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Author Topic: "Tavern-like" Academies  (Read 11401 times)

Niddhoger

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2015, 09:20:45 pm »

Toady has floated around hte idea of negative modifiers- as in dorfs so unskilled they can't even make the basic product right.  Books can either give the dorf enough skill levels to remove the negative quality chance (first 1-3?), or give dorfs a bonus to exp gained that would shorten the time they spend in the "Urist McDerp" phase.  Not sure if the game can process EXP modifiers on skills though (so gain at double the rate up until you reach the cap of hte book).  So a "Proficient Masonry for Dummies" would only give bonus exp until they reached proficiency in Masonry.  Legendary skill-tomes could exist, but they would probably need to be very rare/only created during world gen or from a strange mood.  Heh... Macabre mood from a scholar turns a legendary weaponsmith into a leather and bone bound Legendary weaponsmithing tome XD
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2015, 09:38:38 pm »

I think I'm going to come off as stupid here, (I have an [is_stupid] tag) but...

How does a semi-independent (semi independent, as in, run by its own members, but uses fortress resources and has its own space.) academy not interact with other mechanics? The whole personality thing was about mashing piles of mechanics together. And tuition caused interactions with a hypothetical economy (a broken one though. that's an entire other can of worms that we're going to solder closed for now.)

Also, that Errant signal video seems to be more about how games like to manipulate the physical world with easy to formalize spacial relationships, and have difficulty with abstract concepts like conversation, emotion and Calvinball. What does that have to do with an academy of 14 dwarves and 1 hippy sharing a forge with a local weaponsmith with a thing for barrels?

Sure, with the Academy needing rooms, space isn't shared. Does forcing students to dine in a communal fortress mead hall "add depth?" does making them use oft-used communal carpentry workshops "make the world come alive?

What you're stating with bare bones academies with a dwarf simply showing a few local elves the works of carpentry, that's just a few apprenticeships, not an academy. And Apprenticeships are quite nice, too. I think academies should grow out of apprenticeships.

Toady has floated around hte idea of negative modifiers- as in dorfs so unskilled they can't even make the basic product right.  Books can either give the dorf enough skill levels to remove the negative quality chance (first 1-3?), or give dorfs a bonus to exp gained that would shorten the time they spend in the "Urist McDerp" phase.  Not sure if the game can process EXP modifiers on skills though (so gain at double the rate up until you reach the cap of hte book).  So a "Proficient Masonry for Dummies" would only give bonus exp until they reached proficiency in Masonry.  Legendary skill-tomes could exist, but they would probably need to be very rare/only created during world gen or from a strange mood.  Heh... Macabre mood from a scholar turns a legendary weaponsmith into a leather and bone bound Legendary weaponsmithing tome XD

You just posted that as I was typing, again, E (book allows to masonry) and C (book enhances your understanding of masonry, up to a certain point.)

But exp modifiers would be a good way to handle books, so you can't become a master kicker just by reading an old tome made by a drunk dwarf with more fighting experience from bar brawls than most soldiers see in three lifetimes.

I've also read alot on masonry lately, but that doesn't make me a better mason if I have never used a chisel on a rock in my life.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 09:51:45 pm by Alfrodo »
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2015, 09:50:08 pm »

Actually, I find that DF has oftentimes much more simple mechanics than most people give it credit for.  There isn't really any math in this game besides basic addition, subtraction, and a little multiplication.  Almost everything is integers.  Things like hunger to eyelash growth are just incrementing every round.  It relies upon things like A* and perlin noise at the more complex, which generally are well-documented and well-understood mechanics.  You can basically boil the "game" part down to fulfilling the three S's, as well: Survival, Sustainability, and Stability.  (That is, eliminating military threats, replacing consumable items that satisfy needs, and preventing tantrums.)

What makes it complex are the sheer number of systems that overlap one another, and create emergent gameplay mechanics.  (Well, that and the severely obtuse interface, which make understanding what happens far more difficult, and therefore more apparently complex.)  Hence, I try to focus upon pushing ideas towards that which most can interfere with other mechanics, and create more emergent gameplay.  Complex self-contained mechanics tend not to allow for emergent behavior, while the simple reliance upon a shared physical space tends to itself tremendously foster emergent behavior.  This Errant Signal video, which is nominally on violence, covers topics of why physical space in games is the most powerful tool a game has for creating deep gameplay, especially emergently. 

In any event, I don't mean to be harsh, but I wanted to challenge what it was, precisely, you were after in this suggestion.  Abstract ideas are soft and amorphous, and can grow detailed and far more intricate with a little challenging.

If I read your response correctly, however, and what you're really after is the simple act of having a mostly-independent organization within your fortress, and the notions of training and academies are merely vehicles for that end goal, I'd again suggest you look at the way that I was suggesting social/religious/government structures behave within the Class Warfare thread. 

(Of course, my personal goal of that was specifically to shift the focus of a developed fortress into managing internal social stresses while simultaniously abstracting away player control of the more mundane micromanagement as gameplay went on, rather than independent entities for their own sake. In fact, of all things, Class Warfare started as a thread about adding ceramics/kilns to the game, and then realizing that, without changes to the economy, there would be little to no value in luxury goods like porcelain to justify the difficulty of properly implementing the higher degree of difficulty the Chinese actually had in firing kaoline.  Incremental pushes to improve an initial idea can eventually lead to strange places...)

In any event, what are these other role-playing scenarios you want players to wind up landing upon? If you begin from the goal, it's not hard to reverse-engineer the path it takes to get yourself to a starting point.

Well, if the focus of this thread really changes completely to "independent organizations", I may as well start a thread with a different premise to discuss this issue. I'm not entirely sure if I understand where you want me to go from here. I've given you the wizard example, and the example of wealthy influential people comming to your fortress.

These are thoughts that came up when I listened to the last DF talk, when they talked about ending the v-p-l system for some classes of dwarves, which is a fascinating approach to a game like dwarf fortress. Having read a few threads with people discussing the subject, I see that some people don't like the idea of losing even more control over their dwarves, but I personally enjoy the concept. 

And yeah, for a lot of these things we're discussing here to work (especially for currently practically useless vanity-industries like beekeeping and ceramics), a function economy that works out supply and demmand and properly raise or lower the price of products should be in place. I have no idea if Toady will be able to or have the interest to develop an economic system like this.
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2015, 09:59:49 pm »

Quote
These are thoughts that came up when I listened to the last DF talk, when they talked about ending the v-p-l system for some classes of dwarves, which is a fascinating approach to a game like dwarf fortress. Having read a few threads with people discussing the subject, I see that some people don't like the idea of losing even more control over their dwarves, but I personally enjoy the concept.

Another thing with this is, You still remain in control of your headmaster. (like I said earlier, he still performs his regular duties, but allots some time to spend with students.)

And you don't control any "visitor" students anyway! And you can still control your citizen students, they'll just have some class priorities, so your stonecrafter might drop making *<<*pitchblende mugs*>>* for a little bit to attend an bone-doctor course.

So, basically, if you allow an academy (we talked about this earlier, you have control of what academies are established in your fort.)

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2015, 10:00:43 pm »



What you're stating with bare bones academies with a dwarf simply showing a few local elves the works of carpentry, that's just a few apprenticeships, not an academy. And Apprenticeships are quite nice, too. I think academies should grow out of apprenticeships.


I think that a dwarf showing a group of elves works of carpentry would be like showing works of mutilating human carcasses in a school classroom full of middle schoolers: they would be horrified. Sounds fun.
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2015, 10:04:00 pm »

Another thing with this is, You still remain in control of your headmaster. (like I said earlier, he still performs his regular duties, but allots some time to spend with students.)

And you don't control any "visitor" students anyway! And you can still control your citizen students, they'll just have some class priorities, so your stonecrafter might drop making *<<*pitchblende mugs*>>* for a little bit to attend an bone-doctor course.

So, basically, if you allow an academy (we talked about this earlier, you have control of what academies are established in your fort.)

I think that's really the main idea here. I just thought that students in academies (especially outsiders) should behave like tavern patrons, in the sense that you'd have less control over them than you would over citizens.

The whole independen academy funded by third parties is a separete idea, although I like the discussion
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2015, 10:05:11 pm »



What you're stating with bare bones academies with a dwarf simply showing a few local elves the works of carpentry, that's just a few apprenticeships, not an academy. And Apprenticeships are quite nice, too. I think academies should grow out of apprenticeships.


I think that a dwarf showing a group of elves works of carpentry would be like showing works of mutilating human carcasses in a school classroom full of middle schoolers: they would be horrified. Sounds fun.

The middle schoolers elves signed up for it too.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2015, 10:57:00 pm »

Seriously, guys?  FIVE ninjas? Write longer posts so I can respond more easily!

How does a semi-independent (semi independent, as in, run by its own members, but uses fortress resources and has its own space.) academy not interact with other mechanics? The whole personality thing was about mashing piles of mechanics together. And tuition caused interactions with a hypothetical economy (a broken one though. that's an entire other can of worms that we're going to solder closed for now.)

Actually, personality, itself, is a problem mechanic, related to the Errant Signal argument, but I'll leave that alone for now...

Semi-independent academies certainly would interact with existing mechanics, but that's not precisely what I'm going after. 

Rather, what I'm talking about is strict definition of what a classroom contains, how it is declared, and how it is used.  If, for example, you can only have a single academy teaching a capped set of topics, (which is the way that many games would handle such things,) such that players were forced to prioritize their "most powerful" teaching topics, forcing players to specify areas for furnishing in a pre-designated way, providing housing within its own compartmentalized space, and sealing it away from player control, you're functionally just creating a new noble housing requirement without having the player directly involved.  This would be worse if we were talking about academies only being available if the fortress were declared an academy fortress from the outset. (Not that anyone is arguing things this strict, it's just the other end of the spectrum.)

Consider what happens with the military, for example.  What if, instead of having a capacity to simply designate squads and training schedules and barracks, you needed to simply build a "workshop" where dwarves stood and gradually gained skills based upon the personality of a militia captain? While it would probably be less buggy, it wouldn't be as rich an experience as the full simulation DF goes through.  Things like archery targets, drills, live-training, and even maybe-exploits like danger rooms, along with the backpacks and waterskins and allowing players to furnish barracks as they see fit make the military of the game more interesting than similar base-management games, which tend to just be stacking up groups of people with top-quality gear and knocking down HP bars with raw attrition. 

Also, that Errant signal video seems to be more about how games like to manipulate the physical world with easy to formalize spacial relationships, and have difficulty with abstract concepts like conversation, emotion and Calvinball. What does that have to do with an academy of 14 dwarves and 1 hippy sharing a forge with a local weaponsmith with a thing for barrels?

Well, abstract concepts like conversation and emotion are already a part of DF, aren't they?  That's part of the problem with personalities... To use an older argument about interface again,
Don't lie to yourself - the way that you see the game now significantly colors the way you actually think about or do things.  Playing the game by Stonesense means caring about things far different from things you care about when you play the game normally.

I'm probably one of the very, very few players who actually builds multiple vertical shafts to compact my fortress vertically, rather than spreading out the fortress in a bunch of huge, clunky rectangle rooms specifically because players only view one floor at a time, and the digging tool favors rectangles.  Central staircase designs are a direct artifact of the current interface. 

If you change that interface, you change the way that players approach the game.  How?  You'll have no idea until after you do it.

We rely almost entirely upon hacks and micromanaged tweaks to make the game work in its current state - if we are ever going to get a game that works properly, Toady needs to start work on understanding how the player should be controlling their dwarves... And right now, Toady really doesn't have an earthly clue.  He can't even give a committal answer on how much autonomy or direct control players even should have over dwarves in general. 

[...]

The case of the eyelashes is an especially egregious case of a fetishism for simulation without practical interface - if nothing in the game interacts with that mechanic, if the player can never see it, if you can't even notice whether that mechanic is even there or not, why, exactly, is it there, eating up memory and processor time every single tick counting down to the next time when the hair will grow another millimeter?  (And it was bugged, and nobody ever even knew it until memory hacks revealed it over a year after it was coded in! Toady never even bothered testing or figuring out a way for anyone else to test it.)

This is the perfect case example of what not thinking about the interface will produce - a perfectly useless mechanic that merely exists to eat processor time.  That's why thinking about the interface at every step along the way is the only practical way to code a game.

Personalities and conversations are seriously problematic because they are invisible to the player under nearly all circumstances.  Especially when you have 100 or 200 dwarves in a fort (plus guests with taverns!) are you REALLY going to keep track of the personalities of any but maybe your most favored dwarves? 

Personalities can cause serious problems, as there was a "bug" people complained vociferously for a while where dwarven nurses/doctors that had specific personality traits (doesn't like helping others) would refuse to treat dwarves.  Many players would (and will) simply wait for a dwarf with good doctor skills to immigrate rather than train one themselves, and if that would-be doctor happens to hate helping people, they'll never do it.  Only, players don't check personalities, so they don't see this as the cause of the problem. 

This is the problem with invisible mechanics - it is totally opaque to players what the problem is, and they will rightfully think it's just a buggy or broken game, rather than recognizing that the behavior is a feature they simply don't understand.  (And honestly, the game IS broken if you can't understand it's mechanics when you are actively trying to understand them...)

By comparison, if you have Fun flooding your fortress because you forgot to plug a hole when building your plumbing, and never built a drain, well, you know EXACTLY how you screwed up immediately, and further, you have just learned how to avoid that problem in the future. 

Worse, conversations are, generally speaking, completely independent of all other mechanics.  They occur based upon physical proximity of two dwarves, and that's it. 

Hence, you have a system where personalities either don't do anything but make up bloat, or you have them confusing players by occasionally making their dwarves take massively detrimental behavior for no apparent reason or way for the player to fix the problem for lack of any good means of interacting with those mechanics other than to just start murdering their own dwarves if their personalities don't fall within pre-defined limits. 

Compare this, again, to something like minecarts, where all the logic behind the carts is physically laid out in front of you on the screen in the form of the tracks they follow.  In fact, the purposes of many megaprojects are simply to make things that normally rely upon unreliable dwarves rely upon much more easily-controlled mechanics.  Minecarts and fluids like magma or mechanisms also interact in obvious, logical, predictable ways.  There is a reason these are the things megaprojects are made of, since these are the things that operate in predictable places, interacting in physical space, and allow the greatest amount of emergent behavior.

So, to go back to your previous idea about headmasters having personalities that make them arbitrarily reject 20% of applicants, but maybe more if they're cruel or something... How does the player see this?  How does the player know that one applicant was accepted because she was a pretty girl, and another was rejected for being an ugly guy if the player isn't constantly hovering over everything that headmaster does? (Because players won't.)  Why would players care, so long as tuition is being paid, and they can't control the operations of the academy directly, anyway? What sorts of systems outside the academy, itself, would be impacted by whether a girl was "pretty" or not?  If players can't tell it's happening, what's the point of it being there at all?

Sure, with the Academy needing rooms, space isn't shared. Does forcing students to dine in a communal fortress mead hall "add depth?" does making them use oft-used communal carpentry workshops "make the world come alive?

It's not like players NEED more money at this point (for a lot of previously mentioned reasons,) so why would they bother with an academy at all if they weren't going to enjoy the act of setting it up? Making a system that works is something players can enjoy for its own sake, so making academies micromanageable like its The Sims or something would make at least a portion of the playerbase happy, while simply setting up a system where you designate an arbitrary section of land for someone else's use for pay merely eats up FPS for cash you could have gotten elsewhere, anyway.

If there's something wrong with letting those students eat at the communal dining hall, make there be some sort of emergent gameplay reason it's the wrong answer.  There are threads talking about making tavern guests security threats, for example.  Wouldn't THAT be a far more interesting reason to make sure that guest students are segregated from the general population, without forcing it arbitrarily upon the player? It asks players to engineer their own solution to the problem, rather than solve the problem for the player.  (And players can come up with emergent gameplay answers that defy logic and are most of the fun of DF in the first place.)

What you're stating with bare bones academies with a dwarf simply showing a few local elves the works of carpentry, that's just a few apprenticeships, not an academy. And Apprenticeships are quite nice, too. I think academies should grow out of apprenticeships.

A hospital is just a zone that can be designated anywhere with no furniture necessary.  However, the requirements of different medical procedures, and simple optimization encourage specific behaviors by the player.  The player isn't forced to make a thread dispenser for their surgeons or have explicit floorplans for their convalescent wards, but they are encouraged to make their hospitals in specific ways by the death rates of injured dwarves.  For that matter, "decontamination pools" are an emergent game strategy for dealing with syndrome-laden contaminants that wouldn't be available with stricter formal systems.

The thing is, this flexible system of hospitals is something where a proper hospital can be built if the player chooses, and can evolve naturally out of a basic hospital consisting of a table, a couple beds, and maybe a thread container. 

What I'm saying with a "bare-bones mechanics" system is that you make what it takes to declare an educational space very minimal, but allow players to expand it by making certain functions only become available as the facilities for those functions are added.  Players are then invited to make "proper academies" if they so choose, or to search for exploits, as DF players are wont to do.  Something like letting a player invite random goblin-kidnapped dwarves who say they want to learn dwarven smelting for 50☼ a month spot all the traps and report them back to their goblin buddies for the next siege, or worse, hand the secrets of steel over to goblins, would create a far more Fun reason to get the player to think about segregating out their fortress than simply declaring you have to do so by arbitrary fiat.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2015, 11:14:02 pm »

Well, if the focus of this thread really changes completely to "independent organizations", I may as well start a thread with a different premise to discuss this issue. I'm not entirely sure if I understand where you want me to go from here. I've given you the wizard example, and the example of wealthy influential people comming to your fortress.

I'm trying to press you to refine what it is you actually want, and asking you to try looking into alternate means of accomplishing the same goals.  Criticism refines an idea. 

You said you wanted specific stories to be produced from these sorts of systems, so I have to ask, what stories do you really want?  I'm not talking about a wizard just saying they want to move in, I mean, what sort of things are players going to get to do with these situations that they couldn't do otherwise?  I could functionally create something like an independent wizard by just having a really elaborate noble housing unit right now.  What's the interaction the game has with the player that changes when this system is introduced?

Right now, the only significant change I can see with the base idea is that you can train usually difficult-to-train skills (but presumably only if you already have someone well-trained, which seems a little chicken-or-egg...), or have a different name on what is basically the same tavern.  How do you differentiate an academy from a standard tavern?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 11:16:30 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2015, 11:51:13 pm »

Quote
So, to go back to your previous idea about headmasters having personalities that make them arbitrarily reject 20% of applicants, but maybe more if they're cruel or something... How does the player see this?  How does the player know that one applicant was accepted because she was a pretty girl, and another was rejected for being an ugly guy if the player isn't constantly hovering over everything that headmaster does? (Because players won't.)  Why would players care, so long as tuition is being paid, and they can't control the operations of the academy directly, anyway? What sorts of systems outside the academy, itself, would be impacted by whether a girl was "pretty" or not?  If players can't tell it's happening, what's the point of it being there at all?

What I had in mind was headmasters would have prerequisites for students. (How strong or smart you are, generally related to topic, he might either want the best and brightest or see potential in weaker students.) So the 20% was a result of 20% of students not meeting expectations. (I should have specified that)

http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Consolidated_development#PowerGoal_68

Judging by this, Toady may want to include some "beauty standards" in the distant spacefuture. But Right now, Dwarves just hit random dwarves of their preferred sex. So that'll be reflected in simply getting in because they're a lad or lass. (Bisexual headmasters will accommodate everyone!)

Quote
Hence, you have a system where personalities either don't do anything but make up bloat, or you have them confusing players by occasionally making their dwarves take massively detrimental behavior for no apparent reason or way for the player to fix the problem for lack of any good means of interacting with those mechanics other than to just start murdering their own dwarves if their personalities don't fall within pre-defined limits. 

Well, I feel that it shouldn't be a "bloat" feature like eyelashes, but something at least moderately interesting and a bit more major.  Behavioral patterns should affect... behavioral patterns.  Personality probably shouldn't cause a doctor to do absolutely nothing because he "doesn't give two s**ts about the dwarf with an easily treated wound lying next to him as he sips amaranth beer from a +copper goblet+." (It does though, and it's hilarious and I love it.) But it should at least have some effect on gameplay. Be it tuition, wanting to bone all of his students, or racist prerequisite policies. (Sorry you can't join, you have to be a dwarf of this civilization.)

Well, if the focus of this thread really changes completely to "independent organizations", I may as well start a thread with a different premise to discuss this issue. I'm not entirely sure if I understand where you want me to go from here. I've given you the wizard example, and the example of wealthy influential people comming to your fortress.

I'm trying to press you to refine what it is you actually want, and asking you to try looking into alternate means of accomplishing the same goals.  Criticism refines an idea. 

You said you wanted specific stories to be produced from these sorts of systems, so I have to ask, what stories do you really want?  I'm not talking about a wizard just saying they want to move in, I mean, what sort of things are players going to get to do with these situations that they couldn't do otherwise?  I could functionally create something like an independent wizard by just having a really elaborate noble housing unit right now.  What's the interaction the game has with the player that changes when this system is introduced?

Right now, the only significant change I can see with the base idea is that you can train usually difficult-to-train skills (but presumably only if you already have someone well-trained, which seems a little chicken-or-egg...), or have a different name on what is basically the same tavern.  How do you differentiate an academy from a standard tavern?
The well-trained dude gains his skill through experience and experimentation.

So.. you want to know what an academy accomplishes over an apprenticeship?

I'd say they'd probably make acquiring an apprenticeship easier, and giving them easier.
It would give the player more skilled craftspeople, even ones that come from outside the fortress.
It would make masters and legendary crafts dwarfs even more valuable. (With their power to make more.)
It would add role playing elements. (Useless)

Another thing.

What does establishing a Barony do for you?
What benefits does the player have with becoming a mountain home?



And okay, I see the problem with the semi-independent thing now.

Players will still want to maintain control over their dwarves, so making it an "independent organization" would make players frustrated that their dwarves end up all killing themselves because they all signed up and ended up not producing food for 6 months...

Failure should always be the fault of the player.

*puts fingers in ice water.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 12:32:59 am by Alfrodo »
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2015, 11:59:24 pm »

Well, if the focus of this thread really changes completely to "independent organizations", I may as well start a thread with a different premise to discuss this issue. I'm not entirely sure if I understand where you want me to go from here. I've given you the wizard example, and the example of wealthy influential people comming to your fortress.

I'm trying to press you to refine what it is you actually want, and asking you to try looking into alternate means of accomplishing the same goals.  Criticism refines an idea. 

You said you wanted specific stories to be produced from these sorts of systems, so I have to ask, what stories do you really want?  I'm not talking about a wizard just saying they want to move in, I mean, what sort of things are players going to get to do with these situations that they couldn't do otherwise?  I could functionally create something like an independent wizard by just having a really elaborate noble housing unit right now.  What's the interaction the game has with the player that changes when this system is introduced?

Right now, the only significant change I can see with the base idea is that you can train usually difficult-to-train skills (but presumably only if you already have someone well-trained, which seems a little chicken-or-egg...), or have a different name on what is basically the same tavern.  How do you differentiate an academy from a standard tavern?

Well, the difference from your noble to my wizard is that he's a separate entity from your fortress. He effectively owns property in the fortress, so you're not his landlord (he doesn't rent his room like your other dwarves,and in his cases has different obligations and ties to dwarven authority than your nobles). Lets say he owns a deed to his house.  So, if you want to remove  or destroy the buildings that compose his residence, you would be breaking the law and making him (and possibly other people) angry. That's one difference. In fact, that's very much a class warfare/economic system issue - the concept of private land ownership. Nothing that complex to add in game, I think, just the concept of people getting mad and even being able to appeal to dwarven law if the land that they have legally aquired is taken from them.

Tolkien fantasies really engulfed some of these concepts, and particularly the hobit society seemed to be very law-abiding and bureaucratic (in fact, they were probably Tolkens take on the english), and things like contracts and propery were mentioned quite a bit. These are fun ideas to think about for medieval fantasy games.

About the academies. Well, the title of the thread is no coincidence. I really thing that, at least in a "bare bones" sort of way, they should very much work like taverns. Some clear differences, obviously: for starters, they would have different kinds of visitors. Scholars will be their main focus, although specific academies for other sort of practices could have highly skilled artisans visiting them. The focus of taverns is to serve/sell booze and provide entertainment to your guests and dwarves. An academy's main focus is to provide an enviroment for scholars to study and share their ideas.

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2015, 12:19:09 am »

About the personality problem, I think that there could probably be a way for the game to provide feedback to the player about these things. Something like being able to see statistics on these buildings that would give you some informational paragraphs:

"In this hospital, patients are often neglected due to chief medical dwarf Urist McPsychopath's unempathetical tendencies"

or

"In this academy, applicants are very often rejected due to headmaster Urist McHardass' distrustful nature"

and even

"In this tavern, patrons are often dissatisfied with the service due to inkeeper Urist McAnnoyingface's rude behavior"

Or something along those lines.


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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2015, 12:44:50 am »

Yeah, I'm definitely not finishing that coin thread today...

Quote
Hence, you have a system where personalities either don't do anything but make up bloat, or you have them confusing players by occasionally making their dwarves take massively detrimental behavior for no apparent reason or way for the player to fix the problem for lack of any good means of interacting with those mechanics other than to just start murdering their own dwarves if their personalities don't fall within pre-defined limits. 

Well, I feel that it shouldn't be a "bloat" feature like eyelashes, but something at least moderately interesting and a bit more major.  Behavioral patterns should affect... behavioral patterns.  Personality probably shouldn't cause a doctor to do absolutely nothing because he "doesn't give two s**ts about the dwarf with an easily treated wound lying next to him as he sips amaranth beer from a +copper goblet+." (It does though, and it's hilarious and I love it.) But it should at least have some effect on gameplay. Be it tuition, wanting to bone all of his students, or racist prerequisite policies. (Sorry you can't join, you have to be a dwarf of this civilization.)

Well, the major problem, and reason I linked the Errant Signal video and quoted myself on Interface and keep bringing this up is this:

You can't DO anything with personalities besides kill the dwarves that have them. 

They aren't things you do, they aren't things you interact with, they're just stuff that happens to you and you can't do anything with them.  In fact, this is the main reason you even have Unfortunate Accidents: You kill off nobles until they start giving you easy mandates, because that's the only way to influence them. 

Fluids and minecarts and mechanisms are things players can see, control, and engineer.  Personalities are just there, and you can't see them or influence them in any way.  Dwarves are just born liking specific things, hating specific things, and nothing you do really changes them.  Again, the only way to influence them is either savescumming the migrant waves or industrialized murder to select for prime traits. 

Because of this, the mechanics that take up physical space, like combat or mechanisms or fluids, are just better mechanics that add more to the game overall than personalities do. 

In fact, the only way to really fix these problems is if the interface were changed to make dwarven personalities apparent on-screen as the action is happening, like The Sims does... which would take serious changes to the way the game is presented to the player.  Even then, you would need to have some way of influencing personalities such that you could both see personalities, see how they affected dwarven actions, and have some means of altering dwarven personalities through specific player actions that you could turn into actual gameplay.  Even then, it's still not a really good set of mechanics until it enables more emergent gameplay features through somehow making personality traits alterable through other objects in physical space.  (I.E. somehow, building minecarts would have to be part of your dwarven mind control machines...)

Which all goes back to the problem with a dwarven headmaster's arbitrary acceptance or rejection of a student based upon personality traits.  It's both invisible to the player, and it's irrelevant to the player.  It is therefore not only not interesting to the player, the player wouldn't even know it ever happened.  How is that helping the game to create a massive set of complex interactions that the player doesn't even recognize exist, and couldn't do anything about even if they did?

This is why mechanics need to be pushed into physical space to be meaningful or interesting to players, because physical space problems are problems the players can see, understand, and manipulate, which are the most rudimentary requirements of gameplay. 

So again, you have to reformat this system so that it is a physical space problem, not one that relates to invisible, incomprehensible, inviolable personality scores.  An optimization problem like how to use minecarts to create the most efficient hauling routes is interesting and rewarding to the player, as well as immediately understandable, as is creating a magma trap to kill goblin sieges.  So how do you build a physical space problem from academies?

What does establishing a Barony do for you?
What benefits does the player have with becoming a mountain home?

Actually, those don't do as much as they should in recent versions, but they do the opposite of doing something for the player: They create a problem for the player to solve. 

That is, in fact, the whole purpose of the Class Warfare thread: Creating new problems for the player to solve, such that there is room in DF for more solutions to those problems that Class Warfare just created. 

I mean, think about this: What does enabling sieges do for a player (besides give players a renewable source of iron...) other than create a problem that is fun for a player to overcome?

Baronies and other nobles are an additional challenge added onto the game as the player has a more established fort.  Currently, the game is basically over as soon as you can secure your fort and bootstrap basic industry.  By making some insane nobles threaten to murder your dwarves if you don't jump through some extraneous hoops, you create a reason for players to do more than just get bored of sitting in one place and babysitting the stills to ensure they keep producing.

And okay, I see the problem with the semi-independent thing now.

Players will still want to maintain control over their dwarves, so making it an "independent organization" would make players frustrated that their dwarves end up all killing themselves because they all signed up and ended up not producing food for 6 months...

Failure should always be the fault of the player.

*puts fingers in ice water.

I'm not totally opposed to semi-independent dwarves for the reasons listed above, but there needs to be some purpose to it.  I mean, what's the difference between a semi-independent guy that just eats your food and occasionally spits out money and a noble or a child as they are implemented right now? They're dwarves you just ignore except for the mandates that force you to respond.

Hence, if you're going to add these things, you need to add mechanics whereby they actually do something interesting, like mandates are actually interesting, so that they are actually notable to players.  If I have these semi-independent deadweights, what's to stop me from just setting up some percentage of food and booze from dropping in their end of the fortress that I never bother to check up on?  Where's the storytelling opportunity of just setting up a designated class area and then letting someone else run it without me having any reason to look in? What does it DO that is INTERESTING?

This isn't a "you're stupid and wrong, stop talking," it's a challenge to come up with something that players would actually want to do in the game. 
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2015, 01:15:55 am »

About the personality problem, I think that there could probably be a way for the game to provide feedback to the player about these things. Something like being able to see statistics on these buildings that would give you some informational paragraphs:

"In this hospital, patients are often neglected due to chief medical dwarf Urist McPsychopath's unempathetical tendencies"

or

"In this academy, applicants are very often rejected due to headmaster Urist McHardass' distrustful nature"

and even

"In this tavern, patrons are often dissatisfied with the service due to inkeeper Urist McAnnoyingface's rude behavior"

Or something along those lines.

That would actually start to help solve that problem, but it's still not quite enough.

Keep in mind, that only helps if a player goes fishing through the hospital after they notice there's a problem

What really needs to happen is that there is an active, visible explanation of what is going wrong in-game without pausing it and querying any buildings.  Unless you make it a pop-up alert, in fact, even something like a flashing "this hospital isn't working" warning symbol wouldn't necessarily help if the player wasn't looking at the hospital at that moment, either, since the player can easily be looking at completely different z-levels of the fortress. 

Well, the difference from your noble to my wizard is that he's a separate entity from your fortress. He effectively owns property in the fortress, so you're not his landlord (he doesn't rent his room like your other dwarves,and in his cases has different obligations and ties to dwarven authority than your nobles). Lets say he owns a deed to his house.  So, if you want to remove  or destroy the buildings that compose his residence, you would be breaking the law and making him (and possibly other people) angry. That's one difference. In fact, that's very much a class warfare/economic system issue - the concept of private land ownership. Nothing that complex to add in game, I think, just the concept of people getting mad and even being able to appeal to dwarven law if the land that they have legally aquired is taken from them.

OK, but why does this matter? For all intents and purposes, isn't this like just flooding an unused portion of fortress, and just not using it yourself, anymore? 

Again, if it doesn't interact with the player, it's not really helping the game any.  It needs to have some reason for the player to care what goes on in there, and for that, you need to have some control over what goes on in there, something at stake if you mess up so players will care, and something that presents a real problem for the player to overcome so that you have reason to go poking around in that area rather than forget it exists.

(Also, it'd probably be best if we were talking about academies again rather than diverging off into wizards... They're a whole other bag of worms, and I already have a dozen of magic-related threads I've dabbled in or started.)

Tolkien fantasies really engulfed some of these concepts, and particularly the hobit society seemed to be very law-abiding and bureaucratic (in fact, they were probably Tolkens take on the english), and things like contracts and propery were mentioned quite a bit. These are fun ideas to think about for medieval fantasy games.

We're getting a lot more off-topic with this, but the Hobbits were actually more the simple country peasantfolk, as opposed to the more industrialized and ambitious humans.  Keep in mind that LotR is based off of The Ring of Nibelung, which was expressly about the contrast of pre-industrial agrarian society values and the Industrial Revolution that upset the social order.  (In which a dwarf that invented industrialization was basically the root of all evil...)

Tolkien simply muddied up the more clear social commentary of "order versus chaos" of Nibelung with a more rambling general "good versus evil" plot. 

About the academies. Well, the title of the thread is no coincidence. I really thing that, at least in a "bare bones" sort of way, they should very much work like taverns. Some clear differences, obviously: for starters, they would have different kinds of visitors. Scholars will be their main focus, although specific academies for other sort of practices could have highly skilled artisans visiting them. The focus of taverns is to serve/sell booze and provide entertainment to your guests and dwarves. An academy's main focus is to provide an enviroment for scholars to study and share their ideas.

OK, so how is this represented to the player in-game in a way that they can actually tell there is a difference?

I mean, given current game interface capabilities, what is the visible difference to the player between a dwarf at a dining hall, a visitor at a tavern living area, and a scholar studying and sharing ideas in a classroom?  Presumably, they're all smiley faces randomly hovering around a room filled with tables and chairs, so... difference where? Sure, there might be changes in skill levels of visitors you can't control, but that hardly matters if you can't get them to do anything useful for you what with them not being under your control.

Again, this is why I really have to press for how this sort of thing becomes a physical space problem.  Physical space problems, which generally boil down to terrain manipulation, resource/labor management, and logistics problems in DF, are the only things players can see, understand, and manipulate properly enough to make good gameplay out of them.

Because of that, unless you want to start campaigning for interface changes to make other things actually visible to the player, (good luck with that, we've been trying for basically a decade on that front,) you have to make academies somehow reliant upon the logistics of items or people to be interesting.  For an example, consider how making magma forges so useful alters player behavior by giving every player a very good reason to either build a fortress that stretches down 100 z levels or else try to figure out a way to shuttle magma from the bottom of the map to the top.  That's an interesting problem. 

What problem does an academy force a player to solve, besides simply designating some space and filling it up with desks, chairs, and beds?
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Ribs

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2015, 01:28:10 am »


Hence, if you're going to add these things, you need to add mechanics whereby they actually do something interesting, like mandates are actually interesting, so that they are actually notable to players.  If I have these semi-independent deadweights, what's to stop me from just setting up some percentage of food and booze from dropping in their end of the fortress that I never bother to check up on?  Where's the storytelling opportunity of just setting up a designated class area and then letting someone else run it without me having any reason to look in? What does it DO that is INTERESTING?

This isn't a "you're stupid and wrong, stop talking," it's a challenge to come up with something that players would actually want to do in the game.

Well, the wizard example geve a few of those answers. Let's say semi-independent individuals could have a few freedoms that your dwarves don't generally have. They could constantly travel (since you can't tell them what to do, and it wouldn't be much of a bother aanyway), so they could go on adventures and business trips, and come back with different personal items, etc. Maybe they could even give you gifts, every once in a while. Like, if they get wealthy and resourceful, they could give gifts to your dwarves or your fortress. Maybe they aquired some artifacts and decide to donate them to your fortress.

Let's say a rich, exoctic merchant decides to set up shop in your fortress. That would be an interesting premise. He enjoys the protection, prestige and maybe strategic location that your fortress provides. But, as he is a merchant and deals with money, he wants to remain financially independent from you. And since you arranged a contract with him, once you provide him with his own personal space it would be (legally) complicated for you to simply throw him away. So, with the merchant there, you would get wealthy visitors that would want to come and visit his shop, and maybe since they are already there they could also decide to pay a visit to your tavern.

The merchant could go on periodic trips to collect exotic items, maybe have personal deals with traders, etc. He employs personal guards who would probably either live in your tavern or in the merchant house's many rooms. Besides having fun observing him making his personal business, we would profit from the exchange seeing that the merchant would make occasional or periodical donations to the fortress, as a way of paying tribute for you letting him stay there.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 01:34:34 am by Ribs »
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