Welcome Gnome: A Game Of Dwarves Dev Diary

Zeal Game Studio’s Robin Flodin goes into a bit more detail on the development of A Game Of Dwarves in a new developer diary, which you can see below. He discusses the management of your dwarves, building your economy, and the open-ended building/management challenge that the game offers. Dealing with dungeons full of monsters becomes an issue, too, says Flodin, and he explains that this aspect becomes “tower defense-ish” as you work out how to deal with enemies.

There are also neutral gnomes.


  1. Creaturemagic says:

    So its a resource management/RTS game with the Dwarves being like Sims (Needing sleep and having moods.)

    • Flakfizer says:

      It’s Dwarf Fortress Lite with an art budget and a workable UI

    • B1A4 says:

      It’s Dungeon Keeper with Dwarves

    • P7uen says:

      Your dwarves are angry, they have nowhere to live.

    • atticus says:

      A dwarf has died, and risen as a short skeleton.

    • Phantoon says:

      Map information has been divulged by the victim in the Cartography Chamber.

    • RogB says:

      I keep reading these in the DK narrator voice.

      i watched ‘Peppa Pig’ for ages with my kids wondering why Daddy Pig’s voice made me confused.
      link to youtube.com

      Then I booted up DK2 and realised Its the same bloke! (Richard Ridings). Very odd.

    • mckertis says:

      “It’s Dungeon Keeper with Dwarves ”

      It doesnt look like it will go anywhere near Dwarf Fortress, even though its obvious what this game is based on. The main unique feature of Dwarf Fortress is emergent gameplay due to overwhelming complexity. This game will not have that in any way i can see. So Dungeon Keeper is much closer in scope.

    • Kamos says:

      I agree that it looks a lot more like Dungeon Keeper than Dwarf Fortress.

  2. Fadobo says:

    Still looks like Dungeon Keeper without charm.

  3. Ett_1762 says:

    The guy’s blocking the view, I can’t see the game!

    • Lev Astov says:

      I know, right? Every time something interesting happens, they scroll it right behind him.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yeah, I’m also not really for that trend to have developers comment the videos like this.

      I mean, dev blog, dev diary, sure, it’s interesting. But as a simple voiceover, and with only the game on screen. Because that’s what I’m interested in looking at, the actual game!

  4. zeroskill says:

    Oh look its another game trying to rip-off Dwarf Fortress. Big surprise here. After Dwarfs!, Towns behold A Game of Dwarves! However I have to say the last entry in: “whos the most simplistic Dwarf Fortress rip-off and charge money for it” competition at least has an imaginative name. A Game of Dwarves! Whats next one might wonder. A Game with Dwarves in it? Town Fortress? Dwarf Towns?

    • Belsameth says:

      With a response like that you can just as easily say that DF ripped off Dungeon Keeper.

      They all do their own little thing and, to me, this looks and feels more like DK then DF which is in a league of it’s own.

      Towns is quite good actually, I have to add.

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      I was thinking “A Song of Booze & Magma”.

    • Belua says:

      I was thinking “A Song of Booze & Magma”

      Shut up and take my money!

      Edit: Quote fail.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      Next will be “DwarfCraft” where you can’t see over the blocks.

    • sneetch says:


      To my knowledge the designers of Dwarf Fortress never claimed to have any claim on this genre of game (or indeed the idea of dwarves in a game) so is there really a need to ride in to Dwarf Fortresses defence? I like Dwarf Fortress but I wonder how long the list of games that it “ripped off” would be?

      Just about every Roguelike to start with, Dungeon Keeper, Anno 1602, Settlers, Sim City, Stronghold…

    • mckertis says:

      “you can just as easily say that DF ripped off Dungeon Keeper.”

      You cant. Not easily. You have to really stretch things to be able to say that.

    • speedwaystar says:

      Team Dwarf Fortress 2: hatters gonna hat

  5. RogB says:

    I’m all for more DK style games, but is this Level/objective Based?

    After playing a lot of (pre Z Axis) Dwarf fortress, I tried going back to DK2 and got so bored with the linear level based progression (introducing a couple of new things per level, but having to redo your dungeon each time so it was quite disposable and I never really felt any ‘ownership’ to it)
    i dont know if that makes any sense.

    DF give you everything which is overwhelming but you really feel attached to each fortress.

    Even something like Anno 1404 i’d prefer to play as a pure sandbox rather than having to complete objectives

    Is there any way a commercial game could skip the levels and go pure sandbox, or would people not be ready for that?

    • kalelovil says:

      Watch the video from 0:52

      Sandbox mode and quest based campaign levels are both options in the game.

    • RogB says:

      I hope so, I initially understood it as objective based (but you can keep playing).

      Objective based also usually means predetermined levels..
      As long as its got a good random map generator i’ll be happy

  6. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Back in my day, “tower defense-ish” was called “defense”.

  7. Drake Sigar says:

    I am so going to delve too greedily and too deep.

  8. Derppy says:

    My interest in this game is directly tied to how many features and how much complexity it lends from Dwarf Fortress. So far my interest is pretty low.

    If I ever get to play a game that’s basically Dwarf Fortress, but with proper UI and graphics, I can die happy. Too bad the project would be some massive and so demanding from hardware, that it’s not happening any time soon.

    Not exactly fair towards the developer to compare the game to DF, but I’m desperate for my dream game.

    • Joshua IX says:

      DF is really easy to get used to though – especially if you get a graphics pack. It seems like a brick wall on a difficulty curve, but you can learn it reasonably well in a few days. I stress the term ‘reasonably’ though – I’ve been playing for years and I still fail frequently in the harder biomes…

    • theleif says:

      The problem is if I don’t play it for a couple of months, when I come back to it, I’ve forgotten most of the commands. So i have to spend hours on relearning it all. That has stopped me from trying out the new version so far.
      Well that and Crusader Kings 2.

      I’m really looking forward to a DF light, and I’m pretty sure that this game will help getting more people to play DF proper as well.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      For whatever reason developers are really, really excited to borrow the whole “manage short men in a hole” aspect of DF, but are (rightly IMO) not that interested in the rest of the game. I mean, I get it – no one wants to manage elves, and we already have plenty of castle-dwelling men managers. I think the simplicity of a lot of these newer games seems to beg for goblins or orcs (or god forbid, make up a unique fantasy race of your own…), but I’m not holding the choice of stubby ale swilling treasure crazed madmen against them.

      That said, having finally sat down and learned DF recently, it really isn’t that bad with the lazy newb pack and some captain duck videos running in the background. I actually love the keyboard driven UI, and I really like the abstracted graphics – it leaves room to flesh out and imagine this fortress you’re building in your head, which I think is part of why it’s so easy to become attached.

      And it is inarguable that the monstrous level of simulation would be very hard to maintain in a game with higher graphical fidelity. tasks like adding new biomes or animals or objects or stone types would suddenly involve a large amount of extra graphical work, not to mention the strain on a computer of having to render all this stuff that’s being simulated.

      Personally, I’m glad there are still games that embrace abstract visuals, and use prose for descriptions of objects, people, places and events. Obviously it’s possible to bring unique and beautiful fantasy worlds to life via animated graphics – whether it be the lovely 3D world of DOTA2, or the charming 2D one of Dungeons of Dreadmor – but it’s not the only way, and it is silly to not take advantage of the power of the written word to spark the imagination…

  9. Phantoon says:

    People are saying this is based off Dwarf Fortress, which it isn’t, if you’re familiar with Dungeon Keeper.

    But who cares about that. Will it have Fun?

  10. BurningPet says:

    The potential this game has is huge and it’s really hard to maintain that required pessimistic level so i wont get totally disappointed in case they do not fulfill this potential.