Dwarf Fortress

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Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:29 am

I post this in the RTS forum but it clearly defies categorization, unless *your* categories include one for insanely retro ASCII based games, however even an ASCII game category couldn't hold this one since it's default resolution is 1280x800 and everyone knows that ASCII can't possibly be more than 80 characters across, well maybe 120 on a really fancy terminal.

Last night I had a few spare minutes, inspired by a Penny Arcade post from a few days ago, I sat down with Dwarf Fortress. I had looked at it before but found it completely baffling, however with this fabulous complete newbie tutorial which assumes zero knowledge of the game and hands you a download with a somewhat comprehensible tileset pre-loaded I was able to make some not insignificant progress.

What I found was actually a real treat. A throwback to the halcyon gaming days of my youth when the graphics conveyed almost nothing but your imagination filled in the blanks and you could really lose yourself in the game like you get lost in a good book. Oh sure the interface is abysmal, the game mechanics are disturbingly deep and the world is inexplicably complex relative to what your eyes are telling you. However after stepping through the tutorial pages I began to pick up speed and the game quickly became easy to work. Sure I stumbled over a few parts, I built that stairwell that seemed to only go down and not up, appeared to trap my miners for a bit then they escaped somehow but then would never go back down there. However I did get my still going and I even had barrels to store the beer in and I did get that one sub-level working OK.

Overall a particularly delightful and interesting gaming experience. A throwback to times past for sure but still worthy of a look.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby shipwreck » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:38 am

Thank you for posting this! I've tried to get into Dwarf Fortress at least three times and failed each time. It was just too much (or at least more than I wanted to put in) to get this thing going. Hopefully that guide can get me going properly because I really want to like this game.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:01 am

I tried again last night. Had pretty good luck using the game and getting around in it.

I generated my own new world and picked what I thought was good dwarf country, a hilly area next to mountains but temperate with lots of trees and local fauna to feed my dwarves. Unfortunately I ignored the warning that it might be hard to find good rock there and ended up digging a fortress into the side of a sandy hill. I couldn't grow anything in there due to the sand and I was hampered by my slow tunneling because I only had one miner to start. I'm thinking that world is going to be abandoned.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby mooseman » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:20 am

Sigh. So many games, so little time.
:(
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:28 pm

Niteowl wrote:i like him. solid feller. and excelent post !
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:56 pm

OK have now spent way too much time playing this game. This is the first game I've played in a while that has really sucked me in. Sat down last night and started playing at 7pm next thing I know it's 11pm!

I'm making OK progress with the game but having some minor problems. At one point I built a floor over the stairs between the two main levels of my fort and cut off half the dwarves from their bedrooms and the other half from their food. Took me a while to figure out that while you can dig new stairs through un-dug earth or rock you have to build new stairs in areas that are already dug-out. Makes sense right? :)

Now I'm sort of starting to fail due to my size. New emigrants are not coming and my existing dwarves are constantly running low on booze. Fresh water is also a problem as I can't construct a well due to missing some of the pre-requisite metal working skills and equipment (like chains and such). Not having some of the more sophisticated trades up and running properly is really slowing me down.

Good news is I invested heavily in setting up shops to convert mined rock into blocks and mined ore into bars so I'm wickedly rich in those areas. Bad news the trade caravans that arrive yearly are happy to buy the stuff but due to the weight can't buy much since they have to be able to haul it off with them. Doh, clearly chose the wrong industry for export.

The game is crazy deep. You can go into the details of each dwarf, see what they're thinking, how happy they are, what their complaints are and who they have relationships with. Totally wild.

Some screenshots:

My main level with two exits to the outside world.

Image

Note the outdoor gardens on the right, walled in. There's also a visiting caravan just above the garden wall. There are also three sets of stairs going down to the lower level from this level due to my stair breaking panic ;) This level also has all my initial shops, three newer shops on the bottom right, my food stockpiles and one below ground farm (makes mushrooms). Also note the big white block near the top, yeah I build a blob of fortress walls thinking it was something else.

Image

2nd level down is a bit more organized. Lots of bedrooms and one bunk room on the right. All rooms are assigned to specific dwarves. The four square ones are considered 'meager' quarters. The X's are the up/down stairs to the other levels. The rooms full of rocks are some of my early attempts at large stone stockpiles to clean up all the stone lying around, it's not a super great idea. There are three stonemason shops on this level working on those piles but they still stay constantly full due to their central location. In the center is a huge block/bar stockpile, the black/brown X's are bins which allow you to stack more blocks and bars on the stockpile than the space would normally allow.

Image

One of my many lower level, less developed areas. I went all the way as far down as they can go which is 18 levels below my top floor. This one is the 17th level, or next to last, where I dug out a vein of a semi-precious metal.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby CanadianWolverine » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:58 am

Being the hive mind of a Dwarven colony is fun, eh? I tried to get into it a number of times but would constantly get overwhelmed with all the options and lack of point-click-drag menus that I have gotten so used to over the years for other games where you try to build. Its kinda like the Sims only far more interesting for not pulling punches and use of fantasy characters.

Your post with pics is epic, I hope we hear more and see more of your dwarf fortress. :D
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby The 'Noid » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:32 pm

http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Boatmurdered/


It's a pretty interesting read if you have a bunch of time to kill.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby clamatius » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:00 am

I'm intrigued. Sounds like Dungeon Keeper x Sims x Nethack, only about 100000 times more involved and nerdly. I may investigate if time permits.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:06 am

Make sure you get a download with a tileset (linked above from the awesome newbie tutorial), otherwise it looks like this:

Image

Which if you understood it would be somewhat akin to being able to read the matrix.
Niteowl wrote:i like him. solid feller. and excelent post !
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby fallout[aeronautics] » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:41 pm

Today a kobold tried to steal my stuff! Punk. My dwarves scared him away.
My password was eaten by a rather large space goat. Egads.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby clamatius » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:48 am

I am following through the tutorial (which I highly recommend).

The caravan of dwarf traders were money-grubbing bastards, greedy to a man. The first year they got grumpy with my negotiations and stormed out. Tossers.

When you're creating your fortress, make sure you have defense plans for later. You'll need to trap the fortress to hell and back, apparently. Note that you can fit more than one weapon on a weapon trap, so it's useful for using up extra weapons you have hanging around.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby St0nkingByte » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:14 am

I've made no preparations for war. When I get big enough I'll be destroyed rather quickly. I've already had roaming kobolds come through, do terrible things and then just get pummeled by a random dwarf. I'm expecting the dwarf apocalypse to come soon then I'll restart, better next time.

Traps seems like a good strategy but trolling the forums reveals they are likely not as efficient as a standing army in the long run. Also traps can't run to the other side of the fortress if there's a breach.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby shipwreck » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:16 pm

Thanks again for this, st0nk. I'm working through the tutorial and having a blast. The tileset makes the game 10x more gooder.

It was crazy for me to play this game for about an hour and then log into LotRO, where my own dwarf is exploring the deeps of Moria. It was like being sucked into my own dwarf fortress. Total mind job.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Postby fallout[aeronautics] » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:59 pm

So, I have a miner stuck "conducting meeting" with no one. Any idea how to unstick him?
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