Dwarf Fortress (or DF when I don't feel like typing the whole thing) is a wonderful game; rather like if you were to mash nethack and Sim City together into some glorious monstrosity. It is also in some ways similar to Minecraft, in that it features an amazingly detailed world generator.

There are three modes to the game. In Fortress mode, you choose a location to embark and are given seven dwarves and some initial supplies. Your open-ended goal is to manage the dwarves and create a successful fortress. In Adventure mode, you play a single adventurer and travel about the world doing mostly whatever you want (quests are generated too) in a roguelike style. Legends mode allows you to view the detailed history of the world, to such details as "In year 192, an army of 361 mostly goblins attacked 447 elves, and were defeated," followed by close description of exactly what injuries each combatant received (such as, "upper left arm stabbed").

The simulation is incredibly detailed, and my mention of the legends mode above is an example of the amount of detail modeled at all times. For an even better description of all it models, have a look at the official features page.

Some screenshots:

Choosing an embark location for a new fortress. Biomes and everything those entail are modeled, and you can take your pick of locations from a terrifying wasteland inhabited by murderous badgers to a joyous lakeside beach with fluffy bunnies everywhere.

A small fortress dug into the side of a mountain. Living quarters are in the top-left, food stockpile is to the right of that, and stone and a few workshops are on the bottom of the screen. Six dwarves are in the room in the middle, as well as a cow.

An adventurer (the @ symbol) explores a cave, standing at the edge of a pool of water.

Players tend to get some amazing results out of the game's dynamic and highly detailed world. Boatmurdered is the story of a fortress handed off among a number of players across in-game years, which was harassed by marauding elephants and goblins until one particularly insane fortress-master decided to kill the world with fire rather than try to live in it. Or you have the story of how one adventurer killed a terrifying bronze colossus with a fluffy wambler. Or perhaps the fortress-master who discovered that merpeople bones are amazingly valuable and built elaborate apparatuses in order to trap and kill them (note that the game actually defines them as intelligent, so it was for-profit genocide)!

Whatever you want to do, odds are DF will let you do so, so why not play? A couple things you should know before picking it up, though:
  • The graphics are more functional than pretty. The stock display mode is basically just text-based (seen above), but you can download tilesets to make it somewhat less cryptic and prettier.
  • The learning curve is pretty steep, although once you get the feel for how to navigate menus and such you can usually figure out how to get what you want. The DF wiki is an indispensable resource.
  • Large fortresses tend to bring even the fastest gaming PC to a crawl, since the game is not very optimized and is continuously performing calculations (tons of pathfinding in a continually changing landscape, for example). You'll want to be careful you don't choose a world/fortress location which is so large that your machine can't keep a reasonable framerate, just to avoid frustration.

DF is free, and developed by one guy and his brother. Here's the official web site. There's Linux support too, although the Linux build tends to lag behind the Windows binaries in availability a little bit.
New players might like the Lazy Newb Pack, which includes several tilesets to choose from and a number of external utilities designed to make managing a fortress easier. There are a number of tutorials on the game out there, which are very useful and usually walk through building your first fortress.

Now that that's all out of the way and you hopefully have some interest in trying out the game, here's my proposal: we create a Cemetech succession fortress, in which I can found a fortress and run it for one in-game year, at which time I will zip up the save game and hand it off to someone else to run for a year, with whom the process repeats. If a couple people are interested, I'll get a start on that right away.

And always remember: losing is fun!
Seriously, it's rather fun to see a fortress go down in flames because you forgot something important or just due to random chance. Just don't get too attached to your dwarves.
Ah, if only I had time for such a clearly enjoyable addictive behavior. =D
Awesome! Very Happy This is a great find! These are the types of games I live on ^-^

I think I'll give it a serious spin, and probably add it to my favorite pastimes list. Once I finally find the orb in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, I'll download it, my level 74 Demonspawn is too powerful to stop.
I just started playing Dwarf Fortress last weekend, actually. It's amazing. It is indeed a bit like Minecraft, but about fifty to a hundred times more complex.

The Linux build is rather annoying running on Fedora 14 x86_64- I can't speak to other 64-bit distros, obviously. It made me install a bunch of 32-bit libraries (I already had the 64-bit versions of them installed), and still complains about being unable to load OpenAL whenever I start it up. It's still amazingly fun.
I really should show my friend this! Although I have yet to try this, before he became obsessed with Minecraft, he mentioned DF every 5 minutes or less in Skype conversations, and ANY text conversation as well, for that matter. Laughing
Tari wrote:
DF is free, and developed by one guy and his brother. Here's the official web site. There's Linux support too, although the Linux build tends to lag behind the Windows binaries in availability a little bit.


I didn't notice this when writing my earlier post.

I didn't know Nethack was Dwarf Fortress. Razz
Heh. URL-pasting fail. I fixed that. I started a fresh fortress yesterday, it is currently late summer. Anyone interesting in running it through the next year?
Short revival.
I decided to try out adventure mode for a change, inspired by the incessant news of improvements which are significantly more evident in adventure mode (the finer scale certainly allows for better appreciation of the details).

[curses, I should have taken screenshots as I went. Next time..]
It started off simply. I, a tenderfooted dwarven hero popped into existence in a human town, and promptly ran off into the wilderness in search of adventure.
Soon enough it became night and I still had little idea of what I was doing. The humans I talked to warned of bogeyman waylaying lone travelers at night, so I gladly bedded down in the home of a friendly [I forgot what his occupation was]. ..and then in a fit of failing to understand the day/night cycle, I stayed for another night, mistaking the dim light of early dawn for true night.

I struck out in search of adventure once again, and found a reasonably-sized river, which was too swift to swim in very effectively, despite my proficiency in swimming. That was a fact which I didn't realize until I had already jumped in, however.
With the swift current came my first combat experience! There were some milkfish lurking on the river bottom, and they latched on to my limbs as I passed. I punched them, crossbow in hand, and dispatched them with relative ease, acquiring only small bruises in the process.

Continuing downstream, I saw some hippos ahead. Figuring it would be better to engage at range, I fired some bolts from my crossbow, injuring the hippos and lodging the crossbow bolts in the resulting wounds. Unfortunately, it seems hippos are better swimmers than dwarves, and they swiftly retreated downstream.

It was at this point that I decided getting out of the river would be a good idea. Of course, with my poor planning, there was nowhere I could escape the current.

Continuing downstream yet again, I came across a lionfish, which is evidently somewhat more vicious than the milkfish I had previously fought. It latched on to my arms repeated as I punched it and forced it to let go, but a dwarf flailing about in the river is no match for such kings of the waves, and the fish quickly dispatched my inept hero.

Rather discouraged, I loaded up the world again and started a new fortress. Very Happy
The New York Times profiled DF/Toady&Threetoe!


An interesting read, I thought.
I'm reviving this thread as a dumping ground for fun DF-related things.

Did you know the simulation includes ocean waves and tides? I didn't either.
I tried playing this game before... crazy confusing Sad
I love dwarf fortress, but it can be hard if you don't have a texture pack. I recommend Lazy Newb, it adds graphics and easy customizations.

Lazy Newb:

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