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A dungeon simulator that does not make your eyes bleed
February 12, 2014 1:09 AM   Subscribe

KeeperRL is a Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress inspired dungeon simulator built on top of roguelike mechanics. [The] vision is that you are a Sauron-like character, searching for ultimate knowledge of destruction. What makes the game different from other RTS is that you can, and are encouraged to, control your main character and lead your minions to an open war. Caution: the game's still in early alpha, though it already looks like a lot of fun. [via Dwarf Fortress Facebook community]
posted by daniel_charms (19 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great fun! I hope the developer sticks with it. I'm convinced that the first person to make a visually appealing Dwarf Fortress style game with an intuitive interface will become filthy rich. (hint, hint game developers...)
posted by jet_manifesto at 1:47 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


That's going to be tough, as DF is clearly made by a mad genius with no regard for game design principles whatsoever.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 4:04 AM on February 12 [6 favorites]


>visually appealing Dwarf Fortress style game with an intuitive interface

There have been a few attempts.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:32 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


> I'm convinced that the first person to make a visually appealing Dwarf Fortress style game with an intuitive interface will become filthy rich. (hint, hint game developers...)

Gnomoria does it pretty well - with less complexity in certain areas (a lot less crops/monster types/etc.) but has a usable and intuitive graphical interface. It lacks some things that make dwarf fortress particularly fun, such as forgotten beasts and strange moods, but it's not inconceivable that they'll make it into the game at some point.
posted by BigCalm at 4:33 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Nice find - especially after that terrible attempt of EA to milk the Dungeon Keeper name. Roll on, evening!
posted by ersatz at 4:57 AM on February 12


I don't get it - I keep trying to move through this website's menu using the +/- keys, but it's not working. Maybe this menu uses the up/down arrow keys? Or is it one those sneaky j/k menus? Perhaps I'll just keep smashing tab until I find what I need . . .

Good find by the way.
posted by Think_Long at 5:31 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Ooooh apparently it's open source!
posted by xqwzts at 7:07 AM on February 12


Yeah, Gnomoria is a good mention here. I just picked it up from a Humble Sale for $2, and have found it's going a great job as a time machine - my open evenings have been disappearing quickly.

Yes, it's definitely not as deep as DF, but given how much of a head start DF has had in development time, it's to be expected. Gnomoria nails a lot of the basics really well, and does it with a very usable UI. It's actually made me a bit sad, thinking of what DF could be if some time were spent giving it a better look and something approaching usability.

If anyone has given up on DF due to being playable, Gnomoria is worth a try.
posted by evilangela at 8:15 AM on February 12


Oh yeah? Maybe I'll give it a try. I've downloaded Dwarf Fortress twice, and man, that thing is pretty impenetrable.
posted by zscore at 8:35 AM on February 12


You could also try Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress if you want to give DF the ol' college try.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:11 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I played a bunch of Dwarf Fortress a few years ago, tried picking it up again some months back, and found I didn't have the patience for completely restarting the learning curve. It could indeed use some serious UI work...

That said, I was pretty glad Gnomoria doesn't have a linux version, since it keeps me from losing dozens of hours.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:42 AM on February 12


I got Gnomoria in a sale. However, the first thing I found was selecting anything in its isometric view was a pain. I kept mining the wrong things due to the pain of selecting things.

DF's interface IS getting better, albit at a glacial pace. There are some good third party programs such as Dwarf Therapist (You want the spin off that is at version 20 something, not the original at version 0.something) which make things much better; There is also DFHacks, though I've not used it myself.
posted by Canageek at 9:45 AM on February 12


You could also try Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress if you want to give DF the ol' college try.

I recommend dipping into this even if you have no intention of playing the game. It's like a glimpse into an impossibly strange, impossibly complex alternate world. (And it's highly readable.)
posted by naju at 9:45 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind is that most attempts to make a DF-like (like Gnomoria) only recreate the fortress mode and are not doing the whole "massively complex procedural fantasy world simulator in which you can jump in as a single character or a fortress manager".

Still, smaller scope can be a good thing and I am a big fan of Gnomoria and the like. I will be checking out KeeperRL tonight. Thanks!
posted by history_denier at 10:05 AM on February 12


This looks like something fun to try. Just wish it (and Gnomoria) had Mac clients.

Prison Architect is also very much inspired by DF but I found it a bit gross and the graphics are definitely lacking.
posted by annekate at 11:25 AM on February 12


The typical way to learn to play Dwarf Fortress is the wiki, particularly the quickstart guide.

I'm a DF purist mostly, and I've had the good fortune to interview Tarn Adams twice. He's great.
posted by JHarris at 11:33 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


DFHack has a mini version of Dwarf Therapist that's not graphical but seemed to work a lot better with my machine.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:53 PM on February 12


To those disappointed with no Mac or Linux support, it appears to work just fine in Wine, completely stock, no trickery involved. As an aside, Wine on Mac has been getting really impressive lately. No X11 layer required now! Things tend to Just Work.
posted by WaylandSmith at 1:56 AM on February 13




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