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A thank you and an apology to Sami and Erkka Hello, everyone! I think now is as good a time as any to present myself and send a message that I've been meaning to send for a while.

I've know this game for almost a decade, from about the time I learned about Dwarf Fortress and roguelikes as a genre. Unfortunately, at the time the game was not free (was it 3.14? Almost sure it was) and I was limited to the demo. Since I didn't really have a way to pay for it and it was kinda expensive, I couldn't really explore the game's depth.

I have a vague recollection of being on IRC, probably on a roguelike or even the URW channel and essentially bitching about the fact that this business model prevented me from actually exploring the game outside the narrow scope of the demo, which would probably make me less likely to actually shell out the money.

In the midst of this I made some silly arguments, including saying that the game was barely updated and there were quite a few features missing. Which there were, but the game was still being updated. I suggested that making it free would make it open to much more people and might even generate more revenue for the devs. It does seem that the game has become more well known and got some more activity in the community, but I can't speak for the revenue.

That being said, and considering the game went free on version 3.15, I owe Sami and Erkka a formal apology and a thanks. I was a jerk, if only because of the way I expressed my discontent at that time. You clearly deserve recognition for all the work you have put into this simulation, and it keeps getting better.

Unfortunately life keeps kicking me in the balls and I'm not in a position to even donate €10 right now, but you have been added to my permanent mental note (alongside Dwarf Fortress) reminding me to properly reward you for all the fun and wasted hours on something you created and developed over so long.

Thank you for all the work you put into this, and keep at it. You're great!

Edit: I've gotten the itch to play again after a while (and a lot changed since 3.23!) after I suggested URW to a co-worker who's into roguelikes/survival games. They were impressed, of course :) it's quite the gaming gem you have here!

December 24, 2018, 05:03:25 PM
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Re: What affects watercraft speed? I tested with and without weight, and I think I tested an inferior vs. decent punt as well, and nothing changed. Your walking speed is used when rowing, it seems. As you get tired it'll drop. That seems about it
December 26, 2018, 11:23:24 PM
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Re: No harpoons? Unique ranged hunting weapons in finnish culture?
I'm 150% sure that harpoons for whales/seals have been in use by seafaring cultures for very long. What I don't know is whether harpoons were used in Iron Age Finland.

As for Signatus' reply, you are aware that the ango doesn't come with *rope* right? How can something be a harpoon if it doesn't have rope attached?

The ango (or angon) is barbed in such away that it's really hard, if not impossible, for the victim to remove it. They'll likely just die from their wounds. We know that angos were used about a 1000 years ago in Finland, but a harpoon not so much. It's possible, but it's also something that would probably need a boat and more people, no? Can a human really reel in a huge seal on their own?

I also see a problem with programming these ropes going around the map as the creature moves... it would be cool if they could get tangled in a couple trees/rocks, but that must be hell to program correctly. I think a bolas would be easier as a way to immobilize targets.

January 17, 2019, 08:06:59 PM
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Re: Modding in valuable metals (Gold, Silver, Copper) for trade.
A spear head is still a lot of gold - we're talking a pound or two. Keep in mind that all the gold ever found throughout history worldwide would fit into a couple of swimming pools. There just isn't that much of it, let alone in easily smeltable form. Most large  - beyond ring size - gold objects are hollow, merely coated with gold, are not pure gold or a combination of any/all of these. It's a pretty rare thing for something to be solid 24k gold.

You are right, but it would also be available as rare import, which isn't in the game yet.

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Rings and bracelets would certainly be made, and maybe a very small knife. Gold used as decoration, however, is another matter. Gold inlay is fairly old and could be done to the head and shaft using relatively small amounts to radically increase the value of the spear. In fact, the better weapons makers might just do this to make more of a profit. The same is true of silver and gemstones.

I think inlaying would be fairly simple with an optional tag in the main weapon recipes

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Silver OTOH is more doable. A silver spear head would be quite valuable and you could make valuable things like knives out of it. In terms of functionality neither would be very good, but they'd function as status symbols. Expensive, but doable. Jewelry is already in the game and would absolutely be around.

It also has kind of a mystical ring to it, being used as sacrifice in a ritual. But getting silver only from silver rings from traders is tough. It shouldn't be easy, and it's something for a mid-late game goal depending on finding a supply of silver

January 21, 2019, 03:53:13 AM
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Improving Fennec's random plant generator I was thinking about this and I think that Fennec's plant generator has a lot of extra potential in it. I'd like to share with you all my ideas pn how to improve it.

I don't really know how they did it do, since there's no source. @fennecfoxx , would you mind sharing it? I can program in java so surely something I'd be able to use.

As far as I see it, it's just creating a certain number of plants with the herbs getting special traits. Berries and crops get none. They do have random names and get semi-random values for nutrition and whatnot.

However, this can be a bit chaotic and create combinations of plants that make no sense or don't cover the range of possibilities so well. So a good idea might be creating some procedural or hardcoded "plant types". These could be things like medicinal, threadable, grindable, shamanic, poisonous, etc. A certain minimum number of plants with these traits must be available. So you'll always get at least one edible plant to make flour wit or to get high, to make threads (even if inedible), etc.

It should also balance the occurrence of plants such that north/south/east/west has a certain minimum of herbs/berries/shrooms/crops while still leaving some space for randomness.

These settings should be editable, to be able to fine tune the results to what you want (almost all berries are poisonous? Go for it!)

There should probably be some berries or mushrooms available throughout winter, even if only in certain areas. At least 2 types seems appropriate but could be slightly randomized.

As for crops, one of the problems is the already usable plants not being included or available. I see a way around this along with the plant types mentioned above. We could have similarly named plants (black-nettle, marsh-flax, etc) which could then be equally soaked or processed by changing the recipe to {*nettle} or even stuff like {Retted *nettle}, which along with names like "Fibre from X" and "Linen from X" could make the material persist through to the clothing name.

Crops could alsk be created along a template (random or not, with random deviations, so that all e.g. "foobars" would have roughly the same properties, with the chance of random changes. Maybe if the base template is edible each new one of that type can have a 5% of being poisonous, 1% deadly. So if you know the plant's base name/type but don't have full knowledge of, say, "spiny foobar", you might be taking a risk by consuming it even if all the other foobars are okay.

Along with this is the possibility of making some dye, which does seem to have existed in iron age finland. One approach is to use a fixed name plant, "dyeplant - red", and create some cooking recipes (plenty of space there) for make dye out of it. This would take one recipe using {Dyeplant - *} input. The other approach involves randomly named plants from which you can extract colored dyes. This would have to procedurally make recipes for each.

Dyes could be called via {Dye - *} and use the last word. Items should probably be dyed at the source recipe to save space though, but I guess the cooking menu could be used for all the clothing dying if necessary. It doesn't require fire nor a pot if you don't boil anything. Kludgy, though.

Some special and rare medicinal/stimulant plants could be sprinkled in to make things more interesting.

Lastly, and with the empty cooking space in mind, perhaps procedurally create recipes that call for specific plants/ingredients but which will have a higher value of nutrition than the sum of its components. This represents the cooking releasing ingredients, and perhaps specific herbs and ingredients complementing each other.

This would make you have to use the specific ingredients in order to benefit, which might not be easy. I guess the recipes could have "regional" dishes with herbs from the area (maybe some archetypes can be used, like "Northern porridge/soup") but also some "global" combinations to spice it up. Perhaps the global ones, being harder to gather, would have an even higher nutrition.

What do you think about these ideas?

January 22, 2019, 04:15:39 PM
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Re: Improving Fennec's random plant generator I forgot a coiple of things:

Making of psychoactive mixtures and others could make use of the *shamanic* name tag, or simply specific herbs . The ingredients could be obscured by the description tag so that you'll have to find out the correct mix somehow.

The same vould apply to making medicines.

Themed names might be avoided to prevent detection of effects by association. If all "X's eye" "shamanic X" are always psychedelic or stimulant, you could realize the other plants have similar effects from the name alone.

While plant types could have similar attributes, this seems too much. The idea is for you to use herblore or have to experiment to understand them.

Edit:: as an addendum to the nettle stuff, threadable plants could just be used with {Fibrous *}. That wouldn't really reveal anything about the effects and it can be processed in a single recipe.

January 22, 2019, 05:34:55 PM
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Re: How come I can burn down forests while it's raining? Fires can definitely rage in the rain. I believe the California fires weren't stopped by the rain. There was a wildfire in Canada a few years ago, I think, which took years to put out. If big enough, a bit of rainwater won't be enough to kill it. I think rain does affect how long the fires stay lit, but I'm not sure about that.

I think I read somewhere that you might be able to deforest a tile until it becomes Ground, but again, I might be wrong. I'm willing to bet it's just hardcoded.

January 24, 2019, 04:43:26 AM
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Re: Modding in valuable metals (Gold, Silver, Copper) for trade.
It's probably impossible to hammer iron into a small ring, lol

Wire making is done by drawing. This meaning to pull the metal through a hole. Then pull through a smaller hole. Repeat until you get the size of wire desired. To do this you would the board with holes and pliers.

BAC has lead in for doing this but I didn't put iron wire in (yet) as the only current use is chainmail. I would need to consume one of the two free menus for chainmail recipes and I want those available for custom modding.

While that's a really good idea, I researched a bit and it seems that we only have a definite timeline for wire-drawing iron after the 12th century: http://www.forth-armoury.com/research/wire/authentic_wire.htm

The following article seems to go further into this, showing that we have no proof that even the greeks and romans drew wire with plates, rather than hammering them: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2FBF03215438.pdf

It also includes some pictures at the end of how gold wires look with some different techniques, and describes about 4 of them. The more malleable metals would be easier to use with some of the techniques than iron, though. Regardless of the material, this doesn't look or sound like an easy endeavour

January 24, 2019, 07:57:35 PM
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Re: No harpoons? Unique ranged hunting weapons in finnish culture?
If you define the harpoon as something which is attached to the boat, then they didn't use this kind of contraption. But I use the definition that harpoon is the the spear with a strong line attached. And they used it - they attached it to a bladder or bag or some other float, to both impede movement of the animal, and to retrieve it easier from the water later.

Do you have any source for the bag thing? Because I searched and could find no mention of a bag nor a rope: http://northernwildernesskills.blogspot.com/2018/01/sjalen-seal-hunting-in-northern-baltic.html

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Actually I use "harpoon" for fish spears in general, because many archaeologists use this word in this meaning.

But in that case we're talking exactly about the ango:



Source: http://thethegns.blogspot.com/2011/11/angon-english-heavy-javelin.html

It does seem that the Wiki has a picture of an ango including a rope, though, but I found absolutely no mention of ropes used in seal hunting or along with spears, while references to the "typical Finnish angon" or "Finnish angon javelin" are easy to find, and is clearly mentioned as there being a local version used in the Late Iron age.

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Also only one group of Sami regularly pursues whales (Sjo Sami, a.k.a Sea Lapps), others do it only when the whales are in the shallow coastal waters. But all groups living near seal hunt seals.

Not disputing that, I'm just questioning the usefulness of a rope attached to the ango when you're hunting a 300 kg creature across the ice. Alone. You're not going to dive into the breathing hole and chase it, right?

January 24, 2019, 10:34:35 PM
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Re: Modding in valuable metals (Gold, Silver, Copper) for trade. I think that some tools might have to be made out of iron for a few reasons. One of the "advantages" of iron is that it has a higher melting point, so you can use it for tools that will be handling high temperatures (tongs, perhaps?). That might not be the most relevant point, but iron is also harder, so it might also be better for things like the pliers you mentioned. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make, though.

Stuff like anvils are almost surely best made out of iron, no? I figure that hammering iron in a copper or bronze anvil might eventually deform it and diminish its quality, but again I'm not really a blacksmith.

Is the iron shape representing the "strip of metal" mentioned in the docs? I was imagining a "shape" as a square, but I guess it could be anything depending on what a recipe needs. It might only be important to determine the weight, either of the shape itself or what the spindle requires.

If we want to have the Pull board degrade, we could make it use up something like #0.01# (or any appropriate amount for the effect we want) per Wire made. This way you would eventually have to make a new one, since repairing is not an option.

As for the naming, I suggest making the ingredient-dependent product's recipes called .Metal X. to standardize it. Stuff made of iron could keep their own recipes if practical and if there's enough space, though that might not be the case, if only to use more fuel.

I think the Pull board is supposed to be made of iron, though. That document mentions "iron plates" a few times, even from the Viking times. I'm, again, not sure if a bronze draw-plate would be capable of making iron wire, but it very well could since it'd still require quite the pull of a wire to crack a copper or bronze plate, no?

Just realized an issue on the first proposed .Pull Board. recipe. To make the auger and drill you need iron. So that .Pull Board. would only be fine for iron wire. If you wanted a bronze-only workshop the pull correction would have to be done differently.

I'm not sure what the Spindle is supposed to represent here, but I figure this could be solved with something like:

.Metal shape.
{* of pure*} [name:Shape of %s]

.Metal spindle.
{Shape of *} [name:Spindle of %s] '+a chunking starter'
{* pliers} '+to twist tighter'
{* hammer}  '+hammer twist'
{charcoal}

.Metal wire.
{Spindle of *} [name:%s wire]
{Pull board} '+smoothing holes'
{Iron pliers} '+for gripping'

And voilá! This will work for any metal, but might not accurately represent iron's need for charcoal or other metal's lack of need for it.

Edit: that last name tag might be [name:Wire of %s] if we want to re-use the wire's material in other recipes' products

I guess there could also be the method of hammering the metals into wire, with a skill penalty making it lower quality, though the longer time and effort to do it should suffice.

January 27, 2019, 04:38:25 AM
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