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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#47
I'm from Bay12, the Dwarf Fortress forums. I've played Dwarf Fortress for close to three years now, and I've made a number of extensive, publicly-released mods. I'm also working on a sci-fi novel series loosely (very loosely) based on a modded game of Dwarf Fortress that takes place in the Boatmurdered/Headshoots/Syrupleaf/Spearbreakers universe. I've put a good many hours into the game (modded and not), built minecart shotguns, roller coasters, all sorts of ridiculous stuff, SO!!! Keep that in mind when you read the following, because it means I'm very biased.
I've been closely following Limit Theory for a year or so now, but haven't made an account because it's not likely that I'll be able to purchase the game.

To sum up the following wall of text: Dwarf Fortress is designed around three things: Detail, gameplay, and procedural generation.
Spoiler:      SHOW
In case you've wondered: A minecart shotgun, usually double- or triple-barreled, is basically what happens when you send multiple minecarts full to overflowing with sharp objects down a steep ramp (or impulse corridor, although that's exploiting a bug), smash it against something, and send all those wonderful slicey objects in the general direction of a 100+ strong siege. Nothing survives. You could accomplish the same thing just by dropping the siegers off a bridge into a chasm, but a minecart shotgun is far more fun, and comes with bragging rights. The hard part is picking up all the pieces and reloading the shotguns. (And building it correctly so it works, of course.)
The "point" of Dwarf Fortress is different for everybody, but it generally falls into one of these categories:
  • Building massive constructions, dwarven halls, majestic waterfalls, towering battlements and... well, anything (Building megaconstructions)
  • Making minecart shotguns, magma landmines, water cannons, flash-freezing corridors and... well, anything (Making creative traps)
  • Draining oceans, emptying volcanoes, turning children into supersoldiers, breeding mermaids for their bones and... well, anything (massive projects in the name of SCIENCE)
The main problem most people have with Dwarf Fortress is that it doesn't spoon-feed you fun. You have to work for it, and it's hard to master. Learning the ASCII graphics takes time, but after you use "k" a lot (to look), you get a good idea of what everything is. No, it's never going to be sparkly and beautiful, but that's not the point. It's hard to master, but when you master it, it comes to you as second nature - you can literally stop reading the menus because you already know how to get to everything. You can search a field and immediately see exactly where the goblins are, where they are, etc.

The best thing about Dwarf Fortress (besides the depth) is detail. I'm sorry, but no matter how much I'd like it, that's something Limit Theory simply isn't ever going to match. The only way for Limit Theory to match it is if Josh decided to model the ships to the extent that it would show which particular portion of the hull was dented, scratched, damaged, etc. and how badly - AND if he modeled the materials down to the most minute detail, so that if you somehow made a ship out of wood, it would behave exactly like it was made of wood when it got damaged - catching fire, charring, etc. Or if you made it out of a metal with a low melting point, it would start melting and even boiling at the correct temperatures. Dwarf Fortress does that. The modding capabilities are extensive to the point that you can make pretty much any material you can think of - you could even make a sword, or armor, out of plastic if you wanted (not sure why you would, but hey). The creatures are modeled down to the tissue layers, all the way down to the hair, the toenails, and what the interior lining of the stomach is made of. If you put a sword through somebody's stomach, it'll behave appropriately. A steel battleaxe will likely cleave straight through copper armor, etc. As to dwarves, they have likes, dislikes, hobbies, favorite foods, and it even keeps track of how gregarious/impulsive/irritable/etc. they are. It keeps track of how happy they are, even to the extent that it includes that warm feeling they got when they admired a beautiful statue. It's the detail.

As to the history, it has just as much detail, down to grudges individual members have with each other. No, you don't see much of history in Fortress Mode, besides engravings, and the fact that all your migrants actually grew up in the world, rather than just spawn at the edge of the map. They've been through hardships. Some of them have been in the army of a fortress somewhere else and defended it. Some of them are from long lines of cheesemakers. History is going to get a big boost in the next update, where you can "retire" a fortress instead of abandon it, effectively putting your fortress back into worldgen.

The history is most prominent in Adventure Mode. In Adventure mode, you can walk around, talk to villagers in their towns, even go and find a king if you wanted and ask him about his family. Sometimes you find interesting things like the son of a king being kidnapped by goblins, raised as one of them, and now he's leading an army to attack his father. Sometimes you find vampires (with hundreds of kills) who have enslaved local villagers and they spend their nights cowering in fear. Sometimes you find a poor soul who's had his entire family wiped out by a freakish monster, or a town that's been burned to the ground by a dragon. It's all procedurally generated, and you'd be just as likely to find a town that's been mostly burned to the ground as one that's been completely razed. If you want, you can start as a lowly peasant and work your way up to a knight battling his way across the countryside in adamantine armor, fighting dragons and the like with an army of people at your command. Or, you could make enemies with everyone and just go around razing villages to the ground.



Okay, a story, as Josh asked for it .(yeah, I'm six months late or so. I doubt Josh still keeps tabs on this, but hey.)
Spoiler:      SHOW
I embarked on a glacier and tried to make furniture out of ice... it didn't work, because my dwarves' hands were melting it while they were working with it: I didn't embark far enough north, more or less. Instead, I just dug down and started with stone furniture, but built my aboveground walls out of ice. I decided to go with a new fortress design, and had a bunch of circular, walled-in areas aboveground connected by bridges roughly 20-30 feet above the ground. It seemed like a good idea at the time... but of course, that left people crossing them open to crossbow fire. :\ Not the best idea, but oh well. I dug further down, opened up the caverns, set up a good farming industry, then managed to catch a giant cave spider in a trap (it was difficult and I lost a lot of dwarves doing it). I tried setting it up to farm silk from it, but one of my hunters got mad and shot it with a few crossbow bolts. Though I put a stop to it quickly, the poor creature eventually bled to death. Unhappy with how that had gone, I decided to start on a different project. I'd made pump stacks in previous forts, and while magma sounded entertaining for a fortress built on ice, I opted for a minecart shotgun instead... which took far more work. In the meantime, I met with a few different sieges and came up with an interesting way of destroying them: I'd pump water out of the caverns and spray it out into a long open-air corridor as the sieges walked through. The siegers would freeze solid outside. This greatly amused me, especially as I could mine out their corpses to reset the trap. Eventually, though, a kobold ambush snuck into my fortress (kobolds don't trigger pressure plates), and that caused extreme Fun for a while: They killed my baron's only daughter. Was it intentional? No idea, but it made my baron snap, and he pitched a tantrum. If you've never seen a Dwarf Fortress "tantrum spiral", you don't know what you're missing. The baron went around pulling down doors, toppling furniture, and eventually killed somebody's cat. The owner of said cat went berserk and killed a couple other dwarves (with a steel warhammer, no less) before I could get my military in there to stop them, and by that point, the damage was done: the fort population slowly declined as more people were effected, and tantrumed, and effected others, etc. I was fortunate enough to get enough migrants to save the fortress, at least, and continued work on my shotgun. I eventually managed it, and, lacking metals on my particular map, decided it would be amusing to send large pieces of furniture flying at invaders, rather than sharp cutting implements. This proved satisfactory. Have you ever seen what happens when a goblin gets hit in the gut with a flying gneiss coffin? It's beautiful.
Unfortunately, the fortress fell when I got attacked by a siege of crossbowmen: the aboveground walkways proved to be my downfall. I'd put fortifications up to try to keep my dwarves from getting shot, but these goblins were elites, and the fortifications might as well not have been there at all. It started a tantrum spiral bad enough that while my fortress didn't die, it might as well have.
This is Dwarf Fortress. I didn't mention the booze industry, nor my army of trained eagles, nor the forgotten beasts I ran into in the caverns, or the fire imps that set my forge works on fire, or how I accidentally flooded parts of the lower levels with water, and I didn't mention my automated dwarf-cleansing system. In fact, I probably only mentioned a very small part of everything that happened, but that's Dwarf Fortress for you. Like Josh said in the OP, the depth is pretty much unrivaled.
The biggest issue with Dwarf Fortress is that most people aren't willing to put the effort into it to learn it. It isn't going to give it to you on a silver platter. It'll make you work for it. When Toady One gets to the UI overhauls, it'll be easier, but it'll always be ASCII (unless you use a texture pack). The entire game is detailed to an extent that it's, quite frankly, ridiculous. It does make it that much more immersive, and is a huge boost to the modding community, but it's not something I'll ever expect to see out of Limit Theory, or any other game. Part of the reason Dwarf Fortress works is because the graphics are so simplistic. 20-year forts are rarely faster than 10 fps, unless you've taken great pains to keep your fortress simple and your population low. That's not something anyone wants to see out of Limit Theory.
Last edited by Talvieno on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#48
That is 100% pure awesome. :clap:

Welcome to the forums. While I'm, not a modder, I have wasted waaaaaay too much of my life on DF. :wave:
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#49
Thank you very much! I'm glad to be here. I may not be able to actually play LT, but I'm still excited to see it through to completion.

Modding effectively doubles or triples the fun DF can provide, but most people don't get into it. It's not really "coding", but most people don't look far enough into it to realize that.

And, I'm not sure I'd call it wasted. lol You were looking to entertain yourself. If it was fun, and you enjoyed it, then you put those hours to good use, I'd say.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#50
Toady One wrote:I finished the options I needed to handle on the information screens today. That leaves me with my "issues" text file to work through. That's the next and final step for this release -- getting it up to a state where it isn't an utter and fundamental degradation of the currently released version. There are crashes, optimizations that need doing, dwarves that seem to potter off without thinking in between certain jobs, and all manner of other trouble.
Final Step for this release, he says!
:jumping:
"omg such tech many efficiency WOW" ~ Josh Parnell
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#53
DWMagus wrote:I have wasted waaaaaay too much of my life on DF. :wave:
I haven't wasted nearly enough of my life on DF. I always stagnate when it comes to training a military, but I always seem to have sufficient resources for armour, weapons etc. My ultimate goal, is to discover hell, then I might consider giving up.
That which is not dead may eternal lie, and with strange eons even death may die.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#57
Talvieno wrote:I know what I'm doing in July. lol
Megaproject fort sculpted to be the Hype Train with a likeness of Josh in the vanguard?
  • Bonus: Likenesses of the big LT forums personalities making up the train
  • Mega Bonus: The train moves around a track, and has cannon
  • etc.
:P
"omg such tech many efficiency WOW" ~ Josh Parnell
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Re: Dwarf Fortress?

#59
Talvieno wrote:Seems likenesses might be difficult.
Of course they would. That's the point of a Megaproject, ain't it? ;)

I should clarify that likenesses of these Personalities' avatars (though some may require invention or embellishment) were what I envisioned.

While a full list of names is of course subject to debate (though certainly the moderators qualify), I feel safe to mention ThymineC, Flatfingers, and Cornflakes.

edit: :oops: how could I have forgotten HowSerendipitous?
"omg such tech many efficiency WOW" ~ Josh Parnell

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