all kinds of cool animals. I don't know what we're going to do, because we did the bee, and then we did the panda and the capybara, maybe that means we need to do four animals and then eight animals the next time, sixteen animals the next time.
Rainseeker:Spend incrementally less time on them ...
Toady:Yeah, you don't want to totally ... I don't know, it's just so hard to figure out how much time to spend. We're just going to try our best.

Toady:And ... what's going on here, there was typing and then the typing disappeared.
Capntastic:Not supposed to talk about the typing. Shh shh shh.