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Author Topic: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution  (Read 75564 times)

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #255 on: March 13, 2011, 03:07:15 pm »

OK, I'm going to go back to sweeping up the interface section, now.

Spoiler: Scheduler Window v3 (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Scheduler Window v2 (click to show/hide)

I went back and put in functions for polycultures and more graphic displays, so it crams a little bit more information into the same limited space.  Hopefully without being too much more unintelligible than it already is.

I also went ahead and changed the tabbing keys to "qwertQWERT" instead of "qwertasfdg", so that there are more keys for the scheduler.  I'll be changing all the other keys to match, obviously, but that doesn't need much updating. 

I'm also going to go in and make sure that the interface section is generally capable of displaying everything I think it needs to display, since I have a clearer picture in my head of what it needs to do now that I've spent more time pouring over the subject. 

In just trying to update this one image, though, I've been messing with a half-dozen things, already.
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
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Improved Farming
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #256 on: March 17, 2011, 09:39:18 pm »

Animal House
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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"

Improved Farming
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #257 on: March 18, 2011, 09:15:45 am »

Farming Water
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 02:07:59 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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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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jseah

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #258 on: March 19, 2011, 11:30:01 am »

Looking good and liking it.  =)

Just posting to say I'm still here and watching.  Read all of it too!


I have a feeling that more dedicated and complex farming methods could wait until after the caravan arc.  Without trade to force specialization of forts, there would not be much pressure to produce food beyond what the fort needs. 
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #259 on: March 19, 2011, 01:17:17 pm »

Caravan arc and army arc are the two things that are definitely going to be complete before anything else that is major ever gets underway.  Like I've said before, I don't doubt that any of these changes, if they ever take place, are likely a couple years down the road, excepting maybe some minor animal-feeding habits.

Anyway, one of the things I have always liked about DF is how it gets me interested in all kinds of completely random, crazy things. 

Just recently, all this talk of bats now has me building a bat house for my back yard.  We've got a real insect problem around here, let's see how the little bastards enjoy some new neighbors...
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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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thunktone

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #260 on: June 12, 2011, 09:07:02 am »

I really like the general thrust of all this. (Well as much as I managed to read anyway.) I just have a few points to make.

First, you talk about mass conservation. This is important but it should not be forgotten that very little biomass comes from the soil. Most is carbon (extracted from the air by photosynthesis) and water.

Also there are various ways for nutrients to be restored to surface biomes through erosion. Silt can be deposited by rivers when they flood. Sand and dust can be blown huge distances, e.g. the Amazon rainforest is apparently fertilised by the Sahara desert. Volcanic dust can be a powerful fertiliser too.

You mentioned somewhere that hunting could not sustain a fortress, but if hunting squads could be sent off your embark map then I think that it could. It would not be a reliable way to feed your dwarfs though. And I don't know what the hill dwarfs would eat.

Herbalism easily supports small numbers of dwarves that can manage to keep their harvesting areas safe from skulking goblin ambushers, but at the same time, plundering too many plants from the soil without returning nutrients can gradually lead to a more barren landscape with less plants overall.

Well the amount of food gained from herbalism probably needs to be reduced. Foraging can be very sustainable though, especially in the time spans we are talking about with DF. A herbalist would struggle to gather enough food to feed just a few people, but it is possible, if food is preserved for late winter and early spring, to provide all the nutrients lacking from a meat based diet.

...you might need to spread several layers of fertilizer or grow some preliminary crop to prepare the soil for this wheat.  Growing wheat will probably require permissables set throughout the year for several applications of manure, water, and it will probably be a good idea to give permission to till the soil before the wheat is planted (this kills weeds).

A little fertilizer goes a long way and too much will destroy a crop. Manure needs to be applied some time before the crop is planted as it will destroy plants like wheat if dropped on top.

Instead of merely "fallowing" the field, which lets weeds take over

Potentially useful weeds though. A fallow field was not just to let the soil recover, it also provided a lot of green vegetables and various useful herbs and flowers. So this could be another use for the herbalist skill.

we will instead schedule clover

Seems an odd choice. Clover tends to be established in cattle pastures by allowing sheep to graze there part of the year, spreading the seeds in their faeces. And I don't think letting cattle onto arable land is very wise. They would tend to compact the soil, damaging the tilth. Sweet pods would seem the natural choice to match with wheat in a two year cycle as I imagine them as some sort of pea that would fix nitrogen into the soil.

You could also set up a more sustainable plump helmet farm, growing them on straw instead of logs. It would be cool if you could get odd situations, like after drowning a noble in their bedroom, plump helmets sprout on their mattress.

So long as cattle only eat the grasses, and not the trees or their fruits

No! Let the livestock eat fallen, fermenting fruit. Drunk yak would be too much Fun to leave out.

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Blah

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #261 on: May 02, 2012, 02:31:51 am »

This is what I want to be changed in regards to food&booze production:

- Not every aboveground crop should grow in every biome.
- Not every underground crop should grow in every cavern layer.
- Not every animal should be able to graze in every biome.
- We should be forced to adapt our food&booze industries to the biome that we embark in. It's just too easy at the moment to set up a standard farm that always works 100% on every embark and provides everything.

I want to see embarks where dwarves can subsist solely on fishing and plump helmets with some booze imports for variety. Or embarks where breeding livestock or making cheese is a necessity to survive. Or embarks where mead is the only local source of booze.

Of course for this to be fun, the beekeeping, meat, fishing, cheesemaking industries need some improvements so that they can provide food and booze for a fortress without bugs or excessive micromanagement, but many good suggestions have been pet forward in that regard so I won't repeat them.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #262 on: May 02, 2012, 07:29:11 am »

Could you expand on what you mean by "not every underground crop should grow in every cavern"?

Sure, there's something very strange about growing one crop everywhere aboveground, but every cavern really does come off as being the same at the moment.  (Unless you mean something like the Xenosynthesis idea talked about earlier, to differentiate them.)
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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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Blah

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #263 on: May 02, 2012, 08:10:53 am »

Quote
Could you expand on what you mean by "not every underground crop should grow in every cavern"?

Yea I suppose I should make more effort explaining this.

What I have in mind is a simple and effective way of making sure that the food & booze industry differs between biomes. This is done by

1) Creating an "aboveground fertility" parameter that's expressed as a number between, say, 0-4. Higher is better.
2) Same with an "underground fertility".
3) Adding a "fertility requirement" from 1-4 to all plants. Plants that require a fertility of 1 can only be grown in biomes with a fertility of 1 or higher, etc. Plump Helmets should require a fertility of 1 for sure.
4) When a biome is generated, both underground and aboveground fertility levels are randomized (with some restrictions so that deserts cannot have more than 1 aboveground fertility for example, good biomes are more fertile, evil biomes less, etc).
5) The exact fertility levels are displayed on the embark screen.
6) Halving farming yield would also be good.

It may be better to randomize fertility across regions (which are larger) than biomes because fortress are often built covering more than one biome. Anyway, why use this system?

It's consistent. If we see aboveground fertility 4 and underground fertility 1 on the embark screen we know what to expect.
People who want easy farming can embark on high fertility sites, those who want a challenge on low fertility sites. A site with 0 aboveground and 0 underground fertility? Build a meat/fish/mead industry and some booze imports for variety.
It's more realistic without going into excessive details like soil composition or humidity (too much information to be displayed on embark for starters).
It should be very easy to implement.

PS: having fertilizers raise fertility by 1 would also blend in nicely.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 08:55:37 am by Blah »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #264 on: May 02, 2012, 09:48:05 am »

    If we are going by colloid grain size as important, then we'd only need to give some hint as to what types of soil (sand/silt/clay/loam) that we are dealing with on the top layers in embark, which should be fairly obvious, and readily available to the player.  I kind of miss having the ability to tell whether surface-apparent stones are igneous or sedimentary on embark. 

    We could probably use an indicator of general salinity, as well.

    Beyond that, drainage and water abundance information are already apparent just by biome and already displayed at embark. 

    The information you need beyond that would all be a matter of play, as it would change frequently.

    The rest of that stuff... well, I won't fault you for not reading the 48-page first thread, but suffice to say simple things like halving farm output means little without drastically changing how the entire farming system works. 

    Also, keep in mind, this is already what's on the
devpages:
Quote from: devpage
Farming Improvements
  • Soil moisture tracking and ability to moisten soil (buckets or other irrigation)
  • Soil nutrient requirements for plants and nutrient tracking to the extent the farming interface can provide decent feedback for you, fertilizers can reflect this
  • Harvestable flowers and fruit growing on plants, ability to plant trees
  • Weeds
  • More pests

The point of this whole thread is to make the farms not have static fertility, but to instead make the player mindful that every time you are growing crops, you are depleting the soil of its nutrients to create those crops, and Conservation of Mass dictates that those nutrients be returned to the soil somehow. 

NPK plus water plus biomass (for fungi or other decomposers) as well as an energy source (sunlight, normally, but possibly also magic sources for magic plants) are a minimum for this, and can be displayed. 

To reflect climate differences, colloid grain size/drainage/CRC efficiency are included, as well as regional temperature, along with three pollution types, including salinity and heavy metal poisoning, which can exclude some regions from most forms of farming.  (Salty soils can only support saltgrasses normally, which are not particularly edible to humans, but useful for grazing cattle.)

The problem farms face is not simply that there isn't diversity, but that it is a "free stuff button" - fertility never declines, so you get infinite raw materials from just throwing seeds (which appear for free from using food items) at mud.  To require players to pay at least minimal attention to fertility (even if it only means dumping more goblin corpses into the compost pile and setting an automated fertilization between plantings), the game will establish some semblance of verisimilitude in this critical area of fortress construction.
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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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Blah

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #265 on: May 02, 2012, 01:38:59 pm »

Quote
The problem farms face is not simply that there isn't diversity, but that it is a "free stuff button"

I'm mostly concerned about diversity and the monopoly farming has on food & booze production in every single fort. I disagree that free stuff is a problem. Resources are there to be taken. Farming just makes too many other industries nearly or fully obsolete.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 01:41:06 pm by Blah »
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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #266 on: May 02, 2012, 01:43:18 pm »

I disagree that free stuff is a problem.

It's not so much that free stuff is a problem, it's that it's infinite free stuff forever.  A single 10x10 farm manned by a single dwarf will produce MORE food than an entire fortress can even eat.  And that one farmer?  He's not even busy full time.
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Babylon

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #267 on: May 02, 2012, 01:44:48 pm »

I would prefer underground plants to be tied to cavern level and above ground plants to be tied to rain/drainage/temperature levels rather than using a 0-4 fertility scale.  Making underground plants only grow in certain cavern levels might be more work than it is worth, but I would think above ground crops could be tied to biomes in the same way that trees are.
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slothen

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #268 on: May 02, 2012, 02:25:21 pm »

On the whole I agree agriculture needs a huge overhaul.  Free infinite stuff for no effort is bad.   For the majority of human history, securing and maintaining a stable food supply is the number 1 make or break requisite for a new settlement or civilization.  In dwarf fortress, food is in afterthought past the first year.

However, I do want to raise a point from the original post concerning the conservation of mass and energy.  That being, plant mass is not derived from soil, and farming the same soil for years won't make you run out of soil.  Fertilization exists to replace certain nutrients or chemicals in the soil, not the replace the soil itself.  Plant matter is basically all hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, and all of that is derived from the air and water.
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Blah

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #269 on: May 02, 2012, 02:34:11 pm »

I would think above ground crops could be tied to biomes in the same way that trees are.

That would be a mostly cosmetic change with no actual impact on gameplay unless you were forced to grow aboveground crops for wheat or cloth. What difference does it make to cultivate sewer brew over whip vine? None that matters really.

Quote
It's not so much that free stuff is a problem, it's that it's infinite free stuff forever.

I stand by my point. Perhaps if I explain the consequences of my proposal you'll see why free infinite stuff is not a problem (though reducing farming yield would be a good step).

If my proposal was implemented, each biome (depending on fertility) would be able to provide a varying number of plant types. Some biomes would provide everything you need. This is good for new players or people that like it that way. For people who like more difficulty, embarks exist where farming is more limited: in other words, you could not get EVERYTHING you need through farming. Only some stuff. Perhaps even very little (depending on your choice of biome). Then what do you do? Use alternative means of food & booze production: animal breeding, fishing, beekeeping. All of these should be infinite sources of food and booze because they're basic resources (It's the expensive resources like ore and gems that should be finite). None of these industries should give you everything you'd ever need though. That's the general idea - details may be tweaked.
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