Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress: Learn to play the most complex video game ever made

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", May 25, 2012 - Games & Activities - 248 pages
9 Reviews

Dwarf Fortress may be the most complex video game ever made, but all that detail makes for fascinating game play, as various elements collide in interesting and challenging ways. The trick is getting started. In this guide, Fortress geek Peter Tyson takes you through the basics of this menacing realm, and helps you overcome the formidable learning curve.

The book’s focus is the game’s simulation mode, in which you’re tasked with building a dwarf city. Once you learn how to establish and maintain your very first fortress, you can consult the more advanced chapters on resource management and training a dwarf military. You’ll soon have stories to share from your interactions with the Dwarf Fortress universe.

  • Create your own world, then locate a site for an underground fortress
  • Equip your party of dwarves and have them build workshops and rooms
  • Produce a healthy food supply so your dwarves won’t starve (or go insane)
  • Retain control over a fortress and dozens of dwarves, their children, and their pets
  • Expand your fortress with fortifications, stairs, bridges, and subterranean halls
  • Construct fantastic traps, machines, and weapons of mass destruction

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Even though the book is slightly out of date it is an amazing starting point for new players who may be overwhelmed with the amount of content in the game. This book is worth the read but if you really need help consult the offical wiki!

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An appallingly mercenary attempt to profit from the hugely successful, -FREE- game, "Dwarf Fortress".
Not only is Dwarf Fortress far from complete as a game and a concept, meaning that this guide
will be completely obsolete before very long, but absolutely everything you will ever need to learn about this game is available online, having been already made available by well meaning and helpful volunteers, many of whom would be happy to help you further (and absolutely free of charge!) if you contacted them directly through the forums. Each and every one of them will tell you that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to play the game, owing to the fact that there is no way to -win-: claiming to be a one-stop-shop for DF knowledge is almost as ridiculous as the price tag on this entirely digital document.
I hope very much that Toady One/Tarn Adams is getting substantial royalties from any sales of this ebook. I would suggest that a reasonable percentage royalty would be 100%; any less is an insult to him. There are thousands upon thousands of people out there who have taught themselves to play this game - I myself had the basics of DF pretty much figured out within a day or two using only the wiki page and the Bay12 Games forum. Approximately 5 years since I first played, and I am still very much learning - new things are constantly being added and old things are being completely overhauled.
Hundreds of people donate to the Dwarf Fortress project every month - Tarn Adams and his brother send personally illustrated Dwarf Fortress pictures and comic strips to every donor that asks him to do so (which I understand to be pretty much all of them - I know that I did!) and he will add you to his website's Hall of Fame for donating even a dollar.
He is a truly remarkable developer and a breath of fresh air when most of the games industry is run by people like the author of this book.
This "guide" will lend absolutely nothing of value to you; do not put money into this vulture's pocket. Instead, read the forums and the wiki page (every effort is made to make them easy to follow), and donate a -fraction- of what this book would have cost you to the true genius behind Dwarf Fortress; his gratitude will not go unfelt.


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
Appendix A Appendix

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About the author (2012)

Peter Tyson created the AfterActionReporter blog in February 2009 for reporting on, listing and writing great after action reports (game reviews through storytelling). He created the online resource "The Complete and Utter Newbie Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress." Tim Denee is an illustrator from Wellington New Zealand.

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