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Author Topic: Improved Farming  (Read 134207 times)

Duke Drake

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #420 on: May 16, 2010, 06:16:17 pm »

I'm sure it's been suggested already, but I would like to add my support to the idea of being able to mark a plot for irrigation by bucket, that would work similar to fertilizing. For a few small plots, this would be less labor intensive than a vast aquaduct system, but probably bad for a large area.

Also, for the big aquaduct systems, I would really, really, really like a "float valve". This would essentially be a lever (and use much of the same code), that is automatically thrown by water reaching a specified depth, thus opening/closing a floodgate (or whatever). It would need a "Set Float Depth" task, and the code to check it.

Between the two of these, it would easily allow for crops that need standing water, seasonal watering, or the current 'previously muddied' ground, and the same aquaduct system could serve differently-watered farm plots.
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zagibu

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #421 on: May 16, 2010, 09:08:40 pm »

Did I miss something in your description, or did you not know that pressure plates can trigger on water levels?
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beorn080

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #422 on: May 16, 2010, 10:25:08 pm »

I will admit to not having read through this topic, so if this has been suggested, I apologize.

Scrap the current farm plot system.

In its place, add in a burrow for farming. You can set them to whatever size you want, control plantings and fertilization, what dwarves work there, and so on.

Food output stays as it currently is. However, each crop is given optimum growing conditions, ranging from soil condition to proximity to other plants and watering schedules. Plump helmets should require almost nothing, just some dirt to grow on, if that, and they don't mind being packed in. Quarry bushes, however, need plenty of water and space for their nutrient catching leaves, and the space would mean additional room around the plant.

Now, to finish the balance, the worse a farmer is, the worse he gets adhering to the needs of the plant. Naturally, plump helmets wouldn't matter, but Quarry bushes would need expert farmers to expect to get anything out of them. Worse yet, if you let the novice farmer plant the Rock nuts, he'll waste them all packing them in as much as possible, and you'll lose all of them until you can get some more.
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Greep

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #423 on: May 17, 2010, 12:02:48 am »

I agree farming should take more work but not a whole lot.  It just feels weird that one grower and a thresher/cook/brewer can serve a whole fort.

However, I think subterranean farming is too powerful really, aboveground needs something like rocknuts or sweet pods.  Realistically, subterranean farming should be magnitudes less powerful not magnitudes more.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 12:04:49 am by Greep »
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Silverionmox

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #424 on: May 17, 2010, 03:02:16 pm »

The removal of plots as a building and instead adding the plant function to a burrow would remove so much of the clunkiness of farming. Not to mention the other possibilities like decorative plots/borders, woodcutting/tree farm management, animal management etc.
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ManaUser

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #425 on: May 17, 2010, 04:48:31 pm »

Although I can definitely see the appeal of the burrow approach, it's not very newbie friendly. It bad enough that they have to learn workshops are buildings, barracks are designated from buildings, and hospitals are zones without sticking farms in a fourth place. Though if all "zones" were merged into the burrow system that have some promise.
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Narmio

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #426 on: May 17, 2010, 10:57:05 pm »

Although I can definitely see the appeal of the burrow approach, it's not very newbie friendly. It bad enough that they have to learn workshops are buildings, barracks are designated from buildings, and hospitals are zones without sticking farms in a fourth place. Though if all "zones" were merged into the burrow system that have some promise.

This is venturing off topic, but there's a lot of consolidation that could happen there, interface wise.  I like the idea of burrow farming as a mechanic.  That just leaves us with the separate but not intractable problem of making it less head-spinningly obfuscatory for new users!
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antymattar

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #427 on: May 18, 2010, 12:57:18 am »

I like the idea. I always hated that it akes 1 minute to grow ANYTHING. I had an idea that there should be plants that grow and at the end of the seson they give a harvest. NOT like one food per seed but like potatoes that would grow all summer and then produce a 10x bigger harvest.

Duke Drake

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #428 on: May 18, 2010, 02:33:03 am »

Did I miss something in your description, or did you not know that pressure plates can trigger on water levels?

No. I did, in fact, not know that. However, I can't imagine that you can specify a specific depth that way.
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Shades

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #429 on: May 18, 2010, 02:44:16 am »

No. I did, in fact, not know that. However, I can't imagine that you can specify a specific depth that way.

Actually it's works fairly well, I've used to to maintain a depth of three in training areas before. You basically have a pad which when it's below your required depth it opens the source flood gate. As soon as the pad is under enough water it closes the gate again.
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Silverionmox

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #430 on: May 18, 2010, 10:22:16 am »

Although I can definitely see the appeal of the burrow approach, it's not very newbie friendly. It bad enough that they have to learn workshops are buildings, barracks are designated from buildings, and hospitals are zones without sticking farms in a fourth place. Though if all "zones" were merged into the burrow system that have some promise.
Making workshops, barracks and hospitals all possible functions of a room would alleviate that. (Defining rooms from a x-y-z position instead of a piece of furniture.) Alternatively, the hospital could be a burrow function as well. Stockpiles, and all other zones also seem a good fit for burrows. That leaves us with two types of organizing space: rooms and burrows.
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ManaUser

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #431 on: May 18, 2010, 02:48:03 pm »

Did I miss something in your description, or did you not know that pressure plates can trigger on water levels?

No. I did, in fact, not know that. However, I can't imagine that you can specify a specific depth that way.
Imagine harder. ;) You can do exactly that. To be fair, it's not an exact science, what with the way water sloshes around, but I'm not sure how a "float" work work any differently.
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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #432 on: May 18, 2010, 04:35:41 pm »

The burrow approach would not make it any less confusing. In fact, it raises even more questions. Right now farms function in a way that designates a plot to be tilled and upkept. How is that any different than the proposed burrow idea? The only difference is that instead of (b)uilding a farm, you designate it as a burrow and then all of your farmers can never leave that area because that's how burrows work.

Changing the farms to a burrow designation does absolutely nothing and changes absolutely nothing. Farms still need to be designated, still need to be tilled, and still need to be upkept. It would be far more simple to move farms into the (d)esignate menu and leave the options the way they are for the (b)uilding. Then require re-tilling every season. Bingo, farming is now more set-it-and-forget-it without having to fiddle around with burrows and assigning dwarves to them. Also, a further reason to not see any merit in the burrow idea is that this would invalidate setting farming labors. Setting the labors on your dwarves makes them do farm work. Why would I want to not only need them set to do farm work, but then also assign them to a burrow?

With a farm (d)esignation, you can assign a lever to be the "irrigation switch" so your dwarves can irrigate en-masse or you can simply leave them to muddy the fields by hand with buckets and water from wherever you have them getting water from. Furthermore, a designation would convey all of the fun balancing we want. We could implement growing areas for certain plants as well as water requirements (as dwarves would moisten the plants if required) and mud requirements. In farming designated areas, mud would never be cleaned up and any tile within that area would be considered fair game for planting.

Burrows are designed to give your dwarves areas they are and aren't allowed to go in in an attempt to streamline your workforce and eliminate them going to a meeting place a zillion tiles away. They are not designed to replace (d)esignations. Personally, I think most rooms (bedrooms, offices, barracks, dining, hospital) should be set via the (d)esignation menu. You then can look at them and see what furniture they require, how many pieces of that furniture are in the area, and which dwarf or dwarves the area is assigned to. Ideally this would let you make one big bedroom (bunkhouse) for your military dwarves. You could assign all of them (lets say 6. I like 6.) to the room and, if you hadn't furnished it yet, the display would let you know you have 0 of 6 required beds for the dwarves assigned and, if they request furnishings, 0 of 6 chests and 0 of 6 cabinets for the dwarves assigned.

The way I look at the system is that Burrows make sense like Dwarven Districts. You've got mining, industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential... Yadda yadda. Ideally we should be able to restrict dwarves from accessing certain districts while allowing them into others. Like if you separate your noble housing from your commoner housing, for instance.

Designations (or areas) means that "Stuff to do <x> goes here" where <x> is the designation. You're saying that this space is designated for this sort of verb. Eating, sleeping, farming, suturing wounds, drowning nobles. Whatever. Bedrooms, farms, and even workshops could fall into here. You could (d)esignate a "Forge" area and then place a smelter, wood burner, and metalsmith in it. Ideally you could, then, select the designated area and say, "Make me a pretty golden hat" and your wood burner would make charcoal for your smelter to smelt some gold ore and for your metalsmith to make you that pretty golden hat. If you wanted it encrusted, you could add a jeweler to the area and say, "Make me a pretty golden hat with lots of sparklies in it" and it would do that.

Zones mean that "This stuff is here. Use this stuff instead of stuff that isn't in this place." Like a pool/pond/cistern is a "drinking zone" or, as I call it, a "water zone". This means that water is here and tells your dwarves that you prefer them to get water from there over, say, the lake infested with skeletal fishmen. This can be used for sand, water, or even things you might do regularly like chopping wood or gathering plants.

Ideally, farming would be a designated area that would mean whatever you want it to. Lets say you designate an aboveground area for farming and it has boulders, trees, and shrubs in it. It should automatically designate those boulders for smoothing, the shrubs for gathering, and the trees for shopping. Then it should tell the dwarves to till the entire area if it's soil or muddy it if it isn't. I think, later on, it could be a good idea to allow dwarves to make gravel out of stone (so they are gravel floors) and then grind it with a millstone to make fine gravel, then mix it with mud to make soil that they can then use to cover stone tiles.

I think farming may require a different type of ground cover, anyway. Possibly differentiate between mud and soil. I think fungus (like plump helmets) should require one log to be muddied for them to grow on, as well. But one log would go a loooong way as many fungi can grow per log.

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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #433 on: May 18, 2010, 06:39:41 pm »

The only difference is that instead of (b)uilding a farm, you designate it as a burrow and then all of your farmers can never leave that area because that's how burrows work.

This statement is flawed because you don't need to (or should not need to) assign your farmers to the "Farm" burrow.
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Zombie

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #434 on: May 18, 2010, 10:29:09 pm »

The only difference is that instead of (b)uilding a farm, you designate it as a burrow and then all of your farmers can never leave that area because that's how burrows work.

This statement is flawed because you don't need to (or should not need to) assign your farmers to the "Farm" burrow.

That statement is flawed because that undermines the point and purpose of a burrow. Toady has stated that he thought burrows to be ill-named, but the name will do for now. The idea behind burrows was to allow you to constrain you dwarves to a select area so they could not path outside of it. If you do not assign dwarves to a burrow, it is useless. If you are talking about an area you don't need to assign dwarves to, but they work... That would be a (d)esignation.

We do not need to make burrows more confusing than they already might be. They have a specific function, so leave them be to perform that very specific function. The designation system is designed to assign work that needs to be done, so (d)esignating farms will work exceedingly well and can function just like the proposed "burrow" farms, while being less obfuscated for new players to understand. You would (d)esignate a (f)arm plot of however large you wanted it to be, then just tell your dwarves what to plant there and they take care of the rest. Dwarves with the appropriate labour would be assigned jobs to till soil (or muddy the ground and then till the mud) and then plant the requisite plants based on the individual needs of said plant.

While I applaud the thought and spirit behind the "burrow" farm idea, I disagree wholeheartedly with the choice of game mechanic theorized upon. We don't need burrows to do more things. They already have trouble doing what Toady intended as it is. We need a specialized designation to say, "This is a farm. I will tell you what to plant and you will do your damn job if you want alcohol."
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