Dwarf Fortress Talk #1, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Capntastic:Welcome to the Bay 12 podcast. I have Nathan Miller here - Rainseeker - also Tarn Adams - Toady - from Bay 12, you know him from Dwarf Fortress.
Toady:Hi guys.
Capntastic:Also I'm Capntastic.
Rainseeker:Welcome Capntastic. It's fantastic to have you here.
Capntastic:I'm glad to be here. In my room.
Rainseeker:And I'm in my room, wow!
Toady:Same here; this is fantastic.
Rainseeker:Internet conversation here. The reason why we sound a little bit canned here guys is that we recently lost half an hour of our conversation.
Toady:Yeah. And we're not going to talk about the software we're using because I wouldn't recommend it to anybody.
Capntastic:Should we run through the questions we've already been through?
Toady:Oh sure yeah. I can go through them again.
Capntastic:Alright, then I'll ask my three real quick. Armok from the forums asks 'How is dialogue going to work; will it pass the Turing Test?'
Toady:Yeah so, lots of people have tried to get little robots in chat rooms and so on to pass the Turing Test with various degrees of success and I'm not going to be one to even try, but we do hope to improve the dialogue from what we've got now because basically what we have is sort of a substandard model of what you see in a lot of games where you basically select a topic and the guy'll say something back to you that's canned or whatever; and we can move away from that in steps. There are a lot of different things we'd like to try out in terms of being able to construct sentences from pieces, like 'I want to ask where this is' or so on and say what tone you'd be asking it in; have multiple people involved in the conversation, so that you can be sitting there talking and as you talk in adventure mode time passes as you're talking and someone else could come by and engage in the conversation as well. The main power goal we had for that originally was this one where you'd slay some creature and then come into the town and be like 'Hey I just killed the dragon guys; here's the head' and you hold it up or whatever, and you're like 'Gather round' and you get a bunch of people to hang out and then you could tell the story of how you killed the dragon; you could drop historical events one at a time and select them and so on; people could make little interjections. It's a lot of work but like everything it'll proceed in steps most likely, but you see it's not really heading toward anything like the Turing Test.
Rainseeker:And then you could demand the mayor's hand in marriage.
Rainseeker:His daughter's hand.
Toady:Well, either one. We've got all kinds of different futures laid out for you and it's up to your decision making.
Capntastic:In reality you could be marrying the dragon and it could all be a ruse.
Rainseeker:A paper mache dragon head that you brought into town.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:So what I wanted to ask you Tarn is, let's have a summary of what happened this month, and what's going to happen next month.
Toady:So this month was mostly squads. Mostly squads happened this month, and mostly squads happened last month too, and I didn't even finish. But I made some progress, we've got training up for squad members now; they do a lot more with their equipment and scheduling, so you have a lot of control now over what you can do with the squads.
Rainseeker:What's your favourite new feature?
Toady:Well I like, probably the hidden fun stuff I've been working on more than anything ... I took a little break to work on the underground again, putting some new critters down there which I've spoiled with more particulars up in the little choose your own adventure I put up on the devlog. I guess I don't want to spoil that here because people should go play the little game that's up there. I like watching [the squads] go off to their little classes and watch them sparring, that was probably more fun. Because the rest of everything else was really dry: just make sure they get the right equipment, make sure that they're following their orders without just wandering off to some room or just sitting there ... it was pretty dry. But next month I haven't quite decided, I'm still sitting here thinking about it because the stuff that remains in the list of remaining items ... basically all of the categories have a few things that need to be done. I was thinking of just going back to the top and just knocking some of those off and turning them green rather than having every category as kind of languishing in a state of almost being done. I'm still planning to get the game out by the end of the year, even if I have to cut features. Of course any feature cut is just going to be put off for a few weeks or something, it's not like I'm cutting features and getting it out of the door so I can go and work on some new game or whatever. So no worries there: if I say something's out it's only out for a little while. We're in pretty good shape here, I should be able to make the little deadline I've set for myself.
Capntastic:Danarca asks, 'will we get more pictures of Scamps?'
Toady:Definitely going to get more pictures of Scamps over time. We've taken some and haven't put them up yet, and we're still trying to capture video or a good picture of him playing with his new toys. He's a spoiled cat; he gets lots of new toys. His favourite one now is this ball of feathers that's attacked to a fishing rod - not a real fishing rod - but a big stick with a string hanging down from it with a ball of feathers on, and he goes nuts. We have this other one that has a mouse on it, a pole that goes out and has a string with a mouse on, and he'll chase that around and so on, but the feathers he goes nuts. I guess he just finds flying feathers more believable than a flying mouse, but he'll tip over small potted plants and chairs, and whatever's small enough for him to tip over chasing this ball of feathers around. He has this little cardboard tube he likes to run through ... we'd really like to get some better pictures of him now. It's one of those things I've been remiss about doing, obviously people want their Scamps pictures but I've failed so far to put any up for a few weeks but I'll get on it, I'll get some Scamps pictures, because he's grown and people should see what kind of monster we're dealing with now.
Capntastic:Danarca also asks 'will the 2D nobles make a comeback?'
Toady:2D nobles ... since some of them are there and some of them aren't there, and there are some new ones ... the ones I can think of that aren't there are the guild nobles; like there used to be mining guilds, crafts guilds, guilds for the farmers, and some creepy ones like the ones that came when you had a lot of dead dwarves, or there was the philosopher who would come and do nothing. Those dwarves are going to be back, and the main reason they're coming back is because we want to see what happens when you see different groups in the dwarven society, because right now everything is pretty harmonious until people have individual problems, and then individual problems ...
Rainseeker:Tantrum spiral!
Toady:That's right, the whole fortress just falls apart. But there should also be this kind of intermediate problems that involve larger groups; this also ties back into religions and so on, so you can have a religious group in the fortress and a philosophical group started by some dwarf, and then the miner's could organise and then you have people caring about their families a little bit more than they care about them now which is basically 'oh, my brother or my wife died in a fight recently' or something, but they don't really care about their families other than that. And you can have one dwarf that's affiliated in some way with all of those movements I just mentioned - or groups - and that dwarf then has a lot more individuality and opportunities for dramatic things to happen; this is true in adventure mode too. A lot of the story and just general dynamics and movement of the characters and so on should be determined by these kinds of conflicts like if the miner's guild wants to do something that directly conflicts with what one of the religions wants to do: say there's a gold vein they want to mine out and some of the mineral deity guys get all uppity about it and start talking about how the gold is sacred or something like that ...
Rainseeker:And what happens if one guys belongs to both ...
Toady:Exactly; that's the question, what happens if a guy belongs to both movements, and then that's where you can get some really interesting things happening. Or what if a guy belongs to one movement and his brother belongs to another, then you have a tension between ... I mean you basically can just draw a bunch of Venn diagrams and see how kind of weird configurations can lead to things splitting apart and tensions, but also peaceful resolutions could be mitigated between the two parties by those two brothers for instance. So there's all kinds of interesting things that could come up just by putting more structure on top of things and having those influence people's behaviours. So 2D nobles are definitely coming back but we'd like to do it in a way that's not completely hard coded; we're doing some experiments now with the goblins to get them to have the structure arise out of their civilisation more based on their ethics than on the hard coding. It's not something where I'm promising the world on this, but it's something I'd like to experiment with to see what we're going to get. This also turned out, as far as the timing of 'when are we going to see this kind of thing', there's the return of the guilds, or I don't remember exactly what it's called, up in the eternal suggestions voting up on the suggestions list and it's doing pretty well. I said I'd take a look at the top ones there for next time - now by next time I mean the next series of releases because I really hope I never have a release this long again, it's going to be over a year - so in the short term we're going to be looking at this stuff, it's not like it's just something I'm talking about; we're going to look at this along with the adventurer's skills stuff and the improved sieges; job priorities; improved hauling; I don't remember if improved farming is up there; increased tile support for graphics ... whatever things were up there that people wanted we're going to be looking at.
Rainseeker:All these kind of inter-fortress politics is really interesting; is there a way for you to track that or explain why things are happening or why dwarves are angry with each other?
Toady:Yeah; obviously a lot of what happens in the game now doesn't get significant exposition, and sometimes you have to sort of plod through their thoughts to even get a hint of what was going on, so hopefully the major events that happen can happen at these sorts of activities that I've been working with the past week or couple of weeks - whatever it was - where you might have ... when a group organises they could have a meeting and it could announce that, and so it just suddenly says 'the miner's guild has been formed and is having a meeting', and you go watch what they do. It might be interesting to get - the same way we just did combat reports for this report, how when people are fighting you can just go and read what happened as if you were in adventure mode - it might be interesting to have the conversation engine, and this kind of goes back to what Armok was asking originally, it might be interesting for the conversation to be used in meetings so that you can see exactly what people are saying and be able to see a recording of their conversations; I don't think there's any problem with that.
Rainseeker:M'kay, capn you want to ...
Capntastic:Hey I think we're on to actually new questions now.
Rainseeker:Actually if you want to do some older ones I can grab some more old ones I've asked. Here's one [Kilo24]; 'can souls be applied to inanimate objects and/or as part of artifacts?'
Toady:So, for the current release - the one that's coming up - there aren't going to be souls beyond what I just added for the creatures. Right now the creatures can hold a number of souls but in practice they only hold one; that was to support possessions and so on in the future. But really all the soul is in the game is, it's got a name, it's got some historical information, the main thing it's got is skills and the personality, and the idea behind that kind of separation was to allow them to be put almost anywhere. They can be floating around in some kind of ghost or they could be stuck in an item, some of the framework's not there for that but they were created with that in mind, so that if you wanted to have some kind of artifact singing sword that hollered things as you walked down the dungeon corridors, and then you could stop and talk to it and ask it if you want to go left or right, and it'd be like 'I'm scared and I want to leave' or something, you could do that, and it wouldn't be that hard to set up, actually. It's in the future, certainly way in the future perhaps, but the framework is building up for that.
Rainseeker:Well that's really cool. Here's another one from Kilo24 that was previously asked; 'do you have plans to leave constructed walls unengravable?'
Toady:The idea there is that the way constructions currently work ... it's a bit of a hastle to have something both be a construction and an engraving. It's not really a super large roadblock but it was just enough of a roadblock for me to be like, 'alright, I'm leaving this'. Now that it is a little bit of a project to get something like that in it makes me sit and think, what does it mean to engrave a construction if the construction's like a brick wall or something? Does it mean that you put a smiley face on every brick, or does it mean that you kind of remove the top inch of the bricks and engrave something in there or would you want to bring up a pre-carved panel and insert it into a slot or something. There's a lot of different options and I just haven't moved on that because I haven't really thought about what I want to do particularly. I'm not against it, I don't think there's a huge balance problem or anything allowing it, so we'll probably see something like that sometime.
Rainseeker:Okay, and one more - I kinda like this one [Kilo24] - 'One of the arcs is focused on artifacts. What are some examples of quirks that you've thought to apply to them, and will artifacts be able to be created in more ways than a dwarf commandeering a workshop?'
Toady:We haven't thought that much about what the artifacts are going to do. We've thought about it a little bit and in fact they used to have powers, but their powers were pretty simple; it's like one of them might have more storage space than they're normally allowed to or a weapon might just be better, change it's damage type, something like that. It wasn't really that inventive, back when we had that system. So, it's not something we've thought that deeply about. We certainly want to make magic seem magical, that's part of what we want to do. So we don't want tp just have a weapon that just says 'oh this is +3 fire sword' or something, we don't want to do any of that; not that we wouldn't want a weapon that can burn things or something like that. The other part of the question you'll have to remind me, because I'm having a heat stroke.
Rainseeker:Are you going to allow artifacts ...
Toady:Oh yeah, other ways to make them. There's a first step that's related to what we're doing now which was individual weapon familiarity and a dwarf maybe naming his or her weapon after the dwarf kills a certain number of creatures or a big creature or something, they'd be like 'I call this "Dragonslayer"' or whatever, that kind of thing. That in a sense shares all of the relevant things with artifacts right now because it would be a named object that gets saved in the histories and that's really all artifacts are right now, they have better quality I guess but they don't have any magical powers right now, and in that way I think that an artifact shouldn't be restricted to dwarves completely. I think the dwarven artifacts ... there should be something special about them, but I also think there should be older objects that are maybe even created during the beginning of world generation and other things that come up during world generation so that the world isn't completely devoid or interesting objects if you want to start with adventure mode or something, but at the same time ...
Toady:Yeah, things like that, everything that you've read has stuff like this. At the same time the things that your dwarves do shouldn't just be drops in the bucket or something like that, it'd be kind of irritating too. There's a certain balance that needs to be struck probably, but we're definitely branching out.
Rainseeker:Alright, I have a question from ArkDelgato, and he says 'After jumping is implemented how will the dwarves in fortress mode decide when to jump?' and also '[will it be] if the only way to path it there is to jump; any time it would help; or in danger?'
Toady:Yeah, it seems like jumping isn't something you should normally do right? It's kind of dangerous. This is assuming that the path finding can be made to do this; I've been in some discussions and so on about to improve finding and jumping is one of the issues there because it doesn't work that well under the current system. But jumping for dwarves ... it seems like it shouldn't be something they do unless they are in danger, that would have to be a parameter there. In adventure mode I guess it would be something that only happens - I mean you'd be doing it all the time because adventurers are kind of crazy like that - [but] creatures that can't access you unless they jump should have to do it too, or else you'd be able to separate space between them too easily so they'd have to take risks like that. I think it'd be kind of weird wouldn't it if you had some pillars in dwarf mode that happened to allow you to get to your bedroom if you didn't want to walk down a hallway but just having the dwarves constantly hopping between them. It'd be kind of cute or something but it seems like it'd be really dangerous and some of the dwarves wouldn't really ... I don't see dwarves being big jumpers. Did I answer the question?
Rainseeker:Yep, that was good. [Qloos] 'How will player created mod packs and graphical sets be affected by the upcoming major update?'
Toady:I posted some of the raws online and if you've looked at those there are sort of massive changes, especially to creatures. So all of the creature raws that you've got - all the mods - won't work in the next version without modification. It's almost impossible to do a version supporting old mods because so many things have changes; it just wouldn't know what to do, it wouldn't know what you wanted, so those will have to be updated. Even things like items and plants - anything that you've added - will require some updates. Now there's some instructions in the new raw files that are provided with the game to tell you what the new tags are and so on and you can follow the examples of the creatures pretty much like people have been doing already to update. I don't think it would be an impossible task or even a really hard task to get mods working again. Graphics mods are basically unchanged. There's a bit that you'll have to do with the creature castes probably; for instance we support, say, ant men that have queens, drones, soldiers, workers if you want to add them in as four different subsets of an ant man, and so that kind of thing you'd have to go back and support it with graphics and there might be a format change there. Pretty much everything will be broken when I release but it'll be pretty easy to fix too.
Capntastic:From Aqizzar; 'How large do you think the community is; what kind of feedback tells you about how widespread your work is and where do you think you're getting the most press these days?'
Toady:Hmm, it's hard to tell how many people are out there. I mean you can tell from initial downloads, there are some thousands of those; the forum usually has a couple hundred people on it at any given time; press-wise it seems like we get a lot of press in Australia and a lot of donations have been coming from there recently so things seem to be going well there. Of course we're doing well in Finland, but it's not just there, pretty much every European country has representation. But I don't have any hard numbers, I just have to kind of go by what the breakdown is of donations and people sending me emails and things that I've seen. It seems like a lot of people that write video games have heard about Dwarf Fortress and tried it, don't like it, so I get a lot of people like that have sent me emails and so on. I know just from what I've seen on our forum that, what, Warhammer Online, The Sims 3, the Valve guys ... you guys remember any other ones? Those were the three that jumped into my head immediately.
Capntastic:Weren't the Warhammer Online or Sims 3 guys, there was a video and like one of the other guys was playing it in the background?
Toady:Yeah, yeah. I think that was the Warhammer guys. Was there even some kind of weird contest like 'hey what game is this'?
Capntastic:Yeah, 'hey if you know what this game is, email us and we'll send you a free tshirt'.
Toady:Yeah that was funny. It's funny to see that happening. Generally people have been supportive from the computer game industry, that have talked to me anyway. I really don't know how widespread it is though; you always get new people with new blogs saying that they introduced it to their friends and none of their friends had heard of it; so there's still tons of people that might like the game but haven't heard of it at all. It's still spreading out, it hasn't saturated the possible people that have been interested by any means, so, it's good to still spread the word around.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from dorf and this kind of goes along with the email kind of ... 'what is the oddest email you've gotten since the success of Dwarf Fortress?'
Toady:Very oddest one ... Well I guess there was the ... There was a person that ... I wouldn't want to reveal too many details ... basically a person who had Dwarf Fortress help them realise certain truths about their existence and basically about how life is meaningless or something and that caused them to convert their religion. It was a long and serious email - I don't want to make light of it - people asked what the oddest email was and that's the hands down winner. But the person supports the game so I'm not sitting here making fun of anybody; but that's definitely the oddest email that I received and I thought that was kind of cool that the game could definitely have an effect on somebody who was ready for it. It kind of comes back to this point; people say that ... there was someone who was criticising the game because when you have random content, because it makes things up it can't contain an artist's vision, but I don't think that's accurate because I think a lot of certain things, certain cynicisms I have, do come across in the game and I think the person was picking up on that. So certainly you can still convey things even in a procedurally generated environment, or whatever they call it these days.
Rainseeker:Right. Well, I have a technical question here; 'How exactly long, wide and tall is a tile in Dwarf Fortress? Are they cubes?'; this is from Lonewolf.
Toady:What the traditional answer is [is] that they're not so big that a dwarf doesn't have to crawl under another dwarf to get through a corridor but at the same time they're big enough to hold a thousand dragons as long as nine hundred and ninety nine of them are lying down. On the other hand it's a serious question because so much would ride on giving an answer; that's why I haven't so far. Because the second that you give an answer the game becomes constricted and you need things to make more sense; suddenly everything needs to make sense. I'm not ready to do that; I think there's something to be said for it - something to be said for nailing that down - but it would really kind of invite things like multi-tile creatures and stuff that I'm just not ready to do. There are some good things about multi-tile creatures; I think they'd be kind of cool. But path finding would need to be changed heavily, and there'd be other issues with them. Would they be too easy to kill for example by hiding off somewhere that they can't get to and shooting at them or whatever; so they'd need to be smart enough to avoid situations like that which might be difficult. So that's kind of one of the main problems - the large creatures - why I haven't established a number yet.
Capntastic:This one's from nagual678; 'So, why is the Bay 12 Dwarf Fortress site still terrible?'
Toady:Is he the same guy that started that topic in General Discussion about the ...
Capntastic:Yeah this wasn't actually a post in the thread; I'm just asking his question. Because I think a direct answer from you would be best.
Toady:Yeah ... it's horrible because I haven't worked on it. And I agree with him by the way. I don't think the Dwarf Fortress site is as bad as the main bay12games.com site. I think the Dwarf Fortress site is okay. It could be better but I think it's ok. I think the bay12games.com site looks like it was made by a junior high kid in 1995 or something; before there was an internet. It was made ten years ago or whatever; we haven't updated it at all. There had been an offer - someone was going to update it for me - but that didn't work out and I really didn't like the way that went so someone else offered to update it and I was like 'I don't really feel like doing it' or whatever ... so nothing's happened with it, and I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I mean it should definitely be changed - it looks horrible - but it's just not my number one priority.
Capntastic:I looked at it like every other ... like Nethack and ADOM, Dungeon Crawl and IVAN, and those sites are all just as bad if not worse, so ...
Toady:Yeah ... at the same time it's fair to compare us not to other hobbyists but to the larger ... everybody, right? Because we're trying to compete with everybody and it could be better. Even not looking at other sites, just looking at it as it's own creature ... it's definitely ... it is ratty. I mean why do we have all the games listed on the left and then all the games listed at the bottom too with four links to the forum that all go to the same place. That question I can answer, it's because the links to the forum used to go to subsections and now they don't, but when I updated it of course I just changed them all to the new forum link without subsections and so ... I guess it's tragicness has actually built up over time; it's not that it's static, it's that it's worse than static.
Capntastic:I like the little yellow pointy guy.
Toady:Well now see going back to the Dwarf site I don't have as many objections about the Dwarf site. Some people don't like the fact that it's centre justified or whatever; I don't care that much about that ... I don't know why that bothers people or why everyone wants stuff on the left or what other things people have with it ... I wasn't reading that carefully there might have been specific objections in the thread but a lot of it wasn't specific. But no I love the little pointy guy; I don't think [he] needs to go anywhere; [he]'s fine.
Capntastic:So, let's see, about a month ago me and my friend starting brewing beer. So I have a bottle here from my first batch and I just opened it. It's actually really easy to make.
Toady:Does it have dwarven ingredients in it?
Capntastic:Uh no.
Rainseeker:Cat tallow ...
Toady:Can't tell? It's proprietary ...
Capntastic:Yea. I'm pouring it right now ... and there it is. It's carbonated, and it's fizzing; so everything looks cool. It's a porter so it's nice and dark.
Toady:So you're going to try it now, is that the idea?
Capntastic:Yes I just had a sip and it's delicious.
Toady:Well that's awesome, does that make you a micro-brewer?
Capntastic:Yes it does.
Rainseeker:And Tarn you're a microgamer.
Toady:I'm a microgamer. That's right, a microgamer.
Rainseeker:So Capn what are you calling your beer?
Capntastic:We don't really have a name yet, but it was ...
Capntastic:The process itself ... it only costs like two hundred bucks to get this stuff you need. You know, it's a big kettle, and ingredients and a bucket and a big glass bottle to put everything in. It's just really easy to do, it's like you boil this for half an hour, and then you put this in and stir it ... the hard part's just keeping track of temperature and everything and making sure you wash your hands. A little bit undwarvenly, but ...
Toady:So how long did it have to sit there?
Capntastic:Um ... we put it in the bottles ... it's been bottled for about three weeks, and I guess that's like two or three weeks, so I guess that's the minimum, but then anything after that is like bonus aging, you know, concentrated deliciousness.
Toady:But it was still good now? Just the sip that you took now?
Capntastic:Oh it's really good now.
Toady:That's right, so the bonus is going to send you up to the stratosphere.
Capntastic:Oh yea, and um ...
Rainseeker:Ok so this brings me to a question Tarn, do you drink?
Toady:Do I drink? I don't have anything against drinking, I just haven't had an occasion to drink for a while. I used to drink more in grad school when there were parties and stuff; that didn't always turn out well. I don't know if I can go into any of that.
Rainseeker:So are we going to have dwarven drunkenness?
Toady:Oh yeah ... you have to have that. Now I don't know quite how that's going to work in the game when they pretty much have to have alcohol all the time; I don't know if that means they're going to be drunk all the time. There might be differences in physiology with the dwarf where they only get drunk when they're seriously drinking or something, like if they're at a party ... when they're like doubling up a party or something and having several drinks instead of just one to get through the day. Whereas with the humans, the humans I try to model as closely as possible to real life rather than doing whatever weird system's going to happen with the dwarves, and with the other ones we haven't thought about so much ... what happens when an elf drinks?
Rainseeker:I think that elves are going to have more vodka-esque things.
Capntastic:More like ... wine spritzers.
Toady:Of course they just drink blood anyway ...
Capntastic:They have no qualms about just like biting some guy's neck off and drinking it.
Toady:Yeah that's called uncorking. But there are a lot of interesting questions like that ... it happens any time we have a new mechanic that's related to one of the main creatures we have to go through and ask ourselves five different times what does it do, and we aren't interested, really, in building up our stock universe, but we figure we have five different groups ... they're not incredibly diverse, they're somewhat diverse ... and then as we start adding in things like ant-men, like all the animal peoples are starting to get their own civilizations now.
Capntastic:Yeah I've noticed that.
Toady:Especially in this version that's coming up; they're actually going to have them. Because back in 2D you had bat-men riding giant bats and they had blowguns made out of cave spider legs that they shot cave spider chitin - or whatever it's called, darts - through that were poisoned with cave spider venom and so on. So they had a civilization up to the point where they were building objects and they'll have that again for the next release. Then that leads to the question, what are the ethics of a bat-man. We know a lot about Batman's ethics I guess from reading the comic books and stuff but then there's ant-men; what are their ethics? What are the ethics of lizard-men? Are they all the same? And so on. We have all these non-inventive animal peoples races but it should allow us to explore some new ground anyway, especially in terms of geographic determinism, in terms of the different environments they have should change their civilizations a lot. So it's going to be interesting to go through; I don't know what happens when a lizard-man starts drinking.
Rainseeker:Is it going to be possible for us to get civilizations like goblin civilizations that go in unexpected directions like maybe they get a leader somehow from an elven civilization who enforces their beliefs on the goblins or something?
Toady:I only put in little teeny baby steps in that direction back when I set up those ethics; looking in that direction I made it so that the ethics sit inside the civilization so that they're mutable; it doesn't just look at the definition that you put in the raw files, but within each civilization they're mutable; but they don't actually change yet. But that kind of thing is what will allow certain individuals and even sub movements ... this is the kind of thing where say in dwarf mode if you have a philosophical movement spring up and enough of your dwarves adhere to it it should start changing the actual fortress civilization in terms of how it thinks, and whether that's happening because the actual fortress ethics are changing or just because a majority of the people follow the ethics of this movement ... it's kind of one leads to the other, or it should anyway. So we're thinking about those things, we're definitely not ignoring that kind of stuff, but it's just a matter of getting it done and that always takes a long time.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Xanares; 'Having read your the future section of the old Slaves to Armok site where you mention orcs along with the dwarves, I was wondering why they didn't make it into the game?'
Toady:I don't even remember. I don't know if any of you have played Armok I, because we had a number of stock creatures, and I don't remember if orcs were one of them or if we called them goblins; I really don't remember. To me those terms are basically interchangeable; one is more Tolkien and one is much older.
Capntastic:More general?
Toady:Yeah. Goblin is an old old word, and orc I think is an invention of Tolkien. So we just went with goblin for that reason, and because we didn't want to cleave ... even though the game obviously is related to Tolkien heavily we didn't want to cleave ourselves too closely with it in terms of terminology because we're always going to moving away from that stuff just because we're adding more and more things. I don't think of orcs as something that needs to be added with goblins; goblins can be thought of as orcs to the extent that that comparison makes sense. People have already modded in orcs for their orc mod, although I guess those are more like evil monsters that can kill you easily ... I don't know how big they are, and they certainly seem to be more powerful than a Tolkien goblin. I've just kind of been wondering, I don't actually remember if I've answered the question or not.
Rainseeker:I think that worked pretty good. I have a question from Strife26 that says 'with the work on bodies and stuff will modding in completely unreasonable creatures still work?' and his example is 'could my civilization made entirely of fuzz whose only organ is a pair of eyes function?'
Toady:Well, function in dwarf mode ... they'd already have trouble if they didn't have hands and stuff. But no, there's no requirement in a creature that says it needs to have a circulatory system or nerves or anything like that; if a creature doesn't have those things then they function as if they have them all the time, it just assumes that it works. That's how, for instance, the only creature I know that is like that right now is the Fluffy Wombler, because they're just made out of fluff and then under the fluff there's pudge, and I think their eyes is made out of some kind of eye material, because they have little eyes ; but they've got fluff and pudge. So they don't have nerves, or blood, or anything like that and they should work fine. The game doesn't try and impose real world constraints on things unless you tell it; you can say 'this creature has blood, this is the materiel I want to use', then the game's like 'well if it doesn't have this material it's going to die, and it will bleed out this materiel'. So it imposes those constraints but I think it's mostly reasonable about that stuff. Of course there are going to be bugs, and people should tell me about those, but that's the intention.
Capntastic:I don't really have any more questions but what sort of books do you read, Toady?
Toady:The last book I finished was the Water Margin, or Outlaws of the Marsh or whatever you want to call it, there have been a bunch of names for it because it's translated from Chinese; but it's one of the big ... I guess there are four main Chinese classics, like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and I had just finished Romance of the Three Kingdoms before that so I wanted to move on and read another one of those while I was still able to sort out the names and stuff, because it's hard to read because there are so many ... there are a hundred and eight good guys in that book ... they're not good guys but they're the protagonists, and there's also a cast of other characters as well, it's difficult to read, it's like two thousand pages long. I wanted to read that for inspiration for adventure mode, and it was fun, it was a good book. I haven't read a lot recently, mostly if I want to know something about something I just go online and I don't end up reading a lot of novels and non-fiction anymore that isn't just articles; I read a lot but it's all on the computer. But whenever someone recommends a novel I usually end up getting it and then sort of fiending through it for however many hours it takes to finish it; I want to read, I guess, but I don't actually end up reading ... I mean I want to read physical books but I don't actually end up doing it a lot.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from roundedge, as opposed to square I suppose; 'When starting a game what is your software architecture approach? How do you keep your code organised with such an enormous project which appears to develop rather organically?'
Toady:It's something that's developed over time so I guess it's a million little habits, but I always have an idea of what I want to do, you need to have a vision, a design. People are going to disagree with me a lot on this kind of thing because there are professional approaches now for this kind of thing and I don't really follow any of them as far as I know unless it's by accident; just because I'm not studied. But in general ... so you don't need a design document per se or whatever they call them - white papers and things - but if you have a strong idea of what you want your game to do and you've got a lot of the details down then it will start to organise itself a bit better and a lot of it you just need practical experience writing projects and failing to complete them to know what pitfalls you can fall into, because there are hundreds of them. I've practically fallen into one now for this release, right? I'm way behind, and I certainly bit off more than I could chew easily. I can get through it and I'm not going to lose the project, but I probably would have lost the project if I had less experience because you can tend to flounder when you don't have clear objectives that are small that you can do. It's just ... write things down in advance, keep your thoughts organised and write a lot of games. If you want to write a lot of projects you'll figure out a system that works for you. The documents that I have online, like the reqs and bloats and things; I wouldn't look too hard at those because I don't use them that much anymore. They keep some of my older thoughts and they're sort of organised into categories and so on, but I've been working on squad stuff for two months so far and reqs and things have hardly come up. There are a few of them that are going to get checked off but that's kind of an accident compared to just getting done what I wanted to get done. It's more important to have a vision of what you want to do and stick to it, keep in mind what you want your project to feel like and what you want it to accomplish. I'd probably be better off answering more specific questions about this kind of thing ...
Rainseeker:Well, do you use a lot of comments? So if someone who knew how to program were to look at your code could they figure out what's going on?
Toady:I guess the people who have looked at a lot of the code now for the graphics thing would be better off answering that question than me ... I don't use a huge amount of comments. Some people put a comment after every single line, and that's kind of self-defeating for me. I leave enough comments that I can come back in six months and know what I've done. I don't use perfect variable names but I use pretty good variable names. I remember reading some forum somewhere where people were like 'well he probably just names his variables 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd' and 'foo fah foo flam blum blum blum' like he's an idiot or something' but you give things meaningful names and you need fewer comments, right? I can pretty much read through my code, it reads pretty straightforward to me, because things have sensible names. There are things like that that come up, for the things like reqs and bloats I'll leave comment tags that say 'req 1.22' throughout my code so that when I get to req 1.22 I can search for it and locate the places where it's relevant. Like I was saying the whole game isn't organised into reqs and bloats but they do come up and when they come up I'm pretty prepared to put them in. So there are things like that that come up and other little habits that you just start to pick up.
Capntastic:Let me check the thread and see if anyone has anything really cool to say ... randomly click page five; 'Is magnetite armour ...', wait no this is something Rainseeker asked!
Rainseeker:You can ask it, go ahead.
Capntastic:Okay, Rainseeker asks; 'Is magnetite armour going to be picking up silverware in the dining room?' Hold on, because silver isn't magnetic ...
Toady:Yeah, I was wondering about that.
Capntastic:What are you doing, Rainseeker?
Toady:If it's silver plated and has an iron core it would still work, right? I don't know much about nothing.
Rainseeker:Everyone knows silverware isn't really silver.
Capntastic:So 'Is magnetite armour going to be picking up stuff?'
Toady:Yeah I don't know ... It's one of those things where it's basically like magic, right? You've got a material that can attract certain classes of other materials. It's one of those things where you wonder how you're ever going to code stuff like that, even with magic, because you have to check all the time whether or not something like this is happening and then you have to throw in specific shortcuts and flags and things to make sure it isn't actually checking all the time. So the more general and vague a system is - and we're going to make magic very general and vague - the more you have to scratch your head and wonder how you're ever going to get it to work. I think there's quite a bit of hope for it but I haven't thought about the specifics that well yet so I can't promise you that you're going to have magnetite that does weird things when you walk into a room and all the silverware sticks to you and stuff.
Rainseeker:I said, is this going to happen during the restaurant arc and somebody said 'Well there isn't going to be a restaurant arc' and I said 'yes, yes I know.'
Toady:Yeah it's disappointing. We need restaurants. It would be cool to have those inns though; people talk about it all the time, and I like the idea of having inns and stuff, and being able to create one either in your fortress - although dwarves never really struck me as that hospitable at least when it came to their own place, but I'm not against the idea - and then with adventure mode you could create your own little inn.
Rainseeker:It would be cool to have traffic coming through your site, if you have roads going up [and] have elves and human adventurers coming through ...
Toady:I'm always sitting here waiting for the game to take off in that kind of way. It's not quite there yet where there's people all over the world in adventure mode, you can wonder and talk to them, but they never go anyplace and when you're in dwarf mode of course they never come to see you unless they're leading an army to kill you or whatever. It'd be cool to have people drop by and come and talk to you about things and hang out ...
Toady:Yeah. People want to come and see what the dwarves are doing; want to see how short they are and stuff. It'd be cool.
Rainseeker:Have a class visit with a bunch of kids and teacher. Field trip!
Toady:Yeah, that'd be horrible on some of those wildernesses; having a little string of human children walking toward your fortress through all the skeletal hippos and skeletal giant eagles coming down to snatch them up and carry them off to their nest and feed their little skeletal eaglets.
Rainseeker:I'm sorry, but people are going to start demanding that now.
Toady:It's alright, people ask for a lot of stuff.
Capntastic:There's going to be like two threads about it
Rainseeker:Field trips! ... Ok, here's a question from Im_Sparks; 'Is there going to be an arena an arena room at any point, where you can organise fights and make the dwarves get a happy thought for watching or winning?'
Toady:Yeah ... Arenas are definitely up on development. Zach wrote a whole story; 'Passion in the Arena' I believe it was called. We're all for arenas. Now as for dwarves ... I haven't really thought about how into blood sports and things dwarves would be; they obviously don't mind bloody justice. It's those kind of questions where in a sense I don't like answering them for the player and forcing them to do things ... like there's this discussion about poisoned weapons; should you be able to poison your weapons and it's really not a dwarven thing, pretty much from any perspective you're coming from, but at the same time it'd be cool to allow that kind of thing with certain penalties. Whatever we say for dwarves; once the humans have arenas the dwarves will then potentially be able to have arenas, just like humans have religions and dwarves can potentially have them. The question is just what sort of restrictions there would be; I'm for it, and I think arenas are very important in fantasy and stuff, they certainly give you something to do if you're an adventurer and you're just bored out of your mind and want to die, then you can do that without having to kill a village or something.
Rainseeker:There you go. I think that it'd be kind of fun to talk about where you see the long distance goal of Dwarf Fortress. I know you've kind of talked about this in some of the other interviews but let's talk about it again.
Toady:Yeah ... We want to have a game ... it's completely far flung but you need to have some kind of goal ... we want to have a game where you could basically start up the game and it makes a world that's essentially some kind of novel - meaning new not a book, but you might as well say book too - setup with things that you haven't seen before and all kinds of different historical stuff about how everyone's doing this and that and it's got creatures and magic things going on and everything that's really compelling, and then you can just insert yourself into that; into some role, whether or not it's a dwarf fortress or an adventure of some kind or something else, some other settlement or an entire civilization, or some kind of deity or a big monster or something. You can assume some role in there, mess around for a while and then go assume some other role and have it advance the world along with you as you do things; react to the things you do and everything that you do can have real consequences that have the plot move forward and so on. Like if someone dies there's an actual vacuum that can be filled by other things and so on; we're slowly working towards that, we can kind of see how it can work; it's not an unachievable goal, it's not impossible by any stretch of the imagination, it's just a lot of work and just piece by piece working towards that kind of thing. That's all up on that dev future, whatever it's called, where it's post version 1. Like version 1 is in sixteen years and then after that ...
Rainseeker:Your grandchildren will be programming for you.
Toady:Yeah ... can have a little sweatshop here where we all work on Dwarf Fortress together. And some of those things, I don't know if they'll be slipped in earlier. You can already mod in yourself playing a dragon or whatever, so it's not like it's impossible to do already. Ideally ... you know, ideally means ideally ... you'd be able to play anything; any creature or group, like right now you can play the dwarf fortress civilization site entity of a fortress, or you can play an adventurer that is from say three different races; and that's pretty restrictive, but there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to play the whole civilization of the dwarves, and that's actually one of the goals that's pre version 1, is being able to get up to that level; where you have the king or queen and you can make decisions that are broader over a series of settlements; and be able to send your armies and diplomats and things around. Once you've got that then if you want to expand to something like elf settlements, you just want to make sure the game isn't too dwarven when you play the elves, because right now everything would be restricted in the same way that the dwarves are restricted but I think by adding some of the mod support that I've been putting in it actually won't be super hard, it'll just be very hard to extend it because some of those things are already being accounted for: some of the differences. So that's the really general long term goal, every type of feature in the game has more detailed or less detailed visions as well, like how we want it to work - my brother and I - and we're just going to keep working on it and arrive at some point by the time we're done. When we're ready to keel over or whatever, something will be there, something pretty good, by that time. After that, after I say that kind of broad vision really the only things I can talk about are whatever specifics people are curious about at that point, I think.
Capntastic:I know a lot of people make comparisons to Spore and how 'oh [in] Spore, you'll be able to do everything', and then everyone's like 'well Dwarf Fortress is better because you can actually see that he's working towards this', and I kind of agree that everything Today's doing is a lot more genuine that what Spore kind of did, where they promised all this stuff and kind of didn't actually have any of it.
Toady:I like making creatures, that's kind of fun for a little while; just putting on the parts and stuff.
Capntastic:Yeah it was fun; I played the game and I beat it, but it took five hours and then I was completely done with everything the game had to offer.
Rainseeker:The space mode is actually pretty fun but the first four modes are basically tutorials for space mode.
Toady:I guess I wasn't gung ho about it so I didn't feel that disappointed, but it was kind of tragic in a way, how it turned out. I know a lot of people enjoy it though, some people on our forums enjoy it. It just kind of depends on what you're in for, I guess. If you were looking for a Dwarf Fortress 1.0 or 2.0 which is kind of the thing that was coming across from the press presentations or whatever, where they were like 'it's going to be like Master of Orion II when you get to space mode' and ... it wasn't.
Capntastic:Yeah you had like one ship, and you could fly around; and you had to do everything on your own, you couldn't organise anything.
Toady:Yeah ... it was a different kind of thing.
Rainseeker:It fell prey to the fear that people aren't smart enough to play that kind of game, I think. They just simplified and simplified.
Toady:Yeah, well it get really extreme with the creature mode. It was like playing a one-sequence version of Simon Says, or a version of Whack-a-Mole where there's no timing to be worried about; you know that it's going to come up in a second and you have ten seconds to hit it ... you feel really bad for the mole at that point, it just pops up and it's like 'Hi! Hit me!', 'Alright, Bam!'. Just strange ... but I guess it's something anyway; you can make critters and they can run around, you can make little spaceships and buildings and stuff. It was alright, in that way.
Rainseeker:Here's more of a specific question; Is magic in [...] Dwarf Fortress ... what are you planning on doing with it? Are you planning on letting people fly with it ... or create trees, or grow things more quickly or maybe create gems in the side of a mountain; generate your own kind of stuff.
Toady:It's hard to say, because you want magic to feel magical in a way, and if it starts to become this thing where you have 'these are my magic runemaster dwarves and they get a series of powers and I use the powers to make mining easier and I use the powers to make wood' or something, then it's kind of industrial and it doesn't feel like a fantasy world ... it feels more like a sci-fi thing in a way, like how it's become kind of a technological thing that's used that way rather than something that has hidden consequences and stuff like that, or something that seems somehow intangible. I know people have really really varied feelings about magic, it's one of those things where I've avoided the controversy because I haven't started it yet. I know people are going to want to do all kinds of things and they want their dwarves to be more magical in a sense ... some people don't want any magic with their dwarves at all, and other people don't want any magic period. We're just going to go with our original thing there for the stock universe and then whatever support ends up being possible we can start to put in for people that want to do something that's more standardised magical for the dwarves. Our own idea is pretty much to restrict dwarven magic to artifacts and to have the artifacts be magical in ways that you don't really know at first, and that you might have to discover over time as you mess with them. Now, there's a problem with that in the sense that your control is so indirect that it's a little difficult to get at things like that; it's not like you can be an adventurer and just mess around with stuff directly. The reason that the vision on that is a bit unformed is because we aren't there yet, we haven't really thought about the specifics.
Rainseeker:I can just see it now, a dwarf is erecting his door artifact and the door actually transports people across the map which is really bad because it's in your front entrance.
Toady:There's all kinds of things, right? You could have a cabinet [such that] when you put something into it and take it out it becomes an improved item, and you might notice that when the guy's doing that with his clothes but you wouldn't really notice because who has time to go 'v, enter' on all of the dude's clothes. So it should be something that's more along the lines of those advisor things we were talking about where the dwarf has something to say to you - like the guy I mentioned having conversations with his dwarves - the dwarf should be like 'hey I just took my shirt out of my cabinet and now it's gold-studded and that's pretty cool and I think I should tell you about that', and it should be a huge thing that the guy can tell you instead of something you'd have to piss around with, and in that way magic can kind of remain magical and it doesn't always have to be little things like that there could be larger effects that are related to it or, if some guy makes a fell mood object and then all of a sudden all the dead bodies in your fortress start to rise up and you have to try [to] dump the thing down to a chasm before you all get eaten alive ... that'd be pretty cool. So there's options
Rainseeker:Very shocking ...
Toady:Well it should be kind of shocking, it's supposed to be magic. I'm hoping that that's how it works, I'm hoping that magic would be introduced through artifacts like that and also through the demons and other adversaries that are unique and rare and you'd get this thing where weird things happen or the whole sun is blotted out and the plants start to die or whatever, things get colder, and that could happen and then you'd have to figure out why it's happened; it doesn't tell you. There's all kinds of things that it can do and then the issue becomes ... the other mode of the game is adventure mode and a lot of people probably look forward to being able to use a spell caster, and the thing I've just outlined doesn't really fit very well with the notion of levelled spells and treating it like that where you work at it for long enough and then you can do fireball. But at the same time it's not as if that's a wholly unwholesome way of thinking and it shouldn't be supportable and I don't think it's impossible to have everything work out either way with parameters because it's not ...
Rainseeker:You could have it even more story based, as people get their powers more in a story-based ways.
Toady:Yeah, thinking of things like the deals witches make and other ways where people source their magic or how they got it, and they get it from the fairies or blah blah blah, stuff like that. Then you just need to have a starting scenario set up ... is it possible to make your magic still feel magical even though you're the one that knows how to do it, that comes up and how well do you know how to do it? How well do you even understand the things that you're doing? I think there are a lot of interesting questions there that you can explore in this type of setup that have really only been explored properly before in a plot setup, where you might have had magic seem magical but it was going through a game on rails, or you have magic that doesn't seem particularly magical[;] it can be randomised, but it's still just like 'Book One', 'Book Two', 'Book Three' or whatever. I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to do, it'll be interesting to give it a shot. Magic is kind of officially post version 1 material but the artifact arc is pre version 1 material so those are going to have a little tug-of-war I think when we get to working on artifacts to see how much magic actually makes it into version 1.
Rainseeker: Do you have any plans to make the dwarves have the ability to more easily discover minerals and gems and such?
Toady:There was originally ... this could have even been up on the dev pages, I don't really remember ... there's this idea for people doing surveyors and stuff like that and then there's ...
Capntastic:Geologists and geomancers ...
Toady:Yeah that whole branch of suggestions that are either purely magic based or purely science based or anywhere in between and I'm still not sure what I want to do with that, because it seems like a cop out in a way or something [...] but what problem does [the request] point to? I guess the problem it points to is that people are just having trouble finding stuff, and if that's the problem then maybe more the issue is that the mineral layout ... if you've seen an unhidden screenshot you've seen that the mineral layout is kind of asstacular right? It's like these little ovals and these restricted veins that run all in one z-layer, and I think improving the mineral layout could go a long way to alleviating some percentage of the concerns there. I think the other concerns are people that want to know where features are in advance, features like big open areas and so on, so that they can design their fortress without hitting those places and that's another thing that I'm ambivalent about because I know that some people are really into having a place that looks exactly how they want and then there's the whole idea of the game being about adapting to your circumstances so again it's a completely ambivalent thing there where you'd really want to set that down almost to world generation parameters or something, so that people can have their cake and eat it too. The reason I haven't really moved that quickly on these kind of suggestions is I'd like to find a way to do it that is the best, that addresses all the concerns and can make everybody happy without really compromising what the game feels like. And I think it's possible, I just haven't really hit upon the best way yet.
Rainseeker:Great. Well Capn you want to ask anything else? I'm tired.
Capntastic:Yeah, I'm tired too ... I don't know ... do you have any questions, Tarn?
Toady:Uh yeah ... what questions do I have?
Rainseeker:What question would you ask the community?
Toady:Well we had that thread that we started up asking what turned people off and I think, aside from ... the thread gets a little nasty sometimes, not to us but just people yelling at each other and stuff, but we get a lot out of that thread and I think that was the main thing we wanted to ask because when you know what's wrong with the game you can fix it. We kind of had an idea, so the main thing we got out of that is some kind of tutorials or something are the best thing to do, although we don't quite remember what the exact breakdown was of the responses, and also there were a lot of specific interface suggestions that are all good. The other main thing that we ask is that people go and vote on the eternal suggestions so we can get a layout of what people like. I don't know if I have any specific questions ...
Capntastic:Are votes on that cleared automatically, when stuff is taken care of?
Toady:No, but we haven't really had a release for a year so we don't really know what happens when something's taken care of.
Toady:Yeah ... when we release it we're probably going to clear a lot of votes and also highly publicise the fact that people should go back and check things out because at that point I'm going to take note of what the top ones were and like I was saying kind of look at the top ten but look at everything, see what the breakdown is, and start structuring the next releases based in part on that. There was nothing up there ... people were wondering a bit about how much that compromises the vision of the game; there was nothing up there in the top ten that's really that controversial. It was pretty solid, everything up there. A lot of it was pretty like - job priorities, hauling, improved pathfinding and stuff - there's a huge kind of pragmatic streak in the community when it comes to voting and I think a lot of that just comes from how frustrating the game can be right now, so it's not like it's a bad thing. I'm hoping that when I address a lot of those things that the voting will start to become more interesting in that sense so I can see what directions people really want to go, once the game's not broken.
Rainseeker:I can't wait to get some wheelbarrows going, or some donkeys that haul my rocks for me or something.
Toady:Yeah, it's such a pain right now, I can see why that one's number one.
Rainseeker:Well Capn are we ready to close?
Capntastic:I suppose, yeah.
Toady:So I guess people should let us know what they want us to do with this thing, something we needed to ask right? We've got this first one recorded and we're going to put it together and hopefully people like having something like this every month or so. Hopefully it went well, if we sounded a little under the weather that's because that's exactly what we are, right?
Capntastic:We'll be much better next time.
Toady:It is really hot ...
Rainseeker:What I want to ask the community is ... I think we're going to - if it's ok with you Tarn - [...] create a new podcast forum for questions just because it's difficult for us who are asking questions to wade through a forty page thread so we'll create a new one, we'll backlog this old one and if you guys [let us know] what you guys liked about this and what you guys didn't, that'd be fine to share. Just don't be too cruel, okay? We're sensitive.
Toady:Well I'm half dead, that's my problem right now. Sitting here drooling ... It's been trying, but this weather's supposed to be gone tomorrow, that'd be a good thing. So cool, I think this went well, I think this went well.
Rainseeker:Great, well, everybody in Never Never Land ...
Capntastic:See you next month!
Rainseeker:See you next month.
Capntastic:See you next month!
Toady:Yeah, bye bye.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #2, with Rainseeker, Capntastic, Ampersand and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

1. The siege.
    1a. How long have sieges been in Dwarf Fortress and what is their purpose?
    1b. Sieges versus traps.
    1c. Do invaders actually have goals when they invade?
    1d. Is there ever going to be a time when goblins demand tribute?
    1e. Is there a possibility through the siege mechanisms to start eliminating entire populations?
    1f. Will sieges tie into wars?
    1g. Possible triggers for war.
2. Megabeasts.
3. Spheres and the undead.
4. Are tree nerds going to get any love?
5. Will the new cavern system exist in every biome?
6. Will animals be eating soon?
7. Will dwarves ever be able to figure out an order for digging on their own?
8. Arena mode.
9. Do you ever play any of the mods for Dwarf Fortress in your spare time?
10. Do you ever plan on having some HFS that isn't immediately out to kill you?
11. What will you be able to do to exposed guts?
12. Plans for gods.
13. What do you think about the 3D utilities for Dwarf Fortress? Would you ever consider using such a system in the main Dwarf Fortress program?
14. What does your day look like?
15. How do you pronounce Urist?

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome to the second episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is Rainseeker here and I'm here with Capntastic ...
Rainseeker:... Toady One of course ...
Rainseeker:... and our guest host Ampersand!
Ampersand:Err, evening.
Rainseeker:Welcome. We're going to discuss things all things dwarfenly and fortressy, as usual. [1]Today's topic, which was voted by the community was 'the siege'. Have you guys ever had this happen to you, you create a bridge to protect you from a siege, put a moat around your fortress and attach a lever to [the bridge], and then when the goblins show up you couldn't find anybody to pull the damn thing. Or you cut down all your trees to piss off the elves and find your dwarves riddled with elven arrows. Well, we're here today to talk about the siege and maybe some megabeast action too since everyone seemed to want to talk about it so much. [1a]So, Tarn, how long have sieges been in Dwarf Fortress and what is their purpose.
Toady:Sieges have been in Dwarf Fortress since before it was released, I guess around 2004. There were originally underground ones that came from the 2D chasm type thing that was there, you'd have animals come out of there; you'd have these escalating goblin sieges and you'd also have the year 6 attack by undead where all the bodies in your fortress raise up and start killing you siege. When we moved away from having set sieges and more towards civilizations in the world that changed a little bit although there's still a lot of artificial stuff around sieges like the way that the goblins just kind of ramp up without respecting their civilizations. The main idea is at first just to add something for you to do in kind of a fantasy combat type of way, because there's the underground and then there's the outside and the idea with the siege is to give you some kind of challenges associated to that. As we improve the interactions with the outside world it'll be more just to drive the plot of whatever's going on while at the same time trying to respect the notion that it's still a computer game and you can't just get jumped by two hundred goblins right at the beginning or something like that because your fortress happens to be in the wrong place, although that wouldn't necessarily be off-limits as long as there's some other stuff to balance that out like your civilization helping you out or something like that.
Rainseeker:I know that my very first fortress was wiped out by a goblin siege that I did not realise would show. I had no clue how to play and it showed up and killed everybody basically. Capntastic and Ampersand, what has your guys' experience been with sieges.
Capntastic:I've never really had problems with sieges it's always self-sabotage that causes problems really. I dunno, it's pretty fun just to have waves of guys running into your swords, but I'm looking forward to in the future them being a bit more clever, I guess? A little bit more planning involved.
Rainseeker:Yeah, because, right now the way I defend against a siege is I ignore it, pretty much; [1b]I put up a bunch of traps and they all die, then they run away.
Toady:Yeah, right now they're ridiculous. Just kind of a meat grinder simulator. Any time you've got people taking a core game mechanic and treating it like it's sort of an optional challenge - are you going to build traps or not, because then sieges matter, or they don't - that's something that needs to be fixed. It's always been the plan to fix that and there's a million different ways to do that that are all going to be coming up. After this big release we're going to work on making sieges better and a lot of the things you guys said are in the works, and more beside that. So there's the notion of nerfing traps because obviously they're a little overpowered right now, and how we'd do that ... probably just make more mechanisms necessary, more map tiles necessary, so you can't just make a trap, you'd actually have to create a trap from some more pieces. I don't know if there might be templates to make that an easier process but certainly just having a weapon trap existing in a square without having to put something in a wall or put something in a floor is kind of strange, and having a stone-fall trap exist in a square out in the middle of a room with no ceiling ... what does that even mean? Is it shooting up from the ground and then landing on top of them? It's kind of weird. So just changing that would be helpful, but then also having the siegers be able to learn from their mistakes ... like when they send people in they should have an idea - it's a little complicated thinking about how they analyse the map and so on, but you can take some steps in that direction - and then if they have a notion of sending a group of people into a certain direction and then all those people die, if they know why then they should be able to adapt their strategy. If they just get ground by traps then they'd either have some counter-measure for that kind of trap or they just wouldn't go that way again. Ultimately there should be counter-measures for every kind of terrain, every kind of trap, every kind of weapon, to the point where you should have to adapt. You shouldn't expect to be able to just win every siege with some kind of static defence that you haven't been changing at all. There [are] always going to be very clever things people do that we constantly have to adapt to, but as far as the basic defences that are provided by the game, it's not like any of those should be sure things; it's not like we want every siege to destroy you, but they should have a chance to be able to do something. And there's a list of other things, the siegers in general are very poorly skilled compared to your dwarves, and they don't have a notion of which direction they're attacking from, they don't use any siege engines, they don't know how to make little bridges, or pile up dirt against a wall, or bring a siege tower against a wall ... There's a lot of things that they could afford to learn, and there's also the use of large monsters and things that are in a fantasy world that provide benefit, such as things that fly or things that can dig, which I know is a contentious issue, whether or not they would be able to dig, which is kind of a crucial thing when you're considering attacking a mountain. If you don't have other options and you have a lot of time, then digging is a pretty good idea, [but] at the same time I know there's kind of this aesthetics issue, you don't want people to just be able to destroy your own fortress sometimes. What we're thinking is having it default 'on', and if you turn off digging siegers then you can't really expect to do that well; it's all a matter of what people want out of the game, some people don't care about sieges at all and would just as soon turn them off and just like making their fortress and so on. [In summary], we're planning to support that kind of stuff.
Rainseeker:I think it that it'd be neat if you allowed us to restore walls - like they're caving in little segments of wall - so that once the siege is gone you could restore your fortress to its former beauty, you know for the people that are annoyed by the digging.
Toady:Yeah, there's revealed tiles ... I think someone suggested being able to unreveal tiles which I've got no problem with because it's not like that's giving you any benefit, it's just an aesthetic thing. As far as rebuilding walls ... it's sort of weird to be able to rebuild something like an ore vein, like put the crystals back or something ...
Capntastic:The dwarves are really good ...
Toady:Yeah, that's the thing ... dwarves are talented. It's something that could be ... It's strange, I'd have to think about how does that work, what are they doing, are they just tying it together with special dwarf beard hair or something like that that makes it work or ...
Rainseeker:They could just be packing [...] the rocks back in, you know the default rocks that are there.
Toady:It's not like it's the end of the world for me if someone has a wall that looks how they want it to look, right? I shouldn't care about that, but there's just this kind of strangeness to being able to create a perfect rock wall, in terms of the fact that people that are attacking you that mine through it would then have as much trouble as if they were mining through a wall unless there's some kind of flag that says 'this is actually just a rebuilt pile of crap' or something, right? It still bears some thinking about but I'm definitely aware of the aesthetic side of things and I think it's important that a game mechanic just doesn't destroy that for people, especially people that care, and if we can preserve sieges at the same time, like full fully functional sieges that can dig through things, even for people that care more about the aesthetics of their fortress, that would be the best way to do it, but at the same time I don't want to add a really weird mechanic that might screw something else up or just screw the overall feel of things, so it bears some thinking about.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:So there are a lot of issues like that right, you could [...] just dig a one tile deep channel around your fortress and they wouldn't be able to cross it, and just have a little drawbridge like some people have; or you could have your fortress sat up on a cliff, or use doors ... there's a million ways to stop them, so what we've got to do, and this is the trick I was talking about with analysing the map - it's not a really trivial problem but it's something that's surmountable - is that from the edges of the map, whatever edge of the map they enter in, the game ultimately should be able to make a goblin be able to reach any other part of the map, through various devices. That could include bashing down a door, placing a bridge, piling up dirt, using a tower, using a rope - grappling hook type things - just being able to climb. There [are] different solutions to different configurations of the terrain and we just have to put those in one at a time and eventually they should be able to take out any static defences or defences that are simple like closing doors. I know people are going to come up with really clever [defences], you know, [a] bunch of bridges moving around in weird ways and thing, that they can't figure out, and we'll just have to work through them one step at a time. But that's definitely one of the huge problems with sieges [...] they don't understand the terrain at all, and they don't think about it. Right now they're just like 'where's a dwarf? I want to go kill a dwarf' and then they're 'oh I can't get there, oh well'. It's really tragic, the ability to change the map and make buildings has completely outpaced the artificial intelligence, especially for sieges. The path-finding in general is pretty bad in the game; they can get through labyrinths and stuff well, but they can't really handle unusual terrain situations. It's one of those things where the whole path-finding system needs to be re-written for dwarves in general and [for] these other problems we were talking about like animals being able to climb down ropes when I had them, because I can't have a system where animals can't climb ropes until I change the path-finding. But for sieges fortunately it's not all down to the whole path-finding rewrite, those can actually be fixed before the path-finding rewrite, because overall when a siege arrives they just need to make a general analysis of the terrain and come up with a few little plans for how to make the terrain conform to the regular path-finding routine just by changing things a little bit. That'll lead to some of these things like digging and other map modifications.
Rainseeker:Are you planning on allowing trap disarming in fortress mode?
Toady:It seems like a reasonable thing for people to be able to do. Now, that doesn't mean they'd just be able to spot them and do it; they'd probably disarm a trap after they saw how it worked on somebody else. It's certainly reasonable that they should be able to do that; you can't expect a hallway with no dwarves in it and just some mechanisms to stop a hundred people; you might expect it to stop two or three enterprising individuals who are trying to make it into your fortress, just like one of those archaeologist flakes or whatever. But stopping that many people; they're going to think of a way to surpass it and they should be able to do that so that you'd have to support your traps by harassing people and making them run into them and so on, even if they know about them. Otherwise you should expect - eventually when we've got this worked out - for a trap that's done its job to be dismantled or otherwise dug around, or whatever they need to do, and within a given stretch of hallway that might make them more suspicious of other traps being there and they might actually be able to spot ones that are similar to the other trap. There's some kind of heuristics they might need to do that, just you know, block out an area: 'we've been hit by a pressure plate here', and then they'd keep an eye out for other pressure plates in that hallway, say. These are all things that need to be added kind of one step at a time so the sieges will improve by one step, then they'll improve by another and by another and by another, and we're planning to do this over a series of releases while we work on some other things. So hopefully it'll be interesting enough by the time it's far along that you have to think a little bit; it'd be nice if people had to think a little bit about sieges rather than doing what they do now which is just set up a simple countermeasure or impose an artificial challenge on themselves.
Capntastic:[1c]So do invaders actually have goals when they invade, like 'we're going to beat these guys up, we're going to steal their children' or something?
Toady:Yeah. It's sad right now, of course. The goals depend on the critters. The humans goal is just to kill everybody. The goblins, when they send a large invasion, their goal is just to kill everybody. The elves are there to shoot a certain number of arrows or until their group gets spotted prematurely; they aren't trying to kill everybody, but they're just trying to mess with you. And if snatchers or item thieves come, which is another kind of invasion, they're just trying to make it out, and their escorts if they have any work like the elves, they just try and bother you a little bit and distract you. But that's about it; ultimately when we get to the ... it might even happen before we improve sieges because we want to have real armies moving around rather than generated armies before we start working on their artificial intelligence ... at that point, when real armies are moving around, they'll have way more of a reason to be moving where they're going and this'll tie into the world generation wars and why they're being started and why they're being continued in fortress mode. So you might actually have a siege that doesn't feel like it needs to go all the way, or where they're just trying to do something that isn't purely genocidal or whatever. That should also improve the feel of the sieges and so on. It would be cool if a bunch of humans arrived but then somebody came forward to talk to you and you actually had another dwarf come out and have a meeting.
Rainseeker:That'd be awesome! A little discussion before the fight, I like that ...
Toady:Yeah, there's a lot of cool things that ...
Capntastic:Dwarf trash talk, I love it.
Ampersand:[While] the elves just try and hang out in the woods and shoot your workers or something.
Rainseeker:That's true; they're just there to assassinate your loggers.
Toady:Yeah, and bring some snacks back home.
Rainseeker:[1d]Is there ever going to be a time when goblins actually come and say 'we demand tribute, and then we'll go away?'
Toady:Yeah I mean there should be, they already do that in ... I mean they don't, I guess ... actually I don't remember if they do ... is it just the humans that do tribute relationships? Because there's these fake tribute relationships in world generation that aren't realised in any way. You could start in a fortress where every other fortress in your civilization is paying tribute to humans and you just don't hear or have anything to do with it. That kind of thing is ... I think all that stuff is up on dev next which means we're kind of starting to think about how it's going to work. It's all coming; we have this thing up on the future - post version one - goals about actual complicated diplomacy, whatever that means, where we'd actually be thinking a lot more about arrangements and individual goals and so on; but we're going to be doing a lot of that also in the pretty short term here. With things like tribute it's going to require ... I don't want to point everything back at the caravan arc because that became kind of a habit ... Really what that is shorthand for 'sites have resources and things are tracked', so that's going to have to happen kind of soon too, especially when you start sending armies out which is one of the things right after sieges are improved quite a bit, there's already going to be armies moving on the world map at that time, and your dwarves are also going to be able to send out armies after sieges are improved, and at that point we've got to start thinking about things like supply lines and so on. There's a sense in which that could be aggravating, but I think it really improves the flow of wars and so on to have to worry about that kind of thing so you just don't have strange things happening like some army marching from town to town without taking anything, just killing everything, without being supported. What I'm getting at, though, is [that] when you've got supply lines where an army's being supplied it's similar to paying tribute, to moving goods around in that way, which also goes back to the caravan arc. It's kind of a race to see which one's going to go in first, but people are going to be moving stuff around; at that point things like guys coming to you and demanding things of you instead of just trying to kill everybody would be easily attained, which would be cool.
Rainseeker:I guess one of my questions was [1e]'is there a possibility through the siege mechanisms to start eliminating entire populations?' if the goblins keep throwing populations at you eventually they'll be down to women and children in there.
Toady:That would teach them not to be so eager, and that's the kind of thing ... right now one of the reasons we wanted to put in the actual populations and armies moving around before we work on siege AI and stuff is partially concerns like that, what is actually going on in the world should dictate what's going on at your fortress in terms of sieges and so on. They should have to exercise some patience. There's also the matter of right now - which might be more of what you were getting at - sieges are sort of an all or nothing affair. Two hundred goblins arrive doesn't necessarily mean that all of your dwarves or two hundred goblins have to die. Right now some of them run off but they're not that good at that most of the time. Most of the time a lot of them will just get killed. I don't remember what the numbers are, because people throw all kinds of things out, but there are certain situations where if ten percent of the people in an army died that was considered bad whereas in this game that's nothing at all. If we start reflecting the actual numbers then it would probably profit the game, especially as civilizations and so on start to interact more. Now, there [are] always going to be situations like getting caught by a dragon where the numbers are going to be a little higher than you might have wanted, but that's part of the fantasy territory. I suppose there were situations in real life where entire armies were cornered and killed, so ... It just shouldn't be on an open field like it is with the sieges sometimes.
Capntastic:[1f]So will sieges tie into wars? Will you be able to siege other peoples and then it'll show their place, maybe in the far future?
Toady:Well maybe not so far as we think, because like I was saying, right after improved sieges we want to let people start sending guys out, and there's going to be a lot of reasons to do that; if the kobalds keep sending little guys over to take your things, you might want to make a punative expedition and send twenty really well armed people out and go into their cave ...
Toady:I'm sure there's going to be a lot of things that people do to abuse the poor mechanics as they're added. Then with the larger wars and so on ... we always liked that Civil War documentary, the Ken Burns Civil War documentary, where you get to see all the little lines, the little blue and red lines and so on - or whatever colours they were, red and red or blue and blue, I don't remember anymore - but being able to go to those mid-level maps, the ones that you see when you're moving the rectangle around when you're embarking ... So your fortress is a portion of that, say it's a six by six in a sixteen by sixteen area, but since the map is all seamless now in most respects, like you can't slide your sight rectangle between two map squares, but you can keep it within one map square - now that's an artificial distinction we're going to get rid of at some time - but in general the entire map is seamless, so you could take those sixteen by sixteen maps, stitch them together and get a pretty large battlefield that's sort of a zoomed in world map, and then you can imagine those lines. In general that's going to require upping the numbers, which is something we're planning to do, there's kind of this conflict - and it ties back in to what Rainseeker was saying about populations being diminished too fast - we want more people, we want to be able to have thousands and thousands and thousands of people - not on the screen at one time, but actually having world populations that are more reasonable, because it'll make a lot of mechanics of the game more reasonable and easier to do. Because right now it's like those cannibal tribes that go and pick off one or another guy or so on, sending twenty people at a time; and that's not quite what we had in mind for a fantasy world with fantasy wars and stuff. So ostensibly you should be able to send out thousands of people and arrange them in lines and then siege a goblin tower with different approaches and so on. The main problem would be that you'd be restricted; if you ever zoom in you'd be restricted to having just a smaller number of people, while at the same time a fight could be raging on off-screen with further people. The main problem area this ties back to is fortress mode; what happens if twenty thousand goblins are knocking at your door, what exactly is going to happen there? And we've thought about that quite a bit in terms of ... we're talking about a fortress that's very old, that's had large numbers of things popping up around it, and you've got control of thousands of people outside the fortress and so on, and of course there's a million things that need to be considered that we don't really have time to talk about, just in terms of your industries and so on. But, say that these larger numbers came up; you'd first be able to contest them outside your fortress with larger numbers, with larger army battles; but if they did make it to your fortress and sieged the actual fortress where you've only got your hundred, hundred and fifty guys running around, then they'd have to keep their numbers lower too to keep things fair, or just to keep things running with the CPU. But they could send in two hundred guys or something and you could have your standard sieges, and now if they had twenty thousand people they could do that a hundred times, but we just have to artificially set things up so that that's not how it works, or if it does maybe supporting their supply lines would be what causes them to leave if you keep winning, or just being depressed would cause them to leave if you keep winning and so on. There are things to be figured out there, and things to watch out for when you inflate the numbers like that, so we're not 100% exactly what's going to happen, but we would like to have large battles with tactical and strategic elements, and so on.
Capntastic:Like Battle Champs.
Toady:Yeah, that was a great game ... Battle Champs was a fantastic game.
Capntastic:I like how it had airships and bears and stuff ... I think?
Toady:What, in Battle Champs, or in Dwarf Fortress?
Capntastic:Yeah, it had like an inordinate amount of detail on the different civilizations having just (inaudible)
Toady:Yeah, I think one of the things that's going to even improve sieges better before we worry about the rest of the stuff is when they start recruiting beasts and having guys come in riding dragons and stuff. That should cause some shaking up of the status quo as far as sieges being silly ... I'm not sure about airships, they're reasonable enough themselves, having things floating around ... the less steam the better though, as far as I'm concerned, steampunk and all that kind of thing, and electricity and nuclear bombs, I don't know what else people ...
Capntastic:Zeppelins ...
Toady:Yeah, with jet fighters.
Capntastic:Tactical nukes, a lot of people want tactical nukes.
Toady:I guess you could make ... if there's ever some kind of gunpowder explosive I guess you could just stick a bunch of uranium on an explosive and have a really bad dirty bomb. But who knows? I think what I've said before is [that] gunpowder is probably something that's not going to be necessarily in the vanilla Dwarf Fortress, but it's something that I'd probably support for modders. But things like electricity and steam power are less likely to be supported. Although lightning is lightning, lightning's a different matter.
Capntastic:I remember you said something like the 1400s is like the cutoff and now everyone's like looking up for proof, 'oh yea, they really had laser guns in the 1300s'.
Toady:Well yeah, the Mayans are going to destroy everything for us right? They had princes sitting on sofas watching TVs predicting the end of the world, because that's what Mayans do, right?
Ampersand:[1g]I can see a few things that would possibly trigger - when you're doing the whole improve sieges things and armies moving across the map - some things might force your hand into a war with another civilization, force your hand into attacking them even, like a stolen artifact with the kobalds, or even more abstract things like goblins kidnapping the king's son would be something I think would probably be significant in the history of the worlds.
Rainseeker:Especially if you could rescue them.
Toady:Absolutely, first of all. The thing is, I haven't thought of every situation so of course when I say 'absolutely' I don't mean to imply that I've thought of everything. But I remember we were going to do a weird kidnap [and] rescue thing back when we were doing these more fixed things. Certainly right now the people just don't care about the kidnappings enough, right? They're just like 'eh, take my kid, oh well'. I think definitely there should be - when we start thinking about the individual goals that people have, which is something that's going to start driving the wars more and more often - there'll need to be answers to those questions before they start sending goblins around. In that way when people start tracking more of their individual goals then certainly something like a kidnapped child should matter a lot more because a lot of people will be looking at their families first, like 'what is the situation of each of my family historical figures; is one of them being held prisoner? Well, maybe I should do everything within my power to change that situation'. It should certainly matter and people will probably treat artifacts like family members when it comes to that. So the answer is yes, as I think of it and am reminded of the various situations that arise in the game, I think that should definitely be a driving thing behind wars. When we add site resources and so on, you're going to have those geo-political geographical determinism type things going on, where they just want a kind of resource or they want access to the things that you've got and that should drive some of the situations. But there should also be personal matters driving situations; a lot of the stories that we're basing the feel of the game on where we wanted a fantasy story/world generator, a lot of the larger conflicts are driven by personal issues.
Rainseeker:That's true, wars aside even. It'd be really neat if you had one guy that independently recruited a bunch of people that could carry weapons and they went off and left your screen and the game tells you about it and [then] they come back victorious or they come back having people died or whatever.
Toady:Yeah, I wonder what the first one'll be. It might just be dwarves that don't like living in your fortress leaving, because right now they don't. They don't come, people stop coming, but the ones that are there resign themselves to fates worse than death.
Rainseeker:Or they have tantrums.
Toady:Yeah, they can act out, but they never leave.
Capntastic:So would it be possible for a dwarf randomly deciding to leave forever? I know that would make some people mad, it'd be like 'aah, my soapmaker left, now what I am going to do?'
Toady:I think that having it be sudden or random would be bad; I think if you're going to take something away from someone like that there should be warning signs, and when they leave it should feel like it's your fault. At that point that'd be good enough. Or there's a case like Rainseeker came up with where there's a larger action that might be beyond your control, then it's a trickier situation: should people be able to go off and handle matters? There won't be a lot of things while people are randomly generated migrants, but if migrants are coming from other areas and have situations and family and everything else that exists outside of your fortress ...
Rainseeker:I'm sorry sir but my grandmother's sick.
Toady:(pauses) Oh! I thought Rainseeker was stopping the show, because there was kind of air of silence.
Capntastic:I know, there was ... realism! He was like 'aah! I must go on a quest!'
Toady:So Rainseeker I understand, we can continue the recording tomorrow if you have to go take care of that.
Rainseeker:(more subdued) I need to leave the fortress because my grandmother's sick.
Toady:Yeah, it's that kind of thing. How much of that do you want? How much would that really mess up the game? It's one of those things that probably needs some balance but I think if you've got a fortress with a hundred people, you can always spare one, even if it messes things up a little bit [and] that kind of would be really cool. Just like with every other concern with high population numbers and so on, there's the game to be thought of. People say that you kind of have to think of gameplay first and fun before realism, all that kind of thing, but it's a more tricky balance than you might think because adding realism gives you these fun payoffs as well, especially when things work together. Having people leave the fortress might seem like it's a bad thing but the payoffs for that could actually be pretty huge in terms of what happens later in the overall story of the world, or what comes back to your fortress from that, and so on. So I think it's definitely worth considering.
Rainseeker:Yeah especially if the game could tell you the story of what happened. Sorry go ahead Ampersand.
Ampersand:There's always the possibility that you could leave it up to the player whether they are going to allow that dwarf to leave, they [could] came and ask you 'may I please leave the fortress to go take care of my affairs?'
Toady:That reminds me of the immigrant issues too, where people are like 'a group has arrived, should I be able to turn them away?' So you're right I guess, you could also be 'well now you can't leave'. It'll be like one of those bad post-apocalyptic movies where people are in the compound and then they're not allowed to go.
Capntastic:Someone was saying, 'I wonder if Toady has like a problem with immigrants because all these people show up and then people just kill them mercilessly'.
Toady:I'm not the one that kills them.
Capntastic:You put the gun in their hand.
Toady:It's not my fault.
Capntastic:No, I know.
Toady:I mean, it has the potential to be a sick game; I know people go [create] all kind of sick stuff.
Capntastic:Every other game, you're either supposed to or you're not, but this is like a psychological thing.
Rainseeker:It's a Rorschach test.
Capntastic:I know! It's like 'what do you see?' 'I see a guy cutting someone else in half with a piece of soap.'
Toady:Yeah, it's like a version of Stumpy-Wumples that isn't stupid.
Capntastic:See I don't agree with that, because I think Stumpy-Wumples should have won some prizes.
Toady:It's a fun little game ... One of those things that people tell you is that you can't be all things to all people and you have to make decisions when you're designing a game. Fortunately having things like init options and so mitigate that somewhat; it's not perfect but it keeps it open a bit. Like I was saying with the tiles and so on, sometimes there's difficult decisions that you can't have work for everybody. I try to respect it as much as I can because I know there's a lot of different kinds of people playing the game, in some cases we're the only outlet they've got for the things they want to do.
Capntastic:Stacking skulls.
Toady:Yeah I'm not sure how many skull-stacking games there are. I guess you can do that in those games with those physicsy type games like Oblivion, where there's skulls lying around you could start to stack them and they'd tumble over each other ... there might be better skull-stacking games.
Ampersand:You've got to get the skulls out of other people, that's kind of the breaking point isn't it.
Toady:Yeah ... some of them I guess you click on the bodies and they have a skull in their inventory. They used to do that in games, I'm not sure how much of that they do anymore, where you have your own body in your inventory when you click to salvage stuff from the dead bodies or scavenge or whatever they've got a skull inside of them.
Rainseeker:Well let's break away from sieges; I know we already did but let's break away from sieges, and I'm going to play a bit of cleansing music and then we'll be right back.
Capntastic:Cleansing music?
Toady:Hurray ...
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:[2]Alright, we're now back with Dwarf Fortress Talk and we're going to talk about some megabeasts. So Capntastic what's your favourite megabeast.
Capntastic:I'm a fan of the giant colossus guys who just sort of chill until they walk up to you and punch all of your dwarves in half. Because they remind me of Shadow of the Colossus, I don't know if any of you have played that?
Rainseeker:I've played that.
Toady:Yeah, I've played that.
Capntastic:Will you be able to climb things in the future, like climb a dragon and punch its brain?
Toady:There's the issue with ... It's a question of multi-tile creatures partially - which is a difficult problem - but just the fact that there's the wrestling, and even without multi-tile creatures you've got things like groundhogs that can currently jump up and bite your eyes. That's one of the problems I'm having when I was doing my groundhog tests: twenty versus a guy with a knife, who wins? If the groundhog problem is solved, which it needs to be solved - not for this release most likely but at some point - then that means that that same thing will happen to you when you're fighting a giant creature. I think it would be cool to jump up on things, beyond just Shadow of the Colossus it's a common thing in Ray Harryhausen stuff and so on. So with the large creatures I think it'd be really cool to jump up on them and climb them and swing from them and so on. It wouldn't be as dramatic visually of course as Shadow of the Colossus but it certainly would be a lot of fun.
Rainseeker:Especially if the game described you jumping, you know 'so-and-so jumped up on the dragon's back'
Capntastic:[and] stabbed it in the brain!
Toady:Yeah, you have to stab it right through the brain, where the big glowy part is. One of the things we were thinking about there ... It was kind of this idea of the megabeast being expanded to a bunch of other creatures, because I know I already spoiled the ones that are going to be underground now, right? Those are spoiled, I don't know if I'm spoiling them here or not but ...
Rainseeker:Go ahead. Spoiler warning! Spoiler warning!
Toady:Spoiler warning! Maybe I should talk through my shirt or something. So yeah, I'm talking through my shirt now; there are random critters underground and they got like random bodies and different random stuff, and they're going to be big and they're going to attack you and stuff. So, there's the spoiler.
Capntastic:It's all over now, it's all clear.
Toady:So what we're actually doing this time around is [that] that spoiler's extended to the hidden fun stuff type things like the bad bad demon demon, and also we decided to ... since we already have giants, giants are big people that walk around right, now a titan is also a big person that walks around, so given that there are two big peoples that walk around - now that's a titan in the sense it is in the game, in the sense of a mythological titan it can be all kinds of crap - and that's kind of what we're going to change over too; the titans are now going to be randomised, and they're going to be all kinds of crap, and they're going to be generally tied to a region, I'm not sure if that's always going to be the case. That should give more of [that] 'big random creatures you can kill and fight' type of vibe to the game, which would be cool.
Capntastic:Are they going to be tied to spheres too and stuff? Like a titan made of ... I don't know ...
Toady:Yeah, like big shambling clouds, with vines on them and stuff.
Rainseeker:The titan of rainbows and puppy dogs.
Toady:Yeah, the rainbow and puppy dog sphere, it's like Clifford but instead of the big red dog it's a big colourful dog.
Rainseeker:Could he be friendly, perhaps?
Toady:Well that's the thing. Beasts fall in to kinds of categories; they're either bad, or they're friendly, or they're misunderstood. There's all kinds of options for animals like that. It might tie in closely with the whole forest spirit thing that the elves have going on, there's a lot of options here.
Rainseeker:That'd be hilarious, if you had this huge rainbow-coloured dog wondering about your fortress.
Capntastic:Like Pete's Dragon. A snake oil salesman would want to, you know, bottle it.
Toady:Yeah ... I totally don't remember the plot of that story at all, Pete's Dragon.
Capntastic:Because the dragon was a cartoon.
Toady:Yeah, I remember I was talking to my brother and we were trying to think of movies that were early instances of animation mixed with live action.
Capntastic:My favourite thing about megabeasts is that during world generation they seem to be the big movers and shakers, and it's like 'oh, this giant dude punched all these dwarves out, and then the dwarves got really mad, and then they chased him around and put a (weapon) in his head.
Toady:Yeah, it's way worse now because they can't really beat him up anymore. They're like big solid bronze [statues] that walk around beating the crap out of stuff. I was running megabeasts and now it's like there's a dragon, and 'oh yeah, he's got four hundred kills'; well, I guess you're going to have to deal with him in your fortress then, instead of just reading about him being dead, which is what megabeasts are for now, pretty much; just reading about [them] being dead. It should be really cool though, the new titans; there might occasionally be a titan that looks like a person, but you should have all kinds of amorphous titans, animal based titans, different material based titans, and all kinds of stuff that should be really cool. It'll tie back into ... We had a series of inspirations there as to why we wanted to do that, [e.g.] there's the old movies like all those Ray Harryhausen things and then there's things like the weird critters that were running around in the Ghibli movies, especially Princess Mononoke [which] had the big pig with the worms and stuff, and there's all kinds of weird things like that that tie together. Then there's Shadow of the Colossus [which] was fun to play and kind of has a similar vibe to it. It should be really cool, having those critters there, and even more cool when you can actually jump up on them and so on, and get eaten by them and have to burrow your way. But just at first having a ... as long as we give them enough differences and abilities and so on, and coupled with the improved sieges stuff of having traps not be quite so good; then having a megabeast arrive should be like a big party, because you're either going to get some of the standardised ones - the standardised ones that remain then would be what, a hydra, a dragon and a bronze colossus - or you could end up with a titan and who knows what to expect then. The future of dragons, hydras and bronze colossuses as megabeasts given that they're going to have these random things to compete with ... dragons obviously have a bright future, especially because you can start a random program there as well to make interesting kinds of dragons. It's still unclear how much they're going to be individualised versus how much there's going to be a kind of dragon, that kind of thing; because both models are popular and there's no reason to choose one over the other in terms of Dwarf Fortress. [As for] the hydras ... in that sense a hydra is essentially just a dragon; it's a dragon with a bunch of heads. In mythology I guess there was poison and so on, so that stuff can start to run together a bit, and the bronze colossus is kind of an outlier, it's just this big statue because we thought it was cool in Jason and the Argonauts, right? So it might change a little bit, but that's mainly to make it not impossible to kill.
Rainseeker:Speaking of the bronze colossuses; could it possibly be that you have it be connected together with a bunch of bolts or something that could fall off and that's the way you could kill it even if it's solid.
Toady:I guess one of the things to consider is why is it there? Was it made by somebody?
Capntastic:Some sort of supernatural intervention.
Toady:I don't remember anymore, but was the one in Jason and the Argonauts made by Hephaestus or something? So created by a forge god type thing, right? Then there's the idea; could they have been made by old dwarves, then you have the problem of, well, can your dwarves make them? And then you get into the whole automaton segue into steampunk and so on. Then there's just them being ... or are they some kind of bronzey spirit of nature type thing, that's just kind of wondering around, causing trouble.
Ampersand:I don't know if you've ever played Morrowind or anything, but in the lore of Morrowind or Daggerfall even, the dwarves did in fact make a gigantic mecha.
Toady:Yeah, they had all kinds of steam automatons, right? I remember ... no I won that game, I think, if you're talking about the big statue at the end. So there's a notion of dwarves there, just ... there's something about steam [that] bothers me, I don't know why. Having all these steam powered ...
Ampersand:I don't think their giant machine was steam powered, it was part of Lorkhan ...
Toady:Oh yeah that's right, there's magic and stuff, and we don't have a whole lot of that, but we should, yeah. I don't remember what our thoughts on automatons were completely; I believe that having something like an intelligent automaton walking around would be an artifact type situation.
Ampersand:Well you already kind of do have some kind of automatonic zombies, right?
Toady:Who knows why they're coming back? They're just in bad places, it's like Reaper Man, I've got to get this car out of this bad area ...
Rainseeker:[3]Let's talk about spheres for a second. Are the zombies, skeletons, undead and such; are they going to appear only in the undead region sphere now? Or will they come in other areas too.
Toady:It depends on one of those things we were talking about, like do undead have souls, and what is the undead? If it's somebody combing partially back to life then it could be any sphere that's related to death or rebirth even; it's kind of weird to have the sphere of rebirth have undead things but it's possible.
Rainseeker:They're good zombies, maybe.
Toady:Yeah, they're good zombies, with little fairy hats and stuff ... whatever a fairy hat is. But then there's the notion of just animating a corpse, and that's the purview of death or if brooms and stuff are also moving around then it's more of a regular magical thing. But there's also the notion of having some kind of spirits from the underworld populate the body, then that could be any kind of evil.
Ampersand:There's also another concept of it being a disease that is passed between individuals.
Toady:Yeah, there's the viral zombie model ... [and] there's also the radiation zombie model I guess. So the viral thing, I don't know ... are they dead? Or are they ...
Capntastic:Their brain's just messed up by like ...
Toady:Yeah, viruses. I guess what the 28 Days Later model is it's just sort of a viral rage thing, but they aren't actually dead; is that correct? And then they starve to death. So any of those is fair game as they come up. Now, the undead that'll come in at first; I still have evil regions in this release so things will probably be the same as they were before, and then as I move over to sphere-based regions then at first it's going to be just kind of a death thing I guess, and to make them fairly common those will just be common areas. The whole idea of undead in general is going to be generalised to the notion of a curse, and that could just be some random sphere thing: there could just be a bunch of fire dear, and fire elk, and fire chipmunks and the fire man; that's kind of the cheesy thing that you'd expect out of the game after a while. Of course we can get more sophisticated but you don't start there. Then there's these notions of things like infectious diseases and so on, which we were going to do - not as undead or anything - but just the notion of an infectious disease was going to be part of this release with the venoms, but it was one of those things I had to red out on the list, that I couldn't do diseases because I don't have the time. But anything that's red on that list is pretty much fair game on the short term so I'm not sure what's going on after this. But you can start to move to more and more sophisticated disease models - not just models of their spread which aren't ever going to be that sophisticated in Dwarf Fortress - but just their effects, as we get more and more venom effects and so on; that could actually ... like if you had a venom that can alter your behaviour then you can have a disease that can alter your behaviour. We already have berserker dwarves, so it wouldn't be that far of a step to have a venom and then an infectious disease that can make you berserk, and then you've essentially arrived at the 28 Days Later model.
Rainseeker:Which is really bad news if you have your legendary champions crazy.
Toady:Yeah, you'd have to lock yourself ...
Capntastic:Erm ... maybe not so much. They could just bite someone in half.
Ampersand:They could be the solution to a lot of problems too.
Rainseeker:Assuming that you went crazy on the battlefield and not inside your fortress.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Okay well we're back, we're going to ask some questions now from the forum. I'd like to start [by] offering the ball to Ampersand ... let's see what you want to ask.
Ampersand:Allright, this is a question from Armok on the forum [who] seems very concerned about trees. There's a very long and detailed question, I'm going to compress it down to one little thing; [4]'Are tree nerds going to get any love?'
Toady:Tree nerds? Love? Well, given how geology went, I'm assuming - because we've got lots of botanist's resources, and so on, my father was a botanist for a little while when he Masters degree in botany, and my mum has a giant garden and prepares plants to this day; always goes to plant shows, and has this giant garden [and] will go out in the woods all the time - I'm assuming that when I finally get to trees and not just trees but other plants, that there's going to be more excess, if that's what you mean.
Ampersand:He's asking for stuff like trees getting individual tissues ...
Toady:Yeah, they're clearly going to get the animal treatment and it's not just for the sake of pure excess but it's because if you want things like trees to pick up and walk around and you want trees to be interesting, and just trees to fit into the general system it needs to be that way.
Ampersand:He's also [asking about] stuff like circulatory systems in trees, bringing water up from the ground.
Toady:There's certain things, like if you want to actually see which flows are flowing which way and how much nutrients are flowing around and stuff ... well it's not going to be more than creatures have and creatures don't really care much about their blood right now either; it's not tracking the molecules and stuff. There's going to be certain excess in the trees, and I'm sure some of the tree people will be happy to have tree-type things that are more treeish than what you generally get when you're modelling trees, but I don't remember every concern he had; I saw that post, it was a large, green post.
Capntastic:I think the important thing is that the stuff you do end up modelling is realistic; kind of like the geography or geology stuff, kind of like the rocks ...
Ampersand:It doesn't need to be perfect as long as it's serviceable.
Toady:Well and as long as there are a few things for the tree nerds to be happy about; we like happy tree nerds.
Ampersand:Maybe you could (inaudible) up the sap even more, probably be ...
Toady:Yeah, for the extracts. All of the extracts that we've currently got in mushrooms and all that kind of stuff, for all of that to be fit in to the creature system would be cool, like if a sweet pod was actually like a sweet pod, instead of what it is now [which] is just a list of materials. There are plant materials now, plants get ... you can have a plant with several materials, but they're just associated to different jobs and so on, rather than being something that has something to do with the plants structure, and that should probably change, especially if you want to tie them into creatures.
Capntastic:Let's see, I have a note-card here, let's see ... oh I was drawing on it. Ok; Gflex, from the IRC asks, [5]'Will the new cavern system exist in every biome?' I think he means will there be the chance for like an underground lake to exist in the middle of a field that doesn't have a mountain on it.
Toady:Yeah, right now, yes, everything is everywhere. I think it might cut off the top two layers in the ocean just because I was running out of space and you never really go down there anyway, because the ocean is deep down. But everything else is everywhere; they're probably more independent than they should be. Certain places that don't have water have water deep down, but certain places that don't have water shouldn't have water deep down either; so some of it's even a little weird, but no matter where you start your fortress ... It's not like, especially ... The main concern would be - in the game now I think everything's just in the mountains, right? - so it's definitely different from that, they're everywhere.
Ampersand:[6][Soadreqm]'Will animals be eating soon?' like wolves devour a corpse, not like having to eat.
Toady:So like predatory interactions and stuff. There's a goal for the ... so right now there's some - I don't remember if there's a bloat or whatever - but it says 'getting rid of this whole peaceable kingdom model we have right now, where the lion is next to the sheep who's next to the elephant, and they're all cheerful together and they just don't like you. That should definitely change, I mean there shouldn't be wolves coming on killing things all the time, but you definitely want to see stuff like that occasionally. And in things like adventure mode it'd be fun to wonder around and see the animals being animals instead of being whatever it is they are now that doesn't act at all like regular animals. It's kind of silly the way it is now, and it's not that hard to change, but it's one of those things that also isn't super high on the priority scale compared to other stuff, but it's something that I'd like to change at some point. Further, I don't remember if there was an element of that question that had anything to do about livestock eating or your pets eating but that's a whole other can of worms, because it used to do that, but it was bad, because they can eat you out of your fortress; like a deer would go to your barrel and whip a mushroom out of there and eat out of the barrels and stuff, a pet deer or whatever. Yeah, it's just a lot of trouble so [we] have to be careful when we put it back in.
Rainseeker:I have a question - this is from Pie - [7]'Will dwarves ever be able to figure out an order for digging on their own, that doesn't involve their death or trapping?'
Toady:I imagine he's talking about like digging a channel and then becoming surrounded or something like that?
Rainseeker:Yeah, I believe so.
Toady:We already have how to do that and so on, we just need to do it. I imagine there are some configurations where it's difficult, but certainly for digging and placing floodgates - things that get them trapped in stupid ways - yeah, we're definitely going to fix that; not quite sure when again, but we know how to do it and it shouldn't take that long.
Ampersand:That kind of relates to one thing I noticed about the path-finding system that's used with - it looks like - sixteen by sixteen blocks ...
Toady:Yeah, there are a lot of times when you get this artificial behaviour stuff where people start from the north west or whatever; a lot of that needs to be fixed, some of it's harder to fix because the distance calculations would require doing a pathfind, which would be expensive. But it can be fixed over time, especially if the pathfinding system gets a revision.
Rainseeker:[8]Something that the community's really excited about is the new arena mode. Is that going to be at all connected to the other modes, or is that totally separate?
Toady:Oh right now it doesn't even load your world, it just loads the raw folder from your world. They're completely separated right now, and it's just for testing. Now there are notions - associated notions - like having an arena in adventure mode and so on, and that's a different thing, that's a completely different thing. So right now it's just kind of to test things out and read the combat reports and so on.
Rainseeker:What I was thinking [was that] it'd be fun to be able to grab your adventurer party or your dwarves and then plop them in there and then grab a titan or whatever and plop him in there and have them duke it out, in an artificial environment where it's not actually affecting your fortress.
Toady:Yeah, I guess that gives rise to an ambivalence over the whole arena concept in general because right now when the game is released it will be put together with the arena off, you'd have to go into the init file to turn it on, because if you can just create a dwarf with an adamantine sword fighting two dragons it kind of messes up the experience when it happens in your fortress if you're a new player. There's a lot of things here that need to respect the new players. And in the same way if you can just go into your fortress, pick your favourite champions out, pick out the megabeasts and then have them fight; it's something that should be kind of a default off world ... I'm not totally against it, but I think it should be something that's a default off world parameter setting, so the world parameter setting would be something like 'can nab historical figures for arena play' and then you can set that to 'yes', and that means that you've created that world knowing that you can spoil it for yourself. I don't really mind any kind of spoiler type stuff that you do yourself, as long as it's not the default behaviour, and as long as it's not super super easy accessible press of a button 'hey I can mess up my game' type of thing. I think it is really important for new people to see their first dragon when it's attacking their fortress, blowing the crap out of them or whatever.
Rainseeker:The13thRonin from the forums asks; [9]'Do you ever play any of the mods for Dwarf Fortress in your spare time, and if so which one is your favourite?'
Toady:I guess the short ... I just haven't, I haven't done it. I read about them, I know people like orcs and so on, to kill them, but I haven't tried any of them myself. I guess I've seen mods when I load, because oftentimes I'll get a bug report and the save will just be a total conversion or something, and so they need to send their mods. So I've loaded up fortresses before and I'm like 'these are all dragon men'; so I've seen them there, but I've never played with a mod, because it's kind of like if I wanted something in the game, I'd probably just put it in. When it comes to that kind of thing, and I'm not really curious about how playing with other races is, because I know it's kind of buggy, and I know I want to more fully support it later, so I haven't really tried it out.
Ampersand:[10]Do you ever plan on having some HFS that isn't immediately out to kill you?
Toady:Um ... so, now when we say HFS we're referring to the stuff that's underground, and a creature instead of just a location or?
Ampersand:I'm talking about any hidden feature that's just not immediately apparent ... something that would be considered spoilers, basically.
Toady:So a non-violent spoiler? Right now I don't think there's anything, at least nothing that has been found. People have discovered the other little jokes and Easter eggs I've put in; I think everything's been found now, except maybe one thing.
Rainseeker:Ooh, tell us what it is.
Toady:I don't remember ... Has everyone found all of the adventure quitting jokes? Because there are a couple of them, there's the retirement joke and the quitting joke; those are the only ones I wasn't sure if people had found them or not. Because you have to stay in the same place and do nothing for a long time and then try and quit, and it'll tell you a joke. But yeah, as far as Easter eggs ... because I wasn't sure, see the thing I wasn't sure about with the question is like, is it just about other Easter eggs or does it mean, will there be peaceful large creatures or something? Because that's ...
Ampersand:(largely inaudible: When you've talked) about the Hidden Fun Stuff, it's obviously the stuff that's deep underground, and ...
Toady:Well I guess if you mean will I suddenly open up a giant happy gem chamber with the gnomes that say 'come, here is our treasure', I guess that's fair. We haven't done anything yet, but certainly having everything underground not be completely evil is a reasonable suggestion. It's not something we've really done a lot with though; it's still pretty bad down there.
Rainseeker:In some ways it's easier to have everything attack you.
Toady:Yeah, it's like ... what would you put down there that isn't already just good mineral veins and stuff? It would be some kind of buried temple with golden chalices in it or something, and some of those things feel weird to add without having fuller notions of gods and magic and stuff.
Ampersand:There's also stuff like other fortresses that are lost and abandoned.
Toady:The problem with that comes to world generation and the fact it knows where everything is, and if you add lost dwarves they'd be dwarves that were not accounted for in the historical figures with their location. It's not unreasonable because the forgotten beasts are like that - the ones that live underground - but the ... I'm not trying to explain why I don't have the stuff, or I'm not trying to explain why I'm never going to have the stuff, I'm trying to explain why there's a bit of inertia to adding a diversity of things, rather than just adding simple underground diversity. I know people have asked for all kinds of things, there was that giant underground diversity thread and we've only scratched the surface.
Ampersand:Like the giant land turtle, presumably that was ...
Toady:Yeah there was a giant thread wasn't there ... People will probably be disappointed, but there'll be stuff down there anyway.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from ILikePie, and the question is; [11]'what will you be able to do to the exposed guts; can you rip them out, cut them apart, etcetera?'
Toady:Well I have a bloat up there for all the wonderful things you'll be able to with the exposed guts. Strangle other people with them, strangle the victim with them, chop them up and set them on fire; all that kind of thing. Right now you can do a few things with the exposed guts, I believe. The one I haven't tested yet is that I believe if guts have popped out then you can just hack them with your sword as kind of a random attack, just like any other attack. The one I have tested is that if the guts have popped out you can grab them and pinch them. So we haven't fully realised the promised of exposed guts yet, but I'm betting that over time it'll become an intriguing game mechanic, the exposed guts. But right know it's not that interesting, they pop out, but pinching someone's guts doesn't bother them as much as having them have popped out in the first place.
Rainseeker:ILikePie also asks - as kind of a follow up question - he says; 'Do you like pie?'
Toady:It depends on the kind of pie, like with everybody. My favourite pies are ... I like key lime pie, and I sort of like lemon meringue pie. I'm not really into big chunks of fruit and stuff, but yeah, so I like certain pies, it's true.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Neonivek; [12]'So from the first time I heard Toady mention that gods will be wandering around their world, however extrapolated it is, I have been interested to know how far gods will go. Will gods have roles, jobs, [and] goals on their own planes? How will people outside the heavens even know what goes on there? And lastly, how will you represent the timescale gods work at?'
Toady:So, it's not clear right now exactly what's going to happen. Right now the gods are fake, right? Essentially what's going to come in over time, I guess, are more along the lines of just those kind of Greek mythological tinkering and so on; I don't really have ideas about anything like it would be handled in D&D or something, where they just are like power ups or whatever. It should be based on their little personalities and so on, and what little things they want to do. As far as, within their own hierarchy, there's a lot of notions about celestial hierarchies. You can have a king or queen of the gods that orders the other ones around but it depends on what their goals are, like you were saying. So it's like, 'what do you want them to do?' and 'what kind of weird mystical stuff is there that people don't understand?' Unless you can take part in it it's not that important, or it's even hard to define. We were thinking of letting you do that later on, actually letting you assume the role of some kind of deity over the world perhaps, with other gods as well, and at that point [the] kind of things that gods actually have to do as relates to each other and not to the planes themselves become more important. As far as timescale goes, it's hard to say again, mostly because things can work in Dwarf Fortress in a couple of ways. You either work at the timescale moving forward as slow as adventure mode and dwarf mode speed - it can go any speed as long as it's moving forward - or you can pause time. Going backward or anything like that is basically impossible without just scrapping and abstracting or whatever so, if you're talking about weird time-travel type stuff it's basically going to be impossible. But if gods worked at the one- stepping speed from Dwarf Fortress where you can move forward a little bit and then do something, like in dwarf mode you basically have control over time in that way, or if you want to pause time and jump between different places and so on ... certainly anything that's within the power of a god to do should be easy to do. But like I said we haven't quite thought about specifics there, especially the kind of intra-godly politics type stuff you were talking about.
Rainseeker:This is from Broose; 'How often do you play Dwarf Fortress just for fun, if at all?'
Toady:I used to play it a little bit more, especially ... I'm kind of fan of just ... at least back when - I don't know how well you can really choose tasks and run around now - but it was always fun to just attack a cave over and over in adventure mode. I usually only play dwarf mode before I'm testing a release, but when I do that I can get pretty into a fortress for a while, although usually I end up just stopping and fixing bugs and stuff when I see them and so on. So it gets to be a bit of a hassle; it's hard for me to sit down and just play it now. One of our goals for starting this thing was to make a game we could play ourselves, but it's not quite to that point yet; I think when we add a bit more with diplomacy and inter-civilization stuff, or get adventure mode up to the point where it's fun to play, because it's not that fun to play, especially if you consider it from a role-playing perspective, it's just not that fun. Once those are a little more fleshed out, I'll probably find myself playing the game more, but as it stands now I don't play that much outside of testing.
Rainseeker:We can hear Scamps there in the background.
Toady:Yeah, he's been locked out of the room for what, three hours now? The idea was to make it so that he didn't disturb the call, but I guess he's doing his best to get on. If you can hear him, that's him.
Rainseeker:I have one from Hishan, [who] says; [13]'What do you think about the 3D utilities for Dwarf Fortress, like 3Dwarf, Lifevis, or Khazard, and would you ever consider using such a system in the main Dwarf Fortress program?'
Toady:If you want to consider it, the visualiser is such a system. It's garbage, but clearly I don't mind the overall concept of having a 3D representation or something, and I think it's cool that those are there so that people can see their fortresses. I get a little more uncomfortable when it moves over to the territory of 'we're going to have a 3D interface for the game, and write a whole frontend' or whatever; but to the extent that they [are] static visualisation programs, I think they're really cool and I think it's great that people can see their fortresses; and I've really enjoyed a lot of the pictures I've seen. People posting like giant bridges, giant statues, and cathedrals and all kinds of things that they've been working on; I think it's really cool. For me to actually sit down and do something like that; obviously my first attempt was a total failure, so I'm not really eager to get back into myself but I could do it at some point.
Rainseeker:I really do enjoy the one of the huge dam with the dwarf carved into the side of it.
Capntastic:That one's amazing ...
Toady:I don't even know if I saw that one, because I've only seen certain ones and I haven't seen any recently.
Rainseeker:Do one of you guys have that ... oh yeah, this is it here, Tarn; it's the first spoiler one.
Toady:Oh yeah, it's funny I've seen that picture but I didn't even notice the face ... Am I an idiot? There it is, a big green face.
Capntastic:I like how the visualiser has trees and stuff, that are all like ... tree like!
Toady:The slice tool in action ... yeah, just kind of highlights how bad my rivers are. Like there's these lines cutting through the nice forest landscape.
Rainseeker:Okay, I had one more question to ask you Tarn, and ... so [does] Capntastic; Capntastic, go first.
Capntastic:[14]Dear Toady, what does your day look like?
Toady:Well they pretty much all look the same, unless it's the end of the month like this, because this is an unusual day. But I get up, after noon, today I got up at three, I usually get up from one to three sometime, then I'll usually turn my computer on and look at all of the horrible things that have happened with moderator reports and so on; see what's going on on the forums and what kind of things people have done, and reply to emails and so on, that can take a lot of time. Oftentimes I don't even get a chance to program anymore; there's a lot to do up until around seven o'clock, because my brother will usually come over around seven o'clock, and then we'll plan stuff out; talk about the month end project, or talk about Dwarf Fortress, or whatever we're working on, and that can last a couple of hours. Then I usually start ... sometimes I program during the mornings, like if I don't want to do the email and stuff, then I'll start programming seriously starting in the evening after I'm done with my brother, which can be anywhere from nine to midnight, and just work until whenever the devlog goes up: five, six, seven my time. So sometimes I don't even get a full day of programming in anymore, and sometimes I can still manage my big twelve, thirteen hour things. Not a whole [lot] else goes on here so I usually go to the Albertsons that's right next to my house in the morning and get a drink, or a couple of drinks and a sandwich or something. But not a whole lot going on here ...
Rainseeker:Well the main question that I think the whole community wants to know, and this is kind of dovetailing on an argument that's been going on for years about Dwarf Fortress ... [15]How do you pronounce Urist?
Toady:Of course we haven't decided on any phonetic information for the languages yet, which is something that's going to go in; but just in my own mind or whatever, when I saw that question, it kind of polluted it forever ... I don't really know? Do I say Oo-rist, or Yure-ist, or (other - difficult to transcribe - examples)? I think I've used all of them since I saw that question. I'm pretty sure that that question had an answer before I saw it, but I don't even know. In the end I'm not sure what the phonetic information is going to be like. It's just one of those superfluous things, but it's one of those things that's fun to know as well; what the languages actually sound like, and so on. Maybe there'll be regional variations, we can have regional variations in the phonemes between the different dwarven civilizations so that some of them might say Oo-rist, and some of might say O-reest, and some of them might ...
Toady:Yeah, Urst. Or they can do the things where you add 'a's and 'r's and stuff on the end, or cut off the 't' entirely. But I have to disappoint; I don't really have an answer, I don't have an official answer. But if people want to ... you'd probably be able to change the phonemes if I put them in, they'll just be sitting there in a raw file. Although I'd hate to write up the phonetic representations of every word so probably they'll work with the alphabet representations when they're trying to come up with their phonemes. So, you'll have an answer sometime.
Ampersand:You've illustrated very clearly how awesome this game is.
Toady:Nothing but trouble, nothing but trouble coming from me.
Rainseeker:Alright guys I think we're going to close it now; thanks Tarn for all your hard work on Dwarf Fortress, and thank you Ampersand and Capntastic for helping us out here.
Ampersand:No problem.
Rainseeker:I'm Rainseeker, and Tarn would you please serenade us out.
Toady:(singing) Little baby Scamps, he's a little legend. He's a small animal, he has no tail. (singing concludes) There you go, that's all the singing you're going to get out of me. That's right, he's a little cat though.
Capntastic:That was awesome.
Toady:I don't think so, but that's alright. No we sing that song to the cat all the time.
Rainseeker:That's everybody for coming, and for listening to the podcast, and stay tuned next month for more Dwarf Fortressy goodness.
Toady:That's right, that's right.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Hidden track/Super special bonus section?

Toady:Let's watch the ... numbers, (singing) let's watch them go up and up and up ... or not. (singing concludes) Come on! Come on little numbers. 53 (scat singing). Come on now. Come on little numbers! Come on little numbers! Now it's recording the speakers but not the mic this time. Come on mic! Oh mic! (singing)Mikey mic mic mic mikey mic, mic, gonna get my numbers going up above 54 where they're stuck.(singing concludes)
Rainseeker:So basically right then is where I cut it.
Capntastic:Oh okay, so we're not ... are we going to listen to it now?
Toady:Nah nah, it's post ...
Capntastic:See you got me all psyched up, I'm all like, in my listening stance.
Rainseeker:I'm going to ... cleansing music, it'll cleanse your karma, your soul.
Capntastic:What song is it?
Rainseeker:It's a ...
Toady:(Guitar) There, that's kind of cleansing, it's one of those major 9th chords.
Toady:Of course my guitar's out of tune, I haven't tuned it for a while, and I've got my headphones cord [...] is going over the strings and making them all tinny.
Capntastic:Oh, that was actually Toady playing?
Rainseeker:That was him playing, yeah.
Capntastic:Oh, but is that [the] song that's going to be in the ...
Toady:No no, I was just trying to cleanse you because you seemed disappointed.
Capntastic:You're playing with my heart here.
Toady:(un-transcribable noise)
Rainseeker:You need to record that as a sound effect for your game.
Capntastic:He has something like that in Kobald Quest.
Toady:(another, different un-transcribable noise)
Rainseeker:What are the voices for Kobald Quest?
Toady:That's just me, being weird. (second one again, extended) 'There's three more for every one you kill but you gotta start somewhere!' Yeah it's still not recording ... oh bam, there it goes it just dropped two megs into the file. Come on little numbers! Come on little numbers!
Capntastic: You're playing with my heart here.

Rainseeker:Hey guys this is Rainseeker. I'm frankly quite surprised you've made it this far. I really appreciate you listening but man I've got nothing left to give. Just go play Dwarf Fortress or something.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #3, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

1. Animal peoples.
    1a. Are the animal people going to be like animals?
    1b. Aggressive goals of underground animal peoples.
    1c. Do you enjoy it when people lose tragically?
    1d. Dwarven detection skills. (spoilers within)
    1e. Underground titans.
        1e.1. Personal histories.
        1e.2. Habitats.
        1e.3. Population sizes.
        1e.4. Material limits.
    1f. Realism of cave entrances.
2. The underground.
    2a. Aquifers versus the underground.
    2b. What do you think is the most exciting thing about the new underground stuff?
    2c. Will an adventurer be able to go into the underground realms?
    2d. Accessibility of the underground.
    2e. Layers of the underground.
3. What are the specs of your own computer? How well does the game perform?
4. Relations between the underground animal men and the aboveground animal men.
5. How do you see the balance of simulation versus game play playing out in adventure mode?
6. Will the environment a dwarf is raised in affect what they like/dislike?
7. Will creatures aging affect their abilities?
    7a. Longevity of elves.
8. Dwarven stronghold tunnels in fortress mode.
9. How do you motivate yourself to get working?
10. Managing interactions between different religious, family, and guild factions.
11. What board games do you like?

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome to Dwarf Fortress Talk. I'm Rainseeker and this is Capntastic.
Rainseeker:And Toady One.
Rainseeker:Hey. Great intro!
Toady:That's right, I'm on top of it.
Capntastic:Feel the power!
Rainseeker:We are back with you guys, and we enjoyed your comments and questions over the last month. We're going to be doing questions over the second half of the show.[1]First half we're going to be talking about the underground; mysteries of the underground: animal man kingdoms, or to be PC animal people kingdoms.
Toady:They really are the animal peoples, that's true.
Capntastic:It's animal people - smash the patriarchy.
Toady:Yeah, I mean there's hardly any antmen in an antman kingdom. They've got wings too, probably, if they're like regular ants.
Rainseeker:That's a good question; [1a]are your animal people going to be like animals - behave like animals - or are they going to be like they are know, kind of tribal?
Toady:They're going to be even more advanced really, than they were before. There was this 2D level of advancement back in the old versions where you had batmen flying on tame giant bats with blowguns that were made out of cave spider legs that had cave spider venom on little darts and stuff, and then we moved into the 3D version and I lost some of my ties to the underground there and so I had to drop all that. Then they just became these savage, rarely encountered monsters, and it was kind of boring. Now we're going back to having the animal peoples; at least the underground animal peoples like batmen and the snakemen and lizardmen and ratmen and ... is that it? Rats bats snakes and lizards? Olms, that's right olmmen.
Capntastic:I think there are slugmen too.
Toady:Yeah, are slugmen in the savage swamps? There's slugmen, tigermen, leechmen and snailmen outside, and there's going to be more animal peoples outside over time and they're probably going to use slightly different rules that the underground ones. The underground ones just because they're underground are going to be more evil in a sense and at least a little more civilized also with their little weapons and things. The aboveground ones were supposed to be a bit more at harmony with the overall nature and forest spirits and so on. Although this is one of those things that hasn't quite gelled yet. In any case for the underground this time around there's going to be little groups of creatures: they can attack your fortress, you can bump into them in adventure mode with their little crude weapons and they're probably going to be riding various cave critters and so on. So it should hearken back a bit to when the underground was more challenging for that reason, for having to deal with ... I remember back in the 2D version you'd have ratmen pour out of the chasm and snakemen come up out of your wells and stuff; that was a lot more entertaining than digging into the mountain and finding a really packed river that just has a bunch of garbage in it, which is how it works in the current 3D version; it's very tragic. But now that the underground is world-spanning you have edges of the map, and once you've got edges of the map to work with then it isn't a problem that you don't have these infinite bottomless squares that I was able to exploit in the 2D version. In the 3D version you can't exploit them in the same way - in the 2D version if you had a bottomless pit it would have access to floor squares next to it so you could have a ratman just jump out - but in the 3D version you'd have an actual deep pit with some infinite tiles at the bottom and you can't really have a ratman jump out of those because he'd just fall back, and be dead. So now we've got edges of the map for them to walk in on a floor, and once we've got these floors plus access off map suddenly it's a lot easier to make legitimate spawning that doesn't just feel like 'hey, here's a random creature'; which is something that we don't ever do. Right now every creature comes from somewhere; it comes from some edge or comes from some place. If you're suddenly attacked by a monster, even in the current version it means that it made it there, it didn't just pop up; it made it on an actual path from some edge of the map. Even if it's deep inside your fortress it means that you left some hole open for it to get in; it's going to be the same in this one except they're going to have a lot more access points once you break into a cave underground.
Rainseeker:[1b]So once you break into a cave, what is their goal going to be?
Toady:It depends on what you've got. So if we're talking about animal peoples, the animal peoples don't really have much more of a brain than they used to, and they're just bent on causing as much trouble as they can, violently, to your poor critters. I don't have a notion of them coming in there as kind of a raiding party, but it's possible that could happen, like the ratmen, if they're converted into food and item raiders - which would be kind of fitting their personality, although then they'd end up a lot like the kobalds - that's quite possible. Right now it's all about just killing as many dwarves as they can before they sneak back off. But we'll also have the return of gremlins for instance, if nobody remembers the gremlin it's because their profile in 3D shrank down to basically nothing whereas in 2D they were a lot more fun, coming in and - if you don't remember them you should block out your ears for about fifteen seconds - but the gremlin would come in and it would pull levers, jump on pressure plates, release animals from chains and release animals from cages, and it would be hidden, so you wouldn't notice it until it announced that something horrible happened. It's another problem that can sneak in from below that's a lot of fun to deal with.
Rainseeker:Don't monkeys and other primates do that as well? Like use levers and stuff?
Toady:Not in our game, I don't know if they can be trained to do that in labs and things; I'm sure they can. But no monster but the gremlin has the mischievous tag on it; monkeys right now they'll come and steal your stuff from you, they'll steal your food, they'll steal your items and they'll generally harass you and surround your camp, especially in the beginning when they're most troublesome, but the gremlin is particularly set up to case mechanical chaos in your fortress.
Rainseeker:Especially if you have a flood mechanism, boy.
Toady:Yeah, there are important levers, and you used to have to care about that; you used to have to station guards at levers or something like that to prevent trouble, but that just hasn't been the case for more than a year now ... or a couple of years, and that's not good, we need to bring trouble back to the fortress. Because it was always one of my greatest kicks, looking at the forum and someone was like 'It said someone has pulled a lever! Then my whole fortress was flooded!' or whatever; and I enjoy that kind of thing, I enjoy it when that happens, because it's not a bug it's just something horrible that happened.
Rainseeker:[1c]So do you enjoy it when people lose tragically?
Toady:Yeah! It's great fun ...
Capntastic:Yeah, that's the point of the game.
Toady:Yeah, I mean if it's a bug or something, that's another story; that's always miserable, but if there's actual trouble that came about through some series of game mechanics and player mistakes or even a random event; that's good, I like that, and I don't think ... I mean, it's just part of the idea of the game is losing to further the richness of the world; we're only getting started on actually having that matter, but I always want to have that be a centrepiece, so adding more ways for people to die and to have fun losing is going to be a continued theme here, even after this release. I mean I'm going to get right to improved sieges after this and that's going to have ... we talked about those before. It's just the same thing again, right? From within and from without your fortress is going to be squeezed, I mean you can shut it all off in the init if you just want to have a peaceful time making your mega-constructions and so on, but if you want to play something that feels more like an active universe, or an active fantasy world or whatever, where there's a bit of torment and a bit of trouble, then there's going to be plenty, even in this next release, and then continuing on after that even more.
Rainseeker:So we're going to have dwarves now saying 'Ach! You! Stay away from that lever!'?
Toady:Well they usually don't notice before it's too late, but I think that would surprise gremlin, it might pause a few turns.
Rainseeker:[1d]Can you have these gremlins be noticed by dwarves if they have skill high enough?
Toady:Yeah, there's actually a new skill for that. Before spotting a sneaking creature was difficult and you pretty much had to have them in the same square. But now as they're on duty looking out for people more and as they spot people like this they practice their situational awareness which will increase their range and ability to spot little critters. Of course the gremlin is pretty good at sneaking around, so having some passive defences like locked doors and so on protecting the levers [might] help although it's quite possible that the gremlin can pick locks. Oh we have Mr Scamps, [he] came down from his tree to visit. Hopefully he will be peaceful, we're going with the not locking him out method this time so that he doesn't add his meow soundtrack, but that means that he's an ever-present danger lurking in the room.
Capntastic:Jumping up on your levers and such.
Toady:Yeah, jumping up on me and scratching me and so on. He's generally friendly but he likes to scratch from behind when you're sitting in a chair, he likes to go up and just whack you and run away.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:[1e]So Tarn let's talk about some about of those titans that are going to be coming in through the underground.
Capntastic:Forgotten beasts.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:I like your vomit creature.
Toady:The vomit wambler. It's got a round shell! Someone called it an oyster. I personally am of that opinion as well, I don't like oysters that much. The thing about a vomit creature is ... you have to wonder who ate the food that made it but it's kind of a frightening thing. I've expressed reservations about it but as of now it is still a creature in the game. Anything can be composed of vomit, or glass, [or] mud; and it also dips into the raw files and picks out any of your rocks or metals. Right now it leaves out the super metals like adamantine or whatever, just for the sake of not making the creatures impossible. But it's still there.
Rainseeker:So an alligator without its skin on as opposed to a lobster with iron skin; those would be different difficulties basically is what you're saying.
Toady:Right now it doesn't even bother trying to assess the difficulty because it assumes that these megabeasts; they are classed with the megabeasts that come from underground. They're supposed to be the ultimate challenges of the game, so it just tosses them at you. Especially when we start getting to random creatures that aren't individual megabeasts but are supposed to be a whole species of creatures in a population - which is not going in for this time, but it's where we're heading - then we'll have to probably gauge a little bit if they should be a little deeper or if they should be way out in the savage wilderness or something like that, rather than just wandering the plains with a giant steel twenty foot tall monster. That kind of makes the place savage by definition; there shouldn't be a lot of cities there. We're slowly easing our way into this process, but it's yet another thing to make the underground difficult, or more interesting, as it were.
Rainseeker:[1e.1]Are these guys going to have histories and stuff? Like 'this guy was born under a cursed moon in the year four' ...
Toady:They are created at the beginning of world generation, and as we mentioned last time I think, you have the titans aboveground, which are randomly generated, aboveground creatures which are oriented towards a particular region. So right now as it stands in the code if you've got a titan in a neutral region it just makes a new big monster that isn't particularly disgusting - it keeps its skin on and so on, it doesn't strip its skin off and strip its nose off or whatever and do sick things to it - but it's just like a large creature; and then in the evil regions it does more twisted stuff to them; and then in the good regions right now all it does is avoid making it a carrion animal or something, so it's not like the big happy vulture of love, but it avoids carrion animal which is sort of a biased thing but I thought it was okay, and scary venomous animals, and it also gives them a sentence that has no meaning in their description that makes them sound like they're a contemplative or good creature. The last good titan I looked at was a giant shrimp with hair, it had purple hair or maroon hair, and a long swinging trunk - so it was like a shrimp version of Snuffleupagus or something - and it said that it emenated an aura of giving and kindness, so even more like Snuffy.
Capntastic:Ah what a cute ...
Toady:Yeah, so it's just a happy big shrimp that's lovable and lived in a good ocean or something.
Capntastic:Does it kill you on sight or are they neutral yet?
Toady:There is a thing in the note that says that they shouldn't kill you on sight. But right now ...
Capntastic:It generates an aura of kindness and it will snip your head off ...
Toady:But right now it kills you. There's a note to take that out ...
Capntastic:[1e.2]Will they have lairs and habitats, like 'oh, here's a ring of rocks and this is where it makes its nest'?
Toady:Right now they would all just be stuck in caves like regular megabeasts - the ones on the outside - and we of course want to do more with that, especially for the good ones; because just putting Snuffleupagus in a cave is kind of cruel, like some kind of cave mammoth. But right now they're the same as ever, I'm not sure if we'll change that this time or not; it's going to be one of those things where it's time-based and we're out of time. But we're thought about that a little bit, like what kind of homes each of the megabeasts should have. Even [with] the regular stock megabeasts, putting them all in caves is a little weird. Things like giants ... I guess giants live in caves, but maybe they shouldn't live in caves. And those are the above ground ones, I don't even remember what the original point was but I was also going to talk about the underground ones, but they all get ... there's the kind of good/evil/normal titans above ground and all of the ones that live underground ... yeah we were talking about histories. So the ones that live aboveground are treated like regular megabeasts, so if you have an evil or normal titan they will occasionally go on the rampage like they do during regular world generation and so in that way they can build up a history for themselves. There isn't an explanation of why they're there, we haven't gotten to mythologies to so on and whether or not gods exist and when the religions popped up and so on. We do have those religions popping up for the megabeasts but as for the normal pantheons and so on, they don't have any explanation, and the beasts are the same way. Right now the forgotten beasts, the reason we named them forgotten beasts is so that we could not give them histories ... they're forgotten you know? They don't have histories. But they're generated at the beginning of world generation and just sit there, so theoretically they could be given histories as well in the future.
Rainseeker:When you say they sit there, do they generate more of themselves? Or are they just like, you've got a certain number and that's it.
Toady:Yeah it's just like megabeasts, there's a certain number ... Like there's a certain number of titans in the world, there's a certain number of forgotten beasts. There's many more forgotten beasts because you'll clear them out not super fast, but not give them histories ... they're forgotten you know? They don't have histories. But they're generated at the beginning of world generation and just sit there, so theoretically they could be given histories as well in the future.
Rainseeker:[1e.3]When you say they sit there, do they generate more of themselves? Or are they just like, you've got a certain number and that's it.
Toady:Yeah it's just like megabeasts, there's a certain number ... Like there's a certain number of titans in the world, there's a certain number of forgotten beasts. There's many more forgotten beasts because you'll clear them out not super fast, but you'll clear them out fairly quickly as you dig fortresses throughout your world and bump into the layers. There's a forgotten beast per layer right now. That's quite a few layers because the underground is huge so I think a smaller world which is thirty three by thirty three would have a couple dozen forgotten beasts and ... I can give you the exact number in a second ... twenty seven. So there's quite a few, but they don't really have histories, whereas a world that size would only have, say, a single titan in it because there's just not a lot of space for them. And there would also be the standard four megabeasts as well, you have a dragon and that kind of thing. So there're plenty of little critters running around and if you're in the largest worlds there're hundreds and hundreds of forgotten beasts and dozens of titans and then on top of that is the even more Hidden Fun Stuff which I'm not really going to spoil. But the actual Hidden Fun Stuff people talk about - the kind of game ending stuff when you dig down to the bottom - that's all changed as well; there are some random elements down there as well in terms of critters. It should be cool, lots of new little random critters and pain and suffering when you go down below. Stuff you guys deserve.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:[1f]Concerning cave entrances like for the megabeasts - I just know this from adventure mode - when you're sent to go kill a dragon or something you go to the area where the cave is and the entrance is just like a hole in the ground, is that going to be changed eventually/soon? Where it's like it's actually a cave? I mean I'm sure it's going to be eventually ...
Toady:When cliffs come back - when we get a notion of a cliff as an external feature - the problem with cliffs coming back was that you didn't have a way to climb, they were everywhere and you didn't have a way to climb in adventure mode. But cliffs can start to come back first probably as external features, just like the lava and so on, like lava and bottomless pits used to be these features underground, there are going to be special features above ground where you have a bit more interesting things that it also can have a handle on so it doesn't just put them everywhere and at that time you can start to think about a cave entrance that looks more interesting. The problem was that there's no real sheer faces to make a cave entrance look more like you'd expect a cave entrance to look like, so it just has to dig down, right? It has to dig in the dirt until it gets a cave entrance for you, which is really disappointing because you go and they all look like these little pits. So it's something we want to change but it's something that has an intermediate step that needs to go in first and I'm not sure when the aboveground thing ... when we put in things like canyons and mesas and other interesting constructions aboveground.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:[1e.4]So there's no poo creatures either?
Toady:It was a close thing! Because it was literally a decision I had to make, going down this list, because in the Hidden Fun Stuff of course if you get the tentacle demons then you get a layer scattered with various filth on the ground; and there's brown filth and yellow filth and so on and it's not clearly stated but it's a material that I had to put in properties for right? So there's these hard-coded filth materials, and when I was going down the list, you know 'Do I want creatures made out of mud? Do I want creatures made out of vomit? Do I want creatures made out of glass?', there's all these hard-coded materials, and I was just like 'Yeah, yeah, yeah ... No ... No ...' on the filth. But there are creatures made out of the grime, and the grime material is the material that collects on your body slowly over time, and it's also the material that's used in swamp water, so there's this ... I just needed this material called 'grime' for these miscellaneous purposes, it's just crap, just stuff that collects over time and when a creature is made out of that it just says 'composed of grime and filth'. So if you want to call that 'poo' even though it's not it's possible for you to extend your imagination.
Rainseeker:What about an infection? Can you get infection material?
Toady:There's no actual microbes at this time, the grime is the closest you can get to that because as your grime increases on your body - it slowly collects over time, and you can wash it off most of the way with water and the rest of the way if you use soap - and the grime material highly increases your chance of infection; it's just the filth and so on that collects on your body. That's the closest we've got to actually being ... I mean like having a giant blob of bacteria or something that's currently supported although you could have a blob of like slime that could use the slime tissue template, and in the same way you could have generic blobs of muscles or whatever; I don't think I have that but these are possibilities for exploration.
Capntastic:So you could have something made of bone, just describe it as 'something made of bone'.
Toady:Yeah, using the templates, that's right. You can use bone, skin, fat ... a big fat blob with a tail or something. It's always interesting when it puts things like shells on the blob; it's always cute when it's like 'this is a big mass of coal ... and it has a tail!' Sounds very cute having these little ... I mean they're all huge monsters, but they can have little tails, or little wings.
Rainseeker:It's here to avenge the death of thousands and thousands of little pieces of coal.
Toady:That's right, that's right; and the trees and so on that were burned to make them; so it's like a big elf ... big, dirty elf.
Rainseeker:Well elves are dirty too, right? They don't use soap.
Capntastic:Are they magically immune to grime?
Toady:Right now they would just get kind of nasty; they can wash themselves with water to get their grime level from seven to three, but to get down below they'd have to break all of their principles and so on, unless they can find some kind of material that has the soap tags on it that isn't actually made out of an animal.
Rainseeker:Can you use sand, maybe? I mean that's what we used to do.
Toady:You can't do it now, but you're welcome to explore these kinds of things. I don't know much about historical uses of sand like that, all I can see is the animals like elephants dusting themselves and so on; taking baths like that. I don't know much about the mechanics there. Because they seem to always come out dirtier, maybe it's useful for them ... of course it is, but I don't know quite what's going on there.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:Oh god I've got a little baby cat in my lap now. He's wandered over here, he jumped down from the cat tree and wandered over to my lap, he managed to put the mouse on the ground.
Rainseeker:[2a]So, Tarn, what's going to happen with the aquifer layer, with the new underground caves?
Toady:So, the aquifer's still there, much to people's eternal disgust. I haven't quite knocked the geology out of me yet to get rid of the aquifer. But it's just like the regular features in the current version - you've got bottomless pits and so on in the currently released version - and those, at least if things are working correctly, won't interact with the aquifer when you start the map, it puts this dead zone around them so that the aquifer doesn't immediately start pouring into those and mess up your CPU and so on. In the same way if you've got an aquifer running through the soil layers on a map when you start it will be separated from the underground caverns. Now that still means that you'd have a really hard time punching through it and once you punch through it you'd probably start flooding the underground, but the flooding of the underground ... if it lands in some water and so on - and there's quite a bit of water underground - it shouldn't flood the entire cavern. And because there are things like underground lakes and so on ... Flooding the underground's always going to be this lingering or looming threat anyway, aquifer or not. I'm not quite sure how that should be handled in the end, because people definitely want to have water underground, things like lakes and rivers and so on but as you can always channel that down and flood the deeper areas there's sort of a problem with that, in terms of thinking attacking from below and so on. We've thought a bit of it through in terms of the really deep underground stuff being able to work around that a bit, and with the siege improvements we'll probably be working with that a bit more but right now it's still going to be a problem but not really more of a problem than it already was.
Capntastic:[2b]What do you think is the most exciting thing about the new underground stuff?
Toady:For me, I kind of like exploration and things, I like that a lot, and I think just the fact that - especially if you haven't played the game before, but even if you have - when you break into the underground, the fact that it's not like it was before where it suddenly breaks out and reveals the entire area so you'd suddenly see the entire cave when you break into a hidden area. Now that there's this - I guess you'd call it a fog of war thing, it's kind of like that - it's just this area around each dwarf as it walks that's ... it's not really CPU expensive, so it's not giving a perfectly accurate picture ... but it's just when a dwarf gets near to the boundary of the unexplored area it explores a bit more of it for you; but just being able to explore out through the cave like that's pretty exciting for me, especially as we add more and more underground features so you can actually find a new place and it's something that you're bumping into and then the monsters will be able to flow in from places you can't see, through the boundaries of the explored area and so on. I think that's all going to be really cool. I really like the random creatures too, that's another thing that's really a lot of fun for me to work on. But those kind of things I guess.
Rainseeker:I'm trying to come up with a strategy to actually be able to go down and get minerals without being destroyed.
Capntastic:Use magma and traps.
Toady:Traps are still cheap, it's true. There's always going to be these problems, like if you're digging down and you break into a new area, if your first inclination is to go in with wall-building dwarves and just wall it off, that might be safe but it's a problem from an overall design perspective if when you hit the exciting areas the first reaction is just like 'AAARGH!' and just bottling yourself up and so in, instead of a risk vs reward system; there should be reasons to go in there and right now we've got things like mushroom forests and so on which would be easily accessible wood, if you're going to attacked by ...
Toady:That's the kind of thing where we're eventually going to need to bring in some more of this fantasy crap, right like utter crap, like 'here's a big buried underground temple with some ghosts and stuff and it's got golden swords and giant chests' and it's just there. It would be preferable to have reasons for it to be there but there are plenty of reasons you can come up with, right? So it's not like it's breaking the fact that we have this holistic world thing going on if we throw in some crap, as long as the crap has a reason to be there; and it would make it more fun to dig underground. But right now it still has a sort of naturalistic type of feel to it where there's ... it's like new biomes and things; there's not a lot of super-weird - unless you count a blob of vomit with a shell as super weird, which you probably should - there's not a lot of super-weird stuff down there in terms of forgotten civilised stuff. We're not against that by any means, it's just harder to add. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing Mr. Cat? (singing) Mr. Cat likes to chew on the finger, Mr. Cat's got claws and teeth. (end aside)
Rainseeker:[2c]I don't know if this has been answered yet, I've probably asked it and I'm sure other people have asked it; but will an adventurer be able to go into the underground realms and rampage across the underworld?
Toady:Adventure mode gets shafted all the time, right? Adventure mode just gets worse and worse, basically. Adventure mode's basically unplayable now. It was slightly playable in 2D I think; more so than it is now. So we're going to take some time - next month most likely - to rectify that situation somewhat. The idea is that the caves - whereas a cave used to be an annoying place disconnected from everything else that was just like winding tunnels where you try and search for a giant and not find it, that used to be what a cave was ...
Capntastic:And you'd get messages of it crushing your friend's heads ...
Toady:Yeah, it's really bad. While it still will probably be difficult to find individuals, the caves will at least more than likely connect into the underground layers, and when they connect down into the underground layers then that gives your adventurer more to do down there - Aargh! That was the cat, by the way, causing trouble - especially if the new entities associated to the animal peoples are realised with little things. Now we're kind of in between on deciding the properties of the animal people entities in terms of, you know 'Do they rove around with camps? Do they have permanent settlements?' So mostly they'll be attacking you from the edge when you're in dwarf mode; in adventure mode you might find a few more things that we throw in around and about down there. That should add some more for you to do; without the amazing forgotten temples and so on there's not going to be a lot of looting for adventurers to do. But it leaves something to do down there, and also we're going to tie caves into the actual Super Hidden Fun Stuff in terms of allowing an adventurer to go down and encounter troubles that are beyond their ability to handle; with some interesting fun and good times ... and restarting your game after you get wasted.
Rainseeker:So the way I understand it is that you can dig down into a cavern; [2d]how many tiles is it below the initial surface? Is there a set, or is it [a] random number?
Toady:It's a bit randomised; I think it's in general - after you account for the soil layers and so on - below the soil you might have two to five; something like that. So you can pretty much count on, if you want to make a shallow fort, you can count on being able to do that without a lot of difficulty if there's no caves around. Once you dig below that then as the settings are currently set, and what will probably be the default setting, is [that] you'll pretty much always hit something after that. You'll have room to build your fort but you'll have to explore the caves around it a little bit to see which directions you might have to turn and so on. Whereas if you're more of an architect type of player that doesn't really want to deal with that crap messing up your perfect designs and so on, I know a lot of people are like that; there will be at least generation parameters available to - not necessarily, I mean you can shut it off entirely if you want, if you just want to have nothing down there and just dig around and so on that's fine - or you can just dial it back a bit so there's not huge huge open caverns everywhere and so on. I think it's good for the default settings to have a lot of encounters with the underground because it just makes the game more lively, and I think lively default settings are good.
Rainseeker:[2e]And are there multiple layers of undergrounds?
Toady:Right now it's set so that you've always got three; you've got a couple [of] regular layers and then you've got down at the bottom you can pretty much be assured to find some magma and stuff down there. You don't have to fish around for the perfect magma map in general, or always start out next to a volcano. The benefit of starting out next to a volcano would be immediate access to magma, instead of magma that you have to ward off three layers worth of underground creatures to set up a single workshop.
Rainseeker:That's awesome, though.
Toady:Yeah there should be cool stuff down there, and even more of course as you get down at the very bottom.
Rainseeker:I wouldn't mind - I'm kind of a conservative player myself - but I wouldn't mind dealing with first levels of critters attacking me if it progressed like the top being easier then the middle being a little harder and the bottom being the hardest.
Toady:Yeah there's going to be some progression, which is a concept we lost almost entirely in the move from 2 to 3D. It'll be coming back, a notion of progression. It shouldn't be entirely artificial because there are some in-universe reasons for going down to [the] bad, which people are more or less aware of right? [That] there's bad things down there? And that that has a corrupting influence on your animal peoples and so on. So you'll find worse things down ... So you can kind of control your level of threat; it's not going to quite as stark as it was in 2D where you knew that you had; 'this vertical strip, I can dig out my fortress; this vertical strip has the river; this vertical strip, I can dig out my fortress; this vertical strip has the chasm; this vertical strip, I can dig out my fortress; this vertical strip has the lava' and so on. It's not quite that straightforward but there is a feeling of ... you'll kind of get a feel for the places where you can dig out your fortress I think. You'll have a notion of that; it'll occasionally be interrupted but mostly okay. Which is probably how it should be, you should kind of be able to spread out how you want, but occasionally have little hiccups in your plan. The overall variability of the features right now is basically 'How mushroom jungle-y is it? How wet is it?' and I'm going to be throwing in some more features like stalactite-y [and] stalagmite-y curtain-y type things down there to make the caves seem a little more cave like. Overall I think the proponents of the underground diversity thread where they went crazy with all kinds of different things that you might expect in a fantasy underground ... overall it's not going to be a very heavy coverage of that, there's just not enough time to do that yet but we're going to be slowly adding more and more things over time; it's not like this is the end of the story by any means.
Rainseeker:Okay so let's take a break, we'll play some cleansing music here and we will come back with some questions from the forums. Mwahahaha ...
Unattrib.:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Welcome back to Dwarf [Fortress] Talk. We're going to answer some of the community's most burning questions. First up, Darkerson [3]'What are the specs of your own computer (Operating system, RAM, CPU etcetera) and how well does the game perform for yourself?
Toady:Eh it performs alright. I'm on a quad-core - I don't remember if it's like 3 [Gigahertz] or something - I got it recently, it was $400. It's pretty good, it's got one of those ... what are the crappy video cards called? What is it when you're ... you've got a ...
Toady:Integrated. I have an integrated video card so it's not ... Actually that seems to be a good thing because I'm not running into the problems that people have when they have good video cards and the game suddenly slows down to ten frames per second because the OpenGL is outmoded. So I don't need to use the 40d16 or whatever number we're up to releases to get the full frame rate ... so I managed luckily to get a computer that actually runs Dwarf Fortress pretty well. When you get up to a lot of dwarves of course I have the same speed problems that other people do when you have two hundred dwarves running around and so on. Which is good because that means that I have a chance of speeding those up and seeing that it's happening and so on, the same way as everyone else does. But it's alright, I don't have a totally crummy computer anyway, it works.
Rainseeker:Fieari asks: [4]'You've previously stated that all the animal men have at the very least friendly diplomatic relations with each other, if not actually being the same nation. What is the relation of the underground animal men to the aboveground animal men?'
Toady:We're still working some of the political considerations of the animal peoples out. We always ... Zach and I are always: 'let's talk about this more' and then we fail to talk about it that day but right now the idea is that the underground animal peoples, being that they're [...] closer to the bad things that are down there, are a bit twisted and don't relate well with the aboveground animal people, and they're basically hostile. The aboveground animal people have that kind of tense relationship with the elves and they work well with each other to some extent although we've had this back and forth when we're discussing the stories about ... The key question here - what almost all of it comes down to is - does a tigerman eat a deerman? I think the latest answer to that question was that 'Yeah, yeah a tigerman probably eats a deerman' except in the situation where you have the elves working as a glue between the animal peoples in areas with forest spirits and so on, there might be less predation going on with the actual animal peoples. But left to their own devices they'll act more or less like the animals that they are humanoid versions of, except they're more intelligent. Down below, as I think we mentioned before, they're going to be more civilised in a sense, but they're also all at war with each other and with your guys. I mean war in the sense of just mindless violence right now.
Rainseeker:So if you see two different groups coming on the screen at the same time, they're going to be fighting each other?
Toady:It's quite possible, it's quite possible that that'll happen. I have yet to finalise the group variables for them, but this would be the idea, yeah.
Capntastic:Granite26 wants to know; [5]'How do you see the balance of simulation versus game play playing out in adventure mode? Specifically, what sorts of 'cheats' to make things more interesting are there going to be?' If you remember there was a thread and he suggested that the game should make events happen to fit the player a bit more, like if you're a warrior then you go into a town and suddenly a bandit will rob someone so you get hooked into the plot that way ...
Toady:Overall my gut instinct is to avoid any kind of plot aspect like that where a plot is generated then somehow based on your character, but your character should also be able to integrate in the world and then they should be able to react to who you are. That's not something that ... if that sounds difficult or pie in the sky it's really not; just if you've affiliated yourself with certain groups or you've killed certain people on the road, they should respond to you in that way. Whatever the groups are going to be doing ... with the improved sieges coming up we're going to have to start working on AI for individual leaders and so on, and whatever they do on behalf of their groups or for themselves, those are the kind of actions that you'd be getting tied into, and that is a plot. I don't think simulation and game play are separate aspects; whatever game play is I'm not really sure. As far as artificially creating something, it shouldn't be necessary when things are working well, once we have the entities as actors. Hopefully, that's the idea, we're putting everything on that idea right now, if it's a failure, we'll have to adjust. But right now I feel pretty good about where it's going to end up, even though adventure mode is admittedly not fun to play right now. I think we have to give that a chance before I think about scripting strange encounters and things like that just for game play purposes or whatever. Now at the same time there's the notion of your starting situation, and the starting situation is ... it's difficult to simulate that depending on how the timeline works and so on, so there might be ... certainly at first, that might be a bit more canned. Right now it's just like 'you're in the town' or whatever, there's no history for your character at all, and if we change that it's going to be difficult to simulate, so it'll probably be a bit hacked up, even if it's just like 'you're starting because you've been tossed in a cave and sacrificed'. If it's something like that, that's fine with me, as long as it doesn't randomly happen later then I still feel good about what we've got. That's the idea, anyway.
Rainseeker:I have a question from guyinthecrowd: [6]'Will the environment a dwarf is raised in affect what they like/dislike? For example, if a dwarf is unhappy as a child being raised in a fortress made entirely out of mined Orthoclase, will said dwarf dislike Orthoclase as an adult? Or as a counter-example, if a dwarf is happy whilst being raised in a room of Kaolinite, will said dwarf like Kaolinite when they become an adult?'
Toady:That's kind of a specific example, and I guess that's what it comes down to though. We've had discussions in the past about how the babies pop out right now with fully formed personalities and likes and dislikes and so on, and how that's silly. So then you've got to answer some nature versus nurture questions yourself and then decide what is it that influences these things? I haven't thought about that deeply what's going in the game and what's not for that, it's just recognized as one of those third-tier problems that eventually needs to be dealt with in terms of future development. So I don't have specific opinions on the things put there, but certainly children should acknowledge their parents' professions and if they're given toys as a child that should be able to influence them and so on. It's not difficult to do any specific example of that, especially if you add things like kids playing with toys which obviously has to happen sometime - we have these toys that no-one ever uses; right now they're just trade goods which is kind of silly, the same thing for musical instruments - and once they can use those things then adding a specific influence there is something that's pretty trivial. You just need to have enough of those things that the process seems natural. Like I said it's not a high priority thing, but it's something we'd like to do, vaguely along those lines.
Capntastic:Aqizzar asks: [7]'Considering other changes in the ways bodies work, will creatures age and will that affect their abilities?'
Toady:Creatures age now in a few ways. They age numerically and then they die of old age if they in fact have an old age parameter, and the first thing we've done that isn't just a number - or a single number representative of their age, anyway - is wrinkles, hair greying, and stuff like that. As for actual, say your attributes fading and eventually accumulating illnesses and so on, I think that stuff should definitely go in the game. I think that adds a lot of - aside from just being a simulation, when you look at the storylines of a bunch of fantasies and myths and so on, having an infirm character or a character suffering some kind of disability or so on as they get older - it can add a lot to a story. So I think that kind of thing, just putting it in the game would lead to a lot of positive aspects in terms of storytelling and so on, so I'm definitely all for that. It's just a matter of doing it, I don't think it's that difficult to do. When we get to things like diseases and so on we have fair game for even getting rid of ... Right now there's just this silly 'you die at this time', it's like every character, say the dwarf - I don't remember what the numbers are anymore - but for a human I think it's from sixty to one [hundred] twenty in the game, so it just picks a number right at the beginning of the game when the creature is created, it says 'you're going to live to be eighty seven years old' and it looks at another creature and is like 'you're going to be sixty three when you die' and so you've got this death clock hanging over each of the characters, and it would be the ideal situation I think is to just rather use our overall health variables, and maybe their previous injuries and all that kind of thing - whatever factors figure in to diseases - and use that to come up with a more realistic aging system to that they ... In a sense it's going to be kind of depressing if you have a fortress that runs for a long time and you can see these diseases accumulating and so on, but I think it would be a good change overall and we're definitely going to do that sometime.
Rainseeker:[7a]How old do elves live right now?
Toady:Right now they are immortal. 'e'mmortal? 'Im' 'Im' ... 'e' ... 'e'mmortal. I don't know how to pronounce stuff.
Rainseeker:Does that mean that we're going to have tons of populations of elves?
Toady:Well that's kind of what happens. People talk about the elf zerg rush; they do become populated. It's a question you have to answer anytime you ... People - including ourselves - flippantly include immortal races in their fantasy settings and a lot of questions go unanswered; like 'How often do they breed?' 'What does it mean when you have someone working really hard at learning a skill for a thousand years?' Those quests generally just get ignored, and there's nothing that special about immortal races. Or they answer those questions but only in really specific ways for specific parts of the story or whatever. But with a larger simulation then all of the side effects also kind of rear their heads, like we've got these giant elven armies making the forests not safe to be near. So right now just the fact that the elves don't expand outside of their forests is the thing that saves you from having a world full of elves. Goblins are the same way, goblins are also immortal. We're going to keep them that way, though, and we're just going to try and make the necessary adjustments; they'll either be cultural adjustments or physiological adjustments so that the immortality can stay. [...] We want to have immortal races because it raises a lot of interesting questions and plot points and so on; it's good to have them in there I think. Right now they haven't been answered to satisfaction because the elves are breeding machines, they're just kind of locked in their forests. The forests are very dangerous to get near if you've seen those world generation battles where it's like four thousand versus one hundred, as the elves have just been stocking up. There are artificial caps right now on populations, that's just supposed to simulate food or something but it's not wholly satisfactory, especially when we get to the pre-caravan arc resources stuff where it's actually tracking more closely how much food there is and so on; the problems are only going to escalate I think. Although it could just end up self-correcting as well, which would be nice.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Okay, XSI asks: [8]'Dwarven strongholds seem to have tunnels between them, would it be possible to eventually make one of those in fortress mode; probably useful to get migrants and dwarf caravans while being sieged?'
Toady:I think there's a dev item on that, I don't know if it was called 'deep outposts' or something like that, and I think it originally sprang forth from a suggestion someone posted so there's probably a few posts on it as well. We're definitely for that; the issues that arise are the same issues that always arise when you have off-site sites. How do you connect it up? How does digging commence off map? And the same thing would go to like building an aboveground wall, or aboveground roads and that kind of thing; how do you build that site when your view is restricted to a single fortress? But I think those questions are just a matter of making a good decision about it; I don't think that they're super hard and we're definitely planning to do that, especially because those tunnels are there. The fact that the tunnels are there is one of those things that kind of demands satisfaction in terms of actually being able to do it yourself or getting rid of them. So it's just a matter of ... Right now you can't designate digging on the edge of your map, and if you can designate 'I want to dig there, I want to dig a tunnel' then that's got to be some kind of special requirement or you have to have say five or six miners leave the map and do that digging for you and it's going to tie into a number of things. It's going to tie into having little - like when you become a capital - having outposts outside of your map and sending armies off the map, having those larger populations that we talked about last time; all of it ties in again to that kind of thing so I imagine those questions will start to be answered around that time.
Capntastic:Flaming Dorf and PMantix ask: [9]'How do you motivate yourself to get working?'
Toady:I like what I'm doing so it's mostly just something that I want to do, but sometimes when I'm tired or so on ... coffee, now. I didn't used to be on caffeine, I'm trying to get off it again, but yeah ... drinking coffee, and [eating] sugary foods and so on. It's not a matter of ... I always want to work on the game, it's always something I want to do, but just if I'm in a physically bad state I further mess up my body for short term gain to drive myself on a little bit harder. But just having a project that you really want to work on is enough motivation; if you have something that you really want to do then, at least for me, getting up and working on it for a long time is something that's kind of a joy. I like the fact that I get to work on it now and, mostly it's just intermittent grumpiness and so on, and distractions like forum stuff or certain emails; that kind of thing that pull[s] me away from it. But otherwise it's kind of my default activity, is to be working on the game now.
Rainseeker:Cool. I have a question from Zantan, he says: [10]'In the first talk you mentioned that sometime soon the interactions between different religious, family, and guild factions would become important to game play. Could you give more specifics on the game effects of these interactions and how you would be able to affect them, other than managing room quality and changing the happiness of various people?'
Toady:If we're talking about - just for specific examples - say in dwarf mode you have - because it would apply to all of the modes, but if you're talking about a fortress here - and you have say, a miner's guild and a couple competing religions and a few other things you could imagine I guess that tie into that - your family groups and so on - then in terms of management right now the powers you have are the official powers of your dwarf site. So right now I think the mayor makes decisions when he meets with people - or at least it was this way in the 2D version - when people are meeting with him, it might happen still to some extent. For instance he'd get a bunch of requests from the miner's guild to go ahead and add more mining jobs and he might mandate something; mandate a certain number of jobs be completed, or change the wages, that kind of thing. Those sorts of actions, because they do have a really official air about them, putting more of those actions in the control of the player I think just kind of ... I mean it's sort of a legislative matter but it's also taking requests from those groups. What do they want and what are they fighting about? If it's something that's related to the economy like with guilds I think it's a lot more manageable. If you have two religions competing with each other then digging out the temples and things they request would make them happy, keeping those things roughly the same size, [and] proportional to the populations and so on might be what's required there. I don't think it would descend into total randomness and misery except in those ... I guess sometimes it always does, but it should be manageable. So what you're going to need is more control through the official actions of the nobles of the site - nobles/appointments/elected officials, whatever you want to call them; nobles is the shorthand because they used to all be nobles - I think that's going to be the main method of player control over the situation, and as well as just being able to read their requests and see what kind of strife is going on; there should be more feedback if you've got something that's really messing with you like that. But other than that I think when certain conflicts break out in the fortress then ... It's almost like one of those prison games where you have to put them on lockdown or something; I'm not quite sure how you'd deal with an actual something that erupted if it's a little too late, if you just have to keep them in different burrows or something. It reminds me of those things where you have to keep the prison gangs in different cell blocks or whatever ... different parts of the main yard. I wonder ... it's not something that's fully thought out obviously, it should be interesting.
Rainseeker:[11]What board games do you like?
Toady:What board games do I like? I haven't played a board game for a long time pretty much, except for chess and go I guess. I stopped playing a couple of years ago, and before that it was just stuff [I] played as a kid. I remember someone asked me about German board games a couple of months ago and I've seen a German board game played - I think at our get together ... were they playing one of those? Like Settlers [of Catan] or something? - but I've never played one, so not a whole lot of experience there, especially with the new stuff that really seems to be taking off.
Rainseeker:Well thank you Tarn for joining us and for programming Dwarf Fortress, we all appreciate it, and hey everybody! While you are listening and if you could, why don't you throw a couple of dollars in the tip jar over on his site there.
Capntastic:Do it, it'll make you feel good.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:Give him all of your money!
Rainseeker:Or at least a couple of bucks, you know, enough to buy a latte or something.
Toady:That's right, we'll feed the cat. The cat needs a lot, he's a growing kitty.
Rainseeker:So everybody that's for joining us on our third podcast on Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is Rainseeker and I've been joined by Capntastic and Tarn Adams, and Tarn has agreed to read the credits, but Tarn you have to read the credits ... while talking to your cat.
Toady:Alright ... Mr. Scamps, where'd you go? See if he leaves ... no there he is! He's up on the tree. It's hard to find him now, he's always ... the tree is about as tall as I am, so he's way up there. Alright Mr. Scamps. So Mr. Scamps this time this time the music, as usual, was brought to us by the lovely and talented Ollieh ... someone will have to tell me how to pronounce that ... and the transcript will be transcribed by the talented and hardworking mallocks, and of course this is Scamps. Is he sleeping? He's not even listening. (sighs) I try really hard to teach this animal to do the right thing, but he never pays attention. Constant violence! And I think it might be time for Ritalin. Scamps. Scamps! No he's not even paying attention. (whistles, clicks tongue) Mr.!
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Rainseeker:I just know someone on the forum's going to take that seriously. The Ritalin thing.
Toady:I'm not going to drug my cat! Well ... no, we drugged him when he got de-nad-ified, we gave him oral pain medicine, so I guess I have a history ...
Rainseeker:Was there any feedback about that?
Toady:No one seemed to think it was a negative thing, the de-nad-ification. Of course people were like 'are you getting your cat declawed?', I'm like 'no, I'm not getting my cat declawed.' So, he still has his claws, I can tell.
Rainseeker:Oooh yeah.
Toady:There's much violence going on in this house, I got wounds on my hands and so on. But no, people don't mind the ... there wasn't negative feedback as far as the de-nad-ification goes, even though it was a kind of selfish procedure on my part because I didn't want him spraying all over the house and starting fights with me and trying to roam outside and so on when he's trapped inside here, he's an indoor cat.

(dramatic pause)

Toady:(sings) Duh-d-d-duh-duh!
Capntastic:What? Who said that?
Toady:(sings) Me-me-me-me-me! Me-me-d-d-duh!
Toady:I'm here! Who else is here?
Capntastic:Am I here?
Toady:Captain Tastic ... Captain ... Capntastic is here.
Rainseeker:I just want to warn you guys I will be stepping up soon to put some spaghetti in my pot.
Toady:As long as its not your pocket, yeah.
Capntastic:Yeah I thought you were going to say pocket too. I envisioned the whole standing up and it's like 'oh I'm going to put spaghetti in my pockets'
Toady:Like, 'let me warn you guys, I'm about to lose my damn mind'
Rainseeker:Then following with root beer in my eardrum.

(Sfx vox: wind)

Rainseeker:That's the wind going through the ...
Toady:Unfortunately there's no such real thing as dead air on a podcast, but.
Rainseeker:This will be gone in a flash.
Toady:That reminds me of sound effects from the Dragslay game when we had sound effects when you were running through the entire battle. It would be text like from adventure mode except it'd just kind of scroll up the screen when you're fighting because there's no spatial component and so it just had the text scroll up the screen [and] you'd just press enter while you're fighting and whenever you hit something with like a sword and chopped a limb off it was like (sfx vox: whoosh, splat [rough transliteration])

(Sfx vox: tactical nuke, impact and detonation)

Capntastic:Tactical nukes.
Toady:That's right. There's always little things going on, especially when you have seven thousand animals in your house. I've only got one and he's majorly messed up one of the recordings already so I can only imagine what having a bunch of parrots and rats and things running around your house ...

(dramatic pause)

Toady:(to Scamps) What are you doing Mr.? Mr. Cat. Mr. Cat has no tail, Mr. Cat's got little ears. What you doing Mr. Cat? (sfx vox: trumpet) (end aside) Alright, I'll try and keep the interruptions to a minimum.
Rainseeker:That's going in, at the end.
Toady:I might have to sing to the cat occasionally, you never know. He's just sitting here, inviting song!

Dwarf Fortress Talk #4, with Rainseeker and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome to our next podcast. I'm Rainseeker and this is Toady One.
Toady:Hello, this is Dwarf Fortress Talk.
Rainseeker:Number four!
Toady:Number four, that's right. Four is longer than just an accident, right?
Rainseeker:That's right.
Toady:So we're there; we've arrived. We're no longer a trilogy, we're a show.
Rainseeker:That's right, we are a show, officially!
Toady:I guess we're still a miniseries but we're going to take the world by storm.
Rainseeker:I'm going to be very happy if we get past twelve.
Toady:Yeah, that requires quite a bit of life stability and stuff, when you've got a monthly show that goes up to twelve, that's like a whole year.
Rainseeker:It does. And guys unfortunately we are minus one host tonight.
Toady:That's right, Mr. Capn ... Capntastic.
Rainseeker:Occasionally Capntastic is called out for duty. He is a superhero you see, and he had to fight Dr. Doom and Venom at the same time.
Toady:Yeah. Usually he's fighting one when we're on the show but two? Two is way too many.
Rainseeker:He couldn't do it. Usually you can kind of hear punching noises in the background but ...
Toady:It's either him fighting the super[villain] or me fighting the cat.
Rainseeker:Right, right. So he's going to have to be at work doing things tonight. He was called away unexpectedly at the last moment and rescheduling was out of the question, so ...
Toady:Well you can't really expect a supervillain attack, you know.
Rainseeker:Yeah, I know, it's really hard to anticipate those.
Toady:So here we are. Hopefully we won't get too in ... what would that be called when you get wrapped up in your own little universe and you don't have the staying hand of Capntastic to ...
Rainseeker:Um ... inbred?
Toady:Inbred ... Well that's one way of saying it! I'm sure there's a better word, but ... so it's already getting there.
Rainseeker:I know, I am a little concerned for our safety.
Toady:We're totally going to stave off degeneracy though; we're going to be able to fight degeneracy for at least another ten minutes before it gets horrible.
Rainseeker:I don't know, I'm already feeling that two minute itch right now. I don't know what that means, but ...
Toady:It looks like our third ... that'd be our fourth host I guess ... the little cat, he's not in the room right now, which means he's probably staring at me from someplace where I can't see him; ready to attack. But for now we have peace!
Rainseeker:So as you guys know our topic today is world generation and history generation. What I'd like to talk about first Tarn is; what exactly happens when you hit that button that says 'Generate World'?
Toady:It goes through several steps which it lists out as you go; at least up to a certain point. First it just needs a world to play with at all so you need to know ... it loads up your parameters and it allocates a certain amount of space for your world; did you want a large one? Did you want a small one? Then it needs to come up with ... just basic passes on elevation and the rainfall, temperature, that kind of thing. So it'll lay down an elevation field, lay down a temperature field, and adjust the temperature field based on whether it wants a north or a south pole because right now it only has one or the other; and then adjust the temperatures based on elevations, drop some rainfall and other things. Just the basic building blocks there. Then it'll move on to further stages; smoothing out those values sometimes, adding things like rivers - we'll start carving them, because once it knows the elevation and where the oceans are then it can start placing rivers - it goes through several phases getting rivers to eventually look decent, and then it fills up some lakes where it thinks they should be. After that it looks at the rainfall, [the] temperature, the drainage level it came up with and the elevation and decides where the different biomes are and will actually locate regions and name them; like 'this is this forest, this is this, this is that'. Then it looks at your raws and populates those with creatures. At that point it's got a world with no intelligent creatures in it - at least no intelligent creatures that can form civilizations - and says 'we've got a place now where we can actually start these civilizations up where they have enough things to play with'. [It needs] to know for instance what rocks are in an area before [it knows] what type of dwarven civilization's going to pop up there, so it's kind of a geographical determinism thing; you need the geography first. It's at that point that the civilizations begin, and I think it lays out caves at that point - where are the megabeasts, and dragons and titans and so on - and then it seeds the different civilizations everywhere. There's no creation stories yet or anything like that, so there isn't a lot of consistency right now, so there's more uniformity right now. It's like 'pick a bunch of spots that are kind of good for say a goblin or a human and then pop twenty of them down and then just let them breed and build cities and spread at that point'. There are a few other things that come up during that process that I'm sure we'll get to, but that's the ... once a certain number of years run by, again according to the parameters, it stops the process and you've got a world sitting there.
Rainseeker:Very good. So as far as races are concerned, everyone doesn't come from two people.
Toady:That's how it works right now. We wanted a little bit of ... at first it was just because we didn't want a lot of inbreeding because if everyone comes from two people then the first step is fine, but then the second step you're like 'well ...'.
Rainseeker:Well that's okay, I mean you have to right? For the first like, what, ten generations, or maybe just three generations?
Toady:People would have to do things with their brothers and sisters. And so to avoid that we've got ten pairs, and ten pairs is enough so that ... the game avoids certain inbreeding; you should never have brothers with brothers - I'm sorry, that's not even going to lead to a long line - I meant brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters. It should avoid those, it should avoid parents and children, but I think certain things ... the farther out on the graph you search the longer it takes to find things ... but I haven't really made my best effort there, because I think uncles and aunts are still okay, and cousins it doesn't check for. Cousins, they have a lot more historical basis, so they're actually fine, essentially, but aunts and uncles I don't think have quite as much ...
Rainseeker:So a niece could marry an uncle?
Toady:This is the current setup, yeah. So you don't really need ten pairs, you just need, what, two or something. But in any case I'm even more happy with the ten pairs now because another thing that you've got in the coming version is the genetics for things like hair and eye colour and so on; and so if you started with two people you don't have a lot of variability. If you start with ten pairs and twenty people you're going to have a pretty good selection of the available appearances and there's no mutation right now so you are just going to be losing variation over time; but you'll have enough after however many generations it runs now - I guess if you have a thousand years it could run a little under a hundred generations or something - and that's quite a bit of time but it's probably not enough to wipe out all of the hair colours but one, say. So you should have a good variability in appearance at the end of generation. Now there's things that might be fun to toy with later like if you know that you're going to have two dwarven civilizations then maybe give all of them darker hair in one and all of them lighter hair in another or something; just so you can have these different subgroups that pop up for that reason. There's always things that come out of that kind of thing, just ...
Rainseeker:That's actual racial differences.
Toady:Yeah. [It's] kind of arguable whether you'd want it to be that way or not, but certainly when you're wandering around looking at people, being able to tell where they're from by their hair or something is a cool thing to be able to tell. So it's cool to have ten - I'm glad I have ten pairs now - especially since I did the appearance bit.
Rainseeker:Now how many different ... are you creating unique eye colours [for] the human race, or skin tones? I assume that goblins are going to be green, but ...
Toady:Everyone's got their own thing right now. The humans - I went through my list of colours and I picked everything that I thought was reasonable - so there's no green humans but just the wide variety from pale whites to darker browns and everything in between and ranging out a little bit into different ... not specifically olive because I think when people say someone has olive coloured skin ... olive is really green. But it just means it's not just a line from peach to brown but there's a bit of variation in there. So I picked anything that kind of works and I'm sure people will have suggestions for colours that are missing and so on. I wouldn't mind if my colour library - I think it's got like a hundred colours now - I wouldn't mind having you know two thousand colours in there; they really don't take a lot of memory and I think it's good to use your words [and] have all kinds of different colours.
Rainseeker:What about eye colours?
Toady:For eye colours I did the same thing for humans. For humans I just went and picked the different eyes that I've seen and different eyes that I can think people have. It's really a wide variety and I probably cut a few too many out. With the dwarves I just decided to be silly there and I just left all of the colour names that came from minerals, so like emerald coloured eyes or copper coloured eyes or bronze coloured eyes ... amethyst coloured eyes. I just wanted to give it a little bit of flavour that way.
Rainseeker:So you could have ruby eyes?
Toady:Yeah, I think so, I think you could have sinister ruby eyes ... if ruby is a colour. That's the thing where there's going to be some weird holes because I don't remember if my colour list has ruby or not, I'm pretty sure it had emerald but I don't remember if it has ruby or not. But if it just said red then I didn't keep it, because you don't want to read that description, it's like 'the dwarf has red eyes'; but 'the dwarf has ruby eyes' would be fine. So that's how I thought of it. I believe hair and skin for humans and dwarves is the same set of colours. Most depictions I've seen of dwarves they're light skinned but that's just true of fantasy in general - fantasy meaning European fantasy or whatever, obviously non-European fantasy is not going to have everybody with lightly white skin - so I just decided to let all the skin colours fly for those two races and I think elves as well. But with the elf hair I think the elf hair is all kind of silveries and blondes and stuff regardless of the skin colour, although I should go check; you can always just pull things up and check, let's go call up an elf right now. Whoops! Instead of typing the word 'elf' into the file maybe I should search for it. Okay, so, body appearance, we're down below here, what have we got? It looks like every colour for skins and the eye colours are not set yet.
Rainseeker:I want to see an elf with violet eyes.
Toady:Yeah right now I think they're just copies of the human but there's this note here that says 'need elf eye colours' so I'm sure I'll get to that. And then the hair ... (singing) hair hairity hair hair hair, where's your hair colours ... huh, where'd they go? Where where where oh where is my hair, my hair's gone away (end singing) ... I'll have to look at the dwarf to see where I hide hair colour because it looks like right now the elves ... I'm going to look up the word 'brown' how about that. Brown ... It looks like for hair colours there's just a general ... No, no, gold and silver - here they are, they're just hard to find - gold and silver for the elves right now ... I believe that's the case; is that an elf? I'm kind of wandering around these giant ... the text files have gotten so large now that just popping up a piece of information isn't something that's an immediate thing. Right now hair colours for dwarves and humans still need to be fleshed out as well; right now I think they're just black and brown but that's going to increase. But I did their eyes and skin and the elf seems to be done except for the eyes, so there's just these things. I'm sure there are notes lying around saying 'please come up with this', so we got a vote for violet elf eyes.
Rainseeker:There you go!
Toady:Violet elf eyes, yes sir.
Rainseeker:Okay so let's move on and talk about the stories that get generated by these people. Is the plan to give them all different life plans and motivations or are they just going to all have pretty much the same goals?
Toady:So right now we have this personality model, so when you're in world generation whenever someone rises to a level where they hold some kind of responsibility - so it doesn't do this for the fisherdwarves at first because it can't run it for ten thousand people - but whenever someone rises to a position of authority it then generates more information about their personalities. Right now that does very little, it just decides when they'll go to war or something like that, but that's really because that's all they can do right now in world generation. But the idea is to take that model and also to come up with a few things - like right now the dwarves have preferences, like they like plump helmets - to flesh out a character you don't just need personality and preferences and things like that that are just describing a static sort of state of their head - I'm losing my words for how to describe that - but you want something that's more dynamic about their future, like what do they want out of life. Knowing your personality and preferences doesn't really answer that question, because that [answer] isn't something that came really out of a personality profile but also out of experiences and so on. So there's more of a history required to get to a point where that gives a coherent answer, but at first we're not going to need a coherent answer, we're just going to need an answer [to] 'what do you want out of life?' So if someone's ambitious and wants to control the situations they're in or maybe get to the point where they want to control the world, that's obviously an easy thing for leadership to throw in goals like that. Or maybe they just like to collect things, or maybe they want peace and harmony in life, or they just want to have a family. So certain things are going to lead to certain ... Do they want more stability? Do they want to acquire resources? Do they want to protect their town that they grew up in? For instance if a leader really has a love for the town they grew up in then if they become the leader of the entire civilization then what that should do is tweak numbers in their decisions making processes so that that town receives more protection or favour for instance. There are a bunch of different examples for that and you don't need to hit them all; you just need to throw enough in that it's interesting enough. Eventually the whole thing needs to arise at a point where you have different leaders and different people under the leaders: they all want things, but there has to be conflict in those wants, not just between two people but within a person as well; their responsibilities might conflict with the things that they want. Then you need to be able to resolve those conflicts. Now at first it's all just numbers, like how it adds up the numbers for the thoughts to produce a single happiness number for a dwarf right now, so if it's adding up all those numbers - which it currently does right now when they're deciding to go to war or not - all it needs to do to really lend conflict to the story I think is just tell you what's going on when that stuff happens. So if they're weighing the safety of their family versus whether or not to pull an army out of their home time to a more strategic location on the front or something like that, when they weigh that choice and it's just 'plus twenty here, minus thirty here; go do it'; what really happened there story wise needs to be shown somewhere. This should be an agonising decision sometimes and if it just tells you about that then it's going to make those characters jump off the page a lot more than they currently do I think.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So I see how conflict could arise between two nations that are radically different, for instance goblins and humans. But could there ever be a time where we get to dwarven civilizations fighting each other in world generation, over like ... insults, or maybe jealousy or something?
Toady:There's a lot of different ways that that could happen. To look down at the basics, a lot of things ... say a resource struggle; but that's not a personality conflict so much. Then getting up to ... Right now they bump into each other to do a peace agreement or whatever, but it doesn't really simulate what happened there. So of course if there's an argument at a meeting that would certainly be an avenue to explore. Like having these trade agreements that they enter into every five years or something ... they have some kind of big council to decide something, then you could simulate that event and of course it's more interesting when things go all wrong. I prefer to keep running it as a simulation where it just randomly decides based on if those two people really disagree on what kind of cheese they like, or really disagree on just ethical notions to the point where they'd have a lot of arguments; then just having it occur at that point would be good, rather than having it say 'there hasn't been a fight in this world for ten years so let's just start something'. Because the game could do that too. I'd like to lean away from that stuff but if a guiding hand is needed ... well I should probably just improve the simulation then because people fight all the time; but I'll do what's necessary to keep the game interesting. So yeah, that's certainly there and there's other things; like families should be a huge part of this, so if someone marries into another civilization at one of these meetings as a diplomatic marriage then you could have all kinds of interesting push and pull on the numbers as to what's going to happen.
Rainseeker:Could it even be where you combine the two civilizations?
Toady:Yeah. All of that's fair game. It's always easier to break things than to join them together, but those things are fair. Right now we just have the conquering of civilizations but it doesn't always have to be such a violent matter. It's one of those things where you can add to it in increments and every little bit that you add just improves everything so much because it interacts with every other thing that's already there. Some people are already compelled enough by the world gen lists of events to pick through them for hours just looking through to follow the history of one hero or another; so every little thing like this is going to be great and we're really enthusiastic about getting to this stuff which should happen pretty soon because after this release - which is, you know, who knows? But it's going to happen - we're going to do the three things I always talk about: adventure skills, improved sieges and the top ten voting. So for improved sieges you need to have armies moving around the map, that was one of our requirements; it's not a strict requirement, you could just improve the sieges, but in order for them to make sense they need to be coming from someplace, and we're going to want them to come from real historical figures, more so than they already do if they're commanders. For that to work out the civilization needs to know where to pull them from, and also just to increase the overall interest in our world we're going to do that motivation stuff right there, at least enough pieces of it to make some sense out of things; to have the armies moving on the world map, having them come from places and so on. So when they decide to attack you we're going to step that up from just being a random event that occurs: right now it's just like 'It's Spring, and ... flip the coin? Did you get it? Oh, well, too bad; goblin attack'. There's nothing going on there, nothing at all. So the more we put in there ... you put it into dwarf mode, you put it into world generation, and eventually adventure mode starts to see some of this as well; and it'll just get better and better. Hopefully now that I've done so much of it there'll be less fussing around with 'what tissues make up the toe?' [and more] sweeping world generation changes.
Rainseeker:I'm very excited to see some kind of generation of story, where it might just arbitrarily pick what characters to follow, but maybe it picks a group of characters that has a particularly violent or interesting story, that involves marriage and betrayal, and war; and [...] might just stick it all together and give you stories from the histories.
Toady:The easy ones to pick are leaders; so you could do [things] like those old Roman or Greek histories, who was it, Suetonius [who wrote] The Twelve Caesars? I really don't remember - it's more of my brother's thing - I don't know if it was Suetonius or not; but it's basically just a history of each Roman empire before that guy's time. So those kinds of thing, these are the pie in the sky end goals of the game would be for you to generate a world, and then you're just walking around in adventure mode and you can go to some kind of library, or something like a monastery, and pick up a book and it just would say 'the history of the whatever empire' for the past two hundred years, and it would just be like The Twelve Caesars; you could just read about this guy and what happened, and the prose would be decent and all this kind of stuff. That would just be awesome, we're just pointing toward that; getting there seems like a difficult thing, but we're pointing toward that. So what you're saying though is really interesting because when you've got those ten thousand people - what people have to do now is fish around for the interesting ones - so you could have the computer just look at a guy and be 'these are the fifty associated historical events' and some of those are more interesting than others. And when you've got the really dramatic ones, when it's some great chance in the person's life or something that has something to do with other important people, then you could just increase some kind of value number for that and then at the end when you're in Legends mode - before we get to writing books even - when you're just in Legends mode, which is kind of our not-having-books mode ... Legends mode might not even to exist so much if you've got robust histories to look at of the world; you'd probably still want something like that around but in any case you could just tell the computer 'show me the top ten most interesting people that weren't a noble' or whatever, and it'd just be 'bam!' 'Well what about this guy?' 'He was a trapper until bears came and destroyed his apartment...' his log cabin rather, not his apartment, that'd be like this place getting destroyed by bears '...and then he had to wander the woods subsisting on berries until he stumbled into a dragon's cave and then they became best friends and he started riding the dragon and they took to the skies and went north and he started fighting all the arctic hare men up there and led an army of animal people against the dwarves' or something like that. Of course he'd be a noble at that point if he's leading things but let's say that last part didn't happen; it'd still be an interesting story, riding the dragon around. The detection shouldn't be that hard to do; the actual production of the stories is hard but just going through a list of events and assigning importance is something it already does [...] it mainly does that just so your dwarves know what to engrave. We're slowly getting there but I think it'd be awesome ...
Rainseeker:That's why you don't have an engraving of Urist McDwarf eating a mushroom.
Toady:I guess you do when they really like ... you get those guys that carve cheese in everyone's room or whatever, but that's just because that dwarf has problems himself. It should be cool, and that's what we're shooting for. Ideally everyone would have a kind of interesting life - that's what you hope out of real life, right? - but you can't always guarantee that when you've got memory constraints and so on. Some guys are just going to sit there for sixty years and it's going to be like 'This was a fisherdwarf, and he got married and then that was it'. The marriage is really more to keep world generation going than to give the dwarf anything particular to be happy about.
Rainseeker:Well first you could do this process of generating a false history for him once you look closely at him.
Toady:There have been discussions about that [and] the difficulties that can arise. I don't remember if we have discussed this before because I just yammer on about things, but one of the ideas is to have the civilizations remember important historical events to give the people that live there that are completely unimportant a place to hang their hat when you talk to them. Then the more your player interacts with somebody - maybe even through legends mode - then the more it can flesh them out. But you've got to watch out for generating events in the past that didn't happen in the world generation or else you're just going to tie yourself in knots and have inconsistencies all through.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:[A NCHOR]So world generation is really fascinating; it's really captured the imagination of the entire community and me as well. What is the most exciting thing to you about world generation?
Toady:It's really the things we've been talking about. I think it would just be great to have the people actually thinking about stuff, that's really way up there for me, because that shoots the replayability, immersion, all that kind of thing, through the roof [and] that'll actually allow me to play my own game; which is one of those things I was always shooting for. To actually be able to jump in there and see people thinking about things, or when you're an adventurer going and talking to someone and they've got some place in the world that isn't like 'I'm sitting in this chair and you're going to go kill a dragon for me'. That's how they are right now and then when the threats around their town are eliminated they're like 'Oh no, it's great here. We're fine, I've got nothing else I need to do'. Even though as an adventurer who's this psychotic thrill seeker or whatever you're throwing yourself as this guy's feet to do whatever he wants to do and he's just like '(sfx vox: apathy) We just sit here and eat food out of our magic barrels, it's a very nice place our masters have set up for us, and we're going to continue eating out of our magic barrels.'
Rainseeker:Well what they should be saying is 'Hey, well I've got a number of weeds in my garden; do you mind taking care of that?'
Toady:Yeah and then you could elsewhere I guess, but they should have ... if you're the guy who killed the dragons around there then an ambitious one might say 'We could go places together, and there's this next community over there, and we've been kind of friendly with them for a while but I'd much rather have them be my subjects' or something. Then you can make decisions, you can make decisions about whether or not that's the kind of guy that you want to associate with. It'd be great if we got some grey areas in there which are going to develop, and when you've got conflicts in the world where people all want stuff that all steps on each other's toes and there's no 'these are the bad demons that want to destroy the world and these are the people that were otherwise just going to be sitting farming but then the bad demons came and now there're not anymore; what side do you want to be on?' Instead of that, just having that kind of thing where you've got a bunch of actors that want their own thing. That's one of the things we've been shooting for for a very very long time. Among world generation topics that's the most exciting to me; especially when you get down to sub-groups, we didn't talk about things like guilds and religions and all that kind of thing. I talked about how a guy might have a conflict with another guy; a guy might have a conflict with a subordinate; and a guy might have internal conflicts about his family or his hometown or whatever. But really one of the big things here is when a single person has [internal] conflicts not just with their family but also their professional organisation, their religion, their town and their civilization. When you get all those things acting together; when you've got a leader who's also a member of a secret cult, but their loyalty to the cult isn't absolute, then you've got some real tearing inside of that person, especially when things start going haywire in the world at large. It should be extremely fascinating to let that stuff play out, I'm really really looking to that.
Rainseeker:Also it is really interesting too, I'm sure, if you start getting some characters that are deeply flawed, and conflicted about life in general.
Toady:Yeah, I'm hoping that when we put in these goals ... right now a person's character flaws ... what's the worst character flaw a person can have in Dwarf Fortress right now is like that get really angry, or they're really lazy, or something. It's these character flaws that are just sort of ...
Rainseeker:A bit generic.
Toady:Yeah, like seven deadly sins out of control, but not to the point ... it's just like really slothful, really lazy or whatever; or really angry, they just can't keep it in and they start throwing barrels at people when they get angry about their food being rotten or whatever. So there's nothing really insidious though, or nothing that's a flaw that's really interesting at all, it's just watching the id out of control, it's no fun. So yeah, looking forward to that. I've been going online and looking at different characterisation, interesting novel character type things, to try and figure out what traits need to be applied to a Dwarf Fortress character to make them more interesting; like what different kind of characterisations and stuff. We've got a bunch of crap written down which is like the things we've been talking about; and the more of that that could go in the game and have an actual effect the better, I think. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing up here Mr Scamps? (end aside)
Rainseeker:Let's make a transition then, let's talk about - in a second - go on to talk about our loser which was ... not Scamps of course, Scamps is always a winner ...
Toady:Scamps is a winner. Well I'm a winner by not getting mauled, so I'm glad that was number three. He's done good though, he's been pretty good this episode. He's in the room now standing on top of his little cave, just smelling the wall ... sometimes he just stands up on the wall and puts both of his paws on the wall and just smells the wall. Don't ask me. Right now he's smelling the camera cable because I dug that out to put the pictures of the meetup and him in his little hat on the desk.
Rainseeker:Which should be online right now guys; go run and check on it.
Toady:This is like going into the future, because right not is not the future.
Rainseeker:So what we're going to talk about next is the trades.
Toady:The trades, that's right.
Unattrib.:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Hey this is Rainseeker here, I'm actually interrupting my own podcast with myself. Two things: first thing is, this next portion of the podcast is filled with clicks [non-transcribed] that are inexplicable. I've done the best to eliminate them but my software hasn't been too kind to me. On the good side, it's just for about three minutes so suffer through it, and I'm not sure but there might be more. Second thing; don't forget to get on the website and support Tarn, he puts a lot of effort into programming this game for us all and if you enjoy the game as much as I do please drop a couple of bucks in the PayPal jar. Thanks, back to the podcast.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So we're back with more Dwarf Fortress Talk. I'm your host Rainseeker and [I'm] with Tarn Adams here.
Toady:That's right, Tarn Adams, and his cat; Mr baby Scamps.
Rainseeker:Super Scamps?
Toady:Yeah, Super Scamps. Biting, chewing wires as usual.
Rainseeker:In this section of the show we're going to address - maybe not totally attack it - but we will address to a certain degree the trades, and that means cheese making, and weapon smithing ... soap making, and all that great stuff.
Toady:All the important trades.
Rainseeker:The trades! Now let me ask you a historical question about Dwarf Fortress. Was this always on the agenda to have trades in Dwarf Fortress?
Toady:Yeah. The original idea for the game before it became our main fantasy game; it was its own little thing, its own little project, and the idea was that you'd dig into the mountain and you'd die and then an adventurer would come in and check out the crap that you made. And so in that simple plan there the crap that you made is what led to this whole idea of 'oh, we're going to have ... they're going to make little goblets and things, and they'll need to make little swords and things, and they'll need to have all kinds of stuff'. And so the diversity of the crafts really came about from this original idea, so even before this was our main game we were going to have quite a bit of diversity in the trades and it was going to be also important to ... even trading with a caravan, like trading out your goblets and soap and so on; trading it out with the caravan was going to be a way to also ... the simple game idea had your high score list [as] the stuff that your adventurer found in your fortress after you lost, but also you were going to be able to get some small points on your high score list by trading things out. So that was another way that the different things that dwarves did ... having a diversity there was going to improve the quality of the high score list and so it really just ballooned out from there, especially once it became our main project. Now anything's allowed, anything at all that isn't the things that we generally don't give the thumbs up to, like [...] steam and nuclear power and stuff like that.
Rainseeker:So I think this is one of the ways I have the most fun in this game is making things. I had a lot of fun particularly when I went to a desert and found a magma pool and decided to make glass, just tons and tons of glass, I had like ten glass refineries - or kilns I guess - just made tons of it, and then started building a glass fortress, because it's an unlimited resource. Is that ever a plan of yours, to make a sand pile limited?
Toady:There's this notion of sand as a fluid I think, that's kind of intriguing. Like if you have a bunch of sand leaning up against a rock wall and you remove the rock wall, the sand doesn't retain its shape, it'll just flow into the cavern. So it would be really cool if it could be made into a fluid like that, that behaves kind of like lava does now; because lava makes more slopes, it doesn't worry about fluid pressure and all that kind of thing. And it would be cool if the sand could move like that, but at the same time you could still walk or even build on it, or whatever you need to do. And in that way it would become a limited resource because when you scoop up some it would just remove a unit of sand from the square. Snow has a similar thing. Right now though it depends not just on the fluid rewrite - which is going to allow us to support more fluid types at once - but also the notion that this is a very special fluid that can be walked on and all that. So you'd be pathfinding over it, and at the same time it would be able to flow. It's one of those things like; is this an insurmountable problem? It might be, it might be one of those things that's very very difficult to do.
Rainseeker:Well [it] would make it actually very difficult to build; especially if someone decided to build on a sand dune.
Toady:That should be hard, but you could still pitch a tent there or something; and then that tent should just fall over if you drain the sand into a giant sinkhole or something.
Rainseeker:Well I'm thinking people build pillars to support things, so if someone built a pillar on a sand dune which then shifted that thing should fall over and that should be really interesting to do.
Toady:That's one of those things that's very difficult but you'd ideally want sand to have those additional properties.
Rainseeker:There's a lot of limitations right now on what you can do, how customised you can make every item. Are you planning on allowing people to maybe create a template of an item that they want to create and then tell people to keep creating that same thing. You want to for instance create a goblet that is encrusted with diamonds and has an image of an elephant slaying a dwarf on it ...
Toady:Yeah, especially if that's the insignia of your group or whatever. There are a few limitations that are design based. Most of the limitations just come from how the jobs are stored right now and I'd have to rewrite quite a bit to get them to think more about things, and just writing interfaces is always irritating. But ideally I'd like you to be able to do a lot more things, if you have a dwarf pumping those things out maybe he'll get irritated; he doesn't get to realise his dreams anymore [or] do whatever the heck he wants. But just having some kind of work order where you have the goblet, then do these things to it, and make the goblet out of this material, and if the [goblet] isn't at least finely crafted then just melt it down again and just get these things built and then we're going to build ten of them, and then do whatever. It'd be great to allow people to do things like that especially because with statues now; the dwarves can carve these statues that will look like things now, but what they look like is really up to the dwarf right now. It's understandable to allow Michelangelo or whatever to make the statue they want, but even those kind of people had commission jobs, and especially if it's like 'I want the ten previous rulers of my civilization; I want statues of them so I can line the great hall with them'. That'd be awesome right? And it's not something where you're like 'Well I want to carve a big cheese today, sorry' and so you've got like ten great cheese statues for your great hall ...
Rainseeker:One of them made clouds.
Toady:Yeah, cloud statues or dwarves surrounded by plump helmets or whatever. It's amusing for a while but then you want to allow the additional control as well.
Rainseeker:You want awesomeness.
Toady:Awesomeness! Yeah, awesomeness is good. My brother and I are always anti-zany in a lot of ways, even though a lot of zaniness kind of jumps in Dwarf Fortress we're usually against throwing in a monster that has big green boots and he's call the Happy Green Monster monster and he has a laser gun or something just because it's silly, just kind of randomly silly, it's just not the direction we want to take the thing. But at the same time we're there when it comes to the statues ...
Rainseeker:I know, I mean come on, a dwarf smashing a bridge that he's already walking on.
Toady:That's this emergent zaniness, and then we've got things which are zaniness that you would call zaniness by design, like these statues. The statues are goofy, the engravings are goofy, but there's something good about them and allowing the dwarves - like if you don't specify what you want them to do - then of course they're going to go on their little flights of fantasy, these little goofy guys. But if you tell them what to do they shouldn't be that pissed off about it. There might be times when a particular dwarf would grumble at that kind of thing and it might pop up a little warning 'he's been making these goblets and he's made two hundred of them, and it's making him a little depressed about this life'; then you might have to do something about it. I'm all for giving the player more control there; they can already carve out the rooms they want and place the furniture where they want and stuff. Especially because it doesn't even fall under the level of micromanagement. Micromanagement is usually what people refer to when it's something that sucks about a game that you have to fiddle with, like having to place the furniture when you don't care anymore. But being able to design the sword or statue ...
Rainseeker:Yeah, I want twenty obsidian swords with red handles, darn it.
Toady:Yeah, especially because it's gotten to the point now where you can tell your squad to carry those [kinds of thing]. So you could do that in your squad, you could be like 'I want you to have obsidian swords' but if you didn't have the control to make obsidian swords that would be a very frustrating system. There are things right now about the squad system I think where you can specify the squad uniform more than you can actually specify it in the workshop and that's where we're starting to have a breakdown/disconnect there, so obviously the specifications in the workshops have to come, and I believe ... which I'm going to go check right now on the website ... if I'm not mistaken the eternal suggestion voting has turned that up as well, I don't know if you remember off the top of your head.
Rainseeker:No I haven't looked at it in a long time.
Toady:Yeah I haven't looked at it for a while either, let's see how things are doing. Improved hauling still super, standing production orders, workshop material selection. So workshop material selection basically falls under this umbrella. People want to be able to make what they want to make; it's number three on the list right now, it's beating graphics, and beating pathfinding. So that stuff, that's obviously going to get dealt with sometime. I'm not saying that I'm going to do the top ten in order, I don't want to commit to something that's going to ... it may be impossible to do things in order all the time, but it's not like when four hundred people say they want something and the thing that they want is something you want to, it's like 'that's cool!' It's all good, everything aligns like the stars and stuff, so we'll be there, we'll be there, we just need to get through this horrible horrible release cycle and then this horrible release cycle will be over and everyone will be happy.
Rainseeker:As a matter of fact let's move away from talking about the trades and talk about the release cycle, since you brought it up, sir.
Toady:Yeah yeah yeah. Stepped right into a big steaming pile of crap.
Rainseeker:How are we looking [for] the Christmas release?
Toady:It's a depressing depressing thing. It's one of those things where it's possible, but it's possible in the meaning of the word, where if something is one percent likely it's still possible. It would take a lot of luck, basically, at this point, which doesn't seem to happen to me very often with bugs and things. Because if I don't get caught up and tied in a lot of things like this doesn't work and I have to fix it for a day - that kind of thing happens all the time - and so if I don't step in a lot of those traps and have a lot of trouble working things through it's still possible, but I'm thinking right now that we're just not going to be lucky people and it's not going to happen. Because there's such a bit list of things to do. I talked about this in the thread, at the time I had seventy days and I looked at the list, I'm like 'that's not really a seventy day list anymore'. Everything's taken longer than I thought, it's always that way. Especially when I start giving optimistic release dates and then I'm wrong over and over and people call me out and start yelling at me, it makes me want to not do it anymore but at the same time I'd prefer not to be somebody who also is like 'well it's ready when it's ready'. I'd like to give people the run down there, and so the run down is that caves I've spent more times on that than I thought I would - and that's not necessarily a bad thing - but it's pushed things a little bit later. I'm pretty sure I can finish off the entity position and squad stuff, especially if I cut things like formations. I'm pretty sure I can finish it in November; that's going to be the goal, [...] to finish that stuff in November. There are a few large items there that are not really put offable like guards that are just completely busted right now in bad ways, and that's going to be the trick to getting entities and squads done, [i.e. it's] going to be getting that through. So that's another thing where I can't promise I'll be done in November with that stuff, and that's going to determine a lot of the release date. But if I get through then December was just going to be a mess of clean up, like doing butchery, because right now it doesn't understand how to read through their bodies to get like the amount of fat that comes out of a particularly fat dead creature. Because there's a lot of cool things; like a big fat dwarf - if you decide to skin a dwarf - a big fat dwarf would give you more fat for more candles and stuff than a little skinny dwarf, or a walrus or whatever. So that's all going to be cool, but it all needs to be done, and there's really no other way to do it, now that I've got these bodies, unless I just stick with the hardcoded tags that I had before, but in a sense I can't really do that either. And there's things like the hydra problems, like if you chopped off a couple of hydra's heads you would not want seven skulls instead of five; people insist on the five skulls, and I insist on the five skulls so I'm probably not going to put that kind of consideration off. So getting through all that mess in December and a lot of tests ... because even though every time I've waited like a year to release the game I release the game and there's some giant bug, like the dwarves never waking up from being asleep or whatever, and the other one had the civil war bug where if your sheriff arrested somebody and beat them then the whole fortress broke out in a civil war.
Toady:Because when a sheriff hits another dwarf it didn't treat it like a law action it treated it like an attack, but since they were both part of the same civilization it recorded the sheriff as an enemy of the civilization now, but since he was also a friend of the civilization when they hit him back that records another enemy, and then anyone who attacks those guys for being enemies [is also recorded as being] an enemy and it just breaks out into this giant mess of people all hating each other or hating certain of each other.
Rainseeker:How did you find out that that was happening?
Toady:I released it and then - I don't remember if it was few days later - people were just like 'What is going on here? My whole fortress just erupted in violence!' Eventually someone sent me a save or something, or someone observed the problem, it's been a couple of years I think so I don't recall exactly how it was fixed, but it just takes something simple like someone finding a sheriff doing it that blows it up and then sending you a save file, or you have a hunch yourself and then you set up a situation and get it fixed. It was easy to fix, it was one of those one line fixes, but then the other release had the sleeping bug where people went to sleep and they just never woke up and starved to death. There was just another one where ...
Rainseeker:Don't ... don't fall asleep!
Toady:It was one of those things where you've been testing and testing and testing - because most of the features for that release didn't have big bugs, it was all working - and then I tweaked something about sleep at the end for the rest jobs, for when they're damaged or whatever, and then I didn't run a full game after that; I tweaked that thing a couple of weeks before and I was like 'I've already run a bunch of full games, I don't need to run another full game'. So I never got to the point where my dwarves needed to go to sleep and then woke up, so I'd never played for a whole two seasons or season or whatever, so I just didn't notice. And then I released it, and people were like 'What is this oversight? What is this?' It's a thing that's way easier to happen than you think, especially when I'm in the situation where I can just release the next week instead of having to worry about going through some kind of patch, [some] kind of two month process to get something up. So the release this time I've got a lot of tests I want to do, to make it at least to the point where there's only going to be a few of those giant show stoppers. I do more testing than people think, because even though those bugs appeared, what would have happened if I didn't test the amount I did would have been even worse. So there's a lot of that to do in December, I just have a list of things where it's like 'Check this out, check this out, check this out, check this out, check this out' and it's just going to take some time to get through that. That's what it comes down to now. There's finishing off the caves which is kind of hard because you always to do more with them, but that's what I'm trying to do now for the next several days in October, and it doesn't seem like I'm going to quite finish, and that means that ... I'm still going to put that out, because I want November to be the 'entities and squads get greened out' month. That means in December I go back to the caves before I get to my tests, and then you know, are we going to see January? That's what I'm thinking is getting more likely now, is that we're going to get into January. And then if we get into February it wouldn't shock me. If we get into March, well, that's just sad.
Rainseeker:What do you think happened? Why did this end up taking ... what was this, when did you last release?
Rainseeker:So why did it take over a year to release. Normally you were releasing every what, four months or so?
Toady:It's been so random, there have been nine month breaks, there have been months where I released ten times. It's just, this time ... down in the under carcass of the game with the materials and tissues and combat stuff and all that, it had more ramifications; not more than I thought, but they're taking longer than I thought to get through every single ramification. And then add on top of that the underground, the squads ... and I also threw in ... I didn't need to do the entity position rewrite specifically here but I wanted to do it for squads, so I guess you could count [the] entity position rewrite with squads. So there's what, three things then and I'm of course missing some, there's healthcare too. Just looking at that list it's getting to be like ... well, there's a lot of things there, and I would have had to have cut out a great swathe of things. I kind of made a foolish promise to myself I think that I wanted to get squads done this release because I'd been saying for years that I wanted to do the army arc and hadn't done a thing, and now squads is a huge step forward on the army arc, so I've done something now. I've done something, but it took all that extra time on top of ... it's going to end up taking four months or something. And then the materials/tissue crap ended up taking six months and then you have the underground on top of that which has probably taken three months now and healthcare took a couple of months with venom and so on as well. And when you add all that up you probably get up to what we're at now, which is thirteen months.
Rainseeker:I guess our message here, Tarn, is that 'Don't be discouraged; it's going to be awesome.'
Toady:Yeah, it's going to be awesome. I have that way in the back of my head, that we're doing alright, this is all really cool and I'm happy with how it's going. But it's just one of those things where everyone else has to be ... well not everyone, but a great number of people have to be on board with the awesome too for such a long period of time isn't really fair to them. I shouldn't ask people to bear with the awesome for fifteen months, or bear with the lack of awesome for fifteen months which is what's going to end up happening, then have them support me all through that period is not reasonable. So I don't want to force people to support the awesome but it's going to be a few more months of void [awesomenessless].
Rainseeker:But well, I'm still going to be producing these podcasts, so that should be a little thing to tide us over in the meantime, and hear the sultry sound of your voice.
Toady:I never tried to pick that one over the radio before ... No I just sound creepy. (sultry(?))Yeah, yeah yeah alright. Yeah baby. Come to Dwarf Fortress.(end sultry)
Rainseeker:... Yes. So I would like to ... let's transition!
Toady:Yeah yeah, transition well away from that crap!
Rainseeker:Let's talk about erm ... questions!
Toady:Questions! Yeah, people have got questions and I trust there won't be any repeats.
Rainseeker:I don't know, we'll see.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:In this third half of the show ...
Toady:Third half?
Rainseeker:That's right, the third half, for those of you who can do math.
Toady:That's right, one point five.
Rainseeker:We are going to be talking about your questions, and we are addressing some questions we didn't get to last time and ... gosh, here's a silly one from Goberfish, I guess this is a yes or no question; 'Are there any plans for world domination via brainwashing techniques through Dwarf Fortress?'
Toady:So this is not within the game, but is that my agenda? Is that what he's talking about.
Rainseeker:Yes, are there any plans for it?
Toady:Well, I mean I guess if you had to step back and look at the overall goals and so on then it's underway. We've got a few fans that are quite enthusiastic and you might consider them brainwashed. I wouldn't say so; the people I've met that are enthusiastic all seem to continue to be able to work on in their lives and so on, and I don't think they take any orders from me that were not still in their best interest. So I think I've failed so far, but I want more people to like the game and to tell their friends about it and everything so once everyone in the world is playing Dwarf Fortress I guess we'd be there whether they were brainwashed or not.
Rainseeker:I don't really know if that's what he actually meant but ...
Toady:I have no idea, he said 'through Dwarf Fortress' though, so I think it's what we're talking about, I think it really is all about that.
Rainseeker:Maybe so.
Toady:So he can consider his question answered then, which is cool.
Rainseeker:There you go. I've got a question from Mephansteras.
Toady:That's right, well he's famous. He or she is a famous person.
Rainseeker:Oh really?
Toady:Yeah, well just always asking questions, been around for a while, so ...
Rainseeker:Well he or she wants to know; 'Will the megabeasts use equipment or create objects?'
Toady:So right now they steal crap and drop it in their caves. I'd like to think that one of the reasons ... I think the cyclops ... we have spears for them that are like artifice or something, I don't recall off the top of my head, but we were thinking of them in terms of mythology and so if they end up making things we'd be quite happy with that. They just need to have ... The problem right now is they've got no entity definition associated to themselves so they don't see items, because right now the people see items through their cultures, and that's really the only stumbling block. It was the stumbling block that made the animal peoples in the caves boring for a segment here and we had to take away their blowguns and so on because they didn't have a culture anymore, and now they've got cultures in the next version so they'll be able to have their little blowguns and riding animals again. The cyclops is the same way, and I'm sure other megabeasts as well. It goes with things like megabeast diplomacy to some extent as well. Ultimately yeah, I mean we're talking about ultimate goals here which of course is dangerous because you have so many you're never going to get to them all. But I'd like that, I'd like having the megabeasts be more interesting in a lot of ways because right now it's just like they're a target that fights back, which is kind of boring.
Rainseeker:Here's one from Dasleah, who has a very interesting animated avatar.
Toady:Is it the famous one that he still has from a long time ago with the ... it's just creepy looking.
Rainseeker:It's talking ...
Toady:Yeah, that's the same one. It's creepy.
Rainseeker:What the heck is that?
Toady:I don't ... there's a whole thread about it, there's a whole thread about its creepiness, and I don't remember if he revealed the source or not, I think it's got shopped eyes or something. There's quite a story behind it, but it's scary. It's scary.
Rainseeker:Well here's his question, or her question: 'If you could magically and instantly add one thing to Dwarf Fortress for no other reason than you'd love to see it in there - maybe it's even too hard to get in there - what would you and Threetoe like to see in there?
Toady:That's always so hard, isn't it. Because you'd want to ... because one thing never really cuts it.
Rainseeker:Right, but maybe it's one thing that's really hard.
Toady:Well I mean the hardest things are always time travel and stuff and that just needs a bigger disks. But I'm not sure they really care about time travel that much, it'd be cool to get the fluids in there, because I want giant lakes of blood and stuff and all the sand and that kind of thing. But as with any 'favourites' question it always just comes back to what I was just thinking about like ten minutes ago ... I'm absolutely horrible at these kinds of question, it's the worst thing in the world for me. Some people can rattle off their favourite movies and colours and things but I totally suck when it comes to that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:Alright, how about I ask you something different then?
Toady:Oh you can ask me all kinds of questions, yeah.
Rainseeker:Alright, here we go. Here's something from Zollarr: 'Toady, what are your plans for mounts? Will you be able to ride mounts in adventure mode?'
Toady:Absolutely. You have to ride mounts in adventure mode or that's just tragic and sad, because there's so many stories that go with mounts and things that I think it's imperative to have them. Now, as far as approaching the ... well, talking about dwarves too - I don't personally think of dwarves as a mounting people - but I know some people want to ...
Rainseeker:But they're a mountain people.
Toady:Oh no.
Toady:Oh no! Oh no. I don't have a cave to hide in. Oh no ... but there's a garbage can, I could put my head in there I guess. But there are mods though, so you still want to support things, and some people are going to want to have their dwarves riding around little mountain goats and things.
Toady:Yeah, mountain goat dwarves. So it's something that I'd want to support there too. Now I don't know much about it in general, what's the story with the saddle, people talk about stirrups all the time as like 'did they change history?' You know, that kind of thing. I'd like to go through it methodically as usual and look at what the questions are there. Now that doesn't mean that we're going to have to answer all those questions before you can hop on a horse or something in adventure mode, but that's how I'd look at it. Then there have been games I think like Mount and Blade that have addressed horse based combat pretty well, or mounted combat pretty well, from what I remember - my brother plays that - and as far as making sure that we give it a similar respectful treatment in terms of charging and the effect of a mounted weapon, the fact that you don't even necessarily have to swing your weapon because you're hitting him in the face with something that's moving as fast as a horse. All kinds of things like that that come up. It's more difficult in a tile based environment but I think you can still convey some of the similar properties there, like velocity and the fact that you can't stop immediately. We were going to do that with running, we were thinking about being able to run but the fact that you couldn't stop on a dime then. Things like that that come up. Right now we just have that kind of hacked in with the charging system where you charge into people and then you can charge past people. You see it more in adventure mode, it's happening in dwarf mode too but you see it more in adventure mode. So in terms of mounts ... And then there's the matter of taking care of your mount, would you have to feed your horse, and all that. Currently you don't feed animals in dwarf mode but in adventure mode it seems likely that you'd want to have to take care of your horse and so on. And it'd be cool if you could also have pets, including the horse, but just pets in general, and taking care of your pets and having little pet antics and things. Of course I'm fond of pets, violent cats included. So I think ... well there must have been an answer to the question somewhere in there.
Rainseeker:I think you did. Here's a question from zwei: 'Do you get hate mail?'
Toady:No, not really. There have been instances where people were, say, moderated, where then that person would then tell us what they thought of the moderation, what they thought of us in general, and how it made us tyrannical and evil and so on. But I'm not sure if that counts as hate mail because hate mail's not generally over something that happened between you and that person, right? Hate mail is more like they just don't like the game, or they don't ...
Rainseeker:They don't agree with your position on something.
Toady:Yeah, they don't like something I said in Dwarf Fortress Talk or whatever, and they're like 'Well you know, I'm going to tell you about that, and about how much you suck' and so on. That really hasn't happened, I can't think of a single time where someone has just out of the blue ... unless you count people talking shit on IRC for no reason or whatever, you know that kind of thing. Or coming on our forums and being idiots about it. But a personal message, sent to me via email or via snail mail, there hasn't been anything like that. It's been good, it's been really good and on the flipside of that there's been a lot of positive messages that people have sent. So so far it's been very cool, I'm glad that it's been that way. I guess there have been people that say like 'I wish you'd do this with the interface' or that kind of thing, it's not hate mail, it's just constructive criticism. And so far, I guess that's the main avenue then where we might get some hate mail later on, like [if] after another year there's no graphics or something and then people might eventually snap. But so far, if hate mail gauges my ability to take a stand, or my ability to really do something interesting, then I've really failed, because this hasn't happened yet.
Rainseeker:Here's a question from DG: 'Will the arrival of a merchant once per year no longer be guaranteed if or when the time it takes for them to arrive is determined by the distance and terrain between your fort and their starting point?'
Toady:We're thinking about letting that one float once we got the model up to the point where it worked well enough, then we're just going to let it ride. Now right now the world is not so big that you can't walk across it in ... what does it take in adventure mode, I think you can step twelve tiles in day? I really don't remember. So if you're in adventure and you can go twelve tiles in a day then even in a large world you can go twenty or twenty two days to cross the entire world. So if you take the caravans time and up it up - up it up, up it up, that's great - if you shoot it up by like five times then it would still take a hundred days to cross the entire world, and if that's the case then there shouldn't be problems with not getting a dwarven caravan every year, even if they stop at various cities, even if they stop a city for like five days and move on. Five days is nothing in dwarf mode time, and then they'll mode to the next place and be shooting all over the world. That should work out well, especially if you can support several caravans at once and you have something that ends up looking more like a bazaar or something out in front of your fortress, people stop, there could even be local merchants from nearby villages or something like that that hang there quite a bit and your own guys and so on. It could be pretty cool out there.
Rainseeker:That'd be pretty cool too if your own guys were going to buy stuff from the merchants.
Toady:Yeah, right now it's just this command and control, it's like 'Send your guy over there where you're buying things for the fortress'. But then you've got these own weird shops inside ... the economy is so strangely developed in Dwarf Fortress; it really just needs to be rooted out and thrown in the gutter and then worked on again, and it's going to be, that's what the whole caravan arc is about. But really the main problem with time when we're talking about timing and so on is if you were to send out your own caravans, or even your own armies, the time it takes them to walk from the front of the fortress to the edge of the map you can probably cross the whole world or something depressing. The whole Dwarf Fortress time dilation is always going to be one of these big thorns in the side of the game. It's always going to be a huge problem to deal with. It's not a problem in adventure mode at all because adventure mode is moving at the slowest time possible in the game, so it's not a problem. [But] in dwarf mode we're always going to have to figure out a way to fudge things. If the wars are raging all over the place and, you know, over the course of month someone could sweep through an entire province or something then how does that figure in with the fact that you could maybe get your squad off the screen in a month. It's just sad, it's tragic sad, bad, and it's not going to work very well without all kinds of ... Like when you're playing a fortress it's just going to have to fake a lot of stuff. Not fake it, but just make the armies move slower on the world map too or something. So history is going to have these starts and stops, if you always play one mode you wouldn't notice but if you play between fort mode and then adventure mode and fort mode and adventure mode, there's going to be these strange dynamics going on that are caused by the fort molassesing the universe. It's okay, it's just one of those things ... because you can't go the other way and say 'I want fort mode to take as long as adventure mode' because then you'll never see summer, much less winter, because it would just take way too long for that stuff to happen. Right now [in] adventure mode if you just walk, if you're walking 'click click click'; you're going seventy two times slower than in fortress mode. So you would need to dilate the game seventy two times, which means that if you're used to a fort that lasts four years then you should get used to a fort that lasts one month for that same experience. That's crazy, that's not exactly a ...
Rainseeker:This is all about fun, right?
Toady:Yeah, it's all about fun. It's not fun for me, though. If we're talking about not having a good design but just having an easy to program design then it would be way easier to have everything work on the same timescale, because then I wouldn't have to worry about this stuff at all. However it's just not possible, you have to have dwarf mode be a lot faster than the other modes. I think adventure mode doesn't really suffer from the same problems because you don't care about time passing, if you want to pass to the next winter then you could just say 'sleep in this town for two months and just hang out here.' There's not a huge problem with that, you don't want the time to pass; if you walked to another town and back you don't want a year to have passed most of the time. Just the slower mode works there but with the dwarves, there are problems with that. Anyway, that's enough of that I guess.
Rainseeker:I have another question from DG that I liked: 'Do you have plans to allow the first seven dwarves to be chosen from a larger pool of dwarves which are actual world gen members, like your chosen civilization?'
Toady:That was going to be an option at some point. Like we've been saying with this whole populations issue; the populations just aren't big enough, in a way, to make that ultra-satisfying. So there were going to be those fake population pools and then you could pull your dwarves out of the fake population pool and then maybe have some more customisation with them and so on. And it also depends on the fate of this whole Oregon Trail style mode where you're actually doing the trapping as well; [it] has a lot to do with that. Because if you were restricting yourself to specific world generation dwarves you'd also want them all to come from the same site or you'd have to write a back story for how one moved to a different site and came to leave from that one location, or are they all just meeting up at the destination and one of them brought the wagon and the others walked. So there's a lot of issues there but we'd like to at least tie it in more closely with the given civilization that you're starting from, or if you want to choose an option that's like 'play now' from adventure mode then you'd be not linked to a civilization and just coming in just as generated dwarves from the edge of the map. But in that case you'd have no ties which would be kind of weird for the caravans and stuff, so it's generally good to be from somewhere, but whether or not that's going to be world generation dwarves is going to depend on these fake populations; how well they work and then what restrictions there are on picking their dwarves. If you pick seven dwarves that happen to be important to a different city then that's going to be really weird. Like the mayor and half the guard of the town just decide to pick up [because] they were getting tired of this giant attacking the town all the time, so the mayor and all the guards left to go found a new fortress and then a week later the giant destroys the city. That would be the kind of thing ... Of course that'd kind of a funny story, so I think there's something to be said for allowing that, like allowing you to make the mayor go wanderlust crazy and decide to found a new fortress for fun. And the same thing goes for adventure mode, like starting as a guy - being able to assume control of any character in the universe - is something that's reasonable, especially if you've got the parameters set for it. It's one of those things where you'd want to set up parameters so you wouldn't be tempted. It's like 'allow control of any historical figure as an adventurer: yes', because if you put yes there if you're losing a war or something then you might be like 'well I want to play the enemy's general as my next adventurer' and then you could just go jump into a canyon or something. So to remove that kind of temptation ... There are a lot of people, more people than I expected so it kind of surprised me, on various aspects of the game have said 'Well I really want this to be an option that I have to set in advance so that I don't feel tempted to spoil things.' So having that as a world generation parameter works the best for that, but that'd be cool as well, just being able to play whoever you wanted. It goes in with those post version one arcs about being able to play a dragon, you know that kind of thing. So you could just assume control of a megabeast that already exists in the world and so on.
Rainseeker:Well guys thanks for joining us for this episode number four. Remember we're no longer a trilogy and we will be back again of course next month; that's the plan. Pretty we'll put up the new vote for new topics, we don't know what they are yet. I'd just like to thank mallocks for doing the transcription and I'd like to thank Ollieh for the music and I'd like to thank Tarn for making the game, and I'd like to thank myself for producing, editing and writing and being an awesome individual because I love myself.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:I'd also like to thank poor Capntastic who wasn't here this week but he will be back next month.
Toady:Right, well unless evil comes calling.
Rainseeker:Evil comes calling, it does occasionally.
Toady:Yeah, Capntastic; he can't control his schedule. If he tried to control his schedule like that you might be dead tomorrow.
Rainseeker:Might be.
Toady:You might be, it's a dangerous world with ... what did you say, Venom and Doctor Doom or something?
Rainseeker:Yep, Venom and Doctor Doom, they were both teaming up ...
Toady:They don't sound like they do good things to the world.
Rainseeker:No! No they don't. They don't, they really really don't.
Toady:Those are the character motivations that are easiest to get at in the game though. Although I don't know much about these people.
Rainseeker:Well you know Doctor Doom; he does some humanitarian efforts occasionally. He'll try to improve people through genetic mutations. And Venom you know, in his defence, he does eat orphans.
Toady:Well ... yeah ... I guess there's historical ... Was that Jonathan Swift, right?
Rainseeker:You put people out of their misery, you know? So I don't know, maybe Capntastic isn't such a good guy after all.
Toady:I guess not, I'm sorry. So he doesn't get any credit in this show, and I hope he doesn't come back next time. Because the work of Doctor Doom and Venom ...
Rainseeker:Very important work.
Toady:Very important work. What does he do to them? He just beats them up and throws them in jail.
Rainseeker:Presumably yes. He hasn't really elaborated to me too much. I don't even know what his super power is.
Toady:Well what's more important is his uniform, his little outfit.
Rainseeker:It's fantastic, it's Capntastic.
Toady:Fantastic. Spandex? Spendextastic?
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:It's Captain Tastic.
Toady:It's got a big 'C' on it probably somewhere.
Rainseeker:Probably a 'CT' or something.
Toady:Is that Connecticut?
Rainseeker:Yeah, he's from Connecticut.
Toady:I always thought he was in California or something, but no 'T' in California. Have we crossed the boundary from funny to stupid?
Rainseeker:We totally did, and then we didn't look back.
Toady:Yeah, we didn't look back at all.
Rainseeker:It's way back there.
Toady:That's right. Well you can't have, it's like they say, you can't have a pioneering effort without a lot of mistakes.
Rainseeker:Just a lot of crap.
Toady:Yeah there's a lot of garbage, we're trying our best though. But this is what happens when you record a little bit too long, trying to have three segments instead. All of our problems are coming together, we've got three segments instead of two, and we've got two hosts instead of three. So where you'd normally have Capntastic sitting here saying 'What is this crap? What are you guys doing?' Right now we're kind of blissfully ignorant.
Rainseeker:There's no-one to rein us in!
Toady:Yeah we're uncontrolled. This is where his superpowers really come in to like rein in people.
Rainseeker:He is like a kindergarten teacher. It's like 'Okay, settle down ... okay class, sit down. Tarn! Tarn! Put down the paste.'
Toady:Paste ... I was trying to remember a kindergarten thing.
Rainseeker:'Rainseeker stop running with those scissors'
Toady:The only thing I remember from kindergarten is being the sleep fairy, where you have the wand ... everyone has to take nap time, everyone's nap time, except the sleep fairy gets the wand that day and wakes the people up, so you go over to the different kids and you tap their heads with the wand and when you get tapped with the wand nap time is over. And you brought a blanket to class every day for sleep time, or nap time, I forgot what it was called, and then the sleep fairy for that day would wake people up. I think I was only the sleep fairy one time. I don't think it was because of a mistake it was just because I was the sleep fairy one time. But I woke the people up and everything. It's kind of surreal though because they turn off the lights in the room and you see all these little kindergartners pretending to sleep and then you just walk among them and tap them. That's all I remember. I don't think I ever actually slept during nap time, it was only two minutes or something. It was really weird, really really strange. But that is my one memory of kindergarten, if someone said 'did you do fingerprinting in kindergarten?' I'd be like 'yeah' but I don't actually remember what we did, I have no memories of that at all. I remember what the teacher looks like. But I remember the sleep fairy quite well. There was no sleep fairy in first grade, it all goes downhill after that.
Rainseeker:I would love to go to Yale and find out there was a sleep fairy at Yale.
Toady:Yeah, it's probably just something they do when they're on coke or something. I wouldn't speak to the different traditions at different schools, I don't really know. I never lived in a dorm.
Rainseeker:I lived in a dorm.
Toady:Did you have a sleep fairy?
Rainseeker:I had an un-sleep fairy, I had a ... Well I guess he was a sleep fairy, if his job is to wake you up, yes. I would go to bed early, if early means like eleven o'clock, and then he would come in at 3 AM after hanging out and partying and he would turn on the lights and throw his keys down on the desk and get undressed and do stuff without any regard for my sleeping habits at all.
Toady:Did you have fire alarms a lot too?
Rainseeker:Um ... fire drills? I think we might have had one, I don't recall. There was this legendary story because I went to a famous bible college in 'Ortland, Poregon'.
Toady:Well you've got to put the 'ay's after that, 'Ortlandpay' or something.
Rainseeker:Well I was doing a spoonerism there.
Toady:Ah, spoonerism! Weren't you going to have me reading the credits in spoonerisms next time.
Rainseeker:That would be probably easier though.
Toady:I don't even know what the heck that is though.
Rainseeker:Well it's where you reverse letters, or leverse retters.
Toady:Oh so they come in pairs.
Rainseeker:Right, they come in pairs, they pome in cairs.
Toady:They pome in cairs. Care bears, Bare cares. That's no fun.
Rainseeker:Yeah so when I was in school here, a couple of years before I attended there, there was a famous incident where everyone in the mens dorm set out their clothes on the floor, turned on the showers at about four in the morning, and made it look like they were sleeping in bed or taking showers or brushing their teeth, and just left everything askew as if suddenly they had been Raptured. And they all went outside in front of the dorm and someone had a big old foam horn and everyone but one person who was asleep they all blew it really really loud.
Toady:Did it sound heavenly, the horn?
Rainseeker:I assume so, because he woke up and he freaked out. He just screamed, running around convinced that he wasn't saved, he'd been left behind, and this was before the Left Behind book things.
Toady:Yeah because some of the people in the Left Behind books, that's not necessarily a bad thing then, or something.
Rainseeker:I guess there's hope for you if you do.
Toady:So he didn't think there was hope, in other words.
Rainseeker:Yeah he thought that he'd been left behind, and he freaked out and then finally he came outside, weeping and crying and that particular prank was outlawed shortly after ...
Toady:Yeah that's kind of mean, it seems like the guy was affected.
Rainseeker:Oh yeah, I don't think they realised what that would do to him.
Toady:At least he was fine. He still has a chance.
Rainseeker:Yeah that's true, he still has a chance.
Toady:But now he knows he probably has more of a chance than the other guys now.
Rainseeker:I guess unless they repented.
Toady:Yeah, well once they saw him crying you'd hope that they did. It's not a guarantee though.
Rainseeker:Well in college my dad, one of his roommates had this big big TV - I guess for the time - he would watch it rather than studying. So for finals, it was an older TV I guess at the time, and so they found one in a second hand shop and hid his in another room and put this older one where it previously was. And he was watching TV instead of studying and so my dad and his other roommate ran in and shouted 'We can't take it anymore! You're not studying!' And so they grabbed the TV and ran down the hallway with it. And there were people in on the joke so this guy's chasing after them and people are opening the doors in the hallways, blocking him from just barely reaching them; and finally they get to the end of the hall, and this is a second storey window and they chuck the TV out the window and it falls to the ground and smashes of course. They let him go on believing that his TV was destroyed until finals were over. I don't think he appreciated it too much, but maybe he got some studying done.
Toady:Yeah, I hope so. He's obviously had time to produce children, fine children, parenting and so on. I guess it all turned out well in the end. I just hope they looked before they threw it, if it's like on a sidewalk or something, two stories down it'd kind of be like one of those cartoons, having this giant TV land on you or something.
Rainseeker:Yes, you'd pretty much probably die.
Toady:Especially because it's a second hand model too, it's not even the real TV. It's just kind of [an] indignity there.
Toady:Now where is the little cat. (aside to Scamps) Where'd you go? Where's the little cat? Where are you hiding? Where's the baby cat? Hmm. (singing) He's wandered away, where is baby Scamps today. (stops singing) Not even in this room, there's no baby cat. Oh! Was that an ear! Is that an ear sticking round the door? You can't even see me if you ... Why don't you stick your head around the door just a little bit more, and maybe you could see me. What you doing mister? What you doing? I see you! I don't know what kind of game you're trying to pull here, but ... What kind of game ... What are you doing? Wow, he's not charging though, he's just sitting there. What a silly cat. What are you doing? Why don't you just come in the room [if] you're going to stand like that. (end aside) (presumed cut) Baby Scamps has brought his fetch toy in, and I threw it, threw it down the hall.
Toady:Yeah. Well there's periodic disruptions. Oh here he's back with his baby toy. He's got his toy, he's going to bring his little rodent. He's climbing up the tree with it in his mouth.
Rainseeker:He's going to work on it, huh?
Toady:Yeah yeah, he's bringing it up through to the top level of the tree. (aside to Scamps) Are you going to go? Or are you just going to stay there. Oh he's going up the hole. There he goes. He's at the top of the tree now, he brought the rodent all the way up there. Good job Mister! (end aside)

Dwarf Fortress Talk #5, with Rainseeker and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Alright well, welcome back everybody to a new episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is episode number five I believe!
Toady:That's right, number five.
Capntastic:How do you say that in Spanish?
Rainseeker:Número cinco!
Rainseeker:Alright so we are here with Rainseeker, your host, and Capntastic, your other host ...
Capntastic:That's me. We have different voices!
Rainseeker:We do have different voices. This is me: Hello. This is Capntastic:
Capntastic:(dramatic pause) Hello.
Rainseeker:See? He pauses, that's how you can know.
Capntastic:I either pause or I don't, that's how you can tell.
Rainseeker:And then here's our illustrious leader, Mr. Tarn Adams.
Capntastic:Pretend that the 'lust' part is in bold.
Rainseeker:And our topic today is, Captain?
Capntastic:Procedural cultures and how they will affect the future of Dwarf Fortress, your favourite game.
Toady:That's awesome, so you can do that on cue.
Rainseeker:And what we're going to do is we're not going to have a vote, we're just going to ahead and next month, because everyone loves it so much, we're going to do adventure mode and make everyone happy. We probably will be addressing to some extent battle specifics as they come up and if you guys want to continue to ask questions about specific battle or piercing spleen questions you can send them to our question email address.
Toady:That's toadyone@bay12games.com and make sure you put 'Question for DF Talk' (no quotes) as the subject.
Capntastic:They go to all of us ...
Rainseeker:So if you have a sultry letter to tarn you probably would want to have a different subject.
Capntastic:Or if you have a sultry letter that you want to get to all three of us, then that would save time.
Toady:Well there were all those cosplay pictures right?
Capntastic:Yeah, and a zombie groundhog and such.
Toady:(aside to Scamps) Aaah! Mister, we're going battle specifics now are we? What's this, we're going to study biting and scratching, is that right? Is that right? What does the muscle in my wrist look like? (end aside) Ouch.
Rainseeker:I guess we're going to talk about procedural culture now.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:So what [was] your original vision for culture when you first started working on Dwarf Fortress?
Toady:Maybe it's a culture where there's no cats ... no cats at all. Originally we ... (aside to Scamps) Little kitty's about to get evicted! You love to be evicted don't you! This is not for playing Mr Scamps! (end aside) Okay he managed to get the whole headphone cord wrapped around his body and then he jumped off the chair, so that hurt my neck. (aside to Scamps) Okay you can just stay under there, that's a good place for cats (end aside)
Capntastic:I'm fine continuing like this, this is entertainment.
Toady:Yeah it would be if ...
Capntastic:You can't script this.
Toady:Okay, so the original vision for the ... It's always evolving really. Originally we had in our earlier games these fantasy settlements and so on, with humans and a few other types of critters like dwarves and so on, and we added a few more but it wasn't in the raws or anything like that. Then we moved them out to the raws so you can put your own races in and those hard coded ethics that are in there now and a few things about what items they can use and what jobs you're going to find; people milling around the cities eating food out of magic barrels [and] having jobs that they don't do. The vision there has been changing over time, so when you say originally, back say three or four years ago, it wasn't a crucial part of the game having cultures that evolved but once you get started and have a world that is just sitting there and it's got civilizations that are sitting there and are all very similar then the need for variability arose pretty quickly, so the first thing we did was just vary their clothing and so on. But then you need ... instead of variation in space you also want to start thinking about variation over time and that's when these notions started coming up and maybe the past couple of years thinking about what kind of variations we'd like to have happen to cultures over time.
Capntastic:Aside from weapons and clothing - like you going to have guys in robes and goes in pants - will there also be different perceptions of guys in robes and guys in pants?
Toady:So perceptions of them like when someone walks into a town dressed in a certain way?
Capntastic:Yeah, like these guys wearing a turban, that means ... I don't know what a turban is ...
Toady:It's one of those things that I think came up ... when was the first time we started thinking about this kind of thing, it was back in Daggerfall or something. You can dress yourself in that game, you have your little model there - not a 3D model but just your paper doll - you see your little paper doll you can dress up with little hats and weird outfits and you can dress pretty much however you want, there are millions of choices, but when you walk into town and you're like 'Hey, where's the weapon store?' they tell you where it is instead of thinking 'Maybe we don't want this person to have more weapons, because they look really really really freaky'. This is the kind of thing, we're thinking people really need to react to that, right now the people in adventure mode just react if you type your own name; they're like 'Oh I never heard that name before' or whatever. That's just a little token to keep in mind that we want people to be able to react to things that are different, and it's easy enough to implement that kind of thing because each society has the kind of clothing that they recognise and they'd also be able to very very quickly cross reference that with any of the civilizations they know. So if you came - like if the people in the north wear masks, there's these civilizations that wear masks and so on - if you came down to a southern place wearing a mask they'd be like 'Oh it's a person from the north' and they'd try and treat you that way. There's of course a lot of work to do there with dialogue and all that kind of thing which is an additional topic but the idea is that they'd be able to do that. You can always just sit here and talk about features without promising anything and timelines and all that kind of thing, so I'm not sure when that sort of thing comes up, because we've got that level of variability already with the clothing and then there's things that don't vary right now like the ethics which should vary, and what comes first and what comes later? I think the first thing probably is just a general notion of what your reputation is when we start the adventure skills stuff and the adventure entities when you can organise your party into more of a group that's recognised as having accomplished things and so on Then people would be able to react to you differently, I mean aside from just killing if you pick up the wrong item and walk out of the store or something, or just killing random people and having them kill you right back or that kind of thing. That notion of having different reactions that are based on what you've done and have it separated entirely from any notion of something being a scripted plot or anything like that, so they just know the things that you've done and treat you how you should be treated. Then it's pretty easy to start moving on to the situation where if you walk into the town with a giant sword and you're not one of the guards in the town then having that raise some kind of flag and have people react differently is a very very very short step from just having the initial reactions depend on something beside your name. I think it's not that far away that we'll start seeing some of these things, and then it's a matter of what things should they react to and there's notions ... like wearing a sword for example. In certain places if you go to some very peaceful community far away from any kind of trouble then that might raise more of a flag than if you're out in a frontier location and there's wild beasts all over the place and you'd kind of be crazy not to have one. It can keep track of those notions, it's not really difficult it's just a matter of prioritising those things. Then when you've got an ethic associated with that - this is really going to build up those ethics lists for the civilizations - and that's again when we need ethics to be malleable for civilizations. Right now the infrastructure's there to allow them to be different but it's never used. It should be interesting to slowly start tackling stuff and like I was saying the doorway there is probably the adventure entities and your reputation through those entities.
Rainseeker:And so you could potentially have prejudices crop up between different factions and nations, I assume.
Toady:Yeah, because right now there's just; are you at war or not, pretty much. Those come up through ethical differences in world generation but those are never realised during the game. So if dwarves don't like elves for example for various reasons that'll start world generation wars, it'll also start dwarf mode wars in those scripted ways over tree agreements and all that kind of thing, but if you were a dwarf walking into an elven forest in adventure mode, if those civilizations weren't at war in world generation or as a result of your fortress mode game, then you could just walk in there and they would treat you like an elf, pretty much. There might be different dialogue, I don't recall if there's different dialogue if you're not part of their civilization, probably not, but if there is that would be the extent ... the greeting would be the extent of the different. So that's kind of bizarre right, it's one of these things that take you out of the moment completely because there should be problems there, you should be surrounded by guards or something, depending on how paranoid the culture is and so on. I guess these things would have to come out of a prior history. It's one of those questions you have to answer; 'How does a society react to something that's completely novel?' because if the elves and dwarves never interacted during world generation simply because they were far apart, and right now there's no notions of trade caravans or anything, when you bring your character from one to the other for the first time, that really is in all of world history kind of a first contact moment.
Rainseeker:You could be surrounded by guards and children.
Toady:Yeah, it'd just be bizarre. They'd put you in a little cage, and haul you off and put flowers in your hair and start worshiping you or something. Who knows, right? It's one of those things that the game doesn't respect right now. As for how to handle that, should that be an ethics thing? The ethics lists in the raws are a list of a premade culture for a group that's going to be created during world generation and then suddenly have that culture. This is so that you can have the flavour in the universe that you want to have, especially when you're modding where you have some notions of how they should behave and so on, like an elf or a dwarf when you want those to behave in certain ways in general, so you create these preconceived cultures for them. Now that doesn't respect how a culture might emerge, there's no notion of an emergent culture right now that's built up through racial traits and geography and history and so on. Those kinds of things should come up at least after the fact, like you've got these civilizations but they should be able to change a little bit once play begins at least, right? It's not really hard to give a really crappy simulation for an evolved culture, you plop the ten guys down, they have no ethics and then you just examine how crazy are the monsters in that area and what sort of resources are there and then bring up some silly model for how that would determine the ethics in some way, and then put a giant random element on it, and slap them down, and you've got a procedural starting point. But that's not necessarily compelling, it's interesting to have the variation, that certainly should be in there, but the main thing is how variation can occur through the history that occurs once the history starts. That's a step by step process, just putting in different influences and changes and what happens if you have several goblins somehow get assimilated into an elven society, and then all the elves get killed and then the goblins found a little thing up in the mountain somehow when they get chased out of the forest, then what are they? What do these goblins think? Does that lead to a whole goblin movement coming down from the mountains to reclaim the forests or something?
Rainseeker:(as goblins)We are the true elves!
Toady:Yeah it's all very weird, that kind of thing. Right now it's kind of strange ... Normally you'd think the hard part is getting the changes to occur, but right now there are too many changes in a way, like kidnapped dwarves and humans and elves and so on assimilate immediately and societies that are conquered by the dwarves and then get a dwarven overlord put over them, they're assimilated immediately and then they go on to spread that culture entirely without maintaining their previous one. It's kind of the opposite problem of implementing cultural diffusion and assimilation, and the interest comes when you do it half way, because the main thing that's missing from the game in terms of world generation and everything about making that interesting is the notion of conflict, not like a war but an internal conflict within one person, that drives their decision making. Having multiple cultural backgrounds for a single person is a great way to do that, and that's really the foundation of a lot of literature and so on, having those conflicting backgrounds and so on. It's one of those things that would start to be realised when you have the leaders moving around during play, which is not too far away, just getting more personal decision making in for the leaders, then there would be more of an impetus to draw on that kind of information. At least there's some challenges, because if you've got a hundred thousand people you can't keep track of every little thing about what they think and all that kind of stuff. The important decision makers are the ones that are going to be done first. It has all their background saved, it has all the historical things that led up to their present time and all of their previous entity affiliations and so on, so it can have a pretty good background but what it really needs is a snapshot sitting in their head of what their current ethical belief and value system is. Then it'll be easy to filter decisions through that and just have that vary over time as they move from place to place and various things happen to them that move them from culture to culture as they are exposed to other cultures. One of the main things we're missing is an exchange between two cultures that doesn't involve them just killing each other, there's not a notion of trade or alliance during world generation that can build up that sort of thing. Then when you get into regular play it's all just the same thing over again, when your adventurer's running around you are an agent of cultural diffusion as you go from place to place; that should have some kind of effect. It'd be cool for them not to just judge you based on the clothing that you're wearing but also to look at your clothing and then if you do something heroic for the town, there's some dev goals about them like naming their kids after you and all that kind of thing, but what if they started dressing like you but they're also dressing in the clothing of the southern culture as opposed to their own one ... whatever direction we're using this time in the example. Then it'd be cool if that started to lead to some kind of tension, we've already got the personality facet for traditionalism; traditional versus people that like to branch out and experiment, and that'd be very interesting, to have someone's kid dress up like you and then their parent would be like 'What are you doing? You've got to wear your robe'. It really all hinges on the personal goals and the personal decision making upgrades that are coming before the sieges. That's part of the excitement of the game is seeing what kind of things it comes up with that you didn't come up with yourself; when people start doing all kinds of crazy things we'll just have to revel in the horror.
Rainseeker:(camp)Well the colour purple is so on right now, the adventurer that came through town was wearing purple leather armour, just amazing.
Toady:That's right, you can go to the tavern and they'll all be talking about you.
Rainseeker:It'd be cool if you could disguise yourself and then sneak in and listen to people's conversations about you.
Toady:That'd be one of those challenges, the interface for that is kind of interesting right. If you're trying to dress like a local there should be things that give you away, but right now the only thing that would give you away is if you were wearing giant black boots instead of the traditional sandals. There should be subtle things about how your hair is styled or your belt is buckled, little things like that aren't even tracked, and accents and hand gestures, like if you count on your fingers differently from one place to another, there's all kinds of things. The main thing there is just the amount of information stored and the resolution of what information it displays. It would be annoying to have to micromanage your clothing flaps and pockets and things, like 'Oh I've got to put this one over this one this time'. There should just be some overall skill that says 'Prep for this are, you're familiar with its culture' and you set it up like an awareness or disguise type skill, and then you can screw up and it can store in the background what your screw ups are that you don't know about and then reveal them later. That would be a less cumbersome way to handle it I guess. That would be all be really exciting.
Capntastic:Especially if you'd been hired to be a spy for another empire or something like that.
Toady:Yeah, if you weren't just hired to go kill people. I guess it applies for that too, even then. (aside to Scamps) Mister. What are you burrowing under the keyboard for? Keyboards are not for burrowing. What is under there? I'm going to lift up the keyboard, if there's nothing there you've got a real problem. Oh there's a quarter! You've found a quarter, you's a money seeking cat. I've got a quarter, I'm going to throw the quarter across the room, are you ready? Are you ready here we go! Whee! Woah there he goes, bolting out of the room, chasing the money.(end aside)
Capntastic:This month's donatathon's really taken off.
Toady:Yeah it's been awesome. Scamps follows the money.
Capntastic:Twenty five cents ...
Toady:Maybe we should get him investigating presidents and stuff. Follow the money! Follow the money! Yeah, Aqizzar, no 'u', I have to thank him for setting up the
Capntastic:He sent me an email or a message or something.
Toady:It'd be funny if he sends private messages to everybody that gets it wrong, like 'This is your first warning'.
Capntastic:I guess it's a problem because people just assume 'there's a 'q', I'm going to follow that up with a 'u''
Toady:Yeah, and you should get sinister warnings if you mess that up. But it's been awesome, it's been a very very good month.
Rainseeker:Thanks to everyone who's been donating!
Toady:Yeah, all these awesome people.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So, procedural cultures and all that, that's really great for adventure mode but how will it affect fortress type modes, settlement modes, civilization modes. Will cultures prefer certainly building materials, will you get some sort of benefit if your culture likes, say, granite blocks?
Toady:Fortress mode is always a difficult thing because you ...
Capntastic:You want to be able to do everything.
Toady:Yeah, you want to be able to do whatever you want, and so if your guys are really into granite and you build out of marble that shouldn't be the end of the world. However, I think they should - especially the traditionalists - should get warm fuzzy thoughts walking by granite statues and so on, they're like 'aah, it's old granite' and just sit there and lean up against the statue and enter a bliss world or something.
Capntastic:I'm definitely thinking that your civilization as a whole would spread rumours about you if you didn't follow traditions, like 'Oh those wierdos making statues out of marble instead of granite.'
Toady:It's a really tough call ... It would be cool I guess if the personality came to play in the following way. You have your outpost liaison roll up, and your outpost liaison, let's say that he's ninety nine percent traditionalist, and then he's going to meet with your king and he wanders into the front door and there's the gate and on either side there are microcline statues or something, and it's just gaudy nouveau-dwarf non-granite crap. Then right at that point it would be cool if when he rolls ... it's not like it's an additional thing because he rolls the same checks, 'admired a fine door recently, admired that' so if he sees the statue, rolls that check, and while he didn't admire the microcline statue lately, it's like 'was shocked and awed by the microcline statue' and just kind of stops. It could alert you to it or something, it could be like 'there is a diplomatic disaster pending', you have to pull up your reports and the outpost liaison is sitting there staring at the microcline statue and you'd have to send a guy out and tell him that the elves left it there and you were just about to haul it off.
Rainseeker:What would do you want to do? Would you like to lie? Would you like to tell the truth?
Capntastic:But you could also spread fashions and trends, like he's going to go back and say 'Those guys really have it happening over there, they have the whole ...'
Rainseeker:'... microcline there'
Toady:Yeah, I guess the next immigration wave would just be a bunch of dwarven runaways, all these kids come and they just want to check out the ... All the hipsters and various drug addicts and so on can come spilling into your fortress.
Capntastic:So then we have Liberal Dwarf Squad, everything's a circle.
Toady:Also there's the issue of ... This comes back to the internal groups within your fortress, like the religions and guilds and so on, because they all have the same cultural and ethical setups as well and each of those can come into play again as far as determining what the overall cultural makeup of your fortress is, and that's another way that cultures can change over time, by introducing new subgroups. Right now I'm not really sure how religions start during dwarf mode; it could be that pilgrims arrive and start preaching about things, or a dwarf could have a revelation, or there could just be your pioneer guys, your seven guys, all come there with their own beliefs to begin with, which is how it works now. They could then, when it comes time that your fortress is large enough for you to set up some kind of temples, or whatever the dwarves end up having for that kind of thing, then you could at that point have the religious subculture spring up around those locations. Then the aesthetics of that group can start coming into play when they interact with different objects in your fortress and other people come, and the outpost liaison again could be accosted by worshipers of a certain religion either in a peaceful way or a non-peaceful way, all that kind of thing. It's all a big mishmash and again the important part is when you have dwarves that overlap in several of those groups. It could be that the outpost liaison himself fits into one of those groups, like had been a miner during the first ten years during world generation, and so is very predisposed to your miner's guild guys and chats a few of them up when they meet in the hallway and then overall has a good disposition during the meeting with your mayor. There's all kinds of things like that just slowly get put in over time.
Rainseeker:And it would be really cool if we were notified of ...
Toady:Yeah, there's so many things going on now that don't have any kind of cue at all for you to know that they're happening. I tried to put some of the new personality stuff that I put in for the military ... I talk about it on the devlog but I don't think there's a lot of indication there about what's actually going on. Part of the problem is you need a good place to put it and the dwarves thoughts are one location, that giant paragraph, but stuff gets lost in the shuffle there, so there needs to be some way of putting that information across. Putting it down in an announcement would be way too spammish, shovelling that information at you, so it's a bit of a trick.
Rainseeker:I wonder if you could have a single event in the announcements and then you could open up that event and have it explain the event, or something.
Toady:It would just need to not take up your real estate at the bottom when other things are going on, I guess. It's things to experiment with anyway.
Capntastic:So cultures start somewhere and when you mentioned the first ten years of world generation it made me think of year zero, and that's when a lot of the races pop up. Will they have origin stories and will that effect general civilization's world view, like the elves sprang from the trees themselves and that's why they like trees, and kobalds popped up out of holes in the ground or were spat out by some zombie, and then they worship that demon, and they also worship spit ...
Toady:Things all start to run afoul of each other. We've talked a little bit previously about mythology during world generation and these pantheons, not having a reason for existing as such but having a reality about them that has to do with the prehistory of the world, what is it, cosmology or whatever; how the world came to be.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Does this mean that we are going to have a strong occurrence of non-traditional fantasy races, or is that going to be a toggle.
Toady:That's the tricky question. That's kind of what I was getting at; if you've got a dwarf, you've got a really strong notion of what you want a dwarf to be but you also just set the random pantheons thing for them and then it creates a world generation myth and says, you know, 'their pantheon is all about lava and dancing' and if it's not reflected then in their larger culture, if it can't go in and override things, then you've got a problem. What it would want to be then is either in the raws you say the flow of information is in one direction, so that your specifications determine what their pantheon's going to be like so you get a pretty good match, or you say 'go ahead and mess with me to some degree' and then they create ... whatever their story is, not necessary a pantheon, but whatever the world generation myth happens to be, then it can go in and it feels like 'well you guys really need to like water more because we had you spawned out of the ocean' and all that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:You can only do beach fortresses.
Toady:It could just flag your culture as only being beach-embarkable because of how this thing worked. You don't want it to be one of those things that you ship with the game necessarily unless it can do really good exposition because people would be very confused. But it's definitely something that I think would be really cool because it's good to get away from the overall straightjackets we've put on ourselves ...
Capntastic:Where every culture is kind of the same.
Toady:Yeah it's bad.
Capntastic:I think that the important thing would be to - if there are limitations - maybe not make them limitations so much as guidelines, and if there are guidelines make them something that the player wants to follow. Maybe through some sort of cultural benefit or something similar, or just make it ...
Toady:For dwarf mode, yeah, for that. It's the conflicts we were talking about where we let the player do what they want but there are norms that can be followed. It's kind of the same idea as putting a personality on your adventurer, it's like 'Your adventurer's a coward' ...
Capntastic:'You're a coward and you cry yourself to sleep every night'
Toady:And then when you go to attack a monster there are two choices, you can either act out of character and maybe the game doesn't actually penalise you for that, or the game is like 'no you can't walk towards the monster'. That would be annoying, there's this sense in which your adventurer having a personality is a real hindrance on play and you'd have to be very confident in your system if you were going to actually force restrictions, and I don't think I'd ever be confident enough in setting something up that wasn't really annoying. So you'd want to allow the maximum freedom there. You could put in penalties, like attack penalties if it thinks your player should be freaked out or afraid or something, but even that interferes with a role playing in a sense because maybe the confluence of events that led up to that point would not really admit cowardice even in a cowardly person for whatever reason. So if it suddenly popped up 'You're feeling a little afraid' at the bottom of the screen 'minus five', then that might drop you out of whatever moment you've been building towards. It's difficult to do internal psychology that way and at the same time maintain the role playing immersion. On the other hand maybe it enhances the role playing immersion in a lot of ways because you see that the character is behaving in a predictable fashion, so like I said it's down to the quality of the system and I'm not sure how good I could do there.
Capntastic:What might work there would be an Ultima style 'if you had to fight a dragon would you throw rocks at it, or sneak up behind it and hit it with a rock, or drop a rock on it from a contraption you built', maybe not with the rock theme but instilling the personality onto the character before you play it.
Toady:And then at that point ... I guess the issue there is that dealing with a changing situation might be difficult and that's kind of what I was getting at with the half baked example is that you need to be able to deal with situations where the character's personality could be overcome for a moment, and if it decided that you didn't overcome it but in your mind you had that's where you start to chafe a little bit. But yeah if you write down what you think the player is like just so interactions in town are befitting your overall demeanour and that kind of thing is certainly doable, just for an overall reactions thing. Specific penalties and mechanics might still be an issue but for the overall reputation and just how people react to how you are, it could be good. Also as kind of a general ... what's it called, perks and faults and all that kind of thing, if that worked through a personality system then it would be easier to swallow mostly if you picked that you were cowardly and then you get combat minuses all the time; at least you wouldn't be surprised.
Rainseeker:Perhaps you could go on a quest to rid yourself of cowardice.
Toady:Well if you go on a quest it should probably rid you of cowardice. I guess that's one of those lessons from children's books. It's all about judging player intent, I don't know if it's even weird to half way through your life or anytime you want to be able to go in and tweak your personality numbers. You'd run into power gaming issues there I guess, it's a thing where you can tell the ... If you told the game 'I'm angry right now' and then it started reacting accordingly it fits back into the conversation engine; should you be able to not just say a thing but put in the tone for how you're talking to somebody and so feed your tone and your actual content of your statement - tone, gestures, all that kind of thing - to the extent that you want to feed that information in to vary the responses, so that you can behave in character. Maybe you wouldn't be able to raise your voice at somebody if you had the wrong personality for it or something, it's undetermined right now, but all very interesting anyway.
Capntastic:My belief is that when Dwarf Fortress gets close to done it'll basically have everything that someone would expect, I just think that having Tarn talk about these things clarifies in what direction the game is going, and it will possibly staunch some of the weird suggestions like 'Toady, you should make it so different people wear different coloured clothes'.
Toady:I guess the education of the fanbase or whatever you'd want to call it is ... That sounds sort of a never ending process in any case, there's new people coming and so on.
Capntastic:I know, it's like I want to help people, I want to help them enjoy the game more, but a lot of people show up like 'I played this game for ten minutes, Toady I have the coolest idea, you need to add horses.'
Toady:Yeah I do need to add horses I guess. I already have them but we need them in other places. Adventurers need their horses.
Capntastic:Definitely, with saddlebags.
Rainseeker:Horses need to be haulers.
Capntastic:And you could get horseshoes, and bits ...
Rainseeker:Play games with horseshoes.
Capntastic:... and get to braid their tail.
Toady:It's important to colour them pink and put them in a plastic box and sell them.
Rainseeker:It would be a plastic box, it'd be a wooden box, and it wouldn't be plastic it'd be rock. A rock pony.
Capntastic:Like what you're making your character it'll ask 'If you had a limited edition pink horse in a stone box would you take it out of the box or would you leave it in there and let it accumulate value for the elven traders?'
Toady:Yeah it's always interesting, the character generation through stories and questions. Some people despise that and some people like to be able to define their character in that way.
Capntastic:I like the ones for Liberal Crime Squad, it's like 'when you were a kid you broke into cars, or you studied really hard, or you had a paintball gun' and you can kind of see what sort of benefits those bestow.
Toady:Yeah that one had real tangible results. There's the trick of integrating it into the world which already has a history, so the more information you give it about ... Certain ones of the Ultima ones would be maybe difficult it's like 'When you were ten you went and spoke to the king and slew a dragon and you gave your friend the reward' but no dragon died that year in world generation, so it could just start you with legendary liar or something. It's one of the things that complicates it but we don't have to fret over it. We certainly need something, right now it's just like 'You are a wandered named John and here you are'.
Capntastic:That's right ...You mentioned earlier about how different cultures would have different names and they'd think it's weird. I always thought it was cool how if you had a custom name in adventure mode, when you told people your name they'd say 'Oh your parents must have been interesting.' I did that once and my name was an actual dwarf name, I changed my name to ... it wasn't Urist but it was some other dwarf name, and I changed my name to that and they didn't recognise it as an actual dwarf name.
Toady:That's one of those things where I thought I did that, I thought I'd fixed that but it must be just sitting in a dev note somewhere. I'd definitely thought of that case but ...
Capntastic:Some weird accentuation I didn't use.
Toady:Yeah it's possible because you can't type those, I thought I'd checked for that but perhaps it was a total failure. But it's definitely the kind of thing we're trying to do correctly. What is that ... what is that called here ... greeting ... goodbye ... greet. Unusual first name: 'Your parents must have been interesting' 'You know, you don't meet many people with the name [blankname]' 'So, [blankname], [blankname] was it?' '[blankname], does that mean something?' '[blankname] ... Can't say I've heard that before'.
Rainseeker:How about 'You sound like a real jerk [blankname]', or 'You seem like a real [blankname]'
Toady:That's nothing but trouble. Oh it does look! What's it doing here! One of us screwed up, and it's possible I did, I don't remember if I bug checked that or not, but it's in there, ostensibly.
Capntastic:Will cultures progress in a Spore-like manner where you have the dwarves and they just appear from whatever creation and as it progress they move towards a gully and then they begin to accentuate their culture towards living off of the gully, like they have a fondness for the gully herbs, and they fish the gully river, and they like those fish, and then there's a branch off where some of the dwarves go to a hill and they eat the hill berries.
Toady:That's kind of a geographical determinism type thing, say the year zero thing they're just typical dwarves ... Right now the way it works makes a bit of sense, but it's kind of weird, because it goes through and picks a favourite food but the favourite food is any possible food that's available, and it won't be visible if you haven't seen it yet but it could be ... maybe some dwarf's food is cheater meat but you haven't actually found cheater meat so it's not listed but when they eat cheater they're suddenly like 'Oh I just love cheater meat! This is great!' and then you go look at their profile and it tells you that he likes cheater meat and that's just because it predetermined that their taste buds were somehow aligned to cheater meat, no other meat. I think Capntastic's way of thinking about it is probably a much better way to handle that thing, looking at the geographic information and determine whether or not they like or dislike the things they've been exposed to, and then when they get exposed to new things they can either like or dislike those, and if there's some kind of more universal way of thinking about that like liking light colours or dark colours or something so that when they find a new colour they'll like it or not depending on ...
Capntastic:A new colour ...
Toady:Yeah yeah ... that's a great example. I thought of a wonderful example when I used colour ...
Toady:Yeah it reminds me of those games where you have the black, white and grey world and you add colour to it. It's like when you add blue then the dwarves can either like blue or not. If I had chosen a better example, it would have been a better example. So if they bring cheese, cow cheese, and you don't have cows, then maybe you're a connoisseur of cheeses to begin with, you already like dwarven cheese and cat cheese and carp cheese ... made from carp milk from the carp mammary gland. If the dwarf likes all cheeses then they should like that cheese too, but they shouldn't have some kind of preconceived notion about cow's milk if they've never had it before which is how it works now and is kind of strange. So then if they move they could start to develop a regional character and then you get things like the traditionalist thing again where at first those guys might not like the second place, the hill at first and long for the gully ...
Capntastic:And have recipes from the old country.
Toady:Yeah, and then five generations later a lot of dwarves might think that being 'hill' is traditional, but then there's a few people who still remember the gully who think that's traditional so you could actually have two traditionalist camps that disagree with what is traditional. That kind of thing; it gets trickier and trickier to store that sort of information but ...
Rainseeker:You could get two nations that arise out of that, the 'gullies' and the 'hills'.
Capntastic:Yeah, you'd have a schism, then war, then violence, then fun. A progression of culture I think, which would be great because at any given point in time it would indicate that the culture was doing something and they had preferences at that point, and then basically they have an actual history at different points.
Toady:It's always a storage thing, especially when you'd going over time with lots and lots of people. But you can do that with kind of a snapshot ... There's the internal snapshots inside important people where it can track their history but it can't do that for too many people, and then the other people I guess it can take the thousand or so most important bits of information and create a snapshot every ten years for the entity, so that ...
Capntastic:For like what special events happen, like 'this is when we invented carp cheese during the great famine.'
Toady:Yeah, you'd have the important historical events, the tricky part is reconstructing the entities ... If you tracked every change you could go back in time and reverse engineer the changes but that's slow and you couldn't track everything, like certain thoughts about copper, what the dwarves thoughts are about copper in general, so if you have snapshots it might make that a little better. Then you could track trends in copper ... it's almost like the stock market or the monetary mineral markets or whatever the heck they're called, futures, cattle futures ... So you could look at the - there's no reason you'd really want to do this - but just how people thought about various things over time, the most important bits anyway. That's the thing, when you want to meet a dwarf ... The reason to do this is if you meet a dwarf they need to have some kind of picture in their head of their likes and dislikes, but since that dwarf would likely not have that information stored in them if they're just a dwarf off the street, or out of the mine or whatever, when you walk into a new settlement, that dwarf needs to have their information placed into their head once you talk to them about these things. So it would have to do through their entities, the larger groups they're associated with, and so those need to have that information tracked, and if the dwarf has been living there for sixty years it can't just use the information sitting in the entity at that moment because that's the stuff the new kids like, the Twilight stuff and all that. Whereas sixty years ago when people were in to other things ... that dwarf ... if you took a snapshot every ten years, you take those six snapshots for that dwarf and then take their traditionalism and a few other things and cast their line back as far as it needs to go, and that's what that dwarf can believe. It's interesting to try and set that up.
Rainseeker:Back in my day, blood-sucking vampires were evil! Now they're sexy hunks, I don't understand these newfangled things.
Capntastic:I don't understand my feelings towards this.
Toady:Yeah, or you could have people like my grandfather who was rollerblading in the eighties, an early adopter.
Capntastic:Now people are going to post about rollerblading dwarves, then they're going to get into spandex and sunglasses and it's never going to end. Dayglo colours, Pepsi Clear, it's just not worth it.
Toady:Is that like Sprite or whatever?
Rainseeker:It was a little trend there for about two years, or one year. I don't know, it was very short. Okay so we're going to take a break. Capntastic is going to be departing for another adventure ...
Capntastic:Yeah I gotta take off.
Rainseeker:... and Tarn and I are going to go over your questions, so thanks for joining us Capn.
Capntastic:No problem, always a pleasure Doctor.
Toady:Now watch out, if Capntastic calls you Doctor, if you put some name after that that kind of makes you a villain.
Capntastic:Yeah, Doctor Tarn Adams and his mind controlling device.
Toady:Yeah, so now Captain's going to come over to my house and kick my ass, lock me in some kind of jail or insane asylum or something.
Capntastic:Have at it you two.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Unspecified:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Hey! We're back for more dwarf talk, here with our illustrious programmer Tarn Adams, and myself, I'm Rainseeker. We're going to be addressing some of your fine questions that you've asked, so ...
Toady:Yeah, lots of questions in here.
Rainseeker:We do have lots of questions here. Well, I'll start the first one with a question from one Mr Slack: 'Have you considered a barber/stylist type job where dwarves can wonder around and clean up other dwarves? In addition have you considered things like piercings, tattoos, gold teeth or other body decorations that the dwarves or the barbers could create? Are there any technical hurdles to something like that?'
Toady:We have earrings, you don't need to pierce to put them in, because we didn't have the wound system before, but we have it now. So earrings ... Tattoos we've considered, that's all good ... I'm not sure about barbers creating the tattoos and stuff but I don't know ... There's the hair styles right now but right now dwarves just kind of take care of their own hair style. I guess somebody elevated to the position of being a professional that takes care of beards seems like a very reasonable profession for dwarves to have ...
Rainseeker:A beardist.
Toady:A beardist. Especially if you mod in the female beards, because everybody would be involved now, because having the men be the only one with stylists is unbalanced. But yeah, there's triple braided beards and all kind of things now; someone would need to set that up, I certainly couldn't triple braid my own beard even if I had one. I'm not sure when ... when or who for things like tattoos. The more little mechanics you add in the more dwarves you need hanging around and you'd hope that you don't go too overboard with it. I guess they could do it part time, because people won't be getting tattoos all the time. But then how do they get skilled at it, it'd be really horrible to have these really ugly horrible tattoos, just big blocky letters and hearts and incorrect characters from other languages and stuff pasted all over their bodies ...
Rainseeker:Very popular to put elven characters on your body.
Toady:Yeah all these dwarves with elven characters on their beards that say 'tree killer' and stuff like that. At least they think it does but it actually says 'I love Mother Earth' or something. Maybe they could practice on animals or something, there's a bunch of cats around ... You could shave the cat and then tattoo stuff on the side and have all the cats branded when you corral them into their corrals and stuff.
Rainseeker:Cat corrals ... haven't you ever heard of herding cats? Our next one's coming from Jim DeMont: 'What are your plans to make the game more accessible to new players?'
Toady:We have plans, who knows when, as usual, but the plans we have for that are ... There are a couple of things that keep people out of the game, mainly. One of the big impediments of course is the ASCII display; as we've seen from some of the utilities that have been popping up, more people would be playing the game if they had a reasonable look, tiles and all that isometric type stuff, all that kind of thing. And we're planning to support that stuff over time, there's issues there of course that we've gone over in the past about how fast development will be, how many other people need to be brought on board and what kind of trouble that can cause. But aside from that there's the issue of the interface as a larger picture, just in terms of having keys that are consistent and make sense, mouse support's a huge thing for people, and we're planning on doing that thing. The main thing there is uncoupling Dwarf Fortress from all the curses crap that has been there for years which is the ASCII stuff that ties it in so you can't have variable width fonts right now which you'd really want to have to have bigger tiles and have a smaller menu that can hide off somewhere by itself. And there's also the notion of now ... Even if you had a streamlined interface and graphical characters and so on, the game would still be very inaccessible because you still start the game and your dwarves would just be milling around and you still wouldn't know what to do. Tutorials seem like a very reasonable thing, I know a few people are against them for whatever reason but I don't see another way. There'd need to be quite a few tutorials and it would be good to explore ways to make those as fun as possible, because sometimes a tutorial can really be a hassle. So it'll take some work to get those polished but you've just got to make sure people know how to dig, they know how to make buildings, and do the other jobs that the dwarves need to do, and also get across some of those concepts about how the world works, and how it's okay to fail, and you're encouraged to let your game die and that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:Because it goes on. Your game is connected to the entire world, so if you build a new ...
Toady:Yeah, it's good to get that thing across and so a tutorial's actually a good platform in that sense to instil some of the overarching concepts of the game, I wouldn't say how it's meant to be played, but just how it can be played. So that's the three pronged thing we've got right now. I could have missed some of the little dev items that are there, and other items that have been floated in the 'What turns you off about Dwarf Fortress?' thread and so on. I know there are a lot of good ideas in there, but the three things that spring to mind immediately are graphics, consistent controls with mouse support and tutorials.
Rainseeker:Alright. So I had a comment here that I was going to read from Xanares. He says: 'Milord, the general has been abducted; his last command was 'ga ga goo goo'.
Toady:I believe that's from the dev log where we had babies rising to important positions at age one or whatever.
Rainseeker:I just thought it was a funny comment on that one. From Andrew K; 'On world generation you recently noted that the world in game isn't the whole world, i.e. it only has one pole. How permeable is the edge to new things coming in?'
Toady:Nothing comes in right now, there used to be migrants that were generated on the edges and they would get these foreign culture entities, which would be much like the entities that are within the world except they just have different selections of items and things. And that's the idea right now because when we hit wards there are going to be potential depopulation problems and all kinds of other trouble, and one of the possible solutions of that is just to allow things to come in from the sides. Now I know some people are going to dislike that because if things come in from the sides then the effects that you're having on the world are very local and you might not feel that you have as much control as you want to have over the situation, so certainly an init thing or a world parameter thing most likely that you can just check and be like 'nah, my edges are not permeable'. Then in that case we could even do something like have them always be water, or have them drop off into space. Doing things like having the world be a torus, meaning that the left edge and right edge wrap, or have it be ... I'm not sure what happens if you go in through the top and come out through the top on another side, like if you're actually trying to create a sphere you're probably actually creating some weird projected space, just some mess. The left and right edges wrapping is more like one face of an annulus and then having the top wrapped to the bottom would be very weird, especially if it was from the pole to the desert, that would be a torus but that's ... you know. But any kind of option it just has to be supported by the pathfinding routine, which is easy enough, you just give it a few extra rules; I mean the world pathfinding routine not the dwarf mode pathfinding routine. Although, does that mean that you'd be able to settle a site half on one edge and half on the other, and then you'd have to be able to load those blocks correctly. There are certain annoyances that you get there, like when the adventurer walks through the edge it has to know how to load the blocks correctly. It's not a huge problem but it's a little issue. That's the obstacle there, so that's why we've just gone with this local region, those are the two reasons; first it's the easiest to implement, second it allows you to repopulate regions more easily. But we're open to helping people that want to have rounder more self contained worlds.
Rainseeker:Very good. I have a question here from The Catfish: 'What have been the most surprising, or inspiring, or ingenious things you've found emerging from the community?'
Toady:The one that struck me in vaguely recent memory was that computer, the one that used like two thousand mechanical pieces and had a seven segment counter and stuff. That as far as a technical achievement was something that's far beyond what I was expecting, anticipated or even understand. The other things are the big stories, the big popular stories, when people get those working well, the succession games when they pass them around, that's all been really cool. I've forgotten all the different little pieces of that question, I don't know if I've said something that was inspiring or whatever the other ones were, but those are the two things that come to mind.
Rainseeker:Our next one is from R A Browning, he is saying that a few of the members of the mining forum discovered that if you mess around with the raws you're able to embark with intelligent - or at least can learn and can speak pets - who are counted as members of your civilization, and can be given tasks like hunting, fishing or recruited into the military. If they aren't given any tasks they mostly stand around talking with one another and gaining experience at their little animal man parties. The question is this: 'Are there any plans to expand on this interesting phenomenon in later versions of the game, such as by allowing the intelligent pets to equip weapons and armor and fight alongside the controlling civilization, or to allow them to take up other labours on a limited basis?'
Toady:The pet part, I guess, is the strange part of that. This actually ties in very very closely to the people that had the elf queen of their dwarven society show up, and then the elf queen was kind of broken. The problem is the old code, the oldest stuff, assumes that members of your civilization are all the same race, and the newer stuff just needs them to be potential participants; they need to have in most cases can learn and can speak, or in some cases just can learn, and then they can join into civilization activities. So what you're seeing with the pets is the same thing you seem with the elf queen most likely, you just wouldn't have noticed the hunting and fishing, probably because the nobles can't be recruited in general for that kind of stuff. So it's kind of a weird split, the weird part there is that they're also a pet. That I'm not sure how to deal with offhand. What does that mean, is that dwarven slavery, or is that just a really affectionate relationship or something? I don't know. But the answer about rebellions and things; anything that dwarves will be able to do later, they'll be able to do. We haven't really planned a lot for version 1 especially for massively multiracial forts with like ten goblins hanging out, but really when you get back to some of this entity stuff we were talking about, there should be a notion of them cliquing up a bit and making a sub-entity, at least for certain races. It's quite possible that goblins with all their kidnapping behaviour and so on don't really see the species of the creatures the same way and might not even clique up based on their goblin nature unless they're spurned by the rest of the dwarves or something. It's all going to depend on how that works out, I don't pretend to have the algorithms set up for making sure that stuff is going to work right, but hopefully that would be one of the main considerations when you start forming sub-groups like miners' guild is if there's multiple species in the fort.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Zwei: 'Considering that leaders have motivations and goals, do civilizations as a whole have something similar; will player-made fortresses be tied to them too? Most real world purchases start as a way to tap resources of land, player fortresses however are fairly common in this regard and totally free to do whatever the heck they want; a literal sandbox. Will fortress mode have more of a historical or purposeful feel?'
Toady:Right now one of the giant question marks sitting above dwarf mode is why are you doing what you're doing? Seven dwarves strike out and make a fortress for no reason ... But they come from a civilization. So I'm not sure in terms of the civilizations having goals versus the leaders having goals. Someone's making decisions, although many members of the society can understand and push those decisions and so on, so there's a civilization aspect and maybe that's what you mean. But the player fortresses then, I think it would be really cool to have a point for what you're doing, especially for people that aren't just going to go build some crazy megaproject or whatever, that don't have some kind of meta-game agenda like that. Looking at the world itself there certainly should be a reason for what you're doing ... How closely tied is your expedition to the official fortress? Right now they all seem very officially supported because there are outpost liaisons and so on, but it would be pretty trivial to have your dwarves optionally be fleeing from persecution or something, and then you wouldn't have an outpost liaison and all the merchants that come would be more freelance, like the humans and elves, and maybe dwarves from a different dwarven civilization, and you wouldn't have the benefit of the outpost liaison and you might actually run into trouble when the dwarves come and hunt you down. That would all be very cool, and it's something that's been floating around for years, I don't remember whether it was pre-release or post-release, but saying what these dwarves are doing out there, and I think that's only going to make the game better when we answer those questions, but I don't have a timeline, as usual.
Rainseeker:Okay, here's one from Steb: 'For the next episode of DF Talk, I'd like to ask a question about soil. In the future will it be possible to have items buried in the soil, such as relics from world generation battles that you uncover in dwarf mode by digging?'
Toady:There is a buried embedded ... an embedded flag right now, like if you do a cave in the items will be - I think it's used for cave ins, it's used somewhere - where they become embedded in the rock; the items become embedded and you can dig them out again. So that part's there, but there should be a shallow buried one for something like putting a ring under the dirt in adventure mode that stays in the same tile, so you don't have to stuff it way down in the wall, like the wall under your feet, the whole Z level down. So that mechanic's in there, but as far as relics from world generation battles and stuff, one of the core items for development for version 1 - I don't recall the number off the top of my head but it's one of the hundred things that needs to be done - is old battlefields from world generation, because right now those are unused. They're entirely unused, you have this battlefield and it knows where they are, if you use the legends screen and call up the battle it shows exactly where it was ... yeah it's core sixty nine, old battlefields ... so they have their locations but there are no traces of them whereas if you go there, especially if it's a recent battle, there should be a lot of crap. With the ruins, ruins just kind of decay over time, but there's no sediment laid down, so things don't ever become buried, and I think it's crucial to bury things, especially in a game that involves this much digging. So those are planned, if you look at core sixty seven there's ruins there, core sixty eight is graveyards and tombs which is related, core sixty nine is ole battlefields, and core seventy is fortress ruins; how that specifically relates to your own fortress and the ruins there. So those four core items are all meant to address that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Totaku, saying: 'I was curious if in the future you will look into exploring symbiotic relationships. We may already have some basic relationships since dwarves can have pets that they can develop a bond with, but I wonder if you'll open the opportunity in the future for wild animals to develop symbiotic relationships with other wild animal species.'
Toady:In terms of hard coded stuff ... I see these examples of ox peckers feeding on rhino ticks and sea anemones providing shelter and so on. I'm really interested in animal behaviour personally so that's the kind of thing that most likely would creep in on a whim along with all the other animal improvements. We don't have a specific development goal for symbiotic relationships but it's the kind of thing that would creep in. Right now we have to probably address the big elephants in the room or whatever you want to call them like a lion walking by the deer and they can sit next to each other and all the animals sat together and were at peace, and it's trouble.
Toady:It's like the peaceable kingdom or whatever. So I'm assuming that before we explore symbiotic relationships we will explore predator/prey relationships.
Rainseeker:Right it's already symbiotic, I mean gosh, the lions will defend the deer after all.
Toady:Yeah that's exactly what happens. Right now the lion pack is like the anemone providing shelter for the clownfish. I feel very positive about the topic at hand and once the bigger fish are fried that's certainly something that would start to creep up.
Rainseeker:Now if a lion kills a deer does that mean that a dwarf is going to go fetch that deer carcass and end up standing next to the lion?
Toady:What is the restriction now? I think the butchers try and grab any corpses within twenty tiles or something and the hunters return kills that they kill themselves. That's actually way too strict right now because a lot of times you'll get a corpse that bled to death or got shot by an arrow and it didn't get tagged right or something and they'll just leave it there; that happens too often.
Rainseeker:Here's a quick one from Mr Slack: 'With health care revamped and ready for the next release how far away is the functionality of giving healthcare to pets?' Now here's the sob story; 'I have a dog with two broken legs trying to make its way back to my fort, and it's heartbreaking to watch it shuffle a few steps, fall unconscious, and then shuffle a few more steps over and over and over for the better part of the season.' It's very sad, poor Lassie.
Toady:This is one I don't remember the answer to because there's animal healthcare in a sense in the currently released version. The animal if it can limp over to the guy that provides animal healthcare it just needs to be within a radius of it then it'll heal much faster, that's how it works right now. But when I removed that profession then I don't know what took its place if anything, that could very well be one of the items that's on the last little requests ... Yeah, there's this little thing called vets here, what is this saying, is this some last thing I just have to ... Here it is, it's under the last remaining requests section of the release is either keep that little magical healing radius thing or slap some tags on them so they can bring a dog to your hospital tables or something. So we're going to get something one way or the other, and if it doesn't go ... because I'm trying to get the game out ... if it doesn't go the direction of giving healthcare to pets in a more meaningful fashion then at least we're never going to be that far from it code-wise even if we're far away from it time-wise. So it's something that if it continues to come up it will probably be dealt with, especially as people bring more horrible stories about their dead and dying animals, and Mister Scamps has to be sitting here watching and hearing about this. (aside to Scamps) How do you feel about that Mister Scamps?(end aside) He's been sleeping most of this recording.
Rainseeker:Excellent Mister Scamps.
Toady:Yeah he's an excellent animal. Of course there was right at the beginning he tried to yank my head off, so I guess it all evens out.
Rainseeker:Tell everybody about what Scamps does if you try to do laundry.
Toady:My apartment has a little washer and dryer; they're the smallest ones I've ever seen but I have them which is something to be thankful for ... I can wash like four shirts and that's about it, they're really small. But they're in this little alcove near to the little room with the sink and the kitchen, it's a very small kitchen, and this is the one part of the house that Scamps has not been able to explore because the alcove is closed most of the time ... I'm not sure if it's an alcove, it's like a laundry closet, I'm sure some of you have seen those, and it has a little door. He's not allowed in there because a little detergent gets dropped there sometimes and I just don't want him snooping around in there, so it's closed, and whenever I do laundry he's very curious about this. Now he recently acquired the ability to jump up on the kitchen shelf, which has changed my lifestyle considerably, but he's figured that one out. So now when he comes, when I'm doing laundry, the closest he can get to investigating is jumping up on the kitchen shelf and trying to peek around to see the laundry, but he can't peek around because it's too far around the little wall that separates the laundry from the kitchen. So what he'll do instead is just meow and scratch my arm. I don't know if he's just waiting for me to pick him up and hold him and show him the machines or something. I could take him on a little tour ... I remember taking him on the tour of the sink a couple of days ago because he had been recently jumping up on the kitchen shelf so I showed him how to turn the sink on and off.
Rainseeker:Has he tried to do that?
Toady:He understands I think that the knob influences the water, like those pigeons that learn how to press buttons, pretty much every animal seems to be able to figure out button pressing. So he knows that the knob has to do ... He's figured out doorknobs too, so I think he understands the knob turns the water on and off. He's not sure what to think of the water itself, the water shooting down. He'll investigate it, and he likes to stand in the sink and look at the water from an inch away, we haven't completed his lessons on the sink, but we might have to bring him to laundry class, so he can learn about the laundry instead of scratching my arm.
Rainseeker:I have another question here from Van, and he says, curiously enough, that you should cover vehicles in one of the upcoming DF Talks, and he wants to talk about siege vehicles, mounts, and boats.
Toady:I remember I made that post. Someone wrote a thing about boats, and then I posted a giant thing about boats, and the siege vehicles were going to run into the ideas about boats. I don't remember if we've actually had that on at the DF Talk or not, talking about ...
Rainseeker:Boats I'm not sure.
Toady:The siege vehicles, like multi-tile things that can move around and so on.
Rainseeker:Maybe talk a little bit about multi-tile stuff.
Toady:A large issue there is turning; should you only be able to point in four directions, because it's kind of mathematically impossible to have more without breaking the grid system or breaking the relationships between grids and, or changing the number of grids, and you can't do any of those things really safely. Now even if the thing turns four directions it can still more in many more directions by doing kind of an up-up-over, up-up-over, up-up-over thing. So it's not like they'll be completely dissatisfying, it's just if you're trying to navigate a narrow thing that you'd normally be able to navigate, like a narrow channel that you'd normally be able to navigate a boat through but suddenly you have to corner and it's like, turn ninety degrees or whatever, then you might run into issues, or you make all the boats squares or something, I think that'd be pretty ugly though. But as far as covering it on a DF Talk we can always put it up for vote. Next month is taken by adventure mode, but after that it's up to ...
Rainseeker:I don't know, I don't know. But yeah, I've waded through all the questions that I think we're going to cover tonight.
Toady:You'll always have more to ask.
Rainseeker:Yeah. And remember if you want to ask questions there is a little thread there to point you in the right direction under the DF General Discussion forum, it's titled 'Dwarf Fortress Talk: Questions by email' with the link inside which makes it easy for you. Also I'd like to thank Capntastic for being on this week, and for fighting the forces of evil. I'd also like to thank Scamps for mauling Toady One continually.
Toady:Mauling Toady One a little less than last time maybe, so for being a well behaved darling baby cat.
Rainseeker:Well I'd like to thank him nonetheless for mauling you, just a little bit. Also I'd like to thank you Tarn for coming on with us this week, it was very good.
Toady:Yeah, I had fun again. Fun as usual, it's fun to talk about Dwarf Fortress.
Rainseeker:It is good, it's good to hear you talk about it, because everyone enjoys this game, and we appreciate your efforts. Is there anything that you would like to say before we sign off, sir?
Toady:Well I guess we'll need to credit the music people, so you can go ahead and credit the music people.
Rainseeker:Okay, also we want to thank Ollieh, and our transcriber ...
Toady:Mallocks ... And I think that's it, and everyone who asked this questions this week, if we didn't thank them already, we'll thank them now.
Rainseeker:We appreciate all your questions, and if you would like to ask more questions, even if your question isn't asked go ahead, ask another question, we like good questions. And congratulations goes to Sysice who completed the Santa's village fortress challenge. Well, I will see you guys next week I guess, or next month. I will see you guys next month.
Toady:That's quite possible.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Rainseeker:Oh by the way Capntastic, I’ve been meaning to ask you this. Somewhat of a debate between Toady and I; what is your superpower?
Capntastic:Umm ... Don’t put me on the spot like that. I’m not going to reveal it.
Rainseeker:Can you give us a hint?
Toady:Nothing but trouble. As long as it doesn’t involve hurting little cats. Little cats are safe! He can fly up to the trees, save the kitty from the tree.

Toady:We’re going to have to schedule around the holidays and stuff. I mean I don’t have much to do in the holidays so I guess we’ll just go by what you do or don’t.
Rainseeker:Because you don’t have little nieces or nephews running around, do you?
Toady:Nah, no-one’s around here causing trouble and so on. We’re just going to have a little family thing. Although it is Scamps’ first Christmas, he’s going to be spoiled obviously. And then on February 8th it will be Scamps’ first birthday, and he’ll be spoiled again. I don’t know how he’s going to make it through January without being spoiled but he’ll have to get used to it. January’s always going to be a very dull month for Scamps; no birthday, no Christmas. (sings to Scamps) Little baby Scamps, he’s a little baby baby baby cat. He’s trying to sleep but it’s oh so hard when someone’s patting his belly. Are you having trouble sleeping when I’m patting your little belly? You’re going to scratch my face if I don’t stop. (end singing) Now he’s just glaring at me. (aside to Scamps) What? Well there has to be tummy time every day, you know that. Tummy time each day for a small baby cat. Tummy time! Tummy time! (end aside)

Rainseeker:(in the manner of Scotland) Ach, for all you ladies and lassies out there that have gotten this far in the podcast, I congratulate ye, you’ve really stuck it out. And for that I’d like to issue a Dwarf Fortress challenge, I won’t you to build me a TOWER. OF. SOOOOOAP! The bigger the better, the more complicated the more points you’ll get. So, whoever wins this challenge, of having the craziest and most interesting soap tower will get a shoutout from Rainseeker on the next Dwarf Fortress Talk. You need to put your screenshots and descriptions in the General Discussion section of the forums under the sticky topic called challenge. Soap fortress! Tell them Urist sent you! Also don’t forget that Toady one makes all his money from donations, you’re free to donate on the front of his website, using the Paypal. Aye laddie don’t just sit there, go play some Dwarf Fortress!

Dwarf Fortress Talk #6, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Capntastic:Welcome back friendos to another Dwarf Fortress podcast. I'm here with Tarn Adams and Rainseeker. I'm Capntastic and I have a magical new microphone.
Toady:It sounds magical.
Capntastic:Yes. Plus one.
Toady:Plus one. Everything is awesome now.
Rainseeker:Alright, so we are here to talk about ... Adventure mode!
Toady:Adventure mode!
Capntastic:And adventurers, and adventures.
Rainseeker:Eventually adventure mode presumably will be completely engrossing and awesome.
Toady:It'll have adventure.
Capntastic:It'll be like a movie that you play.
Rainseeker:That's right.
Capntastic:Only, it's better. It'll be like a book that you read with your keyboard.
Rainseeker:Yeah and actually you will read books in adventure mode.
Capntastic:And there won't be keyboards.
Toady:I don't even know anymore, but there's going to be stuff.
Rainseeker:Alright so, what we're going to talk about today is adventure mode and adventures. So what I was thinking to start with is; where did your concept for adventure mode come from, Tarn?
Toady:We'd always kind of been working on a role playing game from a first person perspective, where you have a character and you go on little adventures and kill monsters and things and wander around; we've always had those kind of games as standalone games, just as standard RPG mush with a few little extra things, but basically the same as everything else. Then when we started working on Dwarf Fortress as a side project for Armok I, the idea we came up with for that pretty early on was to have the adventure part be a sort of high score mode afterward, where you go through the fortress and explore what your dwarves left behind; that was originally how it was going to be and that was going to be the whole thing. And then as Dwarf Fortress started stealing from Armok I to the point where it became Armok I or whatever, the adventure mode - ideally, if it were actually done - would just be a standard role playing game taking place in the Dwarf Fortress mode while you're switching off between fortresses and adventurers and so on; so it came out of all that.
Capntastic:What are your plans to make adventure mode more accessible?
Toady:There are dozens of issues standing in the way, but a lot of them are things we've discussed like graphics and tutorials and instructions and all that kind of thing. So putting those important things aside, just to get at adventure mode specific matters - rather than just problems with Dwarf Fortress in general - you really start out in adventure mode - you create a character - and you start out in the middle of a building or something and there's really no clue about what's going on. The keybindings aren't really harder to learn that any roguelike, you just pop up the screen and they're there, so the problems with accessibility are more in the line of a direction for your character; right now there's not a lot to do and you have no direction at all, for a new player especially. If you've played before you at least know what the deal is and you might just wander off to your old fortress or you might just wander around and set a goal to kill some monster or something, but without that, if you press adventurer mode before even playing fortress mode then you'd really just have no idea what to do, and when you talk to people you might find your way eventually to the people that will give you quests, but their quests are all kind of cynical, it's just like 'Oh you, you want to do something for me? Alright, go kill the dragon.' It's not really appropriate for your character, so I think the thing to do here - and we'll get to the future of adventure mode, which is the topic - a huge part of that is character generation. So there's the idea of how can you improve character generation, just in general, and also how than to make the game entirely take care of all of the accessibility problems that don't have anything to do with graphics and the general interface, that kind of thing, but just the game itself. So the idea is to have some additional options and the main one would be ... you've got a character who - currently you just create them and they're this outsider who doesn't really belong to the world at all, they might belong to the overall civilization that you've selected for them, but they don't meaningfully tie into that, they don't have a parent in that civilization, they don't have any friends in that civilization, they don't know anybody in that civilization - so one of the ideas for a mode of character generation would be a scenario-driven thing. There are downsides to that sort of stuff, like if you have a Q and A process like the Ultima games or even our own Liberal Crime Squad, the main downside to that I think is that it's a cumbersome way to create a character when you know the questions are just building stats and giving you items, so it just gets really annoying and you have to game the system just to get where you want to get, and it's the same every time. The key difference here is that it really can't be the same every time in Dwarf Fortress because the worlds are all different; it can picks two parent for you and say 'you were born to these two people and you're living in this kind of situation' and then it can have things arise based on just running world generation, just continue world gen from whatever point the game's at. So if goblins were attacking that village that would be the scenario event it throws at you, how do you deal with this? Depending on how old you are you might just be forced to run away, but there might be choices to make in any case. So it can give you a past in this way, and it will let you interact with it. Ideally you'd be presented with a situation and you'd either have some options for resolving that and then continuing to the next situation, or a little more difficult would be allowing you to jump into any situation that you wanted to, so if you were nineteen years old in some village as a farmer in the beginning and the goblins attacked, maybe you'd want to just jump in right there, and that's where you start playing. And at that point you certainly wouldn't have an accessibility problem in the sense of not knowing what to do, or at least having a situation that you'd be confronted with because there'd be something going on, and you'd also have your parents and friends and things; that's the main point, you'd have relationships to begin with, and you should be able to punch up a screen that says what's going on there, and if during the early scenarios you had a situation where your parents were killed by somebody or something then you'd have a Conan relationship screen or something, where it's like 'Thulsa Doom killed your mom' or whatever, and that can be something that drives your life if you want. That's the scenario situation, running through that, being able to break out when you want, or just finishing a number of them, and that would start from wherever your last game ended. The downside here is that if you're starting from that year and it takes a certain time to grow up, then whatever was going on in the world is going to be spent by twelve, thirteen, sixteen, twenty more years by the time you jump in. It's more difficult to retcon you into the world and start you where you want to start off but using past events. We've talked about that a bit before with the fake populations and saving their historical events and how you can use that to retcon things in, including your own character. So it's possible, but ...
Rainseeker:Well presumably you could choose from two different options.
Toady:Aside from the scenario stuff and the retconning and that kind of thing, there would also be, especially for people that kind of know what they're doing, but for anyone else as well - when we were talking about accessibility the scenario driven way would give you direction - but another way to do it would be a role playing mode where you can create your character on the spot as an outsider, or just say 'I'm this guy's kid' just picking off the legends screen, that would be fine too. Then you could set everything about yourself, absolutely everything about yourself, and just start playing at the year that everything left off, as if you'd just popped into existence, or had a past, or whatever you want to set up, just to get you in with minimal difficulty without worrying about the retconning problems, get you in there at the right year, if you wanted to continue right where you left off. Another way to do that would be to just say 'I want to play an existing person in the world' and you just go down the legends list and pick someone. That would require something like a world generation parameter I think, because that's one of those things where you'd be tempted to deal with certain problems ... there are people who complain about being tempted to spoil their games. So if the goblins have been attacking you, you could be 'Well I'll be the goblin king and I'll jump into that volcano!' So that would be one of those world gen options most likely, like 'only allow you to jump into people that don't have entity positions/only allow you to jump into people of the good races/allow you to do anything/disallow you to do it at all'; I think that would resolve those issues, for any of the scenario or roleplaying type modes. There's also the notion - it goes to accessibility but difficulty more - so when you have skill points that you assign, or in the scenarios in terms of how much your character's learning or what kind of background they have, there's this notion of the different kinds of heroes that there are in myths and so on, since we're trying to generate and recreate those stories it's important to get at that. Three general options would be, firstly 'Well, I want my character to be a demigod' like Hercules, it could go into the human pantheons and you'd be like 'Zeus is my dad', and then that character would be exceptional, and you wouldn't have to worry as much about a wolf killing you or something, and you might have gods giving you gifts or cursing you; you'd have an epic life no matter what, you'd have no choice in the matter. Then there's also the middle option which would be a heroic character, which is similar to what we have now where you can start out as a really talented swordsman, someone who's like Batman who's exceptional but not supernatural necessarily, so you can really jam your numbers up or have an exceptional life in terms of your parents or whatever. Then there's the third mode which would be a normal mode, or an 'unlikely hero' mode instead of a hero mode, where you start off as a person who has skills per their scenario or if you're roleplaying you wouldn't add that much stuff to yourself, and that would be suited for the games where people just want to make their own way in the world, or create their little log cabin in the woods and hunt things, or become a bandit, any of those kind of games where they don't really care how survivable their character is if they ran into a goblin tower or something. It runs a bit against all the roleplaying games I've played since Legend of Zelda, where all the numbers and things increase, and the adversaries increase, and the areas that open up increase, and it's all matching larger and larger numbers against each other, and it's becoming less of an option in Dwarf Fortress just because of how the thing is set up, so you can't really run it that way. So it might be weird to start as a powerful character and stay a powerful character but it's really more about the story than the power levelling type of increase, although there are elements of that when your skills improve, and you occasionally find better equipment, although it's nothing the loot-driven systems. There are going to be issues here to tackle, repeatedly, we can't really see everything that's going to happen when you strike out on a new mode of thinking about how an RPG might work. I'm not saying this is the first time anything like this has been done, but I certainly don't know how to handle it myself. It should be interesting to see where this leads. I think when you've got that setup where your character starts and they have as much backstory as you want them to have, then you'll have more direction. You need a little bit of a push maybe and there's more that needs to be done with social interactions and so on when you talk to people, when you talk to like those meeting hall guys that tell you to go off and kill a goblin or kill a dragon should probably not cynically toss you away, especially if you look like you're worth anything, and they should probably just send you with a guy to prove yourself against some kobolds that are out on patrol rather than sending you on suicide missions and then when you get back, they're like 'Oh that was cool'; they don't really care.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Speaking of adventuring, right now you can recruit party members, but they're basically cannon fodder. In the future when you recruit party members what is the plan once you say 'Okay, I'm done with you'. Are they going to settle where you leave them, or are they going to go back home, are they going to make decisions?
Toady:As autonomous as people are in general, that's how autonomous they would be. They're not special in any way. So right now no-one does anything, pretty much. They move back home sometimes if they're stuck in a cave, they know how to do that, but other than that ... that's a general problem. It's all planned to be addressed so that aside from returning home they'll have their professions and the things that they do, so if you have somebody with you who was a mercenary for instance then whatever mercenaries were doing before you hired that one, that's what that guy would continue to do. Now there's a bit of a difference here when we're getting into adventure entities and that kind of thing when you say 'I've got a band of people' and you might tell one of them to stay at the little compound you've built, then that would be a different matter. This gets to a whole other issue in general with your subordinates; it's something that we're thinking about again with regard to how adventure mode should work. You can get more people, you can get ten, or fifteen people following you around and at some point you want a hierarchy to be set up, even within your own group so that you can tell someone to do something and then that person can handle their own group. So you could tell someone to 'stay here with these five guys and defend the compound at all costs, while we go off and fight the dragon'. Now that guy should then act like people are going to act in general when they're defending an area or so on, according to their individual interests and that kind of thing, the stuff that we've been planning the whole time to slowly put into the game. So you should have that kind of subordinate system to be able to command people to do things or set up an organisation of your own. And it's not all about 'defend this location' or 'send your squad that way while we do this', it could be things like hunting or building buildings or that kind of thing. It gets to this whole ... When you reach a position of power in adventure mode, which is something that's supposed to happen for version one, if you become the king, or meeting hall warlords that's living in the adventure mode, how are you going to be controlling things? For people that have read those development items it's probably a big question, like is it just going to be dwarf mode again? And it shouldn't be, if you're still in this first person mindset anyway. Then it could work more along the lines that it started working with the subordinate system so if you want things to happen you'd have people that you talk to and they can handle stuff, or if you want to handle something directly you'd have to handle it directly.
Rainseeker:You! Build that building! You! Start the fire!
Toady:Hopefully it wouldn't be so much micromanaging, like 'You! Open this door for me!', but it's ...
Rainseeker:Skin that cat!
Toady:Yeah. But you can see how it would just be 'you, lead a group of people over to this town and ask them to submit to us and send us tribute every year' and then they could come back and tell you what happened, and it also gives you the possibility for the really interesting stories when your subordinates don't do what you tell them to do or they start lying to you or whatever. So it's going to be I think a good way to handle it, having to filter certain commands through people so that you're always interacting with people, and you're always building relationships with people, getting the whole world to act like it's supposed to act, instead of turning it into the kind of strategy mode that dwarf mode is; it should be a different creature entirely. What it would allow you to do, then, is to run your smaller operations and have them grow up into larger operations without changing fundamentally how the game works, and allowing you to maintain the personal relationships with your closest subordinates and people above you, not just subordinates, there could be equals, people who are travelling with you, you can give them suggestions rather than just ordering everyone around. It should be an interesting experiment anyway to see how that all works out. That's pretty much upcoming, after this release when we do adventure as one of the three main items, adventurer skills/adventure entities, so whatever we get started there gets started, because the adventure entities was having a group of people and trying to explore how that might work.
Capntastic:I definitely think that the social aspects of adventure mode, all that sort of stuff, will be interesting, especially when you get to the point where you are the leader of a group, then you can eventually shift over to a fortress style mode.
Toady:We were thinking about what the goals are of these meeting hall people, they might be accumulating treasure or something like that, like getting tribute from people and then they'd have this little treasure room ... You could start working on that kind of thing yourself, who knows what people do with their little treasure rooms, they finance armies and things somehow but I don't know what you do with a golden goblet at the end of the day ... I guess you drink from it, or something. But these accumulation type goals lead to things like ruins that are a lot of fun to run around in and fight zombies and snatch their things ...
Rainseeker:It would be amusing to find your adventurer as a zombie.
Toady:Yeah, it's too bad that none of the zombies were never that interesting.
Capntastic:Some of them talk ... wait, some of the skeleton lords or whatever talk.
Toady:That's right, they yelled at you and then they started shooting at you from the top of pyramids and stuff. But they were nobodies, they were still these generated peoples, and it'll all change someday, someday in the future.
Capntastic:One thing that I think will be interesting is item ownership, like you mentioned the goblet; the goblet itself will belong to a king and then the king will miss it when it's gone and other people know 'Oh, that's the king's goblet' so you'll have trouble selling it, and then eventually they'll forget it belongs to the king and then you'll become used to having the goblet and so on.
Toady:We've got some of that now, which is cool, with the new dwarf squad stuff where they become used to their weapons and then name them and then they become these semi-artifacts, and that's where that stuff really gets traced. Like these goblets and things, if it's important enough for people to care about then it really gets passed around and keeps track of it in historical information. When you look at the larger picture of property ownership in general it becomes more tricky to track individual information, like how much is that the king's chair or something ... there are important items but then there are unimportant items that belong to important people and those could also be tracked to some extent I guess. Then there's the matter of a person's personal property, everyone can track their own property, so if you go in and take someone's things other people might not really recognize that it's somebody else's cloak but the owner would know. That's another thing that's massively broken in adventure mode right now, the whole criminal type of thing, stealing and all that kind of thing, it's like when you steal a psychic message is sent out to everybody that you're a thief and the guards come to kill you. You ideally should be able to be in a room with somebody, take their little cloak and lock them in a chest, and then set the chest on fire and walk out of the room, and if no-one saw you do it then you could pretend like 'Oh, there's a fire! Come on everybody, let's put it out!' ... That kind of thing would lead to a lot of questions about how justice then comes about to the player, how does that process work, which at least sets a more interesting problem than this psychic stuff, and I think the adventurer should be free to run around more than they are now anyway, where it's just kind of silly.
Capntastic:I'm sure this will be changed, but I like how the punishment for any crime is like everyone in the town walking towards you trying to kill you, they become zombies ...
Toady:I think if you steal something they're just like 'I don't want to talk to you' but if you kill somebody then you become an entity enemy and then even the two year olds recognise you, it's like 'it's time to come at you like a fast zombie instead of a slow zombie.'
Capntastic:Once there's proper law enforcement I definitely think that the game will have some more spark to it, daring escapes and general Robin Hood type action.
Toady:Really with adventure mode a lot of it just comes down to more stuff. There's a lot of stuff but it doesn't come together at all in terms of narrative right now ... Every little thing will help, even the character generation scenarios, if we started with that they'd be pretty limited right now just because there's not a lot of stuff, there's mostly just fighting and things. You could of course add a zillion of them that don't really have a basis in reality but it's better to have them have a basis in reality so that you can jump into them and it's actually going on.
Rainseeker:So what is the new skill system going to look like for adventurers? Is that going to be basically the same as dwarf fortress mode or are you going to have additional adventurer skills.
Toady:When we get to adventurer skills the place we're starting from is that you should be able to kill an animal and use the parts of the animal. That's a starting point because right now you starve to death wandering around. The next part would be being able to build shelters and that kind of thing. The question here is what does that look like? I don't think it would really be appropriate to, if you killed an animal and wanted to get the meat from it, I don't think you should have to chop down a tree and then build a butcher's workshop and then carry the animal to the butcher's workshop and then perform the dwarf fortress mode job without any tools. I think in adventure mode there should be more tools, there should be things that you can do with tools on the spot, and then it would be a matter of how much do you want to pump that stuff in reverse into dwarf mode. Dwarf mode has useful abstractions, because you don't want to have a lot of clutter and crap and micromanagement and all kinds of horrible things that come out of that. Some of it wouldn't be bad, but a lot of the problems that arise then, like if you had people using tools for every job ... It would be cool in a sense if you could produce those things quickly enough and if there weren't stacking problems introduced and pathing problems in general. If you needed to have all the nails and hammers and boards and things to make a chair then even if the stacking weren't a problem then you'd still need that dwarf to go get that crap and it might take a month for them to collect all the different little pieces from all over the place. You have to sacrifice at that point the more epic sweeping nature of dwarf mode because you'd want to slow down the days to allow a dwarf to build a chair before winter comes. It's a tricky question for dwarf mode and I think a lot of abstractions will ultimately stay in dwarf mode, but in adventure mode there's no reason not to go completely nuts with it. I'm sure people can come up with reasons like 'I don't want to have to use nails to build this' or whatever, and I haven't played some of those games like Stranded ... is it called Stranded? The one where you're on the island and you build things with vines and things? And there's Unreal World that I've played a little bit, I crashed the game in a cave ... and I think with Wurm Online you have to do a lot of things like this, and I think tons of MUDs have this stuff too. So this has been experimented with a lot, what it means for a character to have to use many little things to accomplish goals ...
Rainseeker:It makes the item more valuable, of course.
Toady:We'll have to see in adventure mode how it affects the pacing. It's going to be experimental like most everything else. You don't want to do to the point where the pacing is destroyed because you're quibbling too much with garbage. Because if you're playing it as a survival game then that stuff's all fun but if you're trying to get through a forest to go attack the dragon, but while you're in the forest you have to worry 'did I soak this in oak bark long enough to get all the hair to do whatever before I hang up a pelt and get stranded for a week trying to make patches for my boots so my toes don't die before I get to the dragon' or whatever. I don't know if that could afford a quick button or something, a quick 'fix my shoe' button. So I don't know, it's going to be something that we experiment with, of course I'm usually pro-details I think it's pretty clear, I usually add crap where I can, but this'll be a case where we'll have to think about it. My stance right now is that I want to add a bunch of that stuff. Ideally in adventure mode you'd be able to do each job from dwarf mode and there just might be extra steps in the process, extra tools in the process, and things like mining might just be slower, I don't know if you'd be able to carve out a whole dwarf fortress in a week, because that's what you'd be able to do if you were in a dwarf, it's just like 'Bam! There's a dwarf fortress for you.' So that one in particular might be changed a little bit. Then there's also the matter of if you're building log cabins and that kind of thing out in the woods, is the current method - the tile by tile building method - is that something that's going to stay, and if that changes to something more accurate then is that going to change in dwarf mode. So there's always this thing about giving the modes their own flavour, there's the thing about technically keeping the modes fun to play, and then there's the thing where on the other hand you want to minimise the use of dual systems because supporting a different system in adventure mode versus a different system in dwarf mode is always a pain. There're a number of things that are like that right now and they always come back to haunt me, just the different timing is enough of a pain, how that works now, how dwarf mode goes seventy two times faster in adventure mode through history, and so you have to do the sleeping on a different schedule, eating is on a different schedule, forest fires are on a different schedule, it's all different, and that's really irritating in a way, but you can't change it either, because if you put forest fires on the same schedule then the second a fire lights in dwarf mode it just blows out and all the trees are gone. So we'll probably have to live with some more dual systems, but that's alright.
Unspecified:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So now we're in the segment of our podcast when we discuss questions from listeners.
Toady:That's right, Q and A.
Capntastic:This is the interactive portion.
Toady:Like second hand, or something, but it's alright.
Capntastic:It's very active.
Toady:Yeah, it's intense. We've got at least thirty three emails now that haven't been handled yet, so we're not going to be able to get to them all.
Rainseeker:No, we're not. However, we will get to some. Capntastic, would you like to do the honours for the first question.
Capntastic:Why yes. This one is not from an email; 'Will there be toys in adventure mode?'
Toady:That's intense. If your adventurer goes into a fortress and finds a mini-forge ... what does that even mean? I didn't even think about what a mini-forge was ... but I think even more relevant would be things like puzzle boxes and stuff, is there supposed to be a puzzle box mini game where you get to play with the puzzle box in ASCII ... glorious ASCII puzzle box ... It's one of those things where in dwarf mode first little kids will be playing with their toys at parties and stuff, and then in adventure mode it would be a thing that probably gets done on a lark or whatever, when I throw it in, unless there happens to be a contingent of people that start pushing that up the suggestion voting. Ideally, I'm all for it.
Capntastic:The whole of dwarf fortress is just going to turn into a pogo stick simulator, I'm just going to put that out there, that's my prediction.
Toady:That's right ... and people were talking about rubber balls and rubber trees and stuff, like making little balls out of the rubber trees - before you have vulcanised rubber you can still do stuff with it, and that would be fascinating, the projectile management would be pretty crappy because it's all in tiles, so it's not like those big physics sims where things bounce around in wonderful ways and you can have fun just tossing a ball around somebody else's level. But there's nothing like playing with little toys and things.
Capntastic:Brushing a doll's hair.
Toady:Well we've got the hair cells now, you'd actually be able to do that now, you'd be like 'I want to give my dwarf doll a triple braided beard now' and you'd give it the triple braided beard and you'd dress it up with little clothes.
Rainseeker:Your character's very effeminate ...
Capntastic:Yes, it will actually change your stats. But you can collect all the different types of clothing and dye them ...
Toady:Collecting is a ... You'll actually be able to have a coin collection and try and find rare coins from two hundred years before, and you'd have to go into a dwarf fortress from that old to get them. It should be fascinating.
Capntastic:And then you could spend all that money on a special mint condition elf doll.
Toady:That's right, it hasn't been taken out of its wooden box yet, you can't even see it.
Rainseeker:Well it wouldn't be a wooden box if it's an elf doll right?
Toady:It depends on what the elf doll is for. Like for poking and burning ... Those might be very popular at dwarven festivals, if someone passes out the elf doll to everybody and they all throw it on the bonfire. I just thought the elf doll might actually come with moveable mouth parts, you could make it chew things ... 'I'm eating you, I'm eating you!'
Capntastic:A nutcracker.
Toady:An elf doll nutcracker, that would be a great little tool for your kitchen.
Rainseeker:Okay back on track here ... Is there any plan to implement experiences with particular types of enemies.
Toady:The original Armok had this unimplemented knowledge system for creatures, and I was definitely thinking about doing that in dwarf mode, you could be an excellent dragon fighter, that kind of thing, and the knowledge could be about their behaviour, it could be about how to butcher them in particular, and so on. So your dwarf mode guy might be excellent at butchering all the deer and cows and things that your guys bring to him, but then you bring him some kind of giant spider and he's supposed to do something with that and he's like 'What is this? I don't even know where anything is' and would spoil the thing even if he's pretty good at butchering in general. So I'm for that kind of thing, I don't think it would be unnecessarily complicated. There are some questions about what it means to be a goblin fighter versus an elf fighter if they're humanoids or whatever; is that more learning about a culture or a species or whatever, if their anatomy is roughly the same. There are questions to answer there but in general I think the more knowledge types and things that there are for fighters and the more different skills and so on that they learn the more they could be differentiated, and that's always good. I think it's good to have particulars like that, and that one in particular is something that's planned. Not planned as in completely planned out, but something we definitely want to do.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:DoctorZ asks; 'Will the game be smart enough to determine that the building is shaped - like a tower or a pyramid - will it award you points for style? His example is a room with a pillar in it engraved, would it bump the quality up if you have a high ceiling with paintings and stuff on it; would that be interesting for the game, will it be able to determine those details?'
Toady:I'd like to further point out that DoctorZ said that 'I'd love you forever if you asked/answered this question' so I think that that means Capntastic right now is loved forever. I still have to do my part to be loved forever, so I've got to answer the question. So the idea with this is that there have been a number of topics where people are like 'I want my tower to be recognised as the tower of something' or 'I want my pyramid to be recognised as the pyramid of something'. That pretty much would have to be user defined; you define an area, you give it a name, and you make sure that that system can't be gamed too much as far as bonuses and so on. But when it comes to smaller things like what you're talking about, a central pillar and things like that, the game can start to pick those out on its own. I don't have a lot of specific plans, but it would be worth discussing. Right now the system picks out engravings isolated, it picks out floor detailing isolated, it picks out the room size and so on, so it goes really just step by step through every tile but things like a central pillar ... it knows where the centre of a room is, it knows that a pillar doesn't have anything else touching it, so doing things like locating a central pillar would be trivial, it's just a matter of building up a list of things that dwarves care about and different groups could like different things; that would certainly be an interesting direction to explore.
Capntastic:I just want to know if I'll be able to have an elf totem really tie a room together.
Toady:I think anyone appreciates the skull when it's centrally placed, or a little higher up maybe, and you'd put some dye on the teeth, make them all red ... I don't know if they have sharp teeth, I haven't really thought about what an elf's teeth look like. Do they have sharp teeth, or do they just chew and chew and chew?
Rainseeker:Well herbivores have got the molar action going on.
Toady:Yeah, elves just use that herbivore bit every once in a while when they eat dead bodies.
Capntastic:Maybe they just don't chew things because that's violent inherently.
Toady:So is eating somebody! Killing them and eating them is a little bit inherently violet.
Capntastic:Well you know how chickens swallow it and then they swallow rocks and kind of chew it up that way?
Toady:Yeah, and some parrots eat clay and stuff? So maybe the elves just need those essential vitamins and minerals and they can't get them anywhere else and it's just a shame evolutionary speaking that they were saddled with that burden, but they try to be herbivores, they try their very best and they don't have the newest vegan manuals for how to mix your vegetables and things properly to get all your nutrients, so they just go with dwarf occasionally.
Capntastic:There's not a soy bean equivalent in Dwarf Fortress is there?
Toady:Maybe the dwarf is the soy bean equivalent.
Rainseeker:Soylent dwarf!
Toady:Nothing but trouble, nothing but trouble.
Rainseeker:Speaking of elves; 'Currently the elves don't like it when you trade wood-related items to them. Is it possible then that this will also be expanded with the rest of the procedural cultural concepts? For example perhaps people you are trading with really like cats and would take offense to all the cat meat roasts, cat liver robes and cat bone omelettes you are trying to trade to them.'
Toady:Yeah I think that'd be cool. It's certainly possible and even easy once they have those preferences to do that kind of thing, all the trading functions are like 'Is this an offensive item?' and then it goes in and looks, and right now it looks at the ethics for the society and if the society also had a few preferences they could easily be checked versus the items, materials and so on. It'd all be pretty straightforward, but the dialogue would probably need to be rewritten because they'd start saying elf-like things to you but it would be a cool expansion of those things.
Rainseeker:You'd think that trying to trade a human skull totem to humans would be offensive.
Toady:Yeah, and right now I think the elves would only care because it was once a living thing, they don't care if it's an elf's head or not. I'm not sure they'd ever care though, they're kind of weird.
Rainseeker:I always thought that it would be nice in that screen if it showed you in red or something if you're about to trade something that's offensive.
Toady:The one tricky matter there - why I haven't done something like that - is that you want people to run afoul of that mechanic at least once somehow, but after that they should know, but it's in the person's head rather than in the game's mind, so it's a tricky question about when they get to know. Because if you're not playing for the first time but it's the first time those dwarves have ever encountered elves then it shouldn't be red in a way but of course the player themselves would know and might complain about that. That's why I've just passed on that, because I don't really have a solution right now. I haven't thought about it that much, although I know it causes untold amounts of grief and so on.
Rainseeker:Maybe it could just be where your trading character learns what is and what is not acceptable, through communication skills.
Toady:It's important to have skills.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Will there be traditions for naming children, will they be named ... all dwarves that are female have specifically female names, will they be named after historical figures that are not adventurers, will they be named after popular kings and queens and suchlike? Will they be named after the favoured food of a country? All that fun stuff, have a bunch of dwarves named Rummy McGin.
Toady:Yeah, or Plump Helmet McWhiskey.
Capntastic:Someone's going to register on the forum with that name.
Toady:Yeah. So I know you mentioned the adventure mode one because that's the one we kind of harp on about right, it's like 'people will be able to name their children after you later', but the general thing is that we wouldn't implement it that way because it would be kind of weird for them to specifically single out adventurers. So once that goes in they'd use historical figures and so on. There's been a lot of discussion about passing down family names and so on, people are kind of upset sometimes when they have a fortress for a while and the dwarves have babies and the babies just have completely unrelated names, that's just something that hasn't gotten in, but it'll go in as soon as we figure out what dwarves like to do, or what procedural stuff needs to be generated there. As for male versus female names, I don't have - kind of like the passing down of names - I don't have systems there but it's certainly something that I think should be supported and people are interested in having that kind of separation as well. I'm not sure what dwarves would think about that, we know humans often do it and when it's done it's not always a strict split, there are just ones that are rarely used for certain genders; would you want specific name lists if you want to set them up yourself, or just have the game choose them, for no reason it puts half here and half here, or should it put names that are of a certain symbol type - there's the symbols like flowery, violent, ones that have to do with agriculture or whatever - it might, based on the symbol , put names in certain categories. So there's a lot of different ways to do it, and we're thinking of doing stuff with that, but I'm not sure when. I think it's something that would reflect the world a bit more, I don't know if anyone's ever offended by this stuff either, if there are things like that put in. Right now we have no sexual dimorphism for instance with dwarves or even humans, people tend to prefer that kind of thing and it's an extra step to put it in anyway so I'm just lazy about it but yeah in general we're going to do more with that, and it should turn out well. (sfx vox: trumpet voluntary)
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Nathan; 'After this release, you've said something to the effect that you never want another release cycle to take this long, and that the next major release will be much shorter. After this release has been released and the bug fixing releases for the version have been wrapped up, what do you think the next release or series of releases will focus on?'
Toady:I imagine from the person's list there that they already know that the three major areas of focus for the next series of releases are going to be adventurer skills and entity stuff; and the improved sieges and the stuff leading up to improved sieges like having armies moving around on the world map; and also the top ten eternal suggestions vote, looking at those and going through each of them and seeing what we can do with those. We haven't really decided of those which one is coming next, and if I made a decision now it would likely change anyway, because the release is going to take however long - I don't know, it's obviously not going to be released this year as you'll know when we release this podcast in January and there's no Dwarf Fortress out, you'll obviously be aware of that fact as well - but if we release it that month or the next month or whenever, it's going to get there ...
Rainseeker:You mean it will not release in 2009.
Toady:Yeah, in 2010 there will be a Dwarf Fortress out of course, but after that I'm going to be fixing bugs for a month or something and by that time it will probably be more clear what we're doing. Right now I've added a lot of things that are interesting for dwarf mode, so if I didn't add something like improved hauling immediately and did adventurer skills instead people might not mind, and it's not like that's going to take forever either, it's not like anything single thing's going to take a year. But I might do improved hauling instead, and things leading up to the sieges would be important before adventurer entities maybe, so I don't know. On the other hand I could flip a coin and it would probably be just as well, because that stuff's going to get done anyway, so this is the plan, meaning other than the general categories I'm still not sure what the next focus is.
Rainseeker:I could finally get my stupid donkeys to haul rocks.
Toady:Yeah, donkeys should help with all kind of things, the donkey is a useful animal. Then there's also the wheelbarrow and the cart, and the life, and the elevator, and the steam cannon and the nuclear reactor. All kinds of cool cool cool things for hauling goods.
Rainseeker:Well we have atom smashers already, so.
Toady:The problem with some of these internal suggestion things is that they're a bit vague, so I'll just do something, or some set of things until the hauling situation is considerably improved; not just whiff it, but do something that's drastic, and then consider that done, and if it's not done it'll crawl right back up the list, so we'll know if it's done enough. And that's the same for everything, when there's full graphical support obviously it's not going to look like Oblivion or Fallout 3 or Crysis or whatever people throw out, but it's going to look better than it is now, and if it's not better enough then it'll come back up the list; it's a continuing process.
Rainseeker:So the plan is eventually to reset the eternal suggestions.
Toady:Yeah, I think with the top ten suggestions when I get those written down ... It's like the top ten thing, I don't want to nail myself to that, so I'll look down below that too, just to get a sense of what people wanted at that snapshot in time. Then it might be worth it just to clear the whole thing at that point and then announce 'Eternal suggestions: we've taken these suggestions, we know what people wanted at this time, we're going to work on this stuff, and now we go again.' Now that'll depend on if we've got a new script by that time, I don't even remember if someone's working on something or not, I always have a bad memory there. But is that system going to be the same; there have been complaints about it, do we want to tweak it before we reboot and start again, because people have had complaints about specific items getting shafted versus items that are really over-broad, maybe, arguably over-broad, and also items like improved hauling; you look at the list and there aren't a lot of things at the top that are how people want the game to be expanded but how they'd rather have it polished. That means that that's where they want the priority of the effort to be spent, but if I wanted to do something that wasn't polishing - as I often do - I really don't receive a lot of direction from that list because those items don't do that well. So do we want to break the list into two sections for instance? I don't know, and I don't know if it'll be changed at all; it's not clear exactly what'll happen, but we'll continue using this system and if it is replaced ... Votes are certainly going to be cleared once we write the information down and if there's an improved system, that'd be better, so we'll see.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Safekeeper would like to know, or rather he envisages a world where Dwarf Fortress, even though it is an ASCII game will have a click and drag interface for equipping your dwarves and squads, so you drag the sword onto the dwarf hand, like there'd be a paper doll in ASCII, you'd drag the pickaxe onto its hand and then it equips it there. Do you have any plans for something like that? Can you see yourself doing that in the near future? It's not really a how will this work question but more of a do you plan on doing something like this sort of thing.
Toady:I don't know ... First of all we don't have a lot of graphics, so there are a couple of tricks if we try it in ASCII; one is that there aren't slots so much as right hand, left hand and other body parts that then have things stacked on them, so if you want to wear three shirts you could right now; so if you want to make that your guy's uniform in the squad screen you could just say 'I want you guys to wear three shirts, just make sure the top one is red' ... well that wouldn't bode well would it ... But you could still do that ...
Rainseeker:Does that make them tougher somehow, to wear three shirts?
Capntastic:Layers, man.
Toady:Yeah, it would stop more stuff, it would be a way of doing it, although you might want to invest in armour at some point ... that whole thing about arrows being stopped by the silk shirt with layers, that's been an ongoing discussion. But yeah, you can do that, and a slot paper doll could still handle that, you could open new boxes when boxes are full and all that kind of thing. The other thing I'm worried about, especially when you're trying to represent something graphically, is that you run afoul of mods; right now people mod in an antman fortress and mod in whatever, and the slots would be completely different, and the silhouette would no longer be appropriate. That's also a problem with aiming system, all kinds of things where you'd like to see damage readouts and stuff, where you'd like to see some kind of doll that has colours on it and that kind of thing; the bodies are all defined in text files, and if you wanted your hydra to have fifty seven heads you could do that right now and then you'd run out of space on the screen. There are ways to try and do it where you'd be trying a Spore type thing where you try and lay out the paper doll according to its part definitions or something, but right now I haven't really thought about it. Of course you can just say 'well if it's a humanoid you could just have a tag on it that says "I'm a humanoid, I want to use the doll" and if it's not a humanoid you could be "well, I'll just use the list"'. So it's not like it's an insurmountable problem, but I haven't really thought that we definitely need to do that. We'll see when we get into the new squad screen if people feel tortured; if people feel like they need something then I'm sure I'll hear about it.
Capntastic:Aside from the paper doll I could definitely see being able to click and drag things being useful in some way.
Toady:I don't know if it looks a little weird with the text of course. It would just be strange feeling to drag the text, especially because it would drag along the tile, it would be like dragging blockily ... I guess we do have control of the mouse cursor display right now ... We have a few extra controls now ... Clicking and dragging, it's not like I'm not for having the mouse be supported and having all kinds of nice things you can do with the mouse - I like nice things - and I know people like their keyboard shortcuts too, and I like keyboard shortcuts but you can click on all the new screens, you can't drag anything but you can click all the new screens, it just doesn't say that anywhere, but you can do it; every new button can be clicked. But it's still one of those things - I'm not sure when that's going to be done - but it's one of those things I want to do pre version 1, getting more mouse support in. But when the underlying game is changing a lot I'm not sure what I want to use it for and then I just end up not doing it.
Rainseeker:Well that just about sums it up ladies and gents, I appreciate you guys joining us here for this Dwarf Fortress Talk; I'm your host Rainseeker and I was joined by Capntastic and our illuminous leader Tarn Adams.
Capntastic:He is literally emitting lights sporadically.
Rainseeker:That's why cats and moths are attracted to him.
Toady:Yeah, you have to rub my belly and it glows.
Rainseeker:So I'd like to also thank mallocks who does the transcription and Ollieh ...
Capntastic:He's a swell guy
Toady:(singing)Mallocks, mallocks, Ollieh, Ollieh.(end singing)
Rainseeker:Who volunteer selflessly, every month.
Toady:Super peoples. And all them people that asked questions, even if they didn't get answered, or asked; it's cool when people send in questions, so please continue to send in questions. There's a stickied topic in DF General Discussion on the forum that tells you exactly how to do that and (singing)we love the questions, so we will want more questions.(end singing)
Capntastic:And if your questions are a poem or a song, that will make them more interesting to read on the air. Don't actually do this ... Unless you want to do it.
Rainseeker:I dare somebody to do it, for real.
Toady:Of course if you're daring somebody you're daring everybody.
Capntastic:Everyone, yeah.
Rainseeker:No, I just dare somebody.
Capntastic:Don't feel the need to exert yourself, but if the mood takes you.
Rainseeker:Well thank you for joining us Tarn, and Capntastic.
Capntastic:Are we joining them, or are they joining us or are we joining you?
Rainseeker:You join me, and then I join you and then everyone joined us and we're all one big happy family, apparently.
Toady:That's right, it's good to be happy, and a family.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, it's Rainseeker here. I really appreciate you guys listening to this podcast, it's been really fun to do. And now that our sixth episode has just been completed and put out we just want to say thanks, thanks for listening these past six months, and I just wanted to remind you to please consider donating at this time of year, especially because Tarn's been sick, he has had the swine flu and this is going to delay the release of the game of course. However, it is discouraging to be sick and not unable to work, so let's show our support and send him a couple of dollars and maybe an email giving him some encouragement. Alright guys, see you later.

Toady:Especially in the holidays. Big happy holidays, happy family family. Of course the holidays are over by the time this thing comes out, there are no holidays anymore, it's January.
Rainseeker:We need to wish them Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Capntastic:Merry Christmas, and Kwanza and Hanukah and all of those other wintry wonderland ...
Toady:And all the procedural holidays yet to be generated.
Capntastic:The dwarf of Christmas past, the kobald of Christmas present.
Toady:We're approaching the pressing stop time, we're working on driving this into the ground, but okay.

Interlocutor:(in the manner of Goofy)Gawrsh!
Toady:Scamps is really meowing and scratching ... (aside to Scamps)What are you doing?
Rainseeker:I haven't heard him at all.
Toady:Good, it hasn't been picked up on the mic then, because he's pretty loud, pretty loud. But he'll have his time eventually.

McRainseeker:Ach are they gone?! I think they're gone. Okay, all you diehards that are listening here, I'm here to announce the winners of the Soap Tower challenge. For everyone who participated in the challenge, thanks so much! My new soap tower is great! We had two categories. In modded, there were changes made to the game's core play, which is okay but we decided we needed a separate category for it. On the unmodded sound, it is just plain vanilla Dwarf Fortress, and you can turn off sieges if you want. So without further ado, here are the winners: On the modded side of things we have Hardrada - I don't know how to pronounce that, because I'm a dwarf - but in any case he made this amazing polar bear fortress, the soap he used was polar bear soap, and some grizzly bear; you should try it! It tingles! And the winner of the unmodded category was alway for his gigantic tower. There were also many other great entries you can see on bay12games.com; thanks so much for everyone who participated. Don't forget to donate, and we'll see you next month.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #7, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Well hey everybody. Welcome to a new Dwarf Fortress Talk. Number seven!
Toady:Yay. Seven.
Rainseeker:Say hello to our co-host, Capntastic.
Capntastic:It's just Capntastic. People put the 't' there ... It's not there.
Toady:That's right, and say hello right into your microphones everybody.
Rainseeker:I apologise ...
Capntastic:It's like I could never be sure if you were saying it or whatever, but ... Hello, I'm Capntastic.
Rainseeker:I was saying it in a formal way.
Toady:I've noticed people on the forum are spelling it out, Captaintastic.
Rainseeker:Say hello to Tarn, our programmer and creator and gaming god.
Toady:What? ... Hey what's up. Time for fun.
Capntastic:I don't think he qualifies for that until he's beaten Halo on legendary.
Toady:That's right. I have to learn how to play multiplayer first.
Rainseeker:So we are talking about artifacts.
Capntastic:They're pretty cool.
Toady:As cool as they are useless most of the time.
Rainseeker:Yeah! I think that for me artifacts are one of the shining moments in the game; you feel like it's all been building up to this, you get teary eyed when you see that stone trumpet with spikes on it.
Toady:It's certainly a peak because it doesn't go anywhere from there, except down ... They're just fantastic and worthless things. Occasionally you get lucky, but for the most part ... they don't even know how to play instruments yet.
Capntastic:It's post-modern art. It's useless, it looks weird, but it's worth a lot of money.
Toady:That's right, the dwarves are known for that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:I'm going to start our talk today with basics about artifacts for those who haven't really gotten an artifact. I assume everybody has at some point, but ...
Toady:Some people get wiped out each time I guess, start with seven dwarves and the wolves come and they then play again a few times, and then they quit but they still listen to the talks.
Rainseeker:Well, here's artifacts for those who don't know. What are artifacts in Dwarf Fortress, and what's their intended purpose in the game, and how are they supposed to affect the game?
Toady:Artifacts are these objects that the dwarves make, much like all of the other objects you can make like weapons and trinkets and furniture ... and everything else. It's a particular event that happens when a dwarf is inspired or otherwise ready to go off and go to a workshop and make these things; they collect the various resources and if everything works out - sometimes it doesn't - the dwarf will produce an object that is very valuable and has a higher quality than any other object you can make in the game. These have been in the game forever, way before it was released, even when the game was imagined to be a smaller game the artifacts were there just to add a peak for the story; these would be the things that your fortress would be most remembered for when the adventurer goes in there to check it out. As the game grew and took the mantle of the big bay12games fantasy game they kept the general idea that these are the biggest things you'd be doing, but we moved on. Initially they had a story or narrative function because the dwarves would create them and then one of three things would happen; they'd either hide them, and then they'd just disappear and an adventurer would be able to go and find them later; or they'd drop them on the ground for the fortress to use; or they become possessive of them, in which case if they ever became separated from the artifact they'd seek them out - like with babies, it would be 'Cancel job: seeking artifact' - they'd have to keep it on their person at all times. Even if they were hauling around a bed or something ... it was really ridiculous. That's out now, but the intention remains that these are the objects that are going to be driving a lot of the stories and interactions with other civilizations and so on, aside from any functional purpose they may have, it's just a very common thing in myths and more modern fantasy stories to have objects be important; and to have your fortress actually create them and have them persist will really bring that to the fore I think.
Rainseeker:I think one of my favourite artifacts ever was a turtle-bone door.
Toady:I guess it's one of those hanging curtains that you go through, and it jingles a little bit ...
Rainseeker:That would have been awesome. I did put it in my front entrance so everyone would look at it and get happy thoughts.
Toady:Turtle bones too, not even the shells. The few that you can find, little skulls and hands and things ... I guess the skulls would be separate too, so it's just little fingers.
Rainseeker:I think it used shells as well.
Toady:Oh they used shells ... That's right, the artifact probably had all kinds of components.
Rainseeker:Exactly, which is really fun. So what are the ways an artifact is made?
Toady:Right now, if we're talking about presently in the game, what happens is that a dwarf will get in a mood - there are a few different kinds but it's all basically the same - and they'll run off and gather objects and put them together; the few variants are that a dwarf might become possessed in which case they're doing things without knowing it and they don't gain any skill from the enterprise, and the other rare ones are the macabre mood when they'll gather little bits of remains and bones and things to make something disgusting, or the fell mood where they'll just start cackling and run around and kill a dwarf and drag him off to the butcher's shop and make something out of him. That's also a little more rare.
Interlocutor:You have to work for that one.
Toady:Yeah, you have to work at making your fortress miserable anyway ... So at the end you get a dwarf in a workshop making an object. Right now are artifacts are currently done in the game all creation takes place with a dwarf and a workshop. The newer version coming up has a kind of semi-artifact process whereby objects are named because a dwarf becomes attached to them and because the object has done important things, but that's a semi-artifact status; their quality doesn't increase or anything like that.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Now this is arguably one of the most exciting and dreaded events in the game, raising questions like; 'What if I don't have all the materials?' or 'What if he goes insane?' Are there limits on what demands a dwarf will have on materials, will they to build an artifact if they don't have a correct workshop or if there's no workshops will they try to build something? Does it consider the materials that are present on the site?
Toady:It used to think a little harder about the materials on the site, but that was back when the dwarves asked for very specific stones, and that code never quite worked out the way we wanted it to, so now they only ask for very general things like stone and so on. So there's a higher chance that the artifact will be made, although I think things like glass are still problems ... and shells, glass and shells are problems that people still have that will cause the offending artifact dwarf to probably be crushed under a bridge or something. They still need a specific workshop according to the skill that they've selected; it selects a skill in the beginning and says 'this is the skill that I'm going to use to make the object' and that will determine what workshop they want to use. Of course they aren't very vocal about that, so you just have to have the right workshop around, which you'll usually have because they got that skill from somewhere, so you'll usually have it unless it's a dwarf that's immigrated in and has a skill you haven't used and so on. The fell mood is a little more versatile, they'll start with a butcher's workshop but if there aren't any they'll just pick whatever and really all they're doing is just dragging a dwarf there anyway. But they can use a jeweller's workshop if a butcher's workshop is not available ... I think it still spits out the same kind of objects though, it was just that I wanted fell moods to be successful compared to the other moods so that you'd be able to see them; they're rare enough already so you want to get some results out of them, especially because the guy murders somebody ... do they claim the workshop first? I don't recall actually, but if they do murder a dwarf first you'd certainly want the workshop not to be a problem after the deed has been done. But regular dwarves are more picky, you need to have the right workshop available and you need to have at least the general goods that they want available, including things that are overall rare like glass and shells. Whether that's going to change in the future ... At least what you should be able to do is trade for things that you can't trade for right now, like sand and that kind of thing. It might even happen in this version but it's one of those things where I've got hundreds of requests already and I don't remember if that's one of them and if it is how high on the ranking it is.
Rainseeker:About how long does it take to get your first artifact?
Toady:It isn't a set time so much as a population. You need to have twenty dwarves, so if you're doing one of your smaller fortresses ... I don't remember if this is an init option or not right now, I think it's hardcoded twenty dwarves ... but if you're doing one of those hermit fortresses your hermit won't make an artifact. But once you get up to twenty dwarves, now this is not any twenty dwarves, they have to be twenty healthy dwarves that are capable of making an artifact - including those that have already made them, those don't count against the total - once you get up to twenty it just starts flipping coins at that point, and eventually it'll trigger the chance, it's completely when it happens.
Rainseeker:Does it roll every season?
Toady:It rolls way more often than that, but it's rolling a one out of five hundred chance, but it's once every ten clicks, it's like 'Did you do it? Did you do it? Did you do it?' and then one of them gets nailed and they're off after that.
Rainseeker:Now after the first one how often does that happen?
Toady:After the first one it gets a little more complicated. The contributing factors after that ... It's no longer population, you have to have a dwarf available who hasn't made an artifact already ... and it looks at the items made, just how many items have you made in all of your workshops and any other way that it might happen - I think maybe even mined out stone counts - and then it takes that number and divides it by two hundred, and then it looks at your floor space, and evaluates how many unhidden squares there are, and divides that by some number - I think it's every two thousand unhidden squares, including the wilderness, so you get a starting buffer - and then it caps the items made by that so it's really the minimum of the items made and your floor space, except you need items made; floor space itself doesn't do it for you, but the items made gets compared to the floor space and it takes the smallest one, or it caps it, or whatever. In any case, it then subtracts the number of artifacts you've already made. So say you had, for instance, six hundred items made, divided by two hundred you get three, so that's three artifact credit; you've made enough items so that you can make three items. And let's say that you only had four thousand floor space, so divided by two thousand, that's two, so you actually only have two artifact credits. And say you've already made an artifact, now you have one artifact credit, so it goes ahead and lets you make an artifact. Then the next time it goes through if you haven't changed anything then you'd have no artifact credits left. Now this assumes that the artifact gets created successfully, so it's not like you're using up your chances or anything.
Rainseeker:So if it fails, it tries again later.
Toady:Yeah, people might have noticed, you just keep getting mood dwarves over and over, but then it stops once you have a success, assuming that your fortress is not producing a lot of wealth or is very small. So if you do notice that you've stalled out and don't understand the reason for it it might be that you need to dig a little bit, to get a little more space. It's just one of those things that doesn't make much sense really but neither does the whole artifact possession thing to begin with.
Rainseeker:What happens if you suddenly have an invasion that kills everyone but one dwarf, does he still get to make an artifact if you have an artifact credit?
Toady:You have to get back up to twenty dwarves. So you always need to have twenty dwarves to even get into this process, and if fifteen of them have made artifacts already that's fine, but they also need to be healthy. It's one of these quirky things where it's counting up the dwarves that are good for artefacts so one of the things that's required when it checks is that they have a grasp available because they're going to need to be hauling things to the workshop, so if you have twenty armless dwarves they don't actually have any at all for this process, so you have to keep those arms intact.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:How about, let's say you get an artifact that you want to get rid of or something, is there a way to sell it or to lose it?
Toady:You can't trade them away right now, we're thinking about processes for that that we might talk about later, but the artifacts just can't be traded; that's one of their fundamental properties. But they can be lost if you drop them down a bottomless pit or a bridge can do it if you smash them. Anything that would normally destroy an object ... except I don't remember how they react with flows and so on like magma, because it might just be invincible ... but anything that would normally obliterate an object makes an artifact ... they're never truly destroyed, but they disappear, and they get the hidden flag on them, as if - like when I was talking about before - the dwarves would hide the artifacts and the adventurers could find them. That's what happens here, so if you go back and visit the fort with an adventurer afterward and possibly during reclaim as well it'll put the artifacts back, just somewhere in the fortress. If an artifact is stolen by a thief I think it goes into the list of objects that that civilization has which is probably in limbo right now, except I know that the kobolds will come back with things that they have stolen; like if they steal a steel dagger which they can't normally make their next thief might come back using that, so you might see your artifact again in that matter, but it would only be if it's something that a kobold could actually use.
Rainseeker:That would be hilarious if he came back with the artifact dagger.
Toady:Yeah I don't even know if dwarves can make artifact daggers, do they? Do they make bows and pikes and things that they can't use? Probably irritates people a lot so I might have cut it out, but that hasn't stopped me in the past.
Rainseeker:Is there any way to increase the chances to get the artifact you want?
Toady:If you've got a material you want to use I think people use all kinds of forbid tricks, forbidding objects and then the guys bring them to the workshop and then ignore them or something, because I know there are artifacts that people have made that have like two thousand parts because they do all these things with forbidding objects and so on, but when it comes down to 'do you want a weapon?' then I think the only thing you can do there is just have a lot of weapon smiths around, because you have all of your dwarves and it's going to pick one of them at random and then it's going to look at their highest skills, so if you've got a peasants around that you use for hauling but your brought them up to novice weapon smiths first, just to game the system a little bit, then that would indeed work and then you'd end up with a guy making a weapon and quite possibly end up with a legendary weapon crafter and some kind of artifact sword. So it is possible to do that, it's a little trashy, it is weird having a fortress filled with novice weapon makers so maybe it's not completely out of line. If you wanted to do it you could do it.
Rainseeker:What's the most interesting artifact you've ever seen?
Toady:Probably ... I don't remember the name of it ... but the one where people messed around with the forbid tags and got ...
Capntastic:Planepacked? That's the largest one I know of.
Toady:Yeah, that has to be the most interesting one. People have had really interesting things with really funny names, but nothing comes to me there, so I'd have to say that that crazy artifact is the one.
Rainseeker:You get children that can build artifacts, do leaders and warriors build them if they're on duty?
Toady:For the next version, the children still make them and recruits make them, but soldiers don't make them. With the leaders the situation may have changed because I don't recall in the currently released version if things like mayors and so on are on the exclusion list ... I don't see why they would be but they could be for all I know. But since those as unit types are all eliminated - they're just entity positions in the next version - all of those guys are fair game as far as making artifacts now, because if you're just a mayor in the next version then you're actually a peasant in terms of your unit type because you don't have any job skills; you're just the mayor by appointment or by election, it's an extra tag that lives on top of you that the artifacts don't see at all. But yeah, plenty of little children making swords and stuff and all of the irritations that come out of that; there was some kind of bug that I don't recall off the top of my head that really bothered people because when the child becomes an adult then they're a legendary weapon crafter but ... there was some problem with that, it might just be that they were called a peasant or something, but it might be that you can't use it at all, I really don't remember. But that's still a problem if it is a problem.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So right now fell moods are pretty rare; is that mechanic going to change in the future, and will that be determined partly on the region where they are located or the gods they worship?
Toady:Right now fell moods seem kind of rare - and they are in effect - because when you've got dwarves running around, if you just spruce up their bedrooms a little bit or give them a masterpiece or legendary dining room to dine in they're all running around just giggling and rolling with their little fat dwarf tummies, even if their families die. The problem with the fell mood is that it's driven completely by the happiness the dwarf, so if a mood hits a dwarf and their happiness is above fifty percent - which just means 'I am fine' - then they can't get fell moods or macabre moods. If their happiness is below fifty percent then there is a fifty percent chance for them to get a macabre or a fell mood. So they should actually be pretty common if everyone weren't just zipping around on anti-depressants all the time, like the anti-depressant dining rooms ... The rarity there is partly a problem with balancing out the happiness numbers again to make it a more sane place but aside from that right now the fell mood is a kind of a strange non-magical event where a dwarf just decides to go a little crazy and kill somebody and then no-one cares, it's just part of life and death in the fortress. But certainly if you were in a region with all sorts of undead hippos and things then having artifacts - I talked a bit about having an artifact that wasn't really inspired by the gods or anything but was just such a perfect object that the surrounding nature couldn't help but infuse into that, it was just magic by virtue of being a perfect object - and if you're in a bad area that kind of thing could very well not turn out well for you, even if it isn't a fell mood. But then there's also the idea of expanding it beyond just happiness and unhappiness, the dwarf might not be permanently unhappy but the dwarf was wronged by somebody, and there are grudges in the game and so on right now that don't have a lot of meat on the bone. But we had various ideas ... even if your cat killed their mouse when they got away or whatever; this person might not be capable of making a normal artifact but would instead make an artifact that was evil in some way.
Rainseeker:He has invented the leash!
Toady:It's just a leash, yeah ... That's more of a tech tree thing, but yeah, people who are wronged might drive the technology in the fortress because dwarves are little curmudgeons. But there's also the question - I think you might have mentioned it too - about where are the villains and criminals? Where are the people that have their issues and all that kind of stuff? All of that can be fed into artifacts; what you get can really be filtered through the history of the dwarf that's creating it and not just by virtue of the fact that they've got a love for cheese which leads to pictures of cheese on their artifacts, but instead the actual history of the dwarf; were they present during a goblin invasion, or was their child killed during a goblin invasion, would that effect the kind of artifacts they make? It really should. Or if you've got these petty criminals in the fortress that snatch other people's things and you have to keep your eye out for them why they go about their regular jobs then those kind of dwarves - whether they're happy or not - might have a propensity to make problematic artifacts or something like that.
Capntastic:So will artifacts in the future have neutral effects that are mostly artistic or cultural in their value; like 'This is a painting that marks a very important time in art' and that sort of stuff, where it's not valued because it does anything but just because it looks cool.
Toady:Part of it is almost like words in a sense, because what is an artifact in Dwarf Fortress when you already have the masterpieces they make? In a sense the masterpieces should become a little rarer and maybe get names themselves. Some of them have names - a lot of the engravings have names - but if you make a masterpiece painting or sword or something like that, then even if it's not through the artifact process and even if it's not through the attachment kill-the-dragon process then those things maybe should oftentimes be elevated to the semi-artifact status where they can be known. Because there are all kinds of stories about people stealing a named diamond or something; it's not magical, except for the fact that it's cursed, and anyone who has the diamond will die! But aside from that - the obvious curse that every stolen object has - then a lot of mundane objects should be able to attain that kind of elevation, and when we flesh out exactly what it is that the artifact maker is doing - whether there's a god involved or whether there's this perfection of nature idea involved, or that kind of thing - then those might not be neutral objects, but the semi-artifact status really needs to be expanded.
Capntastic:Will there be multipart sets like the helmet of Deulath with the gloves of Deulath with the sword of Deulath, brought together.
Toady:It's kind of a thing where after you've played Diablo II you don't want to do it, but there should be stuff like that. Especially when you come down to a guy who becomes attached to multiple objects or something, the fact that those are kept completely separate from each other is odd. If the guy has a sword and a helmet that he's given names to, and he stabbed the dragon and then drove the helmet through the dragon ...
Toady:Yeah yeah! Then those things should be linked in history and perhaps even in some magical way ... but certainly historically there should be linkages like that. Now when you're talking about actually creating an artifact I think there was some development item about artifact sets; it's not just for things like the sword and the shield that go together, but more importantly the two gloves that go together that are separate objects, and then also things like several arrows, instead of just one. So there's certainly going to be some expansions there.
Rainseeker:I was wondering about possessions, I think there's an interesting idea ... I guess fey moods too are indicating that they're possessed by a fairy ... but will there ever be real spirits walking around looking to possess somebody?
Toady:This was one of the intents of the new soul mechanic in the new version; you can't really see it happening but all of the mental stuff of a dwarf and other creatures has been separated into a separate object that's just called a soul right now - that's not meant to evoke anything, it's just taken as a simple concept - then that is stuck into the dwarf but right now a creature could have multiple souls, because it's just a vector, it can have many things in side of it, and a creature could have no soul and still move around, it just wouldn't have any mental attributes. So one of the natural progressions from there is to make a unit without a body that just has a soul to it, and then you can have those things wander around and then join with other things and actually possess them and then set the creature's own soul into the subordinate position; there's always a soul that's marked as the active one right now, even though in the version to be released there's always one soul and it's always the active one. We're really not using this yet, but the framework is there and this was specifically ... one of the intents was to facilitate possessions, and all kinds of other weird things right where identities get mixed and matched, and souls can get swapped between bodies and all kinds of interesting stuff.
Interlocutor:So they will learn a lesson! About love and life and family!
Toady:That's right, we aim to teach, that's what we write games for, pretty much. The only thing I ever think about, as having this teaching background I can never help but try to teach with my games all the time.
Capntastic:I think you've done something wrong Toady, Tarn. I just found this thread and someone's writing a paper for their human sexuality class on dwarves.
Rainseeker:You've taught a little too much, apparently.
Capntastic:Yeah, you've gone too far you madman.
Toady:'The subject of dwarven breeding in the game Slaves to Armok: God of Blood II is an interesting one encompassing a number of areas including speculative anatomy, observed behaviour, relationship patterns, child rearing and even the social hierarchy and economy.' It's not prurient or whatever, it's intense. Although human sexuality, I figure humans are humans, right? Dwarves are dwarves ... That's going to be intense.
Unspecified:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Welcome back, we're going to talk more about Dwarf Fortress and address your questions, beautiful as they are. Capntastic, will you do the honours of asking the first one?
Capntastic:Alright, from the top, going in reverse chronological order, this one was received a very light six hours ago. Joe asks; 'When sieges and armies start getting worked on will be getting raided by enemy forces with the primary intent of horking our shiny artifacts. I've wondered about this myself, I've put forth that there be a vault-type room where you hide all your best shinies ...'
Toady:Is it hork proof? I don't know what that means but ... That was kind of what I was getting at with the different drivers for actions surrounding your fortress. It's certainly plausible that if you've got some demon leading the goblins and he gets word that you've got some kind of bright shiny that he would be interested in then you could very well get a raid or army attack on your hands precisely for that reason. It all goes back to the artificial intelligence for the leaders of these armies being able to juggle so many things, but it is the primary intent of the next push on the project towards improved sieges and all that kind of thing, that they start thinking a little bit.
Rainseeker:I have a question from myself, I was just wondering about gremlins actually; 'Do gremlins pick levers randomly or if you had a ton of levers ... could you build decoy levers?'
Toady:Yeah decoy levers work. I think someone diagrammed on the forum a decoy lever attached to a support where the ceiling caves in and kills the gremlin, and that'd work. You're going to have to keep thinking about little things to do to save yourself from various threats.
Capntastic:To prevent being horked.
Toady:Yeah, horking is the new buzzword.
Rainseeker:I have a question; 'What kinds of plans do you have for megabeast worship. This question came to mind due to an actual in-game invent where the royal advisor arrived at my fortress as an ardent worshiper of a titan. The titan attacked my fortress a short time later and was captured in a cage trap. I had the cage moved to his bedroom. I also found it interesting that the queen consort worshipped a demon that died fifty years before she was even born, and the former leader of a goblin civilization subjugated by my dwarven civilization.'
Toady:It's one of those things where world generation got way ahead of fortress mode, so all the superstitions that develop around the attacks, that develop into religions over fifty years or something ... you get dwarves that carry those things, but then that creature still exists and attacks and it's not really used for anything right now. It's hard to chart these things out because it's such a long road but the priests and religions and things, those aren't a million years off, that's one of those things that's going to get worked on. Then once you've got those established they have relationships with the historical figures and so on that are linked to the gods, and I imagine around that time - because the megabeasts are such a glaring instance sitting right in the middle of the religious life of everyone in the fortress - that it'll come up there, like the actual relationship to the invading megabeasts. Perhaps one of your dwarves will in fact run out toward the megabeasts, and be like 'Oh! You're finally here!' before they get smashed; the kind of typical scene you might imagine from a movie.
Interlocutor:'We love you!'
Toady:Yeah, and then they might stop and be like 'Oh, I love you too, I've just never had anyone love me in my life' and then you can give the titan some trinkets and things and it'll be okay. You never know what's going to happen. When we start improving religions ... it's not next obviously, but it's something that needs to be done and it's also doing pretty well in the suggestion voting and stuff; it's not like it's never going to happen, we'll be addressing that kind of glaring strangeness.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:StrongAxe, as a programmer, is curious to know your strategy for maintaining speed while you add more levels of simulation.
Toady:I've got a profiler now, I've been using that a little more, and we kind of know what the problems are, and this is one of the things that's going to come up as we're addressing pathfinding and some of the hauling issues and things that just come up with having a lot of items in your fort and so on ... Now when he asked about levels of simulation and so on; there are certain things like the temperature and the weather where they can be sped up but they are this lag that's hanging there. I'm not going to run the project completely into the ground just because I like adding stuff, so when we run into more serious speed problems that aren't from things that I just haven't really handled that well that are known - like pathfinding and so on - we're going to not run ourselves into the ground there. As far as my strategy for maintaining speed it's to optimise the things that we know about and not throw too many more monkey wrenches into the thing; I'm not going to suddenly start working on making the weather simulation more complicated, because that would really be shooting myself in the foot. So I'm not that worried about and I don't think other people should be either. This next release will probably be one of the slower ones because we've been working on a ton of crap and things like pathfinding and so on are just on the horizon but they're not done, and things like bodies are as complicated as they really need to be ... not that that's really slowing it down at all, there's not a lot going on there from frame to frame.
Rainseeker:Okay so we've got one from Geoff the Medeo; 'Are there any plans for communal childcare? Dwarves might never do this even though carrying a baby into battle is probably unsafe, but humans might prefer to send their children to school, children might prefer to be truant or make friends at schools that they might otherwise meet etc. etc.'
Toady:So right now the babies are just strapped on and then things happen; the battle will go on and the work will go on and so on. It's kind of become an image of Dwarf Fortress that this crazy stuff happens, but it's not something that needs to keep happening, even with the dwarves. We haven't planned specifically, culturally what dwarves like to do, whether they like to put all their peas in one pod and have them taught there, or whether they just mill around workshops and learn about stuff, or just play with all the mini forges and little instruments that are made. But they should do more than what they're doing now which is just kind of wander around and occasionally help with some weird jobs that they're allowed to help with. It's just very strange ... If someone were to make a movie of what the kids of Dwarf Fortress do it would just be these weird work crews ... it's very strange. So there are no specific plans but it's an issue to be dealt with, certainly.
Capntastic:Right now you have these big group teaching things, it's conceivable you could create a school pretty easily I imagine.
Toady:Yeah exactly. The new activities are pretty exciting to me as a technical undercurrent of the game, because I can use them for a lot of things that would have been a lot more clunky before. Things like parties that already exist and some of the conversations and meetings that you have with diplomats and stuff; I'd like to put everything under that umbrella, and it'll make things like little schools and stuff like that way more feasible, way faster to do.
Rainseeker:Alright here's one from LASD; 'How much natural selection is going on in Dwarf Fortress and how much is planned? Are there already some inheritable traits that make creature likely to die younger?'
Toady:There is natural selection on the genetics locally right now. It doesn't have larger population tracking, especially for wilderness creatures and stuff, but there is selection in the sense that critters die and there's some variation and so on, and some of the things would be positive as far as reproduction goes so you'd actually get evolution as well. For selection all you need is death for a reason, and that would include things like size right now; if you're a smaller creature you're pretty much more likely to die when you're fighting and so on; and that's selection against the small size because it gets passed on to the children and so on. The thing that's weird right now is that there's no downside to getting bigger and stronger and smarter and it's easier to do; having attribute variability to make a dwarf smarter, it's not like the evolutionary process has to work really hard to figure out how to make something smarter, it's just like 'Oh you're smarter. You rolled the die and you're a little smarter, you know'. So it doesn't take a long time, if you had this you could breed dogs that can write dissertations and open doors and walk around on their two legs in like two seconds, and it would be a very strange society that we'd be living in right now; because the dogs would be involved. So there's going to need to be some kind of change there, but it's in the game now although not for personalities actually, which was one of the things under question; those are all kind of random right now, but it is there for attributes, and appearance modifiers which govern size and anything else like the skin colour and hair.
Rainseeker:Alright here's something from BurnedFX; 'What are your thoughts no having locks and key requirements for things such as doors, bridges or floodgates?'
Toady:This has come up, it's something we've thought about because the principle obstacle to lock and key requirements is pathfinding; how does that work? Right now we simulate it in Dwarf Fortress by like forbidding a door, but that just means that all the dwarves ignore it. But to actually say 'this dwarf can go through this door' means that pathfinding can no longer work how it works, because you wouldn't have this universal connectivity map, so everything would need to be rethought. That's not to say it's not possible, generally for the past couple of years now the idea floating around for fixing pathfinding using zones and so on that's been tried by several groups of people now with varying degrees of success should work for locks and keys. Allowing an infinite number of locks and an infinite number of keys might raise issues about how that's stored and so on, but just the general principle of having locks and keys should be something that can work out ... As for more complicated mechanisms of getting through doors ... The more complicated it is, like having to stand on a pressure plate to open a door and then going through a door and so on, it becomes more and more difficult to teach dwarves how to do that; the more there is the harder that is. Things like an adventurer doing that of course is a completely different question, and it raises some difficult questions as well because if an adventurer sets up a little house for themselves where you have to place an object on a trigger plate to get through a door and then the door closes behind you and you can walk out the door but you can't go back through so you can't have anyone go into your house without actually breaking down the door ... Those kind of things raise a lot of questions about exploits and so on. I'm not sure what's going to go on there, but the lock and key issue is a pathfinding problem that's possible to solve, but that is the stumbling block.
Rainseeker:Alright I'm going to ask a question from Jokermatt; 'What sort of new mechanics have you thought about adding to the game? For instance, some sort of moving wall/floor/ceiling trap that could be used for crushing; conveyor belts of some sort; timing mechanisms; etc.'
Toady:I am not personally a super engineering mechanically minded person - in terms of my own skills, I like having that stuff in the game - so when it comes down to saying what kind of mechanisms have I thought about having ... I've thought about breaking up traps, I don't like having traps be just this thing that you make that does something, it would be better if they had to be made out of certain components and pieces, but I don't know enough about this kind of thing to say what those should be, but I think they should be universal things that help you make all kind of stuff, because people like having the axles and wheels and things and the different pressure plates that are currently in the game that help them make computers and whatever else they've made. I'd like to add more things like that that can be used in traps and so on, I need to sit down and read the threads from the more engineering-minded people to figure out what's feasible and what the best components are to add; I remember that this was doing pretty well in the suggestion stuff, so I'll be thinking about this in the near future where the near future is the next series of releases. Yes, number five is improved mechanics, so there's that thread over in the suggestions forum, in the Additional Mechanics/Traps Wishlist Granite26 has taken people's suggestions - I guess that's how this was built - and there's a giant list of mechanisms and the thread is pretty long itself. I'm going to be going over that and similar threads and just seeing what sort of things people want to do. As has been said there are certain things that are out; crazy steam engines and nuclear bombs and all that kind of stuff.
Toady:Yeah, I know it's depressing, but you're just going to have to play Balance of Power or something. So I have no specific answers but I think it should be a favourable outcome.
Rainseeker:Well thanks everybody for joining us on this seventh podcast for Dwarf Fortress Talk.
Capntastic:The lucky one.
Rainseeker:We are quickly running out of things to vote on, so keep helping us, think of things to vote on in the forum there, there's a thread for that, Tarn you remember what that's called?
Toady:It is called, Dwarf Fortress Talk: Topic Discussion, and it's stickied in DF General Discussion and we're discussing various topics that we could discuss in the future. There are quite a few ideas but every time we make a talk there's one less, so it always helps to have some discussion there.
Rainseeker:And Capn, thanks for joining us.
Capntastic:No problem.
Rainseeker:We always enjoy your frivolous presence.
Capntastic:I enjoy it aswell.
Rainseeker:Bringing much frivolity.
Toady:That's right. And the music was by Ollieh, and the transcript will be provided by mallocks.
Capntastic:He does a swell job, he is perhaps more important than me. Because talk is cheap, but letters you have to hit them on the buttons ... Think about it.
Rainseeker:That is deep, very deep.
Toady:Yeah, it's important to be high-minded every once in a while.
Rainseeker:It's kind of intense to think that right now mallocks is typing my words in.
Rainseeker:So I'm going to say a word for him to type in: hippopotamus.
Toady:Don't torture the poor guy.
Capntastic:Alf Garnett.
Rainseeker:Thank you mallocks. And thank you everyone who's joined us, we appreciate it. Tarn, sing us out to your kitty.
Toady:(singing) Little Mr Scamps is sleeping in his bowl, he's all rolled up but he's nice and warm. He's not scratching my thumb and he's not scratching my face, because he's sleeping in one warm place; the warm little bowl, the kitty bowl. Kitty kitty bowl, kitty bowl. (end singing) That's right.
Rainseeker:Bullet bowl?
Toady:Bullet bowl, bullet bowl. Kitty bowl? He's not even paying attention to me because he's trying to sleep; he's in his heated bowl.
Capntastic:In the future of Dwarf Fortress we'll all have heated bowls. This I foresee.
Rainseeker:You could put a bowl over magma.
Toady:That's what I was going to say! You could have this honeycomb pattern ... this metal honeycomb frame and line it with leather and then with cloth and so on, and then dip it down into the magma and have all your kitties herded down there so they can sleep there and kind of roost. And then you can get the honey later.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Rainseeker:I just can't wait for us to have chickens.
Toady:Chickens and pigs, chickens and pigs and goats. Sheep and chicken and pigs and goats. Llamas, and sheeps and chicken pig goats and things.
Rainseeker:My dwarves are going to breed large chickens and they'll ride them into battle.
Toady:It's important to increase the size of the chicken.
Capntastic:The goat, not so much.
Toady:No the goat needs to retain the same size, whereas the chicken should be increasing in size, until it is as large as the goat, and then you breed the chicken and the goat, and then you get a chicken goat.
Capntastic:Game over.
Rainseeker:It's called a choak.
Toady:Yeah ... yeah ... that's right. It's okay ... Everything's just fine ...
Rainseeker:Until the cat sees the size of the chicken.
Toady:That's just not fair. Then you'll have to breed your cats to be the size of tigers.
Capntastic:A chicken eating a tin-can forever.
Rainseeker:Or in this case, discarded armour.
Toady:Well it'll solve all the refuse problems.
Rainseeker:It'd be cool if your goat ate your refuse. If it just ate anything, ate the rocks ...
Toady:Yeah you don't need miners anymore, you got a goat.
Capntastic:That's it, I'm quitting, I'm programming my own game: Goat Fortress.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Eats the mountain, eats it away.
Capntastic:You just have to be careful for bridges.
Rainseeker:Because of trolls!
Toady:That's right, that's why we get paid the big bucks.
Rainseeker:Wait a second, I haven't gotten paid a single dime for these podcasts!
Capntastic:I just wrote down your address as my address.
Rainseeker:Send donations to Capntastic and Rainseeker.
Toady:That's right, because it's hard to talk. People get paid to talk.
Capntastic:Yeah, look what happened to Conan.
Toady:Yeah, he only got paid forty five million dollars to not talk or something.
Rainseeker:What they gave him a settlement?
Capntastic:But he can't be on TV for a while.
Rainseeker:Can he write? He should go back to writing The Simpsons.
Toady:Well we've entered now the pop-culture phase of this Dwarf Fortress Talk, so we're topical.
Rainseeker:Topically lame.
Toady:That's right. Now we can start talking about the State of the Union, and we can have a political segment.
Rainseeker:Well we really haven't talked until we've talked about Britney Spears, or Christina Aguilera ...
Toady:Are you trapped in the past or something, man? I thought it was all about Lady Gaga and stuff now.
Capntastic:Yeah, get with the times.
Rainseeker:I was going to say Lady Gaga but I didn't want to seem like I was too up with the times.
Toady:Yeah, you've got to be fashionably late to the party.
Rainseeker:Exactly. Okay well thanks Capn ...
Toady:I'm sure all of this is eminently keepable.
Capntastic:At least some of this will make its way in.
Rainseeker:It will be humorous.
Capntastic:It's because when you're adding it in you'll pretty much just zone out and forget to cut it all.
Toady:Well you've just got to cut the pauses because we were kind of sitting there with the bong talking really slow, like 'Yeah, and there was like stuff ... and other stuff ... you know? Well let's talk about goats for a while you know ...'
Capntastic:What if we're all just ... atoms ... in a dwarf's beard ...
Rainseeker:There you have it folks.
Capntastic:This is what happens when we don't have topics to talk about.
Toady:Yeah topics are cool, we like topics. We used to have topics, that's why we have topic discussion now.
Rainseeker:And don't forget your EQs.
Toady:Yeah EQ, EQ is important.
Capntastic:Question for DF Talk, put that in the topic, and then put the name you'd like to be called by. If you do not provide one we will make one up; you will not like that.
Toady:Yeah it's good to get questions, and good to get topics, and good things happen to good people, and stuff. I think that's not the name of the controversial debate is it; 'Why do good things happen to good people?'
Rainseeker:I blame god!
Toady:Well I guess we don't need a topic for the next talk now.
Capntastic:I'm going to take off now.
Toady:Alright, adventurers. Adios, adios!
Capntastic:I can't wait ... to listen to this.
Toady:We'll have to Alvin and Chipmunk it or something, it's going to be exciting.
Rainseeker:(chipmunks from here on) I'll just Alvin and Chipmunk the whole ending, all this chatter ... we'll just make it super fast.
Capntastic:Alright bye, seriously leaving now. Oh I close it and it's still open, what? Okay here we go, hang up ... bye.
Toady:Alright that was intense, well intense might be the wrong word for it, it was meandering.
Rainseeker:It was meandering.
Toady:I have no idea what you want to do with that, if anything.
Rainseeker:Well let's hang up ...
Toady:Yeah let's hang up ... (chipmunks conclude)

Toady:No it hurts going to read those things you know, that's why I always keep a bottle of whiskey on my desk.
Rainseeker:We all know how much you drink.
Toady:Yeah, yeah.
Capntastic:Yeah how's that working out? I can just imagine like ten years from now we're going to have to make a donation drive for your new liver.
Toady:That's right ... Well it'd be a dwarven thing to do, you can't fault me for getting into what I'm doing.

Cacophony:(singing)Who's this little tummy boy, who's the little tummy guy? Sitting on my lap, scratching my crap, scratching my crap. What you doing? Thank you not for scratching, thank you not for biting, thank you not for chewing. Complete behaviour.
Rainseeker:Okay just stop...
Capntastic:Just stop! Shut it up now ...

Dwarf Fortress Talk #7.2, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Alright so now we’re going to talk about the future of the artifacts and what will happen to them. Capn, do you want to start us off with a query?
Capntastic:Should I use some of your questions? I’ve got some here but they mostly build off yours.
Rainseeker:Okay, yeah, that doesn’t matter.
Capntastic:So what powers and what abilities will artifacts have in the future?
Toady:It’s basically a magic question at the end of the day, so you have to step back and ask yourself again what have we got planned for magic and then how does it fit into fortress mode and all that kind of thing. There’s an extent to which we haven’t been able to plan this out because we’re still not sure exactly what we want to do. What we want to focus on is making it so that if there’s a magical object that’s really a rare special magical object then it should be something that you don’t really understand that well and that’s not necessarily reliable. It depends on the source; where does the magic come from? Was the dwarf inspired by all those gods that don’t actually exist in the game right now, that are just names, or did the dwarf create something so perfect that it just gets infused by magic because it’s a perfect thing, or did the dwarf really have some understanding of magical forces and create such a thing. If that’s the case you’ve got to watch out for the industrialisation of magic; why doesn’t he just do it seven or eight more times? The magical nature of these things is what separates artifacts from the masterworks that already exist. So if it is something that’s not really within the dwarf’s control then you can start to have effects that are beneficial at one time but could be unpredictable or could bring disaster down on your fortress, and that kind of thing. Just as a general question - what are the effects of the artifacts – there’s a bunch of categories they could fall into; if you have weapons and armour you can kind of see what effects might be there. You don’t want to say something like ‘it’s a +3 flaming sword’ but if in effect the sword is just on fire and burns things and stuff, that’s certainly a fair artifact to put in; just because it’s a cheesy Dungeons and Dragons thing doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. But it could be the end of the world if having the artifact sword is somehow drawing your fortress closer to some kind of world of fire and then suddenly it like sucks into some kind of fire plane and your whole fortress catches on fire and then everyone wonders why there’s a new volcano.
Rainseeker:‘This sword causes your organs to turn into frogs.’
Toady:It’s cool to think about how to make magic unreliable, unpredictable, all that kind of thing, but of course if you go too far in that direction so that every artifact is a death trap waiting to happen then there’s just going to be a lot of mood dwarf crushed under bridges. So you don’t want to go to nuts with it. The other kinds of magic there is where it’s not an industrial process are things like having conditions, so if one dwarf were inspired by the god of the harvest to create a chest that you can bring with your armies so that they never have to have supplies or food, then that artifact could in fact be very reliable; it would not be understood and the god might say ‘if you want to keep using this then never march during the full moon’ and if you do then we can really indulge in catastrophic horrible things because it’s your fault; the werewolves can come out of the chest and eat everybody, or whatever needs to happen. So that kind of thing where you don’t necessarily want to make – since craftsmanship is kind of the hallmark of the dwarves – I wouldn’t necessarily say that all the artifacts would be god inspired; it’s just a possible root that can be taken among many, but you want to not necessarily avoid the dwarves actually understanding and being able to construct magical things, but there should be a lot of consequences to dwarves understanding. So let’s say that we have a dwarf that understood how to apply runes of fire to a sword to make flaming swords, then assuming that process doesn’t take twenty years – and that wouldn’t be practical because games rarely last that long, or if they do it’s a very dedicated process, it’s not something you can expect a regular kind of casual or even not casual player to do, just sit there and play out a twenty year fort – then you have to wonder ‘why can’t I just make a ton of flaming swords?’ And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, to have all the dwarves that come from this fortress have these swords with these fire runes on them or something, but it’s kind of a strange magical process if that’s what you’ve got going on ... it’s kind of depressing in a way if magic isn’t mysterious. But at the same time you do have armies of magically armed creatures; it’s not an unheard of thing, so you could be the ones doing that, it’s just something that I wouldn’t necessarily indulge in, especially as a default thing. I certainly don’t have any problem if you can amp up your init options or your world parameter options more likely to be like ‘yeah my dwarves can float, and fly on carpets, and make big guns that shoot fire guns ...’
Capntastic:Tactical nukes.
Toady:And steam, yeah, all that kind of stuff. But it’s one of those things where our starting point most likely – because you really have to think about your starting point because it’s not like Dwarf Fortress is ever done or anything – the starting point is artifacts that are beneficial, not that well understood and possibly have conditions on them. Something that makes the game have something interesting just happen to you; something interesting that you’re going to have to think about a little bit, but that you don’t necessarily want to crush under a bridge the second you hear about. And this is just magic we’ve been talking about, so this is ignoring the other things that come out of artifacts which I’m sure we’ll get to.
Capntastic:So it seems like the important thing to keep in mind is the source of the artifact’s power and how it was created, like if you made it because you’re possessed by your great-great-granddwarf who was a master smith then it might be a bit different than if a fairy a playing a prank on you.
Toady:Yeah exactly. It all comes down to the motivations and understanding, and what is magic, and those kinds of magic are very different things.
Rainseeker:Exactly. I have invented the bag of infinite skunks!
Toady:That’s not very nice! Open the bag and some skunks ... well the game doesn’t have skunks. We need skunks. I’ve got these material breath weapons, so they could fire liquid stuff ... It wouldn’t actually smell, but it could give you blisters or make you die or something.
Rainseeker:They couldn’t generate miasma or something?
Toady:Well it could make your nose rot, it could specifically target the nose and make it rot off.
Capntastic:Is miasma actually in the game as a material now?
Toady:No it’s still the mysterious purple ... I don’t even know what it’s going to be in the end, because what’s there is kind of this noxious semi-magical horrible stuff that comes from all death; what it should be is putrescine and cadaverine or something; chemicals that smell bad.
Capntastic:There should be clouds of it moving about in tombs and you gotta avoid it.
Toady:Roll under them or double jump over them or something.
Rainseeker:I have invented the wand of infinite vermin.
Toady:It was infinite skunks before, now it’s infinite vermin; you can actually shoot the rat out though then right?
Rainseeker:Exactly. It fires flies and cockroaches.
Capntastic:I like how a tiny mosquito will create a million tiles of purple death.
Toady:I think butterflies have the ‘don’t smell’ flag, but I don’t know if I did more than butterflies. (high pitch)Butterflies don’t smell, they’re very pretty! (normal pitch, to Scamps) What are you doing Mister? You’re troubled you know, you’re just a little troubled boy. Rolling around the garbage because Daddy doesn’t clean very well.
Rainseeker:My question is, will artifacts become known around the world when they’re created. For instance someone somewhere wanting that legendary turtle bone grate for their town’s civic project. This leads to the question; can artifact ownership be transferred between people and civilizations.
Toady:Yeah, it’s like ‘You must give us the grate! We’ll send you young lads ever summer, just give us the grate!’ and then you’d have all these worthless human children wandering around your fortress, but you gave them the grate, and that was a cultural failing. This is the thing; artifacts used to be magic in one of the versions of Dwarf Fortress, I don’t remember if it was released or not, but there were like ten magical powers that they could pick one, and that was one side of it. Then the other side was this little story thing I was talking about, where it would come up with things like ‘well I’m really possessive of this artifact and I’m going to hide it away’ or whatever, and it would record it in the histories. Just as we were just talking about magic extensions and all the things that magic could be you can also talk about interactions and stories and civilizations, and all of the things that that can be. So it’s really important for artifacts to become known around the world, for them to become the prime movers of all these events and things that are going on; the catalysts for all kinds of events and things. So word would have to spread somehow; we’ve talk a bit before about knowledge of things and what information you store, but artifacts are pretty high up on the list of ‘do people know about them’ and so on. So you can have events based on jealousy, thieves coming to take them; you could have diplomatic events where you actually give one of your artifacts for a whole set of other things, or as a peace thing or something. I imagine that you couldn’t just flip your artifact off to a caravan or your whole society would be very angry with you. Unless it was an artifact that your dwarves had learned just enough that it’s sucking you away to the fire dimension, and then I’m sure you’d be very happy to trade the elves the metal whistle that they like to blow, that causes a nice little forest fire.
Rainseeker:That whistle really sucks.
Toady:That’s right. But just in general, like within your fortress, the creation of an artifact is just like ‘Woohoo! We have an artifact!’ and people start engraving it like crazy ... This should be something that your fortress starts to hinge around; your dwarves start to think about that. Are there jealous dwarves? Are there dwarves that are scared of things that are strangely magical? Does the creator become lauded or ostracised and eventually abscond with the thing and run off into the night with the human bandits and then they come back doing all manner of horrible infinite vermin things at you ... So within the fortress and without it the artifact should start driving huge amounts of the story, we’re going have these wargame type things with you sending off your armies to attack places in the coming versions – not too far away – and those will drive your fortress’s connections with the world, and diplomacy will drive your fortress’s connections with the world, and trade will drive your fortress’s connections with the world and make the game much more interesting; and artifacts can do the same thing and should be important that way, especially because the creation progress itself is something that’s pretty engaging, and then you finally get this artifact and right now it just drops off into mediocrity at that point as something that scores you a few extra immigrants. It’s not that important unless it’s a rare useful artifact like a weapon and even then you’re just killing a few extra creatures with it. So the artifacts are one of the important things that needs to happen; them becoming known throughout the world and so on.
Rainseeker:Capn, you want to ...?
Capntastic:So the semi-artifacts you mentioned earlier where they’re a non-special item that’s been used to slay a particular dragon and it becomes well known and attached to the character and has its own story going along with it – it becomes a kind of player in the world on its own – how exactly does that work?
Toady:So the process that’s currently in the game – not the released version but the one that’s coming – where we’re starting to explore this whole semi-artifact idea, it looks at how much time the dwarf has been holding the object, does he like the materials it’s made out of, and eventually if you’ve got a match then the dwarf can get an attachment to it. Once an item is elevated to that state ... or actually for every single item now, it’s kind of insane the out of information that’s being tracked sometimes ... It tracks every item’s kills, and once the item gets up to the attached state with a dwarf then it can look at those kills, especially as they continue to be added as that dwarf continues to do amazing things, it can look at the historical events attached to those things in the historical figures – so if it kills a dragon that dragon has a history – and it’s already got methods for calculating the importance; like ‘what is the era importance of a dragon?’, well that’s one hundred because it can name eras after a dragon, and when you’ve got something with high numbers then the artifact’s importance level, once it reaches a certain amount the dwarf can name it, it can become an artifact. At the present time it’s about as exciting as other artifacts, but essentially what would happen at that point is that it would enter the same mechanic pool that we’re planning for artifacts; people would know about it, like if a trader arrives and talks to your other dwarves then they would know about that sword just as likely perhaps as they’d know about your magical chest that any time you put something in it you get two back, or whatever, so they would say ‘there’s also the sword that killed the dragon’ or whatever. Then if someone became jealous about that, or someone asked for that for their community civic project, like they want to use your named dragon killing axe to chop down trees ... that’s not going to happen, but that’s the spirit anyway ... then it would just enter the same pipeline as the rest of the artifacts. Now it could be that the process of naming it, killing dragons and so on, there’s nothing that says that the item might not actually become magical itself as well, but even without that it would still have access to all the same sort of code stuff.
Capntastic:I think that’s interesting because maybe the sources of power ... like a nature spirit might say ‘this hammer was used to kill a dwarf that was mean to elves, so I’m going to enchant it and now it’s really good at killing dwarves’ or a demon could say ‘oh well, this sword was used to kill a king and I’m going to enchant it to become a king-killer; whenever you kill a king with it the king turns into a demon’; seems interesting.
Toady:Yeah it should be really cool, because in a sense those semi-artifacts – as we’ve been calling them – that these guys have had for years and become attached to and killed dragons with, in a sense they have as much of a right, or more, to become magical than the workshop created artifacts where you just go and grab a pine log and a turtle shell and make a little hat. They’ll be treated with their proper respect once these mechanics are up that start to consider artifacts more and more.
Rainseeker:That kind of segues into my question; are there going to be new ways to create artifacts aside from that, such as at the creation of the world or by gods or some other ...
Toady:Originally we thought of this as kind of a tricky question; just at first when the game was smaller we were like ‘Dwarves ... they make the artifacts’ but I think dwarven artifacts in a sense are special because you made them but really you have to let go of that as being their unique properties; they might have the best artifacts among civilizations, but an artifact is just an important object, and important objects ... you’ve got to pass that around. So whether there are items that have been created by gods, items that have been created by other civilizations – maybe not as prolific as the dwarves, but I think one of Zach’s stories had an elven sword that was put in a stream for a thousand years, that certainly wouldn’t be a common artifact – but you’ve got it there, and the ones that they become attached to and so on, that’s certainly fair game for the other civilizations. And things like, if there’s some kind of evil swamp that isn’t really attached to gods at all, it’s just this evil swamp, it might have a beating heart beneath it that’s some kind of object, and you might have to dig that out to make the undead dear go away, and the undead alligators ...
Capntastic:Undead skunks ...
Toady:That’s right, undead skunks being shot out of a crater ... it’s all scary. But definitely we want to use artifacts in lots of places. They shouldn’t be commonplace but they should be varied.
Various:(fel mood repetition from main podcast)
Sfx:(door slamming)
Toady:Zach has left the chat room, it’s like (Sfx vox: door slamming). Alright, so in any case, it’s ...
Rainseeker:Wait, is he listening to the talk?
Toady:No, we were talking on the AOL chat thing we’re using now, because we’ve used seven different ones because they crash or whatever. So we’re on one of them and we were talking and I was like ‘Okay, I’m starting the Dwarf Fortress Talk’ now, and that was an hour ago, or whatever, and he was like ‘Okay’, so I went in and turned off the sounds so that if he sent me a message – which he hasn’t – it wouldn’t make the ‘bing bing’ noise or whatever. However apparently in that list of sounds I missed – or it was in a different list or something – the sound that makes the big slamming door noise when he leaves. So he just went off to go do something or whatever, and so all of a sudden it’s like ‘SLAM!’ I don’t even know if it was audible through my microphone or not.
Capntastic:Oh it was.
Toady:Yeah, so bam! Bam! A failure, a complete failure to protect the podcast from environmental noise pollution. You know the cat is sleeping nice over in his heated bowl right now, so he’s ...
Capntastic:He has a heated bowl?
Toady:Yeah he has a heated bowl! So he has a giant cat tree, almost as tall as I am, and then he’s got a heated bowl you can plug into the wall. It’s a felt thing or something, it’s a very large short cylinder that a cat can be put in.
Rainseeker:I’d imagine that would be nice for you to be able to sleep, he wouldn’t bother you at night, huh?
Toady:Yeah, he likes to stay in there ... I mean he will still come in and scratch my neck if my hands aren’t showing, he will still occasionally jump over my head when I’m laying down in bed ... An important point, people were wondering when I put that on the devlog, when I said he jumped over my head; I was laying down at the time. He did not get seven feet in the air or whatever to get complete clearance and then do whatever he’s doing. He can jump pretty far, but not that far yet. Yet. We’ll see what he can do later.
Rainseeker:I thought you might have been sitting when you said that.
Toady:The problem is is that once I was. The thing is I was in bed reading a book, and I wasn’t sitting so that my back was bent completely flat up against the wall but I had my pillow kind of scrunched up, so my head was a good foot and a half off the bed, and he did his thing where he jumps on the bed and he then he needs to leave and he’s on the wrong side of the door or whatever and me, so he needs to jump over me; obviously he can’t go under the bed because that would too civilized and he can’t go around or anything. So he just jumps over my head, and when your head is sticking up a little bit that’s really disconcerting because he almost doesn’t make it sometimes, you can just feel him go over your hair, it’s like ‘Whoof!’ So he continues to be a little free spirit or something. But now that he’s got his heated bowl he is oftentimes out here instead of in the bedroom, which is okay with me because it’s good to sleep sometimes.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #8, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Welcome to Dwarf Fortress Talk where we talk about all your Dwarf Fortress related needs!
Capntastic:And dreams.
Rainseeker:And compulsions. And addiction!
Capntastic:And desires.
Toady:What number is this?
Rainseeker:Number eight! I'm Rainseeker, here with me is Capntastic; say hello Capn.
Rainseeker:And your illustrious leader Tarn Adams. Also known as Toady One.
Toady:That's right, and we've got baby Scamps right on the desk here kicking things, trying to remove the pencil from the desk.
Rainseeker:Get rid of that pencil, Scamps.
Toady:We'll have to get rid of Scamps; lock him outside.
Rainseeker:So our topic for this week is sciences and we decided to do that on the tail of the last vote because it came in second. We proceeded to run a little vote and most of you listening probably saw that where we asked people what they thought about what sciences we should look at. We'll probably address others as well, however we did get a winning vote and Capn, could you let me know what those winning votes were?
Capntastic:Oh man ... My memory span ... Going to the thread ... Our winners are in order of top to bottom we have: Physics with four hundred and ninety seven votes; Chemistry with three hundred and sixty six; and Psychology and Sociology with three hundred and twenty six.
Rainseeker:Now Tarn and I virtually looked at each other and said 'what the heck are we going to talk about with physics? Why did we even put that on the vote?' But we're going to try to do it anyway. So when is Dwarf Fortress going to be like Half-Life 2?
Toady:Is that how this one's going to go? I was thinking that we're not scientists and we might have a little trouble but it could go even worse than I thought ... I mean there's like some kind of gun where you can grab a dwarf and throw them or something ... Some kind of gravity gun that dwarves will have that throws them ... And I don't remember anything else about that video game.
Capntastic:We can make a lever out of a barrel and a plank and a kobold ...
Toady:Oh that's right, a physics puzzle.
Rainseeker:Okay, so Tarn: How does physics work in Dwarf Fortress; in that we have gravity, we have other things, how does that work right now and do you have plans to expand the laws in the future?
Toady:Well there are lots of different kinds of physics and some of it's going to spill over into chemistry and everything else of course but we've got the fluid model; that's one of the things that stands out, so you have the liquids that flow around and it works tile by tile right now except you do have a little bit of pressure simulation there. But all in all there's not a lot going on with how fluids interact with things, there's nothing floating yet and they can push things but in a kind of a haphazard fashion. Then there's static things like cave-ins or your Red Faction: Guerrilla type stuff with collapsing structures and so on. Originally that worked when the game was 2D so any open subterranean area could just be assumed to have a ceiling that was willing to fall on you and as soon as you had an open seven by seven area on the 2D underground map then it would just collapse it on you eventually. In the later versions with the Z axis you've got these large connected structures that can spin and spiral all over the plan and as long as they're connected to something stable like the bottom of the map or the edge of map by a single tile then they won't fall over, because the seven by seven rule doesn't really make sense anymore, and that's something we can discuss expansions of. Then what else have we got ... We've got projectiles, currently they just fly along in straight lines and then hit their destination point or run out juice and then just fall on the ground; very bad there. We have some machines if you want to lump that in with physics in general; we have waterwheels and windmills and screw pumps and things powering a few workshops like the millstone but not a lot going on there right now. And the siege engines are just these buildings that shoot rocks, but it doesn't really think about anything there and everything still flies in straight lines. We've got temperature; everything in the game has a temperature pretty much and there are certain points that can be crossed when they change states or catch on fire. Psychology is one of those other topics we're going to discuss and the psychology of a dwarf on fire is something that really needs a bit of work; they don't care at all right now.
Rainseeker:'Ach, I'm on fire! Oh ... oh well.'
Toady:It just doesn't matter at all, and they'll just walk through burning items and all that kind of stuff but that's another part of the game that we've at least touched upon, and the upcoming version goes into that a bit more; more material properties and so on. I've run through those I don't know what else there is ... So yeah, I guess I'll stop there.
Rainseeker:If I could ask briefly about gravity and cave-ins. I had a dwarf once ... I had an entrance that was over some soil and then I had seven layers hollowed out beneath, just individual layers and at one point one of my dwarves fell through the soil - I'm not sure how this happened - and fell seven layers, through each floor, and they proceeded to be rock. I got a message that 'so and so had died' and I looked at the top and found a hole going seven layers deep so I was just curious, is that a random event that happens occasionally if enough people run over something?
Toady:Oh no, no. That shouldn't have happened at all. There's nothing like quicksand or sinkholes or soil disappearing or anything like that.
Capntastic:There should be ...
Toady:Well it's quite a weird thing right now, like especially when you're in a sandy desert, you can dig out a room underneath the sand and the sand is just pretending to be sandstone or something, and it's one of those things where you have the fluid model and the cave-in model should intersect in some way. We wanted sand to be a fluid that acts like magma does but it's a difficult problem to have the path finding and building structures - or at least certain kinds of structures - and dropping items on it that stand on top of it, and then having it also interact with other fluids; it's a difficult problem. It's one we haven't completely given up on but it's tricky. Just in general if soil collapsed all the time that might be fine but one of the problems with cave-ins is if you don't have a simple model like that - like either it collapses all the time or it's a seven by seven or something like that - you can model all the complicated statics and arches and all the things that you want; you can work really hard on getting a system that's accurate but then communicating with the player about when something is going to collapse, when is it not collapsing, when is it close to collapsing, how far you can go, becomes very difficult. You want people to be able to build a statue like the Crazy Horse monument or something where the arm is outstretched and not just going to collapse, but at the same time if you took the Crazy Horse monument and then built a giant building and put giant golden status in there and stuff you might want the arm to give at some point and collapse and fall down into the plains or whatever. But how do you communicate that to the player? So right now we're stuck in this almost no cave-in system where the player is clear when things are going to collapse because they actually have to be disconnected and if we step away from that then communication becomes actually the largest problem. There's a bit of infrastructure already; it keeps track of columns up and down of solid stone and could communicate information between those columns: how they are shearing against each other and transmitting forces downward to try and find a place to anchor to, and if the forces got too high maybe something could shear off and fall. But if your model is really complicated then you're leaving the player hanging - or not hanging as the case may be - and this is a big problem I think with trying to do a really accurate model; bothering investing the time in that when it's just going to lead to a ton of confusion.
Capntastic:Yeah I can definitely see how a megaproject would require a lot of knowledge if there are cave-ins; you'd need to know 'can I build this wing to this tower and then add this here' and the biggest problem would be an intuitive system, knowing 'hey, is this going to fall, is this going to break apart, what materials would be best for this?'
Toady:Yeah, something that's kind of easier to tackle might be something like in the soil layers just having to have a support every other tile, if you really want to build a fortress in the soil then a rule like that would be pretty easy to understand; but when it comes to the larger structures I'm still not sure how or even ultimately if I'm going to handle that, because it is a difficult problem.
Capntastic:Another thing would be towers needing to have something so it's not just a bunch of rocks stacked up; like concrete underground to keep it weighted from falling over.
Toady:Yeah right now you could build it out on the mud in a swamp and just having an up-down system that can just look straight downward and say 'is this thing just going to sink into the mud?' even that you can think of cases where it's not going to be a hundred percent clear, it's going to start to be confusing; like if you start attaching it to other stone in pieces and ... It gets to be tricky; there's a lot of suggestions about cave-ins on the forum and I think the main thing they need to be considering if the 3D nature of the problem; you can have a really twisty curvy structure like an abstract modern art statue that curls around itself and so on and that needs to be addressed because the player can create that shape and just looking at 2D examples is basically useless as far as figuring out actual algorithms that can be used.
Capntastic:I think it's another case of wanting to make it realistic and interesting but also easy to use, intuitive, and not limiting the player's choices.
Toady:Right now we're just kind of letting people do whatever the heck they want and I think that can stand for quite a while; the thing with cave-ins is just to be kind of mean, just to have something for people to consider but I'm not sure that's the type of problem that people need to be thinking about until we get a lot of other groundwork put in.
Rainseeker:How is the fluid model going to change?
Toady:We have hopes there. I guess there are two things ... one of them has a couple of sections ... but two things that are important are floating objects and additional fluid types. So for floating objects right now all the material have densities and they also have sizes and whatever other physical properties you might need, so it can tell, you know 'is this object going to float?' in water or magma. There are some issues there but it's not an impossible problem, you kind of worry when people use quantum stockpiles if they take a bunch of logs and drop five thousand of them in the same square and then that square suddenly gets wet is the CPU going to die? Maybe. But it's not like there needs to be a super lot of calculation going on because if it knows the density of the object to begin with ... I don't know if we're going to have to worry about shapes as well, like if an object has a concave shape the density isn't the only variable that's important ... but getting an object to float, especially for water which is so important, is just something that can be known about the object, it could just be a flag on the object so it doesn't have to do any calculation at all except for the actual floatation. As for that it just depends how you want it to work. There's some other trickiness; if your tile is two out of seven water with a seven out of seven below it, so it's actually bone fide water, it's not just a puddle, does the item float in the two out of seven square? Does it float in the seven out of seven square? What if you have a one of seven, what if you have a zero out of seven with a seven out of seven below it? Which square does it sit in is part of the problem of having this quantized space where you have a tile here and then a tile here and then a tile here, you want to decide where your item rests. Then there's the matter of having currents - the water has a direction that it's supposed to be flowing in even if the tiles aren't actually changing - the objects then can move and that's not really a big process or problem or anything, depending on how many objects you're actually monitoring, or how many squares you're monitoring if you want to monitor it by object or tile, there's a lot of different ways you can look at the problem. Just basically it's not a super hard problem, and then it would be really cool to flood a room and have everything either - depending on how heavy it is - just to get pushed along or float up and float out and go wherever you want it to go, I'm sure there'd be a lot of applications that would come out of that, for people that are doing all kinds of strange things.
Rainseeker:It would be a good reason to have all stone furniture in that case.
Toady:Yeah. The other problem that I was going to mention ... well one of the sub-problems I was going to mention for liquids was boats; boats are important once you get to fluids. Then you've almost got like a cave-in problem; does this multi-tile thing that you've built, perhaps tile by tile, and in whatever shape; does it float? And if so how deep does the boat float and how much of it shows above the surface of the water. It could do that, once it understands the boat as a multi-tile object that's not so hard to calculate, because you have the total mass of the boat and how many air tiles dip down at each level, those kind of things are pretty easily calculated, it would just be a known quantity for that boat and then you could stick it in the water. If you have some giant galleon or something you'd have a couple of tiles below the surface of the water and a couple of tiles above the surface of the water, and you can just walk around on it and stuff; it'd be really cool. The other fluid problem was multiple liquids. It doesn't seem so bad at first if I want to add a couple more liquid types like oil and I mentioned sand before. Sand, you want to be able to build on it or walk on it or whatever has its own problems, but even if you just consider other liquids like actual liquids, like oil and ... I'm not sure what else people have suggested, blood ... and giant alcohol silos.
Rainseeker:'Release the alcohol upon the goblins!'
Toady:That's right, those kinds of thing. Once you get those up to flow levels; not just items but an actual map flow, you can use the existing code and so on to move it around, but the problem becomes mixing. There's already quite a bit of code devoted to mixing water and magma; does it make obsidian, what happens to the objects in there, and so on. But if you had fluids that could mix, or fluids that can't mix but don't destroy each other when they touch each other, like oil and water, or alcohol and water; they do different things when they touch each other. And it just seems like that's a can of worms that needs to be handled in one way or another, it's something that I haven't thought that deeply about but it seems like it opens a lot of problems. I'd still like to do it, but those are things that would need to be addressed before I embark on that project.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So with regards to gravity, will different worlds have different levels of gravity?
Toady:Yeah ... The general question is the physical laws of the world being based on parameters, right? I haven't thought about that much and it's the kind of thing where it seems like you could just change the constants, assuming that they work like that. Part of the problem with the projectiles is how you've got these quantized tiles and right now they think of it that way too, but if the projectiles actually stored their location in a much more refined fashion and were just displayed by tiles and hit things by tiles but actually had their own arcs that they were travelling along, then doing things like having a flight trajectory that is something like a parabola - like you'd want - wouldn't be so bad. You'd have trouble maybe in that there's a couple of issues then for AI and when you're in adventure mode how you target, because even if you've got a parabola and you can target any square that you can get a parabola to hit by theoretically raising the angle of your crossbow or whatever, that's not so bad, especially with my math background. I've solved this problem before, I remember doing it in Armok I, and you could actually accurately hit something shooting on a parabola. So you could hit things along parabolas in that game and it would come up with the parabola, and generally there were two solutions for each equation and it would choose the one with the lowest angle so that you'd shoot straight at the rabbit instead of shooting way up in the air and having it fly and then come down on the rabbit or whatever. So there are little issues like that but you just want to make sure that once you nail it to the tiles that you don't lose your solution and get all confused. But I think it's not that difficult a problem and that people and siege engines and everything else could be flying properly and it's really not that much of a processor problem either, just because projectiles aren't that frequent. If you do something weird like stick five thousand logs on a drawbridge and then lift it up to shoot your logs everywhere ... these are kind of player created problems, but I'm sure that might slow things down a little bit then. I think once you've got a model that has more refined numbers where it's keeping things at a few decimal places then doing things like messing with the physical laws is way easier because changing the gravitational constant doesn't suddenly knock you over ten tiles to screw everything up or just get ignored because it gets rounded off. That would be something that I think would be a low hanging fruit and that point so it would be fun to do. Does it come across in the game? Not quite so much as if you were playing a first person shooter or something that had really good graphics, where the gravity can come across; if you were playing on the moon you'd notice how things were. Since there's no actual frame of reference in Dwarf Fortress - like grid size is a question, how big is a grid, how far is it from here to here? - it becomes less obvious when the physical constants have changed. But at the same time if something falls and hits you on your head harder because you have more gravity that would probably come across, at least relative to your other play experiences. Then you could have some cases where there's just no gravity at all, which would be kind of fun, just things flying off and ...
Rainseeker:You'd be losing dwarves left and right, into outer space ...
Toady:Yeah, those silly combat things where someone flies and hits and tree and blow apart, the parts would just kind of fly off, fly off into space. It'd be fun, I think.
Rainseeker:You'd be having people bashing their heads on the ceilings too when they jump over each other in narrow hallways.
Toady:The nice thing about - just considering physics again in general - the nice thing about using actual equations, getting to that point ... having discrete tiles makes that hard sometimes ... but getting to the point where you're using realistic equations or semi-realistic equations like with the combat stuff with all the new parameters that are in there ... the nice thing about having it that way is being able to change the laws and you could even consider things like local changes of the laws, like a particular area of the fort because of some weird artifact you've got or something is zero gravity, and if you go in there then things start to fly and float around and stuff, and that could lead to some really cool sights in the world; places where things just don't behave quite like you'd expect. That would all be a lot of fun, and because we've been modelling things it's more accessible; it's something that can be done, which is cool.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So let's address chemistry. This kind of overlaps I guess, I'm just going to jump into something I was wondering about; will we ever find oil in the mountains or in the plains?
Toady:Or under the deserts, and wherever else you find it!
Capntastic:Under the sea.
Toady:Yeah. (singing) Under the sea. (end singing) With the mermaids ... because there are already industries based around mermaids, so why not oil?
Rainseeker:Floating fortresses over oil patches.
Toady:Yeah, frozen methane under the ocean floor, all that kind of thing. I think it would be really cool ... we talked about liquid types before and the problems, but now let's talk about some fun things and just assume that you can overcome some of the issues there. It would be cool to have whole ... you know how you have the raw files with the different types of stone ... it would be cool if you could just be like 'well this one's actually a liquid' or whatever, and so there'd be an oil layer, like a big oil sea ... I don't know that much about it but I assume there's quite a lot of oil down there if you're pumping a hundred and fifty million barrels or whatever, and so you should actually be able to go down there and occasionally bump into whole seas of oil.
Rainseeker:That'd be a problem.
Toady:Yeah, you'd have your dwarf shoot up on a geyser, it'd be really cool; like shoot up in the air and then catch them on fire or whatever. But then actually using ... historically I imagine that petroleum or oil or whatever isn't just a modern thing; people at least poured it on people and set it on fire of course, so you'd be able to do things like that assuming there was a way to say that any liquid you've got - right now we've got water and magma, but say you'd get one of these mineral liquids that you'd define as a mineral layer or whatever - to be able to set up an activity zone or a workshop at that location and then put it into barrels or something. Then once you have barrels of it whatever custom reactions you've got designed for it in the workshop, whether that's in vanilla or modded Dwarf Fortress, you can do things with it and if there is something that sets on fire and you can pour on people you'd need a way to be able to do that. And whatever else you can use oil for would all be fair game at that point. I think it would be really cool. You have to jump over the largest hurdle there which is just getting a liquid on the map that isn't water, that can act like water. It opens up other things too, like there's tar, above ground, having tar pits ...
Rainseeker:That'd be awesome.
Today:Yeah, tar pits are a lot of fun. Even a more liquid version of mud that you can kind of sink and fall into ... but we're going back to the physics discussion instead of forward into the chemistry discussion, so ...
Rainseeker:We also have acids of course; what are you plans for acids?
Toady:I'm of two minds on this. I've got my Arab/Persian chemistry from around the year 800 or something like that, the kind of stuff I've been looking at when people were isolating sulphuric acid and making aqua regia and all these kind of ... chemistry ... glass flasks, spun and turned around for distilling things that you see in crazy mad scientist movies and stuff. All that stuff existed long before my arbitrary 1400's cut off and it would be really cool to be able to do all kinds of things with that. Of course those acids are not like fantasy acids; if you used aqua regia to etch gold instead of making someone melt into a little puddle then that would be cool, just to use it for things that it might actually have been used for. And there's things like acetic acid and citric acid and so on; there were all kinds of things that were isolated and had myriad uses, and I think it would be just great to have all that stuff go in. At the same time you can't have fantasy world generators without fantasy acid. Fantasy acid is like some kind of monster - a dragon or whatever - spits some crap on you and you just go away. However the game models that, if it's just 'yeah this does really bad things to people', if it's like a poison that way like how I've got them currently set up, or whether it just says 'this has the melting acid effect' on all kinds of stuff ... however it works it would be way more powerful than anything that you'd be able to make with your chemists shop, but then you can start working things like dragon scales and things in there and it starts to blur the lines between chemistry, alchemy and flat out witches cauldron style stuff.
Capntastic:That's how it should be though.
Toady:Yeah, I'm not saying that's bad at all; those are the things I want, it's just a matter of getting that stuff started. For real chemistry I think having all of that out in the raws, trying to hardcode nothing, just list out as many chemical reactions as you can think to do ... There's a few problems here and there; like if you define zillions of chemical reactions that give you all kinds of different chemicals and they have different uses and you just slowly add to that list more and more, you don't want to get to the point where any time you drop an item on the ground it has to chug away, checking to make sure ... it's like 'well these two things just touched each other; the sword blade just touched the ground, and now we have to check a list of twenty thousand reactions to see if in fact the ground is going to explode'. There are just things that you have to be conscious of when you start defining those things; one of the reasons we have contact poisons not quite on hold, but they only work through splatters and contaminants now is because there are all kinds of things touching each other all the time and you don't want to bog yourself down, like when a dwarf is walking on the ground do you have to take the boots he's wearing versus the type of the soil and make sure that there isn't some explosive catastrophic reaction or that the boots don't turn into gold or something, because of some reaction; and is the reaction exothermic and his feet catch on fire, or do they freeze ... It's the kind of thing where you could find it getting out of control. However, those problems are all surmountable, just looking things up a little more intelligently than doing it by brute force, and then you can have a very lively world where things can get splattered on you and splattered on other things and mixed together and so on, and turn into other things. We have temperatures for all the objects so if you did have a reaction that just heated things up, you pour one liquid into another liquid and it turns into other stuff but it's also very very hot, you could do that, and you could do that to do harmful things to your goblin friends and stuff. It really does have a lot of potential and just having those things in the raws ... There's a reason that the jobs in the raws are called reactions; it was originally going to be for the alchemy system for the alchemists workshop that doesn't even do anything - except for soap or whatever it does now - it's because I want to have reactions where it understands what materials ... I'll have to change the format of them a little bit, but it understands how materials react with each other and what the outcome of that process is. There's a lot that won't be done just because the real world is so rich with this kind of stuff, but we can do a lot, and we can do it eventually to the point where some people are satisfied.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:The next thing; explosives. What are your plans for tactical nukes?
Toady:That's right, we have unrefined uranium in the game, and I hear about centrifuges all the time, and aluminum tubes ... We've got aluminum, we don't have centrigues, we have pipe sections, so you make a giant aluminum pipe section and fill it with pitchblende or whatever we've got and ... Yeah, so we're not doing that. But the kind of thing that's on the table is gunpowder, and the materials that you need for that are already in the game, I think. We've got brimstone, which is sulphur, and I don't remember if we have saltpetre, if it's there or not, but ... I guess you could do all kinds of things with manure and urine to make it, or you can find it in a crystalline form in the ground perhaps. And we've got charcoal and coal and kinds of stuff like that available, so it's there, the building blocks are there, and then it become strictly a matter of taste, and what you're going to do with it. I don't think we've had the discussion on Dwarf Fortress Talk before but I've had the discussion on the forums or in the dev notes and so on about what we think about that. Where we were on that is that we are not against coding up the code necessary to get that kind of thing to work; at the very least just blowing the crap out of things. Maybe not making a gun or something but blowing the crap out of things. That probably wouldn't be in the most vanilla vanilla Dwarf Fortress. After we see it action and see it perhaps not spoiling the mood entirely it might make it in, but certainly we'd support that kind of thing shortly after chemistry starts to take off; I've no problem with that at all. Then it's a matter of how blowing stuff up works in the game. It would just be another one of those reactions; when this point hits its ignition point it's a little different than just setting on fire. It would just need to be able to look around at the adjacent squares and apply forces to things, and it can do all that. It should be not that difficult once we have the chemistry stuff we've been talking about to have things that are explosive, and not just black powder which as far as I know is the only historical example of a real explosive. Of course people can show me whatever else there is that I don't know about there, but there can also be fantasy-type explosive things, like creatures that blow up for no reason that somehow survived after all these thousands of years, and then when you come up to them they just blow up.
Rainseeker:It's because they're allergic to dwarves.
Toady:Well, dwarf is a ...
Capntastic:One dies so that the others may live.
Toady:Yeah, unless they're all lined up or something, because those things tend to blow up in clusters. I'm not really sure where I'm at right now ... pro modded explosives and kind of ambivalent about vanilla explosives. It should be the kind of thing that is just one extra step in the chemistry raws; instead of saying that this thing heats up when the products are mixed or the products are ignited, it's like 'this does an explosion of this force per unit of black powder'; then there'd just need to be one extra function there that says what an explosion does. After that you can start to work with ideas; like what about things like cannons or mines that you want to do, and we can slowly work with that but the farther afield you go the more it would be deprioritised.
Capntastic:So what about herbs and plants being turned into potions?
Toady:I guess hopefully it would all fall under the same umbrella; it's not chemistry per se, you're not trying to give names to the things, but stuff turning into other stuff that has effects ... We've got the poisons now which are the only example of a material having an effect, and the effects are all over the place even know; they can make you cough blood, give you blisters, cause your body parts to swell up and get compartment syndrome, give you fevers, make you dizzy, and that's a material effect that effects a creature through contract, injection or inhaling the object and so if you start to give beneficial effects or more neutral effects, maybe give it a few more ways that cause the syndrome to trigger - it could just be something that's nearby rather than something that's inhaled or injected - and then all of a sudden what was a really practical grounded real world poison system becomes a system for doing all kinds of fantastic things. So if your herbs, if you say one plump helmet and one newt eyeball is a reaction that you can do in a workshop with an empty flask, and then you use the to container thing that we've got now for reactions to say all that stuff goes into a new liquid in that container called plump helmet newt eyeball juice or something. Then you can define a new material and that material could have whatever properties you want. So the pieces are in place now to make poisons, but you wouldn't be able to do anything with them unless you somehow found a way to get the poison out of the container ... which you could do, if you find a way to heat the thing up, like dropping it in magma and then it turns into a gas you could have creatures nearby inhale. So you could actually set up some kind of poison gas traps, even in the new version. But just in general things like a potion that makes you happy ... there are two obstacles there now in the current system. One of them is that you'd need to have the effect, you'd need to give the modder or vanilla modding control to change the happiness of a dwarf, so it's not just giving blisters or whatever but there's a new effect, and that list is just going to increase over time and hopefully cover the basis. The other problem is to get a dwarf to actually use the thing; to recognise that there's now this flask filled with this juice that when you drink it it makes your happiness one hundred and fifty percent for a week, and having the dwarf know that that's something that needs to be used is a large problem, especially for a modding situation where you make happiness juice that gives you blisters and makes you fly ... when do you drink it? I don't know, it sounds like an adventure mode thing; the adventurer would take that journey, but not necessarily a dwarf craftsman that's feeling a little bummed out. So that's another issue with modding, but it's not that far away now, you can mod in your own poisons and create them and boil them to make them work now and we just need to expand the effects and give things a few more uses. So where are we at ... we're down to soaps and things, I don't know if people would be satisfied. I guess the one glaring smelting metallurgy thing, if people are wondering about alloys and the exact manganese content of their steel. I guess that opens some interesting avenues of discussion, at least stuff where I'm totally confused about how I would do it, like if you take metals ... there are all different kinds of steel, it's like this one's two percent carbon, three percent manganese, and this one is this percent this, and this percent this, and this percent this, and they all have really different properties, but would I have to make a separate material entry for every single one? At this point I would, and you'd make stainless steel using whatever goes into that - I don't remember if its manganese or tungsten or whatever the heck else there is that they put into steel these days, or former days - and I'm just not sure if it's practical. Right now we've got a ton of alloys in the game but they're all broadly defined, like two bars of this and one bar of this makes this.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:I was thinking we could do a quick flyby on the senses, and how they might come into play in the future, like with scented soaps ... Where do you envision the senses coming into play in the future of Dwarf Fortress? Touch, smell, taste, hearing and eyesight.
Toady:That's right, and the sixth sense, and echo location and stuff.
Capntastic:Electromagnetic ... Infrared ... Psionic power ...
Toady:I guess this starts as an adventure mode question, just because you experience things in the first person there.
Capntastic:You caught me.
Toady:Yeah. It'd be cool to hear things ... Right now you either do or don't get announcement spam depending on your setting, and bugs, and it should compact that stuff down into sound messages; 'there's sounds of battle to the west', and if you pick up soap you should be able to feel it and smell it and get information like that, although you have to think about to what end? If soap that has a certain chemical in it smells a certain way I guess it's cool to tell you about that ... I guess if you were blindfolded and ate something it should tell you what it tastes like, although you get to that whole thing of what if someone puts an orange under your nose and you eat an apple, but that's all very complicated; it would be the kind of thing that would be done on a really weird lark. Really you'd want to probably address this stuff from the perspective of actual situations in adventure mode where you'd really want the data, because those would be the first ones that would go on. I don't know if you had anything in mind.
Capntastic:Sense, like 'you smell a kobold den' ... That would require flows I think.
Toady:Take the miasma for instance, the visible purple you-can't-even-see-through-it miasma. Dwarf mode may be a different matter but in adventure mode that stuff should be invisible, you can't see that stuff but it's moving around as a local flow. As long as flows are kept local like that and don't have any wide ranging pressure code and they don't block path-finding, they don't do anything except wiggle around a little bit then they're not really a processor problem and so you can have these local flows. Then when you enter one of those areas it could just be like 'this place smells like death', because there's a butterfly rotting on the ground. As long as you're a bit conservative with your use of them ... if every single creature had a giant flow coming out of it that would start to be a problem, like if you wanted it to smell like a kobold den you'd want to start moving away from the local flows there and just have places that are lived in by things just smell a certain way. Then that would be really useful information; when you go to a cave for the first time, if you're a connoisseur that can tell the smell of the kobold or something then it could tell you about that, sure. It might not be a local flow that you could follow the gradient of to achieve the kobold's location, swimming upstream on the smell, but I like the idea of being able to track things and find them, and pick up little kobold scats and dig around to see what they've been eating ... after a fashion, anyway.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Has this been brought up yet? The Baghdad battery that everyone always brings up all the time.
Toady:Yeah I think we've discussed that on the forums quite a bit anyway. People still get into fights about this so ... As far as I know you couldn't do anything with the thing, but I saw a fight break out over that already. I'm not an expert on the Baghdad battery, what did I see, a MythBusters episode where a lemon could do more or something? But that's like nothing, so ... I don't want to strike too sharp a tone on that. I certainly don't know of any evidence of things like ancient electroplating from stuff like that. If there is stronger evidence then we could start thinking about that stuff, and it's up to people I guess to decide what their dwarves can do; because a dwarf society is not a human society, and with that stuff if you know how it works then you can do it, but it's not the type of thing that you just figure out. You could use medieval household appliances to do stuff like electroplating but you just wouldn't think to do it because it's completely non-intuitive. But who knows, dwarves are down there all the time, maybe they do stuff like that.
Rainseeker:You never know about them dwarves.
Toady:Especially if they have magical artifacts or something. Maybe they do have an artifact that sticks a couple of wires into a lemon or something.
Rainseeker:If you give dwarves lemons, they make a Baghdad battery.
Toady:Well we need lemons first. The fruit tree situation's pretty sad right now.
Capntastic:So people want lemons, they want batteries, they want gunpowder, they want tactical nukes.
Toady:Don't forget the steampunk.
Capntastic:That's kind of along the path there.
Toady:Yeah, you've got to put that in something.
Capntastic:The tech tree requires a lot of this before you can get steampunk.
Toady:Yeah, and bathyspheres ... you've got to go underwater and look like a space alien ... You see dwarves doing that all the time.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Now we're going to talk about psychology; dip our toes into the ins and outs of the dwarven brain. Right now the way that dwarves think is whether they're happy or sad, and it doesn't really matter that their friend has died as they have just eaten in a legendary dining-room.
Toady:That's right, it's a fantastic experience. They kind of move from thought to thought ... They store their old thoughts, but a new thought can have a huge effect on their overall happiness numbers. Basically what happens now is a number of events create thoughts in the dwarf, like whether they've just gotten sprayed by waterfall mist, whether or not they just saw someone die, whether or not they just drank some water with mud in it, and so on. It's an uneven list but there's a lot of stuff there, and if one of those things happens it generates a thought in the dwarf, and the thought goes into the dwarf's head and really all a thought does is make a dwarf happier or make a dwarf more sad. In a broad sense how it manifests itself depends on some things we'll get to, but ... So there's these thoughts, and every event adds a thought, and it keeps track of the thoughts for, say, a season and once you cross halfway through the season ... I don't remember if it's a season or a year, it's not really that important ... but once a thought becomes half-stale halfway through its shelf life then it has half the effect on the overall happiness. But basically to get the happiness of a dwarf you just add all those numbers up; take the dining room number, take the dead relative number, take the attacked by zombie relative number from the 2D version that wasn't released, take the rotten food number, take the I was promoted number, take the didn't have enough work number; add them all up and you get one number. There's some balance issues there with the dining rooms as has been pointing out, but just overall the system kind of sucks. But you get that number, if the dwarf is happy, the dwarf is happy, if the dwarf gets down low enough it starts to look at their personality facets; how do they deal with stress, how do they manifest their unhappiness, do they get angry easily for instance. So if a dwarf gets angry easily and has a low happiness number they might throw a tantrum, or if a dwarf becomes sad easily or depressed easily then when they have a low happiness number they can fall into that melancholy that's permanent. So the personality only starts being used in the extreme cases with low happiness ... It's a pretty simple system and it has a lot of problems, as we know.
Capntastic:It's like a dating sim.
Toady:Yeah I guess it's like a bad dating sim ... Dating sims, I guess, are really refined now, and I'm sure they're a lot of fun for the people that know about how they work. Ours is not very good yet, but yeah, you basically have to keep your dwarf happy and eventually they'll have babies.
Capntastic:What is the dwarven hierarchy of needs?
Toady:Yeah, the dwarf needs to find their infant if it's crawling around, and get their food on ... get their drink on then get their food on, then get their sleep on ...
Capntastic:Then they can worry about the baby.
Toady:Yeah ... Do they worry about the baby first until they starve to death? It's up there. Get out of the lava is one of the things on the list, but being on fire I don't think is on the list.
Rainseeker:Oh, I'm on fire, whatever.
Toady:So then it starts to worry about other things. But the stuff like having parties and going on break just works on these timers, there's not a lot to a dwarf's psychological makeup right now, and that's something that we really want to change, because it lets you not just control things like tantrum spirals - stuff that are side effects of the system that you need to have a different system to really control well, and control in a reasonable well - but having a better system would let you look at the dwarf and not just say 'hi, I'm happy' or 'hi, I'm sad', but it would actually tell you a little bit about what's going on in the dwarf's head. The generally idea here ... I don't have this completely hashed out ... Something happens to the dwarf and it turns into a thought right now, and the thought is just this lingering thing that effects the happiness number. So really an event that happens should create some kind of reaction in the dwarf and that should be put into motion in their head, something that lasts for however long it should last; some of them would be very short term, some of them would be very long term. And they can be in different directions, things like jealousy or anger or just overall sadness; however it works, and the personality can filter the emotional response or direct it one way or the other, and it emotions run really high they could do something like start a fist fight, but it wouldn't be because they're overall absolutely miserable and on a spiral to destruction. Overall they could have a baseline emotional state, some people are just generally happier than others, and the events could tweak that, push you slowly in one direction or another, so you could become miserable as things keep happening to you. But getting rid of that happiness number entirely and just having the emotional state of the dwarf on several axes would be a lot better way of handling it. It would also make adventure mode a lot more interesting if you start to have people that react a little bit differently and can react at all to things, it would be a lot better way to handle it. (aside, to Scamps) What are you doing Scamps? Don't play your ... get your head ... (end aside) Okay, so he got his toy and he put it inside this empty box of cereal and then he stuffed his whole head in there after it and he was just walking around with a cereal box on his head, but I've got the toy now and I'm going to throw it out of the room. There he goes. That's his favourite toy, the one he's chewed all the hair off of. So like I say, the system isn't ... I want to keep the personality facets, I like having the thirty different facets of the personalities, and just increasing the overall number of places those are used. But I think to complement the personality facets we also need stuff like different emotions that you can be feeling, and additionally some things along the lines of those likes and dislikes, but stuff that the dwarf could be into, or the dwarf's vices or something like that; some kind of more permanent characterstics, but that can be changed through exposure; just to give them more texture there. But happiness numbers are definitely going to go.
Rainseeker:Are families going to be more complicated? Like family relationships?
Toady:I think just as a starting point they should be respected at all. A dwarf ... they might recognise a few things about their brother, like vaguely speaking, but they really don't in general have a handle on their parents or their brother. With their spouse they know that they're sleeping in the same room and they can shoot spores at each other, but it's one of those things, maybe even part of the sociology discussion. I don't know if ... like they say 'the building block of society is the nuclear family' ... we haven't really decided what the building block of dwarven society, but the family should certainly be part of that. If you're starting to add things like a mason's guild and a cult based around the god of minerals then having the family of a dwarf be one of those units that determines what a dwarf thinks about is really important because they'd be then weighing decisions; like 'how does this decision jibe with my religion, how does it affect my relationship with the mason's guild?' but also 'how does it affect my family?' would be a huge factor I'd think, at least in a dwarven society; I'm not sure the goblins would give a crap about it, maybe some of them would. It's one of those things that's completely underutilised. Of course families are really common; every dwarf has a family and there's a lot of different families, so tracking it as an entity in and of itself might be a bad idea. Having a larger clan or something, if it's a really large group of people then it makes more sense but having ten thousand different entities, one for each family, would start to stretch what's reasonable, especially because there'd be room set aside for things like 'what is the uniform of your family?'; it's not necessary information ... 'what kind of trade goods does your family have access to, what territory do they own on the map?' It starts to get silly if you really give them full blown entity status, but at the same time they're important enough that they should get an equal role in decision making. But it's one of those things that's also easier to let slide ... I'm not really sure when we'd start thinking about that stuff, maybe we'd start thinking about it when we're doing these guild and religion overhauls, just at least leave a spot open at the table for it, not code myself out of it. It's certainly something that I have to keep in mind. Huge amounts of legends are family based, like people rescuing their children, or rescuing their significant others, or having the three heirs to a kingdom fighting over it; a lot coming back to family stuff there, and right now that's completely unrecognised ... fortunately it's recognised in world generation to the point that they don't sleep with their siblings to have more kids but that's really just a very specific case that's handled in a very specific way instead of something that's tangible by itself. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing down there? He is halfway in the cereal box now! What is it about this cereal box Mister? (end aside)
Capntastic:Is it empty or full?
Toady:It's empty! If there's an empty cereal box I just put on the floor because I haven't throw it out yet, which seems to be a theme of the floor of my room right now, but there's nothing in there at all except half a cat sometimes. I guess he just likes putting himself in there.
Rainseeker:I don't know what it is about cats and boxes ...
Toady:He's as energetic as ever, a little hero.
Capntastic:My uncle slayed a dragon.
Toady:You should be proud of your uncle. You should make a statue of your uncle, and then every time you walk past it you could be proud of your uncle or something.
Capntastic:Yeah, get proud thoughts.
Toady:And I guess a proud thought would now no longer just be happiness or sadness, but it would be in the swelling pride emotion category, which would then counteract your depression and proclivity to drink.
Capntastic:To an extent.
Toady:To an extent, that's true. It never goes away entirely. Always recovering.
Rainseeker:All dwarves are always recovering.
Toady:Yeah, they don't get very far along, they're like on their three day coin before they have to go back to step one. I don't know if we're going justice to sociology here.
Rainseeker:Let's close science discussion.
Toady:Okay. Sorry sociology people, we didn't have that much to say; but I'm sure we could have a sociology-only Dwarf Fortress Talk in a year or two when we have more idea of what we would talk about. We're just not scientists and we don't know a lot about anything. We tried our best and hopefully we answered questions for people and stuff, or didn't and we will answer them as you continue to ask them. So my apologies, in any case.
Rainseeker:Indeed! So let us get on to actual questions from actual other people.
Toady:Yeah. Other people ask questions, we have a natural seque.
Rainseeker:Coming right up.
Menendez:(banjo interlude)
Capntastic:Alrighty. Welcome to the second part of the show when we're going to ask your burning science questions.
Rainseeker:And other questions.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:What is the cosmology of the dwarven world; is it heliocentric?
Toady:So right now there is a sun that sets on one side and rises on the other side; I think it determines that at random, although those words depend on the sun and magnetism, so maybe that's meaningless, and there's also a moon. But we don't really have anything decided for those. What will probably end up happening further along is that you'll have the creation tale, there are several civilizations with different sets of gods, so I'm not really sure who's going to be right, or if's all going to be different sides of the same multi-sided coin, the same polyhedron or whatever, but it's probably going to be one of those things that's easily randomized and so it will be randomly decided what the deal is there. And that could also, with a little bit of work, have to do with the shape of the ... not just what is orbiting what, if anything's orbiting anything, rather than being dragged along in chariots and stuff, but also what the shape of the world is; how the edges work. Right now the edges just have this invisible barrier, but migrant groups and certain foreign materials can come in off the edges depending on the version you're playing; it's just not really well defined right now, what the world is. But it would be easy to make a torus or a cylinder, or to fudge a sphere with the proper edge behaviour, like something going off the top edge and then coming half way over on the other top edge. I don't remember if you actually get a sphere from that or some kind of weird projected space, but it's close enough. So we'll probably mess around with that later on ... the myth stuff might come sooner rather than later, just because I really want to mess around with that stuff, it's a lot of fun to do.
Capntastic:Will there be hurricanes and tornados? From this will there be lightning, and crazy monsoons?
Toady:To the extent that the flows don't get out of control there, it'd be really cool. Things like a hurricane would be pretty easy to do; it doesn't have to depend that much on the weather simulation, you can just have them crop up on occasion, and then the weather simulation could just start running a little cyclone or anti-cyclone or whatever the heck they end up being going along some lines; it could just define some lines either from the sea to the coast or up one of the coasts, something like that, and when you're locally in a hurricane then it could just start having driving rain and insane wind that can actually pick up items; whatever items are on the ground it could just occasionally give them a push and send them flying for a hurricane, and I guess a tornado would look like that even more insanely and locally. I think it's a dev item and it would a lot of fun to do that. Lightning strikes ... that's just kind of mean I guess, like you're playing dwarf mode and then all of a sudden it's like 'BAM!'; oh well, shouldn't have been above ground ... People are going to be milking their cows and growing aboveground crops and stuff, and maybe the dwarven god of thunder will target you a little more often; get you back under the surface when you belong, and then the dwarven god of magma can have fun with you.
Rainseeker:I have a question here about religion; 'Do you see religion in fort mode being more active or more reactive? Will carpenters all worship Dessin Eiden Tossedwood, God of Carpentry, and then get angry if you don't have shrines to him, or will they be able to build a Tossedwood shrine and make converts?
Toady:It's a difficult question when you're in dwarf mode, how much people should be able to utilise site resources to do their own thing. Because moods do it right now and you can see where the trouble comes from that where you're trying to get the mood dwarf to be happy, and he's asking for fairly specific things but you still have to stop what you're doing and pay attention to it to some extent. Some people track their resources fairly carefully, so ... I'm all for dwarves being proactive, especially on their free time where they might just now be sitting on break or doing parties where they don't do anything and just stand around. It would be cool to have them be proactive but if you're actually talking about going out and building a shrine for example there are a couple of things that you'd want to be careful about there. One is the resources, like the actual material resources, but there's also the matter of space and location; if the guy wants to build a shrine in his room or if you can assign people workshops or something ... if they want to put something in a place where they have some expectation that you wouldn't care that much ... but if they start putting shrines in the middle of hallways it could get irritating. So maybe they could build one in a meeting hall but they'd just have to make sure that they're not blocking anything off. If you had plans I guess it's kind of okay that they'd screw them up, because that's part of what taking care of dwarves is all about, but on the other hand you could see how you'd have to be careful. At first it'll be more about the religious group and what kind of political involvement they have, or just sort of a happiness/sadness thing in making requests of you, that kind of stuff ... proactive stuff might not come at all, or if it does we just have to be careful about it. Of course during world gen or adventure mode or anything else people can go all kinds of nuts, that would be more acceptable, with dwarf mode you always have to be a little more careful.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:What are the inheritable traits parents can pass on to their children. Personality, preference for certain attributes, etc. ... a curse perhaps?
Toady:Currently what we've got are the attributes ... vaguely the attributes to an extent being passed down. It's not like if the parents have two specific numbers it doesn't pick one or the other, but there's a little bit going on there. Then all of the colours, like eye colours, hair colour, I think that uses a dominant/recessive thing now where you pass on two copies and then it picks probably the colour with the lowest index; maybe there's an alphabetic bias right now on which genes are dominant, or it might be the first you listed, it could be the first one you list in the raws that's the dominant gene. I think that's it right now, just attributes and colours, the idea this time around was just to get our feet wet and get something working, and after that really it's easy to add new genes, easy to add all kinds of effects for them. I mean, I have to code it up, it's not something you can just mod in, and of course we'd have to have discussions about this; what's the extent to which personality is passed on versus it being environmental factors and so on, I'm sure we can have all kinds of wonderful arguments on the forums and so on, but right now we're just doing simple things that are pretty cut and dried like colours. Attributes ... it's not quite cut and dried there what passes along and what doesn't and so on, but I think right now that all the attributes pass along, whether or not that's accurate is another question. Also stuff like the shape of the nose and the height modifiers, basically anything called a modifier in the raws - how curly is your hair, how long is your nose, how far apart are your eyes, what colour is your skin/eyes/hair - all those pass along right now, they have genes to pass them along. As far as curses and stuff or whatever ... whatever those end up being we can link it in, but there's nothing right now of course.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Calvin, he was wondering if you'd implement mining changes and how we're looking at changing how mining works. Perhaps we could also talk about if the material of the mining pick is going to make a difference, or if there's going to be other interesting things that happen while mining.
Toady:Interesting things ... It's good as long as you're not just getting blasted out and dying all the time, and as far as pick material and stuff goes, as long as the miners can intelligently swap out their picks and stuff - it doesn't get really annoying - because it might be ... if you need to have, say, steel picks to get through certain rocks then the dig designation system ... there's some clunkiness that could come up there that would need to be handled, when he's referring to mining changes I'm not sure specifically what he had in mind. Oh he's not talking about mining changes, he's talking about mining charges, so he wanted explosives?
Capntastic:Tactical nukes?
Toady:So we talked about explosives a bit during the science discussion, and I guess I misheard the question ... mining charges ... That would depend on the future of explosives and if explosives, if things like black powder do go in, which we're thinking of as a moddable then we have to think of if we're going to actually blow out chunks of the maps, there are problems to be addressed there. It's not something I've considered that much just because I haven't thought that much about gunpowder and stuff like that.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Desmet, he asks; 'Are there any ideas or plans for improving cities, towers and fortresses in the game world? I was wondering if we could get specific, so for instance elf retreats and human towns and goblin forts, how that's going to be improved, I guess specifically for adventure mode because you don't really see that in Dwarf Fortress mode.'
Toady:Yeah ... I mean they suck, right? So certainly we want to improve those. Now when it comes to specific plans for how towers and city walls and so on and are going to be implemented I don't have at my fingertips information ... I actually used to know more about the little bits and pieces that make up castles and all that kind of thing, but it would be cool to go there. When it comes to the elf ... the elf retreats rely on getting multi-tile vegetation in, once we do multi-tile vegetation those places will look awesome.
Capntastic:They need Stonehenges.
Today:Yeah, there's the whole mystery of Stonehenge and stuff, I remember those TV commercials where it's like ...
Rainseeker:Well they can't build clocks for themselves right? They need something to tell time with.
Toady:They can just ask the animals, animals know time. Yeah ... so I'd like to have ... the humans civilizations for example, it would be lame if they all had the same architecture, once I refresh my memory on what are the bits and pieces that make up the different architectures, what kind of different buildings there are and all that kind of stuff, they should make choices, then, and be able to have the towns have different characters to them when they make their walls or just their houses and various castles and little parapet things, and little spikes that stick out of the top with little flags on them, and minarets and all that kind of thing or whatever. As much diversity as you've got in the real world, as much as we can convey with a tile based format, that stuff should come across, it's one of those things where you have to engage in the project at some point and actually do it, and it's hard to time things which are superfluous in a sense, but they should be done. At first things will look vanilla, just as we get people to have walls properly and moats and tapestries and rugs and things, just making the towns look better, but as we get enough information to allow them to diversify then they should be able to do that, hopefully.
Capntastic:Viking longhouses, and ... that's the only type of building I know.
Toady:Yeah, because they've got those mead hall things right now, and they all look the same, they all have the stairway that goes up one side and curls around the other and there's this balcony ... that's kind of lame, that everything should look that way, it would be really cool if we could set up a way for the raws to guide a lot of what's going on. But I'm not down to drawing specific maps because that gets clunky and repetitive, but it would be good to guide the process using some kind of architectural primitives, and preferred shapes ... like right now all the houses and things are squares, and it shouldn't necessarily be that way. It's kind of funny, you mention these longhouses, even if the entities right now just said 'we prefer these dimensions versus these dimensions' it would add a degree of character to the civilizations when you arrive at them, so just a few things goes a long way and if we really jump into it it should be awesome.
Capntastic:Yurts. That's another building.
Toady:Yeah I wanted to have tents for my animal camps this time, around the animal people camps, but we were like 'why do they have tents when they're underground? There's no wind, there's no rain, the temperature's completely the same' ... If they're in a live cave maybe they should carry out little umbrellas, if they're in a really wet cave then the umbrella's definitely a must so you don't get this limestone caked all over your body and stuff.
Rainseeker:You have been struck by an umbrella ... The batman strikes you with his umbrella.
Capntastic:What would they make it out of? Like a cave spider umbrella ...
Toady:Yeah well they've got all kinds of leather down, and they can cut people up and tan them ... Right now the camps have these stacked leathers and they have this stacked prepared meats or preserved meats that they keep down there and they just kind of hang out with all the meat and leather.
Rainseeker:Do they eat it?
Toady:No, they just hang out there. If we forced them to eat it it would be one of those things that develops into a problem over time since they aren't hunting new stuff and they aren't really doing anything. It's the same problem as allowing your pets to eat or allowing anyone to eat, you have to allow them to replenish their supplies or walk off the edge of the map and so on. Eventually having that happen would be cool, of course you run into those problems with dwarf mode versus adventure mode because everything would be operating at two speeds that are seventy two times apart and you have to reconcile all of the differences there which is quite annoying. But yeah, they just sit there now, they just hang out with their meat and stuff, and they've got weapons and things and just kind of hang out and wait for you to show up and cause trouble.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Nill; he or she wants to know more about combat during world generation, how it works; do you just put a bunch of armies in front of each other or do they actually travel and cause trouble for each other?
Toady:It's pretty weak right now, they have their enemy, you have the civilization, it has its target that it wants to attack and then they pull all of the able bodied people they can from their civilization and lump them into a group and send them at their target which then lumps its people - generally the defenders at the site but they can pull in more people I think if they have that kind of civilization that isn't just site based - and then it ... I'm trying to remember here if it just pairs them off and fights zillions of little duels ... Like when you read the details of a duel between important historical figures, where it just says 'his right arm was wounded and then the other guy ran away', that is what's happening with every single fight, with every single person, you just don't see it. That's why when you go into their legend you can still read the details of how their arms and legs were hacked off, even if they're not the civilization leader and it doesn't show up in the era based list as an important duel. But it's not like the new adventure mode/dwarf mode combat with all of the specific tendons and materials because it would just grind to a halt if you had thousands of people fighting each other every single year in world generation, so right now I think it classifies things as wounds or killing blows and then assesses what a wound might be - what's a feasible would that could have been caused - it matches up a few things like is the thing fire resistant versus does this guy breath fire and that kind of stuff, and gives some plausible wounds to the ... mostly chopping crap off, but occasionally just saying 'this was wounded' or whatever. I don't think I've even added scars yet, that's one of the things that was on the list that I haven't gotten the chance to get to was adding scars to people that were injured in world generation without severs, just giving them cool looking scars when you meet them. So it's pretty simple and there's nothing like ... there's another thing that was written down, doing military tactics and little strategy things to spice it up before we actually get to those when we start doing the improved sieges and sending out armies, but I didn't get a chance to do any of that so it's still just throwing people at each other. There are terrain bonuses, so if you're in a cave and they send an army at you then I think it improves your combat rolls by two or three times, things like that. It's stuff that you'd see in the more traditional strategy game where people get a hundred and fifty percent defensive bonus from a fortified position, that kind of stuff. Once we add in some tactics and things it'll talk about that and you might be able to have a general with really high military skills not at the individual combat level but more up at the strategic and tactical levels being able to defeat a superior force, and it could say what happened even if it's just waving its hands a little bit about pincers and flanking manoeuvres and attacking at night, doing a ruse to lure this group of people away from their position; all that kind of stuff. You can pay lip service to that in world generation and then you can start actually working it in over in the actual gameplay modes. But right now it's very blah blah blah.
Capntastic:Vince wants to know; 'Will there be cavities and toothbrushes in the future versions of Dwarf Fortress?'
Toady:So I don't know much about how people learned about dental hygiene and how effective it is to just brush your teeth with water or whatever, I imagine they didn't have toothpaste ... Unless they did! They could very well have had toothpaste as far as I know, and rubbed all kinds of weird things on other stuff and then rub that weird stuff on their teeth and it made their teeth healthier or whatever. So I have a historical blank spot there; we don't have to be slaves to history but it's good to understand what happened and to see how it might fit into the game. But now that we have teeth I'm pro cavity, I'm pro having all messed up rotten teeth and dwarves with five teeth fallen out and people with bad breath, stinky teeth, and ...
Rainseeker:Will they make toys and pendants out of the teeth that fall out?
Toady:I guess they could, although there might be a butchery prohibition on using sentient, or sapient, whatever you want to say, teeth and so they'd bury them I guess before they die ... I guess when they die they'd put them in the tomb with them.
Capntastic:Are there gums?
Toady:They don't have gums right now, they just have heads. They don't even have tongues right now, I want to put in tongues before I release it, but right now they don't have gums, they just have head and the teeth fit in the head, and the gums are assumed to be part of that. But yeah if we had gums you could have gingivitis and other kinds of periodontal disease or whatever they're called. I think it would be cool to have that. But putting in cavities without any kind of preventative things? I'm not sure historically what's going on there, but it seems like a low move to put in cavities first and not have anything that can be done about them, because then every game that you play for ten years you wouldn't be able to see any of your dwarves because the miasma would be choking up the hallway; all these nasty rotted dwarves walking around ...
Capntastic:He has lost a tooth lately.
Rainseeker:I'm seeing a picture of teeth scattered everywhere in the fortress.
Toady:Yeah, so you want to make sure it doesn't get out of control, when you remember not to let it get out of control anyway. So I'd be curious to know about what the history of dental care is and how bad it got; dwarves could just run around with platinum teeth after a few years or whatever ... gold teeth and all kinds of different jewelled teeth ... maybe every just got these massive shiny grills after a while.
Rainseeker:That makes sense for a successful fortress.
Toady:That's just how dwarves work.
Rainseeker:That's how they roll.
Toady:So it's possible that it could end up that way instead. I'm certainly not against that kind of thing, of course when I sit here and talk enthusiastically about that kind of stuff, it's obviously not a priority either. I hate to promise so many things when I'm just talking about what's possible now that we do have teeth, so I wouldn't expect it in the immediate future, but it can be done now; we have the teeth.
Capntastic:Remember Dwarf Fortress fans: brush daily and use floss for a healthier smile.
Rainseeker:Don't end up like Urist McDwarf. All his teeth have to be granite.
Capntastic:... early grain milling techniques where they use the stone grinder, what's the word for it?
Toady:A quarn?
Capntastic:Bits of the granite would break off amid the flour, and that's why peasants had bad teeth.
Toady:It's bad enough to hit some weird chicken bone or something, but hitting a piece of stone when you're eating a loaf of bread kinda sucks.
Rainseeker:Those peasants must have been stoned quite often. (sfx vox: rimshot)
Capntastic:Same with ancient Egyptians, because they had sand in everything. Make a joke about that!
Rainseeker:Well you can walk like an Egyptian and you can eat like an Egyptian.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Well, this is the end of another podcast and we appreciate everyone joining us. Thank you Tarn for your illuminous help.
Toady:You're welcome, and thanks to the Capn. And we should thank Ollieh for the music and also Emily Menendez for our special guest music, and mallocks, the mallocks is thanked for the transcripts. Were there other people to thank?
Rainseeker:Everyone who donated this month.
Toady:Somebody wanted me to give a shout out to gaming Steve, there's the shout out. So I guess there's the contest as well ... Now that the new version is up we can have our first contest, we're thinking of having you guys create a giant fortress suspended over the magma sea which no doubt many of you have found down there. We'll be posting details in a forum thread which should be up as you're listening to this, so go and check it out, there should be a vanilla and modded version of the challenge, and hopefully the buginess of the release won't interfere too much, or it's just something you guys will have to take in stride as you're tormented by the various beasts in the depths. Alright, so there we go.
Rainseeker:It'll be fun, it'll be good. So thanks everyone for joining us, and thank you Tarn again, and we will see you next time.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Capntastic:Do you have those little cat treats that clean the teeth?
Toady:Oh are we back on cavities? I guess I'm supposed to brush his teeth every day or something, right? I can't imagine that going off very well, he'd bite the crap out of me. Although Zach's got way more scratches, I don't know what it is, Scamps is just a little bit gentler with me, so I don't have any scratches on my hands but Zach is a little torn up. I'd be afraid though to exacerbate the situation by trying to jam something in his mouth.
Rainseeker:Maybe he would enjoy chewing a little bit, you never know.
Toady:Yeah, it's just you have to worry if he's going to see the boundary between the toothbrush and your fingers, because he is troubled.

Rainseeker:It was considerably more violent than the original.
Toady:Yeah, it's like they were fighting for their freedom like Braveheart or something. What's up with that?
Rainseeker:It was great, it was awesome, I loved it. It even had dwarves in it, albeit beardless dwarf. Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Capntastic:I could see that maybe.
Toady:(aside to Scamps) Hey stop that, stop that, this isn't necessary. (end aside)
Capntastic:I actually have an ace up my sleeve. What I did was I have chicken soup here to get me in the mood, because chicken soup has biological matter, you use physics to heat it up, and the other thing ... what were the three things?
Toady:Well we've got psychology and sociology and chemistry and physics.
Capntastic:It's all those. Chemistry? It's got minerals ...
Rainseeker:I have children who are going to be making noise in the background, so we may have to redo a take or two.
Capntastic:Uh-oh. I don't think we've ever had to do that before.
Rainseeker:And I'm having a sandwich delivered to me in a second, which I made myself and set aside into the oven to toast, so that should be being delivered in a moment by my lovely and beautiful helper Jennifer.
Capntastic:Always good. Let's just keep yawning for a couple of minutes.
Rainseeker:This is generating content for the end of the podcast.
Capntastic:So at this point you've been up forty eight hours straight, just coding away.
Toady:Well I slept a little bit ... I only got up at two o'clock, I slept for a while in there. But I've been working quite a lot, mostly getting around five or six hours sleep. There's been quite a bit of progress from the way it started back when I handed the thing out on valentine's day. It's been a couple of weeks ... three weeks, but there's a lot of things that have changed. I don't know if people are satisfied with what they've got, if it's just miserable ...
Rainseeker:I'm not miserable.
Capntastic:I think people will be happy.
Toady:I know the military screen is still pretty awful, hopefully the squad view is better now.
Rainseeker:One moment.
Capntastic:Sandwich handoff. We're going to hear gunshots, because this deal's going to go bad.
Capntastic:Yeah. They're going to hand him the sandwich in a briefcase.
Toady:It depends if the sandwich was cut.
Capntastic:That is too funny, I don't know why.
Rainseeker:(off mic) I did not ask for it to be cut.
Capntastic:That needs to make it into the outtakes.
Toady:That could even be an intake.

Rainseeker:Dog gonnet, I'm going to have to shut my bird up, hang on a second.
Capntastic:I need to get an animal for my room, just to make noise.
Toady:You've got to get a bear, a beer drinking bear.
Capntastic:What can we name him?
Toady:Bearski ... or something. Beer ... Beer the bear. Beerbear the bear. (aside to Scamps) Alright baby Scamps, you're just going to relax right here, just relax, don't claw my face, just relax.

Capntastic:I wrote some notes.
Toady:We can talk about science.
Capntastic:I have a picture of a pine tree, and a picture of a meteor on this note card. So physics is really like a meteor, because that's fire and metal, and gravity is pulling it down towards the pine tree, which would burn. Then there'd be a crater, and your dwarves would go into the crater.
Toady:There goes the right speaker onto the floor.
Rainseeker:Okay, timeout ... I don't think I can use the past three minutes.

Rainseeker:I have an announcement to make.
Rainseeker:Thank you.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Today is my birthday.
Capntastic:Happy birthday.
Toady:So this is going to be the first podcast where we have someone age over the podcast.
Capntastic:He's going to be growing a beard.
Rainseeker:I was wondering what would happen if you had a goblin kidnapping a child and he came of age as he's in the bag.
Toady:I'm actually not sure ... do they age when they're ... I hope they age when they're in confinement, it's quite possible they don't ... Age plus plus plus plus plus plus plus plus (yawn) I guess I won't be able to find it. Oh no they do, they do because I changed how it works. I used to increment an age counter, just like plus plus plus plus, but now I just keep track of the birthdays so you don't have to do that, so they automatically age. They might not die of old age then, when they're in the bag though.
Capntastic:Immortality device.
Rainseeker:It's a Bag of Immortality.

Toady:(sfx vox: trumpet voluntary; She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain)
Capntastic:There's this question here, I don't know if it's really relevant but I think it'd be interesting for the outtake selection, but someone asking about the flat chains in Banach spaces, which a lot of people are curious about. Did you want to give that a shot? If people want your rambling, they're going to get it.
Toady:I guess so, I guess they well.
Capntastic:'Dear Dr. Adams, since the upcoming podcast is about science and mathematics is the queen of sciences perhaps you could give in laydwarfs terms a general overview of your PhD dissertation, flat chains in Banach spaces.
Toady:Well let's see what I can remember, it's been a while since I've thought about this stuff, so I'm sure I'm going to forget lots of things.
Toady:(mathematics in chorus - it doesn't transcribe well) So in general if you've got ... my paper kind of, overall we're considering what are called minminal surfaces so if you take ... given a wire, you've got a minimal surface etcetera, etcetera, so what are the parameters you need? ... It's not the straight line distance between two points anymore but kind of like how far ... If you change the distance function on that, so maybe you've heard of the taxi cab distance in New York City, like how many blocks up, how many blocks over, that kind of thing ... But in any case, I've rambled a bit, but I just generally proved that these minimal surfaces exist in more complicated spaces and there's been a lot of subsequent work, and work that was going on at the same time in more general spaces, all kinds of different stuff. Fascinating, fascinating stuff ... I haven't really been keeping up the past couple of years.
Toady:I guess you could take the twenty minute rambling there, let it ramble for three minutes but then take another minute and a half of the rambling and put it over my original rambling, so it's like there's two of me talking, then put a third one on it, and it'll just kind of degenerate.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #9, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Welcome to another episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is episode number nine, I'm Rainseeker and this here is Capntastic:
Rainseeker:And our illuminous leader, Tarn Adams, also known as Toady One.
Toady:Illuminous ... Is that like shining or something?
Rainseeker:Yeah, you're glowing.
Capntastic:Intermittently. Blinking.
Rainseeker:So what we're going to talk about today, ladies and gents, is what's going on for the new release and we're also going to address a much maligned topic.
Toady:Maligned ... I guess when people vote against it they're ...
Rainseeker:Kobolds. We're going to talk about kobolds today, kobold society, kobold mating rituals ... All of the above.
Capntastic:Kobold songs, chants and other limericks.
Toady:(limerick, in kobold)
Capntastic:Also all of your favourite kobold recipes.
Toady:That's right, and does the kobold lay eggs?
Rainseeker:This is a mystery that no man has yet solved.
Toady:We don't have eggs yet, so we can never answer the question. Like 'what came first, the chicken or the kobold egg?' And it'll have to be the chicken.
Capntastic:I just imagine kobolds stealing each other's kobold eggs. That's why they are all such good large families, because they don't know who belongs to who.
Rainseeker:That would make sense. That would be very entertaining as a matter of fact. Steal each other's younglings before they're hatched.
Capntastic:And then someone hatches a chicken and then things are just ... 'Whoa ... This is obviously ... a blessing.'
Toady:I guess they have to steal other people's eggs, like steal eggs from farms and stuff to keep their own eggs warm.
Rainseeker:There you go. That makes sense.
Toady:Maybe they steal a chicken to sit on their eggs.
Capntastic:That would make sense too. And then they have a kobold guarding the chicken.
Toady:So I guess that was our discussion about kobolds. Now we can move on.
Rainseeker:We were actually going to discuss battle. Battle and ...
Capntastic:... gore and guts.
Toady:It lost like twenty seven times so we figured we'd do it.
Rainseeker:It would continue to lose, so we're just going to give a nod to it and move on.
Capntastic:That's the essence of combat, you never give up. You keep punching and punching.
Toady:Unless you can surrender and survive.
Rainseeker:That's true! Okay that's a good question, are they going to be able to surrender?
Toady:Yeah, I think that made the new dev pages, because you're going to need to be able to get people to submit so that you can figure out where the real villains are. And if you're a thief or otherwise criminal you're going to need to be able to surrender to the guards so you can get hauled off to have your fingers chopped off and stuff. So it's going to be an important new addition, and longer life all around.
Rainseeker:Now if you lose your fingers does that mean that you've pretty much lost the game? You can't really do much else then I guess.
Toady:I don't know ... we're not going to go chopping off your limbs haphazardly, we want people to have fun with the game, but at some point you probably cross a line and they decide to start taking pieces away.
Rainseeker:'McGillycuddy this is your last warning. You're losing your last leg now.'
Toady:I guess you could continue to try and be a thief after that, but the whole getting away part might be tough.
Capntastic:No one would suspect you!
Toady:I guess you'd just need a getaway horse and a getaway person to lift you on the horse and tie you to it or something.
Capntastic:See but then the horse gets implicated and they start taking pieces of the horse. This never ends.
Toady:Yeah I guess you'd end up with a pyramid after a while, where you'd put the horses on the horses on the horses and then you'd get lifted up on the top. Yeah ... So that didn't quite make the dev pages but we're working on it.
Capntastic:Alright forums draw a picture of this. What about mounts in general, how will you be able to harness a beast to use to run around really fast and trample people.
Toady:When you're able to get livestock and buy a chicken or something early on you'll also be able to buy things like a horse ... although I imagine you could try to ride a cow or something, people ride cows all the time, just not for very long before they get tossed and the clowns have to come. So you'd be able to get a horse in that way ... I'm not a horse riding person, I'm not sure I've ever ridden a horse so I don't know much about saddles and bridles and all that kind of stuff, so we haven't made any decisions, I just don't know enough about that kind of thing. But assuming you're riding a horse in the proper way then the main problem becomes how velocity works in a tile-based system, because it's easier when you've got a spacial setup where you can move in really small increments to just make the horse go the way it's going, and you can just point this angle and go in this direction and so on. With our game I don't know if we'll have to reduce the direction the horse is going to sixteen different ways ... probably the same as the boats are going to work; a boat might only point four directions but it'll be able to travel in many directions, like up-up-over, up-up-over, or something like that. So I'm not sure how many directions the horses are going to have, if it's going to be like that, or the horse could just have eight directions just like you can walk, and it can have a velocity. The velocity means that you'd be moving faster, you'd be taking more turns to other people's turns, not combat turns necessarily but movement turns - because we're going to separate combat and movement turns - and then your horse will be moving quickly, but if the horse is going at a full gallop you won't just be able to stop on a dime and turn around. You'd probably have to turn the horse and then I don't know if you'd press over and that would be like filing an intent to turn, but you press over and the horse continues forward and then in that movement forward, when it moves one tile it also changes the direction of the horse by forty five degrees: then you're moving diagonally. Then you can keep turning your horse and then you'd just kind of roll around in a circle, you'd move in an arc as you tried to change your direction by a hundred and eighty degrees. Or you could just slow down your horse, you'd take a tile or two to slow down and then you could stop and turn around, if you want to do it that way. The only problem there that makes that difficult at all is the question of path finding when you've got a velocity like that. That's mostly the same because once people build a path they'll just be able to control their animal's velocity to follow the path. The only problem is if the pathfinding algorithm says 'oh, you just need to go backwards four steps to get where you want to go' and your horse is speeding forward you can't go backward four steps to get where you'd want to go. So you'd have to have a little part right in the beginning of the pathfinding that handles the arcs and handles that stuff, but that's an easier problem because it's a really local question, like 'how do I get my animal turned around so I can start this path' or 'how can I gracefully circle so that I meet my path four steps down the line and then take my path'. So it's not like you need to think about anything four thousand tiles away; it should be an easy question. If you're in the middle of a labyrinth maybe none of the turning strategies would really work; you probably shouldn't be racing a horse full speed through a labyrinth anyway.
Rainseeker:That's what great movies are made of.
Toady:But in that case we'll probably have them stop the horse and then do the path so they don't have to worry about their speed or anything. So it's not a hard problem, I think we can have pretty cool velocities for the horses, and then you can do stuff like having the velocity of your animal add to the velocity of the strike - the strikes all have velocity numbers now anyway - it's just a trivial kind of one-line thing to tag that on there. Eventually when we get to the point where you can only hit giants in the legs or whatever then you can have being up on a mount provide that kind of differentiation so your head's safer ... I'm not sure what other things come up out of mounts. You probably have to take care of your horse, at the same time you have to take care of your livestock, so you have to make sure your horse is fed and watered and so on. I don't know if you had other questions about that ...
Rainseeker:Would the mount have a morale check, so to speak? Like if it gets injured it might become afraid, or it might become afraid seeing a dragon in front of it and decide that 'no you're crazy, I'm not going to ride against a dragon'?
Toady:Yeah that'll happen at the same time that people care about that, because they don't care either. The funny thing about when you're riding a mount is that the mount is the one making the movement decisions in the end because it's the one that does the pathfinding and it's the one that actually takes the steps. I think the way that's handled in sieges right now in dwarf mode is because it doesn't really matter if it's the rider or the horse or the beak dog or whatever thinking; the animal just thinks like a sieger; 'okay I'm going to attack the front gate' and it just goes and runs off there. But when you're riding your own horse in adventure mode it's a more complicated relationship, and if your horse freaks out then you would not be making the decisions for your horse anymore. For instance there are already morale check failures that occur in really extreme situations like if you get really wounded - you might have seen these occasionally in adventure mode but usually you don't get a chance to see them because the person dies shortly thereafter - but you see them run away. That would happen with your horse the second we put it in, it would run away in those circumstances, depending on how the control mechanism works, if whenever you press a button to turn your horse if you've got, at first at least, a wire directly into its brain to turn it or whatever then it's a different matter, and I'm not sure what's going to happen at first. You'd like to have it controlled in a multi-step scheme where you do something like pull on the reigns or however that works and that conveys a message to the creature that it should perform an action, and then you can have breakdown in that in a number of ways; like if your reigns were cut, or if your horse were freaked out then all of those things could have an effect which would be cool. So it'd be probably be best to do it correctly the first time we go through.
Ollieh:(incidental music)
Rainseeker:Let's talk about martial arts. So I see that you have specific skills for fighting monsters, you have a skill for hand-on-hand combat against a dragon ...
Toady:I'm not sure how specific it's going to be, but once we put in things like if you're fighting a giant who's way taller than you then it would make sense that if people have been doing that for centuries then they'd have strategies. I'm not sure what those are going to be specifically, if it just gives you a knowledge against a monster and a bonus then that would be the easiest way to do it, but it would be way more fun to have particular things that you can do, to jump up on them, or attack them when they're swinging down at you, people practicing strikes to hack a dragon in the head when it comes down to bite them or whatever. There might be stereotyped ways of doing that, although I don't think enough people fight dragons and survive to really learn that stuff ... it'd be kind of weird to see the training facilities with the giant cardboard dragons, people practicing against them ...
Rainseeker:Well you never know when a dragon's going to show up ...
Toady:The main thing with the martial arts is just fighting against other people, and 'martial arts' used in the most general sense, so it would include fencing, wrestling, boxing type stuff. So a simple example of martial art moves would just be something like boxing where you'd have people that are unskilled using their hands just throwing these punches where they just do their attack with the punch, and it might be that you can aim your shot - if someone has no skill at all and they're just fighting they can aim at someone's head - so when we put in aimed strikes you could throw a strike at the head, but then there would also be people who have some kind of skill in a particular randomly generated skill who might learn something like a left jab, and then the left jab would be more efficient, faster, have a longer range, than someone going all wild, and it would be better to learn those things. Then there's the idea of having different guards, just in a general sense perhaps, like you're holding your hands in front of your head ... It would be a really loose concept in general, because people generally aren't holding both of their hands to the left of their head, it doesn't need to get like that. Although we were thinking of having it so that you start with a general guard and you could move it higher or lower depending on ... like if you were fighting a dog or something it's not like you should be totally covering up the top of your head ... and then we were thinking ... there's this whole change of the combat flow thing where our overall goal is that if you stick a human in the arena and another human in the arena, and given them the same equipment and the same skills ... Right now if you play one and you assume control and you have those two guys fight each other you still basically do the roguelike thing where you press arrow arrow arrow and fight and you're flipping a coin to see if you're going to live. And there's sometimes when things dodge or when you fall over and you have to decide whether you're going to stand up or throw another strike or step back so that you can wait for the guy to come in so you can get a first strike on him, that kind of thing: so there's some skill involved that isn't just flipping the coins. But it's still the case that ultimately your chances aren't very good. I'm not saying that situation's necessarily going to change that much in terms of your survivability but we should at least make it more fun. You should be more survivable, you should at least be able to be more cautious about things, but basically what we're getting at is that you shouldn't just swing and then have the other person swing back, this is where we're getting at the idea of these reaction moments. So you could be standing there and someone could swing at you, but instead of how it is now where you press the button, it does the attack and then there's a delay of ten steps where you're recovering yourself so that you can attack again, when you attack it would start swinging an attack and then that attack is going to hit after five steps, and so during that time it could bust out and be like you see this incoming swing and you have a chance to react sometimes. So your reaction could be 'I want to try and block this thing' or 'I want to jump out of the way' or 'I'm going to try my little jujitsu move I've been practicing where I grab his wrist and twist him and get him on the ground', where you'd be balancing risks, balancing your skills and being more involved in the combat even though ultimately it's going to come down to some dice rolls still. Because there's that whole thing of if you've got an action game then you've got the player's skill as the determining fact - the player, the user of the program's skill - whereas if you've got an RPG it's more the character's skills that matter in the outcome of the combat and you just make some strategic decisions. The RPG part has to be respected a lot in this game, but you're going to be able to have more decisions to make. So if you end up doing something like someone throws a kick at your head and you have a high guard you'll have a chance to block it, but if you react to it you might be able to block the side of your head that it's coming toward, like how you actually have to be proactive if you want to stop someone from kicking you in the head. And you might then up with something like your left arm guarding the left side of your head ... we don't want to make it too complicated, but if your body is broken up into three zones or something, and your guard can just be general or you might be guarding one of those zones more than others but after you do a specific block or something for a time one of your grasping limbs might be blocking a particular side of your head just briefly. It's not something where you're going to be controlling yourself like a marionette but it's just going to be for text and the situation that it describes the announcements.
Captnastic:'You raise your hand to block', 'you bring your shield down', that sort of stuff?
Toady:Yeah, and it'll be talking about that in the announcements and it will also lead to situations, so if someone tries to kick you in the side of your head and you raise your arm to block it, it says that, but then if some kobold comes up with a dagger and tries to stab you in the gut then that left hand is not going to be available for your defence without a good reaction roll. So multiple opponents should be harder and you'll be strategically trying to get into situations where you're not surrounded. Even more than usual: right now they get bonuses to attack you but you're not really tied up the same way. So that should help a bit. For people who don't want to deal with that, especially if you're fighting people you know you can beat you can just have it do the thing it's going to do with them which is select the options for you, so if you get attacked it selects an option for you, so you can play it the same way if you want and it'll just have more interesting text for you to read. But you should also be able to make the decisions, and that should change things a lot. We have that advantage in a turn based environment to be able to let you interact more with what's going on and stop and think about things and so on, so we should take advantage of that. It should turn out pretty well, we just don't want to overcomplicate by having directional attacks on each part of the bodies ... but the zones thing is a little tricky too, if you're laying down you'd have your head zone and your body zone and your leg zone but they'd all be low on the ground. We're hoping that something like the zones could be used to do the thing with the giants too, where the giant's head zone is, when he's standing, is way out of reach for a typical person, and you might have attacks like a jab or some kind of sword strike that comes up that can only be used to hit the upper zones and then a person would be able to block that kind of attack by guarding their top zone from below ... not something that you have to set up in advance, you wouldn't be holding these weird guards when you're walking around, but it would be kind of a blocking event ... The things we're thinking about is like, we want to be able to do things like blocking head kicks or whatever in specific ways, so it would say what your arms are doing, but you don't want to walk around with ... When you see people fighting they're moving their arms, they might be holding their left arm near their head and their right arm near their body, but then they'll switch it up and they'll have the right arm near their head and the left arm near their body, and it would be really annoying to have to switch every turn to get that behaviour, it's like 'I want to do this and this and then step toward the guy, and we're still twenty feet away from each other, and then I want to do this and this ...' So there'd be just this general guard concept and that kind of specific blocking would be something that you'll only do when you're being attacked. Now there are exceptions to that, like if you want to hold both of your arms blocking the back of your head when you're running away or something ... you run away, you're being shot at, you hold both of your arms over the back of your head, maybe your arms will get shot instead of the back of your head ... It'd just be a funny and embarrassing way to go out, but you'd be able to say 'I want to do that'. That would be in an improved wrestling menu or something where you'd pick the limb and pick what you want to do with it, but we don't want to get too Twistery, we don't want to get too strange. It's unrealistic to have the arms act completely independent of each other, that's just not how it works; there's some independence but you don't want to have 'I want to punch him in the head with my right hand and simultaneously punch him in the gut with my left hand while I'm kicking him with both of my legs' ... It'd be kind of goofy. I guess when people are clapping ears, or whatever happens in the action movies, that would be an attack simultaneously, but it's not like those attacks are knocking anybody out, so you'd get severe minuses for your velocity if you're not putting your body into it, you're just swinging both of your arms at once and your whole body can't be used to increase the momentum in either direction so it ends up being wimpy. So we'll just account for that stuff, and we don't want it to be much more complicated to use than it is now, it's half just getting the text to be good and getting it so that multiple opponents are way more difficult: things like that. So it should be fun, it ultimately comes down to - because we've got character skill to account for - it still ultimately comes down to some coin flipping, but you can build your advantages and take advantage of things and take advantage of the AI making mistakes more than you could previously. We're not going to be satisfied with it until just creating two guys in an arena and having them fight is something that you'd want to do for fun sometimes. Right now you do it just to see them explode, or you're testing a mod, but it doesn't sell itself as a thing to do on its merits as a game. Hopefully when we're done with all the martial arts and guards that'll be a lot more fun, and you'll be able to do things like, when we get the mounts we'll probably allow mounts in the arena then too so you can test them out and have fun with that, learning how to use them.
Rainseeker:How are you going to plan on improving the skills in adventure mode as far as martial arts is concerned. Are there going to be a lot of different martial arts skills or is there just one that you practice, or do you go to seek a trainer, or how are you planning ...
Toady:We're thinking that you'd start with something ... they're probably going to be entity dependent to some extent. There are questions to be answered there. There are general martial art skills, and that's what we just have under skill striker, skill sword; the actual skill that there is in the game right now. And then you tack specific techniques on top of that that aren't part of becoming familiar with sword fighting necessarily but becoming familiar with the particular style of sword fighting, like fencing. The issues come up when you're like ... is a certain move in fencing the same as it would be in kendo, or are they related, are you just using different words for the same stuff, what are the actual differences ... That kind of question is basically going to be answered, that's what sword skill is, that's the commonality, and whether we break that up into more sections or not is an open question, we're probably not going to at first. That means that when you learn a combat style it would basically be an entity thing that would be a specific thing like kung fu or fencing or whatever, and that would be something that if you start as a fighter in an entity you would have some of that information, some of that skill already, some of the specific moves that you can use when you're fighting. Then it's a matter of ... there are a bunch of other skilled fighters in the entity and as you build your reputation just like people would be throwing free items and places to sleep and stuff like that at you and you'll be able to have people join up with you and go on little adventures with you if you have a good reputation because they trust you because you've been defending them against bandits and night creatures and all that kind of thing, then you can just have someone help you out, someone will want to teach you stuff, or you'll be sparring with people or whatever. It's not necessarily something that you're going to act out necessarily, it could just use the farming mechanism where you pass a season and just say 'I want to pass a season hanging out with these crazy mead hall guys and they can teach me about how to kill boars', or 'I want to hang out with these guys and learn how to box' or 'I want to hang out with these guys and learn how to fence' or 'learn how to do judo throws'. Then you'd increase your repertoire, you'd trade in your time and the years of your life for some more skills, and you could then practice them on people as well when you're actually fighting, and you could get better at them that way, but you won't learn new skills that way, unless you fight people long enough and then you suddenly realise 'I know how to do the eagle punch all of a sudden! I understand the deep mystery!' There could be things like that especially if we have universes that are move like Fist of the North Star, then that kind of thing would start to happen, but mostly we're thinking training with warriors and so on.
Toady:I don't remember if I put it up or not, but it would be funny if you learn enough stuff that you'd be able to create your own style and have it live on after you, you could teach it to other people and it'd be kind of cool to have your next guy, and there would be these guys that you were hanging out with in your previous game and they all know the punch that you named after yourself, it would be amusing. It should be pretty cool, and just trying to work that stuff into the fights and getting it so it all works together and isn't too annoying should be pretty cool.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Capn, you want to add to this?
Capntastic:So what about climbing? Like if you're fighting a giant and you climb up its back and stab it in the neck?
Toady:Yeah, like all the old Ray Harryhausen movies had them jumping up on the back of the cyclops and hacking on it and stuff, and people bring up Shadow of the Colossus too, which is cool. All that stuff's pretty cool, the question would be how can you do that in our kind of visually impoverished environment, and would it be as fun? It's obviously not going to be as exhilarating in some sense, but it would still be entertaining. We have that thing up on the dev pages where it's like 'being able to jump up and ride on your opponents' and I guess it would just be like that. Depending on how those zones work out you can jump either onto the middle zone of a larger creature, like if you're jumping up on a troll you could try to jump and grab a hold of its back ... I don't know if you'd be doing that twin daggers climb up its back, but ...
Rainseeker:That might smart.
Toady:Yeah, you might get smacked by a big troll fist ... It's interesting to think of how it all works together, because there's wrestling ... because during a brief time during the throw the guy is really off balance but he might be riding you in a sense even though he's so off balance or in the process of a slow motion fall that he can't really do much with it. Although I guess there have been a few weird times where they recover and choke people with their legs when they're being picked up by them and so on, there's some weird stuff. So that's one thing where you're kind of being carried by somebody, partially, and you're kind of falling, and you're kind of riding them, and then there's riding a horse which is like a Shadow of the Colossus thing, and then there's the actual version where you're climbing up a dragon or jumping up on an oliphaunt like Legolas in the movie, climbing all over its trunk and shooting it in the brain and all that kind of thing. So there's all those different things and the question is do those play nice together, is that all one unified system, because then you can do that. But you don't want to have to go up to your horse and be like 'attack horse: jump on its back' and you're like 'you are now riding your horse', that'd be kind of silly. We haven't obviously come up with the specifics there, but it would be fun and fitting with all of the fantasy predecessors to be able to jump up on a large beast, so it's important to do that. I guess once you're on it in a simplified version it's like 'you are riding on the dragon's left lower leg' and you'd be 'move up' and you'd cry up the body part tree, it could do a path search on it or something, and you climb up the leg and then you're on the dragon's lower body, and then it's like 'do you want to try and jab your spear into the dragon's wicked spleen or do you want to go up higher?' and you could climb up and eventually be riding around on the dragon's neck. Then you'd be able to get attacks on it but it would be able to get attacks on you that you'd have more difficult dodging, or it could go to the ground and try to smash one of its zones into the ground.
Rainseeker:Yeah I don't want to just give him digestion problems, I want to actually kill the darned thing.
Toady:By the time we're done you're not going to have access to a dragon's head all that often. When we get the thing in where a combat move takes time to execute then if a dragon tries to bite you and you're a good enough fighter that you get the reaction on that then it would say 'the dragon is coming to bite you, what do you want to do?' and that body part would now be accessible to you, it'd be like 'well I'd like to try and hack his head off', and that would be an option that you can go for.
Rainseeker:Take that risk.
Toady:Or 'I'd like to jump on the dragon's head when he's coming to bite me' and then you could jump up on in when he's coming, then he'll miss his attack and you'll be riding a dragon's head ... and your friends won't be able to help you because when the attack is over you'll be lifted well up into space; however high zone one is set to be off of the ground where they can't reach you, and then you'll be sitting there trying to stab a dragon's eyes out or something, and he'd be sitting there trying to wipe you off like a cat with its claws, or maybe it'd just shake ...
Rainseeker:Once you get this mechanic installed you should have a contest in arena mode to see how long people can ride the dragon, before you get bucked off.
Toady:I guess that's the same thing with the cows when you jump up on a bull, and I guess if you try and ride a chicken then it should just get squashed.
Rainseeker:I guess you could wrestle the chicken.
Toady:Their heads come right off don't they? So you'd have to account for that somehow. So it should be intriguing. Now with wrestling ... the first thing is obviously improving the wrestling interface which is garbage right now, but once you get beyond that ... just having a two step process, where you're like 'what am I using, what am I doing with it?' instead of a list - it's like 'here's a list four hundred things long' - then that would probably be enough to repair that. But there are some things with wrestling, like really basic things, that aren't really accounted for right now. So every grab is like playing Twister again, you can grab this with this, grab this with this, grab this with this, and it knows who has the advantage in each of those things, like 'my hand is grabbing his arm, and he doesn't have his arm locked around my head' then I have the advantage in that, but it doesn't have any positional information over all, like 'this guy is sitting on top of me' or 'we're tied up together on the ground' or 'he's on top of me but I'm controlling him with my arms and legs' and there are things like that that are totally not accounted for right now, and we're not quite sure how we're going to do that. It's easy when you're doing human on human, it's easier to say what you're going to do, but it has to be a general system. It's something we're just not quite sure about. And then when you are squatting on top of somebody or whatever how is that related to writing again, how is that related to climbing on somebody? All of this two people related to each other stuff ... It seems like there's a system there that wants to come out and be unified, and that would be the best way to do it, but again like I was saying with the horse, you want to have special cases too. Then you'd be able to do things that feel more like actual wrestling, like someone's on top of you but then you do a sweep and now you're on top of him, and there's different kinds of being on top of somebody so that sometimes it's easy to wrestle and sometimes it's easier to punch, or whatever ... just a notion of an overall advantage. Even standing up when you're clinched up together like the boxers when they hug each other or those muay thai guys, or even when people's swords are tangled up then there's also a notion of an advantage sometimes. It's a holistic thing, it's not like the Twister stuff again. So we'll have to work on that, I don't have specific ideas there aside from what I've said just now, so ... That should help a lot though with getting away from the Twister style wrestling and just being like 'who's got the advantage here? Who can better initiate the throws and who is able to hit who?' It should be good, overall we're just hoping to make the combat more interesting. That's the kind of thing you say when it's like ninety seven degrees in here like it is now, it's like 'we want to make the game fun! I think all the time about making the game fun!'
Rainseeker:Capn do you have any other ideas or questions about combat?
Capntastic:Goofy unskilled flailing attacks.
Toady:It's a fun thing to think about in general when you're talking about situations like 'I've got a dwarf and he's my carpenter now, even though he's never done it in his life' and the dwarf starts spitting out like 'that's a regular table, that's a regular table, that's a regular table'. Now if you took someone like me and told me to build a table, you wouldn't quite get a regular table, I think. You'd get what might be called a shoddy, or crooked, or unbalanced, rocking table.
Rainseeker:Yes I've been wondering about that.
Toady:And that kind of thing ... that was up on the old dev pages, I don't remember if it was one of those reqs or bloats or whatever. It's like negative quality, and it's just like the whole thing with vices and virtues; if there's one way to be virtuous there are many ways to have a vice off of that virtue. So you can be courageous but you can also be inactive, or reckless, or you can be a coward. There's lots of different ways to screw up courage, just like there's a lot of ways to screw up a table. I don't know if we're going to go there ... I'm not sure negative quality is sufficient or if there's just like all kinds of ways to screw things up, but certainly when you're in combat if you have no skill with something then you're going to be getting off balance, or you're just going to whiff and miss entirely or trip and hit yourself ... chop off your own toe or something like that. Screwing up in all manner of ways. Your lack of expertise should be reflected in what happens ... trying to strangle someone to death and not knowing what you're doing can be a process I guess. Just like clumsily and inexpertly doing things ... There should be a use for the fighting skills in general, so that you can do that ... There's a skill for close range fighting now just called 'fighter', it's like 'I am a skilled fighter', and once you get up to there when you're a skilled fighter you should probably not really be an embarrassment no matter what you try and do: if you're fighting with an axe or if you're fighting with a mace, you should have stopped with the real garbage. It would just be an initial learning period for everybody, they get up to their skilled fighter part and then they're no longer ...
Rainseeker:Unless somebody is particular bad, I suppose.
Toady:Like a skilled fighter but their attributes are all garbage?
Rainseeker:Well I don't know, maybe he's cowardly and so everything he does gets negatives to it when it's in battle.
Toady:Oh yeah, well there's that whole other can of worms with the dwarven AI rewrite for job priorities and the whole virtue/vice thing for villains where we start thinking about instead of having happiness as a number just having more emotions to work with. Then yeah, anger, or adrenaline ...
Rainseeker:I just remembered, my priority is not battle, it's thinking! I'm going to go think now!
Toady:Having anger screw you up when you're fighting or having that kind of stuff, or just being totally scared, having that screw you up, that's certainly ... You'd hate to start with that sort of constitution as an adventurer probably, just always being a coward, but that runs into a whole larger conversation about whether or not adventurers should have emotion at all when they player's playing them ... There's a big question there about how much that interferes with your role playing. I think there's an ongoing discussion right now about that in one of the dev things, like whether or not it would be a good idea to have you get bored, so that you want to go off drinking and whoring or whatever you need to do, or sitting in your fancy leather couch so that you regenerate for your adventurer. It interferes with role playing ...
Rainseeker:Kind of turning into The Sims at that point.
Toady:Yeah. It interferes with role play to tell you what you're thinking , but at the same time it makes you act more like a real person. So it's a trick, and I don't like doing that, but it makes a lot of sense to, so it's a difficult decision.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Now it's time to answer some of your favourite dwarf questions. Well, soon to be favourite questions. Urist McHippy wants to know if you'll ever be able to make soap without needing to hunt animals for tallow, and he adds 'after all the first soap was made by the Babylonians using vegetable oil in place of animal fat.
Toady:Vegetable oil ... we don't have it written down specifically anywhere but it's so important and so ubiquitous in history I can't see us skipping it for too too too much longer. I don't know a thing about how to make it, whether or not you just take something and press it and squeeze it or something in some giant press, or if you use your feet like everything else, or if you do ... whatever. But yeah, you don't need fat and nasty oily melty stinky dead rotten bodies and stuff to have oil, so I'm all for olive oil and other kinds of oil. Whatever makes sense, the more education I receive on that subject, the more I will know how to do it. I'm all for it, I think it's important.
Rainseeker:'Have you read Roger Ebert's article about videogames not being art, and do you think Dwarf Fortress is art and why?'
Toady:I've seen some of the things Roger Ebert's said, I don't remember if I read that article in particular but I think I knew basically where he's been coming from. I would not really call anything 'art' because it's such a difficult word, I'm not even sure it is a word ... if as a word it's meant to represent a concept in our heads that we all have a common understanding of and can be used for communication then it certainly doesn't qualify. You can ask specific questions though, it doesn't mean you dodge the question, you can ask specific questions. Like 'does Dwarf Fortress reflect something of the human condition or something that I am trying to communicate to other people so that they can become better people'. Certainly how the game is set up reflects on me in ways, reflects my world view, what I think about things; anytime I make a decision about mechanics to put in that's all coloured by my perceptions and things, and there are people that have drawn conclusions about that thing, or those kind of things and sent me emails about them. But it's not my main goal, and it's not something that ... while I'm conscious of it and make decisions being aware that that's how the process works, and sometimes you can do things like Liberal Crime Squad where you're trying to be funny about things but you're also trying to reflect on some aspect of society without making it some kind of mission ... There are elements of that, so I think videogames can certainly be approached from that perspective. I can't answer his particular comments just because I don't remember them well enough, like what he thinks a videogame can't do and what he thinks a movie can, and what he thinks books can do, and why doesn't videogaming have a Shakespeare yet, or if it can have one, or anything like that. I do think that games are different from those things by their nature, but I don't think that's simply a limitation; I think games can do things that movies and books cannot do. I think the most important thing probably is just to keep in mind the particulars of the questions that you're asking instead of just trying to put things into a category, just ask what's going on, what am I seeing here, what is it doing, and what is this person trying to do? Live your life and be happy with shit and stuff.
Rainseeker:Well I mean yeah ... can art be interactive?
Toady:Absolutely! The theatre. If you say theatre is art, then art can be interactive, there's all those improv theatres and stuff, and some of them try and say things about people, if that's what your criteria for art is. If you bring the audience members up on stage and interact with them and so on, and you're trying to get people to realise something or other you can do that very consciously. Whatever your criteria for art is, if it involves discussing something about what it means to be human theatre is obviously attempting to do that, and if it succeeds for certain people - and obviously different strokes for different folks - and I think theatre does succeed in doing that for people, changes people's lives, including the kind of theatre where people get the audience involved and so on ... and if you think that is artistic expression then a game should have certain stature, if you want to rate things. It's not something I care about or stay up at night thinking about, whether or not my game is artistic expression. I have a really different agenda than that, I do enjoy the games for the challenge of writing them, the escapism and that kind of thing; it's not crucial to me for the games I write if they somehow make you feel like you're a better human being or something. I know some people have said 'I think this videogame is art' and the artist's intention is not necessarily important there. If my idea is not that I'm on a mission to create artwork in a certain sense - like I say if I use the word 'art' people don't know what I'm talking about because it's not a word that has a shared meaning - so if I say I'm not going out of my way to make you a better person, let's say that. It's not my mission to go out of my way and make you a better person. But if some people report from the trenches that Dwarf Fortress has in fact made them think about something and that made them a better person then it's really just that it was a touchstone - like a lot of things are - to get you to think about things passively. It's not like ideas need to be communicated from one person to another for things to have an 'artistic effect', there just needs to be some meat there to play with. I don't know, I'm not an authority, but I imagine the guy who asked the question wanted to hear me yammer on about it, so ...
Capntastic:But are movies games?
Toady:All I know is that movies caught the same shit that Ebert is giving when they were young, and you have to sit back and not be a hypocrite. I think it's important to not be dismissive of things that he's saying though if he's being honest about it. Because I think it's a valid question to ask, how can a game make people think about their society or themselves or what's going on in their head the same way reading some 'important work' would do, and has a track record for doing. I don't know if games have the same track record, certainly Pacman didn't change my life.
Rainseeker:Sure changed some marriages I think
Toady:Videogames obviously changed my life in the sense that I'm writing them now and it's kind of all I do, but that's not the same because that happens with sports or whatever else. I'm not saying sports isn't artistry in a certain sense either but ... you know what I mean. So I think Ebert probably raises legitimate points in there but I think in part because he says he's never played videogames and then he brings up examples ... he posted something recently saying that he doesn't think they can be art but he doesn't want to talk about it anymore, and he admits he doesn't play them, and that he thought that that was good point; he doesn't play them and he should shut up about it. He said that himself if I remember, recently, after this latest shitstorm out of something he wrote. It's legitimate, people just need to sit back and think about the questions that are actually being asked, and the less the word 'art' is used, I think, the more can be gleaned from that discussion.
Rainseeker:Here's a technical question; 'Recently in computer architecture the paradigm has shifted to multiple cores. I was wondering if Dwarf Fortress will support multiple threads eventually, and if so what timescale it will occur in.'
Toady:It is my understanding that the SDL stuff is now multicored, with the graphics and the graphics display and so on. Now obviously people, when they're asking about it, that's one important point but people are curious like 'why can't I have seventeen dwarves pathing at once' or 'why can't you take that stupid ass weather simulation and make that go happen on some core, preferably not at all'. It's complicated, and from what I gather it would be a really difficult long project and it's probably not going to happen. That's what I gather. Now there are some things, like these micro multithreading of a smaller process just to get through one loop faster, it can break it up and then come back without it being a case of running path finding at the same time as you're running a fluid simulation, and that stuff, the more I know about that the better, probably, and maybe that's feasible. As for splitting up the path finding and stuff: some people have discussed about how that might work, but as for whether anything is actually going to come of that, I wouldn't bet on it anyway.
Capntastic:Alright, that was Dwarf Fortress Talk number nine, I hope you had a fun time.
Rainseeker:We sure did.
Capntastic:This is Capntastic signing off.
Rainseeker:Bye bye from Rainseeker.
Toady:That's right, bye bye. I should say bye from Toady One.
Rainseeker:And this week we're making some changes in the podcast, I hope that you didn't notice.
Toady:Yeah, that's kind of wishful thinking on my editing in the future which is going to happen.
Rainseeker:Okay so who do we have to thank?
Toady:Ollieh and mallocks and all the people that asked questions this week, and all of our listeners.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Toady:(aside to Scamps) Mister! That's not for chewing! Mister! Mister. Speakers are not for chewing. Speakers are not for chewing, pens are not for throwing in the garbage. This is a lesson you can learn in your life. You got it? No, I didn't think so. (end aside)
Capntastic:Scamp was enlightened.
Rainseeker:A paradigm shift for him.

Rainseeker:Wait, Capn, are you thinking of starting a barbary business?
Capntastic:Yeah, this is all my adventure, I want to make bread, I want a barber, and I want to raise sheep.

Rainseeker:I have five birds in the house, I have eighteen birds in the garage ... Not including the babies that are currently there ... I think I have six babies right now in the garage, and I think there's some laying on eggs right now.
Toady:So twenty nine plus eggs? It's been a while since I had to do any math.
Rainseeker:You can't do math! You have no background in it.
Toady:Well not a lot adding, we stopped adding after a while, out of practice. People are always like 'wow you have a math degree, does that mean that you can multiply three digit numbers in your head and stuff?' I'm like 'not really ... unless they've got a bunch of zeroes in them, a hundred times two hundred, stuff like that'.
Rainseeker:That's a hard one.
Toady:Yeah, you have to count the zeros and stuff. Or I guess you could do those things where you have two hundred hundreds is twenty thousands ... I don't know.
Rainseeker:There's a little math trick for you guys.
Capntastic:Impress your friends.
Toady:Impress your friends by counting on your fingers, and be just like me. Yeah, so there's stuff going on, there's multiple birds. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing back up here Mister Scamps? You want to press things on the keyboard? Is that how you work? You're just a bad boy, just leaning your lardy haunches over on the F keys, that's bad.(end aside)

Dwarf Fortress Talk #9 Extra Hour, with Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Toady:Alright, supposedly being recorded ... there it goes. So, what are your favourite parts of the new dev pages.
Capntastic:I like the colour scheme. I know it took some doing to work that out, what with the lighter colours and darker colours.
Toady:Yeah I don't know what I'm going to do with partially ... I like colours on there. The old one had a bunch of colours in the end, and this one ... I'm not sure how much use partially done is going to get or if there are going to be different stages of partially done.
Capntastic:On the list there were different shades of blue for how close to being done it was.
Toady:Yeah, I don't know how accurate those ever were ... There's always a problem with colours for being done, because there are two metrics for something being finished: there's how finished is it in parts - how many pieces of it have you done - and what's the estimated time of arrival. Estimated time of arrival is something I don't do very well obviously ... really bad with that. So the partially done, it's like ... it seems like for everything that's partially done it should more be broken into having a new subsection with finished things and unfinished things or something. But I guess partially done will suffice, if I'm just like 'well I pretty much did logs to do constructions, but I'm not quite done' so I just made it purple. Hopefully I won't have to use it for a while, there are some vague things on the list though, that will probably always be partially done. Well the whole game's always like that, I'm sure we're not done with ... anything I made blue probably actually should be purple or something. Well maybe not, 'ability to butcher...' well, no 'ability to butcher corpses with an appropriate tool' is obviously not done yet, because there's not a lot of skill interaction with that and there's a lot of things you can do with it. But you have the ability to do it in a basic way. That'll be cool ... This whole crafting thing, it's in dwarf mode but adventure mode has been lacking there forever. There are going to be a lot of things we don't end up doing, like ... Well, it's just that your equipment doesn't matter nearly as much as how skilled you are with things in the end, whereas generally in those RPG games the equipment has these massive bonuses that get more and more massive until you're working with tenths of a percent so you can go from 99.7 to 99.8 effectiveness, or something. We're just not going to have anything comparable to that, but it should be cool. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing? What are you doing you little fat kid, little fat baby Scamps rolling on the ground, scratching the keyboard. Maybe your finger should not be on F8, I don't know what F8 does in this program. What does F8 ... (end aside)
Capntastic:I've got to say I'm really excited about the ... things you would think to be excited about, like the ground debris, sticks and underbrush ... you're like 'oh man, you find a rats nest under a tree and then kick it and rats come out'.
Toady:The main thing there is up here in a lot of the parts of the Pacific north west where there's been logging recently and the trees ... there's not a whole lot of old growth forest left where I'm at, so there's a bunch of small trees, and when there are small trees there's a crapload of underbrush, and it's hard to go places; a lot of places you have to go around giant bushes and all kind of blackberries and that kind of stuff, you just walk through ... I don't want that to be super annoying, but right now in adventure mode there's a few scattered trees in the forest and they're little teeny trees but they somehow prevented everything but a few strawberry bushes from growing. And there are certain points where you should be walking through this brush and getting scratches all over your body, and mosquitoes ...
Capntastic:Mosquitoes and malaria. This is going to be so fun. 'You feel sweat trickle on your forehead' ...
Toady:We don't have sweat in the game. I think IVAN sweat, we're missing it. Sweat was a dev goal at one point, and it would be easy to do with the secretion now that we've got secretions, but it would need to be an energy linked secretion which we don't have. It's pretty quick to add sweat though, just got to make sure it's not too annoying.
Capntastic: I like the idea of making stuff out of stones and sticks, you can sharpen a stick, you can sharpen a rock, you can tie them together with a piece of rope you make, then you've got a stick on a rock and use that to chop down a tree, then you have a really big stick ...
Toady:Yeah. I guess one of the things we're going to have to add to butchery products is the sinews you get when you take out tendons, because I guess a lot of the typing of spearheads and stuff you do with sinews or some of those things. I guess plants can be involved, and hide, like raw hide strips, leather strips as well, but sinew seems quite popular. Because you've always got sinew and what are you going to do with ... I've never heard of ... it's possible someone has taken a bunch of sinew and made it into a cloth, but it seems like it's mostly just for bow strings and tying stuff on. I think that would be good when you butcher a deer that you can also tack on a few extra spearheads and stuff because you take the deer sinew and tie things ...
Capntastic:If the deer has antlers can you use those things as well?
Toady:It uses the exact same functions as dwarf mode, so you'd have whatever horns and stuff you get there, and then when you make one of those stone chisels then you should be able to carve horns shortly; in a development connects to other developments sense, not necessarily in an ETA sense. But it's on the list because it's under ... in dwarf mode when you'll be able to specify specific jobs like 'I want to take the horn and I don't want to just make horn crafts, I want you to make a little statue of the king'. So when you're in adventure mode you should be able to pull up the exact same screen and say 'I want to take this horn, and I want to carve pictures of my pet horse' and then you can leave it in your little hut, and have little carvings that you make of the animals that you've met. Maybe you could make it a carving of the deer you just killed.
Capntastic:Then you've got the whole Shawshank Redemption thing going on where you're making chess sets and digging holes.
Toady:That's right. Well it's going to be awesome ... we were thinking with the board games, when there's board games with pieces that they play ... In dwarf mode it would probably be like a craft, that's not every single piece, just because in dwarf mode you don't want a lot of pieces. But in adventure mode you could have the pieces and then it'd be cool to have your own Tacticus set or whatever.
Capntastic:Yeah! With the hats and everything.
Toady:That's right. Then you'd go to the tournament with your Tacticus set, move your little pieces around on the board, it'd be awesome. So starting with the basics, just being able to carve crafts, and then being able to carve specific ones, and being able to make the functional objects as well, rather than just the decorative ones. So it should be a lot of fun, and I think because we've put some time into it in dwarf mode and will continue to do that, adventure mode should pretty quickly have a passable object creation system or crafting system or however you want to say it. It should be passable pretty rapidly because we've got a framework already, although in adventure mode there's just a lot more tools that you're going to end up working. Probably going to have backpack full of crap.
Capntastic:I just want to make a caveman world. A world full of cavemen and I'm the only one that knows how to make torches.
Toady:Yeah it would be cool to go in and just remove everything from the entities, remove all their swords and all that stuff, then you'd just have these little huts everywhere and people with no objects, and then you could go and tell them the secret of making sharp stone.
Capntastic:And you'll be able to make huts, won't you.
Toady:Yeah ... It's one of those things where ultimately I'm not really satisfied with using the dwarf mode system in adventure mode for making a cabin or whatever, because you build it tile by tile and it's kind of weird ... if you imagine a Lincoln Log cabin, building that wall or whatever. But it isn't the end of the world to do it that way, it's really fine to start that way and maybe keep it that way forever. If we're eventually laying down entire long logs and building up walls three tiles at a time by stacking logs then that's fine, but its functional to do it the other way. And then yeah, you'll be able to make little walls and I guess doors will have to wait until we know how carpentry is going to work in adventure mode ... which probably won't involve a workshop but will just involve having tools and then if you have a table accessible then you would have skill bonuses to making better stuff. I'm not sure in the end what kind of tools are going to be involved, mainly because I'm massively ignorant on all of this stuff.
Capntastic:You'll have to get some carpenters on retainer to help you fill these parts in.
Toady:Yeah, I just use the internet which is iffy as hell ... and I use suggestion threads of course, I'm sure there are some good suggestion threads with actual carpenters, because there's lots of people that do woodworking. My father's heavily into that stuff, it's just he never managed to pass a thing on to me about practical matters. I remember, I've probably said it before, but I remember he got me this AM radio kit once, you're supposed to build an AM radio, and I was like eleven years old and I never even opened it, and it was a present too ... it's just how much I'm not that kind of person. It was really rude in retrospect, kind of insanely rude. But we did build computers, but we didn't build AM radios. We saw the computer, my brother and I, as a valuable thing, because you could play games on it, but the AM radio ... we didn't listen to a lot of radio, and so it just was completely uninteresting, and he got us all these circuit boards and stuff, trying to get us into anything practical. The reason he started us up on computers was so we'd know how to use computers, but he never expected us to actually do games later in life. It's not a disappointment necessarily, I wouldn't say he's disappointed with how we're doing but it was not ... if he had a plan, it wasn't that. So I don't know a damn thing, that's what I'm trying to say, I don't know a damn thing about carpentry or masonry or any of that stuff. I'm just going to wing it and take suggestions, and then you should end up with that stuff. The main reason I bring that up is not for tables but for doors, because you're not going to have a door until we've got doors, and so when you make your little cabin it's going to be open to the environment which is not the ideal situation I'm sure.
Capntastic:What if you put a curtain there, like you put a rug ... some beads, get a little gypsy camp going on ...
Toady:It's perfectly valid. In fact one of the things that the game is sorely lacking is a tent, or any kind of high building, there's just nothing like that, and it's because they're all square, so you won't be able to build a tent ... I guess just pitching it you'd need it to suddenly make a three by three structure, with walls and a little room inside, it's kind of the limitations of the tiles that make them a little weird, and then there are larger structures like that. And there are kind of weird tools - when I say weird it's not like a knife or something - where you've got to take sticks and make a frame to stretch skins on ... that should be interesting, figuring that stuff out, it would give you more fun things to do when you're tanning hides or scraping hides ... could stretch them out and they can dry for periods of time ... wet and dry and all that stuff.
Capntastic:It does seem that there's going to be ... I think you mentioned some sort of time skip ability with growing crops, the ability to make time pass quickly which wouldn't be like the sleep command.
Toady:Yeah, it's one of those things ... it's not quite like a holy grail of time travel that's impossible, but it's one of those tricky things we've avoided. One of the reasons the sleep command works in the ridiculous way it does is because you don't have to abstract time if it's just pressing period for you eight thousand times. So it's going to be a little tricky, but you have to have it, you have to be able to skip a season and let the world deal with itself. That's one of those things; there are a few things on the dev pages that are like little walls that we're going to crash into. Entity populations is one of the ones that'll take a while, abstracting time is another one, so I kind of want to plan my development around those, and not start them so soon that we don't have a lot of the serious bug fixes out of the way, so that I can work for a couple of weeks on entity populations and people aren't going to be - I'm not sure it'll take a couple of weeks, but just theoretically working a few weeks on entity populations - and then not have people being like 'well I wish you would have made it so that when my dwarves make turtle crafts they don't turn into fireballs and destroy my military' or whatever bugs are still there.
Capntastic:Yeah, you've got to fix that one.
Toady:There are a ton of serious problems, so for the next while still we're going to be doing it like we're doing it here, where we take out a few things like butchering corpses, just blue out a few things and then go back to the bugs. The bug list is getting shorter at least - not overall maybe, I'm not sure about that - but in terms of serious bugs; there are fewer. So we will eventually catch up, and when we catch up then we can start massive amounts of work on the development list and it'll be really cool because things will happen quickly. A lot of these things are not hard, this is just going to happen. I feel pretty good about everything on the list, there are some vague things at the bottom about mechanisms where we haven't made decisions and I can't say how long that kind of stuff will take or where that's going to go, but we're going to whip a lot of the stuff out too, so it should be cool.
Capntastic:So you'll be able to plant grain and then it'll grow, and then you can crush it into flower and make bread.
Toady:Yeah, I think all that's there. We were thinking about what plants we wanted to be able to use, and you can start with growing strawberries or digging in the soil underground and growing plump helmets if you get seeds from the dwarves. Then you don't have to worry about anything but harvesting the plants after you pass time quickly, but if you're going to make a millstone or a quern then you'd be able to grind your plants, and that would give you flowers, sugar, dye ... I don't know what other grindables we have in Dwarf Fortress but there's plenty of grindables. Then being able to cook with that ... hopefully eventually being able to cook is going to open a lot of doors for making the Dwarf Fortress kitchen more interesting too. Then there are other crops like cotton style crops where you actually end up making clothes eventually, we haven't accounted for that yet. When we get the entity populations if you don't want to make your own quern or whatever and grind your own stuff you should just be able to take your grain to a mill that's in one of the entity populations and then you'd probably have to pay some kind of millage fee or however that stuff works ...
Capntastic:That's where the term millionaire comes from actually.
Toady:I guess billionaire comes from the town bill ... then there's the town trill, the town quadrill ... That's where you can start getting into tyranny too, where it's like 'you must use the town mill, if you're in this county you have to use the town mill, you can't use your own grindstone and you have to pay the fee' and so on, and the peasants can get angry when the fees get too high and you can have peasant rebellions and all that kind of stuff. I guess the whole system can thrive on crazy ass taxes, like things that end with '-age', like millage, and ...
Capntastic:Harbourage ...
Toady:I don't know ... if you're renting there's rentals, but I don't know if people call it rentage. It seems like it should be called rentage. After all these '-age' things ... I've been bumping into all this mass of '-age' terms when I've been looking some of this stuff up ... So it's hard to say exactly, the grey area that I don't think has too too much up on the dev pages is as we do the entity populations and sites sprawl it's like, what does site sprawl actually consist of? We know there are going to be markets, we know there are going to be inns, we know there are going to be farms ... but there should be a lot of other crap out there, what is it going to be, what is the frequency of it going to be. We're just going to play that by ear, as what we need. With the entity populations we're in a position now where we can make decisions like do we want a realistic number of farmers? Because previously when the world was just historical figures the number of farmers could not be something like ninety percent because that is not interesting at all, you would look at the history and you'd be like 'he farmed, and his farmer farmed, and his mother farmed, and his brother farmed, and all of his children farmed' and you just read the legend of farming ... and it's just not effective use of your historical figure budget when you can have up to twenty thousand if eighteen thousand of them are farmers, that's a memory sink. But now if you have entity populations you can have large numbers of farmers - if you retain something like ten thousand historical figures and you want to make ninety thousand people in the world - then you can do that. The question is is that the right decision now or is it still the wrong decision? And I'm not sure. When you're wondering through land that's being worked, like you're in the plainsy part of the world and there's the human capital and a bunch of human sprawl, if you're walking by farm after farm ... it's not necessarily a bad thing because you know you can go somewhere interesting if you want to, just don't be here, and it would be cool to see people working the fields and so on. And it would give you soldiers and give you peasant revolt people, having those numbers sitting around idly so that they can be levied and brought out to fight or they can raise up and attack credibly. So it might be that the guiding ... we have this guiding principle that we use in Dwarf Fortress: if we don't have compelling reasons not to make it realistic then using realism in the scenario tends to drive all the emergent behaviour the right way, so that using proper physical numbers and using proper personality systems just tends to push things in the right way. So using proper numbers of farmers probably is a good idea, unless there's a compelling reason not to do it, and the one that existed before of historical figures being used up does not exist anymore. There is the problem though that the people that you meet should be kind of interesting in a way and if you're talking to farmers who have fake generated history through the world generations events associated to entity populations instead of their own family histories then it is a less interesting world to be in. But that's if you're talking to those people, and it might be that they would just funnel you towards the interesting people in their neighbourhood. Because it's not like all the historical figures are just going to live in the capital now, they'll be spread around, there'll be important people in most villages, they just won't be everybody. But it is a cost to pay, and you can only hide it so much with fake historical events. We'll see, it's kind of a necessary change overall just to get army battles working right, because you need people or else it's just the tribal headhunting warfare like ten on ten the whole time and that's not good enough. I hope people aren't too disappointed with that change, but I figure it would be more me than anybody else, because I'm quite interested in - Ow! - getting the correct ... That was Scamps, I guess I should describe. Scamps is up on the desk, he's lying down and he's been slowly moving his body forward and pushing the keyboard off the desk, and now I'm holding the keyboard in my left hand and then he reached out and started clawing my knuckle. So Mister Cat just needs to be moved a little bit and maybe he won't be so troubled. (aside to Scamps) You are a troubled boy. Spirits of your dark past haunt you and cause you to do bad bad things. Don't move my things, my things are not for throwing off the table. What are you gnawing on that CD case for? That's not for gnawing, no sir. (end aside)
Capntastic:What CD is it?
Toady:Backup Dwarf Fortress, thrown in a CD case and transport CD cases. They're all over the place, some of them get transported, some of them stick around, and he's gnawing on one of them. (aside of Scamps) What are you gnawing for? Maybe a little less gnawing, how about that, how about that strategy? That's a good strategy. You've got little strategies in your life that you follow, and most of the ones you pick are quite poor. That's right Mister. (end aside) Of course he gets all the attention that he wants, because he does bad things all the time. Bad things all the time and he doesn't really get any punishment. What kind of punishment can you give a baby cat? You can lock him out of the room but then he's just going to scratch the door for ten minutes.
Capntastic:So I noticed fishing isn't on the list.
Toady:It's true, it's true.
Capntastic:That's a grave oversight.
Toady:It is a grave oversight. How many oversights were there in adventure mode? There were three really bad ones I think, there's no medical skills on the list, there's no gathering of plants on the list and the one you just brought up which I didn't even remember until you said it: fishing. It's atrocious. I'm not sure they'll appear there, but they could happen, you know.
Capntastic:Well if you can harvest plants that's similar to gathering ...
Toady:Yeah, it's quite similar. It might even use the same mechanism, and then it would just magically happen, people would suddenly magically be able to do something that I forgot to put in. But we could do it earlier, when we do the underbrush and stuff. We might need to add a crapload of poison berries when we do that too. 'Here's a bright red berry!' or even worse 'there's a little white mushroom on the ground ... are you going to eat the little white mushroom?'
Capntastic:That's like all you need, just make the whole game out of that. Mushroom Avoider.
Toady:Mushroom Avoider ... that's a good game. Someone needs to make a Flash game.
Capntastic:Plus that would fit into the whole gathering exotic plants ...
Toady:Yeah because there's a whole thing of adding random plants, random metals, random vermin, random wilderness creatures, random entity creatures and being able to pick up a mushroom and it's just like 'you don't know what the hell that is ... you might know about it if you picked some herbalism type skill from your embark, then you would have your entity's knowledge and you might start with some basic knowledge, but if you get far afield and go off into the savage wilderness and there are new things then experimenting with your mouth as you normally do in a roguelike if they don't provide you with some identification mechanism, experimenting with your mouth might just end up badly for you. We have all kinds of poison effects now so you could just end up having your nerves blasted and unable to breathe. There are a lot of nasty mushrooms out there, I know there are mushrooms around here that will just kill you. You're not supposed to eat them.
Capntastic:Make the descriptions as fun as possible, though.
Toady:Yeah we can add more poison effects. I'm sure people will look forward to having positive and negative effects in syndromes added.
Capntastic:Can you not even just mix them? So like 'yeah you broke out in hives but you can run really fast'.
Toady:'You see visions ...' It'd be interesting to improve on the whole ... I don't know if it was originally Nethack or one of the other games that had that whole hallucinatory effect when you eat certain things, it changed your entire screen into gobbledegook and you'd use the look command and they'd all be nonsense. It would be interesting to take that mechanism half way and just create more persistent but fake illusions, so there could be a person that you're talking to who isn't there, who then just turns into a snake and slithers away, and you're like 'what's going on here?' and it would all be fake, because you're just kind of stoned. But when we get magic in the game, artifacts or whatever, I don't know, it's one of those things where you want to do it sooner rather than later but later is the default setting right now for that. But it any case when things like that can actually happen to you then you wouldn't know. And it would be good to be confused, it would be good to have a game when you're confused about reality, because then that makes magic seem more real. Eating the mushrooms, we could start that. I remember when we were kids Zach and I had a D&D adventure where he had a thing all planned out, just some standard thing with some goblins or whatever - I'm not really sure though because we never got to see the actual plan he had made - because in the beginning of the thing where I was out in the woods in something, I just decided to eat a mushroom, and he took advantage of that, and just made the game get more and more strange as we went along, and totally tossed his script and was just messing with me the whole time and didn't tell me why until the end. So hopefully we can do the same thing. Make it all come apart at the seams, but not in a completely random way but just sometimes you're seeing things or understanding them in a different way, and hopefully you'll have a parchment so that you can write down your experiences and become famous.
Capntastic:Will character generation be changed up a bit?
Toady:We had that one we were talking about before with the whole heroes and demigods and starting scenarios and that kind of thing, that came up in a Dwarf Fortress Talk previously, and it's a matter of when to start that because the more meat we put on the bone in adventure mode the more credible start scenarios we can have, right? So once you're able to farm then you'd be able to start in that kind of situation, and once there are more magical effects starting as a demigod would be easier. But that doesn't mean we should wait too too long, because character generation isn't compelling at all right now, so it's possible ... there's a thing on the dev page about fortress starting scenarios, like starting scenarios giving a back story for your fortress, often related to current world situations, and that might be a time when I start thinking about the adventure scenarios, just because it would be the exact same type of thinking; 'what's going on in the world, how does it relate to coming into a narrative?' I'm not sure because we had all those ideas about adventure mode character generation should work, but you want to have stuff to work with. But if it just came down to skills or something, like how many skill selections you get, that could be more formalised than it is now. Like right now when you do 'Play Now' I think you still start at a city, but you start naked still, but now you start with a spear and a knife. That kind of thing, you want to turn that into a scenario, you want to turn into a 'What is going on here? Why are you this person? Why are you naked outside a town with a spear and a knife and how long is that going to work?' It should definitely start to take off at some point but right now I still feel like I need to work on this other stuff. Once villains are done, once treasure hunter is done, once thief is done it seems like starting scenarios will just become a really natural thing at that point. You'll have situations readymade sitting there for you, like 'I would like to start as a bandit under Blah' and then you could be that person, and there would be something to work with instead of creating a whole new set of circumstances for you. It's too hot for me to remember right now all the things we said previously about character generation, but I'm sure there were some good ideas in there that are not coming to mind right now, I don't know if you remember any of them. If it weren't ninety billion degrees maybe this would be a different conversation, but ... that's my thinking right now. How hot is it here? Not that hot is it? I've become a temperature wuss though. Yeah it's only eighty eight outside, but I don't have any windows open and I don't have my fan on because I can't have my fan on when we're recording, so that's why it sucks. I'll be fine when I turn my fan on. I can't have windows open because even though I have screens, first of all it's a little noisy outside and that would interfere with the recording again, but also baby Scamps will not just be content to sit and look out the third storey window, but he will jump up on the screen with all four feet. It's a pretty crappy screen, this apartment is a pretty old apartment complex and the screen ... it's not rectangular like it used to be, there's bending, all kinds of warping and stuff. So the screen doesn't really feel secure and it seems like baby Scamps will just drop out of the window if I leave it open. I don't trust that process. The most I could do is open it a crack but then we wouldn't really get much of a temperature benefit and we'd get the noise, so that is the current situation. There's lots of other stuff on here, this is going to be an exciting thing. Got villains, followers, capturing people, breaking into fortified locations ...
Capntastic:Sharp rocks and twigs ... I'm super psyched and I don't know why, I'm going to make bread.
Toady:We won't need to do more, we can change the name of the game to Making Bread. Unless there's already a game called Making Bread, there's probably already a game called Making Bread because it is the most exciting development going on in games this day.
Capntastic:It is in Cooking Mama, I'm pretty sure.
Toady:Yeah, Cooking Mama must have making bread. I play Cooking Mama now, so I've made all ...
Capntastic:I'm loading a Flash game right now, it's called Bread Making Game.
Toady:Yeah, so it could already be fully explored, and when we retread old territory like this we're kind of making a mockery of ourselves. It'll be alright, we'll have to think of a way to break out of the mould, so to speak, when we are making our bread. I have a feeling we're going to fall short on that and it's just going to be like 'You are making bread ... You have made the bread'. You'll probably select ... because you can go really hard with the cooking, it's like 'Do you want to take the flour ...' because there's going to be flour, and then you mix the flour with water in some kind of pot or something, and then you stir it a bit, and you might end up kneading and kneading and kneading and kneading and kneading, and then you stick it over a fire and that could be the process. It's a question of what it is when you've got that wettened flour and how much water do you add and all that kind of stuff ... how much is that going to work with the reaction framework I've currently got, how much rewriting would need to be done ... because you can definitely whiff the whole thing, you could just be like flour plus any container with water makes bread. I don't even know ... there's not even really a bread object now, there's a food object, so it would need to use the food object subtype; I don't know if that works with reactions right now. There's going to need to be significant reaction rewrites probably to get that happy, but it's just a question of whether you want it all to work with reactions or whether you want some of it to work with game mechanics, like the cooking process. Because we've got temperature and everything, but do you actually want to go down that road, so that if you've got a cook making something in the kitchen and then a dragon comes by and flames out your fortress it's like 'well that bread is cooked now' and that wouldn't happen if there's a reaction for it, like a specified reaction, but it would happen if it works through game mechanics. But that's a can of worms. We'll have to think about it ... We've got thief stuff, treasure hunter stuff, ability to climb and jump in adventure mode and swimming around ... traps and lighting, all the night creature stuff ... All kinds of exciting stuff coming here. There will be adventures in adventure mode. It's been a long time since we had adventures in adventure mode. It used to be a little bit more fun I think, maybe there were some adventures in adventure mode way back in the beginning, but it doesn't feel like there's adventures in adventure mode now.
Capntastic:No. You can walk around and light fires ...
Toady:So we'll slowly be working back to making it better than it's ever been, but it'll take a while. Unless you like butchering things with rocks in which case we're doing pretty well.
Capntastic:That's fun, yeah. See how much meat you can collect, leave it in a pile ... Hey, does the meat rot in adventure mode? And then there's like miasma and stuff?
Toady:I don't remember ... I figure it would but it's possible that rotting is disabled in adventure mode just so the magic barrels would work right, but it could be that the magic barrels are magic and are the thing disabling the rot mechanic. Because if things are left alone they'll rot because that's what happens, but I don't remember how strongly I fought rot when I went to do the towns, so it's possible that you could have eternal meat and in that case that's kind of strange, because we should get to salting stuff, and making cooked stuff last a little bit longer, what other weird things people do ... use sugar to preserve fruit or something, is that right? We've got a lot to do there, should be intriguing to add the salt based industries, and mine your salt and then I guess you grind it down or something. That's what the internet is for, it's so I don't have to know anything. It'll be alright.
Capntastic:Digging holes is going to be fun.
Toady:Yeah. Digging holes, digging in the soil.
Capntastic:Make a little hole to live in.
Toady:Yeah, it'll be great, it'll be great. Until we add some kind of digging which will probably require passing time - some kind of digging the rock mechanism - you won't have amazing underground fortresses, but within short order - we'll need to get the entity site stuff first which is the main problem with the entity populations - but once that's in, which we're going to try and do as soon as we can, but we have bugs to fix first, but as soon as that's in then adventurer sites are going in right after that. We'll want to put them in, because it's going to be too exciting. Then you'll be able to make giant towers and things.
Capntastic:Out of mud! Collect mud and make adobe bricks and then make a house and then a wolf will come, and, well, you know how that ends.
Toady:Clay is abused in this game. There's clay in the game, but it's not used for anything. I think adventure mode is going to see a kind of renaissance in the overlooked primitive industries - if you want to call them primitive industries compared to metalworking stuff versus clay and mud and all that kind of thing ...
Capntastic:Yeah, make clay pots and collect water in them and have a jug ...
Toady:Yeah, adventure mode is probably going to be the way that that stuff comes on, and some of it will make dwarf mode after that because we've got the framework for it, and dwarf mode will just do it with less time and tools and so on ... and we'll finally have that stuff, because that's been neglected for way too long. But there's a lot of plans up here, so it's hard to say what kind of side excursions we're going to take, because we're obviously going to need a side excursion into medical skills to some extent, so that you don't totally lose even when you win. Like you kill some bandit but you've got a little scratch on your arm and then it gets infected and you die ... that's how it would play out right now. That'd suck, your immune system should be fighting for you, but ... It'll be a little taxing until you get to that point. Scamps is not running around of anything, he's just laying on the floor, temperature's getting everybody. Especially since my computer's on and my windows are closed, that's probably going to increase the temperature by a little bit.
Capntastic:Adventurers ...
Toady:Adventurers and stuff, that's right ... We apologise ... We thanked the listeners and now we should apologise to the listeners.
Capntastic:Yeah. I'm sorry listeners.
Toady:Zach and I were talking about how the dynamic is with three hosts. It's important to have a third host in a sense. Because if Rainseeker were here ...
Capntastic:He'd have cool things to say.
Toady:Yeah. In case this part stays in he stepped out for a period because he has his important business to deal with and so Capntastic and I are having a discussion. It's going alright but ...
Capntastic:We're trying to emulate the primal, primitive forces that will be included in adventure mode.
Toady:That's right, there's going to be adventures and stuff. But yeah, I'm excited about all of the little crafting things, and being able to do that kind of thing. I'm sure some people aren't, but that's what we have lots of things to work on. But I'm also excited about all the hero stuff, that's going to be really cool, giving the game something to do, giving you something to fight for ... if you want to be a goody two shoes then you will have opportunities because there's going to be a lot of scummy people in the world.
Capntastic:It's up to you to set things right and bring justice ... or, outdo them. Make it a competition, have a game.
Toady:Yeah, you're going to be troubled. We have the thief thing which is an adventurer doing bad things. Now the adventurer as villain, I naturally end up speaking in those terms and I wonder how naturally that's going to fit in with the mechanics. The villains as described are kind of like thieves, they do these raids on the sites ... in a way it's essentially the same thing but there's this intimidation factor that you don't have in the thief mechanics as described, you don't ever just come up and strong arm anybody or anything, and that ... I'm not sure quite how that's going to work. Because the villains will be doing that stuff first and at that point if you're able to do that it wouldn't shock me, because there would be mechanisms for it, but it's one of those things where every dev item has a hundred paths that lead out from it, so it's a question of making those decisions. But it would be cool, it's always fun to be able to play the bad guys, especially in the situation where you're not just going down the same plot and answering 'answer B' each time ... the bad answer. It should be good, should be good ... and your little followers who go with you, and if you just go around killing random citizens with your followers they'll just be like 'what the hell are you doing?' and then they'll leave or they'll try and kill you or something. Unless they're bad people, which means you'll be surrounded by scummy people, if you're trying to be a villain. That's one of the important things when we add villains, is making scummy people. The personality thing is so late twentieth century, it's like 'people are open or not', 'they have different ways of living their lives' and that's how the thirty facet personality thing works, but we're going to have to go way back in time to get the villains to act properly. 'Some people are just scummy liars who like to hurt people', and that's who these people are. Not all of them, it's not like we're going all in on the chaotic evil front, so there'll be some desperate villains, people who are hungry, that kind of thing. But you know, some people have bad natures, and there's no-one with a bad nature right now in Dwarf Fortress. Except for people who get angry, I guess in Dwarf Fortress that's the only thing that I can think of off the top of my head that qualifies as a bad personality is if their anger management is really low and they throw tantrums all the time in fort mode, because that's a personality directed thing right now. But it'll be a lot better. When you put the vices/virtues ... that's a way of saying it, I don't really know what we're going to end up calling them, I don't want to get too too hardcore there ... but when those goes in then everyone will have them, and then they'll be in dwarf mode. So I've got to use a pretty good normal distribution or you're going to have a totally dysfunctional fort, all of these really shady individuals in your fort, you could start a fort and have all seven of your dwarves just be total pieces of filth, all stealing from each other and all that kind of thing. And they wouldn't actually do anything because you need to put the effects in, and you need to make them think about that stuff in dwarf mode; dwarf mode's a different mode from adventure mode so it wouldn't all carry over instantly. So I probably shouldn't even show those in the personality descriptions until they're used. Wouldn't want to call a dwarf a liar until they're actually lying. 'He has a propensity to be a total piece of crap' ... that's not fair. Then there's the whole thief mechanics, I haven't played a lot of those Thief games so I'm not up on the technology there ... a lot of it is about which way are they looking, like vision arcs, and that's something that I'm not comfortable with as a concept in general, I don't like it when you're walking around and you can only see half the screen, because that's not how it works, or at least if you were paranoid enough in a fantasy game you have to worry about getting attacked you'd be like 'step forward, look over my shoulder, step forward, look over my shoulder, step forward, look over my shoulder, step forward, look over my shoulder' so it should just show you everything. But when you're sneaking you shouldn't be able to ... when someone's sneaking at least if it's you or if the target of the sneaking is not the player, then there should be things like vision arcs so that you can have a guard walking down a hallway and then you can run down the hallway behind him ... There are going to be visions arcs then, but they just don't apply to you, I don't want to put them in for you ... Someone should be able to do that to you too theoretically, like you're walking down a hallway and then they can run up behind and either attack you or run down the hallway, but if we put in vision arcs strictly then you'll constantly have to stop and be paranoid about looking over your shoulder, and as realistic as that might be it would not be fun.
Capntastic:Just have it tied to the perception ability or whatever ...
Toady:Yeah, it'll just end up having to be something like that where its non directional for the adventurer only. For everybody else the guard might stop and look over his shoulder, but he's not going to be doing it all the time and you can sneak by, and then you'd be able to sneak into places, and it should be super entertaining. That's just another one of those weird little conflicts, the same way adventurers having emotions and stuff is one of those weird little flicks ... It should be pretty fun, and being hunted down should be fun. I don't know what else is going on here ...
Capntastic:Neither do I.
Toady:If you don't have any other ... do you have any other things you were thinking about?
Capntastic:No, I think we've covered all the best parts ...
Toady:Yeah, we didn't talk about dwarf mode much but there's been a lot of threads on these ... I think most of the stuff, because it's been at the top of eternal suggestions for a long time it's pretty well covered. And I'll always be answering specific questions over in the Future of the Fortress thread if people have specific questions about any of this stuff I've been answering them over there. So that'd be cool.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #10, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is Rainseeker here and I'm here with our illustrious leader, Tarn Adams.
Toady:Hi hi, I'm Tarn Adams.
Rainseeker:Also known as Toady One. I'd like to celebrate our newest podcast because it's been a long time coming and we're finally back with our yammering. That's today's topic ... Toady yammers.
Toady:That's right. I'm coming off of little sleep and that should enhance the process ... I don't remember why we didn't choose a topic this time ...
Rainseeker:We were not sure what to choose, I think ...
Toady:Yeah ... We read through the thread but just didn't settle on anything. We might go back to topics or not depending on which way the wind blows I guess.
Rainseeker:And we are changing up our format today: we're going to be breaking up this podcast into two segments, the first one is Toady and I, the second one is Toady and the Capn. Basically we could not co-ordinate our schedules this month so we just wanted to get it done.
Toady:Yeah there were enough aborted scheduling problems ... and Tarn disappearing and doing things, and then people getting sick and all this other stuff. It won't hurt to have an extra episode inserted between the times when we can actually all get together.
Rainseeker:And actually we could insert Capn's voice ... and insert it right ... here.
Rainseeker:Okay, so that was ...
Toady:That was Capn ... I almost heard it. I should pretend I did hear it. Hey Capn! (as Toady-Capn) How you doing guys? (end Toady-Capn) I'm doing alright.
Rainseeker:But no really, that was magic editing.
Toady:Magic editing.
Rainseeker:Alright, so. You seem pretty excited about this new release, are you happy?
Toady:Yeah ... It's still bumpy because we moved to a new compiler and the new compiler cut out Windows 2000 and I think Windows XP Service Packs 1 and 2 or something like that, and it seems to also cut out Mac ... not just the PowerPCs but also the 10.4 operating system, that's my understanding right now. There may or may not be ways around that and that's all kind of in a slow process ... I haven't got anything definitive at this point. So that's going to be an ongoing adventure.
Rainseeker:Okay, so we got the new version up and we are looking at what new features; do you want to summarise? I know people can read it but ...
Toady:The main feature this time is that adventure mode's broken because we added the new villages and we didn't want to delay another month to put adventure mode back together and that's just what we're going to do in October instead. Mainly because there's not a lot to do in adventure mode before, so we didn't feel like we were cutting people out too much to have it delayed for a month, and there were some dwarf mode bugs we wanted to fix ... I can't remember them off the top of my head, but it fixed a few annoying bugs in dwarf mode for this time around. But we have set the stage for the rest of the game now, the changes to come, by setting up these civilization populations that are much larger, and having the sites spread out so that there's now farmland surrounding cities – that don't exist yet – but they're marked with plus signs on the map right now, that's where the towns and cities are going to be for the humans. The sprawl of the civilizations for the other races isn't as well defined yet ...
Rainseeker:Can you still embark on a human civilization or any civilization ...
Toady:No. This was one of the main hiccups with the release. Partially because the site sprawl with all these villages is completely useless right now, people still mainly look at the map as 'where am I going to embark in dwarf mode?' It's kind of silly right now embarking on a human site, there are no consequences for doing that, no problems that they have with you doing that, just sitting there digging up their houses and collapsing them and stuff ... also because of the way the new sites are stored I wasn't sure that I wanted to get in to the overlap situation there until we actually care about supporting that properly, so it's just not allowed. But because the sites sprawl so much and lay claim to so much more territory it sections out large portions of the map that you can't embark on. So right now that just looks like a straight penalty because there's nothing to be gained by just taking away embark sites and not adding anything else to the game; so I can understand that being a downer for people. So for this week I just put in some options that are easier to get at to control how much the sites spread out and made the default map – the medium setting map that you get by doing 'Create a New World' – just not have so much sprawl as it stands. That'll probably be coming back, but we want to handle a few things, make it justify its existence and also decrease its memory footprint a bit before we bring it back. But this is the direction things are going to go. The only reason, as it stands, to have calm empty areas surrounded by civilizations that go on for a thousand years that would have exploited that area is to have new places for your dwarves to go that are calm and surrounded by other civilizations. So you might want to have some areas like that but they should be able to justify their own existence, and once there are more things going on in world generation it won't be that hard because in Europe there was resettlement going on all the time; new groups moving in over where the old ones were, fighting them off but sometimes just resettling areas that had been emptied or ravaged previously, that didn't then get resettled because of whatever was going on at the time. So there are plenty of ways that we can be respectful of keeping a simulation going, a kind of real world simulation, and all the good things that come out of trying to be respectful of that, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the dwarf mode choices. Now that whole situation's going to change a bit when we finally get to the start scenarios where you have a reason why your fortress is doing what it's doing, but those will still be ... it'll still be the same choices of places you can go, so it's a problem that ...
Rainseeker:It should be interesting too, right, during world generation, because you're going to eventually have the leaders making decisions about what to do, right? So depending on their personalities they could leave stuff alone maybe for religious reasons ...
Toady:Sure. I forgot what they were called, the Urnfield culture or something ... it's one of these ancient cultures where the reason they're named the Urnfield culture is because they have all these fields that they left open, and they left behind the urns where they buried people, and I think that's all they know about them. There could be areas like that where your dwarves go 'oh, what is this nice calm peaceful river location that's completely untouched' and then you go to the river and right as you're digging down and thinking about defeating the aquifer or whatever you're thinking about, you find all kinds of interesting buried things, and then when the human's arrive it's like ...
Rainseeker:You've defiled our ...
Toady:I guess the human traders wouldn't arrive at all, they'd know; once you start exporting they see all these dwarven trade wagons being exported out of their burial grounds and they're like 'are you selling the bones of our ancestors?'
Rainseeker:But they're very handsome trinkets, sir!
Toady:Care for this skull cup? ... No.
Rainseeker:No! Aunt Mary! No!
Toady:Nothing but trouble, coming out of that. That points to why it feels weird to have people embarking on the human sites, although we had this conversation before and then I allowed embarking on the human sites, so part of it is really that the sprawl's a little difficult to manage; the way the sites are stored with this overlapping dwarf embark on the sprawl area. Because it used to just enlarge your embark site to encompass the three by three human site, but now the human sites can push sixteen by sixteen ... It's a little stranger to do that because your computer wouldn't work but it's not like it has to load the whole thing anymore either, it was just a little weird. It's not impossible, it's just delays and that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:You've got to figure out a way to not cut buildings in half and stuff like that.
Toady:That part I'm kind of handling already just because I've got small buildings now, these little cottages, I move them to dodge potential lines of cutting. The villages in the end will probably look five percent more square because of that, but it's the price you pay for having to avoid writing artificial intelligence that's like 'well, I'm in half of my house right now, and if that guy moves right then, well I'll be in the other half of my house too'. I wouldn't want to inflict that on anybody. It's going to be that way with castles probably though, or especially things like city walls ... you can't really load in the entire city ... if the very largest cities encompass that entire sixteen by sixteen area then you can't load the entire city, so it's going to need to understand what it means to run off the top of the wall or run through the inside of a wall, or run around either side of the wall. It's all doable, it's just going to be these little special cases probably, to handle that.
Rainseeker:Out of curiosity, the human walls; are you going to make them be bigger than the normal one by one tile or is it going to vary, or ...?
Toady:Like actual city walls?
Rainseeker:Sure. And can you take them apart in dwarf mode?
Toady:It's always a weird thing because if the city wall is built of pieces of stone it seems legitimate to me to have it just be one tile sections. But when you get to something like a log cabin the one tile sections become very weird, it's like you're taking out pieces of the log and you can put them back and replace them with another log. It seems very strange. I don't know if I'm ever going to deal with that ... it's low priority in a way because what we've got now kind of works and we're trying to race off toward the future for once instead of getting bogged down but that's the plan for October anyway, we'll see if that works out. But I imagine that the wall segments would be little pieces of stone that you can ... I mean the weird part is that you kind of just chip them out of there in any way without feeling that they have weight on top of them or whatever, I guess you're mining them out of there ... mining a tunnel through the walls, but getting this one boulder back. It's all very strange, but I expect it will be the same. The walls themselves are not going to be one tile thick in most cases. They'll be able to support towers ... the same kind of stuff you're going to build in dwarf mode. If you see those amazing city wall pictures, I don't remember the name ... there were like eighty seven towers surrounding the city, it was really cool. That kind of thing, and more! It's a fantasy game so if you need to go fifty or one hundred percent larger for your city walls for certain fantastic and amazing people then that's all good, right? Or make them out of glass or whatever. So it'll be cool, and we'll get to that sometime. Probably when we get to towns. Zach has really been gunning for castles, he's like 'you have these villages, but I want to have castles again, and not just those big squares that we made before but like an actual thing that looks nice.' There are so many things now that are essentially low hanging fruit, and now that we've sort of freed ourselves up so that October is like 'let's put something fun in adventure mode so that we've got a game there'. That's the cause of October. It's cool to be able to do that finally. We're still well aware that there are bugs and we'll be fixing bugs as usual, but ... we knew that the entity sprawl that needed to go in early and was going to be very annoying, so we kind of lost a month there. There might be a few other candidates, like when we do the trade rewrite, or the resources rewrite, to actually store resources on site. That part itself is not so hard, you could almost add that in a day, just tracking the numbers, but it's when you start to get to the repercussions; it's like 'they eat now, so we have world generation famines' and if you screw up the numbers there or wars screw up the numbers or it's trying to track something ... then it's going to be worse than real life for a long time, with the numbers working correctly you'll just have these massive famines and horrible ...
Rainseeker:Because they're not thinking through their problem, they're just dying.
Toady:Yeah. Any time in human history where someone had to think of an innovative solution to a problem, the computer's not going to be able to do that. I expect trouble when we get to that part. So that's another one. The site sprawl was one, that site resource tracking and using them is another ... but other than that I can't remember any adventure mode stuff that really seemed ... like, as a single item on the dev page, seemed like a nightmare. There are some dwarf mode things that I expect will take time. Job priorities because that involves rewriting the entire dwarf AI, but it's more than job priorities ... it's actually rewriting it to allow all kinds of things, to get them to think a little bit about whatever you might think of, so they can priorities things like parties better and their little personal life stuff along with their jobs, and make it less of a strict hierarchy that it runs through. It should be really beneficial but it's a big rewrite, that's another one down there. And of course things like moving fortresses ... we mentioned 'oh yeah we're going to have moving fortress features ... I can see how I want to implement that, vaguely, how I'd store the stuff, and how that's going to be neither a large nor a small project strictly speaking, but I imagine that the ramifications are going to be as bad as the problems that still exist from the 3D cave-ins where the ice floors don't work right, or whatever the current errors are. There's going to be all kinds of fun time there. Fortunately the code for adventure mode when you're walking around the map, how it shifts everything as it loads new areas, that's going to save me a whole ton of time ... moving a fortress section, so it's going to be easier than it might look in a way. But also it'll just be hard in general, and I'm sure there are a few other things down in the dwarf mode list on the dev pages that are tricky and time consuming ... maybe the linguistic stuff too although I don't know when that's going to happen in the first place. But the good news is there are a lot of things that can be done pretty quickly now, and we're going to focus on that so that we reclaim some enjoyment from the game.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:I have some questions here from our readers and players ...
Toady:And listeners! We have listeners too.
Rainseeker:Let me re-explain. I have some email questions! From people! Who probably enjoy the game ... I have one here from Elijah. He says: 'Could Tarn spend some time talking about the possibility of implementing different languages and written works. Is there any possibility of old languages, and what about books made of sheets, metal, paper, papyrus or even clay tablets.
Toady:We're into that stuff and it reminds me of the Steles, the big pillars that the Syrian kings wrong all their conquests on and so on, and the translations of those were some of the inspirations for some of the world generation tortures after the towns were taken over, like stretching out skins and sticking them on walls and stuff. We like that kind of thing – not the tortures, personally, for ourselves, but the written languages – so we're all for it, especially when we get to the treasure hunter section where we've mentioned old books and things like that that we'd like to throw in there. It'd be cool to find one of those old libraries they had, I think they had an ancient library with these cuneiform tablets, they looked like little triangles pressed in different configurations on this clay tablet ... to find a library of one of those things would be really cool. The issues that come up – there's a couple of them – one is displaying the language written out. It would be cool to use different symbols for it, and it would be a time to go add some tiles. These are the kinds of tiles that we can actually draw without total failure, doing it ourselves, so it might be possible to extend some language tiles or ... I don't know if that would involve Unicode in any way since we have better font support now. It's not clear to me exactly how we'd go about doing it but we're definitely ... even if it's just adding some symbols like the graphics for creatures currently, you could just add some more symbols, then it would be cool to actually display the words that are written in the books or on the tablets or whatever, and see them there, and then be able to translate them. It might be difficult to ask the player to do that manually, but they could do it based on their characters skill, and translate pieces of the tablet and then reveal them as you translate them. The other issue is if you're having the game randomly generate a language, which is something that we've avoided up to this point, even though you can throw something together, especially with as little structure as our languages have now – we don't really have any grammar for them or anything, it's just here's a word, here's how you write it – the only reason we haven't done that is because we're afraid of getting too many words that are real life words. So for our dwarf language we didn't want the word for 'mine' to be randomly generated as 'pepsi', and have the word for 'dwarf' just be some swear word because of what it comes up with ... so if your name is 'Dwarf Mine' your name would be like 'Poop Pepsi' or something. it's just not what we imagined for the dwarf language.
Rainseeker:That does become a problem unless you're using random characters.
Toady:That's why there're a couple of solutions, there's using different characters for the languages, or, when the language isn't as central – it's not the dwarf language, but is just some language of some randomly generated three-armed squirrel people that live in the forest and fight with leaves, but they still use, for whatever reason, the same alphabet – then if they had something that was called pepsi, that doesn't really matter. I'm sure there'll be ... if you've got thousands of people playing, I'm sure someone out there is going to get a screenshot that's just horrifying, horrifying in the worst possible way and we'll just let it go at that point and hopefully the news doesn't pick it up. But that's basically the only obstacle. I kind of had a pet fascination with linguistics in college, I was fishing around for a double major for so long when I was doing math; I went from computer science to animal behaviour to chemistry to linguistics, and so I never actually ended up getting one. But I took like six or seven or eight classes and I got all the books from the advanced classes ...
Rainseeker:Makes you a very interesting person, that's for sure.
Toady:Well ... I don't know ... But I read them. I missed the coursework and I can read online ... so I don't really know where I'm at with that stuff, but it is one of my little fascinations. That's why it's always been up on the dev page even if I never get to it.
Rainseeker:So how do you see that affecting adventure mode? You have your adventurer, he finds this 'leafen tablet' scrawled by the squirrel people that he just slaughtered and he's like 'hmm, what does this say?'
Toady:It might be harder to learn the language now you've killed them all.
Rainseeker:That's true, so you could maybe have an ability to talk and learn their language gradually?
Toady:Yeah, that's what we're hoping for. The thing that's neat is in a rudimentary way – it would be impossible to pull this off, for me anyway, in a really satisfying way – but if you've got ... Right now the grammatical structure of all the languages is the same, well they can only say one phrase, like 'Johnny run/walk the dog of war', there's only one kind of phrase they have but they're all the same. So even now you could say 'you know thirty percent of the goblin vocabulary, these are the exact words you know' and then whenever you hear a phrase it could translate those words and not the others. But the thing that'll be neater, if we're storing the things that people will say in conversations ... this conflicts with other things, so I'm not really sure how this is going to work, it might just be the writing, it might not be with the conversations; I'm not quite sure ... but if you have the basic sentence trees syntax ... noun/phrase things or whatever, sitting behind the sentences then the grammatical rules can take those trees and turn them into all kinds of different stuff, shifting the word order, cramming certain things together, putting little helper words everywhere, all that kind of stuff ... and still have your knowledge of the language interpret parts of it, or let you pick out pieces of it, in a really straightforward fashion while still preserving all the diversity of the languages. It would be pretty easy to do overall, except for the part where you actually build the sentence trees for everything you want to say. So it's like, you want to say 'the sword is hidden in such-and-such a cave'; that sentence tree's not so hard to build, it involves two of those noun type phrases we already have, like the 'shiny sword' or whatever it's called and the 'cave of darkness' or whatever it would be called, those we can already do. Then you just need to say how the verb works, and once you can construct that you can translate that into all the different languages and they can apply their rules to how those things work. It's nowhere near as complicated as an actual language where you just need all these little rules that modify them, and people don't even have a complete theory; but the game can have a complete theory, because I know what sentences are allowed to be in the books. We control that information and it allows us to complete the picture, so it should be cool. I guess that's a 'yes' for that question, if it was a 'yes/no' question. Is there any possibility of old languages? Yes. It should come in with the treasure hunter stuff, that's where it's on the dev page, if I remember.
Rainseeker:Let's see ... Noah wants to know if you could talk about how world gen combat works. Maybe we could briefly talk about this, because I know it's something we could go on with forever.
Toady:I'll address the conversation in terms of what happens when two monsters meet, or what happens when two armies meet and just briefly run through what happens. So when two monsters meet it looks at their strengths relative to each other ... the reason this is as simple as it is is because it needs to run through hundreds of thousands of these battles or whatever; I threw that number out, it's something like that ... so there's a couple of monsters, they look at each other, relative to each other's race, so if one guy has fire immunity and one guy's only attack is to breathe fire then he's going to have really crappy numbers. Then basically they just get a number from that and then they start rolling dice at each other like a simple skill roll and whoever wins gets to either wound or kill the opponent and the wound is chosen from a list of viable wounds – like if you breathe fire then it'll try and burn the other guy – then it will continue until the battle's over. Sometimes it just adjourns the battle and the guy escapes, sometimes one of them dies or is wounded and then escapes ...
Rainseeker:How does it pick the adjournment, when it adjourns?
Toady:If I remember there's a number of rounds, or if you have an escape chance, you roll a die and can escape. It's really simple, there's no spatial information or anything like that.
Rainseeker:So you just pit two monsters against each other, they don't find each other, the game decides these two monsters are going to have a fight, basically.
Toady:Yeah, so for instance if you're a world generation hunter, you go out, it pulls something out of the world region that you're hunting in; it's like 'okay, you're fighting a cougar', and then it's like 'alright, put them in the jar, and shake it', and then they roll die at each other, and then someone makes it out, maybe both of them, and then certain duels are designated 'to the death' on one side or the other so one guy might not be able to escape, and that's why town defences are so weird right now, because the whole town defender side is designated that way. World generation battles right now are not that different. It gathers the armies up from the entities' available people, and it also skims off a portion of the entity population, I think it just uses a tenth right now, and it says 'these are the armies', and it picks the most qualified general from among those historical figures that it's chosen. Now, qualifications; there's a new tactics skill and there's the pre-existing leadership and organisation skills that are now applied in world generation, and we'll get to that in a second. Now, it doesn't always pick the best general because if the entity has an official general position, someone who handles military strategy, then it'll choose that person instead, even if they're fresh and for some reason the civilization had someone fighting battles before that had some skill developed; unless they got the general position they won't be used. Unless the general position is empty, then they'll be used. So you've got these two armies, they're both being led, and there are bonuses from terrain right now, and the type of site if there's a site being defended, and it takes the tactics, leadership and organisation ... because there's no strategic versus tactical right now, because not a lot is going on strategy wise at this point, so it's all rolled into one right now, and they just roll those skills and the outcome of those rolls heavily skews the battle. That part is going to be amplified later ... we're thinking like that Civil War documentary when you see the lines of troops and how they moved, and this arrow 'this guy is flanking', that kind of thing, that's what we're hoping to have for a little readout of each battle, but that's not how it works right now. How it works right now is very creepy and it was just because I needed to get something done. So what it does is it has all of the entity population people and it has all the historical figures. It picks one from each side and throws them at each other: so you could have two historical figures thrown at each other in which case it does one of the duels we've already discussed; or it could throw two entity squads at each other in which case it does much the same thing, but the numbers are decreased, it just kills people off; or you can have a historical figure fight a squad. Right now because we're trying to amplify the heroic nature of people they fight a duel against a single guy who might have some bonuses, I don't remember, and if they win then the entire squad dies ... or maybe some of them escape, but they beat the squad of ten ... the squads all have ten I think. So it runs through this until the attack wave is over, and then if the attackers choose to continue they can continue, and the battle is decided when the attacker gives up or the defenders are all dead which is the big flaw right now, it's to the last. Which is also why you can have one hero – because of this duels system – you can have one hero if they've got amplified skills sitting there and shred assembly-line an entire army, if the army continues to attack, they may just break it off, but they might think they don't have to break it off because 'it's just one man!'
Rainseeker:Well you know there are some Biblical accounts of one man driving off entire armies.
Toady:Oh we're all for heroes.
Rainseeker:That is so legit.
Toady:Yeah, just plug the hole in the wall and sit there and hack at them. So ... we're all for heroes and we're going to continue to have heroes, it's just right now it's always like that, and there's no bonus for 'if you have a thousand people against one on an open field' ... it doesn't matter. They still just line up like practically single file and get buzz sawed. So that's all subject to change when we start getting tactics in. Part of the thing is that I am not a well read military historian, and Zach's more well read than I am but I don't think either of us are really comfortable with describing the nuances of what happened in a battle, so we just need to read and that'll take care of itself.
Rainseeker:So what you're saying, eventually, you're planning on having a graphical representation of every battle.
Toady:Yeah right now over on the right it shows the world map and shows where it was during legends mode, whereas what I'd like to have over on the right is probably the local embark, the sixteen by sixteen or whatever area the battle is ranging through – when you're choosing your embark rectangle, that scale of map – and then maybe have four or five different frames from the battle. Like 'first, the soldiers were arrayed this way, and then this group moved to the right and there were many casualties and then this group moved through and then there was a frontal charge, and then they set up an ambush here and the battle was decided.'
Rainseeker:And then Eric the great ...
Toady:Yeah there's always going to be great people. They could take their pet dragon and this army could be eliminated ... all kinds of interesting things going on there, and hopefully that's going to be how it works. What I'm really hoping is that when that kind of display is in that that will also inform or be the same as what goes on when you're actually fighting in dwarf mode with your armies, or in adventure mode when you're with an army. You'll actually be able to move these groups around on that mid-level map when you're deciding a large engagement, and then when there's actual fighting that you're involved in it could zoom in to a small dwarf mode or adventure mode map and you could have a little fight, an actual fight, and then you pop back up and that part of the battle is over and it continues and so on. So it should be really cool, and it's not ...
Rainseeker:Do you anticipate having a way for you to skip past the building of your fortress straight to controlling armies.
Toady:We've talked about that a little bit ... that's start scenarios. There's sort of a question; should you be able to take over the entire dwarven civilization with the press of a button? It's a tricky question in a sense because you don't want to completely destroy the sense of progress that you feel, but at the same time if it's super fun and it's super hard to get to then you should just be given it so that everyone can have super fun. There are all kinds of compromises to explore there; it could be a world generation option, I've done that with some things ... I don't know what people think of that really, but it's a way I've been thinking about handling those things is just to say 'I want a world where I can assume all these roles' so that you never have the temptation of just taking over your whole civilization and killing the guys who were bothering you and then going back to a little fort because you can't do it, because you said when you generated that world that 'I want to be a strict iron mode' or whatever ... 'iron dwarf ... and I'm not going to do any of these wide ranging options'. Whereas another person might be like 'I want the complete sandbox, I want to control all the civilizations at once and just mess around with them', it would be like an arena in the world. I've got no problem with that, it's all super fun ... well will be, hopefully. So that's the issue and I imagine it will come to a head as soon as fighting with armies, like sending them abroad in dwarf mode, is fun; that will be when that is put in, because it would be kind of mean otherwise.
Rainseeker:I want to diverge topics. You mentioned dragon pets earlier. I was playing the other day and I realised something, that my dwarfs really like the idea of the humans getting large eagle pets, because they always make engravings of this. I've never seen engravings of, like, the humans who have tamed the cow or a dragon or something else, it's always large eagles ... giant eagles.
Toady:Yeah ... it's because there's such an obscene amount of villages now, and I believe they travel off to a nearby region, possibly a nearby savage region, to collect their buddies, and so every single village has a warlord, and they're always going off on these little excursions and perhaps it's that mountains or wherever the eagles live are often bordering the places, like they often form the borders of the human civilizations; perhaps that's it. Or perhaps it's just that they are one of the few savage creatures, like giant lions and giant ... whatever. There are not that many of them, it's really one of those deficits in the game.
Rainseeker:'Ach! Urist! The humans! They've tamed these giant eagles!'. 'Ah, that's great! I'm going to make a statue of that right now!'
Toady:Really, if there are three hundred human villages, which might be normal, and you let history run just two hundred years then how many different warlords have you gone through? You've gone through thousands of warlords, all of them probably, like 'I need those eagles!'
Rainseeker:'Eagles, for my village!'
Toady:Yeah, so they can fly around. Why would you tame a giant lion if you can tame a giant eagle and fly around. It's not like baby Scamps or something, it's not safe to play with a giant lion; even if it's playful it'll still hurt you... I need to tone that down a little bit. Well the main thing that's going to be toned down is having a warlord in every single village who's running off and taming giant eagles and bringing them back ... they'll be like 'but can we attach the plough to that?'
Rainseeker:'... I hadn't thought of that'
Toady:They'll be soaring over the fields, like one foot above the fields, pulling the plough ...
Rainseeker:'My lord your giant eagle just ate my donkey!' You'd have a real problem keeping livestock at that point.
Toady:Yeah, those things have to be fed and there's probably more tame giant eagles than humans in these villages. This is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say that site resources are going to destabilise the game, because when it starts trying to feed your eagles all of your horses or all of your cows, and then you can't plough anymore, then your food goes down, then everyone downs and the eagles just go back to the mountains ... it's like mission accomplished.
Rainseeker:'Whatever you do, don't go tame eagles when you grow up'. 'Okay mummy ... but I must have eagles!'
Toady:Yeah, it's going to be grossly destabilising when we add the actual economy to the game, but it should be entertaining. If we have to we'll just put strict controls on certain things ... not the same kind of strict controls that might stagnate the economy or whatever, but just actual magical strict controls that give things where there was once nothing. Hopefully we won't need to do that, and just make the overall situation like there's enough food being farmed ... we're going to have a slightly higher ratio than what they could get away with so that there hopefully won't be quite as many artificial problems and just real famines caused by the game saying there's a drought, or the game doing this, instead of just like 'well, the numbers didn't work out that year because some random crap happened'. Random's good too, but it's going to be really kind of horrifying.
Rainseeker:Is there any way to teach the leaders through these problems, like maybe they have learned that taming giant eagles is bad, and maybe we should eat some of those giant eagles, or maybe we should not do that again, or ...
Toady:There are certain things you can record ... of course there are these advanced AI techniques that a) I don't know and b) might not be practical on this kind of scale, especially if you want to have them learn ... if the game's taking turns in weeks and then they learn over a period of years that something's bad then they don't have a lot of chance to correct. Mostly what it's going to be is us as programmers learning from our mistakes and teaching them coping strategies in advance, but maybe withholding some of those things from them. It would be the same way a technology kind of things works, that eventually you develop good ideas. The economy might work that way too, I've been working through economic history books in preparation for the trade and site resource stuff, and there were these things that were innovative over time, these ideas; ideas like insurance, I don't know if our game should have insurance but it certainly existed before the 1400s if that's our cut-off.
Toady:Yeah, all kinds of stuff. They were just as concerned as we are about losing their money, so they came up with all kinds of things, and it was really complicated. I don't know if we're going to go there or not, I don't want to pin myself to having systems like the Italians had near where our cut-off is, because we kind of decide based on the flavour and the atmosphere of the game as more important. But in a sense for the biggest cities to have that kind of feeling to them, at least in some cultures, of having some things like that going on instead of it all just being Conan-esque, is not really a problem for me so much. We'll see how it turns out, we certainly want a lot of those heroes running around doing things and not having to worry about if their sword is insured.
Rainseeker:Well there've got to be insurance heroes, right? And banking heroes. Heroes that are geniuses, Thomas Edison kind of people. Isaac Newton.
Toady:That's right. You can invent a way to kill a dragon.
Rainseeker:Let's talk about ASCII characters!
Rainseeker: Because your game is ASCII, and ASCII is probably the most fun graphical representation of a game I've ever played. It's definitely old school ... but I think that the complexity of your game totally overwhelms even noticing it's ASCII after a while. Macbeth asked this interesting question; 'As the project gets more complex do you expect that these ASCII character sets won't be able to support the detail you're adding? What are your plans for displaying that information?'
Toady:It's already at that point, if you've seen the elves versus elephants or goblins versus goats or whatever issues come up ...
Rainseeker:'Why are those elephants shooting arrows at me? I don't understand!'
Toady:And there are methods of getting around that to some extent, but eventually you hit a wall. You saw with world generation recently the human sprawl I went with lines and whatever the letter is called (æ) when you put an 'a' and an 'e' together for the hill farms, and eventually your bag runs out of ... bag stuff ...
Toady:There's no more tricks in the bags, no more little characters in the bag. And so then you hit that point where you're like 'do you just go over to a tileset at that point? Do you experiment with Unicode stuff? If you add just a new IBM codepage r256 grid characters or whatever ...' If we add another grid of characters that look promising and just stick with that, that's kind of counterproductive in a way, because once you jump up beyond 256 you're free to move about the country at that point and go up to 65'000 or millions or whatever the rewrite entails. At the same time there's something to be said for the ASCII mode of the game, which I like because I can develop it quickly and I don't have to ... Zach and I drawing is not the same as other people drawing ... or maybe the problem is it's the same as other people drawing who aren't artists. And we can't use other people's tilesets without worrying about legal business, and more so not just legal business but ongoing development; if we've got a tileset then are there release delays when we wait for new pictures, or if a person drawing a tileset bails do we try and find somebody that can draw in the same style as they do, or does it become some kind of hellish hybrid of different art styles. It's difficult when we don't have an employee that we can employ for several years, or a person who will stick with the project. People stick with the project, like Baughn's been helping us for quite a long time, but what happens? If Baughn leaves, I do have some trouble with linux and mac support and so on, and other people can help with that, and I'm not sure graphics is the same way where someone can just step in and do the exact same thing, although artists are talented and there's probably someone who can do that, but I don't know if I can count on that or not. Then there's the legal question, I don't know how to do that properly; I have to make sure I can find someone I can trust who isn't going to lift a glyph from Nintendo without me noticing. So there're a lot of questions, it's not completely ruled out, but there're a lot of questions. The other method would be just to add another 256 characters if I don't just go with some Unicode font or something. And in a sense there's a charm at least with the vanilla, of adding just another 256 characters, because it's an extension that's required, but it still sticks within the same kind of poetic form. But there's going to be like seven people that agree with that assessment and a whole crapload of people that are like 'what the hell are you thinking?' So we're kind of there in a sense ... not super pressing at least, not anymore pressing than adding graphics to the game always was with running out of characters to display the information. But it's certainly already hit that wall in several places, and it's only filling it out more as time goes on.
Rainseeker:Cool. Well, let's take a break and when we come back I think that Capn will be here with Tarn and I will be gone.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Menendez:(musical backing)
Rainseeker:Do you feel like your Dwarf Fortress is too quiet? (background sfx: 'Ach what are you doing you (words)') Are you disappointed with the fact that your dwarfs aren't screaming obscenities at you? (background sfx: (dwarven words?)) Is so, SoundSense is the program for you, come find it on the mod section. (background sfx: 'Your ridiculous decisions are smelling like (words)' 'All my buddies are dead because of you!' 'Yeah, he killed them all with his poor decision making process!' 'Oh, please stop your poor decision making!' 'Ach, they're dead, they're all dead!' 'Oh no my son has died!')
Toady:'I've been lied to!'
Rainseeker:Yes ... So I just played a bunch of these sounds for Tarn and he likes them. Check it out, because it's fun. I've been working with a couple of guys over in the SoundSense mod and they were gracious enough to offer me the chance to record dwarven voices, and of course my fake Scottish accent is in there, so ...
Menendez:(musical backing ends)
Toady:Yeah so ... big adventure mode coming up. [1:00:40]
Capntastic:I'm excited.
Toady:I'm excited too! Hopefully it'll be exciting. There'll be like stuff to do next time ... all kinds of plans, hopefully.
Capntastic:I'm not a role-playing systems guy, but I've been reading about One Roll Engine which is by Greg Stolze who did Unknown Armies, but there's all these supplements for it. It's like a really easy to learn system, and I have the worst time trying to remember role-playing systems, like 'oh, what do I roll for this, what do I roll for this', but with One Roll Engine all you do ... it's the same roll for anything, you just roll the relevant stat and the relevant skill. But anyways one of the core settings for it is Reign, and it takes place on this crazy world where the continents are two human shaped things, and there's all this crazy stuff, and I'm just reading it and like 'oh this would be the best thing for Dwarf Fortress to have', you know, just the fact that everything is really kind of Conan the Barbarian, you've got all these guys and swords and torches and fire arrows and stuff, and then you've got mysterious magic that does all this crazy stuff, and it's very adventurey, is what I'm trying to say, and that's the sort of stuff that's fun.
Toady:Yeah ... it's going to be interesting when we start bending the rules, because we've got more and more and more rules now, but they don't change that often. Like we've got all of those material properties and things now but we don't really go out of our way to change them that much. It'll be intriguing when we're using them enough that you can just change them during the game, like if you go off to some alternate parallel world trapped up in some forest or something, and everything changes about how your materials work and how the gravity projectile numbers work and that kind of thing. Right now gravity projectile numbers means 'go down one square every click' so it's not very impressive, but it's pretty easy to add, doing a little bit better physics with the projectiles isn't that hard. So that stuff can all be changed, and how the flows work ... Even simple, simple stuff like the dragon fire going twice as fast or really slow ...
Capntastic:Huh ... it's just kind of dribbling out of its mouth there.
Toady:It'd be entertaining to dodge through that stuff, because mostly you just get blasted. Well you have a shield and then you don't get blasted and you can kind of just walk right through the poor thing.
Capntastic:Now I'm imaging like a Touhou-style bullet hell game where you're moving your adventurer around a screen full of fire.
Toady:Yeah, it'll be interesting when we make the ruins and dungeons and things ... to see what kind of very interesting things that you can stick in each area ... it's a nice little world unto itself. You could have all kinds of weird things moving around, because you don't need much of an excuse. You've always got the wizard excuse, you've got deranged people doing deranged things, and you can also ... I mean if you just pull demons out of the underworld and they have enough time leading a goblin civilization to build prisons and – I'm not sure what they'd need a tomb for but they might do it – and what other little typical adventurer environments that you have. But just an excuse to do things like that, so that they have a little bit of relevance. It's like you get to the place, there's a little bit of a back-story behind it, but it doesn't need too much of an excuse to exist, but as long as it's got a little bit of an excuse to exist, then we can put it in. Then it's whatever we feel like, and that's going to have to be part of what improving adventure mode is, because going into adventure environments and getting mind boggled by weird challenges is part of the RPG tradition.
Capntastic:Seeing that sort of stuff is fun, where you're like 'oh, I've got to pick the lock' but then you decide 'oh, I have an idea, I'll move this boulder up this ramp here and push it', and I can imagine that in the future Dwarf Fortress will saw 'oh, he's pushing this boulder', it'll see its speed and mass and velocity and physics and it'll count how many physics it has and see if that's enough to break the wall.
Toady:That's right, you're pushing the boulder up the ramp and you have some gunk on the bottom of your shoe, and you slide and that was it for you; and you don't get all those chances, like Sisyphus gets ... constant chances, rolling the ball there, then it rolls back down, but then he gets another try!
Capntastic:No no ... that's not it. I don't think he gets another try, does he? When he pushes it up, he gets to the top and it rolls back down ...
Toady:Does it make it all the way to the top? I'm not familiar with the exact geometry of the situation, I always had the feeling that he was disappointed. But it would be disappointing to lose it once he get it up there too. (aside to Scamps) Hey mister, that's a mechanic pencil, you can't operate it.
Capntastic:Don't be so sure.
Toady:Well he can activate its gravity potential, and that's what he's been trying to do, get it on the floor. He always likes to knock things off of the desk so he can examine them on the floor, or is that just because he gets attention when he knocks things off the desk. He's troubled.
Capntastic:It's interesting, because, like we've talked about the different drives people have in the game, you've got people who play it as a game, people who play it as a fantasy world novel adventure game, and then the people who play it like Legos, they open the box, put them together, make a giant crocodile that breathes magma; it's fun, it's awesome.
Toady:Yeah, it's good that there are different ...
Capntastic:It's the sort of thing where I don't imagine that when you were creating the game originally you'd say 'ah, this is going to appeal to these people, this is what's going to get this audience', it just diverged that way where different people like it for different reasons.
Toady:Certainly different play styles ... The people that stick around stick around for all kinds of different reasons; there are some people that just play legends mode.
Capntastic:Can you make it so ... those people waiting for that to be more literary, so they can just print it out and have a novel to read on the bus, like 'a kobald flayed a dude, and then an elf got him', only you know, more flowery.
Toady:It's one of those things where you can put time into that and you wonder where you're going to reach any kind of threshold where it's satisfying. We always wanted to make legends mode sound better but it's inevitably stayed a list so far, and we mainly just added things like battle maps and stuff like that. But I've been playing a little bit, just a little bit, with combining information into paragraphs and so on with the wounds and to a small extent with the attributes; just packing things in just a little bit and hopefully it'll be able to do that with the historical information. It's a lot easier when you have things like a battle where it knows what kind of events are going to be in there, and they're stored within the battle and then the battle contains sub events, or there's a war and the war contains just a few kind of events like site conquering events, site destructions and battles themselves. And so when it's got that kind of information and it knows what to expect than it can go ahead and write it. And then the embellishments we add can be things that we do the other way around, so that we'd write the description for a war, and then if you want to make it sound a little more literary you think of what kind of details that would imply – it's like the story planning that I do with Zach – and we'd all those kind of details in to flesh it out a bit perhaps. But so far it's just all been going the other way in the legends mode, where we just catalogue things that were already in the game, except for the tortures ... after the battles, that's kind of the first main embellishment we put in ... unfortunate things to make a little more descriptive, because you never find any evidence of that. Although, that might be changing as we get some of the ruin information in there, or being able to go to old battlefields, which is part of the plans. Then you'd be able to see some of the horrifying things that happened, like if you've got those grotesque sculptures, maybe those are still hanging together as bones on one of the sites. But then it might come alive, and kind of shamble towards you ...
Capntastic:No, that's just the wind.
Toady:Yeah, it just rattles like a wind chime ... No going out at night in adventure mode, hopefully. It'd be good not to go out at night, you get surrounded by spirits and eaten.
Capntastic:Plus it's cold, and if it's cold it's like 'oh, you're cold, your hands start to shiver'.
Toady:Yeah ... there's not a lot you can do about that now. You could cover yourself with sharp rocks and pieces of meat, with intestines to hold them all together ...
Capntastic:Use sinew ... 'You make rock and sinew hat. Body heat plus one'
Toady:We're working on it. It's one of those things where I want to get to making it so that you can do kill things again, because obviously the ability to do that has been degraded over a series of releases to the point now where mostly they just tell you to kill their own leader or whatever. So fixing that up's a priority, but you always want to augment the little crafting abilities we started up, because there's such a lack of things you can do right now, just like 'okay, sure, get a rock' ... 'butcher the body' ... and that's about it. At least being able to make some crappy clothes for yourself and a spear ... We're also going to – at least in the market towns – get some places to buy things back, regardless of how they aren't backed up by the whole caravan arc thing, just get them back so that you can ... In a sense it's a little bit disappointing just to have to return a little bit to the typical RPG structure of killing things and upgrading equipment, but it's a starting point, and we have to get back to that after the villages obliterated everything. But it should include some of the things like the start of night creatures and so on, to add a little bit of diversity, and also having some soft targets like simple groups of goblins and bandits and things that have been driven out of their own larger civilization so that you don't just have to stage suicide attacks on goblin towers.
Capntastic:So what sort of cool stuff is going to be added to the Dwarf Fortress economy? I can't wait for the caravan arc where it's like 'oh, buy my spices, I'll trade you spices for silks'.
Toady:The economy is, I think, the next major thing where we're like 'well, we don't know if this is going to take a month or not', so that's why we're not doing it in October. October is about the repair of adventure mode, the funification. It's partially just for our own enthusiasm about working on, because it's a little more fun to work on something when you can take a little bit of time out to just play it a little bit, you can't really do that with the current adventure mode. But hopefully we'll end up with something this month in October that you would at least be able to sit down and play it for a while. It's not going to be possible to make something that you'd sit down and play for as long as people play dwarf mode, just because it takes a while to add in mechanics and so on, but hopefully something that you can sit down and play with for a while. Then it'll be easier to say 'okay, we're taking some time out again to revamp the entire economy'. And of course there's going to be bug fixing and things for dwarf mode in there as well. If we make it unsafe to travel at night then we're definitely going to have to put in the fast sleep button which should be good ... the current sleep button where you press it and it just presses 'wait', the period button, for you, like eight thousand times, and you watch the z's slowly move across the screen.
Capntastic:I was so confused when that first happened, I was like 'did the game break? What did I do?'
Toady:It's like 'we do not want to interfere with the integrity of the simulation, so here you go, you can sit and sleep for five minutes while it finishes up keeping track of how everyone's staying in their cottages and doing nothing'. But yeah ... there are going to be problems with that eventually, even now if you set a fire and then you press the fast sleep button then the fire won't have moved after eight hours, but it's a small price to pay and we'll work on that stuff over time. Kind of the same problem as abandoning a fort and then reclaiming it while you've got water moving around, but it's not a big deal. We're just going to let you sleep quickly, and obviously going to have to put in some combat fixes, like fixing up the wrestling interface and allowing you to aim some of your shots, that kind of thing. With aimed shots we have to do those attack opportunities where it randomises the success of thing and actually displays how well you think a shot might go based on some random stuff, and as we put in more there'll be more there but just to start with it'd be a random number, just so that it's not like 'headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot, headshot' because that's the most effective use of your time; sometimes it shouldn't be. So we'll probably put that in because that'd be really fast to add, but we're not going to change the combat until we actually have you going off and fighting some things again, because there's no point. But hopefully that'll happen within a few days anyway, so we'll be able to get some more done. And if it's two weeks, two weeks is going to be a long time, so I'm hoping to get quite a bit done, hoping to make a little bit interesting, even if I'm mostly just trying to reclaim pre-existing aspects of the game at first. But we're going to do more with not having to go out and hunt down quest givers in such an annoying way. It's like if there's some creature haunting a town or some bandits harassing travellers then every peasant is going to know about it. Except maybe the one year olds and even they'll probably know at first ... So you could take a quest in that sense, loosely defined, on behalf of the town and I'm not quite sure what the standards of proof here are, if you're just going to have to bring back a bunch of ears or some stolen property that the bandits or whoever might have taken ... bringing back proof of having killed a troll is easier than for bandits, because trolls have big ears ... if they have ears at all, I don't remember, I think they have ears. But if they've got big giant double-fist sized ears then people will be like 'oh yeah, he probably killed the troll or at least he made it really angry', and as long as the troll doesn't come and destroy the town that night then you'll receive the recognition of the town which in terms of how we're going to do things now I believe it'll probably be the ability to more easily get a peasant to let you sleep in his house which might be important if you're going to get dragged into the woods if you're outside, and the ability to get more important tasks from more important people who might ignore you at first ... and perhaps a place to stay and a place to store some equipment at first. Just some simple stuff, it's not like we want to wed ourselves to anything too complicated yet ... placeholdery at this point, because we're just trying to reclaim enough of a fun experience to springboard off into what we want to do, and make adventure mode feel like it has a reason to exist. So if we can't reward you with equipment that's incrementally improving at least we can do some things. Although there's room to move with the equipment, even without worrying about having itemised lists of magical powers that you mix and match in different combinations until you're happy; I don't think we ever want it to go that way. But there is, from dwarf mode, the quality of the object's material, and the craft quality of an object, and getting something like an exceptional steel longsword should be really hard. If an item like that represents a year's income for somebody or more then it should be that hard to get, you can't just go into a shop and be like 'I will pay fifty dwarf bucks for this super sword you've just got laying around', it should be a little harder to get anyway. Slowing down the rate at which you get good equipment can make the game last longer, so we'll meter that a bit even if it's ultimately really simple right now. Of course bandits and goblins can be in possession of some stuff, and caves can have crap in them from the dawn of time ... So there'll be a bit to do, even if we spend two weeks I think we can get just up to the point where we can feel like it's okay to specialise again, improving the hero role or adding the caravan stuff; adding more crafting and building your own house and that kind of thing. Because that stuff, it's all ... A lot of what we did with the village was to allow you to have the frame work to build your own house and that kind of thing. We want to set the tone, I guess, for adventure mode with some simple things like what I was just talking about. Killing things, buying thing, making people like you, and one thing I forget if I mentioned or not, as you improve your reputation by helping out villages then you might be able to take more people with you based on your reputation. And then you could go fight larger groups of bandits, or goblins in little forts and things; we're hoping to put all that in within this timeframe. Just to set that kind of tone for the game and then go back and do some of those things that I've been laying the groundwork for, because I think if it's all about making houses and raising chickens without bringing the other stuff back then ... I don't want to establish that as the adventure mode, that should be called something else. We want you to be able to do that stuff, but not the very first thing we work on when we're making adventure mode fun. Hopefully this plan will work out ... I have the dev pages up there and in a sense I just want to work from top to bottom of them, or at least within the adventure mode and dwarf mode, working from top to bottom in either of those, but it didn't feel like it was going to work out that well. It took so long to get these villages up, it took a month or more, and it just feels like I've got to pick and choose a few things for adventure mode to justify itself more, and then go back and start filling in the other things. So it'd certainly be better to be able to have your own house when you have some goblin heads to put in it again, to decorate; right now there's just not a lot there. That's the idea, anyway ... if people are in it for the long haul it doesn't matter that much, because we're going to get to the stuff on the dev page sooner or later, but just wanted to get started, and felt like getting that kind of thing back in.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:You could raise the chickens and train them to fight.
Toady:Yeah ... Or at least have a horse or something, sure. That's going to be the thing; as soon as you can buy your first chickens, living chickens, not dead chickens, and bring them back to your place you're not restricted to bringing them back to your place, you can bring them anywhere with you. These things will just happen naturally, the second you can buy livestock then you can go on livestock adventures, and have a livestock party, and name your chickens. I don't know what would happen if ... Because they are creatures in the game, which means depending on how mechanics like giving people equipment and stuff work, then maybe you'd be able to give your chickens things ... like put a necklace around your chicken's neck ... I don't know, that kind of thing will be happening ... I mean certainly cow bells, people put bells on cows. They don't put bells on chickens, I guess they don't care that much about the chickens. But there are lots of reasonable things and unreasonable things that are going to be going on once we can move livestock around. It will be exciting when you can get that stuff done. So ultimately I guess this October release is going to be incredibly disappointing for people that were waiting for chickens. But we're getting to chickens, we have cows and camels and we have mules and ... well there's not a whole lot more that we have ... and cats and dogs, but not too much else. So I can see why people are disappointed. The reason chickens never got added in is because I was always insisting on doing eggs right and doing feathers right. Now we can do feathers, we have feathers in the game, we have feathers for forgotten beasts and birds ... in a sense, there's no individual feather that you can get, but the material is in, the feather material. So we can do that part of chickens, and we still just need to do eggs. Of course eggs are really important, because of dragon eggs and chicken eggs, and any other egg that you might imagine, but I guess those are the most important. Fish eggs, people eat fish eggs ... not sure what other eggs, there's all kinds of important eggs in the universe but ... The egg. I still haven't really ... it's the kind of thing that I don't feel like I need to think about until the day I'm going to do it. I haven't thought about chicken eggs that much, like what are the raws going to look like for chicken eggs and the chicken egg object, like an egg object ... There are different kinds of eggs; there are eggs that are kind of jelly eggs, and eggs that have hard shells, eggs come in different sizes and colours, and eggs have different materials associated to them, there's the eggshell for the hard eggs especially and the yolk and the white of the egg, at least for the birds. The egg might as well be composed of the different materials and then you'd have an egg, but having eggs hatch, so you have an item that turns into a creature ... Then there's the further question of, in the raws, how generalisable should that be, is it like 'this creature gives birth to this item'; that's their form of reproduction, that it lays an item ... It's not going to work unless the item actually turns into a creature, so only the eggs item will likely matter here for that, if you lay a chair then it's not going to make more of the creature out of the chair after a period of time if you sit in the chair as if it were a nest. Eggs are doable, just have an item with a little timer on it that turns into a critter, maybe leaves the shell behind and then you'll end up with your chicken farm with all these annoying shells all over the place, then you'll have chickens, and eggs, and you can throw eggs, and eat eggs, and raise more chickens.
Capntastic:A never-ending cycle.
Toady:It is. It'll be chickenful. I don't know how you bring your chickens back, you don't herd your chickens back I imagine, you put them in little baskets ...
Capntastic:You put one under each arm.
Toady:You can carry your chickens, that's true. You might not to bring a chicken basket. It wouldn't be a wooden chicken cage, it'd be some kind of chicken cage, some kind of woven baskety open chicken cage. What are those, reeds, or something? What do they make those out of.
Capntastic:Reeds probably.
Toady:I can see it in my head but I have no idea what it's actually made out of.
Capntastic:Sticks ...
Toady:A chicken basket. You can bring your chickens ... because if you've got a chicken basket then you can haul your chickens around and release your chickens at any time. I imagine that would work as a diversion, if you're attacking the bandits you could bring your chickens and then release your chickens and they might have a hostile reaction toward your chickens which will allow you to sneak in and take some things. Recovering your chickens might be hard, though, so you'd want to take at least enough to buy your chickens back. We've talked about all the bandit camps and reputations and critters roaming around, you're going to have trolls, like Bad Bob the troll, we're going to give them little nicknames, and they're little monsters jumping around causing trouble for people. It'd probably take too long, with the funification procedure which I'm hoping not to get stalled on anything, it'd probably take too long to have them actually sent out to cause trouble in the towns, rather than just allowing them to do bad things in world generation and then going off to kill them in stasis. After world generation they don't have active lies anymore, just for this first one, but they can still have little names, and the guys can talk about what they did bad during world generation, and then you can go find them in their little dugout burrows with all the skulls of their world generation victims and incidental treasures, I suppose. We would like to make the caves look a little creepier, especially the places where the night creatures are living; make them somewhat horrifying.
Capntastic:There needs to be glowing fungus, and bats, and all of that ... spider webs. Once you get those three things in, everything else is just icing on the cake.
Toady:That's right, like skulls on sticks and spooky voices talking to you.
Capntastic:And monsters with lairs: 'oh, you find a pile of rocks, it's a monster nest'
Toady:Well I guess ... ever since ... I don't know if it was The Ring that started this or what, but scary little girls are popular again. We had The Exorcist before, but now we've got The Ring and now there's all these ... there was F.E.A.R., the video game, and there's a new vampire movie with another scary little girl in it. There's lots of scary little girls in movies now, so we could always just put one in the cave, it just appears. It's terrifying, terrifying. Or maybe we won't do that. It'll be alright, there'll be some things to cover for it halfway, like all kinds of bodies and cobwebs and bats and things, and howling wind ... in night time you can't see that far in Dwarf Fortress so it'll be scary. And then the thing can jump out, jump out, jump out.
Toady:You'll be like, 'it's Bad Bob!' Then I guess you have a boxing match or something, and use the new aimed attacks and try and poke out Bad Bob's poor little face and bring it back to show people, you're like 'This is Bad Bob ...'
Capntastic:He puts up his arms and blocks.
Toady:That's right, defensive wounds, defensive wounds on the arms. Because you just came to his house to kill him. You just have evidence that he did something wrong in world generation but you don't actually catch him in the act or anything. But he'll get defensive wounds on his arms, and then eventually I imagine you'll get an attack in or he'll just box you in the head or something, and you'll fly against the tree and blow apart into five pieces. So it should be entertaining, again, if it ever was. And like we were saying we're going to add a few of the combat improvements to help that along. I know we have a ton plan there but we'll just get the simple ones in now, and have you fighting the night creatures. The bandits we were hoping to ... if there's just two or three then they'd probably just be living out either in one of the ruins or in just a little cottage or something, out in the woods, and people would just be able to tell you where that is for now. There's a whole tracking thing we want to do, but if I feel like tracking's going to bog me down, I'm going to just have you know where they are once you know that you're supposed to do something about it. So just a few goblins or bandits or something might either have a cottage or just be hanging out in the woods, but if there's a larger group – like as your reputation improves and you're allowed to take five or six people with you – then they might have little things like doing the sneaking stuff and the patrol patterns and being able to alert their buddies so that you have to think a little bit about what you're doing when you attack one of the larger hideouts. So hopefully we'll be able to get to that stuff without getting bogged down again, and just check off a whole bunch of things. That was one of our angles: there's the night creature angle, there's the bandit hideout angle, and then there's the cave angle; tombs and ancient prisons, large ruined castles and things for you to run around in, because doing some improvements there would be easy too. It just has to have a fun payoff now, we're looking to reach a certain threshold of fun and whatever makes the cut makes the cut. There're going to be castles, I guess castles are castles, big castles ... and not like the castle we used to have. We had the square castle, occasionally it would stand on stilts ... because you have a choice with the hilly terrain, you can either dig it in or you pile dirt beneath it. That's what I do now, but what I used to do, instead of piling dirt beneath it, was just make a big stilt come down from the corner. It's always the safest, I think, for a defensive structure like a castle to put a stilt under one of the corners to support its weight ... So we'll have to do better, we'll have to do better than that. We're making ... I think one of the generators we might afford to sink a little time into this two weeks would be a little castle generator, just to get a feel for how that stuff's going to work, and to give important people a place to be important at so you can get your important tasks, and you can get some people from there. If you have a high reputation and the king asks you to go kill a bronze colossus or something, you might pick out some people from the castle to go die with you. That's probably going to be the peak of the adventure mode release, taking a bunch of guys to go out and fight a megabeast, or to fight a really large bandit encampment. There's things like being able to fight another town, but that's the advanced stuff that we're actually hoping to get to, when you can change the political situation of the world by, for instance, conquering a neighbouring minor lord for your guy, and then replacing the person you took out and being either independent or a vassal of the previous guy you were working for. So, you can suddenly have control over a larger section of the world, and change how the world worked. But for now changing how the world works just means removing people from it. There are fewer people in the world. That's what adventurers do; depopulate areas. We're still working towards actually respecting the dreams of our forefathers; making the game world a little more dynamic. The villagers dropped a bomb on that and we'll need to repair first. It'll be good though, it'll be good.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Toady:Now the night creatures require a lot of ... to do them properly require a lot of special framework that's half like magic, to get the creepiest parts of the night creatures in. But at the same time we might still do some of the random generation there for things – like if you wanted to have a night hag type creature that goes and kidnaps and skins your children or whatever the example was I gave before, with long iron fingernails and one eye – then that's like using the forgotten beast generator, and using that to make a kind of creature that's going to be almost exclusively humanoid and a little bit larger, and that would be a type of night creature generator, just to get started. Then you can give them the 'can only killed by iron', or 'can enslave people with its mine', or 'bites people and turns them into more of itself' or that kind of thing. That sort of stuff is a little harder to do, just because it requires some kind of framework for supernatural abilities, unless we just hardcode more; like the fire breath is hardcoded, or the material breath is hardcoded. We can either add just a few more hardcoded tags, or poison effects, or whatever, or we can just leave it with troll-type night creatures which are just big things that are bad that don't have supernatural powers necessarily, or supernatural weaknesses, like weakness to iron or dying in the sun or not liking to see a mirror or whatever it might be, that you will have to use later as we enhance night creatures. But that'll probably be the next style of randomly generated beast to go in, and it will go in immediately it's just ... it's kind of like sticking a forgotten beast on the surface and not making it look so goofy.
Capntastic:Yeah ... 'it has a big feathery trunk'.
Toady:Yeah ... Those work as creepy things underground, that just kind of slither up at you, but having it be the thing that comes out of the woods and kidnap your children ... Well, it'd be like Monsters, Inc. then I guess, just these weird things ... and that's not quite what we were going for with night creatures. It's not like that's not a valid way to do things, maybe there'd be a new world generation parameter, like 'the levity of your world' ... all of my night creatures are pink furry things with big feathered trunks that kidnap any children ...
Capntastic:Takes the kids away to a magical fairyland where they get all the cake they can add.
Toady:That's right, we can finally add in roller coasters and stuff.
Toady:And tea parties. Tea, and tea parties. And dolls. Then all the night creatures would have to have 'Mr' or 'Mrs' in front of their name, like 'Mr Bad Bob'. Mr Bad Bob the night creature with his top hat. It's not like there isn't going to be potential, but at first it's just going to be the same old negativity. We were thinking of having – in places that are magical and dangerous, where you don't want to be out at night, if you get attacked by some creatures that come out and attack because you're walking the road at the wrong time – then you'd kill them, it's not like you can go to the peasants with pieces of their dead bodies and be like 'look what I killed!' They're like 'well you're an idiot, you were out at night. They weren't harassing us or anything, except when we're idiots and go out at night and they're just going to reform from rotten logs later, so don't waste your time'. They should probably warn you about that stuff in advance, though.
Capntastic:Yeah. Freaks come out at night.
Toady:That's right. So there'll be certain creatures though, like the night creature troll type things that are ... now when I saw night creature troll type things I don't mean to put down night creatures, or to say that they're going to be very limited, but our original night creatures are going to be limited and more just like trolls ... but when you have the night creature troll type things then those are the types of things where the peasants know that their threat level has gone down significantly when you kill them, where it's not just like the typical things that might be plaguing them in some particularly supernatural area; although I'm not sure those guys will care too much if you kill their troll. If they're already being dragged off by living shadows every night, it's like 'yeah, you killed our troll, so what? Why don't you stab your sword in the dark heart that lives in the center of the evil woods, that'll make us happier.' I'm not even sure if you'll be able to clear out everything, like places that are just inherently dangerous, like that. It might be that you need to ... it's more of a dwarf mode thing, or more of an advanced adventurer mode thing where you go and have that place deforested; just settle the whole place and eventually the magic dies. Then once you kill off your world you'll just be playing intriguing adventure mode human stuff instead of going off and killing night creatures. Although, night creatures are basically the only type of thing that can survive the settlement of the world, because you still have ... in completely settled areas you can still have things like ghosts and zombies and vampires and things. Those things spring up from civilization rather than existing before it got there, because they rely a lot on the dead, so ...
Capntastic:Everything's connected.
Toady:That's right, there's a big chain of being and undead and stuff. The circle of life ... and death ... and undeath. Where does undeath fit into the circle of life? Is it just a longer detour or something? It'll be intriguing. Bring back some of the world generation corpses and have them torment their cities and you have to deal with it. They can talk about their poor father that's been raised from the dead and has been eating chickens. It's like 'yeah, Pa's been coming out of the woods to eat our chickens, we're afraid something worse is going to happen. He's been clawing at our door every night, asking to be invited in.'
Capntastic:'It's cold!'
Toady:'It's cold and I've been out here eating your chickens. Why don't you let me in and have some real food.' But he's a zombie, so you might have to deal with that. They might want you to deal with it delicately, just give him a proper burial or something ... You have to go around naming unnamed children's ghosts that are flitting around everywhere, walk through the town shouting names at all the ghosts, then they go to bed. You never know what sort of strangeness will be upcoming. I did want to mention, because there have been like five people in the past two weeks who are like 'Wow! I didn't realise when I donated I get a reward!' I guess it's worth mentioning that Zach'll write you a little story if you want, or you can have us draw a crayon picture and send it to you. You can also get listed on the Hall of Champions with your own little picture and name and quote; you can use a nickname if you want. Those are the rewards currently available for donating, and I thought I'd mention that because so many people seem shocked!
Capntastic:I have two framed images from the brothers Adams.
Toady:High quality artwork.
Capntastic:One of them is a dwarf trying to feed a leg of lamb to an elf, and the elf is making a plaintive gesture. I guess now is the time when we say goodbye ...
Toady:That's right, so from all of us here in Dwarf Fortress Talk land to all of you out there in Dwarf Fortress Talk listener land ...
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Toady:Alright I'm going to dislodge this animal ... Disloooodge ... place you here. Now I can see my taskbar.

Toady:Aah! Ahaha! Blood! Witness the blood! Aha-owww. (singing) There's rivers of blood/flowing from my thumb/Little baby Scamps/is a violent one.

Capntastic:Do you have chickens now man?
Toady:Yeah. Chickens. And enlarged chickens. I guess it's kind of obligatory that we put giant chickens in the game, we have some other giant animals, you can have giant chickens. We need a Night of the Lepus or whatever the rabbit movie with giant rabbits ... giant chickens. And we'll have giant pigs. First we'll need regular pigs. The pig is a more shameful omission, because I have my excuse with feathers and eggs, but I'm not sure what my excuse ... Can just add a pig. We have mountain goats, but I don't know that we have regular goats, seems like we don't.
Capntastic:Do you have sheep?
Toady:I think my excuse there was wool, I have more of an excuse there. But the pig doesn't have an excuse.
Capntastic:Gotta have it.
Toady:Gotta have pigs. Doesn't every mod also just incidentally do the pig?
Capntastic:Yeah, it's like 'yep, and a free pig'.
Toady:Yeah, because the pig is ... To my eternal shame until I add pigs, and then my eternal shame will be over, and I will have redeemed myself somewhat, although the pain might linger, of not having pigs for all these years. I don't know if I can make that up to people, I guess it depends on their position on ... do we forgive and forget, or do we forgive but not forget that there were no pigs in the game for four years? I'm saying four years, but we're already past four years now, right? It's four years and a month that we've had no pigs, almost coming up on two months; no pigs.

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

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

Bonus section

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

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

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

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

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.

Dwarf Fortress Talk #13, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

    Adventurer impact
    Attacks and battle damage
    Resource scarcity
    Adventuring potential
        Adventure mode merchants
    Government types
    Grass growth
    Fortress trading

Rainseeker:Hey, welcome back to another episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk! We are here with myself, Nathan Miller also known as Rainseeker, and across from me is Capntastic, he's almost like he's in the room with me ...
Capntastic:How's it going?
Rainseeker:... and also our illustrious leader Tarn Adams, also known as Toady One.
Toady:Toaaaady One!
Rainseeker:And next to Tarn Adams is his cat ...
Toady:Actually Scamps has an unknown location right now, so he's going to be prowling and clawing me at his will ... I'm kind of worried now, I don't see him.
Capntastic:It's the anticipation that really makes it interesting.

Rainseeker:So, we are going to be talking today about cities and the nature of cities in the game, including how they impact fortress mode, and how they're going to be handled for adventure mode. I think they're mostly there to make adventure mode more colorful, am I not correct?
Toady:Well, there's a lot of stuff going on there ... I'm going to add a lot to do in adventure mode. There are going to be places where you can conceivably hang out for your entire game eventually, doing all sorts of things, so they should end up being really important overall, just like that were and are today.
Capntastic:Things to do, people to see.
Toady:That's right, there's peoples everywhere, thousands and thousands of little peoples.

Rainseeker:So what we're looking at here - and if you guys have seen on the website we have some pictures of what these cities are going to look like, and that's on the dev page, correct?
Toady:Yeah that's right, bay12games.com/dwarves, the main Dwarf Fortress page has the latest pictures and by the time this recording comes out there should be even more pictures.
Rainseeker:So you can check them out as we're talking about it. So now what we're looking at is an overview of the city. If you're looking at you'll see there are a number of pre-made buildings and usually there's a river, possibly going through it and what is happening here Tarn, how is this thing being generated?
Toady:Well, right now it places the centre of the town, it just picks out a spot and spreads out buildings from there respecting whatever wall or keep it's decided to put down, and it spreads ... It sometimes goes over the water... It fills out the entire area, the idea is that the vast majority of these cities were formerly agricultural and would have had those old manor-style maps that we had before, but they've got a market now and are now the central hub for at least the surrounding villages that get linked to them. So you've got these maps ... The oldest maps, the ones that are currently posted as of the recording don't have market squares or anything, so you don't actually get to see the market at this point but presumably those will be ready before long. Because of how it has to integrate the city grid with the cities it doesn't really have the same former-manor structure that it once did, although for the parts that are still agricultural that could return or not, depending on the timetable. But basically you have denser city buildings growing out from some central point and taking over some portion of the formerly agricultural area. So the cities are always the same basic size in terms of the overall area that's considered part of that city, it's just the percentage that's town and the percentage that's agricultural is varied based on the population, pretty much. That's why they always have the same overall shape, it's because all the villages have the same overall shape too, nothing's really changed about that.

Capntastic:What can you tell us about the people that currently live in these places? Do cities have populations yet?
Toady:Right now during world generation ... We kind of stopped the caravan arc part way through and then did the first release and then did some bugfixing, but as of then world generation had assigned a bunch of professions and all of the villages would just have people that were doing farming, mining, and various agricultural related work, they'd butcher the animals on occasion and so on but nothing like ... you wouldn't just get a bunch of silversmiths placed in the random villages that were there. But when a market springs up it looks at the resources that are available from the villages, whether that's ore or leather or ... Ow! (to Scamps) what is this cat ... He just snuck up behind and did the claws like usual, and now he's getting his belly rubbings ... So once you have a market - and there's a market from the very beginning, from your one or two or three or whatever there'll be a market location selected for the beginning villages, and that's where it centers all of the secondary craftwork. So you have all of the ore and things being brought to that town and you have the professions springing up, the ones that can spring up around there, and every village and town has a list of needs based on the population and the items that are currently stored - it stores all of the items numerically now - and so if people have a desire for beds or weapons or crafts of various kinds they'll start to use the resources they have and they'll also look at the neighboring markets that they link up with and see what needs they have, and basically build the things that they're best at building using the resources they have. That starts to create profession counts in the towns and specialty counts in the towns so it keeps track of how long they've been doing a given thing and how many people are doing it. So you get some specialization and the remainder of the town doing the other jobs that need doing. In the end you have a numerical breakdown of the population of the town by profession, so we have for a given town up there that might have a thousand or two thousand people or whatever, you'll have a specific breakdown of all of the professions and those are used - or going to be used depending on where we're at when this is released - to populate the buildings with workshops and so on, to reflect who lives in the city during world generation.

Rainseeker:So do you have plans to allow the cities to grow organically over the course of world generation, and is that going to continue on into adventure mode?
Toady:So city growth right now during world generation ... It does not have the specific city map set aside during world generation because it takes a certain amount of time to generate one of these maps and it would slow down world generation a bit to have the specific locations of every building tracked and it would also be pretty memory intensive. So right now what it does is it numerically tracks the buildings and things, so it knows how much is there, but it doesn't know specifically where it's location or how many streets there are and the exact shape of the road network and everything. It just knows what's there and those numbers increase or decrease depending on what's going on. Once world generation ends then it has that information ready to create a map of a city, so that when you go to the city for the first time it will then generate a map based on that information. So there's still an opportunity for the appearance of organic growth there because it has historical information and it has population variation over time and it can keep track of how many ... It doesn't currently keep track of when every building was built but doing that to some extent would be feasible, in which case you could do a bit of organic growth for the time during world generation.

After world generation it's basically the same story. You have nothing happening right now changing in the towns, and the timeline for that is not really well known, we'll see when we get to it ... I think it was release 5, I'm going to go and check now ... there was a release there that really gets at the dynamic of the situation; right now we're just trying to get things to show up at all, so you have to be a bit patient with what we've got. Release 5: changing populations, food use and other world generation stuff moved to actual play; that entire release is basically dedicated toward making the situation more dynamic in the cities. So if people moved to a town then that needs to be reflected in the growth of the town, even if you've visited the town before; if you've visited a town and it had a population of one thousand and you play the game for twenty in-game years ... that would be a lengthy series of adventure mode games but it's not just adventure mode games being played, it's fortress mode games which pass the years quite quickly ... and so you can end up with a town, you know if its population changes from one thousand to two thousand and you've already visited the town in adventure mode then you would have a map for that town and that map would need to be updated, so basically it would need to take a summary of changes - it can't keep track of anything - but a summary of changes, and continue to create the city, basically, and more or less tear up farm land and extend the map outward. So the extent to which that's possible with, say, five hundred years of world generation history ... It's not something I'm doing right now as various people have noted, about these maps, and I don't have all the information stored that I need but it's certainly a feasible thing that shouldn't be too difficult overall.
Ollieh:(interlude music)

Rainseeker:So what would happen if your adventurer, say, went into town and slaughtered all the innocent civilians and then you started a new game and came in to that same town would it regenerate with fewer buildings or would they keep the buildings and just have a small population?
Toady:How many of the civilians are innocent, you know?
Rainseeker:None of them!
Toady:Once we get to release 5 that's when the wholesale occurrence of adventurer antics is going to have a real impact on how the city survives. If you go there and kill all of the silversmiths then that's going to kill the silver industry in that town, and that's going to affect trade. People have been looking at how fragile the relationships right now are in world generation, when you have these insane boom/bust cycles where you just have thousands of people disappearing or growing back up based on a given industry failing or not working out properly or just because the game is very sensitive and not very smart; at this point especially. It would impact the whole world because if the silver trade was the only way that the surplus in another town was getting traded as well then that town would also become impoverished because they'd have a bunch of goods they couldn't move anymore, and then everyone would begin to suffer. That's what we're going for with release 5 ... Release 4 has merchants moving around on the map and that should start to get the goods to flow but the impacts come in release 5, and by that time your antics should have real meaning. Until then you're just going to be hanging out at bars and drinking and stuff ... and kind of wandering around town causing trouble to no real end, but it'll have an impact at that time, that's what we're hoping for, that's kind of the whole goal of that release.

Capntastic:How will cities respond to attacks by either goblin hordes or megabeasts, will there be battle damage?
Toady:That's army arc stuff, so this is ... we're talking about further down the line after the nine releases that have been scheduled, then we're jumping into the army arc, and yeah, these cities are sitting here waiting to be destroyed, basically, by people willing to go through and do the hard work, so ... There are a couple of scenarios that will have to be handled in the army arc. There's the player attacking with a dwarven army, attacking a city like this ... so you'd have essentially those maps I've posted ... it can't have the whole thing loaded at once because the maps I've posted are generally seventeen by seventeen embarks and that would be a memory problem just by itself before you even think about the speed ... but you'd have the embark level map or a slightly zoomed in version of that and you'd be able to tactically order your guys around. You can basically imagine those maps you're looking at ASCIIfied, and then having your soldiers laid out and then do a Ken Burns The Civil War thing with them, where you've got your armies moving around, the bars of armies and they would be somewhere and you'd be somewhere else, and then your guys would move and their guys would do whatever and eventually you'd be into the buildings and the buildings would possibly suffer for it. In the biggest cities I think there are around twenty five hundred buildings and just tallying ... there's only going to be a few cities that size in the whole world, and when it comes to tallying damage on twenty five hundred structures that's just a drop in the memory bucket. If you were going to do four bytes per building that's ten thousand bytes, and I think a dwarf is bigger than that, so it's not a big deal to tally the complete destruction specifically of each building as it's razed, if you're going through doing that kind of thing to the town.

So there's the dwarf version and then there's the abstract version which in the end is probably going to be the one that looks the least satisfying, when just some town across the world where you haven't been yet has been attacked and fifty percent of it has been destroyed by some goblin rampaging army or a megabeast, and then you go to that city and it has to sort of simulate fifty percent damage on the city. So it'll just pick out buildings, maybe choose a direction of attack and choose how the fire spread or whatever and blow up a bunch of buildings, and then rebuild on top of that. And then there's the other type of thing that it'll need to handle, which is if you're an adventurer in a city at the time that it's being attacked. Then it's going to need to be able to deal with your moving frame of reference versus where the attacking armies are and also what are all the civilians doing. It's quite similar to how the dwarf mode version would work though, if you're not just on a tactical map but if you're zooming into specific battles that you want to watch in dwarf mode; like if you want to zoom in on the gate when it's being attacked, or zoom in on one quarter of the city when it's being attacked and actually watch what's happening. Then you have to deal with the same stuff which is, you know, you've got maybe two or three hundred civilians loaded in addition to whatever armies are in that area. The civilians are going to have to be pretty brain-dead to have that continue to run at a proper speed but they would be able to follow mass paths out of there. It's way easier to do fast pathing on a city with roads and so on, and if there are blockages then they might just get stuck in dead ends and burned to death or whatever, and that's just going to be part of ...
Rainseeker:Part of the fun.
Toady:If you want to call it that, that's what it is. I'm basically always going to be extra mindful of the speed concerns that come with having cities with large populations, and there's basically going to be a lot of people hanging out in their houses, and a lot of people walking along roads, and that's not bad, because that's what happens in cities, so I think we'll end up in good shape. The vast majority of the people aren't going to be loaded at a given time so it's pretty easy to keep it under control, I think, as long as the cities don't get larger than they are now. But even if they do ... you could have a world spanning city, it just doesn't have all the people loaded.
Rainseeker:That would be actually kind of spooky.
Toady:Yeah, it could be kind of like a Trantor thing where you pave the whole thing with steel and have people wandering around on it ...

Rainseeker:Alright so what's going to happen to a city that runs out of the main resource that it uses. Is that going to be possible?
Toady:Yeah, I guess so, especially if it relies on trade rather than ... I don't know how we're going to do exhausting mines, we're going to get further into that in release 2 when we do mines and specific mine maps and improve the geology at bit ... but especially if you're just relying on some other city for trade, like if you get all of your ore from another city or basically another trading bloc - so it's got its villages supplying it with ore and then you trade the ore for something else so that your guys can work - then if that route is cut off by war or whatever then you get the typical problems you have when that kind of thing happens: a bunch of people can't work and then, you know, trouble. Lots of trouble. I guess until we make them smarter they just starve to death, as of release 5 like we were talking about. When they actually have to make ends meet then they'll be in a lot of trouble and you basically have ... the population would riot or disperse or you'd have people moving east, moving west, moving north, moving south.
Rainseeker:You get them moving out, or stealing food ...
Toady:Well the town could be looted before their leave but they can't stay forever, you can't support a population that isn't being fed. It should be intriguing, release 5 is really going to be the one - and that's why I've set aside release 5 just for this kind of thing - that's going to test how resilient the models actually end up being. It's really testing the whole premise of the game, basically, that you can have systems like this that don't totally fall apart, or they only fall apart when they should, more or less. It's something that I can't say how it's going to turn out, there are too many moving parts to know if it's going to work or not, and I hope it works because that's kind of the whole thing we've been aiming at for years is release 5, more or less. Is the world actually going to survive being alive?
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Capntastic:Alright, so, we have cities, and we have adventurers. What happens when you mix them? Let's say you're an adventurer, you've got some weapons, you're a tough dude, you're in the middle of a functioning city and you want some cash. What do you do?
Toady:That's right. So, you come in there and - let's say you're not completely incompetent, and you maybe have a bit of a reputation or not - so what can you do? Well at first we don't have taverns, we don't have inns, we just have these people, right? There's just people hanging out in the city, and basically we'll have to go with the most clichéd garbage at first, probably. You know, things to kill, that kind of thing. Bandits have analogues in cities, just things like are there criminals hanging out in a location, are there sewers, are there catacombs, that kind of thing. I can tell you there are going to be sewers and catacombs, of course, and you just have to look up Roman sewers or Parisian sewers to see that it's not all modern fantasy cliché stuff, although throwing monsters down there is ... Zach and I were talking about this, if you have your sewer system connected to the river and you have hippos in your river then you can have hippos in your sewer.
Rainseeker:Unless you have grates ...
Toady:Well, if you don't invest in the grates then you've got hippos.
Rainseeker:'Yes, small adventurer who's barely done anything with his life. Go down in the sewers and kill whatever's down there.' You'd be like 'No problem, I can kill rats', and then you're confronted by hippos. That's really a bad ending.
Toady:It should be exciting.
Capntastic:Leave your preconceptions behind.
Toady:That's right, you never know, never know what you're going to find down in the sewers. Carp even ... Carp aren't as dangerous, but there might be ... They get right through the rivers, anything you find in the rivers, if they don't grate off the sewer entrances then you've got trouble. So sewers are fun little places to place all kinds of outlaw peoples and that kind of thing ... This is the kind of typical farming of fantasy garbage you should have come to expect by now, so just to have something to do we're going to start there and you can already look at the release schedule for the actual interesting stuff like taverns and so on that will open adventure mode a bit, and adventure mode trading which is one of the giant points about the arc.

But just at first your adventurer is just going to be able to do typical adventurer things there, and of course there's no non-lethal force action yet so if you're helping people bring criminals to justice based on the strength of your prior reputation as a dragon and night creature killer - and they're like 'Can you help us out?' - then you'll just be murdering people, until the tavern release. The tavern release will have non-lethal fighting because there'll be bar fights and we don't want bar fights to be like 'You punch him in the face, jamming the skull into the brain, killing him instantly' or whatever. We're going to have to change combat a bit to make fist fights work because right now fist fights are way too dangerous, but it should work out in the end. If you have the reputation for it ... It would be strange if you just wandered into the town, no-one knew who you were, you weren't famous for anything and you were like 'I want to go on the night patrol and look out for criminals for you'. It'd be like 'Yes, we trust you to patrol our streets' ... That'd be kind of silly.
Rainseeker:Unless you were raised in that town.
Toady:Exactly. If it was your home town then just like you have people warning you around the bogeymen outside when you're in your home town they say 'Nice to see you' and they know who you are ... If they know who you are then they can trust you with that kind of thing. That's another thing that can happen, we were thinking - depending on time - before the tavern release we can extent night creatures to make some city varieties; things that could be in houses and in the underground, all kinds of things. Once you've got a house you can start haunting it with things but once you've got catacombs of course you can go nuts with that. We were thinking of getting some basic sewers and catacombs in even in this first release, just to give you something to do in the new cities aside from wander around and purchase things from the many many many many stores and markets.
Rainseeker:I want to get a job as a hat merchant. Make hats, and sell them.
Toady:This will happen. Your dreams are going to come true, isn't it great?
Rainseeker:I can't wait. I want to put flowers on them ... and also feathers ... I want fancy hats.
Toady:Let's see, when is that ... release, release, release ... Release 9 is when you're going to be guaranteed to be able to trade and sell things and so on. However release 8 lets you buy cottages and other properties, so we're getting into that whole ... you know, is the game going to be like one of those things more like Patrician, where you can be in multiple towns and have properties and move your caravans around, that sort of thinking ... we're been reading a lot about how those things are structured. The things that might be difficult for you to get into as an adventurer is that kind of production and retail thing where if there's a guild structure that gets put on top of this, which is very likely, then you might have a lot of trouble breaking in if you don't choose that as a character generation option because you weren't apprenticed early on ...
Rainseeker:Yes, I was in the hat guild early on in my characters development.
Toady:Yeah, so then you might have a chance at that kind of thing. But guilds aren't a foregone conclusion for every city either, and then you can just be the guy who makes necklaces and sits out on the street and sells them to people that walk buy on a little mat until you get chased off by the guards ...
Rainseeker:'Do you have a permit for those necklaces?'
Toady:So we're hoping to give you some opportunities there. The big thing is going to be the trade orientated thing, like you'd be able to buy up certain goods from one town and then set up a warehouse in another town perhaps and sell to local vendors, for them to sell further if you don't want to set up a store yourself or are not able to. We'll be exploring that stuff in releases 8 and 9 and hopefully ... We haven't thought quite as much about how the economies would go in a village, because there were peddlers that kind of move from village to village, like 'I'll sell you a hammer and I'll buy your ... whatever, buy some vegetables or buy a cow you don't need and move it to the next town and sell it there' - I'm not sure they took livestock per se, but you know what I mean - and just being one of the local peddlers would be a lower status version of the larger caravan operations that you could engage in. But when it comes to actually making stuff and then selling it you'll just need to find an avenue for doing that, but hopefully we'll be getting into stuff beyond the trade, but the trade is going to be the main focus in those late releases. What else can you do as an adventurer ...
Toady:Yeah, you'll have friends. That's the taverns, I guess taverns are all about making friends, no matter how it's done.
Rainseeker:Friends and connections, hey?
Toady:I don't think the tavern thing will be done until you can get into a fist fight with somebody and then just laugh it off with them afterward and then get drunk and then you both pass out missing half your teeth.
Capntastic:There you go, the classic sce