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Author Topic: What turns you off about DF?  (Read 142489 times)

Saiko Kila

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1920 on: August 15, 2018, 04:54:48 pm »

One thing which makes me angry is that the useless things which are sold to the caravans are apparently tracked. Personally I think that they should be wiped, or mostly wiped, both for performance and for sanity.
The economy arc will need tracking even useless items. What's the point of removing a system only to readd it later?

Simple - to do it correctly. Economy was disabled because it was hopelessly broken. I doubt that tracking in current form will be still feasible for new economy. Actually, I'm sure it won't because of performance issues.

Also tracking thing like food stacks or arrows won't be really needed...
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malvado

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1921 on: August 15, 2018, 05:35:02 pm »

More specifically, what problems did you have before learning the ropes of the game?  We figure we are losing 90% of the players because of the UI and other barriers, and that doesn’t even count the ones scared away by the ASCII graphics.  Now, this doesn’t mean we are about abandon the rest of the game to start the presentation arc.  It is just as important to have endless monster attacks from the underground, and challenging sieges. 

What do you think is scaring people away?  The building placement?  Designations?  The embark screen?  Or maybe its finding the right tile sets and setting them up.  We are hoping at some point to build easier commands and tutorials to help bring in more players.  We have to identify the main culprits first.  So what is frustrating you the most about Dwarf Fortress?

My opinion :

1 : Performance issues, even with an ok 8 Core cpu you will get lower performance once the population and items reaches certain numbers. There's been improvements, but the added content and other things seems to also contribute again on lower performance.

2 : GUI , Personally I have problems with the ASCII interfase (graphics, how units looks etc etc ), mainly due to damage to parts of my brain so I need to have a more Graphical type of GUI and of course the visuals of the rest of the game.

3 : And to be honest it takes a bit too long between each updates, yes, a lot of good work is done, but when you are wandering around with a bug that stops your good experience you will just give up. If more time is spent on bug fixing making the game more playable between each release I'd bet more people would stay and donate.

So for me personally : Improve performance on all system and use the several cores of modern cpu's in a better way than just relying on 1 core, make the GUI and ingame graphics easier to choose and manage for new users and focus more on shorter time between releases and more bug fixing.
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thvaz

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1922 on: August 15, 2018, 07:02:25 pm »

The growing distance between the developers and the community, the lack of serious bugfixing in the latest updates and I am getting old.
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KittyTac

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1923 on: August 15, 2018, 09:25:47 pm »

More specifically, what problems did you have before learning the ropes of the game?  We figure we are losing 90% of the players because of the UI and other barriers, and that doesn’t even count the ones scared away by the ASCII graphics.  Now, this doesn’t mean we are about abandon the rest of the game to start the presentation arc.  It is just as important to have endless monster attacks from the underground, and challenging sieges. 

What do you think is scaring people away?  The building placement?  Designations?  The embark screen?  Or maybe its finding the right tile sets and setting them up.  We are hoping at some point to build easier commands and tutorials to help bring in more players.  We have to identify the main culprits first.  So what is frustrating you the most about Dwarf Fortress?

My opinion :

1 : Performance issues, even with an ok 8 Core cpu you will get lower performance once the population and items reaches certain numbers. There's been improvements, but the added content and other things seems to also contribute again on lower performance.

2 : GUI , Personally I have problems with the ASCII interfase (graphics, how units looks etc etc ), mainly due to damage to parts of my brain so I need to have a more Graphical type of GUI and of course the visuals of the rest of the game.

3 : And to be honest it takes a bit too long between each updates, yes, a lot of good work is done, but when you are wandering around with a bug that stops your good experience you will just give up. If more time is spent on bug fixing making the game more playable between each release I'd bet more people would stay and donate.

So for me personally : Improve performance on all system and use the several cores of modern cpu's in a better way than just relying on 1 core, make the GUI and ingame graphics easier to choose and manage for new users and focus more on shorter time between releases and more bug fixing.
1: Wait until Toady optimizes stuff. It won't involve multithreading, though, because it would soak up 2 years without new features.

2: Get a graphics pack.

3: Not as important as new features, in both my and Toady's opinion.

The growing distance between the developers and the community, the lack of serious bugfixing in the latest updates and I am getting old.
The modern DF design philosophy is "Features should be added as efficiently as possible. Community interaction and bugfixing are secondary."

I agree with it, actually.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 09:30:27 pm by KittyTac »
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malvado

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1924 on: August 16, 2018, 03:40:40 pm »


1: Wait until Toady optimizes stuff. It won't involve multithreading, though, because it would soak up 2 years without new features.

2: Get a graphics pack.

3: Not as important as new features, in both my and Toady's opinion.


1 : Well, development can be speed up by actually getting help from other people who knows how to add multithreading to workloads as what you have in Dwarf Fortress, several areas could be done in separate cores, now I'm not an expert here but you could have one core that coordinates world events and temperature effects in the area, one core for handling calculations of certain effects like when units move around, attack, catapults throw things around, water flow , magma flow and so on. It needs to be coordinated yes, but I think ( again not from an expert in this tema) that it could help out in a few situations.

2 : Well, for someone experienced it's not "difficult" to add an graphics pack, but from those that pick up the game, tries it out for the first time and doesnt understand anything and just goes away its a big and important point in case Toady wants to maintain potential players and donators.

3 : Sure, new features are nice, but when the game goes to an halt on a system that picks up some of the bugs or the bugs are game breaking it means the people playing the game and possible donators for future development just goes away. Just check out new games, if they have many bugs people are more unlikely to want to pick them up and buy them...

I used to play this game quite a lot, started around 2009 and donated a few times ( would have done more donations if things actually where fixed on some areas and a few other reasons ) , but lately I've found the game to be less attractive since the same bugs are still there that broke part of my experience.

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Ispil

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1925 on: August 16, 2018, 06:59:22 pm »

Multithreading as a concept can help, yes, but it requires... what I can only really describe as a rewrite of half (if not all) of the entire game to accomplish. It's not like you just have to add a couple of variables here and there- you have to change the fundamental design of how systems of the game interact with each other, and how the game state itself is tracked. For even the simplest implementation, there's a million little gotcha's that result in some of the most obnoxious computing-related bugs that you can imagine. We're talking stuff where you can have a save that will exactly replicate the circumstances of the bug in question, but only half of the time does anything erroneous happen and what actually happens is seemingly random. Apply to a game as complex as DF, and you end up with a million things where you're not even sure if there's a bug responsible or not.

As for "bringing in some experts", the difficult part of multithreading is not that you need to know how multithreading works, but that you need to know how the entire architecture of what you're attempting to design works, and how multithreading works, and how you can mesh the two together. It's either Toady adding it, or Toady spending 2 years teaching some coder every in-and-out of his code to then have that coder spend another 3 redesigning everything to make it work, with effectively no progress on the game itself in that time.


Point is, multithreading is either something you consider right from the beginning, or not at all. That ship has sailed. It is not an issue from a code standpoint- it is an issue with the design of every single facet of the game.
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KittyTac

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1926 on: August 16, 2018, 10:15:39 pm »


1: Wait until Toady optimizes stuff. It won't involve multithreading, though, because it would soak up 2 years without new features.

2: Get a graphics pack.

3: Not as important as new features, in both my and Toady's opinion.


1 : Well, development can be speed up by actually getting help from other people who knows how to add multithreading to workloads as what you have in Dwarf Fortress, several areas could be done in separate cores, now I'm not an expert here but you could have one core that coordinates world events and temperature effects in the area, one core for handling calculations of certain effects like when units move around, attack, catapults throw things around, water flow , magma flow and so on. It needs to be coordinated yes, but I think ( again not from an expert in this tema) that it could help out in a few situations.

2 : Well, for someone experienced it's not "difficult" to add an graphics pack, but from those that pick up the game, tries it out for the first time and doesnt understand anything and just goes away its a big and important point in case Toady wants to maintain potential players and donators.

3 : Sure, new features are nice, but when the game goes to an halt on a system that picks up some of the bugs or the bugs are game breaking it means the people playing the game and possible donators for future development just goes away. Just check out new games, if they have many bugs people are more unlikely to want to pick them up and buy them...

I used to play this game quite a lot, started around 2009 and donated a few times ( would have done more donations if things actually where fixed on some areas and a few other reasons ) , but lately I've found the game to be less attractive since the same bugs are still there that broke part of my experience.
Toady is content with the current player count, it seems like. So no QoL features for now.

The fact that the number of donations is slowly but steadily growing kind of disproves 3. The only thing that matters in DF gamedev is Toady's opinion. DF will always be niche and won't have many mainstream players.
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Rockphed

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1927 on: August 17, 2018, 12:30:15 pm »

As for "bringing in some experts", the difficult part of multithreading is not that you need to know how multithreading works, but that you need to know how the entire architecture of what you're attempting to design works, and how multithreading works, and how you can mesh the two together. It's either Toady adding it, or Toady spending 2 years teaching some coder every in-and-out of his code to then have that coder spend another 3 redesigning everything to make it work, with effectively no progress on the game itself in that time.

As I said at the bottom of the last page, "I also suspect that the basic loop of the game is a horrible spaghetti-code mess that he doesn't want to try to pick apart to make things parallel."  My own experience with parallel processing is entirely offloading large, equivalent operations onto the GPU, which requires significantly more thought than just "make a function call".  Okay, so it ultimately devolves into "make a function call", but there is significant data handling first and you need to make sure that all parallel options have accessed the data before you alter it, otherwise you end up with a random result.  And that is for numerically identical things like blurring a photo.  Dwarves aren't doing identical things on every tick, so you need more of a CPU model than a GPU model (i.e. you need to execute arbitrary code in parallel, rather than executing almost identical code with a couple branches)
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Ispil

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1928 on: August 17, 2018, 01:50:19 pm »

Yep. Especially with each dwarf possibly accessing a shared memory resource (the map) at any given time.
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nickbii

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1929 on: August 17, 2018, 08:14:56 pm »

ToadyOne when hes spoken about it, doesnt believe it will do much for the game.
Well, it's Toady's game. He knows what's good for it.

I suspect that if Toady could split all the lists apart and process each in parallel that the game would experience less slowdown for having tons of objects.  I also suspect that the basic loop of the game is a horrible spaghetti-code mess that he doesn't want to try to pick apart to make things parallel.  I remember Toady once saying that he had an idea of how to do it, but it would take about a year of development and would add 0 features, which he doesn't want to do.  Frankly, I don't blame him.
Multi-threading is a nightmare to add after the fact.

Let's say Processor Core 1 is doing something with a tree. Core 1 is doing temperature, and the  tree's on fire. Processor core 2 is doing pathfinding for a dwarf who is trying to chop the tree down. If both threads are designed properly the dwarf will notice that the tree's on fire and run away. If they're wrong a variety of things could happen. The dwarf may chop down the tree, pick up the log, and walk back to the fort without anything getting set on fire. The Dwarf could get set on fire and not notice (because he's Core 2, and the fire is Core 1). The log may (or may not) be on fire. A lot of shit has to happen in the proper order for the right thing (ie: dwarf notices there's a fire and runs screaming BEFORE he touches the tree) in the right order, and the program was just not designed that way from the ground up.

That's why adding it at this late date would create a multi-year nightmare of re-coding. You just have to redesign literally everything about the game, with the help of someone way more advanced in CompSci than Toady. So Toady not only has to work with this guy, he has to take enough time out of coding new stuff to explain to this guy "that's why I put that code in that part of the game," then the guy has to say "if we move that to the temperature thread what will that break?" and Toady has to respond...

I suspect it would take a full year for Toady just to explain to the new guy how everything was put together, and then they'd have to redesign the code.

Besides, by the time the game's done they'll be at 8 GhZ and DDR7 RAM and a 400-dwarf fortress with an Obsidian generator will hit 100 FPS on a low-end system.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1930 on: August 17, 2018, 08:29:25 pm »

Quote
That's why adding it at this late date would create a multi-year nightmare of re-coding. You just have to redesign literally everything about the game, with the help of someone way more advanced in CompSci than Toady. So Toady not only has to work with this guy, he has to take enough time out of coding new stuff to explain to this guy "that's why I put that code in that part of the game," then the guy has to say "if we move that to the temperature thread what will that break?" and Toady has to respond...
Maybe you're right, and perhaps Toady told you personally, but you are aware that it's possible to learn how to make a multi-threaded program without a computer science degree, right? The guy's been programming (including experiments with multi-threading) for longer than half the forum has been alive.
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nickbii

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1931 on: August 17, 2018, 09:37:36 pm »

Quote
That's why adding it at this late date would create a multi-year nightmare of re-coding. You just have to redesign literally everything about the game, with the help of someone way more advanced in CompSci than Toady. So Toady not only has to work with this guy, he has to take enough time out of coding new stuff to explain to this guy "that's why I put that code in that part of the game," then the guy has to say "if we move that to the temperature thread what will that break?" and Toady has to respond...
Maybe you're right, and perhaps Toady told you personally, but you are aware that it's possible to learn how to make a multi-threaded program without a computer science degree, right? The guy's been programming (including experiments with multi-threading) for longer than half the forum has been alive.
Multithreading is one of those things that is almost never in a self-taught programer's repertoire. If they do have it, and can do it well, I'd call them extremely advanced in their self-taught CompSci studies.

More importantly it's not currently in Toady's repertoire, so he'd have to teach it to himself.

And to do that he'd need to write a bunch of programs that use multithreading before trying it on DF, because applying multithreading to something as intricate as DF is not a begginer-level job, which adds time. And DF's gotta have a very complex codebase, so I suspect that if he left it for three months he'd forget where half the stuff was.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1932 on: Today at 01:15:12 am »

Quote
That's why adding it at this late date would create a multi-year nightmare of re-coding. You just have to redesign literally everything about the game, with the help of someone way more advanced in CompSci than Toady. So Toady not only has to work with this guy, he has to take enough time out of coding new stuff to explain to this guy "that's why I put that code in that part of the game," then the guy has to say "if we move that to the temperature thread what will that break?" and Toady has to respond...
Maybe you're right, and perhaps Toady told you personally, but you are aware that it's possible to learn how to make a multi-threaded program without a computer science degree, right? The guy's been programming (including experiments with multi-threading) for longer than half the forum has been alive.
Multithreading is one of those things that is almost never in a self-taught programer's repertoire. If they do have it, and can do it well, I'd call them extremely advanced in their self-taught CompSci studies.

More importantly it's not currently in Toady's repertoire, so he'd have to teach it to himself.

And to do that he'd need to write a bunch of programs that use multithreading before trying it on DF, because applying multithreading to something as intricate as DF is not a begginer-level job, which adds time. And DF's gotta have a very complex codebase, so I suspect that if he left it for three months he'd forget where half the stuff was.
Well, OK. It seems reasonable to assume all of this is true. I do wonder how you know that none of the side projects Toady works  on use multi-threading, but fair enough, no point pushing this point any more.
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