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Author Topic: Volume and Mass  (Read 37606 times)

TolyK

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #105 on: February 01, 2011, 12:21:38 pm »

so basically you're saying, move to metric units.
I agree.
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Leonard DeVir

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2011, 08:14:33 pm »

I really like the ideas. It would be so much more realistic. If Im getting this right, you propose that (example!):

1) one tile can hold x amounts of material m in SI unit, and not just "one item of material x"
2) If one tile is filled up with material m, the next tile of the stockpile will be filled up
3) if you need to craft something, the dwarf will use y amounts of material m, reducung the stock to x-y=z
4) if you add material m to the stockpile, it would add up to z first before filling another tile
5) and so on

If its that way, I see the problem of visualization, tough. Will it benefit the average Urist McPlayer? You obviously have a great skill with imaginating and juggling numbers, but quite a few people cannot grasp that very well (especially volume and liters; otherwise we all would be phisicists). Especially with very odd numbers (no, not that odd numbers :P ) like a toy car weighing 0,213kg in stone but just 0,111kg in wood, I think there would be many ?? of the exact meaning of this in regards to size.
 
How to deal with graphic tiles (and tilesets)? Now, it is that 1 sprite = one unit of x (for the most of the time). How do you represent one big 3x3x3m^2 block of stone in many smaller units? Now, its easy to grasp: 1 sprite gives me 1 item of whatever. If you represent 100kg of wood by one tile (example), how do you know its not 100kg but just 78 without going mad by pressing 'k' all the time? Now, I take a glance at my wood stockpile, I see its roughly 10 units of wood and I craft 10 beds. With your system a bed would take like 40kg of wood - now, is this pile 20kg or 80?

I know, things like that wont matter a lot and can be circumvised otherwise, but I think there should be some UI simplifications beforehand, otherwise there may be confusions without "multi tile" objects or weird, hard to imagine values for this otherwise great and well tought of system ("What? Why did the Titan fit...'k'...oh, hes just 2,9m tall, the other one was 3,3m.").
In a nutshell: if this would be implemented, there should be adjustments for visualization.
Hope you het what I mean, english not being my mothertounge and all. :)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 08:28:09 pm by Leonard DeVir »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2011, 09:58:38 pm »

I really like the ideas. It would be so much more realistic. If Im getting this right, you propose that (example!):

1) one tile can hold x amounts of material m in SI unit, and not just "one item of material x"
2) If one tile is filled up with material m, the next tile of the stockpile will be filled up
3) if you need to craft something, the dwarf will use y amounts of material m, reducung the stock to x-y=z
4) if you add material m to the stockpile, it would add up to z first before filling another tile
5) and so on

Yes, pretty much.

Quote
If its that way, I see the problem of visualization, tough. Will it benefit the average Urist McPlayer? You obviously have a great skill with imaginating and juggling numbers, but quite a few people cannot grasp that very well (especially volume and liters; otherwise we all would be phisicists). Especially with very odd numbers (no, not that odd numbers :P ) like a toy car weighing 0,213kg in stone but just 0,111kg in wood, I think there would be many ?? of the exact meaning of this in regards to size.

I'm not sure if you mean in the stockpile or when something is just lying around.

If it's in a stockpile, I would think that, given the way that dwarves typically use resources in a constant cycle once the fort gets going, then just eyeballing the stockpile would be enough.

I can tell right now how much food I have pretty easily just by hitting the button to rezoom the screen to my food and booze stockpiles, and looking at how many barrels are sitting there.  It's not a perfectly accurate representation, but all I need to know is "my stockpile looks pretty full, no problems, here".  If I DO want detailed information, that's what the stocks screen is for, and I do spend some time looking at the stocks screen, especially for things like steel or pig iron or iron or coal or coke (because that tends to get plenty of supply hiccups), which tends to get left in bins, and some of those stockpiles are just long rows of bins, where the stocks screen is the only way to get any useful information.

Quote
 
How to deal with graphic tiles (and tilesets)? Now, it is that 1 sprite = one unit of x (for the most of the time). How do you represent one big 3x3x3m^2 block of stone in many smaller units? Now, its easy to grasp: 1 sprite gives me 1 item of whatever. If you represent 100kg of wood by one tile (example), how do you know its not 100kg but just 78 without going mad by pressing 'k' all the time? Now, I take a glance at my wood stockpile, I see its roughly 10 units of wood and I craft 10 beds. With your system a bed would take like 40kg of wood - now, is this pile 20kg or 80?

Well, I'll talk about representation in a little bit, but I think I first have to address the philosophy of scale we are talking about in DF.  DF is not a game about individual trees.  DF is a game about clear-cutting a forest to build barrels, beds, and bins on repeat until the end of time.  DF is not a game where you track every individual stone in your stone stockpile.  DF is a game where you quantum stockpile 1,000 stones in one pit.  That one blob represents 1,000 stones now, already.  DF is a game where microcline mugs and lutes and pig tail shirts sit in wooden bins right next to visually identical wooden bins holding coke and steel and iron and serrated steel discs. 

Consider how you play the game, (granted, it may be different than the way I do,) and I think that odds are, you don't have just one stockpile that you can look over and see all the logs available to you graphically on the map.  Most of the time, you have numerous stockpiles spread across the fortress dealing in specialized tasks, and logs come and go in bulk at high speed.  The only time this is not true is during the very first Spring and maybe Summer, and even then, I find that if I want to look for how many logs I have in "stock", then I have to look out in the fields, because nobody's doing any hauling (since the starting seven's skills are so precious that I can't leave just one doing nothing), logs just sit in the field where the tree was chopped down.  Even then, I tend to not care so long as I don't get job cancellation spam because of actually being out of a material, really. 

The only rare items are gems and rare metals, and those all get swallowed up in the rows and rows of bins.  You can't even tell if one bin is a weapons bin or a clothing bin or a fabric bin or a metal bar bin until you actually bring up the look cursor over it, and if you do that, you can see all the data on the individual units you want.

Now then, back to the actual question: As I'm sure you're aware, there are only 256 characters in the current tileset.  There are just not enough characters to represent every nuance of how many items are in the pile.  As long as we cling on to the vestiges of ASCII artwork, (and there are those who will never let go of that, and I think Toady is one of them,) then the standard tileset will just not represent granularity of the pile size. 

If we were to have a totally unbound sprite-based graphics system (and snowballs survive in the HFS), then we could have some sort of method of representing larger and larger piles of logs to represent whether we had 20kg or 50 kg or 200 kg of wood in one tile.  (Just imagine a sprite with one log, two logs, three logs to represent thirds of the tile dominated.)

Still, I think "my stockpile's tiles are 2/3s full" is a pretty good indication of how much wood you have.  Stockpiles are multi-tile affairs, anyway.

Quote
("What? Why did the Titan fit...'k'...oh, hes just 2,9m tall, the other one was 3,3m.").
 
I would think we wouldn't need to get that anal about it.  An 11-foot-tall creature can generally just stoop a little to get into a 10-foot-tall space.  We could just make all creatures of one species have a tile-occupancy based upon their average volume.  One of the advantages of the somewhat large 3m3 tile size is that almost every creature in the game fits into 27,000 liters of volume.  Even dragons are "only" 25,000 liters.  You'd only really have to be worried about declaring creatures excessively tall, like with a tree or the Bronze Colossus.  I'd imagine even it could crawl, but that might be a little much strain on poor Toady, who has been having trouble getting these things to work properly.
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noppa354

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #108 on: February 06, 2011, 09:32:06 pm »

if i can get toady's permission to noodle around with the code i may be able to make one part of this, multi-z-level trees and falling trees, if so, i'll make options "fell west" "fell north" etc.

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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #109 on: February 06, 2011, 10:28:56 pm »

I wasn't aware that Toady was really farming out pieces of code.  I was under the impression that Baughn was a rare exception.
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JanusTwoface

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #110 on: February 06, 2011, 10:47:14 pm »

He isn't... And IIRC Baughn doesn't even have access to anything beyond the rendering code. Toady is the only one that has access to the core game.

So... not likely to happen.
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greenskye

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #111 on: May 07, 2012, 04:13:16 pm »

I've started a thread discussing a simpler solution to having units of material.

I specifically do NOT want to steal any discussion of a true volume and mass system in DF and will be directing people back here to discuss that if they desire. I merely wish to present an alternate solution for Toady's consideration.

An Alternative to Volume and Mass (Simple Units)

I wanted to let you know so that you were aware I was posting this.
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greenskye

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #112 on: May 07, 2012, 05:54:47 pm »

So in my brief attempt at another thread (swiftly picked apart by Kohaku) I tried to come up with a simpler method. I've changed my mind a bit about this. So I'd like to contribute to this thread on designing a way to present volume and mass to the player in a non-confusing method.


Quote of Kohaku's rebuttal:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

In this system, how does the player actually act? Does the game actually say that 1 chair requires 5.2 kilograms of wood? Does a hauler go find 5.2 kg of wood and haul it to the workshop?

For the player, what is the functional units? Do we try to be realistic and say that 1 arrow requires .2 kg of wood, 1 earring .02 kg of gold?

I would argue that that would be very confusing to keep track of, even with a good in-game interface for it. I think a nice, easy integer solution would be more accessible to more players, even if we sacrifice some realism.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Volume and Mass
« Reply #113 on: May 07, 2012, 06:11:55 pm »

I would think it not be terribly confusing for the player to keep track of, provided it be kept to some general guidelines...

Stockpiles, for example, would have a defined limit to what will be in a tile - say, 3000 liters per tile, and a player could eyeball their wood stockpiles to get a decent sense of how much wood they have left over by counting how many tiles have wood in them (provided there are not so many different types of wood that occupy only part of a tile). 

Dwarves would take whatever arbitrary units of wood they take (like 50 liters of wood for a chair, for example) from the stockpile, and if they dump things off, they are merged with other wood into a stack, so that there are no "giant planks" or "small leftover bits".  Just wood (from specific trees).

Players probably won't care about the actual volumes of individual pieces.  They will be able to look at an item and see its absolute and comparative size, but right now, we already have defined volumes for every chair, table, earring, and other object in the game (except the tiles themselves).  You can derive them yourself from the material densities and the stated kilogram mass of each item.  Because of that, I derived the volumes of individual items in the game, like how metal bars are 2 liters, and boulders are (if memory serves) 50 liters. 

Players will, again, probably just care about the size of the stockpile, or what the stocks screen says about their remaining quantities of materials.

That said, it will have a more clear impact when we are talking about what players use in their crafts - when a gold earring takes up a completely negligible quantity of gold compared to a golden throne or golden statue, players are more likely to give metalsmiths plenty of practice on earrings. 
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

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