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Post by Eorl @ 12:20pm 08/07/14 | 6 Comments
Notoriously known as one of the harder games on the Internet due in part to its hard-to-read ASCII art style, Dwarf Fortress has now been given a 3D makeover thanks to the daisy-chained modders Stonesense.

Officially titled Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress, the 2D ASCII art strategy game has been running since early 2006, and since then has gathered a rather dedicated following from those who have braved the difficulty. While it may look like it comes from the 1980's, Dwarf Fortress actually holds a rather complex physics engine. Due to this, modders have been able to improve the graphics of the game over time, and players can now enjoy a 3-D isometric improvement.

Those responsible for the graphical overhaul go by the name Stonesense, with the Stonesense utility rendering the game in 3D. According to Wired, early member of the team and modder Japa Illo has said that the utility relies on DFHack, a "ommunity-made library that reads the game’s memory and can be parsed, thus allowing for additional utilities to render things while bypassing the initial ASCII output."

For more on the utility and instructions on how to get it all running, check out the official forum thread. Be warned though, Dwarf Fortress is dastardly difficult, so don't expect an easy cakewalk.

dwarf fortressreal-time 3-d renderingascii

Latest Comments
Posted 12:26pm 08/7/14
Their forum melted.
Posted 12:29pm 08/7/14
The game isn't hard because of the ASCII graphics. It is hard because it has an incredibly overcomplicated and unintuitive UI, from keyboard commands to display. Early Rougle-likes had ASCII graphics but were simple enough to play.

Hopefully this overhaul address the terrible UI as well.
Posted 01:06pm 08/7/14
Hasn't Stonesense been a thing since at least 2009?
Posted 01:09pm 08/7/14
Well, technically the ASCII art IS the UI, so it kind of encompasses everything. I do agree though, the default UI is atrocious and what put me off after trying to play. Friends who have stuck through have told me vast tales of crazy adventures and I really want to play to experience them myself, but that general UI mess doesn't help.

Looking at screenshots, it seems to solve that issue though I can't tell yet as the forums crashed pretty quickly after posting the news piece.
Posted 01:21pm 08/7/14
I battled the UI to play the game for quite a time and yeah some crazy stuff can happen. Apart from the UI I found the game got to the point where you could make an impregnable fortress and defeat any army thrown at you, simply because the enemy couldn't dig.

I'm not sure if they have 'fixed' that yet or not. Making pumps and crazy contraptions is great fun.
Posted 02:00pm 08/7/14
It's not even real ASCII, default DF just uses a graphics tileset of ASCII characters.
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