Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2006's Dwarf Fortress. We explore our failures by telling some stories about our experiences, and describing what that tells us about what this game is and what its systems might be. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Our first Fortresses
Issues covered: needing a Trade Depot, changing state of a building, feedback on buildings, iconography challenges in a game of this scale, the emotional state of your dwarves, seeing a melancholy dwarf, a dwarf wading into a pond, state vacillation, being aware of the passage of time, building a really good fortress that fails anyway, the underground river, a drowning cat and a shaking room, enjoying the failure, maybe having to plan ahead for the failures, storytelling as a vessel to understand the game, being unable to attach to dwarves as individuals due to cognitive load, gaining attachment to particular dwarves, developing your game in public vs private and the dev story attached, what language its in, moving to Simple Direct Layer, the feral cat and its bad seed kitten, the jaguar battle and post-traumatic stress, going in and out of a bedroom, the confluence of so many systems and story generation, messing up my first trade, the arrival of additional dwarves, wanting some kind of save states, "Happiness is a thing," wanting a chair, early strategy tips from Brett, not knowing how to farm, hunting vermin, intent in design choices, the actual interaction vs the way we talk about it, movie recording and wanting to share, wanting a bit more information about why things aren't happening, wanting a game to be the entire presentation, short runs and roguelikes, judging for the IGF, accidentally summoning a bunch of zombies, layering in more stuff with text and leaning into subverting your story.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sophie's Choice, Sim City, Civilization, Virginia Woolf, Rogue, X-COM, Battlecruiser 3K, Tarn and Zach Adams, pfs:Write, DOS, Dark Souls, Sam, Spelunky, Nethack, A Dark Room, Frog Fractions, Zachary Crownover, Plundered Hearts, Thief II: The Metal Age, Dishonored, Prey, Dead Space, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.
The most recent Windows version
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