### Author Topic: Dwarf fortress ( 0.40.1 released 7/7 2014)  (Read 40281 times)

#### kraflab

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2013, 09:30:45 PM »
Edit: duplicate of above

#### Quendus

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2013, 10:19:29 PM »
Better account for Hofstadter's law and make it 3, then

#### mushroom patch

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2013, 03:42:44 AM »
About whether DF Fortress mode is roguelike, for those who like to split hairs, we should clear up some confusion about what "real time" is. If you can stop the clock and queue arbitrary actions, your game is not real time. Dwarf Fortress is not real time. Starcraft is real time. Mario Brothers is real time. Dwarf Fortress allows you to advance gametime one time quantum at a time and allows you to stop time altogether and issue arbitrary commands during the use.

...

Look, I don't debate that Fortress Mode isn't real time, but I don' really feel comfortable calling it turn-based either. I'd argue that most of the time is spent running the game instead of having it paused, but what that makes it is really up for discussion.

I think we could probably agree that Dwarf Fortress can be played in a turn based way in almost exactly the same way crawl and angband can though. Of course, no one would want to, but the mechanics for doing so exist.

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There are two things about Fortress mode that mark substantial deviations from the usual roguelike approach: Controlling multiple entities and doing so via issuing work orders that are carried out by various dwarves according to who's available and so forth. You guys make it easy on me by saying roguelikes no one's ever played or heard of ("7DRLs", etc.) count as expanding the genre, so I should say I know of at least one roguelike that allowed you to control a party of characters -- it was an angband variant and the author did not come up with a convincing system of control (unsurprising for an angband variant maintainer). I'm sure there's a ridiculous thread to be had about whether this angband variant is roguelike, please spare me. The point is, once you allow multiple entities, which is not unprecedented in the genre, it's natural to have a command set with emphasis on performing tasks that would take a number of turns and therefore hundreds of keystrokes in a traditional roguelike.

Again, this challenges the typical definition of a roguelike. For many people, roguelike also means you control one char, and you control it directly. Both of those have been subverted over the years - there are multi-character roguelikes, yes, and there is at least one game with indirect control. I don't deny that.

Yeah, it's definitely a departure from established conventions, but not so radical as to be unprecedented or, in my view, disqualifying.

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But if you look at the existing roguelikes, both established ones, small ones and 7DRLs, 99% of them are about exploration and hack&slash, either in the stereotypical dungeon or some other hostile environment. DF, in contrast, is a game about building a base and caring for dwarves. The gameplay is vastly different from almost every roguelike I know. It's much more like a 4x game.

As an example, let's take a look at my favorite TBS game of the old days, Civ 3. It has a world that can be and often is randomly generated, it is turn-based with direct control, it is grid-based (good old pseudo-eight-directions like roguelikes have it), it's non-modal, has several solutions for problems (as you would expect in a roguelike), you have to manage resources, no rule difference between player units and other units, it shows you the numbers and is tactically complex. So right out of the box it fits at least more than half of the points of the Berlin Interpretation (which of course isn't perfect, but a good compromise between different people's idea of a roguelike). The problem is that Civ 3 is a turn-based strategy game and no one ever will call it a roguelike.

I agree with what you say here about Civ 3 and the so-called "Berlin interpretation." But this just shows that the Berlin interpretation is absurd. For example, "ASCII based display" is not a low value factor, unless you're writing a tile based game for a handheld and trying to call it roguelike. Likewise, the Berlin definition makes no mention of a fantasy setting, despite that being a clear common denominator among the canonical examples of rogue, larn, hack, moria, nethack, crawl, ADOM etc. Why might that be? Because one of the handful of people in attendance at some summit was promoting a sci-fi or trademarked commercial video game themed "roguelike", I'd wager.

The definition held up as the gold standard fails to clearly separate roguelikes from other genres while at the same time failing to take into account basic commonalities between the classics, old and new. Yet, as you say, the according to Hoyle roguelikes really are clearly different from any civilization game and no one would call Civ 3 roguelike. It's ridiculously easy to poke holes in the Berlin "definition", so why even bother with it?

On what you say about exploration and hack and slash, this is true to some extent. Dwarf fortress can definitely be played in a way that has not a lot of monster killing and not a lot of looking for things or going places. Of course, mining and excavating, finding caverns and eventually hell are forms of exploration. I think the more damning issue is that the items you collect in the process are primarily raw materials (minerals, plants, etc.) rather than the traditional prefabricated loot of roguelikes and you're exploring/striking the earth, not a fully formed dungeon (although the caverns are dungeon-like).

On the other hand, it's obvious that Dwarf Fortress is heavily influenced by the roguelike tradition. The objection to calling it roguelike can only be that Tarn ran too far with the concept, abandoning conventions like dungeon diving to recover an artifact or kill a monster, a single character directly controlled, etc. The problem with these kinds of objections, to my mind, is that Dwarf Fortress shows clearly that single character control and dungeon diving isn't what makes (some) roguelikes good (and it's obvious it isn't what makes them distinctive). So I'll agree that it may not be a roguelike by some reckoning, but it's a view of what a roguelike could be. You know, I'm no big fan of ESR, but he said something to the effect that the strength of roguelikes is that the lack of graphics allows one to pour more into the underlying game logic and create more depth than is possible when you need an animation for every possible action, etc. I think he's onto something there (something completely lost in the 7DRL concept) and Dwarf Fortress shows that in the way nethack always has, but in a new, radical way. So I would tend to look at Dwarf Fortress as a direction for roguelikes to head in, even if some would deny it a place in the genre.

#### kraflab

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2013, 10:36:38 AM »
There is no denying that dwarf fortress shares in the meta-genre of roguelikeness.  It's design is clearly guided in the same direction as most roguelikes, but here applied to a different starting point genre.  This is in the same way as spelunky represents roguelikeness as applied to a platformer.  In other words, there is no doubt that dwarf fortress exhibits roguelikeness, but the base genre is different (and thus the resulting genre is different).

I think you want to talk about roguelike games in the same way someone might say "casual games" and sweep a bunch of games that exhibit similar properties but have different genres into one group.  It is perhaps unfortunate that the term roguelike refers to a specific sub-genre of roguelikeness, but that's just the way it is.  Of course, the number of games discussed on this forum that are part of this meta-genre and not part of the sub-genre indicate to me that no harm has been done in this distinction.

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2013, 04:08:32 PM »
I agree with what you say here about Civ 3 and the so-called "Berlin interpretation." But this just shows that the Berlin interpretation is absurd. For example, "ASCII based display" is not a low value factor, unless you're writing a tile based game for a handheld and trying to call it roguelike. Likewise, the Berlin definition makes no mention of a fantasy setting, despite that being a clear common denominator among the canonical examples of rogue, larn, hack, moria, nethack, crawl, ADOM etc. Why might that be? Because one of the handful of people in attendance at some summit was promoting a sci-fi or trademarked commercial video game themed "roguelike", I'd wager.
ASCII-based display has, in the meantime, become a rather low value factor. There are quite a few very popular games out there which prefer graphics over ASCII. ToME and DCSS both have tiles which are used by the majority of players, POWDER is very graphical, Nethack and Angband both feature tiles nowadays, and there are several smaller games that don't even have ASCII modes anymore. Sure, ASCII has its merits, but people are getting used to tile-based games more and more - and if you want anyone outside the RL scene to try your game, tiles are pretty much necessary.
I think you're being a bit unfair on the fantasy aspect as well. The ancestors of the genre, Rogue and Moria, are both fantasy inspired, so it's just logical that their descendants would be as well. Linley's Dungeon Crawl is directly inspired by them and ADOM is fantasy because Biskup, like many, is an old FRPG veteran. Our genre is rooted in this tradition, and since most devs have been players first, they continue this tradition. But there are numerous games outside the fantasy genre. ZapM is outright space nethack (and the PRIME fork is epic). One of the older roguelikes, Alphaman (about as old as LDC), is post-apocalyptic, just like Cataclysm and its recent fork DDA. BOSS is even older and so weirdly scifi I don't even know what's going on. Infra Arcana is by no means fantasy. And I didn't even mention the gearhead games and all the steampunk/cyberpunk stuff that has been done over the years. All I'm saying is, if you think fantasy is a defining feature of roguelikes, it hasn't been at least since the early 90s.

The definition held up as the gold standard fails to clearly separate roguelikes from other genres while at the same time failing to take into account basic commonalities between the classics, old and new. Yet, as you say, the according to Hoyle roguelikes really are clearly different from any civilization game and no one would call Civ 3 roguelike. It's ridiculously easy to poke holes in the Berlin "definition", so why even bother with it?
Because it's pretty much the closest we have to a definition? I don't say it's a good one, but it's the best we have right now. I'm just saying that many characteristics of roguelikes are also inherent to grid-based 4x games, which I personally consider Fortress mode to be. I don't deny its roguelikeness, but I don't think it's a roguelike. Heck, it's close enough for us to have this discussion.

On what you say about exploration and hack and slash, this is true to some extent. Dwarf fortress can definitely be played in a way that has not a lot of monster killing and not a lot of looking for things or going places. Of course, mining and excavating, finding caverns and eventually hell are forms of exploration. I think the more damning issue is that the items you collect in the process are primarily raw materials (minerals, plants, etc.) rather than the traditional prefabricated loot of roguelikes and you're exploring/striking the earth, not a fully formed dungeon (although the caverns are dungeon-like).
Yeah, this is why I consider Fortress mode to be more of a 4x game with roguelike elements. I wish more standard roguelike games would take this approach to creating items, like Sil f.ex. does. Heck, someone has to make all these items/artifacts, why not let the player make some himself?

On the other hand, it's obvious that Dwarf Fortress is heavily influenced by the roguelike tradition. The objection to calling it roguelike can only be that Tarn ran too far with the concept, abandoning conventions like dungeon diving to recover an artifact or kill a monster, a single character directly controlled, etc. The problem with these kinds of objections, to my mind, is that Dwarf Fortress shows clearly that single character control and dungeon diving isn't what makes (some) roguelikes good (and it's obvious it isn't what makes them distinctive). So I'll agree that it may not be a roguelike by some reckoning, but it's a view of what a roguelike could be.
The problem is that about 90% of roguelike players and devs will disagree with you on this point. Roguelikes are a subgenre of the RPG, and direct control is very important to RPGs. Even in multi-character roguelikes, you have direct control of at least one character.

You know, I'm no big fan of ESR, but he said something to the effect that the strength of roguelikes is that the lack of graphics allows one to pour more into the underlying game logic and create more depth than is possible when you need an animation for every possible action, etc. I think he's onto something there (something completely lost in the 7DRL concept) and Dwarf Fortress shows that in the way nethack always has, but in a new, radical way. So I would tend to look at Dwarf Fortress as a direction for roguelikes to head in, even if some would deny it a place in the genre.
You know what that also applies to? Books. Text games. Pen&Paper RPGs. Just because something is non-graphical, or only features simple graphics, doesn't mean it's a roguelike. I don't deny that this is one of the core qualities of roguelikes, but not everything that fits this description is a roguelike.

#### darkflagrance

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2013, 12:17:57 AM »
We seem to be discussing Dwarf Fortress as if its fortress building/rts style mode can be considered roguelike when it also has a single player adventurer mode. Right now the DF developer is adding new mechanics and content to the adventurer mode to make it more fleshed out, and more complex interactions for adventure mod either have been added by mods or are forthcoming. I think the question is when we see the stark contrast between gameplay in both of Dwarf Fortress's modes, should we assume that permadeath and emergent complexity alone in Fortress Mode also qualify it to be a roguelike? Would this also admit games like the original or modern xcom played in hardcore mode, or a theoretical rebuild of Dom 3 with no permasave?

#### guest509

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2013, 04:33:35 AM »
Roguelikes, certain arcade games and strategy games like Dwarf Fortress share a similar design principal. The games are very rule based and failure is the main consequence.

Add in the Ascii display and the Nethack kitchen sink nature of Dwarf Fortress and you have even more similarities.

But they are largely superficial. For example, do you think Dwarf Fortress has anything really in common with Dungeons of Dredmor? You take away the aesthetics and things are more clear.

In the end though i think Dwarf Fortress is it's own thing. It borrows from many genres and is just so unique it almost needs it's own category. But if you were to pick a category I'd say that City Sim is the best one, it shares far more elements with City Sims than with roguelikes. If the game looked like Sim City instead of Nethack I think the discussion would not be so frequent. Graphic choices and obtuse interface are hardly core Roguelike attributes.

Adventure mode, of course, is undeniably a straight up roguelike. Which makes the game so totally full of win I just want to scream.

#### Holsety

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #52 on: May 26, 2013, 06:27:48 AM »
Scanning the thread... see Berlin interpretation mentioned. [internal weeping]
Let's do something fresh and NOT talk about whether DF is a roguelike.

So, that DF eh?
I remember way back when, when you only had one z-level.
Your dwarven band started at the left side of the screen, and you had to dig to the right. Along the way you'd come across lava, a monster spawning chasm, and water. It was a bit more.... gamelike? arcadey? back then, and I actually thought that was charming. I wish Toady had kept that in as an option.

The game's developing well though. I don't know if you gentlemen read the changelogs? They're hilarious at times. I miss old Adventure mode though. Used to be that you could pick up anything (bear with me); sand. Water. Worms.
Then you could THROW it. And throwing was by far the most lethal skill in existence, with some points in it.
Imagine it in your mind's eye, if you will. A mighty dwarf stoops low. He scoops up a hand of water from the nearby puddle. His mighty dwarven muscles propel his hand with the fury of Wotan. The water is sailing through the air! Orgmatuktuk the bronze colossus is hit in the head. Orgmatuktuk's eyes are crushed! His sockets are shattered! His brain is bruised! His skull is shattered! Orgmatuktuk falls to his knees and vomits. DWARF FORTRESS.
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

#### guest509

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2013, 10:58:00 AM »
Dude I wonder if you can download legacy versions of the game? Surely you can.

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2013, 12:50:48 PM »
Dude I wonder if you can download legacy versions of the game? Surely you can.

Yeah, you can. All of them, to be precise. Here.
I sometimes go back and play the really old versions. They don't have quite as much content as the newer ones, but they make up for it with even more insanity.

#### jocke the beast

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2013, 11:20:47 AM »
Very much devlog updates lately over at bay12...wonder if the new version will arrive before 2014.
Anyways, the next release will be awesome and I can't wait...
World gen activities during play, site overhauls, climbing...it's gonna be crazy!

#### guest509

• Guest
##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2013, 02:45:42 AM »
Yes I'm pretty pumped as well. I've not gotten too much into Dwarf Fortress, but when the next big update hits I'm going to jump onto the band wagon. I've enjoyed Terraria and a bit of Minecraft.

#### Vanguard

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 03:23:26 AM »
What's in the next version?

#### jocke the beast

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2013, 09:51:00 AM »
Post-worldgen history continuation, complete combat overhaul, complete personality overhaul, complete conversation overhaul in adventure mode, complete tree overhaul (now multi-tile!), dwarf sites in adventure mode, elf sites in adventure mode, goblin sites in adventure mode, new Hidden Fun Stuff in adventure mode, complete movement overhaul, small trading overhaul, complete questing overhaul, complete politics overhaul.....and more

#### akeley

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2013, 10:48:12 PM »
The Dwarf Bros are the true indie gaming bedroom coding heroes. And I havent even really played DF yet.

(Okay, I made one corridor and room last week. Great success! Took me months before stepping up, but I always knew I would. And as somebody mentioned above,  I love just reading the changelogs, its like a whole parallel universe out there)