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Archive for March 2012

Touring the Depths

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Continuing our tour of Razorpacked, we come to the stoneworking level.  On advice that has since become obsolete, I have constructed all buildings out of stone blocks.  I have also used blocks for walls, bridges, and floors.  I have even used them in the stairwell, after having dug a shaft of light to slow down cave adaptation.  That’s why you see three mason’s workshops here; it takes a lot of work to make all those blocks, along with the tables, chairs, cabinets, and other items needed by a modern fortress.  To increase speed and quality (of the non-block items, anyway), only my best masons get to work here, while I have plenty of untalented masons around to construct things for them.

To the west is another craftsdwarf’s shop, dedicated to rock crafts and large rock pots.  It’s not always occupied, because only two dwarves are allowed to do such work, both of them now legendary.  Its stockpile is restricted to stone that is not magma-safe, simply to avoid wasting what could become a precious resource.

To the east is a mechanic’s shop, responsible for the mechanisms to its north and for the traction benches in the hospital.  Its stockpile is restricted to magma-safe stone, just in case it becomes important; a melted mechanism could mean life or death when it’s involved in cutting off the flow of magma.  So far, the mechanisms have been used for traps and bridge levers; the lever in the center of the staircase on this level is responsible for the inner drawbridge of the entrance level.

Onward and downward, we have the textile industry.  Dye is milled by hand in the quern on the south, but still fast enough to run out of plants.  Even allowing grains to be milled into flour has not kept the quern busy.  I probably need to grow more dye.

West, we have they dyer’s shop, set to dye thread as long as we have both thread and dye.  Both have been known to run out, probably because I’m not farming them as heavily as food plants.  They’re just not worth my time, yet.

North, we have the loom, set to auto-weave any dyed thread.  Sadly, I couldn’t convince its stockpile to accept only dyed thread, but it’s not a problem in practice.

East, we have the clothier’s shop, surrounded by cloth.  Much of it was purchased from the elves when I ran out of bags, but some was grown locally.  In an even more modern fortress, it would be important to make clothing, but here it’s mostly for sand, seed, leaf, and plaster bags.  Clothing might be nice for trade, though.

The wood furnace is on the last of our workshop levels, with a stockpile for heavy wood.  It makes ash for the soap maker’s lye, and charcoal for the kiln, glass maker, smelter, and forge.  The last three are located elsewhere, which is probably bad design, but they should really be replaced by magma versions anyway.

The ashery and soap maker’s workshops have much more storage space than they need, mostly because I use the manager’s job queue to turn any extra tallow into soap.  After all, I have enough food around, and soap can be useful.  The only trick is to catch new animal types in the kitchen preferences.

The kiln is surrounded by kaolinite on the north and charcoal on the south.  My great potter immigrant used this space to become a grand master, through porcelain pots and porcelain statues.  The masterwork statues are getting installed where everyone can see them, while the remainders have been making some traders very happy.

From here, we’ll skip several levels of boring staircase to show off a bedroom level.  This was the first one dug out, in gneiss and microcline with bits of rutile and native silver.  Half of it has been smoothed out, in the hopes that better bedrooms will offset the negative thoughts caused by poor sleep.

The design was called a modified windmill villa by Loads of Fun.  Yes, I know it can be optimized a bit more, but I happen to like it this way.

There are three more of these bedroom levels, but only this one showcases an artifact.  Dasëlastel was the first artifact produced in Razorpacked, and still the most valuable.  It might have something to do with all the books.

At the very bottom of the stairs, a second airlock will protect the Razorpacked citizens from the unknown creatures of the caverns.  The single tile of floor is where they were accidentally breached.  The good news is that nobody was harmed, and we now have moss and fungus in the farm level for our sheep.

In time, this level will become a staging area for creatures and materials to descend even further.  Trees, silk, gems, and a lake beckon us to dig deeper.

Meanwhile, there is plenty on the surface for us to deal with.  We’re currently building bridges for a second entrance.  A stronger entrance.  An entrance with traps, siege engines, mazes, and other interesting deterrents for invaders.

The bridges themselves are triggered to disappear from underneath an invader’s feet, dropping them nine stories into the (possibly frozen) river below.  On the other hand, it might be a good idea to put a safety net underneath, in case my dwarves get caught outside.  Preferably with plenty of cages; with luck, they’ll protect citizens in two different ways.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a blatant display of wealth.  This might represent Razorpacked at its peak, but we hope to have plenty of years to enjoy it.

However, that might mean having to draft some sort of military.  Training a few war dogs is starting to seem like a good idea, too.


Written by eswald

27 Mar 2012 at 5:50 pm

Razorpacked Tour

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A new version of Dwarf Fortress was released on Valentine’s Day.  I was a bit slow to notice, but have almost entirely ignored my feed reader since then.  A small vacation contributed to that, but even more of my time has been spent both playing it and reading some of the amazing stories from the community.

The new version feels much the same, so I was able to get into fortress mode immediately.  I’m currently playing Razorpacked on v0.34.04, because .05 has a minor savefile incompatibility that I don’t feel like dealing with right now.

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Written by eswald

20 Mar 2012 at 11:27 pm

Bash Completion for Nosetests

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I won’t claim nosetests as the epitome of testing in Python, but it does have a few good features.  However, I’ve found myself unreasonably annoyed that the output uses a completely different format for test names than the command line.  If they were the same, then I could copy and paste them (in any of four different ways, but that’s another story) to quickly run a failing test on its own.

Eventually, I realized that a decent second option would be to have the test cases included in the shell’s command-line completion.  However, my operating system doesn’t include any completion at all for it.  A quick web search also failed to find anything that did exactly what I want.  So, working from examples in /etc/bash_completion.d/, I wrote my own:

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Written by eswald

13 Mar 2012 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Python, Technology

Making in the Future

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I have twice come across James Hague’s commentary on the Death of a Prominent DSL.  The DSL in question is, oddly enough, that of the makefile.  Granted, there are enough alternative build systems to think there might be something legitimately wrong, but I simply haven’t seen any real problems.  On the other hand, I only use it for small to mid-size personal or internal projects, not for code distribution.

In an ideal world, I could control the environment of each machine on which the makefile would be used.  In practice, there have been a few differences between machines, but I can at least work around them.  In fact, I’ve been known to do some of that in the makefile itself, depending on a particular executable and invoking apt-get if it doesn’t exist.

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Written by eswald

6 Mar 2012 at 5:34 pm

Posted in Linux, Technology