Dwarf Fortress is basically a perpetual beta with lots of major bugs as it is, but especially brand new major versions like this one usually have multiple game-breaking bugs, including crashes, corrupted saves, etc. It would be a shame if people willing to give it a try would give it up due to the poor quality of the initial release of a new major version.
Dwarf Fortress is a truly unique game and really worth putting in the effort to learn simply due to the stories it generates as you play.
Here's an example of a story that happened to me. https://www.reddit.com/r/dwarffortress/comments/1mb0cw/the_s... Note this story is in no way embellished by me. Everything described there was actually simulated within the game.
World gen works with different parameters and will scrap worlds that are generated with in compatible conditions (e.g. There aren't enough evil biomes to support the minimum number of goblin fortresses).
edit: some quick googling led me to this: https://www.rollapp.com/app/dwarffortress
Looks like you can't save but at least I can get a quick idea of how it feels like
You can turn off temperature in the config file if it takes too much cpu time though, in which case everything just has an assumed temperature, with no heat flowing around to change it.
Out of curiosity, how do details about these things become known if the code is not open sourced? Is it in official documentation somewhere? Is there any sort of list of these ridiculous examples of awesomeness?
Since the learning curve is high, the best way to start understanding it is to first learn how to play. From there you can start tinkering with the available mechanics.
It also tracks nerves and blood flow in a generalized way; any strike which penetrates or cuts the tissue layers has a chance of damaging the nerves in that body part. Nerve damage may or may not heal with the rest of the wound, and that will cause chronic infirmity or paralysis. Blood loss can cause dizziness or loss of consciousness, etc.
The combat logs are quite thorough, and after your first combat (which includes hunting and sparring) you'll quickly see how each actor is choosing from a "menu" of possibilities that varies from moment to moment. If one combatant loses a hand, they won't be able to strike with it, and nobody else will be able to target it with an attack.
If you then play the Adventurer mode, which is part of the same game but played as an individual character's perspective, you can see those menus reified as actual menus for you to choose from. Some of them are generic: you can swing your sword with or without targeting a specific body part. Others are much more specific. If your weapon gets stuck inside your opponent, you have the option of twisting it to cause pain (and probably more nerve damage).
In one game I played I fought a megabeast which had some kind of contaminated blood. My dwarves won the fight, but tracked the blood all over my fortress. I had them cleaning it up, but couldn't keep on top of it; eventually it was everywhere. A while later I noticed that a significant fraction of my dwarves and animals had rotting wounds on their feet...
The development log (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/index.html) and the game data files (which are all just text) also supply a lot of information, but they're not required reading; all of these details are pretty visible in the game. This is one of the things that makes the game so rewarding. Even when you lose a fort you can figure out what happened, and you can figure out how to avoid it or solve it next time.
(not sure about water buffalo femurs though, but I wouldn't be surprised)
> Besides, an active volcano comprised entirely of ice and coated in crimson snowdrifts of frozen gore? Fucking metal. I love this game.
I love Dwarf Fortress.
I appreciate the intent but when, in the same message, you say:
> Dwarf Fortress is basically a perpetual beta with lots of major bugs as it is, but especially brand new major versions like this one usually have multiple game-breaking bugs, including crashes, corrupted saves, etc.
you are actively dissuading everyone from ever trying the game.
I'd call this release an alpha. Either pick up the previous release, which is solidly in stable-beta territory and is only not an RC because DF's features list is approximately as long as the equator, or wait a bit until this alpha reaches beta status again.
While getting a handle of the basics of the game you really won't miss out on any of the new features in the latest version. They're at a somewhat more advanced level and you'll be spending your time trying to figure out the menus and how to not die of starvation and thirst, and less concerned with what instrument bards should play.
I already know about DF so I know I'm not interested in games like that, but man, I'm glad I never tried to pick it up.
Usually the bugs are strange, hilarious or both. For example, here are some issues that have been fixed:
Werebeast arrives, attacks livestock and dwarves but is not attacked by dwarves while in its werebeast form.
Necromancers afraid of/killed by their own undead
Dwarves with permanent injuries inevitably spiral into depression
Moody dwarves claim workshops outside their burrow, haul infinite number of items, never start construction
Lye in wood barrels can't be used for making soap
Haulers carry (heavy) full bin to pickup single item (lighter)
Happy thoughts do not affect stress levels; Dwarves slowly spiral into depression
Dwarf misses completely unrelated dwarf
Bogeymen attack elf/dwarf sites while sleeping in them
Brewing stack of >6 plants produces a stack of >30 booze, which doesn't fit in a barrel
Tantruming dwarves perform dozens of fistfights/throws in a second
DOES_NOT_EXIST does not remove creatures from embark list
Large grazers (elephants and giraffes) can't eat fast enough to keep from starving
It's a distant grandfather of Minecraft, but complex and detailed in ways that make emacs look straightforward.
It's a lot of fun, but it's not a 'game'. :-)
At some point when you've mastered basic code writing, ideas become the hardest part. This is especially true in game design, but also true even in solving business problems.
A pity you've chosen to miss out, as the depth of simulation in DF truly is astounding.
you have more fun developing DF than playing.
I'm blind, and have wanted to play this game ever since I heard of it years ago. I used to play console-based roguelikes, and while they were a bit slow to interact with, RLs were a refreshing tactical change from text-based IF.
Reading lots of DF stories would suggest that there's some sort of internal eventbus-style system by which the characters themselves interpret their surroundings, and if you could hook into that, you could describe the world textually to some extent. You might even add audio cues for certain events to increase the non-visual fidelity of the UI.
I see in some of the below comments that there's a text-based mode. Might give that a try to see if it's playable on the same scale as Nethack/Angband were for me.
Google led me to an 8-page forum thread on the subject. Checking it out now, and spinning up a Vagrant VM to play with the Linux version's text mode (it segfaults for me under Windows, unfortunately.)
They also touch on games that have been developed especially for blind player, without graphics only audio.
I've always dreamed of getting together a big budget to make a text adventure (e.g. Zork) of incredible scope, both in depth and "interactibility" -- a complex object typologies system, bring in learning chat bots for NPCs, and a system where users can add new objects, rooms and descriptions while they play, a complete object relational system (so it can tell "on", from "next to", from "above"), a very complete state system and so on.
Perhaps an "adjectives system", so it knows a huge amount of adjectives relating to any one object, and can generate simple novel sentences about that object on repeat views.
I think that at some point someone will be crazy enough to do it, and it's going to be most excellent.
I often wonder why games almost never have swappable (or even just scriptable) UI-s that could allow player to use shorthands through UI drudgery.
You may want to take a look at Gnomoria (http://gnomoria.com), which is basically "DF clone with sensible voxel graphics". For example: http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/45067176442464...
It's not a scriptable interface, but it is much saner than DF's, with a limited set of consistent hotkeys/toolbars/panels.
But I'm guessing that's not trivial to implement if you haven't already started doing it that way, and for something like Dwarf Fortress, it would probably be a lot of effort for not a significant amount of result - after all, everyone's already got their cheat sheet...
I wouldn't recommend it, because it's noticeably slower than the SDL or OpenGL renderers, but you can.
I don't want to run DF on my local system - I want my DF world running on a server in a rack somewhere and I connect over screen/SSH when I need to.
Is that a sane use-case with recent DF releases ?
A release or two back it gained a true console mode which you can play on a real terminal.
A "dot release" (who really cares about numbering schemes?) that took ten months and included a number of incremental and ultimately minor features--yes, they sound very cool, but having played it last night they don't change the way the game plays all that much. I like games like this quite a lot, but this is the same cheetodusting that makes people take Linux-on-the-desktop people with all the unseriousness they demand.
DF numbers its releases differently than most software. The developers made a list of features ("core components") they would like to implement and the version number increases for each one finished.
So a "dot release" for DF means a significant new subsystem was added. v0.42.1 translates to 42 core components implemented, 1 minor release. The leading 0 means "less than 100 core components finished".
Honestly, I'm kind of done with DF until it's more of a game, precisely because of these rabbit holes. I respect what they're doing, but aside from the first "oh, what's new?!" moments, the same core issues with the actual game persist. The "significant subsystems" don't make it play any better, so we're in ant-farm territory and not in a great way.
DF is more about the crazy stories that happen when you're, say, draining the ocean to set up those whale traps. Or building a roof over the world, pumping it full of magma, and rigging trapdoors to allow your Orbital Magma Cannon to fry any spot on the surface.
(Minecraft would have this problem if not for the tremendous mod support, Forge, etc. that enables you to make what you want of it. Crash Landing is still one of my favorite things in games--not because of the use of HQM, but rather just the profoundly different environment and options for exploring the same rules in a very different milieu.)
I haven't played in a while so I'm out of touch as far as figuring out what changes are significant.
I looked over their development page (http://bay12games.com/dwarves/dev.html) and can't figure out if what's listed as upcoming (job prioritization? taverns? non-player artifcats?) will be major as far game play.
They do list work related to "starting scenarios for your fortresses" which touches a bunch of other subsystems - maybe that will be a large and noticeable change.
FWIW I've been running a Linux-only desktop for over sixteen years. I honestly think that it's pretty close to being usable by nearly anyone, and I don't think that's an unserious opinion. It's certainly usable by — and useful to — anyone technical, and that's not an unserious opinion.
The language is a bit odd, and attempts to "read like English", but it provides so much scaffolding I feel like it's worth it.
I never could get the hang of Inform 7, the syntax is just too free-form, and I couldn't work out how to get things right.
The big difference I'm arguing for is scope, and engineering.
If you have NPC chat bots that can learn, and an adjectives and typologies system for object, combine them so that chat bots can talk about objects adjectives and typologies. That sort of thing, really engineer the hell out of it.
In the end it would all be a massive NLP problem. As major advances in NLP happen the possibilities for MUDs is massive.
Not the same scope as DF, of course, but still surprisingly fancy. There's still a lot of room for more, though :) I'd personally love to see or make something like what you describe too...
I even started tinkering with my own home grown little MUD server written in Clojure, where I had intended to try out some fancy ideas... but lost interest because it would take a huge time investment and I'd be the only player in a multiplayer environment - maybe a single player game like you say would be better after all.
I thought I'd just spend an hour playing around in The Crossing and killing some rats with my warrior mage, and that turned into three hours where I mostly was trying to remember where things were and running branches back and forth to Mags to make some starter scratch.
But in those three hours I felt infinitely more addicted and immersed than I did in playing many more hours of Elder Scrolls Online, WoW, etc. While I need to find some ways of tweaking the Stormfront client more, there is truly something to be said from requiring imagination to enjoy the game.
If you say 'climb the tree' you read "You are about ten feet above the ground nestled among some large branches. The nearest branch above you is beyond your reach."
If you 'climb higher' you see "On the branch is a small birds nest. "
If you look in the nest, "In the bird's nest is a large egg encrusted with precious jewels, apparently scavenged somewhere by a childless songbird. The egg is covered with fine gold inlay and ornamented in lapis lazuli and mother-of-pearl. Unlike most eggs, this one is hinged and has a delicate looking clasp holding it closed. The egg appears extremely fragile."
If you open the egg roughly, "There is a golden clockwork canary nestled in the egg. It seems to have recently had a bad experience. The mountings for its jewel-like eyes are empty, and its silver beak is crumpled. Through a cracked crystal window below its left wing you can see the remains of intricate machinery. It is not clear what result winding it would have, as the mainspring appears sprung."
If you wind it, "There is an unpleasant grinding noise from inside the canary."
If you open the egg gently, "The canary chirps, slightly off key, an aria from a forgotten opera.
From out of the greenery flies a lovely song bird. It perches on a limb just over your head and opens its beak to sing. As it does so, a beautiful brass bauble drops from its mouth, bounces off the top of your head, and lands glimmering in the grass. As the canary winds down, the song bird flies away."
When I found that as a 7 year old, sitting in the dark after everyone in my family had gone to bed, peering into the screen of my 286, I knew that text adventures are the only game worth making.
In a lot of ways DF is similar to the early days Minecraft. It was just "special". You can get lost in it for hours on end.
Girlfriend - "You want to go out tonight?"
Me - "Nah I'm good. I am just going to play Dwarf Fortress for 10 hours..."
Girlfriend - "Well I am going to go to Dim Sum Garden!"
Me "Iiee decisions, decisions!"
Enjoy all the fun. Dwarf Fortress is one of the only single player games that has held my attention consistently over the years. I suspect you might find it engaging as well.
Building an expansive fortress and number of dwarfs is a lot of fun (honestly, probably the most fun I've had with a game since Dungeon Keeper and Settlers way back) but then FPS starts dropping and you find yourself doing dumb things to counteract that. The fun bits fade away and it gets tedious.
To me, DF is best looked at and enjoyed as an amazing art project and an inspiration for other game devs.
Edit: Actually, my evidence is dwarf therapist. I don't think i could play the game without it and it is evidence of two things: 1) the default interface is broken in some serious ways, 2) the game is so good that people will go to really _insane_ lengths to mod it to make it playable.
The community is in fact participating, but the creators are making it more difficult than it needs to be with all the source closing.
But regardless, its their pool and they choose how they want to operate it. We're fortunate that they share it with everyone because it is a very cool project, but that doesn't mean we can't take note that it falls under the weight of itself fairly quickly in practice.
>Make a nice, tidy fort, everything is going great
>Out of booze and it’s winter
>”Oh well, the farm’s still working”
>”Urist McFarmer has gone berserk!”
>and, soon after
>”New migrants have arrived.”
>there are like 3 children with them
>they are on the entrance, where there’s a gigantic moat and a bridge
>Urist McFarmer is on the other side
>he pulls the lever to the bridge
>all of the children are on the bridge
>they fall down
>they are all still alive, they fell like 12 z-levels though
>the moat is almost completely red
>they’re crawling around, everything is broken oh god
>Urist McFarmer is finally put down by one of the miners
>children aren’t even starving or dehydrating, they’re just crawling there
>have to lock up the non-important people in a room so that they don’t diminish the food reserves
>the nobles are sad now, the miasma is getting to them
>dump the corpses in the moat, including urist mcfarmer
>the children are puking and still crawling, not even starving or dehydrating, just endless agony
>the migrants are still on the other side, they die too
>the only people left alive are a few miners and a farmer
>and the children
>they never die
As morbid as it may be, I think I may have pieced together why the children didn't starve...
Found it: they were offered 300K just to license the name.
He has refused a programming job at a major developer
(he asked that I keep its name off the record) and
turned down a $300,000 offer from another company to
license the Dwarf Fortress name, fearing that the
proposed sum wouldn’t sufficiently offset the long-term
donations drop that would likely result.
They aren't, though, so they're making a conscious decision to forgo that money in order to keep their vision (as maddeningly abstruse as it is) intact. In that respect Dwarf Fortress is a lot more like an art project than a commercial game.
For a comparison, Gnomoria (http://gnomoria.com), which is an unapologetic DF clone but with basic graphics and first-party modding support, sells for $8 a pop on Steam and has 2,000 reviews despite still being in "Early Access" status.
I think it's best to think of Toady like a crazy man building a cathedral down the road, single-handedly, using only tools he made himself. We can only sit and watch in awe and appreciation as the cathedral takes shape. And support him on Patreon, I suppose. :)
Per capita median personal income in the USA is right around that level, so 50% of the population earns less, while being statistically unlikely to love their job. If half the country hates their lower paying job, they have little to complain about in a relative sense.
$30k per year each is still pretty good tbh
I know that he doesn't want to support an open developer community because he, you know, wants to write his simulator and make it even more incredibly awesome than it is, but if only there were a way to get that code unlinked and into an API, it would make millions of people very happy.
I'm hoping that in 10-20 years, the devs have a change of heart about the importance of the user interface, or they open source the code so the community can really step in, and then I'll give it another shot :-)
Minecraft came after notch got irritated with DF. The entire dwarf-lite genre is inspired from wanting to do DF better.
Now DF has been improving it's adventure more gaming, something which had been vestigial for 90% of the dwarf fortress Dev cycle.
Take a look at the kisat dur thread (Dwarven martial arts) on the bay12games forum.
Go for it, you can always put it down and come back later.
In Dwarf Fortress lingo, "Fun" is a euphemism for losing. As in, Dwarf Fortress is a lot of Fun.
"Lye in wood barrels can't be used for making soap"
"Dwarves upset from not seeing family not in fort"
"Zombies start conversation with necromancer adventurer who tries to sleep in their house"
So glad this is still going. I hope development never stops!
Strike the earth!
It is closed source, isn't it? I assume it is, like ADOM, to keep the secrets. Though there is an obvious solution: you could separate the game data from the engine, and open-source the engine, for public benefit and participation.
There are no secrets to keep; it's not like an RPG where the ending can be spoiled. Well, not really any secrets, anyway. Anyone who lives in a country where Tolkien ever published a book will have some ideas about what to expect.
It's really just about creative control. He has let people help in limited ways in the past though. There were some improvements to the way it uses the OpenGL API and to the way it renders fonts (it can now use TrueType fonts for most purely-textual elements) that were contributed by a fan. he later stated that although it was a good improvement to the game, it wasn't an unalloyed good. The changes _worked_, but he no longer understood that part of the code very well.