Dwarf Fortress on Steam gets a release date, trailer and graphics beyond ASCII

Deux vues d'une scène <em>Dwarf Fortress</em>in the original graphics and in the next version Steam/Itch.io.”/><figcaption class=

Enlarge / Two views of a dwarf fortress scene, in the original graphics and in the next version of Steam/Itch.io.

Kitfox/Kevin Purdy Games

The version of dwarf fortress which looks and feels more like a game than a DOS-era driver issue will be discovered on December 6, the creators and its publisher announced tuesday.

There is a trailera $30 prize and, if things go according to plan, versions for Steam and Itch.io arrived that day. Purchasing these editions gets you a version with improved graphics, music, user interface and hotkeys, and – perhaps most importantly – a Tutorial. It also supports the brothers who have worked on the game for over 16 years, offering it for free and subsisting on donations. This free version of the game, ASCII graphics and all, will remain available.

You can see the difference in appearance in the release trailer:

dwarf fortress Steam Edition trailer, featuring pixels that most humans can interpret as representations of real objects.

Or, for those who don’t want to embed animated images, here are some screenshots showing nearly identical scenes from the trailer:

While the trailer focuses on the Steam version, dwarf fortress will also be sold through Itch.io, where creators typically receive a larger portion of the profits. That’s important to Zach and Tarn Adams, the two creators and coders who brought the project to fruition, and both have faced family health issues in recent years, including a cancer scare for Zach in the late 2010s.

What does the game actually look like? Casey Johnston, former Ars writer spent 10 hours looking for this answer. Here is an excerpt from his report:

I’m already in this thing, about eight hours deep, so it’s time to fix a problem. Googling the “uneconomical stone” error takes me to the wiki. This error can occur “when a dwarf wallows in a corner and is unable to get out to fetch more rocks”. Be careful when building your mason’s workshop, as some parts of it obstruct movement. Otherwise, there may be too many economical rock types around (special use stone) or a stockpile could block loose stones that could be used to craft things. I should be able to mine more and generate more loose stones, but I’m trying to mine. Not a single thing changes.

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