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Author Topic: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management  (Read 301 times)

Endarire

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Greetings, all!

I have barely played Dwarf Fortress to its complexity, but have heard and read more about it.  Since the Dev Brothers™ want to make this a full-fledged fantasy world simulator, I have these suggestions.  (I don't recall reading about these on the planned features page, and searching the forum didn't provide results helpful enough to me regarding the existence of these.  Apologies in advance if this stuff has been implemented, suggested, or is scheduled for inclusion.)

In Adventure Mode (or/and in perhaps another, new mode), I would like the ability to manage cities and nations.  The game already has nobility and governments.  I am well aware that Dwarf (Fortress) Mode exists, but being able to be a part-time noble, part-time adventurer appeals to me.

Similarly, I would like to be able to buy/rent and operate businesses.  This may mean making a Wizard's Tower/Magic Guild to supply an area's magic needs; a livery stable and animal hospital for the animal needs; a criminal underworld for 'protection rackets,' poisons, lockpicks, and other goods and services of questionable repute; churches/temples/religious sites for healing and religious/spiritual needs; and general stores for storing general things - all at the same time if I had the resources and desire.  If I merely wanted a small-scale business, I could, but if I wanted a chain business (a restaurant in many locations in one city or a guild with a station in many cities) I also could.

Since I can't be everywhere at once, I would need staff.  This includes managers to oversee the operations of each location and report to me the information, such as what each branch needs, where it has a surplus or things are otherwise going well, who else to consider hiring/firing/killing/demoting/promoting, and what other goods or/and services to stock/be involved in.  In terms of governing positions, I'd like to know generally the same things:  What needs short-term attention, what needs longer-term attention, and what things are going well, how, and why.  I would also like the ability to fully outsource this organization or set of organizations to managers/NPCs while reaping the profits if I have the resources and willingness.  (This game is still meant to be engaging to players.)

I mention Adventure Mode since I like the notion of using the same character as part of adventuring and business/city/nation management.  Perhaps invest in a business, work it part-time, and use the profits to outfit my character with vanity housing.  Sure, I could theoretically sleep on the floor in my blacksmith's broom closet, but having something more elaborate seems a fitting way to spend my capitalistic gains.

And, this being Dwarf Fortress, I expect there to be challenges in owning and operating a business.  Perhaps cargo was attacked by raiders and perhaps some key staff members are being held hostage.  Perhaps due to war demand for weapons has drastically increased, which would greatly help my smithing empire but also made the price of ore drastically increase due to trade route problems.  Perhaps some megabeast has been created, summoned, awakened, or driven mad by Wizards in a guild I own and needs handling.  Regardless, adventurers have something to do that's adventure-like involving their businesses.  The bigger the span of the business (or government), the more likely the need for adventuring intervention from the player character or/and other adventurers.  Being able to have a private military company (or be the government with a regional or national army) also seems appropriate.

(As an aside which I initially assumed, goods and services and employees would be of varying qualities.  You could, for example, specialize in selling high-end jewelry or all jewelry regardless of quality.  Your managers could be super competent but demand high compensation or be inexperienced and possibly less reliable but cheaper.  That sort of thing.)

I understand that fully implementing this would likely take a significant amount of development time and resources.  It need not be included right away, but its inclusion would be a reason for me to learn more about Dwarf Fortress and play it.  If this system is already implemented, then the Dev Brothers agreed.  If it's officially planned, that's still good.  If fans want to mod it in (or already have and provide a handy link), that's also spiffy.  The main point is to get this system in the game enjoyably.

Thankee!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 02:40:31 am by Endarire »
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KittyTac

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 03:21:47 am »

Probably coming in the laws and customs update, 5-ish years from now. And this is impossible to mod in right now.

Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 03:44:38 am »

I think recently (last month, the month before?), Toady expanded a little on his future ideas for more civ level management in a Fotf reply. We'll see the seedlings of this with the army and off-site administrators and hill dwarves over the next few months.

Managing a business like a tavern or wizards tower would be very interesting. Would be post Economy update, so far future, but hopefully viable, yeah.

The dev notes also mention being able to control other sites, human towns, elf retreats, dark pits, plus future expansion into more flexible site types so we're moving (slowly) in that direction.

Would be nice to have each site type feel like a very different game to dwarf mode. More focus on expanding outwards and managing vassals for city-type civs with the underground limited to getting the sewers working and occasional dealing with underground civs breaking into them. And then...whatever elves deal with from day to day. :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 03:49:33 am by Shonai_Dweller »
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Manveru Taurënér

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 04:13:33 am »

Very much planned (the general ideas at least), this bit from the first dftalk (which is quite a while back but still as relevant) gives a rough outline on the overall vision, and is a pretty good piece overall hence quoting the whole bit:

Rainseeker:   There you go. I think that it'd be kind of fun to talk about where you see the long distance goal of Dwarf Fortress. I know you've kind of talked about this in some of the other interviews but let's talk about it again.
Toady:   Yeah ... We want to have a game ... it's completely far flung but you need to have some kind of goal ... we want to have a game where you could basically start up the game and it makes a world that's essentially some kind of novel - meaning new not a book, but you might as well say book too - setup with things that you haven't seen before and all kinds of different historical stuff about how everyone's doing this and that and it's got creatures and magic things going on and everything that's really compelling, and then you can just insert yourself into that; into some role, whether or not it's a dwarf fortress or an adventure of some kind or something else, some other settlement or an entire civilization, or some kind of deity or a big monster or something. You can assume some role in there, mess around for a while and then go assume some other role and have it advance the world along with you as you do things; react to the things you do and everything that you do can have real consequences that have the plot move forward and so on. Like if someone dies there's an actual vacuum that can be filled by other things and so on; we're slowly working towards that, we can kind of see how it can work; it's not an unachievable goal, it's not impossible by any stretch of the imagination, it's just a lot of work and just piece by piece working towards that kind of thing. That's all up on that dev future, whatever it's called, where it's post version 1. Like version 1 is in sixteen years and then after that ...
Rainseeker:   Your grandchildren will be programming for you.
Toady:   Yeah ... can have a little sweatshop here where we all work on Dwarf Fortress together. And some of those things, I don't know if they'll be slipped in earlier. You can already mod in yourself playing a dragon or whatever, so it's not like it's impossible to do already. Ideally ... you know, ideally means ideally ... you'd be able to play anything; any creature or group, like right now you can play the dwarf fortress civilization site entity of a fortress, or you can play an adventurer that is from say three different races; and that's pretty restrictive, but there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to play the whole civilization of the dwarves, and that's actually one of the goals that's pre version 1, is being able to get up to that level; where you have the king or queen and you can make decisions that are broader over a series of settlements; and be able to send your armies and diplomats and things around. Once you've got that then if you want to expand to something like elf settlements, you just want to make sure the game isn't too dwarven when you play the elves, because right now everything would be restricted in the same way that the dwarves are restricted but I think by adding some of the mod support that I've been putting in it actually won't be super hard, it'll just be very hard to extend it because some of those things are already being accounted for: some of the differences. So that's the really general long term goal, every type of feature in the game has more detailed or less detailed visions as well, like how we want it to work - my brother and I - and we're just going to keep working on it and arrive at some point by the time we're done. When we're ready to keel over or whatever, something will be there, something pretty good, by that time. After that, after I say that kind of broad vision really the only things I can talk about are whatever specifics people are curious about at that point, I think.


The old complete dev page has some related bits too (while some of the specifics may be outdated it's all still part of the plans afaik).

MERCHANT: With the Caravan Arc, we have traders moving around the world, but I said over there that I didn't want to mess around too much with having a real economy, or it would surely fall apart and all the towns would starve. Once I get up the nerve to tackle these problems, it would be a lot of fun to play a merchant or guild yourself. You could even retire and be visited by yourself in a subsequent dwarf game. Related to PowerGoal62.

CONTROL A WIZARD ENTITY: Not just one of those guys that backs up the team and shoots fireballs, but run something more like a dwarven outpost and construct your own multilevel tower or other such dwelling. This could include adventure style elements where your wizard is engaged in various activities, as well as larger scale army battles and so on. Randomized creatures could also be introduced as you create your minions, and they should be able to breed and expand outward, perhaps becoming a playable race in either adventure or civilization modes. Related to Bloat134, Bloat147, PowerGoal58 and PowerGoal60.

Core30, KINGDOM, (Future): If you manage to get the monarch of the dwarves to arrive, you should obtain at least indirect control over the entire corresponding dwarven civilization. This includes the movement of all dwarven armies on the map and the ability to make the most important diplomatic decisions. Requires Core28.

Core65, ADVENTURER SITE AFFILIATIONS, (Future): When you perform a task for an entity, you currently can an affiliation with it, but that's all. This needs to be expanded greatly. Not only should you be given various positions of responsibility, but you should also become accepted by the group in question and given some way of obtaining living space, equipment, pay, etc. as appropriate. It would also be good for tasks to be appropriate for the goals of the entity, and where possible, to soften the notion of a task -- if you do something that benefits a group, even if the group didn't explicitly ask for it, this should raise your standing with them in general (to the extent that the action/benefit is detectable from a technical standpoint), and a person at an appropriate position within a group should in some circumstances be able to act under their own power with entity subordinates. The primary target entities/positions here for version 1 are soldiers (either proper ones or loosely defined mead hall groups), caravan guards, bandits and religious groups.

Core86, ADVANCED ADVENTURER SKILLS, (Future): Virtually every job available in dwarf mode should be available to you as an adventurer, though it might rely on town infrastructure, especially at first.
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Endarire

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 02:12:07 pm »

Thankee!

It was good to know this was planned eventually.  Having seen some of the homepage's screenshots, I was wondering when I could manage/command a city or nation in DF.  (I'm a big fan of D&D 3.5, and owning/running a business as a side project has been something I wanted to try in that game but haven't despite there existing official rules.  DF, due to its complexity, seemed like the next place to check.)
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KittyTac

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 09:18:57 am »

Thankee!

It was good to know this was planned eventually.  Having seen some of the homepage's screenshots, I was wondering when I could manage/command a city or nation in DF.  (I'm a big fan of D&D 3.5, and owning/running a business as a side project has been something I wanted to try in that game but haven't despite there existing official rules.  DF, due to its complexity, seemed like the next place to check.)
DF is indeed complex, but do not overestimate it.

Endarire

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 01:16:31 am »

DF also seemed like the place to be able multitask on the same character adventuring with business/organization owning & operating; hence, my mention of it in the original post.  (Given the scope of this project, I suspected city/nation management would be included at some point.  This post was done to reinforce this point.)

Regardless, thankee!
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 05:39:55 am »

In Adventure Mode (or/and in perhaps another, new mode), I would like the ability to manage cities and nations.  The game already has nobility and governments.  I am well aware that Dwarf (Fortress) Mode exists, but being able to be a part-time noble, part-time adventurer appeals to me.

That sounds rather like a Fortress Mode job.  Why not just switch over to fortress mode, as doing anything like that at an adventure mode timeframe is going to be like watching paint dry.  If you want to run a large business, you become a site with that starting scenario and with your adventurer becomes a character in said site.  Otherwise your commercial activities are restricted to simply being a peddler/craftsman with maybe a donkey to carry stuff on. 

Since I can't be everywhere at once, I would need staff.  This includes managers to oversee the operations of each location and report to me the information, such as what each branch needs, where it has a surplus or things are otherwise going well, who else to consider hiring/firing/killing/demoting/promoting, and what other goods or/and services to stock/be involved in.  In terms of governing positions, I'd like to know generally the same things:  What needs short-term attention, what needs longer-term attention, and what things are going well, how, and why.  I would also like the ability to fully outsource this organization or set of organizations to managers/NPCs while reaping the profits if I have the resources and willingness.  (This game is still meant to be engaging to players.)

This is where the problem starts; where do your staff come from?  As an adventurer you really are not a very good employer since your prospects of coming to a sticky end in a dragon's lair are pretty high and hence nobody has any job security at all however well they work and their wages might end up in said dragon's lair as well.  Consequently only the most desperate civilians will ever take up employment with an adventurer and since nobody is currently that desperate we have to make sure that there are such people.

Which then runs into fortress mode, in fortress mode we start to need to force there to be people that are desperate enough to work for the adventurer in adventure mode or somehow explain why the rest of the world is so much more incompetent than we are.  That is not a prospect that I relish, being forced to put up with a permanent underclass so that adventurers can poach my people without everybody just turning around and saying 'better prospects at home thanks'.

Basically this suggestion has the same basic nature as all the other similar suggestions, it creates a direct clash between Fortress and Adventure mode.  Plus the general Anachronism since most of the kind of things you are thinking about business wise did not come about or were not common until the late 19th Century, let along the 15th Century. 
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Bumber

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 05:54:34 pm »

This is where the problem starts; where do your staff come from?  As an adventurer you really are not a very good employer since your prospects of coming to a sticky end in a dragon's lair are pretty high and hence nobody has any job security at all however well they work and their wages might end up in said dragon's lair as well.  Consequently only the most desperate civilians will ever take up employment with an adventurer and since nobody is currently that desperate we have to make sure that there are such people.
There's already an agreement system in place for, e.g., having people guide you to a location. They only accept if it makes sense to do so, or if they can be persuaded. Not all adventurers are dragon slayers. Some run the same risks of any merchant caravan or frontier town. The workers only need to believe in the adventurer's competence, or know that things are in order in the event of untimely death. Drunks found in taverns will follow basically anybody to a worthy death. Carpenters and the rest will at least follow renowned heroes to work at their site.

Employees might demand payment in advance or a cut of the profits. They might work for free for a short while as a favor for rescuing their child. Alternatively, they might be coerced somehow by a less scrupulous adventurer.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Adventure Mode (New Mode?) Business, City, and Nation Management
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018, 06:22:42 am »

There's already an agreement system in place for, e.g., having people guide you to a location. They only accept if it makes sense to do so, or if they can be persuaded. Not all adventurers are dragon slayers. Some run the same risks of any merchant caravan or frontier town. The workers only need to believe in the adventurer's competence, or know that things are in order in the event of untimely death. Drunks found in taverns will follow basically anybody to a worthy death. Carpenters and the rest will at least follow renowned heroes to work at their site.

Employees might demand payment in advance or a cut of the profits. They might work for free for a short while as a favor for rescuing their child. Alternatively, they might be coerced somehow by a less scrupulous adventurer.

Point is that they want to know that you won't just wander off and not pay them.  You taking unnecessary risks, which the adventurer will do by most people's gameplay makes you a bad employer, however famous and successful you might be people are going to be wary of taking up especially long-term employment with you because everybody knows that there is a high probability of you coming to a sticky end, along with their job.  Being paid in advance fixes this problem, but logically runs the risk that the NPC would cheat the adventurer or dawdle about doing the actual work.

I think the way forward here is to keep track of the player's reputation as an employer, separately from his reputation for say killing dragons.  Things like not paying people or going too far away when the employee is working (thus implying taking unneccesery risks) or getting employees injured or killed for whatever reason should harm the adventurer's reputation.  The more harmed your reputation is, the more desperate the people would have to be to willingly work for you.
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