Author Topic: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more  (Read 294630 times)

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Offline Eagleon

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Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« on: August 16, 2006, 02:53:38 pm »
Links and helpful information about Dwarf Fortress:

http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/

Updated version with graphics:
http://mayday.w.staszic.waw.pl/df.htm

Dwarf Fortress Wiki

Penny Arcade tutorial as posted by Daxx.


An absolutely incredible garage-game, completely free, released on the 8th. In my opinion, it's on the same level of fun as Spore will be (and this is just a very early alpha!), although it's focused in a different direction.

Be warned: Its graphics are not for everyone. There is very heavy use of extended ASCII, although in my opinion Toady has done a great job with it. In addition, its learning curve is quite steep, at least for the fortress mode. World generation also takes a very long time - over an hour on my 400 celeron, and I've been very lucky so far with the number of rejected regions. But before you toss it into the recycling bin in frustration, listen up.

This game has tremendous depth, and it will only get better. If you want comparisons to existing games, think The Sims crossed with Dungeon Keeper and Settlers 2, with a bit of Nethack thrown in.

Adventurer mode is likely to be of the most immediate interest for roguelike fans - it's pretty barebones at the moment, but you can play an elf, human, or dwarf, and wander around in the world you've generated, creating legends by vanquishing and being slain by foes. You can hire a few others to go with you - this is generally recommended. The damage system is hilariously gory, and you can wrestle with your opponents to do things like eye-gouges, choking, breaks, and twisting of weapons that have become stuck. More is planned for the first version after alpha, such as the craft skills already in place in the regular game.

On to the meat of the thing. Your primary goal... Well, there really isn't any goal, per-se, besides keeping your dwarves happy.

Dwarves will be made happier by any number of good things - they'll appreciate having good furniture, will be comforted by pets, and each has a list of things they enjoy, such as material types, animals, and foods. To offset this, they will be made less happy by things like going without alchohol for extended periods (the little guys like their drink!), being attacked, getting caught in nasty weather such as snowstorms and rain, seeing their brethren rot without coffins, and much more. If your dwarf gets too irritated, he will throw tantrums and start fist-fights, which will make them happier at the expense of their targets. If a dwarf gets unhappy enough, he runs the risk of going berserk, trying to kill everything in his path, being stricken with depression, where he'll sit in an available bed and sulk, or simply going insane. As in a later game you might have upwards of 80 dwarves, it's a challenge to manage their needs, but if you keep a good food stockpile and give them places to rest, you'll find that they're relatively reasonable when dealing with setbacks.

While the mood simulation is impressive enough by itself, it wouldn't be nearly as interesting if there weren't so many things to do:

- Dig to obtain precious gems and metal ore, crossing a subterranian river and bottomless chasm, eventually reaching a lava flow, which you can use to negate any need for coal for your furnaces and forges. As you dig deeper, however, nastier monsters will appear - eventually, your fortress -will- deteriorate and fall, as balrogs and dragons start to appear.

- Make trap systems of great complexity - set up cage traps around your well to catch the critters that often decide to crawl up. Place a support beam in a large enough room, possibly your treasury, link it to a pressure plate in the entrance, and enemies will be buried in tons of rock upon entering. Made a weapon, of any sort? Use it in a weapon trap. Build floodgates, channels, and aqueducts to divert water or lava to flood a room or block critters that are  logically impeded by them (be careful to place doors between the room and the rest of the fortress, or else the whole place will be flooded). Make levers to control bridges, floodgates, and supports. You can link up any number of them, alongside pressure plates and such, in any way you choose. There was more, but I forgot. :)

- Use the floodgates and channels to make farms for your dwarves - an essential source of food, especially after your fisherdwarves stop pulling in enough to feed everyone. Fertilize fields with potash made with lye in the Ashery, and define what to grow every season for each plot.

- Make wood, stone, metal, and bone crafts to trade with caravans from human, elf, and dwarf alike. Decorate these with jewels, bone, shell, and metal - your craftsdwarves will often inlay them with images of the creatures, trees, and plants they like with whichever material you choose. As dwarves become more skilled, they will create better quality items, which fetch higher prices. Masterpieces and artifacts are possible, though the latter depends on mysterious trances which might drive the dwarf insane if you can't get the materials you need for their work.

- Nobility! As your fortress grows, they start to move in, like so many leeches. They are not without their uses, however - your metalworkers can create coins, which are distributed amongst your dwarves, and items are then ownable. In essence, an economy develops.

And much more.

Toady One (the head programmer) is a coding machine, and a PHD in mathematics to boot - I have never seen anyone blaze through so much in such a short amount of time, while still keeping things extendible. It's been under development for at least two years. If you compare that to nearly any other game, most of which have multiple coders working together, the results are truly impressive. This guy has serious vision - take a look at the development section, and you'll see what I mean.

If you're the type to look for moddability, this already has it, although not to the extent planned.  Please don't bother Toady too much with questions, however, and omit bugs that come up while exploring what's there. He's got a lot on his hands as it is without worrying about crazy problems with your flying fire-breathing "dwarves". ;)

Other than that, there is a very active forum (scarily active, now that Something Awful has a topic going on it. A bit disconcerting when you're used to maybe one or two posts a day :D) Many questions have already been answered there. If you can handle a bit of frustration with the interface, and some job priority issues, this is truly a gem.

Cheers! :)
*goes back to mismanaging his dwarves*
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 02:18:18 am by Cobra »


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Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 03:11:17 pm »
Eurgh! Disgusting graphics alright... come on, Ivan had rudimentary graphics and it was free too. I think theyre just doing it out of nostalgia
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline HolsteinCow

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 03:32:18 pm »
I love this game, i led an attack on a goblin fortress with 5 other elves, but i only killed one goblin :(

Everyone please send out your prayers to the Dwarves of Mountainpanther in The Mighty Horn.

Offline Eagleon

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 03:43:39 pm »
It'd be time-consuming to make tiles that weren't uglier than what's already in place, and difficult to make IVAN-like graphics (which, IMO, were pretty advanced for a roguelike, what with material colors and such). You can have as many bodyparts as you wish, and all of them come into play in combat. There are also a lot of non-humanoid monsters. The previous Armok was full-3D, and actually simulated bodies through definition files, but it sort of collapsed on itself, unfortunately.

You have to look at it right to see the sense in some of the symbols, but it isn't arbitrary. The screenshots are also inadequate for conveying the feel of the graphics, as much of it is animated. It wasn't really an option to keep it to 128 characters, in any case.
Official High-Featherhead of Asciovis Philosophy,
Numquam Perdito.

"I told Gary I'd bring a busload of old ladies over if he'd give me a 10 percent cut." - Quoted completely out of context.
OMG CLICK FOR SPORN!

Offline cpugeek13

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 01:33:24 pm »
I gave this a quick try last night and though i was impressed by it, theres a couple things that really turned me off (and no, I think graphics are fine):

-Learning curve. Theres not nearly enough documentation for this game (or at least not that i've seen). I read over the stuff in the help screens but the explanations tend to be vague and general. For instance, for the kitchen building, the help screen says that its for preparing your dwarves favorite meals. What it doesn't mention is what exactly you do with it when its been made. Also, some newbie tutorials with pictures would be really nice.

-Micromanagement. From what i've played, this game just reaks micromanagement. Again, with the kitchen example, from what i understand you have to create each meal individually instead of the dwarves doing it automatically. Its the same with everything. Even fish preparation has to be individually done by you. I could be wrong about all this and someone plz correct me if i am.

-Feedback. Maybe i've been spoiled by modern sim games, but I really don't know what my dwarves want unless i individually click on each one. Where are the graphs or charts or even messages to give me some indication of what i should be doing. Sure, you're supposed to keep you dwarves happy but how do you know that they're happy?

Of course, i've only played it for one night so i'm no expert about the game but i would like it if perhaps someone could direct me to a tutorial or some more documentation that i could read to get a better idea of how the game is meant to be played.

Offline Eagleon

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 05:10:23 pm »
If you hit 'q', to go into the building task lists, there's an option to toggle the repetition of any task at all in most buildings. If a dwarf can't do one of the tasks for whatever reason (usually lack of materials), he'll automatically cancel it. It's best to do this with the fishery at all times, as raw fish will rot quickly.

For the kitchen, it's the same as any other building. Use q and go over until it's flashing, 'a'dd a new task, and then select the type of meal you want them to create. It's best to make them do simple ones at first, since very often a dwarf will abandon the job to do something like drink or eat, and ignore the fact that there is a rotting salmon on the cutting board. ;)

If you've told them to prepare meals, and they're not doing anything about it, make sure at least one of your dwarves has the cooking job assigned to them.

Often, the major complaints are also very general. For instance, if you don't have a well built, every dwarf will be made slightly less happy, as they have to go to an outdoor water source or the cave river. Not having enough beds is also a major complaint, and you can figure this out by how many you've already placed versus the number of dwarves you have running around. Other than that, if a dwarf has good furniture and a bed of his own, food to eat (the screen accessed through the 'z' key shows you food stockpiles), and hasn't been horribly maimed by rampaging werewolves, they'll generally be happy. A few special circumstances might come up, which is why every once in a while you want to look at them individually, but if you've got enough food, the first year or so you might only have one or two tantrums.

Also, if a dwarf gets hungry, thirsty, unhappy, or wounded in some way, they will usually flash an indication, such as a blue down-arrow for thirst, or red + surrounded by gray for a major injury. If you look at what you don't know, usually the meaning of these will become clear in the 'w'ound screen for each dwarf.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s=1c647bc8266d774c4d7615988f9a4c4e&threadid=2011668 is Something Awful's thread on DF. On the first page, there is a pretty good guide to getting started. The forums at Bay 12 will also help you.

I hope this helps. :)
Official High-Featherhead of Asciovis Philosophy,
Numquam Perdito.

"I told Gary I'd bring a busload of old ladies over if he'd give me a 10 percent cut." - Quoted completely out of context.
OMG CLICK FOR SPORN!

Offline Celdur

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006, 02:09:15 am »
lol from the screenshots i couldn't really see what was the point...it looked like an old version of pacman  :-\ now I'm gonna try it out XD (gameplay>graphics)

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That quote is actualy very witty, Celdur. I suggest you use that in your signature.

Offline Khaz-Rhoz-Zek

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 10:19:51 pm »
This is truly one amazing game, and what's even better is that it is continually improving.  ;D

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 06:28:51 am »
Woo... on my 7th or so attempt I finally made a fortress with a functioning farm and got through the first year without any nasty upsets... my first wave of immigrants was absolutely massive on account of the legendary dining hall i had constructed, and as an added bonus one of my dwarfs was posessed and crafted a Legendary Artifact (a weapon rack). So yay.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline stuck

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 08:22:47 am »
I got through the winter on my  second try, but have yet to get a good farm going. Also, I just found out that you need a fishery to eat fish, so I'm going to have a large surplus of food. Also, my immigrants came with about 4 masons, so now they're working on making the whole cavern have a super-detailed floor.

Offline Vivec

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2006, 10:10:44 am »
I think I'm getting the hang of the game. I'm still not sure why I need floodgates, since the river floods enough, but maybe it's because I don't have a large enough plot or something.

Winter's coming soon, and I have like 160 food. ;D
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Offline Khaz-Rhoz-Zek

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2006, 10:47:48 am »

Winter's coming soon, and I have like 160 food. ;D

Yar!  8)

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2006, 06:14:15 pm »
Another day, another Fey mood. My jeweler made a legendary crystal throne. Thatll be usefull if I ever have get some high-ups coming to my fortress.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Vivec

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2006, 06:24:18 pm »
My dwarf went in a fey mood, took some copper ore back to a workshop, sat for a few months, then proceeded to kill all of my fisherdwarves. I locked him in the farming room, and he decided a swim would be a smart thing to do. "Sadly" he could not swim.

Problem Solved!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 06:26:28 pm by Vivec »
Vivec, you're the best forum member ever.

Offline Cobra

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Re: Dwarf Fortress - A Roguelike and much, much more
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2006, 06:28:55 pm »
fey mood?