This weekend is going to be the second time I’ve competed in the 3 Thing Game. It’s run by my University twice a year, and the premise is essentially teams compete against each other to make the best game in 24 hours of programming. Last year the team I was in did fairly well, although we didn’t place in the top 3 we managed to finish the game and stuck the competition out until the end:
This year I’m hoping to do better, or at least produce a more polished final result. The words we have managed to get are looking better; we have monkey, fantasy and casino this year, whereas last year the word we had were skateboarding, chicken and hospital. At any rate it’s a fun thing to be part of with some experience for programming under time constraints, working in a group and using the XNA libraries thrown on top.
Kick starting off the next session some new Immigrants arrived! I was having trouble getting them to do things again – I don’t think I yet fully understand the intricacies of designating each dwarf to a specific task – but for the most part I managed to send them all out at last and have them collecting materials and producing goods.
Above is my new workforce. I have no idea what it means when they’re greyed out. I think the Clerk and Farmer are married which is good as it speaks volumes about the lack of prejudice and social stratification within my settlement. As you can see below, they mostly gathered in the barracks area and just loitered at first. The thing that confused me most was why only 2 of my dwarfs would do digging, despite having designated areas on multiple levels that I wanted mined, and almost every dwarf having the Mine task turned on. I’ll have a look around and see if its something I’m doing wrong or if in actual fact they’re just sometimes a bit slow to get the point.
With my wealth of new dwarves I decided it was time to give them some bedrooms, a better eating area and some more room for stockpiles and crafting points.
Upstairs I also created an extra farm plot, and set a second dwarf farming. Fairly soon I ran out of seeds, which came as a bit of a shock to me. In one of the tutorials I had read they had advised growing Plump Helmets as a main food source all year round, which I had been doing. They also said that brewing using the Plump Helmets didn’t use up the seeds, so I had gone ahead and set one up a still, assigned someone to make barrels and set someone to brew. Apart from that I don’t think I had been doing anything with the Plump Helmets, so unless you don’t get any more when farming I have no idea where all the seeds have gone. Unless someone had been making them into food of their own accord and destroying the seeds on that way, which is entirely plausable seeing as I have no idea what I’m doing.
One great success story was the bedrooms and food areas I managed to set out and define. Well okay, they weren’t a huge success, but at least I managed to get it working! Shown below is half way through furnishing the area with beds, doors, tables and chairs; Later on I tarted up the Clerk’s room with some nicer walls and fllows and finished furnishing the place. The dwarves are all content with their new living spaces 🙂
Despite being able to spew 3 posts of crap about Dwarf Fortress I have really only scratched the surface. Not even 1 year has gone by in game, I haven’t completely failed yet (which is apparently a very important part of the game) and my build is still pretty small and disfunctional. Now that my seeds have run out I assume I’ll need to find food elsewhere. Some dwarves have scouted off to nearby ponds to collect fish, and another is rummaging around in bushes although I’m not sure if you can find and sources of food like that.
I am having a lot of fun, and this stage of playing games is often when it is the most exciting; Everything is new and every event leads me to discovering something I had no knowlege of before. Coming into the game I understood a few basics but its getting to the point where what I understand of the game is becoming a bit of a limiting factor so I may take a short break from playing to devote some more time to reading up on the game and leave Anrizolin to sleep peacefully for now. I’ll leave you with a picture of some cute Kangaroos until next time:
Having spent a bit more time on the game and following guides, I’ve managed to make a bit more progress. The farm is now actually functioning, and I’ve set up a still which is churning out booze (I’m not sure if its any particular type) into barrells made in the carpenters area. I guess my set up is pretty inefficient at the moment, at one point the farmer ran out of seeds. Reading that brewing make drink and leaves seeds intact, it seems to have solved the problem (although to be honest I have absolutely no idea if it actually is working). Watching the process is quite interesting as all the little bits move from place to place, it’s kind of hard to become fully immersed in the gameplay when every few seconds I have to pause and try and work out whats happening, but I guess that will come with time.
I think my next project will be to set up a better farm area and see if I can get the production of food and drink to be continuous – I’m thinking a farmer or two constantly working with another dwarf cutting wood and producing barrells, and a final dwarf doing some brewing/cooking (does the food even need to be cooked?).
Thhis is my mine as it stands. I figure a large underground space will be useful further on. In the top left is a gem store where the dwarves have been collecting all the gems they find. I have no idea what they’re useful for at the moment, but there was the option to gather them, so it seemed like the right thing to do.
I figure my main two tasks going forward from here are to establish a good constant food and drink suppy, and maybe sort out some better bedrooms to keep my Dwarves happy. Still no hostile encounters, some ravens flew by but didn’t become aggro, if ravens even can. I’d love for some migrants to arrive so I could put them to work.
Oh, I forgot to mention before, this settlement is know as Anrizolin or “Skytongs”.
Last night I spent a few hours trying to get familiar with Dwarf Fortress. I’d heard about the game before and understood the overall concept; You control a colony of ASCII dwarves and have to mine/trade/survive/build and so on. I’d also heard that the learning curve was ridiculously steep, so had never bothered to give it a go, up until a surge of hype for it was created on Reddit.
Deciding that maybe I should at least give this game a try, I spent a decent amount of time reading and watching tutorials on youtube and decided to dive in. While a lot of tutorials recommend downloading the “Lazy Newb Pack” – which comes with things like more intuitive graphics and other tweaks – I decided that if I was going to do this than I would at least do it properly, so I downloadeds the vanilla version and got cracking.
Above is my initial base, and shows just about the extent of my efforts so far. I opted for a fairly safe world ( a few less enemies and slightly more ores than normal) for my first time. Starting with the default crew of peasants, I was able to carve out a hole in the mountain side. The room at the top was designated a barracks/rest area, which i managed to furnish using the stone and wood crafting stations slightly below. The yellow area to the bottom left is supposed to be a farm, but not a lot is growing there for some reason :S
These are the 7 dwarves I started with, and after a year in game i have managed to keep them all alive and fairly happy.I have assigned 3 to start excavating a large area below ground to make room for some construction. The others seem to be fairly happy crafting, woodcutting and sleeping, but I think my micromanagement could be improved as a lot of the time they seem to do very little.
My impressions of the game are good so far. The history it creates is for me is by far the most appealing aspect, the level of detail is ridiculous. I’m pretty nervous about encountering my first enemies, which luckily hasn’t happened yet (Maybe I set everything too tame?) becuase I’m starting to understand how to operate things in the most basic way – mining, telling the dwarves what to do, and producing some essentials to survive.
I’ll play some more later, after referring again to the tutorials, and add another update here.