1) Full developer announcement on their Patreon page -> https://www.patreon.com/posts/25343688
2) They are putting on steam largely because of the USA's shit healthcare system "after Zach's latest cancer scare, we determined that with my healthcare plan's copay etc., I'd be wiped out if I had to undergo the same procedures . . "
3) Cool to see that they are going to use graphics built by two of the most popular community modders:
-=> MayDay built one of the most popular current graphics packs @ http://goblinart.pl/vg-eng/df.php
-=> And Meph has built a fairly massive tile set as well @ http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=161047.0
Will be interesting to see how they change with native support.
I don't play it much, only a week every year or so to see what's new, get lost in the wacky reality of it all, and put it down to tend to other things. I read the communities from time to time. The wacky stories. Occasionally watch someone have a go on Twitch and enjoy seeing everything unfold.
Dwarf Fortress is an unsung touchstone of internet culture. Game devs in AAA studios (I know a few) talk of it in hushed whispers -- most are aware of it, even if only a few of them have played it. In fact, Dwarf Fortress is what sparked Markus Persson to create Minecraft, which was originally intended to be a voxel version of Dwarf Fortress itself.
I regret the circumstances that have resulted in Tarn and Zach having to find ways to bring in more income. They moved onto Patreon in the past year or so, and thankfully it was a meaningful increase in income. Hopefully Steam can help in that regard, as Tarn seems to manage his time and communication with the community quite well, and at least the Bay 12 forums by and large respects that he takes the time to reach out before continuing with the game as he sees fit.
It's something very novel and lovingly crafted that creates real joy and sparks the imagination in ways most people will rarely see. Although a bit obtuse upfront, it is one of the most novel toys mankind has ever created. Hopefully this can ensure that its development can continue for much longer still, and help other people discover the magic that it is.
Surely DF is far from "unsung"? I'd even describe DF as being downright notorious.
I really do wonder what kind of criterion people generally use to describe something as "obscure", "unsung" and such, since I find myself rarely agreeing.
No, Zach (Zachary) Barth's (of Zachtronics) Infiniminer was what sparked Markus Persson to create Minecraft.
I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, it totally sucks.
On the other hand, I suspect that as as consequence of this crappy pressure, Dwarf Fortress will reach a substantially wider audience and bring joy to a greater number of people.
I'll be interested to see how Tarn looks back on this moment in, say, five years.
Yeah, right. I bet you'll see it in productivity statistics instead. It's as bad as Factorio.
When I try to start factorio, df, rimworld today, I can see the systems, I can feel the ocd style appeal and feedback loops grabbing me, until I realize after one hour that 1) this is just the same as work, 2) someone else has already optimized the crap out of this, better then I'd ever have time for and 3) I might be better off doing real work instead, lest I feel guilty.
I then uninstall the game, never to return. It's pretty dreary as ultimately all games end up as thinly veiled optimization or grinding boxes that can be tuned, if you only put in the effort. Recent triple a focus on grinding, addictive elements and microtransactions have made this worse.
I've been thinking a lot about finding a genre or mechanic that would still "work", but I find it sad that I cannot get the long term enjoyment without worry anymore from games as I could years ago.
One game I'll recommend if you're in this boat with me is Slay the Spire - it's a roguelike, so you play run after run from the beginning, instead of working from the same save like Factorio. The mechanics vary from run to run, sometimes significantly, because the cards and relics you collect along the way can completely change how the game plays. I've been enjoying it for a few months now, and while I sometimes put it away for a week or two at a time, I'm still coming back to it. I think part of it is I'm playing to figure out how to survive a run, not to figure out how the game works.
Anyway, check it out - definitely worth $25, and it may give you that long-term enjoyment you're looking for. Though I think, to paraphrase Stand By Me, "I don't have any games like I did when I was 10. Jesus, does anybody?"
Two I'd recommend looking at: FTL and Into the Breach.
Was about to post this :)
All of those take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to complete once you get a hang of it.
Dwarf Fortress in particular doesn't care about optimization (either of code or of your play). Build what you want. Figure out what you think is cool and do it. There are, literally, no goals other than the ones in your head.
On the one hand it sounds like I've become a joyless husk (which may be true.) On the other hand, maybe I should play the larger real-life game that has so much better payoffs?
It feels wrong though.
Fun is a critical part of life, Its the point of living as Opposed to surviving.
Because learning a real thing that can help you will probably take 3 to 6 years and has a relatively high risk of failure. In that same time frame you can play a hundred different games each with a unique experience.
The real world has achievements to be earned and systems to be optimized. Why not seek those out and end up with something to show for your effort?
Nobody is going to lie on their deathbed wishing they had played more factorio.
At least with games you can save and quit at any time.
People will regret missed relationships, events, risks not taking and trips not made.
You’d regret dying without having done anything you really wanted to do.
And observably - very few people truly have their joy aligned with their productive employment.
Either I use other people's efficient designs that are more optimal and then I feel like I'm just copy pasting and not playing.
Or I end up wanting to write a program or design things that can produce the optimal designs. All of which involve not actually playing the game but playing excel spreadsheet or programming dynamic programming algorithms.
I like games that allow min maxing a lot. But they need to be in such a way that there is more to the game and less copyable stuff. So that I can enjoy and play the game.
I find myself wanting to build perfect things so I speak from experience in needing to let things go and adapt to the situation rather than seeking a perfect play through.
This is how I feel about Factorio along with basically every Zachtronics game ever. I want to get into it but I could literally get paid for doing the same thing. I guess I'm just lucky to be able to do work that I love (or conversely to be built such that I enjoy things that are useful.)
You may be engineering your own solution, but it's still the solution to someone else's problem. When you win, it's an empty feeling.
With respect to sandbox games, games like Minecraft truly offer you unlimited freedom. Minecraft is completely open. You get dropped into a new world with no instructions and no goals. The only problems are your own, and so your solutions feel like your own. Your victories feel like your own. Your defeats feel like your own. You feel like you're in another world, not working overtime at your desk solving problems.
With respect to other genres, look for something between challenge and wonder. Find games which are made with 100% love no matter the complexity or fidelity. Each level, take in everything you see and think about how someone laboriously designed every art asset you see, every system you use, every character, dialogue, level chunk, etc.
Take in these games as the massive, collaborative works of art that they are. When you're playing them, you're setting aside time in your week to become a receptacle for someone else's vision. A patron of their art.
Find games which you're still thinking about months after you've beaten them. Find games which have dead simple mechanics and are designed around short bursts of focused, intense gameplay, with which you can spend the next few years of your life slowly and methodically honing your skills in the small gaps between important engagements.
Play old games. Don't just play the latest and greatest. Video games are only half a century old, it's still possible to play many of the bonafide classics without devoting your life to it. You'll find more engaging and rewarding gameplay with the simple, but focused systems older games employ. You'll find joy in the way that the game's artists were able to create their vision with only a 320×200 resolution and 256-color palette, or only a couple thousand polygons.
In short, avoid modern AAA games like the plague. Just like the monstrosity that is the modern Hollywood scene or pop radio culture, AAA games have become an engine which sucks players out of all the money it can.
If you're not into false gameplay, addictive elements like loot boxes and micro-transactions in the face of extreme grinding, that doesn't mean you're not still into games.
Speaking very personally... you might be playing sandbox games wrong: forget their goals. A while back, I decided that Factorio is Turing complete, even without the luxury of combiners... and I'm partway through an implementation of Eratosthenes' sieve? Rather than efficiency spreadsheets, I draw state diagrams :) Also inserters have nasty quirks that really make things fun
Try some games that are designed more as "cinematic" experiences. This isn't a bulletproof strategy (cinematic games can have grindy elements), but it usually works.
Some new-ish recommendations:
• Life is Strange
• Monument Valley
I also feel that Nintendo in particular has done a good job of avoiding the the stuff you describe, in their mainstream titles.
Actually, another strategy would be to just avoid any game that let's you purchase in-game items or currency, regardless of context.
- Psychonauts for something wacky and hilarious that will leave you satisfied and vaguely wistful that it's over.
- Nier: Automata for something gripping and tragic that will leave you wanting to find your loved ones, give them a hug, and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Damn, I've said this myself many times. I used to love gaming, but now, sitting in front of a computer and strategizing is something I get paid to do and spending a few precious hours doing it after work seems so stupid. I really miss the meditative aspect of getting absorbed in a game. I can still manage to play retro console games occasionally, but I really don't have the patience for much gaming these days.
scummvm is calling you.
I've started playing games at lower difficulty than would be "right" for me, so that I can get through the story.
>I've been thinking a lot about finding a genre or mechanic that would still "work"
Have a look at planetary annihilation. Plus the community mod legions. No microtx, games against AI are decent fun etc. Well worth the price without being a crazy time sink - a quick AI game is like an hour.
Every once in a while I get tempted to start playing again, but then I remember the look on my girlfriend's face when she came home and found me sitting in a pile of empty pizza boxes wearing nothing but underwear that I hadn't washed in two weeks.
The fact of the matter is I was always doing everything in main, I had never really used functions for anything, I thought they were useless/extra work! And I eventually just had a moment playing factorio, looking at someone else's blueprint , and how neat and self contained it was, and how it had its organized and clear inputs and outputs... and it all just clicked. I'm much better at structuring my projects now and have very much become more function-centric in my work (I am actually currently falling for the clojure meme pretty heavily atm).
What if we instead use the games as rehab?
Do you mean it sucks because you prefer the game to be supported only by donations? If so, why?
Or did you mean something else?
Choosing to put it on Steam, or not, is completely orthogonal to that. At least, it should be.
They're basically voluntary, mutual aid societies – many of them were basically small unions. The were strangled by the bigger, consolidated organizations:
The video is probably good for most audiences, but if (like me) you prefer to read, it looks like this is the short essay it's based on: http://www.freenation.org/a/f12l3.html
The references at the end of the essay include some really interesting historical accounts which I've enjoyed reading over the past few hours.
The only issue addressed was basically labor rate of doctors (and AMA artificially limiting the pool of doctors by raising standards).
The tone of the video was horrible -- no thanks. I don't need scary cartoons to tell me how to vote.
The end conclusion is basically "what if gov't is the problem?" without offering a solution (or even evidence based critique of modern systems -- what happened over 100 years ago is not the most relevant to my interests. As others have pointed out, the practice of medicine was a lot different then). Total waste of time and attention.
I honestly cannot understand how people look at the health care situation in America and think "if only health insurance had less restrictions, that would solve everything!"
And the comments are actually useful – there’s a pinned link to a New York Times article published in 1910 which explains the argument at the time for cartelizing the industry.
4) Steam/itch.io and Katfox take a cut so if you want to really help out Zach and Tarn you should donate directly @ http://www.bay12games.com/support.html
Kitfox is taking 20% in exchange for handling marketing and customer support (after the store cut), leaving Zach and Tarn with 72% or 56% for itch and Steam respectively (assuming they use the itch default cut).
There is a bit of an issue with selling your own Steam keys and selling on multiple platforms though. The more people who purchase your game on Steam, the higher Steam's algorithm will rank the game, so there's something to be said for not spreading out sales.
It's enough to certainly make me consider working in a different country. I wonder if there would be any possibilities of the Dwarf Fortress developers moving elsewhere such that they don't have to worry about a medical disaster bankrupting them.
Bah: I was trying to check the announcement, but their forum is in lockdown mode again for some reason.
Edit: Lockdown mode off. Link here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=38...
I'm really glad to hear he is involved with this.
The hope is that they earn enough from the Steam royalties (which should happen given the popular rumor and storytelling around the game among gamers).
Also, Canada has medical requirements and refuses immigrants whose admission "might cause excessive demand on existing social or health services provided by the government":
The clause about barring excessive health costs isn't unreasonable, Canada, as a country, is basically an insurer and is being dickish about letting people with pre-existing conditions onto their insurance who haven't paid into it, this is a defense against the US's broken system that would encourage all sick citizens to flee to Canada. That said when I immigrated I had several long term health issues that posed no barrier to entry and the cases where this is enforced are rather rare.
Canadian healthcare is perfectly fine, but it isn't your rebound date when the US healthcare fails you. People shouldn't immigrate just to take advantage of the system.
All that said, I am hopeful you guys will get Medicare for all down there and actually cut your costs-per-patient and enable people to be more free to pursue their individual liberties.
There are private clinics here if you have money and don't want to wait, but of course it doesn't cover very specialized things. When I wanted to see a dermatologist, I would have had to wait 1-2 months for my first appointment in the public sector. I went to a private clinic and paid 200$ (plus like 75$ each subsequent visits) and was seen in 2 days.
If you have a life-threatening condition, you're not gonna wait months. If they can't do the operation in Canada because of whatever is lacking (including equipment or personnel), they can send you to the US and the government will pay for it.
It's unlikely you'll find higher quality or more timely care in the US than Canada for anything that would be triaged as urgent (such as a cancer scare). The entire ethos of the Canadian healthcare system is that there should be a single tier system regardless if you're wealthy or poor--everyone gets the same quality of care. This means triaging happens based on urgency of treatment instead who has the most money.
You will certainly be able to bypass any triaging in the US for elective or non-urgent matters, for a sufficient premium (effectively a bribe).
If you're comparing quality with Seattle specifically, then compare against Toronto which has some of the best cancer treatment facilities and doctors.
Also, wealthy persons will travel to a foreign country if that country is like to have a "world-leading" specialist in a certain surgery. Sometimes this place is the US, sometimes it's Canada, sometimes it's the EU.
Furthermore, if you want private care in Canada, you can receive it. I'm not sure any of your points make sense in light of the above.
I know both sides of this. Obamacare was truly a boon to me when I was an "independent consultant." We in the USA need to value our liberty. But if you want people to value liberty, you first have to keep them safe from Kafkaesque nightmares which involve their bodies not working correctly and not getting fixed. Basically, it works just like hunger.
In particular, in the present day US, the societal cohorts which create media seem to be comprised of 1) out of touch left-leaning upper class people or 2) people with so few resources they are at risk. Together, they form a larger faction. This is a recipe for a society that stops tells itself it wants freedom and changes into a society that wants to take care of people. (1 are people who identify as those doing the taking care of, and 2 are people who would be taken care of.)
If you want people who appreciate and take care of their freedom, you have to make sure they're not hungry and sick. History shows us this clearly.
There's this thing called "nuance."
In very general terms, I'm for personal liberty and autonomy. However, I also recognize that people don't care about that, when they are hungry or fear bankruptcy and illness. 
The US healthcare system is broken, in that large numbers of people are left in a state of risking bankruptcy and illness. For me, the path forward would involve a safety net for such people, while minimizing encroachment on personal freedom. Not sure what that would look like.
 - A stable society must provide a minimum across society, based on perception of relative status. Otherwise, people are wired up to cause chaos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3XYHPAwBzE
I've found a lot of "opponents" of universal healthcare actually support a safety net for less fortunate people - they just don't want to pay for it. This is a perfectly valid reason, but I wouldn't call it encroaching on personal freedom, so I'm curious as to how else you see it affecting liberty?
There are tradeoffs, and well spent taxes can open up opportunities otherwise precluded, NHS might be better than a private alternative, but in the cost/benefit analysis, the costs really do exist.
I’m not saying Australia has it right in every way, I’m just saying that universal health care doesn’t need to restrict your choice of care.
The base case is I think the world needs to change, so I spend 8 hours changing it for the better.
The extended case is other people notice I am making the world better, and want to pitch in. We've got this great indirection system in money to allow that to happen with a highly abstract measure of 'resources' so even if they don't know how to contribute personally they can signal how important my work is to others.
Now, there are respectable schools of thought that believe something like (a) there are people who do not have the capacity to meaningfully contribute resources or (b) initial control of raw resources is more impactful than human endeavor. They employ taxes to change how resources are distributed.
And now, the freedom angle:
Without government tax, if I work for 8 hours I can presumably provide for myself in about 2-3 because modern production is so efficient, and then I get 5 hours to reshape the world into something I want to live in. With government tax, the split is basically 2-3 for me, 2-3 for the government, 3 for changing the world to taste. This is effectively a loss of liberty, because now I have half the control over how the world changes.
That isn't particularly profound, it is just how taxes work. But one of the points of money is abstracting direct work for contributing. In a sense, this is the same as labouring directly on a government project for 2-3 hours, and that would be slavery. Obviously taxes aren't slavery because they aren't mandatory (don't want to pay taxes, don't work) but the parallel is there for reducing liberty.
Instead, we seem to see a lot of people spending those resources on shiny toys to make their own lives a little better, and in some cases, spending those resources to ensure that they get more resources in the future, at the expense of others.
Far better places to play with a LASER than on a beach.
For one thing, why are you so insistent that I'm an opponent of health care reform. (Subjectively speaking, there's this sour stickyness of you assuming things inside my head around that. If you are, please, don't. You would be wasting our time and energy with that.) I voted for Obama the 1st time in large part because of health care reform. That said, I've since changed my mind. The individual mandate in Obamacare is too big an encroachment on individual freedom.
Big government agencies tend to encroach on individual freedom because they tend to accrue de facto then de jure power. Would anyone dispute that the IRS has considerable power, enough to create some potential for abuse? (Not saying we should get rid of them, however.)
As far as individual freedom goes generally, watching the events of the past several years, including those around "activists," and big tech companies, has made me a lot more concerned about individual freedom. A lot of people seem to be paying lip service to concepts like Freedom of Speech and Due Process, but then putting wide ranging things into effect which interfere with or abrogate those rights, though they are not technically illegal. (yet)
I think the assumptions others may have made because you've largely described what you don't want.
Do you have suggestions or thoughts for what an effective system is? What is the system that you do want?
Are you instead talking about being forced to pay for a healthcare system, either directly or indirectly through taxes? Because in that case, then yeah, obviously it would need to be paid for. The alternative is not having it at all. And we already don't have a system where people who can't afford healthcare are denied treatment and forced to die, and such a system is untenable according to our modern society's morals anyway.
I agree with the others; you're using wishy-washy words without clarifying exactly what you're proposing, or even explaining how alternatives to the existing types of systems are possible at all.
I have and continue to spend a lot of time on healthcare. Despite 15 years of grinding, I feel like I barely understand what's going, and am continually surprised. For example, I totally didn't foresee hospital consolidation tipping the balance of power back to them (from insurers), begetting the scourge of surprise billing.
The best, and perhaps only, label for our current system is confusopoly (h/t Scott Adams).
In your travels, all that I ask, given your desire for bipartisan bonhomie, is while you read reform proposals (from policy wonks), please note who is participating in the conversation, and who isn't.
I run across this all the time with my brother. He's conservative. He's in his 50s. He says, I don't think health care is in a good place, but we can't do X, Y, or Z. It's never what we can do. It's always what we can't. He offers no solutions.
When you're in a privileged position its easy to say we must wait for the perfect solution. When you aren't it's easy to rush to a solution. However, like I said: this has been debated for over TWO DECADES in the United States. It's been enough time. If you can't think of a solution you like, it's not going to happen in a reasonable timeframe.
I've been in both positions. I suspect what we'll wind up with will be a two tier system (kind of what we have now) that covers almost everyone, but this system won't make anyone happy and the debate will continue.
Not exactly. (Or maybe not necessarily.) I could picture a system I'd like that would look a lot like the system we have right now. I'm not expert enough to know how that would work.
but the rest of it was completely opaque to me
Are you part of the societal cohort comprised of left-leaning upper class people in tech and media? Are you part of the societal cohort comprised of lower middle class people working in tech and media? Are you from a different part of society? That would be useful information for writing a clarification. Exactly what part was opaque to you?
"I don't use version control -- I didn't like the feeling of having the code get committed into a black box thingy with no immediate upside."
I can't fathom how you can manage the complexity of a game like DF without a VCS.
This is what everybody that says they don't use version control does.
All they need to do is to compress those folders with zlib, and then they've reinvented git.
If you're just one person, you can work directly on master and just commit everything every time:
git commit -am "I did some work"
Having to 'unfuck your branch' is a result of doing more than just storing compressed snapshots.
This is probably because all the training material and tutorials assume people want to do more than just snapshots, so as you follow along when getting set up it's easy to get into those kinds of situations.
As others have said, doing the compressed snapshot workflow is as easy as adding everything to a git repository, and committing it every time you want to make a snapshot.
The biggest hurdle is having each snapshot 'replace' the current one if you want to go back and look at it, but that's not a hard thing to adjust to for the value you get by using git's machinery for the snapshot workflow:
- fast and efficient remote backups
- greater compression (by using a shared object store for all snapshots)
- easy comparison of different snapshots
- bisection of snapshots to identify when a bug was introduced (including ability to easily automate running tests while bisecting)
- ability to change workflow in the future as needs change, in particular adding in remote collaborators, without having to change versioning system/workflow (well not too much of the workflow)
- rich ecosystem to easily publish source if desired at some point
- and lots more!
Many of these things are possible when you have a list of compressed archives of your source folder, but git really does make it much easier and you don't need to go all in on complex workflows to take advantage of it.
-- git add .
-- git commit -m "I did something"
-- git push
On the other hand, finding the folder for last Wednesday and opening it up is easy.
Also, pushing your repo to Github / Gitlab / Bitbucket / (a thousand different free services) and then looking at the commit history visually is incredibly difficult.
Come on people, get a grip.
For a single-person, single-branch workflow, git is extremely easy. It gets really complicated when doing something more, until you stop seeing git as a VCS tool, but rather as a tool to manipulate the data structure used to do the VCS. But that's a completely different, unrelated topic to this thread.
Unless you don't use a GUI for browsing your file system, you really can't dismiss the GUI that comes with Git. It's easy to use the history browser to check out code from certain dates. And it even simplifies tagging commits so you can check out "release 3" instead of referring to a list of release dates.
1. Click folder in Windows Explorer
2. Press Ctrl+C
3. Press Ctrl+V
4. Press f2
5. Type new name
6. Press Return
Mac OS X:
1. Click folder in Finder
2. Press Cmd+D
3. Press Return
4. Type new name
5. Press Return
(No real idea about Linux, which I'm only confident with from a programming perspective.)
If nothing else, it's at least fewer keypresses.
It's does everything you would need to do manually do with copy paste (diff, merge, find old changes, comment changes, etc) but with much less effort (assuming you use a GUI).
If thre's two of you, I might be so bold as to suggest it would be worth giving SVN a try. All the usual handy version control system stuff that makes collaboration easier, but the mental model is simpler than git (with all the things you can imagine that might imply), and you've got a handy escape hatch, in the shape of svn lock, for non-mergeable binary files. Great for PSD files and so on.
(Another thing about SVN that's different from git: working copy disk usage is proportional to size of HEAD, not size of repo. You can reasonably use it for distributing binary builds to non-programmer team members, for example.)
Everything seems so simple and then suddenly you accidentally deleted all your local changes and have a bunch of similar but not identical branches. You get a message saying your head is detached and that feels right. At least your working tree is clean, you'd hate to have a dirty working tree.
You have a pressing need to learn merge but that launches its own fun minigame:
It's so popular and well documented that every time you get confused it feels like a personal failure.
The promise of git is phenomenal, and I know a lot of people realize that by mastering it. I just wish I had figured out a way to learn it more iteratively. It felt like there were a bunch of frontloaded concepts you need to master to get yourself back out of trouble. And if you ask for help from someone who doesn't include whatever you messed up in their normal workflow, even if they've used git for years they might not have any idea.
Version control has nothing to do with the number of developers, it's a tool used to snapshot code, allowing easy tracking, reversal, and plain old "I'll finish this later". I couldn't imagine trying to develop without being able to make a branch, try something out, jump back and fourth between features, and then merging everything together later.
I can't stand the command line tool, but a nice GUI like Sourcetree or TortoiseSVN makes juggling very nice.
I've used git for so long and so deeply that it's ingrained in the way I think about code - I break things into atomic commits, and regularly traverse and edit the commits in the feature branch that I'm working on. That doesn't change when I'm working solo, nor do my commit message style rules. I find it very useful to be able to investigate the history of a piece of code, even as it moves across multiple files, and figure out what happened and why.
That said, when I'm working on a team I generally don't care how many concurrent branches are being worked on - it's not a problem at all if the threaded view is n levels deep. When I'm working alone I tend to have a linear (single threaded) history, with tags for each release or deploy.
This is something that I struggle with. And it sets me apart from the apparent majority of (younger) programmers.
At best, once I've baked something enough that I'm satisfied, I can go back and break up the work. But then what's the point?
From my perspective, the agile/scrum mindset (velocity!) leads to spamming the code base with poorly reasoned trivial changes, frequently just kicking the can down the road, happily accumulating technical debt like an accretion disk.
Alas. I think the youngsters are more correct. Code bases are now so short lived that anything more than the bare minimum is just wasted effort.
I miss the days of product development and burning CD-ROM gold masters and people at least tried to hammer nails straight.
I know, I know, get off my lawn and all that.
You're still using git for real even if you only ever have one branch.
Been there done that. I prefer git where it's all just meaningless hashes, or semver tags.
I meta love DF for it's primitive development practices too.
Guy decides to make a game with a block of stone and a chisel, development community calls him crazy and says games can't be made that way, but he keeps chiseling away.
In fact it's pretty well known that Dwarf Fortress has a horrible code base and it would be a huge project to bring it up to a good standard.
In this era of self-promotion some people actually can't recognize those things.
But I think its very obvious that he is a good programmer. His work is literally legendary.
It's unfortunate that people latched on and the "Notch is a bad coder" meme took off. I imagine the same is true with Tarn.
"His work", as in, the game he made. Game development is a multi-faceted beast. It is quite possible that while game design is awesome, technical implementation is a mess even if it reaches the goals.
I have heard DF being praised for having so many things to do, for being able to create wild stories, etc, but never for technical excellence.
DF is definitely an admirable and awe-inspiring project, regardless of the beauty of its innards
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration - Thomas Edison.
A friend of mine, years ago, took the "daring, revolutionary" step of convincing NASA management to embrace version control. I also know of a European consulting firm which made a lot of money swooping in and saving a major Euro bank's problems due to lack of version control.
But yeah, this is undoubtedly a factor in the games rather glacial development rate.
Configuration Management isn't just about keeping your source in source control software / server somewhere, it's also about the tools, dependencies, and other artefacts that you need to build and distribute the software.
How many people take great care for the version control system but forget everything else?
One of its big issues is performance. For an ascii game.
If anything, it is an example of how saying "Eh, screw it." can stall your progress
Biggest problem that I had is that it eventually becomes a challenge to manage the framerate. I realize there are ways to fix this that are intertwined with the gameplay, but I'd rather play the game instead of butchering kittens and other things in an effort to keep the game performant.
Second issue is with military organization. I never really became confident in my ability to get the squads doing what I wanted them to do (wearing the proper uniforms, training with a crossbow).
Despite this, I've had a lot of fun with the game. Building, farming, and managing a metal industry is a lot of fun. The barrier to entry is still pretty high, and I don't think the announced additions are going to change that.
(haven't played in the last year or two, so my criticism may be outdated)
I've had invasions of orcs and goblins thrown back by fortresses. What a complex and !FUN! game.
As much as I can see why Tarn wants to keep the code closed source, I really wish he'd allow someone to help him with some optimisations.
Also, early embark setup fatigue is real. Setup the stockpiles. Plan the rooms. Have the plans outpace your current productivity and have it take way too long. Do this every time.
Once that's over, though, you get to enjoy sorting through droves of migrants, assigning each to the tasks they're most appropriate to or which need the most dwarves right now (the game actually approximates this automatically in that it generates migrants vaguely in reflection to the fortress's needs, but it's not like it assigns all burly, tough, slow-to-tire dwarves to your melee squads or that talented bonecrafter to more useful crafting jobs, so it's up to your manic OCD). Do this every season.
Somewhere in there, have some !FUN!.
0: ie, you can fire off a pathfind from your current position, keep walking for several steps (many game ticks) before getting the result back, and just do some minor fixups to make it work.
I suspect that this is entirely the problem. For quite a while not I've gotten the impression that all of the game state in in a single data structure.
Also I'm pretty sure that there are update anomalies galore even now. It's almost certain to be a herculean task. I might be wrong, but the fact that Tarn has never even attempted it makes me suspect that I'm right ;-)
Once, my dwarves built a box structure on top of their underground fortress entrance. Built a wall around that, and filled the in-between space with magma to create a sheath defense. The ingenuity of dwarves is marvelous!
But all of the half-implemented features, years-old bugs, "screw you" approach to UX, and general jankiness are worth it when a fire imp immolates 10 people in your great hall only to have its skull caved in when it tangles with the wrong toddler.
This would be a problem for a new game, especially in Steam's early access program - but at this point DF has a huge "brand", and people know what they're getting into. I think it could even be argued that the difficult UI is part of the experience, as weird as that sounds.
Obviously, you're not going to get "infinite hours of gameplay" out of it the way you can with DF, but it can be a fun ride for hundreds of hours.
There's also a very active subreddit at r/RimWorld
You want Warhammer 40K in Rimworld? Got it.
You want Lovecraftian horrors in Rimworld? Got it.
You want different types of cats, or barbed wire, or typewriters? Got it.
Literally. There's no z-levels, which really kills it for me in a post-apocalyptic sim where you can't dig a defensive moat or put riflemen in towers.
I’ve been playing the hell out of RimWorld over the past few weeks. It really is a great entry to the kind of game DF is. The creator did a really good job of designing mechanisms to hold your hand in the beginning. The warnings on the right hand side of the screen were a godsend for me picking up RimWorld to make sure that my housekeeping was in enough shape to keep exploring without having an entire colony wipe for some ridiculous reason. It’s made me ready to try to tackle DF again after successfully running colonies in RimWorld.
I suspect someone can mod DF to give the same kind of gentler entry experience (if they haven’t already).
as far as game mechanics go rimworld lack building on multiple z levels and fluids.
and then you have gnomoria....
the real differentiation is the depth world history that df has that's quite unique.
I love dwarf fortress, but let's not put that on a golden pillar.
Again, for a lot of DF players that point is lost. They want to set up their efficient workflows or build their wonderful creations or they want to slaughter wave after wave of goblins. However, DF is set up in a way that the player is not necessarily important to the world. You die and the world just continues. You explore the world as an adventurer. You get killed by a duck. Life goes on. Your fortress falls to a weregopher. Life goes on. You explore the ruins of your fortress, track down the weregopher and get your revenge. That's DF. Rimworld has none of that.
Rimworld is a good game. DF is more like a toy.
There's an amazing channel on YouTube, called Kruggsmash, that does DF lets plays. In his current series, he initially founded a new settlement based entirely on bee agriculture and trading - no fighters. He kept the population small so they were under the notice of the local goblins, and got set building an awesome looking place with custom bee related statues, engravings and the like. Unfortunately the other dwarf settlements around him (NPC ones) die off because of the local goblin fortress, and refugees start flocking to his settlement. (SPOILERS AHEAD!) He ends up throwing a vampire goblin down the well, and stabs him with spikes which ends up bloodying the water. The dwarves that drink the water then end up turning into vampires themselves, so he now has a fortress of vampire dwarves! He also has a massive prequel to this fortress series where he plays in adventure mode as a boar man and his compatriot goblin buddy (the one now down the well...), going around stealing artefacts and building his own role-play story, with some amazing illustrations to show what's happening in through all the ASCII graphics.
Honestly, he's more than worth a watch. You get very attached to all the characters, especially the dwarves that have been there from the beginning. He's one of the few YouTubers I've ever contributed towards on patreon.
Rimworld took DF and removed all the innovative elements to fit it into a more traditional base building game. Then yes, if you restrict yourself to some very specific elements of gameplay they can be comparable but you don't play DF for the production chains.
That said, wake me up when you find that your engraver has engraved a room full of images of rats, out of spite because he doesn't like the noble who owns that room.
Or when your Rimworld character, when trying to build a well, gets swept away by the current, scratches himself against the bottom, and now you have a full colony of vampires. Because it turned out that character was actually a vampire.
* No liquid simulation (water/lava) with little physics simulation (falling/flying objects etc)
* Simplistic combat simulation
* No world politics simulation that dictates what happens in the world
* No 3D is the biggest one. RimWorld is Dwarf Fortress as it was a decade ago with a single 2D sheet.
* true, mentioned it
* not really, you get layers and damage type and bleeding and organ failures impacting pawn abilities
* not really you can do diplomacy in rimworld between the colony and factions and it's deeper than current fortress mode options. diplomacy in worldgen is non actionable.
the issue is 4/5 of those thing you repeat from my post don't add to gameplay (fluids) and some detracts even (path has severe issues caused by stairways).
She gave a pretty interesting talk in Vancouver about how it integrates into her studio’s production methodology. A lot of Kitfox’s games employ procgen, so I feel like they’re a good fit for the title. 
DF has a huge head start, and two of the most incredibly passionate developers out there, but it's also clear they prioritize expanding the model first and foremost rather than trying to tackle any of the user experience issues that have plagued the game forever.
(To be clear, I adore DF. I've put many, many hours into DF. It's a truly amazing game and I continue to wish the developers success.)
Really, that's what DF is anyhow; they even call it a "story generator" IIRC. Tarn just managed to put enough of a playable game together before getting lost in the details of world generation, and people have stayed engaged enough with it to keep him involved in the project.
And if people don't play your game, they're not going to contribute to it.
If only I could stop playing the game long enough to write some code... ;-)
An open source version would be technically superior; although how that would affect their income stream I do not know.