Dwarf Fortress Talk #8, with Rainseeker, Capntastic and Toady One, transcribed by mallocks

Rainseeker:Welcome to Dwarf Fortress Talk where we talk about all your Dwarf Fortress related needs!
Capntastic:And dreams.
Rainseeker:And compulsions. And addiction!
Capntastic:And desires.
Toady:What number is this?
Rainseeker:Number eight! I'm Rainseeker, here with me is Capntastic; say hello Capn.
Rainseeker:And your illustrious leader Tarn Adams. Also known as Toady One.
Toady:That's right, and we've got baby Scamps right on the desk here kicking things, trying to remove the pencil from the desk.
Rainseeker:Get rid of that pencil, Scamps.
Toady:We'll have to get rid of Scamps; lock him outside.
Rainseeker:So our topic for this week is sciences and we decided to do that on the tail of the last vote because it came in second. We proceeded to run a little vote and most of you listening probably saw that where we asked people what they thought about what sciences we should look at. We'll probably address others as well, however we did get a winning vote and Capn, could you let me know what those winning votes were?
Capntastic:Oh man ... My memory span ... Going to the thread ... Our winners are in order of top to bottom we have: Physics with four hundred and ninety seven votes; Chemistry with three hundred and sixty six; and Psychology and Sociology with three hundred and twenty six.
Rainseeker:Now Tarn and I virtually looked at each other and said 'what the heck are we going to talk about with physics? Why did we even put that on the vote?' But we're going to try to do it anyway. So when is Dwarf Fortress going to be like Half-Life 2?
Toady:Is that how this one's going to go? I was thinking that we're not scientists and we might have a little trouble but it could go even worse than I thought ... I mean there's like some kind of gun where you can grab a dwarf and throw them or something ... Some kind of gravity gun that dwarves will have that throws them ... And I don't remember anything else about that video game.
Capntastic:We can make a lever out of a barrel and a plank and a kobold ...
Toady:Oh that's right, a physics puzzle.
Rainseeker:Okay, so Tarn: How does physics work in Dwarf Fortress; in that we have gravity, we have other things, how does that work right now and do you have plans to expand the laws in the future?
Toady:Well there are lots of different kinds of physics and some of it's going to spill over into chemistry and everything else of course but we've got the fluid model; that's one of the things that stands out, so you have the liquids that flow around and it works tile by tile right now except you do have a little bit of pressure simulation there. But all in all there's not a lot going on with how fluids interact with things, there's nothing floating yet and they can push things but in a kind of a haphazard fashion. Then there's static things like cave-ins or your Red Faction: Guerrilla type stuff with collapsing structures and so on. Originally that worked when the game was 2D so any open subterranean area could just be assumed to have a ceiling that was willing to fall on you and as soon as you had an open seven by seven area on the 2D underground map then it would just collapse it on you eventually. In the later versions with the Z axis you've got these large connected structures that can spin and spiral all over the plan and as long as they're connected to something stable like the bottom of the map or the edge of map by a single tile then they won't fall over, because the seven by seven rule doesn't really make sense anymore, and that's something we can discuss expansions of. Then what else have we got ... We've got projectiles, currently they just fly along in straight lines and then hit their destination point or run out juice and then just fall on the ground; very bad there. We have some machines if you want to lump that in with physics in general; we have waterwheels and windmills and screw pumps and things powering a few workshops like the millstone but not a lot going on there right now. And the siege engines are just these buildings that shoot rocks, but it doesn't really think about anything there and everything still flies in straight lines. We've got temperature; everything in the game has a temperature pretty much and there are certain points that can be crossed when they change states or catch on fire. Psychology is one of those other topics we're going to discuss and the psychology of a dwarf on fire is something that really needs a bit of work; they don't care at all right now.
Rainseeker:'Ach, I'm on fire! Oh ... oh well.'
Toady:It just doesn't matter at all, and they'll just walk through burning items and all that kind of stuff but that's another part of the game that we've at least touched upon, and the upcoming version goes into that a bit more; more material properties and so on. I've run through those I don't know what else there is ... So yeah, I guess I'll stop there.
Rainseeker:If I could ask briefly about gravity and cave-ins. I had a dwarf once ... I had an entrance that was over some soil and then I had seven layers hollowed out beneath, just individual layers and at one point one of my dwarves fell through the soil - I'm not sure how this happened - and fell seven layers, through each floor, and they proceeded to be rock. I got a message that 'so and so had died' and I looked at the top and found a hole going seven layers deep so I was just curious, is that a random event that happens occasionally if enough people run over something?
Toady:Oh no, no. That shouldn't have happened at all. There's nothing like quicksand or sinkholes or soil disappearing or anything like that.
Capntastic:There should be ...
Toady:Well it's quite a weird thing right now, like especially when you're in a sandy desert, you can dig out a room underneath the sand and the sand is just pretending to be sandstone or something, and it's one of those things where you have the fluid model and the cave-in model should intersect in some way. We wanted sand to be a fluid that acts like magma does but it's a difficult problem to have the path finding and building structures - or at least certain kinds of structures - and dropping items on it that stand on top of it, and then having it also interact with other fluids; it's a difficult problem. It's one we haven't completely given up on but it's tricky. Just in general if soil collapsed all the time that might be fine but one of the problems with cave-ins is if you don't have a simple model like that - like either it collapses all the time or it's a seven by seven or something like that - you can model all the complicated statics and arches and all the things that you want; you can work really hard on getting a system that's accurate but then communicating with the player about when something is going to collapse, when is it not collapsing, when is it close to collapsing, how far you can go, becomes very difficult. You want people to be able to build a statue like the Crazy Horse monument or something where the arm is outstretched and not just going to collapse, but at the same time if you took the Crazy Horse monument and then built a giant building and put giant golden status in there and stuff you might want the arm to give at some point and collapse and fall down into the plains or whatever. But how do you communicate that to the player? So right now we're stuck in this almost no cave-in system where the player is clear when things are going to collapse because they actually have to be disconnected and if we step away from that then communication becomes actually the largest problem. There's a bit of infrastructure already; it keeps track of columns up and down of solid stone and could communicate information between those columns: how they are shearing against each other and transmitting forces downward to try and find a place to anchor to, and if the forces got too high maybe something could shear off and fall. But if your model is really complicated then you're leaving the player hanging - or not hanging as the case may be - and this is a big problem I think with trying to do a really accurate model; bothering investing the time in that when it's just going to lead to a ton of confusion.
Capntastic:Yeah I can definitely see how a megaproject would require a lot of knowledge if there are cave-ins; you'd need to know 'can I build this wing to this tower and then add this here' and the biggest problem would be an intuitive system, knowing 'hey, is this going to fall, is this going to break apart, what materials would be best for this?'
Toady:Yeah, something that's kind of easier to tackle might be something like in the soil layers just having to have a support every other tile, if you really want to build a fortress in the soil then a rule like that would be pretty easy to understand; but when it comes to the larger structures I'm still not sure how or even ultimately if I'm going to handle that, because it is a difficult problem.
Capntastic:Another thing would be towers needing to have something so it's not just a bunch of rocks stacked up; like concrete underground to keep it weighted from falling over.
Toady:Yeah right now you could build it out on the mud in a swamp and just having an up-down system that can just look straight downward and say 'is this thing just going to sink into the mud?' even that you can think of cases where it's not going to be a hundred percent clear, it's going to start to be confusing; like if you start attaching it to other stone in pieces and ... It gets to be tricky; there's a lot of suggestions about cave-ins on the forum and I think the main thing they need to be considering if the 3D nature of the problem; you can have a really twisty curvy structure like an abstract modern art statue that curls around itself and so on and that needs to be addressed because the player can create that shape and just looking at 2D examples is basically useless as far as figuring out actual algorithms that can be used.
Capntastic:I think it's another case of wanting to make it realistic and interesting but also easy to use, intuitive, and not limiting the player's choices.
Toady:Right now we're just kind of letting people do whatever the heck they want and I think that can stand for quite a while; the thing with cave-ins is just to be kind of mean, just to have something for people to consider but I'm not sure that's the type of problem that people need to be thinking about until we get a lot of other groundwork put in.
Rainseeker:How is the fluid model going to change?
Toady:We have hopes there. I guess there are two things ... one of them has a couple of sections ... but two things that are important are floating objects and additional fluid types. So for floating objects right now all the material have densities and they also have sizes and whatever other physical properties you might need, so it can tell, you know 'is this object going to float?' in water or magma. There are some issues there but it's not an impossible problem, you kind of worry when people use quantum stockpiles if they take a bunch of logs and drop five thousand of them in the same square and then that square suddenly gets wet is the CPU going to die? Maybe. But it's not like there needs to be a super lot of calculation going on because if it knows the density of the object to begin with ... I don't know if we're going to have to worry about shapes as well, like if an object has a concave shape the density isn't the only variable that's important ... but getting an object to float, especially for water which is so important, is just something that can be known about the object, it could just be a flag on the object so it doesn't have to do any calculation at all except for the actual floatation. As for that it just depends how you want it to work. There's some other trickiness; if your tile is two out of seven water with a seven out of seven below it, so it's actually bone fide water, it's not just a puddle, does the item float in the two out of seven square? Does it float in the seven out of seven square? What if you have a one of seven, what if you have a zero out of seven with a seven out of seven below it? Which square does it sit in is part of the problem of having this quantized space where you have a tile here and then a tile here and then a tile here, you want to decide where your item rests. Then there's the matter of having currents - the water has a direction that it's supposed to be flowing in even if the tiles aren't actually changing - the objects then can move and that's not really a big process or problem or anything, depending on how many objects you're actually monitoring, or how many squares you're monitoring if you want to monitor it by object or tile, there's a lot of different ways you can look at the problem. Just basically it's not a super hard problem, and then it would be really cool to flood a room and have everything either - depending on how heavy it is - just to get pushed along or float up and float out and go wherever you want it to go, I'm sure there'd be a lot of applications that would come out of that, for people that are doing all kinds of strange things.
Rainseeker:It would be a good reason to have all stone furniture in that case.
Toady:Yeah. The other problem that I was going to mention ... well one of the sub-problems I was going to mention for liquids was boats; boats are important once you get to fluids. Then you've almost got like a cave-in problem; does this multi-tile thing that you've built, perhaps tile by tile, and in whatever shape; does it float? And if so how deep does the boat float and how much of it shows above the surface of the water. It could do that, once it understands the boat as a multi-tile object that's not so hard to calculate, because you have the total mass of the boat and how many air tiles dip down at each level, those kind of things are pretty easily calculated, it would just be a known quantity for that boat and then you could stick it in the water. If you have some giant galleon or something you'd have a couple of tiles below the surface of the water and a couple of tiles above the surface of the water, and you can just walk around on it and stuff; it'd be really cool. The other fluid problem was multiple liquids. It doesn't seem so bad at first if I want to add a couple more liquid types like oil and I mentioned sand before. Sand, you want to be able to build on it or walk on it or whatever has its own problems, but even if you just consider other liquids like actual liquids, like oil and ... I'm not sure what else people have suggested, blood ... and giant alcohol silos.
Rainseeker:'Release the alcohol upon the goblins!'
Toady:That's right, those kinds of thing. Once you get those up to flow levels; not just items but an actual map flow, you can use the existing code and so on to move it around, but the problem becomes mixing. There's already quite a bit of code devoted to mixing water and magma; does it make obsidian, what happens to the objects in there, and so on. But if you had fluids that could mix, or fluids that can't mix but don't destroy each other when they touch each other, like oil and water, or alcohol and water; they do different things when they touch each other. And it just seems like that's a can of worms that needs to be handled in one way or another, it's something that I haven't thought that deeply about but it seems like it opens a lot of problems. I'd still like to do it, but those are things that would need to be addressed before I embark on that project.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:So with regards to gravity, will different worlds have different levels of gravity?
Toady:Yeah ... The general question is the physical laws of the world being based on parameters, right? I haven't thought about that much and it's the kind of thing where it seems like you could just change the constants, assuming that they work like that. Part of the problem with the projectiles is how you've got these quantized tiles and right now they think of it that way too, but if the projectiles actually stored their location in a much more refined fashion and were just displayed by tiles and hit things by tiles but actually had their own arcs that they were travelling along, then doing things like having a flight trajectory that is something like a parabola - like you'd want - wouldn't be so bad. You'd have trouble maybe in that there's a couple of issues then for AI and when you're in adventure mode how you target, because even if you've got a parabola and you can target any square that you can get a parabola to hit by theoretically raising the angle of your crossbow or whatever, that's not so bad, especially with my math background. I've solved this problem before, I remember doing it in Armok I, and you could actually accurately hit something shooting on a parabola. So you could hit things along parabolas in that game and it would come up with the parabola, and generally there were two solutions for each equation and it would choose the one with the lowest angle so that you'd shoot straight at the rabbit instead of shooting way up in the air and having it fly and then come down on the rabbit or whatever. So there are little issues like that but you just want to make sure that once you nail it to the tiles that you don't lose your solution and get all confused. But I think it's not that difficult a problem and that people and siege engines and everything else could be flying properly and it's really not that much of a processor problem either, just because projectiles aren't that frequent. If you do something weird like stick five thousand logs on a drawbridge and then lift it up to shoot your logs everywhere ... these are kind of player created problems, but I'm sure that might slow things down a little bit then. I think once you've got a model that has more refined numbers where it's keeping things at a few decimal places then doing things like messing with the physical laws is way easier because changing the gravitational constant doesn't suddenly knock you over ten tiles to screw everything up or just get ignored because it gets rounded off. That would be something that I think would be a low hanging fruit and that point so it would be fun to do. Does it come across in the game? Not quite so much as if you were playing a first person shooter or something that had really good graphics, where the gravity can come across; if you were playing on the moon you'd notice how things were. Since there's no actual frame of reference in Dwarf Fortress - like grid size is a question, how big is a grid, how far is it from here to here? - it becomes less obvious when the physical constants have changed. But at the same time if something falls and hits you on your head harder because you have more gravity that would probably come across, at least relative to your other play experiences. Then you could have some cases where there's just no gravity at all, which would be kind of fun, just things flying off and ...
Rainseeker:You'd be losing dwarves left and right, into outer space ...
Toady:Yeah, those silly combat things where someone flies and hits and tree and blow apart, the parts would just kind of fly off, fly off into space. It'd be fun, I think.
Rainseeker:You'd be having people bashing their heads on the ceilings too when they jump over each other in narrow hallways.
Toady:The nice thing about - just considering physics again in general - the nice thing about using actual equations, getting to that point ... having discrete tiles makes that hard sometimes ... but getting to the point where you're using realistic equations or semi-realistic equations like with the combat stuff with all the new parameters that are in there ... the nice thing about having it that way is being able to change the laws and you could even consider things like local changes of the laws, like a particular area of the fort because of some weird artifact you've got or something is zero gravity, and if you go in there then things start to fly and float around and stuff, and that could lead to some really cool sights in the world; places where things just don't behave quite like you'd expect. That would all be a lot of fun, and because we've been modelling things it's more accessible; it's something that can be done, which is cool.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:So let's address chemistry. This kind of overlaps I guess, I'm just going to jump into something I was wondering about; will we ever find oil in the mountains or in the plains?
Toady:Or under the deserts, and wherever else you find it!
Capntastic:Under the sea.
Toady:Yeah. (singing) Under the sea. (end singing) With the mermaids ... because there are already industries based around mermaids, so why not oil?
Rainseeker:Floating fortresses over oil patches.
Toady:Yeah, frozen methane under the ocean floor, all that kind of thing. I think it would be really cool ... we talked about liquid types before and the problems, but now let's talk about some fun things and just assume that you can overcome some of the issues there. It would be cool to have whole ... you know how you have the raw files with the different types of stone ... it would be cool if you could just be like 'well this one's actually a liquid' or whatever, and so there'd be an oil layer, like a big oil sea ... I don't know that much about it but I assume there's quite a lot of oil down there if you're pumping a hundred and fifty million barrels or whatever, and so you should actually be able to go down there and occasionally bump into whole seas of oil.
Rainseeker:That'd be a problem.
Toady:Yeah, you'd have your dwarf shoot up on a geyser, it'd be really cool; like shoot up in the air and then catch them on fire or whatever. But then actually using ... historically I imagine that petroleum or oil or whatever isn't just a modern thing; people at least poured it on people and set it on fire of course, so you'd be able to do things like that assuming there was a way to say that any liquid you've got - right now we've got water and magma, but say you'd get one of these mineral liquids that you'd define as a mineral layer or whatever - to be able to set up an activity zone or a workshop at that location and then put it into barrels or something. Then once you have barrels of it whatever custom reactions you've got designed for it in the workshop, whether that's in vanilla or modded Dwarf Fortress, you can do things with it and if there is something that sets on fire and you can pour on people you'd need a way to be able to do that. And whatever else you can use oil for would all be fair game at that point. I think it would be really cool. You have to jump over the largest hurdle there which is just getting a liquid on the map that isn't water, that can act like water. It opens up other things too, like there's tar, above ground, having tar pits ...
Rainseeker:That'd be awesome.
Today:Yeah, tar pits are a lot of fun. Even a more liquid version of mud that you can kind of sink and fall into ... but we're going back to the physics discussion instead of forward into the chemistry discussion, so ...
Rainseeker:We also have acids of course; what are you plans for acids?
Toady:I'm of two minds on this. I've got my Arab/Persian chemistry from around the year 800 or something like that, the kind of stuff I've been looking at when people were isolating sulphuric acid and making aqua regia and all these kind of ... chemistry ... glass flasks, spun and turned around for distilling things that you see in crazy mad scientist movies and stuff. All that stuff existed long before my arbitrary 1400's cut off and it would be really cool to be able to do all kinds of things with that. Of course those acids are not like fantasy acids; if you used aqua regia to etch gold instead of making someone melt into a little puddle then that would be cool, just to use it for things that it might actually have been used for. And there's things like acetic acid and citric acid and so on; there were all kinds of things that were isolated and had myriad uses, and I think it would be just great to have all that stuff go in. At the same time you can't have fantasy world generators without fantasy acid. Fantasy acid is like some kind of monster - a dragon or whatever - spits some crap on you and you just go away. However the game models that, if it's just 'yeah this does really bad things to people', if it's like a poison that way like how I've got them currently set up, or whether it just says 'this has the melting acid effect' on all kinds of stuff ... however it works it would be way more powerful than anything that you'd be able to make with your chemists shop, but then you can start working things like dragon scales and things in there and it starts to blur the lines between chemistry, alchemy and flat out witches cauldron style stuff.
Capntastic:That's how it should be though.
Toady:Yeah, I'm not saying that's bad at all; those are the things I want, it's just a matter of getting that stuff started. For real chemistry I think having all of that out in the raws, trying to hardcode nothing, just list out as many chemical reactions as you can think to do ... There's a few problems here and there; like if you define zillions of chemical reactions that give you all kinds of different chemicals and they have different uses and you just slowly add to that list more and more, you don't want to get to the point where any time you drop an item on the ground it has to chug away, checking to make sure ... it's like 'well these two things just touched each other; the sword blade just touched the ground, and now we have to check a list of twenty thousand reactions to see if in fact the ground is going to explode'. There are just things that you have to be conscious of when you start defining those things; one of the reasons we have contact poisons not quite on hold, but they only work through splatters and contaminants now is because there are all kinds of things touching each other all the time and you don't want to bog yourself down, like when a dwarf is walking on the ground do you have to take the boots he's wearing versus the type of the soil and make sure that there isn't some explosive catastrophic reaction or that the boots don't turn into gold or something, because of some reaction; and is the reaction exothermic and his feet catch on fire, or do they freeze ... It's the kind of thing where you could find it getting out of control. However, those problems are all surmountable, just looking things up a little more intelligently than doing it by brute force, and then you can have a very lively world where things can get splattered on you and splattered on other things and mixed together and so on, and turn into other things. We have temperatures for all the objects so if you did have a reaction that just heated things up, you pour one liquid into another liquid and it turns into other stuff but it's also very very hot, you could do that, and you could do that to do harmful things to your goblin friends and stuff. It really does have a lot of potential and just having those things in the raws ... There's a reason that the jobs in the raws are called reactions; it was originally going to be for the alchemy system for the alchemists workshop that doesn't even do anything - except for soap or whatever it does now - it's because I want to have reactions where it understands what materials ... I'll have to change the format of them a little bit, but it understands how materials react with each other and what the outcome of that process is. There's a lot that won't be done just because the real world is so rich with this kind of stuff, but we can do a lot, and we can do it eventually to the point where some people are satisfied.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:The next thing; explosives. What are your plans for tactical nukes?
Toady:That's right, we have unrefined uranium in the game, and I hear about centrifuges all the time, and aluminum tubes ... We've got aluminum, we don't have centrigues, we have pipe sections, so you make a giant aluminum pipe section and fill it with pitchblende or whatever we've got and ... Yeah, so we're not doing that. But the kind of thing that's on the table is gunpowder, and the materials that you need for that are already in the game, I think. We've got brimstone, which is sulphur, and I don't remember if we have saltpetre, if it's there or not, but ... I guess you could do all kinds of things with manure and urine to make it, or you can find it in a crystalline form in the ground perhaps. And we've got charcoal and coal and kinds of stuff like that available, so it's there, the building blocks are there, and then it become strictly a matter of taste, and what you're going to do with it. I don't think we've had the discussion on Dwarf Fortress Talk before but I've had the discussion on the forums or in the dev notes and so on about what we think about that. Where we were on that is that we are not against coding up the code necessary to get that kind of thing to work; at the very least just blowing the crap out of things. Maybe not making a gun or something but blowing the crap out of things. That probably wouldn't be in the most vanilla vanilla Dwarf Fortress. After we see it action and see it perhaps not spoiling the mood entirely it might make it in, but certainly we'd support that kind of thing shortly after chemistry starts to take off; I've no problem with that at all. Then it's a matter of how blowing stuff up works in the game. It would just be another one of those reactions; when this point hits its ignition point it's a little different than just setting on fire. It would just need to be able to look around at the adjacent squares and apply forces to things, and it can do all that. It should be not that difficult once we have the chemistry stuff we've been talking about to have things that are explosive, and not just black powder which as far as I know is the only historical example of a real explosive. Of course people can show me whatever else there is that I don't know about there, but there can also be fantasy-type explosive things, like creatures that blow up for no reason that somehow survived after all these thousands of years, and then when you come up to them they just blow up.
Rainseeker:It's because they're allergic to dwarves.
Toady:Well, dwarf is a ...
Capntastic:One dies so that the others may live.
Toady:Yeah, unless they're all lined up or something, because those things tend to blow up in clusters. I'm not really sure where I'm at right now ... pro modded explosives and kind of ambivalent about vanilla explosives. It should be the kind of thing that is just one extra step in the chemistry raws; instead of saying that this thing heats up when the products are mixed or the products are ignited, it's like 'this does an explosion of this force per unit of black powder'; then there'd just need to be one extra function there that says what an explosion does. After that you can start to work with ideas; like what about things like cannons or mines that you want to do, and we can slowly work with that but the farther afield you go the more it would be deprioritised.
Capntastic:So what about herbs and plants being turned into potions?
Toady:I guess hopefully it would all fall under the same umbrella; it's not chemistry per se, you're not trying to give names to the things, but stuff turning into other stuff that has effects ... We've got the poisons now which are the only example of a material having an effect, and the effects are all over the place even know; they can make you cough blood, give you blisters, cause your body parts to swell up and get compartment syndrome, give you fevers, make you dizzy, and that's a material effect that effects a creature through contract, injection or inhaling the object and so if you start to give beneficial effects or more neutral effects, maybe give it a few more ways that cause the syndrome to trigger - it could just be something that's nearby rather than something that's inhaled or injected - and then all of a sudden what was a really practical grounded real world poison system becomes a system for doing all kinds of fantastic things. So if your herbs, if you say one plump helmet and one newt eyeball is a reaction that you can do in a workshop with an empty flask, and then you use the to container thing that we've got now for reactions to say all that stuff goes into a new liquid in that container called plump helmet newt eyeball juice or something. Then you can define a new material and that material could have whatever properties you want. So the pieces are in place now to make poisons, but you wouldn't be able to do anything with them unless you somehow found a way to get the poison out of the container ... which you could do, if you find a way to heat the thing up, like dropping it in magma and then it turns into a gas you could have creatures nearby inhale. So you could actually set up some kind of poison gas traps, even in the new version. But just in general things like a potion that makes you happy ... there are two obstacles there now in the current system. One of them is that you'd need to have the effect, you'd need to give the modder or vanilla modding control to change the happiness of a dwarf, so it's not just giving blisters or whatever but there's a new effect, and that list is just going to increase over time and hopefully cover the basis. The other problem is to get a dwarf to actually use the thing; to recognise that there's now this flask filled with this juice that when you drink it it makes your happiness one hundred and fifty percent for a week, and having the dwarf know that that's something that needs to be used is a large problem, especially for a modding situation where you make happiness juice that gives you blisters and makes you fly ... when do you drink it? I don't know, it sounds like an adventure mode thing; the adventurer would take that journey, but not necessarily a dwarf craftsman that's feeling a little bummed out. So that's another issue with modding, but it's not that far away now, you can mod in your own poisons and create them and boil them to make them work now and we just need to expand the effects and give things a few more uses. So where are we at ... we're down to soaps and things, I don't know if people would be satisfied. I guess the one glaring smelting metallurgy thing, if people are wondering about alloys and the exact manganese content of their steel. I guess that opens some interesting avenues of discussion, at least stuff where I'm totally confused about how I would do it, like if you take metals ... there are all different kinds of steel, it's like this one's two percent carbon, three percent manganese, and this one is this percent this, and this percent this, and this percent this, and they all have really different properties, but would I have to make a separate material entry for every single one? At this point I would, and you'd make stainless steel using whatever goes into that - I don't remember if its manganese or tungsten or whatever the heck else there is that they put into steel these days, or former days - and I'm just not sure if it's practical. Right now we've got a ton of alloys in the game but they're all broadly defined, like two bars of this and one bar of this makes this.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:I was thinking we could do a quick flyby on the senses, and how they might come into play in the future, like with scented soaps ... Where do you envision the senses coming into play in the future of Dwarf Fortress? Touch, smell, taste, hearing and eyesight.
Toady:That's right, and the sixth sense, and echo location and stuff.
Capntastic:Electromagnetic ... Infrared ... Psionic power ...
Toady:I guess this starts as an adventure mode question, just because you experience things in the first person there.
Capntastic:You caught me.
Toady:Yeah. It'd be cool to hear things ... Right now you either do or don't get announcement spam depending on your setting, and bugs, and it should compact that stuff down into sound messages; 'there's sounds of battle to the west', and if you pick up soap you should be able to feel it and smell it and get information like that, although you have to think about to what end? If soap that has a certain chemical in it smells a certain way I guess it's cool to tell you about that ... I guess if you were blindfolded and ate something it should tell you what it tastes like, although you get to that whole thing of what if someone puts an orange under your nose and you eat an apple, but that's all very complicated; it would be the kind of thing that would be done on a really weird lark. Really you'd want to probably address this stuff from the perspective of actual situations in adventure mode where you'd really want the data, because those would be the first ones that would go on. I don't know if you had anything in mind.
Capntastic:Sense, like 'you smell a kobold den' ... That would require flows I think.
Toady:Take the miasma for instance, the visible purple you-can't-even-see-through-it miasma. Dwarf mode may be a different matter but in adventure mode that stuff should be invisible, you can't see that stuff but it's moving around as a local flow. As long as flows are kept local like that and don't have any wide ranging pressure code and they don't block path-finding, they don't do anything except wiggle around a little bit then they're not really a processor problem and so you can have these local flows. Then when you enter one of those areas it could just be like 'this place smells like death', because there's a butterfly rotting on the ground. As long as you're a bit conservative with your use of them ... if every single creature had a giant flow coming out of it that would start to be a problem, like if you wanted it to smell like a kobold den you'd want to start moving away from the local flows there and just have places that are lived in by things just smell a certain way. Then that would be really useful information; when you go to a cave for the first time, if you're a connoisseur that can tell the smell of the kobold or something then it could tell you about that, sure. It might not be a local flow that you could follow the gradient of to achieve the kobold's location, swimming upstream on the smell, but I like the idea of being able to track things and find them, and pick up little kobold scats and dig around to see what they've been eating ... after a fashion, anyway.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:Has this been brought up yet? The Baghdad battery that everyone always brings up all the time.
Toady:Yeah I think we've discussed that on the forums quite a bit anyway. People still get into fights about this so ... As far as I know you couldn't do anything with the thing, but I saw a fight break out over that already. I'm not an expert on the Baghdad battery, what did I see, a MythBusters episode where a lemon could do more or something? But that's like nothing, so ... I don't want to strike too sharp a tone on that. I certainly don't know of any evidence of things like ancient electroplating from stuff like that. If there is stronger evidence then we could start thinking about that stuff, and it's up to people I guess to decide what their dwarves can do; because a dwarf society is not a human society, and with that stuff if you know how it works then you can do it, but it's not the type of thing that you just figure out. You could use medieval household appliances to do stuff like electroplating but you just wouldn't think to do it because it's completely non-intuitive. But who knows, dwarves are down there all the time, maybe they do stuff like that.
Rainseeker:You never know about them dwarves.
Toady:Especially if they have magical artifacts or something. Maybe they do have an artifact that sticks a couple of wires into a lemon or something.
Rainseeker:If you give dwarves lemons, they make a Baghdad battery.
Toady:Well we need lemons first. The fruit tree situation's pretty sad right now.
Capntastic:So people want lemons, they want batteries, they want gunpowder, they want tactical nukes.
Toady:Don't forget the steampunk.
Capntastic:That's kind of along the path there.
Toady:Yeah, you've got to put that in something.
Capntastic:The tech tree requires a lot of this before you can get steampunk.
Toady:Yeah, and bathyspheres ... you've got to go underwater and look like a space alien ... You see dwarves doing that all the time.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Rainseeker:Now we're going to talk about psychology; dip our toes into the ins and outs of the dwarven brain. Right now the way that dwarves think is whether they're happy or sad, and it doesn't really matter that their friend has died as they have just eaten in a legendary dining-room.
Toady:That's right, it's a fantastic experience. They kind of move from thought to thought ... They store their old thoughts, but a new thought can have a huge effect on their overall happiness numbers. Basically what happens now is a number of events create thoughts in the dwarf, like whether they've just gotten sprayed by waterfall mist, whether or not they just saw someone die, whether or not they just drank some water with mud in it, and so on. It's an uneven list but there's a lot of stuff there, and if one of those things happens it generates a thought in the dwarf, and the thought goes into the dwarf's head and really all a thought does is make a dwarf happier or make a dwarf more sad. In a broad sense how it manifests itself depends on some things we'll get to, but ... So there's these thoughts, and every event adds a thought, and it keeps track of the thoughts for, say, a season and once you cross halfway through the season ... I don't remember if it's a season or a year, it's not really that important ... but once a thought becomes half-stale halfway through its shelf life then it has half the effect on the overall happiness. But basically to get the happiness of a dwarf you just add all those numbers up; take the dining room number, take the dead relative number, take the attacked by zombie relative number from the 2D version that wasn't released, take the rotten food number, take the I was promoted number, take the didn't have enough work number; add them all up and you get one number. There's some balance issues there with the dining rooms as has been pointing out, but just overall the system kind of sucks. But you get that number, if the dwarf is happy, the dwarf is happy, if the dwarf gets down low enough it starts to look at their personality facets; how do they deal with stress, how do they manifest their unhappiness, do they get angry easily for instance. So if a dwarf gets angry easily and has a low happiness number they might throw a tantrum, or if a dwarf becomes sad easily or depressed easily then when they have a low happiness number they can fall into that melancholy that's permanent. So the personality only starts being used in the extreme cases with low happiness ... It's a pretty simple system and it has a lot of problems, as we know.
Capntastic:It's like a dating sim.
Toady:Yeah I guess it's like a bad dating sim ... Dating sims, I guess, are really refined now, and I'm sure they're a lot of fun for the people that know about how they work. Ours is not very good yet, but yeah, you basically have to keep your dwarf happy and eventually they'll have babies.
Capntastic:What is the dwarven hierarchy of needs?
Toady:Yeah, the dwarf needs to find their infant if it's crawling around, and get their food on ... get their drink on then get their food on, then get their sleep on ...
Capntastic:Then they can worry about the baby.
Toady:Yeah ... Do they worry about the baby first until they starve to death? It's up there. Get out of the lava is one of the things on the list, but being on fire I don't think is on the list.
Rainseeker:Oh, I'm on fire, whatever.
Toady:So then it starts to worry about other things. But the stuff like having parties and going on break just works on these timers, there's not a lot to a dwarf's psychological makeup right now, and that's something that we really want to change, because it lets you not just control things like tantrum spirals - stuff that are side effects of the system that you need to have a different system to really control well, and control in a reasonable well - but having a better system would let you look at the dwarf and not just say 'hi, I'm happy' or 'hi, I'm sad', but it would actually tell you a little bit about what's going on in the dwarf's head. The generally idea here ... I don't have this completely hashed out ... Something happens to the dwarf and it turns into a thought right now, and the thought is just this lingering thing that effects the happiness number. So really an event that happens should create some kind of reaction in the dwarf and that should be put into motion in their head, something that lasts for however long it should last; some of them would be very short term, some of them would be very long term. And they can be in different directions, things like jealousy or anger or just overall sadness; however it works, and the personality can filter the emotional response or direct it one way or the other, and it emotions run really high they could do something like start a fist fight, but it wouldn't be because they're overall absolutely miserable and on a spiral to destruction. Overall they could have a baseline emotional state, some people are just generally happier than others, and the events could tweak that, push you slowly in one direction or another, so you could become miserable as things keep happening to you. But getting rid of that happiness number entirely and just having the emotional state of the dwarf on several axes would be a lot better way of handling it. It would also make adventure mode a lot more interesting if you start to have people that react a little bit differently and can react at all to things, it would be a lot better way to handle it. (aside, to Scamps) What are you doing Scamps? Don't play your ... get your head ... (end aside) Okay, so he got his toy and he put it inside this empty box of cereal and then he stuffed his whole head in there after it and he was just walking around with a cereal box on his head, but I've got the toy now and I'm going to throw it out of the room. There he goes. That's his favourite toy, the one he's chewed all the hair off of. So like I say, the system isn't ... I want to keep the personality facets, I like having the thirty different facets of the personalities, and just increasing the overall number of places those are used. But I think to complement the personality facets we also need stuff like different emotions that you can be feeling, and additionally some things along the lines of those likes and dislikes, but stuff that the dwarf could be into, or the dwarf's vices or something like that; some kind of more permanent characterstics, but that can be changed through exposure; just to give them more texture there. But happiness numbers are definitely going to go.
Rainseeker:Are families going to be more complicated? Like family relationships?
Toady:I think just as a starting point they should be respected at all. A dwarf ... they might recognise a few things about their brother, like vaguely speaking, but they really don't in general have a handle on their parents or their brother. With their spouse they know that they're sleeping in the same room and they can shoot spores at each other, but it's one of those things, maybe even part of the sociology discussion. I don't know if ... like they say 'the building block of society is the nuclear family' ... we haven't really decided what the building block of dwarven society, but the family should certainly be part of that. If you're starting to add things like a mason's guild and a cult based around the god of minerals then having the family of a dwarf be one of those units that determines what a dwarf thinks about is really important because they'd be then weighing decisions; like 'how does this decision jibe with my religion, how does it affect my relationship with the mason's guild?' but also 'how does it affect my family?' would be a huge factor I'd think, at least in a dwarven society; I'm not sure the goblins would give a crap about it, maybe some of them would. It's one of those things that's completely underutilised. Of course families are really common; every dwarf has a family and there's a lot of different families, so tracking it as an entity in and of itself might be a bad idea. Having a larger clan or something, if it's a really large group of people then it makes more sense but having ten thousand different entities, one for each family, would start to stretch what's reasonable, especially because there'd be room set aside for things like 'what is the uniform of your family?'; it's not necessary information ... 'what kind of trade goods does your family have access to, what territory do they own on the map?' It starts to get silly if you really give them full blown entity status, but at the same time they're important enough that they should get an equal role in decision making. But it's one of those things that's also easier to let slide ... I'm not really sure when we'd start thinking about that stuff, maybe we'd start thinking about it when we're doing these guild and religion overhauls, just at least leave a spot open at the table for it, not code myself out of it. It's certainly something that I have to keep in mind. Huge amounts of legends are family based, like people rescuing their children, or rescuing their significant others, or having the three heirs to a kingdom fighting over it; a lot coming back to family stuff there, and right now that's completely unrecognised ... fortunately it's recognised in world generation to the point that they don't sleep with their siblings to have more kids but that's really just a very specific case that's handled in a very specific way instead of something that's tangible by itself. (aside to Scamps) What are you doing down there? He is halfway in the cereal box now! What is it about this cereal box Mister? (end aside)
Capntastic:Is it empty or full?
Toady:It's empty! If there's an empty cereal box I just put on the floor because I haven't throw it out yet, which seems to be a theme of the floor of my room right now, but there's nothing in there at all except half a cat sometimes. I guess he just likes putting himself in there.
Rainseeker:I don't know what it is about cats and boxes ...
Toady:He's as energetic as ever, a little hero.
Capntastic:My uncle slayed a dragon.
Toady:You should be proud of your uncle. You should make a statue of your uncle, and then every time you walk past it you could be proud of your uncle or something.
Capntastic:Yeah, get proud thoughts.
Toady:And I guess a proud thought would now no longer just be happiness or sadness, but it would be in the swelling pride emotion category, which would then counteract your depression and proclivity to drink.
Capntastic:To an extent.
Toady:To an extent, that's true. It never goes away entirely. Always recovering.
Rainseeker:All dwarves are always recovering.
Toady:Yeah, they don't get very far along, they're like on their three day coin before they have to go back to step one. I don't know if we're going justice to sociology here.
Rainseeker:Let's close science discussion.
Toady:Okay. Sorry sociology people, we didn't have that much to say; but I'm sure we could have a sociology-only Dwarf Fortress Talk in a year or two when we have more idea of what we would talk about. We're just not scientists and we don't know a lot about anything. We tried our best and hopefully we answered questions for people and stuff, or didn't and we will answer them as you continue to ask them. So my apologies, in any case.
Rainseeker:Indeed! So let us get on to actual questions from actual other people.
Toady:Yeah. Other people ask questions, we have a natural seque.
Rainseeker:Coming right up.
Menendez:(banjo interlude)
Capntastic:Alrighty. Welcome to the second part of the show when we're going to ask your burning science questions.
Rainseeker:And other questions.
Toady:That's right.
Capntastic:What is the cosmology of the dwarven world; is it heliocentric?
Toady:So right now there is a sun that sets on one side and rises on the other side; I think it determines that at random, although those words depend on the sun and magnetism, so maybe that's meaningless, and there's also a moon. But we don't really have anything decided for those. What will probably end up happening further along is that you'll have the creation tale, there are several civilizations with different sets of gods, so I'm not really sure who's going to be right, or if's all going to be different sides of the same multi-sided coin, the same polyhedron or whatever, but it's probably going to be one of those things that's easily randomized and so it will be randomly decided what the deal is there. And that could also, with a little bit of work, have to do with the shape of the ... not just what is orbiting what, if anything's orbiting anything, rather than being dragged along in chariots and stuff, but also what the shape of the world is; how the edges work. Right now the edges just have this invisible barrier, but migrant groups and certain foreign materials can come in off the edges depending on the version you're playing; it's just not really well defined right now, what the world is. But it would be easy to make a torus or a cylinder, or to fudge a sphere with the proper edge behaviour, like something going off the top edge and then coming half way over on the other top edge. I don't remember if you actually get a sphere from that or some kind of weird projected space, but it's close enough. So we'll probably mess around with that later on ... the myth stuff might come sooner rather than later, just because I really want to mess around with that stuff, it's a lot of fun to do.
Capntastic:Will there be hurricanes and tornados? From this will there be lightning, and crazy monsoons?
Toady:To the extent that the flows don't get out of control there, it'd be really cool. Things like a hurricane would be pretty easy to do; it doesn't have to depend that much on the weather simulation, you can just have them crop up on occasion, and then the weather simulation could just start running a little cyclone or anti-cyclone or whatever the heck they end up being going along some lines; it could just define some lines either from the sea to the coast or up one of the coasts, something like that, and when you're locally in a hurricane then it could just start having driving rain and insane wind that can actually pick up items; whatever items are on the ground it could just occasionally give them a push and send them flying for a hurricane, and I guess a tornado would look like that even more insanely and locally. I think it's a dev item and it would a lot of fun to do that. Lightning strikes ... that's just kind of mean I guess, like you're playing dwarf mode and then all of a sudden it's like 'BAM!'; oh well, shouldn't have been above ground ... People are going to be milking their cows and growing aboveground crops and stuff, and maybe the dwarven god of thunder will target you a little more often; get you back under the surface when you belong, and then the dwarven god of magma can have fun with you.
Rainseeker:I have a question here about religion; 'Do you see religion in fort mode being more active or more reactive? Will carpenters all worship Dessin Eiden Tossedwood, God of Carpentry, and then get angry if you don't have shrines to him, or will they be able to build a Tossedwood shrine and make converts?
Toady:It's a difficult question when you're in dwarf mode, how much people should be able to utilise site resources to do their own thing. Because moods do it right now and you can see where the trouble comes from that where you're trying to get the mood dwarf to be happy, and he's asking for fairly specific things but you still have to stop what you're doing and pay attention to it to some extent. Some people track their resources fairly carefully, so ... I'm all for dwarves being proactive, especially on their free time where they might just now be sitting on break or doing parties where they don't do anything and just stand around. It would be cool to have them be proactive but if you're actually talking about going out and building a shrine for example there are a couple of things that you'd want to be careful about there. One is the resources, like the actual material resources, but there's also the matter of space and location; if the guy wants to build a shrine in his room or if you can assign people workshops or something ... if they want to put something in a place where they have some expectation that you wouldn't care that much ... but if they start putting shrines in the middle of hallways it could get irritating. So maybe they could build one in a meeting hall but they'd just have to make sure that they're not blocking anything off. If you had plans I guess it's kind of okay that they'd screw them up, because that's part of what taking care of dwarves is all about, but on the other hand you could see how you'd have to be careful. At first it'll be more about the religious group and what kind of political involvement they have, or just sort of a happiness/sadness thing in making requests of you, that kind of stuff ... proactive stuff might not come at all, or if it does we just have to be careful about it. Of course during world gen or adventure mode or anything else people can go all kinds of nuts, that would be more acceptable, with dwarf mode you always have to be a little more careful.
Ollieh:(musical interlude)
Capntastic:What are the inheritable traits parents can pass on to their children. Personality, preference for certain attributes, etc. ... a curse perhaps?
Toady:Currently what we've got are the attributes ... vaguely the attributes to an extent being passed down. It's not like if the parents have two specific numbers it doesn't pick one or the other, but there's a little bit going on there. Then all of the colours, like eye colours, hair colour, I think that uses a dominant/recessive thing now where you pass on two copies and then it picks probably the colour with the lowest index; maybe there's an alphabetic bias right now on which genes are dominant, or it might be the first you listed, it could be the first one you list in the raws that's the dominant gene. I think that's it right now, just attributes and colours, the idea this time around was just to get our feet wet and get something working, and after that really it's easy to add new genes, easy to add all kinds of effects for them. I mean, I have to code it up, it's not something you can just mod in, and of course we'd have to have discussions about this; what's the extent to which personality is passed on versus it being environmental factors and so on, I'm sure we can have all kinds of wonderful arguments on the forums and so on, but right now we're just doing simple things that are pretty cut and dried like colours. Attributes ... it's not quite cut and dried there what passes along and what doesn't and so on, but I think right now that all the attributes pass along, whether or not that's accurate is another question. Also stuff like the shape of the nose and the height modifiers, basically anything called a modifier in the raws - how curly is your hair, how long is your nose, how far apart are your eyes, what colour is your skin/eyes/hair - all those pass along right now, they have genes to pass them along. As far as curses and stuff or whatever ... whatever those end up being we can link it in, but there's nothing right now of course.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Calvin, he was wondering if you'd implement mining changes and how we're looking at changing how mining works. Perhaps we could also talk about if the material of the mining pick is going to make a difference, or if there's going to be other interesting things that happen while mining.
Toady:Interesting things ... It's good as long as you're not just getting blasted out and dying all the time, and as far as pick material and stuff goes, as long as the miners can intelligently swap out their picks and stuff - it doesn't get really annoying - because it might be ... if you need to have, say, steel picks to get through certain rocks then the dig designation system ... there's some clunkiness that could come up there that would need to be handled, when he's referring to mining changes I'm not sure specifically what he had in mind. Oh he's not talking about mining changes, he's talking about mining charges, so he wanted explosives?
Capntastic:Tactical nukes?
Toady:So we talked about explosives a bit during the science discussion, and I guess I misheard the question ... mining charges ... That would depend on the future of explosives and if explosives, if things like black powder do go in, which we're thinking of as a moddable then we have to think of if we're going to actually blow out chunks of the maps, there are problems to be addressed there. It's not something I've considered that much just because I haven't thought that much about gunpowder and stuff like that.
Rainseeker:I have a question here from Desmet, he asks; 'Are there any ideas or plans for improving cities, towers and fortresses in the game world? I was wondering if we could get specific, so for instance elf retreats and human towns and goblin forts, how that's going to be improved, I guess specifically for adventure mode because you don't really see that in Dwarf Fortress mode.'
Toady:Yeah ... I mean they suck, right? So certainly we want to improve those. Now when it comes to specific plans for how towers and city walls and so on and are going to be implemented I don't have at my fingertips information ... I actually used to know more about the little bits and pieces that make up castles and all that kind of thing, but it would be cool to go there. When it comes to the elf ... the elf retreats rely on getting multi-tile vegetation in, once we do multi-tile vegetation those places will look awesome.
Capntastic:They need Stonehenges.
Today:Yeah, there's the whole mystery of Stonehenge and stuff, I remember those TV commercials where it's like ...
Rainseeker:Well they can't build clocks for themselves right? They need something to tell time with.
Toady:They can just ask the animals, animals know time. Yeah ... so I'd like to have ... the humans civilizations for example, it would be lame if they all had the same architecture, once I refresh my memory on what are the bits and pieces that make up the different architectures, what kind of different buildings there are and all that kind of stuff, they should make choices, then, and be able to have the towns have different characters to them when they make their walls or just their houses and various castles and little parapet things, and little spikes that stick out of the top with little flags on them, and minarets and all that kind of thing or whatever. As much diversity as you've got in the real world, as much as we can convey with a tile based format, that stuff should come across, it's one of those things where you have to engage in the project at some point and actually do it, and it's hard to time things which are superfluous in a sense, but they should be done. At first things will look vanilla, just as we get people to have walls properly and moats and tapestries and rugs and things, just making the towns look better, but as we get enough information to allow them to diversify then they should be able to do that, hopefully.
Capntastic:Viking longhouses, and ... that's the only type of building I know.
Toady:Yeah, because they've got those mead hall things right now, and they all look the same, they all have the stairway that goes up one side and curls around the other and there's this balcony ... that's kind of lame, that everything should look that way, it would be really cool if we could set up a way for the raws to guide a lot of what's going on. But I'm not down to drawing specific maps because that gets clunky and repetitive, but it would be good to guide the process using some kind of architectural primitives, and preferred shapes ... like right now all the houses and things are squares, and it shouldn't necessarily be that way. It's kind of funny, you mention these longhouses, even if the entities right now just said 'we prefer these dimensions versus these dimensions' it would add a degree of character to the civilizations when you arrive at them, so just a few things goes a long way and if we really jump into it it should be awesome.
Capntastic:Yurts. That's another building.
Toady:Yeah I wanted to have tents for my animal camps this time, around the animal people camps, but we were like 'why do they have tents when they're underground? There's no wind, there's no rain, the temperature's completely the same' ... If they're in a live cave maybe they should carry out little umbrellas, if they're in a really wet cave then the umbrella's definitely a must so you don't get this limestone caked all over your body and stuff.
Rainseeker:You have been struck by an umbrella ... The batman strikes you with his umbrella.
Capntastic:What would they make it out of? Like a cave spider umbrella ...
Toady:Yeah well they've got all kinds of leather down, and they can cut people up and tan them ... Right now the camps have these stacked leathers and they have this stacked prepared meats or preserved meats that they keep down there and they just kind of hang out with all the meat and leather.
Rainseeker:Do they eat it?
Toady:No, they just hang out there. If we forced them to eat it it would be one of those things that develops into a problem over time since they aren't hunting new stuff and they aren't really doing anything. It's the same problem as allowing your pets to eat or allowing anyone to eat, you have to allow them to replenish their supplies or walk off the edge of the map and so on. Eventually having that happen would be cool, of course you run into those problems with dwarf mode versus adventure mode because everything would be operating at two speeds that are seventy two times apart and you have to reconcile all of the differences there which is quite annoying. But yeah, they just sit there now, they just hang out with their meat and stuff, and they've got weapons and things and just kind of hang out and wait for you to show up and cause trouble.
Rainseeker:I have a question from Nill; he or she wants to know more about combat during world generation, how it works; do you just put a bunch of armies in front of each other or do they actually travel and cause trouble for each other?
Toady:It's pretty weak right now, they have their enemy, you have the civilization, it has its target that it wants to attack and then they pull all of the able bodied people they can from their civilization and lump them into a group and send them at their target which then lumps its people - generally the defenders at the site but they can pull in more people I think if they have that kind of civilization that isn't just site based - and then it ... I'm trying to remember here if it just pairs them off and fights zillions of little duels ... Like when you read the details of a duel between important historical figures, where it just says 'his right arm was wounded and then the other guy ran away', that is what's happening with every single fight, with every single person, you just don't see it. That's why when you go into their legend you can still read the details of how their arms and legs were hacked off, even if they're not the civilization leader and it doesn't show up in the era based list as an important duel. But it's not like the new adventure mode/dwarf mode combat with all of the specific tendons and materials because it would just grind to a halt if you had thousands of people fighting each other every single year in world generation, so right now I think it classifies things as wounds or killing blows and then assesses what a wound might be - what's a feasible would that could have been caused - it matches up a few things like is the thing fire resistant versus does this guy breath fire and that kind of stuff, and gives some plausible wounds to the ... mostly chopping crap off, but occasionally just saying 'this was wounded' or whatever. I don't think I've even added scars yet, that's one of the things that was on the list that I haven't gotten the chance to get to was adding scars to people that were injured in world generation without severs, just giving them cool looking scars when you meet them. So it's pretty simple and there's nothing like ... there's another thing that was written down, doing military tactics and little strategy things to spice it up before we actually get to those when we start doing the improved sieges and sending out armies, but I didn't get a chance to do any of that so it's still just throwing people at each other. There are terrain bonuses, so if you're in a cave and they send an army at you then I think it improves your combat rolls by two or three times, things like that. It's stuff that you'd see in the more traditional strategy game where people get a hundred and fifty percent defensive bonus from a fortified position, that kind of stuff. Once we add in some tactics and things it'll talk about that and you might be able to have a general with really high military skills not at the individual combat level but more up at the strategic and tactical levels being able to defeat a superior force, and it could say what happened even if it's just waving its hands a little bit about pincers and flanking manoeuvres and attacking at night, doing a ruse to lure this group of people away from their position; all that kind of stuff. You can pay lip service to that in world generation and then you can start actually working it in over in the actual gameplay modes. But right now it's very blah blah blah.
Capntastic:Vince wants to know; 'Will there be cavities and toothbrushes in the future versions of Dwarf Fortress?'
Toady:So I don't know much about how people learned about dental hygiene and how effective it is to just brush your teeth with water or whatever, I imagine they didn't have toothpaste ... Unless they did! They could very well have had toothpaste as far as I know, and rubbed all kinds of weird things on other stuff and then rub that weird stuff on their teeth and it made their teeth healthier or whatever. So I have a historical blank spot there; we don't have to be slaves to history but it's good to understand what happened and to see how it might fit into the game. But now that we have teeth I'm pro cavity, I'm pro having all messed up rotten teeth and dwarves with five teeth fallen out and people with bad breath, stinky teeth, and ...
Rainseeker:Will they make toys and pendants out of the teeth that fall out?
Toady:I guess they could, although there might be a butchery prohibition on using sentient, or sapient, whatever you want to say, teeth and so they'd bury them I guess before they die ... I guess when they die they'd put them in the tomb with them.
Capntastic:Are there gums?
Toady:They don't have gums right now, they just have heads. They don't even have tongues right now, I want to put in tongues before I release it, but right now they don't have gums, they just have head and the teeth fit in the head, and the gums are assumed to be part of that. But yeah if we had gums you could have gingivitis and other kinds of periodontal disease or whatever they're called. I think it would be cool to have that. But putting in cavities without any kind of preventative things? I'm not sure historically what's going on there, but it seems like a low move to put in cavities first and not have anything that can be done about them, because then every game that you play for ten years you wouldn't be able to see any of your dwarves because the miasma would be choking up the hallway; all these nasty rotted dwarves walking around ...
Capntastic:He has lost a tooth lately.
Rainseeker:I'm seeing a picture of teeth scattered everywhere in the fortress.
Toady:Yeah, so you want to make sure it doesn't get out of control, when you remember not to let it get out of control anyway. So I'd be curious to know about what the history of dental care is and how bad it got; dwarves could just run around with platinum teeth after a few years or whatever ... gold teeth and all kinds of different jewelled teeth ... maybe every just got these massive shiny grills after a while.
Rainseeker:That makes sense for a successful fortress.
Toady:That's just how dwarves work.
Rainseeker:That's how they roll.
Toady:So it's possible that it could end up that way instead. I'm certainly not against that kind of thing, of course when I sit here and talk enthusiastically about that kind of stuff, it's obviously not a priority either. I hate to promise so many things when I'm just talking about what's possible now that we do have teeth, so I wouldn't expect it in the immediate future, but it can be done now; we have the teeth.
Capntastic:Remember Dwarf Fortress fans: brush daily and use floss for a healthier smile.
Rainseeker:Don't end up like Urist McDwarf. All his teeth have to be granite.
Capntastic:... early grain milling techniques where they use the stone grinder, what's the word for it?
Toady:A quarn?
Capntastic:Bits of the granite would break off amid the flour, and that's why peasants had bad teeth.
Toady:It's bad enough to hit some weird chicken bone or something, but hitting a piece of stone when you're eating a loaf of bread kinda sucks.
Rainseeker:Those peasants must have been stoned quite often. (sfx vox: rimshot)
Capntastic:Same with ancient Egyptians, because they had sand in everything. Make a joke about that!
Rainseeker:Well you can walk like an Egyptian and you can eat like an Egyptian.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Well, this is the end of another podcast and we appreciate everyone joining us. Thank you Tarn for your illuminous help.
Toady:You're welcome, and thanks to the Capn. And we should thank Ollieh for the music and also Emily Menendez for our special guest music, and mallocks, the mallocks is thanked for the transcripts. Were there other people to thank?
Rainseeker:Everyone who donated this month.
Toady:Somebody wanted me to give a shout out to gaming Steve, there's the shout out. So I guess there's the contest as well ... Now that the new version is up we can have our first contest, we're thinking of having you guys create a giant fortress suspended over the magma sea which no doubt many of you have found down there. We'll be posting details in a forum thread which should be up as you're listening to this, so go and check it out, there should be a vanilla and modded version of the challenge, and hopefully the buginess of the release won't interfere too much, or it's just something you guys will have to take in stride as you're tormented by the various beasts in the depths. Alright, so there we go.
Rainseeker:It'll be fun, it'll be good. So thanks everyone for joining us, and thank you Tarn again, and we will see you next time.
Ollieh:(musical postlude)

Bonus section

Capntastic:Do you have those little cat treats that clean the teeth?
Toady:Oh are we back on cavities? I guess I'm supposed to brush his teeth every day or something, right? I can't imagine that going off very well, he'd bite the crap out of me. Although Zach's got way more scratches, I don't know what it is, Scamps is just a little bit gentler with me, so I don't have any scratches on my hands but Zach is a little torn up. I'd be afraid though to exacerbate the situation by trying to jam something in his mouth.
Rainseeker:Maybe he would enjoy chewing a little bit, you never know.
Toady:Yeah, it's just you have to worry if he's going to see the boundary between the toothbrush and your fingers, because he is troubled.

Rainseeker:It was considerably more violent than the original.
Toady:Yeah, it's like they were fighting for their freedom like Braveheart or something. What's up with that?
Rainseeker:It was great, it was awesome, I loved it. It even had dwarves in it, albeit beardless dwarf. Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Capntastic:I could see that maybe.
Toady:(aside to Scamps) Hey stop that, stop that, this isn't necessary. (end aside)
Capntastic:I actually have an ace up my sleeve. What I did was I have chicken soup here to get me in the mood, because chicken soup has biological matter, you use physics to heat it up, and the other thing ... what were the three things?
Toady:Well we've got psychology and sociology and chemistry and physics.
Capntastic:It's all those. Chemistry? It's got minerals ...
Rainseeker:I have children who are going to be making noise in the background, so we may have to redo a take or two.
Capntastic:Uh-oh. I don't think we've ever had to do that before.
Rainseeker:And I'm having a sandwich delivered to me in a second, which I made myself and set aside into the oven to toast, so that should be being delivered in a moment by my lovely and beautiful helper Jennifer.
Capntastic:Always good. Let's just keep yawning for a couple of minutes.
Rainseeker:This is generating content for the end of the podcast.
Capntastic:So at this point you've been up forty eight hours straight, just coding away.
Toady:Well I slept a little bit ... I only got up at two o'clock, I slept for a while in there. But I've been working quite a lot, mostly getting around five or six hours sleep. There's been quite a bit of progress from the way it started back when I handed the thing out on valentine's day. It's been a couple of weeks ... three weeks, but there's a lot of things that have changed. I don't know if people are satisfied with what they've got, if it's just miserable ...
Rainseeker:I'm not miserable.
Capntastic:I think people will be happy.
Toady:I know the military screen is still pretty awful, hopefully the squad view is better now.
Rainseeker:One moment.
Capntastic:Sandwich handoff. We're going to hear gunshots, because this deal's going to go bad.
Capntastic:Yeah. They're going to hand him the sandwich in a briefcase.
Toady:It depends if the sandwich was cut.
Capntastic:That is too funny, I don't know why.
Rainseeker:(off mic) I did not ask for it to be cut.
Capntastic:That needs to make it into the outtakes.
Toady:That could even be an intake.

Rainseeker:Dog gonnet, I'm going to have to shut my bird up, hang on a second.
Capntastic:I need to get an animal for my room, just to make noise.
Toady:You've got to get a bear, a beer drinking bear.
Capntastic:What can we name him?
Toady:Bearski ... or something. Beer ... Beer the bear. Beerbear the bear. (aside to Scamps) Alright baby Scamps, you're just going to relax right here, just relax, don't claw my face, just relax.

Capntastic:I wrote some notes.
Toady:We can talk about science.
Capntastic:I have a picture of a pine tree, and a picture of a meteor on this note card. So physics is really like a meteor, because that's fire and metal, and gravity is pulling it down towards the pine tree, which would burn. Then there'd be a crater, and your dwarves would go into the crater.
Toady:There goes the right speaker onto the floor.
Rainseeker:Okay, timeout ... I don't think I can use the past three minutes.

Rainseeker:I have an announcement to make.
Rainseeker:Thank you.
Toady:That's right.
Rainseeker:Today is my birthday.
Capntastic:Happy birthday.
Toady:So this is going to be the first podcast where we have someone age over the podcast.
Capntastic:He's going to be growing a beard.
Rainseeker:I was wondering what would happen if you had a goblin kidnapping a child and he came of age as he's in the bag.
Toady:I'm actually not sure ... do they age when they're ... I hope they age when they're in confinement, it's quite possible they don't ... Age plus plus plus plus plus plus plus plus (yawn) I guess I won't be able to find it. Oh no they do, they do because I changed how it works. I used to increment an age counter, just like plus plus plus plus, but now I just keep track of the birthdays so you don't have to do that, so they automatically age. They might not die of old age then, when they're in the bag though.
Capntastic:Immortality device.
Rainseeker:It's a Bag of Immortality.

Toady:(sfx vox: trumpet voluntary; She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain)
Capntastic:There's this question here, I don't know if it's really relevant but I think it'd be interesting for the outtake selection, but someone asking about the flat chains in Banach spaces, which a lot of people are curious about. Did you want to give that a shot? If people want your rambling, they're going to get it.
Toady:I guess so, I guess they well.
Capntastic:'Dear Dr. Adams, since the upcoming podcast is about science and mathematics is the queen of sciences perhaps you could give in laydwarfs terms a general overview of your PhD dissertation, flat chains in Banach spaces.
Toady:Well let's see what I can remember, it's been a while since I've thought about this stuff, so I'm sure I'm going to forget lots of things.
Toady:(mathematics in chorus - it doesn't transcribe well) So in general if you've got ... my paper kind of, overall we're considering what are called minminal surfaces so if you take ... given a wire, you've got a minimal surface etcetera, etcetera, so what are the parameters you need? ... It's not the straight line distance between two points anymore but kind of like how far ... If you change the distance function on that, so maybe you've heard of the taxi cab distance in New York City, like how many blocks up, how many blocks over, that kind of thing ... But in any case, I've rambled a bit, but I just generally proved that these minimal surfaces exist in more complicated spaces and there's been a lot of subsequent work, and work that was going on at the same time in more general spaces, all kinds of different stuff. Fascinating, fascinating stuff ... I haven't really been keeping up the past couple of years.
Toady:I guess you could take the twenty minute rambling there, let it ramble for three minutes but then take another minute and a half of the rambling and put it over my original rambling, so it's like there's two of me talking, then put a third one on it, and it'll just kind of degenerate.