Playing Dwarf Fortress pt. 01

df_coverEnough of this inactivity, it’s about time to get this site out of its slumber! So without further blabla, here’s me, stumbling through one of the most sophisticated games ever created: Dwarf Fortress.

No, not a review, in-depth look or whatnot to get back on track, but an article about me trying to learn Dwarf Freakin’ Fortress! And yes, I’m talking about that Dwarf Fortress, the (in)famous ‘dwarven outpost management simulator’, a game many call the most complex / complicated game since the Dawn of Man.

Note: I’ve just recently (well, yesterday to be precise) decided to write a post about this game, which basically means that I don’t have any screenshots for now. The first part will be text only.

What is Dwarf Fortress?

Dwarf Fortress is a game designed by Tarn and Zach Adams and started 13 years ago, back in 2002. The player’s task is to control a group of dwarves and build an outpost in the middle of nowhere. But beware, a lot of bad shit can happen, like goblin attacks, ambushes, dwarves going insane or, worst of all, your outpost running out of booze, just to name a few.

World Creation

First thing you have to do is to create a world and determine its size, history and number of civilisations, amongst other things. Me being me and only having a low-end laptop at my disposal, I created a small world with only five years worth of history and a small handful of civilisations.

Time to debark

The year is 5 (yes, really!). Somewhere in the Urrithetur region, seven happy, cheerful (and utterly pissed up) dwarves debark, ready to claim these lands for the Dwarven kingdom. In order to achieve that our heavily bearded friends, led by Ilral Litastlimul, have to build an outpost, a fortress… and that’s where the player comes into play.

See, you don’t control them directly, but rather give them tasks which they will then complete (or not, but more on that later). Just one last thing before we go back to Ilral and his homies: I’m gonna do this semi-hardcore style, so no starter packs, no mods, no tilesets, just vanilla DF v0.40.24 in ASCII, the Wiki Quickstart guide and (later on) Dwarf Therapist. Yay…

DF Wiki is your friend

I’ve read and watched several tutorials without really understanding what was going on  before trying the Dwarf Fortress Wiki Quickstart guide. And up until now it did a good job in teaching a newb like me how to do all the essential things necessary for your fortress to survive (well, at least for a year or two).

Welcome to Scarredboulder

Yup, that’s the name the game randomly generated for my outpost and to be honest, it sounds pretty cool. One thing I forgot to mention is the possibility to equip your group before you embark. But in the beginning, when you’re still learning how to play this game (like in my case), the default settings will be sufficient to get you started.

Let the fun begin

Yeah, but not now, I’m gonna save that for part 2.

Gee, what a mess this article is, the stuff is all over the place (like in my fortress). And although Dwarf Fortress might not be everyone’s cup of coffee, I’m planning to publish at least a couple more posts. Hey, I have to get used to this WordPress thing again and the best way to do that and get back on track is to write about something I enjoy. And at the moment that would be Dwarf Fortress.

to be continued…


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