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Author Topic: Expedition leader mandates - acting as an ingame tutorial fitting the game theme  (Read 347 times)

mko

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One major problem for newbies is that at start of the game there is no guidance what should be done.

Also, expedition leader is surprisingly passive, not really leading.

Leader should make demands:

Version minimum:
Shortly after embarking demand production of
- stone (if mining would count as fulfilling this)
- wooden logs (if woodcutting satisfies this)
- 4 beds
- 1 table
- 4 chairs
- 20 barrels

Full deluxe executive edition, requires adding more complex triggers (more coding):

- Noone is assigned miner/woodcutter/herbalist/hauler/etc labor - mandate assigning this labor to someone
- 0 stone available - mandate digging
- 0 wood available, there are trees on the surface - mandate wood cutting
- There are building materials and there is no carpenter workshop - mandate constructing it
- There is a carpentry workshop and there are no beds in storage - mandate bed production
- There are beds in storage and number of placed beds is lower than half of population - mandate placing beds
- 0 empty barrels and there is wood in the storage - mandate barrel production
- 0 food and there is a gatherable food on the surface - demand food gathering

In both cases demands should be staggered to not demand at once several separate things and to avoid demanding several times the same thing as trigger hits.

I thing that such mandates are both realistic and should be a decent guide for new players. This is a basic leadership, more realistic than the current passive leader. Can be further improved by some link/bundled explanation how to do this. And should not be too hard to implement, especially the basic version.

Failure/compliance can probably result in minor thoughts for the expedition leader. Success can probably exercise leadership skill and so on.

It also should not harm more experienced players. Except rare cases like digging mandate in area fully covered by old-style aquifer. But in such cases minor negative thoughts are not weird.

It can be further expanded to demand stile construction, booze production, assigning bedrooms, public dining room construction, assigning manager etc.

I searched the suggestion forums for keywords: expedition leader mandates mandate. I found no fitting topics, so it seems to be an original one.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:42:47 am by mko »
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Shonai_Dweller

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That's an interesting take on a tutorial, have it completely "in character" by having the leader demand you do stuff.
Would this be something you can turn off when you don't need "tutorial mode" any more?

Otherwise, it would need to take into account alternative playstyles. For example, it would be annoying to start in a desert (or evil biome) and have the leader shout "cut more wood"! Or to play an overground fort and have a leader demanding you dig out more stone.
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mko

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With triggers it should not demand impossible or stupid things.

Exception about herbalist and woodcutting not demanded in evil biomes makes sense - where else it should not be done? Though maybe someone experienced enough to embark in such place should be aware that one can dig into caverns? And obtain wood and herbs there?

For digging - would it be enough to cease this demand after contructing the first wall? It should support aboveground forts. Or have "strike the earth" mandate done only once. Or skip it.

In general - the plan is that in any functioning fort demands would be meet as part of standard (or never triggered). And in case of really weird forts it would add some flavour about desperate expedition trying to do impossible.

I imagine that one of signs of player getting more experienced would be "expedition leader never needed to issue a mandate in my game! My dwarves are so organised!".

I hope that it should be not useful and necessary to disable it, but some more trigger conditions will be necessary.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 02:46:51 am by mko »
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Shonai_Dweller

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There's a lot of variables. Dwarf Fortress being a sandbox means there are many, many different playstyles. People usually give themselves their own limitations. Probably the sign of an "experienced player" would be an absolutely enraged expedition leader that you're doing everything "wrong".

Still, when the Starting Scenarios arc turns up, then I'm sure there will be people demanding things get done. Then a lot of this can be applied.

Or it could be used as a way to implement the tutorial. Not sure how much thought has gone into that yet besides what Toady described in his interview about it.
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PatrikLundell

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I think this is one of the best "tutorial" type suggestions I've seen. I'd like to see it as a two part thing:

1. "Immediately", i.e. as an introduction as part of the Premium arc. I'd probably have the Expedition Leader start immediately on embark with a "meeting", i.e. straight from the "strike the earth" screen to this screen, where the goals are laid out, and with references from that screen taking you to relevant sections for expansion that list both further goals and instructions on how to do things.
I'm not sure the mandate logic is suitable for this, though, as mandates just disappear silently when fulfilled, while we probably want some kind of feedback in this case, such as an announcement and an item ticked off from a "to do" list.
Once a goal has been reached, a new or expanded further step may be introduced.
It should be possible to disable these instructions for experienced players. Ideally, it would be possible for the community to device additional variants (e.g. have the one to use selected through a "vote" among the starting 7 [who'll end up voting for the player's selection]), but it's probably too hard/much work for Toady to make a raw structure (and game infrastructure) to support that.

2. As part of starting scenarios, where its role would be both as a tutorial and an introduction to the scenario itself.
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Azerty

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Good idea. This should be optional, to allow more experimented players to play their way. Should this tutorial change relative to the map (for exemple, no need to have fishing when the map has no water)?
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"Just tell me about the bits with the forest-defending part, the sociopath part is pretty normal dwarf behavior."

Shonai_Dweller

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Good idea. This should be optional, to allow more experimented players to play their way. Should this tutorial change relative to the map (for exemple, no need to have fishing when the map has no water)?
Well, Toady's has some brief thoughts on the tutorial here:
https://www.pcgamer.com/tutorials-and-mouse-support-could-make-dwarf-fortress-on-steam-vastly-easier-to-play/

So it seems he's more inclined towards having the simulation tweak the situation to help the player follow along. So a fixed embark location maybe?

But you could at least have variations for different biomes. Expedition leader would need to know not to prioritize plant gathering and wood cutting in an evil biome for example.

Of course, figuring out how to survive in these areas is part of the game, so you may want nothing for those areas. In that case perhaps a fixed tutorial world is better.
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FantasticDorf

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I think the Tutorial should have static figures and a sort of 'campaign' narrative between the loose tasks so players can come back to it revise it rather than do it all in one go.

Take some time to understand your dwarves, like brothers Toaby the Expedition leader and Treetoe Addamshumok the Manager directly addressing the player in some pre-set forts as a warm-up to wider scope fortress scenarios to get some technical IRL practice in on setting objectives.

Giving the player the time to think about handling roles, feeding the dwarves and maybe some basic lowdowns on setting up a military that they can come back to.
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PatrikLundell

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You could also have your expedition leader use "The Dwarven Manual for Embark Establishment", a bureacrazy product that explicitly does not adjust priorities apart from some comments within the section itself, such as "If there are no trees on the embark, this section can be ignored, but it might be prudent to read the section 'How to deal with a log shortage'", which would recommend caravan imports, restriction of wood usage to beds, fuel, and soap, requesting logs from dwarven trade liaisons, and dig into caverns (but read the section 'Caverns: Things you should know before breaching them').
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