She Watch Flarechannel, Zeroes

By Kieron Gillen on January 25th, 2010 at 6:19 pm.

I'm impressed when I make a fortress which is larger than a hole in the mud.

Just picked up at Qt3, here’s the ongoing thread by QuantumSawdust over at the Dwarf Fortress forums where he keeps you up to date about his (semi-retired) fortress, Flarechannel, as shown above Click through for the full image. Well over a year’s work. Many more astounding pics in the thread plus the save file, and I recommend you read The Fable of Catten and Eagle in the first post. I keep on wanting to go back to Dwarf Fortress, and things like this simultaneously make me never want to play it and never play anything but it .

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45 Comments »

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  1. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Dwarf Fortress post with an old skool PE referential title? Almost too much awesome in one go…

  2. terry says:

    I think I safely speak for dwarfdom when I say…holy crap.

    • Yargh says:

      yup, that’s exactly what I just said out loud after seeing the picture

  3. Acidburns says:

    The story about the Dwarf and the Eagle was awesome!

  4. Ed says:

    Holy carp, that is … insane. There’s no other word for it.
    I’ve seen some awesome builds before, but that wins.

  5. M.P. says:

    Procedural story generation in action. All it needed was a human slave to write it up :)

  6. Cooper says:

    I hate how I can’t get into DF.

    As much patience as I often have for amazing rough diamonds such as this, the incredibly clunky UI is something I can never get over. The 3D visualiser makes me cry to think just what the game -could- be like.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    One day someone will link arma and dwarf fortress and hearts of iron and the holy trinity will be achieved causing pc gaming judgement day, the faithful will be granted eternal low, all others will be removed from the book of life and cast into the fire.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Weeping salty tears of joy at that mere thought, here.

      Thanks.

    • autogunner says:

      I reckon you are right on that, its not a case of if but when…

    • MadMatty says:

      Yeah a big ´ol team of programmers should do the biznitz… combine Dwarf Fortress with the Red Faction: Guerilla Engine i say. Or get Eskil´s engine (from the “Love” MMo) running with Dwarf Fortress… its allready got modifiable terrain.

  8. eyemessiah says:

    The story about the dwarf and the eagle is great.

    DF is emergent storytelling at its most awesome and apeshit.

    @Cooper, persist some more!

  9. Iucounu says:

    Toady’s almost done on an awe-inspiring update to DF. I’ve been following the dev logs religiously for about a year now and it’s amazing just reading about the level of detail he’s going into.

  10. FreakinSyco says:

    I agree 100%. Dwarf Fortress is a chocolate candy that someone needs to put in a pretty wrapper.

  11. Tei says:

    Obviulsy on the megaawesome scale. Impresive fortress and very cool story.

  12. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    I love dwarf fortress but my eyes get very tired playing it so I hope for a graphical interface one day however often more fun than the games are the stories, the story of Quakebells was truely awesome but sadly died before ending :(

  13. StarDrowned says:

    I’ve forced myself to abstain from DF until Toady releases the next big version. I check the site at least twice a day, praying that he’ll have magically finished the years/months/weeks of work left and the fancy new release will be there.

    After months of this praying, it appears Toady is getting close. From the sounds of it, he’s mostly bug-checking and tidying up. Along with Stonesense, I’m sure I’ll have quite the fey mood, and create something fantastic. Or kill my family and jump into a magma pit. Fun will be had, in any case.

  14. Junior says:

    Don’t be discouraged Coop, even for people who want to love it, DF is a tough game to get started on. I myself simply bounced off it’s lack of interface the first 3 times I had a really serious go at playing, the last time I failed to play it I’d even just finished reading the great saga of Boatmurdered, alas, it wasn’t enough.

    Then something clicked and I refused to give in, my dwarves lived two happy years before an ambushing squad of goblins walked in through the open unguarded entrance (It turns out you have to lock the doors yourself.), as I helplessly watched the goblins mow down every dwarf and pet in my fortress, my guards slept happily on the floor below.

    And I started thinking how to prevent it in the next fortress, losing wasn’t fun, but it DID get me hooked.

  15. One F Jef says:

    Toady has finished all the major programming on the new version of DF, which, after bug fixes and testing, should be released soon(ish)!

    Here’s hoping!

    I’m still having fun playing with Adventure Mode in Dwarf Fortress. I even put up a series of Let’s Play’s on YouTube (nameclick to watch) and the madness and joy of DF is just as apparent within Adventure Mode as the Fortress Mode, plus, very little time obligation, as dying happens within minutes, most of the time.

  16. TauQuebb says:

    If your having trouble visulizing DF, you could use Stonesence, it gives you a seperate window in isometric view, its a WIP, long way to go though.

    http://www.bay12games.com/forum/index.php?topic=43260.0

    may help ya play it.

  17. Will Tomas says:

    I’m sorry, Dwarf Fortress, I know you’re probably one of the most brilliant games ever, but I just can’t get into an ASCII game. If anyone ever did a proper graphical version of it I’d definitely give it a bash, but until then…

  18. Clovis says:

    Hey, RPS, I don’t need to constantly check the DF website to see if the new version has been released, right? An event like that will surely get coverage here, right?

  19. Clovis says:

    Oh, just wanted to add that when I saw the image I immediately thought, “Hmm, RPS is covering something someone created in Minecraft. Heh, that must have taken days and days…. Hmm… Dwarf Fortress?” Mind stops working. I spent days playing DF and only created an ugly hole in the side of a mountain. That image is simply disturbing.

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      I also thought MineCraft at first, and was still fairly impressed. Then a couple of seconds later it clicked that it was Dwarf Fortress and I was absolutely stunned. I’ve completed a few minor engineering products in my time, but nothing that remotely compares to this.

      I really do need to get in there and build something stunning, or try to. Although last couple of times I’ve played I’ve embarked in areas with only standing water, which either evaporated in summer, or freezes in winter. I think I need to ensure a surface river. It might make things easier, but it also makes things more fun, as water is great for projects.

  20. Koozer says:

    People who can’t get past the graphics (or more accurately lack of them) are missing out on a truly wonderful game. Just think of it as reading a book: you see the characters on screen, and form in your mind the picture of your grand entrance hewn into the mountain side, maybe with a few blood smears on the tiles marking the sites of goblin intruder’s sticky ends at the hands of your hammerers.

    The book might have all the chapters jumbled up, and written in another language, but still…

    • Justin says:

      Agreed, I find the game more interesting when I can supply my own imagination. The challenge for most people is learning how to read the screen and my tip is simply this: use the k key if you don’t know what it is!

    • Alex says:

      I actually find the game harder to play using the tilesets. Much easier to distinguish types of dwarves by color than looking for a tiny little pick or something.

  21. eyemessiah says:

    Or use a tileset. I used to be an ascii purist, but I’ve been using Maydays for a while and haven’t looked back. The semi-graphical tilesets aren’t that hard to interpret. The interface is still pretty crazed until you learn it though, but again a video tutorial or two and your set!

  22. theleif says:

    That looks amazing!

    If you have trouble getting into the game i can recommend this wonderful tutorial/walkthrough:

    http://afteractionreporter.com/2009/06/03/complete-dwarf-fortress-tutorials-in-one-big-pdf/

    Wouldn’t have made it without it.

    Oh. If you prefer it as a web page, you can go here:
    http://afteractionreporter.com/2009/02/09/the-complete-and-utter-newby-tutorial-for-dwarf-fortress-part-1-wtf/

  23. LionsPhil says:

    Jesus, the tutorials just remind me why I gave up on this game until Toady sorts out the UI.

    Fake-CGA graphics fine (although I will continue to complain about needing 3D accelleration to render goddamn pixmaps).

    Arcane keyboard interface fine. Hell, I’m a Vim user. And I’ve had to use it with broken terminal emulators that mean none of that namby-pamby relying on “home” and “end” keys and such modern luxuries.

    Interface made on crack bad. I need to back out of this menu. Is it F9? Is it space? Escape? Hmm…moving the selection; is it HJKL? WASD? Arrows? Alt-arrows? Numpad (crippling laptop play)? Well, hey, it can be all of these things and more, because consistency is not something the DF interface has heard of.

  24. Mungrul says:

    Wow, awesome to see Flarechannel up on RPS.
    And I agree, the story of Catten & the Eagle is fantastic.

    For me, DF is quite possibly the best game I’ve ever played. I don’t like chucking hyperbole like that around, but it’s seriously how I feel. Inspired somewhat by Flarechannel and the equally awesome (although not quite as visual) Morul, the most interesting dwarf in the world, I am going fo a long-haul fortress,and am currently up to 21 years. A drop in the ocean compared to Flarechannel, but it’s so cool when you start seeing dwarves who were born in your fortress mature into adults.
    You also go slightly loopy thinking up new things to do with your fortress after a long anough period, so I can see how Flarechannel evolved.

    There’s some fantastic community artwork associated with some of the legendary dwarven tales on the forums too, so as well as reading about Cacame Awemedinade the Immortal Onslaught – The world’s most badass elf, I highly recommend reading about the succession fortress Headshoots.
    In fact, anything in the “Hall of Legends” thread on the Bay12 forums will keep you entertained for hours. You may even discover why “Urist McWhatever” has become the standard name of any given dwarf.
    Linkage: http://www.bay12games.com/forum/index.php?topic=41896.0

    No other game I’ve ever played has produced such fantastic stories from its community.

  25. Redd says:

    *dabs a tear*

  26. Bonedwarf says:

    Utterly wonderful game, that’s completely impenetrable, has the worst interface of any game ever (and I say this as a text based roguelike player), and the most idiotic keyboard commands going. (Enter and space do different things in different menus etc…)

    Still love it though. Invested a fair bit of time in it last year but until ONE of the above is sorted at least.

    Text based I can handle. Appalling interface I can handle. Bizarre keyboard usage I can handle.

    All 3 though is a bit much.

  27. Baboonanza says:

    Holy crap. I wrote the program that generated that 3D render. I HAVE A SCREENSHOT ON RPS.

    Now I can die.

    • Rinox says:

      Just make sure you go crazy first and kill a whole bunch of Dwarves before you do

    • Mungrul says:

      Or run around babbling incoherently and tearing off random articles of clothing before throwing yourself down the nearest well.

  28. Malibu Stacey says:

    I had the same problems with getting into Dwarf Fortress but I just don’t notice the interface issues anymore.
    I use Mike Mayday’s graphical pack which combined with Captain Duck’s video tutorials taught me the general stuff & everything else I either figured out myself or looked up on the DF Wiki.
    I don’t play it much anymore mostly because I get frustrated by the lack of certain gameplay features & am in a sort of limbo where I want to play it but I want to wait for the next release with all it’s bug-fixery & new-features. I’m also at that point with my fort where it’s actually difficult to fail as things like sieges & megabeasts are far too easily dealt with by my military & I have so much stuff lying around I literally can’t give it away to the traders.

  29. Malagate says:

    Congrats Baboonanza, one day I hope to use your rendering program with pride on an insanely developed dwarf fortress map.

    I see this and continuously think of making either a 7 Wonders of the World themed Mega Project map or Modern Capital Landmarks (White House, Eiffel Tower, Westminister…). Just imagining the logistics of an actual Bronze Collossus (of Rhodes) or getting all the detail in on the Commons building…intimidating and interesting to me.

  30. Osmosis Jones says:

    Hey Baboonanza, you going to update the visuliser again at all? You seem to have vanished from the forums! Also, Bonedwarf, if you’re complaining about the interface, you’ve obviously never played Aurora then. Think DF in space.

  31. Scaraban says:

    4 evry1 saying tht the interface or graphics r horrible, u can get graphics packs, hell, if ur ne good w/ code make ur own menu system, its all open source