As we’ve written about before, Dwarf Fortress is getting a Steam release with an official tileset, a new UI, and mouse controls. The latest video from Kitfox Games, who are handling the polished release, features original DF co-creator Zach Adams talking through new menus and artwork… while taking his fort’s bins out.
I frequently forget to take the bins out before bin day, and I’m frequently too lazy to do it even when I do remember. Zach’s dwarves have an advantage: a minecart sytem which can carry objects from the upper floors of his fort down towards the waste-disposing magma level. The video above follows that journey, showing underground biomes filled with giant mushrooms along the way.
Dwarf Fortress developers Zach and Tarn Adams resisted adding any kind of polish to their game for over a decade, because they didn’t want the need to make sprites to slow down development on new features. Kitfox are getting around that issue by basing their Steam release on a particular build, while development on whole new features can continue separately on the original ASCII release. That’s hardly a problem considering how feature rich Dwarf Fortress aleady is.
Dwarf Fortress is an infamously complicated game, and as nice as it is to have an official tileset, there have been unofficial tilesets available for Dwarf Fortress for years. The really exciting feature in the Steam release is the mouse-driven menus, since Dwarf Fortress’s existing keyboard-driven menus are arcane even by the standards of ASCII roguelikes. It feels like a lot more people might finally play this wonderful story generator.
There’s no release date for the Dwarf Fortress Steam release yet, but in a news post about the above video Kitfox say “the art is nearing completion.”