Dwarf Fortress: Very Ambitious Roguelike




It’s ruined forever.


FYI both iron hand and phobias updated (sort of) for the latest release. Community is still working on memory offsets for therapist.


when will stonesense appear included as a part of the game?


Stonesense is a 3rd party thing. Chances are it won’t ever be integrated by Toady himself. That said, there are packs (ie., whatever the Lazy Newbie Pack is now called) that bundles DF with various popular tilesets, config options, stonesense, dfhack, etc. Grab that, enter ‘stonesense overlay’ into the dfhack console, and away you go.


It is not a given thing that the hope for them fulfilling their goals is bigger or better if they made it a community effort. It is possible, but not plausible. Chances are that all the other “ideas people” who latch onto the project, would suck away their enthusiasm and pollute their vision. Even the people who wish to help demand time and effort. “Make it work with this niche build environment” or “You can’t do it that way, it’ll be the end of the world!” It is more plausible that they have much more hope for fulfilling their goal, and staying focused, if they stay closed source.

“reinvent the wheel” is a nonsense phrase parroted by clueless people who don’t know any better. In software development, there are no wheels. It’s a simplistic assertion which is used to force something on someone, as being the undeniably correct choice. Case in point: What’s a good framework to base a game on? Okay, looks like people have made top games in it. Wait, it forces me to use one of a selected set of supported programming languages? Wait, if I modify it the way I want, then I have to maintain those changes and deal with them whenever the core project releases new updated versions? Wait, the way it is architected means it doesn’t work well with this other undeniably correct choice of a project? Wait, … Sometimes, there are projects which it is worth adopting. Other times, writing the project yourself from the ground up gives you an insight and ability to maintain and extend it, you’d never have if you used someone else’s implementation.

The truth is, that the URR guy is doing a great job. He releases periodically, and what he releases looks uniquely amazing. Same with the DF guy.

I say you are an open source fundamentalist. Your dreams are not based on reality, and they involve someone else committing to your cause, but for that to happen they should question their beliefs as little as you.


As an aside, I actually think the term is very valid when used in the right way (which it hasn’t in this case).
Reinventing the wheel in software development is trying to write yet another html or xml parser when several that have ripened for years are freely available in the language/framework of your choice. The requirements for what a xml parser ought to be able to do never really change.
A world generator like the one in DF is probably highly specific to the requirements of this game. It will disregard many things that might be extremely important in another, slightly different game, and it will flesh out parts that might be completely pointless in a different context.

There’ve been tons of “game development frameworks” over the years, for a variety of languages (sometimes even for non-programmers). In every one of them (at least those I checked out), you either are extremely limited in what you can do or WILL have to learn to actually code in one way or the other before you can make anything substantial. If there’s a stock component for you to use that appears to ALMOST do what you want to do, chances are twisting it into performing EXACTLY to your requirements might be more work than rewriting the component from scratch.

There ARE wheels in software development, but just like with real wheels, there’s immense differences in what kind of wheel you want for your horse cart vs. your 700hp sportscar. Only a fairly small number of tasks remain so constant that doing them another time constitutes reinventing the wheel (see the parsing example).



Yes, you can force the analogy to work. But still, in my experience the only time people use the phrase, is when they wish to force adoption of some solution, without due consideration. And it tends to be strangers on the internet, who have no real stake in an intelligent decision being made.


Wow that is so disrepectful of HRose’s hard work on forums and in his own head… :(


Yes, because if you work on a 3D engine you don’t build upon stuff already done by others. And when you study programming you don’t learn from what others have learned.

If we moved away from PacMan it’s solely because knowledge is being pooled, IN SPITE of business practices that keep code closed. When ID release source code for Doom or Quake it’s the whole industry that steps forward.

And that’s why in modern days there are only an handful of engines that are shared between many games. It’s essentially open source, you just pay a large fee to access that.


IIRC, the current rendering code is actually not written by Toady. Somehow he was convinced to open up the renderer code back in 2008 or so. Before then, in addition to the simulation being an insane CPU hog (as it still is), the renderer was also somehow a bottleneck!

This is why we can now arbitrarily size the DF window on the fly and have more complex tilesets.


I think it all comes back to the question of whether glueing a narwhal’s horn on a zebra, creates a unicorn.

A 3D engine is a product in and of itself. A programming language is a product in and of itself. People work on these and make them usable, as a goal in and of itself. If the 3D engine or programming language is simply a system within a game, then to make them usable by people as standalone products, is likely to be a tremendous amount of work. And it is likely to be tedious. This is why you can’t just say that because something applies to 3D engines or programming languages, it must apply to things generally.

You can say we moved away from Pacman because knowledge is being pooled, but it is a vague assertion with no substantiation. You can say that the open sourcing of Doom and Quake were the reasons the industry stepped forward, but it is another unsubstantiated assertion. Neither of these two claims prove anything, other than you have opinions.

And that’s why the unicorn you want to make out of your hopes and dreams is just another form of animal cruelty. At this point, I don’t think you know enough to know whether you know enough, to know whether what you suggest is well thought out or not. Please, someone other than HRose, tell me I am wrong and I am the one who does not know what he is talking about.


Sorry to let you down, but I can’t tell you that you are wrong because you are right.

Knowledge accumulates and technology do make new things possible and old things easier. It’s like claiming that with the advances in paint pigmentation production and the fact that Van Gogh’s paintings are in museums so everyone can see them that now everyone can make a masterpiece easily. Obviously the tools, technology, and available knowledge out there make it a lot easier to start creating things like games, you still have to create the part that is the game with your own inspiration and your own implementation or you’re just copying someone else’s game. And thinking that you can just cut and paste random ‘parts’ of games together if you have the code is ignorance. You’d be better off trying to cut and paste some of Banksy’s social message into Monet’s lillies.


Clearly, if Toady were writing a rendering engine that would be “reinventing the wheel”. But he’s using SDL, so that’s great. Maybe DF would be better if he were using a UI engine (like Qt or something, I don’t know), and maybe if DF were open source someone would port it to Qt. But the stuff Toady is actually working on (you know, building a fantasy world simulator) is most definitely not reinventing the wheel. DF could certainly benefit from having more programmers, but I seriously doubt going open source would magically solve all the problems. Let’s face it, DF is Toady’s baby (his “art project” if you will) and we wouldn’t have it if Toady didn’t have whatever it is that makes Toady tick. If letting others into his studio is going to dilute his control and thereby his enthusiasm, then it’s not the right course.


As I mentioned above, Toady did not write the renderer - it’s the only thing in there that is written by others, and for the better. Yes, the nuts and bolts are where Toady should reign supreme, and he probably shouldn’t give that up (nor will he ever).

But if he could somehow be convinced to give up the reigns on UI…but that’s still a pipe dream, since I would guess that there is little separation in the game logic and the UI logic given his caricature.


Toady is apprehensive about taking on more programming challenges with the UI. I think it would actually ease his burden if done correctly and he would have to spend less time worrying about it.


For the record, I meant that Toady totally should bring on someone else to work on the UI (in some respect), because obviously it’s not something he wants to spend time on (not that I blame him) and it could definitely improve the game. But releasing DF as open source is definitely not the right way to do it. Probably, as fdsaion says, doing the same thing as he did with the renderer would be the best option.


I think Toady has said in the past that he doesn’t want remaking the UI every patch (because of everything else he has thrown in) something that holds up his releases. And even if others were doing the UI on his behalf, the fact that Toady doesn’t have a real set of requirements means the UI team would always be struggling to keep up or adapt to unforeseen changes. That would be huge burnout for the UI team, or a risk of impeding/unduly influencing Toady’s decisions to do whatever crazy sim stuff he has in mind.


Sure, I certainly appreciate that the UI is more closely coupled to the game progression than the renderer is, and the fear of requiring complicated UI changes every time you implement or revise a new game feature. On the other hand, the UI is the main thing holding the game back (IMHO), and let’s face it–the game is never going to be complete, so waiting to fix the UI until the game is complete is equivalent to just not doing it at all.


Can anybody say if the new version is at least stable enough to be worth trying yet?

The changelog is still comedy gold.
What other game can match gems like these?

(*) Stopped dwarves from trying to clean their own missing or internal body parts

(*) Stopped fort animals from getting clothing during unretire after being visited by adventurer

(*) Stopped animals from growing attached to and bestowing names on items in their possession