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Default More Dwarf Fortress awe…

December 20th, 2007, 11:05
I've still been putzing with Dwarf Fortress on-and-off, and have gotten to the point where I have a Mayor, a Captain of the Guard, and a Dungeon Master, plus a pretty snazzy-looking fortress.

The sheer depth of the game keeps amazing me.

For example, dwarves get happy thoughts if they can admire precious or especially well-crafted things. So, one way to make lots of them happy is to first smooth and then engrave the meeting hall, the latter especially if you have good engravers.

So, fair enough, that's what I did.

Then half by accident, I "examined" an engraved piece of floor. Lo and behold, I get a description — something like "An exceptional engraving of a cow and dwarves, by Skzul Kethbopril. The cow is surrounded by the dwarves." My first reaction was along the lines of LOLWTF???, so I zoom over to Skzul, and discover that one of the "likes" on his list is… cows. Another of my engravers likes rats, so there are a few impressive depictions of those too.

But wait, there's more. I look around a bit more, and see engravings that are actually related to events that have happened in the fortress. "An engraving of dwarves and elves. The dwarves are talking to the elves." Right-ho, we have had contact with elves, to mutual benefit I may add.

But then: "An exceptional engraving of a hydra and a dwarf. The hydra is laughing. The dwarf is weeping." Sure enough — we'd had a run-in with a hydra, who killed one of my dwarves (rather gruesomely, I may add — there were bits of dwarf plus smears of blood and vomit all over the place). However, the rest of my little squad of war dwarves managed to kill the hydra. A little more searching found an engraving "of a hydra and a dwarf. The dwarf is laughing. The hydra is weeping."

The dwarves had also immortalized all of the creators of artifacts in the fortress. For example, there's this one peasant who got taken by a secretive mood, required blocks, stone, raw clear glass, leather, and bones, and ended up making… a glass piccolo (and becoming a legendary glassmaker in the process). Sure enough — there's an engraving of "a dwarf holding up a glass piccolo."

What really amazes me is how "alive" those dwarves are — they all have their preferences and experiences that affect the way they behave. One of my hunters got very attached to his hunting dog, and when a wolf killed the dog, he got very depressed; it took him almost a year to get over it. The squad-mates of the dwarf who fell in battle against the hydra mourned him, but also "took pleasure in slaughter" of the hydra.

Or we have a noble who doesn't have what his position entitles him to, so he starts passing export restrictions out of sheer pique, and then lifts them once he's been placated with some nice furniture and engravings in his bedroom.

This is a dimension that I haven't seen in any "builder" game yet, to this extent anyway. Of course, being in alpha, there are still a bunch of, ahem, not exactly polished features here — for example, dwarves get upset when their clothes get old and start rotting while they're wearing them, but they won't discard old clothes and start to use new ones even when available.

For more on this ASCII-graphics wonder, see here: [ http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/ ]. To make it look slightly better, see here: [ http://rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=21883 ].
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December 20th, 2007, 18:51
Fascinating, especially that all these experiences and characterizations are conveyed through text alone (I'm assuming?) I agree that it seems to have far, far more detailed, interesting and immersive feedback than any more, um…graphically-endowed builder I've played.

I had to snort a bit about this:

— for example, dwarves get upset when their clothes get old and start rotting while they're wearing them, but they won't discard old clothes and start to use new ones even when available.
Is there by any chance a female dev on this project?

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; December 20th, 2007 at 19:02.
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December 20th, 2007, 20:47
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Fascinating, especially that all these experiences and characterizations are conveyed through text alone (I'm assuming?)
It's a similar feeling I had when I played Nethack …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 20th, 2007, 23:28
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Is there by any chance a female dev on this project?
Nope, just two brothers — Tarn and Jack Adams.
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December 21st, 2007, 15:49
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Nope, just two brothers — Tarn and Jack Adams.
My mistake. I was injecting a little sexism into the humor, then. Unless it's just unconscious verisimilitude.

Anyway, quite a creative effort. I can imagine this game would be very expensive and difficult for a small team to update to an adequate 3D/cinematic modern presentation, but I wish they could.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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December 21st, 2007, 16:10
I don't think it actually needs 3D; it'd do very well with a tile-based isometric + menu/mouse driven GUI. Those aren't particularly hard to do; it just may be that Tarn and Zack aren't interested and/or don't have the required (graphic and UI design) skills to pull it off.

It would also involve rewriting a great deal of the application, depending on how it's structured.

Some people have already written quick-and-dirty 3D visualizers for the maps.
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