Adventures in Dwarf Fortress

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.

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