Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Let's Play Dwarf Fortress

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by asper, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    Click here and disable ads!
    Ahoy, codexers and codexettes! Welcome to the thread in which I will escape the maelstrom of wankery which is modern mainstream gaming by playing Slaves to Armok: God of Blood - Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress!

    I guess the majority of people on these boards are already familiar with Dwarf Fortress, but for those of you new to the game I will write a short fan-boyish masturbatory sales-pitch... erm, introduction.

    Introduction

    Dwarf Fortress is a strategy game with elements of a management sim, an RTS and SimCity. Think of Dungeon Keeper and then soak it in the number-crunching complexity of a Roguelike, and you get close to what DF is. The player takes the role of leader of an expedition of dwarfs, which set out to build a Fortress. The dwarfs are not controlled directly, but by issuing orders. They will need food and drink, which can be produced by farming or obtained by hunting and trading, and they will have to make crafts and dig for minerals and gems to sell to merchants. The number of different buildings, workshops, items, skills, creatures, stone and mineral types in the game is large, and the interaction between them is very detailed.

    The game features a year-cycle with changing weather conditions. In the winter, lakes and streams can freeze. Caravans of traders arrive after winter. Thieves roam the world, and can invade your fortress to steal your precious goods - this is why it needs to be protected by traps, your militia, and secured by doors and drawbridges. There are also sieges in the game; a large horde of enemies will try to penetrate your fortress, and you will need to fight them off (however, sieges aren't implemented well yet; it basically suffices to close the front door...)

    A lot of the appeal of Dwarf Fortress lies in the construction of large engineering projects. The game's free-form approach makes this particularly satisfying. Diverting a river, by means of corridors and lever-controlled doors, so that it floods certain underground areas, which you will drain later, in order to enrich the soil so that it is possible to grow plants there... Building a water wheel in a river, which will turn a millstone; creating artificial underground rivers (which are crossed by drawbridges) to protect your fortress; creating a system in which, by the turn of a lever, fiery magma spills into the outside, incinerating enemies...

    And this is only one of the game-modes in which Dwarf Fortress can be played (fortress mode). In "adventure mode", which is more akin to a roguelike, you control one character and explore the (randomly-generated) world, which includes fortresses which you have built in fortress mode. Finally, there is a relatively new 'legend mode', in which you explore the legends of your world.

    The graphics are rudimentary; it's the Curses fontset in extended ASCII mode. There are however various fan-made graphical tilesets available.

    Dwarf Fortress is still in alpha. It's unusually broad scope and ambition can best be seen from the devlog. It deserves to be mentioned that it is the work of one man, who is working on Dwarf Fortress full-time. Eat that, backward-striving games industry...

    Useful Links

    Dwarf Fortress Home - download the game for free here
    Dwarf Fortress Wiki - answers all questions
    Boatmurdered - Legendary Let's Play DF
    Mayday's Tileset - perhaps you'll find this more pleasing to the eye


    Awesome intro cinematic!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    World Creation

    Let's play God and create a world specially for this LP.

    [​IMG]

    I choose the small size, to go easy on the system resources. Yes: this ASCII game is known to completely jam the latest quad-core processors...! There is a lot of calculation going on with path-finding in Fortresses with 80+ dwarves, all the items and creatures etc. My craptastic computer probably won't handle as much, but maybe our dwarfs will starve to death before that.

    [​IMG]

    Creating World!

    [​IMG]

    Dathaecamo, "The Ageless Universe" has been created!

    Preparation

    [​IMG]

    Alright, we are ready to play! Let's select Dwarf Fortress mode and get pumpin'.

    Disclaimer! I am by no means a DF wizard (or even wizzard), so all suggestions and criticisms are welcome!

    [​IMG]

    WTF! some may exclaim upon seeing this. Others may see that these are three map-views, the left one being the most zoomed in and the right one the most zoomed out. If you have ASCII-allergy, don't worry; it is actually not necessary to know which sign represents what exactly.

    We have to select a suitable site for our Fortress. There are several important things to consider while doing this.
    1. Layer types. The prosperity of our fortress will mainly depend on the ground it is dug out in. It is useful to have a layer of soil, since that is the only layer on which it is possible to have farms without irrigation (flooding it with water and then draining it). Soil types are listed in brown on the list of ground layers, on the right side of the screen. If there is no magma (which is very scarce) on the map, it is almost essential to have a sedimentary layer. Sedimentary layers contain bituminous coal, which is used to fuel a furnace. If you want to do metalworking - and you want to - this is important (apart from magma and coal, a furnace can be also fueled by chopping down massive areas of forest). Sedimentary layers appear in white on the layer list. Finally, you should look out for aquifers - layers of water. You don't want those.
    2. Flowing water. Rivers, streams and brooks provide drinking water to Dwarves and don't freeze in winter, like ponds. Also, they can be used for irrigation, for water wheels, creating canals and fishing.
    3. Trees, surroundings and vegetation. Trees are important since beds are essential, and can only be made out of wood. The same holds for barrels. So, unless we bring our own logs, we'll have to chop down some trees (or buy them from traders). Also, wood can be used to fuel the furnace. The surroundings show how much wildlife there is, which is important for hunting and trapping, and how dangerous the area is. Vegetation other than trees is good for harvesting seeds.
    You can fill in those parameters in the nifty "Find Desired Location" tool, but I like to look around the world myself. My preferences go out to mountainous areas, since I like digging my fortress into the side of a mountain.

    [​IMG]

    This looks like an adequate spot. There is a brook, so we have flowing water. There is a layer of soil (clay loam); so on the first underground level farm plots can be built, which means we will have food production set up quite quickly. The second layer is a sedimentary layer (mudstone), so we probably will find some coal to fuel our furnace.

    It is however cold, and the surroundings are "untamed wilds". This means we could get some trouble from wild animals (giant eagles are dangerous!).

    There are two biome's here: areas which share biological and geological features.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first one. It is marked with "X"'s on the local map.

    [​IMG]

    And this is the second one. This one covers the mountains: there are no trees and no other vegetation, and there is no soil.

    [​IMG]

    Checking the elevation levels... Nice, quite some steep cliffs; so we will be able to dig into the side of a mountain :)

    [​IMG]

    These will be our neighbors... We're not at war with any of them (it is shown on this screen... But warfare sadly isn't implemented yet anyway)

    [​IMG]

    The elevation screen...

    All right, seems like an acceptable spot. Let's hit (E)mbark!

    [​IMG]

    Of course we will prepare carefully for the journey!

    [​IMG]

    This is where we customize our starting party of dwarfs and the items they will take. On the left you can see the list of dwarfs. Next to the dwarf's name, is a number representing how many skill points you can spend on him. On the right is a list showing which skills the highlighted dwarf has. There is a shitload of these skills (five screens of them), ranging from mining, swimming, fishing, animal caretaking, wood burning, masonry, pump operation, to cooking, fish dissecting, smithing, wood/stone/bone/gem crafting, sword/axe/spear/crossbow/shield/armour skills, organizing, record keeping, conversing, lying...

    By doing the activity associated with a skill, a dwarf will get experience points, and his skill level will increase. Dwarfs which are not skilled in something, still can do the activity if you order them to do it -- they just do it at the lowest possible level. This means different things for different activities. For example, an unskilled miner will mine slow and he is less likely to find precious minerals or gems.


    The activities, or "labors", which a dwarf can undertake in the game are not all represented by a skill; for example, there is "cleaning", "stone hauling", "burial", or "health care". There are also labors to which many skills correspond; for example, conversing, persuading and lying are all used in negotiations with traders.

    Dwarfs have a color and a certain "profession name", based on which skills they have. If a dwarf is a proficient miner, he will be grey and his profession will be "Miner". These things are only cosmetic, though.

    Let's hit tab and check out the items screen...

    [​IMG]

    Check out this number-crunching goodness... Mmm... These are the items the game sets us up with by default.

    Items and skills cost "starting points", which are listed in the bottom left corner. We have 200 starting points now.

    My style of playing is to not take the anvil, worth 1000 points, with me. An anvil is essential for metalworking, and when you don't have one, you will have to get one via traders, and they don't always bring an anvil with them (you can order it, so that they will bring it next time they come, for extra dough). However, I usually go through my first two years with no metalworking, and make enough money by selling stuff to buy an anvil from the traders later. And 1000 starting points are very useful. So let's eliminate that anvil from the list and go back to the skills screen.

    Okay, so which skills should you give to your dwarfs? Here, I'll be going for a pretty conservative build.

    In my playing style, the labors which will be most performed in the beginning of the fortress are mining, growing and brewing (food and beverage production on farms), chopping down trees, hunting, carpentry (making beds), masonry (making doors and stone mechanisms), mechanics (for setting stone traps, the first kind of defense we will have). So I will make 3 miners/masons/mechanics, 2 farmers/masons/mechanics, one ranger, and one bureaucrat. The ranger will be the only one going outside, to chop down trees, to hunt and to fish. The bureaucrat will negotiate with traders, keep records and act as arbiter in disputes. Of course, when there are no traders to barter with or disputes to settle, that fat, lazy son of a bitch will be hauling stone.

    Basically, miners, growers and brewers are the bare essentials. The rest of the skills are less important.

    [​IMG]

    WHOAH! Yes, our trusty dwarfs are none other than infamous RPG CODEX TROLLS!

    Alright, I realize I'm no Andyman Messiah and half of you have fallen asleep already while reading this. BUT! for the sake of completeness, and so that you actually can see what the fuck I'm doing, I will list all the skills I've given to the dwarfs.

    All skills are on novice level, except ones indicated with *, which are on the second level.

    Volourn: miner, engraver, building designer, mechanic, hammerdwarf, shield user, armor user
    Cloaked Figure: miner, mason, engraver, mechanic, wrestler, shield user, armor user
    sheek: miner, mason, engraver, stone crafter, mechanic, speardwarf, shield user, armor user, animal caretaker
    larpingdude14: grower*, carpenter, mason, wood burner, wood crafter, brewer, cook, butcher, potash maker
    kingcomrade: grower*, carpenter, mason, miller, thresher, brewer, cook, butcher
    skyway: wood cutter*, fisherdwarf, herbalist, ambusher*, animal trainer, animal caretaker, axedwarf, swimmer
    Andhaira: persuader, liar, judge of intent, appraiser*, organizer, record keeper, conversationalist, pacifier

    I usually give novice level skills, because the ones which will be most used, will increase rapidly. Our miners will for example be proficient in mining in no-time.

    Some notes on the skills: Animal caretaking is useful, because pet dogs are useful - they fight enemies and dangerous animals, which is important, especially in the beginning, when we don't have a fully fledged militia set up. Combat skills are hard to increase, so I gave the miners some basic ones. Later, they will serve in the militia. Appraising is a good skill, it allows to see what the worth of items is. Record keeping enables the bureaucrat, when he has an office, to make a list of what items are in the Fortress' inventory. Wood burning and potash making are used to make potash, a fertilizer. The wood cutter is an axedwarf, so he can use his axe in combat better.

    Isn't it awesome that the leader of the expedition is a liar? :)

    Now to give a name to this group of trolldwarfs:

    [​IMG]

    And here we see the bloated face of maniacal feature-adding... WTF? No simple typing in of a name, no simple random generator... But gigantic lists of nouns, verbs and adjectives...! We're playing DWARF FORTRESS, in case you haven't noticed.

    I muster my creativity to create a fitting, Codexian name for our valiant band of trolls.

    [​IMG]

    Okay now let's head to the item screen and customize our inventory.

    As with skills, we have a myriad of items to choose from; in fact, every item in the game can be taken as starting equipment. Unless you're going for a more hard to play build which focuses on hunting and fishing, farming will be the basis of food production in the Fortress. This means that the most important item to take with you are seeds (seeds can also be harvested from plants growing on the surface, but It's better to bring a supply) The miners need copper picks to do some mining, and if you want to cut down trees you need an axe. A supply of food and drink is also obviously essential. All the rest is optional and of lesser importance.

    [​IMG]

    Foodstuffs go in barrels, 5 units per barrel. By taking numbers ending on '6' or '1' we can maximize the amount of barrels which we get at the start :) Barrels are useful items; when we start to produce food, we will need to make more of them for food storage, to prevent it from rotting.

    Plump helmet spawn are "seeds" of plump helmets, mushrooms which can grow in caves and outside. Those will form the basic nutrition in our fortress. Cave wheat is needed to brew beer, which will be what the dwarven trolls will mostly drink.

    Other stuff I've tagged are some wooden logs, which means we won't have to chop down 20 or so trees in the beginning, and can start producing beds for our dwarfs immediately. Taking a rope is very useful; because it is needed to build a well, and it costs some effort to make one yourself (it has three production stages: plant -> thread -> cloth -> rope). I've also taken some weapons, since we won't be doing metalworking anytime soon, and they can come in handy. Who would think of going into the desolate wild to create a fortress and not to take any weapons with them!? Well, actually this is possible in the game, but we'll take some nevertheless.

    As for the animals: The most useful are dogs, because they can FIGHT! They attack intruders and can help in hunting. So I'm taking 4 with me (there probably will be a female included, which means we can breed more), and a war dog and hunting dog. Those last two will be assigned to the ranger, to help him in hunting and for protection.

    Cats keep bad thoughts away, which is good as well, so I'm taking two of those.

    The only use for pack animals is as an emergency food supply, as far as I've seen (anyone care to enlighten me?). Cows aren't milkable, but it is on the list of things to be added, right after full-scale warfare :roll:

    The remaining points I have used to stock up on the high-quality cow meat.

    Again, by using my Codexian inventiveness I create a beautiful name for the Fortress which is truly in the spirit of these boards.

    [​IMG]

    Now LET'S GO!

    [​IMG]

    EPIC !!!! (Yeah I know, it's garbled, but better this than an image 1280 pixels wide)

    [​IMG]

    To be continued
    ^ Top  
  2. oldmanpaco Master of Siestas

    oldmanpaco
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    7,338
    Location:
    City of Lakes
    MCA
    Damn. That is a lot of work just to gt started.
    ^ Top  
  3. Emotional Vampire Arbiter

    Emotional Vampire
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6,927
    What the fuck did you do to these screenshots? If you're running it at 1280 then resize it to half of that and you won't have any artifacts.

    Why are you running it at 1280 anyway? You have 1600 wide monitor or something?
    ^ Top  
  4. Lightknight Scholar

    Lightknight
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    692
    I dont know, man, it doesnt really mean anything to survive the winter in the latest versions where you can pretty much farm on barren soil.
    Back in 2006 you had to do the waterworks, all the while being molested by frogmen from the river and whatnot, plus whatever comes out of the chasm, plus back then Mechanics skill was so slowly trained and executed - you could literally spend half a year wiring ONE LEVER to the floodgate, not to mention the dozens of traps you needed to feel safe...

    Today its just dig down and farm in safety, you can even wall yourself off completely from the outside world right away and never even go to the surface. Oh, and you can also wire bridges outside, which gives you moats, in earlier versions you could only wire the bridges inside the cave.
    ^ Top  
  5. Trash Simply fabulous

    Trash
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    28,293
    Location:
    About 8 meters beneath sea level.
    Awesome to see a Dwarf Fortress LP here! I just hope you'll tell us in excruciating detail how all the dwarves with codex usernames perish. Good luck, you'll need it!
    ^ Top  
  6. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    5,555
    Location:
    Agen
    That's exactly the sort of games I deeply regret not being able to play. Awesome features, but damn, looks like absolute shit. :(
    ^ Top  
  7. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    @ emotional vampire: resizing to 50% makes the text too small to read comfortably... and 75% doesn't give results which are really an improvement over my shots.

    For those menu shots I guessed it was enough just to be able to read the text. Now we will be getting only shots of the game, just like my last screenshot in the LP. So the question is: should I lower the resolution I'm playing at to make it easier to see things, or is it fine like it is? Opinions please!! :)

    I'm playing at 1280x1024 fullscreen on my 17", with [FULLGRID:80:64], with the 16x16 font. Because I want to see more tiles...

    @ lightknight: Yeah, it actually isn't very hard to survive... :? I have heard it was harder in the previous versions, but I haven't played them. Let's hope warfare will be implemented soon.

    @ Trash: Thanks! Rest assured, all deaths will be documented in detail :twisted:

    Update at the end of this day!
    ^ Top  
  8. sqeecoo Arbiter

    sqeecoo
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,162
    Keep going! The game looks great (well, it looks horrible really, but you know what I mean). I really should try it some time.
    ^ Top  
  9. Ashery Arbiter

    Ashery
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,198
    Holy hell...

    I don't even want to think how long this LP will be after the first year, haha...

    Eagerly awaiting the next installment. And considering how much I'm micromanaging my dwarves in their first year, you might actually finish the first year of this LP before I finish the first year of my fort, haha...(Really wish there was a better way to designate non-standard shapes).

    The text isn't perfect, but the only screen that was actually a bit painful to read was right after you embarked. And yes, seeing more is a wonderful thing (Using a 9x9 character set at the moment, 128x64 grid ;D)

    You can make it hard to survive...Savage evil nanofortress ;D But yea, most of the challenge in the game comes from limiting yourself in various ways. Embarking on a map with no trees, underground river, or underground pool; build a fort (bonus points for nanofort) on a savage evil glacier; embark on a magmaless, non-freezing region with a double or triple layer aquifer; refuse to use a single trap (Not nearly as hard as those previously listed, but it makes any given game more interesting); etc. You could also mod the game a bit, make megabeasts more difficult, add that wonderful [NOFEAR] tag to goblins, etc...
    ^ Top  
  10. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Chrząszczyżewoszyce, powiat Łękołody
    Someone should make some simple graphic frontend for DF, because even I, one of the first to shout "graphicswhore!" when someone refuses to play an old game, haven't yet succeeded in persuading myself to play it.
    ^ Top  
  11. Ashery Arbiter

    Ashery
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,198
    You mean like Mayday's graphic pack?

    http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Image:DFG3.jpg

    Tried putting it in as an image, but it wasn't working for some reason...

    It actually took me two tries to get past the graphics myself. Reading the ADOM LP, Boatmurdered, and a few other stories/etc. helped ease me into the graphics.
    ^ Top  
  12. sheek Arbiter

    sheek
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    8,659
    Location:
    Cydonia
    Dwarf Fortress strategy is an interesting concept but it's not really playable. Adventurer mode would have a lot more potential if they developed it.
    ^ Top  
  13. Krash Prophet

    Krash
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,996
    Location:
    gengivitis
    ^ Top  
  14. Lightknight Scholar

    Lightknight
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    692
    Eh, who needs yet another average roguelike. Besides, its not like any amount of potential will convince those zounds of Crawl fanboys to get the hell out of rgrm.

    Fortress mode, though, that is something with a lot of potential. When was the last time you saw something similar ? Do we really need yet another "tried and true" carbon copy of someone else's idea rather than creating something unique and immensely detailed ? Whats good for the industry isnt good for the player.

    The only thing Fortress really needs to become "playable" is a set of clear and hard-achieved goals. Earlier you just had to survive, today survival is easy and i personally dont see what else is there to do. Self-imposed difficulty only goes so far.
    ^ Top  
  15. Panthera Scholar

    Panthera
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    714
    Location:
    Canada
    Anyone who says Dwarf mode isn't playable is at least slightly retarded.
    ^ Top  
  16. Andyman Messiah Mr. Ed-ucated

    Andyman Messiah
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,762
    First off,
    Don't do this. Don't compare threads. Especially not a FF7 thread and a DF thread. That's just silly. :wink: Don't be afraid to actually show the game, y'know. People will read your thread if you have a good thing going. Don't make way for gay sex jokes if you can't help it.

    Second off,
    I will follow this. Dwarf Fortress LPs tend to be really good. (So don't disappoint now, y'hear?) I lack the *everything* to play the game myself unfortunately, but I enjoy reading.

    Third off,
    I want to be a dwarf. Even though I'm a horse.
    ^ Top  
  17. Helton Arcane

    Helton
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,944
    Location:
    Starbase Delta
    If you want a project you could find an ant hill and build a giant shrine around it. Make sure to forbid the ground right around it, though, so your dwarves don't trample me.
    ^ Top  
  18. Ashery Arbiter

    Ashery
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,198
    Unless you live on the international date line, it's the end of the day.

    Where's that update? ;p
    ^ Top  
  19. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    Sorry for the delay guys, my ridiculously long overdue master's thesis is constantly screaming for attention, which I simply am not able to give it... :(

    I've been playing up until the arrival of the first caravan, I just need to sift through all the screenshots.

    @ krash: I intend this to be a "classic" DF playthrough; a bit of an "beginner's guide", if you will.. So no crazy stuff.. Yeah, maybe things will get boring, but then I will just start to flood the cave or something...
    ^ Top  
  20. Ashery Arbiter

    Ashery
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,198
    Hah, I know the feeling all too well...

    *Cough*Hinterlands LP *cough*

    Although the reasons for me were not explicitly dealing with writing a thesis, it was still wrt general progress towards my masters ;D

    And I'd be cautious about making the LP thread itself a general beginner's guide as becoming a guide would open up a lot of discussion about strategy/etc, and while that is certainly a good thing in general, it might drown out the LP.

    Hmm...Codexian succession fort?
    ^ Top  
  21. DefJam101 Arcane

    DefJam101
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7,987
    Location:
    Cybernegro HQ
    No!

    This is great! All you need to do is make sure that your style is consistent. Don't write twelve paragraphs on the proper construction of sleeping areas in one post, and then go on a violence-filled tangent describing how Volourn murdered kingcomrade with an icepick and locked Andyman Messiah's half-human/half-horse babies into the garbage disposal chute, complete with numerous unprovoked references to 80's exploitation flicks. Just keep it simple, and it will be entertaining. This also carries the added benefit of creating new DF players, which is always a plus.
    ^ Top  
  22. Andyman Messiah Mr. Ed-ucated

    Andyman Messiah
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,762
    Jeff Ham, you one o' one-ified black ninja dude! How dare you say such nasty things about kingcomrade? Show some respect. The man died in a car accident!

    Also: I second everything you said.
    ^ Top  
  23. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    Update one, first part
    First Year, Early Spring to Autumn


    After a long and arduous journey from the Mountainhomes, the small expedition has arrived at its chosen destination...

    [​IMG]

    The first thing to do after embarking is to HIT THE SPACE BUTTON! Akin to some RTwP RPG's, the space bar pauses the game in DF.

    Always when the topic of DF comes up, you can bet someone is going to mention the graphics faster than you can say "anisotropic filtering". Personally, I find the ASCII quite intuitive and not that hard to get into, but I know not everyone feels that way. For those traditionalists, unaccustomed to the truly next-gen graphics of the game, I have made a small explanatory diagram.

    [​IMG]

    (edit: the murky pool isn't actually one level lower... lol :roll: )

    Better? Good! Let's have a look around our starting area...

    Just on the outside of the mountain wall our keen dwarven eyes already spot some gems :) and even coal! This will make a great fortress... And even though we have not brought them with us, already there is some stray horse and a mule wandering around our wagon!

    As you can see, we have arrived next to the mountain wall, and on the right, there is a downward slope. The number at the top right of the screen indicates the level you're currently looking at. By hitting ">" and "<", we can switch levels.

    [​IMG]

    So this is the grassy field, one level lower, and you can see the beautiful brook (I'm quite fond of the water animation in this game. It looks very.tits natural.)

    You see that water on the far left? That's the pool in the mountain, next to which our cart and dwarfs are standing.

    [​IMG]

    And this is exactly the same area, one level higher, the level we started on. You can see the cart just next to the pool, and how the brook and field below are beautifully blurred :)

    [​IMG]

    This is the brook underground! We can dig into it here and redirect the water flow! There are also some pools containing tasty salmon and swordfish!!

    [​IMG]

    This is another mountain wall. There are even more gems - bloodstones - just sticking out of it, all up for grabs!

    Enough sightseeing. LET'S BUILD A FORTRESS!

    Before we start digging there are however a few things to take care of.

    [​IMG]

    Here is skyway, our trusty Woodcutter. You can't see him because of the big "X" selection cursor.

    I'm assigning the hunting and war dogs to him. These dogs will now follow him, protect him, and he will care for them when they are injured.

    [​IMG]

    This is the menu where you can select which labors the dwarf will undertake. This is very useful. For now, let's just deselect stone hauling, so that no more important task is neglected just to haul a piece of rock to the other end of the fortress. I do the same for the three miners. Also, I'm deselecting "hunting", so that skyway will not suddenly decide it's a good idea to go into the wild and get his ass torn to pieces by an eagle.

    [​IMG]

    Here I'm giving the order to take apart the wagon. The wagon cannot be moved, and is just an useless "structure". Dismantling it will give us 3 wood. We will need to move the stuff on the cart, but more about that later.

    First let's give our very first digging order, so that the miners can start right away!

    [​IMG]

    Behold the main fortress entrance!

    Okay so here goes with the DF fortress design theory stuff...

    When building a fortress there is always a trade-off between efficiency and security. The more efficient, the less secure and vice versa. What I have done here is an example of an efficient but not secure design. This is because it is three spaces wide, and it is just one long straight corridor. It cannot be easily sealed with doors (they need adjacent walls), but dwarfs can move fast because there is enough room to pass each other. This is a very important point: when two creatures are forced to pass each other on the same tile, one of the creatures will halt for one turn. In places with a lot of traffic this can lead to serious jams.

    Now, this entryway also isn't very long, so there is a limited amount of traps and doors we can put in it. I'm however taking the risk (and later we'll build some militia outpost here.tits)

    The ">" you see are downward staircases. My style of building a fortress is to immediately dig extremely deep, for eight levels or so, into the mountain. Then I build a "layered" fortress, with each layer serving different functions. More about this later. Now that our miners have something to do, let's give the other dwarfs a job, namely, unloading the wagon.

    [​IMG]

    The grey ='s are stockpiles. Stockpiling is one of the main strategic elements of DF.

    Any stockpile can be precisely customized, to allow only one type of thing, only thing made of a certain material, etc. There are some standard stockpiles however to choose from.

    On our wagon the most important thing is of course all the food we brought with us. Food items which are not on a stockpile will deteriorate. If they are not in a container, like a barrel, they will rot even faster. Also, when a dwarf walks on a food item - even when it's on a stockpile - it will deteriorate slightly. So I've designated a standard food stockpile near the soon-to-be entrance of the dungeo... fortress. As soon as we have dug out an underground storage room, I will move this pile there.

    The second thing we brought a lot of was wood, and we will be chopping some more soon. So next to the food stockpile I've put a wood stockpile.

    Remember those weapons, and the silk rope? The two small stockpiles under the food one will hold them.

    Okay, all items we brought with us will be preserved on these piles. Now, let's clear away some of this damn forest near the entrance... Those marked trees you see will be cut down shortly by our Axedwarf!

    With all the animals assigned, the labors set, and the orders given, it is time to unpause the game!

    [​IMG]

    Even after traveling for many miles and hauling a cart loaded to the brim with food and wood, the codex trolls didn't break a sweat, and enthusiastically reach for the cart to get their tools...!

    [​IMG]

    This is the list of all pending jobs, as well as dwarfs which don't have a job. Damn larpingdude is slacking off!

    The attentive reader may have noticed that the surnames of our dwarfs differ from those of the party customization. That is because I have saved the embarking profile, and started the game on a different time. Apparently the surnames aren't saved with the profile but are generated anew.

    [​IMG]

    The first in-game message!! Just a few minutes after arriving, one of the cats is already adopting a dwarf -- in this case kingcomrade! Be happy with your new mom, dude.

    [​IMG]

    All the creatures in the vicinity are listed on this screen. It is also useful to check what the dwarfs are doing. So, as you see the pe... HOLY CRAP SLUGMEN!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    Here they are! They might be hard to see on the screenshot - it are small brown "s"'s. They are chilling near a small lake, a small distance from our wagon!! Terrible creatures!!

    I've chosen the "wound" screen on the right so show off DF's wound system. All body parts can be injured, each wound is localized. As you can see Slugmen have a tail... if they come too close our dwarfs will chop it right off :evil:

    [​IMG]

    Alright, the entrance has been dug out, as well as the staircases to the lower levels, and the stockpiles are coming along nicely.

    Remember the ground types of our starting area, and the two biomes? The ground we have dug the entrance in was diorite and mudstone. The soil layer, clay loam, is located one level lower than our cart, near the river. One level beneath that will be mustone (the sedimentary layer), and then the other layers.

    SO! Assume that our wagon is on level 0. Our first farms, on the soil, will be on level -1 (clay loam), and on level -2 (mudstone) we will do extensive digging.

    Let's design those farms.

    [​IMG]

    This is one level below starting position. The "X"'s are upward and downward staircases.

    To the left you see that deep murky pool. We will be able to drain it to irrigate our farms :)

    If you remember we started on the dividing line between two biome's. The soil we want to farm on is not where the staircase is, but a bit higher. Guessing wildly I think it has to be where I have drawn those rectangles (if it isn't we'll adjust).

    Notice how I have not connected the designated area for digging to the staircases? This means that the dwarfs will not start to dig, as they can't get to it. This way the fortress can be built gradually, even though it is already designed.

    [​IMG]

    An idea of designing workshops which I'm fond of is the following:

    On level +1, build supply rooms with raw materials, connected with downward staircases to level 0. On level 0 are the workshops themselves -- directly under the storeroom -- and and on Level -1 go the finished goods.

    This means that a carpenter, to get a block of wood, just needs to go to the staircase which is located directly next to his workshop, and he is in the wood stockpile. And to deliver his finished bed he simply goes down that staircase and drops it off. The distance the workdwarfs have to travel is minimized this way.

    On the screenshot you can see my design for the wood stockpile, one level lower than the farms. There are no other raw materials worth stockpiling yet -- stone will be in abundance just lying around, and stockpiling it is a waste of our dwarfs' time.

    [​IMG]

    This is where the workshops will be. Note the stairways just next to them. Also, they have one-space openings, so that they can be sealed off with doors. This is useful for dwarfs which get in a fey mood -- they like to lock themselves in the workshop and work on their epic artifact!

    [​IMG]

    On this is yet another level lower, where the most important stockpiles will be -- those containing finished goods. This is also where I will build dwarfs living quarters, the dining hall and the kitchen.

    The upper storeroom will be for wooden items. Above it will be carpenters workshops, and the wood stockpile.

    The room on the left will be the main food storage room. It is important to move the food underground to protect it... Uh, actually in the beginning of the game you don't have to fear thieves. But I... I like to... erm.tits :gasp:.. ro... role... :cough: roleplay :puke: :vomit: tits that the fortress needs to be secure as fast as possible. The digging designation is connected to the staircase so the digging dwarfs will get on the job asap...

    [​IMG]

    ...as you can see here. Hm, the other dwarfs don't really have anything to do yet. Let's fix that.

    [​IMG]

    The woodcutter can go and harvest some plants, growing just outside the fortress (the marked "'s). This is why we picked the "herbalist" skill for him. Harvesting plants is a useful way in the beginning of the game of getting more seeds and some food.

    [​IMG]

    The other dwarfs can... HAUL STONE! Stone is quite a problem for the aestethics of a fortress. By this I mean that it is friggin' lying around everywhere and to move everything would take a whole year, if not longer.

    Moving some can never hurt though, and since the dwarfs don't have anything better to do, I created a stone stockpile just outside the entrance.

    The small, 3x3 stockpile is a refuse stockpile. We absolutely need one, otherwise all dead bodies, chopped off limbs and other trash will be just lying around the fortress! That this is no joke showed the fact that the two cats already killed quite a few lizards while we've been here (yes, small lizards drop remains, which decompose, which affects our dwarfs' humour).

    [​IMG]

    Carving out the food storage room... Since we are in a deep layer and our miners are not experienced, digging goes slow... It would be faster to dig out the whole fortress in soil, the first underground layer. But not as cool and useful :)

    This is a good time to take a closer look at our dwarfs...

    [​IMG]

    I knew all along Volourn was a woman.

    [​IMG]

    She apparently has quite good relationships with the others. Nice!

    Let's check the leader of this whole effort, Andhaira.

    [​IMG]

    Terrific. The leader, trader, the one other dwarfs can always turn to, is always tense and jittery, often feels discouraged, is uncomfortable with change and lacks confidence.tits

    [​IMG]

    ...and is only a "long-term acquaintance" with the dwarfs with which she will share many years building an underground empire. That's some fertile ground for DRAMA right there.

    Continued in the next post, because phpBB apparently doesn't let me submit posts this long :(
    ^ Top  
  24. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    Update one, second part
    First Year, Early Spring to Autumn


    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, some SNAILMEN have appeared! Thankfully they seem oblivious as to the location of our fort. Terrible creatures, let's avoid them whenever we can.

    [​IMG]

    The main food storage room has been dug out, and some of the supplies have already been brought here. You can configure the stockpiles so that dwarfs will move all items from one to another one.

    Work has started on our other supply rooms, and on the workshop area, so we can start pumping out some goods.

    Hindsight: the rooms are probably too big - it takes too long to build them. I should have set up a temporary carpenter, and dug out some living quarters for the dwarfs first. This would also make better use of the skills of the non-miner dwarfs. Oh well.

    [​IMG]

    O wow, even though kingcomrade already had a new parent, he is again adopted by a cat!

    [​IMG]

    Okay, the workshop area has been carved out, and we are ready to place the first carpenter's workshop! This, and a masonry, are the first workshops we'll need. The carpenter will provide us with much-needed beds, and the mason will be the backbone of all production in the fortress: furniture, doors, mechanisms, crafts -- it will all initially come out of the masonry.

    When siting a building, you can choose from which materials to make it. The distance of those materials to the building site is listed. We'll make these workshops with diorite, the most common rock in our fortress.

    After siting a structure, an architect must come to design it, and then a mason must build it.

    [​IMG]

    The workshop has been built! So here's how producing stuff works... You can order some beds or other things to be built in the workshops' menu screen, shown here. A dwarf with the suitable labor tagged will carry out the order. It is however also possible to issue general orders, like "produce 10 beds". Then any suitable workshop is used to fulfill that order. These orders are processed by the manager of the fortress -- in our case Andhaira. By making him issue these orders he is training his "organizing" skill, so it's the preferable way of doing things.

    [​IMG]

    This is the "manager" screen. Every activity which the dwarfs can undertake in the game is listed here. Thankfully, there is a nifty search function. I issue the order to produce 10 beds. The dwarfs will be more happy to sleep in their own bedrooms than on the ground.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, our storage room for things made of wood has been finished. Let's create a suitable stockpile in it.

    [​IMG]

    It is possible to precisely customize stockpiles. For this one, I only allow wooden objects.

    [​IMG]

    This designation is for the area where the kitchen, and other food-processing workshops will be placed. The large room will be the Main Dining Hall.

    [​IMG]

    The game gave me the message that this cat "couldn't bring item to stockpile: too injured" and I went WTF - cats don't haul items (sometimes the remains of their victims) and moreover not to a stockpile, like he's carrying out an order! And what would have injured this cat? All those small lizards he has been fighting? Anyway I check up on her, and she wasn't injured at all. When I checked her inventory however, I saw this -- she's carrying blood splatters around...!

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, our farm plots are dug out. They proved to be in the correct area, on fertile clay loam! Now to create a farm...

    [​IMG]

    Farm plots can have any height and width. Hindsight: this one is probably too large, as will be seen in what follows...

    Anyway, after having sited a farm, a dwarf must come to build it. Then you can choose what crops to plant on in in what seasons of the year:

    [​IMG]

    I'll be going for the basic nourishment of our alcohol-imbibing trolls, namely 'shrooms. Plump Helmets in the spring, summer, autumn and winter baby!

    [​IMG]

    I've built a storage room for weapons and goods - so that hammer, spear and rope we brought with us don't have to lie outside. The wood craft storage room is probably too large... But anyway, the beds we have ordered are lying there, and some crafts the carpenter is chunking out... An oaken earring! Nice! We'll have some crap to sell to those sucker traders, which will be arriving soon.

    [​IMG]

    This is the full view of the lowest, main level of the fortress. The kitchen area has been dug out and a kitchen has been built in it.

    [​IMG]

    New structures in the workshop area: a craftsdwarf shop, for producing wood crafts, and a wood furnace! This covers nearly everything which uses wood as a raw material. Now those miners have to mine the bottom workshop areas, so that I can finally build a mason...

    [​IMG]

    I've given skyway the woodcutter the labor of 'fishing', and he decided to fish.tits In the crappy, deep murky pool next to our entrance!

    Let's show him a more suitable area to fish... This can be done by designating an Activity Zone!

    [​IMG]

    Activity zones encompass all sorts of activities, from dumping garbage to a neo-goth postrock goatrance club aka meeting place for parties. Let's just select "fishing" here though.

    [​IMG]

    And here he is, accompanied by his trusty dogs... The strong agile wood cutter skyway! Fishing in the brook for the glory of the fortress!

    [​IMG]

    The planters have been working on the farm.. Some of its squares now contain Plump Helmet spawn! I've built a small storage room next to the farms, which contains only seeds... Also, next to the staircase is a new room just for refuse... Hellish miasma's will fill that room often, so we need to close it with a door soon.

    [​IMG]

    HOLY SHIT !!! We've found GOLD !! :D This means we can create our own GOLD COINS. Not to sell them to merchants, but for our own internal fortress economy!! Dwarves will pay RENT for their rooms, they will PAY for their possessions, we will be able to build SHOPS, etc etc...!! From the DF wiki:

    Mind-bogglingly AWSUM!

    [​IMG]

    Yuck! That purple stuff is a miasma, and it appears where a lot of nasty things are gathered.. Like the refuse pile. This is why we need a door here; that poor dwarftroll is nearly engulfed by it!

    [​IMG]

    Behold the VERY FIRST CROP WE'VE GROWN!!! This plump helmet will rise to legendary status in this epic fortress' history.tits

    [​IMG]

    I've started building the Great Main Hall of Dining... This is probably bad; it would be better to first build some damn SLEEPING SPACES for the dwarfs! Anyway I thought it would be done sooner than it actually was.

    Also, I've build the still here. The still is important, as all beverages are brewn there. Dwarfs need alcohol... Actually the only case in which clear water is needed, is when a wounded dwarf needs attention. For this purpose we will have to eventually build a well, so that none of the dwarfs ever have to go outside again.

    [​IMG]

    The full workshop area has been completed and I've built two masonries and a mechanic's workshop.

    [​IMG]

    This is the manager list of orders at this point. We're making some crafts to sell, mechanisms for our first line of defense (stone traps), doors for defense, barrels for storage, and some tables to put into the dining room. Yes, I'm building tables even while the dwarfs have nowhere to sleep.

    [​IMG]

    With the mechanisms we can construct stone fall traps, the simplest kind of trap in the game. The only things you need are a mechanism, and a big-ass stone. The mechanism can simply be made out of stone. Let's place some of these traps in out main entrance.

    Note that none of our stuff is lying outside anymore, and nothing betrays our presence here... except for the big-ass pile of rocks and the chopped down trees in front of the entrance :roll: In any case we have to build a trade depot here soon, so that the traders have somewhere to unload their wagons.. Yeah, it's not easy to build a stealthy fortress.

    Is is also extremely useful to seal off the main entrance with doors. Doors however need adjacent walls to be built, so we will have to build some walls here.. No dwarfs other than the woodcutter is going outside anyway, so we don't need this wide corridor anymore.

    [​IMG]

    Yuck!!! A swarm of flies on our plump helmet farm! This is because the farm is too large, and not all of the squares have been farmed upon, or because some plump helmets weren't harvested and rotted :(

    In the meantime I've also built the next farm; a smaller one, for cave wheat. Cave wheat is used in preparing means, but it is most useful to brew beer from. Alcohol can be brewed from almost all food, but cave wheat cannot be eaten in itself, and plump helmets can. So it's better to brew beer from wheat.

    [​IMG]

    The Humongous Main Dining Hall has been carved out!! Check out those beautiful patches of cobaltite! Did I mention DF features very realistic geology, with minerals appearing in conditions like they would appear in reality?

    [​IMG]

    Traders will be arriving soon, so we need to build a trade post. Let's make it attractive, so they will be impressed.. I choose jet as building material, of which we have only three in the whole fortress... Just enough!

    I've given Andhaira the bureaucrat the architecture labor, so that he can site buildings before they're worked on by masons. He hasn't got anything else to do anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Awwwwwwwwww how cute! Kingcomrade's mom has given birth to kittens (ready for slaughter (N))!

    [​IMG]

    The purpose of this screenshot is just to show the message at the bottom: "Autumn has come." Somehow, these messages can carry a lot of emotion in this game. Sadness, feelings of helplessness... Here we are toiling away in sweat at the fortress, and these words, in bloody red, remind us of the inevitable passage of time; that we are getting older, that things go by, that winter approaches... That we haven't accomplished all that we wanted :cry:

    Already autumn. That's half a year of sleeping on the ground, eating in the storeroom directly out of barrels, working your ass off hauling stone and digging while Andhaira slacks off. Half a year of getting high on raw mushroom and alcohol, of working night and day. Half a year lacking even the most basic dwarven needs. And what has been accomplished? :evil:

    We have set up some sort of food and drink production, and we have some well-sized storerooms to work with. What we don't have is a lot of crafts to sell to merchants... We won't make a lot of profit on the first trader visit, and we will have to produce the supplies for winter ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    I finally decide to build some sleeping quarters for the dwarfs. I'm fond of this design. In a sleeping room of a normal dwarf there will be three things: a bed, a cabinet and a chest. This pattern allows for all that, and gives a generous one square of extra space!

    [​IMG]

    Behold, the Trade Depot has been finished! All mad out of beautiful grey jet... Also, the first primitive fortress defenses have been set up! We have two rows of stone traps, and two rows of doors.

    As with almost anything, you can do a lot with doors in DF. It is possible to forbid pets and animals to cross them, to close them off for certain dwarfs, to close them off for everybody, to link them to a lever so that they can be closed from a distance...

    [​IMG]

    Time to check our inventory. The accuracy of the numbers here depends on the skill of your manager-dwarf, and whether he has an office or not. How cool is that? Very cool man.

    We're running low on drink. Time to order the still to brew some fine dwarven beverages. The other stats are fine though. Hm, it is autumn already... What I haven't shown in the previous screenshots is that there was a message: "The outpost hasn't attracted any immigrants this year". Well, I don't remember if I ever had immigrants the first year, before trading with the merchants, but still... :(

    [​IMG]

    UNHOLY MOTHER OF SHIT!!!!!! THE CARAVAN HAS ARRIVED! THE TRADERS HAVE COME!

    [​IMG]

    EPIC !!!!
    ^ Top  
  25. asper Cipher

    asper
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,140
    Project: Eternity
    Oh, the irony. I made a silly mistake in the "graphics guide". :shame:
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above links helps us pay the hosting bills)