Dwarf Fortress has long been one of game development's most interesting blogs, owing to its creators' propensity for adding absurd amounts of detail to their fantasy world simulator. But for the past two years, none of those updates have actually been available to play. That's about to change. In this month's Bay 12 Report, Toady One says that a new update including all those various tweaks and expansions is finally just around the corner.
The time has come! We are planning to release the next version of Dwarf Fortress in the beginning of next month. We are grateful to all those who have contributed time, energy, and money to help us along! Many of you understand how this process works, but the rest need to know how Bay 12 Games operates. Dwarf Fortress is more than a game. It's a kind of art project that has been in production for over 10 years, and you are part of it! We need everyone to help find bugs, show newbies how to play, and generally spread the word. It will take time for the new version to be as stable as the one that's out there now. Not to mention all the mods that will have to be re-calibrated. We know that without all the people working and contributing, Dwarf Fortress would be just another failed oddity of a game. But people are getting involved with the project. Everyone is doing their part, answering questions on the forums, contributing to the bug tracker, building great mods, and telling their friends about DF!
I've written before about how Dwarf Fortress is deceptively simple to play, and in that regard the new update seems likely to be a double-edged sword. Two years of work will bring all kinds of new additions to the Fortress mode, which are bound to introduce whole new ways to manage your expansion and hasten your own demise. That's an increase in complexity in a game that's already difficult to control.
The upside is that a large focus of the update is adding to Adventure mode, the more traditionally roguelikey mode which was previously the simplest way to play. It should still be easy to get in and control just a single hero as you explore the game's generated worlds, but now there should be a lot more to do.
Two years of work means there's more additions than can be easily listed, but a recent post in the Future of the Fortress thread mentions a few. Townfolk now get angry if you kill relatives they like; armies and guards can now split into sub-units during battles; cowards will try to flee from battle or collapse into sobbing piles; and sweat and tears now evaporate.
"The tear evaporation is awesome."
--Thumb Bros, 10/10