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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Expedition One, also know as the expedition that vanished.

So, my first encounter with Dwarf Fortress was very exciting. I can’t really put to words why I like this game, and am terribly excited about starting to play it again. Because my first expedition failed. But there is something about this game that’s just wonderful.

So, beginning my first game without using tutorials went something like this:

In the beginning there was nothing. Then I clicked create new world.

After I did the world begun. First there was no stuff in the world. But then land was generated. And oceans, rivers, forests and deserts. Time passed and people were generated into the world. Human settlements of varying sizes with roads and stuff. In the year 252 the world generator had killed of 13114 people. And there had also been a lot of events. I’m guessing there’d been a lot of prophecies and make-believe stuff. As is wont to happen in the early days of civilization.

In the year 601 there were quite a lot of historic figures living. There were a lot of dead ones too. Humans seemed to have settled many of the islands. Those goddamned humans. I wonder how my dwarves will deal with their kind. Eventually DF had generated my world. And I think it’s time to clarify here. Dwarf Fortress creates a unique world. Each generated world has its own lore and history. Every world you create for your DF game will be different. Different gods. Different settlements. Different historic grudges. Everything is going to be unique. If you don’t think that’s cool.. You should probably stay in school.

After my world was created, and I saw that it was good. I started my first expedition. Seven brave dwarven settlers were to go out into the unknown and lay the first ramparts to the great Dwarven Fortress.

It was going to be great.  Seven dwarves. Like in the fairy tale yeah? Well, if the fairy tale had a donkey in it. There were seven dwarves and a donkey.

My seven dwarves(and the donkey) started out by their cart. And this is where the game begins. For about an hour I tried pressing various buttons. Trying to figure out how to do stuff and failing miserably at it. At some point I pressed a button changed my view down one step. Leading me into the ground. After some time I gave up and abandoned the game. I had at the beginning of the expedition also managed to miss out on assigning points to all the dwarves. So it was a failure from the get-go. Seven unskilled dwarven peasants were not gonna do any good. So it was time for a do over.

And so, seven dwarves and a donkey are lost to history. But seven new ones and a dog are on a journey to start an outpost somewhere else. We will see if they succeed.

Edit 1: As you might notice I’m using a hot sprite-set for the game. Yeah, those are some delicious graphics.

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I am back!

Yes, it’s quite true!

Having been on hiatus for the better part of summer and feeling generally sick of this blog, I’ve finally found something exciting to write about. Minecraft started it all. Yes, Minecraft. The best game you’ve never played. It’s a game where you’re a blocky little man, chopping and picking blocks of materials and placing them out again in various square positions making yourself houses, bridges, railroad tracks, castles, watchtowers,  the Starship Enterprise, giant dicks, whatever your imagination can muster, really.

It’s ugly. Terribly much so. But it’s charming. It’s lego. You spend your days(in the game) gathering materials, building, excavating and crafting. And the nights. God, the nights. You spend them in your makeshift shelter, or in your castle, or in a safe spot in your mines. But not out in the open. Because the monsters are there. And they all want you to die.

It’s a cozy setup. There is no ultimate reward other than satisfaction for making a huge castle or a vagina canyon. You can’t win the game. But it’s easy to fall into a sort of building trance where all that goes into the making of a structure becomes the sole purpose of it all. Here is some of my work:

My safe haven. The gravity defying house in the sky. I even built a railroad-track in the sky from the house to another floating island. The furnace cart that is supposed to push my carts are however much too weak, so the distance would be traveled quicker by foot. The point remains however. I made a railroad.

It’s all pretty swell.

Anyways. The thing about Minecraft is that is has recently generated quite an internet buzz. I’m proud to say that I got on the train before websites like Penny-Arcade decided to show it off. So I’ve got a lot of internet cool in me. But people who get this game shoved in the face tend to think: “What the fuck is this shit?” Because it looks like, well, shit. But, considering the fact that it progressively generates new random terrain for ever step you take into an unexplored direction, for an infinity no less. It’s not that ugly. You can’t afford a computer that can process every block of information that is contained in every square under and above ground, if it’s rendered in the Crysis engine. You might even find your computer stressed to the limit with the graphics as they are in the game right now. Because it can get BIG.

Anyways. Ignoring the game based on looks is a big mistake. Because it’s an awesome experience. And for 10 dollars it’s got a great dollar per hour of fun ratio. This general arrogance that’s directed towards the game for its more shallow flaws got me thinking of another super ugly game that is supposed to be awesome. Dwarf Fortress.

Yes. That is how Dwarf Fortress looks without mods. It’s a game about an expedition of dwarves arriving at some place. And then you take control and make them do stuff. Like building dick monuments, making mines, or whatever you can do. As far as I can understand, at least. It’s open ended in the same way as Minecraft, but somewhat more complex. Your dwarves will starve, they will get eaten by monsters, etc. etc. It’s supposed to be hard. So I am gonna try it. And I’m gonna blog about it.

My first post in the series will detail my first attempt at Dwarf Fortress. Without using any tutorials. Wish me luck. Or rather wish my dwarves luck. I fear they will need it.