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Author Topic: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?  (Read 608 times)

PlatinumSun

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Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« on: August 10, 2018, 03:23:32 pm »

I understand they cant afford to hire anyone. But I mean its odd no one else has joined the team even if they are not being paid.
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Ninjabread

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 03:56:48 pm »

I was under the impression that Toady doesn't want help on the dev side of things, presumably it's to do with the somewhat disorganised nature of the development, it's probably quite hard to organise any number of people to work on a specific feature when you aren't even sure what feature you're going to add until you've already started. I swear DF is just a collection of Toady's strange mood artefacts. Also could be to do with privacy and code security, but I prefer the more whimsical explanation.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 04:03:11 pm »

It's a choice. Working with other people has hassles they don't want to deal with. This isn't the only game in existence being made long-term by one /two people, you know.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 04:48:10 pm »

As Shonai_Dweller said, Toady doesn't want to become an administrator/work manager, which is what would happen if more people get involved in the coding. That would likely kill the creative joy and thus DF in a fairly short time.
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Dunamisdeos

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 06:21:31 pm »

Yeah I always got the idea this was basically his baby, and he's not handing it to anyone else.
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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 06:36:01 pm »

Mm. Toady has worked with other people before my time, to improve the graphics/OpenGL front-end (something like that, anyway - I think that was done by someone called Baughn?).

While the result worked, he doesn't understand that part of code as well as everything else, and thus would rather not do it again.

Thus, one other person since then.

mikekchar

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2018, 02:09:55 am »

I think there is another side to it as well.  There are a lot of things Toady doesn't do that would almost certainly result in higher profitability (for example, prioritising bug fixing over new development).  This is not so much a commercial game development as it is an artistic project.  There are lots of artists that had large teams working on paintings, for example, but it's also not unusual to build great works of art solo.  It's also why he builds the game he wants to build rather than the game that will sell more units.
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Virtual Russian

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2018, 12:36:08 pm »

I think there is another side to it as well.  There are a lot of things Toady doesn't do that would almost certainly result in higher profitability (for example, prioritising bug fixing over new development).  This is not so much a commercial game development as it is an artistic project.  There are lots of artists that had large teams working on paintings, for example, but it's also not unusual to build great works of art solo.  It's also why he builds the game he wants to build rather than the game that will sell more units.

It's pretty much this.

There is a reason DF is found in MoMa and not gamestop. It's an artistic project primarily, not a commercial game.
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NJW2000

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2018, 12:52:24 pm »

Toady works with several different people on the bugtracker, which is kind of part of development.

I don't know how much he pays attention to the suggestions forum when implementing specific new features, but there's usually a couple of pages of exhaustive discussion of how to implement any single feature he's thinking of putting in. So a lot of people may have a small impact on the game without knowing it by creating those.

I can't add anything to what the posters above have said about why he and Threetoe are the only ones directly adding to the game itself. Toady could call upon a formidable group of programmers from bay12 and DF reddit if he thought he needed to.
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Salmeuk

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 07:44:23 pm »

Quote from: PlatinumSun
Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?

I've heard stories of other developers showing up at Toady's doorstep, hoping to either join the team outright or contribute their surely-important feature suggestions, or at least talk to the man Himself.

Most are never heard from again.1

A few do reappear, months later and in strange places. They are often picked up by unassuming crab fisherman, who are on their way through the southern straights of the Puget Sound when they see a strange floating bundle caught in the bull kelp. When the bundle turns out to be a floating body, the fisherman hauls it aboard only to discover it's still alive! Hypothermic, naked and sometimes missing fingers, these developers have seen better days. When the police arrive, they refuse to talk and are often returned to their families mute, or interred in one of the local mental institutions and soon forgotten.

In a chance encounter at a local coffee shop I ran into one of these survivors, and got him talking only by sharing my intimate knowledge of the more obscure DF game mechanics.2 He opened up about his encounter, which I secretly recorded and will now share with the community.

I arrived at dusk to the town of Silverdale. I had taken the Edmonds - Kingston ferry and made my way down the Kitsap Penisula, passing through a number of smaller locales before reaching the ouskirts of town. Toady supposedly lived in a set of cheap apartments behind the local K-mart, but through an undisclosed source on the forums I had obtained the location of his true home: a forested property about two miles east of town. The source had warned me that should I approach his house uninvited I would regret it, but I foolishly dismissed this as paranoia. I mean, the man I was going to see programmed games for a living, how dangerous could he be?

So I drove on past the casino and the K-mart and the strangely named diners and one-off corner shops and soon came to the given address. Illuminated by the headlights was a tall iron gate, flanked by looming black conifers that stretched as far as I could see. Behind the gate was a simple dirt road that quickly curved and disappeared into the dark forest. I parked my Civic to the side of the road and, grabbing my backpack and laptop full of suggestion notes, crept towards the gate.

The ironwork was masterful, with intricate carvings of vines and roses running up each of the thick bars. The top was spiked, and the gate was hinged into thick columns of brick. I tried to just go around, but the brickwork continued on either side of the gate and after walking for a few minutes I gave up. To think that someone had built a wall, brick by brick, around the entire property was astounding. To finish it in any reasonable time you would need a huge crew of people with nothing else to do, and even then it might take months.

Luckily I had prepared for this contingency, and after walking back to my car I pulled out the grappling hook and scaling rope. I approached the southern extension of the wall and, after a few failed attempts, managed to hook something on the far side. I tested the rope and then easily climbed over the wall, jumping down on the far side and retrieving my hook in case it was needed later.

"All this work just to make a suggestion!" I thought to myself. Of course I had made many suggestions on the forums, I mean who hasn't? But almost all my best ideas had been shot down by older posters. It was always something stupid like, "This suggestion has been made before," or "Your idea is already included in the development plan." I don't CARE that someone else has already suggested hallucinogenic drugs, that post was from 2007 for christ sakes, how am I supposed to even be aware of these things? I swear, this game was going to collapse under the weight of it's own history. I remembered where I was, and swore that when I met Toady I was seriously going to turn this game around.

With the moon peeking through the shadowed branches above I crept along the dirt road. Soon I saw lights in the distance - porch lights! There it was, his house in all it's glory! I had made and and I broke into a run, when suddenly the ground opened up and all was consumed by darkness.

I woke up. I was lying on a cold, stone floor. I tried moving but it hurt too much, I must have broken something in the fall. I no longer had my backpack, or the hook and rope, or the laptop with my precious suggestions. I started to cry. I grew silent and then waited for a long time, I couldn't tell you how long, but then a door opened in the wall of the chamber and a flickering orange light flooded the room. One of the shortest men I have ever seen stood in the doorway holding a torch and chains. I only had a short look at his features before they slipped a bag over my head, but I just remember a long, braided beard that fell down to his waist. . .

I was taken through twisting passageways, up staircases, down ramps, through echoing caverns and musty hallways filled with ankle-deep water. We stopped at some point and I was told to climb into a strange metal box. I did as instructed, and then I heard a metal clanking and to my horror the box began to move. I realized my hands were no longer bound and so I took the bag, which had smelled like mushrooms, off my head and came to realize my terrible fate.

I was in one of those old minecarts, like you might see in a cartoon about the wild west, only it was very real and moving very fast. The tracks were built on some sort of trellis, and below me stretched a wide cavern, larger than any football stadium. I saw no way to escape this hellride without falling to my death, so I just held tight and waited for my doom. For all I knew the cart could be tracked straight into a bottomless pit, or a pool of lava, or the lair of a dragon. Should I just throw myself off and get it over with? I was thinking these sorts of things when the cart collided with something, maybe a stray rock or a creature in the dark, and I was thrown out into the air.

I fell into a pool of cold water, and soon discovered I was not alone. Some large creature was also with me, and occasionally I could feel a scaly limb brushing up against my skin. I should have been devoured right there, but it wasn't hungry or perhaps it felt pity for the sad pink creature that had fallen out of the air. I swam aimlessly until I found the muddy shore. I struggled mightily to haul myself out of that stinking murk. I then passed out from exhaustion.

I woke to a sharp jab in the ribs. A group of strange creatures surrounded me, and one had a wooden spear. It poked me again and I heard clacking noises from the rest - some sort of primitive language. I didn't need a dictionary to understand their meaning, "This one's dinner!," and with a burst of energy I rolled backwards into the water. Their spears and darts splashed around me as I swam away, only to encounter my scaly friend from before. Specifically the jaws of my scaly friend closing around me. I dodged the first bite and swam madly towards a rushing noise I had not heard previously. I could feel the beast pursuing, and as the noise got louder and louder the water began to drag me along. Then, I was in the air - this was some sort of underground waterfall! I tumbled into the darkness and struck my head on a rock, and again lost consciousness.

I woke on the southern shore of Bainbridge island. I was naked, cold and bruised but, most importantly, I was alive. The rest of the story, about how I made my way back to my car and then back home, is less interesting so I'll save you the details. Suffice to say I never talked to Toady, but I'm certain that my laptop made its way into his hands, since a number of my best suggestions have ended up as features within the game. In fact, I could potentially take credit for the latest update, for it was MY original idea to . . .


I left the coffee shop at that point. He had returned to his default state of grandiose claims of his influence over DF development, which are already bad enough to read through a computer screen and to hear them in person would be unfathomably boring.

I have no reason to believe what this unlucky developer has told me. For all I know he could be insane with jealously and spun that yarn with a forked tongue. However, I do not recommend showing up at Toady's doorstep without explicit permission - trespassers might be in for more than they can handle.


1. Toady's quite good friends with the local police, especially after a few well-timed 'donations' at fundraising events (where do you think all this donation money is going?). Missing persons reports are rarely followed up on as a result.

2. I also spiked his latte with concentrated alcohol but that's really besides the point.
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PlatinumSun

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2018, 07:55:08 pm »

Toady works with several different people on the bugtracker, which is kind of part of development.

I don't know how much he pays attention to the suggestions forum when implementing specific new features, but there's usually a couple of pages of exhaustive discussion of how to implement any single feature he's thinking of putting in. So a lot of people may have a small impact on the game without knowing it by creating those.

I can't add anything to what the posters above have said about why he and Threetoe are the only ones directly adding to the game itself. Toady could call upon a formidable group of programmers from bay12 and DF reddit if he thought he needed to.

The thing is Toady and Three Toe prefer Adventure mode so why not get another team of 2 on board to focus more on Fortress mode. While also having another team of 2 to work entirely on bug fixes. So 6 in total devs.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2018, 08:16:43 pm »

Toady works with several different people on the bugtracker, which is kind of part of development.

I don't know how much he pays attention to the suggestions forum when implementing specific new features, but there's usually a couple of pages of exhaustive discussion of how to implement any single feature he's thinking of putting in. So a lot of people may have a small impact on the game without knowing it by creating those.

I can't add anything to what the posters above have said about why he and Threetoe are the only ones directly adding to the game itself. Toady could call upon a formidable group of programmers from bay12 and DF reddit if he thought he needed to.

The thing is Toady and Three Toe prefer Adventure mode so why not get another team of 2 on board to focus more on Fortress mode. While also having another team of 2 to work entirely on bug fixes. So 6 in total devs.
Did you read any of the replies in your thread?
Because. They. Don't. Want. To.
Is it that hard to understand?
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Urist McVoyager

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Re: Why Are There Still Only 2 People Developing This Game?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2018, 08:21:51 pm »

The thing is Toady and Three Toe prefer Adventure mode so why not get another team of 2 on board to focus more on Fortress mode. While also having another team of 2 to work entirely on bug fixes. So 6 in total devs.

Rolling off another reply from earlier, about someone coding the front end stuff . . . if he doesn't understand one other coder's stuff all that well, what kind of complicated Hell would he be going through to have two separate teams doing work on his code?
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