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Old 02-09-2009, 06:32 PM
nunix nunix is offline
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Default Dwarf Fortress

As there are (judging by the general roguelike thread) many Tyrants who have or do play Dwarf Fortress; and as every other forum on the planet has one of these threads; so shall Talking Time know the majesty of der dorfs.

What is Dwarf Fortress?

Dwarf Fortress is a game wherein you take control of an (initial) group of seven dwarves, allocating them skills and equipment from a pool of points (not unlike, say, Oregon Trail). Your general goal is to create a functioning fortress for not just these dwarves, but the immigrants that will come later. There is no "win condition"; the game continues until all the dwarves are dead, or you abandon the fortress.

The game is "hardcore" in a way that few others are. It seeks to adequately simulate nearly every aspect of daily dwarf life. Your biggest early challenges are establishing a steady food and booze supply, and later you'll have to contend with kobold and goblin attacks, and maybe dragons, or cave trolls, or worse.. if you dig too deep...

There's also an Adventurer Mode, which works a little more like the standard roguelikes you may be familiar with, but at this point in time there's really not much to it, and it's more like an alpha implementation than anything else.

Links

Download the game: here
Read the wiki: here
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:45 PM
nunix nunix is offline
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To start: dwarf stories!

A favourite of mine:

Some versions ago, dwarves carried any artifacts they made with them until they died. This was not a big deal if it was, say, a ring, but it became problematic if it was a weapon (using artifact weapons in sparring practice = no more army, but this worked out, because the artifact wielder would be so badass you didn't need one) or something heavy like a floodgate (table for one, and you have somewhere I can store this one-ton slab of intricately worked stone?).

So I had a dwarf who made a coffin.

It was the most magnificent coffin ever made.

Constructed from the finest oak, it was engraved with the story of the crafter's life, and accented with shell and stone.

But.. the dwarf carried it around, everywhere.

I imagined this dwarf constructing his coffin, strapping it to his back, taking up his axe and shield and marching into battle against the hordes of goblins that, even now, were descending on the fortress gates. He survived this and many other battles, before finally falling to a dragon.

His kin buried him in his coffin.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:02 PM
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Man, I need help with this game. ChefCthulhu's strategies in the other thread are appreciated, but if possible I'd appreciate step-by-step, illustrated instructions in some of the basic steps of running a fortress. The one time I managed to make an underground farm I lost my best miner to the effort, my military dwarves and dogs don't seem to train or fight, butchers and tanneries only seem to exist to spread rotting meat and miasma around the fortress, etc., etc.

I'm not sure I've ever successfully made any kind of a trade, much less had a fortress last long enough to have a caravan return with my requested items (if I managed to actually request the items at all).
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:19 PM
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This game both intrigues me and intimidates me. Id probably never have the mental capacity to keep everything straight, but i did love the chronicle of Boatmurdered.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:26 PM
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What you need are some tutorial videos. I watched a bunch of them before I started playing and my fortress has been a success thus far (three years and counting).

In order to train, your military needs a barracks, they need to be off-duty, and they need to have access to the weapons they're set to use. If you haven't gotten any trade started, I'm guessing the last one might be your problem, since you probably don't have very many weapons. In that case, you should set them to unarmed and let them wrestle. Other than that, I don't know.

As for the rotting meat thing, if you don't already, you should have a stockpile near the butchery dedicated to storing only meat. Make sure there are doors separating the stockpile from the rest of the fort (to keep any miasma out) and make plenty of barrels, to slow the meat's rotting and prevent vermin from getting at too much of it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:52 PM
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I haven't watched the tutorial videos, so dunno if they'll help with any problems...

I'll start a new fort tomorrow and take some shots of my basic "easy mode" fortress setup.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:38 PM
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Totally thought this thread would be about a TF2 mod that made everyone into midgets.

How wrong was I?
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:08 AM
nunix nunix is offline
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Okay well this has quickly ballooned! I've been "playing" about five minutes and have about 30 screenshots so far. =/ I may sneak into an open LP slot for a one-off tutorial/master class thread rather than muck up this one.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:14 AM
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For my part, I started a game and got as far as the opening cinematic before mortal terror seized me.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:19 AM
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It's stiflingly open-ended, and the graphics are too abstract to interest me in any of the situations they might depict. I have great respect for the scope of the project, but I'll never be able to commit to it myself.

At least the music is great.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:26 AM
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I would just let Dwarf Fortress populate world after world in the background. I guess I should learn how to play.

<<Interface Bitching>>

Edit2: Thank god for those videos, I would have never figured you would use "designation" to chop wood or dig tunnels. yeesh. I feel Like I can almost play it now.

Last edited by Mommi; 02-10-2009 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:17 PM
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Ample and Kishi pretty much sum up my feelings for the game.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:26 PM
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Can this thread NOT be about interface bitching? I can find that pretty much everywhere else! It's fine if you don't like it, but you're not saying anything new or constructive.

("Dur, this needs points and clicks and tiles and and and and" gets into every goddamned DF thread ever. The game's in alpha, it's free, no one's forcing you to play it, PLEASE SHUT UP and go play something else if it bothers you so much. The general RL thread made it seem like there were quite a few people who knew how to play and enjoyed it, and that's what this discussion thread was for. Dump elsewhere!)
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:55 PM
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Ok, I'm ready to begin.

I am so excited, my first small world was nearly empty, with only a couple elf and goblin settlements and no roads. The one I just made has a huge web of foads, and many wars played out before I got here. It's a much more exciting world!
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunix View Post
"Dur, this needs points and clicks and tiles and and and and"
Watching those tutorial videos has shown me something interesting about myself: Dwarf Fortress is apparently the one ASCII-graphics game* I've played enough I can understand the ASCII better than the tiles. It's probably mostly hard-won familiarity with the game, though; I stand by my use of tiles in DCSS.

Oh, and Nunix, don't let the fact that we're watching tutorial videos discourage you from doing your own master class for it. Every tutorial will cover slightly different things and the game is fascinating enough (to me at least) to merit as much coverage as possible.

*don't say RL don't say RL don't say RL Nunix will kill you
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunix View Post
Can this thread NOT be about interface bitching? I can find that pretty much everywhere else! It's fine if you don't like it, but you're not saying anything new or constructive.

("Dur, this needs points and clicks and tiles and and and and" gets into every goddamned DF thread ever. The game's in alpha, it's free, no one's forcing you to play it, PLEASE SHUT UP and go play something else if it bothers you so much. The general RL thread made it seem like there were quite a few people who knew how to play and enjoyed it, and that's what this discussion thread was for. Dump elsewhere!)
I really don't think people are dumping on the game without adding anything. People can make valid criticisms without being jerks, and so far they're not being jerks. If you open a thread about a game and want people to talk about it, it's not always going to be favorable opinions nor do they mean to mindlessly tear down the game. Talking Time is a pretty laid back and positive space while still being truthful about opinions. It's not a big deal.

As for me, I've been wondering about this game for months now and can't wait to try it when I get a chance, and that's the truth.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunix View Post
Can this thread NOT be about interface bitching? I can find that pretty much everywhere else! It's fine if you don't like it, but you're not saying anything new or constructive.
Maybe you should link to every Dwarf Fortress thread you've ever read so we can diligently ensure not to repeat any points you might have already seen, your royal fucking fuckness.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:44 PM
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Has anyone ever successfully modified the game to include fire arrows? Preferably in a more controllable way than the wizards' fireballs? (If you think I have a deep-seated desire to take a warband of fire-dwarves and burn down the elves' forests with the elves still inside, well, I dunno what ever gave you that idea...)
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:40 PM
nunix nunix is offline
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It's weird how I thought, for awhile, that this place was going downhill. -.-

Lucas: No, that kinda behaviour isn't coded in yet, so you can add it into stuff in the raws (at least without breaking all kinds of stuff).

What you CAN do is start a fort directly on the site of another settlement (human, elf, goblin, whatever); the only placement limitations are water (can't set a fort in the middle of water, you need at least one land tile) and mountains (ditto).

So whilst you couldn't burn them down, you could site on an elf settlement, dig down.. they'll ignore you, even after you excavate the foundations all their buildings and cause them to collapse into the earth, killing all who dwell there.

Alternatively: find an elf site with magma. Imps or magma men usually live in lava, and they have a fire attack. If the grass is dry, you can literally set the entire map on fire (I've done it a few times; it's a beautiful thing).
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunix View Post
if you dig too deep...
Stalagmen!
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:51 PM
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Ok, so I made it through one year, but everyone almost starved because I didnt actually select the crops I wanted, I just highlited them. Luckily fishing got me by in the meantime, even though it took me a while to learn I needed a fishery to prepare them.

Yeah my dwarves were living on seeds and rodents for a while.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
Ok, so I made it through one year, but everyone almost starved because I didnt actually select the crops I wanted, I just highlited them. Luckily fishing got me by in the meantime, even though it took me a while to learn I needed a fishery to prepare them.

Yeah my dwarves were living on seeds and rodents for a while.
How do you mean? Didn't select them in the farming plot menu?

The nice thing about the current versions is that, as long as you have some soil and some plump helmets, you'll never starve.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:04 PM
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All I have for soil is plenty of red sand. But yeah, I didn't catch that I needed to press "enter" after highlighting the crop. Things are going better now. I don't what to do now though. There's no real point to expanding until I get more dwarves, and I didn't attract any settlers in the whole first year. I guess i'll let them catch up on farming or something.

By the way it was really tempting to kill the 8 unicorns that were prancing around 50 feet from my front door all winter, but I don't know how.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:29 PM
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I have some screenshots of my fortress. First up, there's the river. As you can see, I'm redirecting it quite a distance. I've actually been nearly through with it for a few days, but I haven't had time to play recently. I've finished all the digging and the grates/floodgates are all up. I'm just waiting on my dwarf to finish hooking up the last mechanism to the lever/floodgate before I channel everything out. I'm expecting something horrible to happen.


Here's the living space for all my dwarves. My main dining hall is up top. Although you can't see the floor very well, nearly every square inch of that place has been engraved. One of those engravings depicts me kicking some goblin's ass. The rest are like hatches and boots and crap. If you look to the right of the stairwell, you can see the mayor's office/bedroom. The walls and floor have been smoothed out since then.

This is the surface (or, at least, the part of the surface from which I started my fortress). As you can see, I walled off quite a substantial area. The red and grey pluses, for those who don't know, are floor panels I've built to cover up the pits that you can see at the bottom (the dots). Those pits are there because I drained a bunch of murky pools. I initially intended to fill a reservoir with the water, but I had to dig too far and the water didn't move fast enough, so it all ended up evaporating eventually. I also wanted to get rid of the pools because they were preventing me from expanding my fortress in the most arable part of the fortress.

Eventually, I'm going to move the trade depot to the other side of the entrance, wall off the rest of the fortress from it, and move the entrance near the new site of the depot, so the walled off area is entirely safe from external attack.


This is one level above the surface. I've nearly fortified the entire area, so my marksdwarves can shoot any enemies that come near while being fairly safe to attack. Unless they shoot from around the bridge. Unfortunately, there's no way to build stuff on top of floors. I think, though, that I'm able to tear down the floors making up the bridge, build walls below, put fortifications on top of the walls, and then mine out the bottom of the walls. I will probably start on that next time I play.

You can see to the left that I have three stairwells and two of them are walled off. This is because I didn't know exactly what I was going to do for that area and I changed my mind a few times. They all go to different parts of the same place, right...


... here. This is essentially the base of my tower, a tower that will stretch to the heavens (or 15 levels above sea level, which is what I think the game allows). This tower will eventually house my barracks. Because it looks cool in my mind, the area surrounding the tower is fortified. Realistically, these fortifications will never be used. Anyway, let's go up some more and see what the tower will look like.


It's pretty much exactly the same, of course. Naturally, you can only build walls on top of walls, so the base of the tower decides the shape. In actuality, this tower isn't currently safe for a barracks. Since off-duty military dwarves like to spar in the barracks, they'd be moving around a lot near stairs, which, as you can imagine, is highly dangerous. When I've made enough progress, I'm going to start expanding it just enough to build another stairwell somewhere on the outside (either on the left or right), then removing all the stairwells inside. I'm also going to keep the beds on the other side, then put a door in the center to keep the dwarves from falling down multiple flights of stairs and dying.


Bonus picture! It's Ample Vigour! He's a ranger and he's got fifty different kinds of blood all over him because he kills things. By the way, he died a little bit ago. Rest in peace, you bloody dwarf, you.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:31 PM
nunix nunix is offline
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Well, you can expand and prepare.

It's always an uphill battle to dig enough quarters for the incoming dwarves, clear the stone, make sure you have beds, make sure you have food and booze, et cetera.

Press 'z'. Are your stocks up to date? If there're any numbers with ? next to them, you should see about getting someone to start record keeping.

You could also build more workshops.

In the first year, any time I've got downtime I set a dwarf (who I usually set up with points before embarking) to make rock crafts, from a craftsdwarf workshop. It uses up excess stone, and provides me something neutral for trade (don't trade anything wood- or animal-related to elves! they'll get reaaaaally mad. stone is safe, and dwarves and humans like it just fine).
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:49 PM
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The fact that you are so seemingly paranoid about defense makes me worried. What is going to attack me? I didn't have to fight anything in the first year at all. Also I think I missed the point a little, because I build a "floor" in my meeting hall so it would look nicer, but I guess thats not what it's for.

That is a cool idea diverting the river. A grate on the floor above will let you get water/fish from underneath? My dwarves have to walk about 50 spaces out to the river to fish and get water. Is there a good way to make a cistern or resevoir?
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
That is a cool idea diverting the river. A grate on the floor above will let you get water/fish from underneath? My dwarves have to walk about 50 spaces out to the river to fish and get water. Is there a good way to make a cistern or resevoir?
Yep. It's easiest if your river freezes up, but you can work around that.

Basically (and I'll probably show this in screenshots) I do something like this

Code:
Z0 -- R=v
-1      =v
-2        =v
-3          =v
-4            ==================
= is horizonal digging, v is a stairway, R is the river (note that it's not the "above the tile", make sure you're actually looking at the water level itself)

Whatever elevation your river is at is the water table; it won't rise any higher without mechanised help. But by letting it flow deeper, you don't take up valuable "surface" strata, and it helps push the water all the way down the tunnel. I usually do things so that I can build a well overtop of the reservoir, and place that well in my kitchen/still/butcher room.

This method also allows you to dig your way to the river without ever going to the surface, which can be helpful if your environment is a little hostile.

Re: unicorns: I think they're valid targets for hunting, so as long as you have someone with the Hunting labor active, they're fair game (har har).
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:20 PM
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Yeah, the river didn't freeze in the winter. I wanted to try and make a well to a water source for my little dungeon, but I was afraid I would end up drowning whomever went to take care of it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:40 PM
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What you can do is dig a channel. It'll be under the designate menu. A channel is basically a dwarf digging a trench from above, rather than being on the same level. Dig everything except the very last tiles from underground, then designate a channel over the tiles you want excavated.

Also, doing it this way allows you to place a grate or vertical bars somewhere in the tunnel to the reservoir, without trapping a dwarf down there (or having to do ridiculous digging tricks to get them back out; there's an issue with dwarves liking to build vertical grates/bars and then trapping themselves). This lets water and fishing-type fish (which are not the same as the named fish you see on the unit screen) through without letting creatures through as well.

If the river freezes you can forgoe that step, OR if the river wall is stone instead of soil.

There's a special kind of wall called a fortification. This is, essentially, a wall with an arrow slot or similar in it. You can either build these through the "site a building" menu, OR you can smooth a STONE wall (not soil), and then "carve fortification" (both from the designate menu). Water (and lava!) can flow through fortifications, but creatures can't get through.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:01 PM
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Rest in peace, you bloody dwarf, you.
;_;
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