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Author Topic: Future of the Fortress  (Read 1098046 times)

scriver

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #225 on: February 26, 2012, 10:19:02 am »

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Rafal99

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #226 on: February 26, 2012, 02:23:04 pm »

Quote from: Toady/devlog
made forbid/etc. from stocks screen not effect items used for buildings when applied to an entire group

noooo! past are the days of grouping my workshops by stone-type to "de-/activate" them in groups =(

toady, is there already a feature to fix that fix in the works? i found the ability to forbid all granite-workshops at once while the chert ones still work to be really useful...
Well, it was not supposed to be used this way and for me it is a great bugfix.
Yeah it is a nice bugfix. I won't have to build all my workshops from blocks just to prevent accidental forbid.


Since the devlog contained not only typical bugfixes, but also some interface usability improvements, I wonder how big role had the bugtracker managers in pointing Toady's attention to these issues?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 04:32:43 pm by Rafal99 »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #227 on: February 26, 2012, 02:45:29 pm »

Toady, do you still intend to make interactions like vampirism or vampire weaknesses completely moddable at some point?  Or will things like Forgotten Beasts and general night creatures forever be hardcoded?  Is it a problem of not figuring out how to make procedurals play nice with raws, or something you want to keep?

The plan is for that stuff to be in the raws eventually, but there's no timeline as usual.

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Quote from: Toady One
I haven't made any decisions.  There are lots of things that have come up in the past where scripting has been a natural extension/solution and I've been trying to find time recently to think about some of the options.

Even the most rudimentary standing production orders implementation is going to have to involve some kind of if-then structure and a way to get at certain game values/sums, and then it's a question of how that's going to work.  My own scripting stuff (which exists for some of the diplomacy but is quite godawful) would be too clunky and would be reinventing the wheel.  If a scripting language is used, it's a matter of whether it is available in the raws or if you'll just be able to enter some simple actions from a manager style screen, from which scripts are then built internally.  I suppose there would be utilities written that grab onto that and stuff scripts into the system even if there aren't scripts in the raws, but it would be limited by the script-DF interface in any case, as far as I know.  It would be a little strange to have universal management scripts that can do all sorts of things and be run any time, in part because of the accessibility issues, and because it's just sort of strange and unnatural to me to have a game that works that way, but that's exactly what a standing production order is.

There are future issues -- take creature special abilities or artifact magic.  It seems like that's inevitably going to involve some kind of scripts, and at that point, there will have to be a measure of interface with the guts of the game.  It's a lot of work to do that, as Footkerchief mentioned, however, it's a lot of work any way it is done, because the magic/abilities have to have effects/targets/etc. and that'll have to be kept up to date and access various parts of the game, pervasively if the typical variety is allowed.  It's similar to an actual API for the graphics/etc., but I don't think it'd be nearly as difficult to maintain, since there would be a fraction of the options, and it doesn't raise any of the other concerns.  In any case, I'd always wanted to have a game where you can do a variety of magic effects with a lot of freedom, but the more power you have, the more like programming it seems.

Random creature generation is another example.  The forgotten beasts are hard-coded now, but I was considering starting with the random dragons out in the raws.  This would involve scripting again.  I don't know if this is at all similar, in terms of the concerns people are bringing up.  It seems like it's a matter of how central something is to the game.  The ability of some people to build water computers doesn't seem to bother most people, because that's sort of difficult and specialized, whereas presumably a script would be easier to use and would have more applications.


Those are from 2010, so I think the "still" question still has a bit of validity, but I think I'll ask a different question, in its stead, as this has kept coming up and bothering me...

Toady, what exactly is the source of your recalcitrance over very basic scripting uses in the game?  Is it simply the term "script"?  Because such a fear of a definition seems very strange when the raws, macros, embark profiles, worldgen parameters, and many other things that the player has to interface with to play the game already are scripts.  I just don't see how making the scripting language that the Raws already are into having slightly more functionality will make them somehow bad, especially since they are already completely opaque to most players, due mostly to the fact that the raws aren't making enough use of scripts and templates to reduce the copy-pasted walls of text.

Is there some fear that scripts are not intuitive enough?  Because macros are pretty darn easy, and you can make full-text Mad Libs style scripts (Or even full graphic interface ones where you use colored blocks to build code like legos) that children are capable of understanding, and can let anyone with absolutely no knowledge of programming tell a dwarf, "If you run out of strawberry wine, don't complain to me about it, just go brew another batch!"


It makes me tear my hair out to see a game this complex, where everything has to be micromanaged to a fault because of a crippling phobia of AI, interface, and players orchestrating abstract, top-down control over the course of the game.

When brain-dead games like Final Fantasy XII let you fully script your character actions, while Dwarf Fortress shies away from that same thing because it's "too complicated for people", the world is over.
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Caldfir

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #228 on: February 26, 2012, 04:22:59 pm »

I think its less that he's afraid of introducing a scripting language, and more that he hasn't gotten around to planning it out.  I can understand wanting to flesh out the system (develop the RAW format for interactions etc) before attempting to develop the scripting language meant to control it. 

It's a question of when, not if, Toady plans to implement user-defined randomized creatures. 
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thvaz

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #229 on: February 26, 2012, 04:46:57 pm »

Beware, Angry Internet Nerd in the area!
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Footkerchief

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #230 on: February 26, 2012, 05:11:00 pm »

Beware, Angry Internet Nerd in the area!

Calls to mind fan-isms of yore like "The interface is literally a form of abuse and it pains me to see it inflicted upon people."
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Heph

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #231 on: February 26, 2012, 05:45:41 pm »

The problem with scripting is that it makes modding inaccessible for the vast majority of the community i guess. The raws as they are right now are nice and (moderatly) simple so everybody can make and maintain a mod.

As far as actual ingame scripting goes *shrugs* but i guess here are the programmers and coders in the community at a certain advantage. I myself think the game should be enjoyable for everyone without such crutches but then again i would also like to see scripting too. Finding the right path between those poles is the crucial thing.

Also scripts can be damn slow respecktive the scriptengine could slow the game down to a crawl ...
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #232 on: February 26, 2012, 05:46:37 pm »

Every time the term "script" comes up, people throw it around like it means something too terribly complex for ordinary humans to handle.  Scripting can be made incredibly intuitive, to the point of making it like simply speaking a sentence.  (Although I highly doubt anything DF vanilla will ever be anything considered "intuitive".) 

It's not even difficult, provided one goes into the project with the proper frame of mind, and approaches the subject with the game design direction of creating a completely high-level abstract interface with coding that makes reasonable assumptions about user intent. 

Final Fantasy XII, for example, just lets you set "(Cast Life) on (Any Ally)", and assumes it only means on valid targets, and if set to priority 1, means your character's highest priority is reviving dead allies.  That's not just something a child can figure out, it's something that a great many children actually use.

This should be the easy, obvious stuff you do before you push an absurdly micromanagement-heavy interface upon your players.  It's not complicated in the least, wouldn't take nearly as much time as vampires or interactions, and would be far more valuable to the actual game.

Standing production orders has been second place in the list of player demands since the Eternal Suggestions has been going in 2008.  It was suggested before then, as well.  Toady has yet to start work on any of those ESV suggestions, and from the looks of things, it'll probably be another 10 years before he even starts adding the basic needed-to-play-the-game functionality requests because he will always be finding some new random code that simulates the leaf size growth rates of saplings that will become a higher priority than making any of the data visible information to the player. 



... and besides, your fanboy-blindness-induced defensive rants when people raise legitimate complaints puts you in a bit of a glass house when it comes to "Internet RAGE", thvaz.
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Footkerchief

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #233 on: February 26, 2012, 05:54:09 pm »

Toady has yet to start work on any of those ESV suggestions, and from the looks of things, it'll probably be another 10 years before he even starts adding the basic needed-to-play-the-game functionality requests because he will always be finding some new random code that simulates the leaf size growth rates of saplings that will become a higher priority than making any of the data visible information to the player. 

That's not how the voice of reason works.
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thvaz

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #234 on: February 26, 2012, 05:55:04 pm »

... and besides, your fanboy-blindness-induced defensive rants when people raise legitimate complaints puts you in a bit of a glass house when it comes to "Internet RAGE", thvaz.

It is not about what you wrote, but how you wrote it. Chill and relax.
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jellsprout

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #235 on: February 26, 2012, 06:10:01 pm »

The problem is that all that will take up an entire arc to set up and an entirely new version. It is not something Toady can simply do when he's got a few minutes to spare. I imagine Toady doesn't really look forward to spending a year working on stuff that essentially adds nothing new to the core game.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #236 on: February 26, 2012, 06:21:16 pm »

That's not how the voice of reason works.

Nor is this:

Beware, Angry Internet Nerd in the area!

Calls to mind fan-isms of yore like "The interface is literally a form of abuse and it pains me to see it inflicted upon people."

You can throw around spurious inferences to people trying to commit intellectual property theft at anyone you don't like with all the blind arrogance you can muster, but if you were as smart and aware as you think you are, you'd realize by now the real threat to DF is not the next Khazad, but the next Minecraft. 

Toady is down to what, a feature release per year, now? 

How much longer do you think players will wait for fixes, especially when things started getting pretty ugly in 2011 after all the things still unfixed from 31.01?

Meanwhile, games that take inspiration from DF pop up like weeds, and no, they aren't stealing or just outright clones, but games that have ideas of their own, and ideas that they merely take from inspiration from DF.  (And DF itself took obvious inspiration from the likes of Roguelikes and Lord of the Rings.)

The game that will bury Dwarf Fortress will not be made stealing its code, it will be made by using some elements inspired by DF with a design philosophy present from the start that DF has never had.  DF has always been about a stack of individual ideas that have never been tied together by any coherent philosophy (which is why it hops from being realism to steampunk to high fantasy in the eyes of its players), and you can't add one by copy-pasting code. 

There was never a need for Minecraft to steal code out of Dwarf Fortress, and the notion that people can have something to say about a game, or even if they "want to be a lead developer one day" is not the insult you clearly think it is. 

So don't you dare continuously cart out these same Khazad accusations every time someone raises a complaint about DF.


EDIT: For clarity, after the fight died down:
I am not mad at Toady in this, I am mad about the notion that Khazad can somehow be used as a ready all-purpose weapon against anyone with complaints about the game, especially the interface, as though we are all "traitors and thieves" Footkerchief has to keep in line.  The notion that somehow, having ideas or wanting to someday be a game developer yourself is an insult you can level against people, as with this:
This community (presumably due to the many programmers) has a history of making the leap from "I wish the game was this way" to "I want to be the head developer of a DF-like game."
It is something I find deeply offensive.

In spite of that, this clearly was an improper place and time to vent such a grievance, and for that, I was clearly in the wrong.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 10:55:44 am by NW_Kohaku »
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
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thvaz

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #237 on: February 26, 2012, 06:44:05 pm »

-rant-

There is just one thing Toady can do about another game threatening DF, and it is selling the game to a publisher/getting a team/open sourcing the game, things he already said he will never do, because it will take out from him everything he likes about the project. So, if he doesn't care, why should you?

Do your suggestions, report bugs, point errors, criticize bad moves but remember that you aren't talking with an uncaring PR of a big company, Toady is just a guy. There is no need to get angry.
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tfaal

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #238 on: February 26, 2012, 08:22:23 pm »

It's good to bear in mind that Toady is not a professional game designer, and not subject to professional standards; he is an extremely industrious amateur who publishes his work on the internet, and does not need a job by virtue of people throwing money at him. It's his prerogative to develop the game in whatever manner he feels fit, no matter how unorthodox. It's not like featurecreep is a recent trend either. We all knew what we were getting into when we started playing this game.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 08:25:50 pm by tfaal »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #239 on: February 26, 2012, 09:19:39 pm »

There is just one thing Toady can do about another game threatening DF, and it is selling the game to a publisher/getting a team/open sourcing the game, things he already said he will never do, because it will take out from him everything he likes about the project. So, if he doesn't care, why should you?

To say that Toady is absolutely helpless as to where Dwarf Fortress will go as a project is simply false.  He has absolute creative control over this, as you, yourself are quick to remind people.

However, decisions have consequences.  He chooses whether or not to prioritize one thing or another, and those choices impact his players, and his players will impact him, whether that is by donation or leaving.

THAT is how DF competes against other games - by offering things that other games don't, and preferably in a way that doesn't involve flaws that bury the good.

And it's not Toady I'm mad at.  It's the dismissal of the frustration without consideration, not by Toady, but by "Toady's Elite Bodyguard" of the community.

It's good to bear in mind that Toady is not a professional game designer, and not subject to professional standards; he is an extremely industrious amateur who publishes his work on the internet, and does not need a job by virtue of people throwing money at him. It's his prerogative to develop the game in whatever manner he feels fit, no matter how unorthodox. It's not like featurecreep is a recent trend either. We all knew what we were getting into when we started playing this game.

As long as Toady makes his living off this, it is a job.  And when Toady took money specifically in exchange for providing a service to the people who gave him money, he was creating, and later fulfilling, a contract

You can treat it like a quirky performance art project, but as long as players are too low a priority, they will become upset players, and eventually, they will be players (and payers) no more. 

When the game starts tracking eyelash hair growth, in a way that is never displayable to the player or interactable with any other feature in the game, or when not even Toady notices that attributes rust without ever having growth outside the military until players literally have to memory-hack the data to even be able to see it, then things have stopped being "added features of the game", and simply started to become data added for the sheer sake of adding data. 

What is the purpose of data nobody, not even the code's creator can see? 

The signal-to-noise ratio is dropping. 

The meaningless junk data this game generates in areas like worldgen (with millions of meaningless rampages that result in no real difference) overwhelm any actual meaningful information, and even the ability of third-party software to try to search for and salvage the information is stretched.  A simulation that produces data that can never be seen in any meaningful format or tested is a waste.

It is a sign that Toady has gone beyond even trying to create a simulation, much less a game, and is simply performance art done for the mere thought that it had been done, not for any actual purpose.  He is completely losing sight of the forest growing sideways through the cliffs for the attempts to measure the growth rate of the bark on the trees.  Toady can't be an island totally unto himself, he has to interact with the players if he expects to have people interact with him.

I'm not even saying he has to do something he wasn't already planning on doing - I'm just saying keep some perspective that there is no point in data players can't even see.  The idea that somehow, a player will have to have a way to see and care about this should be in his mind somewhere before he adds something to the game, and if it doesn't, then it's probably not as high a priority as the crashes or the gaping holes in the way the player can see or interact with the data in the game.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 11:44:53 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
The Economy isn't like a big truck.  It's more like a series of rubes.

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