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Author Topic: Wood and Trees, v2.0  (Read 3310 times)

Tamren

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Wood and Trees, v2.0
« on: August 10, 2007, 05:16:00 pm »

*edit: did some bolding
*edit: and refining
*edit: and spelling  :(, forgive the remainder, i know for a fact i didnt get em all.

I made a post about the more efficient use of materials awile back. In it was wood, stone and metal. That probably made it a bit big for most people to read. I never got a chance to update the idea to include all the feedback so i guess ill do that now, starting with wood. If something doesnt make sense, just read futher and it will be explained.

Later on i will make a post about what you MAKE out of the wood and other misc plants. Since they would take up way too much room here.

I guarantee that it will be interesting, if not short       :D If you do not have time to read the whole thing, find something that interests you and add to the discussion.

Now, the original idea was to make harvesting wood a more complicated process. What you get from that complexity is a variety of alternate uses and useful wood byproducts.

1. The tree:
Trees as they are now take 3 years to reach maturity and yield one log of undetermined size. That one log can produce either one cabinet, or 3 wood mugs, the remainder simply dissapears into thin air. Under the proposed new system each tree would have a seperate age and yield a different amount of wood.

Instead of appearing randomly all over the playing field (although they can still do that) trees propagate by spreading seeds around. This doesnt actually happen on screen, keeping track of that many seeds would probably require a crapton of processing power. Instead the game looks at where trees are and what age and height. The taller and older a tree is the farther seeds will fall from the parent trunk, this is good because larger trees take up more space and more sunlight. Wind plays an important factor, strong winds can shift seeds very far from the parent tree.

If your area lacks trees you can plant a forest by moving a sapling or bringing seeds with you. This also allows you to plant an orchard in orderly rows. Other uses include using rows of trees as a pre-half built fence or planning out a treetop village.

Every now and then a tree will pop up in the middle of nowhere, this could be anything from from birds eating seeds and spreading them around or a seed sticking to the wheel of a wagon and only falling off when it reaches your fortress. The purpose of this is the random factor that helps to rescue you if you somehow kill off the entire forest (magma trap!) and to bring in new tree species. Plant and tree seeds that propagate by bird tend to be fruit bearing, strawberries are a good example.

2. Tree age:
Since this is a game as well as a life simulator, tree growth is very rapid.
1 years-Sapling: Pretty much a baby tree. Not very useful, however you can dig these up and plant them elsewhere. (even take them with you on a caravan, hint hint) This is very important because most saplings do not survive. As trees get more dense in one area, fewer and fewer trees will survive to reach maturity. Eventually there will be no space left and a forest will only expand at its edges. In a pinch you can cut it down and make it into a weapon handle or spear shaft, however the wood will be weaker.
2 years-Young tree: At this point you can harvest the tree and use the trunk but it will not yield much wood.
3 years- Mature Tree: This tree has "matured" and is much larger. After this point growth slows, but it is still worth letting trees grow past this point. For one, the tree grows longer and thicker, slowly increasing the yield of wood up to a point. Some objects like catapult parts need large whole logs.
5 years- Adult tree: Pretty much the most efficient age to cut the tree down. Has a higher yield.
7 years- Old tree: Even bigger than an adult tree.
10 years- Elder tree: Really big, at this point you can start thinking about making a treehouse. A platform or shack can be fitted into lesser trees. However if you want a full multi room/multi level building or house you will need an elder tree to support it.

At this point, trees will stop growing if there is no room for them. I forgot how it works exactly, but on some trees the leaves they shed every year have this poison in them that prevents new trees from taking room too close to them. The bigger a tree is the more space it will take up. Sunlight is another factor, some trees shade a VERY large area, banyan trees being a good example. Cut off from the sun, trees will have a hard time taking root. The lack of direct sunlight will encourage animals to hang around, and a whole other set of plants will move in.

20 years- Massive tree: Big, really big. Can support multiple buildings on the same trunk. Elf towns are usually built around a cluster of such trees, with smaller trees filling in the gaps.
60 years- Grand tree: At this point, a whole TOWN could fit onto the same trunk.
120 years- Titanic tree: This is where natural growth ends. The vast majority of trees would never reach this age, which is vastly accelerated compared to real world growth. Random events like disease, storms, other trees falling into them will cut short the life of most trees far short of this mark. However there can be places in the world such as sheltered valleys or box canyons where trees are left to grow rampant.

600 years- Legendary tree: Almost unbelievably big. Only a handful of these would exist in any world. A tree will never reach this size unless it grows under absolutely PERFECT conditions.
2000+ years- Mythical tree: Think of a tree that stands on the scale of mountains. Im not sure how a tree like this would fit into dwarf fortress. But it would be mind blowingly cool. The only way such a tree would come to be is if it was planted at the "dawn" of time, and left to grow for thousands of years. That, or a wizard did it       :D

3. Felling the trees:
So, now we know how big the trees can get. A elder tree is as big as you can cut them down with normal tools like axes and saws. Anything larger is too big to even cut up, no one has a saw that big! Even an elder tree would require a legendary sawmill, just to get the thing into the door.

Ax: The first tool available to any woodcutter. Any ax will do, one built for woodcutting specifically will work the best. A battle ax, or even a halberd will work in a pinch, however they are much slower at the job and will not retain a killing edge.
Saw: A larger tool that must be smithed and sharpened like most weapons. It works much faster than an ax but requires 2 lumberjacks to use, and thus, brings 2 dwarves into the danger zone. Also has other uses. Saw need to be sharpened far more often than axes.
Animal power: Not often used but large animals such as elephants have the strength to simply push a tree over.

To fell the tree the woodcutter much move up to the tree and hack or saw into the base, forming a wedge shaped empty space. In ideal conditions this will cause the tree to fall in the direction you want. A particularly skilled dwarf can fell one tree into others and knock down multiple trees at once.

4. The dangers:
There are many things that can go wrong while cutting a tree down. The most obvious is that the tree falls over in the wrong direction, often onto you. Because of this dwarves will cut at the tree up to the last moment when it starts to creak and crack, then they will RUN THE HELL AWAY. Now, usually the tree will fall either in the direction of the notch, or opposite it. But trees can knock other trees into random paths or they can be blown over by strong winds. Very tall trees can fall on people far from the base. It is not enough to simply avoid the trunk, as the branches significatly increase the danger zone. Since the effect and danger varies heavily between trees of different size and shape i wont go into heavy detail about it. But suffice to say a falling willow tree is much much different from a falling pine.

5. The fallen log:
Okay, so now we have a tree trunk on the ground. What to do with it? Well the first thing that must be done, is to trim off the branches and limbs. Depending on the size of the log, this can be a very big job. More dwarves will always make it quicker. Once the dwarves have finished, you end up with a bare log sitting in a pile of branches. The log then gets hauled off to the sawmill. Unless the tree is particularly big only 2 or 3 dwarves should be needed to move the log to the sawmill.

6. The sawmill:
Going with the idea of upgradeable workshops, initially the sawmill would just be an open area of grass. This gives your dwarves enough room to work in but is hardly an ideal setting. Eventually you will want to look into constructing either an outdoor mill, or a purposely build indoor room with various other tools such as cranes and radial saw machinery. Such tools will vastly speed up the processing of wood in addition to letting your dwarves handle the larger logs.

Logs can be carved into different usable sections:
Rough Planks: These are planks that can be used to make any type of furnature, pretty much a 2X4, or 2X6 whatever. Rough planks may not be completly square in one or more dimentions and have bark on them. This makes it more efficient when cutting up the tree. Dwarves will be perfectly happy with rough wood furnature as it is considered the "baseline" like plain stone. Some dwarves may even prefer the "rough" look.
Smooth Planks: These are higher quality cuts of wood with less flaws. To make them you may have to first de-bark the tree trunk depending on the type of tree. There is a lot more scrap wood compared to cutting rough planks.
*Both types of plank come in half-denominations, if a job requires half of a full plank you will also end up with half left. These will be consumed first if possible.
Beam: A beam is a long squared beam of wood that can be used for large structures such as pillars, bridges and the like. Very high scaffolding will require at least a few beams as load bearing supports. Beams come in 3 sizes, thin, normal and thick. The size of the tree you cut up determines how many beams of each type you can cut from any given tree. Thick beams are made by taking the larger trees and squaring the log. Depending on the size of the tree there will probably be enough remaining wood to cut planks from. Larger beams can be cut into smaller beams later, or even all the way down into planks.
Round: A tree round is one circular slice from a tree. Planks are good for furniture, but not so good if you want to make something like a barrel, drum or a mug. Rounds are more manageable portions of solid wood that can be used to make statues, barrels and other objects. Rounds come in 3 different thicknesses just like beams. They also come in 3 sizes as well. A small thin round could be lathed into a plate. A large round could be used to make an entire table top that can seat many dwarves or a wheel for a huge siege tower. Stuff like that. If all you want is firewood, thick rounds are the most efficient shape to cut your logs into, the shape of the tree is irrelevant. Because of their shape, even very large rounds can be moved easily by one dwarf so long as the ground is flat and level.
Firewood: Thick rounds chopped into 8 or so wedges. These are used because they are easier to move and store, and besides an entire tree round is NOT going to fit into your average stove.
Rough/smooth log: Pretty much a whole log left whole, possibly missing its bark. These are only used for the largest construction projects. Things like balista/catapult parts, bridges, towers and foundations.

All of this seems very confusing and overcomplicated but it is actually very straightforward. Say one day, your 8 lumberjacks go out and bring in 2 trees, this seems like a very small amount, but remember that under this system one tree yields a very large amount of wood. The dwarves stack the 2 logs in your sawmill and wait for your orders, this is where the interface gets interesting.

Trees all vary in size so you must tell your dwarves exactly what to do with it. Planks are a set length, if the tree is longer than a plank, but too short to cut 2 sets of planks then the remainder can be cut into rounds. Beams are pretty much extra thick planks, the largest beams are made from squaring an entire tree trunk. This leaves you with 4 half moon shaped lengths of wood that may have enough wood to make at least a rough plank.

All of this is abstracted, since this is a rogue-like game with characters and text menus, what you actually see is a set of numbers, something like:
Beam 0/1 Thin beam 0/4 Rough plank 0/12 Smooth Plank 0/8 Medium Thick round 0/10 Medium Round 0/20 Medium Thin Round 0/40

What these numbers represent is the maximum amount of each item i can cut out of the log. For this example we have a mature tree, which is about medium size. Lets say i wanted to cut the tree trunk into 1 beam. So i hit the + button and the numbers change to this:
Beam 1/1 Rough plank 0/4 Smooth Plank 0/2 Medium Thick round 0/2 Medium Round 0/4 Medium Thin Round 0/8

The one beam eats up most of the tree, there is still some remainder that can be used. So i add 2 smooth planks to the order, the numbers then change to:
Beam 1/1 Smooth Plank 2/2 Medium Thick round 0/2 Medium Round 0/4 Medium Thin Round 0/8

There is no more room to cut more planks out of this tree, however there is a bit of length left so the remainder is cut into rounds, i add to the order and it becomes:
Beam 1/1 Smooth Plank 2/2 Medium Thick round 1/1 Medium Round 2/2
There is no more remainder, and the tree gets cut up and you end up with a pile of finished wood. Neat huh?

You do not have to do this for every single tree. In most cases you will tell your dwarves to simply get as many smooth planks as they can from each trunk. Every now and then you might need a few beams or rounds for a specific project so you add those to the que. Most wood will simply be burned as fuel.

Now this seems like a lot to keep track of and store, but it is really easier than it seems. Planks can be stacked in neat rows until dwarves can no longer reach the top of the stack to put more planks on top. Assuming dwarves are around 4-5 feet tall, this is a lot of wood stored per tile. Whole logs and beams are easy to store in that if you have room you can just leave them on the ground. Mandrills are hardly going to steal a pile of trees from you! Rounds are stacked on top of each other in the same fashion as planks. Firewood is stored in bins.

7. Uses:
The beauty of this system is that it is very flexible, for furniture, any given piece can be made in many ways. A bed can be made from any piece of wood. Nail enough pieces of firewood together, and bam, you have a bed! Granted it would be a relatively crappy bed, but it beats sleeping on the ground. Because there are so many possible combinations, much of this system would have to be abstracted. You could make a chair out of 2 smooth planks, that includes 4 legs, backrest and everything. OR you could use 1 smooth plank and a thin round and make a bar stool. Im not sure how to simplify this, but im sure you guys can find a way to "dumb it down". Perhaps there could be a minimum value of wood needed for each item or something.

Im not even going to attempt to create a full material-use table yet because there are sooo many possible combinations, leave that till later once we know exactly how many things you can make with wood.

8. Byproducts:
Apart from raw wood there are many useful things you can get from a tree. The problem is that keeping track of all the extra stuff would quickly become an odious chore. To deal with that, the system is modular in that if you do not want to deal with something, you can simply ignore it.

Scrap wood:
This is all of the loose ends and pieces too small to be considered full pieces of any type. It is generated whenever a dwarf must work or cut a piece of wood, even other scrap. Its most significant use is that it can be burned as fuel or made into charcoal. It can also be chopped up into wood chips which have other uses, or used to carve small crafts like rings or statues.

When scrap is generated it is stored in bins by cleaner dwarves so that the craftsdwarf can work on uninterrupted. If no bin is available, or the workshop/sawmill is not equipped with them then the scrap will simply clutter up the workshop. This is usually not a problem in craft shops as the scrap will be picked up and used. The whole bin can be taken and emptied at once into a furnace.

If the bin becomes full, the dwarves will empty its contents and bind them into a bundle. This bundle can be tossed into a furnace as one piece, or moved to another bin in a kitchen or other workshop so that it can dispense scraps for the stove.

If you do not want to deal with scraps then you do not have to. The scrap generated simply builds up and adds to clutter, becoming a cleaning instead of a storage task. Every now and then dwarves will gather up the loose ends and dump them outside. This counts as a single task.

If your furnaces are build with racks, or have bins attached to them, the scrap wood will be used to fill these bins automatically. When a dwarf fires up the furnace he will take wood from the bin first.

Branches and limbs:
The pile of branches left over when you fell a tree has many uses. To begin with you can tell your herbalists to search the pile for anything useful. Since the pile can be quite big, multiple herbalists can work at the same time.

What they can find varies, depending on what time of year it is you will probably gather a large pile of seeds and or leaves. These can have uses such as planting new trees, medicinal use and in the case of pine nuts, eaten. A lot of random stuff can be found as well, bird nests (occupied or otherwise), squirrel burrows, shed feathers or even spent arrows and bolts.

Small branches are twigs, they are not very useful and you dont have to gather them up. The only significance is that you can store them in a small box and use them as tinder to start a fire. I cant think of anything else.

Branches large enough to be useful are just called branches. Depending on the type of tree these can be used for things like arrow shafts or roofing. If nothing else, they are easy collect into bundles for use as firewood and charcoal.

Large tree branches are called limbs. In most cases these are not straight enough to make planks, but they can be larger than some trees and net a lot of usable wood. Limbs can be cut in the sawmill as if they were just small logs. However most limbs do not grow straight but you will always be able to cut them into rounds.

If you do not want to deal with the branches at all. Just leave them for a year or two and they will rot and become part of the terrain. You might even trip on a piece or two sometime in the future.

Bark/Sawdust:
To get more smooth planks out of a tree you will usually have to de-bark it. This nets you a really big pile of bark for each tree. Bark has a few uses in gardening and landscaping. It also can be used to smoke fish and stuff. Thats about all i can think of. At the very least, bark can be compacted into bricks and used as fuel. If you have an outdoor sawmill and do not want to deal with the bark, then it will simply be scattered over the ground and will become part of the soil. If you have an indoor sawmill to take advantage of a cave river or for defensive purposes, bark will have to be gathered up and moved outside, dumped into the chasm or whatever.

Sawdust is created whenever wood is cut or worked. The one exception being the splitting of rounds into firewood, since the fibers are not being shredded. Sawdust has a few uses, one being that it can soak up water and help you clean up a flooded area. Wood fibers can be used to make paper, if such things were implemented. Sawdust can be used as fuel, some IRL sawmills supply nearby factories with truckloads of the stuff. However i dont thing sawdust would be a reliable fuel in the average fortress, except in an emergency.

Sawdust and bark chips build up in workshops untill they start to impede the work going on. If the workshop is big enough the workers can simply shuf it into corner, but it will be a problem eventually. If you do not want to do anything with it, you can simply direct your dwarves to collect and dump the waste material outside. If the sawmill is outdoors, they will simply dissapear at the change of the season unless you tag them for collection.

These are the major disadvantages of having an indoor or enclosed sawmill, to counter the advantages of security and whatnot.

If you find for whatever reason you need sawdust but have none on hand or need some of a particular type of wood, you can direct your lumberjacks and axedwarves to chop up scrap wood into wood chips which serve the same purpose.

Mushroom wood
Since this is dwarf fortress, it does not have to conform to real life. Its just more convenient because at least SOME of the conventions have to make sense. That said, the game remains open ended in that we can add whatever the hell we want       :D

Tower Cap Mushrooms:
So far we know that a. Its a mushroom, b. It takes 3 years to grow to a useful size. and c. It propagates by having its spores spread and washed downstream on to muddy ground by water flows. Presumably the mushroom has a "trunk" solid enough to substitute as wood. The trunk is big enough to at least make planks and beams. So what else can we do with it? Well the spores for one should be collectable. Perhaps the "young" version of the mushroom could be used as food. The "cap" portion of the mushroom could be automatically harvested as a round.

Pillar Mushrooms:
Because size matters now, tower caps would not be big enough to form into large beams. This would present a problem as such beams would be needed for siege weaponry and the like. On some maps you may be forced to have an indoor tree farm due to the climate or a siege. Enter the pillar mushroom. It is a slower growing mushroom that does not have the classic "cap and stem" shape we usually associate with mushrooms.

In the beginning the stalk will be thin and spindly. Once the mushroom contacts the ceiling, the trunk begins to harden and thicken. Within a few years it forms a solid pillar from floor to ceiling, hence the name. At this point it can be harvested for a large amount of usable wood. Letting the tree grow further has a few extra effects. An adult pillar mushroom continues to grow after reaching the ceiling. The extra length curves back to form the "branches". On these branches grow pods full of spores that eventually burst and disperse to grow new mushrooms.  The pods themselves can be collected while young and eaten, (dwarven coconuts? heh!)

At this point the tree can actually support the cave roof, the more pressure exerted, the more it hardens untill it becomes completetly solid. If grown inside a building somehow, the mushroom will actually pop the roof off. This also allows very large natural caverns to form inside mountains, which could become very interesting!

Stuff to discuss:
One thing to consider that must be discussed here, is whether or not trees should differ by race. At the moment a pine is the same as a willow, is the same as a maple, is the same as an fir. Each will net you a large amount of wood when you cut it down, but the shape of the actual wood will vary by tree. Some trees grow straight and tall with branches that form at right angles to the parent trunk. Other trees are globe shaped with branches that point every which way facing outward. The problem is, remembering how each tree is shaped for both the player and the game is a huge task. Since planks can only be cut out of straight tree trunks, most trees would not yield much.

What about leaves? They would certainly play a part in herblore. Apart from that what are leaves good for other than compost? Not all trees have leaves per se, coniferous trees grow needles instead. One idea i had a long time ago was that certain trees grown by the elves would form hard leaves that could be harvested and used to fletch arrows. It fits in well with the treehugger theme, and makes sense because elves would not kill birds for feathers. Would it work?

Orchards are another consideration, lots of trees bear edible fruit. Dwarves living outdoors or with acess to plateus and such could use them to grow fruit bearing trees. How would these be handled and what considerations need to be made? The soil would have to remain fertile for one. Irrigation is another need, which can be complicated if you have to pipe water up many levels. But the reward is worth it id say. Its not just dwarves who would grow fruit trees either. if you added them in it would let all the other races have orchards. You could raid elf or human towns to steal fruit, or even come across wild fruit trees.

And uh, thats about all i can think of this time. Feedback will help me refine the idea.

[ August 10, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

[ August 10, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

[ August 10, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

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mickel

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 05:40:00 pm »

First of all... Wow, that was amazingly massive.  :eek:

On to the point: I like it. I've missed planting forests and I've always wondered how much wood one "log" is. Same with those "rocks" that can become anything from one mug to one pillar... Anyway, I digress.

Feedback... well, I don't know a lot about trees, so I'm afraid I'm not much help here. Apart from saying I like it a lot, which I do.

It might have to be simplified a bit though. I dunno. That's up to the developers.

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Tamren

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 08:22:00 pm »

Most of this would be condensed down into game mechanics and code. The sawmill order interface thing is a good example. However there does remain the question of hauling and such. All of these things would increase the hauling tasks for wood alone by like... 2000%

That said, 600 thin rounds stacked in a corner that must be moved to the other side of the fortress sounds pretty daunting. But instead of carrying them 1 at a time like we do now, what if you could:
1. Pick up 15 at a time.
2. Strap 30 of them together into a barrel shape and roll it down the corridor with one foot.
3. Stack 90 of them at a time on a dolley in 3 seperate stacks and do it that way.
Once we have better tools for transportation, the problem of hauling fades away to a manageable level. Terrain plays a part too. Currently ramps act like instant elevators, but if slopes and such were calculated, you could condense those 600 rounds into 20 stacks and roll them down a gentle slope halfway into the mountain and then into a net. That, or make a steep slope and load them into a net for an instant legbreaker trap!

Speaking of simplified, as soon as i get some more spare time i will condense most of the info here into pictures. That should be much easier to absorb for the average reader   :D

[ August 10, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

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Grek

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2007, 10:04:00 pm »

quote:
Under the proposed new system each tree would have a seperate age and yield a different amount of wood.

Sounds good

quote:
Instead of appearing randomly all over the playing field (although they can still do that) trees propagate by spreading seeds around.
If your area lacks trees you can plant a forest by moving a sapling or bringing seeds with you.
Every now and then a tree will pop up in the middle of nowhere.

Also good.

quote:

1 years-Sapling,2 years-Young tree, 3 years- Mature Tree: This tree has "matured" and is much larger. After this point growth slows, but it is still worth letting trees grow past this point. For one, the tree grows longer and thicker, slowly increasing the yield of wood up to a point. Some objects like catapult parts need large whole logs.
5 years- Adult tree: Pretty much the most efficient age to cut the tree down. Has a higher yield.
7 years- Old tree: Even bigger than an adult tree.
10 years- Elder tree: Really big, at this point you can start thinking about making a treehouse. A platform or shack can be fitted into lesser trees. However if you want a full multi room/multi level building or house you will need an elder tree to support it.

I belive this could be simplified by deviding trees into saplings and trees and giving every tree species the following tags:

Average growth per year as a sapling for both height and thickness of the trunk branches and roots.
Average growth per year as a tree for both height and thickness of the trunk branches and roots.
Hardness of wood
Amount of light needed for normal growth.

I imagine a tree's raw file looking something like this:

code:

[OBJECT:MATGLOSS]

[MATGLOSS_WOOD:MANGROVE]
[NAME:mangrove][ADJ:mangrove]
[TILE:5]
[PREFSTRING:roots]
[WET]
[BIOME_SWAMP_MANGROVE]
[SAPLING_GROWTH:2:2:2:3:2:4]
[TREE_GROWTH:1:1:1:2:1:3.5]
[HARDNESS:3]
[LIGHT:5]


The thickness of the main log is [trunk length]*[trunk diameter] The thickness of the smaller logs made from branches is [branch length]*[branch diameter] A chopped tree leaves a stump that can be harvested for more wood and is based on [root length]*[root diameter].

Weather or not a tree can support buildings or people clmbing on it is the formula: amount of wood * hardness. If the wieght of the things in the tree on more that the amount it can hold it breaks. Tree stumps don't snap regardles of how heavy the thing siting on it is.

Growth is affected by environmental factors. Environmental factors include elfs doing elfy stuff to the tree, potash, amount of sunlight water and fire. Putting down potash sould be a designation like mining. To much or to little sun is bad for a tree.

quote:

3. Felling the trees:
So, now we know how big the trees can get. A elder tree is as big as you can cut them down with normal tools like axes and saws. Anything larger is too big to even cut up, no one has a saw that big! Even an elder tree would require a legendary sawmill, just to get the thing into the door.

Ax: The first tool available to any woodcutter. Any ax will do, one built for woodcutting specifically will work the best. A battle ax, or even a halberd will work in a pinch, however they are much slower at the job and will not retain a killing edge.
Saw: A larger tool that must be smithed and sharpened like most weapons. It works much faster than an ax but requires 2 lumberjacks to use, and thus, brings 2 dwarves into the danger zone. Also has other uses. Saw need to be sharpened far more often than axes.
Animal power: Not often used but large animals such as elephants have the strength to simply push a tree over.

To fell the tree the woodcutter much move up to the tree and hack or saw into the base, forming a wedge shaped empty space. In ideal conditions this will cause the tree to fall in the direction you want. A particularly skilled dwarf can fell one tree into others and knock down multiple trees at once.

4. The dangers:
There are many things that can go wrong while cutting a tree down. The most obvious is that the tree falls over in the wrong direction, often onto you. Because of this dwarves will cut at the tree up to the last moment when it starts to creak and crack, then they will RUN THE HELL AWAY. Now, usually the tree will fall either in the direction of the notch, or opposite it. But trees can knock other trees into random paths or they can be blown over by strong winds. Very tall trees can fall on people far from the base. It is not enough to simply avoid the trunk, as the branches significatly increase the danger zone. Since the effect and danger varies heavily between trees of different size and shape i wont go into heavy detail about it. But suffice to say a falling willow tree is much much different from a falling pine.

5. The fallen log:
Okay, so now we have a tree trunk on the ground. What to do with it? Well the first thing that must be done, is to trim off the branches and limbs. Depending on the size of the log, this can be a very big job. More dwarves will always make it quicker. Once the dwarves have finished, you end up with a bare log sitting in a pile of branches. The log then gets hauled off to the sawmill. Unless the tree is particularly big only 2 or 3 dwarves should be needed to move the log to the sawmill.


This can be simplfied. First the creature cuts down the tree. It's stats, equipment, skills, the size of the tree and hardness of the tree decides how fast the creature can chop it down. Any tree can be cut down with enough time. If the amount of time is low enough, no tools are needed. This lets giants tear trees fron the ground with there bare hands and dwarfs yank saplings from the ground without axes. Once that's done, a check is made between a creature's size and strentgh and the size of the felled tree. If the creature is strong/big enough it can carry the tree around in its hands. Again, giant with tree sized club and dwarf with saplings. If not you select the tree with [q] to deicde what to do with it, cut it into liftable pieces or get multiple people/tame animals to lift it. There is a work order that will automaticly say to cut it up unless or say otherwise or automaticly get more haulers. Cutting the tree makes 1 log that composes the majority of the weight of the tree, several smaller logs representing the branchs, large stacks of bolt-shaft sized branchs and a pile of leaves and fruit. Hualers will drag the tree to a stockpile or to a sawmill workshop so they can use the big saws or it. Hualing then using the big workshop saw is faster than doing it by hand for bigger trees. Strong creatures or a team of weaker creatures can pull stumps out of the ground to get more wood. Digging out the stump also works.

quote:
6. The sawmill:
Going with the idea of upgradeable workshops, initially the sawmill would just be an open area of grass. This gives your dwarves enough room to work in but is hardly an ideal setting. Eventually you will want to look into constructing either an outdoor mill, or a purposely build indoor room with various other tools such as cranes and radial saw machinery. Such tools will vastly speed up the processing of wood in addition to letting your dwarves handle the larger logs.

I realy hope the room-like/upgradable workshop idea goes in.

quote:
Logs can be carved into different usable sections:
Rough Planks
Smooth Planks
Beam
Round
Firewood
Rough/smooth log


Sounds good. A few changes though, barrels can be made from either planks or rounds and logs/beams should becombined into 1 group. The squaring of the log should be an abstracted part of building the bridge/pillar. A job that only needs half a plank should instead make 2 from a whole plank like how waterskins and mugs are made.

quote:

All of this is abstracted, since this is a rogue-like game with characters and text menus, what you actually see is a set of numbers, something like:
Beam 0/1 Thin beam 0/4 Rough plank 0/12 Smooth Plank 0/8 Medium Thick round 0/10 Medium Round 0/20 Medium Thin Round 0/40

What these numbers represent is the maximum amount of each item i can cut out of the log. For this example we have a mature tree, which is about medium size. Lets say i wanted to cut the tree trunk into 1 beam. So i hit the + button and the numbers change to this:
Beam 1/1 Rough plank 0/4 Smooth Plank 0/2 Medium Thick round 0/2 Medium Round 0/4 Medium Thin Round 0/8

The one beam eats up most of the tree, there is still some remainder that can be used. So i add 2 smooth planks to the order, the numbers then change to:
Beam 1/1 Smooth Plank 2/2 Medium Thick round 0/2 Medium Round 0/4 Medium Thin Round 0/8

There is no more room to cut more planks out of this tree, however there is a bit of length left so the remainder is cut into rounds, i add to the order and it becomes:
Beam 1/1 Smooth Plank 2/2 Medium Thick round 1/1 Medium Round 2/2
There is no more remainder, and the tree gets cut up and you end up with a pile of finished wood. Neat huh?


Instead, it should be more like the jewler's shop. Put pick a task like make rounds or make planks and a log to do it with. The dwarf will automaticly make as many of those items as he can make from that log. As I noted above, beams and logs should be combined.

quote:
7. Uses:
The beauty of this system is that it is very flexible, for furniture, any given piece can be made in many ways. A bed can be made from any piece of wood. Nail enough pieces of firewood together, and bam, you have a bed! Granted it would be a relatively crappy bed, but it beats sleeping on the ground. Because there are so many possible combinations, much of this system would have to be abstracted. You could make a chair out of 2 smooth planks, that includes 4 legs, backrest and everything. OR you could use 1 smooth plank and a thin round and make a bar stool. Im not sure how to simplify this, but im sure you guys can find a way to "dumb it down". Perhaps there could be a minimum value of wood needed for each item or something.

I think this should be like forging, select material (smooth/rough planks, rounds, logs, ect.) and then the item you want to make.

quote:
Scrap wood:
This is all of the loose ends and pieces too small to be considered full pieces of any type. It is generated whenever a dwarf must work or cut a piece of wood, even other scrap. Its most significant use is that it can be burned as fuel or made into charcoal. It can also be chopped up into wood chips which have other uses, or used to carve small crafts like rings or statues.

Sounds good.

quote:
Branches and limbs:


As I said above, branches should be treated like smaller logs.

quote:
Bark/Sawdust:


I like it. Sawdust chould be used to clean up any sort of non-magma, non-sand fluid, not just water. Spilled beer, blood, tar, ect.

quote:
Mushroom wood
Since this is dwarf fortress, it does not have to conform to real life. Its just more convenient because at least SOME of the conventions have to make sense. That said, the game remains open ended in that we can add whatever the hell we want   :D

Tower Cap Mushrooms:
So far we know that a. Its a mushroom, b. It takes 3 years to grow to a useful size. and c. It propagates by having its spores spread and washed downstream on to muddy ground by water flows. Presumably the mushroom has a "trunk" solid enough to substitute as wood. The trunk is big enough to at least make planks and beams. So what else can we do with it? Well the spores for one should be collectable. Perhaps the "young" version of the mushroom could be used as food. The "cap" portion of the mushroom could be automatically harvested as a round.


They should work just like any other tree. The top of the mushroom should be treated as fruit once fruit trees go in.

quote:
Pillar Mushrooms:
Because size matters now, tower caps would not be big enough to form into large beams. This would present a problem as such beams would be needed for siege weaponry and the like. On some maps you may be forced to have an indoor tree farm due to the climate or a siege. Enter the pillar mushroom. It is a slower growing mushroom that does not have the classic "cap and stem" shape we usually associate with mushrooms.

In the beginning the stalk will be thin and spindly. Once the mushroom contacts the ceiling, the trunk begins to harden and thicken. Within a few years it forms a solid pillar from floor to ceiling, hence the name. At this point it can be harvested for a large amount of usable wood. Letting the tree grow further has a few extra effects. An adult pillar mushroom continues to grow after reaching the ceiling. The extra length curves back to form the "branches". On these branches grow pods full of spores that eventually burst and disperse to grow new mushrooms.  The pods themselves can be collected while young and eaten, (dwarven coconuts? heh!)

At this point the tree can actually support the cave roof, the more pressure exerted, the more it hardens untill it becomes completetly solid. If grown inside a building somehow, the mushroom will actually pop the roof off. This also allows very large natural caverns to form inside mountains, which could become very interesting!


All trees should support thing if they are not to heavy regardless of type. Trees should grow branches toward light, making them short but wide on the plains and tall and thiner underground or in a forest. Dwarven coconuts are cool though.

quote:
Stuff to discuss:
One thing to consider that must be discussed here, is whether or not trees should differ by race. At the moment a pine is the same as a willow, is the same as a maple, is the same as an fir. Each will net you a large amount of wood when you cut it down, but the shape of the actual wood will vary by tree. Some trees grow straight and tall with branches that form at right angles to the parent trunk. Other trees are globe shaped with branches that point every which way facing outward. The problem is, remembering how each tree is shaped for both the player and the game is a huge task. Since planks can only be cut out of straight tree trunks, most trees would not yield much.

Under my proposed way of tree growing, trees would work this way. A player should be able to tell what shape the tree is by looking at it on the z axis.

quote:
What about leaves? They would certainly play a part in herblore. Apart from that what are leaves good for other than compost? Not all trees have leaves per se, coniferous trees grow needles instead. One idea i had a long time ago was that certain trees grown by the elves would form hard leaves that could be harvested and used to fletch arrows. It fits in well with the treehugger theme, and makes sense because elves would not kill birds for feathers. Would it work?

Soulds good. There could be tags on the trees that say if the leafs of the tree can be eated or made into arrows or whatnot.

quote:
Orchards are another consideration, lots of trees bear edible fruit. Dwarves living outdoors or with acess to plateus and such could use them to grow fruit bearing trees. How would these be handled and what considerations need to be made? The soil would have to remain fertile for one. Irrigation is another need, which can be complicated if you have to pipe water up many levels. But the reward is worth it id say. Its not just dwarves who would grow fruit trees either. if you added them in it would let all the other races have orchards. You could raid elf or human towns to steal fruit, or even come across wild fruit trees.

Covered under my tree growing plan.

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Tamren

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2007, 12:39:00 am »

"I belive this could be simplified by deviding trees into saplings and trees and giving every tree species the following tags:"
-The age category for the trees could be made more flexible. If it meets the size and age requirements for the next higher category, it gets in. When you view the tree it would be granted the name of its category and race The actual size and such would vary considerably.

"I imagine a tree's raw file looking something like this"
-The raw code mechanics look good. We also have to add lines that control a couple things:
1. Whether or not you can eat the trees leaves and seeds, or bark in the case of cinnamon.
1a. Same thing, only for the animals and which. Deer can eat bark and birds like seeds. Low hanging leaves may attract differnt species of wildlife.
2. Whether or not animals will burrow and nest in the tree and what type.
2a. Same thing again, for insects.
3. What kind of fruit or nut the tree grows, if any, and if such produce is poisonous unless cooked or only consumable by animals.
4. How succeptible to disease and rot the tree is, also termites maybe?
5. What season it loses its leaves, some dont.

"Weather or not a tree can support buildings or people clmbing on it is the formula: amount of wood * hardness."
-What about tilt? Tree limbs need to account for how they are attached to the main trunk, a limb sticking out at a direct right angle from the trunk will snap easier than one branching off upward at 45%.(assuming the force exerted is downwards, ie gravity, or was it the other way around?) Similarly a tree leaning over in one direction will support less weight unless attached to something to form a half-arch. It will also collapse in that direction.

So looking at it from the X/Y perspective, if you lop off a branch at a certain level, it becomes a small bit of flat ground, that can then support something. Alternatly you must wrap a building around it. How then would the supports work?

"Putting down potash sould be a designation like mining."
-Fertilizing tree beds is a good idea, mandatory i suppose in the case of fruit trees. What materials work best for this? There needs to be a value for each square of ground. This would track how fertile the ground it and what it is composed off. You would not be able to plant a tree on solid rock for example. Or at least, not a normal tree.

"This can be simplfied."
-Good stuff, though we need a smaller category than "sapling". Some saplings can reach over 10 feet tall and have extensive roots. Whats a good name for a newly sprouted tree? Pretty much a twig with leaves. Of course, we could just go with "young sapling", "sapling" and "mature sapling"

Danger still needs to be a factor. Currently the game tracks agility for creatures. Only experienced woodcutters will be able to predict where the tree will land, and direct nearby dwarves of the same. The agility rating affects how fast dwarves in danger can get out of the way.

"There is a work order that will automaticly say to cut it up..."
-All good. So the dwarves would perform the minimum neccesary to get the fallen wood mobile. Unless for whatever reason, all work must be done on site, which can work but is much slower. The lumberjacks and any helpers should ignore the branches and limbs, those can be left for the haulers later on.

The herbalists should come around asap though, a large pile of fruit and nuts sitting in the forest is not going to last long. After the branches are stripped of useful items, they would be collected up and bound into bundles, which would be 20 or so branches. Ideally arrows and bolts should be made of stronger trunk wood. But this might depend on the strength of the wood.

"I realy hope the room-like/upgradable workshop idea goes in."
-Tools and such for the sawmill and otherwise should go in a seperate thread, we can do that later. Lots of ideas floating around for that though.

" A few changes though, barrels can be made from either planks or rounds and logs/beams should becombined into 1 group"
-Eventually we will have to make a uses-materials table, that one will be a doozie   :( Logs and beams should be seperate, a beam is squared so you can stack it and not have the pile fall apart. Granted you can stack round logs the same way, but in a pyramid fashion that takes up more room. One thing that sets beams apart is that you can saw them into smaller beams and planks without any scrap wood, making the job fast and easy.

"Instead, it should be more like the jewler's shop. Put pick a task like make rounds or make planks and a log to do it with. The dwarf will automaticly make as many of those items as he can make from that log"
-Making it like a jewlers shop would be a good idea. If given no imput the dwarves would automatically cut the logs into as many big pieces as possible. Any smaller pieces are cut differently or collected as scrap.

So a log would be cut into as many beams as possible. The remainder is cut into smooth/rough planks, the beam can also be cut into planks. I doubt any trees would be exactly the length of a plank, so anything left can be cut the same way, into half-beams and half-planks. If there is still remainder, the rest is cut into rounds.

If you want control, you can enter an order into the cue, or flag specific trees for special orders:
1. Whole trunk: Leave the tree intact, and only debark it so that you can use the whole log.
2. Maximize rough planks: You end up with less smooth planks, but good if you need more wood overall or if trees are scarce.
3. Firewood: If all you need is firewood, you can cut the entire tree into thick rounds, and then wedges.

If you want to micromanage the details, or you need a special order, like 20 thin rounds, 1 medium round and a beam, you can still use the manual interface. Which admittedly is a bit ackward, but does give perfect control.

"I like it. Sawdust chould be used to clean up any sort of non-magma, non-sand fluid, not just water. Spilled beer, blood, tar, ect."
-How should sawdust and wood chips be stored? I suppose they would do equally well in barrels and boxes. Barrels are easy to transport but wood dust weights little. Boxes are easier to stack and store and would be better for large quanities. How to collect it? Shovel and bucket? Or just a bucket? I guess we can abstract the broom and dustpan and leave them out.

"Trees should grow branches toward light, making them short but wide on the plains and tall and thiner underground or in a forest"
-Branches towards light makes sense but what about underground? Presumably they would use alternate methods to ensure spacing and such.

[ August 11, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

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Mechanoid

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 01:49:00 am »

For the +2000 year old tree, it shouldn't necessarilly be a vertical tree -- it would eventually collapse under it's own weight. Presumably, the "cave in" code will function more as a structural integrity check then anything else, so presumably it could be applied to the larger and older trees.

Instead, the mythical tree should be inverted. Imagine it like this:
You have one giant mythical tree, as large as a mountain. You also have a valley.

Flip the tree upside down, and drop it in the valley. Let sit and collect leaf litter /water for 2000 years. Let populate with creatures.


Instant mythical tree-swamp hybrid.  :D

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Grek

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007, 02:58:00 am »

quote:
Originally posted by Tamren:
-What about tilt? Tree limbs need to account for how they are attached to the main trunk, a limb sticking out at a direct right angle from the trunk will snap easier than one branching off upward at 45%.(assuming the force exerted is downwards, ie gravity, or was it the other way around?) Similarly a tree leaning over in one direction will support less weight unless attached to something to form a half-arch. It will also collapse in that direction.

In my experiance, the difference between a branch comming out at 45 degrees and one at 90 degrees is that the one at 90 has more horazontal surface that preasure can be applied to. If they both had the same amount of force applied they would hold up the same.

quote:
So looking at it from the X/Y perspective, if you lop off a branch at a certain level, it becomes a small bit of flat ground, that can then support something. Alternatly you must wrap a building around it. How then would the supports work?

It would be based on the weight of everything on the branch. If both structures weight the same, they will have the same effect. You could also make a platform between a few limbs and put the buildings on that.

quote:
There needs to be a value for each square of ground. This would track how fertile the ground it and what it is composed off. You would not be able to plant a tree on solid rock for example. Or at least, not a normal tree.

I figured it would be like the differance between muddy limestone and limestone.

quote:
Whats a good name for a newly sprouted tree? Pretty much a twig with leaves. Of course, we could just go with "young sapling", "sapling" and "mature sapling"

I think any tree smaller than a shrub can just be abstracted. I consider trees about this size to be saplings and anything bigger a small tree.
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/5395/barringtoniaacutangula0lp1.jpg

quote:
Danger still needs to be a factor. Currently the game tracks agility for creatures. Only experienced woodcutters will be able to predict where the tree will land, and direct nearby dwarves of the same. The agility rating affects how fast dwarves in danger can get out of the way.

That sounds about right. Dwarfs should run away from falling trees regardless of if they know where it is landing, but will not run into places they know it will land.

quote:
The lumberjacks and any helpers should ignore the branches and limbs, those can be left for the haulers later on.

My idea was that the "chop fallen tree" job would be given to everyone with woodcuting enabled and an axe that isn't doing anything else. They would go and change the fallen tree into one big log made from the trunk, a few smaller logs made from the limbs of the tree and some stacks firewood sized branches. The would would be hualed by anyonw with woodhauling enabled. Herbalists would grab whatever leaves and fruit where on the tree.

quote:
-Eventually we will have to make a uses-materials table, that one will be a doozie    :( Logs and beams should be seperate, a beam is squared so you can stack it and not have the pile fall apart. Granted you can stack round logs the same way, but in a pyramid fashion that takes up more room. One thing that sets beams apart is that you can saw them into smaller beams and planks without any scrap wood, making the job fast and easy.

I'm pretty sure round logs can be stacked in square piles by making a row of logs and putting the next row at a 90 degree angle from the first like so: http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/906/alogstackjb9.jpg

quote:
"I like it. Sawdust chould be used to clean up any sort of non-magma, non-sand fluid, not just water. Spilled beer, blood, tar, ect."
-How should sawdust and wood chips be stored? I suppose they would do equally well in barrels and boxes. Barrels are easy to transport but wood dust weights little. Boxes are easier to stack and store and would be better for large quanities. How to collect it? Shovel and bucket? Or just a bucket? I guess we can abstract the broom and dustpan and leave them out.

In bins by hand I suppose.

quote:
"Trees should grow branches toward light, making them short but wide on the plains and tall and thiner underground or in a forest"
-Branches towards light makes sense but what about underground? Presumably they would use alternate methods to ensure spacing and such.

Trees would grow towards light if there is some and grow without becoming tall and thin or wide and stumpyif there isn't.

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Asehujiko

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2007, 03:55:00 am »

If mythical tress are as big as mountains, is is possible to start a fort inside them? And use the bark as some form of vertical farm for birds, moss, fungus etc...?
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Haedrian

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007, 04:01:00 am »

I don't lyke the sawmill converting trees into multiple possible bits... just leave it as being a log.

Otherwise I sincerly like this suggestion.

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Corpze

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2007, 04:43:00 am »

I just want to say I really like the suggestion but like Haedrian I feel the different cuts of wood are overcomplicating it. It would be tiresome and boring to designate what types of wood you want. They should just be logs, though some trees should give more than others.
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Istrian

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 05:17:00 am »

Leaves could be used by the alchemist to make, for instance, perfume. It could help fight off miasma.
Needles would also make nice dust cleaners. This way dwarves with cleaning labor enabled would actually have a tool to work with.

EDIT : By the way, I too think that distinguishing logs, beams, etc would be too complicated. Simple logs are enough and the amount of logs produced could be determined by the weight of the tree, instead of its shape (as I believe tree shapes are hard to code).

[ August 11, 2007: Message edited by: Istrian ]

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Asehujiko

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2007, 06:20:00 am »

Just name it "wood piece
  • "

    A mug requires 1, a bed requires 3 a ballista requires 20.

    Screw realism, vote for playability.

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Tamren

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2007, 01:42:00 pm »

"Flip the tree upside down, and drop it in the valley. Let sit and collect leaf litter /water for 2000 years. Let populate with creatures. Instant mythical tree-swamp hybrid. :D"
-Awesome! It would be like an organic mountain with all the related exosystems. Swamps, caves and the like.Procedurally generating such a monster would make any comp explode though  :D

"If they both had the same amount of force applied they would hold up the same."
-Good to know, that means you can also attach different kinds of supports. Beams to prop up the branches from below could be anchored on the parent tree or even a nearby tree. As long as it forms a tripod it would be nice and stable. You could also hang ropes from higher places to hold up some of the weight.

"I think any tree smaller than a shrub can just be abstracted."
-Yeah, considering that a sapling takes at the most, 2 years to grow. We do not really need categories. Young sapling and the like can just be a rough indicator of the new trees age.

"My idea was that the "chop fallen tree" job would be given to everyone with woodcuting enabled and an axe that isn't doing anything else."
- It would be better if we could control the work party roster. That way dwarves needed for other jobs would not get distracted. That said there should be an "all non busy dwarves" button that gets free dwarves to help out. If a jewler is helping to haul the wood in and he gets a work order, he should go back to his workshop cause he is just a hauler.

If you could save "default" party configuration that would be the best. At the very least you need 1 lumberjack and 1 herbalists. Haulers and transportation just speed up the process.

"I'm pretty sure round logs can be stacked in square piles "
-Yeah, like a log cabin. Square beams are still superior though because you can stack them on a cart and not have any wasted room. There is also zero danger of the beams falling or rolling somewhere you dont want it, like onto a dwarf's head.

How about this: Logs can substitute for beams but create more scrap and need to be tooled more to get them to fit. This takes longer. Also you will not get the extra wood you would have if you had squared the beam and cut up the excess.

Logs have more wood in them, so they would be much better for structural applications like pillars. Beams are square so you can join them to other pieces of wood quicker and easier, making beams better for scaffolding and bridges and such.

"In bins by hand I suppose."
-Abstracting tools would work better. If anything you could craft "cleaners tools" or somesuch that are represented by a single bag, instead of broom/mop/dustpan/bucket or whatever.

"If mythical tress are as big as mountains, is is possible to start a fort inside them? And use the bark as some form of vertical farm for birds, moss, fungus etc...? "
-If it was to scale, the bark would be hundreds of feet thick.

"I don't lyke the sawmill converting trees into multiple possible bits... just leave it as being a log."
I just want to say I really like the suggestion but like Haedrian I feel the different cuts of wood are overcomplicating it.
- It would be best if we could set this as an option upon game creation. That way the complexity is there for those who enjoy it. But if you do not want to deal with all of this, you can simplify the system so that trees just give varying amounts of wood units like you said. Sawdust, scrap and the like could be toggled off entirely but not during a game as that would probably cause problems.

"By the way, I too think that distinguishing logs, beams, etc would be too complicated."
-Well when you think about it, beams are not like smooth planks compared to logs and rough planks. Both have thier uses instead of being levels of quality. Beams are more efficient in situations where you need to attach lots of wood together. If you try to nail 2 round logs together, it just wont work. You would have to chop a flat face onto both pieces. This takes a lot of time but can be done, it would make more sense to just square the logs and get extra wood, and use the flat faces to attach them.

There are many situations where logs would not work as well. If you wanted to put a pillar in the corner of a square room, a beam would fit better though granted a full log would support more. If you wanted to frame or support a brick bridge with logs instead of beams, either the bricks would have to be curved where they rest against the beam or vice versa.

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Cosmonot

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2007, 04:31:00 pm »

It seems the forums don't support nested quotes so I had to edit a little for clarity.

quote:
Originally posted by Tamren:
<STRONG>
Haedrian:
"I don't lyke the sawmill converting trees into multiple possible bits... just leave it as being a log."
Corpze:
"I just want to say I really like the suggestion but like Haedrian I feel the different cuts of wood are overcomplicating it."

- It would be best if we could set this as an option upon game creation. That way the complexity is there for those who enjoy it. But if you do not want to deal with all of this, you can simplify the system so that trees just give varying amounts of wood units like you said. Sawdust, scrap and the like could be toggled off entirely but not during a game as that would probably cause problems.</STRONG>



I don't think that it should be an option, except in a mod. Adding this to the existing system would require a significant amount of effort to implement, and since a lot of people aren't interested, Toady would end up coding a complex system that half the players don't use. You can imagine that if Toady implemented every suggestion as an option, he'd never finish the game. If it turns out a lot of people want this, they can mod it in.

quote:
Originally posted by Tamren:
<STRONG>
Istrian:
"By the way, I too think that distinguishing logs, beams, etc would be too complicated."

-Well when you think about it, beams are not like smooth planks compared to logs and rough planks. Both have thier uses instead of being levels of quality. Beams are more efficient in situations where you need to attach lots of wood together. If you try to nail 2 round logs together, it just wont work. You would have to chop a flat face onto both pieces. This takes a lot of time but can be done, it would make more sense to just square the logs and get extra wood, and use the flat faces to attach them.

There are many situations where logs would not work as well. If you wanted to put a pillar in the corner of a square room, a beam would fit better though granted a full log would support more. If you wanted to frame or support a brick bridge with logs instead of beams, either the bricks would have to be curved where they rest against the beam or vice versa.</STRONG>


You might have to do this in real life, but Dwarf Fortress is a game, and such details can be abstracted away. You could implement a system like this and have the dwarves automatically make the bits you need, but if you do there's no difference to the player between this and generic lumber units, making implementing the feature a waste of time. If you did implement it, but left everything manual, you'd end up with a terrible headache of a mess where you have to constantly refer to the wiki to figure out what you need to make every bit of wooden furniture, and new players would quit the game and never come back.

On a final note, if you did implement this system in some form, the other industries would look very simple in comparison, prompting a redesign of their workings and aggravating the problems listed above.

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Tamren

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Re: Wood and Trees, v2.0
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2007, 06:09:00 pm »

"It seems the forums don't support nested quotes so I had to edit a little for clarity."
-Yeah its kind of wierd. Most of the time i try to quote someone all i get is the last sentence of thier post. Which is why i end up doing this    :confused:

"I don't think that it should be an option, except in a mod."
-As of yet, we have no way of programming the methods of construction. We can mod in animals and change stats and the like, but that amount of moddability does not exist yet.

It does seem quite daunting on paper, but all of the stuff in my first post can be condensed into about 6 pictures. (which i plan to do later) In the actual game, it would not be more detailed than a set of numbers and symbols.

"You might have to do this in real life, but Dwarf Fortress is a game, and such details can be abstracted away."
-Well thats the thing, it IS abstracted already. You can do everything with a beam that you can do with a log. Beams are not mandatory in any way, but if you put in a bit more effort into making the beam out of a log, you get a piece of wood that is more suited to certain jobs. Say you needed to do a right angle joint. Got nothing but logs? no problem, you simply have to square the tips so that they fit together. In game terms this means you end up with some scrap wood and another job gets added to the process.

If you had used beams instead, all the work is done quickly and efficiently back at the sawmill. There is no extra work needed so you attach the beams and your done. Saving a bit of time here could be very important in a siege or a disaster of some sort. Like i said before, beams and logs are better are certain uses, but are for the most part, interchangeable.

"You could implement a system like this and have the dwarves automatically make the bits you need, but if you do there's no difference to the player between this and generic lumber units, making implementing the feature a waste of time. "
- I think you missed the point. Right now 1 tree = 1 piece of wood. If you simplify the new system you end up with 1 tree = 10 pieces of wood. That is still a great improvement. However, you still end up with the situation that 1 piece of wood = 1 piece or charcoal or 3 mugs. There is no actual improvement in efficiency, just the availability of raw materials.

Under the new system, it divides wood into different shapes and tracks the "leftover" wood and lets you use it. In the average game, most wood harvested is simply burned for a miriad of reasons. If you could collect the scrap wood generated from other jobs and burned it for fuel, you need far less wood in total.

Because of this, a thriving carpentry industry could supply your charcoal makers. Who would then in turn supply your steelmakers with charcoal. Otherwise the system becomes your standard cookie cutter RTS in which "carpentry used 10 pieces of wood today, Charcoal makers used up 12 pieces of wood today, Steelmakers used 8 pieces of wood today". Its much more satisfying to build and maintain a working economy than it is to hear "you must cut down 30 trees today"

"If you did implement it, but left everything manual, you'd end up with a terrible headache of a mess where you have to constantly refer to the wiki to figure out what you need to make every bit of wooden furniture, and new players would quit the game and never come back."
-The flexibility of the system ensures that would never happen. I could make a bed with a couple planks, or i could use rounds and firewood. I could even cut a log in half and make a bed that way too! It would be up to the player to decide what they want to make, and out of what material. Instead of "a bed requires 4 wood" the player could experiment to discover what works best with the cuts of wood they have access to.

The finished product would also differ a lot depending on what you use. 2 planks makes your typical chair, 4 legs and a back right? Well if you used 1 plank and a tree round instead, you could make a bar stool. The difference between the two, is that you can get on the stool from every angle, and the chair can only be sat on from 3 sides. You might think of this as irrelevant, but for some people it is more entertaining to know that my bar actually HAS bar stools instead of generic oak chairs#74-82. This could even carry over to adventure mode. A bar stool used as a club is less ackward than a 4 legged chair used the same way.

"On a final note, if you did implement this system in some form, the other industries would look very simple in comparison, prompting a redesign of their workings and aggravating the problems listed above."
-Frankly? They had it coming. And new problems only means new solutions.

[ August 11, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

[ August 11, 2007: Message edited by: Tamren ]

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