12-06-2009, 04:33 AM
Personally, I was fascinated by Dwarf Fortress when I first played it. But I quickly went sour on it, not because of the inhumane UI that is painful even for a keyboard-only approach, but because of the death spirals. There are serious design problems.
The game has tons of positive feedback loops. A typical one would be: Dwarf gets injured. Dwarf is confined to bed. Dwarf gets really angry by being confined to bed, since he can't do his normal self-maintenance tasks. Dwarf goes insane and goes on a killing spree. Dwarf gets killed, but not before injuring another Dwarf, which sets off the cycle again.
In a well designed game, you have negative feedback loops, which allow you to recover from setbacks. Toady doesn't seem to get that concept, so instead of fixing basic problems with the existing game, he goes down the rabbithole adding detail to areas that don't need it.
12-06-2009, 04:43 AM
Did you ever play the 2D version?
The game has lost some of the good bits of design that were present when there was a single crafted layout for the map, and things were less dependent on the outside world simulation.
He does have a plan for restoring that stuff - At the moment, your fortress is almost comically safe from threats. All bad guys come from outside, so can be stopped with a single door. In the old 2D version, you were constantly dealing with raids from within your fortress. From frogmen raids from your wells, ratmen raids from the chasm, and fire imp raids from the magma. There was a progression of risk and reward as you dug deeper - Until you hit the river, you didn't have to worry about frogmen and snakemen. Until you hit the chasm, you didn't have to worry about the tougher batmen and ratmen. And when you hit the magma, you got the enormously useful magma forging, but the enormously dangerous fire creature raids, which you could never effectively defend your metalsmiths against.
The next version released will put some of that stuff back in. So I think he is aware of some of the design problems of current Dwarf Fortress. He just has a very very long-term plan for the game, and prefers to do underlying simulation work before he does the stuff that will be affected by that aspect of the simulation, but will affect the player's experience.
12-06-2009, 06:43 AM
That's actually part of the attraction for a lot of DF players. "Losing is fun" - watching it all come crashing down in amusingly unexpected ways is highly entertaining.
As roBurky said: one of the complaints with the current version is that it's too easy to set up a smooth-running fortress!
Besides, in your situation any sensible Fortress owner will lock the dwarf in his own room.
12-06-2009, 08:11 AM
If the dwarf has friends they're not spending quality time with, you can enlist them into military squads with the injured dwarf at the head of the squad. The friends will stay by the bedside until the dwarf heals. No good for spinal injuries, and the conscripted dwarves take their own happiness hit, but it is one kind of a solution. Also: installing decorative features/boosting value in the room where the dwarf is convalescing.
12-06-2009, 09:35 AM
There's a thread for that :)
Originally Posted by tiohn
12-06-2009, 03:24 PM
That's the version I played. I didn't know he'd released a version without the internal threats. Actually, I was under the impression defeating the demons coming out of the magma was the how you "won" the game, though I never got that far.
Originally Posted by roBurky
12-06-2009, 03:29 PM
I loved the 2d version. It is what I played and got addicted to. I have a much harder time getting invested in the 3d version as it feels way too complicated to me. I loved the simple delving into a rock wall, with things getting tougher the deeper you go.
12-06-2009, 03:32 PM
I have to give him ultimate props for developing a game world that is so intricately tied together using physics, physiology, and psychology.
12-06-2009, 03:39 PM
I suspect that the majority of us who are fans of it got in to it at that stage. There is a lot that was lost in the move to 3D, but a lot of it could be brought back, I think. Just not the immediate understanding and clarity of watching your dwarves follow in the footsteps of mario in his journey from left to right.
Originally Posted by Jon_Danger
12-06-2009, 03:52 PM
Most of you seem to be forgetting that Dwarf Fortress is a Story Generator first, simulation second, and game third. Toady wants a program that can generate situations as deep and inclusive as a creative short story or even novel.
That's an insane ambition of course, at least till a technological singularity rolls around and humors us with some quality entertainment. I myself want the opposite ordering, but that didn't stop me from playing it for days, and in all likely hood going back for another helping sometime soon.
12-06-2009, 04:27 PM
It is a bit more like the sims now, and less like it was. The whole focus of the 2d game was to dig deep in and get to the magma to forge, and then dig deeper to see what you could find. There was a driving goal for your dwarves, it was simple... dig deeper.
Now, I have a hard time sticking with it, because that goal isn't there, and things aren't as straightforward... lucky for me... I can download the older version and play :)
Now, I would really like to see him somehow get that goal-oriented gameplay back in the game.
12-06-2009, 04:41 PM
Well in the new version, there will always be lava. You just need to dig down deep enough to get it. Problem is the deeper down you dig the nastier the creatures get. The rewards get better too though, or at least there is the chance to find some nice stuff.
12-06-2009, 05:05 PM
The king arrives at .. I'm pretty sure it's 200 population. So there's a certain level of challenge in attracting enough immigrants and setting all the flags to get one, but as a whole the game is for sure more rts'y and sims'y than the 2D version.
My recent play has been with the Dig Deeper mod, which adds new plants, ores, and creatures. The new stuff is essentially reskinned and tweaked existing stuff, as the functionality of workshops and containers and so on is hardcoded. However, the added variety is nice, if you're overly familiar with the mechanics of the existing items, and the orcs in particular make the game more interesting. They're significantly tougher than goblins, show up in large numbers, and they ignore traps. In other words a decent military isn't really optional as in the base game.
12-06-2009, 08:57 PM
I don't dislike the new direction as I am a nut for all of the new cool sim experiences. I just miss the old days of Boatmurdered.
12-06-2009, 09:20 PM
I'm looking forward to more danger being put back in. Losing is fun, and losing is actually rather difficult right now.
12-07-2009, 12:20 AM
Toady keeps talking about giving sieging enemies the ability to tunnel. In theory it sounds cool, but I worry that the AI will just go apeshit with it and ruin my forts :(
12-07-2009, 12:43 AM
The only thing I would worry about is goblins accidentally flooding my fortress with water/magma. That would quickly get annoying.
12-07-2009, 12:51 AM
I imagine having a "moat" filled with lava (or, failing that, just water) just inside your fortress would become common practice as a countermeasure.
Originally Posted by Eric Majkut
12-07-2009, 12:58 AM
I think you typo'd awesome!
Originally Posted by Arbit
12-07-2009, 08:20 AM
I like the ability to go back to a dead fortress and restore it. I can't remember if that was in the older versions or not, but I'd only noticed it with one of the more recent 3d versions.
I found it right after a death spiral in which I decided to flood the entire place, but then had the amusement of having to figure out how to dredge the whole thing and get back to business.
12-07-2009, 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by Arbit
I was gonna say... I don't think "accidentally" is the correct word either.
Originally Posted by JM
12-07-2009, 01:30 PM
There were demons from some kind of abyss after that as well, iirc.
Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad
12-07-2009, 01:33 PM
Eventually you got eaten by a giant demon. There wasn't really any way around it.
12-07-2009, 05:57 PM
Originally Posted by Eric Majkut
"Fire break" tunnels filled with traps, so the sappers break through and are shredded.
Fun repair jobs using constructed walls...or magma that then hardens.
WATER-FILLED COUNTERTUNNELS STOCKED WITH ZOMBIE CARP.
12-07-2009, 06:00 PM
I thought that was linked to a certain metal which you weren't supposed to mine, admantium or whatever?
Originally Posted by RSofaer
12-07-2009, 06:28 PM
Yeah, but once you find the adamantium the King arrives and starts demanding that you mine it, so you have to manage well (kill the king and make it look like an accident) to avoid death spiral. Besides, it's not like you could resist mining it! It's so shiny!
12-07-2009, 06:42 PM
Those dwarves. You'd think they'd have learned something from Moria.
12-07-2009, 07:02 PM
They did: Being devoured by horrors from the deep is awesome.
Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad
Everyone remembers Moria. The peaceful Dwaven cities that stuck to making microcline goblets? Not so much.
12-07-2009, 07:33 PM
Argh, I keep wanting to play this again, but the fact that there will probably be a major release in the next couple of months keeps me away!
12-07-2009, 07:46 PM
Yes, it's hard to justify committing to a fortress when I know an update is coming... I don't think the upcoming version will be an awe-inspiring metamorphosis on the scale of z-levels. However, as other posters have said, I'm hoping that the caverns will provide a balanced challenge, and make a 5 hour+ investment into a fortress rewarding beyond "wow, it took forty five minutes and a handful of third-party utilities, but I finally optimized processes on the secondary textile production line."