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Sci-fantasy roguelike Caves Of Qud is getting a full release in 2024, after 15 years of development

Joining Dwarf Fortress at publisher Kitfox

A battle in a field surrounded by ruins in 2D epic science fantasy simulation Caves Of Qud
Image credit: Freehold Games

In a move that, if it happens a third time, will become a trend known as "doing a Dwarf Fortress", Kitfox Games are taking on publishing duty for Caves Of Qud, a proc-gen roguelike retrofuturist epic that generates funny patch notes and terrifies me, personally. Development started in 2007, before the game hit early access on Steam in 2015. And now, 1.0 is on the horizon.

When I say it terrifies me, it's not in the sense that it's a scary game featuring dolls that move when I'm not looking at them, but in the sense that it's a deep and complex simulation played out in a dense 2D style that makes my brain go funny, and featuring locations like "the toxic arboreta of Ekuemekiyye" and the "oasis-hamlet of Joppa". There are many similarities to shoving-birds-in-a-hole simulation Dwarf Fortress, up to and including the new publishers, but another is that it's a game where I fear to tread despite being glad it exists, and despite it having many fans who do love it.

Jason Grinblat of Qud devs Freehold Games is delighted with the DF connection. "Few games have had as big an impact on Caves of Qud as DF. It's humbling to be mentioned alongside the legend, and it's delightful to lock arms with our friends and some of our favorite devs ever, Tarn & Zach Adams," he said in a press release.

Maybe I should give Caves Of Qud a shot, since the last update in 2021 added some slightly more forgiving modes. There's no news about when the 1.0 release is coming specifically, or if, like DF, the launch will bring actual graphics to the game, but who knows? Dwarf Fortress's launch was a huge success because of all the good will the Adams bros. had built up, and I wish much luck to Freehold Games on their similar journey in 2024.

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