The developers of the notoriously inscrutable Dwarf Fortress announce that the game’s release on Steam will feature a tutorial mode for the very first time.
The developers of the cult classic strategy simulation game dwarf fortress, which has become infamous for its text-based art and hard-to-learn game mechanics, hopes new players will have fun learning while losing with the addition of a long-requested tutorial mode to the game. part of the game’s upcoming debut on Steam. The Steam version of dwarf fortress will be published by Kitfox Games, the studio behind 2021’s hack-and-slash dating sim Boyfriend’s Dungeon.
dwarf fortress is a strategy simulation roguelike released in 2002 by the two-person team at Bay 12 Games, brothers Tarn and Zach Adams, and has been in continuous development ever since. The free-to-play game features text-based graphics that can be overwhelming for new players and seasoned veterans alike, but has received praise for the depth of simulation present in the game world. Hidden behind its simple graphics, dwarf fortress tracks everything from rain levels in different areas to the geology of the caves the titular dwarves call home, and the title has been cited as one of the influences behind the creation of both. Minecraft and survival game Rimworld.
In an update released for the upcoming Steam version of dwarf fortress, developer Zach Adams announced that the game will receive a tutorial mode designed to help new players understand the notoriously complicated gameplay. Adams states that he used his wife Annie, who had already been overwhelmed by the original game, as a playtester for the new tutorial and was now able to get far enough in the game to drown her fortress in a bog. While that result wasn’t exactly what some players would call a success, it clearly achieved Adams’ goal of ensuring everyone “could lose this game and have fun doing it.”
The addition of a tutorial is part of a complete graphical overhaul of the game, replacing text aesthetics with pixel art and a proper GUI. While the new graphics won’t make the gameplay any less challenging, it’s clear the developers hope these changes will make dwarf fortress more accessible and attractive to a wider audience. With casual strategy simulation titles like terrariums and Stardew Valley enjoying lasting success with gamers, Bay 12 Games is surely hoping that dwarf fortress‘ more punitive mechanisms may find a place in the market with this new version.
Building and management mechanics are everywhere in games these days, from designing the perfect restaurant to Disney’s Dreamlight Valley to create the most efficient assembly line Factorioand the original dwarf fortress is one of the titles that helped ignite the spark that created this current craze. Whether a fresh coat of paint and a helping hand will attract new players remains to be seen, but at least it will look a lot prettier now that players are accidentally erasing their entire dwarf fortress kingdom for the first time.
dwarf fortress coming to Steam soon.
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