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Author Topic: Some thoughts on Technology  (Read 9824 times)

addictgamer

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Some thoughts on Technology
« on: July 27, 2010, 09:41:38 pm »

1. Technology.
This is a fantasy game, but I'd like to see technology in it.
Only, do it like this:
The whole world starts out with with primitive technology.
If the player does NOT research a new technology, then no one will be able to use that technology.
Also, if the player researches a technology, no one magically also knows it; they must somehow get the tech from the player.
Perhaps you could also add an option in the init to enable other civs discovering stuff. In fact, you should, so that the players who want a tech race can get one.
Either by trading, stealing, or salvaging from stuff the player had that got destroyed in war or something.
This will allow players who do not want to play a game with more advanced technology to be able to play without it.
It would also be very nice if you made raws for technology. I do not know how it would work, but, it will be well worth it ;)

2. More on Technology
Building on the previous thought, how will it work? With much discussion, I'm sure you'll find a method everyone can agree on.
If it comes down to it, you can even add init options/raw stuff that control it.

Now...How it will work...
Let's say this was implemented right now.

So, you have your huge fort, and a dwarf or two who like physics. You have not yet researched any advanced tech
You can build a, for example, small physics labratory.
It is outfitted with whatever tools the dwarf requires to study.
Now, dependong on, let's say, a raw/init option, you get to tell your dwarf to research "The wheel" and/or you can do "blind research", as is in Sid Meire's Alpha Centuari.
Once you tell him to do something, he goes, grabs the tools he needs, and begins working on it.
Depending on his intelectual skills, he may research "The wheel" in a day or in a year.

Another idea: Enable "Random Discoveries", and a carpenter, while working, might just accidentally craft a wheel. If he/she is smart enough to recognize its potential, you know have "the wheel".

As I said, this needs a lot of discussion.

I'd prefer whatever path is chosen, hower, to allow: a few changes to the RAW/init will satisfy all (or atleast almost all) players.
Since you, Toady, do not want post 1400 AD Tech (Unless that has changed), please make it possible for modders to add it in.
So, items/constructions/actions might require a certain tech to be researched, for example.
I am aware that other similair discussion have occured, but, might as post them here.


Discussion from the thread this originated in:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 10:02:15 pm by addictgamer »
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Capntastic

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 10:00:58 pm »

Random, not ramdom.   And procedural is better than random.  And tech trees aren't fun.
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nbonaparte

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 10:41:50 pm »

And tech trees don't make sense if there's already a civilization behind it.
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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 10:52:22 pm »

Do tech trees really fit into DF at all?

Fort mode typically spans a decade.  That's only so much time for serious change.

Adventure mode spans days, maybe months, right?  Not enough time.

You could make an argument for changing tech throughout worldgen, but it'd be likely
 abstracted.  Even then, who's to say in one world all tech wasn't taught immediately at the dawn of creation by the gods?

It sounds like Tarn wants to make DF customizable enough that people who want to play in the stone age or in a steampunk world can mod the game accordingly.  But tech trees/progress doesn't seem to fit the spirit of vanilla flexible/procedural DF, does it?   
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addictgamer

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 10:56:11 pm »

Do tech trees really fit into DF at all?

Fort mode typically spans a decade.  That's only so much time for serious change.

Adventure mode spans days, maybe months, right?  Not enough time.

You could make an argument for changing tech throughout worldgen, but it'd be likely
 abstracted.  Even then, who's to say in one world all tech wasn't taught immediately at the dawn of creation by the gods?

It sounds like Tarn wants to make DF customizable enough that people who want to play in the stone age or in a steampunk world can mod the game accordingly.  But tech trees/progress doesn't seem to fit the spirit of vanilla flexible/procedural DF, does it?   
1. They do, but it's a hard fit.

2. True, but carry on the legacy in your next fort.

3. Currently, yes. But that should change soon, or it stops being fun fast. I guess tech could be focused on by your adventure mode scientist.

4. Good points. But it can still be worked around.

5. I wish Toady luck with that :)
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Capntastic

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 10:59:03 pm »

People want a Civilization sort of 'cultural progress' feel when DF isn't really about that sort of stuff.   Conan the Barbarian doesn't worry if the abacus is invented, he just smashed that bead thing on a dude's head.

Of course, cultures and distinctions between them, and blending is all planned and good stuff, I just don't think we need to see a Roman-styled civ invent flamethrowers or cars or tac nukes.
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addictgamer

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 11:01:46 pm »

People want a Civilization sort of 'cultural progress' feel when DF isn't really about that sort of stuff.   Conan the Barbarian doesn't worry if the abacus is invented, he just smashed that bead thing on a dude's head.

Of course, cultures and distinctions between them, and blending is all planned and good stuff, I just don't think we need to see a Roman-styled civ invent flamethrowers or cars or tac nukes.

Who says it needs to go that far? Toady could stop the tech advance at the middle ages.
So, if you don't research, you use stone age stuff, if you research, you have the Roman Empire stuff and some more, for example.
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Josephus

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2010, 11:03:29 pm »

Yeah, but as has been brought up, technology development takes decades. I have not seen a fort that lasted decades yet.

At any rate, I'd much prefer to see this in an "ages" format, where technology develops over the hundreds of years of worldgen. You can stop it in the stone age if you want cave men, or you can go all the way up to the high middle ages, for example.
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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2010, 11:04:07 pm »

It was an exaggeration.  The point remains is that if you're playing a civ that hasn't invented the pump, you're going to hate trying to drain a thing.   If you haven't invented the forge, you're going to hate trying to make things.  Having a soft level of cultural technology is more forgiving than a "you can't make clothes, you're a caveman" tech-tree sort of thing.
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TaintedMustard

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 04:04:52 am »

Of course, cultures and distinctions between them, and blending is all planned and good stuff, I just don't think we need to see a Roman-styled civ invent flamethrowers

Why can't we have flamethrowers in DF? Not only are flame traps part of many fantasy games, it actually has a basis in reality. And we already have "liquid fire"ówe don't know what the hell it is, exactly, but it sounds like it'd be pretty kick-ass. It's definitely something I could see dwarves developing and using.

Quote
cars or tac nukes.

I don't think anyone wants in this thread to go beyond primitive steam-powered machinery.
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ZebioLizard2

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 11:29:16 am »

Wouldn't mind if toady was able to make modders able to implement it and have modders be able to use  it instead of being in the vanilla game though. That way one could get some wicked civilization type mods in.
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sweitx

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 11:53:13 am »

Of course, cultures and distinctions between them, and blending is all planned and good stuff, I just don't think we need to see a Roman-styled civ invent flamethrowers

Why can't we have flamethrowers in DF? Not only are flame traps part of many fantasy games, it actually has a basis in reality. And we already have "liquid fire"ówe don't know what the hell it is, exactly, but it sounds like it'd be pretty kick-ass. It's definitely something I could see dwarves developing and using.

You mean the fire-imp extract?
Toady already stated that lighting and magic is one arc he will get to.  I would guess fire behavior is part of the "magic" arc.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 02:44:27 pm »

I said it in the last thread, but...

The problem with all these "technology upgrade" ideas is that, for the most part, there WAS no technology upgrades in the Middle Ages.  It was, in fact, well-known for being a time where techonolgy was completely stagnant, where free thinkers and inventers would have to join the church to avoid religious persecution for their thoughts, and even then, most of their discoveries were largely ignored by the general peasantry because they were so stubbornly conservative and traditional. 

(For instance, the discovery of potatos did not immediately translate into their use, even when it could be proven that potatos were superior crops in cold weather, as their underground growth protected them from frost.  The French, in particular, utterly refused to eat them and refused orders and incentives from the nobility to plant them, which helped lead to the famine that sparked the French Revolution.  Potatos only caught on in Germany because so many wars in that nation had burned so many fields that people were willing to plant crops that would grow inside the dirt, where they at least wouldn't burn away entirely...)

The best way to involve a "tech tree" in DF is to instead have a "dependency tree".  Alchemist's Workshops from 40d, for example, requried 3 clear glass vials.  That required a glass making industry (and sand), as well as an ashery (and wood) to make the clear glass.  If we had more hardware requirements for making many of the workshops that we build, it would potentially be possible to have the sort of progressive set of requirements for more complex buildings or industries that require more precision hardware that would require advanced workshops to build.

It's much more realistic to make dwarves incapable of making, say, plate armor, until they develop special tools specific to making fine plate armor.  You could need more precise tools to perform some of the more precise tasks, which requires building those precise tools with less-precise tools.

It is, after all, kind of silly that the only thing you need to make every workshop besides forges is simply some kind of stone block.

If certain functions of workshops are blocked off unless you have tools capable of performing those functions, then you can have "requirement trees", where those survivalists starting with just an axe and a pick can work from having crappy jury-rigged tools up to having precision tools specific to certain jobs...

If this gets wrapped up in the quality mechanic, where ad-hock tools like pointy rocks get replaced with masterpiece quality steel tools, and make masterpieces almost impossible to make with low-quality tools, you can create a system where you are building industries specifically to supply your other industries with better tools.
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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 03:52:48 pm »

Kohaku's suggestion for simple "build this, then you can build this" trees is much less frustrating than "you can't use carts until you invent the wheel, which will be a semi-random event depending on how long you research for."

Research and progressing along tech trees just aren't fun.
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Rowanas

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Re: Some thoughts on Technology
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2010, 04:54:40 pm »

I'm finally abandoning speaking solely in Haiku. There are so many things you can't properly express when you've only got 17 syllables to say it in.

I like the idea of essentially researching things by creating better devices for an intended task, rather than the other proposed ideas. One reason for this is that people seem to forget that most development is done through incremental changes to a pre-existing method or tool, culminating in the creation of an entirely new, specific method or tool, rather than rely on the jury-rigged methods and tools you were using beforehand. Rinse, repeat.
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