Separate names with a comma.
It was when I started writing this post, anyway.
Welp, I've had an excruciatingly long day during which I trained my replacement, and I've had an approximate 10 hours of sleep. This week, that is. You know what this calls for? If you said take a sick day and get some sleep, you're entirely wrong. Instead, it's time to play some more Dwarf Fortress since that's exactly what normal people do at this time of day. Why? Mostly because my general manager just sent me an email (yep, at 00:30) asking me to come into work. Might as well not sleep at this point. Anyway, onto things that are far more fun. (If you're lost and confused, you can find my last post here.)
Well, I'm going to survey what it is I have in my fortress (I don't really remember), which appears to be... A massive pile of rocks in a hole surrounded by a massive pile of wood from the trees I cleared. Excellent! I'm a little concerned for the safety of my fortress (not so much the dwarves; those scarcely appear in the same sentence as safety) so I'm going to simply build a wall around it, probably out of wood since it looks a bit nicer. it doesn't really make a difference what I build it out of, but I need the wood less anyway.
You'll note the black 'O's highlighted in white, those are the wall segments I've designated for building. Why the corners first? Dwarves are so ingenious with their building patterns that if you build the rest of the wall first, they'll try to build the corners while standing on them. As one might guess, this doesn't exactly work very well. Not shown in the image is the drawbridge I'm building, which will serve as the gate to the fortress. On an unrelated note, I've just noticed there's hamster blood on my wagon. That's always a good sign.
Since my miners are currently busy digging out the main area for my fortress, I'll take the time to assign labours to my dwarves (basically tell them which jobs they should or shouldn't take). To do this, I'm using a tool called Dwarf Therapist; this is something you can do directly in Dwarf Fortress itself, but the utility is a lot faster.
Spoiler: Dwarf Therapist in action
Well, my miners still haven't finished their jobs, but it should go faster since they won't do anything except digging from now on. My farmers still haven't actually planted anything either, which is a problem (there's still a bit of gathered food left though) and most of the food and relevant good I brought have been moved to their own stockpiles at this point. (Shown below is the farm plot, still, and food and seed stock piles).
My dwarves are now slowly becoming unhappy because they've had to drink water (dwarves essentially require alcohol to live), ate raw plants all the time, and have been sleeping on the ground. I think I might address the first of those issues as soon as my farms actually decide to yield something, the rest I'm sure they can live with. My dwarves seem to be running around like mad, doing nothing in particular so all must be well. Also, I finished building the walls around my... fortress pit thing, before my miners finished digging it. Why not assign more miners? I don't have any more picks. I will however assign some more trees to be chopped down, specifically, all of them. Every single one. Quite literally every tree is now designated to be chopped down.
And now I'm probably going to end up at war and eaten by elves (they're religiously carnivorous), but who cares about that anyway? While that was happening, my miners seem to have finally finished doing something! I'm now setting down a bunch of workshops around the perimeter of the cavern they've dug out; there's going to be a stockpile for finished goods in the middle of the room (which I'll probably have feed into other specialized stockpiles later). Is this the most efficient design out there? If it is, I want a cookie, a glass of milk, and 12 puppies, because that's what it's going to take to make me believe that this is. Also because I like puppies. Speaking of, one of my dogs just gave birth to a couple, but I'm no longer sure where I'm going with this, so have this image instead.
Now before now, this room (and most of my fortress) was full of random chunks of stone. Where has it all gone? It hasn't, because my dwarves has decided that dumping garbage isn't something they wanted to do. However, had they done so, it would all have gone into the garbage dump. The 1x1 garbage dump. All of it. I'm not exactly sure how dwarves are able to compress matter to such an extend that they can fit all of the material that makes up the entire world into a 1x1 square, but they can. Only if it's a garbage dump though. I don't know either. However, the walls around my fortress are now... Kind of complete?
Now with the workshops complete though, I can actually convert all the milk I embarked with into cheese. Why is this good? Well, for starters, cheese is delicious (especially two-humped camel's milk cheese) and I also get the cheap buckets the milk comes in (milk costs 1 point and comes in a bucket, a bucket alone costs 10). Right, now to dig down a bit further and...
I breached through the cavern layer, and as you can see, am rapidly trying to seal off access to my fortress before some manner of unspeakable monstrosity decides to charge into my fortress and preform deconstructive surgery on my dwarves. I'm at a fair bit of risk of being attacked from below so let's see if I can divert some workflow to getting these walls up. Now, I have a couple of dwarves that aren't currently doing anything so they can...
It appears that my fortress is currently being attacked by ravenous parrots which are coming in from above. Parrots. Parrots are what is attacking my fortress. What is this? I'm glad I embarked with a bunch of dogs, since they can quickly kill weak creatures like these. So now that that's done, I'll just...
Sweet Armok, there's more of them.
That's it, I'm done. Future Winter can clean up this mess, because present Winter wants to throw his computer into a fire. Till next time, do whatever it is you normally do.
Out of a lack of anything better to do and any better judgements to make, I've decided to start a blog on the only subject that I could think of. If you've seen me around the forum, you've probably also make reference to what is probably my favourite game: Dwarf Fortress. To maximize "immersion" I suggest putting the game's only track of music on loop, found here. Bear with me, describing playthroughs is not my forte, but then again, Dwarf Fortress seems to be particularly well suited for the that.
Spoiler: What is Dwarf Fortress?
If you're unaware of what it is, Dwarf Fortress is a game that's been made famous for being incredibly challenging and complex, and comes in with the kicker that the game features no semblance of anything you could possibly refer to as a tutorial. At no point are you ever told what to do or how to play. You're not even so much as told what the controls are. Although there is a help screen, it doesn't come close to covering everything is in the game, and happens not inform you of what the menu controls are (by default, -/+ are used to navigate this menu, whereas most other "full screen" menus are controlled by arrow keys).
It's always a good sign when the game starts off by telling you that losing is fun. It's something that will inevitably happen to you, should you try to actually play the game. The game has no final end point and no way to beat it, thus every fortress (and every adventurer) is doomed to eventually fall, be it by being drowned in water, lava or goblins. (Or some combination thereof.)
Unsurprisingly, I'm going to be doing a play through of the game, over a number of posts (no idea how many; depends on how long I survive), and narrating my way through the process. Are there any ground rules I'm setting down or objectives I'm striving for? Not really, the game does plenty to provide you with both; the process of getting my fortress into a functioning state should take up a few posts alone, with plenty of diversions when the suicidal tendencies of the dwarves I'm managing become apparent. With that, begin world gen!
Spoiler: Preamble and Setup
This section basically going to be about where I'm embarking to and what I'm bringing. Feel free to skip it if you want to get to the actual gameplay.
I'm going to be d standard world gen (no advanced parameters, because that has an incredibly high chance of causing fun). The world generated is going to be fairly small in size (65 x 65 panels), have a medium history to it (an entire 250 years worth), and have above average savagery and mineral frequency (to make things go a little faster).
Yep, that's what the game is going to look like; the graphics are rendered entirely in colourful ASCII, which is one of the defining features of the game. Here's a little break down of what you're seeing in the world map: The dark blue parts are obviously water, the green areas are (light green areas are lightly forested, dark green are dense forest), the yellow areas are savage (wild and untamed, thus more dangerous), and the grey triangles and mountains and foothills. The assorted little symbols connected together by lines are cities and towns joined by roads. That's about everything that's particularly notable on here.
Next, I'm picking out a spot to actually start my fortress on. There's a fair bit to consider when choosing an embark site; minerals and soil are an important point, since those are key to keeping the economy going and dwarves fed, respectively. I'm also looking for an area without an aquifer (under ground reservoir of water), as those tend to be particularly fun to deal with and can - almost entirely - cut off access to digging deeper than a few layers. Aside from that, I'm going to try to find an area that isn't evil aligned, because I'd rather not have my dwarves get killed off by undead yak hair and pelvises and whatnot.
This place looks alright in that sense; it's a calm and heavily forested, which is generally good. An area being calm mean it's neutrally aligned with low savagery (ie. I'm not going to get mauled by the undead or by an army of unicorns). The fact that the area is temperate isn't exactly the best option though, since it means the river is going to freeze over for about a quarter of the year, and that was going to be my primary source of power. I guess I can put the fortress into power saving mode in the winter months. Anyway, this is where I'm embarking, but I've still to pick what I'm embarking with, here's a brief summary of the items I'm embarking with, and then we can actually start this thing.
(Why the bronze picks and not copper ones? I don't know, I had far too many points left over.)
So, let's see how long I can keep a fortress going, and what sort of nonsense I can create in it with minimum regard for the well being of my dwarves. That is, I'll try to keep them alive, but they're going to be without any comforts for a little while.
Right away I'm greeted by a welcome sight, and an excellent prophecy; "Waterlungs" is exactly what you want to call your fortress (the random name generator certainly outdid itself today). I can already sense a lot of fun coming my way considering I intended to use water a bunch.
Well, the entire zone seems to be covered in snow, which might be an issue. My dwarves all look to be intact and haven't parked the caravan on the edge of a cliff or on top of a frozen lake, which is always a good start. The plan for this fortress is going to be to make a central open-air shaft (16x16 wide) which is going to serve as a meeting area, and will also prevent my dwarves from becoming to accustomed to underground living (which causes them to become sick once they reemerge on the surface). It'll also make it easy to transmit power downwards from the river, which I intend to line with waterwheels. I'm going to start off by clearing an area of trees before I channel downwards and then I'll...
It appears all of the snow thawed the literally the very moment I unpaused the game. That's how seasons work in dwarf fortress. Well, I guess since you can now actually see everything properly (save the rivers and ponds, those are still frozen), I'll take a moment to describe what everything here actually is. Cue MS paint and my attempt to draw arrows with a pointing stick.
That's everything important anyway. Back to business then, I'm going to actually start channeling out the giant pit that's going to make up the center of my fortress, once the tress have been removed. I'm actually going to do so one layer at a time, dwarves prioritize digging down over digging outwards, thus eventually trapping themselves in a deep pit which they cannot get out of. As an afterthought, I should be getting a wave of migrants at some point. The additional work force won't really be useful at this point since only 3 dwarves are doing anything, but so long as no children arrive, everything should go down well; all children do is drain your food and alcohol reverses (Dwarves are the only sentient race that need alcohol to survive form the age of 1).
I'm going to fast forward a bit here; not much really happened aside from it becoming summer. That, and a rather large pack of gorillas that came dangerously close to my dwarves, but decided to turn around before any fun could occur. Oh, and I've run out of food (and almost out of alcohol); I've come to realize I haven't brought nearly enough of it, but I've set out my dwarves to gather plants, hopefully producing enough to feed them until I can get farms up. The rivers have also unfrozen, which is a problem since some dwarves are trying to drink from them and being methodically scared away by the carp (they're dangerous bro). I have the basic mining designations mapped out for my fortress, so all that's left is to actually dig them, which may take a while...
Progressing onwards, my dwarves are still starving, but at least they're alive. Alcohol has also dried up, so I'm staring off by build a still and a farm plot. It's not helping that my farmer/brewer is throwing a hissy fit because of hunger and thirst. It also seems that one of my miners is considerably better at his job than the other; the latter of the two seems to enjoy spending more time drinking, eating and sleeping than actually mining. Surely is would be tragic if some unfortunate accident happened to befall him at an unspecified time in the future. In either case, I'm now going to think up of name for him, because he's getting on my nerves. Then again, looking at his name, Bomrek is amusing enough as it stands.
After a little bit of playing around with assigned labours to each dwarf, I've finally managed to get them to build a still and a farm plot. You'd think they'd prioritize the jobs that are being queued to help them not die, but dwarves seems to put an unreasonably small value on their own lives. That said, I'm going be getting...
Migrants apparently! Only 4 of them though, which is honestly unsurprising since my fortress seems to basically have no value to it.
Regardless, in this wave I got a Ranger (eh, he can haul stuff), a Butcher (also going to be a hauler), a Farmer (who will actually be useful), and a... Peasant. So, another hauler then. I was honestly hoping for a third Miner or a Jeweler, but at least I didn't get any children. Children are arguably worse than infants, as those are always carried around by their mother. This makes them useful in combat as they are frighteningly good at biting things and seem to be undeterred by any opponent you may end up facing. (I wonder if I can just weaponize them directly, hmm...)
Right, so I'm actually going to put my meeting area inside my fortress, now that I've remember that I should actually assign one. In any case, my fortress still has no workshops which is an issue that I'll solve once my Miners have excavated the entirety of the area I'm going to use for them. Despite having no alcohol available to them at the time, dwarves are still incapable of digging (or otherwise doing any job) in a sensible fashion. Currently, they've dug out... Well, this.
And now Bomrek has successfully collapsed a section of tunnel onto himself, which is one of the popular ways to destroy and/or kill pretty much anything in the game; demon, dragon, and dwarf alike. Logically, Bomrek walked away from this with minor burns. Minor burns. From a cave-in.
I'm done with this. Expect another post when my patience returns.