(sfx vox: trumpet)
Toady, Capntastic and Rainseeker: Episode 20!
Rainseeker: This is our episode 20, everybody, thanks for listening.
Capntastic: Thank you.
Toady: Thanks for listening.
Capntastic: Just glad to be around.
Rainseeker: Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk, this is your host, Nathan Miller, also known as Rainseeker and I have to my left Capntastic ...
Rainseeker: ... and to my right Tarn Adams, our illustrious leader, also known as Toady One.
Toady: Yep, I'm to Capn's right.
Rainseeker: And we're all sitting in a circle, holding hands.
Capntastic: Wait, if I ... Okay, was that intentional?
Toady: I have no idea if we're in a Möbius strip or what, it's too complicated.
Capntastic: If I'm to Rainseeker's left ... and you're to my right ... there's something weird going on.
Toady: That's right, no, I'm sitting on Rainseeker's lap right now.
Rainseeker: Okay, alright. So ... we are going to be talking about Dwarf Fortress and today our topic is complicated economics and the theory of relativity within Dwarf Fortress. Not really, actually we're just going to be talking about what's happened lately and it's going to be very topical. So, Tarn. I hear that from reading some of the reports that you are doing reclaims.
Toady: Reclaims, we've done some reclaims, we've done some retires, we've done some unretires. Yeah, so we've been working ... I guess we haven't talked for a little bit ... and since our last episode there was mostly just a lot of work on site maps. Elves had their site maps, the goblins have their site maps before that.
Capntastic: The trees ...
Toady: Yes, the trees, the gigantic trees with all the climbing and jumping and running-jumping, and jumping-running, and jumping and climbing and falling and then grabbing things with your hand when you fall and so on.
Rainseeker: Right, Dwarf Fortress is now Assassin's Creed.
Toady: It is, it is, this is parkour nation, however you say it, I didn't say that word right, it's free running nation. Yes, it is, it is exactly like Mirror's Edge, pretty much. Not that I ever played that game, but I imagine ... I heard it was parkour related, however you say that word. I don't know how to say it correctly. Oh is that how you say it? The "R" is not silent or anything weird like that?
Capntastic: The thing about parkour is that there's no right way to do it. So ...
Toady: So it's fine if the word is broken, and kind of goes to the ambulance.
Capntastic: That's right, just do your own thing, just flow. The body's not broken, I suppose.
Toady: That's right, we're doing alright with our dwarves. You can break yourself pretty badly though, if you running-jump off a cliff and hit a wall and fall and don't grab anything and just kind of hit the ground. And I guess that's common, that's sort of par for the course, for the parkour.
Rainseeker: That's right.
Toady: People breaking each other and so on, breaking themselves. So yeah, you can do a little bit more of that kind of self harm in the game now. But that was with the elf trees, we put that stuff in, and then we worked on dwarf sites, and dwarf sites are ... there are three kinds of dwarf sites, there were the fortresses that everybody is used to, that connect the surface to the underground. Then there's the surface sites, the hill dwarf settlements, just these ... they're either carved into the sides of existing hillside slopes, or they make their own mounds if they're in a flatter area, then they just grow some gardens, above and below and hang out and drink ... all the time and live in complete squalor. And then there's the deep dwarf sites down in the caverns which will have their vast plump helmet fields, that kind of thing ... and some industry. But the fort is still supposed to be the place with all the most skilled craftsman just to kind of align it with what goes on in the game. We want to kind of keep it the most important place. We have those three kinds of dwarf sites: the hill, and the fort, and the deep sites. We want the fort to kind of be the most important site all around because that's the one that you're going to also continue to play, so all of the central dwarfy activities take place there. And the other ones are mainly the areas for farmers and drunks and things, although the fortress is also an area for drunks ... drunks kind of everywhere in dwarf-land. Sorry, that's just a way of life. So we finished that for the most part, we have things that we're going to have to go back and touch upon in each of those sites ... this release is kind of unusual in that the ... well maybe not that unusual but it's ... we touched upon maybe eight or nine topics overall, because we started back with non-lethal combat and bandits harassing people in town, right, and then we moved on, we added tracking, and we have armies moving around and then we went over to the sites, because we needed the sites to be added in and then the original point of the thing was to get some of this birth stuff succession stuff going on, which is what I'm right in the middle of now. So we're finally touching upon that but there were points, like with the army part, I needed the sites to get that done to my satisfaction and now that I've done a lot with the sites, I can go back and do the army stuff that I didn't finish. So there's going to be a lot of, now, revisiting of the old topics that were setup for this release. I don't think we've had any really terrible feature creep this time, it's not like one of the other releases that had nothing to do with night creatures and then ended up being three or four months worth of work on night creatures, right, so this has all been very topical. But we have to go back and revisit a lot of things now because we have been kind of skipping from point to point as we need things, because none of these things, the features that we've added in could really be done in isolation. They could be done up to a certain point in isolation, then you need to work on another one, and now we need to come back and link them all together again and clean up some unfinished business. So it'll be a little while yet, it's not like when I finish succession it's like Boom! release, that's not how it's going to be, I have to go back and clean some stuff up. That's kind of normal though, I always have to go back and fix stuff up. And then I have to fix stuff up after the release as well, and we'll have a nice healthy period of bug fixing, I'm sure, after this release.
Rainseeker: So let's recall what the purpose of the other dwarven sites are. The hill dwarves are supposed to supplement your kingdom, so to speak, correct?
Toady: Yeah, yeah, they function ... or they will function, see there's an issue now with just how much you can do in fortress mode with hill dwarf settlements because they're not your hill dwarf settlements yet, we don't have that linkage tightly established yet, but it will be. Then that will give you a much higher number of dwarves to work with, though they can't all be on screen. Because the whole issue is if you want to have a strategic impact on the world and have a political impact on the world you just need a bunch of warm, fat, drunk bodies to get that business done, and you can't do that with two hundred dwarves. But you can't have a thousand, two thousand dwarves running around on screen or the game will ... not run. So you've got hill dwarves to supplement things, or to form like the bulk of your military for example, of your unskilled military. Your dwarves will still be like the equivalent of your, say, knights or whatever and your sergeants, your leaders.. for your military; they'll be the ones that know what they're doing. And then you'll have a bunch of drunks.
Capntastic: So the hill dwarves are basically a conduit for your fortress to interact with the rest of the world?
Toady: Yeah, yeah, at least in that way ... I think there will be places for your dwarves to also have direct impact, but when it comes to military stuff, and certain trade things, you're going to have to act through intermediate sites just because of the sheer numbers behind it. The deep sites are ... they act in a similar fashion for underground business, but they're also ... we haven't really planned that exactly how strange they're going to be, but they supplement your food, that kind of thing, if you don't want to farm, you can trade with them.
Rainseeker: Oh, I thought you were going to say you can eat them!
Toady: No, you don't eat them. You don't eat dwarves ... we're not elves. We don't eat each other and others.
Rainseeker: (as Urist McRainseeker) I will not see this beard go to waste!
Toady: That's right, you take the hill dwarves and you harvest their beards and use them as your shirts and togas and things. That's just how it works.
Rainseeker: One hundred percent ... dwarven.
Toady: That's right. Shearing. The shearing, I put that in just for this reason so that you could stack up your dwarves and shear them and send them back out to grow ... they graze out in the muck and the mushrooms. You have to feed them alcohol and their beards come out. Shave them ...
Toady: Chewing on the beard to get the alcohol out. You know, it's very simple. A simple, strange way of life. But I'm sure that the deep dwarves will become more exotic if anything to distinguish them from the hill dwarves, because right now they're quite similar in economy, in the sense they're kind of food-drunky type of things. Because we could make them into ... If they became just like forts and were all about mining and crafting ... you would become mediocre in all things, except for like your ability to charge tolls to people that want to go outside, something that would be kind of stupid as a sole function. So we're thinking that the deep sites could kind of be a farm league for mediocre craftsman and then you could get some better ones from there and you would be like the majors in terms of what's going on in your fortress. But we'll have to see how it plays out. I'm sure we'll come up with some good things once we've got the deep sites and hill dwarf sites actually linked to your fortress, so they're not linked right now. So right now they're pretty blah-blah sites with their plump helmet fields and little delved out living arrangements and so on, they're kind of like a village, right now, those deeper sites.
Rainseeker: And you don't get population from them, necessarily, or immigration.
Toady: You get historical figures, just like ... so most of your immigrants now, at least ... so in the currently released version you would get a lot of historical immigrants until your historical figure population started to suffer and then you just get regular entity population ... abstract immigrants. Now, you get historical immigrants from a far richer number of sites so you get deep site and hill dwarf immigrants and this will ... and with the birth-death, well not death, because death is kind of the opposite of getting more guys, but the birth and marriage, growing up, all that kind of stuff that happens now all over the world you'll have a kind of infinite supply of historical figures. Their histories get less and less interesting as the years go on because we don't have all of the things that were happening in world generation done yet, but as we get more of those things in there, histories will actually be more interesting because there's more detail after world generation.
Toady: But they'll have the complete list of cousins and aunts and uncles that you might be used to now from your new immigrants in the currently released version, you can kind of look at most of your guys and they'll have full pages of family members and so on and that will still happen now with these new people because they're all having children and they're all related to other dwarves that may have come in the past and so on. So, that can continue on now, which is a really good first step for this continuation of world generation is that we have sort of meaningful migrants and there's going to be some very strange things that happen now for instance, if you retire your fortress, your fortress now just becomes a site in the world. People will continue to live the simple parts of their lives like having children and so on. Then you'll get migrants from your old fortress into your new fortress including all of your old dwarves, could possibly come from that retired fortress.
Rainseeker: What's the odds that you're going to get that? Is that pretty common?
Toady: It should be very common, actually, because your fortress is full of historical figures and a lot of mundane historical figures. The game doesn't keep track of too many, sort of craftsman and miners and so on. It keeps track, just for memory purposes, most of the historical ... well maybe not most, it tries to make it about half and half or whatever, I don't remember what the proportion is, but it does try to keep some mundane figures in play throughout the world, just so you can kind of meet regular people that have interesting lives. But, there are just by the burden of, especially in dwarf-land, how many little positions like bookkeeper, manager and all that kind of stuff, there are a lot of important dwarves that are tracked to the detriment of tracking regular dwarves, but, when you retire your fortress, just because you got to know the dwarves there, they're all historical figures. Every single craftsman and child that's there is a historical figure. And so, those people, when they migrate into your new fortress, you're actually quite likely to get a dwarf from your old fortress. Kind of raises the question, about like, what happened to your old retired fortress to make them want to move when they were living there? It must be because they miss your orders.
Rainseeker: They miss your leadership, exactly.
Toady: Yes, yes, they miss all the wonderful things you were doing for them. Drowning them in magma and sending them out to fight the undead, and so on ... they just want to do that again, a bunch of adrenaline junkies and drunks. That's what we've come to expect from our dwarves, so they'll come to visit. So, yeah, it should be pretty cool.
Capntastic: So the deep down dwarves, when they come up, maybe they should just be very very allergic to the sun?
Toady: Well they will be cave adapted.
Capntastic: But extremely cave adapted, have another tier.
Toady: Maybe blind, they'll just lose their eyes.
Capntastic: They'll be blind and they'll be completely white, you know, like those cave fish.
Toady: Beardless, beardless, no, they'll have flesh that replaces the beard or something like these tendrils that come out..
Capntastic: Fleshy beards?
Toady: Translucent fleshy beards that generate light, but they don't have eyes, so it doesn't mean anything. And yeah, they have alcohol detectors in their stomachs and so on, they waddle around and roll in the mud. And yeah, so that's about like a dwarf. That's what we expect from a dwarf.
Rainseeker: Ya, that's pretty good.
Toady: A Cthulu-esque mob that comes out of the deep.
Capntastic: But they're friendly and they talk with a Scottish accent.
Toady: That's right. Scottish deep spawn.
It's interesting being in this position, because now we've got all kinds of choices. I'm not sure those are the choices we're going to make, but got all kinds of choices, so it should be cool.
Ollieh: (musical interlude)
Toady: We do want to differentiate, though. They need to be unique eventually and we always add little things over time that kind of separate things out, so it should be pretty cool in the end.
Rainseeker: Would you be able to choose like a hill dwarf, when you're in adventure mode, and you're generating, a hill dwarf or a regular dwarf or deep dwarf.
Toady: Yeah, you get to choose, right now, it's as before you choose the civilization you're from, and then it'll kind of settle you with the hill dwarfdom or deep dwarfdom, or fortress dwarfdom at its whim. We'll have to change the ... when you have more generation options in general, you'll have that kind of decision, so yeah, people have been asking quite a bit lately ... when is it time to allow you to just take over a historical figure as an adventurer instead of generating one, for instance? And the main problems with that all still remain because we don't have any kind of administration for powerful figures and so on, so if you took over even a manager or bookkeeper you wouldn't have anything to do with being a manager or bookkeeper, so it makes it kind of strange. But that's almost a trivial concern in the grand scheme of things, I mean if you want to take over the queen, and then it's just like, it's time for the queen to become an adventurer or whatever, and she just walks out of the throne room and goes off and has an adventure, then I mean that was her decision.
Rainseeker: Well she could probably command the armies, you know.
Toady: That's the thing, we're not even there yet, right?
Toady: We don't have army command, so if you choose to take over the control of the dwarves, then you're just kind of malinger and ...
Capntastic: Single handedly go and start wars, on your own.
Toady: That's about all you can do, you can cause trouble.
Capntastic: But you role play! You say I'm going to inspire the troops.
Capntastic: I'm going into this cave and kill everything.
Toady: So in that case there are other concerns but not large ones in terms of just taking people over. There is kind of the ... it's sort of interesting, it's like legends mode, right, if you make a gigantic world, let it run for a while then you're sometimes running ... I forgot what the cap is ... I think it's like fifteen thousand, twenty thousand historical figures, that's kind of just a sheer logistics problem in terms of starting your game. You're like 'I want to be ... an adventurer' and it's like 'Okay, do you want to start in one of these civilizations? Do you want to start as a pre-existing historical figure?' And you're like 'Oh, I'll start as a pre-existing historical figure' and then it's like 'Okay! You have twenty thousand choices' and I guess you'll whittle it down initially by civilization or race concerns and then you'd still be looking at a list of, you know, fifteen hundred people or something.
Capntastic: They could look at professions, possibly.
Toady: That's right, and interests, hobbies ...
Rainseeker: Or it's sort of situation, like, if there's someone that's currently in prison, yeah, you could be this prisoner and then it would set up a chance for you to escape ... or not.
Toady: Yeah, that may be the most common thing at first, because until we get to these larger scale civilization concerns, the people you'd want to look for are ordinary people with interesting lives, like I said before. You want to find people ... maybe somebody whose town is about to be invaded or like you were saying a criminal of some kind, we've got a shortage of criminals but you could be a bandit, I guess. The bandits are the criminals of the game right now, and we've got those people living in the sewers, so you could start as a sewer criminal if you want to be with one of those sewer criminals
Rainseeker: Or possibly you could be someone who's had their spouse kidnapped by a night creature.
Toady: Yeah, the child of someone who has been kidnapped by a night creature, and it's like, you have 15 days to finish your mission before your mom gets turned into a spouse of the night troll or whatever. Yeah, then you'd be on some kind of horrible matricide mission, so, you'd want to succeed. These are the wonderful little interesting things that will come out of that selection. So the main thing pushing back against that is, the people who ... there's going to be an awful lot of people who are just like 'I want to play the demon king of the goblins or whatever' and it's like 'Alright!' There you are, in your giant palace in the middle of this hell-hole, and you can't do anything. I guess you could talk to the goblins and they'd be like 'Hey, what's up' and you could ask them about their family or join you on your adventures, and they'd be like 'Oh, I'd rather not'. People don't have any appreciation of your importance, with regard to your civilization position because it assumes you don't hold a civilization position. But yeah, in the spirit of sandboxiness, you could just let it all ride or whatever. There is a concern that some other people have raised that you have a large temptation to just cheat when you're in that position. Like if you had a dwarf fortress that you just retired, temporarily retired, because you can unretire them, so you temporarily retire your dwarf fortress and your kind of in this desperate war with the goblins and then you start an adventurer, and you're like 'I want to play the demon" and then you just go jump off a bridge or something and then go back and unretire your fortress and you're like 'well, problem solved!' That would be a kind of thing, we were leaning toward a world generation setting on that, you're like 'In this world, I don't want to be able to do cheap crap like that'. So you'd only be able to play regular historical figures or something like that. Like unpositioned historical figures or people you had played before..
Capntastic: Make it so that anytime you abandon something, a month passes, like a time limit like that or something so you can't just say 'Oh, guess I'm losing ... better morph into something else.'
Toady: Yeah, it becomes complicated, of course, because there are times when you'd want to definitely not let time pass or whatever. Although now we've completely dodged that question, we need ... not dodged, we just haven't handled it because it still does that thing where it advances you to the next year when you unretire your fortress, but it doesn't repair the world's army situation, a lot of that stuff. So it's just not ... yeah we're not all the way there yet. We are making important strides, because the world can kind of repair itself a little bit now, people can be reborn and with the succession stuff, which is my current project right now, you can repair the upper echelons of society which were never repaired before either. Where it's like, once the rulers die, that's it, you don't have any of those anymore. Once any trivial position of any kind in the civilization became unfilled, it was never filled. So, now we can see if you have a whole civilization half wiped out by some horrifying event, it can fix itself now, or it will be when I'm through with what I'm working on right now, it'll be able to fix itself. That includes the kind of things where people had their outpost liaisons come to their fort and then they'd ... something horrible would happen and then they wouldn't get another one and then I added in a kind of stop-gap measure where a person would be generated for that particular reason but there are a lot of holes with that system and a lot of places where a position was not refilled because it didn't have that solution tacked on top of it. So now that's all going to be homogenized and fixed.. and if your outpost liaison dies, they should actually designate an actual person to be your actual new one, if you deserve it. You know, maybe it isn't something that's always going to get refilled. We'll see how it plays out. I have a feeling if people do die an awful lot, it will still have to elevate historical figures from entity populations, like if there are just no grown dwarves left, because you've been killing them all, and then it needs to find a new outpost liaison for you, then it would have to bring one up from nothing. But that's fine, that's what those entity populations are there for, to deal with the sheer numbers of people you need, and also deal with gaps in the historical record, caused by massive ... death ... problems. So, it should all start working now, which is cool, it's about time to get the game working..
Rainseeker: So when towns become wiped out by an adventurer having "fun", does it get repopulated, now, again?
Toady: It depends on just how thorough the adventurer was, because there's the issue of reclaim by civilizations of sites that's not you doing it, right? And so, if a place becomes an utter ruin ... that was one of the things that's actually on the to-do for this release, is having that happen because the goblins can be so thorough sometimes, depopulating a swath of countryside and just putting everyone on the pike ... you go there and there's all kinds of heads and skins and things on sticks, and so on, and no people left. If you want the world to continue on, then sites have to be reused. Sometimes you want ruins to form because a ruin is an adventure environment, but you also want ruins to not always just be ruins, they're just a place that was razed and then it gets repopulated, or a place where, like you were saying an adventurer goes off on a little tipsy little journey there causing trouble, as people occasionally have that impulse to do that. And then they would recognize that the place is unpopulated or depopulated just like they do with the goblins and then they would deal with it. So, when I deal with one, the other one should be handled. It's something that could very well go in for this time, it depends, like I was saying, I'm kind of going through everything up to a certain point depending on what other things are needed and so on, and then I'm going to go through again. So this second run through where I'm cleaning up bugs and handling unfinished issues, that was one of the unfinished issues that came out of goblin army attacks that needs to be handled and could very well be handled. In that case, yeah, you'll have a town ... now I haven't ... people did bury people in the sewer or in the catacombs in the towns and they have those large burial structures ... They don't know how to expand those right now, so right now it would be very macabre, the way it's set up, it's a matter of getting things done right. If the humans decide to repopulate their village that the adventurer had made a complete mess of or that the goblins had decorated with various macabre artwork then they would just live alongside that right now, it would be kind of horrifying. Maybe it's so that they remember, so you'd go into someone's shop, and there'd just be the dead body on the ground or whatever, and they're like "yes, that's our memorial to your adventurers last visit" or whatever. That's something that definitely needs to be handled at some point, obviously. And then you'd just see like a gigantic mound covered with flowers on it or something, now that we've got flowers. You could have a giant mound where they'd deal with all the bodies you've produced over the years or over one day. So we'll see, it's always in steps, but the most nonsensical stuff like having dead bodies scattered everywhere, probably stuff that I could handle earlier. So, we'll see, it should be intriguing.
Rainseeker: So I guess we'll do the obvious thing and talk about the Hobbit, which has dwarves in it. It has, I think, eighteen or nineteen dwarves. They all have the same name ...
Toady: That's right. They've all got embarrassing facial hair.
Rainseeker: There's Urist ... See, I get this Dwarf Fortress joke.
Toady: Yep, and they've got Kogan, and Alis and all the other dwarf names.
Capntastic: Yeah, and Gandalf, and the rest.
Toady: Gandalf the dwarf ... he has a better beard than half those dwarves.
Capntastic: I know.
Toady: It's all about quality ... too tall though.
Capntastic: And hobbits have beards, they're just on their feet.
Toady: That's right, twice.
Capntastic: This is our A game, right here folks.
Toady: You're ready for it, so we saw that ...
Capntastic: I saw the movie, I saw it in the 48 frames per second, which was pretty cool, it was like getting my spine electrocuted through my eyes.
Toady: Yeah, I didn't see it that way.
Rainseeker: I'm not familiar with this technology.
Capntastic: It's the new 48 frames a second and it was really fast, all these very subtle movements and just details kind of pop out, but it's in a really non-stop disconcerting way. So even tiny things, like holding a sheet of paper, you see the sheet of paper vibrating. It's cool, but when you're sitting there for three hours..
Toady: It was like hyper reality?
Capntastic: I enjoyed it actually, and I think it's something people will get used to ... but a lot of people hated it.
Toady: Yeah, I didn't get to see it that way. I saw the non-3D, non 48 frames, just completely ...
Capntastic: Was it in black and white, too?
Toady: Yeah, sepia tone movie on old rotted out celluloid.
Capntastic: Are you sure you weren't just reading the book?
Toady: Well, we did watch the old cartoon too, with the big fat round hobbits, and all the music.
Capntastic: Yeah, I liked the cartoon because Gandalf is animated, with just one frame, with the clutch cargo mouth that moves and he just slides out from behind a tree and scares Bilbo.
Toady: The goblins detach their lower jaw all the time, but there's more music. I would have preferred if the scary albino goblin from the movie had been singing songs that he was supposed to sing, the trees were burning ...
Rainseeker: ... there was a revenge song, or a hobbit scaring song.
Toady: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well it's all about eyes popping and stuff, it really wasn't appropriate for a children's book. But about skin cracking and stuff when they're on fire and how the dwarves have to burn to death and stuff. But it would have been a fun song for them to sing, instead they had to have their little showdown duel thing that never happened or whatever. That's alright. It's going to be different without the music. Without the important things, you know.
Rainseeker: Yeah, well when they make a movie about my life, they're going to omit the musical part ... a shame.
Toady: All the things we can sing about Rainseekers life ...
Rainseeker: Yeah, well I just had a musical number this morning that you guys totally missed it; when I woke up, birds were singing, the chipmunks and the squirrels were doing this little dance routine on the front yard.
Capntastic: Did you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Rainseeker: I did. I did, I really did.
Capntastic: This is our A game, folks!
Toady: Were there birds, are there still lots of birds, there?
Rainseeker: Yep, there are, as a matter of fact I have a bird in my lap right now, he's pestering me, he's trying to chew my buttons right now ... aren't you buddy? He's a little jenday conure, and he makes a lot of growling noises at me while I'm trying not to let him chew on the mike. He likes to chew on the mike. Wait, here he goes.. that was little jenday noise. You can't chew on the mike, mister jenday. Although you like breaking buttons.. (bird noise) There we go. See, there we go, I got him to talk because he didn't like what I was doing.
Toady: So it is a musical life.
Ollieh: (musical interlude)
Threetoe: Okay, this is the ThreeToe answer section of Dwarf Fortress Talk. So, I'm ThreeToe and I'll be reading some of your questions, which there are a lot of we requested, and thankfully a lot of you guys came back with some questions. So, let's get started. ButteryMess asks, 'Have you checked out all of the DF Fan art, and what is your opinion of it?'
Toady: People used to just sporadically post them in different forum threads and different forums throughout the Internet on their own blogs and stuff ... there'd be these fan art things and we'd see those when they'd get linked to us, and now there's that thread that Armok made ...
Threetoe: The "moving sound".
Toady: … the moving sound thread. I think it was called moving sound because someone moved the forum thread but now we think of it as a kind of avant garde modern art thing about moving sound, so it's DF Fan Art Moving Sound. We periodically go in there and look at all the pictures. As for our opinion of it, it really depends on the piece, doesn't it?
Threetoe: Yeah, there's a lot of good stuff out there. It's really amazing that people have liked our game as much to make so much of it, so many people that have contributed to that stuff. That's really cool.
Threetoe: Ok, so, the next question ... Zoor asks, 'On dwarven tantrums, how much of it is a placeholder to be revamped and how much of it is our vision?'
Toady: The tantrums right now, it's pretty crazy how they sort of go out of control with one tragic loss of a pet or something sending the whole fortress into overdrive. I mean dwarves are supposed to be somewhat volatile and somewhat amplified imperfect people, but maybe not quite that much. It gets pretty silly, because it doesn't let you experience the lows of the game without just losing your whole fortress, so I think that there should be more of a roller-coaster ride and less of a kind of degenerate spiral down to nothing when just a few bad things happen. Especially because it encourages you not to have dwarves have friends? I mean, having friends should generally help people get through hard times rather than causing the friends of someone who died to all go off and beat people up and stuff. It's just silly.
Threetoe: So yeah, just tone it down a little bit maybe.
Threetoe: So falling[unintelligible] asks, 'What is your feelings on allowing complete customization of embark dwarves, such as their personalities and preferences?'
Toady: I haven't thought about it that much, but I don't have a problem with people wanting to fully customize their seven starting dwarves. We're thinking of doing that for adventure mode sometime, there's some roadblocks to doing it this time. Just like in those RPGs it can be, it's not exactly standard these days, but it's often allowed that you can fully customize your face and that kind of thing. The only issue with dwarves, I guess, is if you can customize your preferences or your attributes, it can be kind of gamey, I guess? I don't know if that would kind of mess up ...
Threetoe: Oh yeah, we were also talking about the problem with genetics, too.
Yeah, that was the roadblock to ... the roadblock to customizing your adventurer is getting the genes to line up because there's genetics to determine appearance and if you want to bring your person out of ... just give him an arbitrary face, it might not be able to find the genes for it, then that would harm the adventurer reproduction later. Especially now that when your retire your adventurer, they can just go off and get married when you're not looking, so it needs to have their genetic information in place. There's workarounds for it though, but with dwarves I'm more worried about ... not exactly worried about gaming the system, it's a conversation we've had a bunch of different times on a bunch of different subjects whether or not people should be able to fully customize or fully amplify themselves and whether or not that's something that should be customizable or something that should be in a worldgen parameter and whether or not people are overcome by temptation, whether the temptation ruins the game, whether or not I should care about people ruining the game, because they are tempted? All of that kind of thing. We've found solutions to those things in the past without really restricting the options, so I think eventually customizing the dwarves, once you can do it in the adventurer will probably be a test case for it, because it's a little easier there.
Threetoe: Ok, so ... Dinoct asks, 'You mentioned that when people ask for information they can lie to you, will this be limited to finding information from random people or will even your group leader that you decide to join lie to you in order to get you to do things?' Can you put someone in power and they betray you, and that kind of thing?
Toady: I think that's actually more interesting than the case where someone randomly lies to you when you're asking for information, that's kind of silly. I mean, I guess you could go into a town where they don't like strangers and you ask where to put your horse or something and they tell you the wrong place.
Threetoe: Yeah, usually in these kind of games, they lie to you at the very end and then you find out that the whole quest has been a mistake or whatever. Yeah, I don't think that's the kind of lies we were talking about, was it?
Toady: I guess it was a broader question. Oftentimes in the game you'll have someone lie to you to put them in power, like we were saying, and then you'd have a final boss battle with them, or you take like half the Bethesda quests (or maybe a little less than half) but very very often, you always kind of just keep the quest giver somewhere where you can see them because they're going to betray you half the time, and then you just have to kill them. Whereas in Dwarf Fortress if someone betrays you and we certainly would allow that to happen or if they just have a bad disposition.. I mean you might put someone into power who never intended to betray you, but they just have a bad disposition and then things go downhill from there, then either in the same game or subsequent games, in different modes or whatever, you can deal with that. So, it's something that should be pretty interesting in the end and we're not going to force someone to be a good person just because you wanted to do things for them, that would be hard to do.. I'd have to rewrite their brain, while you're talking to them, or something like that, it'd be strange.
Threetoe: Ok, so, we have a couple of questions from Ironbad and Isaacflashman, asks about inheriting surnames, so 'Will the children inherit the last names of their parents?'
Toady: So this is a pretty popular thing, I think probably because of fort mode where you can't tell who's related to who and that kind of thing. I don't remember what the reason we hadn't done it is, if we just haven't setup the raws for it, or we wanted to support different systems, or we wanted to wait for the names to support different systems, or whatever. Technically speaking, we're all for having that kind of thing, being able to tell what families people are from, and so on. It's not necessarily the case that there'll always be family names and surnames, that's not present in all cultures, especially the further back in time you go. A lot of people just didn't have family names, they were just like 'I'm John from this city' and that was what they called themselves, they didn't really have a surname. But, just keeping our options open and having that kind of thing at some point maybe more in fort mode, or more for dwarves, just because it seems to ...
Threetoe: It's just cool ...
Toady: Yeah, I think for dwarves it would be more fun to see the families join each other and ... I don't know if dwarves have clans or whatever, I mean people think of them in different ways and we haven't really thought about it too deeply, but yeah, I think it would be cool to put a system in for dwarf mode and just raw-ify it and people can turn it off if they don't like it or whatever. I think we will do that. Both of them asked if it's coming in with the new succession stuff and it's not coming in at this point.
Threetoe: Okay, so the next question is for me ... it's from Marten, he asks: 'This question is for Zach, is there any features you would love to see implemented in Dwarf Fortress ASAP, but Tarn for one reason or another refuses it?' Well here's the secret, is that most of the things coming out are probably my fault. I petition things to be put in that you guys probably don't even want to be put in.
Okay, moving on ...
Ollieh: (musical interlude)
Threetoe: Okay, this next question is from James, he asks 'Will you ever begin to include randomized main races, or will the player interactable races always be limited to token dwarves, elves, goblins and humans? And a smattering of chimera tribes' ... the animal people.
Toady: Is that what he means by the smattering of ... I don't know how to say these words, is it chimera? Yeah, it must be the animal people. Unless you meant something else.
Threetoe: Yeah, we could always just call the animal people something else, other than turtle man, we could make it some other name and still be a turtle man.
Toady: I think it's always been in the plan to have randomized main races, it was up on the old dev pages, I don't remember if it made it anywhere on the new dev pages or not? I think it might actually be there. Maybe not. It would be the last one, because doing randomized civilizations is an extra step beyond randomized monsters. Because we've kind of been easing in, we have the forgotten beasts now, we've got the titans, those are randomized. We have some of the underworld creatures randomized and we wanted to ease in to having some of the regular kind of monsters in the woods and stuff, randomizing those with a few extra night creature entries at some point and then kind of ease in to having some randomized regular creatures and then finally adding in randomized civilization creatures. The problem with randomized civilization creatures is there needs to be a lot of exposition or you're just going to be completely confused about what's going on, but it would definitely be an option, I think there would be a slider or something for how strange you want your world to be because we definitely think having dwarves and elves and goblins is cool for a lot of people just to kind of understand what's going on without having to do a lot of extra reading.
Threetoe: Okay, so the next question is from Onebedterrin, he asks, 'Will there ever be any colossus other than bronze such as a stone, adamantine, or bone colossus.' He mentions we already have titans made out of different materials ... so yeah, the stone colossus, or the bronze colossus, what's the thought?
Toady: Well, the bronze colossus of course is a Jason and the Argonauts ... from Talos coming in and lifting up ships and shaking them and so on ... this is the reality ...
Threetoe: Yeah they've been there from the beginning ...
Toady: It's the reality we grew up with, all the Ray Harryhausen stuff. I think all of our megabeasts have appeared in a Ray Harryhausen movie somewhere, except the randomized megabeasts but every other one has been in either The Clash of the Titans or Jason and the Argonauts or one of the Sinbad movies. It's just how we roll here at Bay 12 Games. I don't think there's going to be therefore, another kind of colossus add as a raw stock creature and the randomized creatures that we currently have. You can have, as you said, a Titan made completely out of stone or something. They don't work very well right now, especially the ones made out of snow or whatever, they just die, but that would probably be how they come about. We already have the smaller magma man type things and so on and again, I think we're probably going to be moving in the direction where material creatures of different sizes are just things that randomly occur and hopefully it doesn't get too mushy or gobbledygooky but that's how it's going to happen.
Threetoe: Next question is from Talvieno. He asks 'Will members of other civilizations eventually be able to join your civilization and live among your dwarves?'
Toady: I guess does the person mean other civilizations or other races? You can already have people in your civilization in worldgen that are humans or elves or even goblins that have joined up with the dwarf group and once the code supports it they will be able to move to your fortress. Right now there's just bugs where it treats them like pets sometimes and lots of strange stuff like that. Well, there's many problems. The official plan is to fix all of that up for the tavern and inn arc, when you can keep an inn, because there will be people living at your fortress on a semi-permanent basis.
Threetoe: Yeah, this is one of my favorite suggestions that someone had, to have dwarf mode inns.
Toady: Yeah, that's definitely going to be awesome. It'll be like Diner Dash, you'll be taking care of people trying to multi-task and that will eventually lead to people staying in your fortress longer term because we'll be working out the problems with multi-racial forts at that time and we'll have full integration not long after, I suspect.
Threetoe: Ok, Aaron asks, 'Considering Dwarf Fortress' long development, will animals be removed the game as their real life counterparts go extinct or will animals such as polar bears, gorillas and pandas be kept in Dwarf Fortress even after their extinction in reality? Any plans to include the moa, dodos, or pygmy mammoths that were still kicking around past 1400AD?' Yeah, that's kind of a messed-up question. We were thinking about having the animal sponsorship drive. That didn't really work out that well, well it did monetarily, but it was kind of hard to implement. At one point considering having an extinct animal sponsorship drive.
Toady: Yeah, it probably wouldn't be a sponsorship drive, at least not the same way. We'd be happy to include extinct animals, and I think it would be just cold, if the polar goes extinct, to remove it from the game, that'd be cold. I'd like to keep the polar bear in there as kind of an homage to the existence of the polar bear, but it is incredibly depressing to think about that. But I'm not removing polar bears from the game.
Threetoe: Okay, so the next question is from Accos, he says, 'With ownership of sites coming, will civilizations lay claim to areas as well? Will the game have countries where civilization control is not just the towns but also the uninhabited area around it? If an army of a different civ enter that area, will it cause a war?'
Toady: They have areas that they sort of lay claim to now, and you can see those maps in Legends mode if you go to the maps section, but they're overlapping. They don't have treaties about who can cross what river, that kind of thing. I'm not sure if exact country boundaries are an anachronism or not, we're not in the real timeline but we always use our 1400 cut-off to determine kind of what would vaguely be called an anachronism. People do get picky about things and certainly get picky about things like who gets to cut down which trees and all that kind of stuff and when we put in ... the missing key element I think here is having things like mines and larger lumber camp places, places that are sort of industrial in scope and not just a village, that a larger authority like an empire is using, and once they've got those places there'd be kind of a claim to an area associated to those sites. Other than that, I don't know if patrols just bump into each other, they could cause trouble, it's a matter of catching people as much as anything.
Threetoe: Ok, so the next one is from Charles, 'What do you realistically think DF will be capable of in five or ten years? Looking at the narrative vision we know that you'd like to be able to tell stories but Dwarf Fortress is not an RPG. Do you think it could be, what are the limits of procedural generation and at what point can you look at the narratives it produces and be proud, as a writer, of what the game is outputting?'
Toady: Well as a writer, what do you say?
Threetoe: I think it's already there. There's so many stories people have written from Boatmurdered all the way up to the present day, of ... what was that last one that just came out, that just finished?
Toady: Bravemule just finished.
Threetoe: Yeah, Bravemule just finished and they have a movie with subtitles talking about how it's progressed.
Toady: Yeah, it's hard to say what the limits of procedural generation are, because we continue to push them. We'll see how much of the storytelling will occur in the game and not be added on by people. It's hard to say ... If you're actually talking about reading Legends Mode or when you're talking to people, is this output the equivalent of what a writer produces, I don't think we're going to be there, ever, especially if you're talking about a good writer.
Threetoe: Yeah, it would somehow have to be able to string all the legends mode stuff plus what happened in the game and try to hook it together in such a way to make it a legend or something.
Toady: It's hard to even get the language produced, much less any actual skill that you learn while writing to have that come across so we'll probably always be relying on the players to some extent to make it something that they're visualizing in their head, but we will have a lot of more interesting things going on, a lot more moving parts for people to play with.
Threetoe: Okay so he also has a question for Scamps, 'Do you like chewing on the wires and biting your person's ankles and are you a megabeast?' Well, where is Scamps?
Toady: He came up and bothered me once during this call, but I was talking and didn't want to scream at him. While there was no claws sinking in, I do have one bloody scab on my pinky finger.
Threetoe: He has this brand new toy, this fishing pole that he loves to play with and now he will not let us sit in peace. We'll be working on our computers and he'll come up and grab us by the ankle and he actually bit me one time to get me to play that stupid fishing pole.
Toady: Zach is the best at the fishing pole, though, Zach's the one who gets like four feet ...
Threetoe: That's why I'm bothered.
Toady: Yeah, Zach is bothered, not me. He'll even ... he might bother me for a moment and then he'll remember and just go bother Zach again. But Zach can get the four foot leaps out of him. Over one meter. Over one meter for our worldwide listeners, he can get many many many centimeters out of the cat.
Threetoe: Alright, so the next one is from Eric, he asks, “Have you considered creating random materials in the game so civilizations and players could perform experiments on the materials to determine their properties? Given the structure of the raws it seems like it could be pretty easy to create random metals in world creation.”
Toady: So there already are random materials in the game, just not the type Eric wanted. There's the rain, can be a random material ...
Threetoe: Oh that's right, yeah.
Toady: When it rains some kind of ... And mists, the mists are also defined as a random material.
Threetoe: We just need a a solid now ...
Toady: Yeah, we just need a solid ... there can be solids if it gets cold and the mist freezes I guess, or if it snows ... I don't remember if it can snow slime or not, but it might not be able to, but if it could then that would be a random material. The important point is that these random materials are raw files, they are generated just like raw files, then it just kind of puts them in with your other text files and pretends to load them, it actually goes through and processes the text file and everything. So it is just a matter of will and time and interface, etcetera; all of the game making pieces of it but not the technical framework for getting things like random metals in the game. And avoiding the kind of gray sludge problem where it's like does your world turn into mush if everyone is walking around with like akabarite shields or whatever. You're like, 'What is that?!'
Threetoe: Yeah, it's the same problem as the randomized monsters, it's like when you see the name, and every time you play the game it's a new monster with a completely different thing you never get used to it.
Toady: We just have to overcome exposition and then we'll be all over that.
Threetoe: Okay, so the next question is from Luke, he asks, 'To many players and indeed to the outside observers, Dwarf Fortress is less of a game than it is a living entity; after the better part of a decade of development I'm sure the decisions made a year ago or even five years ago influence the present changes made to the game in not so minuscule ways. I guess my question is: has Dwarf Fortress reached the point where it has a say in its own development?' So has its shape kind of determined what we're doing next?
Toady: I guess it does when I want to get to the next part quickly? But I've also done a lot of gutting and re-writing, so when Dwarf Fortress tries to push back, I push back and gut parts of the game and destroy people's save files. So I guess the answer would be when I'm preserving save compatibility, Dwarf Fortress is having its say. Then when I get tired of it, Dwarf Fortress doesn't get to talk anymore and we just obliterate things. There are probably some elements now that are a bit entrenched but people would have to remind me what they are. Destroyed the personalities, having one world isn't even going to be a permanent thing ... it does cause inertia but not complete stasis. We would have added multi-planar worlds a long time ago if I had thought to support them ten years ago. The way it's setup now it's an annoyance ... around the level of adding the z coordinate, but the z co-ordinate got added and multi-planar worlds are going to make it in too.
Threetoe: Dwarf Fortress hasn't won yet, we still have control!
Toady: Yeah, we're not Skynetted out yet. It does feel that way sometimes, it's true.
Threetoe: Okay, the next question … from Jeeesus, he asks, 'Have you ever regretted being so open with the development of Dwarf Fortress?' and he also asks 'How often do you and Zach get together to talk about development and brainstorm ideas and has Scamps impeded development?' Have you ever regretted being so open? I don't think so.
Toady: No, no, I think being open with the development ... I mean to the extent that we're open
Threetoe: In fact, if we didn't let people know what we're doing , they wouldn't be so inclined to support us, I don't think.
Toady: Yeah, it's true. It's just part of the whole way our community works and our ... if you want to call it our business strategy. Not really the way we think about it, but that's what it is I guess. It's not open source or anything, it's not like this is the most open development in the world, there's people more open than we are, but we're at a place where we're comfortable, we don't regret where we're at at all. How often do we get together and brainstorm ideas? Some days we talk about what I'm doing less than others, but I see Zach every day for most of the day, so ... all the time. It's just an every day thing. How often has the cat impeded development? Well, I'd say that I don't mind having the cat, I think the cat's a good addition to the family and my morale has increased so I think the cat has therefore improved development. The cat has enhanced development. I think there might be specific moments in time where the cat impedes development but those are few and far between. Or sort of ... he is a kind of violent beast, but that's alright.
Threetoe: Okay, so the last question from Nate in Idaho and he asks, 'I was wondering how often you spend working on DF daily and what can other players do to help you in your quest to expand the best game in the world? Also, as from the creators, do you have any tricks or general advice to help noobs?'
Toady: I spend quite a lot of time on Dwarf Fortress. There are days where I don't get as much programming in as I would like because I'm doing the forum and email and stuff like that, but it's basically what I do, during the day. That's kind of it. But that's alright.
Threetoe: I can testify to that, Tarn is every single day for most of the day on Dwarf Fortress, so you guys should appreciate that.
Toady: At this point, other players, there's a lot of things you can do, you can help people out on the forum ... of course you can support Dwarf Fortress, go to bay12games.com to support Dwarf Fortress.
Threetoe: Click on the little yellow chick-dinosaur thing.
Toady: That's right, the cautionsaurus, click on the cautionsaurus and it'll tell ya how to help there, the pointing creature ... You can do all kinds of things ... make suggestions, help people out, help out with bug reports ...
Threetoe: Spread the word, tell everybody you can about Dwarf Fortress.
Toady: Tips and tricks ... you guys are, even the new people are all better at this game than we are!
Threetoe: It's true.
Toady: You can go to the forum and ask people for help and tips and tricks because we don't have any good ones.
Threetoe: Oh, and I hear someone wrote a book about Dwarf Fortress.
Toady: That's right, there's the O'Reilly press book by Tinypirate from the famed tutorials. He has a book and for some reason I don't remember the name of the book but it's the only O'Reilly press book that says Dwarf Fortress in the title.
Threetoe: ... to master the most complex game ever made, something like that.
Toady: Yeah, something like that. It's "Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress" or something like that.
Threetoe: Yeah, that's it, yeah.
Toady: Yeah, so you can read that book, it's a wonderful book, and it has all kinds of stuff in it. It's not going to help you with multi-tile trees once we release, until it's updated, but it'll help you with everything else. As a final note here, people were very very very nice with my request to send in questions for Dwarf Fortress Talk, so even though we got up into the teens today in terms of answering questions, we scratched the surface only, there are like another eighty questions and there's always just only so much time to do these recordings, but we will get to the people that were missed, there were lots of good questions in there, we're just going to keep plugging away at them until you guys are satisfied, so don't worry about that if you weren't answered today, you will be answered at another point in all likelihood.
Threetoe: So, another excellent version of Dwarf Fortress Talk, if I do say so myself. Alright, have a good one people, congratulations to the generous.
Threetoe: Keep shooting ahead into the future.
Toady: That's right, you're all champions in my book.
Ollieh: (musical interlude)
Rainseeker: Before we left I just wanted to mention my wife and I started a gluten free bakery this last year (conure sound) it's called measures of joy, and you can check it out at measuresofjoybakery.com we have a bunch of mixes that are gluten free so check us out and thanks for listening, this call has been a lot of fun.
Rainseeker: Alright Tarn, who do we thank?
Toady: We thank you, you're right on the list here.
Rainseeker: You're welcome.
Toady: We also thank Capn, Capn's on the list here, Capntastic.
Capntastic: Hooray! You're welcome everyone.
Toady: Everyone loves puppies.
Capntastic: I have a new puppy, it's my niece's puppy, but it likes me more.
Rainseeker: Because he's the man.
Toady: I'm Toady One, I'm thanking myself, I'm on the list here. And I'll thank my cat, Scamps, who's three, he's almost four, he'll be four next month.
Rainseeker: Uh oh, birthday time.
Toady: Yes, an aged cat who gets toys, many toys.
Toady: And we'll thank Ollieh and Emily Menendez for any music that may have played during this episode. Mallocks, a transcript producing person who will produce transcript and it will be posted at some point online. Anyone who chooses to contribute to Dwarf Fortress go to bay12games.com, there's a little button, and it's fun, it's fun to help out with Dwarf Fortress.
Rainseeker: Yeah, please donate!
Toady: ... because you get to see more Dwarf Fortress. It's fun, fun to see more Dwarf Fortress.
Capntastic: And you get amazing rewards!
Toady: That's right, rewards, you can get a crayon picture that we draw over at my grandma's place, those are fun, or Zach can write you little story.
Rainseeker: I want a crayon picture from your grandma.
Toady: We have actually not forced her to draw, it's amazing. It's been many months we've been going over there drawing the crayon pictures. Not once have we forced her to do that.. we've forced her to judge them, to see if any of them need to be tossed out. I don't think she's ever had us toss one out. We've tossed them out a few times, just like "Nah, this one doesn't make any sense" and then we throw it away. Sometimes they just don't turn out right. But, you know, accidents happen.
Rainseeker: That's right.
Toady: My crayons are getting very short, the black crayon in particular, the black crayon always does work, there's always little pupils or every picture usually has a little piece of black in it somewhere. The black crayons a little nub, and my blue crayons because I often give them blue shirts and blue pants at times ... good times, good fun.
Rainseeker: Good job everybody, thanks for coming to listen to our podcast, thanks Capn and Tarn for meeting today.
Capntastic: Thank you guys.
Rainseeker: We'll see you around.
Toady: Bye bye.
Ollieh: (musical interlude)
Toady: It is incredibly long. It is skinny and incredibly long. It is very skinny and extremely long. It is incredibly long and skinny. It is fat and incredibly long. It is extremely long and very fat. It is incredibly long, encapsulated in massive layers of lard. It is somewhat weak and extremely long. It is weak and extremely long. It is very frail and incredibly long. It's muscular and incredibly long. It is very muscular and incredibly long. It is incredibly long and muscular. It is incredibly long yet is also weak and skinny. It is frail and really skinny but also extremely long. It is extremely long with muscle and fat in equal measure. It is incredibly long with impressive muscles and great sacks of lard.
Rainseeker: And sacks of lard come out of a snake. I love it! Some imagery there.
Toady: It just looks like a large intestine or something.