Dwarf Fortress

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vanatteveldt
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Dwarf Fortress

Post by vanatteveldt » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:55 pm

To my surprise I didn't see DF in the list of 'other games'. From what I can tell it has been a source of inspiration for both Maia and Clockwork Empire. I've been playing it for way too many hours since discovering it after a references from the Clockwork forums.

What good parts of DF should Maia certainly incorporate? And what bad parts should it certainly avoid?

What I really love about the game is that it seems to allow for almost infinite micromanagement and detail for those interested, while still playable on a somewhat higher level. And building great stuff out of water and magma, of course!

What I dislike (except for the obvious graphics and UI issues) is the need to give "piece" orders for production, rather than saying things like "brew 50% of all plump helmets harvested". I've been totally avoiding some aspects of the game (beekeeping, milking etc) because I feel it would just mean bossing dwarfs around all the time...

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Belsameth
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Belsameth » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:13 pm

Just set the order on repeat.

Also, the UI is so *utterly* dreadful it really needs to be named. I think Toady actually goes out of its way to make it awful.

Also, the faked complexity. There's a lot of real complexity in DF, but also am lot of complexity for complexities sake, this is unneeded.
Lastly the traps. In DF they're way overpowered.

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b0rsuk
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by b0rsuk » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:54 am

I dabbled in Dwarf Fortress, and while I can see what makes it interesting, mandatory micromanagement throws me off. Placing a bed for every single dwarf ? Assigning each dwarf to a bed ? No thanks.

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Gazz
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Gazz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:56 am

You basically need a staff to play it. =)
A blueberry muffin is more than the sum of it's crumbs.

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Belsameth
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Belsameth » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:47 pm

b0rsuk wrote:I dabbled in Dwarf Fortress, and while I can see what makes it interesting, mandatory micromanagement throws me off. Placing a bed for every single dwarf ? Assigning each dwarf to a bed ? No thanks.
Just designate them as rooms, the dwarves will claim them themselves. Only nobles need to be assigned.

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Nettle
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Nettle » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:19 pm

Also, there's a macro system in-game ;) So you can place one bed and then repeat that. The UI isn't so bad once you get used to it, I always think of the learning curve as being like a wall, once you're past it, life is easy, but when you're standing in front of it it doesn't half look daunting.

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Belsameth
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Belsameth » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:51 pm

Ha! That's called "getting used to it"
I can do most things blind in DF, but just because I'm used to it, doesn't mean it's not crap ;)

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b0rsuk
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by b0rsuk » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:57 am

I play roguelikes quite regularly, but DF still puts me off. I remember having to keep back and refill production queues and it wasn't nice. The game has lots of clutter. A million types of rocks skin layers, and details with little impact on gameplay. Normally, roguelikes have very clear graphics. Items lying on the floor and dungeon features are easy to notice. Not the case in DF: it tries very hard to make the screen as busy as possible, with commas, semicolons, hyphens, apostrophes and other stuff lying there and doing very little or nothing. Other roguelike games have symbollic graphics, DF has ASCII art.

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Belsameth
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by Belsameth » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:11 pm

You can turn that off actually. You can also use a graphics pack, which helps a lot. O couldn't play without it.

And the different stone layers are exectly what I mean with compexity for complexities sake. One can't just have iron. You have to have 3 types of stone who generate iron, none are called iron.

vanatteveldt
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Re: Dwarf Fortress

Post by vanatteveldt » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:38 am

Seconded on the graphics pack - although I still can't play DF without the "non dwarf guide to rock" open in a browser at all times. By now I know some of the major ores (iron, tetra, coal) and flux, but who knows the lead, tin, and zinc producing ores by heart?

I agree that the interface makes things needlessly complex. Why doesn't it give the little text blurbs ("mid value magma safe flux stone") next to a rock name in k-mode? Why are all menus sorted differently and most of them not searchable? e.g. the stockpiles are organised hierarchically in three layers, but the stock screen is organised in two quite different layers and is way too long without a search function. To find out whether I still have coke bars, I need to press to down key 30 times.... Why can't you give production orders from the stock screen? Why do the arrow keys usually move the major list and the +/- the minor list, except in the trade agreement screen, where it is the other way around? So many little frustrations...

About repeat orders: they are cancelled whenever the raw product is not available... I know that dfhack workflow has a solution, but that is just another thing to learn.

About macros: I suppose macros work well when you want to make one-style-fits-all bedrooms for 50+ dwarfs. But from what I've been told you still need to fool around with first forbidding all bags to prevent the macro from using bags rather than coffers...

You just know a game UI is failed when you play it with a third party tileset, a third party HRM tool, a third party hack tool, and you still need to have a web browser open at all times *and* there are still interface frustrtations even with all those tools... One essentially needs a stock-broker like multi monitor setup just to play DF properly...

And what I think is worst is that (afaik) none of these tools use a published API to the game, they all resort to memory hacking, which means that I need to run them as root. I really dislike running a third party game tool as root on my computer, even if it is open source. I would have some respect for a game designer writing a great backend engine (which I think most people agree with), writing an open API, and a crappy "proof of concept" UI to show that it is playable, and have the community develop the real UI or series of UIs for the game (a bit like the MPD music server / many clients like MPC, Ario, MPDroid etc.). But the way it is done now is just horrible, especially since the game lives off donations anyway, so they might as well open source it.

/rant. I still love the game :-). But anyone claiming that they will make a DF-like game with a decent interface gets my money (like mr. Roth...), and DF will not get it until they open up.

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