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Author Topic: "Tavern-like" Academies  (Read 11378 times)

NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2015, 01:45:43 am »

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.

Giving gifts to the player isn't really interesting because the player doesn't actually need anything they can't produce for themselves in infinite quantities, already.  (In fact, a large part of the point of Improved Farming is just to make things actually SCARCE in fortresses for once...)

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.

Same problem. Trying to make something interesting by giving the player things that supposedly solve their problems doesn't help because the player doesn't have any problems they need any help with.  Dwarf Fortress is too simple and easy a game already for outside help to be of any value. (You heard me!)

This is why it's better to work on making a new problem for players to solve, rather than trying to bait players with some sort of solution to problems they're already solving without the new solution.  (Again, I created Class Warfare just to create the problem vanity items can solve.)
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2015, 01:50:54 am »



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?

Well, starting with the very problem of being able to fund an academy in the first place, it would be necessary to aquire people to come to your academy in the first place. Maybe it would require the player to have a highly skilled person to come to your fort (or maybe one of your own home bred dwarven scholars), that aquired some sort of fame or prestige and would have the drawing power to make building an academy a reasonable thing. Maybe, as you yourself proposed, could be a royal decree.

Maybe as a gradual thing, you begin to develop it and increase it's fame when members of the academy write great manuscripts about whatever sciences they study there.

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2015, 02:06:37 am »

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.

Giving gifts to the player isn't really interesting because the player doesn't actually need anything they can't produce for themselves in infinite quantities, already.  (In fact, a large part of the point of Improved Farming is just to make things actually SCARCE in fortresses for once...)

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.

Same problem. Trying to make something interesting by giving the player things that supposedly solve their problems doesn't help because the player doesn't have any problems they need any help with.  Dwarf Fortress is too simple and easy a game already for outside help to be of any value. (You heard me!)

This is why it's better to work on making a new problem for players to solve, rather than trying to bait players with some sort of solution to problems they're already solving without the new solution.  (Again, I created Class Warfare just to create the problem vanity items can solve.)

If you really wanted to, you could just start a fortress, dig up a hole on the side of a hill, have the dwarves bring seeds inside and close them in with a wall. Then you can dig down til' you reach the aquifier and boom, water. Make a small farm and a food stockpile and watch your fortress be imprevious to anything forever. Add a few beds in there and they will never even throw a tantrum

Toady acknowledged those problems already... especially the farming thing, and the weak sieges. We'll get there eventually, and the game will get harder and goods more scarce. Having this in mind, I think my suggestions aren't that pointless and unfun.

I think it's a bad argument to even mention that in topics like this. It's fair to say that all my ideas are made within the assumption that the game's difficulty problems will be eventually fixed.

I even mentioned it before:

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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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2015, 02:38:10 am »

If you really wanted to, you could just start a fortress, dig up a hole on the side of a hill, have the dwarves bring seeds inside and close them in with a wall. Then you can dig down til' you reach the aquifier and boom, water. Make a small farm and a food stockpile and watch your fortress be imprevious to anything forever. Add a few beds in there and they will never even throw a tantrum

Toady acknowledged those problems already... especially the farming thing, and the weak sieges. We'll get there eventually, and the game will get harder and goods more scarce. Having this in mind, I think my suggestions aren't that pointless and unfun.

I think it's a bad argument to even mention that in topics like this. It's fair to say that all my ideas are made within the assumption that the game's difficulty problems will be eventually fixed.

Again, the point of what I'm saying isn't to be mean or say the ideas are all stupid, it's to push you to refine them into more coherent ideas. 

Solving problems that already exist isn't that interesting, because there are generally already easier methods of solving those problems. Even with a harder game overall, if there's a simpler method of achieving the same goals, players aren't going to generally perform those tasks.  (For example, why use bees when farms are so much faster and easier?)

It's more interesting to create new problems that require solving with more novel means, which is why I think noble mandates are actually a good model to base it off of. 

Besides that, if you make the actual as-it-plays-out mechanics of an academy interesting in its own right, you don't have to make it functionally useful for anything.  Again, you don't really do anything in The Sims, but people enjoy playing it, anyway for the creativity they can express, and the stories it can tell. 

The problem is, how do you get this idea to tell a good story? How do you design the mechanics of instruction such that interesting stories are played out in ways the player can see, or the player is challenged to perform tasks that are interesting puzzles for the player to solve?

What you've done so far is lay down a couple of vague scenarios the game sets up, but you've discussed nothing about how it actually plays out for the player, or how the player interacts with it.  A noble saying they want an academy is not a player interaction or an interesting puzzle the player is solving, it's just the set-up to that puzzle.  What is the actual thing the player DOES? What is the actual in-game problem they are actually solving? So far as you've explained it, an academy is nothing but a couple arbitrarily designated rooms that don't do anything at all but give a merchant an excuse to throw more resources at players.  What work is the player expending for this?  What makes one academy design good and another academy design crap, and how is that within player control?

Again, things like security are interesting problems when talking about taverns.  Taverns require your fortress to be open at basically all times of year, so it complicates defenses.  Further complicating defenses are things like "spying" traps or the possibility of theft.  The security thread relating to taverns introduces interesting problems and solutions.  These are problems and solutions within physical space, which are labor management and terrain manipulation problems. 

Where are the similar problems presented to the player in an academy?

Saying "I want classrooms" is not a practicable idea, it's just a random thought.  How are they implemented, and what change in playstyles do they demand of players?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 02:46:59 am by NW_Kohaku »
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2015, 03:56:18 am »

Never forget that Dwarf Fortress is primarily intended to be a simulation, not a game, as Toady stated on multiple occasions. Personalities might not be controllable by the player, but they are visible (even if it is hard to get a general overview) and they have an effect on the rest of the simulation, which is plenty enough to be a good mechanic, given what DF aspires to be. Conversations might be invisible, but they probably have an effect on other stuff, so they're not useless or bad.
Judging ideas based on how good of a game they might make is not a good idea. The question is whether they make a good simulation.

I haven't read much of the discussion. I'll just try to come up with an idea.

I'll try to break down what I see an academy doing first, so I can come up with fitting mechanics later:
1. It's for education. People go in, learn stuff and hopefully come out more capable afterwards.
2. It's a place were people with expertise in a certain topic can work together without worrying about productivity (as much as in other settings, that is).
3. It attracts smart people.
4. It attracts people who need smart people.

(1)
I don't care how skill bonuses or stuff like that are implemented. Important is how that knowledge is distributed.
An academy is probably closed to the outside (or maybe that can be tied to the headmaster or whatever), meaning that people need to enroll with the academy before they get access to knowledge.
"Getting access" need not (and should not) be hard coded. We have a justice system for that purpose. Being caught in the academy library when you're not allowed to be there earns you a beating, jail time or whatever. Sneaking into lectures is a crime.
Maybe the academy could be a place for certain circles sworn to secrecy on certain topics.

The player can try to put knowledge (whether it be books or capable people) they don't want to become general knowledge into the academy. Securing the academy (and thus knowledge) becomes a task. We could even get players making dwarves professors to shut them up.

(2)
You talk about how the player cannot influence personality. With the coming knowledge about philosophy this could be changed, if philosophical ideas are able to influence personalities. Having a philosophical faculty giving lectures gives the player the ability to form how the dwarves operate.
With people in academia talking mostly to each other and having access to special literature and with the player maybe even having the option of making up hierarchies of whose philosophies are paid attention to by whom the player can get a bit of, uhm, "cultural control" over what his dwarves are like.

(3)
This one just ties in with migrants and taverns and stuff. Have a well known academy and people interested in the topics discussed there come to your fortress.

(4)
Basically the same as (3), only different. I have no idea how, though.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2015, 01:17:30 pm »

Never forget that Dwarf Fortress is primarily intended to be a simulation, not a game, as Toady stated on multiple occasions. Personalities might not be controllable by the player, but they are visible (even if it is hard to get a general overview) and they have an effect on the rest of the simulation, which is plenty enough to be a good mechanic, given what DF aspires to be. Conversations might be invisible, but they probably have an effect on other stuff, so they're not useless or bad.
Judging ideas based on how good of a game they might make is not a good idea. The question is whether they make a good simulation.

I haven't read much of the discussion. I'll just try to come up with an idea.

Well, if you've not read much of the discussion, then I'd first say that you shouldn't confuse some devil's advocacy for being against an idea.  I am definitely for academies, I'm just pressing the other participants of this thread to be clearer in what it is they are trying to achieve, and follow through on the ramifications of their recommendations. 

You need to have both a high-level abstract grasp of your goals and a low-level understanding of the implications that many of these mechanics will have.  The problem I'm seeing, here, is that we have people saying they want classrooms in a high-level sense, but that requires the follow-up questions of what a classroom contains, how it functions, and how that will impact the player.  If the low-level follow-through reveals you're not achieving your high-level goals, you need to change the low-level implementation to match your high-level goals. 

With that said, while it's certainly true that DF is more performance art project than game these days, and I certainly use that line of argument myself, that doesn't mean that we, sitting in a suggestion forum with none of the power to implement any of this but likely the luxury of years to pound this stuff out in debate, shouldn't at least take the time to try to find a way to make a suggested mechanic that is both good simulation and good gameplay, as these are far from mutually exclusive.  Apart from sending more cash, making sure we measure twice before Toady cuts once is practically the only meaningful contribution we even can make.

And if your response to someone looking at an idea critically is to come up with a way to amend the idea with a solution to those problems, well, that's the right answer.

(1)
I don't care how skill bonuses or stuff like that are implemented. Important is how that knowledge is distributed.
An academy is probably closed to the outside (or maybe that can be tied to the headmaster or whatever), meaning that people need to enroll with the academy before they get access to knowledge.
"Getting access" need not (and should not) be hard coded. We have a justice system for that purpose. Being caught in the academy library when you're not allowed to be there earns you a beating, jail time or whatever. Sneaking into lectures is a crime.
Maybe the academy could be a place for certain circles sworn to secrecy on certain topics.

The player can try to put knowledge (whether it be books or capable people) they don't want to become general knowledge into the academy. Securing the academy (and thus knowledge) becomes a task. We could even get players making dwarves professors to shut them up.

Well, technically, it's not currently part of security/justice, although presumably it will be at some later date.  The stealing of secrets and "campus" security are potentially very interesting challenges when you need to allow some in and keep the rest out.  Much like how vampires made for a much more interesting set of defensive strategies, making enemies less blatantly announced makes the game more interesting, and gives the player reason to actually watch specific parts of their fortress. 

That said, what is the benefit of different types of implementing enrollment strategies? Making the headmaster operate on their own, as Alfrodo suggested, has the problem of making the process invisible and uncontrollable to the player, and therefore something the player has no reason to care about.  If we're talking about it in terms of being a potential security threat, then having the player asked to manually decide may be safer and involve the player more, but also potentially be a micromanagement annoyance.  (That said, possibly a good idea as an option for the micromanagement-inclined and paranoid.)

I think having an entity-by-entity (read:civilization) security alert (possibly controlled by the under-utilized civilizations page) that tells your dwarves to treat members of different cultures with different levels of suspicion would be a good balancing act.  (The option for manual acceptance/rejection by the player could be placed there, as well.) If you tell dwarves to be generally accepting of the local human civ, for example, then it might be up to an individual dwarf's biases whether they are trusting or hostile, but you could still say the stinkin' elves (with whom you only recently declared peace, and may well soon go to war with again,) are not to be trusted from a fort-wide level, and force your dwarves to be far more critical about the intentions of elven visitors, and have the guard follow them.  Some of the most friendly and trusting dwarves might still be more friendly than they should be, but it would still give the player overall control, and security would give them a reason to care to exert that control.

I do just want to point out at this point, however, that the more that personality traits actually matter, the more that we really NEED Dwarf Therapist functionality in the base game, because it's far too difficult to actually SEE these traits using the game we're supposed to be playing to make serious decisions based upon what personalities certain dwarves have without the capacity to sort and compare dwarves on personality traits on the same screen. 

(2)
You talk about how the player cannot influence personality. With the coming knowledge about philosophy this could be changed, if philosophical ideas are able to influence personalities. Having a philosophical faculty giving lectures gives the player the ability to form how the dwarves operate.

I really like this idea.

I worry that there may be something of a difference between values and personality traits, however, in that the latter, which seems to be far more important, are also the more intrinsic and less-changeable of the two, however.

Further, jokes aside, mind control techniques on dwarves, while potentially very useful, may also be immersion-breaking if they are too powerful.  This is especially true since many traits are just plain without qualification better than others.  For example, there's no reason you'd want your dwarves to have high rage propensity when that's the most dangerous of stress reactions.  There's no reason not to encourage your dwarves to diligence so they work at all hours and take less breaks.

Because of this, I'd presume that any sort of anger-management counseling classes would likely be something that took extremely long durations of time to actually take effect.  (I'd also hope that some sort of system for preventing players from ordering round-the-clock lessons was in place to make it more like a weekly group therapy session that dwarves go to between jobs, rather than an indoctrination camp they stay at until "done".)

(3)
This one just ties in with migrants and taverns and stuff. Have a well known academy and people interested in the topics discussed there come to your fortress.

That would require DF recognize what "smart" means, in the way that a player would appreciate, however...

If that means people who are "interested in" carpentry would come to your carpentry academy, and you define "interest" via skill levels they already have, why would a fortress spitting out legendary carpenters left and right need access to more grand master carpenters? (Although if those carpenters were, say, tigerperson carpenters, there might be some advantage in making it a decent way to bait interesting potential non-dwarf citizens to joining the fortress...)

If that means there are dwarves with little skill, but high (or low, as appropriate) scores of the base personality traits or attributes related to the skill, such that they have high potential for learning or becoming a "better legendary". (Although I'm not sure such a thing exists... has anyone done SCIENCE on this?) Still, this may not necessarily be anything a player is strictly interested in, especially since it would be such a long-game reward that most players wouldn't care. (Make a legendary teacher to train legendary students to make a prodigy show up that you can then turn into a legendary so you can get slightly more masterworks than you were already getting...)

(4)
Basically the same as (3), only different. I have no idea how, though.

This sort of thing would only be interesting if we were talking about a game where the player has much more "Kingdom Mode" control.  It's one of those "eternally some day" things in the devpages. 

Recruiters trying to achieve long-term objectives might be quite interesting.  The most obvious would be military recruiters trying to start mercenary companies or something, but I could certainly see something like an ambitious royal architect recruiting masons and architects to create giant aqueducts or grand roads or other worldmap-level projects.
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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2015, 03:05:07 pm »


Again, the point of what I'm saying isn't to be mean or say the ideas are all stupid, it's to push you to refine them into more coherent ideas. 

Solving problems that already exist isn't that interesting, because there are generally already easier methods of solving those problems. Even with a harder game overall, if there's a simpler method of achieving the same goals, players aren't going to generally perform those tasks.  (For example, why use bees when farms are so much faster and easier?)

It's more interesting to create new problems that require solving with more novel means, which is why I think noble mandates are actually a good model to base it off of. 

Besides that, if you make the actual as-it-plays-out mechanics of an academy interesting in its own right, you don't have to make it functionally useful for anything.  Again, you don't really do anything in The Sims, but people enjoy playing it, anyway for the creativity they can express, and the stories it can tell. 

The problem is, how do you get this idea to tell a good story? How do you design the mechanics of instruction such that interesting stories are played out in ways the player can see, or the player is challenged to perform tasks that are interesting puzzles for the player to solve?

What you've done so far is lay down a couple of vague scenarios the game sets up, but you've discussed nothing about how it actually plays out for the player, or how the player interacts with it.  A noble saying they want an academy is not a player interaction or an interesting puzzle the player is solving, it's just the set-up to that puzzle.  What is the actual thing the player DOES? What is the actual in-game problem they are actually solving? So far as you've explained it, an academy is nothing but a couple arbitrarily designated rooms that don't do anything at all but give a merchant an excuse to throw more resources at players.  What work is the player expending for this?  What makes one academy design good and another academy design crap, and how is that within player control?

Again, things like security are interesting problems when talking about taverns.  Taverns require your fortress to be open at basically all times of year, so it complicates defenses.  Further complicating defenses are things like "spying" traps or the possibility of theft.  The security thread relating to taverns introduces interesting problems and solutions.  These are problems and solutions within physical space, which are labor management and terrain manipulation problems. 

Where are the similar problems presented to the player in an academy?

Saying "I want classrooms" is not a practicable idea, it's just a random thought.  How are they implemented, and what change in playstyles do they demand of players?

The whole merchant and noble scenarios are just ways of me explaining how independent institutions could work. I'm not saying that's the only way the player can build thiings like academies, or that they should exclusively be run that way.

Academies would probably be a 'vanity institution' for the player unless certain other features are implemented. Namely, the introduction of a progressive tech-tree (or forest), where the player is able to facilitate technological advancements by having things like academies in their forts. Also, if we're having actual armies in the game, military academies could be an effective way of educating your commanding officers in military science. Another use for them could be the training medical doctors without having to puroposely injure your citizens.

Plus, things like academies (just like things like hospitals, taverns and most industries) will always be entirely optional. They facilitate the payer's lives in some ways and give them more options, but you don't need them to have a functioning settlement.

I can think of another feature that would make having academies a good thing for the player: not having prestigious learning centers could drive your skilled dwarves away from your fortress. Let's say there are other world-gen academies around the world. Your skilled, home-brewed dwarves, such as administrators, poets and legendary craftsman get invited to  these foreign institutions and have no reason to not go. So they start petitioning to take their leave, and get annoyed if you deny them. Having an academy could be a way of keeping your talented people happily working for your fortress and not wanting to leave for places where their talent is more needed.



Finally, let's talk about the mechanics of academies then, and the challenges they could bring to the player.

I don't believe they (challenges) should necessarily come out of classrooms: classrooms are just rooms where scholars discuss things amongst themselves and give lectures. To me, they could work just like the way military training works in barracks. You have a room set up with some chairs (if that), the people being taught sit and the lecturers walk around the room. You don't even necesssarily need a strict teacher-student relationship thing (as I mentioned with the platonic academy), and the students could have different lectures being simultaneously taught in the same classroom, and even give a lecture right after recieving one.

A really fun challenge would come from having your occasional "Socrates" in the academy. Having an institution with a lot of discussion going between intelligent members, where wise bearded people philosophise all day could brew radical ideas. Maybe dwarven students would slowly, aside from getting better at whatever skill they are trying to develop, begin having a change of heart when it came to their ethics. You would slowly see some dwarves graduating into tree loving elves (madness!), or crazy slavery apologists (something unthinkable for dwarves). So you'd have your other citizens begin to denounce some members of the academy for "corrupting the young", or maybe even corrupting dwarven culture itself and unless you take drastic measures it could lead to disaster. What do you think of this idea?
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2015, 04:51:24 pm »

Academies would probably be a 'vanity institution' for the player unless certain other features are implemented. Namely, the introduction of a progressive tech-tree (or forest), where the player is able to facilitate technological advancements by having things like academies in their forts. Also, if we're having actual armies in the game, military academies could be an effective way of educating your commanding officers in military science. Another use for them could be the training medical doctors without having to puroposely injure your citizens.

Plus, things like academies (just like things like hospitals, taverns and most industries) will always be entirely optional. They facilitate the payer's lives in some ways and give them more options, but you don't need them to have a functioning settlement.

Saying that it's an optional vanity structure isn't an effective sales pitch. Practically any random suggestion for a new thing could be added as an optional vanity structure.  What makes this one significantly more interesting than the others that it should be the one that makes the cut?

Now, medical schools might be a bit more interesting.  Especially if they do things like practice upon pigs or cadavers.  That opens up some possibilities of body desecration, ghosts, and of course necromancer Fun.

If we're talking about training field commanders, as well, then I also think this demands more than a mere classroom.  Happy faces sitting in another room that's just tables and chairs makes it just another dining room.  Making the students run military drills in courtyards is more interesting for the player to watch.  (And may have some crossover with the constant "dwarven sports" threads...) 

I can think of another feature that would make having academies a good thing for the player: not having prestigious learning centers could drive your skilled dwarves away from your fortress. Let's say there are other world-gen academies around the world. Your skilled, home-brewed dwarves, such as administrators, poets and legendary craftsman get invited to  these foreign institutions and have no reason to not go. So they start petitioning to take their leave, and get annoyed if you deny them. Having an academy could be a way of keeping your talented people happily working for your fortress and not wanting to leave for places where their talent is more needed.

Toady has long talked about dwarven emmigration, but why would the presence of an academy necessarily be the thing that keep dwarves here, especially compared to other concerns like food quality, room quality, happiness/stress, social position, and of course the likelihood of death in your fortress compared to another?

I can't see a rational scenario where a legendary carpenter was going to leave, but decided to stay because you opened up a new medical school.  Asking the player to make a new school for every single type of job, however, is both a little strange and also potentially crippling to a fortress, because that means all your talented dwarves are likely to be spending a significant portion of their time teaching, rather than doing. 


Finally, let's talk about the mechanics of academies then, and the challenges they could bring to the player.

I don't believe they (challenges) should necessarily come out of classrooms: classrooms are just rooms where scholars discuss things amongst themselves and give lectures. To me, they could work just like the way military training works in barracks. You have a room set up with some chairs (if that), the people being taught sit and the lecturers walk around the room. You don't even necesssarily need a strict teacher-student relationship thing (as I mentioned with the platonic academy), and the students could have different lectures being simultaneously taught in the same classroom, and even give a lecture right after recieving one.

To be honest, I severely disagree. 

Just making another dining hall is fairly boring, and defeats almost all purpose in this suggestion.  Even military barracks present at least some engineering challenge.  There are designs for archery targets and bolt recyclers to maximize training speed and also minimize metal consuption. (Or even generate it.) For that matter, even dining hall design has some considerations, as you want to maximize happiness/statue and table appreciation and minimize food stockpile distance.

Having the ability to generate unique and interesting designs that have an impact on gameplay is critical for making these sorts of systems enjoyable to players.  In fact, Toady's even going towards a zone-like workshop system, rather than making them all 3x3 blocks specifically to give the player more leeway in design.

I was honestly going to try pushing you towards ways to make teaching areas a more dynamic physical layout problem, since that is what makes fortress design so interesting. 

What classrooms really need to be more interesting are some form of logistical or space management problem.

Since we have paper coming soon, making classrooms burn paper would be a decent way to wiggle some logistics in. Again, classes involving a craft should involve workshops related to the crafts, and you could have them eat resources related to those fields, as well.  Any classes that don't eat other resources should eat paper.  (Those that use other resources might eat paper, anyway, but at a lesser rate.)

Honestly, though, games like Pharaoh or Emperor or even games like City Life, where you need to design your city layout according to proximity to some buildings, and distance from others makes for a more interesting system in general.  Security can be a part of it, and so could things like trying to avoid noise pollution caused by other fortress functions to encourage building quieter classes away from workshops or louder industrial classes. 

What it really needs is more reason to have proximity concerns, like how the different classes of citizens in City Life hated each other, or else larger degrees of logistical problems, like the walkers of games like Emperor. 

... I'll try to think of more ways to snarl traffic and get back to this...
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2015, 05:07:16 pm »

I'm just going to quickly say...

Spies.

Spies Everywhere.

A spy could enlist in the academy (It in this case, would be an elf who says he's from a retreat, but actually hails from the dark pits.) and steal stuff, kill dwarves, and other unsavory stuff.

So, a vampire like system of rooting out spies could be necessary to keep from getting dead dwarves, missing mugs, and stolen steel.
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Ribs

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2015, 05:17:39 pm »

I think you missed my last paragraph
A really fun challenge would come from having your occasional "Socrates" in the academy. Having an institution with a lot of discussion going between intelligent members, where wise bearded people philosophise all day could brew radical ideas. Maybe dwarven students would slowly, aside from getting better at whatever skill they are trying to develop, begin having a change of heart when it came to their ethics. You would slowly see some dwarves graduating into tree loving elves (madness!), or crazy slavery apologists (something unthinkable for dwarves). So you'd have your other citizens begin to denounce some members of the academy for "corrupting the young", or maybe even corrupting dwarven culture itself and unless you take drastic measures it could lead to disaster. What do you think of this idea?



About the immigration aspect, I was thinking of something like your legendary artifact making carpenter got invited to have a seat in the queen's royal academy back in the mountainhomes. Being a member of an academy doesn't mean that he never works and spends his entire time teaching, either. Just dedicate part of his time in there with the other members of the academy, and write the occasional thesis.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 05:33:21 pm by Ribs »
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Ribs

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2015, 05:21:42 pm »

I'm just going to quickly say...

Spies.

Spies Everywhere.

A spy could enlist in the academy (It in this case, would be an elf who says he's from a retreat, but actually hails from the dark pits.) and steal stuff, kill dwarves, and other unsavory stuff.

So, a vampire like system of rooting out spies could be necessary to keep from getting dead dwarves, missing mugs, and stolen steel.

I'm not completely sure if spies would be such a huge probem. I do agree that you'd have to be careful not to spread certain knolwedges with other groups. I mean, a human scholar spend several years in your fortress could, I guess, end up learning dwarven steel tech and bringing it back home and you might not want that to happen.
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Alfrodo

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2015, 06:11:28 pm »

Another consideration for a challenge academies would present would be supplying them with materials.

You can't teach bone carving without bones, you can't teach the art of metalcrafting without a little lead, zinc or copper.

Also, supplying parchment/paper and leather for codices.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2015, 07:34:18 pm »

I think you missed my last paragraph

Well, it's mostly a recap of what what Antsan had suggested a little earlier. 

That said, it's much more player-friendly the way that Antsan described it, where you can deliberately organize the topics, yourself, rather than just having some random dwarf randomly alter the random personalities of random other dwarves, all without player input.  Maybe have the random ones appear without your control as unsanctioned ones in a statue garden, but there need to be state-sponsored ones at state-funded academies to give the player affirmative control over the mechanic so that it's not just more random crap happening that players can't do anything about, short of atom-smashing the offending dwarves.

About the immigration aspect, I was thinking of something like your legendary artifact making carpenter got invited to have a seat in the queen's royal academy back in the mountainhomes. Being a member of an academy doesn't mean that he never works and spends his entire time teaching, either. Just dedicate part of his time in there with the other members of the academy, and write the occasional thesis.

Again, I just think that if there is a mechanic for dwarves to leave a site, that maybe the fact that dwarf forts can be frequently beset by things like ravenous swarms of raven zombies, or the fact that in the two months since a migrant got there, their daughter, husband, and two pet cats have all been killed, with the cats, especially, in mysterious hatch-related accidents, while she huddles in a hallway eating a -cat meat biscuit- might have a much higher chance of sending people packing for the mountainhomes than the presence or absence of some arbitrary designation of a school that wouldn't seem to strictly require it actually have much if any students or facilities just to declare...
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GoblinCookie

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2015, 12:12:14 pm »

About the immigration aspect, I was thinking of something like your legendary artifact making carpenter got invited to have a seat in the queen's royal academy back in the mountainhomes. Being a member of an academy doesn't mean that he never works and spends his entire time teaching, either. Just dedicate part of his time in there with the other members of the academy, and write the occasional thesis.

So the reason you would have academies is in order to keep your skilled dwarves from being invited elsewhere to specialized academies made during worldgen. 

There are really two kinds of knowledge, direct practical knowledge is obviously going to be in demand but the more academic kind of knowledge that Toady One is adding into the game as I write this, that is more problematic. 

Emigration however solves a lot of problems.  You create facilities in order to meet dwarves academic needs because that way you can keep them around so that there more practical skills can remain in your fortress not because it is actually profitable to you directly.  Academics value booklearning, you have academics among your population and in order to keep them from going to specialized academies instead of your fortress you have to meet their demand for booklearning locally.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: "Tavern-like" Academies
« Reply #74 on: May 25, 2015, 12:25:09 pm »

Alright, after thinking for a bit on the subject, I believe there may be some ways to add interesting complexity to this system. 

For one, I remembered this thread I started when I was playing adventurer mode a lot, and think it can be applied similarly to academies.  That is, students need to take time off or have a diversified curriculum.  For workers, this means something like only having their class time once a week before going back to their jobs.  For full-time guest students, they'll probably expect to get a well-rounded curriculum. (And they may not necessarily want to visit unless they can get a full, or at least mostly-full classical education...)

This means that, rather than having everyone just sit in one big class and players forgetting about it, you need to have multiple classes as well as dormitories and other accommodations.  Crime potential should be an incentive to keep general, tavern, and academy living spaces separate. 

Further, classes should have some means of interfering with one another.  I suggest something like the noise system that was removed from earlier versions.  Classes might generate noise or create some sort of visual disturbance such that segregating them is required to avoid problems. 

Further, each class should take up resources.  Woodworking classes would need workshops to train their students, while more esoteric training that doesn't involve crafting things would take up paper.  This generates a need for logistics to keep the classes supplied. 

Dormitories could also require a desk or at least a communal area with a desk so that full-time students do "homework" of a sorts for certain classes.  Access to libraries for several other classes also make good sense.

All of this combined should create a nice bustle of traffic between classes, dorms, and dining halls that would generate interesting logistic puzzles for the player.



Reusing some of the ideas of Potential also allows for a better use for books and schools in general:

Potential is a multiplier on experience gained that decreases/is abused as your skill level goes up.  The function (and purpose) of this is to make constant training of just one skill much less effective as a means of becoming a legendary by power-training a single skill all day every day.  Potential could be gradually restored through means that ordinarily require time, such as sleeping, but in the case of academies, it makes much more sense to connect potential to education, such that reading books or receiving instruction ups potential (as modulated by affinity) at a much faster rate, giving overall faster skill growth.
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"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
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