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Author Topic: How to make your fort dance  (Read 1161 times)

TheEqualsE

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How to make your fort dance
« on: July 27, 2020, 02:35:24 pm »

Ever since I saw some party goers in one of my forts join hands and start dancing around in a circle, I've been kind of fascinated by it.  In my fortress of Swampcavern the dwarves danced quite a lot when the fort was new, then seemingly less and less over time.  I tried to encourage them to dance.  It didn't go well at first.  Here's what I learned so far:

People in the fort only dance under certain conditions.  One, they have to know some dances.  I suspect that in a very young world it would be possible that a civilization has not invented any dances yet.  But in Swampcavern's early years it was mostly tavern visitors doing the dancing.  I'm guessing your civ does not need to know a dance, so long as one of your visitors' does.  They could probably even teach it to your fort, or at least train skill in it.  I also bet that in a world where dancing has not been invented yet, no one ever would, unless someone in your fort invented it, or someone visited from a civ that had since the player started the fortress.

You have to have enough floor space.  There used to be a bug in the game where people in the fort would not socialize properly.  I'm pretty sure that's been fixed.  But as a consequence taverns or meeting spaces where built large in looks, but defined in a tight small area around some tables.

Not all the dances take place in the same size so far as I can tell.  I've seen them dance in a circle in roughly a 5 by 5 area.  The dance that is their favorite in Swampcavern mostly takes place in a 6 by 6 area, but there is one extra person in the dance, I picture them calling the dance moves.  Counting that person you need a 7 by 7 space to do the full dance with all the people, although I've seen them do it with less.

Then, this is the hardest one, they have to have free time, and choose to spend it at the tavern or meeting hall.  This is why Swampcavern almost stopped dancing.  When we built big projects like construction on the surface or digging a lot, the fort was busy, but there was down time between orders.  As more and more people got dumped into the military, more people were constantly training.  May soldiers seem to like being soldier and will practice even in their free time so far as I can tell.

It can be tricky to tell if your fort is really busy or not, because there is the reports you get when the game is paused, and what happens when the game is running.  Just because you have a lot of people that report having no job as the game is paused, doesn't mean they aren't busy.  I see a lot of people using the manager function in the game, and they don't seem to realize they've effectively ordered hundreds of tasks.  If your guys are cycling through jobs quickly, a lot of them might say they are free at once as they just finished tasks - only to get a new job a split second later.  If you're mining, building, training a military, cooking, harvesting, writing books, making statues and art, have weapons and armor ordered - especially if you don't have that large of a population - your whole fort is going to be very busy for a long time.  They are not going to have time to dance.

So to get the best chance of getting your guys to dance, you have to have a bunch of people with free time, really.  Some of them will go to the library, the church, some of them will train in the military.

Here are some things you can control to make dancing more likely:

The number of visitors.  When I did see dancing in my fort, usually most of the people doing it were visitors, and only a few would be people from my fort.  Early in my forts history I had the number of visitors turned up because I was entertained by it.  Later I turned it way down because FPS was becoming an issue.  Not surprisingly, bards seem to like to dance in particular.

After years of pretty much non stop practice, I told several squads to stop practicing temporarily.  Many of them kept doing it for fun, but some wandered off to the library or churches.  I'm sure this also freed up some to go hang out in the tavern, thus increasing the chance of dancing.
Have a large enough free floor space.  You can even see how much room there is in the description of your tavern.

Have a large number of people free to goof off.  If the goal is to get them to dance, let large mining jobs or construction jobs run out without assigning more.  Be aware if your manager is doing jobs on conditions they might be automatically assigning lots of people to cook, brew, harvest, make clothes, weapons, armor, art, trade goods.  If you have a lot of stone smoothing and a lot of people allowed, that can be a project that uses huge amounts of people sometimes.

Hiring people to work at your taverns does NOT increase the chance of dancing so far as I can tell.  They just spend their time handing out drinks, at least that's what my guys did.

If anyone ends up doing some dwarfy science on this I'd love to hear about the results.
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Jundavr

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 05:46:40 pm »

Individuals learn dances (and other art forms) from either being born in a civilization, in which case they automatically know all artistic forms associated with that civ, or by watching performances. For example, a dwarf seeing an elf perform an elven form in a tavern will learn that form. After they learn the form, they can then perform it themselves at the tavern.

I can't confirm, but I have personally seen strong evidence that the need to uphold tradition is associated with wether your fort dwarves will start a dance or not (they may recite poetry also, or just play a song).

When performers visit, they will hang around the tavern and perform fairly frequently, so I'd say that's the most common source of dances, as long as you have performers visiting.

If you want your dorfs to hang around in the tavern, you can remove all other meeting areas, such as libraries, temples and dining rooms. Remove all the barracks designations too, so the military maniacs won't spend all their time playing with their weapons.

To make it easier to reassign those areas, you can set them from a table instead of with the zone menu. It's specially useful if you have multiple temples, since you can rename the table itself to match the temple name.

Also, if you're playing around with taverns, beware of this bug:
https://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=9485
Dwarves will cancel performances and their instruments will be stuck in a TASK state, rendering it permanently immobile unless hacked out of it.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 05:50:56 pm by Jundavr »
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Leonidas

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 07:06:36 pm »

You can retire the fort, create adventurers, retire them into the fort, and then unretire the fort. You can give yourself highly talented artists of whatever type. You can also design them psychologically, which should improve their chances of wanting to perform. I would start with desires for merriment and art.

However, unretiring a fort is quite messy with a mature fort. It's easier with a new fort where you know you will eventually want nightly performances of Riverdance.
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knutor

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 09:02:00 am »

I control my "axe/fish" dwarfs similarly. Except, instead of undoing their activity zones for fishing, which double as a Fish/River/Lake god temple or Fishworker guildhalls, when I want some trees chopped down, I click the bottom choice on fishing AZ menus, which sorry, I cannot remember the DF menu key. It deactivates the activity zone. This can be toggled, without loosing your setup.
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vjek

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 01:16:20 pm »

...
If anyone ends up doing some dwarfy science on this I'd love to hear about the results.
... I can't confirm, but I have personally seen strong evidence that the need to uphold tradition is associated with wether your fort dwarves will start a dance or not (they may recite poetry also, or just play a song). ...
Recently, the dfhack structures were updated to include some very nice details surrounding performance abilities (poetry, music, dancing, instruments) so I was able to adapt some of my scripts to do some testing.
My test methodology is pretty straightforward.  Immediately after embarking, I create a 31x31 tavern on the surface, and typically, in a few days, if the world is ideal for that sort of thing, visitors show up.

I've worked out that without historical figures or sufficient civs, you get almost no visitors.  Not surprisingly, in a world with a dead dwarven civ and no other civs of any kind, you get no visitors. Makes sense.
With many human, dwarf, and elf civs, you get many visitors.  In some worlds, if goblins have become citizens of other civs, or their sites have been taken over by non-goblin civs, you'll even get goblin visitors.  Similarly, if animal men become citizens of civs, they too will visit.

So, visitors are arriving, but now.. we want them to dance.  Of course.
There's a few different mechanics at play here.  There's needs, personality traits, values, skills, and preferences.
From what I can tell, personality traits and preferences don't have a significant bearing on whether or not dances happen.
It may be that in extreme cases, they might, but I tested with reasonable, average, or ideal personality traits and preferences, and those didn't seem to make any difference.

Once the various dances were setup as Legendary in skill, what DID seem to make the most drastic difference were the needs and values.
In particular..
unit.status.current_soul.personality.values
of
    [df.value_type.MERRIMENT]=41
along with, optionally
    [df.value_type.ARTWORK]=41
    [df.value_type.COOPERATION]=41
and
unit.status.current_soul.personality.needs
of
    [df.need_type.MakeMerry]=2
    [df.need_type.AdmireArt]=2
and optionally
    [df.need_type.UpholdTradition]=2
   
However, some context..

My goal in testing was to see if it's possible make all the dwarves perform social dances only, and often.  Turns out, you can.
I gave all the dwarves in the fort all the social/group dances in the world, regardless of origin civ, and then made them Legendary(20) skill at those social/group dances.
I also gave them lower skill in all their civ-specific poems and music, and legendary skill in all their civ-specific instruments.
Turns out, instrument skill has no apparent bearing on whether or not a dance will be performed.  If they don't have that instrument or instrument skill, they will just simulate it, if it's required.

The UpholdTradition need is apparently only fulfilled if a dwarf participates in a dance.  As some social/group dances are a group of 2, and observing those is part of some dances, this is a somewhat risky need to have in place.  Personally, I don't use it, but I wanted to test Jundavr's premise.  It often appears true, for participation/performing, but I've seen the need unmet immedately after performing, so it's not 100%. 
If a dwarf observes a dance only, the UpholdTradition need will not be met, from what I saw.
It may also be true (I only saw this once) that having UpholdTradition as well as MakeMerry and AdmireArt does create a biased selection of more frequent Dancing after Socializing.

All of the above was also tested with an ever present ..personality.needs of:
    [df.need_type.PrayOrMeditate]=0, -- this actually presents itself as a need to pray, even with a value of 0
    [df.need_type.DrinkAlcohol]=1 -- as a control, given this is a common feature of all dwarves.

In short, if they value MERRIMENT and have a MakeMerry need, and if they have high skill in dancing, they will dance.  Often, but not exclusively.
Under my test conditions, where all other needs and values were removed or left at the default, they participate in exactly five tasks/jobs while in a tavern:
Socialize (this is the default/expected/normal)
Listen to Story
Listen to Poetry
Listen to Music
Dance (watch/participate)

Under these test conditions, what I've observed is they start with Socialize, then branch to one activity of: Story, Poetry, Music, Dance, then back to Socialize, then one of the performance abilities, and that repeats forever, until they need to eat, drink or sleep.
Of course, if there is another meeting area, or a temple, or you assign them a job in a workshop, those get done in between.  But when they're just living life, and there's just one tavern, that's what happens.
If they watch a dance, listen to a poem, listen to a story, or listen to music, this counts as AdmireArt and MakeMerry, and those needs are met.  With only those needs, it's quite easy to have un-stressed dwarves, all other things being equal.
Some exclusive needs (BeWithFriends, TakeItEasy, StayOccupied) result in many No Job tasks, and as a result, no Socializing/Dancing.
BeCreative, as a need, seems difficult to meet/fulfill.  It may fit into the UpholdTradition category, where you can't just observe, but have to participate.  This makes it a harder need to meet.

I haven't tested:
all the personality.needs, exclusively
all the personality.values, exclusively
extremes (both positive and negative) for needs, values, and personality traits.

Thisfox

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 12:59:47 am »

You can retire the fort, create adventurers, retire them into the fort, and then unretire the fort. You can give yourself highly talented artists of whatever type. You can also design them psychologically, which should improve their chances of wanting to perform. I would start with desires for merriment and art.

Why not just embark with seven dorfs who have a lot of predesignated skills in dancing from the embark preparation screen? How is creating adventurers different to this?
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A_Curious_Cat

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2020, 09:55:44 am »

If you want to make your fort dance, you’re going to have to wait until Toady One implements moving fort sections (you’re also, probably, going to need a lot of mechanisms).
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Loud Whispers

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Re: How to make your fort dance
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2020, 03:04:06 pm »

This is tremendously interesting. It grants me visions of hillocks where dwarves and hobbits do merry make in much ruckus and bumble!