“Losing Is Fun!”
Dwarf Fortress deserves its own page out of sheer respect for the game.
I first found it almost a year ago while searching for some free games to play.
Basically, Dwarf Fortress is simulation of unparalled complexity.
Starting with a party of seven dwarves (which you can customise their skills and equipment they take with them) you set out on a world generated randomly in extreme detail to create a dwarven outpost to stand the test of time (200 years of history created with civilisations rising and falling, epic creatures, battles and heroes…before you even set out to carve yourself a piece of history for yourself!).
After getting through the initial learning curve (HUGELY aided by the dwarf fortress wiki and the excellent tutorials by captnduck). The game presents you with a highly detailed world for you to exploit and conquer, from roaming creatures, bands of goblins (and other nasties), weather, the environment and your dwarves themselves, it is all in your hands.
You probably already have images of Moria racing through your mind, and that is exactly what can happen if your fortress falls!. From building defences, assigning soldiers to patrols, growing or killing your food, creating weapons, armour and crafts (among plenty of other things) to use or sell at your pleasure.
I strongly recommend using the tilesets below to make it a bit easier on your eyes and brain, at least to start with. I also cannot recommend highly enough the series of video tutorials by captnduck which can be found on youtube and the Internet Archive (for download – use VLC player to play these, captnduck recommends the ‘Cinepack’ version for quality), they cover pretty much everything you could want to know about the game in an easy to follow format.
The official forum has a thread listing all the videos and further information here.
If you have any questions or problems, the forum is heavily populated and people will be happy to help, also there is a wealth or information there if you get stuck or need some tips, just search!
Dwarf Fortress Wiki – Everything you need, check here before posting in the forum.
After Action Reporter’s excellent play along tutorials (keep an eye out for the pdf too!)
Recommended Mods and Tilesets
(Includes the Guybrush 16×16 tileset, Dystopian Rhetoric’s graphics set, and an updated color scheme)
Tools & Utilities
3Dwarf Visualiser – View your maps and fortress in 3D!
Dwarf Manager – customise your dwarves names, professions, labour and other things.
Terrain Viewer – view your maps in beautiful 3D (view instructions here)
Terragen – Another map viewing program