Dwarf Fortress Talk #5, with Rainseeker and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Alright well, welcome back everybody to a new episode of Dwarf Fortress Talk. This is episode number five I believe!
Toady:That's right, number five.
Capntastic:How do you say that in Spanish?
Rainseeker:Nķmero cinco!
Capntastic:Arriba!
Rainseeker:Alright so we are here with Rainseeker, your host, and Capntastic, your other host ...
Capntastic:That's me. We have different voices!
Rainseeker:We do have different voices. This is me: Hello. This is Capntastic:
Capntastic:(dramatic pause) Hello.
Rainseeker:See? He pauses, that's how you can know.
Capntastic:I either pause or I don't, that's how you can tell.
Rainseeker:And then here's our illustrious leader, Mr. Tarn Adams.
Toady:Hello!
Capntastic:Pretend that the 'lust' part is in bold.
Rainseeker:And our topic today is, Captain?
Capntastic:Procedural cultures and how they will affect the future of Dwarf Fortress, your favourite game.
Toady:That's awesome, so you can do that on cue.
Rainseeker:And what we're going to do is we're not going to have a vote, we're just going to ahead and next month, because everyone loves it so much, we're going to do adventure mode and make everyone happy. We probably will be addressing to some extent battle specifics as they come up and if you guys want to continue to ask questions about specific battle or piercing spleen questions you can send them to our question email address.
Toady:That's toadyone@bay12games.com and make sure you put 'Question for DF Talk' (no quotes) as the subject.
Capntastic:They go to all of us ...
Rainseeker:So if you have a sultry letter to tarn you probably would want to have a different subject.
Capntastic:Or if you have a sultry letter that you want to get to all three of us, then that would save time.
Toady:Well there were all those cosplay pictures right?
Capntastic:Yeah, and a zombie groundhog and such.
Toady:(aside to Scamps) Aaah! Mister, we're going battle specifics now are we? What's this, we're going to study biting and scratching, is that right? Is that right? What does the muscle in my wrist look like? (end aside) Ouch.
Rainseeker:I guess we're going to talk about procedural culture now.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:So what [was] your original vision for culture when you first started working on Dwarf Fortress?
Toady:Maybe it's a culture where there's no cats ... no cats at all. Originally we ... (aside to Scamps) Little kitty's about to get evicted! You love to be evicted don't you! This is not for playing Mr Scamps! (end aside) Okay he managed to get the whole headphone cord wrapped around his body and then he jumped off the chair, so that hurt my neck. (aside to Scamps) Okay you can just stay under there, that's a good place for cats (end aside)
Capntastic:I'm fine continuing like this, this is entertainment.
Toady:Yeah it would be if ...
Capntastic:You can't script this.
Toady:Okay, so the original vision for the ... It's always evolving really. Originally we had in our earlier games these fantasy settlements and so on, with humans and a few other types of critters like dwarves and so on, and we added a few more but it wasn't in the raws or anything like that. Then we moved them out to the raws so you can put your own races in and those hard coded ethics that are in there now and a few things about what items they can use and what jobs you're going to find; people milling around the cities eating food out of magic barrels [and] having jobs that they don't do. The vision there has been changing over time, so when you say originally, back say three or four years ago, it wasn't a crucial part of the game having cultures that evolved but once you get started and have a world that is just sitting there and it's got civilizations that are sitting there and are all very similar then the need for variability arose pretty quickly, so the first thing we did was just vary their clothing and so on. But then you need ... instead of variation in space you also want to start thinking about variation over time and that's when these notions started coming up and maybe the past couple of years thinking about what kind of variations we'd like to have happen to cultures over time.
Capntastic:Aside from weapons and clothing - like you going to have guys in robes and goes in pants - will there also be different perceptions of guys in robes and guys in pants?
Toady:So perceptions of them like when someone walks into a town dressed in a certain way?
Capntastic:Yeah, like these guys wearing a turban, that means ... I don't know what a turban is ...
Toady:It's one of those things that I think came up ... when was the first time we started thinking about this kind of thing, it was back in Daggerfall or something. You can dress yourself in that game, you have your little model there - not a 3D model but just your paper doll - you see your little paper doll you can dress up with little hats and weird outfits and you can dress pretty much however you want, there are millions of choices, but when you walk into town and you're like 'Hey, where's the weapon store?' they tell you where it is instead of thinking 'Maybe we don't want this person to have more weapons, because they look really really really freaky'. This is the kind of thing, we're thinking people really need to react to that, right now the people in adventure mode just react if you type your own name; they're like 'Oh I never heard that name before' or whatever. That's just a little token to keep in mind that we want people to be able to react to things that are different, and it's easy enough to implement that kind of thing because each society has the kind of clothing that they recognise and they'd also be able to very very quickly cross reference that with any of the civilizations they know. So if you came - like if the people in the north wear masks, there's these civilizations that wear masks and so on - if you came down to a southern place wearing a mask they'd be like 'Oh it's a person from the north' and they'd try and treat you that way. There's of course a lot of work to do there with dialogue and all that kind of thing which is an additional topic but the idea is that they'd be able to do that. You can always just sit here and talk about features without promising anything and timelines and all that kind of thing, so I'm not sure when that sort of thing comes up, because we've got that level of variability already with the clothing and then there's things that don't vary right now like the ethics which should vary, and what comes first and what comes later? I think the first thing probably is just a general notion of what your reputation is when we start the adventure skills stuff and the adventure entities when you can organise your party into more of a group that's recognised as having accomplished things and so on Then people would be able to react to you differently, I mean aside from just killing if you pick up the wrong item and walk out of the store or something, or just killing random people and having them kill you right back or that kind of thing. That notion of having different reactions that are based on what you've done and have it separated entirely from any notion of something being a scripted plot or anything like that, so they just know the things that you've done and treat you how you should be treated. Then it's pretty easy to start moving on to the situation where if you walk into the town with a giant sword and you're not one of the guards in the town then having that raise some kind of flag and have people react differently is a very very very short step from just having the initial reactions depend on something beside your name. I think it's not that far away that we'll start seeing some of these things, and then it's a matter of what things should they react to and there's notions ... like wearing a sword for example. In certain places if you go to some very peaceful community far away from any kind of trouble then that might raise more of a flag than if you're out in a frontier location and there's wild beasts all over the place and you'd kind of be crazy not to have one. It can keep track of those notions, it's not really difficult it's just a matter of prioritising those things. Then when you've got an ethic associated with that - this is really going to build up those ethics lists for the civilizations - and that's again when we need ethics to be malleable for civilizations. Right now the infrastructure's there to allow them to be different but it's never used. It should be interesting to slowly start tackling stuff and like I was saying the doorway there is probably the adventure entities and your reputation through those entities.
Rainseeker:And so you could potentially have prejudices crop up between different factions and nations, I assume.
Toady:Yeah, because right now there's just; are you at war or not, pretty much. Those come up through ethical differences in world generation but those are never realised during the game. So if dwarves don't like elves for example for various reasons that'll start world generation wars, it'll also start dwarf mode wars in those scripted ways over tree agreements and all that kind of thing, but if you were a dwarf walking into an elven forest in adventure mode, if those civilizations weren't at war in world generation or as a result of your fortress mode game, then you could just walk in there and they would treat you like an elf, pretty much. There might be different dialogue, I don't recall if there's different dialogue if you're not part of their civilization, probably not, but if there is that would be the extent ... the greeting would be the extent of the different. So that's kind of bizarre right, it's one of these things that take you out of the moment completely because there should be problems there, you should be surrounded by guards or something, depending on how paranoid the culture is and so on. I guess these things would have to come out of a prior history. It's one of those questions you have to answer; 'How does a society react to something that's completely novel?' because if the elves and dwarves never interacted during world generation simply because they were far apart, and right now there's no notions of trade caravans or anything, when you bring your character from one to the other for the first time, that really is in all of world history kind of a first contact moment.
Rainseeker:You could be surrounded by guards and children.
Toady:Yeah, it'd just be bizarre. They'd put you in a little cage, and haul you off and put flowers in your hair and start worshiping you or something. Who knows, right? It's one of those things that the game doesn't respect right now. As for how to handle that, should that be an ethics thing? The ethics lists in the raws are a list of a premade culture for a group that's going to be created during world generation and then suddenly have that culture. This is so that you can have the flavour in the universe that you want to have, especially when you're modding where you have some notions of how they should behave and so on, like an elf or a dwarf when you want those to behave in certain ways in general, so you create these preconceived cultures for them. Now that doesn't respect how a culture might emerge, there's no notion of an emergent culture right now that's built up through racial traits and geography and history and so on. Those kinds of things should come up at least after the fact, like you've got these civilizations but they should be able to change a little bit once play begins at least, right? It's not really hard to give a really crappy simulation for an evolved culture, you plop the ten guys down, they have no ethics and then you just examine how crazy are the monsters in that area and what sort of resources are there and then bring up some silly model for how that would determine the ethics in some way, and then put a giant random element on it, and slap them down, and you've got a procedural starting point. But that's not necessarily compelling, it's interesting to have the variation, that certainly should be in there, but the main thing is how variation can occur through the history that occurs once the history starts. That's a step by step process, just putting in different influences and changes and what happens if you have several goblins somehow get assimilated into an elven society, and then all the elves get killed and then the goblins found a little thing up in the mountain somehow when they get chased out of the forest, then what are they? What do these goblins think? Does that lead to a whole goblin movement coming down from the mountains to reclaim the forests or something?
Rainseeker:(as goblins)We are the true elves!
Toady:Yeah it's all very weird, that kind of thing. Right now it's kind of strange ... Normally you'd think the hard part is getting the changes to occur, but right now there are too many changes in a way, like kidnapped dwarves and humans and elves and so on assimilate immediately and societies that are conquered by the dwarves and then get a dwarven overlord put over them, they're assimilated immediately and then they go on to spread that culture entirely without maintaining their previous one. It's kind of the opposite problem of implementing cultural diffusion and assimilation, and the interest comes when you do it half way, because the main thing that's missing from the game in terms of world generation and everything about making that interesting is the notion of conflict, not like a war but an internal conflict within one person, that drives their decision making. Having multiple cultural backgrounds for a single person is a great way to do that, and that's really the foundation of a lot of literature and so on, having those conflicting backgrounds and so on. It's one of those things that would start to be realised when you have the leaders moving around during play, which is not too far away, just getting more personal decision making in for the leaders, then there would be more of an impetus to draw on that kind of information. At least there's some challenges, because if you've got a hundred thousand people you can't keep track of every little thing about what they think and all that kind of stuff. The important decision makers are the ones that are going to be done first. It has all their background saved, it has all the historical things that led up to their present time and all of their previous entity affiliations and so on, so it can have a pretty good background but what it really needs is a snapshot sitting in their head of what their current ethical belief and value system is. Then it'll be easy to filter decisions through that and just have that vary over time as they move from place to place and various things happen to them that move them from culture to culture as they are exposed to other cultures. One of the main things we're missing is an exchange between two cultures that doesn't involve them just killing each other, there's not a notion of trade or alliance during world generation that can build up that sort of thing. Then when you get into regular play it's all just the same thing over again, when your adventurer's running around you are an agent of cultural diffusion as you go from place to place; that should have some kind of effect. It'd be cool for them not to just judge you based on the clothing that you're wearing but also to look at your clothing and then if you do something heroic for the town, there's some dev goals about them like naming their kids after you and all that kind of thing, but what if they started dressing like you but they're also dressing in the clothing of the southern culture as opposed to their own one ... whatever direction we're using this time in the example. Then it'd be cool if that started to lead to some kind of tension, we've already got the personality facet for traditionalism; traditional versus people that like to branch out and experiment, and that'd be very interesting, to have someone's kid dress up like you and then their parent would be like 'What are you doing? You've got to wear your robe'. It really all hinges on the personal goals and the personal decision making upgrades that are coming before the sieges. That's part of the excitement of the game is seeing what kind of things it comes up with that you didn't come up with yourself; when people start doing all kinds of crazy things we'll just have to revel in the horror.
Rainseeker:(camp)Well the colour purple is so on right now, the adventurer that came through town was wearing purple leather armour, just amazing.
Toady:That's right, you can go to the tavern and they'll all be talking about you.
Rainseeker:It'd be cool if you could disguise yourself and then sneak in and listen to people's conversations about you.
Toady:That'd be one of those challenges, the interface for that is kind of interesting right. If you're trying to dress like a local there should be things that give you away, but right now the only thing that would give you away is if you were wearing giant black boots instead of the traditional sandals. There should be subtle things about how your hair is styled or your belt is buckled, little things like that aren't even tracked, and accents and hand gestures, like if you count on your fingers differently from one place to another, there's all kinds of things. The main thing there is just the amount of information stored and the resolution of what information it displays. It would be annoying to have to micromanage your clothing flaps and pockets and things, like 'Oh I've got to put this one over this one this time'. There should just be some overall skill that says 'Prep for this are, you're familiar with its culture' and you set it up like an awareness or disguise type skill, and then you can screw up and it can store in the background what your screw ups are that you don't know about and then reveal them later. That would be a less cumbersome way to handle it I guess. That would be all be really exciting.
Capntastic:Especially if you'd been hired to be a spy for another empire or something like that.
Toady:Yeah, if you weren't just hired to go kill people. I guess it applies for that too, even then. (aside to Scamps) Mister. What are you burrowing under the keyboard for? Keyboards are not for burrowing. What is under there? I'm going to lift up the keyboard, if there's nothing there you've got a real problem. Oh there's a quarter! You've found a quarter, you's a money seeking cat. I've got a quarter, I'm going to throw the quarter across the room, are you ready? Are you ready here we go! Whee! Woah there he goes, bolting out of the room, chasing the money.(end aside)
Capntastic:This month's donatathon's really taken off.
Toady:Yeah it's been awesome. Scamps follows the money.
Capntastic:Twenty five cents ...
Toady:Maybe we should get him investigating presidents and stuff. Follow the money! Follow the money! Yeah, Aqizzar, no 'u', I have to thank him for setting up the
Capntastic:He sent me an email or a message or something.
Toady:It'd be funny if he sends private messages to everybody that gets it wrong, like 'This is your first warning'.
Capntastic:I guess it's a problem because people just assume 'there's a 'q', I'm going to follow that up with a 'u''
Toady:Yeah, and you should get sinister warnings if you mess that up. But it's been awesome, it's been a very very good month.
Rainseeker:Thanks to everyone who's been donating!
Toady:Yeah, all these awesome people.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So, procedural cultures and all that, that's really great for adventure mode but how will it affect fortress type modes, settlement modes, civilization modes. Will cultures prefer certainly building materials, will you get some sort of benefit if your culture likes, say, granite blocks?
Toady:Fortress mode is always a difficult thing because you ...
Capntastic:You want to be able to do everything.
Toady:Yeah, you want to be able to do whatever you want, and so if your guys are really into granite and you build out of marble that shouldn't be the end of the world. However, I think they should - especially the traditionalists - should get warm fuzzy thoughts walking by granite statues and so on, they're like 'aah, it's old granite' and just sit there and lean up against the statue and enter a bliss world or something.
Capntastic:I'm definitely thinking that your civilization as a whole would spread rumours about you if you didn't follow traditions, like 'Oh those wierdos making statues out of marble instead of granite.'
Toady:It's a really tough call ... It would be cool I guess if the personality came to play in the following way. You have your outpost liaison roll up, and your outpost liaison, let's say that he's ninety nine percent traditionalist, and then he's going to meet with your king and he wanders into the front door and there's the gate and on either side there are microcline statues or something, and it's just gaudy nouveau-dwarf non-granite crap. Then right at that point it would be cool if when he rolls ... it's not like it's an additional thing because he rolls the same checks, 'admired a fine door recently, admired that' so if he sees the statue, rolls that check, and while he didn't admire the microcline statue lately, it's like 'was shocked and awed by the microcline statue' and just kind of stops. It could alert you to it or something, it could be like 'there is a diplomatic disaster pending', you have to pull up your reports and the outpost liaison is sitting there staring at the microcline statue and you'd have to send a guy out and tell him that the elves left it there and you were just about to haul it off.
Rainseeker:What would do you want to do? Would you like to lie? Would you like to tell the truth?
Capntastic:But you could also spread fashions and trends, like he's going to go back and say 'Those guys really have it happening over there, they have the whole ...'
Rainseeker:'... microcline there'
Toady:Yeah, I guess the next immigration wave would just be a bunch of dwarven runaways, all these kids come and they just want to check out the ... All the hipsters and various drug addicts and so on can come spilling into your fortress.
Capntastic:So then we have Liberal Dwarf Squad, everything's a circle.
Toady:Also there's the issue of ... This comes back to the internal groups within your fortress, like the religions and guilds and so on, because they all have the same cultural and ethical setups as well and each of those can come into play again as far as determining what the overall cultural makeup of your fortress is, and that's another way that cultures can change over time, by introducing new subgroups. Right now I'm not really sure how religions start during dwarf mode; it could be that pilgrims arrive and start preaching about things, or a dwarf could have a revelation, or there could just be your pioneer guys, your seven guys, all come there with their own beliefs to begin with, which is how it works now. They could then, when it comes time that your fortress is large enough for you to set up some kind of temples, or whatever the dwarves end up having for that kind of thing, then you could at that point have the religious subculture spring up around those locations. Then the aesthetics of that group can start coming into play when they interact with different objects in your fortress and other people come, and the outpost liaison again could be accosted by worshipers of a certain religion either in a peaceful way or a non-peaceful way, all that kind of thing. It's all a big mishmash and again the important part is when you have dwarves that overlap in several of those groups. It could be that the outpost liaison himself fits into one of those groups, like had been a miner during the first ten years during world generation, and so is very predisposed to your miner's guild guys and chats a few of them up when they meet in the hallway and then overall has a good disposition during the meeting with your mayor. There's all kinds of things like that just slowly get put in over time.
Rainseeker:And it would be really cool if we were notified of ...
Toady:Yeah, there's so many things going on now that don't have any kind of cue at all for you to know that they're happening. I tried to put some of the new personality stuff that I put in for the military ... I talk about it on the devlog but I don't think there's a lot of indication there about what's actually going on. Part of the problem is you need a good place to put it and the dwarves thoughts are one location, that giant paragraph, but stuff gets lost in the shuffle there, so there needs to be some way of putting that information across. Putting it down in an announcement would be way too spammish, shovelling that information at you, so it's a bit of a trick.
Rainseeker:I wonder if you could have a single event in the announcements and then you could open up that event and have it explain the event, or something.
Toady:It would just need to not take up your real estate at the bottom when other things are going on, I guess. It's things to experiment with anyway.
Capntastic:So cultures start somewhere and when you mentioned the first ten years of world generation it made me think of year zero, and that's when a lot of the races pop up. Will they have origin stories and will that effect general civilization's world view, like the elves sprang from the trees themselves and that's why they like trees, and kobalds popped up out of holes in the ground or were spat out by some zombie, and then they worship that demon, and they also worship spit ...
Toady:Things all start to run afoul of each other. We've talked a little bit previously about mythology during world generation and these pantheons, not having a reason for existing as such but having a reality about them that has to do with the prehistory of the world, what is it, cosmology or whatever; how the world came to be.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Does this mean that we are going to have a strong occurrence of non-traditional fantasy races, or is that going to be a toggle.
Toady:That's the tricky question. That's kind of what I was getting at; if you've got a dwarf, you've got a really strong notion of what you want a dwarf to be but you also just set the random pantheons thing for them and then it creates a world generation myth and says, you know, 'their pantheon is all about lava and dancing' and if it's not reflected then in their larger culture, if it can't go in and override things, then you've got a problem. What it would want to be then is either in the raws you say the flow of information is in one direction, so that your specifications determine what their pantheon's going to be like so you get a pretty good match, or you say 'go ahead and mess with me to some degree' and then they create ... whatever their story is, not necessary a pantheon, but whatever the world generation myth happens to be, then it can go in and it feels like 'well you guys really need to like water more because we had you spawned out of the ocean' and all that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:You can only do beach fortresses.
Toady:It could just flag your culture as only being beach-embarkable because of how this thing worked. You don't want it to be one of those things that you ship with the game necessarily unless it can do really good exposition because people would be very confused. But it's definitely something that I think would be really cool because it's good to get away from the overall straightjackets we've put on ourselves ...
Capntastic:Where every culture is kind of the same.
Toady:Yeah it's bad.
Capntastic:I think that the important thing would be to - if there are limitations - maybe not make them limitations so much as guidelines, and if there are guidelines make them something that the player wants to follow. Maybe through some sort of cultural benefit or something similar, or just make it ...
Toady:For dwarf mode, yeah, for that. It's the conflicts we were talking about where we let the player do what they want but there are norms that can be followed. It's kind of the same idea as putting a personality on your adventurer, it's like 'Your adventurer's a coward' ...
Capntastic:'You're a coward and you cry yourself to sleep every night'
Toady:And then when you go to attack a monster there are two choices, you can either act out of character and maybe the game doesn't actually penalise you for that, or the game is like 'no you can't walk towards the monster'. That would be annoying, there's this sense in which your adventurer having a personality is a real hindrance on play and you'd have to be very confident in your system if you were going to actually force restrictions, and I don't think I'd ever be confident enough in setting something up that wasn't really annoying. So you'd want to allow the maximum freedom there. You could put in penalties, like attack penalties if it thinks your player should be freaked out or afraid or something, but even that interferes with a role playing in a sense because maybe the confluence of events that led up to that point would not really admit cowardice even in a cowardly person for whatever reason. So if it suddenly popped up 'You're feeling a little afraid' at the bottom of the screen 'minus five', then that might drop you out of whatever moment you've been building towards. It's difficult to do internal psychology that way and at the same time maintain the role playing immersion. On the other hand maybe it enhances the role playing immersion in a lot of ways because you see that the character is behaving in a predictable fashion, so like I said it's down to the quality of the system and I'm not sure how good I could do there.
Capntastic:What might work there would be an Ultima style 'if you had to fight a dragon would you throw rocks at it, or sneak up behind it and hit it with a rock, or drop a rock on it from a contraption you built', maybe not with the rock theme but instilling the personality onto the character before you play it.
Toady:And then at that point ... I guess the issue there is that dealing with a changing situation might be difficult and that's kind of what I was getting at with the half baked example is that you need to be able to deal with situations where the character's personality could be overcome for a moment, and if it decided that you didn't overcome it but in your mind you had that's where you start to chafe a little bit. But yeah if you write down what you think the player is like just so interactions in town are befitting your overall demeanour and that kind of thing is certainly doable, just for an overall reactions thing. Specific penalties and mechanics might still be an issue but for the overall reputation and just how people react to how you are, it could be good. Also as kind of a general ... what's it called, perks and faults and all that kind of thing, if that worked through a personality system then it would be easier to swallow mostly if you picked that you were cowardly and then you get combat minuses all the time; at least you wouldn't be surprised.
Rainseeker:Perhaps you could go on a quest to rid yourself of cowardice.
Toady:Well if you go on a quest it should probably rid you of cowardice. I guess that's one of those lessons from children's books. It's all about judging player intent, I don't know if it's even weird to half way through your life or anytime you want to be able to go in and tweak your personality numbers. You'd run into power gaming issues there I guess, it's a thing where you can tell the ... If you told the game 'I'm angry right now' and then it started reacting accordingly it fits back into the conversation engine; should you be able to not just say a thing but put in the tone for how you're talking to somebody and so feed your tone and your actual content of your statement - tone, gestures, all that kind of thing - to the extent that you want to feed that information in to vary the responses, so that you can behave in character. Maybe you wouldn't be able to raise your voice at somebody if you had the wrong personality for it or something, it's undetermined right now, but all very interesting anyway.
Capntastic:My belief is that when Dwarf Fortress gets close to done it'll basically have everything that someone would expect, I just think that having Tarn talk about these things clarifies in what direction the game is going, and it will possibly staunch some of the weird suggestions like 'Toady, you should make it so different people wear different coloured clothes'.
Toady:I guess the education of the fanbase or whatever you'd want to call it is ... That sounds sort of a never ending process in any case, there's new people coming and so on.
Capntastic:I know, it's like I want to help people, I want to help them enjoy the game more, but a lot of people show up like 'I played this game for ten minutes, Toady I have the coolest idea, you need to add horses.'
Toady:Yeah I do need to add horses I guess. I already have them but we need them in other places. Adventurers need their horses.
Capntastic:Definitely, with saddlebags.
Rainseeker:Horses need to be haulers.
Capntastic:And you could get horseshoes, and bits ...
Rainseeker:Play games with horseshoes.
Capntastic:... and get to braid their tail.
Toady:It's important to colour them pink and put them in a plastic box and sell them.
Rainseeker:It would be a plastic box, it'd be a wooden box, and it wouldn't be plastic it'd be rock. A rock pony.
Capntastic:Like what you're making your character it'll ask 'If you had a limited edition pink horse in a stone box would you take it out of the box or would you leave it in there and let it accumulate value for the elven traders?'
Toady:Yeah it's always interesting, the character generation through stories and questions. Some people despise that and some people like to be able to define their character in that way.
Capntastic:I like the ones for Liberal Crime Squad, it's like 'when you were a kid you broke into cars, or you studied really hard, or you had a paintball gun' and you can kind of see what sort of benefits those bestow.
Toady:Yeah that one had real tangible results. There's the trick of integrating it into the world which already has a history, so the more information you give it about ... Certain ones of the Ultima ones would be maybe difficult it's like 'When you were ten you went and spoke to the king and slew a dragon and you gave your friend the reward' but no dragon died that year in world generation, so it could just start you with legendary liar or something. It's one of the things that complicates it but we don't have to fret over it. We certainly need something, right now it's just like 'You are a wandered named John and here you are'.
Capntastic:That's right ...You mentioned earlier about how different cultures would have different names and they'd think it's weird. I always thought it was cool how if you had a custom name in adventure mode, when you told people your name they'd say 'Oh your parents must have been interesting.' I did that once and my name was an actual dwarf name, I changed my name to ... it wasn't Urist but it was some other dwarf name, and I changed my name to that and they didn't recognise it as an actual dwarf name.
Toady:That's one of those things where I thought I did that, I thought I'd fixed that but it must be just sitting in a dev note somewhere. I'd definitely thought of that case but ...
Capntastic:Some weird accentuation I didn't use.
Toady:Yeah it's possible because you can't type those, I thought I'd checked for that but perhaps it was a total failure. But it's definitely the kind of thing we're trying to do correctly. What is that ... what is that called here ... greeting ... goodbye ... greet. Unusual first name: 'Your parents must have been interesting' 'You know, you don't meet many people with the name [blankname]' 'So, [blankname], [blankname] was it?' '[blankname], does that mean something?' '[blankname] ... Can't say I've heard that before'.
Rainseeker:How about 'You sound like a real jerk [blankname]', or 'You seem like a real [blankname]'
Toady:That's nothing but trouble. Oh it does look! What's it doing here! One of us screwed up, and it's possible I did, I don't remember if I bug checked that or not, but it's in there, ostensibly.
Capntastic:Will cultures progress in a Spore-like manner where you have the dwarves and they just appear from whatever creation and as it progress they move towards a gully and then they begin to accentuate their culture towards living off of the gully, like they have a fondness for the gully herbs, and they fish the gully river, and they like those fish, and then there's a branch off where some of the dwarves go to a hill and they eat the hill berries.
Toady:That's kind of a geographical determinism type thing, say the year zero thing they're just typical dwarves ... Right now the way it works makes a bit of sense, but it's kind of weird, because it goes through and picks a favourite food but the favourite food is any possible food that's available, and it won't be visible if you haven't seen it yet but it could be ... maybe some dwarf's food is cheater meat but you haven't actually found cheater meat so it's not listed but when they eat cheater they're suddenly like 'Oh I just love cheater meat! This is great!' and then you go look at their profile and it tells you that he likes cheater meat and that's just because it predetermined that their taste buds were somehow aligned to cheater meat, no other meat. I think Capntastic's way of thinking about it is probably a much better way to handle that thing, looking at the geographic information and determine whether or not they like or dislike the things they've been exposed to, and then when they get exposed to new things they can either like or dislike those, and if there's some kind of more universal way of thinking about that like liking light colours or dark colours or something so that when they find a new colour they'll like it or not depending on ...
Capntastic:A new colour ...
Toady:Yeah yeah ... that's a great example. I thought of a wonderful example when I used colour ...
Rainseeker:Gleen!
Toady:Yeah it reminds me of those games where you have the black, white and grey world and you add colour to it. It's like when you add blue then the dwarves can either like blue or not. If I had chosen a better example, it would have been a better example. So if they bring cheese, cow cheese, and you don't have cows, then maybe you're a connoisseur of cheeses to begin with, you already like dwarven cheese and cat cheese and carp cheese ... made from carp milk from the carp mammary gland. If the dwarf likes all cheeses then they should like that cheese too, but they shouldn't have some kind of preconceived notion about cow's milk if they've never had it before which is how it works now and is kind of strange. So then if they move they could start to develop a regional character and then you get things like the traditionalist thing again where at first those guys might not like the second place, the hill at first and long for the gully ...
Capntastic:And have recipes from the old country.
Toady:Yeah, and then five generations later a lot of dwarves might think that being 'hill' is traditional, but then there's a few people who still remember the gully who think that's traditional so you could actually have two traditionalist camps that disagree with what is traditional. That kind of thing; it gets trickier and trickier to store that sort of information but ...
Rainseeker:You could get two nations that arise out of that, the 'gullies' and the 'hills'.
Capntastic:Yeah, you'd have a schism, then war, then violence, then fun. A progression of culture I think, which would be great because at any given point in time it would indicate that the culture was doing something and they had preferences at that point, and then basically they have an actual history at different points.
Toady:It's always a storage thing, especially when you'd going over time with lots and lots of people. But you can do that with kind of a snapshot ... There's the internal snapshots inside important people where it can track their history but it can't do that for too many people, and then the other people I guess it can take the thousand or so most important bits of information and create a snapshot every ten years for the entity, so that ...
Capntastic:For like what special events happen, like 'this is when we invented carp cheese during the great famine.'
Toady:Yeah, you'd have the important historical events, the tricky part is reconstructing the entities ... If you tracked every change you could go back in time and reverse engineer the changes but that's slow and you couldn't track everything, like certain thoughts about copper, what the dwarves thoughts are about copper in general, so if you have snapshots it might make that a little better. Then you could track trends in copper ... it's almost like the stock market or the monetary mineral markets or whatever the heck they're called, futures, cattle futures ... So you could look at the - there's no reason you'd really want to do this - but just how people thought about various things over time, the most important bits anyway. That's the thing, when you want to meet a dwarf ... The reason to do this is if you meet a dwarf they need to have some kind of picture in their head of their likes and dislikes, but since that dwarf would likely not have that information stored in them if they're just a dwarf off the street, or out of the mine or whatever, when you walk into a new settlement, that dwarf needs to have their information placed into their head once you talk to them about these things. So it would have to do through their entities, the larger groups they're associated with, and so those need to have that information tracked, and if the dwarf has been living there for sixty years it can't just use the information sitting in the entity at that moment because that's the stuff the new kids like, the Twilight stuff and all that. Whereas sixty years ago when people were in to other things ... that dwarf ... if you took a snapshot every ten years, you take those six snapshots for that dwarf and then take their traditionalism and a few other things and cast their line back as far as it needs to go, and that's what that dwarf can believe. It's interesting to try and set that up.
Rainseeker:Back in my day, blood-sucking vampires were evil! Now they're sexy hunks, I don't understand these newfangled things.
Capntastic:I don't understand my feelings towards this.
Toady:Yeah, or you could have people like my grandfather who was rollerblading in the eighties, an early adopter.
Capntastic:Now people are going to post about rollerblading dwarves, then they're going to get into spandex and sunglasses and it's never going to end. Dayglo colours, Pepsi Clear, it's just not worth it.
Toady:Is that like Sprite or whatever?
Rainseeker:It was a little trend there for about two years, or one year. I don't know, it was very short. Okay so we're going to take a break. Capntastic is going to be departing for another adventure ...
Capntastic:Yeah I gotta take off.
Rainseeker:... and Tarn and I are going to go over your questions, so thanks for joining us Capn.
Capntastic:No problem, always a pleasure Doctor.
Toady:Now watch out, if Capntastic calls you Doctor, if you put some name after that that kind of makes you a villain.
Capntastic:Yeah, Doctor Tarn Adams and his mind controlling device.
Toady:Yeah, so now Captain's going to come over to my house and kick my ass, lock me in some kind of jail or insane asylum or something.
Capntastic:Have at it you two.
Toady:Bye.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Unspecified:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Hey! We're back for more dwarf talk, here with our illustrious programmer Tarn Adams, and myself, I'm Rainseeker. We're going to be addressing some of your fine questions that you've asked, so ...
Toady:Yeah, lots of questions in here.
Rainseeker:We do have lots of questions here. Well, I'll start the first one with a question from one Mr Slack: 'Have you considered a barber/stylist type job where dwarves can wonder around and clean up other dwarves? In addition have you considered things like piercings, tattoos, gold teeth or other body decorations that the dwarves or the barbers could create? Are there any technical hurdles to something like that?'
Toady:We have earrings, you don't need to pierce to put them in, because we didn't have the wound system before, but we have it now. So earrings ... Tattoos we've considered, that's all good ... I'm not sure about barbers creating the tattoos and stuff but I don't know ... There's the hair styles right now but right now dwarves just kind of take care of their own hair style. I guess somebody elevated to the position of being a professional that takes care of beards seems like a very reasonable profession for dwarves to have ...
Rainseeker:A beardist.
Toady:A beardist. Especially if you mod in the female beards, because everybody would be involved now, because having the men be the only one with stylists is unbalanced. But yeah, there's triple braided beards and all kind of things now; someone would need to set that up, I certainly couldn't triple braid my own beard even if I had one. I'm not sure when ... when or who for things like tattoos. The more little mechanics you add in the more dwarves you need hanging around and you'd hope that you don't go too overboard with it. I guess they could do it part time, because people won't be getting tattoos all the time. But then how do they get skilled at it, it'd be really horrible to have these really ugly horrible tattoos, just big blocky letters and hearts and incorrect characters from other languages and stuff pasted all over their bodies ...
Rainseeker:Very popular to put elven characters on your body.
Toady:Yeah all these dwarves with elven characters on their beards that say 'tree killer' and stuff like that. At least they think it does but it actually says 'I love Mother Earth' or something. Maybe they could practice on animals or something, there's a bunch of cats around ... You could shave the cat and then tattoo stuff on the side and have all the cats branded when you corral them into their corrals and stuff.
Rainseeker:Cat corrals ... haven't you ever heard of herding cats? Our next one's coming from Jim DeMont: 'What are your plans to make the game more accessible to new players?'
Toady:We have plans, who knows when, as usual, but the plans we have for that are ... There are a couple of things that keep people out of the game, mainly. One of the big impediments of course is the ASCII display; as we've seen from some of the utilities that have been popping up, more people would be playing the game if they had a reasonable look, tiles and all that isometric type stuff, all that kind of thing. And we're planning to support that stuff over time, there's issues there of course that we've gone over in the past about how fast development will be, how many other people need to be brought on board and what kind of trouble that can cause. But aside from that there's the issue of the interface as a larger picture, just in terms of having keys that are consistent and make sense, mouse support's a huge thing for people, and we're planning on doing that thing. The main thing there is uncoupling Dwarf Fortress from all the curses crap that has been there for years which is the ASCII stuff that ties it in so you can't have variable width fonts right now which you'd really want to have to have bigger tiles and have a smaller menu that can hide off somewhere by itself. And there's also the notion of now ... Even if you had a streamlined interface and graphical characters and so on, the game would still be very inaccessible because you still start the game and your dwarves would just be milling around and you still wouldn't know what to do. Tutorials seem like a very reasonable thing, I know a few people are against them for whatever reason but I don't see another way. There'd need to be quite a few tutorials and it would be good to explore ways to make those as fun as possible, because sometimes a tutorial can really be a hassle. So it'll take some work to get those polished but you've just got to make sure people know how to dig, they know how to make buildings, and do the other jobs that the dwarves need to do, and also get across some of those concepts about how the world works, and how it's okay to fail, and you're encouraged to let your game die and that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:Because it goes on. Your game is connected to the entire world, so if you build a new ...
Toady:Yeah, it's good to get that thing across and so a tutorial's actually a good platform in that sense to instil some of the overarching concepts of the game, I wouldn't say how it's meant to be played, but just how it can be played. So that's the three pronged thing we've got right now. I could have missed some of the little dev items that are there, and other items that have been floated in the 'What turns you off about Dwarf Fortress?' thread and so on. I know there are a lot of good ideas in there, but the three things that spring to mind immediately are graphics, consistent controls with mouse support and tutorials.
Rainseeker:Alright. So I had a comment here that I was going to read from Xanares. He says: 'Milord, the general has been abducted; his last command was 'ga ga goo goo'.
Toady:I believe that's from the dev log where we had babies rising to important positions at age one or whatever.
Rainseeker:I just thought it was a funny comment on that one. From Andrew K; 'On world generation you recently noted that the world in game isn't the whole world, i.e. it only has one pole. How permeable is the edge to new things coming in?'
Toady:Nothing comes in right now, there used to be migrants that were generated on the edges and they would get these foreign culture entities, which would be much like the entities that are within the world except they just have different selections of items and things. And that's the idea right now because when we hit wards there are going to be potential depopulation problems and all kinds of other trouble, and one of the possible solutions of that is just to allow things to come in from the sides. Now I know some people are going to dislike that because if things come in from the sides then the effects that you're having on the world are very local and you might not feel that you have as much control as you want to have over the situation, so certainly an init thing or a world parameter thing most likely that you can just check and be like 'nah, my edges are not permeable'. Then in that case we could even do something like have them always be water, or have them drop off into space. Doing things like having the world be a torus, meaning that the left edge and right edge wrap, or have it be ... I'm not sure what happens if you go in through the top and come out through the top on another side, like if you're actually trying to create a sphere you're probably actually creating some weird projected space, just some mess. The left and right edges wrapping is more like one face of an annulus and then having the top wrapped to the bottom would be very weird, especially if it was from the pole to the desert, that would be a torus but that's ... you know. But any kind of option it just has to be supported by the pathfinding routine, which is easy enough, you just give it a few extra rules; I mean the world pathfinding routine not the dwarf mode pathfinding routine. Although, does that mean that you'd be able to settle a site half on one edge and half on the other, and then you'd have to be able to load those blocks correctly. There are certain annoyances that you get there, like when the adventurer walks through the edge it has to know how to load the blocks correctly. It's not a huge problem but it's a little issue. That's the obstacle there, so that's why we've just gone with this local region, those are the two reasons; first it's the easiest to implement, second it allows you to repopulate regions more easily. But we're open to helping people that want to have rounder more self contained worlds.
Rainseeker:Very good. I have a question here from The Catfish: 'What have been the most surprising, or inspiring, or ingenious things you've found emerging from the community?'
Toady:The one that struck me in vaguely recent memory was that computer, the one that used like two thousand mechanical pieces and had a seven segment counter and stuff. That as far as a technical achievement was something that's far beyond what I was expecting, anticipated or even understand. The other things are the big stories, the big popular stories, when people get those working well, the succession games when they pass them around, that's all been really cool. I've forgotten all the different little pieces of that question, I don't know if I've said something that was inspiring or whatever the other ones were, but those are the two things that come to mind.
Rainseeker:Our next one is from R A Browning, he is saying that a few of the members of the mining forum discovered that if you mess around with the raws you're able to embark with intelligent - or at least can learn and can speak pets - who are counted as members of your civilization, and can be given tasks like hunting, fishing or recruited into the military. If they aren't given any tasks they mostly stand around talking with one another and gaining experience at their little animal man parties. The question is this: 'Are there any plans to expand on this interesting phenomenon in later versions of the game, such as by allowing the intelligent pets to equip weapons and armor and fight alongside the controlling civilization, or to allow them to take up other labours on a limited basis?'
Toady:The pet part, I guess, is the strange part of that. This actually ties in very very closely to the people that had the elf queen of their dwarven society show up, and then the elf queen was kind of broken. The problem is the old code, the oldest stuff, assumes that members of your civilization are all the same race, and the newer stuff just needs them to be potential participants; they need to have in most cases can learn and can speak, or in some cases just can learn, and then they can join into civilization activities. So what you're seeing with the pets is the same thing you seem with the elf queen most likely, you just wouldn't have noticed the hunting and fishing, probably because the nobles can't be recruited in general for that kind of stuff. So it's kind of a weird split, the weird part there is that they're also a pet. That I'm not sure how to deal with offhand. What does that mean, is that dwarven slavery, or is that just a really affectionate relationship or something? I don't know. But the answer about rebellions and things; anything that dwarves will be able to do later, they'll be able to do. We haven't really planned a lot for version 1 especially for massively multiracial forts with like ten goblins hanging out, but really when you get back to some of this entity stuff we were talking about, there should be a notion of them cliquing up a bit and making a sub-entity, at least for certain races. It's quite possible that goblins with all their kidnapping behaviour and so on don't really see the species of the creatures the same way and might not even clique up based on their goblin nature unless they're spurned by the rest of the dwarves or something. It's all going to depend on how that works out, I don't pretend to have the algorithms set up for making sure that stuff is going to work right, but hopefully that would be one of the main considerations when you start forming sub-groups like miners' guild is if there's multiple species in the fort.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Zwei: 'Considering that leaders have motivations and goals, do civilizations as a whole have something similar; will player-made fortresses be tied to them too? Most real world purchases start as a way to tap resources of land, player fortresses however are fairly common in this regard and totally free to do whatever the heck they want; a literal sandbox. Will fortress mode have more of a historical or purposeful feel?'
Toady:Right now one of the giant question marks sitting above dwarf mode is why are you doing what you're doing? Seven dwarves strike out and make a fortress for no reason ... But they come from a civilization. So I'm not sure in terms of the civilizations having goals versus the leaders having goals. Someone's making decisions, although many members of the society can understand and push those decisions and so on, so there's a civilization aspect and maybe that's what you mean. But the player fortresses then, I think it would be really cool to have a point for what you're doing, especially for people that aren't just going to go build some crazy megaproject or whatever, that don't have some kind of meta-game agenda like that. Looking at the world itself there certainly should be a reason for what you're doing ... How closely tied is your expedition to the official fortress? Right now they all seem very officially supported because there are outpost liaisons and so on, but it would be pretty trivial to have your dwarves optionally be fleeing from persecution or something, and then you wouldn't have an outpost liaison and all the merchants that come would be more freelance, like the humans and elves, and maybe dwarves from a different dwarven civilization, and you wouldn't have the benefit of the outpost liaison and you might actually run into trouble when the dwarves come and hunt you down. That would all be very cool, and it's something that's been floating around for years, I don't remember whether it was pre-release or post-release, but saying what these dwarves are doing out there, and I think that's only going to make the game better when we answer those questions, but I don't have a timeline, as usual.
Rainseeker:Okay, here's one from Steb: 'For the next episode of DF Talk, I'd like to ask a question about soil. In the future will it be possible to have items buried in the soil, such as relics from world generation battles that you uncover in dwarf mode by digging?'
Toady:There is a buried embedded ... an embedded flag right now, like if you do a cave in the items will be - I think it's used for cave ins, it's used somewhere - where they become embedded in the rock; the items become embedded and you can dig them out again. So that part's there, but there should be a shallow buried one for something like putting a ring under the dirt in adventure mode that stays in the same tile, so you don't have to stuff it way down in the wall, like the wall under your feet, the whole Z level down. So that mechanic's in there, but as far as relics from world generation battles and stuff, one of the core items for development for version 1 - I don't recall the number off the top of my head but it's one of the hundred things that needs to be done - is old battlefields from world generation, because right now those are unused. They're entirely unused, you have this battlefield and it knows where they are, if you use the legends screen and call up the battle it shows exactly where it was ... yeah it's core sixty nine, old battlefields ... so they have their locations but there are no traces of them whereas if you go there, especially if it's a recent battle, there should be a lot of crap. With the ruins, ruins just kind of decay over time, but there's no sediment laid down, so things don't ever become buried, and I think it's crucial to bury things, especially in a game that involves this much digging. So those are planned, if you look at core sixty seven there's ruins there, core sixty eight is graveyards and tombs which is related, core sixty nine is ole battlefields, and core seventy is fortress ruins; how that specifically relates to your own fortress and the ruins there. So those four core items are all meant to address that kind of thing.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Totaku, saying: 'I was curious if in the future you will look into exploring symbiotic relationships. We may already have some basic relationships since dwarves can have pets that they can develop a bond with, but I wonder if you'll open the opportunity in the future for wild animals to develop symbiotic relationships with other wild animal species.'
Toady:In terms of hard coded stuff ... I see these examples of ox peckers feeding on rhino ticks and sea anemones providing shelter and so on. I'm really interested in animal behaviour personally so that's the kind of thing that most likely would creep in on a whim along with all the other animal improvements. We don't have a specific development goal for symbiotic relationships but it's the kind of thing that would creep in. Right now we have to probably address the big elephants in the room or whatever you want to call them like a lion walking by the deer and they can sit next to each other and all the animals sat together and were at peace, and it's trouble.
Rainseeker:Beautiful.
Toady:It's like the peaceable kingdom or whatever. So I'm assuming that before we explore symbiotic relationships we will explore predator/prey relationships.
Rainseeker:Right it's already symbiotic, I mean gosh, the lions will defend the deer after all.
Toady:Yeah that's exactly what happens. Right now the lion pack is like the anemone providing shelter for the clownfish. I feel very positive about the topic at hand and once the bigger fish are fried that's certainly something that would start to creep up.
Rainseeker:Now if a lion kills a deer does that mean that a dwarf is going to go fetch that deer carcass and end up standing next to the lion?
Toady:What is the restriction now? I think the butchers try and grab any corpses within twenty tiles or something and the hunters return kills that they kill themselves. That's actually way too strict right now because a lot of times you'll get a corpse that bled to death or got shot by an arrow and it didn't get tagged right or something and they'll just leave it there; that happens too often.
Rainseeker:Here's a quick one from Mr Slack: 'With health care revamped and ready for the next release how far away is the functionality of giving healthcare to pets?' Now here's the sob story; 'I have a dog with two broken legs trying to make its way back to my fort, and it's heartbreaking to watch it shuffle a few steps, fall unconscious, and then shuffle a few more steps over and over and over for the better part of the season.' It's very sad, poor Lassie.
Toady:This is one I don't remember the answer to because there's animal healthcare in a sense in the currently released version. The animal if it can limp over to the guy that provides animal healthcare it just needs to be within a radius of it then it'll heal much faster, that's how it works right now. But when I removed that profession then I don't know what took its place if anything, that could very well be one of the items that's on the last little requests ... Yeah, there's this little thing called vets here, what is this saying, is this some last thing I just have to ... Here it is, it's under the last remaining requests section of the release is either keep that little magical healing radius thing or slap some tags on them so they can bring a dog to your hospital tables or something. So we're going to get something one way or the other, and if it doesn't go ... because I'm trying to get the game out ... if it doesn't go the direction of giving healthcare to pets in a more meaningful fashion then at least we're never going to be that far from it code-wise even if we're far away from it time-wise. So it's something that if it continues to come up it will probably be dealt with, especially as people bring more horrible stories about their dead and dying animals, and Mister Scamps has to be sitting here watching and hearing about this. (aside to Scamps) How do you feel about that Mister Scamps?(end aside) He's been sleeping most of this recording.
Rainseeker:Excellent Mister Scamps.
Toady:Yeah he's an excellent animal. Of course there was right at the beginning he tried to yank my head off, so I guess it all evens out.
Rainseeker:Tell everybody about what Scamps does if you try to do laundry.
Toady:My apartment has a little washer and dryer; they're the smallest ones I've ever seen but I have them which is something to be thankful for ... I can wash like four shirts and that's about it, they're really small. But they're in this little alcove near to the little room with the sink and the kitchen, it's a very small kitchen, and this is the one part of the house that Scamps has not been able to explore because the alcove is closed most of the time ... I'm not sure if it's an alcove, it's like a laundry closet, I'm sure some of you have seen those, and it has a little door. He's not allowed in there because a little detergent gets dropped there sometimes and I just don't want him snooping around in there, so it's closed, and whenever I do laundry he's very curious about this. Now he recently acquired the ability to jump up on the kitchen shelf, which has changed my lifestyle considerably, but he's figured that one out. So now when he comes, when I'm doing laundry, the closest he can get to investigating is jumping up on the kitchen shelf and trying to peek around to see the laundry, but he can't peek around because it's too far around the little wall that separates the laundry from the kitchen. So what he'll do instead is just meow and scratch my arm. I don't know if he's just waiting for me to pick him up and hold him and show him the machines or something. I could take him on a little tour ... I remember taking him on the tour of the sink a couple of days ago because he had been recently jumping up on the kitchen shelf so I showed him how to turn the sink on and off.
Rainseeker:Has he tried to do that?
Toady:He understands I think that the knob influences the water, like those pigeons that learn how to press buttons, pretty much every animal seems to be able to figure out button pressing. So he knows that the knob has to do ... He's figured out doorknobs too, so I think he understands the knob turns the water on and off. He's not sure what to think of the water itself, the water shooting down. He'll investigate it, and he likes to stand in the sink and look at the water from an inch away, we haven't completed his lessons on the sink, but we might have to bring him to laundry class, so he can learn about the laundry instead of scratching my arm.
Rainseeker:I have another question here from Van, and he says, curiously enough, that you should cover vehicles in one of the upcoming DF Talks, and he wants to talk about siege vehicles, mounts, and boats.
Toady:I remember I made that post. Someone wrote a thing about boats, and then I posted a giant thing about boats, and the siege vehicles were going to run into the ideas about boats. I don't remember if we've actually had that on at the DF Talk or not, talking about ...
Rainseeker:Boats I'm not sure.
Toady:The siege vehicles, like multi-tile things that can move around and so on.
Rainseeker:Maybe talk a little bit about multi-tile stuff.
Toady:A large issue there is turning; should you only be able to point in four directions, because it's kind of mathematically impossible to have more without breaking the grid system or breaking the relationships between grids and, or changing the number of grids, and you can't do any of those things really safely. Now even if the thing turns four directions it can still more in many more directions by doing kind of an up-up-over, up-up-over, up-up-over thing. So it's not like they'll be completely dissatisfying, it's just if you're trying to navigate a narrow thing that you'd normally be able to navigate, like a narrow channel that you'd normally be able to navigate a boat through but suddenly you have to corner and it's like, turn ninety degrees or whatever, then you might run into issues, or you make all the boats squares or something, I think that'd be pretty ugly though. But as far as covering it on a DF Talk we can always put it up for vote. Next month is taken by adventure mode, but after that it's up to ...
Rainseeker:I don't know, I don't know. But yeah, I've waded through all the questions that I think we're going to cover tonight.
Toady:You'll always have more to ask.
Rainseeker:Yeah. And remember if you want to ask questions there is a little thread there to point you in the right direction under the DF General Discussion forum, it's titled 'Dwarf Fortress Talk: Questions by email' with the link inside which makes it easy for you. Also I'd like to thank Capntastic for being on this week, and for fighting the forces of evil. I'd also like to thank Scamps for mauling Toady One continually.
Toady:Mauling Toady One a little less than last time maybe, so for being a well behaved darling baby cat.
Rainseeker:Well I'd like to thank him nonetheless for mauling you, just a little bit. Also I'd like to thank you Tarn for coming on with us this week, it was very good.
Toady:Yeah, I had fun again. Fun as usual, it's fun to talk about Dwarf Fortress.
Rainseeker:It is good, it's good to hear you talk about it, because everyone enjoys this game, and we appreciate your efforts. Is there anything that you would like to say before we sign off, sir?
Toady:Well I guess we'll need to credit the music people, so you can go ahead and credit the music people.
Rainseeker:Okay, also we want to thank Ollieh, and our transcriber ...
Toady:Mallocks ... And I think that's it, and everyone who asked this questions this week, if we didn't thank them already, we'll thank them now.
Rainseeker:We appreciate all your questions, and if you would like to ask more questions, even if your question isn't asked go ahead, ask another question, we like good questions. And congratulations goes to Sysice who completed the Santa's village fortress challenge. Well, I will see you guys next week I guess, or next month. I will see you guys next month.
Toady:That's quite possible.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)


Bonus section

Rainseeker:Oh by the way Capntastic, Iíve been meaning to ask you this. Somewhat of a debate between Toady and I; what is your superpower?
Capntastic:Umm ... Donít put me on the spot like that. Iím not going to reveal it.
Rainseeker:Can you give us a hint?
Capntastic:No.
Toady:Nothing but trouble. As long as it doesnít involve hurting little cats. Little cats are safe! He can fly up to the trees, save the kitty from the tree.


Toady:Weíre going to have to schedule around the holidays and stuff. I mean I donít have much to do in the holidays so I guess weíll just go by what you do or donít.
Rainseeker:Because you donít have little nieces or nephews running around, do you?
Toady:Nah, no-oneís around here causing trouble and so on. Weíre just going to have a little family thing. Although it is Scampsí first Christmas, heís going to be spoiled obviously. And then on February 8th it will be Scampsí first birthday, and heíll be spoiled again. I donít know how heís going to make it through January without being spoiled but heíll have to get used to it. Januaryís always going to be a very dull month for Scamps; no birthday, no Christmas. (sings to Scamps) Little baby Scamps, heís a little baby baby baby cat. Heís trying to sleep but itís oh so hard when someoneís patting his belly. Are you having trouble sleeping when Iím patting your little belly? Youíre going to scratch my face if I donít stop. (end singing) Now heís just glaring at me. (aside to Scamps) What? Well there has to be tummy time every day, you know that. Tummy time each day for a small baby cat. Tummy time! Tummy time! (end aside)


Rainseeker:(in the manner of Scotland) Ach, for all you ladies and lassies out there that have gotten this far in the podcast, I congratulate ye, youíve really stuck it out. And for that Iíd like to issue a Dwarf Fortress challenge, I wonít you to build me a TOWER. OF. SOOOOOAP! The bigger the better, the more complicated the more points youíll get. So, whoever wins this challenge, of having the craziest and most interesting soap tower will get a shoutout from Rainseeker on the next Dwarf Fortress Talk. You need to put your screenshots and descriptions in the General Discussion section of the forums under the sticky topic called challenge. Soap fortress! Tell them Urist sent you! Also donít forget that Toady one makes all his money from donations, youíre free to donate on the front of his website, using the Paypal. Aye laddie donít just sit there, go play some Dwarf Fortress!