Dwarf Fortress Talk #18, with Rainseeker, Capntastic, Threetoe and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

The latest significant release
    Various fortress threats
    City revamp
        Scamps aside
    Animal training
    Skill-giving slabs
Near-future plans
    Night creature interactions
    Godly interactions
    Player-perceived complexity
    Fortress mode emigration
    Programming Dwarf Fortress
    Independent animal allies
    Goblin settlement

Rainseeker:Welcome back to a new episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. After a long, long, long hiatus we're here to talk about Dwarf Fortress and all things fortressy and dwarfy related.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:It's true.
Rainseeker:We're excited. Yep, there was Tarn Adams right there and then ... followed by Capntastic.
Rainseeker:Hello everybody.
Toady:Who are you? Did you say who you were?
Rainseeker:I am Bob McEwer, also known as Rainseeker. Actually, Bob is not my real name, it is a pseudonym. It is short for Robert, but that's still not my name. So moving on, let's talk about the issue at hand, which is that we just got the .06 release.
Toady:Yes, we just got 0.34.06 although halfway through the release process I realized I had written 0.35.06 so I had to go back and change it. It hasn't gotten advanced enough for the 0.35 yet. Probably won't for quite a long time, because we're going to be fixing bugs. There are still bugs. There are quite a few bugs. There are 2,000 bugs.
Capntastic:I think it's important to note that this is the first talk we've done since the big release.
Toady:That's right. Yes, our last one was in November.
Rainseeker:We've been, kind of, waiting for it to come out, and waiting to talk, a little bit, but also we've had trouble coordinating our schedules. So, we're back. Thank you guys for listening and thank you guys for being patient with us.
Capntastic:We know you missed us.
Rainseeker:I would cry a little bit every day just thinking about how we weren't talking on your computer.
Toady:Hopefully you weren't crying on your computer.
Rainseeker:You know, maybe that's why my keyboard doesn't work anymore.
Toady:Yes, my computer died recently, so I know the danger of crying on the computer.
Rainseeker:What happened to your computer?
Toady:It just started dying. There were more and more corrupt files, the hard disk was going. So you'd notice that you would try and burn, for instance, Dwarf Fortress, the game we're writing ... try and burn that to CD, and ...
Rainseeker:Wait, wait, wait. You're writing a game called Dwarf Fortress?
Toady:Yeah. You never would have known, because people usually call it Slaves to Armok II. So, yeah, we just noticed when we're burning it that, you know, you'd occasionally get a file, it's, like, 'Cyclic redundancy check,' or whatever, 'has failed,' and you don't want that to happen to important stuff. Yes, so we dealt with it, and there's a new computer.
Rainseeker:There's a new version our.
Toady:Yeah. New computer, new version, and I guess ... hopefully it works for people. Hopefully it works in, you know, the older versions of Windows like it used to. It used to work in Windows XP Service Pack 3 and now I'm on Windows 7 so I stuck with XP for a while because I didn't know what would happen if I moved forward, and now I have, not through any choice of my own, and it hopefully works.
Capntastic:You just alienated, like, all of the Mac and Linux fan base.
Toady:Oh, but we try with Mac and Linux, I mean, we have it on Mac and Linux and test it on Mac and Linux every time.
Capntastic:You've got partitions going.
Toady:I might have to get a new Linux computer as well, but right now Linux is fine, because it's all on the same computer where the hard drive was having trouble and the computer still runs, and I got this Linux version off of there, but I backed up all of my Linux onto a different ... a USB drive now, but, yeah, if I ... when I have to update my Linux to a new computer I'm going to have to figure out how to do all that again, because there are various libraries you need to download from the Internet, and I don't remember all of what I needed to do, but I'm sure someone will help me with any bugs that I have if they want to play the game on Linux.
Capntastic:I tried that one.
Rainseeker:Didn't work out so well, huh Capn?
Capntastic:It just didn't work out. I don't understand Linux. I'd just gotten my Asus Eee a few Christmases ago and I was, like, 'I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to try this out, give it a chance, give it a fair shot,' and I couldn't figure it out, and it was Christmas so I didn't want to spend a lot of time trying.
Rainseeker:Linux is for smart people.

Rainseeker:So, alright, let's talk about the newest version.
Capntastic:I've been having fun with it.
Rainseeker:Good. Let's talk about vampires, because that's what everyone's talking ... I haven't seen a vampire yet because I've, like, been trying out the adventurer side. I keep accusing people of being vampires and they say, 'What? Settle down! Whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm not a vampire. Ignore the crypt behind me.'
Toady:'So are the 200 human hair trinkets in my right hand,' or whatever.
Rainseeker:Exactly. 'Calm down. This is not the vampire you're looking for.' So, let's talk about it in the fortress mode. What's been happening with the vampires?
Toady:Well, I mean, does Capn have one to report?
Capntastic:Not personally. I was reading on the Something Awful forums that, if I remember this correctly, they had a fort going and some murders were happening and they ... the choices to accuse for being a vampire were a little girl and a chicken, I think, or it was a little girl, a chicken, and some guy.
Rainseeker:The chicken!
Capntastic:They selected the guy, I think, and then it happened again, so it was whittled down to that. I might have that completely wrong, but I think it's funnier in my head that way.
Toady:Yes, well they could have gotten another one in the meantime. I mean, it's rare to get a vampire little girl, I don't think they happen in world gen, so you'd need to have vampire blood in your well, or something and then, well, you'd probably have more than a little girl to worry about at that point.
Rainseeker:Vampire blood in your well?
Capntastic:No-one suspects the chicken.
Toady:Someone on the forum had set up a, kind of, well of darkness, or whatever, where they had vampire blood in the well and created a vampire army in their fortress, or something. I don't remember the details, but it works, I suppose. As long as the blood stays a historical figure's blood, and doesn't just get smeared out into dwarf blood - that's going to happen through some mechanics - so it remembers whose blood it is, then it's infectious.
Rainseeker:Really? Okay. So that's how we become vampires, is ... by vampire blood?
Toady:Yes, by consuming the vampire blood. I mean, that's the way it is with our current vampires. We didn't get around to randomized vampires, so there's no real variation there.
Rainseeker:So the vampires can't make other vampires, right now?
Toady:Yes, it was one of those things. We had the blood ready to go, and we were, like, 'Okay, in world gen, they just need to feed the person they want to turn their blood,' you know, we were thinking of, you know, they'll be able to raise mindless ones by draining their blood, you know, three times, or whatever, and then we'll be able to vary that mechanic, but we just were feeling, you know, pressed for time and didn't get to that. You end up having to jump through a lot of hoops in world gen.
Rainseeker:Now, is there a disadvantage to having everybody in your fortress be a vampire? Will they starve, eventually?
Toady:They will, if you don't keep getting migrants to feed them.
Rainseeker:Worst. Migration. Ever.
Toady:Yeah. I mean, your fortress should eventually get marked as a death trap if you keep murdering your migrants and then since you'll have no one come to your fortress your vampires would start to slow down. They don't ever die from not drinking, they just get really slow. If they're at maximum slowness they might still be better overall than a regular dwarf in terms of their combat abilities and stuff because they have resistance to damage and higher attributes and stuff like that. There's not really a reason not to do it. I mean, you would have an evil fort, it would be bad to be a vampire. I guess you'd be more immune to zombie attacks because the zombies wouldn't attack your vampires.
Rainseeker:Oh, well that's a good way to tell, too.
Toady:I'm not sure if your vampires will attack the zombies, though, in that case, I've never tested that ... if your vampire soldiers would just leave them hanging out and hunt down and kill the necromancers, and then you'd just have these zombies wandering around.
Rainseeker:They actually might help you with a goblin invasion, I suppose.
Toady:Yes, just having your zombies, like, just roaming around outside like Dawn of the Dead outside of the mall, or whatever.
Capntastic:We need malls.
Toady:Yes, we need malls. Well, it'll be like that when we get to the dwarf mode inns and taverns and things. Your fort will be like a big mall.
Rainseeker:That's right.
Toady:You'll have the humans walking around, bumping their heads.
Rainseeker:Actually that could be interesting, too, because you could have vampires that just visit your fortress and are not permanent; they leave a body and then take off the next day.

Toady:Yes, we have, like, the raiding necromancers now that'll sneak and ... they sneak and keep trying to get to your refuse and corpse piles, and then they animate everybody, so if you suddenly found a bunch of ... if you're not in the evil region and you suddenly find yourself attacked by a bunch of zombies, that was because a necromancer managed to sneak into your fortress, and if you don't find them you're just going to have to deal with it over and over until you find them. Vampires could be the same. There are some antics we need to do, like night trolls need to come and snatch people on occasion.
Capntastic:Tear up your trees.
Rainseeker:That's right.
Capntastic:Just mischief.
Toady:Yeah, nothing but trouble. Can have little guys come and stagnate your water supply. People will love that, because they love the stagnant water so much ... or rot your food.
Capntastic:Just import a bunch of insects.
Toady:It's important to have bugs.
Rainseeker:You know, that's an interesting idea too. I mean, you could always have, you know ... you could have human traders that bring months with their grain, or something like that you know?
Toady:Yeah, all sorts of vermin. There's nothing like opening up a sack of meal or something and seeing the little things crawling around inside.
Capntastic:Just a barrel of rats. 'We brought you a barrel ...' That's actually one of my earliest memories of Dwarf Fortress, is embarking on the two-dimensional zone with the mountain to the right of me and the river to the left, and there's a little pond, and there are, you know, symbols that were flickering and I figure out how to see what it was, and it was mosquitoes. That was super cool.
Toady:We just added mosquitoes, though. It might have been, like, flies, or dragonflies, or something. Something horrible. There are, like, blood gnats, I think. I don't remember when we added those, so that could be some horrible thing like a mosquito. The nice thing about our mosquitoes is they don't bite and suck your blood. They don't do anything. They're nice mosquitoes.
Rainseeker:Make them tamable mosquitoes. You could have them riding on your shoulder.
Toady:I sure hope not.
Capntastic:When are we getting racing snails?
Toady:As soon as we get The Nothing, I guess.
Capntastic:Well that was in play negative three.
Rainseeker:The Nothing. I would like to see The Nothing, that would be awesome.
Toady:It's, like, 'Don't embark on that evil region, it'll just destroy your fort over time.'
Capntastic:Have either of you read that book? The actual book?
Toady:Yeah, I think ... I'm trying to remember, because when I was in grad school there was this stack of books that someone had left and so I ended up reading ... I know The Princess Bride was there, the book version of The Princess Bride.
Capntastic:I liked The Princess Bride.
Toady:Yeah, the book was very similar to the movie. I think the guy actually did the screenplay, too, and so he just cut out some of his weird, sort of, meta, talking about the clothes, stuff, or whatever, that he had in the book.
Capntastic:Talking about talking about clothes.
Toady:Yeah. I think I actually ended up liking the movie better just because it cut out some of the crap.
Capntastic:Well the movie had the virtue of being more cartoony, in a way, which, kind of, enhanced some of the scenes.
Capntastic:André the Giant added a lot.
Rainseeker:Yes. When are we putting André the Giant in Dwarf Fortress? That's what I want to know.
Toady:We have giants.
Rainseeker:But not André.
Toady:Yeah, they can't be named André, they probably can be named Andar, or something.
Capntastic:We've got rats of unusual size.
Toady:We do, we have large rats.
Capntastic:We need fire swamps, shrieking eels ...
Toady:We've gotten one step closer to that with our new mists and horrifying stuff. Elf blood raining from the sky.

Rainseeker:So let's talk about mists, since you mentioned them. What kind of things can mists do?
Capntastic:Ruin your day.
Toady:Yeah, they ruin your day with unkillable monsters. Yet another indestructible monster, we always seem to have a new one. So, yes, you don't want a husk. If the mists can make husks out of creatures ... that are like zombies, kind of, except you can't kill them.
Rainseeker:Do they automatically become a husk or does it just depend, so it's random?
Toady:The effect of the mist is random, but if it is a husking mist and you enter into it then you're in trouble. The mists are, kind of, compact and move across the screen, so even though your dwarves can't avoid them they don't destroy the entire fortress instantly, they only destroy it through the unkillable monsterness of it. It's fun, they can sweep across a caravan, that's happened to people, it just, like, sweeps across the land and husks a caravan. They can do other things with the caravan. They can also have the same effects as the worst forgotten beast poisons, so they can rot your eyeballs out or completely paralyze you and kill you, or whatever. There are all kinds of things they can do.
Rainseeker:What happens to your dwarves if they have no eyesight?
Toady:Their skill rolls are reduced, and I think if ... I'm hoping their targeting doesn't work at a distance, either, because I know from bugs with the raws where I've forgot to put extra vision on things with no eyes, they just sit there and don't target anybody. A blind dwarf could be the same way, but I'm not sure because I don't ... I haven't tested that specific case, but it should work out the same way.
Capntastic:For some reason that makes me think of Liberal Crime Squad, and you'd have some guy with a katana with basically no face left who'd still cut tanks in half.
Toady:Yeah, it's trouble.
Capntastic:A, sort of, recurring theme in the work of Tarn Adams.
Rainseeker:Faceless people cutting tanks in half, yes.
Toady:I remember early, early on having a blind dwarf, like, way back in the first version, and there's something with ... when they still tried ... they could still target back then, I think, and they'd shoot their crossbow but it would randomize the direction.
Capntastic:Yeah, I remember seeing videos of that.
Toady:It's, like, a windmill or something, they just shoot a hole ... it's like the Death Blossom from The Last Starfighter.
Rainseeker:Awesome. 'Send out the troop of blind archers!' They're parachuting blind archers into the middle of all the goblins.
Capntastic:Parachutes? Make it happen.
Rainseeker:Make parachutes.

Toady:Yeah, what else did we do? We have giant cities now.
Rainseeker:Giant cities? Yes, you do. Not cities of giants, but ...
Capntastic:Those are fun, I think. Just the idea of them, kind of, adds a lot of texture, I'd say, to the world, just because there's ... hey, this is where grain comes from, and grains important.
Toady:Yeah. Right now it drowns out the adventurer economy a little too much. You're, like, 'I'm in the capital and there's one or two weapon shops in town and I have to find them.'
Rainseeker:It's kind of funny because I went into a city and then I went to, you know, this door that had no sign to it, and it was just full of, like, bales of cloth, or something, and ...
Toady:Ah, yeah, the warehouse probably.
Rainseeker:Into the next door, and there was another one, and next door ... they're stacked on top of each other like pancakes in odd fashions.
Toady:Yeah. It was a large building?
Rainseeker:Oh, yes.
Toady:That was probably the warehouse. There's one warehouse and they fill it with all the crap, they didn't have anywhere else to put it.
Rainseeker:That was pretty awesome. I don't know, I resisted the temptation to take anything. Do they know when you steal something, automatically?
Toady:Not right now. Right now I think it's as bad as it's ever been as far as them not knowing that you've stolen stuff.
Rainseeker:Oh, you can just take stuff, and even if they look at you, they don't care?
Toady:Yeah. It's 'caring means sharing'.
Rainseeker:That's good. So if you ever need to buy something, you know, really expensive, just go to their warehouse, and trade.
Toady:Yes, trade, if you're not just going to take it directly.
Toady:Yeah, we'll get to that sometime, it's not a real big priority, though.
Rainseeker:I was, of course, starving, and I decided to kill a pig.
Toady:Oh, no.
Rainseeker:That was a big mistake.
Toady:You set them off.
Rainseeker:Everybody hated me all of a sudden.
Toady:All the chickens and ducks.
Rainseeker:Yeah, I was attacked by wildlife and farm animals, and little boys and little girls came after me.
Capntastic:I got really confused by seeing a tame stray llama. All that registered to me was 'stray llama', so I'm, like, 'Oh, I'm going to hit this thing with a spear,' and then everyone got mad. Even other animals, I think.
Toady:Yeah, they just come in. It's like the immune system, or something. They just deal with you. No one owns the animals, that's why they're called 'stray'. No one owns all the livestock in the town, it's some kind of communal ... the communal llama.
Rainseeker:They never eat, they just watch them walk around.
Toady:Yeah, it's messed up, but we're going in steps and it's further along now than it was before. What else have we done?
Rainseeker:Do we have market stalls now?
Toady:Yep. There are the markets.
Rainseeker:Do they shout at you yet?
Toady:Oh, yes.
Rainseeker:Haven't seen that, yet.
Capntastic:They're pretty pushy.
Toady:Yeah, 'Get your real prepared horse intestines here!'
Rainseeker:'Dragonfly brains! Dragonfly brains!'
Toady:Yeah, and they'll swear that they're authentic, and stuff like that. I mean, you'd have to have some kind of proof of authenticity if you say you have a barrel of dragonfly brains. It would just look like sand, or something. Something gooey, or something, I don't know.
Rainseeker:Just pudding. It's not really brains.
Toady:No, it's mosquito brains. It's definitely mosquito brains.

Toady:(Aside to Scamps) What is this small boy. You're a troubled guy, you know? You're a troubled little boy. What's this scratching. (End aside).
Capntastic:For those of you just tuning in, this is our friend.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:Loved by all.
Toady:That's right, Bubba Chumps the little fat kid. (Aside to Scamps) How you doing, mister? (End aside).
Rainseeker:So he got a new present, didn't he?
Toady:Oh yeah. He got his circular track with the ball in it.
Capntastic:Oh yeah, those are pretty cool.
Toady:Yeah, he loves it. He still plays with it every day. It's an intriguing puzzle, it makes him think, because he can't get the ball out of the track. Sometimes he'll just stare at the ball and try and figure it out without messing with it. (Aside to Scamps) But you haven't figured it out, have you? You're simple. (End aside). That's right.

Toady:We just put in the animal training stuff to replace the dungeon master.
Capntastic:He'll be torn up about that.
Toady:Yeah, yeah. Well, it's okay. Hopefully the new stuff is fun.
Rainseeker:So tell us how that works. How does training work now?
Toady:During world generation your civilization has certain familiarity with the training techniques of animals, now. So you've got the domesticated ones and then you've got all of the ones that are technically trainable that aren't domestic. So the dwarves will have a series of underground animals, and the humans will have whatever, you know, like savage animals or bears that live in their area, and they'll be familiar with how they work but they won't have them as, like, work animals or anything. There are also those heroes that go on those taming journeys and tame the giant eagles of the mountains, or whatever, so that also builds familiarity. So when you create your fort your dwarves have these certain lists of familiarities with training certain animals, and if you look at the old animal screen from your 'z' status, you'll see in the animal tab there's your overall familiarity, and that helps you train animals, and kind of sets the stage for your fort having this new stuff. So if you capture an animal in a cage, or ... I guess, yeah, that's probably the only way, because when you trade for animals they're already tamed, so if you capture an animal in a cage and then you just move it to your animal stockpile or build the cage, building that little zoo, or whatever, you can go to your animal screen and the animal will appear there, if it is trainable; you can't train a giant earthworm, for example, I think, but most of the other ones are ... you have to draw the line somewhere, but most of the other ones are ...
Rainseeker:'Come here Earthy! Come here!'
Toady:Most of the other ones are trainable, and so it'll appear on the list, and then you can assign it a trainer from that list and-,
Rainseeker:Giant cave spiders, for instance?
Toady:I believe you can train them. You can train them because it's too fun to have them. The trainer can either be any trainer, or a specific dwarf, or any unassigned trainer if you want someone else to pick up the slack where your specific trainers are assigned elsewhere. So you've got a trainer, and it'll do this thing that it used to do, where you'd just grab a piece of food and go to cage and train the animal, but now the animal doesn't became tame unless you have a domesticated knowledge of it, or unless it's a young animal. Then it'll just get some level of training, and it uses the item quality symbols to denote how trained the animal is, so it can be masterfully trained, or just well trained, or just trained, or semi-wild. So then you can't train it any more from the cage, if you want to have this pet as a protector or a pet you have to let it out, and so it'll be wandering around. It could be a semi-wild creature, like my voracious cave troll that I had was semi-wild, and I just allowed it to wander around.
Rainseeker:Okay, that was my next question.
Toady:I had a trainer assigned to it so there'd be reinforcement training, where my trainer ... my trainer was a miner with no training skill which contributed to my downfall, so he kept trying to reinforce it but he was still learning, so it would just stay semi-wild, but it sets its timer higher, its 'reverting to wild state' timer. So the reinforcement training's still useful, it'll give you another season of freedom with that particular animal, but my miner was killed by troglodytes and I didn't remember to reset my trainer. That's one of the values of the 'any trainer' thing, if I'd set it on any trainer someone else would have picked up the slack, but I didn't have it set. The good thing about assigning a specific trainer is if your trainer works with the same animal three or four times, or something - I don't remember the exact number - they form a bond, and bonding makes them able to train the animal better, and it also makes the training stick longer. It does make your dwarf sad if the animal dies, though.
Rainseeker:Does the animal get sad if your dwarf dies?
Toady:The animals aren't capable of feeling happiness. I think that's how it works. I remember, because Zach and I had talked about this, it might make the animal revert faster and not take to new trainers, but I don't remember if we got to that part. So we have all that training, and you can also select war and hunting training for various animals in the animal screen and that'll make the guy ... instead of reinforcement training, he'll do the specific training. You either need to have an animal training zone, once you let them wonder around, or if the animals in a cage or in a pasture you can train it. Some people were having trouble figuring it out, you need a zone. I just posted that on the forum, too, so hopefully people see that, just to give them a place to do their training that doesn't get in people's way.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Capntastic:So one of the newest inclusions that I think has a lot of 'fun' built into it is books.
Toady:Yeah, nothing but trouble.
Capntastic:There's a lot of recursion going on. Books about books about books. Books about the author of the book that wrote the book about the book.
Toady:Well that's literary criticism, right?
Capntastic:It's true, yeah.
Toady:It's just you'd normally not include the name of the last seven books when you're doing literary criticism.
Rainseeker:'This book criticizes the book that criticized the book.'

Capntastic:There are also tablets and I think plinths?
Toady:No, we don't have those, too bad. Unless I'm totally ... because I don't ... I never use the word 'plinth' in the game.
Capntastic:What about the tablets? Were there tablets?
Toady:Yeah, there were slabs, I guess. I don't remember if they're called slabs, or whatever they're called.
Capntastic:It's a thing with things on it.
Rainseeker:That's right.
Toady:Yeah, those are made by the gods when they pass the actual knowledge of life and death down to the necromancers. It's always put on a slab.
Rainseeker:I want the knowledge of good food and wine, that's what I want the knowledge of.
Capntastic:Yeah, conjure it. Conjure pizza.
Rainseeker:I would be a foodmancer.
Toady:That's right, we're getting there. The door has been opened now, we have trouble.
Rainseeker:I want pizza flying around attacking people.
Capntastic:You can currently just get necromancer abilities from slabs?
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:How moddable is that, at this point?
Toady:Well, the modders will actually be able to tell you better than I can. You can mod in any ability to be given with the secrets of life and death, like right now the ability to raise the dead is completely arbitrary, that's just what it gives you. So that could be fire breath or any other ability that's currently supported, but if you don't have the ability to raise the dead you don't raid battlefields for a zombie army, and if you don't have a zombie army, you don't get a tower. So what you'll have is ... I'm not 100% sure about this, like I said the modders will know more, but it's either going to be that the guy that guys that knowledge will stay in town, or run away and just be in a little bandit camp by himself, just like they are when they're raising zombies; if they can't get 50 zombies they'll be in a camp with their zombies until they get enough to build a tower. So that'll be what happens, it'll either have a wild wizard or a civilized wizard with your fireball breathing and all that kind of thing that you mod in, but it's not supported that they act in a rational fashion with their new powers, or anything.
Rainseeker:They don't just decide to help their mother-in-law come back from the dead, now, because their wife is upset that her mother has died, and then just never do anything else with their power.
Toady:Yeah, or if they have fire breath they don't become a fire breather or whatever in a travelling circus, because they could do that.
Rainseeker:Yeah, and they could even be a blacksmith at that point, right? They could just use it for melting ores, and stuff.
Toady:Yeah, they could just hire out to be somebody's torch. There are all kinds of things you could do, but they don't do any of them. Well, I guess if they live in a camp by themselves they have no trouble with the campfire. So it's not the most satisfying thing for the modders, but I hope they've found some things to do. (Background noise) I don't know if you can hear that, but that's the ball being spun round in the track, so he's having fun. It'll be a new disturbance for us.
Capntastic:I think someone modded it so that the kitty head bump causes a syndrome that turns you into a kitty.
Toady:Yeah, when you walk around town you can see the cats all head bumping each other. Yeah, the kitties will head bump and they will lick, and the chickens will scratch in the ground and make the bugs come up and eat the bugs, and ducks will root around in the ground and eat the bugs. It'll happen in fortress mode, too. I don't think it puts it in the combat log, but you'll see little bugs come up around the ducks and chickens sometimes, and then they'll eat them. New, high-priority powers that were put in. Yeah, so it's cool, we've got all that stuff. Yeah, so I'm glad the modders had something to do. It should be cool.

Toady:So, let's see, other things we can talk about are, I guess, where we're going now?
Toady:I mean, the short-term picture, you know, assuming I get this edited quickly is ... I'm not really sure. I've got to do my taxes. It's a good time to do my taxes, right after I just put a release out, and assuming I can figure that out then we'll be moving on. I think I'm going to go back and fix some new bugs, because there are quite a few new bugs, there are 200 of them, or something, and I don't want to let those pile up too much, so I'll go and do a bunch of those again. Then for going back and doing old bugs the things on the plate are ... there are all those stickies on the bug tracker, and all of those are important, and I want to knock out some of those some time.

There are also the things that I said I was definitely going to do with these bug tracking cycles, there are just three things that are definitely going in some time, not necessarily with the next release, but before I move on I'm going to get to addressing in some way the hauling, that was the highest eternal suggestion, or whatever. Part of the problem with that is that it didn't have a ... part of the problem with the whole eternal suggestion process is that there's not a lot of specificity, and if there is a thread linked, then you can't assume the people that are voting for it, you know, agree with everything on the thread, and it doesn't mean that everything in the thread is a good idea to put in the game, right? So there are all kinds of problem with hauling, so we're just going to interpret what we think will make the game most fun with hauling.

I mean you have to think about, you know, if you want to do things like mine tracks and carts and things, and if you want to do wheelbarrows, how that's really going to be necessary, or what's the most ... because laying tracks and things is its own kind of work with its own hauling, and if it takes as much work to make a track and place carts as it does to haul stone back out then the most realistic use of mine carts, of mining with them, is not as important as having mine carts that go between two food piles, or something, and you fill the cart with food and send it down the line and dump it in the other pile, or something. One thing we were thinking of doing was actually making certain aspects of mining harder so that you'd require something like a mine cart or a wheelbarrow to moon a boulder that's large enough to make a statue with, or something like that. I mean there are certain things like that that when we're done with the hauling fixes all of it will be faster and more efficient if you use the tools we give you.

We're still kind of thinking about it because I'm not sure what the gist of ... the eternal suggestion doesn't have any, kind of, depth to it, it's just, like, 'Better hauling,' so, you know, we have to interpret what we think that means, and people have their own ideas about what they think that means, there are threads about it, but I'm assuming the main thing is that people just want their dwarves ... when they look at their job list they don't want to see two thirds of their dwarves are storing things in stockpiles, or whatever. It's just a drain on the overall speed of what you can do, and it doesn't ... I mean, it's just kind of obnoxious having that happen. There are very simple changes - they're not simple to program - but simple changes like if you're going to move fifteen small objects from one stockpile to another, you should just be able to cup them in your hands and do it one time, instead of having fifteen walks back and forth between the piles and so on. So there's a lot to do there and, you know, we're just going to, kind of, do what we think will be fun there, and whether or not that satisfies the people, that's kind of the problem of the eternal suggestions things, I don't really know, so we'll just, kind of, go with it. The other thing I said I would definitely do is make dwarves respond a little better to fire, and to things like an evil mist coming. It would be more fun if they ran from it if they saw it, or whatever.
Rainseeker:Well that would make us be able to settle in evil regions a lot easier, in that case, would not be so scared of doing that.
Toady:Yeah. I mean, they should still hit you sometimes, but more when you just didn't run fast enough, or whatever.
Capntastic:Make it based on awareness, see if they notice the thing in the first place.
Toady:Yeah, I mean there's a technical problem with it which is having the dwarves see it. The longer you make that distance, the harder it is to make that fast because they have to scan around for it or whatever, but we should be able to figure something out there. The other thing I said I'd definitely do, and this is just reminding, this is not for the next release, this is during the bug fixing cycle that we're in ... the other thing I said I'd do is finally get to clean up the ... when you enlarge your screen past 80x25, make those things look better, or whatever, because a lot of the screens just stay 80x25, or whatever, they just hang out, or one element comes along to the border but not the rest, or whatever. So, cleaning that up, and then we'll see what other eternal suggestion stuff we get to. Job priorities we definitely cannot do until we get to the personality rewrite, so that's not going in until the personality rewrite, but things like production triggers we might get to, and we're going to change how animal people work sometime in here, because they crowd out too many of the populations right now, so we're probably going to make them work more like they did in the story that Zach wrote where they're more rare.

Then we'll be, when we get through enough of the old bugs ... we'll finally be able to switch back to doing new features. We know we're definitely going to reprioritize a little bit there. We want to move up the personality rewrite, because a lot of things are hinging on that, and getting that out of the way we'll be good. We want to move up the birth, death and succession stuff that is in, like, release five right now on that list of releases because that is the core of the game, finally getting world gen to continue into the post-world gen play period, so that you don't ... your world isn't just dying. That's how it is now, aside from your fort. People are still born in your fort, that's, like, the one place where life has a chance, but the rest of the world is dying. They just migrate to the fort to breed and save their race, or whatever.
Capntastic:I think it'll be interesting to have families with histories, like, 'Oh, this family, they're mean to everyone, but they get the job done, they're known for making the best weapons,' or something; kind of, hereditary roles within the world itself.
Toady:Yeah, they don't pay enough attention to their families at all right now.
Capntastic:It's, like, 'My dad was a ranger, and I'm a peasant and one day I will be a peasant.'
Toady:They're, like, 'I'll only care if it's my dad if he dies, or if he's a zombie and attacks me,' those are, like, the main things they think about their family for, and they don't want to marry them. That's it, I think. I don't know if there are any other happy thoughts from them. When they talk to them, I think they get a special thought; that might be it, though. So, yes, it's really lackluster. Let's see, what else? One other thing we wanted to move up was ... it's just becoming more and more and more glaring to have the site maps missing for all of the other races, because you're in adventure mode and I imagine a new person that picks up adventure mode would be, like, 'Oh, cool, there's a goblin city,' or, 'Oh, cool, there's an elf city,' when they figure out what those symbols ... once they figure out what those symbols mean, and then they go there and it's just ... there's nothing there. That's kind of strange. So that might get moved up as well. I mean, it isn't even on the caravan list and I think it needs to be moved up. It's pretty important, I think. The only one that's difficult, I think, is the elves. The elves require a, kind of, tree rewrite, so there's some difficultly there.
Rainseeker:Make larger trees, basically?
Toady:Yeah, multi-tile trees. I mean, multi-tile trees forces you to confront some issues like how do you make the multi-tile tree grow and ... I imagine it's not hard so much as it is fun. First you have one little sapling tile, and then you can grow it up and then you'd have, like, a trunk tile, and a ... I don't know what you'd call that, not a canopy tile, but the crown of the tree, or whatever. Then it could just start to spread out, it could choose a tile to grow a branch sideways into and spread out until it bumps into the other trees, and eventually it's big enough to put a house on, or to die and hollow out, all kinds of interesting things. Then there's the issue of ... you know, you'd have to rewrite the dwarf job for that, especially if you get a trunk that's wider than one tile, then does the dwarf, kind of, mine it out or something? How does that work? You get the tree to come down and you could do the whole timber thing and have it fall down and leave logs everywhere, or something.
Rainseeker:Yeah, kill all the dwarves with that. That should be fun.
Toady:So it's a project, right? That's, kind of, the project that keeps the elf sites from being done. That's all after the bug fixes. I mean, there's still the caravan stuff. I mean, we talk about these things we want to move up, but we still want to do, you know, taverns, and inns, and all that kind of thing, too, and the industry sites and that kind of stuff that was slated for being next. We're still thinking about how best to move forward with all these things but we've got a lot of time to think about it because we're going to be bug fixing for a while and doing the hauling-type suggesting stuff.
Rainseeker:At least another eight hours or so.
Toady:A long-ass time. Yeah, who knows? I mean, we're definitely going to stick with the bug fixing for a while yet.
Rainseeker:Okay let's talk about multithreading! Just kidding.
Capntastic:Well I think that's the only way we'd get magic working, so ...
Toady:They just keep sticking cores in. Cores, cores.
Capntastic:Yeah, you use one 99% of the time and then whenever you need to render a video you can use all ...
Rainseeker:It's true.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

ThreeToe:Hi, this is ThreeToe from Bay 12 Games. Me and Tarn are going to record some of the Q&A questions that didn't get recorded last time, so here we go.
ThreeToe:Totaku has a question.
Toady:That's right, Totaku has a question.
ThreeToe:Or he has two questions, actually. So the first one is, 'Since we have all these new night creatures added to our disposal, one thing I've been curious about is if we have a more complicated system in which these said night creatures can work with other night creatures, or other characters?'
Toady:Yeah. What we have in place now as far as night creatures working with each other, and working with other people, we've got a couple of things, I guess. The night trolls have their family units that they construct my kidnapping people and converting them.
ThreeToe:The vampires have their cults.
Toady:That's right, the vampires have their cults, and I guess the mummies, if you want to count them, raising the dead. They don't actually get an affiliation with them. The werewolves have no affiliations at all. I guess that's what we've got now. So in terms of extending that I think the cults are probably the most extendable of those in terms of giving them actual things that they're going to try and do, as far as taking over the town. Right now they just, kind of, automatically take over when it's time for the vampire to decide whether or not he's going to take over the civilization or run away. If he's got a cult he'll always try and take over the civilization and generally succeed. I think the question was saying, you know, some of the more, kind of ... there had been more to the question where Totaku was talking about, sort of, these more domestic setups, I guess, for lack of a better word, where there's, like ... you know, they might have a butler or something like that, right?
ThreeToe:Or, like, an evil wizard, or something like that, controlling a bunch of monsters.
Toady:Yeah, so it's like basically saying the vampire lives in the civilization and so they should be able to essentially take all the perks, and then have those, kind of, inflected on their vampire nature, and that is just going to happen naturally, I think, as we proceed. So the question was if we will have a more complicated system, I think. As every noble, or whoever in the city, gets more power and more abilities, those will just be extended to the vampires automatically, so I think you will see these really weird situations arise, definitely.

ThreeToe:Okay, so now the second question is, 'Is there a possibility that we see these gods manifest themselves in a more physical form, and possibly playing a more influential role, such as maybe providing their power to boost the harvesting of crops, or removing curses, or controlling the elements.' These are the gods that we talked about on another Dwarf Fortress Talk.
Toady:I'm not sure when this question was asked, it was one of the older ones, and I'm not sure if they knew at the time that gods were cursing people. Now that the gods curse people ... maybe that's why it came up, because they asked if the gods are going to be removing curses, well, they're adding curses, so there's nothing to say that there's not going to be ways for people to, kind of, redeem themselves after they've despoiled temples, and that kind of thing, or having the gods even fight with each other over who gets redeemed and who gets cursed, and all that kind of thing.
ThreeToe:Oh, yeah, we're not opposed to adding a ...
Toady:Yeah, having Clash of the Titans type stuff going on with all kinds of silliness, and Greek gods and all kinds of strangeness. We're inspired by those movies as much as by the myths, so things will happen.

ThreeToe:Okay, alright, moving on to the next person, Greiger, 'Are there any things you saw where the forum users have come up with convoluted theories about how particular actions are decided in game, when in reality it is nowhere near as complex as the players thing?' So, this comes up a lot.
Toady:Yeah, all the time. Specific examples? Mostly AI stuff. Like they say, 'and then my dwarf' ... it's, like, say something bad happened and then they attack a specific person, or after someone dies they go and stand by someplace that might have been meaningful to them, or whatever, all of that is in their head, pretty much. It's, like, when you write these stories and give them really nuanced motivations, all those things from the forum, with some exceptions, some exceptions, are just, kind of, players adding stuff into the game.
ThreeToe:Just because all these things accidently fall together doesn't mean that they were intended to, but, I mean, at the same time the fact that they are able to fall together that way means something.
Toady:Yeah, no, we've cooked it up so that things will fall ... there are enough little moving parts, so that meaning can be added pretty easily to what happens, but, yeah, definitely this has happened a lot.

ThreeToe:So the next one is TKGP. 'Have you ever considered the possibilities of emigration? Some dwarves would be more attached to your fort than others, but it stands to reason if a new migrant ventures into your fortress expecting legendary dining rooms and lovely waterfalls, only to discover a cloud of miasma the size of a small mountain, he might want to set off again to look elsewhere.' So this is where we ... I think we've discussed this before about the hill dwarves, a kind of settlement that it outside of your mountain, to where dwarves will come and go more easily than just having migrants show up all the time.
Toady:With that also, I guess the other element is the fortress starting scenarios so that if you've got a group of dwarves that is on a secret expedition to found a little site to then send out little scout parties to check where the goblins are, or something like that, and that's, kind of, the whole mission of your little fort then maybe you'll only receive reinforcements every, you know, so often, and it would just be a few soldiers, or something, or whatever's related to your mission. We're all for doing different scenarios and things like that. I mean, the only thing to watch out for with emigration, I guess, is if the game is going to, kind of, haphazardly pull one of your really skilled or important dwarves away from you, it's got to not feel so capricious that you rage quit and chuck your computer on the ground, or something. That would be annoying.
ThreeToe:Yeah, especially since a vampire could have eaten one of them, instead.
Toady:Yeah. Maybe it doesn't matter then, yeah maybe when we're on the subject of death and horror and just leaving your fort, but, I mean, the leaving thing, that would just be ...
ThreeToe:Yeah, leaving does seem kind of cheap.
Toady:Yeah, we'll see how that ... but we're definitely going to have some things happen, and even more so when you have the hill dwarves there was the whole thing of actually assigning some of your dwarves to leave, and bringing in new people from the hills and kind of switching people out, and not just necessarily assigning them to leave as a form of exile, but to do useful things, like arming the dwarves, or, like, they could go out with weapons, and arm and teach the dwarves, and then send out, you know, 30 or 40 guys. One of the main points of hill dwarves was the army stuff, so you could send out a guy to raise the hill dwarves, and then have an army of 400 dwarves marching somewhere. So, there's going to be some interesting, kind of, emigration.
ThreeToe:Yeah, so, sort of, more of a flow, a back and forth flow of dwarves.

ThreeToe:So, the next one. 'How do you handle such a huge project? You probably have thousands of classes, inherited classes, modules, etc. Does this ever become a problem, and if I may be so bold, I would love to hear a bit about how you work. Do you code in Windows or Linux? What kind of IDE do you use? Etc.'
Toady:Well, I mean, I guess it's pretty big, but it's not ... I mean, it's not completely unmanageable. I don't think there are thousands of classes, yet, but it's getting to be quite a lot, and I have a lot of times where I have to search and look things up; 'Find in files' is very useful. It hasn't become a problem, though. I mean, any time there's a bug I guess you could say maybe, you know, the size of the program is starting to contribute to that a bit, so, you know, perhaps it has become a problem and I just haven't quite gotten a handle on it, but I think it hasn't really become that much of an issue. I work in Windows on Microsoft Visual C whatever Express version they're on now, I don't remember if it's 2010, or 2012, or whatever they have now. I like that just because of the debugger. I'm sure there are others that have debuggers, but I'm used to the Microsoft Visual C debugger, so I haven't jumped ship on that, yet. I find it really handy to be able to break out and see where I am, and all that kind of thing, and I know how to use it, so I'm happy with it.

ThreeToe:So the next one is from Dark Like Snipes, 'Do you think it'll be feasible to have intelligent small-society creatures living in your fortress embark that you have alliances/codependent relationships with, but don't directly control? For example holing out a hole in the hills above a fortress for hill or storm giants to live in, or a rookery for griffons or eagles to roost in, in exchange for protection, among a number of other things.'
Toady:That had come up once, I think, when we were talking about our plans. I don't know if it was related to fairies or if it was related to dragons demanding tribute. It comes up occasionally, and the question is if it's feasible. I mean, yeah, it's definitely feasible, it would be a lot of fun.
ThreeToe:Well, kind of ... it's already happening, with the forgotten beasts. I mean, they're not friendly, but if somehow you're able to convince the forgotten beast that you're already and feed them sacrifices or something ...
Toady:Yeah, it's a codependent relationship when you throw your goblin prisoners ... when you dump them into an animal pit that happens to be the lair where the forgotten beast is roaming around to hunt them, or whatever.
ThreeToe:Yeah, the underground area is kind of that way, but if you have, like, a ... I think they're thinking more of ... kind of, on purpose.
Toady:Yeah, like actually being able to give livestock to the hill giants and then they'll turn away the goblin patrols that come by your fortress, or something like that. I mean, it'd be cool.
ThreeToe:I think the thing that separates this out from what you can already do with animal taming is the intelligence, is that what ...
Toady:Yeah, being able to open a dialogue. It's been one of those things, kind of, simmering in the thoughts of ... whether it's on dev pages or the suggestions forum, or whatever. Like, actually, if a megabeast is intelligent, like many of them are, it doesn't have to just be a kill or be killed kind of relationship and, you know, how would you open the negotiations. I think the beast, kind of, has to open the negotiations, unless you can send a dwarf on a suicide mission, or something like that.
ThreeToe:Yeah, feed it your prisoners, or something. Okay, we have one left.
Toady:Alright, or one two-parter.
ThreeToe:Yeah, one person with two question.

ThreeToe:ApolloCVermouth, 'Do you have any plans to adapt the new dungeon/sewer system to creating awesome Tolkienesque goblin settlements? More broadly, what would a Dwarf Fortress goblin settlement look like?' Okay, so, yeah, we have put a lot of thought into this.
Toady:Yeah, at least a lot of thought when it comes to setting our minds to doing it, whether or not the specifics have been planned out; we're definitely going to shoot ahead with this. I mean we're definitely promoting site maps, the same way that we're promoting personality rewrites and birth/death, and, kind of, getting the world moving. When we get the world moving we're going to, kind of, want to have more of a handle on what we've got going on on those sites, so that would be the third thing that we're, kind of, thinking of promoting ahead of the current development goals. So, as far as what we actually expect to see there, well, we have some freedom with that. The goblins, fortunately, grant us a lot of freedom. They don't eat ... I mean, they don't need to eat. They live forever. They're ornery, and don't like people.
ThreeToe:They look like monsters.
Toady:They look like monsters. So when you have all those things together it's almost equivalent to 'a wizard did it' in terms of strange places that you might end up going. You have to respect, I guess, the fact that they've got their weapons coming from somewhere, they've get their tame beak dogs and things coming from somewhere. They do something with these snatched children that they have to feed, but there's quite a bit of leeway in terms of making, kind of, awesome adventure environments, awesome dwarf ... you coming with 100 dwarves to attack this environment type of places. So we're, kind of, going to have a roguelike kick down there, have a little bit of freedom with the goblin settlements. The elf and dwarf ones are going to be a little more aligned with what they actually need. I mean, the human ones are, kind of, really obscenely aligned to what they actually need, to the point that you can't even be much of an adventurer when you're going through the leather stores and so on, and the furniture shops and all that kind of thing that populate the human towns. So we're going to cut loose with the goblins more than the others. It'll give you something to do.
ThreeToe:They should be really fun to adventure in, in other words.
Toady:Yeah, and later on fun to sack. The final question is also ApolloCVermouth.

ThreeToe:'Do you see the successive waves of migrants as an essential gameplay mechanic, or is it mostly a placeholder? Do you see an abundance of migrants as fundamental to the game, or could some circumstances lead to fewer available migrants?' So once again this is the hill dwarves thing, we think we've come up with a solution to this problem, which is there will just be a group kind of near your settlement where you take dwarf power from.
Toady:Yeah, and there'll be situations where that group doesn't exist, and then you probably wouldn't expect the migrant waves at all, in that case, or you might occasionally get some, but it wouldn't be like it is now. So everything's going to change, that's basically the bottom line on migrants, is that everything is going to change.

Toady:Okay, so that was the first Q&A ... we have the first appearance of ThreeToe.
ThreeToe:So, yeah, read my stories, right on the main page there you can look at them. Thanks to everybody for supporting Dwarf Fortress.
Toady:That's right, contribute and receive a custom, unique ThreeToe reward, we'll send one out to you.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)

Capntastic:And so concludes another adventure with our Dwarf Fortress podcast. I hope you enjoyed listening, this has been Capntastic ...
Rainseeker:... and Rainseeker ...
Toady:... and Toady One! And Scamps, he had a little part.
Capntastic:Does he still have his headdress? The pharaoh headdress?
Toady:Yeah, it's around.
Rainseeker:And special thanks to my dog, Bella, who decided to bark at a passing dog.
Capntastic:I remember Bella.
Rainseeker:I really appreciate her barking her dog, because otherwise I would never have known he was out there.
Toady:That's important. It's important to be aware of your environment. I guess we have a whole bunch of other people to thank, too, don't we? Let's see, I've got a list, I've got a list, I copied it over to my new computer.
Toady:Yeah, Ollieh is on the list. Ollieh is on the list.
Toady:Who else is on the list? We have mallocks ...
Toady:... does the transcrapts. Transcrapts? He does the transcripts. We have everyone who asks questions, the questions are really useful and people should send more question.
Capntastic:Ding ding!
Rainseeker:Oh, also we thank Emily Menendez.
Toady:Emily Menendez is on the list, ding, ding, ding. We thank rattownstories.com, ding, ding, ding.
Capntastic:Update it!
Toady:We thank Capntasticsbeer.com, ding, ding, ding.
Capntastic:Don't try that website.
Toady:Yeah, who knows what's on there.
Capntastic:Yeah, someone's already registered it for something nefarious.
Toady:Then it says I'm supposed to tell people to contribute and thank them. So, contribute! And thank you. Yeah, crayon, and stories, and stuff.
Rainseeker:Also, before I forget, everybody, we have a new little thread up on the general discussion that is asking for your funny stories of your Dwarf Fortress experience from the latest large release.
Toady:Yeah, that's in Dwarf Fortress General Discussion. It's stickied at the top.
Capntastic:Make them perfect.
Rainseeker:Well, just funny, at least.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)