Official Topic Announcement for Dwarf Fortress Talk #3, with Rainseeker and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

1. Pets in the fortress.
    1a. Pet antics.

Rainseeker:Alright, so here we are at our teaser; well I guess not technically teaser, this is our formal announcement of the winner of the new topic. Tarn, would you do the honours sir?
Toady:The winner of the new topic is ... let me get the official name here because we want this official announcement to sound even more official ...
Rainseeker:By the way, this is Rainseeker and I'm here with Toady One and Capntastic is not here but he will be here with us on the official podcast.
Toady:That's right. Okay, are you ready?
Rainseeker:I'm ready.
Toady:Okay, the winner for the topic for the discussion segment - as anybody who looked at the thread already knows, because it displays the result - is the mysteries of the underworld: animal men kingdoms; perhaps more properly animal people kingdoms.
Rainseeker:There you go.
Toady:The animal people.
Rainseeker:Because they have animal women as well.
Toady:But we're really I guess just going to talk about everything down there. It should be exciting; I imagine if I started rambling now I'd spoil the entire discussion, so I'm not saying anything, I'm just sitting here. (slightly inaudible, something about Scamps)
Rainseeker:I'm sure the whole community wants to know about said cat. How is he doing since surgery and everything?
Toady:Oh he's doing great. The collar that he had on, one of those big radar collar things - whatever they call them - people have all kinds of names for name - 'the cone head' - he was really depressed when he had that on because he couldn't run around, he'd keep bonking into things and so on that he didn't expect to bump into because it sticks way out wider than his body. But once we took it off he just started running around like crazy, and was really happy. There was no problems with the surgery at all, with the surgery site as they say. Now he's just continuing to grow. We measure him against a little poster board every month; we draw a little outline of Scamps, and it's been getting larger and larger and larger and larger. He's up to ten pounds already; he's seven months old. And it's a very thin ten pounds, he's still a thin cat.
Rainseeker:Would you mind positing a picture of the cardboard cut-out?
Toady:Yeah we could take one. There's not an impressive ... it's not like you're going to see these perfect outlines of Scamps because we just whip the lines on in desperation as quickly as we can because he's writing and so on, he just hates being held there. It's pretty impressive how he's been growing and supposedly he's going to continue to grow for a couple more years, which is going to be out of control because he's supposed to get up to eighteen pounds but ...
Rainseeker:And he's supposed to stay playful at eighteen pounds.
Toady:Yeah, stay playful at eighteen pounds, that's right. This cat will never lose his love of play.
Rainseeker:That is kind of scary, it's like we'll be attacked.
Toady:He just wandered over here, and he's just kind of lounging, biting the headphone wire and so on. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing? What is this trouble ... constant trouble. (end aside) No he's an awesome little cat.
Rainseeker:So what's Scamps doing right now?
Toady:Scamps just brought his little toy - it's this little stuffed animal rodent, it looks like a hamster or something - and right now I can see one of his eyes, he's staring around the doorframe and he's staring right at me. He's about eight feet away and he's expecting me to throw this for him. He's just staring right at me. So here we go. Whoosh! And he just ran off, disappeared; I threw it down the hall. I don't know if he'll come back, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. Oh he's got it, he's got it by the neck. He's toying with it a little bit, he brought it halfway back, and now he's just come back on his own.
Rainseeker:He's making sure it's dead.
Toady:(aside to Scamps) What are you doing? What are you doing Mr Trouble? (end aside) His pupils have gone super wide, can hardly see the irises, he's in play mode right now. Wow ouch! What are you doing? Biting, chewing. Now he's sitting around the doorframe again, just staring at me.
Rainseeker:Waiting to attack.
Toady:Yeah. This is generally the time when if I turn around and start typing or something he'll come up and whack my back and run away.
Rainseeker:With claws?
Toady:With claws, yes. It's all playful, he's got his little tail wagging and stuff, but it's trouble. Mr Trouble. He's a true champion. Oh! Here he comes! Okay, no he ran back. He'll abort his charge if you're staring at him but he'll still come pretty close and then run back. So he's staring at me again. Now he paused ... no. What are you doing? He's going to look out the window. Now he's back on the headsets. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing? There's no reason to bite, chew or scratch the headsets. No reason for chewing, no reason for chewing at all. Why don't you just be well behaved. (end aside)
Rainseeker:[1]I'll take this time to talk briefly about pets in the fortress. From what I understand, what you've told me [is] that any kind of tamed critters that you get ... I mean the rodent type; vermin ... they will be eaten by your pet cats. Is that something that we're going to have a solution to? Let alone non-tame ones being eaten by your dwarves.
Toady:I guess it would make sense if the dwarf ... Right now the dwarf with the pet like a pet rat will let the rat run around their body and it'll say 'pet rat' - with it's name - 'on the shoulder' or whatever, when he's walking around. But right now when they go to bed they just go to the bed with the pet rat sitting on their shoulder and at that point it tells the rat that it can jump off and run around and then the pet owner will have to collect it. So I imagine the solution would be to have them keep little cages in their rooms and then when they don't want to be carrying their pets around they can just put them in their cages before they go to bed, and that would keep them safe from most cats, although Scamps has learned how to open certain containers. One of those big water bottles, I don't know if they're a quart or how big they are - the ones that you often see milk in, those really cheap plastic containers, with a really cheap plastic cap that doesn't screw but it just pops off - he knows how to open those now. He'll pop the caps off of those and ...
Rainseeker:Chew on that?
Toady:Yeah, and whatever other horrible thing he has in mind [for] the liquid contents; pouring it out or whatever. He likes to throw things off of my desk too, if I ever have a drink up here he'll try and throw it on the ground, just because when it's on the ground I guess he can play with it more easily. He's a little terror, but he's alright.
Rainseeker:[1a]Are we going to have cats playing with things in the game?
Toady:There's going to be a time when I come back and do cat antics again, or pet antics in general. I think the dogs are even more ... I mean right now the pets at least can kill a vermin and carry the little body back to their master and drop me, unless the cat bug is interfering with that behaviour - I'm not sure if it is, the one where they try and store things or whatever - but ... someone mentioned in the list thread that; they asked 'will cats be able to clean themselves with their tongues?' ever since I made eyelids able to clean the eye. I'm thinking we'll need to go back and consider all of the animal behaviours again and try and get a better system for it so that you can assign a series of behaviours to each animal with some overlap so that you can have some cool stuff happening out in the wilderness as well.
Rainseeker:Yeah, I want to know if dragons clean themselves with their tongues.
Toady:They just fry the stuff off.
Rainseeker:They just burn the stuff off their scales? That sounds reasonable.
Toady:It's pretty sanitary, and I guess you get a little ashy covering if there's enough crap on there.
Rainseeker:Makes sense to me. Would you do something like that? Is that possible?
Toady:What, the fire-cleaning in particular? Or the animal antics?
Rainseeker:The fire cleaning ... just weird behaviours like that. Is that a reasonable thing to program?
Toady:It's not that much work to do, to do things that are endemic to a creature just sitting there rather than interacting with the environment that much, it's all pretty easy. The problem is just how particular it is, you have to spend time doing very particular things so that's why it always gets pushed off compared to other stuff although I have indulged myself occasionally here in this release and it's taken quite a while. But people seem pretty happy with the custom workshops which was the last 'off-topic' thing that I've done.
Rainseeker:Indeed, yeah. Will I be able to make soaps from dairy products? Render fat from cheese ...
Toady:You'd have to program in the reaction yourself; right now I'm still stuck with fat and lye or was it tallow and lye ... tallow and lye. That's how it is but you could add additional reactions, I'm not a super farmer myself I don't know what on earth you can do at what stage, but I guess you can turn yourself into soap if you use lye so it's pretty versatile. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing back there Mr? You're just trouble, you're just trouble. Why don't you think of others instead of thinking of yourself and your own desire to create trouble and mayhem. What is this? Aaargh, ow ow. (end aside) He's got a strong bite now. Most of the time when you're sitting here playing with him when he's not just coming up and whacking you he won't use his claws at all, he keeps his claws nice and put away. But when he's coming in to do his little missions where he wants to just whack you and run off then he'll use his claws. I don't really understand the distinction that's in his mind but he's a difficult cat to understand.
Rainseeker:Clearly he loves you.
Toady:I'm sure my cat enjoys having me around as his favourite toy. (aside to Scamps) That's right; well behaved, quiet, sitting over by the wall. (end aside) He's wiggling his little butt back and forth and wagging his tail like he's ready to pounce at me so I guess he's not ready to settle down yet. Trouble ..
Rainseeker:So are there different times of the day when he's extra active, or is it ...
Toady:I don't think he has a twenty four hour clock because sometimes when I'm sleeping - I've been sleeping at pretty much the same time every night for the past week, say - and there have been nights where I get four hours of sleep because he's tearing in and out of the room and jumping up on the kitchen shelf and knocking the light fixtures down and all kinds of horrible stuff; and there are other times when he'll just jump up on the bed and fall asleep next to my head or whatever. He just has a cycle, I'm not sure how long it is, it's about eight hours or something. He doesn't sleep that much ... normally people talk about [cats] sleeping twenty hours or something, and this cat's up six, down two pretty much; just crazy.
Rainseeker:I guess as a kitten that probably makes sense.
Toady:I'm not sure. There's this whole thing about the cat not losing its love of play, right? We'll see what that means. I'm sure his activity cycles will gear more towards sleep later on but I'm not completely sure; we'll have to see here what ends up happening, and of course I'll keep reporting back on him.
Rainseeker:Allright so look forward to hearing from us soon. Basically guys I just want to warn that you will not be expecting the next podcast on the first. Pretty much we're recording it almost on the first and I am moving across town and that means the editor is going to need extra time, extra grace. Alright guys, signing off.