40 votes

Dwarf Fortress to be Released on Steam and itch.io

13 comments

  1. [2]
    hungariantoast Link
    I might edit this comment after the AMA sessions have concluded. First of all, it means the Big Wait for the magic update gets pushed further back, since Tarn will be rewriting some of the code...
    • Exemplary

    I might edit this comment after the AMA sessions have concluded.

    First of all, it means the Big Wait for the magic update gets pushed further back, since Tarn will be rewriting some of the code for the graphics and interface, as well as making integration with Steam and Steam Workshop easier. This could mean we are going to get UI improvements directly from Tarn, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I would be surprised if these changes didn't make it easier for mod makers to improve the interface though. All of this will be done after the villain update, which Tarn is currently working on, releases.

    It is very frustrating that this was done due to potential medical costs. This simply shouldn't be something people have to worry about in one of the richest countries in the world.

    As far as the Steam version of the game, it seems like it will just be vanilla Dwarf Fortress with an exclusive, graphical tileset and soundtrack. Odds are most players will still want to use third party utilities like Dwarf Therapist and DFHack to play the game for the first time.

    What that means is that the Starter Pack is still going to be the best way for brand new players to play the game, as it includes all the third party utilities that make the game more accessible, whereas this Steam version will not.

    I do hope that the Steam Workshop support is robust enough to make installing and using utilities like those mentioned above very easy, and I'd really love if this Steam release got its own launcher, similar to what the Starter Pack offers, so that players can easily adjust settings for the game, swap between tilesets, and launch third party programs.

    If the Steam release doesn't come with its own launcher to handle the inclusion of these third party utilities, then a big problem I see happening is that a player will buy the game, find out that they want to use these third party utilities, and then just go download the Starter Pack for free and not even play with the Steam version they just bought. So, I think including a launcher with the Steam release is almost a necessity.

    Which brings me to the final point, which is the potential pressure that this Steam release and the relationship between developer and publisher can put on Tarn and Zach. It's been planned for a long time that interface and other quality of life improvements were some of the last things that were going to be worked on before the 1.0 release of the game, which is still probably two decades away.

    Over a decade of planning just got shuffled around because of the external pressure of releasing the game on Steam, which itself was caused by financial weariness. I do not like this.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of getting a better user interface, or at least getting a better system so that mod makers can make the user interface better, but I don't want Tarn and Zach to become beholden to the process of selling the game on Steam and appealing to customers that bought the game, rather than fans who chose to donate.

    It's also worth mentioning that this game has been in development for seventeen years and likely has seventeen or more years to go before it is finished. I hope the publisher is willing and ready to accept that responsibility. (To be honest, it sounds like they are, considering that Tanya, Kitfox’s "Captain," and Tarn are personal friends.)

    With all that being said, I will definitely be buying a copy on Steam, itch.io, and anywhere else it is ever made available. Dwarf Fortress is a champion of what video games as a medium can be and do, and even though it isn't even halfway finished, it offers more gameplay and experiences to players than any other game inspired by it. This makes it one of the few projects I regularly donate to and I absolutely want the developers to succeed in reaching a 1.0 release.

    15 votes
    1. Barskie Link Parent
      Yes, the potential implications to the development roadmap is unfortunate. The brother's health problems have likely made this move a necessity, since Toady has traditionally been very protective...

      Yes, the potential implications to the development roadmap is unfortunate. The brother's health problems have likely made this move a necessity, since Toady has traditionally been very protective of the Dwarf Fortress IP.

      At any rate, regardless of the outcome, this appears to be the gentlest way Toady will be able to make this change - a friendly indie developer who has supposedly guaranteed his freedoms in development, and retaining of the Classic version for free, ala Cave Story+ with Nicalis.

      2 votes
  2. FreeLunch Link
    In an effort to secure more stable income, Zach and Tarn Adams have partnered with Kitfox Games to release Dwarf Fortress on Steam and itch.io. It will include some starter graphics packs, new...

    In an effort to secure more stable income, Zach and Tarn Adams have partnered with Kitfox Games to release Dwarf Fortress on Steam and itch.io. It will include some starter graphics packs, new music, and mod support through the Steam Workshop. It also looks like there will be some updates to the UI.

    The game will still be available for free and updated on the bay12games web site, but this looks like a great way for Dwarf Fortress to expand to new audiences as the game continues to evolve.

    15 votes
  3. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [3]
      ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
      The whole comment of yours made no goddamn sense to me as an outsider. I've been curious about the game for a while, and I keep track of it in part because of the procedural-generation engine for...

      The whole comment of yours made no goddamn sense to me as an outsider.

      I've been curious about the game for a while, and I keep track of it in part because of the procedural-generation engine for damn near everything, but damn this game is inaccessible.

      Your comment reifies this feeling perfectly. :)

      8 votes
      1. Qis Link Parent
        The LNP is the Lazy Newb Pack, which is the most conveniently packaged and consistently maintained UI variant for DF. It includes some tilesets and a couple utility programs for managing your...

        The LNP is the Lazy Newb Pack, which is the most conveniently packaged and consistently maintained UI variant for DF. It includes some tilesets and a couple utility programs for managing your dwarves. The game has a learning curve but honestly it's not as bad as all that.

        6 votes
      2. Sahasrahla Link Parent
        I played it years ago and it was a great experience, definitely something worth looking into. I'd say the hardest part is just getting things set up: once you have some mods that help with the UI...

        I played it years ago and it was a great experience, definitely something worth looking into. I'd say the hardest part is just getting things set up: once you have some mods that help with the UI (e.g. "Dwarf Therapist" is a completely separate program that helps you manage your dwarves; dual monitors help) you'll be able to start playing around and seeing what you can do. Watching a bit of a Let's Play can also help in figuring out the sort of things that can be done in the game and how to start with it.

        That being said I don't feel like going back to it even if I still like the game. It got to the point where trying to do anything too complex felt like fighting with the interface and relearning everything at this point just to get an experience I've already had doesn't seem worth it. If you haven't played it before though it's definitely worth trying to get into so that you can experience the things the game does so well.

        3 votes
    2. Elronnd Link Parent
      On the itch.io page, it says it's planned to be in the neighborhood of $20.

      On the itch.io page, it says it's planned to be in the neighborhood of $20.

      2 votes
  4. Deimos Link
    There's a post on their Patreon with more info: Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam and itch.io, free version always updated and available There are also two AMAs planned on reddit tomorrow, one in...

    There's a post on their Patreon with more info: Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam and itch.io, free version always updated and available

    There are also two AMAs planned on reddit tomorrow, one in /r/dwarffortress at noon pacific, and the other in /r/gamedev at 2 PM pacific.

    9 votes
  5. asoftbird (edited ) Link
    I knew a big announce was coming but l 20000% did not expect this. Good move on their part, it's a huge platform and they'll get plenty attention. Plus it's a really good way to track the millions...

    I knew a big announce was coming but l 20000% did not expect this. Good move on their part, it's a huge platform and they'll get plenty attention.

    Plus it's a really good way to track the millions of playtime hours consistently :p

    Edit: I've heard concerns about Tarn's health in the past but thought it was a little over the top, since fans were worried he'd die before the game was finished(in its current development rate and no end goal this still seems likely). The Patreon post apparently tells us that they indeed do have health problems and this is a pretty likely scenario. So I'm happy to see that this might prove to be a stable source of income for the guys, they deserve it.

    7 votes
  6. [2]
    Hypersapien Link
    Will there be anything resembling a tutorial?

    Will there be anything resembling a tutorial?

    3 votes
    1. Barskie Link Parent
      Quote from the Discord AMA by Toady: Don't bank on it though, there were a lot of questions and Toady is the sort of person who doesn't like to say no directly. I'm guessing later may be anywhere...

      Quote from the Discord AMA by Toady:

      A tutorial could be part of what we do for new players; we'll be able to be more specific later. But it's on the table, yeah.

      Don't bank on it though, there were a lot of questions and Toady is the sort of person who doesn't like to say no directly. I'm guessing later may be anywhere between few months to a few years.

      With the ever-evolving complexity of the game, your best bet is likely the DFwiki or Peridexis's tutorial.

      3 votes
  7. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      hamstergeddon Link Parent
      I don't think it's coming to the switch, just Steam and itch.io

      I don't think it's coming to the switch, just Steam and itch.io

      1. rogue_cricket Link Parent
        Oh my goodness. "Steam + itch" got smooshed into "Switch". Thanks, haha.

        Oh my goodness. "Steam + itch" got smooshed into "Switch". Thanks, haha.

        1 vote