Dwarf Fortress you sick temptress, you!

Islands of Kesmai (the first MMORPG) was all ascii based and we used to play it with a VT100 emulator.. eventually someone did make a dedicated front end program for it and it basically converted the ascii graphics to simple 2D tiles.. it did make a world of difference though.. I suppose someone will do the same with this.

I tried it but I've never played a rogue game before and it is tough trying to follow. The things you guys describe sound great I just am having issues keeping up. I have not put any real time into it.

If it just had 2d tiles like GG said I might be able to follow it a bit better...

I was out of internet all of last week, and at a conference for the past five days. So I come back to find THIS waiting for me while I'm finally at work with an internet connection.

How can you torment me so? This looks... amazing. I have to try it. I only wish I was at home right now to give it a shot. It looks so unbelievable that I can't express it in words.

I will be playing this tonight. Trying to get through the learning curve.

Haakon, it wont disappoint. It is the best game that I have played this year and probably the best strategy/sim game I have ever come across. The fact that he is nowhere near completion (check out the development page on the creator's website) and it is still the most complex game I have ever played is really something.

karmajay wrote:
I tried it but I've never played a rogue game before and it is tough trying to follow. The things you guys describe sound great I just am having issues keeping up. I have not put any real time into it.

If it just had 2d tiles like GG said I might be able to follow it a bit better...

If you like the genre, I encourage you to keep plugging away at it. The work that you put in on the front end to get over the initial learning curve will be richly rewarded by the time your dwarves celebrate their 1 year anniversary in their fortress.

I am just about to the end of my first winter of my second fortress and things are going great, especially compared with my last debacle. I still have 100+ food left despite not completing my irrigation system in time to farm last year. I also received 7 immigrants including a metalsmith and a miner. Time to make some charcoal! I can't wait to plant some Plump Helmets as soon as spring arrives. However, my two biggest projects this year will be building a road that will carry a human caravan as well as digging over to the chasm.

I am totally absorbed in this game, and I have barely scratched the surface.

karmajay wrote:
I tried it but I've never played a rogue game before and it is tough trying to follow.

It is tough to follow, no doubt about it. Honestly, the first couple of hours are a lot "what's that thing?" "Where's he going?" "What am I supposed to do now?" "Do my smiley faces actually care that they're getting attacked by vicious 'f's?" It really does gel, though, honest. I had a moment of supreme satisfaction last night when I realized that my dwarves weren't eating because completing construction on the kitchen blocked the doorway with a countertop. I dug a new door, and watched a whole group of guys walk into the kitchen, pick up a meal, bring it back to the dining room and sit down - meals on tables - to eat. VERY cool. Even cooler to me is that I didn't really notice the ASCII when it happened - it was just a bunch of dwarves having supper, cafeteria-style. (In my head they had little trays for their food.)

It's also really neat the way eveything (so far, at least) makes sense (except for needing two floodgates - that's just weird). My dwarves couldn't eat, but there was a real, sensical reason for it. My dwarves are grumpy at sleeping on the floor, so you make them beds - which require wood, and a carpenter's workshop, and a carpenter - which you put in a bedroom - which requires a dwarf to actually haul it from the workshop to the bedroom. There's a lot of detail, but it's within the realm of the understandable and it's logical. Big kudos for this one.

Gonna leave the world generator running while I head back to work.

Duttybrew wrote:
Haakon, it wont disappoint. It is the best game that I have played this year and probably the best strategy/sim game I have ever come across. The fact that he is nowhere near completion (check out the development page on the creator's website) and it is still the most complex game I have ever played is really something.

Let me just say again, I am really freaking excited about this game.

The composite development page is amazing, and I'm looking forward to playing it as it develops.

I'm torn at the moment. I really need to work this afternoon, but I really want to read about DF. Should I be reading guides first? Or should I be just throwing myself in? The learning curve does seem like it would be half of the fun, but I don't think I can go all day without reading about this.

Really. Freaking. Excited.

At the very least, read either the Dubious Quality posts or the in-game manual. It's very detailed, though I wonder if there's an easy way to just print out the whole thing.

I don't think you need to read about it before hand. Whether or not you can go all afternoon without reading about it, well that is a different story entirely . One of the great things about the game is that it runs in a window so you can have your guides and wiki up while you are playing. Also, you can pause at any time and queue up tasks while time stands still. I strongly recommend this guide pulled from the PA thread:

So how do I play?

Playing is as easy as creating nuclear fusion using only the power of your mind, much like any roguelike game, so I'll offer a brief overview of your beginning game so you have some idea how to play (although there is also a reasonably good documentation in-game.)

First off, the controls. Most of everything in the game is controlled by the +- keys, the enter key, the space keys, and the arrow keys. Usually, the +- keys will move around in the command menu, the enter key will select something, the space key will back out of whatever menu you are in, and the arrow keys will move you around in the real map; but it's not 100% consistent. Be prepared to experiment.

You start off creating a world. Since every world's features, civilizations, legends and so on are randomly generated, no one is playing the same world. On the other hand, world generation can take a long time to ensure that you have a world capable of including everything; I've seen results anywhere between 75 and 175 rejections before it generated something. It will also take some time to generate the actual world; the landscape is fast, but civilization building and unit building is fairly slow. Thankfully, you will not have to do this often; each world contains 50 spots for Fortresses, and a large, large number of things to kill in Adventurer Mode.

Once you've done this, you can start a new game. There are three modes: Dwarf Fortress is the meat of the game, the city-building sim where you command dwarves. Adventurer Mode is the token roguelike, which currently consists of wandering through the world with whatever weapons you have until you get killed by monsters, or talking to people to find out the legends of the world, which then show up in Legends mode, which is basically an overview of what all has happened in your world (including a lot of stuff that only happened in the world gen portion); however, it's all secret at the start, so you have to find out about it in Adventurer Mode for it to show up.

Dwarf Fortress mode starts you out in the preparation screen. You can either select to Play Now!, which gives you a reasonable set of skills and equipment at a random starting spot, or prepare for the journey, which allows you to pick out all of this yourself with a pool of 200 points.

First you work out your dwarves. You won't need every skill at first, but you want people who can mine, chop wood and make wooden things, cut stone to make stone things, farm fields, fish, possibly hunt (but if you do take someone who can hunt, make sure to give him a weapon skill, ideally Marksdwarf.) However, any dwarf can learn anything if he's assigned the job, and their skills will increase as they use them, so don't feel the need to buy every skill in the list.

Next you'll need supplies. I myself have never been quite clear on what kinds of supplies are best; I usually increase my food supply by a bit and add in the other two types of seeds to ensure I can plant anything I might want later on, rather than having to rely on finding the seeds. You may also want to add in another pick, axe; or possibly weaponry, depending on how dangerous your starting area is. (Picks are the tool for mining, axes are the tool for wood chopping.)

Finally, you select your area. This costs no points, so pick a reasonably temperate area with good forestation, vegetation, and not too many things trying to kill you. You can pick a more dangerous area for greater challenge, but you run the risk of getting killed or not having enough resources, or countless other problems.

So, assuming you've done all this, all that remains is to hit e to embark and send your dwarves on their merry little way.

Not Dying in a variety of colorful ways


So, you're in front of a cliff face with a bunch of faces milling around a nine square of brown blocks (your wagon.) Time to start! First hit space to pause, so nothing stupid happens while you're telling your dwarves what to do. Then, hit TAB a few times to make the interface less annoying; you'll probably want to keep the command list up for now, but the world map is unimportant.

Next hit d. This will bring up your Designations list, for things like telling your dwarves what parts of the mountain to hollow out. Your cursor should be a yellow block; move it over to the mountain and pick a spot connecting with the outside, and designate an entrance to your soon-to-be fortress of evil. While you're at it, designate some trees for your carpenter to chop down in the same way, but don't designate too many; you want him to also have some free time to make stuff from those trees.

Now, exit out of that. Now hit p. This will bring up your stockpile designation list, which tells your dwarves where to put all the various trash that they find. Since it's only a designation, no one has to build these; they just pop into existence. Put down a Food, Wood, Stone, and Refuse designation at the bare minimum. Your stone designation should be a good size, as well, since you'll be pulling out a LOT of rock from your mining efforts.

Now, exit out of that and unpause. Your dwarves should get to work, moving stuff around, digging, and chopping trees. Watch them work uncomplainingly at back-breaking labor for no pay. Possibly giggle evilly. Once you've got some rocks, though, pause again and hit b. This will be one of your most visited windows; this is where you place things.

For now, you don't have most of the things to place, so find Workshops (or hit w from within this menu). Select a Mason's Workshop; it should go to a list of rock types you have. Probably short right now, but later this will be massive. Hit enter to pick any random type (use rocks, and not wood; wood is harder to come by, and you want to save it for other projects.)

Now you should have a 3x3 square of green Xs. The light green Xs indicate parts of the workshop that will be passable once it's complete, while the dark green Xs indicate parts that will be solid. For now, place it outside somewhere. Your mason dwarf should pick up a rock and lug it over to the workshop, and it should get finished.

Repeat the above process with a Carpenter's workshop now. You should note however that this will probably not finish anytime soon, since your carpenter has to build it, and he's probably busy cutting his wrist down trees. The various types of buildings take various skills to make; usually, whatever profession will be using the workshop is needed to build it.

Let's take a quick look at how you give dwarves new jobs. Go back to the main menu and hit v. This should give you a cursor, and your window should become an examination of whatever dwarf is closest to that cursor. You can hit various buttons within this, such as g to see general stats, i to see inventory, p to see his settings, and w to see his condition. Go to his settings for now.

There, you should be able to hit l for Labor, and a list of job types will pop up. You can scroll through it with + and -, and hit enter to select/deselect any jobs you want; he will then do or not do those jobs. These jobs include just about every task a dwarf could need to do, from refuse hauling to metalworking.

Now, you should have at least a Mason's Workshop done, so it's time to do something. Go back to the overview and hit q, which should bring up a cursor and change the window to the build orders for whatever building is closest. Find your Mason's Workshop, and hit a. This will bring up a list of things he can build. Right now, you want to add Stone Blocks first. You'll need other things, too; right now, you need tables and thrones (which are basically rock chairs.)

Build one throne per dwarf you have, and a table for each one (each table can have up to four thrones at it, but if you push them next to each other to make one long table then that'll go down.)

Next, dig out another room, at least 3x5. You'll put the finished tables and thrones in here, and it will become your dining room. Dwarves dislike eating without sitting down, and that will become an unhappy thought, which in turn pushes them closer to being unhappy, which is bad on many levels.

Now wait. Your dwarves should cheerfully go about their work. Once your Carpenter's Workshop is done, queue up a bucket and one bed per dwarf you have, then dig out another room at least 3x4 to put the beds in. Later on you'll need to build a room for each dwarf, but early on they're willing to sleep barracks style.

Once your beds, bucket and blocks, or tables/thrones are done, hit b again. You can place everything, not just buildings, from this menu. If your tables are done, plop them down in whatever room you made your dining room, in a pattern such that the thrones are next to the tables. If your beds are done, plop them down in your barracks. Finally, if your blocks/bucket are done, pick out Well from the building menu and put it in an open room with lots of access, since your dwarves will come here regularly.

Once all of these are done, you should have a basic fortress which won't die within five minutes from berserk dwarves, and where you go from there is up to you. I'll give you two more important things to do, however.

The first is a Craftsdwarf's Workshop. Here is where you will build all kinds of useful and neat things, primarily trade goods. These will go in a Finished Goods pile. They're important because anything you didn't start with the ability to produce, and a lot of things you did, you'll want to get from the rest of the world (for which you'll need a trade depot, and also a road for trading with non-dwarven traders.) In fact, if you're clever and have been reading the text in the game, you'll have noted that a supply caravan is supposed to arrive in the fall; but their goods aren't free, so you'd better have some stuff to trade back to them if you want their supplies.

The second part is farming. This is complex and confusing and important, so it gets special mention. You see, you farm in-cave; apparently you farm mushrooms or some other plant that doesn't require sunlight. To do this, however, you'll need to find your first in-cave river. Make a long, 1xlots dig designation into the depths of the mountain. You should find one after a few screens; in fact, your dwarf will probably have to run for his life from the flooding after you hit the river. Once the flooding recedes, however, you can open up holes to the river more or less safely.

This is important, since your dwarves farm with river mud. Dig open a spot next to the river; keep it separate from the rest of the cave, accessible only by a one square entry, where you'll put a door (build it from the Mason's Workshop.) Now, dig open one or two squares to the river. Nothing should flood at this point.

Now, you'll need to dig out a small adjunct room next to the door to the river-access room, which we'll call the control room. Once the door is between the access room and the control room, hit q and you should be able to set up the door. Keep it closed, but not locked.

Now, for the next trick, you will need to build a floodgate from your mason's workshop, and a mechanics workshop, from which you'll need three mechanisms. Make one of your dwarves work at Mechanics if you don't already have one.

Put your floodgate at the spot in the access room where the room meets the river. Next, build a Lever from b; this will take one mechanism and will be under Traps/Levers. Once the lever is built, hit q again and you should be able to set it up. Add the task "Hook up to a floodgate; it should give a list of floodgates, and there's probably only the one, so select it. Then it'll need two mechanisms; one for the gate, and another one for the lever.

EDIT: There've been some problems with water pathing recently, warranting an edit here: It may be necessary to install a second floodgate in front of your first one to convince the water to enter your access room, and some have suggested using a door and a second lever at the junction between access and control rooms, for additional safety. Note that every floodgate you hook up will require two mechanisms (one at the gate, one at the lever), and levers require one mechanism to construct.

Once all of this is set up, go back to the lever's menu and add the task "Pull the lever." One of your dwarves should come up to the lever soon and pull it, at which point the access room will be flooded (and the control room as well if you didn't set the door to be closed at all times.) Pull the lever again, and the water will recede.

But wait... the rocks in the access room are now brown with river mud! You can now build Farm Plots on it from the building menu. Once the plot is built, you can access it's menu the same way as with any building, and select what you want planted there; plump helmets are a good start, since they're a normal food item.

Every season you'll need to re-indicate what you want planted there, and the mud will harden in the winter, so you can't plant then; you'll need to re-flood the room in the spring, as well.

However, this is your primary food source by far; hunting is slow and unreliable, especially since the hunt target code is RETARDED (Well there's a deer right in front of the fortress, but let's go to THE END OF THE MAP and kill there instead!), and fishing only provides one fish/use and takes time; it also demands the full attention of the fisher, whereas one farmer can fill up a small plot on his own and get 3 plump helmets per spot.

So what else is there?

There's a lot more to the game as well, including a lot I haven't seen myself; it's only been out since Tuesday, and is only an alpha right now (although a lot of the core functionality is there; there's just a lot of missing small things.)

Increasing Social Dynamics!
Your dwarves live in an egalitarian, communist society at first; everyone has a few personal possessions, but everything is shared between people and whatever is needed is a tool "for the people." However, as your fortress expands, nobles will move in; they demand a lot, but in return, they expand your prestige and social dynamic. For example, the Manager allows you to dictate orders of things you need built, rather than queuing things at each workshop; with him comes the Sheriff, and criminal justice. Supposedly, later on once you start making money, you can even have an internal economy.

Wars and Monsters!
Those military skills aren't just for deer. Monsters will sometimes show up in your fortress, both from outside and from inside. You'll need military dwarves to defend you from frogmen using your dwarves as farm creatures and raiding you from your cave river, and also to keep jealous goblin, human, or elven kingdoms from outside from entering your base and killing your mans. This is especially true if you live near Evil regions, special parts of the map which are corrupted by evil (think the area around Mt. Doom from LOTR. Nothing good or friendly lives there.)

Yeah, for getting started, I'd suggest DQ blogs. They might even give a bit too much info, but I found that they took the edge off the extreme unknown and allowed me to actually get into running the game without feeling frustrated by a complete lack of understanding for anything.

On a side-note, I wonder what if: either Sony or M$ picked this game up and threw a few mil$ at it to make a nice GUI. Would it herald an era of true next gen games?

Okay, I decided to read the DQ posts. They were probably sufficient to get me up and running, but I'll probably read the PA post as well, Dutts. It bothers me that I have to actually work this afternoon.

MoonDragon wrote:
On a side-note, I wonder what if: either Sony or M$ picked this game up and threw a few mil$ at it to make a nice GUI. Would it herald an era of true next gen games?

I was thinking of this at lunch as well. What if Bethesda or Relic (one familiar with the power of 'free-form' play, the other a master at strategy) picked it up? Relatively 'individual' dwarven models, freedom in influencing the predominate artistic styles of your dwarves, high-level trade & politics with well developed, realistic warfare (a la the Total War series). It could be the greatest game ever.

It would be a herculean effort to get the game into 3D with the sheer variety available and maleability of the environment. However, having most of the AI already coded should provide a nice headstart. I am sure that it would need to be fully recoded to work in a new engine and an extra dimension to navigate, but having the algorithms worked out would prevent a lot of headaches.

If they could pull it off, I gotta believe this game would sell like crazy. Also, If they modeled the dwarves in a cartoony style ala Warcraft III, I am not sure if I would need another game... ever. I know not everybody digs the Warcraft franchise, but Warcraft IV: Dwarf Fortress would be too cool for words.

If it is taken on by a major developer, there needs to be a way to maintain a balance in the game. To go deeper with details than ever before, but also to know when enough is enough.
Perhaps there would be a detail slider, where you control how much of the game detail was visible, and how much was subsumed into the infrastructure. That way, when your kingdom reached a massive size, you could automate a great deal of the micromanagement.

Maybe transferrable skills are the key for that? Specialization, like he describes on his website, but knowing how to use a rounded stone chisel may translate to having some proficiency with a rounded wood chisel.

Part of the appeal is the hands-on approach to shaping a living, growing community, that, ultimately, still functions independently. Several game companies have tried, but all have failed. This fella's obviously got incredible plans for the rest of game, and I'm anxious to see his further work in threshing out his ideas.

Duttybrew wrote:
Also, If they modeled the dwarves in a cartoony style ala Warcraft III, I am not sure if I would need another game... ever. I know not everybody digs the Warcraft franchise, but Warcraft IV: Dwarf Fortress would be too cool for words.

I'd prefer it to be a more realistic vision (maybe Tolkien-esque) of the dwarves, but that would just be a personal preference. I'd play it, however the art department decided to design it.

Its like a cross between CIV, Caesar, Black & White, and Oblivion.

If you read the forums, this guy and his (brother?) have made it very clear that they do NOT ever intend to sell their games. They do it for fun, to make something fun for THEM to experience, and if other people enjoy it too, well, yippee.

The lead guy, Toady says:

Toady One
The Great

posted September 01, 2006 01:27 AM Profile for Toady One Author's Homepage Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote The FAQ should simply be taken at face value.

I dislike programming... but even worse for me is talking about technical this or that, and schedules, and coordinating, and needling code-jocks, and other irritations. Now, I don't mind going over the forums or checking saves, and that kind of thing. It's not quite fun, but it's not miserable. However, I write games because the end result is interesting and fun, and for me, the current situation is working. We share games because it's great to let other people have fun with them too.

As I understand it, we're still about where we were at with porting. I like the idea of porting, I think it's a good thing, but it also runs afoul of all of the issues I've listed above. Mucking around with an alphabet soup of licenses and sending this or that piece of code to whoever would suck for me. If it were easier to handle myself, it would be a different matter, but apparently it's not, or at least, I don't remember hearing anything that wouldn't involve me setting up some kind of restricted access online source thingy for trusted individuals, or sending this to that and reading this license about that when I get it back to make sure I can do this and that, or some such thing. I don't want to deal with it. It's probably frustrating that I think this way, but it's my life, and that's how I feel about it right now.

As to the notion of our business model: Bay 12 Games will never sell a game -- when there's a Chapter III, that will be free too. If it were somehow possible to sell a Chapter III profitably, that would say, what, that "we are now able to live independently because we decided to start restricting access to our games to those that can afford them or steal them"? That's not what we want to do. I understand other people make a living that way, and I'm not judging them, since you could come up with an equivalent formulation for my day job and judge me as well. However, our games are not a job for us. If all of you keep us afloat, that rules, and that's the only way it's going to happen. If you'd rather download our games for free and only pay for the games that demand it of you, that's fine too. It's up to you to choose how you express your interest in what's available, and ultimately that will determine what continues to be available.

from http://www.bay12games.com/cgi-local/...

duckilama wrote:
Hook up a floodgate to the outside river with a lever inside, lock my guys inside the mountain flood the world for a few days. Should this work?

No, I read that when you flood the outside world, it only floods to about waist high. No harm to beasties from outdoor "flooding". Makes sense really, you'd need something biblical to make that work.

Or lava.

Lava it is then. To me, dwarves don't really do battle in the traditional warrior sense. They detest violence and abhor murder. But you may ask, "What about the Gorillas you burned to death with lava?" To which they would respond, "All we did was dig some tunnels. It was the lava that killed those Gorillas. How unfortunate for them."

I don't see how a graphical upgrade would improve the game really. I'd like some of the alpha-numeric symbols replaced with slightly indicative representations, but just so I stop forgetting the difference between things. The interface and parts of the gameplay need some work, but not the graphical detail. It just wouldn't add anything to the game.

I have a lot of respect for the Bay12's way of doing things and plan to wish them well with my wallet.

Could someone explain to me how to build a fishery? Does anyone know? I set up one to build, and it just says "Needs Fishing or Fish Cleaning" - "Construction inactive". I don't get it. I've got a fisherman who has fish cleaning as well. Has anyone gotten one built?

Edit: Nevermind, I told my fisherman to stop fishing and he went and took care of it.

Your fish cleaner probably just hasn't had the time to haul his butt over there and build it. The worst is when the dwarf is carrying the materials over to the building site and decides he's thirsty two steps away from the building, and then after a trip to the well decides it is time for a break. The break is of course followed by naptime.

Excellent game. I have a couple questions I was hoping you guys could answer:

* If I set one table to be a dining room with a large area, are any tables placed in that area automatically joined to the area or do they need to be designated aswell?

* I set up a food store and all of my barrels were placed in the space -- how can I tell what's inside?

* How do I place buckets in the rooms?

* Bridges - What's the deal? I can't seem to make one span the river. It almost seems arbitrary as to it's maximum width/length at times.


Quintin_Stone wrote:
I've got a fisherman who has fish cleaning as well.

Additionally, dwarves prefer to fish over cleaning fish, so you either need a fishcleaner that doesn't fish or you'll have to manually turn off fishing for the fisherman to leave the river. I feel the same way.

I don't have the game, but feel like giving Bay12 money just for their good attitude.

Of course I won't. But I did feel like it.

Amen. This game is hot hot hot and has completely devoured my free time this week. I agree with Chumpy's Matrix analogy ... I seriously don't see the ASCII anymore. I see M F'ing dwarves. Thirsty dwarves. And a couple angry dwarves on trash duty.

I reinstalled it. I lasted 24 hours away from the game.

I spent $1500 on a new computer this year. What have I spent most of my time playing in the last month? Diablo 2 and Dwarf Fortress. Explain it to me.

It sounds like the Nintendo factor, Duffman.
The gameplay is awesome even if the graphics were dated 20 years ago. Hell, my Apple ][+ had Castle Wolfenstein(the original), Raster Blaster, Wizardry and much much more. _I_ programmed stuff with better graphics that first summer.

But this game is really good, there's no doubt about it. Gameplay beats graphics.

Excellent game. I have a couple questions I was hoping you guys could answer:
* If I set one table to be a dining room with a large area, are any tables placed in that area automatically joined to the area or do they need to be designated aswell?
* I set up a food store and all of my barrels were placed in the space -- how can I tell what's inside?
* How do I place buckets in the rooms?
* Bridges - What's the deal? I can't seem to make one span the river. It almost seems arbitrary as to it's maximum width/length at times.

It doesn't appear that you need to designate each individual table as a dining area.
The general contents of barrels show up in their name.
You shouldn't need to place buckets in particular places. The dwarves will use them as they need them.
The area a bridge can cover is determined by how many stones you choose from the initial bridge building menu. For example to build a long, three tall bridge:

b g + enter + enter + enter + enter + enter + enter + enter + enter + enter p u u k k k k k k k k enter

all the + enter's are selecting stones to go into the use of the bridge. Roads work the same way. I'm not sure how many or how few stones are necessary so I always just throw a bunch in. It's not like there aren't plenty of stones around.

Speaking of which; has anyone found an efficient way to clear out their fortress of loose stones?

A giant injured bat flew out of the chasm, attacked one of my masons who then "fell under a strange mood." He locked himself in the masonry for a while and kept muttering "Erarfisith!" and created the legendary... door. The f*cker made a damn door! What the hell? Also he refused to part with it. I can't even use the damn door. I suspect he will know when the time is right.

This game really kicks your ass and makes you beg for more. I pretty much spent all day cultivating my latest fortress. I spent 2 years meticulously designing it to support all the eventual dwarves, to set up workshops in efficient ways. I built a badass road and bridge that brought in caravans caravans from the dwarves and elves, and some HUGE wagons from the humans that were absolutely loaded with food and leather. For 2 or 3 years I had tons of food to spare, was producing small amounts of booze to keep the dwarves happy, attracted noblemen...

Then at some point I must have reached a kind of critical mass. I was struggling to meet the bookkeeper's coin demands when I checked on my food and found my stores completely drained. Im not sure what happened but my 60 meat and 90 something plants didnt last the winter with 91 dwarves around. I ended up stopping when my legendary miner starved to death. The fortress is like a loony bin with dwarves throwing tantrums and going mad, starving to death and butchering their pets for food. One pissed off dwarf even destroyed the bridge which cut off the big caravans and pretty much all hope of rescue.

Im not sure if I'll try to restore order or start again. I have new ideas to have a better shot, and I finally figured out the floodgate thing so I'll start that sooner.

Some things I learned that I'll pass on.
-Peasants are trainees. Dont just use them to chop trees and clean house. Set them to do jobs you dont have many dwarves in. They'll grow into the position over time. Most of mine became farmers but I realize now I could have put them to work in the forge and smelters to be more productive there.
-You dont need 10 farmlands. 1 farm of decent size is about all 5 or 6 growers can manage, and its enough food for 30-50 dwarves.
-Dont build someone a home really far away from the rest of civilization to keep him closer to his work. He'll starve to death.
-Slaughter extra animals even when you have plenty of food. When things get desperate, it seems to take forever to get new food into the stores. So setting 6 animals to butcher when you have 0 food left is just too late.
-When you're digging towards the river. Watch for limestone. It means you're getting close. Put in a door in the tunnel so your miner can get away if there's a major flood caused by the discovery of the river.
-My opinion: Trappers and Fishers are worthless (though I may just need more fisheries to get better use from the fisherdwarves) Next time I'm turning every trapper I see into a farmer or a metalworker. The only time I was ever happy to have Trappers around is they seem to be in the right place at the right time when there's ambushes in my fortress. They'll fire a few bolts off and take care of it lickity split, but as long as they keep their crossbows, changing their job shouldnt make a difference there

Next time I think I'll build multiples of each workshop, maybe 3 of each in a 3x9 room and situated around a common set of stockpiles they'll all pull from and feed. Making space for what you realize you need later is a real pain.

Wow. I can't wait for those kinds of problems, Poly. Sounds like they're cut off... Drums, drums in the deep.

So, I started last night. Read the DQ posts on the Metro ride home and got 3/4 of the way through the PA post above. That final quarter that I didn't read hurt me, but more on that later.

Spent a good chunk of time agonizing over my preparations, but I guess as I learn those skills, the speed will come with time. I'm pushing toward the underground river, but I haven't done the single shaft route. I'm currently fashioning a junction in the center, and will start branching off from there with a North-South central avenue for the workshop and housing rows.
I'm worried that by not rushing to get to the river, I won't be able to get my crops down in time, but that's a chance I'm willing to take for preparing for the future.

Here's where not reading the final quarter of the PA post hurt me... I didn't understand that you could designate workshops outside, so I haven't crafted anything yet. I've got stone & wood & refuse stockpiles, and I'm going to designate food & goods piles in the two 'guard rooms' off my main corridor near the shield wall.
Workshops will open up a whole new bag of questions, I think, but I'm ready for them.

I don't understand hunting. My hunter/marksdwarf has just wandered off and has yet to return. I check in on him occasionally, and he's not that far away. He just hasn't rounded up any grub! Do I need to designate a food pile first? Also, he's my animal trainer. How does that work? Do I need to put a kennel up?

I need to figure out the preferences stuff, so I can start specializing my dwarven workforce.

What benefit does detailing have? My mason is currently detailing the front hallway, though he SHOULD be in the workshop working on doors, etc.

Is there a way for a community of Poly's size to send out another founding party? Or is it smarter to possibly build a second community in the same spine of mountains, but close enough to your fortress that you can use the same trade depot? Is it smart to have two major entrances to the Halls?

So many questions, but...
My god. Its full of stars.

I don't understand hunting. My hunter/marksdwarf has just wandered off and has yet to return.
Hunting is bugged.

maybe the coolest thing about the game is it doesnt coddle you. In most games you'd never get more people than your food supply can handle. You have to build a farm first, then you'll get more guys. My community fell because I didnt expand my farming at the appropriate time. I never considered putting workshops outside for some reason. It makes a lot of sense, especially for the mason and carpenter since all the stones and wood go out there anyways and you dont have to worry about lack of space.

polypusher wrote:
since all the stones and wood go out there anyways...
Once you get deeper into the mountain, you're really going to want to move your stone pile indoors closer to where the digging is happening or you dwarves will spend all their time hauling.

Thanks for the help, Danjo.

You shouldn't need to place buckets in particular places. The dwarves will use them as they need them.

I should have been clearer about my ineptitude ;)-- I can't figure out how to place them at all. I've got about 6 sitting in my carpenter's workshop, but I can't seem to move them (i.e. find the correct command).