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Author Topic: Future of the Fortress  (Read 471387 times)

Knight Otu

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1740 on: March 15, 2019, 07:42:40 am »

2. Do you intend to change the way you work as a result of this? I'm primarily aiming the question at how you deal with bugs during the rather long (semi) major development cycles, as a Long Wait with a growing pile of reported bugs and no bug fixes is likely to result in DF being labeled as abandonware by many. I expect a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth concerning bugs whatever you do due to the nature of DF and its development, but some outcomes are worse than others.
From the Reddit AMA:
Quote
It's early and we haven't gotten to the initial release, so I haven't thought too much about plans for the intermittent waits. Certainly we are now planning to be able to fix bugs a little more easily during waits -- for instance, we had that weapon trap crash bug that lasted all through one of them, and that was not good. So we'll plan for patches concurrent with feature work now. At the same time, the development works the way it works because so many systems are interconnected; sometimes a long wait is just the best way to go, at least the way I conceive of things. If that causes some issues, or some dips, then, well, I hope we'll be fine! If we have to adjust again, like we're adjusting now, we will.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1741 on: March 15, 2019, 08:11:39 am »

Thanks for the quote, Shonai_Dweller. I don't follow other discussion fora, so I don't see what's posted in those.

If the tile set limitations are going to be addressed as well, the rewrite is larger than I thought, as well as having a larger impact, as I assume that means increasing the number of bits used for assets (in which case there might not be any need for a world map tile set, as that could just be a subset of a larger one, which is one of the points mifki listed as a wished for feature in the TwbT thread). The support for a larger tile set would definitely be welcome as such, but I think the timing could be better (i.e. not as a derail of a detour of a departure from the Myth & Magic development, and getting it done within a somewhat reasonable time frame from The Announcement to an actual Steam/Itch release might be challenging as well). There's never a really good time, though.

"Open source" is vastly different from making the code available to hand picked people (with suitable conditions both on the readability/level of commenting/coding style of the outsourced code [so Toady can maintain it should he wish to/need to], and requirements that the DF source code is handled in a suitable manner). I agree it's a wise move to use a trusted intermediary to handle the administration for the tile set work, though, and hope both Kitfox and the artists can provide some useful feedback as well.

I agree some people will label DF as abandonware no matter what (if I understand it correctly there's some banned bugger who's already on a crusade of revenge on Steam), but the crucial thing is neither a small number of malcontents, nor a confident community (who's currently over here), but what happens with those in between. If the general perception is negative DF will likely suffer from fewer who's willing to try it out despite poor ratings (which is what a generally negative perception would result in). I also disagree it's a matter of spin doctoring: there's an important element of meeting expectations, as well as setting the expectations appropriately (the latter can be helped a bit with proper marketing, but not the former). I'd expect the average Steam customer to be far less tolerant when it comes to both slow development and late and feeble bug fixing (i.e. a constantly growing mountain of outstanding bugs) than the current community, with little to no understanding or care for the current development method. We're joining Toady's ride, but Steam customers are temporary licencees (due to Steam's horrible EULA), and likely expect to be treated as customers.

Thanks to Knight Otu as well, posting another off site quote while I wrote this post (and it's good to hear Toady is going to try to adjust the process to better meet expectations). I don't think long development waits is as much of an issue as a lack of bug fixing, although I think there's a need to fix some intermediate bugs in parallel during the development waits as well as the fatal ones to provide a sense of progress and developer presence to those who don't follow the game development as such, just play the game.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 08:13:26 am by PatrikLundell »
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Manveru Taurënér

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1742 on: March 15, 2019, 10:24:31 am »

Not sure if there's any kind of netiquette regarding these things, but gathered up those parts of the reddit AMA (with a bit of pruning) that felt relevant to development for those that don't want to sift through the whole thing.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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DG

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1743 on: March 15, 2019, 10:48:11 am »

Thanks, Manveru. I don't Reddit well so I appreciate it.
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Untrustedlife

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1744 on: March 15, 2019, 12:20:07 pm »

Not sure if there's any kind of netiquette regarding these things, but gathered up those parts of the reddit AMA (with a bit of pruning) that felt relevant to development for those that don't want to sift through the whole thing.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
You missed a few including my own question but all in all not bad.
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Manveru Taurënér

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1745 on: March 15, 2019, 12:30:00 pm »

You missed a few including my own question but all in all not bad.

Skipped over stuff that was more general or non-future dev questions or already answered etc to keep it less unwieldy, and stuck to just Tarns answers (but may well have missed relevant stuff too or made seemingly bad calls on what to skip, not used to reddit either and some stuff seemed to want to hide itself). For those interested there's plenty more interesting stuff there, as well as some answers from Mayday and Meph on the tileset work and modding ^^

Edit: Right, you asked stuff in the r/gamedev AMA, felt like there wasn't much there that weren't too niche/relevant enough to copy so just skipped that :P
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 12:58:58 pm by Manveru Taurënér »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1746 on: March 16, 2019, 12:39:52 am »

Great news on the Steam thing. I hope this brings in lots of new players (and their money) for you!

As I read through Meph's threads explaining the tons of sprites that will make the graphical version of DF so interesting, it becomes obvious (as I think it did to you back with Armok I) that graphics can never show everything you want them too. That leaves them as highly detailed, colourful representations, which I guess people accept more so in 2D than 3D but to me is not much more useful than an ASCII character (but that's just me - whatever attracts new players is cool I guess).

So, and I suppose it might be too early to tell, but with all this new income, official graphical version, back up of tremendously cool people...do you feel any pressure to reconsider any features from the point of view of "will this work in the graphical version"?

Examples might be, say, the Half-Elf issue. If you attempt it, it's going to be a lot of work just for the coding. But for tilesets? Sprites for half, quarter, a little bit elves? Green half-goblins? Pale half-goblins with red eyes (two variations from three-toe's own stories). The scope of procgen critters post myth-gen? It's all going to be a headache for the graphics guys but it all seems so essential to making dwarf fortress what it is. (And I guess the reason I'll play the Steam version in ascii, statues of famous bards represented by statues of armoured dwarves just annoys me).

To clarify, I don't mean contractual pressure, but just on the level of consideration for Meph and Mayday's sanity.
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Egan_BW

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1747 on: March 16, 2019, 12:43:50 am »

I say let 'em go insane trying to render maggot people. :)
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Death Dragon

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1748 on: March 16, 2019, 02:23:16 am »

I say let 'em go insane trying to render maggot people. :)
I agree with this. I hope Toady won't let graphical considerations stop him from creating the most extreme fantasy world generator.

As far as I know, one thing you really appreciated about DF was that you didn't have any responsibility towards anyone and you could work on anything you want at any pace you want. Do you feel any sort of mental "consequences" due to putting the game up for sale? Do you feel differently now that you're going to have "customers"?

On Discord you said that most new graphics effects like the transparency feature etc have already been implemented into the game. For how long have you been working on these things exactly? Did you do them secretly at the side during the villain update?


Edit:
Last months answers were really cool:
Quote from: Death Dragon
It's planned that, when you expel someone, the person will remember that negatively and if they have villainous tendencies, they might want to take revenge on you in some way, right?
Would there be a chance that the same could happen when you decline a visitor's petition request or do they currently not care about it either way when you decline those?
Yeah, I should set that up -- I've made a note.  As PatrikLundell said, they have personality-based reactions to it already, and if it does upset them greatly, it should be able to be the basis of a vendetta if they have the proper tendencies.
That is awesome to hear. I hope there will be some cool stories stemming from that.

Quote from: Death Dragon
A while ago in this devlog (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/index.html#2018-12-07), you talked about how the infrastructure of a site can affect and change the population. Do you have an ability like this planned for libraries in the short term, too? For example, them being able to change the moral values of the site population based on what kind of books are stored in it?
Libraries have an effect in world gen in the currently released version, based on the original and copied books that are there.  Every year, each library gets five turns to pick a book.  If the book has a poetic/music/dance form, it has a chance to make that form well-known in the entire parent civ, as a form of cultural diffusion.  If the book promotes a value at a certain level, it makes a roll against the author's skill roll when they made the book.  The local site civ can have their values shifted by 1-2 point (it takes 10 or more to change the visible text for the value), and the parent civ can also be shifted a point, and all sites under the parent civ have a chance to be shifted a point as well.  It's a very rough system (and it doesn't respond gracefully based on the number of books, etc. etc.), but there's something there.
This is amazingly interesting to me. I didn't know it was already possibly for books to change the values of a civilisation. This isn't something you can currently look up in legends mode, is it?
Just to confirm: With "in world gen" you just mean the initial world generation, right? Not the time passing after the world has been finalised?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 02:46:28 am by Death Dragon »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1749 on: March 16, 2019, 03:42:19 am »

Since it's only happening once a year is there any reason to turn it off during background worldgen? I know there are differences, but value change in individuals is still going on. But, meh, what do I know. Awaiting official answer.
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Hapchazzard

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1750 on: March 16, 2019, 08:29:06 am »

First off, sorry if I offended with the "like a 1930s apartment block" remark, I was just trying to be witty :)

Second, wow, a graphical DF release, honestly didn't expect this in the near future and am (very pleasantly) surprised! The new graphics look really good!

Since audio is also in the works, thought I'd ask a question about it: are there any potential plans for the Steam release (or later) to have 'ambient sounds', e.g. water dripping/echos in caverns, generic forest sounds when in a woodland, crowd sounds when in a congregated area (such as a tavern), etc.?

Second, more related to the graphical features, I've noticed in the graphical previews that sentient critters in battle actually have differing equipment, armor and appearances - some dwarfs have swords, some maces, some crossbows, some spears, etc. This is another very exciting thing for me. If this will actually be a feature, how far will it go in differentiating sentient creatures by equipment/state? Will it
change their sprites based on:
1. Equipped equipment, and it's state?
2. Clothing, and it's state?
3. Physical appearance, such as bald dwarfs actually being bald, etc.?
4. Wounds, from generic bloodiness when wounded, to possibly even more specific wounds (e.g. decapitation being shown, though I am fully aware that this might be a bit too graphical/gory). Possibly bandages when wounds are healing, also.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 08:40:33 am by Hapchazzard »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1751 on: March 16, 2019, 09:32:46 am »

There are ongoing discussions regarding the new graphics over in the mod/tilesets forum with Meph & Mayday (who are making them). Held weapons and such can be seen in the sprites, while clothing seems to be undergoing debate (dyed red tunic should be red, or colours should match profession as in Classic, etc). Facial hair and hairstyles are hoped for too.
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Hapchazzard

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1752 on: March 16, 2019, 10:26:51 am »

There are ongoing discussions regarding the new graphics over in the mod/tilesets forum with Meph & Mayday (who are making them). Held weapons and such can be seen in the sprites, while clothing seems to be undergoing debate (dyed red tunic should be red, or colours should match profession as in Classic, etc). Facial hair and hairstyles are hoped for too.

Just checked, very interesting thread! Thanks for the heads-up!
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1753 on: March 17, 2019, 05:01:36 am »

Now that there are people other than you looking at graphics, another at music and presumably someone thinking about achievements and stuff, how do you want the Suggestions to work from now on? Continue to throw everything into the Bay12 Suggestions forum and you'll pass on anything you think you want in your game? Or some other way to pass on Suggestions directly?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 05:03:20 am by Shonai_Dweller »
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #1754 on: March 17, 2019, 08:00:30 am »

Now that there are people other than you looking at graphics, another at music and presumably someone thinking about achievements and stuff, how do you want the Suggestions to work from now on? Continue to throw everything into the Bay12 Suggestions forum and you'll pass on anything you think you want in your game? Or some other way to pass on Suggestions directly?
The people involved shouldn't have any great problems with locating relevant Suggestion sub forum threads, so my opinion (not being Toady, of course) is that the sub forum should work well regardless of the type of suggestions, although suggestion writers may want to try to keep suggestions that would target different people separated into different threads. At the end of the day, it would be Toady who made the decision, of course, but there's no reason for the various people in the implementation team not to communicate (via the tread or privately) to build a basis for a decision.
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