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Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Last Chance to See: Vanguard (Part 1)

April 25, 2011 2 comments

A vast, empty landscape stretches before Pus Pus, my Cat-Thing Psionist. Clouds swirl overhead, slipping across a starlit but moonless sky. Sparse trees dot a distant shore. Harmless bug-things scurry about in the brush. Where am I? Playing Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Why am I playing a game that was declared brain dead in December 2009 by the medical experts at Sony Online?

Because I must.

I must explore dying worlds, I must go where no one goes any more and I must bring the story of these empty expanses of crushed developer dreams, of endless fan tears, to you, my dear readers, in the hope that when the money finally runs out and these worlds are switched off for good we may look back fondly on these adventures and say to ourselves “surely that game was worthy of a better write-up than what this hack produced?”.

Read more…

Categories: Fantasy Tags: ,

Baldur’s Gate letsplay

February 2, 2011 Comments off

“Someone” has written a nice Baldur’s Gate letsplay! Remember that wonderful RPG from when we were all young and innocent? There are four parts up right now and if you feel like a trip down memory lane then I recommend giving it a read!

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Minecraft – New player playthrough

September 18, 2010 Comments off

If you’ve not heard of Minecraft yet then where have you been? It has rapidly gathered a lot of indie game design love from people around the world, so much so that the developer, Notch, is reportedly having to convince PayPal that $600,000 is really the kind of money a same game developer can earn!

In essence, Minecraft is Dwarf Fortress as a single-player 3D experience (though you can collaboratively build on multiplayer servers as well). It’s very much a sandbox game and one with enough charm and sense of discovery to make the game a real experience, even at this early stage of development (Notch considers it an Alpha).

If you want to learn more than the good folks over at RockPaperShotgun are here to help you. They have started a new player AAR that is well worth the read. Start at the bottom of that page and work your way up. It’s a good read and it’s a great wee game!

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Guest DF Story “A Letter to the King”

May 20, 2010 3 comments

Reader Dirk Flinthart has sent in a Dwarf Fortress after action report in the form of a short letter to the King of the Dwarfs wherein the fate of Fortress Alebaldness is recounted. It’s a good laugh, have a read!

Read more…

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DF Tutorial: Using dwarfs for medical experiments

May 18, 2010 10 comments

I’ve written a book – Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress, available at O’Reilly and Amazon! It covers the current version and takes you from knowing nothing to being a confident Dwarf Fortress player!

So you’re busy enjoying the latest build of Dwarf Fortress, marvelling at the complex health system and the confusing military system when a thought strikes you, “I’ve just built all this great stuff for my Hospital, but how will I get my medical dwarfs some doctoring experience?”. Indeed, this is quite a conundrum! If you don’t train your medical staff perhaps they will screw up when some really important doctoring needs to be done.

But don’t fear, dear reader, we have a solution! Controlled dwarf torturing: it’s not really torture, it’s just dropping them a few levels on to rocks and then using them to practice medical techniques on. They love it really – it’s all for the good of the fortress, after all!… Read more…

Categories: Fantasy, Tutorial Tags:

How do you design your Dwarf Fortress?

May 13, 2010 7 comments

I was starting a new fortress the other night and it struck me that sometimes the hardest part of playing Dwarf Fortress is deciding where to dig that very first tunnel. There is so much potential locked into the average Dwarf Fortress map but every tap of the miner’s pick reduces your options. I almost feel a degree of analysis paralysis contemplating the options when I look at a fresh map. Do you? How do you go about starting what will end up as hours of real-time effort? There’s nothing worse than being several hours into a construction and realizing you’ve made some major mistake that makes routing magma to where you want it impossible, or that your dream of a waterfall based defensive network is now going to be horribly complex to build, or that your fortress is just plain ugly! And if you make that crucial mistake then how will you ever be able to build a truly amazing fortress?

Since I always have grand schemes in mind when it comes to designing a fortress I am almost tempted to not let my dwarfs live anywhere but on the surface until my first major constructions are complete; until the entrance tunnels are dug, the initial workshop spaces are complete, the farm system laid out and the storage bunkers prepared. I can’t help but feel I’m spoiling my mountain if I dig some quick spaces early. Yes, my poor dwarfs will, in future, survive in rough wooden huts under the horridly bright sky and among the squishy green stuff. And sure, there will be upset dwarfs moaning about the sun and filth, but damn it, my inverted obsidian pyramid isn’t going to look pretty mixed up with random diggings, channels and culverts, is it?!

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Dwarf Therapist updated!

April 27, 2010 Comments off

The best of the dwarf-management packages, Dwarf Therapist, has been freshly updated for the latest version of Dwarf Fortress! Go get!

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Bronzemurder, the Dwarf Fortress graphic novel?

April 22, 2010 Comments off

There’s nothing people like more than the story of the catastrophic demise of a dwarf fortress. Mostly these are written out in long but entertaining forum posts, but the story of Bronzemurder is different from all the rest – it’s done in the style of a graphic novel, or perhaps an infographic. Go and check out the fantastic story of Bronzemurder on the DF Wiki. You won’t regret it!

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Building a mechanical computer in Dwarf Fortress

April 10, 2010 Comments off

What’s geekier than Dwarf Fortress? Answer, building your own home-made mechanical computer. What’s even geekier than either of these hobbies? Combining them, of course! And that’s what Jong over on the Dwarf Fortress forum has done. He’s built a mechanical computer in Dwarf Fortress. You can check out his theorycrafting or go right to the description of construction and testing, or just have a look at the sweet pictures on the DF Map Archive.

I think I agree with a forum commenter: “Holy crap, someone just won Dwarf Fortress!”

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DF tutorial index now available

March 2, 2010 1 comment

Had a bit of a brain wave and finally got around to making a single page indexing all the Dwarf Fortress tutorials I have written. It is there up at the top of the page and should be an easy way for people to jump between tutorials as they need to. Hope that makes navigation a bit easier!

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