Thanks to Footkerchief, dreiche2, Putnam, Greiger, MrWiggles, trees, Himmelblau, and anybody I missed for helping with questions not included below.
I wonder if there will be some way to construct a sorting yard, i.e. a reasonably compact area which accepts carts from multiple incoming lines, and dispatches to multiple outgoing ones based on their contents (or potentially some kind of a travel plan assigned at the source point) by the manual labor of a shunter dwarf?
Aside from weight, I don't think so (though you all are better at this stuff than I am). We'll be able to add more conditions and so on as things come up. It wouldn't be too much work to add a sort of advanced condition setting to a given stop, but handling a bunch of vehicles on the same line is a larger issue we haven't tackled at all.
What effect, if any, will craft quality have on a minecart? Will a mastercraft minecart move faster/carry more/hit harder? Will a dwarf pushing a high quality minecart get a happy thought from it?
It doesn't matter at all right now.
(regarding track designation size) Is N limited to a small number?
You can designate across the entire map as long as it is a vertical or horizontal line.
What happens to the contents of a cart when a cart crashes? Would they be flung all over the place or would they stay inside the cart? Would this be different if the contents were 15 shoes or a dwarf? Also, do carts take damage after wrecks and collisions? Will it be possible to repair damaged carts?
Nothing happens at this point.
What items will be required in the construction of a "roller?"
It takes a mechanism for every 4 tiles and 1 rope/chain overall.
What would happen if a moving cart hits a roller pointing perpendicular to its pathway? Does it aquire a diagonal velocity? Does it just slow down, possibly turning if it's slow enough? Does it instantly stop moving foreward to go in the new direction? Does it just derail then and there?
I haven't tried it, but I think it'll go diagonal and end up off the track.
Can we set the rollers to use a particular force? Just like we can set a variable weight sensitivity to pressure plates?
Not at this point. That might change.
Will it ever be important to see carts or anything else fly in parabolae? 3d visualizers are cool utilities, but part of what makes DF different from Minecraft or Real-Time Strategy is the ASCII graphics (or primitive substitute of the same layout).
Can minecarts crash into the ceiling if sent rapidly off a ramp in a cave only one storey high (at any given point; obviously above and below the ramp the ceiling is a level higher/lower just as the floor is)?
Do you mean being able to see the whole path at once? It'll matter the most for adventure projectiles and siege engines when we get to those, because of obstacles and things like that. The overall annoyance is part of why I haven't started in on those yet.
They hit the ceiling but they'll recover if they land back on tracks. That might not remain true depending on the nature of the collision.
Will we be able to have 1-way stops? So could you have a stop that allowed carts coming from 1 direction to shoot through without being stopped or slowed, but carts from another to be stopped and need to be started again? (Potentially in a different direction?)
The track stop construction applies friction no matter what. A designated stop on a route with a dwarf guiding the cart can stop it one way and not the other.
- Could track-tiles be made unfavourable for pathing dwarves by default?
Toady, could you please make tracks to be automatically designated as a low traffic zone? (So we don't have to do it manually).
Yeah, it'll set the traffic setting for you.
What symbols are you thinking of using for rollers and stops?
Will carts 'bounce' off dead-ends at walls, or will they just stop?
Rollers go between single and double lines perpendicular to the movement direction. Stops are an inverted triple line.
They just stop.
If buildings can be placed on tracks, does that mean you can designate stockpiles on tracks? If so, what happens to the items on the track when a minecart barrels through?
It doesn't care about items in the track. I'm not sure it ever will, since that might get too annoying to care for.
how much have you found that these tracks affect your fortress design? Everyone seems to be assuming that it's a huge change, comparable to the shift from 2D to 3D, but is it really? Or is pure dwarven muscle power still the simplest way to haul goods around?
I haven't had a chance to do more than test each of the features out, so I'm really not sure. Now that we are to the mining changes, we might see dwarven muscle power rendered useless in some cases.
What happens if you set a cart to free-roll to its destination but it runs out of momentum? Does a dwarf go collect it (at the players orders or automatically)?
Yeah, a dwarf will grab it and move it to the next stop, as with the original track placement.
if bridges can serve the same purpose as tracks, can they be used to redirect cart flow?
Yeah, some of the diagrams I've seen of this would work (where a retractable bridge is placed over a corner for example).
How many barrels/bins can a single cart carry?
To expand on this, in what terms is a cart's capacity expressed? Is it total volume of items carried, total mass of items carried, number of items, or something else?
How much stone can go in one cart? It's currently possible to put a whole mountain of stone into a single tile. Will it be possible to load a cart with so much material that it obliterates everything it touches even while moving slowly?
I'm going to homogenize the sizes once I get through the mining changes. As it stands, way too many. The conditions are based on % of volume taken up in the cart, but it's more or less just to have it sent along after a while if it is halfway full instead of waiting. Numbers have the trickiness of bins and how that's interpreted, and mass is less reliable than volume since it depends on material. Volume has the disadvantage of not being displayed anywhere, not being as game-related as the number and not being implemented consistently. Hopefully I'll have the third part more or less sorted out before the release.
What happens if a hauler loads & launches a cart with orders to ride on it if its route passes out of his/her burrow?
They won't take the job if the designated start and ending stops of the guide/ride aren't in the route.
I assume the current system of powered rails and friction rails are just placeholders until improved mechanisms where they will be replaced with a proper mechanical system. Am I correct in assuming this?
Is there any advantage to using wood or metal rails as opposed to carved rails other then being able to build on constructed floors.
I don't think rollers and track stops are utterly unreasonable. New stuff will continue to be added, but I'm not sure these things will be replaced. Like I said before, I'm not an engineer and don't have any knowledge of what would be proper.
It doesn't matter yet. It'd either be that metal > wood > carved in the friction category, or something to do with maintenance. Might not get to any of that this time.
I know the contents of cages become invulnerable, will this be true of mine carts? More specifically, if I drowned a magma safe cart in a pool of magma, will it set the contents on fire/melt them down?
It's the same as everything else right now.
Will it be possible to strap a POW into the cart against his/her/its will and send it down the tracks with the cart? I assume this job will require ropes or chains to prevent the prisoner from simply bailing and running off into the sunset.
We'd considered the ability to tie people up and place them places, since that comes up with tracks, but ended up not having done it up to this point.
Will we be able to remove carved tracks?
Yeah, smoothing the floor removes them.
Will we be able to designate specific carts for specific dwarves or will it only be a first come first served basis?
It works like a haul job right now, but there aren't specific settings aside from which dwarves have "haul vehicle" in which burrows.
Toady, could you verify these quickly please?
Parallel tracks can be adjacent.
Long tracks: there is no maximum, and you can join dead ends by carving over them.
Turns: yeah, you need to overlap.
T-junction: yeah, that's all correct as I understand it.
Under which of the following circumstances will a dwarf 'bail out' of a cart, if at all?
They'll leave when the cart stops, or if they dodge out of it.
Will dwarves be able to shoot from minecarts? Your last post brought to mind that if squads can be activated mid-minecart ride, crossbow dwarves with ammo on them could be use for dwarven drive-by shootings. Would a squad unit jump out of the cart as soon as it was activated though? How does minecart interaction differ between haulers and military units (if at all)?
It's difficult to get an armed squad into a cart right now. Nothing will stop them from shooting if you can manage to do it. They won't jump out of the cart until it is safe. In general, I haven't set up an interface to ride squads or random citizen groups around in carts. The haulers can ride them, but it isn't a full passenger service. That could happen at some point, but there are things to think through.
What does a dwarf need to hitch a ride on a cart? One grasp? Two? Legs?
Following up on this question, will paraplegic dwarves who cannot walk use minecarts to get around? Do you think this might lead into the future-planned mechanical augmentations?
I'm not sure about the injuries, but probably whatever a hauler needs. There isn't any special AI associated to the carts for moving around injured passengers.
I would like to know if we will be able to fill a minecart with items, launch it down a ramp, and then throw it at goblins and expect the items in the minecart to spread, hit and possibly damage creatures, like the item was thrown ?
It doesn't do interesting things with the contents at this point, but that's something we thought we'd get to, around the time we resolve the liquid question.
Since you are allowing fort mode dwarves to ride carts, does that mean that adventurers will be able to ride carts too in this version, or soon after?
Yeah, you can jump in a cart and push it off in a direction, or just push it.
So how will falling in a minecart be implemented? Can a dwarf survive a 7 z-level fall unharmed because he was in a minecart ?
Does landing on a ramp mitigate fall damage or decrease the likelihood of projecting cart contents everywhere? Can we make Dwarven Evel Knievel jumps, where launching from a ramp and landing on a ramp is a perfectly smooth landing and you can just keep going?
It's a safety happy area at this point. I'm not sure where it'll be once items start coming out of carts.
What text editor do you prefer to use when developing/writing raws?
I just use note/wordpad, whatever doesn't mess up the formatting (which seems to depend on the file for me).
Will we be able to launch minecarts via the bridge-a-pult?
They will launch, but they won't be reliably directed (as usual).
If tracks will need to be laid out in lines, will constructed rails function tilewise like walls and floors, or will they work more like axles and bridges?
They are like constructed floors/ramps.
If hauling rocks by hand is made harder now that minecarts are in, will hauling rocks on stairs going down be easier than going up? Or will wheelbarrows be usable on stairs for hauling rocks?
I don't think there will be hard restrictions, since that messes with pathfinding. It might take a long time to drag the wheelbarrow up the stairs though. We're going to have to mess with it and see what works.
(regarding parabolas) Does this apply to units sent flying by weapon hits?
Yeah, though they pretty much fly straight back and possibly skid one or more times.
Given that you are in this part of the code, is addressing this "sent flying" bug possible? http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=344
The current state of things is that knockback is inconsistent between its various causes. A bronze colossus can throw a dwarf (using a wrestling move) ~192 tiles (and exploding him against a wall), whereas the colossus can only kick the dwarf back 2 tiles. The same colossus holding a platinum mace can only send a kea flying 2 tiles, and anything larger can't be sent flying at all with the mace.
There have been some changes here, of things I noticed when I was putting the arcs into combat, but I don't think it has all been fixed.
Reworking the catapults to fire with parabolic arcs - not to mention using the new impact code - feels like a real low hanging fruit at this point. Will any work be done to them?
will the implementation of object collisions (with minecarts) also be used to update siege engine projectiles? I mean, so that giant catapult boulders will send people flying or smash them into a pulp when they hit, instead of just bouncing off of their armor?
Nope. It's the same roughly as the targeting in adventure mode, since they need to hit their targets. When I feel like doing the targeting, I might end up doing both of those at once.
What happens if a Minecart runs into a bronze golem or a giant?
Kinda curious if its also calculating in the mass of the colliding object.
Will it be possible to transport magma/water in minecarts?
Yeah, the collision should not send a heavy unit flying. The combat strike portion of it acts like combat.
Liquid transport is still up in the air. They go into the cart, but they aren't dumpable and they won't continue to go into carts if we don't add some kind of dumping. Adding dumping depends on time/side issues.
Will we be able to hook animals to minecarts, and have them pull them along? Or have dwarves PULL (as opposed to push) minecarts at all?
Will we be able to put any items in minecarts? Possibly including live animals?
Will we be able to make splits in the tracks, and send carts in different directions?
There is no hooking animals and no pulling.
You can put whatever stockpile item in a cart. That'll include animal cages.
With a lever? You can do it with a retractable bridge, but we'd like something more proper at some point.
Will dodging minecarts train dodging?
Yeah. It is a dodge roll vs. the speed of the cart, roughly.
Will a one tile wide tunnel prevent a cart from derailing?
What tile do minecarts use?
They use an inverted 254 block, I think. It's settable in the tool raws.
What happens to a magma filled minecart that passes under a waterfall? Does the minecart break? If obsidian is formed, can it be removed from the minecart?
Nothing happens at this point.
Are there plans to attach pond filling to cart-available actions?
Put a loop of rail in to connect a cistern with a rail line running through it with a pond you want to keep full? Allow the cart to move through the water to fill, then dump water in the pond?
Can this be implemented with Magma for Magma ponds? *grin*
I'm not sure how liquids are going to turn out. If you can dump it in a direction once it presumably has a liquid from earlier in the route, that would work, but there's no such dumping order yet.
Will it be possible to water farms using minecarts via some kind of pond-like mechanism?
I haven't done anything with liquid dumping at this point. It's one of the few remaining items to consider, and I'm not sure what's going to happen.
Can the mine carts be fully automated, or do you still need a dwarf to push the cart off the stop?
I'm not up on all the mechanical things people have been doing, but as it stands I don't think it would understand which stop you wanted the cart to be in if you kick the cart out by unconventional means. I could have it try to guess based on where it ends up. In general, you'd need some kind of timing mechanism to keep the cart at the designated stop for whatever period of time you want it to interact with its piles etc., and you'd need something to kick it out. You could either tune the friction well before the roller it stops on, or use a normal stop and a second cart to boot it and then roll it out of the way or something. Or have it stop on ramps down blocked by gates until you power it back to the top. Lots of ways I guess, but not much support from the hauling stops to let it know what it should be doing.
Now that site continuation after worldgen is being considered, could we get a glimpse into your thoughts on how you are going to implement it? Are you considering something involving an actual continuation of worldgen where cities can expand their walls and wars are waged, or something simpler like checking population, available jobs, need for food, etc. and then recalculating population and goods every year?
We'd eventually like to get everything from world gen and more going on in play, but it'll be an incremental process. The remaining caravan arc releases are in part an expansion in play of the simple trades going on in world gen, and the army stuff is similar.
Are there cases where a busy dwarf will be considered a better job recipient than an idle dwarf? How have you handled this so far?
It doesn't do anything with that. There are plenty of times when job poaching etc. would be a good idea, but it's probably mostly a hard problem. I haven't thought about it much.