Wednesday, March 23, 2011

33 – I feel like there is an impenetrable brick wall between us

Why can't you open up to me? After all this time...

That's exactly what I am going to do: open up about this post's new features!

Creation of stone structures

I have added the possibility to create a stone structure out of the stone you have. You have to dig through stone walls before to get the stone. Here is the new menu:

Walls are similar to natural walls and come in two flavors: made out of stone chunks and made out of bricks. Right now the difference is purely aesthetic, but I'll try to differentiate between them. Brick wall could take longer to build because you have to take stone chunks and cut them down to brick size, but on the other hand they could be more robust. You can use these walls to make rooms or to draw something. Since I am far too lazy to clear out a section of the map removing all plants, I dug out a section of the natural wall and drew something with a mix of brick and stone chunks:

Next, we have fortifications. These are similar to walls but they will offer cover when using ranged weapons. I introduced them previously as an option when carving out stone blocks. Let me demonstrate the use of both chunk and brick fortifications:

And finally, we have stairs. These will allow your dwarves to reach higher Z levels, but I do plan to give them the ability to jump. Jumping is slow, makes you tired, you have to drop large objects you are carrying and you can't do it with a heavy backpack, but it should add a new level of strategy. Some creatures can't jump and the only viable defense is having walls higher than one Z level. Or a walls with fortifications on top so you can defend yourself. BOOOOM! HEADSHOT! Jump will be available only after multiple Z level walking is implemented and will have a largely passive skill associated to it. But back to our subject. Right now stairs are again just mostly cosmetic, but using these elements you can start and design something interesting:

OK, that was not that interesting, but I do feel like thing are starting to look promising. It would be great if I take these new options and combine them with stone carving and post a few interesting screenshots of some complex fortresses. Or a video. But not right now.

There are two thing I have not implemented yet. For starters, you can't select your stone. This will be done once I finally finish the new item browser. I said the same thing last time I talked about seeds and planting. Second, right now you can walk through these quite solid stone constructions. This is temporary, until I figure out a new algortihm for some technical problem I am having which is of no interest probably for most of you.

Tree trunks and roots can be removed

Here is a scenario you might be familiar with:

You cut down a bunch of trees and their trunk remains. It is not that easy to see, but there is trunk there between the logs. Even if you move the logs, the trunk remains. Am I the only one who feels a Metallica song coming up? DF has this feature where excessive deforestation will upset elven traders. I am not going to copy this feature but I do like the idea that some decisions in the way you structure your fort will influence your relation with other civilizations. Maybe you paint everything green to upset/entice all the green goblins? So you need to be able to do these small changes to your fortress, starting with the removal of logs:

This is the same map after you removed all the trunks and roots from ground. This is massive and time consuming operation. The root must be dug out and chopped into small pieces, then you need to cover the hole with soil and if you have logs around they need to be moved somewhere and back again. Your reward? Firewood. Smaller pieces of wood that are too small and strange shaped to be used as logs, but that are perfect as fuel and for crafting.

Condensed options for plant stuff

Like all other family of related operations, plant stuff now has its own window:

All separate options are gone. This is what I used to instruct my dwarves to remove the trunks and roots.

Optimizations for the map cache

I made several optimizations in the map cache code that have made scrolling smoother for zoom level 1. Unfortunately, it is still not enough for zoom level 2, but I'll continue optimizing. And I introduced some minor bugs. The map cache is also less memory consuming, but even so general RAM use has gone up by about 20 MiBs as the complexity of the world increases.


  1. I've got three developement pages I check twice a day for updates. Minecr*ft, Dw*rf Fortresss, and this one. I'm pretty excited about how this game is looking, and it seems like a cool project you have a lot of passion for.

    Thanks for the frequent updates!

  2. Thank you for the kind words! An while I do appreciate the views, I think twice a day is a little bit too much for all three projects :). We don't update that often.

  3. I am sad to say I am in the same boat. I am so excited about this game that I check this blog at least twice a day. I appreciate all your hard work and am always looking forward to your updates.