Sub Commander is a free roguelike submarine simulator in the vein of FTL or Dwarf Fortress (but not as hard). You control the crew of a blocky nuclear attack submarine with an impressive number of onboard systems as you complete randomly generated missions. Everything from nuclear reactors to fire to ocean thermal layers to a world map complete with ports and realistic enemy ships is accurately modeled. Rock Paper Shotgun has two reviews, so far of this very playable work-in-progress. Currently only for Windows, but plays well with emulators. The learning curve is a bit steep, so some hints inside... [more inside]
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]
Dwarf Fortress: A Marxist Analysis
What one does in Dwarf Fortress is create a colony of an existing dwarven fortress – you’re always sent out as a team from a much larger existing stronghold elsewhere, and your foreign relations with other dwarves are limited to that particular fortress, on the whole. Even though your settlement is independent and self-governing, and the relations with the mother fortress mostly those of trade, the purpose of the game in all its open-endedness can be nothing other than to create oneself in the image of the previous fortress. In other words, fundamentally in Dwarf Fortress you reproduce the existing structure of dwarven society on a merely quantitatively expanded scale.[more inside]
Dwarf Fortress 2012 has been released! After DF2010 [mefi], Toady One had planned to keep up a regular schedule of smaller releases. But while adding 300+ animals from a fundraising drive, the feature set spiralled beyond expectation. [more inside]
Not sure what this Dwarf Fortress thing is all about? The Legend of Ungrashzon (German SLYT, English subtitles available) illustrates.
This Sunday's New York Times Magazine interviews the creators of epic ASCII megagame Dwarf Fortress......and Metafilter credited as the "popular blog" which fueled public awareness of DF! [more inside]
Toady One started with generating cities. That turned into cities with rivers and castles. Cities need sewers, and sewers means catacombs and dungeons. Catacombs and dungeons means undead creatures, which leads to necromancers and obviously, immortality. From there, it's only a few steps to werebeasts, specifically werelizards. [more inside]
Dwarf Fortress was recently updated. You probably tried to get addicted, but couldn't figure out what was going on. Me too. Here's an illustrated summary of the kind of things we're missing out on. Previously
Computation doesn't require complicated electronic circuitry. It can be done with mechanical gears, fluids, marbles, tinkertoys and dominoes, even the human eye. Recently folks have been building computers inside of virtual realities. It's been done with Minesweeper, Little Big Planet, and perhaps most ambitiously, a complete 8-bit computer built within Dwarf Fortress.
What can one learn from the design choices of past games? John Harris discusses different game aspects, 20 games at a time, at Game Design Essentials. You can read on 20 Open World Games (where generally the player is left to his own devices to explore a large world), see your destroyed controllers in a new light with 20 Difficult Games or check out 20 Mysterious Games (that rely on algorithmically-generated content or emphasize secret-hunting), 20 Unusual Control Schemes and 20 Atari Games. What about roguelikes, you say? [more inside]
The menacingly complex roguelike (previously) world-building game Dwarf Fortress (previously) is busting into the mainstream with an article in a gamer mag. Scans: page 1, page 2, page 3. For the less ASCII-minded among us, Let's Play has a thorough (and absurd, and tragic) chronicle of the fortress of Koganusan, or Boatmurdered, so you won't have to wait 20 minutes for the world to generate and be populated with mandrills and kobolds. via tigsource, where you should also check out their latest recommended independent games list.
Dwarf Fortress is the best game you haven't played yet. A rogue-like crossed with Civilization/Dungeon Keeper, freely available (although in Alpha), completely random and incredibly deep. The Wiki will help you get started.