Dwarf Fortress Talk #4, with Rainseeker and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Hey everybody, welcome to our next podcast. I'm Rainseeker and this is Toady One.
Toady:Hello, this is Dwarf Fortress Talk.
Rainseeker:Number four!
Toady:Number four, that's right. Four is longer than just an accident, right?
Rainseeker:That's right.
Toady:So we're there; we've arrived. We're no longer a trilogy, we're a show.
Rainseeker:That's right, we are a show, officially!
Toady:I guess we're still a miniseries but we're going to take the world by storm.
Rainseeker:I'm going to be very happy if we get past twelve.
Toady:Yeah, that requires quite a bit of life stability and stuff, when you've got a monthly show that goes up to twelve, that's like a whole year.
Rainseeker:It does. And guys unfortunately we are minus one host tonight.
Toady:That's right, Mr. Capn ... Capntastic.
Rainseeker:Occasionally Capntastic is called out for duty. He is a superhero you see, and he had to fight Dr. Doom and Venom at the same time.
Toady:Yeah. Usually he's fighting one when we're on the show but two? Two is way too many.
Rainseeker:He couldn't do it. Usually you can kind of hear punching noises in the background but ...
Toady:It's either him fighting the super[villain] or me fighting the cat.
Rainseeker:Right, right. So he's going to have to be at work doing things tonight. He was called away unexpectedly at the last moment and rescheduling was out of the question, so ...
Toady:Well you can't really expect a supervillain attack, you know.
Rainseeker:Yeah, I know, it's really hard to anticipate those.
Toady:So here we are. Hopefully we won't get too in ... what would that be called when you get wrapped up in your own little universe and you don't have the staying hand of Capntastic to ...
Rainseeker:Um ... inbred?
Toady:Inbred ... Well that's one way of saying it! I'm sure there's a better word, but ... so it's already getting there.
Rainseeker:I know, I am a little concerned for our safety.
Toady:We're totally going to stave off degeneracy though; we're going to be able to fight degeneracy for at least another ten minutes before it gets horrible.
Rainseeker:I don't know, I'm already feeling that two minute itch right now. I don't know what that means, but ...
Toady:It looks like our third ... that'd be our fourth host I guess ... the little cat, he's not in the room right now, which means he's probably staring at me from someplace where I can't see him; ready to attack. But for now we have peace!
Rainseeker:So as you guys know our topic today is world generation and history generation. What I'd like to talk about first Tarn is; what exactly happens when you hit that button that says 'Generate World'?
Toady:It goes through several steps which it lists out as you go; at least up to a certain point. First it just needs a world to play with at all so you need to know ... it loads up your parameters and it allocates a certain amount of space for your world; did you want a large one? Did you want a small one? Then it needs to come up with ... just basic passes on elevation and the rainfall, temperature, that kind of thing. So it'll lay down an elevation field, lay down a temperature field, and adjust the temperature field based on whether it wants a north or a south pole because right now it only has one or the other; and then adjust the temperatures based on elevations, drop some rainfall and other things. Just the basic building blocks there. Then it'll move on to further stages; smoothing out those values sometimes, adding things like rivers - we'll start carving them, because once it knows the elevation and where the oceans are then it can start placing rivers - it goes through several phases getting rivers to eventually look decent, and then it fills up some lakes where it thinks they should be. After that it looks at the rainfall, [the] temperature, the drainage level it came up with and the elevation and decides where the different biomes are and will actually locate regions and name them; like 'this is this forest, this is this, this is that'. Then it looks at your raws and populates those with creatures. At that point it's got a world with no intelligent creatures in it - at least no intelligent creatures that can form civilizations - and says 'we've got a place now where we can actually start these civilizations up where they have enough things to play with'. [It needs] to know for instance what rocks are in an area before [it knows] what type of dwarven civilization's going to pop up there, so it's kind of a geographical determinism thing; you need the geography first. It's at that point that the civilizations begin, and I think it lays out caves at that point - where are the megabeasts, and dragons and titans and so on - and then it seeds the different civilizations everywhere. There's no creation stories yet or anything like that, so there isn't a lot of consistency right now, so there's more uniformity right now. It's like 'pick a bunch of spots that are kind of good for say a goblin or a human and then pop twenty of them down and then just let them breed and build cities and spread at that point'. There are a few other things that come up during that process that I'm sure we'll get to, but that's the ... once a certain number of years run by, again according to the parameters, it stops the process and you've got a world sitting there.
Rainseeker:Very good. So as far as races are concerned, everyone doesn't come from two people.
Toady:That's how it works right now. We wanted a little bit of ... at first it was just because we didn't want a lot of inbreeding because if everyone comes from two people then the first step is fine, but then the second step you're like 'well ...'.
Rainseeker:Well that's okay, I mean you have to right? For the first like, what, ten generations, or maybe just three generations?
Toady:People would have to do things with their brothers and sisters. And so to avoid that we've got ten pairs, and ten pairs is enough so that ... the game avoids certain inbreeding; you should never have brothers with brothers - I'm sorry, that's not even going to lead to a long line - I meant brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters. It should avoid those, it should avoid parents and children, but I think certain things ... the farther out on the graph you search the longer it takes to find things ... but I haven't really made my best effort there, because I think uncles and aunts are still okay, and cousins it doesn't check for. Cousins, they have a lot more historical basis, so they're actually fine, essentially, but aunts and uncles I don't think have quite as much ...
Rainseeker:So a niece could marry an uncle?
Toady:This is the current setup, yeah. So you don't really need ten pairs, you just need, what, two or something. But in any case I'm even more happy with the ten pairs now because another thing that you've got in the coming version is the genetics for things like hair and eye colour and so on; and so if you started with two people you don't have a lot of variability. If you start with ten pairs and twenty people you're going to have a pretty good selection of the available appearances and there's no mutation right now so you are just going to be losing variation over time; but you'll have enough after however many generations it runs now - I guess if you have a thousand years it could run a little under a hundred generations or something - and that's quite a bit of time but it's probably not enough to wipe out all of the hair colours but one, say. So you should have a good variability in appearance at the end of generation. Now there's things that might be fun to toy with later like if you know that you're going to have two dwarven civilizations then maybe give all of them darker hair in one and all of them lighter hair in another or something; just so you can have these different subgroups that pop up for that reason. There's always things that come out of that kind of thing, just ...
Rainseeker:That's actual racial differences.
Toady:Yeah. [It's] kind of arguable whether you'd want it to be that way or not, but certainly when you're wandering around looking at people, being able to tell where they're from by their hair or something is a cool thing to be able to tell. So it's cool to have ten - I'm glad I have ten pairs now - especially since I did the appearance bit.
Rainseeker:Now how many different ... are you creating unique eye colours [for] the human race, or skin tones? I assume that goblins are going to be green, but ...
Toady:Everyone's got their own thing right now. The humans - I went through my list of colours and I picked everything that I thought was reasonable - so there's no green humans but just the wide variety from pale whites to darker browns and everything in between and ranging out a little bit into different ... not specifically olive because I think when people say someone has olive coloured skin ... olive is really green. But it just means it's not just a line from peach to brown but there's a bit of variation in there. So I picked anything that kind of works and I'm sure people will have suggestions for colours that are missing and so on. I wouldn't mind if my colour library - I think it's got like a hundred colours now - I wouldn't mind having you know two thousand colours in there; they really don't take a lot of memory and I think it's good to use your words [and] have all kinds of different colours.
Rainseeker:What about eye colours?
Toady:For eye colours I did the same thing for humans. For humans I just went and picked the different eyes that I've seen and different eyes that I can think people have. It's really a wide variety and I probably cut a few too many out. With the dwarves I just decided to be silly there and I just left all of the colour names that came from minerals, so like emerald coloured eyes or copper coloured eyes or bronze coloured eyes ... amethyst coloured eyes. I just wanted to give it a little bit of flavour that way.
Rainseeker:So you could have ruby eyes?
Toady:Yeah, I think so, I think you could have sinister ruby eyes ... if ruby is a colour. That's the thing where there's going to be some weird holes because I don't remember if my colour list has ruby or not, I'm pretty sure it had emerald but I don't remember if it has ruby or not. But if it just said red then I didn't keep it, because you don't want to read that description, it's like 'the dwarf has red eyes'; but 'the dwarf has ruby eyes' would be fine. So that's how I thought of it. I believe hair and skin for humans and dwarves is the same set of colours. Most depictions I've seen of dwarves they're light skinned but that's just true of fantasy in general - fantasy meaning European fantasy or whatever, obviously non-European fantasy is not going to have everybody with lightly white skin - so I just decided to let all the skin colours fly for those two races and I think elves as well. But with the elf hair I think the elf hair is all kind of silveries and blondes and stuff regardless of the skin colour, although I should go check; you can always just pull things up and check, let's go call up an elf right now. Whoops! Instead of typing the word 'elf' into the file maybe I should search for it. Okay, so, body appearance, we're down below here, what have we got? It looks like every colour for skins and the eye colours are not set yet.
Rainseeker:I want to see an elf with violet eyes.
Toady:Yeah right now I think they're just copies of the human but there's this note here that says 'need elf eye colours' so I'm sure I'll get to that. And then the hair ... (singing) hair hairity hair hair hair, where's your hair colours ... huh, where'd they go? Where where where oh where is my hair, my hair's gone away (end singing) ... I'll have to look at the dwarf to see where I hide hair colour because it looks like right now the elves ... I'm going to look up the word 'brown' how about that. Brown ... It looks like for hair colours there's just a general ... No, no, gold and silver - here they are, they're just hard to find - gold and silver for the elves right now ... I believe that's the case; is that an elf? I'm kind of wandering around these giant ... the text files have gotten so large now that just popping up a piece of information isn't something that's an immediate thing. Right now hair colours for dwarves and humans still need to be fleshed out as well; right now I think they're just black and brown but that's going to increase. But I did their eyes and skin and the elf seems to be done except for the eyes, so there's just these things. I'm sure there are notes lying around saying 'please come up with this', so we got a vote for violet elf eyes.
Rainseeker:There you go!
Toady:Violet elf eyes, yes sir.
Rainseeker:Okay so let's move on and talk about the stories that get generated by these people. Is the plan to give them all different life plans and motivations or are they just going to all have pretty much the same goals?
Toady:So right now we have this personality model, so when you're in world generation whenever someone rises to a level where they hold some kind of responsibility - so it doesn't do this for the fisherdwarves at first because it can't run it for ten thousand people - but whenever someone rises to a position of authority it then generates more information about their personalities. Right now that does very little, it just decides when they'll go to war or something like that, but that's really because that's all they can do right now in world generation. But the idea is to take that model and also to come up with a few things - like right now the dwarves have preferences, like they like plump helmets - to flesh out a character you don't just need personality and preferences and things like that that are just describing a static sort of state of their head - I'm losing my words for how to describe that - but you want something that's more dynamic about their future, like what do they want out of life. Knowing your personality and preferences doesn't really answer that question, because that [answer] isn't something that came really out of a personality profile but also out of experiences and so on. So there's more of a history required to get to a point where that gives a coherent answer, but at first we're not going to need a coherent answer, we're just going to need an answer [to] 'what do you want out of life?' So if someone's ambitious and wants to control the situations they're in or maybe get to the point where they want to control the world, that's obviously an easy thing for leadership to throw in goals like that. Or maybe they just like to collect things, or maybe they want peace and harmony in life, or they just want to have a family. So certain things are going to lead to certain ... Do they want more stability? Do they want to acquire resources? Do they want to protect their town that they grew up in? For instance if a leader really has a love for the town they grew up in then if they become the leader of the entire civilization then what that should do is tweak numbers in their decisions making processes so that that town receives more protection or favour for instance. There are a bunch of different examples for that and you don't need to hit them all; you just need to throw enough in that it's interesting enough. Eventually the whole thing needs to arise at a point where you have different leaders and different people under the leaders: they all want things, but there has to be conflict in those wants, not just between two people but within a person as well; their responsibilities might conflict with the things that they want. Then you need to be able to resolve those conflicts. Now at first it's all just numbers, like how it adds up the numbers for the thoughts to produce a single happiness number for a dwarf right now, so if it's adding up all those numbers - which it currently does right now when they're deciding to go to war or not - all it needs to do to really lend conflict to the story I think is just tell you what's going on when that stuff happens. So if they're weighing the safety of their family versus whether or not to pull an army out of their home time to a more strategic location on the front or something like that, when they weigh that choice and it's just 'plus twenty here, minus thirty here; go do it'; what really happened there story wise needs to be shown somewhere. This should be an agonising decision sometimes and if it just tells you about that then it's going to make those characters jump off the page a lot more than they currently do I think.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So I see how conflict could arise between two nations that are radically different, for instance goblins and humans. But could there ever be a time where we get to dwarven civilizations fighting each other in world generation, over like ... insults, or maybe jealousy or something?
Toady:There's a lot of different ways that that could happen. To look down at the basics, a lot of things ... say a resource struggle; but that's not a personality conflict so much. Then getting up to ... Right now they bump into each other to do a peace agreement or whatever, but it doesn't really simulate what happened there. So of course if there's an argument at a meeting that would certainly be an avenue to explore. Like having these trade agreements that they enter into every five years or something ... they have some kind of big council to decide something, then you could simulate that event and of course it's more interesting when things go all wrong. I prefer to keep running it as a simulation where it just randomly decides based on if those two people really disagree on what kind of cheese they like, or really disagree on just ethical notions to the point where they'd have a lot of arguments; then just having it occur at that point would be good, rather than having it say 'there hasn't been a fight in this world for ten years so let's just start something'. Because the game could do that too. I'd like to lean away from that stuff but if a guiding hand is needed ... well I should probably just improve the simulation then because people fight all the time; but I'll do what's necessary to keep the game interesting. So yeah, that's certainly there and there's other things; like families should be a huge part of this, so if someone marries into another civilization at one of these meetings as a diplomatic marriage then you could have all kinds of interesting push and pull on the numbers as to what's going to happen.
Rainseeker:Could it even be where you combine the two civilizations?
Toady:Yeah. All of that's fair game. It's always easier to break things than to join them together, but those things are fair. Right now we just have the conquering of civilizations but it doesn't always have to be such a violent matter. It's one of those things where you can add to it in increments and every little bit that you add just improves everything so much because it interacts with every other thing that's already there. Some people are already compelled enough by the world gen lists of events to pick through them for hours just looking through to follow the history of one hero or another; so every little thing like this is going to be great and we're really enthusiastic about getting to this stuff which should happen pretty soon because after this release - which is, you know, who knows? But it's going to happen - we're going to do the three things I always talk about: adventure skills, improved sieges and the top ten voting. So for improved sieges you need to have armies moving around the map, that was one of our requirements; it's not a strict requirement, you could just improve the sieges, but in order for them to make sense they need to be coming from someplace, and we're going to want them to come from real historical figures, more so than they already do if they're commanders. For that to work out the civilization needs to know where to pull them from, and also just to increase the overall interest in our world we're going to do that motivation stuff right there, at least enough pieces of it to make some sense out of things; to have the armies moving on the world map, having them come from places and so on. So when they decide to attack you we're going to step that up from just being a random event that occurs: right now it's just like 'It's Spring, and ... flip the coin? Did you get it? Oh, well, too bad; goblin attack'. There's nothing going on there, nothing at all. So the more we put in there ... you put it into dwarf mode, you put it into world generation, and eventually adventure mode starts to see some of this as well; and it'll just get better and better. Hopefully now that I've done so much of it there'll be less fussing around with 'what tissues make up the toe?' [and more] sweeping world generation changes.
Rainseeker:I'm very excited to see some kind of generation of story, where it might just arbitrarily pick what characters to follow, but maybe it picks a group of characters that has a particularly violent or interesting story, that involves marriage and betrayal, and war; and [...] might just stick it all together and give you stories from the histories.
Toady:The easy ones to pick are leaders; so you could do [things] like those old Roman or Greek histories, who was it, Suetonius [who wrote] The Twelve Caesars? I really don't remember - it's more of my brother's thing - I don't know if it was Suetonius or not; but it's basically just a history of each Roman empire before that guy's time. So those kinds of thing, these are the pie in the sky end goals of the game would be for you to generate a world, and then you're just walking around in adventure mode and you can go to some kind of library, or something like a monastery, and pick up a book and it just would say 'the history of the whatever empire' for the past two hundred years, and it would just be like The Twelve Caesars; you could just read about this guy and what happened, and the prose would be decent and all this kind of stuff. That would just be awesome, we're just pointing toward that; getting there seems like a difficult thing, but we're pointing toward that. So what you're saying though is really interesting because when you've got those ten thousand people - what people have to do now is fish around for the interesting ones - so you could have the computer just look at a guy and be 'these are the fifty associated historical events' and some of those are more interesting than others. And when you've got the really dramatic ones, when it's some great chance in the person's life or something that has something to do with other important people, then you could just increase some kind of value number for that and then at the end when you're in Legends mode - before we get to writing books even - when you're just in Legends mode, which is kind of our not-having-books mode ... Legends mode might not even to exist so much if you've got robust histories to look at of the world; you'd probably still want something like that around but in any case you could just tell the computer 'show me the top ten most interesting people that weren't a noble' or whatever, and it'd just be 'bam!' 'Well what about this guy?' 'He was a trapper until bears came and destroyed his apartment...' his log cabin rather, not his apartment, that'd be like this place getting destroyed by bears '...and then he had to wander the woods subsisting on berries until he stumbled into a dragon's cave and then they became best friends and he started riding the dragon and they took to the skies and went north and he started fighting all the arctic hare men up there and led an army of animal people against the dwarves' or something like that. Of course he'd be a noble at that point if he's leading things but let's say that last part didn't happen; it'd still be an interesting story, riding the dragon around. The detection shouldn't be that hard to do; the actual production of the stories is hard but just going through a list of events and assigning importance is something it already does [...] it mainly does that just so your dwarves know what to engrave. We're slowly getting there but I think it'd be awesome ...
Rainseeker:That's why you don't have an engraving of Urist McDwarf eating a mushroom.
Toady:I guess you do when they really like ... you get those guys that carve cheese in everyone's room or whatever, but that's just because that dwarf has problems himself. It should be cool, and that's what we're shooting for. Ideally everyone would have a kind of interesting life - that's what you hope out of real life, right? - but you can't always guarantee that when you've got memory constraints and so on. Some guys are just going to sit there for sixty years and it's going to be like 'This was a fisherdwarf, and he got married and then that was it'. The marriage is really more to keep world generation going than to give the dwarf anything particular to be happy about.
Rainseeker:Well first you could do this process of generating a false history for him once you look closely at him.
Toady:There have been discussions about that [and] the difficulties that can arise. I don't remember if we have discussed this before because I just yammer on about things, but one of the ideas is to have the civilizations remember important historical events to give the people that live there that are completely unimportant a place to hang their hat when you talk to them. Then the more your player interacts with somebody - maybe even through legends mode - then the more it can flesh them out. But you've got to watch out for generating events in the past that didn't happen in the world generation or else you're just going to tie yourself in knots and have inconsistencies all through.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:[A NCHOR]So world generation is really fascinating; it's really captured the imagination of the entire community and me as well. What is the most exciting thing to you about world generation?
Toady:It's really the things we've been talking about. I think it would just be great to have the people actually thinking about stuff, that's really way up there for me, because that shoots the replayability, immersion, all that kind of thing, through the roof [and] that'll actually allow me to play my own game; which is one of those things I was always shooting for. To actually be able to jump in there and see people thinking about things, or when you're an adventurer going and talking to someone and they've got some place in the world that isn't like 'I'm sitting in this chair and you're going to go kill a dragon for me'. That's how they are right now and then when the threats around their town are eliminated they're like 'Oh no, it's great here. We're fine, I've got nothing else I need to do'. Even though as an adventurer who's this psychotic thrill seeker or whatever you're throwing yourself as this guy's feet to do whatever he wants to do and he's just like '(sfx vox: apathy) We just sit here and eat food out of our magic barrels, it's a very nice place our masters have set up for us, and we're going to continue eating out of our magic barrels.'
Rainseeker:Well what they should be saying is 'Hey, well I've got a number of weeds in my garden; do you mind taking care of that?'
Toady:Yeah and then you could elsewhere I guess, but they should have ... if you're the guy who killed the dragons around there then an ambitious one might say 'We could go places together, and there's this next community over there, and we've been kind of friendly with them for a while but I'd much rather have them be my subjects' or something. Then you can make decisions, you can make decisions about whether or not that's the kind of guy that you want to associate with. It'd be great if we got some grey areas in there which are going to develop, and when you've got conflicts in the world where people all want stuff that all steps on each other's toes and there's no 'these are the bad demons that want to destroy the world and these are the people that were otherwise just going to be sitting farming but then the bad demons came and now there're not anymore; what side do you want to be on?' Instead of that, just having that kind of thing where you've got a bunch of actors that want their own thing. That's one of the things we've been shooting for for a very very long time. Among world generation topics that's the most exciting to me; especially when you get down to sub-groups, we didn't talk about things like guilds and religions and all that kind of thing. I talked about how a guy might have a conflict with another guy; a guy might have a conflict with a subordinate; and a guy might have internal conflicts about his family or his hometown or whatever. But really one of the big things here is when a single person has [internal] conflicts not just with their family but also their professional organisation, their religion, their town and their civilization. When you get all those things acting together; when you've got a leader who's also a member of a secret cult, but their loyalty to the cult isn't absolute, then you've got some real tearing inside of that person, especially when things start going haywire in the world at large. It should be extremely fascinating to let that stuff play out, I'm really really looking to that.
Rainseeker:Also it is really interesting too, I'm sure, if you start getting some characters that are deeply flawed, and conflicted about life in general.
Toady:Yeah, I'm hoping that when we put in these goals ... right now a person's character flaws ... what's the worst character flaw a person can have in Dwarf Fortress right now is like that get really angry, or they're really lazy, or something. It's these character flaws that are just sort of ...
Rainseeker:A bit generic.
Toady:Yeah, like seven deadly sins out of control, but not to the point ... it's just like really slothful, really lazy or whatever; or really angry, they just can't keep it in and they start throwing barrels at people when they get angry about their food being rotten or whatever. So there's nothing really insidious though, or nothing that's a flaw that's really interesting at all, it's just watching the id out of control, it's no fun. So yeah, looking forward to that. I've been going online and looking at different characterisation, interesting novel character type things, to try and figure out what traits need to be applied to a Dwarf Fortress character to make them more interesting; like what different kind of characterisations and stuff. We've got a bunch of crap written down which is like the things we've been talking about; and the more of that that could go in the game and have an actual effect the better, I think. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing up here Mr Scamps? (end aside)
Rainseeker:Let's make a transition then, let's talk about - in a second - go on to talk about our loser which was ... not Scamps of course, Scamps is always a winner ...
Toady:Scamps is a winner. Well I'm a winner by not getting mauled, so I'm glad that was number three. He's done good though, he's been pretty good this episode. He's in the room now standing on top of his little cave, just smelling the wall ... sometimes he just stands up on the wall and puts both of his paws on the wall and just smells the wall. Don't ask me. Right now he's smelling the camera cable because I dug that out to put the pictures of the meetup and him in his little hat on the desk.
Rainseeker:Which should be online right now guys; go run and check on it.
Toady:This is like going into the future, because right not is not the future.
Rainseeker:So what we're going to talk about next is the trades.
Toady:The trades, that's right.
Unattrib.:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Hey this is Rainseeker here, I'm actually interrupting my own podcast with myself. Two things: first thing is, this next portion of the podcast is filled with clicks [non-transcribed] that are inexplicable. I've done the best to eliminate them but my software hasn't been too kind to me. On the good side, it's just for about three minutes so suffer through it, and I'm not sure but there might be more. Second thing; don't forget to get on the website and support Tarn, he puts a lot of effort into programming this game for us all and if you enjoy the game as much as I do please drop a couple of bucks in the PayPal jar. Thanks, back to the podcast.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So we're back with more Dwarf Fortress Talk. I'm your host Rainseeker and [I'm] with Tarn Adams here.
Toady:That's right, Tarn Adams, and his cat; Mr baby Scamps.
Rainseeker:Super Scamps?
Toady:Yeah, Super Scamps. Biting, chewing wires as usual.
Rainseeker:In this section of the show we're going to address - maybe not totally attack it - but we will address to a certain degree the trades, and that means cheese making, and weapon smithing ... soap making, and all that great stuff.
Toady:All the important trades.
Rainseeker:The trades! Now let me ask you a historical question about Dwarf Fortress. Was this always on the agenda to have trades in Dwarf Fortress?
Toady:Yeah. The original idea for the game before it became our main fantasy game; it was its own little thing, its own little project, and the idea was that you'd dig into the mountain and you'd die and then an adventurer would come in and check out the crap that you made. And so in that simple plan there the crap that you made is what led to this whole idea of 'oh, we're going to have ... they're going to make little goblets and things, and they'll need to make little swords and things, and they'll need to have all kinds of stuff'. And so the diversity of the crafts really came about from this original idea, so even before this was our main game we were going to have quite a bit of diversity in the trades and it was going to be also important to ... even trading with a caravan, like trading out your goblets and soap and so on; trading it out with the caravan was going to be a way to also ... the simple game idea had your high score list [as] the stuff that your adventurer found in your fortress after you lost, but also you were going to be able to get some small points on your high score list by trading things out. So that was another way that the different things that dwarves did ... having a diversity there was going to improve the quality of the high score list and so it really just ballooned out from there, especially once it became our main project. Now anything's allowed, anything at all that isn't the things that we generally don't give the thumbs up to, like [...] steam and nuclear power and stuff like that.
Rainseeker:So I think this is one of the ways I have the most fun in this game is making things. I had a lot of fun particularly when I went to a desert and found a magma pool and decided to make glass, just tons and tons of glass, I had like ten glass refineries - or kilns I guess - just made tons of it, and then started building a glass fortress, because it's an unlimited resource. Is that ever a plan of yours, to make a sand pile limited?
Toady:There's this notion of sand as a fluid I think, that's kind of intriguing. Like if you have a bunch of sand leaning up against a rock wall and you remove the rock wall, the sand doesn't retain its shape, it'll just flow into the cavern. So it would be really cool if it could be made into a fluid like that, that behaves kind of like lava does now; because lava makes more slopes, it doesn't worry about fluid pressure and all that kind of thing. And it would be cool if the sand could move like that, but at the same time you could still walk or even build on it, or whatever you need to do. And in that way it would become a limited resource because when you scoop up some it would just remove a unit of sand from the square. Snow has a similar thing. Right now though it depends not just on the fluid rewrite - which is going to allow us to support more fluid types at once - but also the notion that this is a very special fluid that can be walked on and all that. So you'd be pathfinding over it, and at the same time it would be able to flow. It's one of those things like; is this an insurmountable problem? It might be, it might be one of those things that's very very difficult to do.
Rainseeker:Well [it] would make it actually very difficult to build; especially if someone decided to build on a sand dune.
Toady:That should be hard, but you could still pitch a tent there or something; and then that tent should just fall over if you drain the sand into a giant sinkhole or something.
Rainseeker:Well I'm thinking people build pillars to support things, so if someone built a pillar on a sand dune which then shifted that thing should fall over and that should be really interesting to do.
Toady:That's one of those things that's very difficult but you'd ideally want sand to have those additional properties.
Rainseeker:There's a lot of limitations right now on what you can do, how customised you can make every item. Are you planning on allowing people to maybe create a template of an item that they want to create and then tell people to keep creating that same thing. You want to for instance create a goblet that is encrusted with diamonds and has an image of an elephant slaying a dwarf on it ...
Toady:Yeah, especially if that's the insignia of your group or whatever. There are a few limitations that are design based. Most of the limitations just come from how the jobs are stored right now and I'd have to rewrite quite a bit to get them to think more about things, and just writing interfaces is always irritating. But ideally I'd like you to be able to do a lot more things, if you have a dwarf pumping those things out maybe he'll get irritated; he doesn't get to realise his dreams anymore [or] do whatever the heck he wants. But just having some kind of work order where you have the goblet, then do these things to it, and make the goblet out of this material, and if the [goblet] isn't at least finely crafted then just melt it down again and just get these things built and then we're going to build ten of them, and then do whatever. It'd be great to allow people to do things like that especially because with statues now; the dwarves can carve these statues that will look like things now, but what they look like is really up to the dwarf right now. It's understandable to allow Michelangelo or whatever to make the statue they want, but even those kind of people had commission jobs, and especially if it's like 'I want the ten previous rulers of my civilization; I want statues of them so I can line the great hall with them'. That'd be awesome right? And it's not something where you're like 'Well I want to carve a big cheese today, sorry' and so you've got like ten great cheese statues for your great hall ...
Rainseeker:One of them made clouds.
Toady:Yeah, cloud statues or dwarves surrounded by plump helmets or whatever. It's amusing for a while but then you want to allow the additional control as well.
Rainseeker:You want awesomeness.
Toady:Awesomeness! Yeah, awesomeness is good. My brother and I are always anti-zany in a lot of ways, even though a lot of zaniness kind of jumps in Dwarf Fortress we're usually against throwing in a monster that has big green boots and he's call the Happy Green Monster monster and he has a laser gun or something just because it's silly, just kind of randomly silly, it's just not the direction we want to take the thing. But at the same time we're there when it comes to the statues ...
Rainseeker:I know, I mean come on, a dwarf smashing a bridge that he's already walking on.
Toady:That's this emergent zaniness, and then we've got things which are zaniness that you would call zaniness by design, like these statues. The statues are goofy, the engravings are goofy, but there's something good about them and allowing the dwarves - like if you don't specify what you want them to do - then of course they're going to go on their little flights of fantasy, these little goofy guys. But if you tell them what to do they shouldn't be that pissed off about it. There might be times when a particular dwarf would grumble at that kind of thing and it might pop up a little warning 'he's been making these goblets and he's made two hundred of them, and it's making him a little depressed about this life'; then you might have to do something about it. I'm all for giving the player more control there; they can already carve out the rooms they want and place the furniture where they want and stuff. Especially because it doesn't even fall under the level of micromanagement. Micromanagement is usually what people refer to when it's something that sucks about a game that you have to fiddle with, like having to place the furniture when you don't care anymore. But being able to design the sword or statue ...
Rainseeker:Yeah, I want twenty obsidian swords with red handles, darn it.
Toady:Yeah, especially because it's gotten to the point now where you can tell your squad to carry those [kinds of thing]. So you could do that in your squad, you could be like 'I want you to have obsidian swords' but if you didn't have the control to make obsidian swords that would be a very frustrating system. There are things right now about the squad system I think where you can specify the squad uniform more than you can actually specify it in the workshop and that's where we're starting to have a breakdown/disconnect there, so obviously the specifications in the workshops have to come, and I believe ... which I'm going to go check right now on the website ... if I'm not mistaken the eternal suggestion voting has turned that up as well, I don't know if you remember off the top of your head.
Rainseeker:No I haven't looked at it in a long time.
Toady:Yeah I haven't looked at it for a while either, let's see how things are doing. Improved hauling still super, standing production orders, workshop material selection. So workshop material selection basically falls under this umbrella. People want to be able to make what they want to make; it's number three on the list right now, it's beating graphics, and beating pathfinding. So that stuff, that's obviously going to get dealt with sometime. I'm not saying that I'm going to do the top ten in order, I don't want to commit to something that's going to ... it may be impossible to do things in order all the time, but it's not like when four hundred people say they want something and the thing that they want is something you want to, it's like 'that's cool!' It's all good, everything aligns like the stars and stuff, so we'll be there, we'll be there, we just need to get through this horrible horrible release cycle and then this horrible release cycle will be over and everyone will be happy.
Rainseeker:As a matter of fact let's move away from talking about the trades and talk about the release cycle, since you brought it up, sir.
Toady:Yeah yeah yeah. Stepped right into a big steaming pile of crap.
Rainseeker:How are we looking [for] the Christmas release?
Toady:It's a depressing depressing thing. It's one of those things where it's possible, but it's possible in the meaning of the word, where if something is one percent likely it's still possible. It would take a lot of luck, basically, at this point, which doesn't seem to happen to me very often with bugs and things. Because if I don't get caught up and tied in a lot of things like this doesn't work and I have to fix it for a day - that kind of thing happens all the time - and so if I don't step in a lot of those traps and have a lot of trouble working things through it's still possible, but I'm thinking right now that we're just not going to be lucky people and it's not going to happen. Because there's such a bit list of things to do. I talked about this in the thread, at the time I had seventy days and I looked at the list, I'm like 'that's not really a seventy day list anymore'. Everything's taken longer than I thought, it's always that way. Especially when I start giving optimistic release dates and then I'm wrong over and over and people call me out and start yelling at me, it makes me want to not do it anymore but at the same time I'd prefer not to be somebody who also is like 'well it's ready when it's ready'. I'd like to give people the run down there, and so the run down is that caves I've spent more times on that than I thought I would - and that's not necessarily a bad thing - but it's pushed things a little bit later. I'm pretty sure I can finish off the entity position and squad stuff, especially if I cut things like formations. I'm pretty sure I can finish it in November; that's going to be the goal, [...] to finish that stuff in November. There are a few large items there that are not really put offable like guards that are just completely busted right now in bad ways, and that's going to be the trick to getting entities and squads done, [i.e. it's] going to be getting that through. So that's another thing where I can't promise I'll be done in November with that stuff, and that's going to determine a lot of the release date. But if I get through then December was just going to be a mess of clean up, like doing butchery, because right now it doesn't understand how to read through their bodies to get like the amount of fat that comes out of a particularly fat dead creature. Because there's a lot of cool things; like a big fat dwarf - if you decide to skin a dwarf - a big fat dwarf would give you more fat for more candles and stuff than a little skinny dwarf, or a walrus or whatever. So that's all going to be cool, but it all needs to be done, and there's really no other way to do it, now that I've got these bodies, unless I just stick with the hardcoded tags that I had before, but in a sense I can't really do that either. And there's things like the hydra problems, like if you chopped off a couple of hydra's heads you would not want seven skulls instead of five; people insist on the five skulls, and I insist on the five skulls so I'm probably not going to put that kind of consideration off. So getting through all that mess in December and a lot of tests ... because even though every time I've waited like a year to release the game I release the game and there's some giant bug, like the dwarves never waking up from being asleep or whatever, and the other one had the civil war bug where if your sheriff arrested somebody and beat them then the whole fortress broke out in a civil war.
Toady:Because when a sheriff hits another dwarf it didn't treat it like a law action it treated it like an attack, but since they were both part of the same civilization it recorded the sheriff as an enemy of the civilization now, but since he was also a friend of the civilization when they hit him back that records another enemy, and then anyone who attacks those guys for being enemies [is also recorded as being] an enemy and it just breaks out into this giant mess of people all hating each other or hating certain of each other.
Rainseeker:How did you find out that that was happening?
Toady:I released it and then - I don't remember if it was few days later - people were just like 'What is going on here? My whole fortress just erupted in violence!' Eventually someone sent me a save or something, or someone observed the problem, it's been a couple of years I think so I don't recall exactly how it was fixed, but it just takes something simple like someone finding a sheriff doing it that blows it up and then sending you a save file, or you have a hunch yourself and then you set up a situation and get it fixed. It was easy to fix, it was one of those one line fixes, but then the other release had the sleeping bug where people went to sleep and they just never woke up and starved to death. There was just another one where ...
Rainseeker:Don't ... don't fall asleep!
Toady:It was one of those things where you've been testing and testing and testing - because most of the features for that release didn't have big bugs, it was all working - and then I tweaked something about sleep at the end for the rest jobs, for when they're damaged or whatever, and then I didn't run a full game after that; I tweaked that thing a couple of weeks before and I was like 'I've already run a bunch of full games, I don't need to run another full game'. So I never got to the point where my dwarves needed to go to sleep and then woke up, so I'd never played for a whole two seasons or season or whatever, so I just didn't notice. And then I released it, and people were like 'What is this oversight? What is this?' It's a thing that's way easier to happen than you think, especially when I'm in the situation where I can just release the next week instead of having to worry about going through some kind of patch, [some] kind of two month process to get something up. So the release this time I've got a lot of tests I want to do, to make it at least to the point where there's only going to be a few of those giant show stoppers. I do more testing than people think, because even though those bugs appeared, what would have happened if I didn't test the amount I did would have been even worse. So there's a lot of that to do in December, I just have a list of things where it's like 'Check this out, check this out, check this out, check this out, check this out' and it's just going to take some time to get through that. That's what it comes down to now. There's finishing off the caves which is kind of hard because you always to do more with them, but that's what I'm trying to do now for the next several days in October, and it doesn't seem like I'm going to quite finish, and that means that ... I'm still going to put that out, because I want November to be the 'entities and squads get greened out' month. That means in December I go back to the caves before I get to my tests, and then you know, are we going to see January? That's what I'm thinking is getting more likely now, is that we're going to get into January. And then if we get into February it wouldn't shock me. If we get into March, well, that's just sad.
Rainseeker:What do you think happened? Why did this end up taking ... what was this, when did you last release?
Rainseeker:So why did it take over a year to release. Normally you were releasing every what, four months or so?
Toady:It's been so random, there have been nine month breaks, there have been months where I released ten times. It's just, this time ... down in the under carcass of the game with the materials and tissues and combat stuff and all that, it had more ramifications; not more than I thought, but they're taking longer than I thought to get through every single ramification. And then add on top of that the underground, the squads ... and I also threw in ... I didn't need to do the entity position rewrite specifically here but I wanted to do it for squads, so I guess you could count [the] entity position rewrite with squads. So there's what, three things then and I'm of course missing some, there's healthcare too. Just looking at that list it's getting to be like ... well, there's a lot of things there, and I would have had to have cut out a great swathe of things. I kind of made a foolish promise to myself I think that I wanted to get squads done this release because I'd been saying for years that I wanted to do the army arc and hadn't done a thing, and now squads is a huge step forward on the army arc, so I've done something now. I've done something, but it took all that extra time on top of ... it's going to end up taking four months or something. And then the materials/tissue crap ended up taking six months and then you have the underground on top of that which has probably taken three months now and healthcare took a couple of months with venom and so on as well. And when you add all that up you probably get up to what we're at now, which is thirteen months.
Rainseeker:I guess our message here, Tarn, is that 'Don't be discouraged; it's going to be awesome.'
Toady:Yeah, it's going to be awesome. I have that way in the back of my head, that we're doing alright, this is all really cool and I'm happy with how it's going. But it's just one of those things where everyone else has to be ... well not everyone, but a great number of people have to be on board with the awesome too for such a long period of time isn't really fair to them. I shouldn't ask people to bear with the awesome for fifteen months, or bear with the lack of awesome for fifteen months which is what's going to end up happening, then have them support me all through that period is not reasonable. So I don't want to force people to support the awesome but it's going to be a few more months of void [awesomenessless].
Rainseeker:But well, I'm still going to be producing these podcasts, so that should be a little thing to tide us over in the meantime, and hear the sultry sound of your voice.
Toady:I never tried to pick that one over the radio before ... No I just sound creepy. (sultry(?))Yeah, yeah yeah alright. Yeah baby. Come to Dwarf Fortress.(end sultry)
Rainseeker:... Yes. So I would like to ... let's transition!
Toady:Yeah yeah, transition well away from that crap!
Rainseeker:Let's talk about erm ... questions!
Toady:Questions! Yeah, people have got questions and I trust there won't be any repeats.
Rainseeker:I don't know, we'll see.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:In this third half of the show ...
Toady:Third half?
Rainseeker:That's right, the third half, for those of you who can do math.
Toady:That's right, one point five.
Rainseeker:We are going to be talking about your questions, and we are addressing some questions we didn't get to last time and ... gosh, here's a silly one from Goberfish, I guess this is a yes or no question; 'Are there any plans for world domination via brainwashing techniques through Dwarf Fortress?'
Toady:So this is not within the game, but is that my agenda? Is that what he's talking about.
Rainseeker:Yes, are there any plans for it?
Toady:Well, I mean I guess if you had to step back and look at the overall goals and so on then it's underway. We've got a few fans that are quite enthusiastic and you might consider them brainwashed. I wouldn't say so; the people I've met that are enthusiastic all seem to continue to be able to work on in their lives and so on, and I don't think they take any orders from me that were not still in their best interest. So I think I've failed so far, but I want more people to like the game and to tell their friends about it and everything so once everyone in the world is playing Dwarf Fortress I guess we'd be there whether they were brainwashed or not.
Rainseeker:I don't really know if that's what he actually meant but ...
Toady:I have no idea, he said 'through Dwarf Fortress' though, so I think it's what we're talking about, I think it really is all about that.
Rainseeker:Maybe so.
Toady:So he can consider his question answered then, which is cool.
Rainseeker:There you go. I've got a question from Mephansteras.
Toady:That's right, well he's famous. He or she is a famous person.
Rainseeker:Oh really?
Toady:Yeah, well just always asking questions, been around for a while, so ...
Rainseeker:Well he or she wants to know; 'Will the megabeasts use equipment or create objects?'
Toady:So right now they steal crap and drop it in their caves. I'd like to think that one of the reasons ... I think the cyclops ... we have spears for them that are like artifice or something, I don't recall off the top of my head, but we were thinking of them in terms of mythology and so if they end up making things we'd be quite happy with that. They just need to have ... The problem right now is they've got no entity definition associated to themselves so they don't see items, because right now the people see items through their cultures, and that's really the only stumbling block. It was the stumbling block that made the animal peoples in the caves boring for a segment here and we had to take away their blowguns and so on because they didn't have a culture anymore, and now they've got cultures in the next version so they'll be able to have their little blowguns and riding animals again. The cyclops is the same way, and I'm sure other megabeasts as well. It goes with things like megabeast diplomacy to some extent as well. Ultimately yeah, I mean we're talking about ultimate goals here which of course is dangerous because you have so many you're never going to get to them all. But I'd like that, I'd like having the megabeasts be more interesting in a lot of ways because right now it's just like they're a target that fights back, which is kind of boring.
Rainseeker:Here's one from Dasleah, who has a very interesting animated avatar.
Toady:Is it the famous one that he still has from a long time ago with the ... it's just creepy looking.
Rainseeker:It's talking ...
Toady:Yeah, that's the same one. It's creepy.
Rainseeker:What the heck is that?
Toady:I don't ... there's a whole thread about it, there's a whole thread about its creepiness, and I don't remember if he revealed the source or not, I think it's got shopped eyes or something. There's quite a story behind it, but it's scary. It's scary.
Rainseeker:Well here's his question, or her question: 'If you could magically and instantly add one thing to Dwarf Fortress for no other reason than you'd love to see it in there - maybe it's even too hard to get in there - what would you and Threetoe like to see in there?
Toady:That's always so hard, isn't it. Because you'd want to ... because one thing never really cuts it.
Rainseeker:Right, but maybe it's one thing that's really hard.
Toady:Well I mean the hardest things are always time travel and stuff and that just needs a bigger disks. But I'm not sure they really care about time travel that much, it'd be cool to get the fluids in there, because I want giant lakes of blood and stuff and all the sand and that kind of thing. But as with any 'favourites' question it always just comes back to what I was just thinking about like ten minutes ago ... I'm absolutely horrible at these kinds of question, it's the worst thing in the world for me. Some people can rattle off their favourite movies and colours and things but I totally suck when it comes to that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:Alright, how about I ask you something different then?
Toady:Oh you can ask me all kinds of questions, yeah.
Rainseeker:Alright, here we go. Here's something from Zollarr: 'Toady, what are your plans for mounts? Will you be able to ride mounts in adventure mode?'
Toady:Absolutely. You have to ride mounts in adventure mode or that's just tragic and sad, because there's so many stories that go with mounts and things that I think it's imperative to have them. Now, as far as approaching the ... well, talking about dwarves too - I don't personally think of dwarves as a mounting people - but I know some people want to ...
Rainseeker:But they're a mountain people.
Toady:Oh no.
Toady:Oh no! Oh no. I don't have a cave to hide in. Oh no ... but there's a garbage can, I could put my head in there I guess. But there are mods though, so you still want to support things, and some people are going to want to have their dwarves riding around little mountain goats and things.
Toady:Yeah, mountain goat dwarves. So it's something that I'd want to support there too. Now I don't know much about it in general, what's the story with the saddle, people talk about stirrups all the time as like 'did they change history?' You know, that kind of thing. I'd like to go through it methodically as usual and look at what the questions are there. Now that doesn't mean that we're going to have to answer all those questions before you can hop on a horse or something in adventure mode, but that's how I'd look at it. Then there have been games I think like Mount and Blade that have addressed horse based combat pretty well, or mounted combat pretty well, from what I remember - my brother plays that - and as far as making sure that we give it a similar respectful treatment in terms of charging and the effect of a mounted weapon, the fact that you don't even necessarily have to swing your weapon because you're hitting him in the face with something that's moving as fast as a horse. All kinds of things like that that come up. It's more difficult in a tile based environment but I think you can still convey some of the similar properties there, like velocity and the fact that you can't stop immediately. We were going to do that with running, we were thinking about being able to run but the fact that you couldn't stop on a dime then. Things like that that come up. Right now we just have that kind of hacked in with the charging system where you charge into people and then you can charge past people. You see it more in adventure mode, it's happening in dwarf mode too but you see it more in adventure mode. So in terms of mounts ... And then there's the matter of taking care of your mount, would you have to feed your horse, and all that. Currently you don't feed animals in dwarf mode but in adventure mode it seems likely that you'd want to have to take care of your horse and so on. And it'd be cool if you could also have pets, including the horse, but just pets in general, and taking care of your pets and having little pet antics and things. Of course I'm fond of pets, violent cats included. So I think ... well there must have been an answer to the question somewhere in there.
Rainseeker:I think you did. Here's a question from zwei: 'Do you get hate mail?'
Toady:No, not really. There have been instances where people were, say, moderated, where then that person would then tell us what they thought of the moderation, what they thought of us in general, and how it made us tyrannical and evil and so on. But I'm not sure if that counts as hate mail because hate mail's not generally over something that happened between you and that person, right? Hate mail is more like they just don't like the game, or they don't ...
Rainseeker:They don't agree with your position on something.
Toady:Yeah, they don't like something I said in Dwarf Fortress Talk or whatever, and they're like 'Well you know, I'm going to tell you about that, and about how much you suck' and so on. That really hasn't happened, I can't think of a single time where someone has just out of the blue ... unless you count people talking shit on IRC for no reason or whatever, you know that kind of thing. Or coming on our forums and being idiots about it. But a personal message, sent to me via email or via snail mail, there hasn't been anything like that. It's been good, it's been really good and on the flipside of that there's been a lot of positive messages that people have sent. So so far it's been very cool, I'm glad that it's been that way. I guess there have been people that say like 'I wish you'd do this with the interface' or that kind of thing, it's not hate mail, it's just constructive criticism. And so far, I guess that's the main avenue then where we might get some hate mail later on, like [if] after another year there's no graphics or something and then people might eventually snap. But so far, if hate mail gauges my ability to take a stand, or my ability to really do something interesting, then I've really failed, because this hasn't happened yet.
Rainseeker:Here's a question from DG: 'Will the arrival of a merchant once per year no longer be guaranteed if or when the time it takes for them to arrive is determined by the distance and terrain between your fort and their starting point?'
Toady:We're thinking about letting that one float once we got the model up to the point where it worked well enough, then we're just going to let it ride. Now right now the world is not so big that you can't walk across it in ... what does it take in adventure mode, I think you can step twelve tiles in day? I really don't remember. So if you're in adventure and you can go twelve tiles in a day then even in a large world you can go twenty or twenty two days to cross the entire world. So if you take the caravans time and up it up - up it up, up it up, that's great - if you shoot it up by like five times then it would still take a hundred days to cross the entire world, and if that's the case then there shouldn't be problems with not getting a dwarven caravan every year, even if they stop at various cities, even if they stop a city for like five days and move on. Five days is nothing in dwarf mode time, and then they'll mode to the next place and be shooting all over the world. That should work out well, especially if you can support several caravans at once and you have something that ends up looking more like a bazaar or something out in front of your fortress, people stop, there could even be local merchants from nearby villages or something like that that hang there quite a bit and your own guys and so on. It could be pretty cool out there.
Rainseeker:That'd be pretty cool too if your own guys were going to buy stuff from the merchants.
Toady:Yeah, right now it's just this command and control, it's like 'Send your guy over there where you're buying things for the fortress'. But then you've got these own weird shops inside ... the economy is so strangely developed in Dwarf Fortress; it really just needs to be rooted out and thrown in the gutter and then worked on again, and it's going to be, that's what the whole caravan arc is about. But really the main problem with time when we're talking about timing and so on is if you were to send out your own caravans, or even your own armies, the time it takes them to walk from the front of the fortress to the edge of the map you can probably cross the whole world or something depressing. The whole Dwarf Fortress time dilation is always going to be one of these big thorns in the side of the game. It's always going to be a huge problem to deal with. It's not a problem in adventure mode at all because adventure mode is moving at the slowest time possible in the game, so it's not a problem. [But] in dwarf mode we're always going to have to figure out a way to fudge things. If the wars are raging all over the place and, you know, over the course of month someone could sweep through an entire province or something then how does that figure in with the fact that you could maybe get your squad off the screen in a month. It's just sad, it's tragic sad, bad, and it's not going to work very well without all kinds of ... Like when you're playing a fortress it's just going to have to fake a lot of stuff. Not fake it, but just make the armies move slower on the world map too or something. So history is going to have these starts and stops, if you always play one mode you wouldn't notice but if you play between fort mode and then adventure mode and fort mode and adventure mode, there's going to be these strange dynamics going on that are caused by the fort molassesing the universe. It's okay, it's just one of those things ... because you can't go the other way and say 'I want fort mode to take as long as adventure mode' because then you'll never see summer, much less winter, because it would just take way too long for that stuff to happen. Right now [in] adventure mode if you just walk, if you're walking 'click click click'; you're going seventy two times slower than in fortress mode. So you would need to dilate the game seventy two times, which means that if you're used to a fort that lasts four years then you should get used to a fort that lasts one month for that same experience. That's crazy, that's not exactly a ...
Rainseeker:This is all about fun, right?
Toady:Yeah, it's all about fun. It's not fun for me, though. If we're talking about not having a good design but just having an easy to program design then it would be way easier to have everything work on the same timescale, because then I wouldn't have to worry about this stuff at all. However it's just not possible, you have to have dwarf mode be a lot faster than the other modes. I think adventure mode doesn't really suffer from the same problems because you don't care about time passing, if you want to pass to the next winter then you could just say 'sleep in this town for two months and just hang out here.' There's not a huge problem with that, you don't want the time to pass; if you walked to another town and back you don't want a year to have passed most of the time. Just the slower mode works there but with the dwarves, there are problems with that. Anyway, that's enough of that I guess.
Rainseeker:I have another question from DG that I liked: 'Do you have plans to allow the first seven dwarves to be chosen from a larger pool of dwarves which are actual world gen members, like your chosen civilization?'
Toady:That was going to be an option at some point. Like we've been saying with this whole populations issue; the populations just aren't big enough, in a way, to make that ultra-satisfying. So there were going to be those fake population pools and then you could pull your dwarves out of the fake population pool and then maybe have some more customisation with them and so on. And it also depends on the fate of this whole Oregon Trail style mode where you're actually doing the trapping as well; [it] has a lot to do with that. Because if you were restricting yourself to specific world generation dwarves you'd also want them all to come from the same site or you'd have to write a back story for how one moved to a different site and came to leave from that one location, or are they all just meeting up at the destination and one of them brought the wagon and the others walked. So there's a lot of issues there but we'd like to at least tie it in more closely with the given civilization that you're starting from, or if you want to choose an option that's like 'play now' from adventure mode then you'd be not linked to a civilization and just coming in just as generated dwarves from the edge of the map. But in that case you'd have no ties which would be kind of weird for the caravans and stuff, so it's generally good to be from somewhere, but whether or not that's going to be world generation dwarves is going to depend on these fake populations; how well they work and then what restrictions there are on picking their dwarves. If you pick seven dwarves that happen to be important to a different city then that's going to be really weird. Like the mayor and half the guard of the town just decide to pick up [because] they were getting tired of this giant attacking the town all the time, so the mayor and all the guards left to go found a new fortress and then a week later the giant destroys the city. That would be the kind of thing ... Of course that'd kind of a funny story, so I think there's something to be said for allowing that, like allowing you to make the mayor go wanderlust crazy and decide to found a new fortress for fun. And the same thing goes for adventure mode, like starting as a guy - being able to assume control of any character in the universe - is something that's reasonable, especially if you've got the parameters set for it. It's one of those things where you'd want to set up parameters so you wouldn't be tempted. It's like 'allow control of any historical figure as an adventurer: yes', because if you put yes there if you're losing a war or something then you might be like 'well I want to play the enemy's general as my next adventurer' and then you could just go jump into a canyon or something. So to remove that kind of temptation ... There are a lot of people, more people than I expected so it kind of surprised me, on various aspects of the game have said 'Well I really want this to be an option that I have to set in advance so that I don't feel tempted to spoil things.' So having that as a world generation parameter works the best for that, but that'd be cool as well, just being able to play whoever you wanted. It goes in with those post version one arcs about being able to play a dragon, you know that kind of thing. So you could just assume control of a megabeast that already exists in the world and so on.
Rainseeker:Well guys thanks for joining us for this episode number four. Remember we're no longer a trilogy and we will be back again of course next month; that's the plan. Pretty we'll put up the new vote for new topics, we don't know what they are yet. I'd just like to thank mallocks for doing the transcription and I'd like to thank Ollieh for the music and I'd like to thank Tarn for making the game, and I'd like to thank myself for producing, editing and writing and being an awesome individual because I love myself.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:I'd also like to thank poor Capntastic who wasn't here this week but he will be back next month.
Toady:Right, well unless evil comes calling.
Rainseeker:Evil comes calling, it does occasionally.
Toady:Yeah, Capntastic; he can't control his schedule. If he tried to control his schedule like that you might be dead tomorrow.
Rainseeker:Might be.
Toady:You might be, it's a dangerous world with ... what did you say, Venom and Doctor Doom or something?
Rainseeker:Yep, Venom and Doctor Doom, they were both teaming up ...
Toady:They don't sound like they do good things to the world.
Rainseeker:No! No they don't. They don't, they really really don't.
Toady:Those are the character motivations that are easiest to get at in the game though. Although I don't know much about these people.
Rainseeker:Well you know Doctor Doom; he does some humanitarian efforts occasionally. He'll try to improve people through genetic mutations. And Venom you know, in his defence, he does eat orphans.
Toady:Well ... yeah ... I guess there's historical ... Was that Jonathan Swift, right?
Rainseeker:You put people out of their misery, you know? So I don't know, maybe Capntastic isn't such a good guy after all.
Toady:I guess not, I'm sorry. So he doesn't get any credit in this show, and I hope he doesn't come back next time. Because the work of Doctor Doom and Venom ...
Rainseeker:Very important work.
Toady:Very important work. What does he do to them? He just beats them up and throws them in jail.
Rainseeker:Presumably yes. He hasn't really elaborated to me too much. I don't even know what his super power is.
Toady:Well what's more important is his uniform, his little outfit.
Rainseeker:It's fantastic, it's Capntastic.
Toady:Fantastic. Spandex? Spendextastic?
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:It's Captain Tastic.
Toady:It's got a big 'C' on it probably somewhere.
Rainseeker:Probably a 'CT' or something.
Toady:Is that Connecticut?
Rainseeker:Yeah, he's from Connecticut.
Toady:I always thought he was in California or something, but no 'T' in California. Have we crossed the boundary from funny to stupid?
Rainseeker:We totally did, and then we didn't look back.
Toady:Yeah, we didn't look back at all.
Rainseeker:It's way back there.
Toady:That's right. Well you can't have, it's like they say, you can't have a pioneering effort without a lot of mistakes.
Rainseeker:Just a lot of crap.
Toady:Yeah there's a lot of garbage, we're trying our best though. But this is what happens when you record a little bit too long, trying to have three segments instead. All of our problems are coming together, we've got three segments instead of two, and we've got two hosts instead of three. So where you'd normally have Capntastic sitting here saying 'What is this crap? What are you guys doing?' Right now we're kind of blissfully ignorant.
Rainseeker:There's no-one to rein us in!
Toady:Yeah we're uncontrolled. This is where his superpowers really come in to like rein in people.
Rainseeker:He is like a kindergarten teacher. It's like 'Okay, settle down ... okay class, sit down. Tarn! Tarn! Put down the paste.'
Toady:Paste ... I was trying to remember a kindergarten thing.
Rainseeker:'Rainseeker stop running with those scissors'
Toady:The only thing I remember from kindergarten is being the sleep fairy, where you have the wand ... everyone has to take nap time, everyone's nap time, except the sleep fairy gets the wand that day and wakes the people up, so you go over to the different kids and you tap their heads with the wand and when you get tapped with the wand nap time is over. And you brought a blanket to class every day for sleep time, or nap time, I forgot what it was called, and then the sleep fairy for that day would wake people up. I think I was only the sleep fairy one time. I don't think it was because of a mistake it was just because I was the sleep fairy one time. But I woke the people up and everything. It's kind of surreal though because they turn off the lights in the room and you see all these little kindergartners pretending to sleep and then you just walk among them and tap them. That's all I remember. I don't think I ever actually slept during nap time, it was only two minutes or something. It was really weird, really really strange. But that is my one memory of kindergarten, if someone said 'did you do fingerprinting in kindergarten?' I'd be like 'yeah' but I don't actually remember what we did, I have no memories of that at all. I remember what the teacher looks like. But I remember the sleep fairy quite well. There was no sleep fairy in first grade, it all goes downhill after that.
Rainseeker:I would love to go to Yale and find out there was a sleep fairy at Yale.
Toady:Yeah, it's probably just something they do when they're on coke or something. I wouldn't speak to the different traditions at different schools, I don't really know. I never lived in a dorm.
Rainseeker:I lived in a dorm.
Toady:Did you have a sleep fairy?
Rainseeker:I had an un-sleep fairy, I had a ... Well I guess he was a sleep fairy, if his job is to wake you up, yes. I would go to bed early, if early means like eleven o'clock, and then he would come in at 3 AM after hanging out and partying and he would turn on the lights and throw his keys down on the desk and get undressed and do stuff without any regard for my sleeping habits at all.
Toady:Did you have fire alarms a lot too?
Rainseeker:Um ... fire drills? I think we might have had one, I don't recall. There was this legendary story because I went to a famous bible college in 'Ortland, Poregon'.
Toady:Well you've got to put the 'ay's after that, 'Ortlandpay' or something.
Rainseeker:Well I was doing a spoonerism there.
Toady:Ah, spoonerism! Weren't you going to have me reading the credits in spoonerisms next time.
Rainseeker:That would be probably easier though.
Toady:I don't even know what the heck that is though.
Rainseeker:Well it's where you reverse letters, or leverse retters.
Toady:Oh so they come in pairs.
Rainseeker:Right, they come in pairs, they pome in cairs.
Toady:They pome in cairs. Care bears, Bare cares. That's no fun.
Rainseeker:Yeah so when I was in school here, a couple of years before I attended there, there was a famous incident where everyone in the mens dorm set out their clothes on the floor, turned on the showers at about four in the morning, and made it look like they were sleeping in bed or taking showers or brushing their teeth, and just left everything askew as if suddenly they had been Raptured. And they all went outside in front of the dorm and someone had a big old foam horn and everyone but one person who was asleep they all blew it really really loud.
Toady:Did it sound heavenly, the horn?
Rainseeker:I assume so, because he woke up and he freaked out. He just screamed, running around convinced that he wasn't saved, he'd been left behind, and this was before the Left Behind book things.
Toady:Yeah because some of the people in the Left Behind books, that's not necessarily a bad thing then, or something.
Rainseeker:I guess there's hope for you if you do.
Toady:So he didn't think there was hope, in other words.
Rainseeker:Yeah he thought that he'd been left behind, and he freaked out and then finally he came outside, weeping and crying and that particular prank was outlawed shortly after ...
Toady:Yeah that's kind of mean, it seems like the guy was affected.
Rainseeker:Oh yeah, I don't think they realised what that would do to him.
Toady:At least he was fine. He still has a chance.
Rainseeker:Yeah that's true, he still has a chance.
Toady:But now he knows he probably has more of a chance than the other guys now.
Rainseeker:I guess unless they repented.
Toady:Yeah, well once they saw him crying you'd hope that they did. It's not a guarantee though.
Rainseeker:Well in college my dad, one of his roommates had this big big TV - I guess for the time - he would watch it rather than studying. So for finals, it was an older TV I guess at the time, and so they found one in a second hand shop and hid his in another room and put this older one where it previously was. And he was watching TV instead of studying and so my dad and his other roommate ran in and shouted 'We can't take it anymore! You're not studying!' And so they grabbed the TV and ran down the hallway with it. And there were people in on the joke so this guy's chasing after them and people are opening the doors in the hallways, blocking him from just barely reaching them; and finally they get to the end of the hall, and this is a second storey window and they chuck the TV out the window and it falls to the ground and smashes of course. They let him go on believing that his TV was destroyed until finals were over. I don't think he appreciated it too much, but maybe he got some studying done.
Toady:Yeah, I hope so. He's obviously had time to produce children, fine children, parenting and so on. I guess it all turned out well in the end. I just hope they looked before they threw it, if it's like on a sidewalk or something, two stories down it'd kind of be like one of those cartoons, having this giant TV land on you or something.
Rainseeker:Yes, you'd pretty much probably die.
Toady:Especially because it's a second hand model too, it's not even the real TV. It's just kind of [an] indignity there.
Toady:Now where is the little cat. (aside to Scamps) Where'd you go? Where's the little cat? Where are you hiding? Where's the baby cat? Hmm. (singing) He's wandered away, where is baby Scamps today. (stops singing) Not even in this room, there's no baby cat. Oh! Was that an ear! Is that an ear sticking round the door? You can't even see me if you ... Why don't you stick your head around the door just a little bit more, and maybe you could see me. What you doing mister? What you doing? I see you! I don't know what kind of game you're trying to pull here, but ... What kind of game ... What are you doing? Wow, he's not charging though, he's just sitting there. What a silly cat. What are you doing? Why don't you just come in the room [if] you're going to stand like that. (end aside) (presumed cut) Baby Scamps has brought his fetch toy in, and I threw it, threw it down the hall.
Toady:Yeah. Well there's periodic disruptions. Oh here he's back with his baby toy. He's got his toy, he's going to bring his little rodent. He's climbing up the tree with it in his mouth.
Rainseeker:He's going to work on it, huh?
Toady:Yeah yeah, he's bringing it up through to the top level of the tree. (aside to Scamps) Are you going to go? Or are you just going to stay there. Oh he's going up the hole. There he goes. He's at the top of the tree now, he brought the rodent all the way up there. Good job Mister! (end aside)