Dwarf Fortress

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by rcorporon, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. rcorporon

    rcorporon So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Orderite

    Jan 31, 2008
    Figured some of the guys here will enjoy this. It's a great little strategy game called Dwarf Fortress, where you basically have to build a .... you guessed it... Dwarf Fortress. It's all done in ASCII, but don't let that put you off. Much like the Avernum games, the joy in this game lies deeper than its uglier exterior.

    It's free for download here (you can donate if you want to):
    http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/index.html

    It's also very complicated, so you may want to look at the wiki:
    http://dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Main_Page

    Hope you guys enjoy it... it's eaten a few of my evenings as of late.
     
  2. Flop

    Flop Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    474
    Aug 10, 2004
    I've put it on hold until the next version comes out (which shouldn't be long, according to the road map) but I have to admit that Dwarf Fortress is one of my all-time favourite games.

    I usually play with the mayday tileset, which makes it slightly prettier/less ugly, but there's a utility called stonesense, which gives you a fullblown isometric view of the game. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it's pretty resource demanding.

    Anyway, for those who do enjoy it, I recommend that you donate to the team. It's not required, but it helps fund their continuing development of the game, and it's a nice way to show appreciation for their work. :)
     
  3. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    174
    Jul 15, 2008
    Ah the mayday tileset, yeah that's the one I ended up using after trying out a lot of them. It looks good, and it doesn't change the font too much into an unreadable mess or anything. I didn't mind the ASCII, but seeing a cat instead of a c made quite the difference at the beginning.

    That seriously is the biggest deterrent of the game, the fact that you pretty much have to learn how to play it. I've gone through around 15 videos of tutorial material on youtube before getting my own well-managed fort running. After that, it's brilliant and one of the best games I know. The only limit is your imagination. I've build top-side fortresses with 5-6 floors on the face of a hill reaching out to the skies in the end, a courtyard (once, a courtyard with roof, so that my dwarves wouldn't get sick from the sun), a wind-powered waterfall (with double function to flood my fortress, that didn't turn out well though), an R&D department where I could release prisoners and test various traps (my findings were that all traps are horribly overpowered and I've stopped using them), and various creative ways to get rid of small animals, elves, and nobles, and dwarves that became a burden once their spine had cracked.

    The amount of stuff that can happen is idiotically immense and fun. A friend of mine once send out his fortress guard to fight an incoming attack. They were fighting outside a fence-kind of thing when suddenly a goblin kicked or threw the female guard captain dwarf over or through the fence while there was still a spear stuck in the dwarf. Well, the dwarf didn't heal well, and ended up raving around the fortress. She finally got trapped and ended up in a cage in the animal stockpile, being fed raw fish once in a while until she died of thirst or melancholy.

    Once I've had a Benny Hill moment. Nobles don't respond well to commands, or rather, you can't give them any. But they still do some work around the fortress, and my count decided that he'd refresh my early-warning system with a new kitten (I use kittens or dogs on a chain in the corners of the map to warn me of incoming goblins). Well, right at that time goblins were attacking. My lumberjack happened to be in the same vicinity. A bunch of goblins run after my count, my count runs up, my lumberjack runs right, the goblins run after the count, end up trailing the lumberjack when the count's way crosses with his, my count wants to go back, meets the goblins, who thus start trailing the count, who flees to the lumberjack and dumps the goblin aggro on them again. This process was repeated a few times, with a puppy joining the chaos midway. Only the count ended up dead in the end, so all was fine.

    And once I saw a caravan spearguard trailing a wild horse. The horse had a spear stuck in his thigh, the guard wanted it back.

    Stories far more awesome than these resulted from Something Awful playing and writing about games of DF in Let's Play format. Boatmurdered and Headshoots are two very well written and played out games.
     
  4. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    Hardest game I ever learned, but very awesome. I made something I called The Chamber of Pele. It was where I dumped all of the dead monsters my Dwarves killed and any prisoners of war. When it got too full, I would have it flooded with lava, and then flood it with water to make Obsidian.
     
  5. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    I have no idea what I'm doing.
     
  6. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    ^^ Time to go to YouTube and look up a tutorial then.
     
  7. Autoduel76

    Autoduel76 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    373
    May 14, 2007
    Wow! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. tried it out today, clueless. Going to try some tutorials tommorow.
     
  8. rcorporon

    rcorporon So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Orderite

    Jan 31, 2008
    I tried to play with some tilesets today, but they didn't seem to work properly.
     
  9. Dirk Magirk

    Dirk Magirk Semi-Present Presence oTO Orderite

    Oct 30, 2008
    Alright, I'm finely getting a grip on it after a couple of days of playing. I'll have to find do some extensive mining soon and find some coal, I don't seem to see any magma on the map.

    Great game, I'm quite into it.
     
  10. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    174
    Jul 15, 2008
    A notice of warning, well, a few actually I think.

    First of all, once you understand the game, its ridiculously addictive. But a bit 'easy' on the defense side, pretty much anything the game throws at you on an ordinary map can be shot to death in a matter of seconds if you have a few well trained crossbowmen (in effectiveness they come closer to a machinegun). The good spots where you'll normally want to embark to will become somewhat easy at that point, unless you come up with superstructures like a tower made of soap.

    So if you want to keep the game to be a challenge, start creating your own goals, and I'd advise against using traps, and at a later stage crossbowmen as well. It'll keep the danger alive for a bit longer.

    The other warning is a system-requirements thing. The game seems like an old DOS type, requiring nothing at all from your PC. But you might have already noticed that it can easily swallow up a few hundred mb of RAM space. Furthermore, the game needs a really, really good CPU. As it doesn't support multithreading yet you'll be better off using an older single CPU PC running at a higher Ghz than a newer 4-core system running at lower speeds. You won't notice anything in the beginning, but the more dwarves you get, the slower the game will run; the more pets run around your fort, the slower it'll run. Pathfinding is the biggest drain on how much FPS you'll get.

    There are a few things you can do to keep your fort running smoothly long enough. One is a necessity anyway for everyone. You'll have noticed that cats adopt dwarves (yes, not the other way around), once a dwarf has been entranced by a cat, you'll no longer be able to kill the cat very easily, probably involving the death of the dwarf as well. That means cats will breed, and they can do so quite fast, until your fort overflows with the evil bastards. You can put them in cages though, that'd help, but is a bit of a cumbersome activity after a while. So kill off or cage redundant cats. You can always make kitten biscuits. (seriously)

    Another important thing, not just for performance CPU-wise but also for the fort in general, is to come up with the most efficient building-plan for your fort. Remember, going a story up or down is just one move, like an ordinary north/east/south/west. This means that it's most probably far more efficient to use multiple floors for your operations compared to just one. Dining room close to booze and food, booze close to the still, still close to the storage for barrels and food, barrel storage close to the wood, wood and barrel storage close to the carpenter, and so forth. Create a main traffic line, of about 3-wide, cause dwarves slow down when they have to cross each other, and that's taken into account in pathfinding.

    As matter of last resort, or just for playing preference, you might want to set a population limit in the .ini file so that, after a certain amount of dwarves, you won't get anymore immigrants. Around 100-150 dwarves can be really draining on your CPU. And I've found that after around 100 dwarves the work of dwarf-management becomes cumbersome and you'll dread the next wave of dwarves coming. That's often the point where I set up around 40-50 of them as masons and start building something ridiculously huge. Also, don't mint coins. Your dwarves will endlessly run around with little piles of coin to deposit in their room or where-ever. Coins aren't needed anyway.

    Depending on your CPU you might get an improvement in FPS from using an improved OpenGL coding made by some fans over on their forums: http://www.bay12games.com/forum/index.php?topic=40349.0
     
  11. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    I'd recommend doing a uh... recommended starter spot. Learn the controls and what not. Then set challenges for yourself. Can I really create a lava system that can flow into my nobles' (useless piles of turd) rooms, allowing me to flood them whenever I please (I did this)? Can I make a doomsday weapon with lava and destroy the world at any moment (Boatmurdered's Project Fuck the World)? Can I engineer an entire ocean to capture walruses for me (someone actually did this)?
     
  12. Maphusio

    Maphusio Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Sep 25, 2004
    Ohh these types of games always come to me with a sens of nostalgia, good times.
     
  13. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    The main gripe I have is people not doing what the fuck they are told, I build trap mechanisms and cages, EMPTY ONES, and yet the butcher will not go capture those reindeer I need.
     
  14. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    maybe he realizes it's wrong to kill animals, duh...
     
  15. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    The "Population cap" feature is poorly named. When this limit is reached, it stops immigration - but if you are so much as 1 dwarf under the cap, a full wave of 2 dozen or more migrants can arrive - and then births can push that even higher. Keep in mind that your population must be at least 80 to get a king and 100 to obtain all the current game features. (Setting the pop cap somewhere around 15-25 under your target goal is recommended.)
     
  16. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    174
    Jul 15, 2008
    Ah, I didn't know it wouldn't work if you're already above the limit. You'll probably want to set the birth-rate to zero as well, or else you'll end up getting unwanted dwarves, which will then have to be creatively disposed of.

    Creativity is really the main fuel of the game. A friend of mine was planning to build an underground version of Vivec, to carve out a huge artificial multistory cave, let some pillars and foundations remain, then fill it with water to a certain degree, and build the city on that.

    Of course, stuff like that always requires an outpost first, and then still takes ages to accomplish. But I love the simple fact that you can create almost everything you can come up with.
     
  17. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    He's creating Vivec? That genius son of an n'wah. I'm gonna find a suitable body of water and then do this. I'll make floating cantons but with retracting bridges. I think it'll be pretty easy to defend.
     
  18. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    I just learned how to move the channels.
     
  19. Dirk Magirk

    Dirk Magirk Semi-Present Presence oTO Orderite

    Oct 30, 2008
    I just played my first sinister map - things didn't turn out so well. My miner and carpenter both fell to Harpies before the rest of my dwarfs could reign blows down upon them. Having seen their good friends ripped to shreds by the fiendish talons of the bird whores they beset upon each other in a comical fashion - after all they're dwarfs.

    Not quite ready for any of the evil beasts quite yet, back to a neutral or good map I go.
     
  20. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008