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Author Topic: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution  (Read 78983 times)

therahedwig

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #300 on: May 21, 2012, 01:12:33 pm »

Actually, they can't do that with bauxite. They can only dig up native aluminium.

Mind you, there's still the whole magma forges thing, but then again there's also adamantine and werewolves. A little bit of fantasy next to the historical accuracy is probably the true face of dwarf fortress rather then this cold-dead cut-off point.
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Graknorke

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #301 on: May 21, 2012, 01:30:38 pm »

That was the point I was trying to make. Basically, "because it's realistic" cannot be the sole argument for implementing something. It just... it drains the fluidity and life out of something.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #302 on: May 21, 2012, 01:37:58 pm »

That was the point I was trying to make. Basically, "because it's realistic" cannot be the sole argument for implementing something. It just... it drains the fluidity and life out of something.

Then how about because it makes the game more deep?

Currently, we grow a functionally infinite number of things by throwing seeds at mud, and one tile of farm grows food for 4 dwarves. 

Farming is very, very easy, and it produces organic goods in such quantities that it makes all basis for trade of goods meaningless, even before you get to the point where all crops can be grown in all regions, so long as you have seeds. 

If we are going to have meaningful trade, we need to have regional specialties where a fort with sandy soil and warm weather might be good at growing grapes to make into wine that can be traded to colder climates with acidic silty clay soils that might trade blackberries back. 

The thing about farming is that it is practically the foundation of half of the game's raw materials (the other being mining), so making it no longer easy to get limitless amounts of raw materials is therefore required before we can make any sort of changes to economics that will make the game a deep and meaningful experience.
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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #303 on: May 21, 2012, 03:09:43 pm »

While true, anything post-1400s is considered outside of DF's timeline.
Are you sure? Because they seem to be able to handle this no problems.

The "aluminum from bauxite" issue aside, it's frequently been posted by Toady that technological innovations past "about 1400" are looked at with a more critical eye before saying "yay" or "nay," and that it tends to fall on the "nay" side.*  It's to curtail people suggesting things for the game that are "too modern" for Toady's vision of the game.  Fantastical elements (such as cotton candy, clowns, curses, and magic) fall into a different category entirely.

*Steel production being the one item that falls FAR on the modern side of the 1400s cutoff, but which is justified because we're playing fucking dwarves and that humans don't have access to this metal.
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Andeerz

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #304 on: May 21, 2012, 04:52:19 pm »

Though what qualifies as steel is often different depending on what you look at...  If we are speaking purely on the basis of carbon vs. iron content, steel existed since well before the advent of proper blast furnaces and the Bessemer Process and the like in Western Europe... in fact, I think steel production is well within the technological constraints of the game.  Even furnaces capable of properly smelting iron into liquid have existed in one culture or another well before 1400 AD, and were utilized to produce economically significant, historically influential quantities of high- and intermediate-carbon steels, as well as cast iron.   

I can give RL instances and references if pressed to...
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 04:57:31 pm by Andeerz »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #305 on: May 21, 2012, 05:12:25 pm »

Steel did exist - it's what the high-quality swords and armor were made of, after all, but it had to be hand-forged by highly trained masters, you couldn't mass-produce it, and it was extremely expensive. 

There's a reason the Japanese put so many myths into their swords - steel was even more scarce in Japan, and they couldn't afford to even have steel armor, just a few swords or spears, and so their weapons were passed down for generations.  If you were to look at the details page of a katana from a warrior family, it would have thousands of kills, and be considered an artifact. :P

... wait, what did this have to do with farming, again?
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Mr. Palau

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #306 on: May 21, 2012, 05:27:58 pm »

That was the point I was trying to make. Basically, "because it's realistic" cannot be the sole argument for implementing something. It just... it drains the fluidity and life out of something.

Then how about because it makes the game more deep?

Currently, we grow a functionally infinite number of things by throwing seeds at mud, and one tile of farm grows food for 4 dwarves. 

Farming is very, very easy, and it produces organic goods in such quantities that it makes all basis for trade of goods meaningless, even before you get to the point where all crops can be grown in all regions, so long as you have seeds. 

If we are going to have meaningful trade, we need to have regional specialties where a fort with sandy soil and warm weather might be good at growing grapes to make into wine that can be traded to colder climates with acidic silty clay soils that might trade blackberries back. 

The thing about farming is that it is practically the foundation of half of the game's raw materials (the other being mining), so making it no longer easy to get limitless amounts of raw materials is therefore required before we can make any sort of changes to economics that will make the game a deep and meaningful experience.
QFT

Not to mention that now farming is so trivial it is hardly even possible for a competent fortress to die due to soley starvation. In fact, I don't think I have ever had a non melancholy dwarf die due to starvation, in my many hundreds of hours worth of dwarf fortress. If it had ever gotten to the point where that could happen, I will ussually have quit by then, but that is only after half the fortress is dying. Hell after the first year of a fortress the only reason I will ever have a shortage of booze is because I forgot to tell the brewer to do his job.

Whereas in real life many new settlements died due to starvation, James town is almost an example, and likely many other I forgot about because they all died.
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Khym Chanur

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #307 on: May 21, 2012, 06:01:52 pm »

Some thoughts on the interface:

1) When you designate a plot to grow (for example) plump helmets, it should automatically set the minimum number of buckets of water and logs needed per harvest, based on the size of the plot; you can then tweak the numbers down if you want to conserve resources at the price of sub-optimal growing.  Similarly, if you want to mono-crop cave wheat, it should automatically set the amount of fertilizer you'll need to add.

2) There should be some lists of crop-rotation schedules that the Dwarven civilization has found to be useful, and you can just select one of these to use it for a plot, rather than having to always manually set up crop rotations yourself for each plot.  You could also create and save you own rotation lists, similar to embark profiles.

3) There should be a site-wide farming resources screen, to tell you how much of each type of resource you're using per year/season, and at what rate you're leaching out nutrients if you're not using enough crop rotation and/or fertilization.  It could also be used to set up defaults for resource usages as done in point #1.  For example, you could set it so that when a new crop is designated the automatic setting for bone meal is only one half of what it required for the crop, and you'd have to manually increase it if you wanted more.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #308 on: May 21, 2012, 08:10:12 pm »

Some thoughts on the interface:

1) When you designate a plot to grow (for example) plump helmets, it should automatically set the minimum number of buckets of water and logs needed per harvest, based on the size of the plot; you can then tweak the numbers down if you want to conserve resources at the price of sub-optimal growing.  Similarly, if you want to mono-crop cave wheat, it should automatically set the amount of fertilizer you'll need to add.

2) There should be some lists of crop-rotation schedules that the Dwarven civilization has found to be useful, and you can just select one of these to use it for a plot, rather than having to always manually set up crop rotations yourself for each plot.  You could also create and save you own rotation lists, similar to embark profiles.

3) There should be a site-wide farming resources screen, to tell you how much of each type of resource you're using per year/season, and at what rate you're leaching out nutrients if you're not using enough crop rotation and/or fertilization.  It could also be used to set up defaults for resource usages as done in point #1.  For example, you could set it so that when a new crop is designated the automatic setting for bone meal is only one half of what it required for the crop, and you'd have to manually increase it if you wanted more.

I especially like the second one... I'll edit it into the proper segment.

For the first, however, while it's good to tell players how much the game is going to estimate the farms will need, the idea of permissions is that the farmers decide for themselves how much a plot needs, and you can just limit it - you might say that you're permitted to use 125% of what you expect a farm plot to need (just in case), but the farmers should only use 100% of what the farm needs. 

However, I do like the idea of a poorly-trained farmer being either too stingy or generous with some of the fertilizers or water. 

EDIT: ah, the import/export option was already there, but added the rest.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 08:19:59 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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Graknorke

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #309 on: May 22, 2012, 02:25:45 pm »

Oh, I wasn't disagreeing that farming should be changed, I was just saying that using realism as the sole argument for something is not a good move (Unless you're looking to make a reality simulator. Don't know why anybody would want that but hey.). Realism is why, again, most war FPSs are covered in brown. It's a more "realistic" colour for things to be. It's still boring though.

I'd say that farmers should automatically "stockpile" some of the necessary resources on the farm before they need it, so they can just run back and forth from seeds to the farm, say, instead of having to run to the fertiliser stockpile, bring it to the farm, fertilise, go to the seeds, bring it to the farm, plant it. Either that or have 'teamwork' working properly on jobs that require multiple tasks to be completed. Like shared hauling for jobs instead of it being one dwarf making 4 runs each job.
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aka010101

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #310 on: June 06, 2012, 10:00:47 pm »

Oh, I wasn't disagreeing that farming should be changed, I was just saying that using realism as the sole argument for something is not a good move (Unless you're looking to make a reality simulator. Don't know why anybody would want that but hey.). Realism is why, again, most war FPSs are covered in brown. It's a more "realistic" colour for things to be. It's still boring though.

Okay, gonna have to disagree with you on this at several points.

First, the eventual GOAL of DF is to be a fantasy world SIMULATOR where you can go and make a mark on the world, whether by adventuring or managing a civilization or what have you. Adding realism to the way the game works will make it MORE engaging and fun. And no, DF is never going to be totally realistic, this is a game where you control alcoholic midgets and some of your biggest threats are animated bronze statues and digging a hole into hell. What we REALLY want to avoid is micromanagement, because THAT is what makes the game less fun. But making it so you just don't plop down a tiny farm patch and have nothing to do with it the rest of the game? Fixing that will make things MORE interesting, not less. It'll add challenge and variety.

On a related note, the whole thing with 'realistic' games being brown and why that's not a good thing, is that game developers do the brown thing in an ATTEMPT to be realistic, but it simply grates on you because the real world Is NOT all greys and browns, and thus we find the narrow pallet irritating.
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Graknorke

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #311 on: June 07, 2012, 12:15:41 am »

So wait, what exactly are we disagreeing on here?
All I was trying to say there is that realism on its own isn't a good enough excuse to add things. Game depth/improving overall gameplay quality should be the reason things are added. Which this suggestion does well, but some of the posters in the thread seemed to only see it as an issue of realism, so I was voicing my opinion on the matter.
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Silverionmox

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #312 on: June 07, 2012, 12:36:04 pm »

One of the advantages of reality is that it is balanced. If you model a world to be fairly close to reality, it'll be balanced naturally, and disturbing the balance will cause effects that will seem natural, giving immersion and a sense of accomplishment.
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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #313 on: June 07, 2012, 12:37:43 pm »

One of the advantages of reality is that it is balanced.

Actually, it's not.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution
« Reply #314 on: June 07, 2012, 02:32:04 pm »

Yeah, in reality, I tried making a character build based around knife-fighting, but I kept getting killed by people with guns.  Guns are so OP in reality.  The devs really need to nerf that. 



But more seriously, there are three benefits to realism.

First, verisimilitude, which is an important aspect of the game as a whole, is that players should be able to feel that they understand the world as though it were their own.  It's a magic world with dwarves and dragons, but rocks still fall, and minecarts fly through parabolic arcs if launched off a ramp, and fire is still hot, etc.  The game gets silly and "gamey" when you have things like atom-smashers or magma stacks in wooden reservoirs where the magma never cools, and supporting whole fortresses on crocodile eggs because crocodiles don't need to eat.  Those are immersion-breaking aspects of the game.

Second, intuitiveness of controls, which is related to the first, people don't intuitively assume you can block magma with a wooden door or atom-smash infinite quantities of material with a drawbridge.  If you can assume, however, that you need food to eat, and you get that food from a farm, and that farm needs to have fertilizer to be able to sustain growing food for more than a couple years without diminishing returns as you deplete the soil, then you are introducing complex mechanics that, at the same time, players are going to be able to understand pretty easily because it's based on the reality they already know.

Third, you have the ability to have Tangential Learning.  If you come across things like limestone, chalk, and marble as flux in DF, you start learning some properties of real-world chemistry and geology, even if only on accident.  If you want to learn more, there are links to wikipedia articles just waiting for you.  Though not so many people actually enjoy it, there is a real joy to be found in some people finding some new thing they never knew they'd be interested in by discovering some information through a game they like.

The problems with realism typically come up when you put realism as a goal to the exclusion of all other factors.

In this case, a balance of realism and some interface/gameplay mechanics that can be added to reduce the micromanagement aspects should give all the benefits of realism without the associated drawbacks of realism-blindness where gameplay is ignored in favor of realism at any cost.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 02:42:20 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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