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Post by trog @ 11:22am 23/07/11 | 18 Comments
The New York Times once again shows up other mainstream press in an awesome article about the open source, ASCII-rendered game Dwarf Fortress:
Dwarf Fortress is barely a blip on the mainstream radar, but it’s an object of intense cult adoration. Its various versions have been downloaded in the neighborhood of a million times, although the number of players who have persisted past an initial attempt is doubtless much smaller. As with popular simulation games like the Sims series, in which players control households, or the Facebook fad FarmVille, where they tend crops, players in Dwarf Fortress are responsible for the cultivation and management of a virtual ecosystem — in this case, a colony of dwarves trying to build a thriving fortress in a randomly generated world. Unlike those games, though, Dwarf Fortress unfolds as a series of staggeringly elaborate challenges and devastating setbacks that lead, no matter how well one plays, to eventual ruin. The goal, in the game’s main mode, is to build as much and as imaginatively as possible before some calamity — stampeding elephants, famine, vampire dwarves — wipes you out for good.
Now that Minecraft has reminded everyone that fun games aren't always about the flashiest high-definition graphics, you might want to check out this free game - it's an 8MB download.

dwarf fortressdownloadfree game

Latest Comments
Posted 02:12pm 23/7/11
DF is the shiz, one of a kind and im happy to be able to play. =]
Posted 02:12pm 23/7/11
Sounds good, ill DL tonight.

I just bought 'Dungeons of Dredmor' on steam for $5. I tested a torrent version first and loved it. Its like Neverwinter Nights (turn based RPG with skills you choose during character creation) but faster and more fun IMO. Plus permadeath (can turn off if desired) makes the game much more interesting when death is a real fear. I've lost 7 heroes to death in the space of a few hours and keep coming back for more.
Posted 02:34pm 23/7/11
Dwarf fortress is an amazing game but is severly hampered by it's extremely steep learning curve and poor UI.

Last time I played I basically had to watch a 20 part set of YouTube tutorials to figure out what the f*** to do.
Posted 02:42pm 23/7/11
I still don't know why nobody has put together a better UI for this.

Are they just being obstinate?
Posted 02:50pm 23/7/11
heh I remember my housemate playing this in 2007. I thought he was crazy, he had a great imagination for it all.
Posted 02:59pm 23/7/11
I was looking into it when trying to figure out how to procedurally generate interesting worlds a year or so ago, never got past the learning curve. :/
Posted 03:04pm 23/7/11
Just loaded it up, reminds me of the old BBS days in that lords of the dragon or whatever it was called i used to play constantly.
ahh i still remember that $800 phone bill. What a brat of a kid i was ;)
Posted 03:13pm 23/7/11
I'm going to give it a go, looks interesting.

edit: Going to need to spend some serious time learning how this works, makes no sense at all to me.

last edited by CHUB at 15:13:01 23/Jul/11
Posted 04:47pm 23/7/11
heres a graphic replacement download to make the game actually playable...
Posted 04:58pm 23/7/11
fun games aren't always about the flashiest high-definition graphics
I think dwarf fortress is pretty much no-definition graphics though, at least with minecraft i know that a cow is a cow and dont have to wonder wtf % or ¶ is.
Posted 08:14pm 23/7/11
There should be a series of YouTube videos if you want to learn but just make sure the videos are for a more current version. The game undergoes constant changes.
Posted 10:20pm 23/7/11
I played this extensively made some elaborate water and lava flow systems, pump and all. My main entrance was a giant steam trap. Pull lever A lava flows into the room, then pull lever B and water drops down from a water tank built above the room and mixes with the lava. Lots of damaging steam and any enemies are dead. Sometimes, a dwarf would be in there too....

Lava water falls where fun, pit traps, flood rooms and so on.

There are graphics packs available and I STRONGLY recommend installing them, check out the Dwarf Fortress Wiki for instructions.

Ironhand tile set is probably one the best and has instructions to set up easily enough.

What stops me going back at the moment is that the game comes to a point where you have effectively mastered it. No army can penetrate your Fortress and you have all the food you'll ever need totally protected in the fortress.

Extremely satisfying to build working traps/water pump systems/perm-a-farms/redirecting lava flows/well flowing economy and so on.

I'm always checking back because the developer keeps adding all sort of stuff, seemingly at random. Of particular interest is building the AI to counter your fortress defenses a bit better, moat crossing equipment, tunneling and so forth. Also the ability to build armies to conquer neighboring towns and cities.

I'd personally really like to see Mindcraft have the functionality of dwarf fortress and the UI for dwarf fortress is the most gumby, cumbersome and daunting UI I've ever had to use in any game ever, and probably will remain so until I die it is that needlessly complicated.
Posted 11:57pm 23/7/11
Thanks for the improved graphics links guys. I loaded up the vanilla game and saw all the symbols and thought 'f*** this' and rage quit. I'll try again now.
Posted 12:45am 24/7/11
Pfffft, embrace the ASCII! Nothing's worse than squinting trying to make out if a dwarf is holding a 4x4 pixel pickaxe or hammer, or mistaking an angry molerat for a cat.
It's not hard to pick up, so give it a bit of a try before you try out a graphic set and spoil yourself - it's far less cluttered and much more efficient for easy recognition.

You'll find that interface isn't much of an issue especially once you discover the different viewing and interation mode keys and what they do ( k, q, v, d, t). That's really the biggest hurdle in learning the basics of playing the game. I've not played that much really and now I press tab and turn off all the interface as I've memorized most of the hotkeys. The game's not as hard as it looks!
Posted 09:01am 24/7/11
Aye, the interface can be learned with a little effort, just needlessly complicated. The game is well worth battling through the UI though.

As for the ASCII, I've played enough nethack and ADOM (love ADOM) and all their friends to have a very fond spot in my heart for ASCII games. DF works better with the graphics packs IMO.

O also, I'm not sure if he has fixed it or not yet, but the game may run better if you force it to run on only 1 core and use your other cores for everything else. The game eats CPU's when you start getting to the coin stage.
Posted 02:59pm 24/7/11
Thanks for the nicer looking version Toll, much easier to play.

For anyone just starting, I've found these 2 guides the most useful,
Posted 08:25pm 25/7/11
I've tried to get into Dwarf Fortress a few times, but always hit a brick wall from the UI. Cheers for the graphics UI links guys. I reckon I'll download some of those packs and if that doesn't improve it then maybe it's not for me, I dunno.

Are they like Minecraft texture packs where you constantly need to keep them updated when new things are added to the game or are they relatively static?

This is the game with a tutorial video on the basics weighing in at 2 hrs and 33 minutes...
Posted 08:49pm 25/7/11
Pro Tip!

Plump Helmets are win.
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