“It's never 'just a game' when you're losing.”
March 14, 2019 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Dwarf Fortress Coming to Steam [YouTube][Announcement Trailer] “Dwarf Fortress, the famously complex and often inscrutable colony simulation, is coming to Steam and itch.io. The new version will be published by Kitfox Games, a Montreal-based independent studio, and will include graphics, music, sounds, and Steam Workshop integration. An ASCII-based mode will still be available in this new version, and development of the original game will continue unabated.” [via: Polygon]

• The co-creator of Dwarf Fortress is getting older, but his work remains unfinished [Polygon]
““I just want to be careful,” Adams told me. “I just want to be careful about the phrasing here. This is one of the most important pieces of messaging out of this announcement.” Rather than an endpoint, the move on to Valve’s massive digital marketplace is merely intended to open up Dwarf Fortress to a wider audience. And in order to get more players, Adams will need to spend time adding polish. Sales of the Steam version will then allow Tarn Adams and his brother Zach Adams, who do business as Bay 12 Games, the financial freedom they need to continue making Dwarf Fortress for as long as they’re physically able. So yes; Dwarf Fortress is coming to Steam. But the game itself isn’t anywhere near being finished. And, if Adams has anything to say about it, it likely never will be.”
posted by Fizz (53 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this!

Toady did an AMA on Reddit that goes into a bit more detail about what to expect.
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels at 1:26 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

This kinda terrifies me, because I've been avoiding DF for 5-7 years assuming that one day I will go back and it may devour me for good. Amazing game, but also takes over my life when I really get into it, so I've had to step away more than once.
posted by tocts at 1:28 PM on March 14 [10 favorites]

The graphics reminds me of those EGA overlays for ASCII-based BBS door games, ala Global Wars or LoD.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:37 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

Remember, kids, losing is fun!
posted by tobascodagama at 1:50 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

Rimworld beat them to it, sort of.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:53 PM on March 14

The main reason they stated for doing this is pretty goddamn sad -- because they live in a country with expensive and unstable healthcare.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:54 PM on March 14 [21 favorites]

Rimworld beat them to it, sort of.

Pffff, Rimworld doesn't even have Z levels...
posted by Pendragon at 2:21 PM on March 14 [17 favorites]

I may finally play this game.
posted by Splunge at 2:31 PM on March 14

Yeah, I poked at DF a couple of times and it was interesting, but it was too dense for me, too hard to follow, even as an oldschool nethack player, so this appeals to me.
posted by Kyol at 2:35 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

I hope they maintain the full title of the game:

Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress
posted by vogon_poet at 2:36 PM on March 14 [12 favorites]

Available: time is subjective

love it!
posted by bigendian at 2:37 PM on March 14

I just stick to Rimworld. I'm scared of anything with a more complex user interface. Either I'll waste a million years trying to get used to it and failing or I'll end up putting five million years into manipulating an unnecessarily complex interface.
posted by praemunire at 2:49 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]

I hate to say anything negative about indie games, especially one that is (was?) free but to those who are unaware DF is an extremely unpolished alpha release.

Check out Oxygen Not Included or Prison Architect; two DFlike games that are much more finished. ONI in particular really scratches that itch to the extent that I had to stop playing so I can continue to eat and pay my mortgage and stuff.
posted by iamnotangry at 3:00 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

to those who are unaware DF is an extremely unpolished alpha release

As a person who has spent probably a thousand hours on various release of DF and also stopped playing it in the hopes of one day returning when it wouldn't destroy my life, I am going to say that this does not really sound like an accurate way to describe it. Literally every version, all the way back to the super early, years-before-a-z-level stuff has been absolutely enthralling, with tons to do and see. But, it's also a moving target, because Bay 12 Games kinda does what they want and is willing to develop it slowly over time.

And as an old-school nethack person, while I get the interface isn't great, I never personally found it a big deal. More polish would be good, but it's always felt worth continuing to play even if the UI is not ideal.
posted by tocts at 3:10 PM on March 14 [16 favorites]

The game is just too slow for me. I don't even mean in terms of the gameplay. I mean the program itself. I had a lot of fun back when I had no idea how to play and my fortresses always fell to ruin in a relatively short amount of time. Now that I'm better at it? Gameplay slows to a crawl. It's single-threaded on any version I've ever played on and it really, really shows.
posted by quillbreaker at 4:04 PM on March 14

I would buy it in a heartbeat if they released it for Nintendo Switch.
posted by holmesian at 4:09 PM on March 14 [4 favorites]

Heh. "This game runs way too slow on my PC."
"Can we get a Switch version?"
posted by straight at 4:47 PM on March 14 [5 favorites]

Rimworld beat them to it, sort of.

Y'all know that Rimworld is far from the only DF-like, right? (I've also heard 'em called "colony sims".) It's a whole genre at this point, albeit a minor one.

There's also Gnomoria, Oxygen Not Included, Banished, Timber and Stone, Prison Architect...some are arguably more DF-like than others, but they're all recognizably of a category.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:58 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

Many of the suggested alternatives are much better as *games* than Dwarf Fortress, but none of them offer the ludicrous specificity that has been poured into every nook and cranny over the many years of Dwarf Fortress’ development.

The reason Dwarf Fortress runs so very badly is frequently that it’s simulating far more details than any sane game would bother with and that allows it to generate experiences that just aren’t possible anywhere else.

Most of the complaints and criticisms of Dwarf Fortress are absolutely true, certainly the UI really *is* that bad. Nevertheless there’s a reason it’s such a legend, he’ll even the patch notes have provided me literally hours of joy over the years, just reading about the bizarre ways such a detailed simulation can fall apart.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 6:26 PM on March 14 [10 favorites]

I’ve got to agree with those saying DF is more than sufficiently complete. It may not have the controller-based, button pushing interface that you want, but plenty of great games have had even less UI. Dwarf Fortress is either the vim of RPGs, or the emacs of roguelikes, depending which perspective you are coming from.

That said, I find it a bit surprising that people describe its interface as “ASCII”. DF speaks OpenGL, it just happens to use ASCII glyphs. So it’s not going to run on your vintage vt100 or Chromebook. (Chromebook: maybe if Crostini ever supports Accelerated graphics well enough in Linux mode)

Finally, I’m not sure I’d want the auto-updates that come with Steam distribution. I’m very glad I get to manually control my KSP updates (since I didn’t buy that on Steam either), which really means I get to upgrade when all of my plugins are updated. I’ve only really dipped my toes into DF (probably under 100 hours so far), and I’ve already run into plugins/tools that didn’t work with the latest DF binary I was playing at the time.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:59 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]

it’s simulating far more details than any sane game would bother with 

Kerbal Space Program : orbital mechanics :: DF : geology
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:53 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

I found Dwarf Fortress to be pleasantly feature-complete the last time I played it, which I think is A DECADE AGO.

I think it's helpful to think of the development of Dwarf Fortress less as a traditional development process of defining a scope, building to that scope, and shipping it, and more like two people's long-running obsessive hobby that now also manages to pay the bills (sort of). The thing they've built is undeniably quirky in ways that are endearing (the myriad microsystems they've programmed into the game over the years like giving dwarves a functional circulatory system), frustrating (the user interface) and borderline damaging (performance issues with a sufficiently advanced fortress). For a long time they eschewed any sort of open version control system that might allow others to submit code patches or whatever (and for all I know, they may still not have one!). They didn't even have a proper bug tracker, though obviously that didn't stop Toady from posting succinct yet hilarious bugfix reports going back to the start of the project.

It's clearly an idiosyncratic labour of love, and though there would be tangible benefits to embracing things like version control software, multithreading and unit testing (as of five years ago Toady said he didn't think that would be easy to add!), it's also very true that Dwarf Fortress is the phenomenon it is today in part because of its idiosyncratic development. It's as homegrown as any massively popular game can be; imagine if Minecraft had never sold out and the way you paid for it was still to go to some random website and Paypal someone $15. That's Dwarf Fortress, minus the part where you have to pay for it. (Also hopefully the part where the creator is a massive homophobic asshole; my sense is that Toady and ThreeToe are pretty nice people.)
posted by chrominance at 8:07 PM on March 14 [9 favorites]

I played Dwarf Fortress once. I was in love with the concept — still am, in fact. But the actual mechanism of playing the game was the opposite of fun. They should really just call the thing Menu Quest because it has so. many. menus. Menu trees. Nested menus. Menus within menus. Dear lord I never wanted to see a menu again after that.

I’ve heard the game is more fun with the various add-on packs that add graphics and whatnot, so I’ll probably give the Steam version a try.

But seriously, dude. Menus.
posted by panama joe at 8:24 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

I won't disagree with anyone who found Dwarf Fortress extremely frustrating from a user interface standpoint. But - I took a chance, watched a bunch of Youtube Let's Plays, bought a Kindle book, and had a couple of absolutely enthralling fortresses that survived for a decent chunk of time before the inevitable lycanthrope invasion. (I never made up my mind to either figure out how to defend my fort better or turn off lycanthropes.)

For my money it's a more interesting game than any other similar game that I've tried. Banished is grim, and except for the high difficulty level there's not much that's interesting or fun to it. The pleasure of colony-sim games for me is in thinking of all the characters as my people who have personalities, who have histories, who get in arguments with each other, who get happy when they make a nice chair. Dwarf Fortress does that for me.

The Steam version will wait until I defend my thesis, get a job, and upgrade my computer, but I'm looking forward to it.
posted by Jeanne at 9:25 PM on March 14 [6 favorites]

I've played Prison Architect, Oxygen Not Included, Dwarf Fortress, and Rimworld. I would describe them thus:
ONI > PA > RW > DF
If we are going from "not dwarf fortress" to "actually dwarf fortress."
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:47 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]

ONI requires plumbing and engineering design skills much earlier than the others, which is very bad for this liberal arts major, but also has Klei sentimentality.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:49 PM on March 14

Check out Gnomoria, then. It's the most DF-like of them all. I'm always surprised by how little attention it gets.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:05 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

I’m surprised people are offering up Rimworld as an alternative, given that its creator is a GamerGater, which came to light after it was discovered that homophobic assumptions are hard-coded into the game.

That game is right up my alley, but I refuse to support that creep.
posted by thoroughburro at 5:20 AM on March 15 [3 favorites]

What is the best way to get into Dwarf Fortress? If someone doesn't mind DM'ing me a few links or some youtube tutorials (I've tried searching myself but there's just SOOO much) and I want to make sure I install the right pack and the right files. I'm interested but when I search there's all these different versions and packs and I'm lost.
posted by Fizz at 5:49 AM on March 15

Here's the only important fact to know about this: Toady will not be hiring real game programmers to help him, nor accepting any of the many (many!) offers of volunteer help.

Which means that DF will continue to be simultaneously amazing and awful, both fantastic and horrible, both the best game ever developed and also the worst piece of shit you'll ever have the misfortune to encounter.

For a mathematician Toady is a pretty good game programmer, which means that as a game programmer he sucks and that's the core problem with DF.

Yes, you can get used to the horrible, horrible, user interface. Is it horrible because DF is a complex game? No, it's horrible because for a mathematician Toady is a pretty good game programmer, which means he literally didn't even know the better, long established, ways to build a user interface for a complex game. So he cobbled together a horrible solution that sort of, kind of, works. I've committed it to muscle memory, I can't actually tell you how to build a chair, but I can hit the right keys and do it without thinking.

But the fact remains that Dwarf Fortress exists in this odd juxtaposition of being one of the worst games ever written and also being one of the best games ever written. From a conceptual standpoint DF is so god tier amazing it's hard to put into words. The sheer, insane, bonkers, level of detail and obsession put into the game make it amazing and beautiful in a way that no other game I can think of matches.

But from any standpoint other than conceptual, it's total shit.

Beginning with how your game will end once you've mastered the basics and are no longer losing your fortress to starvation. I can tell you exactly how your game will end, anyone who has played DF for a while can tell you. Your game will end with you giving up because you've built too much, and have a big enough population that the FPS drops to a completely unacceptable rate and you decide you don't really want to sit around with your fort running at one tick every few seconds so it takes ten or fifteen real world minutes just for a dorf to climb up the stairs and get outside with a box of trade goods.

And why do all games end like that? Because Toady didn't understand how to do multi-threading when he first started writing DF, and now he's decided that the codebase is too fragile, complex, and all around a huge mess of a kludge to bother going back and trying to implement it [1].

And it's like that because Toady has decided his code is so precious and special that no other person shall ever be permitted to gaze upon it. Which is entirely his right, but it's also really frustrating to see DF eternally held back and kept shitty because of Toady's ego and need for total control.

We see this same combination of amazing and awful in talk about even the most basic and needed of player quality of life improvements. Toady has vague, ill defined, plans for some day having an expansion that does cool stuff with guilds and workshops, so he doesn't want to waste time improving the current labor management system which is so horribly broken that you essentially must download a separate program that hacks the memory occupied by DF and does it for you.

Toady is always chasing the next cool concept, leaving a pile of slow, buggy, kludged together code behind because he wants to do the next cool thing instead of the boring work of making his game playable. And that's part of why DF is so amazing: he's doing all this super cool stuff that is being copied in dozens of other games! But it's also why DF sucks so badly, because he's always doing the next cool thing instead of cleaning up his godawful code.

Which leaves me in this really frustrated spot, kind of like how I feel about GURPS. I love DF, and I hate DF. Every few years I download it, marvel an the cool new features, play until my fortress succumbs to the dread FPS monster and becomes unplayable, and then shrug and uninstall for another few years.

I hope one day, perhaps it won't be until Toady dies and maybe not even then, someone can rewrite the entire game engine from scratch so it has all the features of DF but also a proper UI, multi-threading from the ground up, a mod API for easy implementation of new cool things, and so on.

Until then, I'll keep playing DF every few years, and feeling aggravated that the awesomeness of Dwarf Fortress is combined with the shittiness of Dwarf Fortress.

When I first heard that Today was putting DF on Steam I had high hopes that maybe he'd actually be letting someone fix his godawful code, but that won't be happening so it'll continue to keep being both awesome and awful. I hope he can afford his needed healthcare with the money though.

[1] Note, this is not actually true. It'd be (fairly) straightforward if long and annoying and miserable to put the main game loop in one thread and at least offload pathing to another thread or two which would give performance a massive boost.
posted by sotonohito at 6:24 AM on March 15 [9 favorites]

> What is the best way to get into Dwarf Fortress?

Starter pack here - http://dffd.bay12games.com/file.php?id=7622

Change the tileset to something that's not the default so it's not completely horrific to play, no aquifers, reduce the max pop a bit (a little over 80 is good) to stop the lag monster, autosave: seasonal.

For brand new players, I would recommend starting several forts and trying to understand certain things in each new game - don't try and take it all in at once. The essential skills you need to learn are:

* How to dig
* How to set up stockpiles and workshops
* How to seal the base
* How to set up farms and pasture animals

I've fallen out of love with Dwarf Fortress myself though - the main issue I have with it is that Toady clearly wants to build a fantasy world story generator, with the ideal goal seemingly being that nobody actually has to play it (world-gen and read the stories instead). There's also the fact that some bugs should be straightforward and easy to fix, but Toady is too busy implementing were-cat religions and their effects on local barbarians or whatever to worry about why archers keep turning up to battles with no arrows, or why nobody ever makes any friends, let alone marries. Contrary to popular belief, forts don't normally die due to invasions, they die because of lag - people just stop playing it when it gets too bad.
posted by BigCalm at 7:30 AM on March 15 [4 favorites]

What is the best way to get into Dwarf Fortress?

I haven't read it, so I can't comment on its quality, but there's an O'Reilly book.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:04 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

Toady has always impressed me with his relentlessness of vision concerning Dwarf Fortress. He develops it exactly how he feels like, at the pace he wants, the wailing of the community be damned. Following DF development is a little like hopping on board a cross-country road trip, LA to NY, with NY in this metaphor being a polished game with good performance. Toady doesn't give a shit about any of that and drives the bus to the Yukon just because he thinks it is more interesting to code. It makes for a hard game to like. You thought you were eventually going to be seeing a show on Broadway, but instead you're stomping around the tundra pretending you still like where this is going.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:33 AM on March 15 [4 favorites]

I hope one day, perhaps it won't be until Toady dies

This isn't a mod comment, just a personal one, but jesus christ maybe step back and reread your whole long unkind comment and ask yourself if this is a degree of personalized shit-taking on someone else's work for failing to be executed to your preferences that you actually feel cool about entitling yourself to. I very much get being frustrated that a thing you like suffers from its idiosyncrasies but yikes I would not want the person writing that as a fan.
posted by cortex at 8:37 AM on March 15 [17 favorites]

I think someone gave me a copy of DF to try, but I don't think I ever played.

It seems this game's reputation forms around three things:
1) Lone genius-visionary
2) Life long project that will probably never be finished
3) Super complex video game with a steep learning curve and SO many mechanics and things going on

I mean, any one of these things alone would be narratives or themes that the internet likes a lot, but all three seem to create a perfect stew of a modern day myth or tall tale.

I do admit that I am a little curious, but partly because of my own skepticism to the hype. I mean is it really that good?
posted by FJT at 8:47 AM on March 15

DF might be better thought of as a highly interactive ant farm. There is a lot going on, and the tutorials give you a clear progression of skills to master. Just learning to play is interesting. Running several timelines is interesting.

It’s easy to get frustrated with DF (but that’s just one of the challenges), but hard to become bored.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:50 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]

I do admit that I am a little curious, but partly because of my own skepticism to the hype. I mean is it really that good?

In my opinion, no. You have to have a very specific set of wants in order to enjoy it. You have to love tedium, minutiae, and figuring things out to consider it a "good game". And by figuring things out, I don't mean in a puzzle game sense. I mean liking needlessly complex things for the sake of their complexity.

Asking is DF is any good is like asking whether a 1952 manual pickup is a good daily driver. 99% of people will say no, and they'd be right. It's needlessly hard to drive and has no modern niceties. But that 1% who say yes are judging it on a completely different scale.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:58 AM on March 15 [3 favorites]

I mean is it really that good?

I haven't played DF in years, and it's obviously changed a lot in the meantime. But, back in the day:

I was already into roguelikes, weird freeware/indie stuff, and complex sandbox/simulation games.

I kept hearing about DF, and it sounded intriguing, so I kept trying to play it. And kept failing. The UI really is impenetrable. The learning curve is more like a cliff.

But sometime around the fourth try, I finally had the "aha!" moment where it all started making sense. And, from that moment, I was hooked. Like, bleary-eyed, playing-until-4-in-the-morning hooked. It was a game that was basically tailor-made to push all of my personal buttons. It basically invented a genre.

But the UI remains very frustrating. And then came the clones - all of which are much more polished software, nd more thought out as games. DF's rough edges and anarchic spirit are a big part of its charm, but also a source of much annoyance.

It's a hugely innovative game, which scratches some rather niche itches, and has since been supplanted by more playable clones.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:15 AM on March 15 [5 favorites]

And by figuring things out, I don't mean in a puzzle game sense. I mean liking needlessly complex things for the sake of their complexity.

Ask yourself, does the concept of a game that separately models different specific heat capacities in different materials but mapped to a temperature scale that starts 9508 degrees below absolute zero (for no reason that has ever been explained as far as I know) strike you as goofily charming or infuriatingly stupid? Keep in mind that all this temperature modeling will absolutely be dragging down performance.

But wait, there's more: if you turn off the temperature modeling to combat lag, now dwarves will treat obsidian as lava, since they can't reference the current temperature of the material anymore and can't tell the difference. If you still find this amusing, sure, it might be worth giving the game a shot.
posted by Copronymus at 9:21 AM on March 15 [8 favorites]

I mean is it really that good?

If you're a certain kind of obsessive person, then yes it is.

Dwarf Fortress is a game where if you want a steel sword you have to find the iron ore, mine the ore, lug the ore back up to a smelter, source fuel for the smelter, smelt the ore to make iron. Then you have to find flux of some sort (there's several possibilities), source more fuel, smelt the flux and iron to make a steel bar. Then you have to source fuel for a forge, and have a smith use the forge and the steel to make a sword.

All of that requires one, or more, dwarves to be doing the labor, the dwarves must be fed, supplied with booze, given space and time to sleep, and so on. And you've got to find a way to keep the dwarves safe, fed, drunk, and (relatively) happy while also doing the supply chain stuff involved in what you actually want to make.

To me, it's amazing and I love it. If that sounds like an insane amount of work that's way too damn hard then it's probably not the game for you. If you like Factorio, you'll probably also like Dwarf Fortress, there's a lot of crossover fandom because both scratch that management of lots of details itch.

cortex I don't think of myself as being/feeling entitled in this context, but I'll concede I might be wrong. I thought I was expressing the dual love/hate relationship most DF players have with the game. Maybe I was just being an asshole. I often am, despite efforts not to be.

It's true that I both love and hate Dwarf Fortress, and I didn't intend to be an asshole. But intent doesn't matter, and truth is perhaps not always best expressed bluntly. It's a game that inspires a lot of passion in me, both good and bad.
posted by sotonohito at 9:54 AM on March 15 [5 favorites]

Also a consideration in whether you will like this game: How well can you stand klunk standing in the way of an obvious solution? Personally it aggravates me when I know exactly what I want to do, I know it's possible, and yet can't figure out how to navigate the inscrutable interface and mechanics to make it happen. For instance, if someone typed out the instructions on how to make a shower and make dwarves use it to clean themselves, I would imagine you'd stop reading by the second page. Hint, it involves figuring out how to mine below the aquifer and exploiting bugs in mine carts.

I love the game but boy howdy is it a niche product.
posted by FakeFreyja at 10:15 AM on March 15

I've never been able to find solid evidence that the Rimworld dev supports gamergate. His modeling of pawns' romantic interactions reflects some dumb and offensive stereotypes, and he reacted the way a typical white male techbro does when called on things like that. Not attractive, but not a dealbreaker to me (you better believe his reaction to being told that he didn't model women's behavior well was typical amongst devs, so if you find his views objectionable, get ready to jettison every AAA game as well [which would actually be a perfectly defensible approach]); distinct from supporting real-world harassment and the like.
posted by praemunire at 10:21 AM on March 15

Well, in the top results for “rimworld gamergate” is this link. It’s from a KotakuInAction thread in which they’re crowing about how he dunked on a “SJW” and defended GamerGate.

In it he explicitly defends KotakuInAction and downplays the harm of GamerGate.

Maybe he’s never solidly called himself a GamerGater, but it’s always been clear where his sympathies lie.
posted by thoroughburro at 10:39 AM on March 15 [7 favorites]

Spring, 3rd year

The savannah is beautiful - beautiful finger limes, date palms, and pomelo trees dot the landscape. Lions, Elephants, Cheetahs and Pangolins roam over the plains and the stockade of Sterruscatten stands as a beacon of civilization in the midst of the wilderness. The inhabitants are joyous, well fed and watered, and happy in their jobs.

The tranquil scene is, however, marred by the enormous crowd of undead camped out on the doorstep, that kills all the lions, elephants, cheetahs, dingos, warthogs and whatever else happens to wander into this godforsaken place.
And when I said "well fed and watered" I mean I have 4 tiles of dirty aquifer water, diminishing food supplies and one type of booze. And when I said "beacon of civilization" I'm kind of assuming that the zombies have -some- civilization - after all they've got much better weapons and are wearing much better armour than anything my subterranean dwarves can manage right now. Some of the undead have as predicted, scaled the walls and killed all of my animals. Probably out of boredom.
posted by BigCalm at 12:42 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]

In it he explicitly defends KotakuInAction and downplays the harm of GamerGate.

Of course they claim him; they think everybody secretly agrees with them and just won't admit it.

If we're going to--as I advocate--start holding people accountable for their crappy behavior, then we have a corresponding responsibility to evaluate the evidence with care. This reads like typical retrograde tech-bro politics to me (the "well, the mods delete the bad stuff, so the culture is okay!" type excuses, which are really just a form of denial). I'm not a fan of those politics, and I certainly don't care about Rimworld enough to be invested in maintaining a belief in the guy's being virtuous, but inasmuch as gamergate constitutes meaningful real-world harassment, I think it's worth drawing the line. If even what's he said is too much for you to ever consider buying Rimworld, honestly, I understand and respect that, but it doesn't rise to actual boycott level to me and I think it's important to be accurate in how we characterize him.
posted by praemunire at 2:26 PM on March 15

hey, you know what's nice? I was prominently personally attached to the Dwarf Fortress announcement yesterday, and received neither harassment or doubts about my competency. wow! looking forward to that not feeling like a surprise! <3
- @tanyaxshort
posted by ODiV at 2:31 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]

If you'd like to see what DF is about without the stress and/or bafflement and/or danger* of actually playing it yourself, I greatly recommend a youtuber called Kruggsmash. He plays through the game, but instead of showing you all the tedious moment-to-moment, he just gives the part you want: the incredible stories that fall out of it, which he lavishly hand-illustrates. "Monsterkiller" is a good place to start, since it's a complete series; "Honeystoker" is his current fort.

*In my particular case, the danger of playing it for 36 hours straight without sleeping and then passing out in the bathroom and breaking my shoulder.
posted by rifflesby at 5:10 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]

I think it's important to be accurate in how we characterize him.

Yeah he is only concerned about ethics in game journalism! And he says GG has benefited plenty of women! Nothing problematic about that at all. Nope, nothing to see here except SJW snowflakes overreacting again.
posted by iamnotangry at 5:17 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]

*In my particular case, the danger of playing it for 36 hours straight without sleeping and then passing out in the bathroom and breaking my shoulder.

Amateurishly or lavishly illustrate plz.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:27 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]

I just realized it's been about a decade since I gave my life over to Dwarf Fortress for a few weeks. It was the best part of a really bad part of my life. Dwarf Fortress took over my brain when it was inclined to think only self-destructively. I'll always feel a sense of gratitude to it, even if it's unlikely I'll ever get delve deep into it again.
posted by Kattullus at 3:26 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]

It's been ages since I've played this. Just installed PeridexisErrant's Starter Pack. Wish me luck!
posted by ODiV at 3:37 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]

If you want to get an idea of the incredible complexity of the game, you might want to check out the Dwarf Fortress Bugs Twitter (these are *real* bugs!).
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]

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