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Author Topic: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page  (Read 864663 times)

Japa

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #960 on: August 24, 2010, 04:12:21 am »

all the stuff that would break saves was done in the last big release.
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Knight Otu

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #961 on: August 24, 2010, 05:20:27 am »

Well, all the near-future stuff that would be save-breaking. Certainly not all of the cores require breaking save compatibility (I think there was a core added during the "40d era" where it went from 0.27 to 0.28, but that might not be necessarily the case). Bugfixes on the other hand might make save-breaking changes necessary after all.
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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #962 on: August 24, 2010, 07:47:13 am »

Well, all the near-future stuff that would be save-breaking. Certainly not all of the cores require breaking save compatibility (I think there was a core added during the "40d era" where it went from 0.27 to 0.28, but that might not be necessarily the case).

Yeah, saves from 0.27.169.32a were compatible all the way up to 0.28.181.40d.
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scriver

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #963 on: August 24, 2010, 09:17:14 am »

(The guy Telkoth links to basically says 180 farmers fit in 3 square miles, while no more than 2 hunter gatherers can fit in a square mile... that's a ratio of 30 to 1 in favor of farmers, even if only 3 of those 30 farmers can be in the standing army, or even anything but a farmer.)  And that larger concentration meant standing armies.
Not to mention that all of the other 27 farmers could be combat trained and act as a form of (what we would call today) militia. That's what "Vikings" were, after all - farmers with a warfare tradition. They were not nearly as disciplined, or as well trained as a standing, "professional" army would have been, but every able man were still expected to arm himself and fight whenever battle commenced. After all, the term "huscarl", (which is nearly synonymous with "viking raider/warrior" in popular culture these days), means nothing else than "house man", and less directly translated would mean something akin to "farmhand".

Got into a bit of a ranting mood here, I notice. Anyway, point being: I agree with you about the farmer's advantage, plus that the farmers themselves might be warriors/militia, which gives them an even greater number of recruitable (in need) men.
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MaDeR Levap

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #964 on: August 24, 2010, 10:12:49 am »

AFAIK when the new core(s) is(are) implemented, the older saves won't be compatible anymore. Is it true? The bugs should end someday (so the bugfixes won't be needed), and then new cores will be added. Is there no way to add new cores and make saves compatible?
I do not understand why some people are THAT hung up on save compatibility. This preference was actually detrimental to developing DF - one of reasons of so long period between 40d and .31.x was mythical "save compatibility" (done as merely not releasing anything... some compatibility, indeed!). Results are known very well. Good grief, this is ALPHA version, for Armok sake. Toady could release each version totally incompatibile and everyone would suck it up. It is not like old version would stop working one second after next release.

TL;DR; : "save compatibility" is totally unnecessary and harmful crap.
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zwei

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #965 on: August 24, 2010, 11:27:18 am »

Well, all the near-future stuff that would be save-breaking. Certainly not all of the cores require breaking save compatibility (I think there was a core added during the "40d era" where it went from 0.27 to 0.28, but that might not be necessarily the case).

Yeah, saves from 0.27.169.32a were compatible all the way up to 0.28.181.40d.

That sounds ... bad. I can only imagine how save-load code looked with all the extra "if loading save from version blahblah which has been victim of bug #123, do this and that to make it compatible".

Regarding save compatibility, how much effort goes to maintain it? How much does it effect code overall?

monk12

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #966 on: August 24, 2010, 12:48:35 pm »

Except for hunter-gatherers not having as much free time as farming cultures - the reverse is actually true, as hunter-gatherers actually spent less than half as much time obtaining food as farming cultures did.  Hunter-gatherers actually spent most of their time on leisure, since they largely just relied upon simply using whatever was at hand to solve their problems rather than having to organize or work... it's just that they faced the problem that drought or famine would occasionally come and kill off all the young, weak, and elderly because not enough food would be on hand.

The reason that farmers end up with more free time than hunter gatherers is due to the fact that the hunter gatherers need to keep moving and hunting during the winter, whereas the hard working farmer just sits on his duff and invents wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy and the like during the winter because he has a large stockpile of food to sustain him.

Cardinal

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #967 on: August 24, 2010, 02:39:10 pm »

Hunter-gatherers could be a serious threat... but again, like the Mongols, that only happened when those hunter-gatherers were forced out of their lands by starvation, or they were forced to defend their lands for their own survival.  Things like raising standing armies that could conquer neighboring lands just didn't happen without a serious food supply.

Mongols weren't hunter-gatherers, they were pastoralists.  Pastoralists could defeat much larger agricultural populations because the pastoralists never fought the entire agricultural society, but rather the political elites and their armies, which were of equal size to the wholly mobilized pastoralist society.  As long as cavalry was an important military asset, and as long as there were enough food resources for pastoralists to maintain their herds, they were always a significant factor.  Hunter-gatherers, on the other hand, won only a handful of isolated and lopsided military victories over agricultural societies throughout the entire course of human history.
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Cardinal

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #968 on: August 24, 2010, 02:42:58 pm »

The reason that farmers end up with more free time than hunter gatherers is due to the fact that the hunter gatherers need to keep moving and hunting during the winter, whereas the hard working farmer just sits on his duff and invents wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy and the like during the winter because he has a large stockpile of food to sustain him.

Wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy aren't necessarily the end-all, be-all.  The Mongols defeated everyone with bone-tipped arrows and wheel-less horses.

Also, another drawback for agricultural societies and their armies is that when your army is fed the majority of its calories as carbohydrates, they have worse performance than an army running on a primarily protein diet.  Not in the sense that the protein-eaters are more muscular, but that they deal with privation better.  Toady should definitely model diet, that seems to fit right in with the sorts of things he's been modeling.
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DalGren

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #969 on: August 24, 2010, 05:13:47 pm »

I think save compatibility should only be warranted in minor releases, after all, nothing forbids you from keeping an old version stored with your save, or to package uploaded saves with the version they were made with. It'll keep running in the future. In fact I see no reason I can't pick the appropriate version and play around Boatmurdered, and I clearly don't expect it to run with the latest release, nor I it want to.
Considering a regular PC game takes several gigabytes of space, the effort of adding 15 mb to your precious -and probably with a reason- save is not demanding too much.

Sure, I understand that it sucks to have your megaproject bound to a inferior set of features (aka earlier versions), and the desire to get the new features on it, but after all, by the time the save-breaking release is out you'll probably have more things to make a new megaproject with.
Forcing save compatibility too much slows development by a lot, needs rather gross hacks, and requires much more extra thought (as opposed to simply remake the save mechanism with a newer version, trust me, it's much easier and cleaner than keeping a Frankenstein's monster of a save-load mechanism). Because ensuring retrocompatibility requires a lot of time saving and loading stuff, and imagine how nerve-breaking it has to be to do it several, several, several times in a row until it works. And that time could be used relaxing or fixing [YOUR_FAVORITE_BUG_HERE] or doing new features.

Unfortunately since this is not a question, there's technically no reason for Toady to read it, but I'd like to encourage him to break it when a break is called for.
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monk12

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #970 on: August 24, 2010, 10:58:25 pm »

The reason that farmers end up with more free time than hunter gatherers is due to the fact that the hunter gatherers need to keep moving and hunting during the winter, whereas the hard working farmer just sits on his duff and invents wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy and the like during the winter because he has a large stockpile of food to sustain him.

Wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy aren't necessarily the end-all, be-all.  The Mongols defeated everyone with bone-tipped arrows and wheel-less horses.

Also, another drawback for agricultural societies and their armies is that when your army is fed the majority of its calories as carbohydrates, they have worse performance than an army running on a primarily protein diet.  Not in the sense that the protein-eaters are more muscular, but that they deal with privation better.  Toady should definitely model diet, that seems to fit right in with the sorts of things he's been modeling.

Wasn't saying that agrarian societies are always more militarily capable than nomadic ones, merely that agrarian societies have the leisure time to do things other than hunt/gather/war. Although it is worth noting that the many nations that fell before the Mongols did so by, as you noted, having surplus population to form professional armies, which were roughly equal to the numbers of the entire mobilized Mongol people. If the Mongols had suffered a few serious defeats, then entire tribes would be decimated and would take generations to recover from, whereas the agrarians could have immediately drawn more soldiers from the citizenry. History is full of instances where entire nomadic peoples were eradicated because they lost one too many battles in their campaigns; the Mongols are special because they are an exception to the rule.

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #971 on: August 24, 2010, 11:59:11 pm »

The reason that farmers end up with more free time than hunter gatherers is due to the fact that the hunter gatherers need to keep moving and hunting during the winter, whereas the hard working farmer just sits on his duff and invents wheels and scrimshaw and metallurgy and the like during the winter because he has a large stockpile of food to sustain him.

Actually, not so much...

During the Winter, the normally hard-working, burly farmers almost went into hibernation, and lost much of their mass and stopped eating nearly as much, or working nearly as much because if they lost weight and skimped on eating, it made it far more likely to survive the Winter and early Spring, before the first Spring vegetables could come in.

Besides, your typical farmer probably had as much to do with teaching himself metallurgy in his free time as a typical modern school-going person does during the Summer when school is in recess.  You don't just pick up blacksmithing as a hobby.  It's a profession you train for through apprenticeship and which essentially defines your lot in life after completing said apprenticeship.

That also brings up a problem with a misperception of how Medieval people would view technology, which I've had recently - even when there were known means of improving crop yield, or when there were known superior crops to the crops that farmers were planting, farmers were often so stubbornly resistant to change that they would absolutely refuse to make changes to their way of life even when it could be clearly demonstrated to them that they could improve their means of production and chances for survival. 

That blog post that was linked mentioned how wheat farmers had draft horses that rice farmers did not... but that was not something that farmers invented, they simply bred the biggest, strongest horses they could, and unnatural selection took care of the rest over time. 

Ultimately, the thing to keep in mind when talking about having "time for technological advancement" is that the life of the average farmer from the dawn of civilization up until about the 19th century was almost entirely unchanging.  For most of the Medieval period, you actually see farmers using wooden plows, because steel is just too rare/expensive/difficult to make until the Bessemer Process to be used by your typical farmer, pig iron was too brittle, and wrought iron or bronze were too soft to be used for that.  So it was an ox and a wooden plow straight through even the Rennaisance period.  Until the modern ability to mine for or artificially produce fertilizers, it pretty much was crop rotations and letting the family cows drop manure on the fields to keep the land fertile.  And large family sizes meant that any gains in land arability made by any change in technique or irrigation thanks to a large government effort to expand farming would simply lead to farms being further divided among the inheritors of the farm until the farm became just barely large enough to support the farmers themselves.  (Artificial population control would actually massively help the overall productivity of a culture - if you redistributed the land so that the semi-arable land was not being worked at all, or only used for pasture, and let larger fields be worked by fewer people, you would actually greatly reduce the ratio of farmers to everyone else in a society.  Although it means supporting a lower overall population, there would be more people available for all the other jobs in a society if you redesigned your society for surplus farming rather than everyone subsistance farming.  This is, in fact, exactly what happened by accident with the Black Death - when about half the population was forcably culled, the land was redistributed, and everyone ate much, much better, and could afford to diversify their crops more, and could put more people into different jobs, and directly led to the invention of the Printing Press, and to the technological innovation (or rediscovery) that marked the jump into the Rennaisance for Europe, while the Arab and Asian world remained locked in Medieval Stasis because they weren't fortunate enough to have the right percentage of their population wiped out.)

Mongols weren't hunter-gatherers, they were pastoralists.  ...

Mmm... This is largely an argument of definition, as I was essentially lumping the two together, but I can see your point and that the distinction is worth making.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #972 on: August 24, 2010, 11:59:31 pm »

All this talk about how goblins can eat, however, makes me think about how elves eat...

Basically, do elves farm? 

Farming (as defined by fields of crops) pretty much requires deforestation if you are trying to do it in a wooded area - even if we don't want to prevent the tree from sitting in the middle of the field, spreading its roots where we want crops to spread their roots like the ultimate weed, there's the whole nature of forests having a canopy that tends to block out sunlight for all the plants below. 


Crops could grow in the small patches where old trees had fallen, and no new one had yet taken its place, but these would be scattered, and probably not terribly ideal.  Elves might "farm" by encouraging growth of desired food crops in the small patches of land that are sunny and not already thick with vegetation, but that might not even be notably more efficient than just searching for wild crops.

Essentially, elves may wind up being largely vegetarian, but still wind up being even more of a hunter-gatherer society than even the goblins are (who may be better as "pastoralists") if they are simply surviving off of the herbalist skill alone.  (Of course, they also happen to get absurd amounts of wood that supposedly just dies "naturally", so maybe they just have completely unrealisticly accellerated plant growth and death rates?)
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Cardinal

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #973 on: August 25, 2010, 12:01:57 am »

Wasn't saying that agrarian societies are always more militarily capable than nomadic ones, merely that agrarian societies have the leisure time to do things other than hunt/gather/war. Although it is worth noting that the many nations that fell before the Mongols did so by, as you noted, having surplus population to form professional armies, which were roughly equal to the numbers of the entire mobilized Mongol people. If the Mongols had suffered a few serious defeats, then entire tribes would be decimated and would take generations to recover from, whereas the agrarians could have immediately drawn more soldiers from the citizenry. History is full of instances where entire nomadic peoples were eradicated because they lost one too many battles in their campaigns; the Mongols are special because they are an exception to the rule.

You're right on all counts except that the Mongols weren't exceptional.  Pastoralists in Central Asia had a solid 1300-year run of jockeying with neighboring agrarian societies for power, often coming out on top and treating the settled peoples as just one more herd.  The Chinese, especially, had a long and complex relationship with the various Turkic, Uighar and Jurchen tribes that surrounded them, oftentimes happily engaging in trade through tributary form to acquire steppe ponies for Chinese silk.  But the Yuan, Qing and Tang dynasties were all founded by pastoralists (the Tang loved playing polo until the eunuchs decided they should no longer take part in such a dangerous activity) and the Turks, Huns, Bedouin, Mongols, Berbers and less famous editions troubled the Mediterranean societies quite regularly.
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Toady One

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Re: Future of the Fortress: The Development Page
« Reply #974 on: August 25, 2010, 01:14:15 am »

There was a green comment about not having plans for civilian bureaucracy, but I wasn't really sure how to address it.  It's a broad topic.

Quote from: Mephansteras
Toady, what is your plan for the goblins from a world-politics view? Given a goblin-led civ, how do you see them acting as opposed to a Demon-lead civ?

Currently they are basically the same.  The demon generally has a more extreme personality, and the demon reckons its own strength in the army calculations (which can be significant), so they end up more aggressive under demonic leadership, but it's not a different overall system.  The eventual idea, though, will require more of the goal-oriented stuff we're hoping for out of the villains section.  Demons will probably tend to have broader goals and they'll be smarter about them to the extent we can pull that off.  There could still be a goblin with dreams of world domination, but attaining and holding a leadership position over a bunch of goblins without the advantage of demonic might is more difficult, and likely there wouldn't be much of a civilization beyond their isolated sites at that point.  They might bother their neighbors, but it wouldn't be as organized.

Quote from: Armok
Right now, NPC buildings and farms look very sterile blocky and mass produced. And with some very reasonable assumptions on tile size the buildings are VERY large for a mideval civ. Toady, are you planing on at some point make things look more organic, dramatic, and homely?

I think they are fine given what I've read (that the floor space for a cottage for a family would be between, say, 25 and 125 square meters, depending on affluence and local customs and whatever else).  Throwing out 2m arbitrarily as a tile edge, we'd be at 100m^2 for the floor space and 1536 m between villages, which I'm more or less comfortable with (I read an aerial survey for medieval sites in England which put average nearest village distance at 0.89mi or something, and we talked about how this might be varied earlier).  Since we are on a grid, even with a single room the outer walls take up 24 tiles and the interior is 25, even though the outer walls shouldn't take up a lot of space.  If they are divided into a living and storage area, which might involve an internal partition, then the floor area would be cut down an additional 5 tiles, putting us down to 80m^2.  I don't know how different the cottage shapes are going to be, but within their plot there will end up being variations in terms of overall size, gardens, other structures, furniture, items, etc.

Quote from: NW_Kohaku
Will you code in the ability to create our own raw-defined building types for worldgen?  Using the Arena Mode and Custom Workshops as a model, we already have most of the pieces to create both custom buildings and define functions for them.

I'm not eager to get into this right now, since I'm not sure what the overall specs need to be and I don't want to tie myself to a raw format early.  One of the main things is that I'm not sure I'd be satisfied with static maps of buildings, rather than buildings that are a bit more adaptable.  For instance, I'm not sure what raws would look like for the existing temples, which adapt portions of their architecture to the spheres associated to their deities.  The raw format would inevitable restrict my ability to do things like that, unless it were really complicated.  At the same time, I can see how a modder would want to be able to deviate wildly from what is currently available.  It might be most simple to allow static building maps to be used by custom races, but since I won't be using that in vanilla it's difficult to prioritize.

Quote from: Yaddy1
Will there be any interactions between wanderers and your fort? The ability to set up an inn for them to stay in would be cool. Maybe expand thieves to pretend to be travelers at first?

Once the caravans are up and running and you are having interactions with your own off-map dwarves, I think this would end up fitting in a natural progression.  I don't specifically have any plans for it, but I know there are threads about having inn-fortresses and I think it would be fun.

Quote from: Japa
Toady, are there any plans on making the other races playable, and different, anytime soon?

You mean in fortress mode?  It'd be a lot of work to get something satisfying going there, and in the dev-page timeframe we're more going to be coming from the angle of letting a human adventurer have a site than running a fortress mode with different races.  After that, I'm not sure.

Quote from: tfaal
how are the larger towns going to be handled this release? Will they just be a bunch of scrambled together cottages and shops, or can we expect a bit more structure?

I don't have time to handle them since I want to get something released and I feel like it has been taking too long, so there won't be large towns at all this time, but I'm hoping to stick with the information I've found about towns when I get to them.  I'll be organizing that around the time I start in on the towns though, so I don't have a lot to say.  I don't recall if it was market squares with the possibility of specialty shops somewhat further afield.  That seems reasonable for a game anyway.  The things that travelers typically want should be easy to buy, mostly in the same place, I imagine.  Beyond the economic structures/locations, it'll depend on what's in the game when I get there.

Quote from: zwei
Regarding save compatibility, how much effort goes to maintain it? How much does it effect code overall?

New variables need to be initialized, which is often automatic, and old version saves need to skip loading them, which is a conditional per collection of variables.  Occasionally it'll wipe and rebuild some information, but that's rarely more than 20 lines every 5 versions, and it just happens at the end of the load routine without affecting other code.  I also load up a few old saves prior to releases.  It isn't very much work at all.  After several months without a compatibility break, it gets to be a bit of code, but it's a minute part of the overall additions.  There were some things I changed during the long wait that I put in to prevent save compatibility breaks later (since there was definitely going to be a break), but it wasn't a large contribution to the delay.  Given the interest people have expressed in maintaining mega projects while incorporating new bug fixes, I think breaking compatibility every release would be unnecessary and harmful.  It really isn't a big deal.

Quote from: NW_Kohaku
Basically, do elves farm?

Whatever they end up doing, there won't be fields of crops.  They've had a supernatural relationship with plants in the stories, and the "orchard" from one of Zach's stories had an unclear nature.  We haven't decided yet.  It'll come to a head when we start tracking site supplies most likely.
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