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Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress: Learn to Play the Most Complex Video Game Ever Made

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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 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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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 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

30 review for Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress: Learn to Play the Most Complex Video Game Ever Made

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve Losh

    It's the only one of its kind as far as I know, so if you want a book on Dwarf Fortress you don't really have many options. Luckily, it's also a good book! I never played before, and this book helped be quite a lot. There seem to be two main "sections" to the book. The first half (roughly) is a hand-holding, step-by-step tutorial that gets you up and running. The second half is more like a bunch of guides on various topics. The setup works really well. If you're interested in DF after playing Minec It's the only one of its kind as far as I know, so if you want a book on Dwarf Fortress you don't really have many options. Luckily, it's also a good book! I never played before, and this book helped be quite a lot. There seem to be two main "sections" to the book. The first half (roughly) is a hand-holding, step-by-step tutorial that gets you up and running. The second half is more like a bunch of guides on various topics. The setup works really well. If you're interested in DF after playing Minecraft or roguelikes, definitely take a look at this book. (Note: the screenshots are in color in the ebook version but black and white in the paper version. They're not impossible to understand in the paper version, but they definitely look better in color)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex Rogalski

    I don't think I will ever play dwarf fortress - micromanaging is not my idea of fun. But I enjoy roguelikes and I enjoyed reading this book. :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Roy Klein

    Dwarf Fortress belongs to a class of games that are unapologetically complex in terms of depth and game mechanics. Among these games, it probably has the most steep learning curve of all, so steep it's nearly unimaginable that anyone could learn it without a teacher or a book. It is, however, an incredible fun and rewarding experience, once you've got a grisp of enough of the mechanics. If you enjoy games like Civilization or Nethack and don't cower from spending a weekend on learning a game that Dwarf Fortress belongs to a class of games that are unapologetically complex in terms of depth and game mechanics. Among these games, it probably has the most steep learning curve of all, so steep it's nearly unimaginable that anyone could learn it without a teacher or a book. It is, however, an incredible fun and rewarding experience, once you've got a grisp of enough of the mechanics. If you enjoy games like Civilization or Nethack and don't cower from spending a weekend on learning a game that can keep you literally entertained for years, this book does a wonderful job of significantly curving down the learning difficulty. I highly recommend getting a Kindle version for it, as the search functions of the Kindle for PC are invaluable when looking up concepts as you run into them while learning.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kassil

    A fantastic introduction to the world's most complex game/reality simulation engine, Peter (AKA TinyPirate) does something never done before for Dwarf Fortress: he sits down and explains how to set up a functioning fort, going from generating a world and choosing a site clear through to setting up your industries and military, exploring the caverns, and everything else needed to help ensure that you, too, can understand that Losing Is Fun! Seriously, get this book. After becoming competent at DF A fantastic introduction to the world's most complex game/reality simulation engine, Peter (AKA TinyPirate) does something never done before for Dwarf Fortress: he sits down and explains how to set up a functioning fort, going from generating a world and choosing a site clear through to setting up your industries and military, exploring the caverns, and everything else needed to help ensure that you, too, can understand that Losing Is Fun! Seriously, get this book. After becoming competent at DF, no other game has a learning curve that can be considered challenging; the only barriers to learning any other game are bad programming on the developers' part.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Guilherme Tomishiyo

    I think the most relevant thing to discuss in a review about this book is: why would you buy it rather than consulting the game's Wiki? And the answer is organization. While the book contains no new information, it is organized in a logical and coherent way that makes learning the game much easier. That's especially true if you don't know what exactly are you supposed to learn. That was my problem with the Wiki: the concepts were there, but since I'm new to game, I wasn't sure about why things w I think the most relevant thing to discuss in a review about this book is: why would you buy it rather than consulting the game's Wiki? And the answer is organization. While the book contains no new information, it is organized in a logical and coherent way that makes learning the game much easier. That's especially true if you don't know what exactly are you supposed to learn. That was my problem with the Wiki: the concepts were there, but since I'm new to game, I wasn't sure about why things were not happening the way I thought they would, and I was not sure how could I search the Wiki for help. I think the book delivers very well what it promises, and by the end of it you will certainly know enough about the game to walk by yourself. The only problem is that the book is outdated. The developers have rolled some major updates since the book was written, and there are some important features that are not covered. But that's hardly the author's fault and it dosen't affect your learning at all.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Reepacheep

    Everything you need to know to get into dwarf fortress! The book is eight years old but as far as I can tell is still relevant.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.R.

    Peter Tyson has authored the definitive Dwarf Fortress tutorials and has been an avid player and contributor to the community for years. His instruction manual breaks Dwarf Fortress into easy-to-understand sections and explains each one with just the right mix of depth and simplicity. The illustrations are hilarious and perfectly convey the grim humor inherent in Dwarf Fortress. If you've been waiting to play Dwarf Fortress, this guide is a must-have.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Odhran

    Interesting guide to playing Dwarf Fortress, interspersed with nice little comics telling DF tales. Could do with a little less how-to guide and a little more exploring the generated stories - Boatmurdered et al get mentioned, but not discussed. Also, 30% of the book is just appendices, mostly tables repeated from the main text. Captures the oddity that is this game pretty well though.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Dwarf Fortress... Seriously one of the most complex games ever coded. This book is a bit outdated now as far as functionality but it does still have some good insight on the basics. Prepare for all of the death umm... vampires umm... Fun you could ever want in a game. I give it four beards.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brynjólfur Erlingsson

    This book does what it says and does it very very well. For me Dwarf Fortress was impenetrable but I really wanted to see what it was all about. In around 10-20 hours with this book and the game side by side I was ready to go and do most of the stuff myself. It's well written and humorous to boot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Great book to get new players up and running with Dwarf Fortress, as well as some tips and tricks for more experienced players. It is a legendary quality tutorial. It menaces with spikes of plump helmet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hamby

    Got me started playing in no time, and the writing is engaging, funny, and very helpful. If you want to play Dwarf Fortress (and you should) I definitely recommend picking this up.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Helped me get a small fortress going along with a vast supply of booze & plump helmets for the winter months. Helped me get a small fortress going along with a vast supply of booze & plump helmets for the winter months.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dmitry

    Pleasantly written introduction to Dwarf fortress.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fabian Scherschel

    Probably the best way to learn about Dwarf Fortress. A very good guide. Funny and well written. I can recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone interested in the game.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Probably the best book available to get you started playing Dwarf Fortress.

  17. 5 out of 5

    E

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Glenn

  19. 5 out of 5

    Will Douglas

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Wise

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Stronger

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Van Den Heuvel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stirlinghepburn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ilya

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dmytro

  26. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bárbara

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate Haskell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ned

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