Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dwarf Fortress!!!

As eluded to earlyer I will now gush about this game. Also there will be no big saturday dumb because this week has been busy with FFTA2 and Trauma Center 2 along with some other variouse traumatic things. I've been busy.

Oh yeah Dwarf Fortress. DF as I am going to reffer to it from now on is the sort of game that is talked about more than it is actually played. Part of it has to do with the fact that it sports an ancient interface that isn't mouse driven what so ever. The game itself is also entirely text based, so instead of having your little dwarfs being represented by pictures, they are just uppercase D's colour coded based on job description. Children dwarfs are lowercase d's. You get the point. I looked at the graphics as is for about 5 minuts before I downloaded some tile sets. The tile sets have a sort of pre nintendo look to them but they are functional enough so you can tell what is going on.

One of the major challanges of the game is just getting the basic commands down, it took me a good couple of hours to do it, and that is only because I grew up on this sort of interface. This is not the main point though.

The other part of the difficulty is the massivly complex nature of the game itself. As you may of guessed you set up and run a fortress in the mountains, since you are dwarfs this usually involves tunnles. You end up building a dizzying number of workshops in order to trade with the people around you. You can build everything from mugs, to toys, to clothing, leather goods, armour, weapons, cages, complex death traps, parts for walls, and everything else. You have to manage your dwarves, thier food, the ecconomy, and of course the occational war.

The thing about the game though is the shocking level of detail involved. Getting better, more valuable ore is not simply a matter of digging down and to the right. Instead the game generates an entire game world when it first starts up. This takes about a half an hour because it puts in realistic geologic formations as well. So based on the rocks around you, you can gether where you should be digging to find better gems and ores. That's amazing.

The other great thing about it are the epic number of choises you can make in terms of how to build your fortress. One person was telling about how he build his fortress on an artic tundera underneath an iceberg. As a quick aside, dwarves need to drink to live, they prefer beer but will do with water in a pintch. Without water they die. So if they are in the artic where all water is frozen, this poses a problem when it comes to thier long term survival. So what the guy did is he dug down until he found a magma flow. The then channled, pumped the magma up several levels so that it could be channled underneath the iceberg creating for himself melted water which he could use to survive. Amazing.

Another awesome story is a player who built is fortress on a beach. As another quick aside both water and magma flow realisticly. So he built a grate on the edge of the beach near where the waves come up. This way the waves would come over the great causeing the water to drop down below into a well which would constantly refill itself. Again that is some sheer basassery. That same player built a king's throne room so that it had a glass ceiling allowing the king to look up and see the fish swimming above him. He also installed a level and a system of channles so that when the king eventually pissed him off, and he did, he could have the lever pulled flooding the throne room, but not the rest of the fortress.

Building complex deathtraps is part of the fun, and I am sure that once I use a draw bridge to launch my first elvish caravan into a pool of magma I will feel much better about myself. Fuck elves.

No seriously they yell at you for cutting down to many trees, but unless you find coal that is the only way you are going to be getting your furnaces to work. So you know, fuck elves. Anyway the game is retarded stupid fun and it has sucked away my evening far faster than I ever meant it to. I makes you think an aweful lot for a game, and I like that. City of Heros is fun but every once in a while I would like to play something that is intelectually stimulating.

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