Dwarf Fortress Talk #25, with Rainseeker, Capntastic, and Toady One, transcribed by voliol

Animal sprites
Minotaurs and night trolls
Reddit posts
    "Death is all around us... I feel pretty good"
    Reproducing necromancer invaders
    "Dammit, 'Safety Hat', my favourite dwarf, is dead."
    Omens, luck, and prophecies
    Playing as non-dwarf civilizations
    Playing as villains
    Vampires and immigration protocols
    Demons not trapped in the underworld in Myth & Magic
    Proactive anti-zombie measures
        Werebeast fortresses
    Generating "vanilla" with the myth generator
    Modding and Steam Workshop
    Multiplayer (mods)
Ending Thanks

SFX: (Musical Prelude)
Rainseeker: Hello, and welcome to today's episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. I'm Rainseeker.
Capntastic: I'm Capntastic-
Rainseeker: And with me is Capntastic, yep yep- Go ahead.
Capntastic: Yep, yep, yep. I'm Capntastic.
Rainseeker: We planned this very well, as you can tell. And with us is our illustrious programmer and game designer of the game of the century, Toady One.
Toady One: (chuckles) That's right, the century started a long time ago. It feels like half of my life ago.
Rainseeker: So Tarn let's look really quick, because we were just talking about this before we started recording, at our images on the website. These are really cool. I see that you've got the African gray parrot up,
Toady One: (chuckles)
Rainseeker: Which was my special request years ago.
Toady One: Yeah, everyone loves Alex.
Rainseeker: And that's really exciting. I'm really liking the way that the tiles are like merging together, and the grass overlaps the glass. That's cool.
Toady One: Yeah, how many have we done, what else have we had? We had... after that we had the spider picture, the mole picture, the giant toad, the cave swallow. Various small mammals.
Rainseeker: Mmm, look at that.
Toady One: And then the gremlin. (laughter)
Capntastic: I love that gremlin.
Rainseeker: So is that mole a giant beast? Are those the giant beasts - is that a giant mole beast? Is that the point?
Toady One: Oh, it's not a forgotten beast. That's actually one of the underground critters. One of the fixed critters. For some reason - it's such a haphazard selection, right; we have the giant earthworm, the giant mole, the giant rat, the toad, the giant cave swallow, the giant spider and then some oddities... But that's... I don't know why a toad. I mean I guess there's some obvious reasons why there might be a toad - I'm a toad! But the mole and-
Rainseeker: The giant cave swallow though. I mean-
Toady One: Yeah yeah. And there are giant bats too! Once you have a cave swallow you've got to have a giant bat or you're, you know, kind of attempting fate.
Rainseeker: Unless you want to go off a different direction than every other RPG in existence.
Toady One: I didn't know they were so colorful, right, it looks so fun now, it's a very fun bird. But, well it's a bright and cheerful game, Dwarf Fortress.
Rainseeker: Is that swallow a dangerous creature, or does it just fly around and be giant?
Toady One: Well, anything that's giant is dangerous, especially cause you're playing dwarves, right. So it can snatch you and tear off your little dwarfy parts. They used to ride them and shoot the blowgun darts at people. Still one of our great failings is to not have reclaimed the riding underground civilizations that attacked through your wells - I wonder if they ever flew the birds up though your wells? Just flew the birds back and forth in the chasm. As I recollect there being a variable called PATTERN_FLIER and you set that on and then it would set a little path that they would follow, just tracking up and down the chasm, just shooting targets of opportunity as they went by, paralyzing your dwarves with cave spider venom.
Rainseeker: Ooh, delicious!
Capntastic: Something about winged beak dogs.
Toady One: (laughter) Yeah, it would have to be in Tremors 5, or something.
Rainseeker: Speaking of spider, I was having trouble sleeping last night. Woke up about 5:30 in the morning, and I decided to take a shower. So I was looking at my iPad in the shower as I am wont to do, being careful not to get it wet.
Toady One: (laughter)
Capntastic: A dangerous game.
Rainseeker: And I was leaning against a towel against the wall, when I suddenly felt a little prickly thing, and then I looked down in time to see a spider crawling on my arm. And it bit me. And then I slapped it, and it fell off, and I recovered it. And in a panic for the next hour and a half I searched online to try to figure out if it was a poisonous spider. It turns out it is a house spider,
Toady One: Oh that's good.
Rainseeker: those normal harmless things. But they are kind of aggressive when startled, apparently. So he bit me.
Toady One: Yeah, I have a whole ecosystem here, we've got... Cause we had a flea blow up. I mean living in an apartment it is kind of unavoidable. So Scamps has had his flea medication, I've been vacuuming, making the eggs get scooped up and stuff. And they kind of died down, but, it lead to a spider explosion. (chuckles) And then Scamps is the apex predator. Because he will just - when he sees a spider he runs over to it and just "chomp". One chomp and it's gone.
Rainseeker: Eats it!
Toady One: Yeah, just eats it and continues the circle of life. There's probably something that lives inside the fleas or something that goes through the circle. And yeah, I try not to think about it too much but there are spiders everywhere. But I like to keep them because they're flea control.
Rainseeker: I allow the daddy long leg spiders to live in my house. They're kind of nice, I don't mind them. Anything else though is really creepy looking so I'll kick those out if I can but otherwise they're dead.
Capntastic: I have an aluminum baseball bat for gently poking any home invaders of the multi-legged kind.
Rainseeker: Yeah, it makes sense to me.
Toady One: Once the orb on the back of the spider gets sufficiently big and glossy it starts to terrify me. It's not the legs at all just the big ol' orb. More suggestive of the black widow or whatever. It's kind of scary right.
Rainseeker: Yeah, we have quite a few black widows up here.
Toady One: Yeah, that's not for me.
Rainseeker: I was scared that it would be a black widow that just bit me. That was what immediately went through my head is like a hospital trip (chuckles).
Toady One: Yeah, wow, yeah, that's no good.
Rainseeker: Aaanyways, enough creepy crawly talk... Capn, how was your week?
Capntastic: I've been making a lot of bread lately. Just baking and baking bread after bread Different methods, I got a book. I'm happy about that. I just finished baking two loaves of bread today that I started last night, feeling good about that. I think a lot of people are turning dwarves, leisure baking during this social isolation period.
Rainseeker: I hear that. I professionally bake as you all know, so that's lots of fun. Speaking of baking is there baking in Dwarf Fortress?
Toady One: Uh, sort of. There's the kitchen. The kitchen, the dubious, dubious kitchen.
Rainseeker: I don't remember, can we make bread?
Toady One: As I recollect, and people have to correct me if I'm wrong, you can mince flour and make biscuits.
(laughter from everyone)
Toady One: And if that's not really, it's at least that bad.
Rainseeker: Chopping, just chopping and chopping at the grains.
Toady One: Yeah. Obviously after going through the mill, like you have a giant water powered or wind powered mill, and you bring the wheat there and get it in a bag and you have this flour. And it's perfectly fine as a dwarf would do, right. You've got great flour. And then you put it on the table - obviously it needs to be minced more finely.
Rainseeker: What the real question is: is there a giant that can mince dwarf bones and into bread?
Toady One: Oh, well, we're slightly further along on that you might anticipate because of the minotaur. If you go into the labyrinth it generates this maze, right, and there's a room at the end of the maze. It's a little five by five room or something, and they have their bone mill there. And they take the bones and they mill them into bone meal. And this is why we added bone meal to the game, for the the minotaur. This is, in my not so well read recollection, this is not classical. I don't know that the minotaur had a bone mill, but it's actually from The Incredible String Band song. "Down in the dark my bone mills roll" etcetera. So that's why that is in there.
Capntastic: Okay.
Toady One: Goofy, goofy, goofy British folk music gives us the minotaur with the bone mill. And of course they chase you and hunt you through the labyrinth and scream things in the darkness and so forth, but the prize is to find their nasty little home. It was kind of the nasty little home series of releases really, because the the night trolls also have their habits.
Rainseeker: The nasty little homework.
Toady One: (chuckles) Yeah I forget if they were called habits. There is something like that, habits or antics or something like that inside the raw files, where the night trolls that are generated have little weird habits. Like one of them will collect beetles and put it in a mortar and pestle and grind the beetles into beetle paste. For no reason.
Rainseeker: That's good protein.
Toady One: Yeah... I mean they could be dyeing their clothes, you know, there's all kinds of-
Rainseeker: [unintelligible]
Toady One: -they don't wear clothes of course - but maybe they smear it on themselves or something. You know, we just wanted them to feel like they had little tasks that they were kind of obsessed with, that made them strange.
Capntastic: Like X-files monsters.
Toady One: (chuckles) Yeah. So they're good little critters. And some of them just eat rats and things, but they all of course kidnap people and convert them and stuff so they're very bad horrifying things, but they have like this side gig of messing with little bugs.
SFX: (Musical Interlude starts) (10:50)
Capntastic: That's wonderful. Little bugs are the best.
SFX: (Musical Interlude)

Rainseeker: We have... I wanted to do something on Reddit, and read some of these posts that people have put up on Reddit. There is one where the title is this that says: "I like this guy.". And this is the story of Aban Lektadmeng the marksdwarf. He says: "Help! Save me! Death is all around us, the horror..." And then the hunter stands up and then he says "I feel pretty good".
Toady One: (laughter)
Rainseeker: It's from Count_Triple. Hey Count_Triple.
Capntastic: Shout-out to Count_Triple!
Rainseeker: Apparently he's "Just like another day, another day".
Capntastic: Whenever I read these things I can't help but view it like an action hero one-liner (in a voice) "Death is all around me. I feel pretty good."
Rainseeker: (laughter)
Toady One: Yeah, I'm trying to remember if that's what happens when their thoughts are cleared and they have nothing to talk about, or if that's what they think when they're an optimist or something. They have personality based lines and situation based lines and they kind of mix and match them and it sometimes makes them sound very ridiculous, yeah.
Rainseeker: Here's another one on Reddit, from Cabbagetroll: It says that "[t]he necromancer invaders have been hanging around outside my fortress for so long they've started reproducing."
Toady One: (laughter)
Rainseeker: "The kids are listed as "Friendly" in the unit menu."
Toady One: (laughter) That's sorrowful. I hope they don't send out the military to take care of that, because they probably will just have there be like wilderness. orphan necromancer invaders. I assume that's not zombies - well I hope it's not zombies - that are that are reproducing.
Rainseeker: Well here it says it says "Shadu, Wolf Of Frightfulbolts has given birth to a girl". So it looks like the wolves are reproducing babies.
Toady One: Oh those... Yeah if it's wolf - it's not too precise with the language, but my guess is if it's a wolf then it's probably one of the quadrupeds or hexapods that they bred from the livestock. But it's also possible that wolf was just used as a name for a humanoid because it had a wolf-like aspect to it, right.
Capntastic: Mhm.
Rainseeker: Mm, mhm mhm.
Toady One: But everyone can... well not everyone. It actually decides if they can breed or not. Some of them are, what is that called, dimorphic or whatever, and then some of them are just just one sort of body or the other, and some of them it doesn't specify. There's all sorts of ways the experiments can turn out, that's why they're experiments.
Rainseeker: Can you have necromancers that aren't inherently aggressive to a fortress?
Toady One: No, sadly. Sadly they're all rather messed up people.
Rainseeker: I mean it might be kind of cool if you could have a necromancer show up and offer to buy the corpses off of you. You know what I mean?
Toady One: Definitely one of those branching narrative type of things like-
Rainseeker: That would be kind of neat.
Toady One: -is this a good decision? Is this the decision I want to make for the future of my fort? But I mean if the necromancer is willing to pay and the dwarves see that like shiny metal stuff.
Rainseeker: And then they turn around and attack your fort with them, yeah yeah.
Toady One: Yeah, yeah. But now it might be worth it because you'd be able to kind of turn the metal around and make some weapons or something. That could be a part of a lifelong partnership as long as you're generating enough bodies. And forts often do that.
Rainseeker: Yep. Here's another post from NZSloth. It says "Dammit! 'Safety Hat', my favourite dwarf, is dead.". "She's followed me for 46 years through five forts. Started as a useless forge slave in my first fort in this world and produced my first artifact: a lead cap, hence the nickname "Safety Hat". She migrated to every fort since then. She was always single and had a bad personality but was always doing useful things. And how did she die, with honor and battle defending a friend? Nope. Cleaning up after a major goblin invasion and she somehow... falls into a volcano."
Toady One: Yeah, I guess that's another argument for the fencing. It's like "could you add fences to the game, please".
Capntastic: My fort has a volcano and I really hope no one falls into it.
Rainseeker: Well, how do people fall? Is it slippery ground or is it just like...
Toady One: No, I mean that's why I'm confused because normally it would be something like dodging or something, right? The only time I ever hear about that is dodging, but apparently there are other cases.
Rainseeker: Yeah, apparently, yeah. And is it is it possible that it's just something they were doing messing around with bridges or something?
Toady One: Oh well, I mean the player is always a wild card here. The way the person's talking about it it seems like that they weren't, you know, collapsing a whole section of floor or anything like that. But yeah, there's always other... I mean, if there were mine carts around they jump out of the way of mine carts. I doubt there was a falling tree, although it could have been outside because it was cleaning up after a invasion. If someone was doing a lumber operation they could jump out of the way of the tree.
Rainseeker: Ah, and that would possibly cause you to topple off a cliff.
Toady One: Yeah, right down to the center of the volcano, sadly. The lead hat's not going to help for very long.
Rainseeker: It's like melting as you...
Toady One: It's like Terminator 2, maybe they held their thumbs up. It's a great moment for everybody.
Rainseeker: She's like "My nightmare is finally over".
Toady One: Yeah, why she decided to go to the fifth fort this person was running.
Rainseeker: I know, "I'm with you, to the very end".
Capntastic: What was her emotional state? This is the important thing.
Rainseeker: Yeah, NZSloth, we want to know more. We need more information.
Toady One: Yeah, cause I imagine they were sad that their fat was melting inside their skin, while their skin was unaffected or however it works.
Capntastic: Or they were in rain a year ago.
Rainseeker: (laughter) [unintelligible, covered by laughter] rain for a year. (In a voice) "It rained on me once".
Toady One: Yeah, still it's like... every time I talk about like the triumphant addition of character arcs and long-term memory to Dwarf Fortress it's like, well, of course half of these character arcs involve someone getting sad in the rain and upending their whole life philosophy.
Rainseeker: (laughter)
Toady One: It needs work. It's pretty sad, but it's all right. Everything will be fine.
Rainseeker: Okay. So someone mentions a good omen and that just makes me wonder, like have you ever thought about putting omens in the game?
Toady One: Yeah... Everything to do with precognition and prophecy is always kind of tricky. Which is why- what we've done so far with like the shrines when you... because there's the dice now in the shrines, right, and you can roll them. And sometimes it is like "oh good luck for the week", or whatever, which is in a sense some sort of omen. Of course we could have stated it a little better. I mean the pictures on the dice sometimes are fun. But the idea is that we can produce something like that omen for you by altering your skill rolls. And that is of course just an adventure mode thing. And we do bad luck the same way that we did bad luck with the mummies by just tanking the occasional skill roll, so that a bad thing will happen periodically.
Rainseeker: Really?
Toady One: Yeah, we didn't want to just cut the skill rolls by 20% or something. We make it so it zeros a skill roll every once in a while, and if that happens to be a crucial dodge roll or a crucial attack roll then you will feel cursed. Not that it's like so apparent... it really should highlight it by having the mummy laugh in your head when it happens or something. But yeah, it's not signposted enough, it'll just like generally feel like bad luck which the player would have to kind of think back to what they did. Why were you robbing a tomb? Or why were you rolling the dice?
Rainseeker: Well I was thinking you could do omens like having a bat land on the leader, or something, and have that be an omen of an upcoming vampire attack, you know, inside your fortress. Or bunch of swallows fly over the river and that's an omen of an attack from elves, or something.
Toady One: Yeah... we did... it's funny, it was like in the pre-initial release, I'm not even sure this was in the first release. When there was an undead invasion scheduled for year four or five, one of your dwarves would have a nightmare the season before, and it would be in their thoughts that they had a nightmare about the undead invasion. So that that kind of omen is easier to do than the ones that you're talking about, when we already know that there's a scheduled event. Like once the army leaves to march, of course that's a little more difficult now because armies arrive fairly quickly at the destination. But it's still possible to just kind of seed it in the AI's head, that hey we want to attack you. And it's all the better if the omen is not sort of guaranteed to come true, which is, you know...
Rainseeker: Oh that would be kind of cool, yeah.
Toady One: ...fairly common and then then you can set up prophecies like that. It's like the sort of Macbeth style prophecies are harder to do, when you're like "no one's going to be able to harm you" and stuff like that. Then you have to go through all the mechanics and turn them off and make sure that you can't accidentally fall into volcano, or whatever. Or if you do you're just like magically saved by water that spilled somewhere and turned it into obsidian right before you hit the ground, and you hit the ground just right, or whatever. And that's just... it's too much work, right, but the kind of the kind of like foretelling events that the game has already decided to do is much more simple. And if we go with something like the cave-ins that are... if-when we we pull off the idea about kind of scheduling cave-ins when there's structural flaws, and so forth, then it could have omens about that kind of event scheduled. We could do crop failure. It could be an easy schedule, you just decide that a farm plot's gonna fail completely and then kind of schedule, like partially talk about that. Yeah, so I see that as definitely the sort of thing that that you can get a lot of traction on in different directions.
SFX: (Musical Interlude starts) (22:15)
Rainseeker: Yeah yeah, that'd be cool.
SFX: (Musical Interlude)

Capntastic: All right. Well I have a tiny little question, a tiny little topic that is a personal favorite of mine. When are we going to play as other civilizations? When are we going to get Goblin Pit? Necromancer Tower? Human... town? Human city? Human... (unclear)
Rainseeker: Human caves?
Capntastic: Yeah. So many options. And procedural civs. I'm sure it's really easy to add all of this in. Just a couple of lines of code, right?
Rainseeker: Oh just, yeah, five minutes right?
Toady One: Yeah... I mean we have our eyes on these things, right. It's like... and you know we say that after, you know, 14 years of not having them... although my brother's forts often involve a above-ground component. He just makes little houses for them outside, and so forth, with a wall. But yeah, there are various challenges there. We've experienced them in the new residency stuff, having humans move into an existing fortress. Like especially if you've got different types of critters then you have to worry about clothing- of course, because we, you know, stupidly made clothing different sizes or whatever, we have to worry about that. So in some sense it should be easier to do the the single critter fortresses, and then people have experienced the issues with that when they're modding, right. Flying critters have horrible path finding. With humans you're more just "we need a better construction interface", right, like to build buildings. Even if it is... I mean people are probably used to it by now, since there's so many games where you can just place things block by block, like building houses like that. I always kind of felt bad that... like when you built a big wooden wall that it's not like a house raising or something like where you bring "bshhhh" - here comes the big wall, popping into place, right? It feels like that's how it should be. But, I mean, that ship is fairly well sailed so it doesn't really matter.
Capntastic: [unintelligible]
Toady One: Yeah, just placing block by block and having this little... you know, that's fine. So I don't think that big deal, the big deal is just the horrible interface for it when you're like b-shift-c-w... At least you can drag rectangles now, and enter-enter-enter-enter, and select the wood. But that's one of the things that's up to be changed in the Steam release, which of course carries over to the Classic release as well, of having better ways to place constructions, and not having to like select every individual log. And like if you don't care which maple log, or even if it's maple that they use then you should be able to pop down a wall just by going, you know, click-click.
Capntastic: Click-and-drag rectangle for the user.
Toady One: Yeah, it's a little more difficult with the z stuff but if we if we repurpose the mouse wheel in that interface for going up and down z levels, then it'd be like click, and then mouse-wheel-twiddle-click, and then you've got a three tall,seven long north-south wall, right.
Rainseeker: Beautiful, yeah.
Toady One: You still need 21 logs to build it but that's your dwarves' problem, not yours.
Rainseeker: Right.
Toady One: And then you've kind of attained one of the big stumbling blocks for human town mode, is just getting those things nicely structured and having easy way to lay out roadways, and stuff like that. And then that would be kind of the big thing. Then there are sort of other stumbling blocks of getting... Well there are a few other things to think about. One would be just the overall framing story, like we probably don't want the mountain homes of the humans like sending you a liaison that requests that you uplift a baron, in like the same way and stuff, right? So there'd be certain restructuring and the current thinking on that had been to do that with the embark scenarios. To kind of think about why you're there and then that would be more structurable. Of course that would come after the Myth & Magic release, and this is kind of the big point on that is that with the Myth & Magic release you set those weird sliders over to have non dwarf play because you're playing a like three legged mollusk. Then, I mean, human town mode seems attainable when you've done three legged mollusk mode. Of course three legged mollusk mode comes before the embark scenarios in this timeline, so you'd still have some kind of output liaison scenario, probably, with your three-legged mollusks. So it's one of these things that we're approaching in this modular fashion. As we've noticed in the past with several features once you've done enough of the work like this and you think ahead to the sort of things you want, and we've always kind of wanted to be able to play...
Rainseeker: Mollusk man fortress?
Toady One: Well, more like humans, and necromancers, and wizard's assistants and things like that, right. So we're always sort of aiming at these things with the features that we add, even if we're kind of slow about it. But you just suddenly realize what you can do. Like we had with the villains release, realizing we were able to pull off more than we thought we could do initially there because of the other structures that had been put in place. And now because of what we've done there we're going to suddenly realize, and not suddenly realize because we planned for this, but realize that oh, you know, all kinds of diplomacy and stuff is open now because we've got people that can perform tasks for other people. And so you can say that all kinds of things like now have a framework in place, that will more or less work once we revisit after the Steam release and finish it up.
Rainseeker: So what kind of things can you have people do, theoretically? Like have people assassinate other people, is that what you're kind of talking about, or doing trade missions or...?
Toady One: (chuckles) So the people assassinating people actually falls within the villains framework itself, so it's like that part was yeah, yeah-
Rainseeker: But you can hire people to do that is what you're saying?
Toady One: Yeah, exactly. And in fact that was going to be part of the villain's release, is this kind of fort-as-villain or fort-as-spymaster thing where all of the plots available to the villains, including like preparing an artifact heist or doing an assassination mission, doing some kind of blackmail mission to get someone generally on your side so you can use them later, all of that would be easily available in fort mode just by going into the the "c" screen or wherever. It might be moved over to the counter, or the espionage screen, or be part of the the "c" world map screen. But we have these kind of messengers, and you'd be able to set up your agent as a kind of messenger, and send them on a mission. Because we have those squad missions that you can send dwarves out of your fortress to raid things and steal livestock, or whatever. But those missions all use this this thing, just because of how they started, it's called the army controller framework, and that's just the kind of goal that's sitting in their head that controls a group that's moving on the map. But now the army controllers can be linked to plots, and plots live inside the head of every person who is kind of in the intrigue game. We don't have them for all like 20 000 living people because it would start to be kind of a memory and processing problem, but anyone who's sort of opted into the world of intrigue, which includes all the leaders in the world but also all the villains and a few other players, have the plots and their plot actors that they can kind of say like "what is my current perceived place in the game", "what is my objectives" and "what plots can I initiate to achieve my objectives whether that's-"
Rainseeker: Would-
Toady One: -yeah.
Rainseeker: Would you be theoretically able to, like, blackmail a leader of another nation into protecting, putting troops outside of your fortress to keep you safe?
Toady One: Yeah, the theory would have to be accompanied by making the alliance system work a little better. We have an alliance system now, right, in quotes, "the alliance system" in quotes. Because necromancers still take over the world, right, so we decided to help civilization live longer by having any any civilized people that aren't, you know, undead or ruled by demons and so forth, ally against the threats that are that sort of thing. And then they will send their armies together. That has not been realized in fort mode because it involves some timing on the world map. But the good news is, of course, the army rewrite stuff that's coming before the magic release. Before that all that stuff, just after the graphics release, we have the villain finishing and the army work. And army work right now, there's going to be things that are done and things that aren't done, and as usual we don't know quite what's going to land inside the mark and what's not. But certainly on the table is that kind of thing; this sort of coordinating of forces, leading forces that are off-site, being able to direct them further than what you can do now, which is just kind of send them off on a mission, then they come back. But what would it mean to be able to kind of raise up a whole army from all of your holdings? I mean it constantly tells you about your holdings, right, it's like "oh this hillocks group is looking to your fortress for its economic security" or whatever. I don't remember what the message was, but it pops up annoyingly and you have to press enter. And sometimes it's like goblins or something, right, it just pops up and you're like "okay what does that mean?". Doesn't mean much. And I think sometimes it means you can send for people from there, you can like request more migrants anytime you want. You can also exile your dwarves. If you want to kick someone out of your fortress you can kick them out to those places.
Rainseeker: Huh.
Toady One: Yeah, that's all in. I'm not sure how well that that's realized right now but that's technically in. There's some weird things about it of course.
Rainseeker: So what happens if you exile a vampire to a neighbor?
Toady One: Yeah... they they'd be a vampire in the the neighboring village, I don't think that's...
Rainseeker: Would they take over though? That's what is my question. Like would the vampires?
Toady One: No no no, yeah yeah. I think vampires are one of those things that post-world gen doesn't have the same kind of AI fidelity. It'd probably just try and sneak back to your fortress basically. But assuming a new identity... (chuckle) it's so ridiculous because they'd assume a new identity.
Rainseeker: "Hey wasn't that Urist! I thought that was Urist!" "No, no, no, that's Uzed." "I don't think so!"
Capntastic: Different hat.
Rainseeker: "He's wearing a different hat, you can tell." (laughter)
Toady One: Yeah, it's like they freshly clean off all their bone trinkets or whatever. But... yeah, and the thing that's even worse about it is like, it would partially work. The player would probably be confused by it unless they like looked at the dwarf and saw the scars or saw something else that they identified, but your dwarves in the counter espionage screen where they track identities, if that dwarf had been brought in previously or otherwise talked to, like they would know that the new identity was fake. But they wouldn't bother telling anybody.
Rainseeker: (laughter) "Oh yeah, that's the vampire we kicked out a couple months ago."
Capntastic: There's no urgency to reveal a plot, it's just like "oh, yeah, I knew.".
Toady One: Yeah it's like classified. "This is classified information, we've redacted the vampire's identity". But the player is not on a need to know basis here.
Capntastic: I'm thinking like the witness protection program.
Toady One: Oh, I'm wondering...
Rainseeker: So are you planning on like setting up an automated system where you can give orders based on discovered intelligence? Like any discovered vampires for instance that show up are immediately put into holding or something?
Toady One: I think the main thing we thought about was migrant kind of... like do you have a interrogation thing where you bring people in and and talk to them when you're worried about...
Rainseeker: This is your interview.
Toady One: ...yeah, agents and vampires and stuff. But, you know, as we've all kind of experience now when you have stricter immigration protocols there's a whole other side of that, right. So it's interesting to see where that takes the fort, and what that means about your reputation with the outside world; what that means with the reputation with the rest of your civilization. I mean, one of the main things you can have in in even in medieval times is like the king of the dwarves or whatever, the queen of the dwarves, gives a writ or something to people, or a whole group of people the right to the freedom of movement, right, and stuff like that.
Rainseeker: Yeah yeah.
Toady One: And so you would be perhaps at odds with your civilization, because it my impression is that you know dwarves are a very kind of... you're allowed to move where you want, right, that's very much seems to be how it works.
Rainseeker: They're free-loving species, yeah.
Toady One: Yeah, that's like you can go here and... But when we start getting more into guilds and more into religious stuff there's going to be these sort of natural in-group out-group and exclusion practices and so forth that'll be interesting to model on a... Getting tensions with your own civilization would be pretty cool.
Rainseeker: That will be interesting, yeah. Getting like the shoe guild to be at odds with the glove making guild, right.
Capntastic: Yeah.
Rainseeker: They want they want better prices on the leather, right, but they fight over that and so there's a this competition there.
Capntastic: Just as intense as Game of Thrones.
Toady One: (laughter) That's right. The Game of Shoes.
Rainseeker: Yeah, "Urist, were you just kissing your sister?".
Toady One: Oh dear.
Rainseeker: "...no."
Toady One: Well that's a whole topic we probably shouldn't go into. It's like how do these family trees happen in Dwarf Fortress some of the ones we see?
Rainseeker: The monarchies.
Toady One: (laughter) Yeah, it's like I'm not sure we have an appropriate uncle detector. Does it work? I'm not sure.
Capntastic: Oh no.
Rainseeker: We don't have any genetics in the game, do we? Oh my gosh, this conversation is going everywhere. But like family trees, do they have any things that get passed down?
Toady One: Oh yeah, yeah. I mean you can tell when you see like the the the eye color and stuff. And the hair and other simple stuff like that just passes down, just because it's what people expect more or less, right. There are very basic in the sense that you can have... there's sort of a dominance-recessive thing but it's - if I'm not mistaken is it alphabetical right now? I don't quite remember. (chuckles) It's really not in depth the way it is now, but yeah, technically you could do things like dog breeding and stuff. It would be pretty harsh the way you have to cull to get what you want because you can't... I guess you can do gelding to kind of close off certain colors of dogs and things. And technically that should work, I'm not sure how much people have tried to do that.
Capntastic: There was someone on the forums recently who tried that... Let me see... "Genetics and Selective Breeding Science" by Moeteru. "Genetics and inheritance are supposed to be a thing. This is what Toady had to say in DF Talk #8" -
Toady One and Rainseeker: Oh!
Capntastic: - "from ten years ago".
Rainseeker: Wow.
Capntastic: But they did some experiments and their conclusion is, "To put it simply, attributes don't seem to be heritable. All of the means are within roughly one standard error of 1000, which is what you'd expect if they were generated completely randomly.".
Toady One: Okay, so attributes, we're talking about like the strength of the things?
Capntastic: Mhm mhm.
Toady One: Yeah. So that's different than colors. I mean I don't know if they talked about the colors at all. Attributes I have no memory... I thought... it's probably the same roughly, I don't know it's a long time ago, as what I said in DF Talk #8 from like 20-, whatever that was, -12 or something. My recollection was that there was a kind of link to that, but yeah, it not working would not be the most uncommon thing to hear in Dwarf Fortress terms, would it?
Rainseeker: Well that would be cool if you could breed for stronger teeth, or just stronger dwarves, or whatever.
Toady One: Yeah, my understanding was that you could at least for the main attributes, but yeah, sadly broken, according to the forum scientists. We try our best. Our best is rarely good enough.
Rainseeker: Yep. Bugs happen.
Toady One: Yeah, bugs and all kinds of other mess.
SFX: (Musical Interlude) (40:30)

Capntastic: All right, and now we're going to answer some questions. If you have questions you'd like answered please send them to:
Toady One: toadyone@bay12games.com, and make sure that the entire subject line is "Question for DF Talk".
Scamps: Meow.
Toady One: Hey Scamps.
Capntastic: Perfect.
Rainseeker: The meow.
Toady One: Yeah, so here are the questions: So we have a question from recon1o6. The question is:
When we do add the Myth & Magic release, when we add demons to it, is there going to be a possibility of worlds where the demons are not trapped in the underworld, that they're actually roaming around on the the the outside? Because what we were talking about when we talked about these other races, not just demons and things but angels and forest spirits, and all that, we just kind of talked about them as if they're out there doing their thing, or they're off in some plane somewhere, or they're wherever. And indeed that's the idea. The idea is that there would be a number of situations. It wouldn't always be the underworld exactly as it is with, you know, - spoiler alert! - adamantine spires coming up from a kind of underworld place that's described as being a different place, like the sky is described as different when you go down there and do the weather description, so it is sort of a different place, but it's really just kind of under too - it's the underworld. And it always works a certain way. Yeah. And we're planning on having just different possibilities there. Although in the next question we'll address that.
But first, another question from recon1o6, is whether or not it'd be possible to deal with necromancers that can raise your corpse piles and so forth, whether or not it would be possible for proactive zombie movie measures to deal with that? Which of course you could do now by dumping the bodies into a magma pit for example, but they want to be able to chop off like the heads or something right and just do sufficient chopping. Which I believe would be the heads and both hands? Like as long as you have a grasper or a head-
Scamps: Meow.
Toady One: Yeah, as long as you have a grasp or a head you're allowed to come back from the dead, right. So that you can be like... is it "thing"? Is that the hand?
Rainseeker: Yeah.
Toady One: Yes, "thing" the hand. We needed to have "thing". "Thing" was required, but also just like a head that goes like "wakwakwakwakwakwakwak".
Toady One: Okay, so these two things are important. So yeah, it'd be a kind of quirky thing to add, you know. In the general sense I'm all for it. I have no idea when I get to doing things like that but I think it's a... Certainly now in the the world that we've created I can see why people are thinking about sort of anti-zombie measures.
Rainseeker: Well it's very scary out there right now.
Capntastic: We already have werewolf and wereperson plagues. Those aren't fun.
Toady One: Yeah that's... we made them a little bit harder, your fort has to be a little further along, you shouldn't just get them in the first season anymore. But yes... and I don't know that there's any really good counter counter measures for that, other than just quarantining everybody that was bit.
Rainseeker: Has been bit, yeah.
Toady One: Yeah, but you can't like press silver against their foreheads or anything like that.
Rainseeker: So now what happens if your entire fortress turns into werebeasts?
Toady One: My understanding is that it doesn't fall to ruin when they convert? Because the worry would be when the full moon happens they all turn into werebeasts then it would say like "Your fortress has fallen into ruin". My recollection was thinking of that, and fixing that. But you always, like after this many years what side issues and edge cases I've fixed versus which ones someone's brought to my attention and I was like "oh I really need to fix that". I'm not actually sure anymore whether that's fixed, but my understanding is that you would just have them kind of convert and then nothing bad would happen. Except the new migrants of course, any new migrants would have a very bad day that day. And then you'd have more, maybe.
Capntastic: Fortress Wolfenstein.
Toady One: Yeah, yeah. I think that's how it works but I may be wrong.
Rainseeker: That's kind of funny.
Toady One: Yeah. Next question is from Fieari, I'm not sure how to pronounce any of these obviously, but Fieari from the forum had a question for DF Talk, wondering if the myth generator can generate all of the vanilla elements, and whether in fact you could recreate the entire vanilla thing? This relates to that that previous question about, well, are demons not going to be in the underworld anymore, could you have all kinds of different demons? But then the flip side is, could you get back to Dwarf Fortress, are we really just blowing everything up? Could you get back to the...
Capntastic: The default.
Toady One: Yeah, the default setting. And the idea is that we'd kind of be growing out from that, right. The easiest thing to do, of course, is to change nothing. And then as you're changing things the stuff that you haven't changed, of course, is still just sitting there and as we build out the myth generator some stuff is just going to get changed immediately and other things won't be. And as we're doing that we're planning on having the ability to recreate the existing situation. Of course it's sitting right there so mostly it's easy to have that as an option. But also we understand even nostalgia reasons are completely legitimate reasons to just keep it there if it's keepable, right. And having things like - the way the myth generator works, I understand why the concern comes up, the way the myth generator works when it talks about underworlds and portals and things hasn't in any of the examples we've read recreated the the existing situation. But of course the existing situation as it stands is ambiguous, as we kind of alluded to before. The underworld is under, it sits below and you dig down to get there, but once you get there if you press the weather button in adventure mode it says that "the clouds are purple swirling spirals" and none of that is reflected in the game. I mean, our thinking was that you actually did end up in another place that was below but also different. And so the nice thing about the map rewrite that comes with the initial myth release is that it allows us to realize the default system in the way we wanted it realized, but if someone wanted to also just have a lower cave layer then that would also be possible. And it's in fact the easier way to do it. It might be described differently though. So in some limited sense then perhaps the default would not be attainable, unless there's a way to go to the same place but have it sky described differently for some reason. Which was kind of just covering for our inability to do what we wanted to do. Yeah, so that's the caveat I guess on the on the recreation of the default.
Capntastic: Would there be an option, you think, to have a just baseline default DF classic, however you want to spin it? Because I think there's something to be said for having like a baseline experience.
Toady One: Oh yeah, I think that's that's what's going to happen when you have the sliders on pretty low settings too as you kind of... it really will just draw from the files and maybe just give you forgotten beasts, and give you a pretty prosaic... I mean the myth is going to be there, and of course the lowest slider setting was that it's fake, which would probably be the most default setting there is. Except for the fact that the vampires and werewolves happen, and the demons are released with those vault things, and so forth. There's a few kind of default things that that that happen but at the same time-
Rainseeker: Does that shut down the necromancy then too?
Toady One: Well, necromancy is also very defaulty, or whatever. I think the kind of counterpoint is, I mean it's similar to the the way we stepped into 3D, right. We lost certain cool stuff that we want to recreate, and in fact the map rewrite is our way of recreating that. So we're finally returning to some of the cool stuff that's going to restructure the play experience in 3D to bring some of the 2D stuff back, have the ability to do that finally, with like better underground rivers and waterfalls, and things. But the thing here is some of the things are just so unrealized, like what it means for those deity curses to happen and why these secrets of life and death are being given to the necromancers by the deities, and things like that. Like there's something to be said for the default experience, but it would be cool to have a little more information too, and maybe we can't avoid having more information, or something. And then there's the whole other thread here about the about the editors. When you say like, people sitting down having a default Dwarf Fortress experience, there's also this one where there might be... we've talked about pack-in worlds and stuff being bad in general, but there's also this kind of like pack-in setting idea we had just for the sake of giving people, like modders especially etcetera, and also just to keep us honest about it, having every kind of thing that you can do with the editors command-wise being realized in some kind of pack-in. And then that would actually end up being a kind of defaulty setting. Just kind of reclaiming certain default elements just by showing you "well, if you want to write demons in an underworld this is how you tell the myth generator to always do that".
Rainseeker: Have we talked meaningfully about the modding community? I'm just curious if we're going to have Steam support for the modding community, or if you're just going to keep it the way it's always been?
Toady One: Oh no, that's a whole thing: the integration of Steam Workshop. And we're actually having the whole shebang there.
Rainseeker: Whew!
Toady One: The questions that remain are like mostly technical ones. It's like you turn the Steam Workshop on, people can sign in get their mods and stuff, but games also often have a interface within the game itself where you click the Steam workshop button, and it pops up a connecting window to Steam, and stuff like that, right. You click on and off, and stuff like that. That all is just a matter of like, I haven't looked at the API yet, like I haven't gone on Steam and said "what is your API? How do you integrate these libraries, and windows, and things?". And so that's why I have no specifics, right, about what exactly is going to get pulled off on the first release, versus how we can improve it over time, how like internet connection stuff works. Because in one model Steam handles all the internet stuff. You go to Workshop, you click yes-no-yes-no, and stuff. And then it knows what mods you have, it patches them into your game, but the the game doesn't connect to the internet to do that. And then in the other model the game also handles the mods. And that's better in a way because it allows you to do more collision detection and other stuff like that, right, it's like ideal to have it work that way. But we'll see what the hurdles are for that, and that's the only reason that I don't have like strict promises about the exact setup. But yeah it's all... it should be cool. Because mods are cool, people sharing mods are cool.
Rainseeker: Yeah, I always feel like when games do it well, it provides a lot of interesting content for the game. I mean, there are some games that like just totally exploded once they they did that, like Minecraft of course.
Capntastic: I'm thinking DOOM.
Toady One: (chuckles) Yeah, I was a DOOM modder in my own house. I shared it with our friends, played our DOOM levels in like 1993 or whatever... over like a telephone connection, or whatever. Yeah, that was cool.
Rainseeker: Speaking of multiplayer games, is there a universe where someday two people could play Dwarf Fortress and manage the fortress together?
Toady One: I'm always out of date on the mods, right. I think people have done lots of experiments with that now.
Rainseeker: Hmm. I wasn't aware of that.
Capntastic: I think there was a version with a terminal two people could connect to.
Toady One: Yeah, because there's that remote DF already that communicates with the one that's running in your home, or whatever. ...and I'm not sure why, I mean maybe... if you want everyone signing in, it'd be like a private server if you could get that to hook up twice. I mean, people would be fighting, I mean, they'd have to figure out how to - like what happens when someone presses left and someone punches right? But I'm sure that's a common concern that's always figured out.
Rainseeker: I mean, it would be nice if each person had their own user interface, so they didn't interact with each other. You'd have your own cursor so you can see what each person is doing, or whatever.
Toady One: Yeah yeah, that's obviously a much more involved project than... I'm not sure what people have done done along those lines in terms of mods because they've done, you know, most other things, so it seems-
Rainseeker: But at its core, it's not theoretically impossible.
Toady One: It's not theoretically impossible. It's generally, you know, away from the sort of things we're personally interested in working on.
Rainseeker: Oh yeah.
Toady One: But it's... Yeah, certainly certainly in the... and anything to do with like internet protocols is completely beyond my experience and expertise, at all. So that's one reason we haven't done it.
Rainseeker: Yeah, that makes sense.
Toady One: One among many. But yeah, nothing outside of, you know, coming up with the whole game for why it wouldn't happen. It's like how does that work? What are people doing? Who are people playing? Who can they control? Do people compete against their orders? Do they like have bidding points or something? It's kind of like playing multiplayer Majesty or something.
Rainseeker: Once you start getting to that place, then each of you might have a certain amount of clout with the dwarves. Certain guilds and stuff. That could be kind of fun, I mean-
Toady One: Yeah yeah, that all sounds really cool.
Rainseeker: That could be an expansion, you know. Once you release, you could have the multiplayer expansion.
Toady One: Yeah, yeah... It's not something I think about much.
[sounds of clanking]
Toady One: What is that! Here comes trouble!
Rainseeker: Uh oh. Does it have a tail?
Toady One: Well not much of a tail, cause Scamps is manxy-
Rainseeker: Oh yeah, that's right!
Toady One: -but it doesn't stop him from being trouble like a cat. Does it, does it? I mean fortunately that had a lid on it, (chuckles) but it's on the floor now.
SFX: (Musical Interlude) (57:05)

Rainseeker: Well thanks guys, for coming along on this wild ride with us, talking about Dwarf Fortress. You know, we're just so happy and grateful that you've been part of our community for this amount of years. You know what I'm talking about, Charlie.
Toady One: (laughter) Yeah, the people-
Rainseeker: Let's start thanking people. Who are we thanking, Toady?
Toady One: Well, everyone who sent questions. That would be recon1o6 and Fieari, sending in questions. And everybody else out there, this is an opportunity. Dwarf Fortress Talk is back, and questions will be answered. Especially now, if yours is the only question, we're going to read it. Why I suppose that is a horrible promise to make, because we're going to get some interesting ones now.
Rainseeker: (laughter)
Toady One: But we'll go ahead and do it, we'll read them. And yeah, thanks to everybody that helped out, not just over the years, but especially last month! And the month before! People helping out now! Yeah, Quatch gave me a protocol on how to fix the episode, that was like just... step one you do this envelope, step two you look into the spectrogram and do this thing, and do the compressor, and do the this and that.
Rainseeker: Oh, beautiful.
Toady One: Yeah, and we should thank Sankis and Will for that as well.
Rainseeker: Yay!
Toady One: If people want to help out we're Bay 12 Games on Patreon, and there is also the little Paypal button on our site. All that stuff just goes into keeping us going, keeping the lights on on the web site... and feeding, feeding us, and rents and foods and things. And the little kitty cat needs his... apparently he's got an addiction to smoked deli meats. Can't give him too much deli meats though.
Capntastic: That's the most natural thing in the world.
Toady One: But is it natural for Scamps to not eat deli meats that aren't smoked, and to literally refuse them?
Rainseeker: (laughter) You know what, that's just being a discerning palate, right.
Capntastic: I mean, Scamps can have little-a salami, as a treat.
Toady One: Yes, it has to be smoked though. I had to eat those deli meats, the ones that were labeled as "oven roasted". Oh is oven roasted not good enough for you, is it? Just sitting right there, staring at me.
Rainseeker: (laughter) You know we're talking about you, Scamps.
Toady One: (laughter)
Capntastic: I also have a Patreon, Patreon/Capntastic. If you'd like to throw a few dollars my way I have a special Dwarf Fortress tier, where when I play Dwarf Fortress I will pull your name out of a hat. Maybe not a literal hat, but I will make a dwarf with your name, and if any horrible fate happens I will keep you updated.
Rainseeker: And there will be horrible fates.
Capntastic: Of course.
Rainseeker: Yeah, and I'm Rainseeker, and I have a business called Measures of Joy with my wife. We exist in northern California, and you can find us on Facebook. At "Measures of Joy Gluten Free" - or "Measures of Joy Bakery Gluten Free". So, have fun finding that.
Capntastic: Choose your fate wisely.
Toady One: Yeah, awesome! It was good to get back together and do another show!
SFX: (Musical Outlude fades in) (1:00:50)
Rainseeker: Yeah, and next week, er next time we're going to be announcing the iPad version of Dwarf Fortress!
Capntastic: Oh, don't tell people that.
Rainseeker: Oh sorry! Spoilers!
Toady One: That will be a big surprise...
SFX: (Musical Outlude)

Bonus: Links to Reddit posts: "I like this guy", the reproducing necromancer invaders, "Dammit! 'Safety Hat', my favourite dwarf, is dead".
On the forums: Genetics and Selective Breeding Science.