Saturday, October 8, 2016

DF: Where my week went.

I had planned to write amazing award-winning reviews of two (yes two!) games that struck my solo-rpg fancy, both Four Against Darkness (an amazing solo game and dungeon generator- where one thinks why had no one thought of this before) and the stunning tarot solo game ‘Dungeon Solitaire’ were on the list.

Then I discovered Dwarf Fortress, and all hope was lost into the embers of time. In my life now, time has literally burned before my eyes. It is an Oblivion level game (appropriately entitled because when you start playing an Oblivion level game that is exactly what your life becomes-an oblivion. When the actual Oblivion came out, I came home from teaching at 3:30, started playing, realized I had to pee- and the clock informed me it was 10:30 at night). DF as the fanatical fandom abreviates it, is a game that will not only eat your life, stump your mind, but tear your heart out. The game is a kamikaze rogue-like, like Fallout Shelter you play until everything goes to crap. To that end, the game’s theme is “Losing is Fun!”- No kidding! It has a learning curve of a small nuclear-powered space-capable warhead. The graphics are mid-1990’s at best, with various tile sets, that, like a drop of sugar in skim-milk, or a flower on the prison cell’s window sill, make it a bit more bearable.

But when you turn on that game and press the create a world command, you are opening the book of Genesis, hitting the key to bang the big bang, seeding a universe in your computer (and the cooling fans in my cpu can attest to the aforementioned). In that stroke, a world is born filled with myth, color and emotion. Topography rises and kingdoms engrave their history onto your hard disk. With that in mind I understand fully why it does not have ‘hard’ graphics like, say, Skyrim. Quite frankly, it can’t. It would be like giving graphics to a spiral of a galaxy. Any machine would explode.

My twelve dwarves live in a universe with a full complexity of society, art, fashion, emotion, hopes, dreams, furniture, armor, refuse, and beds- where blades of grass are brewed in a still. It is a monster of a game that hides laughing behind Nethack graphics- where only a select few look behind the facade and discover that it is full of stars. You can check just about any rogue/sandbox game out there, from Gnomoria to Minecraft, they have all been inspired or (dare I say) started by it. And according to all those decimal numbers after the name, it is still in beta. If it ever goes to full release, a 1, I think the thing will become self-aware. Sky-net will be an omniscient, RPG gamer, with a thirst for universe-accounting that kills you not with robots but an entire fantasy universe. Yes, Sky-net the dungeon master!

So I invite any procrastinator, any person with a deadline, anyone that is behind a secure cubicle and has a spreadsheet cover behind it, by all means burn this thing into your computer.

Thus abandon hope all ye who expected me to post in any play-by-post games or game reviews. If you are reading this and you are character in my fiction, enjoy the limbo, it may be a while.

Or at least until I figure out how to make a column of stairs!