Ep.20:In Which The Adams Brothers Join Us to Talk About Some Game They Are Making

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17 thoughts on “Ep.20:In Which The Adams Brothers Join Us to Talk About Some Game They Are Making”

  1. Wow, it’s 2020 already. I was a bit curious about how the “closed source” thing works. I’m no programmer (I made a calculator with help). I mean, my computer is running the game, so it’s reading the code. Then why can’t someone just look into it? Is it a sort of encryption? If so, didn’t anyone break it? Could you please clarify this please?

    1. Hi, programmer here.
      Imagine you have to read a whole library written on the alien language you know but it’s still very far from those you got used to. So you have to think a lot about each sentense. Also all books have important links on each other, so you have to jump from one to another to understand the plot.
      So it is theoretically possible but EXTREMELY hard and time consuming.
      Hope this will help to understand.

    2. Code is generally written to be read by a program called a “compiler” which takes a human-readable language like C or Java and converts the code into binary instructions for a computer to understand. You could decompile the resulting program back into a semblance of the original, but the compiler usually doesn’t preserve variable or function names so it would be quite the mess, requiring manually going through and determining what each function is accomplishing. Not a task I would attempt on a codebase as large as DF’s.

    3. Well, there are two important parts to answering your question.
      The first thing is that humans like to program in languages like C or Java or Python which make it easy to express our ideas for what we want a computer to do, but computers can’t actually “run” C or Java or Python… the only language they understand is “machine language” which is a very verbose and low level language of things like “Move memory location X to register A”, “Add register A to register B and store the result in register A” etc, which correspond to the physical actions that the particular processor can execute. Even worse, different families of processors (x86 or ARM or SPARC) speak different types of machine language and can’t understand each other!

      So, we write in these nice understandable languages what’s called “source code” (because it’s the source of the eventual code) and then either a compiler (for a language like C) or an interpreter (for a language like Python) or both (for a language like Java) translates that source code into the correct machine language for your computer, called the “executable” or “bytecode”. It’s possible to read and “disassemble” machine language back into source code but it’s really not easy because machine code just isn’t friendly to understand, so yes, it IS like a form of encryption.

      But… that’s not entirely the point here. “Closed” source code is code where the author has maintained their copyrights and has not made it available while “open” source has been made publicly available generally under a license that permits people to freely copy, modify and in many cases redistribute the code in question. So even if you could perfectly unassemble/decrypt the machine language into something usable (which again, is REALLY hard), the resulting source code would likely infringe on the copyrights of the original author which would still prevent you from legally sharing or redistributing it.

  2. @Nuayman

    A programmer uses a compiler to build the source code into an executable file. That process is called compiling, which is basically converting the human readable code into instructions for the computer. The CPU can only read assembly instructions (the lowest level of code there is) not source code. The build that people get contains instructions instead of the source code, so that’s why people don’t have access to the source code.

    Although it’s possible to reverse engineer instructions back into code, but it’s very time consuming and you lose a lot of information in the process. I think that is what DFHack project has been doing, not entirely sure so don’t quote me on that.

    Hope that gives some insight into how it works.

  3. What an amazing show! I just have to say that I am absolutely LOVING the DF Round Table podcast!
    I, for one, have just recently started my Dwarf Fortress (within the last year or so) but have known of the game for since I was a child. I remember booting the game up and not having a single clue how to work the thing. Fast forward to several years later, I’m 23 and Dwarf Fortress is one of my all time favorite games.
    I have really taken a liking to the Adventurer mode and find myself spending countless hours wondering my world, Boksmata “The Absolute Realm”.

    Here is a link to my Reddit post about it: https://www.reddit.com/r/dwarffortress/comments/bem45g/my_very_first_world_boksmata_the_absolute_realm/

    And even reviewing the places I have traveled and works I may have created and writing them down in a notebook of mine to keep the (sometimes not so) epic adventures that my characters have.

    If you are ever looking for another player to join you guys on an episode of the show, I would love to join and share my (admittedly newbie) thoughts and view of the game and other stories surrounding it!

    1. Cool — it may be a couple months before we have a spot open, but I’ll send a message your way. We’re so glad you like the podcast though.

      Ya know, it’s an interesting thing, advice. I read your reddit thread about “The Absolute Realm” – one poster suggested that you cook all your plump helmets because you get a multiplier, and there’s no reason not to. However Tony found out that cooking plump helmets destroys their seeds, while brewing them does not. So If I was to advise a new player, I’d say forbid cooking of plump helmets– either eat em raw or brew em. Otherwise, you get no new spawn for future crops.

      Who knows which is right!

      1. Hi Jonathan! Remember me? (Seeing how much I’m commenting. I hope I ain’t being annoying 🙂 . Also remember the object testing arena completion thing I suggested? 🙂 ) . So I just wanted to ask if you’re playing adventure mode or not. In one episode you said that you haven’t really played adventure mode. It would be awesome if you could also tell tales of your adventurers. Roland and Tony already have played adventure mode for quite some time I suppose. It would be awesome to hear a story from beginning to end (probably the character’s death). I guess adventure mode is kind of lacking in terms of giving objectives. But that also makes it kind of a colouring book I think. You need to fill in the blanks. I saw the recent Kruggsmash adventure mode episodes. They were amazing. So I think putting goal(s) for your character can make it really fun. Also, I don’t know if it’s true. But I think Kruggsmash takes risks and messes up little things on purpose sometimes (maybe. I don’t really remember). So maybe making dumb mistakes and taking risks on purpose can make adventure mode (and fortress mode) more fun. Meph said that the game is kinda boring for him now. I suppose he said it’s because it became easy for him. Then I think doing the dumb mistakes and risks thing can make it fun. Just stated my opinion.

        So are you guys gonna do a adventure mode story thing at some point?

        Thanks for reading this really long comment. You guys are awesome!

        1. Yeah, I still haven’t really played much adventure mode. I go back and play it occasionally – once a month or so, but it doesn’t dig its hooks into me like dwarf mode does. I’ll keep coming back though and if I have an adventure that seems worthwhile I’ll sure mention it on the podcast. I’m especially looking forward to it in the upcoming release!

          And I agree (though I probably don’t put it into practice enough) taking risks and screwing up is what makes the “magic” happen. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

          1. Looking forward to the adventure mode stories.

            And thank you for reading the writing 🙂 . You guys are awesome!

  4. Absolutely love this podcast, one of my favorites to listen to while playing a fort. My current fort goal is to begin assembling a bunch of legendary dwarves to go retrieve this demon slab thing in hopes of maybe acquiring a demon or something of my own. I get the feeling they may all get murdered horribly but we’ll see how it goes.

    1. Well, the worst that can happen is that it’ll unleash a horde from Hell and overtake your entire world, rendering all civilization moot. Give it a try — would be a good story :).

      1. This was absolutely insane. So basically what happened was I went to the slab’s last known location with one of my good adventurers to scout out the area/retrieve the slab for my fortress if possible. I run in and manage to take out a few angels (Last thing I expected to be guarding a demon. If demons are clowns, I wonder what we should call angels?) before finally dying to an angel. I kinda rage quit and went back to fortress mode just to calm down and figure out a plan. Well it turns out once you discover the slab’s resting place it is marked on the map, which means you can raid it OR conquer it (which is what I did). So I sent out 30 legendary soldier dwarves to go see if they could conquer the place. THEY ACTUALLY DID IT WHILE SUFFERING ONLY 2 CASUALTIES! I proceeded to see if there was someway to get them to come back with the slab. They couldn’t unfortunately. After doing some redditing I found out that apparently once you conquer a vault (where the slab is) you can create angel adventurers then immediately retire them to give your fort a literal army of angels. I proceeded to do so, then sent some to go retrieve the slab on a non-conquer mission. Apparently they though that it was a good idea to fight their way through friendly units to get to said slab, thereby causing my fort and its holdings to rebel against the Mountainhome (Very young world so only the Mountainhome and like 2 20 dwarf hillocks existed in my civ). I proceeded to rapidly conquer my civ with my army of angels made from stones and some even made from steel (like forgotten beasts). Once I realized how stupidly overpowered it was to basically generate an invincible army from nothing I then proceeded to make a bunch more angel adventurers with max combat stats and then conquered my entire continent. Needless to say, this was a whole bunch of unexpected fun (unfortunately not the dwarfy kind of fun).

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