Archive for the ‘News’ Category

2012 in review

December 31, 2012 1 comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 590,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 11 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: News

Mutant book signed!

November 14, 2012 1 comment

An O’Reilly customer got a copy of my book that had “mutated” to include about 1/3rd of another book at the start. I volunteered to sign it and, of course, O’Reilly sent him a correct copy. Stuntateous sent me his mutant book, AND his underpants to sign and a demo disk as a gift (er, thanks?!).

Shine on you crazy diamond!

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O’Reilly Dwarf Fortress Webcast – links and info

August 17, 2012 Comments off

Today I completed a webcast with O’Reilly on Dwarf Fortress. In the webcast I talked about a number of forts and features. If you’re interested in following up on any of these forts or checking out the tools I’ve mentioned, have a look at the links below:

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Giant Bomb live Let’s Play of Dwarf Fortress (and my book!)

July 2, 2012 Comments off

The good people over at Giant Bomb had a go at Dwarf Fortress on Friday. Dave, armed only with my book, took Dwarf Fortress in what was probably only his second or third attempt at the game – how very brave! Despite the gentle ribbing of his compatriots Dave did a great job of showing off the craziness and the uniqueness of Dwarf Fortress in what is the first of a few broadcasts on Dwarf Fortress that they are planning.

If you want to watch the video you’ll need to be a premium member of Giant Bomb, which will cost you $5 a month. I’ve signed up to watch it and it was a laugh, and I will stay around until the series completes, at least!

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Book mention on! And Kotaku!

June 26, 2012 Comments off

Really pleased to see the book, and the fantastic Tim Denee plugged on today. Like me, they seem to get a big kick out of the idea of a Getting Started With book being 238 pages, and that the book has been published by hard core technical publisher O’Reilly, no less. I’m pleased the book (obviously!) is getting the attention, but also pleased Dwarf Fortress is. It is a game every PC gamer should try at least once to get a sense of just what is possible on a computer, and just how enticing computer generated narratives can be.

edit: Kotaku picked up the story as well!

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Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress – it’s out!

May 28, 2012 6 comments

Great news! My book, “Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress” is available at O’! You can pick it up as an eBook or, at not much extra, an eBook and print book combo. The book will also be available on Amazon next week or so, but the Amazon eBook does not feature the “Real Time” updates that buying through O’Reilly does. Real Time is a feature whereby a book can be rapidly updated by the author and then owners alerted to download the latest version when it is released. I intend to update the book at all major Dwarf Fortress releases, keeping the book relevant to the reader at all time.

Of course, the print book does not get real time upgrades!

For those interested, here’s the chapter list:

  • Foreword by Tarn Adams
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Playing God
  • Chapter 3: First Steps
  • Chapter 4: Filling Dwarf Bellies
  • Chapter 5: Merchants and Trading
  • Chapter 6: Dwarf Resource Management
  • Chapter 7: Digging Deeper
  • Chapter 8: Industry
  • Chapter 9: Justice, Healthcare and Vampires
  • Chapter 10: The Military
  • Chapter 11: Engineering
  • Afterword: Farther
  • Appendix

The book clocks in at 240 pages or so and 80,000 words. It features nine full-page illustrations and a half-dozen diagrams by Tim Denee. The illustrations are based on stories from Dwarf Fortress submitted by players on the forum. You can see one here. If you buy the book, I hope you enjoy it! And please, feel free to let me know if there are any problems with the book. I’ll be updating it, after all!

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Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress will include minecarts!

May 15, 2012 Comments off

Sneaky Toady got the latest release out on the DAY I am due to finish my draft for Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress. I can’t exactly leave this challenge unmet and so I’m going to include the 34.08 minecart and stockpile changes in the book after all. The book will also feature an illustration on minecarts if Tim manages to finish it in time. Yay!

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So I’m writing a book on Dwarf Fortress

February 28, 2012 6 comments

Here’s what I just posted on the Dwarf Fortress forum on the topic:

Hi guys! Looks like the cat is out of the bag! I wasn’t sure when O’Reilly was going to announce this but I guess now is the time? I was hoping to announce it myself! Awww.  😥

Yes, I’m writing a book on Dwarf Fortress. It’s not done yet but I expect it will clear 150 pages. Easily. The horror 😉

And yes, it is a legit project by O’Reilly who have an editor or two who are as passionate about DF as the rest of us. I love the idea of this book sitting alongside books on C+, Lnux, MySQL and server maintenance. Dwarf Fortress is far more important than any of that stuff!

Why a book? Well, yes, the wiki exists, and yes, it is a [b]superb[/b] and unparalleled resource, but many, many gamers want manuals or huge chunky strategy guides that will step them through everything they need to know. My old 2009 Dwarf Fortress tutorials still net 2,500 views a day (double that figure whenever Toady releases a new version of DF) and the first tutorial has had 750,000 page views. I would like to think that they have been great introductions to Dwarf Fortress.

The goal of the GSWDF book is to provide a one-stop-shop for brand new players who want to try and tackle this game but find themselves lost and confused (for more people this sets in about 30 seconds after running dwarffortress.exe in my experience). The book covers how to create your first world, embarking, first steps (getting food production up and running, digging, etc) and then branches into chunky chapters on managing your dwarfs, industry, military, mods and tools, etc etc. It’s written in the same style as my tutorials (irreverent and, I hope, funny) and I’m excited that O’Reilly has let me take this thing where I want it to go.

Would I recommend you buying it? Well, if you’re reading this you’re probably already reasonably familiar with Dwarf Fortress and won’t find much in it that you don’t already know, so no, you probably don’t need this book, give your $15 to Toady instead.

That being said, I think the book is going to end up pretty cool and unique in the O’Reilly stable. The book will almost certainly include some art by Tim Denee inspired by stories people have submitted, and it will have a cool, custom cover (I’m hoping something involving elephants!), and it has a forward by Toady, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you all you can’t live without this book.

Your friends who don’t yet play DF though? Yeah, those guys can’t live without this book! When it comes out, buy them a few copies (I jest, I jest)! I also hope the book will pull in a ton more new players to DF (I really expect it will) and I encourage the reader to donate to Toady to support this project. I have high hopes that the book will be a great way of promoting DF, supporting Bay12 and introducing a whole new audience to the game.

Answers to some questions:
– It will be current to the DF2012 version.

– It does include information that you will also find in the wiki. It is impossible for anything on DF to not include material that is in the wiki as the wiki covers just about every DF topic you could imagine.

– This book represents an experiment by O’Reilly in “real time” publishing. This means the book is likely to get frequent updates – I believe that people who buy the book will actually get updates pushed to them as the book is maintained on an ongoing basis by me (and possibly others). I love being part of an experiment, makes me feel dwarfy.

– Toady’s involvement is limited to, very kindly, writing a forward for the book. If I make any money off the book I’ll be making donations to Toady off my own bat. And I really hope we’ll see a lot of new players who will do the same. You can’t play DF and not appreciate the time and effort the Bay12 guys have put into the game.

Thanks, hope that explains things.

Some updated information:

  • It’s actually not eBook-only; it will be available in print, PDF, epub, mobi, and on Safari. You can buy both a print copy and an ebook copy at the same time for less than the price of both separately.
  • eBook – If you buy directly from you are notified when new updates are available and can download the newest version for free (also DRM-free).
  • Turn around from me finishing an update to getting a new version out into the reader’s hands should be around four weeks – in publishing, this is super fast, I’m told!
  • Any errata that get reported to O’Reilly get listed somewhere for me to access and fix in due course.
  • The print book won’t include colour graphics inside. O’Reilly will be working to ensure art, etc, still look ok.


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Illustrating stories from Dwarf Fortress!

February 16, 2012 3 comments

I posted this over on the Dwarf Fortress forum. I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Hi all, I’m TinyPirate, you may remember me from some Dwarf Fortress tutorials.

Well, I’m currently working on a pretty awesome new project, which I can’t speak to in detail just yet, but which offers a pretty cool opportunity for Dwarf Fortress players: I’m looking to get a half-dozen, maybe more, cool DF anecdotes illustrated by Tim Denee, the guy behind the awesome Oilfurnace and Bronzemurder DF comics. Yes! Your name could end up attached to some story artifying by Tim!

If you’d like a shot at having a DF story of yours illustrated you need to:
– Write a reply here telling Tim and I your awesome, funny, sad or silly anecdote from DF. I’m talking things like your fortress being terrified of a giant who, it turns out, is armed with a sock, your fortress being destroyed by zombie mussels, that sort of stuff.

– Tim and I will be the final arbiters on ‘cool stories’. Tim will turn the ones we chose into one-page panels of art and text.

– You can tell me about stories that aren’t yours, but I can only use them if I can get hold of the owner of the anecdote.

– Be prepared to receive a PM from me if chosen so I can grab your real (or not real) name for an acknowledgement line.

– Get your anecdote here in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

I’m happy to answer any questions or provide any clarification and in a month or so I’ll be able to announce the project the art is part of more fully. Until then, I hope to read some awesome contributions soon!

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Iron Man Mode – for charity!

January 30, 2012 Comments off

Reader Zeke let me know about a good cause he’s working on – playing games ‘Iron Man’ (that is, no deaths allowed!) for charity. Go read the stories of his gaming and inevitable demise in a range of games and donate to Child’s Play while you’re at it.

Categories: News