### Author Topic: Dwarf fortress ( 0.40.1 released 7/7 2014)  (Read 40760 times)

#### kraflab

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2013, 09:55:06 AM »
That said, by any sane definition Dwarf Fortress is roguelike -- it's fantasy roleplaying, with turn based play if the player wants it in terminal graphics. If your fortress goes to hell, there's no recovering it. Adams has moved the ball so far forward with Dwarf Fortress, people are still in denial about it. Developers are talking about building the successor to ADOM or the next iteration of the zangband legacy. They should be thinking about how to incorporate aspects of Dwarf Fortress into more middle of the road roguelikes and how to improve on what Tarn's accomplished with his game, by, yes, straight up stealing mechanics from his game and chewing on them. There's a lot there to be chewed.

Dwarf fortress adventurer mode is clearly a roguelike, but to say the fortress mode is a roguelike is a bit crazy.  It's a real-time city simulator!  That's like saying the new sim city has moved the roguelike genre forward.  I mean, it is also a role playing real-time city simulator, right?  Dwarf fortress is honestly in a genre all its own, world simulation, in every aspect and at every level.

I think (based on various posts you've made) that you are hopelessly out of the loop when it comes to roguelike developments.  There are a LOT of projects recently that are messing about with Tarn's mechanics (in the sense of open worlds, very complex/realistic combat mechanics, etc).  Another large development is bringing the survival/crafting mechanics from minecraft into roguelikes.  Most likely the reason these projects don't often pan out into full games (and perhaps why you don't know about them) is the shear amount of development time required.  I've seen many conversations in the roguelike irc channel about this subject material (in fact, for a time the majority of the talkative folks were working on df/mc-likes).

#### guest509

• Guest
##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2013, 05:24:56 PM »
Agreed. Even my recent little project was DF light + adventure mode.

Agree with the rest of what you said as well, careful not to get trolled though.

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2013, 06:00:36 PM »
Quote
That said, people should be honest about ripping off Toady's work. Don't pretend you're coming up with something new.

This is pretty rich. This is a forum devoted to a genre that is completely derivative by definition -- indeed, a lot of discussion goes into whether new games are enough like the classics to fit within the genre and therefore merit attention as more than just a throwback to the C64 era. The question here isn't "Is it original?" It's "Is it unoriginal enough?"

That said, by any sane definition Dwarf Fortress is roguelike -- it's fantasy roleplaying, with turn based play if the player wants it in terminal graphics. If your fortress goes to hell, there's no recovering it. Adams has moved the ball so far forward with Dwarf Fortress, people are still in denial about it. Developers are talking about building the successor to ADOM or the next iteration of the zangband legacy. They should be thinking about how to incorporate aspects of Dwarf Fortress into more middle of the road roguelikes and how to improve on what Tarn's accomplished with his game, by, yes, straight up stealing mechanics from his game and chewing on them. There's a lot there to be chewed.

Dwarf Fortress is THE development in roguelikes of the last decade. After twenty five years of talking nethack, there has to be something new in the endeavor of wrecking one's GPA despite sitting alone in front of a computer terminal 15 hours a day or we risk losing the next generation to facebook and sex.

Alright, first let me make something clear. If I say "rip off", I don't mean taking features from DF. I mean outright clones, or semi-clones or what ever you want to call them. If you incorporate some mechanics from DF into your roguelike, that's fine. Heck, I actively appreciate it. Because DF is awesomesauce ffs. If you take DF,  give it nicer graphics and cut out 50% of the advanced features of DF, that is at least partially ripping off IMO. If you take not only the gameplay, but also a large number of features and possibly even the setting, you should at least acknowledge that you are re-making DF in a way.

Now, you may say, what's the difference? Us devs make games that take the gameplay and many features from Rogue, or Angband, right? Yes. That's why we call our games "roguelikes". To acknowledge the history of our genre. If someone went and said "Hey! I'm making a DF-like!" or something like that, wonderful. I love it. No problem for me. Making a DF-like and not acknowledging DF would feel like someone saying "Hey! I'm making a game where you run around a dungeon killing monsters in turn-based combat on a grid! This is completely new and revolutionary! Give me all of your moneys!" (last sentence optional).

I'd also like to debate your point on DF being the first innovation in the Roguelike scene since Nethack. There have been numerous games doing new and exciting things in the scene. For example, take Crawl. It's a roguelike that has become itself a classic, but introduced or at least championed many new features that have been adopted by others since. Another good example would be ToME. It is radically different from most contemporary roguelikes, yet unmistakably roguelike. True, the level of simulation reached in DF is unparalleled so far (except maybe in some WIPs that have since popped up), but to claim that DF is the first "new thing" in the scene since Nethack is far overstating the importance of DF's Adventure mode.

And yes, I said Adventure mode. Because Fortress mode is not a roguelike. kraflab has elaborated on that aspect already, so I won't go into it. I will say, though, that some of us are increasingly annoyed at the increasing misuse of the term "roguelike". There have been many discussions on #rgrd, and many users seem to be of the opinion that "it's hard, and it has permadeath" is not enough to qualify as a roguelike. I'll happily agree with those who postulate a sliding scale of roguelikeness, but there is a point where a given game just isn't really roguelike anymore.

Now, if you want to talk about roguelikelikes, that is something different. I can see Fortress mode being roguelikelike, depending on how you define it.

#### guest509

• Guest
##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2013, 06:25:14 PM »
The question "what is a roguelike" is going to continue to evolve and devolve over time.

I've taken to using modifiers. "Straight roguelike" being that done in the classic style with all the fixings. Games like Rodney, Crawl, Brogue, Angband, Rogue, Nethack, etc...

It's pretty clear though that the presentation and complexity of DF was inspired by Nethack's kitchen sink and ASCII approach.

#### Vanguard

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2013, 06:55:23 PM »
I don't really agree that DF is the single important source of innovation in the genre.  There have been a ton of new ideas in the last decade.  Flend's DDRogue introduced a totally new approach to hand to hand combat, and then PrincessRL polished the concept to perfection and added an interesting character building system on top of it.  Sil awards experience for simply seeing enemies.  It's about stealth and caution rather than hack and slash action.  Games like Mage Guild and Brogue have perfected Rogue's basic formula while also coming up with their own unique ways of interacting with items and advancing your character.  Caves of Qud offers a unique experience.  So do CastlevaniaRL and Incursion and Prospector.  Every year we have a 7DRL competition which brings new concepts to the medium.

Yeah, the genre could still use more fresh ideas, but every genre could.  Every medium could.  Look at how incestuous first person shooters have become.  Millions of dollars are being poured into the development of individual games, and half of them are still indistinguishable from one another.  Roguelikes aren't doing too badly compared to that.

I wish people weren't so quick to call any game a ripoff for using another game's ideas.  That needs to happen.  That's how the medium advances.  There's a difference between adopting lessons and concepts derived from and outright cloning it.

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2013, 07:15:15 PM »
I wish people weren't so quick to call any game a ripoff for using another game's ideas.  That needs to happen.  That's how the medium advances.  There's a difference between adopting lessons and concepts derived from and outright cloning it.

Yeah, I agree. I just dislike projects pretending to be innovative when they just outright imitate another game. The DF-likes actually aren't bad in that regard. I hear this happens a lot with Minecraft clones, though.

#### mushroom patch

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2013, 04:35:09 PM »
Quote
Alright, first let me make something clear. If I say "rip off", I don't mean taking features from DF. I mean outright clones, or semi-clones or what ever you want to call them. If you incorporate some mechanics from DF into your roguelike, that's fine. Heck, I actively appreciate it. Because DF is awesomesauce ffs. If you take DF,  give it nicer graphics and cut out 50% of the advanced features of DF, that is at least partially ripping off IMO. If you take not only the gameplay, but also a large number of features and possibly even the setting, you should at least acknowledge that you are re-making DF in a way.

Quote
Another large development is bringing the survival/crafting mechanics from minecraft into roguelikes.

Again, rich, guys. Many say minecraft is a Dwarf Fortress rip off. I'm no fan of fingerpainting simulators like minecraft, but it's good to hear someone has a more stringent standard of what constitutes a rip off. This sort of handwringing about whether someone's game is getting enough credit for the influence they had on yours, like the question of whether your game is similar enough to some other game or set of games to be called "like" it, only delays progress in any genre. On the other hand, this stuff about people drawing inspiration from the mechanics of minecraft strikes me as kind of sad. "crafting/survival"? Really?

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 pause. It has a time system essentially identical to the ones used in angband and crawl, it just gives the user the sensible option of automatically advancing time according to a real time clock (incidentally, that's exactly what tomenet does, except it doesn't allow you to stop time -- I suppose that makes it "less roguelike" or not a "straight roguelike" or some similar nonsense).

Crawl would profit from such a mechanic, actually (maybe it already has it and I just haven't noticed it -- the latest incarnation is admirably forward looking). For example, if you play the crawl Zot Defence (tower defense) mode, you frequently want to pass a lot of time without doing anything and you frequently want to advance a turn with enemies on the screen while standing still -- probably most turns, depending on how you play. So you're hitting 5, . . . . . . . ., 5 5, . . ., 5, . . . . . . . . -- I'd take a turn advance timer, thanks. Just let me hit space to pause and return to blocking input. Just like Dwarf Fortress.

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.

Of course, that's nothing new either. Roguelikes have had shift-move since the eighties at least (I don't know if rogue had it in the 70s) to avoid spamming your calculator pad through every tunnel you encounter. Now the standard bearer of the traditional roguelikes, crawl, has o-move, which * gasp * automatically moves the player to explore levels, the greatest blasphemy since direction pad replaced the o'pen door command -- a fitting irony that this formerly absurd command key is repurposed in such an expressive and interesting way. Why not a-move then? I don't usually stop hitting direction and space until a new monster hits the scene or I go below a certain threshold of HP.

But this is all dangerous thinking. Be careful not to get trolled.

#### AgingMinotaur

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2013, 05:13:43 PM »
Vits er þörf,
þeim er víða ratar;
dælt er heima hvat;
at augabragði verðr,
sá er ekki kann
ok með snotrum sitr.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

#### guest509

• Guest
##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2013, 09:25:30 PM »
Grah! Wall of text nonpersuasive.

I say Troll because you are telling people who develop roguelikes what a roguelike is. Very adamant and precious about it too. Don't you have fun with these games? Or is the fun in the arguing? I get that, I used to be that way. Law school sorta beat it out of me.

#### mushroom patch

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2013, 02:41:47 AM »
I'm continually impressed by the level of substantive engagement this forum offers!

#### kraflab

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2013, 09:41:43 AM »
So who's excited for df2013!?

New complex stealth system, the world becomes alive, armies pathing about on the overworld, the ability to start insurrections, non-lethal combat, movement and attack speed decoupled, creature tracking, tree climbing, fortress retiring...

#### Quendus

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2013, 10:45:55 AM »
A ton of new features and no UI improvement?

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2013, 07:49:33 PM »
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.
I'm going to counter this saying that cat adoption cannot be stopped with the pause key, and thus it is real-time, but that is just me being facetious.

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.

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.

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.

Of course, that's nothing new either. Roguelikes have had shift-move since the eighties at least (I don't know if rogue had it in the 70s) to avoid spamming your calculator pad through every tunnel you encounter. Now the standard bearer of the traditional roguelikes, crawl, has o-move, which * gasp * automatically moves the player to explore levels, the greatest blasphemy since direction pad replaced the o'pen door command -- a fitting irony that this formerly absurd command key is repurposed in such an expressive and interesting way. Why not a-move then? I don't usually stop hitting direction and space until a new monster hits the scene or I go below a certain threshold of HP.
I don't think anyone views autoexplore as a 'blasphemy'. It's a useful tool to skip uninteresting parts of the game, and thus has been incorporated into several recently developed games. The debate on autoexplore is more about the fact that it means skipping content, which leads to the question why this content is there at all if everyone skips it, and what can be done to make it interesting. But this is more of a design issue than outright dislike for a feature.

So who's excited for df2013!?

New complex stealth system, the world becomes alive, armies pathing about on the overworld, the ability to start insurrections, non-lethal combat, movement and attack speed decoupled, creature tracking, tree climbing, fortress retiring...

I am. So. Much. I think every Bay12er is.
Though I really hope that in the aftermath of the DF2013 release, we will see fixes for a few long standing bugs that have forced me to run binary patched for a few fortresses now.

A ton of new features and no UI improvement?
What are you, some sort of elf?
Toady has made it pretty clear that feature completion is more important than UI, so we'll probably see most of the UI improvements once the game hits version one or at least RC.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 07:51:16 PM by XLambda »

#### Quendus

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2013, 08:43:51 PM »
So I hear. I'll wait until it reaches version 1.0 before I give it another try. Maybe two decades?

#### XLambda

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##### Re: Dwarf fortress
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2013, 09:15:49 PM »
So I hear. I'll wait until it reaches version 1.0 before I give it another try. Maybe two decades?

Yeah, around that time. In the NY Times interview last year he said it would take at least 20 years to get to v1. We're about 34% there.