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When I knew nothing about Dwarf Fortress, I didn't know why people play it.

Then I learned a little about Dwarf Fortress, and I started to understand why people play it.

Now that I've been studying how to play Dwarf Fortress for a few days, I have no idea why anybody plays it.

@Nezchan I don't play it

I taught a computer how to play it

@Nezchan yes

and the video has twenty three thousand views for reasons I am not entirely clear on

youtube.com/watch?v=Ybj8a2nWCB

@Nezchan I'm so intimidated by that game. It's as opaque, UI-wise, as NetHack and way more complicated. ;_;

@Nezchan Look, playing vanilla dwarf fortress doesn't make me insane. It just means I spent my first 200 hours of the game with the wiki open and constantly going 'oh god that's a mechanic?'

@Nezchan I imagine you'll be inundated with recommendations, but if you're interested in some alternatives that are less...obtuse, I can recommend some.

@nebulos

Well, I'm still trying it for now. Partly out of sheer stubbornness and partly because some parts are actually interesting. If overwhelming.

@nebulos

Surprisingly, even though my post has gotten a bit of attention, I haven't had a single recommendation for an alternative.

I already know about Rimworld, which I now realize is *very* similar to DF. More than I expected, to be honest. Not sure what else is out there in the genre.

To think, I started this journey via Surviving Mars, which is basically an ant colony in space.

@Nezchan Rimworld is my game of choice. I did that sci fi life. But there's also gnomoria, which is much closer to DF. Oxygen Not Included is pretty similar too, though less similar than any of the other games.

@nebulos

Problem with Gnomoria of course is that it got abandoned by the devs 4 years ago. The 1.0 (but still a little buggy) release was the last they touched it.

Oxygen Not Included seems a lot more different from what I'm after.

@Nezchan Interesting that you say that. 'cause Surviving Mars is really different from what I'm after when I play DF/Rimworld/etc. but Oxygen Not Included is more in line. I guess that's the great part about DF--scratches a lot of different itches.

@nebulos

I think what I like about Surviving Mars is the "ant colony" aspect. It's basically set up so you can create this thriving, and largely self-sustaining without too much micromanaging, society of little units, and just chill out and let them do their thing.

So far in my experience there's not all that much "sit back and watch" in DF, it's a lot more frantic in that sense.

@Nezchan

Have you tried building a library? All the hassle of making paper, thread and bindings … in my opinion all worth it for the book titles they come up with. :) (One of my dwarves wrote "The camera obscura in the age of myth.")

Also: do you know about Dwarf Therapist?

@yncke

I do, and I wouldn't have made it nearly this far without it.

As to books, I have a great fondness for the generated book titles from Caves of Qud. My story "Do Remember Chewing Salt" was inspired by one of those.

@Nezchan

Indeed, totally unmissable tool. I played #DwarfFortress for quite a while before I discovered it...

This is not meant like an insult (on the contrary) but yep, that that sounds like a dwarf title. XD

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