Dwarf Fortress Talk #14, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Night creatures
    Zombies and skeletons
    How to kill night creatures
    In-game representation
    Werewolves and other shapeshifters
    Slayer of night creatures arc
    Night creature megabeasts
    Constructed undead
    Necromancers in world generation
    Haunted houses
    Other night creatures
    Sewers and crypts
    Programming challenges
        Werewolf segue
        Programming challenges resumed
    Traps in adventure mode
    Deities and blessings
    Night creature dwarves
    Animal taming
    City pathfinding

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk! This is Rainseeker and I'm here with our illustrious leader Tarn Adams, also known as Toady One. Say hello!
Toady:Hello Toady One.
Rainseeker:Hello Gracie ... As we were saying we are having a Capn free episode today, he might appear later perhaps.
Toady:At anytime, anytime he could show up.
Rainseeker:Anytime, he could show up anytime. Anyways, so we're moving on with our podcast and he will be missed but it's likely he's out there saving lives somehow ...
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:... or kittens from trees, or something like that.
Toady:It's important to do your community service.
Rainseeker:Exactly ... Not to say that he's a criminal, he's actually just serving the community.
Toady:That's right, it's voluntary community service. Community heroism really, he is the Capn.
Rainseeker:Yes, he's the Capn and he's tastic. I also wanted to, before we started, talk about our get together. So we're having a Dwarf Fortress meet up this year for 2011 and we want everyone who can come to come. It'll be on the West Coast, it's going to be in Redding, California, my home town, and Tarn's going to come, Zach's going to come, Capntastic's going to be there and I will be there of course, and it's going to be held at the local Marie Callender's ...
Toady:(sfx vox: trumpet)
Rainseeker:... you guys can have pie. And basically it's going to be ... you're going to end up coming in, you're going to be paying a registration fee which covers lunch, which ends up being a buffet I guess, and look online for more details for that. But it's going to be below twenty dollars so hopefully everyone can come. There's also going to be some people who are setting up group rates for hotels and for camping - I think there's two different groups - and the nice thing about Marie Callender's; it's adjacent to three different hotels so we will be easily taken care of in that area.
Toady:Yeah, so we've got a forum thread active for this where you can say that you're coming so we can get a headcount and I will link that with the Dwarf Fortress Talk.

Rainseeker:I appreciate that, and let's get on with our Talk. We are talking today about our amazing mysterious new release which is coming up here, the creatures of the night ...
Toady:That's right, more creatures of the night, more creatures of the night, significantly more than we had let on in the development pages, but that's okay.
Rainseeker:Right, for instance we have the boogeyduck which is like this little plastic duck that will scare you in the middle of the night with its squeaking.
Toady:That's right, but only if you're taking a bath.
Rainseeker:That's right, that's right. In the dark. So be careful about taking baths in the dark. That's just one little spoiler, I won't spoil anything else.
Toady:Yeah, yeah, if we spoil too much then people might not download the game anymore.
Rainseeker:That's right. Okay, so no seriously we have ... what do you want to tell us about, right now? And then I'll come up with some questions for you.
Toady:Well, we've been working the past - I guess it's been a week or more now - on adding in night creatures that we had wanted to add back when we did the trolls and ghosts from before but we didn't get a chance to finish a whole lot of them. And so now we're coming back to it and we've got ideas for every color of the rainbow and now we're on the second ... actually the third one of those. We started with the animated dead, which is really just a rehash at first of the animated dead that were already in the evil regions, so that there's now a whole cursing framework; we're calling them interactions because they're not always bad ...

Rainseeker:So we're not talking about skeletons, we're talking about zombies and skeletons?
Toady:Yeah, the zombie/skeleton distinction is an artificial one that we had before in all the previous releases where you're either a zombie or a skeleton and it would sort of pre-rot you; if it generated a zombie it would rot it a little bit and if it generated a skeleton it would rot everything that's rottable completely away except for possibly some connective tissue to stop the thing from falling apart. So the distinction there was completely made up as one or the other and now ... it's not doing anything really different now, except that there's just one kind of animation and when it generates one it just says 'How old is the body?' and rots it. So you essentially get the same thing, you get zombies or skeletons coming in, but there's no real meaningful distinction at this point between those, it's just whatever happens, and whenever you have an animation effect happen in play on a body you can see it, it never turns into a skeleton; it just takes the body as it's been saved on the ground and raises it up with all of the wounds it had before. On the corpses it saves ... every wound that they've undergone in life is maintained when they land on the ground, so when they get back up they'll still be missing an eye, or still be missing an arm, or whatever, or if you chop someone's arm off and it had previous had two of its fingers chopped off and then you animate the arm, the arm will still be missing those two fingers.

So it's all working like it should with the animation effects; the downside of that at this point is that skeletons act more like zombies, they move slowly, but that's just the skeletons in these evil regions that it generates, because there's nothing that really says how fast they should move, the whole speed changing thing is completely artificial right now, it just says 'You move slower than a normal creature because that's part of this effect' because the skeletons and zombies shouldn't be moving in the first place because their muscles are deteriorated or completely missing, right? So it's just made up numbers, but ...

Rainseeker:So the more wounds a creature has the easier it is to kill, or, how do you kill one of these creatures?
Toady:Well if it's already wounded then it has a lesser attack capacity, especially if things are missing and chopped off, and you can hack off their heads and arms ... If a zombie has no grasping portions and it has no head then it collapses; so that's one way to go, is to hack it to pieces. Otherwise we've still got this system in where it just takes the amount of force that has been applied to it and you're kind of shaking loose the animation effect and then it just collapses, which is kind of like saying hit points, there's just a little bit more to it than that but not much, it's basically hit points, and that is until we get combat pulping, like really so that you can take a mace or a baseball bat or whatever and beat it into a pulp, an actual pulp. Then we won't need that system anymore, but we require pulping and there's no pulping so there's still a kind of crude damage that it just keeps track of in an abstract way for the animation effect.

Toady:So that's the first category, and then from there we moved onto necromancers and that's when we started throwing in this whole idea of secrets that can be taught to them. Right now the gods just give them these Ten Commandment style tablets that have the secrets of life and death written on them and then they learn from those and then they just hide the tablet somewhere because they don't know what to do with it because they don't need it anymore, and then they run off into the wilds and start going to battlefields and razing zombies - this is all in world generation - and then they have the zombies build a little tower for them and then they hang out in the tower and cause trouble in fortress mode and so on.
Rainseeker:So the zombies can build, in story at least.
Toady:Yeah in world generation they can be ordered around to do simple tasks and things.
Rainseeker:So what about having a zombie-filled fortress with zombies that are building for you.
Toady:Well of course we're not supporting that right now, but it's certainly ... If the necromancers can do it, then as a theoretical exercise it's a fair thing to put in the game, we just have to get you ... I mean there'd be a whole messy interface required for raising the dead and so on. It's probably more likely to happen first in adventure mode. We're not quite sure if we're going to get to it this time, adventurers learning secrets and raising zombies, but it's a fairly low hanging fruit so we'll probably try and do it. And then you'd have zombie buddies, you'd have these zombie buddies that are travelling around with you, they'd be like your adventuring companions except they'd be your zombie buddies instead and you can't really order your living buddies to do anything right now so it's not like your zombie buddies would suddenly be able to follow orders, but once your living buddies can follow orders we'd probably make it so your zombie buddies can follow orders too.
Rainseeker:Yeah, that would be kind of strange, going into town with a bunch of goblin corpses that are shambling after you.
Toady:Yeah, you'd figure people would object, and ...
Rainseeker:Yeah, probably so.
Toady:... we're hopefully going to get to objections a bit. The stage we're starting now is mummies and disturbed undead more broadly speaking, but of course the mummy is one of the inspirations for it. So that's another kind we're starting up on.
Rainseeker:Exactly, nothing's scarier than a disturbed mummy: 'You messed up my soaps, I was watching my soaps! Stop it! Stop messing with my artifacts!'
Toady:Yeah, it'll be like 'You put that statue back! You put that book back! You put that thing back!' And I don't know ... do people ever put them back? Because we'll have to say what happens if you actually put it back.
Rainseeker:Maybe they give a reward for that or something.
Toady:Or they just go back to sleep, and then you touch it again and then they open one eye and then just look at you and they're like 'Don't touch that!'
Rainseeker:'I told you!'
Toady:Yeah, so you might be able to set up a stop-motion animation of the thing's eyes opening and closing as you reach your hand forward and backwards, but ... They probably get tired of that eventually and curse you like they're supposed to.

Toady:There are different styles of curses, they can just go hardcore and give you some disease or turn you ... or just kill you or whatever; that would be kind of boring though. So other things they could do is ... either just kind of by giving you some kind of bad vibe, or by making you completely hideous or half-rotted or something they could kind of ostracize you from society, that was one of the things we were going to toy were. We were going to toy with having them have other things in the crypt that get disturbed and maybe haunt you; no matter where you go you've always got something slowly shambling after you or whatever, so that whenever you sleep you'd have to deal with the fact that this thing has found you, and then you'd have to run off again or kill it temporarily and then continue on.
Rainseeker:Now can that be cured, is there a method to cure these things?
Toady:We haven't really gotten to curing curses. It's basically ... if you want to be a grave robber then you get what's coming to, although it's certainly fair - especially if you want to have an adventure that lasts awhile - to be able to deal with stuff like this; but we're probably not going to do it at first, you'll probably just have to deal. And there are some other things we were thinking of doing, we don't need to spoil everything for the moment. So that's mummies and that's what we're on now.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Toady:And that takes care of the mummy, of course the disturbed undead ... all of them are going to be a kind of yellow color, and the necromancers are all bright purple right now, and the animated dead flash a dark cyan symbol because you want to still be able to see what ... it's more important for them than it is for the necromancers and mummies to see what species they are, because a shambling zombie elephant is worse than a shambling zombie duck.
Rainseeker:'Not the ducks, no!'
Toady:So that really slowly ...
Rainseeker:You're like 'Okay, who cares?'
Toady:It's right, time to pay the bill.
Rainseeker:(sfx vox: drum sting)
Toady:But they have ... the 'N' is slowly flashing over them and then they kind of shamble towards you. But since right now necromancers are all mortal races and mummies will be anything that has died and has been buried in an external tomb - which could just be restricted to humans - it isn't as important to know what race they are, and so to cut down on the flashing it's just going to show an 'N' for those guys. So that gives us yellow and purple and dark cyan, and trolls are already dark green and bogeymen are dark gray and ghosts are white, so I think that leaves nine colors or something, I don't really know but I think that leaves nine or ten colors, maybe nine colors to discuss. We've thought about them all, we're not saying necessarily we're going to do all of that this release, it really depends on people's patience with our little flights of fancy where we're adding random stuff for fun, which we couldn't resist because we had catacombs and catacombs need filling, and then they need unfilling and so on; there needs to be some liveliness in the catacombs, you can't just throw in catacombs and then wander around these giant dungeons - I've posted pictures already - you're going to be wandering through these giant dungeons and there's absolutely nothing there. That's not cool, so we decided to throw this in and then of course we got a little enthusiastic about it ...

Toady:But some of these shouldn't take so long, I don't think werewolves are going to take that long, and that's one of the ones we're considering doing after mummies ...
Rainseeker:And when we say werewolf we mean all of the animal kingdom?
Toady:Yeah werebeasts, of course, werebeats. Yes, yes, werecapybaras, and ...
Rainseeker:Slug, slug ... wereslug ...
Toady:Wereslug, werepraying mantis, werecapybara ... and with all of these I think it's important to keep in mind that when we talk about an archetype like a vampire, a werewolf or a mummy, that's a loose category that's going to basically determine the overall properties of the creature, but there's going to be a lot of bleed through between them, especially as we get more and more into randomly generating. All of these things are going to be random generated curses/interactions/whatever that get placed on things and there's going to be more and more bleed through between them; we're basically just going to come up with lists of capabilities and then keep it loosely so that a werewolf is something that has a couple of main properties that define it, that it has a transformation that's central to it's being and it's most likely, though not necessarily, contagious, those are the defining characteristics of a werewolf. Then there are extra things on top of that like material weaknesses, if it's weak to silver, that kind of thing, but if you have a person that can voluntarily transform into a monitor lizard like every Tuesday or something, then that is still a werewolf, kind of very loosely defined, and that would be the edges of what we'd be doing with ...
Rainseeker:It wouldn't necessarily be that that monitor lizard craves the blood of another person, right? It might just be that they eat all your produce out of your garden, which might be a problem for you?
Toady:Yeah, there's kind of this ... There's kind of an uncomfortable ... like, when do you crossover until it's more of a shapeshifter or shamanistic type of magic or something, right? There's all this bleed through, so at this starting point we're sticking closer to the archetypes and it spreads out from there. So I'm not sure if we're going to do anything that's non-hostile, because if it has a night creature symbol it's supposed to be kind of bad news ... and in terms of ... We might adopt other symbols if it gets really far afield, and of course there's no reason that there should be any symbol at all for a shapeshifter, it's one shape or the other and you don't necessarily know that it's special if you find it in one shape or the other; so it shouldn't just give it away by showing a night creature or other symbol. The night creature symbol - which is a brown 'N' for the werewolf - if it is something like a werewolf which is like a giant wolfy looking person, that would just look like an 'N', it wouldn't look like a 'w' for wolf because it's not a wolf, it's a weird wolf-looking monster, right? So that's when that thing would be given away; if you have a person that can transform into just a monitor lizard, they'd just appear like an 'l' or whatever monitor lizards end up looking like.
Rainseeker:'Why is that monitor lizard here in the middle of town?'
Toady:'Why does it have a hat?' That's right.
Rainseeker:'It's crawling out of those pants. What's going on?'

Toady:Yeah, so we're starting with that. That's another one, and then we're thinking of moving on to the dark red 'N', which is our vampire archetype.
Rainseeker:Ah yes, the vampires. Just tell me they're going to be shiny.
Toady:That's right, diamond skin, right? I guess that might be infringement, you know ... Then they'd be white 'N's instead of red 'N's.
Rainseeker:I guess you could have several different archetypes of vampires, too?
Toady:Yeah, well, vampires are ... along with zombie uprisings, the properties of a vampire are probably one of the most debated night creature type things; whether you do this or this or this or this or this or this or this. So we're just starting with ... the benefit of having randomly generated vampires is that we just have to think of the properties that people generally think of as fair game for vampires, and then turn them on or off and ... I mean, the crucial things generally seem to be some overall notion that they're predatory on people but not necessarily killing them when they feed, and also the conversation, and I'm not sure if everything else is fair game; not every vampire gets destroyed by the sun but that would certainly be a popular thing to add, and not every vampire can transform into a wolf or a bat or a gas or whatever, but that's also certainly a fair property ... and not every vampire requires a special method to kill it permanently, like driving a stake through its heart or chopping off its head, but that's also a fair property to place on them. Those are the kinds of thing we're thinking of exploring quickly ... and there's also the thing that a vampire is not an insane ravening monster all the time necessarily, and they can blend into society; that's another typical thing.

So we're hoping to get to all that, so that you could for instance become stalked by one in adventure mode, or your fortress could be stalked by one. We're still basically fishing around, thinking of how you'd deal with that, like if you knew that a vampire was operating out of one of your coffins, does that mean that you should disassemble the coffin building and fish around for it and throw it into the magma or whatever?
Rainseeker:Well that would be interesting too, I mean if you hired a guard that happened to be a vampire and he was in your party what does that mean?
Toady:Yeah, because you could have... in your adventure one of your companions could be a vampire and you not know it; one of your migrants that arrives at your fortress could be a vampire and you don't know it ...
Rainseeker:Ooh, that would be very Fun. That is, capital 'F' Fun.
Toady:Yeah, so it's cool.
Rainseeker:Vampire Fortress at that point.
Toady:Yeah, I mean you don't want to make the game not fun, there's capital 'F' Fun and lowercase 'f' fun, right? And as long as it doesn't destroy the game we're going to go for things that we can put in in whatever period of time we allot ourselves, and that's another requirement. So those are the dark red 'N's, just kind of any mixture of those things, hope to get to as much as we can, it's fun to add stuff like that, and then we have ...

Toady:There's another category of these kind of stalker-style stories, like if you think of ... modern day versions would be things like Jason or Candyman or whatever; these things that are ... they're not unintelligent, they're ghosts, but they're driven by specific purposes and specific dates and specific actions ...
Rainseeker:And they're corporeal.
Toady:Yeah, and they have bodies, they're not ghosts that don't have bodies, but they can sometimes appear at will in places, and they generally stalk one or two people and kill them relentlessly, and they have props, they might have a meat hook, or be wrapped in chains and that kind of thing, depending on how they died. And those would be the kind of ... you could get one of those on you as the result of, say, a zombie curse, or you could get one by ignoring the villagers that say that you don't go the north plaza at midnight, and no-one in towns go to the north plaza at midnight, but then you do and one of the people, one of the old hanging victims or hanging executions comes out with a rope and tries to whip you to death with it or strangle you or something like that.
Rainseeker:Well of course you're going to do that once you're told not to do it.
Toady:Exactly! And then you'll see that actions have consequences at that point. So we're kind of flirting with that idea, you just don't want to make it too unfun if you can't kill it or you can't deal with it. So if you can just hack it to pieces then it would just come back less frequently, perhaps, that was what we were thinking, and you could have your dwarves ... like if you have a particularly brutal hammering for no reason, like somebody failed an export mandate and then gets hammered to death or something then they could come back as one of these things and haunt your fortress every year, they could try to take a victim. Nothing that ruins your fortress, but something that gives your fortress some flavor. So that's an idea we were flirting with, that would be the dark purple 'N's. They don't fit the zombie build because they're kind of smarter and faster and more deliberate, more specific than that, but at the same time they're not free willed, they can't just go off and start a farm or something, and they're not ghosts because they have bodies. So we figured they deserved their own category, and it's not just modern horror that we're riffing off here, this is a very common theme in ghost stories throughout history, so we figured those guys needed their own symbol and behaviors and so on.

And then in that vein there's, well, what about the ones that did just come back from the dead, have their own souls stolen their bodies so they're not like an animated zombie? But they're also ... even if they are driven by revenge or driven by whatever they aren't tied to it specifically, and that's where we get to the bright cyan color which is just intelligent undead, corporeal, they have bodies and stuff, and they could just become bandit leaders or something. Just kind of a catch all, you could throw them in the catacombs, have them haunting down there...
Rainseeker:Bandit leaders?
Toady:Yeah, yeah, you could have a whole bunch of these guys, or they could lead desperate living people. Just sort of a catch all for anything else we want to do, just to scatter some more interesting guys around. They could also haunt a house, they could live in a house that no one goes to in a town or in a village ... There are different strategies there, we're thinking of using regular ghosts to haunt houses too, and there's more on that.

Rainseeker:You know maybe you haven't really thought about this yet, but it would be interesting if you had ... Your character in adventure mode could become a priest of a god or something, and then they generally have powers to deal with these kinds of thing, so that would be interesting.
Toady:Yeah there's a whole 'slayer of night creatures' arc on the development page, which, as much as we're working on night creatures, we haven't really gotten to that whole branch of it, which is allowing yourself to become a dedicated night creature hunter, whether it's through specifically religious means, or just because you're knowledgeable and have learned from religious people, or learned from folk traditions or whatever, how to deal with a variety of these monsters. You should, in the bigger cities and in places that are afflicted, you should be able to make a living on that, or just you do it because you want to do it or whatever reasons you've got for it, but it should be something you can make a full time job out of once we get to all these things because there's so much going on that there seems to be no shortage of trouble. And people are dying all the time, so there's always new ones; unlike the megabeasts this is a problem that doesn't ever go away.

Rainseeker:Actually thanks for mentioning megabeasts. Is that something that necromancers can make use of?
Toady:Right now they go to battlefields, so they'd be raising up trolls and things and it would just be up to ...
Rainseeker:But if you had a dead megabeast on your doorstep and then the necromancer showed up, that could be bad.
Toady:Yeah, oh it could be very bad. There's no restriction on the types of bodies that they can raise, so ... I mean you could have a dragon head chasing after you I guess ... It would be like 'Aaaargh!' ... a big zombie dragon head chasing after you, and zombie dragon arms kind of crawling ... Actually they don't have grasps so that probably wouldn't work, but the head still ...
Rainseeker:So here's your lesson folks: clean up your battlefields for this next thing.
Toady:Well actually if you wanted to have fun I guess what you could do is you could go kill a dragon, cut off its head, put it in your backpack and then go attack the necromancer's tower and drop the dragon head during the fight for some extra challenge for yourself, because then the head would most likely be animated and then start shooting you; that would all work right now. I just ... this will probably pop up in the devlog today - meaning whatever day this was recorded - but we just had an arena mode fight where I gave a bunch of naked necromancers adamantine swords and made two lines of them and charged them at each other, so they were chopping each other to bits and then all the bits would be animated during the fight and it was kind of crazy, so it's cool, it's fun how it's all working out.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Rainseeker:I'd like to remind everybody who has not read it that I write a webcomic, it's rattownstories.com, and I'd like to invite everyone to come by and check it out. The link will be where you downloaded this podcast if you are on bay12games. So, now we're going to talk about the rest of these night creatures, I think we've got about five left?
Toady:Yeah, we've covered lots of colors, we've talked about the bright cyan intelligent undead, the dark magenta stalkers and now we'll move onto light red, the kind of pinky pink/light red color and that's going to be our kind of Frankenstein's monster constructed fleshy undead ...
Rainseeker:Constructed with the power of lightning!
Toady:That's right ... And I guess until we get giant lightning apparatuses we're just going to let the necromancers use their raise the dead power. Because if you can raise an arm then if you stitch an arm to something else and you raise it all, then as long as each piece isn't acting its own intelligence ... It'd just be creepy if it would just start ... It's like 'Why is the zombie beating it's chest?' 'Well, it's trying to kill itself' or something, it's strange. But, since that's not going to happen - they're all going to be operating in harmony - then there'd basically be a few things we can do. Our main restriction now, which is something that takes too much time to overcome to throw it in this time, is partial bodies, where you've got like a horse's head stitched onto a guy or wings or tails added onto people or whatever, but what we can do is change the sizes of each body part so a person could come but have an arm that's fifty percent bigger than it should be.

We can also add inventory items that are ... it's liked they're grasped, but they're actually grafted on, so that you could have something that has a hook or a sword instead of an hand, and it's been animated. And you can put sutures all over the guys to make believe that they're stitched together, so you could have this disgusted animated portions of body things, it would all be the same species, so humans with humans and so on because we can't do any type of mixing of parts, but it's enough for initial purposes. This one has a lot of potential in the future once we get that body part problem overcome, which just requires time I don't have at this juncture, although arguably all this undead stuff is time that I shouldn't have, but people will be tolerant and patient.

So we'll get those constructed guys coming, and most often they'll probably be with necromancer armies, I guess there could be some sick guy that learned the secret of life and death but doesn't use it to make himself immortal but just uses it to make little sick glued together things or something, but right now we'll probably just stick with the necromancers. Those are the bright bright bright bright bright red ones ...

Rainseeker:Oh incidentally, will the necromancers die during world generation, will adventurers try to kill them? Or will they just kind of go on at this point?
Toady:Right now everything's static just because we haven't made the adventurers go and kill them ... because adventurers go kill megabeasts right now, so the necromancers will probably be hunted down and killed by adventurers in world generation before I release it but since it's not done I'm not promising it, but it's one of those things on the list. There's all these loose ends that get piled up of stuff that doesn't absolutely have to be done but is just in the list, so we'll get back to that when we've finished doing things.
Rainseeker:Right. And is there a hard number as to how many creatures they can raise up, or is that going to be unlimited?
Toady:Right now it's unlimited, and ...
Rainseeker:Should be interesting!
Toady:They can only visit one battlefield every ... It's about every year they go visit a battlefield; they can do it more frequently sometimes if the random number generator favors them, but just to keep things a little bit under control they can't visit battlefields all the time. But they can get quite a hefty population of zombies ... We haven't made them just randomly attack and sack villages in world generation yet but that's another thing - like the adventurers going to kill them - that's basically something waiting to be done, very low hanging fruit, that odds are is going to be plucked, but we have so many things we're working on that it's not clear exactly which low hanging fruit will be picked this time and which ones are going to have to wait. So that's where we are with that stuff right now.

Toady:The other ones we were thinking about ... With haunted houses it's important to have furniture that makes sounds and stuff, and doors that slam and cabinets that try to fall over on you and that kind of thing. So we're thinking about using the light neutral colored grey to denote, it would probably flash over slowly a piece of furniture that's active, that's really active and moving around. If the piece of furniture just made a noise or something you probably wouldn't see any symbol, but this would just kind of amplify the hauntedness of some of the houses. It might be the extent to which the house is haunted, but there could also be a ghost or an intelligent undead or a stalker or whatever also in the haunted house but that's just what we've figured would be a fair use of that color.
Rainseeker:I bet you can get great real estate deals that way.
Toady:Yeah! Especially if you're one of those undead hunters; you can buy low, clean it up and sell high.
Rainseeker:There you go!
Toady:You'd really have to convince people, I guess, that it was clean, it would probably be hard to sell high immediately unless you had a really good reputation, but that's what real estate's all about. You have a good reputation, be an A plus agent and wear the selling shirt ... you know.
Toady:Yeah, it's going to be great.

Toady:We've got just three more colors to deal with. It's amazing, we're getting right through them. We're getting to the point, we've probably crossed it already, but we're getting to the point where we're not sure if we're really force you guys to suffer through every little thing for this release, so these are the ones that we're probably less likely to get through. But just for completeness, and just to kind of say this is the breadth of the night creatures we're thinking of, and these are the uses we've decided for our colors ...

The bright green we're thinking would denote any kind of night creature that's still a bone fide night creature, meaning that it's opposed to life in some way or another and is sort of non-demonic but evil ... a natural night creature would be something like an active tree in an evil forest, or a cursed animal that's not a zombie but it's just cursed in some way and is trouble for you, or a new animal that's made - it would probably use something like the forgotten beast generator - that bases it on an animal that exists, so it would be like a six legged rotting capybara that can curse your bloodline or something, and it would wander around in the forest, being some kind of scary thing that's in the evil forest or whatever, if it isn't filled with zombies. Another type would be to take the animal people for instance and create a cursed line of animal people, they could even still kind of have a civilization, or whatever they've got, but those are the ideas we're floating with there.

Then we have ... The only colors I believe that are left are the blues, the actual blues. Dark blue we were thinking, you know, Creature from the Black Lagoon type things, Grendel's mom ... since they live in that grotto ... arguably a blue instead of a dark green night creature, and ... you know, these kinds of thing that are more watery than trolls. It would allow us to give the ocean a bit of room to move to if there were some race of evil ocean creatures, because until we get to boats we're not having a lot to do with the water even though water is really important, so we wanted to save some room for them, we wanted to not eat up all the 'N's, and in that vein there's also the bright blue 'N', not cyan but the bright blue 'N', and we're going to save that for pirate ships and drowning victims. We might have occasion to use that given that we've got sewers and stuff, and we'll put in wells, and we have rivers and lakes even if we're not going to deal with the ocean ...
Rainseeker:So undead drowned people?
Toady:Yeah it could be drowning victims, it could be some cursed pirate. We're just setting it aside for ... I mean, arguably a cursed pirate could be the intelligent undead, or could be a stalker or could be even a vampire or whatever, but if the ocean and ocean-oriented thinking is what surrounds the curse rather than something like the wronged criminal or the vampire type curse then we wanted a color set aside for that, because ghost ships and all that kind of thing is such a prominent form of myth that we wanted to have our own color set aside for that.
Rainseeker:Right ... the evil carp.
Toady:Evil carp would probably be dark blue because they're kind of an evil monster, and that if there was a carp fisherman that caught an evil carp and was dragged underwater and drowned, then he might come back as a bright blue one, and he'd have a name and so on, there'd be a little legend of the guy who was killed by the evil carp and then he'd come back, sneak into your house at night and serve you carp.
Rainseeker:Yes, and he would say 'Carpe diem!'
Toady:(chokes) I'll survive, I'll survive. I'll have to detox now, I'm going to have to change all my blood out with an IV.
Rainseeker:Yeah, because it was such a bad pun.
Toady:Well, I've been bad today too. So that's it! That's it, that's all we're doing. It's nothing, but it's some stuff, it's some stuff, certainly.
Rainseeker:It's great.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Toady:This is Dwarf Fortress Talk fourteen part two.
Toady:That's right. Being recorded some two weeks later so it'll be full of all sorts of new insights even if we're talking about the same thing.
Capntastic:New thing, different perspective, the world goes round.
Toady:That's right. So, we just finished up werewolves pretty much, the werewolf just came and savaged my fortress. There's a little moon readout now in the top right of the screen so you can watch the moon phases pass, and then when it turns into an 'O' you're in trouble, because half your fortress could turn into little werechameleons or something.
Capntastic:Are there still multiple moons?
Toady:Right now there's one moon. I think there's always been one moon ... We should support multiple moons in the future and then who knows what the ... maybe the lycanthropes won't get any rest then at all. I guess it could be like when one moon is full they turn to one thing, when the other moon is full they turn to another thing, and when both moons are full they turn into a third thing ... It really depends if both moons can be full ... You wouldn't see them I guess, it depends on the orbits of the moons really, you never know what you're going to get. But I've seen the werelizard come and savage my fortress, and then one of my guys turned into a werelizard and started savaging his buddies.
Capntastic:So how do the transformations work? Does it take the lizard template and then apply it to the dwarf and like they half transform, they get scales and ...
Toady:Yeah, I wish they could do that right now.
Capntastic:Do they just kind of like become a lizard?
Toady:Oh yeah. The problem is having a body pointer or a body structure ... If you mixed every race with every other race you get a huge number for it to keep track of, so you want to start keeping track of it at the individual basis because there's not going to be so many werecreatures that you can't just have a different individual body for every single one, and I've got a framework in for that that's been in for like six years that I've never used, just called the unique body framework, it's all set up ... Except it's never been tested, and I was like 'Do I really want to delay this release by another month to work out the kinks in the unique body framework?' So we'll get to that, I'm not sure sooner rather than later, but I think there's certainly going to be more of a reason to do it now that we've got all this stuff sitting here that can finally take advantage of it. But right now you just turn into a monstery animal thing and it's the same for everybody, so if you bit a giant or something and turned them into a werewolf then they'd turn into a smaller little werewolf guy, but there are various things ... It's just because it's at such an early stage, there could be a ...
Capntastic:It's like infinite possibilities, you can't really right out the gate model all of them.
Toady:Hardly any of them! It'd be simple to do something like - and something like this could be thrown in depending on how much we care - where if I giant were bitten then it would at least have a size proportionality where it's like, you're a werebeast now but you get to be big.
Capntastic:Can you turn into a vermin? Like, get bit by a weremosquito and just kind of ...
Toady:Well because it's using the forgotten beast framework you can become a weremaggot, you can become all kinds of things which I thought was classy, but the weremaggot ... Right now the weremaggot's a little bigger than a man, which is kind of scary. The thing is that we're going to do vermin transformations most likely with vampires which are next, because vampires need to be able to turn into bats, and so if vampires turn into bats then we'll have vermin transformations and then we can consider other curses; the god curses you and turns you into a mosquito or something.
Toady:Weretree, that's right. The weretree type stuff might be the stuff we're not getting to because we've got all the colors of 'N's - we talked about this, I think with Rainseeker we went over all the colors of 'N's - and the bright green 'N' was going to be stuff like evil trees and monsters in the evil areas that don't really fit a profile but they're linked in the fact that they're more natural than the other ones, it would just be like a six legged wolf or something that lives in the evil forest with the trees that kind of shamble around and bat people or whatever. That sort of thing would have some bright green 'N' character and those are near the end of the ones we wanted to do, because we're doing vampires next, definitely, and then after that we're thinking ... we're either going to do the Frankenstein's monster style ones or we're going to do the stalkery ones. Of course it all depends on ... if there's a giant clatter to just release the game already we could think about doing that, but so far people seem very engaged on the Future of the Fortress for example, so I don't think the slight delay is really a big deal, it's not like this is going to take two years or anything ...
Capntastic:Cross your fingers!
Toady:Yeah, I probably shouldn't say that. Nineteen months is my record and that's a record I don't even want to approach again, but since we're about half way through the night creatures we ever really planned to do I think we're in good shape. There is going to be a time where I still have to do markets and furnishings, but furnishings ... I might as well do those when I do haunted houses, so that's all going to go nicely, and then the market will be the only thing that's kind of left behind that needs to be finished after the night creatures, so I feel pretty good about where we're at. I mean, it's obviously taking a little longer than I thought it would but we're also going to be jacking up the version number an extra point or two because of this. Because this is all stuff, this is not just a random flight of fancy, this was all on our version one list anyway, so ...

I have a big list that has the point value for a bunch of things, because it was like ... when we went to version 0.31 and then we started making all those changes and then we did all the stuff like the first night creatures for adventure mode, and the version number just kept going 31.18, 31.19, 31.20, and we never increased it because we had moved away from that core one hundred system and didn't really replace it with something else so the version number was stagnant for a while. But now I've written down a list of all the things for version 1 with I think about .02 or a little more - maybe .05 - worth of wiggle room for whatever we might want to throw in there, but basically the whole version number with night creatures ... I think night creatures are worth like .005 or something and they all have various degrees and so on. I didn't want to put it up because we've had bad luck with dev systems changing. It's really nothing new, it's just trying to systematize the version number so I can think about it.

But yeah, if we're at 0.33 or 0.34 that sounds about right for next time. And that's significant, because we'd be crossing a third of the way through after nine years, so we'd be able to say in 18 years I'm going to be 51 years old and we're going to be at Dwarf Fortress version 1. That'll be great. Then I'll retire or something ... or just start version 2. And various other projects and stuff, it's going to be great. So let's see here, yeah, so it's cool, there's all kinds of things going on.

Capntastic:So how to the crypts and sewers and dungeon zones ... how do they work? Do they spring up during world generation and just kind of appear, or do they come about as a result of things?
Toady:There's just a slight dusting of things. So what we've got are ... We have villages and cities, and a city right now just means that it's got a market and that some trade is done there, and that allows the population to increase and allows them to specialize their workforce a bit, and what you get then is a lot more dead people in one place, so what they do, fairly early on in the cities, they establish a catacombs type area, maybe after they build their first temple, and once they've got a temple they establish an underground burial area and then it starts moving all the bodies. It tracks every single body now, including whether or not it's been raised and generally how it died, so it would know that there are like a hundred people that starved to death between these year ranges buried under the catacombs, and we haven't really used that for much yet except for just raising the bodies, but that'll allow us later to have certain starved people raised up and that might influence the character of the resulting ghosts or zombies, but right now it's not used. So you get these bodies that constantly get shoveled down into the catacombs, and that influences the size of the catacombs and you'll be able to find those bodies down there, unless you run a really long world generation; then you start getting too many bodies to place and then it'll just stack, whatchamacallit, like these Parisian style bone walls or whatever.

So that's how the catacombs spring up. You eventually get a keep built in the market towns as well and at that point they also just throw a dungeon in because you've got to have a dungeon under your castle, it's just a theme. That's not really used for anything, it's just there, because we don't have the whole crime and punishment stuff although we might get to that with the stalker ghosts if we start making them executed criminals or whatever, but we're not going to do too much with crime and punishment this time. So they just have this dungeon under there, just kind of a random adventure environment, right?

Then sewers ... You get sewers when you start paving roads. They pave the roads at a certain stage and then you need to put sewers under them, and you get a sewer, and if you've got a river - and they generally do - then you have the sewer exits out at various points on the river and it tries to run along the roads when it can, and then it will shoot shafts up from the sewers and put grates. So there'll be grates in the center of the road, that you can look down and see the sewers, and then down in these alleys ... you can walk down the alley and go down to a sewer access area, and then you get down and then you're walking along the sewers. The sewers, when it lays them out ... when it generates the rough map of the town it lays out the sewer and links it up in maybe a few places to the catacombs or the dungeon, whatever happens to be around, so that it's all a big adventure environment, and we're just now getting to the undead that are going to populate the catacombs, because the ones we've been working on like necromancers and werewolves and stuff aren't in the sewers, but we'll have that in a second. We've been all of our mummies off in tombs, like it'll pick a valley of the king's area and then stick monuments there, and they keep doing that and then they occasionally pick a new spot and start sticking monuments there.

So you basically have a giant tomb area for all of your world generation rulers but that leaves the catacombs without undead again, which is kind of funny because that was the whole impetus for the night creature thing ... this kick that we're on now was to fill up the catacombs and so far we've failed to do so. However when we get to the stalker ghosts and the generic intelligent undead we should have no problem with that; those aren't so hard to do.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Toady:All of the undead have had their own challenges that we've had to do. Like the original zombies the challenge was to write a framework in general that let you just do these interactions at all, like the whole baby magic framework as we were calling it. It was just something we had wanted to do for a long time, it's been up there to kind of generalize the undead framework, to get rid of the skeleton and zombie flags and generalize the whole thing, and if you're going to do that you might as well start to look at the magic framework; it's really not a full magic framework but it can be expanded to become one. That was the challenge with zombies, and then the challenge with necromancers was to allow people to use that framework and to set up this whole secrets thing, and then the challenge with mummies was to set up these big site maps and also to do the disturbance thing where you can disturb the dead.

Right now they all look like pyramids, just because that's how it is, but the way it's set up - and this could very well be done before the release - is any shape that you define for it, it knows how to fill it with rooms now. So if I wanted to make it more like a rounded topped thing, or something with a few different towers, it would know how to fill them all with rooms without leaving any space, it's very general so it should be really cool and we can use it for other things as well, not just undead areas. It uses the same thing to make the dungeons and the catacombs, it just does a space filling thing ... I haven't spent enough time with it to make it super interesting, so there's kind of a rectangular feel to the individual rooms except for the ones turned into passageways, but that's really easy to fix, it's just a matter of time.

Toady:Then we moved onto the werewolves, and werewolves of course had the whole transformation challenge and material weaknesses ...
Capntastic:And triggers and stuff ...
Toady:Yeah, yeah ... And just getting it timed, because right now when you hit the full moon that's when you get your werebeast attacks, and it times it to within a few seconds of their transformation so that they have the whole time to run on the map, savage some of your dwarves and get out of there if they can, but usually they just turn back to being human or an elf or whatever they were, and then they just get killed by whoever they were fighting with ... I could make them bolt a little bit early, but you need to give them time to run and leave. Because I didn't want to get caught up in that whole dwarf mode is a different time frame so everything has to have different rules, instead I just kept it at the same time frame and had the werewolf just go in and get out or whatever, so if you've ever got a guy outside cutting wood or whatever he'll be at risk. So if you're in a really plagued area you might bring your woodcutters in for the full moon or something, but we'll see what people do.

When Zach and I were walking around there's things like you could have an anti-werewolf corridor that's just a labyrinth long enough that the wolf will run in and change back before he gets to your dwarves or something ... There's all kinds of things, of course you could just cage him if you want to have a werewolf and then you can stick him in a pit and have him change every full moon and kill whatever else you've dropped down there.
Capntastic:Now, when they transform how is their soul handled? Does their personality have an effect, like if someone has lots of self control would they be able to basically wolf out but still be themselves to some degree?
Toady:The potential's there but I haven't done it. Right now it doesn't use their anger management skills to determine how crazy they are when they're a werewolf, it just says 'You're crazy'. The soul remains the same, they just go temporarily ... they have the temporary insanity defense. They actually, right now, they turn back and the dwarves don't care if one of your dwarves has savaged everybody and then turned back, they're like 'Okay, back to work!' And he's like 'I'm sad, one of my friend's has died lately' or whatever. So what I was getting at listing all these obstacles was that ...

Toady:The vampires have a significant number of obstacles of course because they have their own little tropey trope tropes that kind of need to be looked at for them, but for the intelligent undead and mostly the construct guys - like the Frankenstein's monster type thingy - those aren't so bad, I've got most of the stuff I need for them. The only thing I need for the Frankenstein's monster is that it's not an animated corpse, right? Because I hadn't really thought about this, I think, when I was talking to Rainseeker so I don't remember what I said there but it's going to really need a soul creation effect. It's like a new critter living in an old body in a way. I think there were these knock on effects like it might have some memories from its old body or something, but it's kind of a genuinely new creature learning how to deal with the world in a way. So we'll have this kind of ... it's not going to be all sciencey with lightning most likely, although there's no reason not to do that really except for the silliness of it - which is fine because we have werecapybaras after all - but it's just going to be some kind of soul creation secret thingy, I don't know if it's going to be related to what the necromancers already do, because it's probably going to be the necromancers doing it, at least at first, obviously we can diversify. Then you can have these kind of glued together bodies with weapons grafted on their arms and then they can be ... I don't know why they respond to the world in such a negative way, but maybe it's just because at first the necromancer is just telling them to be bad, from when they a little baby Frankenstein's monster critter, and they were just like 'You've got to hurt people and be bad', and they were like 'Okay, I'll go and be bad'. It would be cool for them to have some autonomy later and not necessarily be evil, but at first they're probably just going to be for spamming your fortress with weirdass constructed monster axe-wielding half sutured together things.
Capntastic:Yeah, that's the kind of feel I get with the current night creatures and bogeymen, it's like you put them in and you've got to have a way for players to immediately get jumped by them and beat up to death, you know.
Toady:Yeah, it's really the only way we can relate to our world right now. But, yeah , we always hope for ... the whole release five 'make your world come alive' thing will hopefully start with ... When was the personality rewrite? Someone's got to remind me of all this stuff. Personality rewrite right now is number eight, and that'll be good. Release five with release eight, assuming those things remain in their current position because release eight's personality rewrite could be moved up to release five, which is ... release five is when the world comes alive, right? That's what we've been selling it as anyway. You have the populations, there can be birth and replacement for successions, people eating and using up their food after world generation ... Right now all that stuff happens in world generation and we basically want to throw forward as many non armyish things from world generation that we can, and in order to do that we probably will need the personality framework so I might move that up. That's also when we can start considering having autonomous constructed vehicle people that can thing. I said autonomous vehicle just because I think that was in one of those 'How It's Made' episodes that was ...
Capntastic:'Machines did it!'
Toady:Yeah, it was like 'Here, watch the autonomous vehicle ride down this hallway and do seven hundred different tasks' it was pretty cool. But anyway ... Where will we go ... So the vampires are going to have framework issues ...
Capntastic:They're going to have to be really cool. They're just going to be, you know, throwing wine goblets at you and ...
Toady:That's right. Diamond skin and vampire babies, that's what we've got to have.
Capntastic:... backdashing, and other Castlevania reference ...
Toady:That's right, we're going to transform into vermin, and if we can do it we can transform into gas, that's cool, that's always cool to transform into gas.
Capntastic:Can you turn into a ghost and go through walls?
Toady:There would be absolutely no problem with that ...
Capntastic:Can you mod in a rock that when you touch it you turn into a ghost, or a plant that you eat it and turn into a ghost?
Toady:What do we have? Because I was thinking what syndromes actually work. I don't think ingested syndromes work ... I don't recall, I don't think they do, which would mean that you might need to have a thing where it makes gas. People have been good at making gasses ... what would that be ... Because you have all those adventure mode ... people can mod in an adventure mode reaction where you do it just like butchering a corpse or sharpening a knife, but it turns it into a material that turns into a gas, and then when you breathe the gas the effect happens. I think people were doing that, I think that works, and then you do all kinds of things like, you take your magic twig that you've found somewhere - however you get that in - and then you do the special breaking-the-twig modded in reaction, that turns the twig into an item with a high boiling point that shoots out a gas that makes it so you can breathe underwater. Then you have a water breathing under ... twig .. thing.
Capntastic:That's how magic works.
Toady:That's how it works right now, yeah. So there's a certain degeneracy to that, but obviously I think there'll be an increasing desire to do thing like ingestion systems which are really just like one line of code. They should be ... I think I already have the whatchamacallit, the trigger class for injection ... or maybe not? What syndromes styles do I ... 'injected' might be what I was thinking of, I'm trying to think of my syndrome words. Yeah there's injected syndromes, contact syndromes, inhaled syndromes and the contact syndromes don't work for just like touching a rock I think, so we just need to add ingested syndromes and then we can forgo all this nonsense. So that'll be good, eventually, sometime, who knows when. And making vampires get messed up by the sun, that's always good. The thing that's tricky with vampires is the contagion process; the turning of another vampire. Because ideally you'd want them to be able to come and visit a dwarf three times or whatever, it's like when your dwarf is sleeping a vampire will come and visit them, or you could be hunted by one in adventure mode, whenever you sleep then you could be being stalked by a vampire, but there needs to be countermeasures or that's no longer fun, with a lower case 'f'.

So that's the last giant project, like werewolves have taken a while, I think we've been a week on werewolves now or something, and the others have all taken about that much time, and so if we spend a week on vampires then we should have a significant batch of new stuff associated to them, and then we can kind of knock off some of the others and it'll be good, it'll be good. Then we get back to markets and then we'll be done, and it won't have taken all year. Of course there's going to be time ... we have to definitely do sponsored animals, because ... We were thinking, if we're not through with the sponsored animals by December, which is the year anniversary of the sponsored animals, then we'll have done kind of a disservice to the world, like you can't have a pledge drive and then take more than a year to do all the stuff. That means we'll have to accelerate that process which will mean we'll be doing a little bit less of other things, but not that much less. There's a hundred and twenty something animals left, but they can't all have the bee treatment, where we spent like a month on the bee. We spent an extreme amount of time on the bee, but the bee won, so that's why the bee got the treatment. Hopefully there won't be ... I mean, you can't add things like, there's some critters on there like leeches and mosquitoes, you can't add leeches and mosquitoes without adding more stuff, but certain ones might get no new tags. But we'll try our best to make it cool for all of the little critters.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Toady:Alright. Yeah it's always exciting, always exciting to talk about critters and things. What haven't we talked about yet?
Capntastic:Did you talk to Rainseeker about specific trap implementation?
Toady:Oh, no.
Capntastic:So if when you're scaling the evil vampire's tower or whatever and there's traps, when you see them will it just be like 'Disarm Trap: Y/N?' or will you actually be like 'Oh, I see this rope here, and if I step on the rope then this thing up here is going to fall on me'; is there going to be more problem solving involved?
Toady:It should be later. I mean, right now they're just the same traps from fort mode, so it's like 'Oh wow, there's a weapon trap up ahead!' and you're like 'Oh wow!', so you either spot them or you don't, and once you spot them you don't have to worry about disarming them, just like the dwarves don't. So it's really just being patient with your observational skill and then moving on, but if you're fleeing from monsters and don't have time to poke around then that's when you start to get into trouble. We have that on the dev page, there's the trap rewrite, which is when we want to take all the traps ... partially this is, maybe even mainly ... nah, just partially, to nerf traps in dwarf mode, because traps in dwarf mode are insane, you can just kind of ignore invasions entirely because of your traps.

So if you had to have fun building the traps, right, if a weapon trap required you to install something in the wall and hook it to a pressure plate all the time instead of just having pressure plates reserved for your really insane fluid traps and stuff then that would also make adventure mode more fun because then you might never spot a weapon trap, it would just say 'There is a pressure plate' and you spot a slot in the wall or whatever, and you're like 'Well, it could be anything but it's probably something bad, it's not like I'm going to step on it and it'll give me a lottery ticket or something' ... unless it does, which would be weird, but it's probably just going to chop off your head or something. And when it uses that kind of mechanism - better traps made from multi-tile things and require different mechanisms to put them together and so on, then disarming traps would be a lot more fun in adventure mode, and making traps should be a lot more fun in fortress mode and you should be able to make a larger variety of traps which should be really fun.

That's slated for an unknown time but it's on the dev page along with large pipe sections ... 'Large pipe sections - being able to walk on top of or crawl inside of them' so you'd have these pipes shooting stuff all over the place, and then moving fortress sections like lifts and crushing traps, so you could have a whole wall come and crush you and so on. It should be great fun, but right now it's just standard fare, spot the caret sign and then you're good. It's all about what you'd expect, I guess.
Capntastic:I just know some people want to get their Gordon Freeman on and stack crates to reach a lever to raise the water level to move the raft ...
Toady:That's right, you have a seesaw, it's got the see saw puzzle. It's important to have a seesaw puzzle. That's probably going to be the sort of puzzle that's the worst for our type of graphics. You'll just have to constantly look at the seesaw and it would be like 'The seesaw is 60 degrees to the right' and you stack some things and then you have to look at it again or whatever. It's too bad our games not really set up for visual puzzles; we'll have to figure out how to replace that with something fun for the treasure hunters and so on, so that you could ... I mean, conceivably I guess the system is ready when you can go into a crypt or someplace like that and go through many rooms and adventures and get the treasure and get out, and have a good time without meeting a single monster. Then you know that you've succeeded in getting your Indiana Jones vibe on, and get your rolling boulder traps and your steal-the-idol thing going on and all that kind of thing. And we'll get there, we'll get there, we just need some more bits and pieces. Right now we're just doing random bad critters, all bad, all the time.

Capntastic:So curses, or divine intervention of the negative sort, will there be positives, like things like 'Oh, you know, you didn't kick this flower, so I'm going to make a golden flower grow out of your forehead because that seems like something that would be fun'?
Toady:Yeah, that would be great. Right now there's nothing we've done. It's moddable, you can do a mod right now that said 'In good regions you don't have to breathe' or whatever ... it's like, 'Okay, thanks ...', or 'In good regions everyone turns into a rabbit. Permanently.' ... Or not permanently, you could make it last for a month and then when you leave the good region you change back. I think that's all doable right now as it stands, we just haven't done any of that because our focus has been less on magic and more on the beasts, the night creatures. But it's not like we haven't thought ... that's what this framework is supposed to do, we just haven't thought of particular things, mainly because you can't really serve the gods right now. I guess we're just getting to that point where things that you're doing could be considered in service of some religious cause, because at that point then you can start considering your blessings and so on. You don't want to get too technical/numeric with it where you know that you do a certain amount of work and then you get to pray for your divine shield bonus, but you should ... a reasonable deity, I think, if you're walking into the vampire's castle and you say a prayer over yourself or whatever and you've been a good person, I think it's reasonable to expect some service there, especially because there are evil monsters in the world and so on. Of course there's no real problem with just having you having conversations and chats all the time. Right now it doesn't work, but now that the gods are officially real maybe you should be able to chat.
Toady:That's right ... 'Service' and the god's like 'I'll gladly join your cause!' and he appears and you've got this giraffe walking with you the whole time or whatever. You never know, you never know what you're going to get. I wonder when it'll be time to do the avatar manifestation type critters, because it could be done any time now. With the ghost/zombie dichotomy now where you can have a ghost and a zombie of the same person, in fact cut off all their limbs and have all those limbs be active units at the same time, it's now no problem to have gods walking the earth in multiple places and that kind of stuff. All those kinds of thing ... A lot of what we're been doing this time ... we've been working on specific night creatures but we've also kind of grabbed a whole branch of the tree and made low hanging fruit of it, so there's a whole lot of possibilities that it's going to seem like we're not exploiting, but it's just because we haven't had time to do so. They're all sitting there and we're kind of aware that that's sitting there and it's the whole point, but we haven't gotten there, so it's going to be kind of frustrating for a while, I think.

Toady:But if your fortress can degenerate into werewolves I guess that's an added feature that's new. I guess if you get your whole fortress converted it won't be a problem, because everyone will turn into a fortress at the full moon, and then they'll just run around; they don't bite each other, that was a decision we made, it could go either way but right now it's intentionally coded that they don't hurt their own type of critter. If you have a werelizard and a werechameleon or something then all bets are off, or if you have a weremaggot and a wereantlion or something, all bets are off. But if you have just a bunch of weregoats, and they're all in the same fortress, then it'll just happen that the full moon hits and you lose two days of work and then people have to wander back to wherever their jobs were.

I mean, it's good for ... you kind of want to get sieged on the full moon, then, because they're very effective, biting and gnawing on people. Werewolves are pretty hard and the material weaknesses help them out, because they're strong to most things; you just have to hope that the goblins don't have the proper type of weapon for your fortress. Like if you need iron to kill your weregoat fortress and all the goblins come with iron then it's going to be like a lightsaber duel with only one person coming to the fight with a lightsaber, and that's no fun. I was having a little fight with a werewolf and hit it with the flat of the sword but it was the right type of sword and it shattered the bone, it just kind of busted it apart into little fragments, so it's dangerous if they're using the right type of material. There'll be some weird things, people will definitely be able to run a werewolf fortress. I guess the one issue is - right now, I might change this, having just thought of it - if everyone in your fortress is a werewolf then during that full moon you'll register as having no living dwarves because they're all against you, crazed at that time, as if they were berserk ...
Capntastic:Then you'd lose?
Toady:... and then you'd lose. So I just need to put in a little thing that says they still count as alive if they're just temporarily transformed ... Let me write that in my little file ... 'Temporary transformations should not count against dwarf total for losing the game', there we go. Now that won't be a problem and people will be able to have their full werewolf fortresses. You could even have a segregated fortress based on the weregoats and there werelizards, because they'd kill each other ... Then you could play your underworld war of the lycanthropes underneath your fortress, have a big floodgate between the two fortresses, and release them on each other during the full moon. But you know, it should be cool.

And vampires, I'm not really sure how that's going to play out yet, but something similar probably can happen if your whole ... Although, I'm not sure about vampires, like if one of your dwarves ... because it's a vampire they might be operating out of a coffin or something, and it would be more like one of your dead dwarves is constantly coming out and causing trouble, then that would not be the same as counting against your fortress total. We'll see, I mean it's kind of weird having a vampire in your fortress, because it's like how do you kill it? Do you just have to press 't' and search all the coffins for a living body or something? It's a little weird, but we'll think of something and it'll be fine. Yep, yep, yep ...
Capntastic:Action packed!
Toady:Action packed, yeah. Nothing but stalker ghosts running around with ... having their bodies wrapped in chains and running around with shovels hurting people and stuff. It'll be great fun.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Rainseeker:Hey welcome back to our second, or third half of the show, whatever this happens to be at the time! We are going to talk about your questions and Tarn is going to yammer on about things.
Toady:That's right.

Rainseeker:We're going to ... The first question comes from a listener named PCpaste and he asks - or she - 'Will adventurers ever have the capability to tame animals? Like a little fox that you just saw and you want to earn his trust and take him with you, will you be able to do that someday?'
Toady:I think so, I think so. Because dwarves can do it, you catch these wild animals in cages and put the cage in your animal stockpile and then bring you dwarf up to tame them at the kennels or whatever, and there's nothing really being said about what's going on there but there is a framework for it in that sense, in that it already has a precedent. So I think that in the spirit of having adventurers being able to do anything that is available to do in the game - which is definitely one of our long term goals - I think adventurers will have the ability to tame animals. It's like 'When do you get to do it or how do you get to do it?' ... I suppose if something's charging you then you'd have to be incredibly skilled to bring it out of the red zone and calm it down and get it to be your buddy, but if it's like the helpful fox that's been murdering all the goblins around you then maybe it's already your friend and you just need to give it a name and ask it to come with you or something. I think definitely you'll be able to do that. I don't know very much about taming wild beasts myself, if it's even possible in a lot of cases, so we'll have to think about how that works, but it's too fun to avoid, even if it's not practical.
Rainseeker:Probably give it a skill of some sort, huh?
Toady:Yeah, yeah, amazing people. It all comes down to what exactly was the Dungeon Master doing when the Dungeon Master was taming giant cave spiders or whatever; what does even mean?
Rainseeker:Giant eagles ...
Toady:Yeah. And there's also another precedent for it which is the ... when people go on journeys underground and out into the wild and train giant leopards and stuff, what are they doing? Because that happens during world generation, there's these references to that and so that's another precedent for it, that says that adventurers should definitely be able to do it.
Rainseeker:My dwarves are always making engravings about the human guy that went out and tamed the eagles, and it's happened on multiple things, apparently eagles are very popular to tame.
Toady:Yeah, it's probably because they're one of the only savage creatures that lives in the mountains or something. I'm not sure why it happens all the time but it's funny because then you get these eagle-riding guys attacking your fortress.
Rainseeker:Yeah, well that's really scary actually. I've never had it happen, but if it did happen to me I'd be like 'Okay, fortress is done.'
Toady:I guess that ties right into another question: 'In legends mode it will sometimes say so-and-so made a journey to the depths of the world, followed by so-and-so tamed the species of the depths of the world. If this is a start of a feature that's to be completed in the future, what is the feature, does it have any effect in world generation?' So those journeys when they go into the world or they go out into the wilds to tame thing, then those creatures become part of their civilization, or part of that guy's specific menagerie anyway, and they can be used during sieges and attacks. So that feature, in a sense it's already done, although it's not robust because you don't really see those creatures around in adventure mode, for example.
Rainseeker:Right, right. Will you be able to take that same concept and use it in dwarf fortress mode? Where you can send maybe one of your guys out on a journey?
Toady:That'd be cool. The whole your fortress not having anything to do with the world question would need to be resolved, so I guess that gets bumped to the army arc, if then. But obviously as a theoretical exercise it's fair to say that it should happen because it's done all the time in world generation, they certainly get to cheat and do it. I don't actually recall if those monsters get used during world generation fights, it's possible that they don't, but they should be.
Rainseeker:Right, totally.

Rainseeker:Alright, so Jeremy asks: 'Do you intend on changing the way Dwarf Fortress handles multiple entities in the same tile? I was listening to your podcast on cities and couldn't help but visualize streets full of people crawling along on their stomachs just because someone else was standing over them.'
Toady:Well it certainly would be nice if two people could squeeze by each other without having immediately to slither around like worms, I don't have any specific plans for it, we'll see how the throng ends up when we actually get people wandering around the markets and so on. The thing you've got to avoid is allowing everyone to get into the same tile without any kind of penalty or whatever, then you just end up with five hundred people in the same tile, so there has to be something to it, and it gets a little annoying with keeping pathfinding up to date and other considerations like that, the more rules you put on people in tiles. So there are some attendant headaches to making it seem really reasonable, but certainly the current situation isn't all that ideal either. So we'll see what happens, we'll see what happens. It certainly is not ideal or even acceptable the way, in adventure mode especially, when you're walking around and you want to get through a door and the only way to do it is to dive between someone's legs and then jump back up, or you're trying to get ...
Rainseeker:And the fact is that they don't care.
Toady:They don't care at all! They're just like 'Yeah, this is just part of the circus of our life that these rules have made for us', because they're all thinking about doing it too. Everyone's a little tumbler in our universe. So yeah, it's certainly kind of stupid the way it is now, and we'll see when that gets irritating enough for it to just require a change, but like I was saying there are attendant headaches to any change to how it works that makes it not something that I knock off really quickly.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Rainseeker:Well, thank you for joining us for our latest podcast. What number was this, by the way?
Toady:This is number fourteen, I think.
Rainseeker:Number fourteen! We've been doing this for fourteen times. When did we start this?
Toady:Well we started it certainly more than fourteen months ago because we've some horrible horrible delays. Let's go grab the date for the first one, it would be August 6 2009, so almost two years.
Rainseeker:Wow, I've been listening to you make trumpet noises since 2009. And singing ballads to your kitty.
Toady:Yeah, speaking of which, speaking of which, Scamps has been remarkably well behaved. He's a remarkable boy, he didn't cause any trouble. We almost forgot he was here until he came and introduced himself during one of our unrecorded breaks. But he just came up to kind of sniff, so he's been very mellow, it's amazing.
Rainseeker:Good job, Scamps! How old is that kitty cat now?
Toady:He's two plus three months, so he's two and one quarters of a boy.
Rainseeker:There you go. And I would like to thank Capntastic, even though he wasn't here today ...
Toady:Yeah he might end up here, we don't know.
Rainseeker:He might end up being spliced in later, in which case we can edit this I suppose. But thank you Capntastic! And thank you Tarn, for joining me.
Toady:Thank you Rainseeker for joining yourself!
Rainseeker:You're welcome, and I enjoyed myself, I'm a really likeable guy, I like myself a lot, it's fun hanging out with myself.
Toady:It's good to have high self esteem. That's what they say.
Rainseeker:It is good. And also I would like to thank Ollieh and Emily Menendez for music.
Toady:Music. Music was provided. And I'd like to thank everyone that asked questions. I would like to thank mallocks for working very hard on the transcripts.
Rainseeker:Mallocks, you're amazing! Thank you for doing fourteen episodes of rapid typing.
Toady:That's crazy, crazy. Poor little fingers. We'll have to set up a fund for his carpel tunnel.
Rainseeker:Well, carpe diem.
Toady:And this is the part in the credits where I'm supposed to remind people that they can in fact donate to bay12games if they want us to keep going.
Rainseeker:Please do!
Toady:It's always fun to receive donations, and to continue writing the game.
Rainseeker:And the more donations we get, the bigger it can get. Hopefully we can create a big big big big game, and not stop anytime soon.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Thank you everybody! We appreciate you listening, and don't forget to check out the forum where we are advertising the next Dwarf Fortress meetup.
Toady:Yep, the meetup. More and more details will be coming.
Rainseeker:July 16th.
Toady:July 16th!
Rainseeker:And if you would check out where we posted this, you will be able to find a link to the forum place where we're having the meetup on the page where you've downloaded this podcast.
Toady:Yep! Good night! Bye everybody!
Rainseeker:See you later alligators. See you later alligatormen.
Toady:That's right.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Toady:(singing) We'll see, it's going to be fun, there are going to be little critters running all over the place, causing trouble.(sfx vox: trumpet)
Capntastic:Mmhm. Snap a twig, become a ghost, walk through walls.

Rainseeker:I think this game should keep going for the next fifteen or twenty years, right?
Toady:That's right. I'm planning to keep myself going for about that long, until I have to start figuring out all of my things. I'll just edit that part out, I don't even know what it means! I was sitting here thinking, 'You know, I don't have health insurance, so maybe fifteen years is about the limit we have left!' I think we'll edit that out.
Rainseeker:Well you can put that in the bonus ...
Toady:Yeah, the bloopers where I talk about my (censored) or whatever, yes. No health insurance is great!
Rainseeker:So how'd that (censored) go there, Tarn?
Toady:That's right. Just get a telescope and we'll figure it out without all the complicated machinery, because we can only pay for toy binoculars. See now I don't even know if it's going to make the bloopers!
Rainseeker:Oh yeah, this is getting really scary. Okay, anyway!
Toady:Well I've got a beeping noise, I can bleep it out.