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Author Topic: Future of the Fortress  (Read 336909 times)

Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1830 on: April 02, 2019, 05:36:00 pm »

I think we've all misinterpreted the question.
That Toady is just one guy and is reading the same text as us means he probably will too, but whatever. Forget about it for a month. Maybe discuss Steam and mods and potential Workshop issues with people interested in discussing Steam and mods and Workshop issues over at the Steam thread.

Do you think the updates for Steam release will add enough changes that it will break saves like Mythgen probably will? Maybe that's a good thing for working without restrictions?
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1831 on: April 03, 2019, 01:59:44 am »

Steam Workshop debate:
- Toady has described the reason for why DF spreads to the commercial route. Some people dislike that, but it's Toady's decision to make.
- Due to its prominence, it's hard (but not impossible) to bypass Steam when trying to attract sales. Regardless, that decision has already been made.
- It would be plain stupid NOT to enable Steam Workshop for a game that has moddable raws as a core feature.
- It's an unfortunate effect of the above that some of what end up in the Workshop may end up inside the Steam gated community wall. That, however, is not a valid reason for bypassing Steam Workshop.
- I assume it falls on Kitfox to moderate the Steam Workshop, and hopefully do so in a manner that promotes making whatever is produced over there available to all DF users. They should probably point to Bay12 as the core scene, or new players are likely to miss the best stuff.
- I'd expect Bay12 to remain the center of the DF scene as the main (only?) source of DFHack, Dwarf Therapist, Legends Viewer, etc. tools, and probably the main source for mods.
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zakarum

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1832 on: April 03, 2019, 07:07:44 am »

And again I find your argument fallacious.

But I'm not making an argument am I? I'm making a question. You are making an argument because you don't agree with my question (or you seem to be reading more into it) - which in itself is absurd.

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I was specifically stating what barriers there are from the Steam side, of which there are none, because I've seen said lack of barriers for myself.
Except for, you know, the whole walled garden barrier, there's none, sure.

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You're assuming that every single mod creator on the Workshop will only post to the Workshop.
No, I'm not. I'm asking Toady for his opinion on his decision to use the Workshop and the potential for a split in the mod community and the subsequent creation of second-class consumers. That might not happen at all - but it's a risk he is taking in favor of potential consumers in Steam over other platforms. Read my question again:

Are you worried/have you given any thought about the the Steam Workshop creating a walled garden and splitting the modding community?

creating here is in the future. The question itself doesn't state it will happen, it asks if he's worried it will happen or if he thought about it at all when he made his decision.

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And above all, it all lies with the modders themselves how available they make their mods. I highly doubt it is intentional to create any barriers to access to mods, and to lay responsibility for that at the feet of the developer is a bit of a reach if you ask me since they have no control over the modding community's choices.
Again, I'm not asking about the modding community choices. I am asking about his choices. The whole purpose of the Workshop was to create a walled garden that made more attractive for people to use Steam over other platforms. It's not the modding community choice to put Workshop in a game - it's the developer's choice. A combination of factors might end up creating a walled garden, or that might not happen at all, but the one who enables it all is the one who decides that the walled garden can exist in the first place.

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And to say anyone who doesn't download the Steam version will become a "second-class consumer" is just as fallacious because it's based on the assumptions above. Plus it comes off as trying to start a fight before the Steam release has even happened.
I'm not saying it will happen, I'm saying it can happen and asked him for his thoughts on it and asked if he thought about it at all. Am I speaking English here because I'm often repeating this to seemingly no avail.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 07:12:14 am by zakarum »
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Buttery_Mess

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1833 on: April 03, 2019, 07:09:14 am »

I was reading a piece in PC Gamer about updates to the UI and it occurred to me;

With the updates to the UI, are you going to take a stab at consolidating rooms, workshops, stockpiles and zones? It occurs to me that these are all "places where a certain activity is done" but they all have different menus and processes to do it, and this is the source of more confusion than having to learn which key does what.

Is there any chance that the Big Wait might be chopped into smaller waits? I was imagining that the map rewrite could accompany myths/legends (as pre-w.g fluff) before the mechanics of magic are added.

How far has the economy can been kicked down the road? Do you think that it will be more or less of a headache than organising a real economy?

Will the introduction of magic accompany a filling out of crafting options in adventurer mode? I ask because it occurred to me that the use of magical reagants is a standard fantasy trope, and that that might require a better fleshed out crafting interface. Additionally, transmutation of one object into another is a fantasy staple and I suppose that's another sort of crafting.

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But .... It's so small!
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1834 on: April 03, 2019, 07:16:49 am »

I was reading a piece in PC Gamer about updates to the UI and it occurred to me;

With the updates to the UI, are you going to take a stab at consolidating rooms, workshops, stockpiles and zones? It occurs to me that these are all "places where a certain activity is done" but they all have different menus and processes to do it, and this is the source of more confusion than having to learn which key does what.

Is there any chance that the Big Wait might be chopped into smaller waits? I was imagining that the map rewrite could accompany myths/legends (as pre-w.g fluff) before the mechanics of magic are added.

How far has the economy can been kicked down the road? Do you think that it will be more or less of a headache than organising a real economy?

Will the introduction of magic accompany a filling out of crafting options in adventurer mode? I ask because it occurred to me that the use of magical reagants is a standard fantasy trope, and that that might require a better fleshed out crafting interface. Additionally, transmutation of one object into another is a fantasy staple and I suppose that's another sort of crafting.

At the risk of being accused of gatekeeping again (despite Toady actually answering questions every month for years and years despite other people's comments), the workshops will at some point be replaced by zones. But doing this, Toady has said, will need a save-breaking update (like The Big Wait). But, if Steam release is going to break saves anyhow, it could happen. On the other hand Meph is designing beautiful workshops for the official tileset right now, so it most likely won't happen yet. Some consolidation of stockpiles, zones and stuff would be nice to see in the meantime though.
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therahedwig

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1835 on: April 03, 2019, 07:27:34 am »

Zakaram and EternalCaveDragon, could you guys bring this to pm? The question has been asked, the logic behind it maybe shouldn't have to be analyzed in this thread.

I was reading a piece in PC Gamer about updates to the UI and it occurred to me;

With the updates to the UI, are you going to take a stab at consolidating rooms, workshops, stockpiles and zones? It occurs to me that these are all "places where a certain activity is done" but they all have different menus and processes to do it, and this is the source of more confusion than having to learn which key does what.
That'd be pretty big. I doubt it would get in because it is so big, but it'd be pretty cool if it did :D

Though, T/Q/K consolidation would be a bit of a help too :3
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Is there any chance that the Big Wait might be chopped into smaller waits? I was imagining that the map rewrite could accompany myths/legends (as pre-w.g fluff) before the mechanics of magic are added.
Previous answers indicate its very likely. But, the thing is that even the simplest stuff, that is, doing the map rewrite, polishing the mythgen, integrating the mythgen, making everything in worldgen respect the mythgen, will still take pretty long.
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How far has the economy can been kicked down the road? Do you think that it will be more or less of a headache than organising a real economy?
Faaaar. Right now it seems the economy is much like magic that there's basically little bits and pieces being added onto each release that will end up in a cool economy system to interact with using villains, thieves and traders. So, like, this release has a notion of worldgen gambling and accounts for the different entities so villains have pretty mild stuff to do beyond 'grab power', but the next big push should be after all the magic stuff with the law and customs. The entities will be reworked then, and then hopefully made better about understanding what resources are available to them as well as made smart enough to have economic desires, so they can want to create mines and logging villages instead of only farming villages.

The biggest push is expected to be around the same time as boats, because then there's a point to building boats in universe. That's about 3 big waits away :)
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Will the introduction of magic accompany a filling out of crafting options in adventurer mode? I ask because it occurred to me that the use of magical reagants is a standard fantasy trope, and that that might require a better fleshed out crafting interface. Additionally, transmutation of one object into another is a fantasy staple and I suppose that's another sort of crafting.

I have no idea about this last one :)
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Manveru Taurënér

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1836 on: April 03, 2019, 07:45:04 am »

I was reading a piece in PC Gamer about updates to the UI and it occurred to me;

With the updates to the UI, are you going to take a stab at consolidating rooms, workshops, stockpiles and zones? It occurs to me that these are all "places where a certain activity is done" but they all have different menus and processes to do it, and this is the source of more confusion than having to learn which key does what.

The workshop/zone question was sort of asked and answered in the kitfox discord (they had a kind of ama there too after the announcement) ^^

Quote from: Mishtal
Could you say a few words about whether (or not?) the accessibility improvements for the steam release will include any changes to things like workshops, zones, burrows, and the various selection methods?

E.g. Different ways of marking multiple tiles at once for various designation actions, workshops functioning different than zones / locations, that type of thing.
Quote from: Tarn
unifying all the workshop/zones/etc. was part of a larger project and might be a bit much, but doing different mousy rectangles and that sort of thing definitely in the mix.  there will be an uncomfortable point where we have to decide just how much we can bite off in terms of wider rewrites, tradeoff between the delay and the first impression
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 07:48:06 am by Manveru Taurënér »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1837 on: April 03, 2019, 08:23:20 am »

I was reading a piece in PC Gamer about updates to the UI and it occurred to me;

With the updates to the UI, are you going to take a stab at consolidating rooms, workshops, stockpiles and zones? It occurs to me that these are all "places where a certain activity is done" but they all have different menus and processes to do it, and this is the source of more confusion than having to learn which key does what.

The workshop/zone question was sort of asked and answered in the kitfox discord (they had a kind of ama there too after the announcement) ^^

Quote from: Mishtal
Could you say a few words about whether (or not?) the accessibility improvements for the steam release will include any changes to things like workshops, zones, burrows, and the various selection methods?

E.g. Different ways of marking multiple tiles at once for various designation actions, workshops functioning different than zones / locations, that type of thing.
Quote from: Tarn
unifying all the workshop/zones/etc. was part of a larger project and might be a bit much, but doing different mousy rectangles and that sort of thing definitely in the mix.  there will be an uncomfortable point where we have to decide just how much we can bite off in terms of wider rewrites, tradeoff between the delay and the first impression
Ah. Yes. Then there was this lot from an article today (yesterday?) which doesn't cover the specific question, but does go into details about some of the UI updates we can expect (and why a tutorial is hard in a game where your miner might unexpectedly have no arms...). (Or perhaps that was what prompted your question in the first place, sorry).
https://www.pcgamer.com/tutorials-and-mouse-support-could-make-dwarf-fortress-on-steam-vastly-easier-to-play/
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therahedwig

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1838 on: April 03, 2019, 08:31:38 am »

If you read Buttery's post, it is in fact what inspired their questions. :)

It's going to be interesting, Threetoe sure has his work cut out for him.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1839 on: April 03, 2019, 04:52:57 pm »

If you read Buttery's post, it is in fact what inspired their questions. :)

It's going to be interesting, Threetoe sure has his work cut out for him.
Well, good to get the link out there. These PC Gamer interviews are coming in thick and fast. Here's another (although we know most of the content of this one already).
https://www.pcgamer.com/amp/dwarf-fortresss-next-big-update-will-let-you-play-its-adventure-mode-with-a-proper-rpg-party/
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Miuramir

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1840 on: April 04, 2019, 02:56:37 am »


But I'm not making an argument am I? I'm making a question.

Whether you are aware of it or not, you are making a number of assumptions, some of which come off as argumentative and/or coming from a potentially biased standpoint.  That said, the most useful thing is to look at what has actually happened with various similar games. 

Some instructive case examples to be looked at are KSP (Kerbal Space Program) and Stellaris. 

KSP is similar in that it was a very small division of a small company, that self-published for a number of years while describing their game as alpha / beta / early access, while in practice a large number of people found it already enjoyable and were treating it more as a released game.  As a highly customizable game that was on the borderline of games and simulators, they had mods focused on small tweaks, major rebuilds, user interface improvements allowing more specific control of the world's elements, and all sorts of graphical enhancements for those who thought the original devs were not focused enough on eye candy.  They eventually launched on Steam, and various other online stores.  (Side note: the console versions really are different games, and not discussed here.) 

Originally, the main modding scene was focused on an external site run by users, with discussion split between the developer's own forums and the game's reddit (most important material appeared in both places).  That site went defunct.  A replacement site sprung up in short order, also user-run and external.  At some point, the developer announced that their official mod site would be a commercial external gaming site.  While some mods moved or copied there, it was regarded with general suspicion. 

As time has gone on, more and more mods have been managed as github projects; some release only there, others copy to one or both other hosts.  The developer exerts negligible control over mod publishing, and minimal control over mod discussion on their forums; for the most part this works out fine. 

A user attempt at a mod loading / management framework has been around for a while, but many mod devs don't like it, as it has a reputation for dramatically increasing support headaches due to version issues; on the other hand, a significant number of very non-technical users seem to depend on it.  (The number of people who play sim/games who are not able to do things like handle extracting zip files and putting things into a specific directory is always a surprise; the average user age is less than you think and their basic computer education isn't as good as you hope.) 

All in all, KSP seems to be a fairly comparable example where letting publication decisions remain entirely up to the mod authors has not resulted in any serious problems.  Mods can be, and are, published on any combination of the fan-run site, the commercial site, version control hosting sites like github, and individual user websites.  As mods from any source are literally the same file, it doesn't matter how one gets them.  Users of the fan-created mod updater don't even see the difference (when it works), as the mod download source is abstracted away (ideally).  That said, the ease of maintenance and collaboration seems to be pushing more mods to have github as their prime repository, as other sites are mere file repository / downloaders and don't have the rich versioning, developer, collaboration, and in some cases hand-over tools.

Stellaris is less similar to DF, but has some interesting comparisons in terms of mod ecosystems.  It's interesting in that while Steam Workshop seems to be by far the most popular way of getting your mod seen and distributed, it's not actually required; mods from the workshop can be manually copied and applied without using it, and non-workshop mods can be manually installed.  That said, few people seem to do either (with the exception of local personal mods), and AFAIK no one has put in the considerable work to develop a third-party fan-run mod hosting solution that would compete. 

Moreover, the absolute firehose of mods, most of which are utter bunk, serve to clearly disprove any ideas that the Steam Workshop is inherently a "walled garden" in any way (a busy yet sketchy interstate truckstop might be a better comparison).  Publishing a mod is, arguably, too easy; a significant fraction of them posted are multiple versions of some random user's personal-use adjustment where people don't even understand that they are publishing to the world, lame jokes or short-lived memes. 

(An interesting practical lesson is that a quite significant number of the mods are translations, not only of the base game, but of other mods.  You even get mods that are translations of compatibility mods written to allow two other mods to more or less work together, where all four authors (mod A, mod B, mod A+B compatibility patch, the compatibility patch's translation) are working completely independently.  The volume taken up by meta-mods and translations exceed that of the original mods by a noticeable fraction; some of this is due to the nature of connections between things scaling with the square of the number of things (N*(N-1)/2 generally.))

Of course, in the end DF will be its own thing.  We all hope that the community around DF will be better, or at least no worse; it will undoubtedly be *bigger*, and that is a mixed blessing. 

My main worries are what happens if it actually sells well at first, but gets some sort of backlash.  There are a lot more companies that have gotten that sort of thing wrong than right, and skilled community managers that can actually be a net positive are rarer than anyone would like.  The DF forums are not so much a walled garden, but a very obscure park that remains a lot more peaceful and organized than much of the world that surrounds it :)
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Criperum

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1841 on: April 04, 2019, 03:57:25 am »

Hi Toady. You've mentioned earlier that the game has software rendered graphics. Does it mean the built-in software renderer provided by  opengl vendors or something else. If yes then do you have any metrics about how much performance does it take and will you consider moving to hardware rendering?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 04:21:56 am by Criperum »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1842 on: April 04, 2019, 04:16:29 am »

Hi Toady. You've mentioned earlier that the game has software rendered. Does it mean the built-in software renderer provided by  opengl vendors or something else. If yes then do you have any metrics about how much performance does it take and will you consider moving to hardware rendering?
Software rendered.... graphics? Missing word there somewhere.

If it's graphics you're talking about, then Meph might know more about where DF is going regarding soft Vs hardware graphics rendering and can probably give you an answer quicker (if he knows) over in the official tileset thread.
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Criperum

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1843 on: April 04, 2019, 04:23:22 am »

Hi Toady. You've mentioned earlier that the game has software rendered. Does it mean the built-in software renderer provided by  opengl vendors or something else. If yes then do you have any metrics about how much performance does it take and will you consider moving to hardware rendering?
Software rendered.... graphics? Missing word there somewhere.

If it's graphics you're talking about, then Meph might know more about where DF is going regarding soft Vs hardware graphics rendering and can probably give you an answer quicker (if he knows) over in the official tileset thread.
Yeah, missed the word. Edited. Why do you think he knows? I thought he is more an artics not a programmer especially concerning the DF code.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1844 on: April 04, 2019, 04:27:20 am »

Hi Toady. You've mentioned earlier that the game has software rendered. Does it mean the built-in software renderer provided by  opengl vendors or something else. If yes then do you have any metrics about how much performance does it take and will you consider moving to hardware rendering?
Software rendered.... graphics? Missing word there somewhere.

If it's graphics you're talking about, then Meph might know more about where DF is going regarding soft Vs hardware graphics rendering and can probably give you an answer quicker (if he knows) over in the official tileset thread.
Yeah, missed the word. Edited. Why do you think he knows? I thought he is more an artics not a programmer especially concerning the DF code.
I imagine he knows the limits of what the current engine can manage and if he needs hardware rendering. He's prototyping animations and all sorts of ambitious stuff over in his thread. He'll have talked with Toady about what needs to change to make any of it possible.

I mean, Toady will know for sure, of course, just thought you might want to save 26 days (and someone might have already asked in one of the many other q&a sessions recently).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 04:29:13 am by Shonai_Dweller »
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