Dwarf Fortress Talk #23, with Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by voliol and Quatch

SFX:(Musical Prelude)
Capntastic:Welcome to DF Talk. Welcome back friends.
Toady: Yeah welcome, welcome. It's number 23!
Capntastic: Number 23, immediately after number 22.
Toady: And this time preceding number 24, which is going to be pretty amazing.
Capntastic: Keep on the lookout for more amazing content.
Toady: (laughter) Yes, so how have you been?
Capntastic: Not a nice time to ask that.
Toady: Yeah, not the nicest question, but I thought that I should just jump into it, not that we need to talk about too much that we don't want to talk about.
Capntastic: I've been playing Dwarf Fortress lately. Have you heard of this game?
Toady: Yeah! It's alright. It's in a bit of an in between patch right now, so playing it for me is more impossible than ever. Lots of little 'i's, little cyan box 'i's for items that don't have images yet, and the little debug creature that represents every creature that doesn't have an image. And then there's the border of the interface, like the little part that has the idlers and the 'Dwarf Fortress' at the top, moving in and out of existence. (laughter) We have a handle on it, but it's definitely an in-between process right now.
Capntastic: So this is for the Steam release.
Toady: Yeah.
Capntastic: That's the big news.
Toady: Oh right we have to ... this is going to be an exciting episode because it's been ... 6 years.
Capntastic: It's been a brief period of ... catching ... breath.
Toady: So what's happened in 6 years? It's been a pretty exciting ride. Going back in time, we had the villains release, and we had an artifacts release and we had a ...
Capntastic: What do those mean for me as a player?
Toady: It depends on what kind of player you are. Mostly, that life is slightly more annoying for you. But you can also cause trouble for people, it's basically a lot of trouble. You can send out your dwarves and pester people, and they'll pester you in return.
Capntastic: With zero repercussions.
Toady: Yeah, aside from the occasional save-corrupting raid bug. There's ... well I mean there's repercussions in the sense that you can start a war and actually get invaded, so there is something repercussion-y about it, which is nice. People finally looking forward to having that happen, rather than having nothing happen, which is an improvement in general in a video game probably. And the villains release we had to cut short, and delay some of the features, so it didn't really get the chance to pop like we wanted. We have the occasional artifact heist, and people will turn, a bit too many, dwarves to be compromised and steal things from you. But we didn't get to any of the Adventurer Mode stuff, really, in terms of investigations, and what we were hoping were going to be some really cool plot-hook type things that would be generated. And also in dwarf mode having the villains be larger characters that you kind of learn the names of and which you investigate their organization with you little investigator dwarf that you sent out.
Capntastic: I love the idea of ... you know because you have the guilds, and stuff, and they are like 'We want x, y and z,', and I like the idea of there being vying factions and villainous schemes built right into that.
Toady: Yeah, it was going to really be a chance to bring some ... more or less dreams we had about the game right into the center of it, with the whole active groups of people and individuals causing trouble, partially related to you, and you can kind of dive in and just be a part of the great mess of world politics and affairs. But, we didn't quite get to that because we have the whole Steam deadline thing and all that which was ... yeah, a whole other discussion?
Capntastic: It is. It seems to be a focal point of a lot of excitement.
Toady: Yeah. It's brought more hundreds of thousands of people putting their eyes on the games and talking about it, and the press sites and things like posting about things they hear about, so it's kind of out of control.
Capntastic: Has your day-to-day work changed because of the Steam release, that you're working on?
Toady: Yeah, it's a completely different experience, really. The setup we have now, we have a little place on the internet where the artists Mike and Patrick, this is Mike Mayday and Meph from the Masterwork mod, just get together and talk about what we're doing. Like we had trees we did: we had a whole thread thread talking about exactly how the trees should look like, how the shadows work, how the foliage works, how the branches works, which has, if you've seen the ASCII lines that make up a DF tree - like, converting that into an image that still respects all the mechanical aspects of it, it was a large project.
Capntastic: What looks like a tree.
Toady: Yeah, it's a really large project. And we did, I mean they did a great job and then I implemented a rendering for it. And it was ... yeah, whole project over there, and that's very different from how things usually are with feature additions and so forth. I mean Zach and I talk about stuff and I spit it out, that parts about the same.
Capntastic: So you've gone corporate, is what you're saying?
Toady: Yeah, pretty much! There is a whole group of people. It's more than just two people, not just the three people, but there's also Tanya and Victoria. We have regular discussions about how we're going to proceed talking about the game and what the artists are up to, and what images we are working on. We have the Steam news every two weeks. In addition to the weekly devlog now there's the Steam news every two weeks, and I write up a draft statement with some images, I usually send three or four images along, and then Kitfox will add a little bit at the bottom. I notice they fix my spacing too, because I have the kind of weird two spaces after the period thing that you learn in this kind of narrow sliver of education.
Capntastic: Oh. Yeah, apparently people hate that.
Toady: People hate that. And so, they hated it enough that I noticed that they just take that out. That was pretty funny. It's a different kind of flow of things and what I talk about in the devlogs is by nature different now. It's not so much about spinning a story of what happened in worldgen or something like that, or what features I'm working on, but what images have been done. And it's a little ... It might just because of my inexperience in this area, but it has been harder to talk about the future just because ... if the work hasn't been done and the discussions are ongoing. We don't have a marketing department in the art. This thing where we're like talking about 'Okay now we're going to talk about, in four weeks we're going to talk about rivers'. It's like 'No, we just got brooks and now we're talking about brooks'. So there's this very day-to-day way to...
Capntastic: Nose to the grindstone, kind of. A little bit less high flying adventure.
Toady: (laughter) Well, it's an adventure though. And there are many birds produced recently. So we've got ... unseen, unseen so this is a big surprise: we will have an eagle. And we got a kea. Everybody loves a kea.
Capntastic: I love that they love taking my stuff.
Toady: (laughter) It's even got the red tail-patch, right. And then not so high flying we have the cassowary and the emu coming.
Capntastic: Excellent.
Toady: And it's cool just to see the animals come to life. I mean obviously I am a big animal fan because there are over 200 animals in Dwarf Fortress. Yeah, I just love seeing the little animals run around and stuff. I think, in some sense even if it's upsetting to purists, having variety to the 'g' icon, so a goose and a goat and so forth...
Capntastic: Goblin.
Toady: Goblin. Goblin, gooses and ... geeses, goose, geese and goats. It's cool, I like to see all critters running around. And every gibbon represented.
Capntastic: There you go. That's the slogan that you put on the tin.
Toady: (laughter) It is ... I think it's turning out really well. Obviously it's not done yet, which is a whole thing. Like we would like to finish, of course, but there's a lot left to draw, and there's a lot left for me to do. There's this whole kind of phase two thing, right, where we will get these images up. And there's no clear distinction, which is another thing to talk about, between phase one and phase two or whatever. But there's the whole idea of getting, okay now we are getting mouse support, like I just added some buttons and borders to the embarks screen to test things out. And there's the getting the new sound and music support in, and we will have to deal with workshop mods and 'chievos and whatever.
Capntastic: Chievos.
Toady: Chievos. Everyone wants.
Capntastic: Chievos. That's what everyone ... what about cards?
Toady: Oh, there's ... that's a discussion. I mean Steam wants chievos, Steam wants cards, this is the modern era, or at least at however many years ago they added those things...
Capntastic: Excellent.
Toady: And, yeah, gotta do it.
Capntastic: There's got to be, oh there's got to be the little emoticons! And your going to be able to chat with your Steam buddies and do the dwarf face.
Toady: Yeah. Although apparently the debug creature is the most popular emoticon that's come out of our community recently.
Capntastic: Excellent, it just represents everything.
Toady: Yeah, Mike drew that. I had a really terrible debug creature, because I just need to see things on the screen and I need to see it quickly so I just drew a stick figure that was terrible. Of course. And Mike was like 'Let me just draw something that isn't so, you know, awful looking'. Debugging doesn't to be a mortal pain, rather it can be a cheerful, somewhat grumpy, proud looking creature, that is still clearly a debug creature because of its sort of gumdrop shape and little feets.
Capntastic: Well I'll be the contrarian, I'll ask the question the question only I care about, will the Steam release have an ASCII option?
Toady: So I think that the thing is that Steam likes to have parity. If you have something somewhere else they want to have it available for their fans too. Or their player base, or customers, whatever you call them these days, it's very complicated learning a new word. So there's going to be, at the very least ... you know how you can pull up a branch or whatever, like experimental branches or other branches when you right click, and go to betas or manage whatever properties or things. There will at the very least be this sort of classic ASCII version over there to play, if you have the game in your Steam library then you'll be able to do that. In terms of like plug-and-play, like click-click-click-click between... Like ... I haven't tried it on Jupiter Hell. I remember that's something that was very important to ChaosForge, to make sure it was like an ASCII roguelike no matter how smooth the graphics were, right.
Capntastic: That's something I have always appreciated.
Toady: Yeah. And being able to flip back and forth on the fly is a little bit of extra work, but it's something that could be done, for sure. And we'll definitely have an ASCII option, as I was saying, with the branches. So that's a yes on that one. Oh yeah I was yammering on about phases, that was what I was yammering on about. Just finishing the graphics is the sort of basic... here are some tiles. It's the first step. And this has kind of complicated the idea of having this branch, over back in the game that has already been released, for fixing up bugs, like necromancers coming to your taverns and hanging out and raising dead bodies but still being drinking buddies with everybody, and everything else that has been going on. It's kind of like 'Okay, I'll get the artists started up drawing things and then have the time to do bug fixes'. And that's still the plan but the delineation of when that's going to happen is not quite what I thought it would be because I had, as we all know, literally no experience working with people. So we'll still sort that out, that's still something we're planning to but, yeah ... So we're going through these things figuring things out as we go but, as we can see from the images, it's working, in some baseline sense we're getting the project done.
SFX: (Musical Interlude)(15:05)
Capntastic: Alright, so what's on the horizon in terms of new releases and features and goodies and trinkets?
Toady: So we've been working with the artists to get this Steam release together. And that's going to be the focus for X amount of time. As we say in the release date on Steam: "Time is subjective". And even more subjective now the last several months here. So it really would be foolish to say when we expect that to be ready, but...
Capntastic: Everything is in a you know strange ... zone.
Toady: Yes. Yes, it is definitely in a weird ... in a doom-scrolling zone, in a ... yeah, yeah, lots of zones here, lot's of zones.
Capntastic: I feel like I live in a Tarkovsky film.
Toady: Yeah. I mean, I'm not educated enough to know exactly what that means, but I'm certain that's what we're doing.
Capntastic: Possibly.
Toady: Yes, yes. (laughter) Oh, we're trying our best. But when that's up, of course there's this huge, you know, unknown area about 'Well, what life's going to be like when we release to a zillion people and it's a whole new platform and there's graphics and then on-going work with artists,' and it's ... you know, foolish to say exactly what will happen afterwards, but we have a plan. We have a plan. And it relates to where we left off in the villains release, it's sort of unfinished there. We want to resume that work and get those things done. Because it was, you know, it's a series of really cool ideas and feature that should make the game a lot better. So we're going to get to that, and the other thing that was going to happen was this lead-up to the myth&magic release, because we already know from the sort of map rewrite, which we can talk about for the myth&magic release, that there's going to be a large development delay, as Dwarf Fortress players are quite familiar with. Sort of disappearing into the feature zone where everything touches everything and you just have to work on it and can't release. But before that we wanted to kind of round out some more edges, especially with the villains stuff being added in there, and sort of improve the siege situation, improve the army situation generally in both of the modes, and also get some needed features into adventure mode like the medical care and so forth. That hasn't really been fixed much by adding the shrines where you can heal yourself because the shrine can also turn you into an animal for a week or whatever, although I guess that probably also heals you. So it's ... I mean it shouldn't easy to grow your arm back but it is a kind of dangerous place roaming around the world so some options to just have a crutch or put a splint on yourself would be nice, and being able to ensure your wounds don't get infected. Just about everything that happens over there, being able to do something about it rather than sort of crawl through the mud through the rest of your life. And then there's, sort of tangentially related to that, are things like adventurer skills and other additions that sort of just round out the experience a bit. And then...
Capntastic: You might be able to be career poet.
Toady: You can be a poem of sorts now. You can compose a poem as I recollect, but cannot write it down ... I don't remember. Or would you have to go to a fort, and retire there, and then start in fort mode ... then I still don't think you write it down; you could only write down your scientific discoveries, which of course over in adventure mode you can't make. It's overall sort of half-assed and disappointing, which is another possible tagline for Dwarf Fortress. It wouldn't exactly ring true but there's an essence of that.
Capntastic: I mean, when I play adventure mode, I find myself putting points in the skills that I'm like 'I don't know if astronomy does anything, but it might. There might be an instance where the stars reveal something to me if I have this skill. I can't not take it.'
Toady: It's like RPG 101 mistakes like people learned in the 80s or whatever. Don't say that there's a hunting skill in your game if it just doesn't do anything, right, People get angry about that. You're trying to make the game feel like its fleshed out, but you really a want a list of things with clear effects and so forth.
Capntastic: Kinesthetic sense.
Toady: Yeah, just...
Capntastic: Spacial memory.
Toady: And those things, the funny thing is those ones actually do have effects, and lots of effects, and especially those two as they relate to combat and things. But of course it doesn't tell you about this. So overall it's kind of a mess that developed as being sort of the second fiddle to Dwarf Mode, in part, although Dwarf Mode in those two instances isn't really telling you much either. It's just kind of this overall problem of the game where we've been cut a lot of slack just because of how innovative a lot the game is and how much fun people can have with it, but it really does have these ... I wouldn't even call them like 'rough edges', that's way too nice. It's just ... well, I mean, yeah, I don't know. It's a question of how hard you should be on yourself, really.
Capntastic: I'm trying to think of a metaphor, and all I can think of is when I was a four-year old, like you could buy Cocoa Puffs, and the back of the box would have like these perforated things you could pop up to make this little ramp that you could roll the Cocoa Puffs down, into the bowl.
Toady: Yep.
Capntastic: And it's not a feature that anyone wants, and it doesn't really work that good, but the idea of it is spell-binding.
Toady: Yeah, there should be like a tie-in with Hungry Hungry Hippos or something, like the Cocoa Puffs roll into the arena and the hungry hippos eat them.
Capntastic: A saw a video recently of some people playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with their dog and they replaced the marbles with dog kibble.
Toady: Ah, yes! That's why I was reminded of that, because I also saw that video.
Capntastic: Excellent.
Toady: Yes, this is excellent content, and I was happy the dog won.
Capntastic: We'll have to find the link for it to share with the people. The people have to know. (23:45)
Toady: Yeah. It's good to see a dog eating their food in a kind of novel and enjoyable ... It's like those animal enrichment activities at the zoo, where they like lock the food in a block of ice or something. Like that, it seems borderline cruel but it's interesting, right, the animal finds...
Capntastic: I was at a wildlife preserve in Oregon, the wildlife safari in Coquille I believe, and they feed the bears a bunch of fruit chunks that are just frozen in ice, which keeps them cool, rations it out, and is also I guess fun for them.
Toady: (laughter) Yeah, it would be intriguing if you put my, like if made a sandwich but it was locked in ice. I'd certainly be intrigued by that. Especially if it were done by my keeper, that I cannot fathom.
Capntastic: Yes. A benevolent or malevolent being. It's impossible to tell.
Toady: Yeah. So I think like ... the game is rough but it will be cool, and it will get better. Changing standard is part of the sort of Steam release, changing standard of how rough it can be, right. What that means is something we're still going to figure out as we're going forwards.
Capntastic: I'm curious what people who have not played Dwarf Fortress that will get the Steam release, I'm curious what ... Will it be a car crash? Will it be a difficult journey? What do you envision for completely uninitiated folks, coming to grips with this this game?
Toady: Currently as it stands, when you download the ASCII one, it is a car crash with like 95% or something, the people decide not to drive the car again. Let's torture that metaphor a bit. So we're envisioning an improvement of that. Just the very beginning part is ... bad, in a lot of ways. Like if you play Civilization, and I haven't played VI or whatever so this is dated information, but you have a world generation process. You can either have parameters for that or not but it has some kind of like pictures and it has some statements, and then you get into the game and you play it, right, and there might be some pop-up tips or whatever, but that is one experience that goes in a line and do that. Whereas currently in Dwarf Fortress you have to navigate this world creation screen and there's this tempting advanced parameters screen that would temp a lot of players that think they're, that they want to have the full experience and want to click that. Which would be a mistake, right, because it's just obtuse, like really bizarre. And then once you get through that you get to a world generation which is, if you let it go, especially if you're like 'Oh I want a long history, I heard Dwarf Fortress has great histories, let's make one a thousand years long in a large world!'. You know, that's just the natural tendency for where you want to put your sliders, and so forth. And then you would be sitting there, if you had the patience for it, looking at the thing generate for an hour or more ... and then it dumps you to the title screen, right. And that is bad, because it probably just invokes people thinking 'oh it crashed' or whatever, or 'it failed'. Especially when it says 'reject 17' at the top of the screen the whole time that you do it.
Capntastic: There's no immediate lever to interact with what it has just created.
Toady: And in fact if you hadn't memorized the title options, you would not see that "Start Playing" is a new option that appears there. So the whole flow there is going to be changed. And so I've just been sitting here thinking about, you know, as a new player that kind of experience, right. And we aren't even to the game, yet. And so just getting people through a faster world generation, even if that means that they're kind of initially not getting the huge history options, or they are at least sort of warned about that.
Capntastic: I'm curious, I've seen this posited on the forum of just having the game ship with a default world, that has already been generated.
Toady: Yeah ... I'm still leaning away from the default world idea.
Capntastic: It doesn't fit to me, I don't like the idea.
Toady: It doesn't ... the game is supposed to be your world that you are changing and so forth and if everyone ... it kind of creates a canon for the game. That's just not something that should exist.
Capntastic: I was just thinking about people making memes of historical figures and existing forgotten beasts.
Toady: Yeah, I mean you would have the same 7 pictures of forgotten beasts for the rest of the history of the game then right. It's just not something we'd like to do. And we'll see what ends up happening, because if we cannot overcome these problems, then that is one of the options that we would rather not take. But we will ... it's going to be all about just making sure that, we're trying to do the best that we can in terms of ... people play the game, people like the game, people can do what they want with the game, and enjoy themselves ... So it's: the mouse has got to work. In terms of what players expect in terms of scrolling, it's like, do we have to free up the WASD-cluster and stuff like that? I mean, even on this computer that I just use to go on the internet and record DF Talk episodes and post devlogs and so forth, not much of a gaming beast, the 'W', 'A', 'S' and 'D' keys have a bright rectangle around them, right. It's intriguing. But that's where people are at, and so we have to meet them there. And that would take away eight, or 16 depending on how you count ctrl- and alt- and stuff, options, in terms of key presses, right. But you can't assume people have number pads these days, or whatever.
Capntastic: Yeah, that's a big one.
Toady: And then you're like 'could we make mouse scrolling though?' and it's like 'maybe, but is that the expectation?' and so forth. There's just all kinds of little things like that, we'll just cross each; we're getting to the time now where we're going to be just jumping over hurdles one at a time, and figuring out what sort of options we'd like, trying to get the entire main part of the game mouse driven but also having, of course, keyboard options for everything still. And yeah, that's the trick, whether you can just click a thing to go into numpad mode or click a thing to have WASD. There's this whole, I'm sure, schools of thoughts and experience and talent in terms of UX that we're just not privy to or excellent at, but, we will endeavor and we will try to learn and we will do an okay job, now that the bar is set up real high.
Capntastic: It will not just be okay, it will be...
Toady: ...
Capntastic: It will be...
Toady: Uh-oh.
Capntastic: 'Beyond quality'
Toady: It is beyond ... (laughter) That's right, tee me up, tee me up, I can remember my own motto.
Capntastic: Want me to say it again? We can edit it.
Toady: Oh no we don't need to edit it, because this is the reality! Part of being beyond quality is screwing up like that all the time. So it's important.
Capntastic: Fantastic.
Toady: Yes. I mean it's beyond quality, really ... I think there will be a better retention rate than 0%, or whatever we're currently at.
Capntastic: I feel like it's going to be ... like, what would it be? Because you will be having so many people coming to the game at once. It will be a renaissance. It will be tumultuous? It will be ... interesting. It will be fun.
Toady: Yeah, that's for sure. I mean, yeah. And I'm looking forward to the Day One patch. (laughter)
Capntastic: Oh.
Toady: Like the volume of shouting, whether it's coming from people who have like a 23-monitor setup that isn't supported appropriately, or whether it's just, you know, bad issues like we've had before, I remember the rain used to catch people on fire, right. There have been Dwarf Fortress releases. The amusing one in the villains release, as we perhaps recall, is the babies, right, with the new horse AI. (laughter)
Capntastic: I don't remember this.
Toady: Oh, this is, yeah yeah, whole new era of Dwarf Fortress bugs. So when we added ... in adventure mode we have the parties, right, that's a new thing. You can have multiple characters in adventure mode, switch between them. I think, obviously there is some bug reports on tactical mode and so forth. You can start with pets, you can have horses and things, you can start with horses and ride them and so forth. So I had to redo the horse AI, because when mounts were used only by people who were sieging the fortress, the game could get away with just saying 'Oh, you know, let the horse or the beak dog or whatever think for itself. It's going to just charge in like the soldier would, and it's will be biting, and the soldier is just going to be around for the ride, whacking people with their weapon, or whatever'. And it worked well enough. But when you're an adventurer, riding your horse, and then having your horse be like 'I'm going to sit and graze on the grass for a while,' and you can press whatever key you want, the only key with more relevance is 'get off the horse'. And that was a problem of course. So we made it so that you can send commands to the animal. When you press the up button, it's not just moving the horse up, it's sending a command from the rider saying 'move up' and then the horse, if they're tame, will comply with the order. Just for convenience' sake we didn't model too much in terms of disobedience and so forth, although they do disobey when they're afraid, running away and so forth. And then we had to go into fortress mode, and say 'Okay, all the siegers now have to send orders to their mounts,' and so we did that. And the issue here is that, when for instance you're doing medical care, if a creature, like a dwarf, is sitting there and is thirsty and is laying on the middle of the ground and has been wounded, their leg is broken, they can't drink, they're like 'Please help, bring me water, carry me to the hospital,' and so forth. If a dwarf comes and does the recover wounded job and goes and grabs the wounded dwarf and carries them to the hospital, this whole idea of 'carrying' someone is conveniently, for my sake, identical to the mount code, or it is the mount code. Because why would you code that two different ways? It just has a role - there has always been this role there - that says 'carry' or 'rider standard position' or 'riding on wagon in position whatever'. And so when a baby was born, the mother would pick it up, and carry it, and it would be in the 'carried' position.
Capntastic: Controlled.
Toady: Yes. But the problem is that it was not querying the position variable and was like 'All mounts are now controlled by their rider'. And so the baby had pathing code, the pathing code for a baby, if it's on the ground, is to crawl randomly and to ignore lava and water. The baby was passing those commands to the mother, and the mother would kind of walk around holding the baby and just jump into a lava pool if there was one nearby, and would not eat or drink because the baby wasn't concerned about that. And that was it, for the mothers of release one. (laughter) And so we're not adding a ton of features for the Steam release, we're sort of compartmentalizing. Like you don't want to just add a bunch of new features when you're also doing this graphical update, because it's going to be a nightmare, but we do have to add some features, just to clean up some bugs and get the mouse interface working and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, in the past our best hasn't been great enough to avoid some little hiccups like that, but we do fix them quickly when we can. So that's why ... Steam release should be good. And we're going to do, obviously, some extra testing when it's such a stark demarcation and there's a ton of new people. That is all an extra sort of impetus to take time, even if we're not adding features during that time, to clean up. So hopefully there's no huge problem. I mean it's going to be in a bunch of people's Steam libraries, even they're at Kitfox or whatever, the publisher, testing it out, and whatever other testing regime we have. So it's not like we're going to just go out cold and drop it on everybody. But things always happen, especially when people have exotic setups and so forth. We have been testing it on ultra-wide monitors, just because one of the artists has one of those ones that are like 5000 pixels or whatever. Works there, pretty much; we had to fix some things though. I'm not sure what other setups people have and so forth, but it will be the ongoing process.
SFX: (Musical Interlude) (37:50)
Capntastic: Will there be tac-nukes?
Toady: (laughter) So yeah, I mean ... what do we try to do, that's the closest to a tactical nuclear weapon in Dwarf Fortress?
Capntastic: You can do some fun things with minecarts.
Toady: Yeah that's right there's the minecart shotgun where you put a bunch of metal or something in the shotgun and then ram it up against the wall, and it shoots stuff out. I heard people tried to do that with dwarves once, I don't know if it works. Like, put a bunch of dwarves in a minecart and bounce them and shoot them at somebody.
Capntastic: That's how you do raids on the missions screen.
Toady: (laughter) But then there's also miasma if you want to get that kind of ... as far as I know you can't weaponize the 'husking' gases in evil regions, because they just come in from the end of the screen and pass on. I'm you can do something with magma. The steam bombs ... I don't think they work as well as they used to. I remember someone made a steam gun before where they had this giant water channel and would shoot lava into it and then it would blast steam forward.
Capntastic: Oh. That's fun.
Toady: Yeah, but I think when we changed to 3D that one stopped working quite as well, or something about the burning code, the gases just didn't apply themselves quite as well any more. Yeah, so our tactical nuclear options are kind of restricted there. Of course there's this whole new thing where you can take some necromancers and drop them into a body pile and so you can have a post-apocalyptic situation for your siegers.
Capntastic: Yes, necromancers are no joke.
Toady: Yeah. And that was probably the strangest thing that came in with the villains release, the fact that there's procedurally generated experimental creatures now. The necromancers perform experiments and make new humanoid races of creatures that can escape from the tower and integrate into societies. It kind of fits in with the animal people and so forth, the kind of many many many different types of creatures living together in the communities. We haven't tried to model any kind of like ... 'You are a three-antennaed, one-eyed experimental creature so we don't want you living in our community'. That doesn't seem fair. Especially because they don't get an evil nature or anything like that, they are just kept in a horrible place with a bunch of zombies and then forced to fight for this necromancer, through unknown means that haven't been mechanic-sized, or whatever, and turned into an explicable part of the game. But when they escape they are just free of that, and that applies more broadly, almost sadly, to the new undead lieutenants that get raised up by the necromancer. The necromancers got various new abilities, so they can raise sort of 'intelligent undead' rather than just zombies. So they pick a historical figure and bring them back, but they are changed into some sort of ... it procedurally generates a name like 'corpse soldier' or 'hollow hunter' or something like that, just generates a name. And they have new powers: randomly, they can raise fog or shoot ice bolts or - Ouch! Scamps. - ...or cause pain or so forth.
Capntastic: (laughter)
Toady: And like this cat here, who is some kind of hollow hunter, (Aside to Scamps) What are you doing there? Gee! (End aside) you get these lieutenants, and they are also in this situation, not unlike the babies riding the parents really, where the civilization, when they're in this sort of necromancer's group, this sort of entity or whatever, controls their behavior. They fight the wars, and administrate the sites, and guard the towers and so forth, but when they're free of that, like when the necromancer falls or is imprisoned, when people finally get together and attack the tower, then if the undead lieutenant loses their civilization bond to the necromancer, then they can just incorporate themselves into a society. And ... I mean, they'll be immortal now, and they'll have some weird powers, but ... I had one become a poet and just go off and write for a couple hundred years, and it's not like ... I'm not even sure what the situation is with immortality and jealousy and so forth in a world where there's elves everywhere and stuff. Would they just be treated more like an elf rather than some sort of aberration? It's stuff that we haven't really tackled or thought about too much, I mean we do have them get jealous of the necromancers who don't age and I believe, although I haven't seen reports, unless I've forgotten about one I've made myself ... Do people get jealous of the undead lieutenants when they live in a town and don't age? That's possible.
Capntastic: I imagine it would be based on personality and cultural traits.
Toady: Yeah, there's not a lot of work there yet, so we just have this default thing where the humans all get pissy about it. It's sort of a on-going and intriguing situation with all the new critters that are running around, and of course there's lots of rough edges to that, especially when we're talking about onboarding new players. It's like when a 'hollow hunter' comes in to your bar, and just sits there. And I don't know if they order drinks or not, if they have to drink.
Capntastic: There are so many things. I was streaming the game for some friends and there's so many little interactions you have to be aware of, especially when you have a tavern that's popular, and you have a million people coming to visit. What do you do when a necromancer shows up, and they just want to party? Like, you have to do something.
Toady: (laughter) Yeah, and it's a legitimate thing too, I mean having them there to party, in a sense. Because in world generation, before they get outed they are just living in communities. I mean, occasionally they will dig up corpses and stuff, but until they get chased off, you know sometimes they can live in a community. Especially vampires, but necromancers occasionally will happen as well. And then what it should be doing is just not showing you their necromancer status, right. And then they're there, and then, you know, if you do have your corpse stockpile near your tavern then it can show you their necromancer status at that point. And then is that unfair to the player, so the players have screening... is it like The Thing or something, where they should be taking drops of blood and setting them on fire? You know, as part of the ... I mean I'm sure people want do that to the cheese makers anyway right, just having stricter controls on who's allowed to live in a place, which of course raises all kinds of concerns about well, shouldn't we model, then, the people that want to migrate to the fortress, what they think about that, or what these kind of modes of control as we deal with in the modern era, certainly like ... It's an issue if you want to call it that, in this country for sure. So it raises all kinds of questions that are kind of separate from the necromancer question, but related through mechanics as things happen. So it's ... yeah, like you were saying, the whole situation, even if there are no necromancers there's still plenty of people in your tavern. Right now you can't do too much with that, except if you find them in the v-g write-up it will say 'They have come to the tavern to relax' or 'They've come here because they heard your tavern was the place to party' or whatever. Or 'They've come here looking for work', or 'They've come here to sing a song', 'They've come here to read their poetry', 'They've come here to petition for residency because they are running away from the goblin invasion' or whatever. That stuff is all there, I don't know how much people find that kind of thing (laughter) but it's just more hidden stuff that can be exposed. And there's a lot to think about.
Capntastic: I know that when like, a poet petitions to hang out at your fortress long-term, it doesn't immediately give you the information of who this person is, and it's like 'Sure why not'. I want to be able to ... I want to do Papers, Please every time someone wants to join my fort.
Toady: (laughter) Yeah, you just can't ... And we sort of were leading to this, this was actually part of the thinking for the villains release that we, you know, pushed off, or delayed a little bit. The whole interrogation process where the sheriff can now interrogate any dwarf you want, to try and figure out if their part of this sort of artifact heist plot, it's something that could be done with people that are coming to visit the fortress, and you can have just a less hostile interrogation process in terms of like 'You want to live in the fort, where are you from? What's going on?' etc.. Because there is vampire trouble and so forth, legitimate reasons to be concerned about that kind of thing. And werewolf trouble, it's like do you have the month-long - well, it doesn't have be a month if the full moon is closer than that, so anywhere from zero to 30, 28 days, however Dwarf Fortress works - quarantine periods and all that kind of thing? I mean, people are familiar with quarantine now, and is that something we should get in there? It's just a lot to take in right, from moment to moment, but if you're focused on that rather than focused on setting up a giant magma well or something, then that's legitimate. It just can't be too overwhelming somehow. Not an uncommon problem for us.
Capntastic: I disagree, I think overwhelming is what people come to the game for.
Toady: (laughter) I think we've got different flavors of overwhelming, and as long as people still want to play the game that's cool.
Capntastic: That is ... true.
Toady: It opens the whole question about the spreadsheet stuff, like the v-p-l, that was one of the things we were considering changing for the Steam release. Because v-p-l is a mess, right. The typical fix is the Dwarf Therapist type stuff where you got a large spreadsheet of options, but then you get...
Capntastic: I refuse to use those. I infuriate my friends.
Toady: Another flavor of fix though was like Autolabor, have you tried that one?
Capntastic: No.
Toady: And I haven't tried it either, but it's along the lines of stuff that we've been talking with people about for years, but it's just a difficult problem about more dwarf autonomy, in their labor selections. And that of course raises a lot of questions about the role of the player and whether or not you can do megaprojects quite the way you want, and so forth. So you still want options that allow you to have more control over them. But what if you just set up the jobs and the dwarves were able to organize who does them fairly confidently, then that would be a whole burden taken off the player in terms of like making sure they have architecture selected on a dwarf or whatever.
Capntastic: I think that would also be interesting because it would pull from personality traits and physical characteristic where, you know, the strong dwarf is going to volunteer for hauling more often than the frail dwarf, or similarly the creative dwarf is going to enjoy engraving more.
Toady: Yeah, they have those dreams we haven't even very used much right? Like 'Dreams of making a master craft someday,' or whatever. The way to do that is to start crafting stuff.
Capntastic: Yeah. Because you can currently, when you're embarking, look at each of your dwarves individually and see what their personalities and physical characteristics are and assign them skills and jobs based on that, but that's such a level of granularity to dive into; I don't think it's reasonable for a person to expect themselves to do that once you have 50 dwarves running around.
Toady: Yeah, that's exactly what I mean by the bad kind of overwhelming right. It's just stuff like that, which is not contributing to your story, and it's not contributing to ... there's a sense in which the word overwhelming, like the good sense is like contributing to the choices you're making as a player, right, that you have a wide array of things that you can do, and you can't even do all of them and that's fine. And in fact, having to make a choice is great, not being able to do everything all the time. Although I mean there's a whole other mode of play there, it's like the cozier version of Dwarf Fortress where you turn off the hunger counter and turn off invasions. And people do that, right? And that's a completely legit way to play the game as well. It's one of those things we were actually hoping to have when we get around to the myth&magic stuff was kind of like generating entirely different universes, like if you want to play ... Dwarf Fortress is borderline grimdark, right, it doesn't lean into everything but it's not, you know, the cheeriest place all the time.
Capntastic: So much of that is a veneer of who's playing it and what are they saying because like ... it often has a darkly comedic tone because it's funny to watch these little goofballs suffer misfortune.
Toady: (laughter) Yes, yes. And that is the engine that drives the whole thing, the troubles, the whole 'losing is fun' aspect of it. But at the same time we were hoping, like back in our Armok days we were like 'But what if it was all happy, like happy happy happy all the time, and the worst it gets is like a bad episode of Teletubbies or something.' I'm not sure ... how much trauma did the Teletubbies experience? I don't actually remember. I shouldn't speak out of turn. Maybe there were some very special episodes of the Teletubbies that were horrible. But I remember laughing baby in the sun, I remember them doing things and playing a video and then they say 'again, again' and then they play the video again.
Capntastic: Did they even say that? I have no idea.
Toady: (Mimicking the Teletubbies) 'Again! Again!' (Back to normal) This is like a distant recollection. I mean I didn't really have a stoner phase, so I don't think I was ever appropriately into the Teletubbies the right way. But I've seen it, because you have to see it, it's a cultural touchstone, or whatever, so you have to watch an episode of Teletubbies, way back when, right. And ... yeah, so I remember certain things about it. So creating a universe like that where you're just caring for the rabbits in the field, and the sun has a giant baby face, and you're having tea and stuff, hanging out with your friends and that kind of thing. Part of the reason that it's harder for games to lean into that, I mean a lot of it is just stupid cultural baggage stuff, but it is more difficult to make social mechanics than it is to, like, whack people with a rock in a game.
Capntastic: But one leads to the other directly.
Toady: Yeah. (laughter)
Capntastic: Is that the David Mamet quote, I think?
Toady: Yeah, definitely biblical overtones here ... So it is harder, it is harder to pull that game off, but it can be done. Especially when there's a whole bevy of features already sitting there right. How far are we from having a kind of satisfying farming type experience, which I believe we've talked about in the past in terms of adventure mode, if you just want to raise sheep or whatever. We are not super duper duper far away from that. We have pets now. They're animals, they've got names and ages and we can't shear them yet, but that's one Dwarf Fortress job that already exists being put in adventure mode away from having that. But of course in dwarf mode you can already do that. Just sit there shearing sheep and so forth. You kind of get to the question, is that relaxing enough, and is that a mode that people would play it at? Do you still want the kind of interesting choices angle but would it be more like, you know, how you're going to accommodate a new person that arrives, or expand an animal operation? But we don't always want to expand, expand, expand when we're thinking of this, it just becomes another sort of resource allocation game. So it's more ... I mean it raises all of the questions, right? You know, are stories meant to thrive on conflict? I don't agree with that school of thought, I don't think it's necessary. Drama, conflict, that kind of thing, not necessary for a good story. But, certainly makes it easier to write one, to have choices and things when you have stakes and all that kind of stuff. There's a lot of ways things can go, and I don't even remember.
SFX: (Musical Interlude) (57:10)
Toady: (in interlude:) Dwarf Fortress...
Capntastic: I had a story that didn't ... so much of the stories are just, again, the player collecting little constellations of data and things that happen and turn it into a narrative of their own, where it's hard to ... how much of that is intended by the game and how much of that is what the player perceives?
Toady: Yeah, I mean it is the point of the game. In some broad sense of course it's the intention of the game, but in terms of like every little thing, some are certainly more geared towards that than others. When we provide information for players to investigate, the biggest one is, well there's a lot of them, but one of the big ones is the v-p-z screen where you can just punch up this huge amount of information about a dwarf, right? So if something happens to a dwarf, or the dwarf does something, the player can immediately go investigate and kind of come up with three or four more things to say about that, but they can also look up the people they just talked to, the thoughts they had, and so forth, and it's sort of a story accommodation, right?
Capntastic: Yeah.
Toady: And we think about that, that is one of our principal modes of operation...
Capntastic: What looks like a Wikipedia page for that individual dwarf.
Toady: Yeah, and that's another question about Steam players and stuff, it is just a giant brick, right, of text; should we enter like the age of the tab, the age of highlighting certain more important information?
Capntastic: Hyperlinks.
Toady: Hyperlinks in Legends mode especially, that's well on the table. Wouldn't it be great, to click on somebody's name in Adventure mode, instead of having to write it down on a scrap of paper, as I have done many times.
Capntastic: Yes. The game bombards you with so much information, especially, I don't know if you have done this, but in Adventure mode if you want into a crowded feast hall and everyone is talking, and it's like ... Because my brain is like 'I want to know what these peasants are talking about,' but at the same time I want to talk to the person in charge.
Toady: Yeah, I mean..
Capntastic: Some sort of culling would be nice.
Toady: Yeah, every step you're like pressing 'space, space, space, step; space, space, space' or whatever to clear out the text.
Capntastic: That could be boiled down to 'You hear numerous conversations,' or 'People are whispering in the corner'.
Toady: But if you don't hear tidbits of them then you don't really pick up stuff. I'm trying to think of, in a 3d game they get this for - it's not free, obviously there's lots of effort that goes into it - but they essentially get this for free where you're walking through the space, you can see where the important person is that you want to go to and while you're walking there there's all kinds of people and you can hear the the conversations that are closest to you, and of course the barks and things are set up so that you hear important tidbits or whatever. And that's something that we can try and model, I mean this is not impossible to model at all, like you can do a distance calculation for it, so it just looks at the closest conversation, but then if like 2 or 3 things were said it just picks one of them, and then we can like stick ellipses on both sides of it, so that you're walking and you're like 'Farmer says ... the troll under whatever ...' and you're like 'Oh ok, I don't need to talk to the lord of the mead hall anymore because this peasant has exactly the shit I'm looking for,' and then just like be a pest and bug them about their troll. There might even be funny things that come out of that, like if it elides enough of the conversation so that you think they're talking about one thing, but they're actually talking about something completely different, and then you go bother them. There's all sorts of cool things that can come out of that. These are all solvable problems but that, what I just said, is not 10 minutes of work right. Just getting/arranging all of these things, it's like the bug triage thing. You have all of these things you can do to make the game more approachable; we'll just have to keep working at it.
Capntastic: So many topics where it's just like 'Why haven't you done this yet?' 'Why don't you do this ...?'. That's just how it all works.
Toady: Yeah, it's ... it's a process. (laughter) We're certainly in a different mode of operation now, so people who are on team "don't add features, fix shit" which is, you know, an important team, they're going to get some attention. Team no new stuff, yeah that's happening now.
Capntastic: (Sarcastically:) But what about team adventure mode and team tac-nuke?
Toady: Well yeah, as we've talked about we've got stuff coming for team adventure mode, we've got stuff coming for stuff team army fighting, we've got stuff for whatever small continuum of team villains that's been created, all coming after the Steam stuff is posted. And that's a lot of people and then you know, Tarn's personal team, team myth&magic gets to have their day (chuckles). I've been working to try and be on that team for twenty years, and now we'll be here finally.
Capntastic: Is Battle Champs going to get a steam release?
Toady: Battle Champs is important work but sadly I would probably rather do Kobold Quest first.
Capntastic: Yeah, that's the one.
Toady: It's an important game, pitchin' animals and little insects at people and so forth.
Capntastic: There should be the 'Best of Bay 12' Steam compilation
Toady: Yeah, I mean, you could just hide it in Dwarf Fortress.
Capntastic: I don't think you could put Liberal Crime Squad on there though.
Toady: It's ... it's ...
Capntastic: (chuckles)
Toady: I mean it's relevant enough, we could put it there. I mean, I don't know, it would fit on itch; we're going to have an itch release.
Capntastic: Oooh ... good.
Toady: Put LCS up on itch, and let it ride. Yeah ... it's a strange game, it's interesting too because way back in 1992,3,4, when the seeds of those games were planted and then they got released 2003-4, something like that, the word 'liberal' in 'Liberal Crime Squad' is not used the same way anymore, right? Liberal now means centrist, right?
Capntastic: Yes.
Toady: And of course there's the whole economic theory side of it, which is kinda related to that part of it, and now people use 'progressive' or...
Capntastic: 'leftist'...
Toady: ..leftist, or you know socialist and etc.
Capntastic: Hrm ... I've thought about the Liberal Crime Squad agenda for quite some time and how, you know, they're against nuclear power, and similar things and they ... you know. It's just another case of 'no-one passes the purity test'.
Toady: Yeah ... I mean it's not ... I mean, I was a younger person when I wrote that, but also it's just difficult to come up with... the first thing... (indecipherable)
Capntastic: But also I don't think, I don't think that LCS is necessarily supposed to be 'correct' in any way.
Toady: Well, I mean, it is what it is...
Capntastic: Yeah...
Toady: ...which is a stupid thing to say, but it's ... I mean it's supposed to .. yeeah .. it's difficult cause you're like ... I mean obviously your heart's on one side and not the other, but it's not like they weren't a kind of caricature of the SLA as well, right? so it's like...
Capntastic: Yeah.
Toady: Which is ... I mean, I'm not sure you can caricature the SLA cause it was already ... completely over the top.
Capntastic: Has anyone contacted Patty Hearst to get her to play this?
Toady: Ah that would be rude I think.
Capntastic: ...I think ... yeah, but, hrm ... hrm...
Toady: I mean, it was odd, like ... I actually went to the Hearst castle on one of these kind of Dwarf Fortress speaking things when we were down at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to just give a talk about Dwarf Fortress to the academic people down there and but they're like 'Y'know we could just take a bus to Hearst castle,' and that was one of the days at this event, or whatever. And they have zebras there. The zebra herd.
Capntastic: Ooohh.
Toady: Yeah I guess there just, they're just all sort of descended from these William Randolph Hearst zebras. And they still have the ... it's a very kind of like thrown together place of all different sorts of art styles and things. But yeah, a lot of it was kinda cool, up there. I don't remember who administers it now, it's not a wholly private thing, it's a state park in some sense. I mean, there's all sort of weird nebulousness to it that I don't remember, but I don't remember. So yeah, it was pretty fun. Zebras and things. Yes, natural segue for the zebra.
Capntastic: ...Yeah.
Toady: And goats, lots of goats, like hundreds of them, in this kind of goat area. It's very cool for that kind of thing. But yes, lots of future for the Bay 12 catalog. (chuckles) Such as it is. I don't need most of those things posted places cause it was garbage, but that's okay.
Capntastic: Yes.
Toady: ...but, people like WW1 Medic...
Capntastic: You can't find Armok anywhere, can you?
Toady: You can get it on ... we just don't link to it I think, cause it was confusing for people, but you can go to bay12games/armok and it's still available.
Capntastic: Alright everyone, you know what you have to do.
Toady: (laughter) If you want....
Capntastic: I want to see Youtube videos, Twitch streams...
Toady: I can't remember, does the magic even work ... because we had a version where you could teleport people's noses, to like different parts of the map, and you could strip people's skin off, and it would update the textures and things. I don't remember if that's in the current version you can download, it was such a ... churn of mess, you know. We only finally got Dwarf Fortress to the point where we're not too far away from being able to do that stuff. We've got tissues now, we've got some magic stuff, it's really just ... I could probably add that in a day the way that shrine stuff went, probably add body part teleportation in a day, but it'd need the right context. Like who is the body part teleporter? And is there anything you can do...
Capntastic: Some sort of malevolent goblin ... wizard.
Toady: (chuckles) Yeah, cause they have the whole demon thing, right, so they're tied in with bad bad bad critters. Bad critters. Even though the goblins themselves are not necessarily bad critters, there's a whole discourse on that, were should we go with that? As it stands, you know, having...
Capntastic: There should be like goblins that have broken free, you know?
Toady: Because they can, right? They can move in with the human towns and stuff.
Capntastic: .. I always see goblin dancers, I'm like 'Wait ... Hold up,
Toady: (laughter)
Capntastic: ...somethings not, ... oh well, I guess we all learned a little bit about prejudice today.'
Toady: Yeah, I noticed there is ... There's something we wanted to look at right? What if they were immortal, what if they couldn't get diseases and starve, what if they were not altruistic. Because that's the part that zeroed out on them, right? They don't get the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you help your neighbor or whatever. I mean, it didn't feel like leaning into a direct stereotype or whatever, but perhaps it is. I don't really know, but it's tricky in general. Of course our main sort of approach is going to be just procedurally obliterate all canon (laughter).
Capntastic: Of course.
Toady: That's kind of the myth&magic releases setting us on the road of, like, you know what if you generated a game without dwarves ... without goblins, or elves, or any of the Tolkien stuff.
Capntastic: One of the things I want so badly is more procedural civs, like I want to play, you know, human peasants. I want to be elves and weird animal men and all of those things, I want to make a mastaba out of mud bricks, and...
Toady: Lots to do.
Capntastic: ...I want to play the Sumerians.
Toady: Yeah, I like Sumerians. We got all sorts of things that we need to do, and we'll get to some of them. It will be great.
Capntastic: I'm terrified that someone's going to correct me and say the Sumerians didn't make mastabas, I'm thinking of the Mesopotamians or ... something. So please do that, correct me.
Toady: (chuckles) People are fond of pointing out how many years are we talking about there, versus how many years that we count in the current era, like 2000 is nothing right? (chuckles) There's a whole lot of little details that we don't know and that you could be mistaken about, it's not a big ... it's hard to keep track of everything ... Yeah, so we need stuff. Stuff and things. More stuff and things in the game.
Capntastic: It continues always.
Toady: Of course now we're back on team new features.
Capntastic: Yeah.
Toady: It's hard to get away from team new features, and that's part of like when we're talking about the Steam release, and what the work has been like and so forth, I mean that's ... just for myself, that's kind of the biggest ... sort of psychological change, right, is being dedicated and trying to build up the dedication and enthusiasm for something that's different than what I had been doing. And I've found that I do just still need outlets so I just work on little side projects, none of which have seen the light of day since we were talking about, you know, Kobold Quest and Battle Champs and things. We used to do more of those, and then things got more serious of course, and then we stopped having those, but we still work on them, and just can't kind of round the corner to get one posted, pretty much. We'll see if that ever changes. Yeah, it's been good, doing space, doing stuff in space. Dwarf Fortress hasn't taken space away from me yet. It will. (laughter)
Capntastic: ...wha?
Toady: When we get to the Planes release, yeah, you're gonna be...
Capntastic: ...Oohhh, yeah....
Toady: ...spelljammin' or whatever, right? I don't know much about the Spelljammer setting, but certainly fantasy and discovery (indecipherable)
Capntastic: But that's ... that's when we get the tac-nukes.
Toady: Yes! Finally, we can nuke them from orbit. But it'd be like planar nuking in your crystal sailboat or whatever. But it's more or less the same thing. I'm sure some of the planes that are generated would be 'nuke from orbit' candidates. May even have weird parasitic aliens on them, and you may have colonized them by... by either accident or because you were greedy and you wanted to bring the parasites back home. Ah, you know. Typically stuff.
Capntastic: That's how it goes.
Toady: Well that's definitely how it goes. And, yeah, I mean, emergent economy of Xenomorphs or whatever. And you can...
Capntastic: ...use every part of them, like a buffalo.
Toady: Yeah, and there are some parts too. There's some parts for sure. Looks like crab legs, do people eat the face ... like the, what are they called, face huggers or whatever? Is that widely explored in fiction, the culinary options from face huggers? Because they do seem like crab legs.....
Capntastic: I'm sure there's like a ... in one of the crossover comics or whatever...
Toady: Yeah.
Capntastic: Cause there's like....
Toady: It's like Deadliest Catch or something, right? You just have the people out there going - it's very dangerous job, of course, it's like Deadliest Catch the crab fishing show, but you go out and get face huggers. And have them in the pots and things, bring em back and get twenty-five dollars a face hugger or whatever. And then you've got happy families at Red Face Hugger restaurants (chuckles) celebrating their family events. Important work in Dwarf Fortress is headed in the right way...
SFX: (Musical Interlude)
Capntastic: Well it seems like every thing is chugging along nicely on team Dwarf Fortress. Everything is teams now.
Toady: (laughter) That's right, that's right. Yeah, we are teams, it's like Team Fortress ... I don't know where the release dates fit in, are we like Team Fortress 1.5, or 2.5, or 0.5, I have no idea.
Capntastic: I couldn't tell you...
Toady: But it's all the fortresses.
Capntastic: It's true.
Toady: Yeah, it's a good time for fortresses, always will be. Hopefully until humanity gets their shit together, then we don't need fortresses anymore. But until then, until then.
Capntastic: That's a philosophical...
Toady: Yeah, if you want to credit it that much, that's real generous of you, but...
Capntastic: But what is a fortress? How do we, how would Socrates define a fortress?
Toady: I don't know much about that, but there is room for fortresses in the future, when we're trying to protect our health and well-being against exigent circumstances, and if we're talking about the betterment of humanity they don't need to be from human source. So we've still got asteroid fortress, and hit by a comet fortress.
Capntastic: Yeah and you know, practice safety, in whatever way you feel is best.
Toady: That's right. Yeah, yeah, for the lumberjacks.
Capntastic: It's a dangerous time out there.
Toady: ...yeah yeah, if we're still cutting down trees, very dangerous job. And yeah, for the dwarves too, I assume. You still occasionally hear about people who are crushed by trees in Dwarf Fortress.
Capntastic: Yeah, that happened to me recently.
Toady: (laughter)
Capntastic: Well not me, but one of my dwarven underlings.
Toady: Yeah, it's another sketchy addition to the game, but you know, you make do. That's what the hospital is for. What the werecreature in the hospital is for. Good business for everybody. (chuckles)
Capntastic: Anything you'd like to say before we sign off?
Toady: Yeah. I think we're just going to keep chugging along, keep posting updates, you can go look at the steam news to see some shiny pictures, you can look at the devlog to see shiny pictures as well, still doing Future of the Fortress Q&A, and yeah, just keep on watching and we'll get it done, and then you can play it, and then you can play the next one too. Anything you'd like to say?
Capntastic: Yeah, go ahead and follow me on Twitter, @Capntastic, I also have a Patreon set up with the same name, which helps support me and my creative hobbies during this time, this age of strife, during the world kinda being on fire, and that includes this podcast. So. Thank you very much.
Toady: Alright, so good to hear you, talk to you next time, and everybody can listen next time on another exciting episode of Dwarf Fortress talk.
Capntastic: Do we have emails, for the future? Can people email us still?
Toady: Oh yeah! I mean, yes. That is a small embarrassment that we'll have to sort out. During our six year hiatus, occasionally we would still receive Q&A emails, and that obviously ... we haven't received one for at least a year or something and, pretty much, the few that we received, you know, it's just, the game has of course moved on so we basically don't have questions now. And so, if you send a question to toady1@bay12games.com with the subject 'Question for DF talk', then we will be able to address it, in this exciting new era of actually engaging with people, and not ignoring them, and doing the things we should be doing!
Capntastic: (in affected voice) On the air...! Sending your spiciest stories.
Toady: (laughter) yeah we should do dramatic readings I think ... I'm not particularly good at it, but you know...
Capntastic: (in affected voice) I never thought it could happen to me...
Toady: (chuckles) More than make up for it by the stories being funny. So yeah! Good to be back together talking and episodes and things.
Capntastic: Back in the saddle, back in the mines.
Toady: Yeah, yeah we've got mounts now, for sure.
Capntastic: ... Well thank you so much for joining us today.
Toady: Yeah, it's going to be exciting to listen to the banter just fade out and the music comes up, right,
SFX: Music fades in
Toady:so it doesn't matter what we're saying now.
Capntastic: We are untrained, unprofessional.
Toady: (unintelligible due to music)
SFX: Musical postlude(1:20:10)
Bonus section
Toady: Got this purring cat sitting behind me on the back of the chair now. He's taken to doing that the last year or so, just running into the room and jumping on the back of the chair and then just laying there, and either purring or howling. We're in the purring phase now.
Toady: (singing) Where did Capn go? Where is the audio? Where did Capn go? Where is the audio? Nobody knows, I can't hear a thing. Where did he gooooo? (an octave lower) Nobody knows.
SFX:(Discord sound for other person disconnecting)
SFX:(Discord you-disconnect sound)