Video Game: Spacebase DF-9



Spacebase DF-9 is a Dwarf Fortress-esque sci-fi Space Management Game by Double Fine. Originally conceived as a prototype during the company's 2012 Amnesia Fortnight, this standalone version, released on Steam's Early Access program in mid-October 2013, expands on the prototype in ways such as an isometric perspective, more detailed character sprites, more environmental hazards and many more to come.

The story starts after a massive galaxy-wide socio-economic collapse, where a plan to recolonize the galaxy is put in motion. The idea is that multitudes of "seed" units are sent to various points in the galaxy to start construction of various residential outposts. You take on the role of looking after one of these seed crews, assigning them tasks and making sure they're kept safe against various hazards, be it pirate-related, or a meteor shower, or a sudden influx of space-parasites.

This game contains examples of:

  • Asteroid Miner: Your primary means of income as of Alpha 1.
    • In the amnesia fortnight version you could destroy asteroids with your mouse (also for income).
  • Art Evolution: Compared to the original Amnesia Fortnight prototype.
  • Artificial Stupidity: As of Alpha 1b, low-skilled technicians can subtract from the damage percentage of an object just as often as they can add to it. Cue exploding oxygen recyclers and a lot of frustration. Thankfully, this particular issue was fixed in Alpha 2.
  • Character Blog: Each resident has a "SpaceFace" feed to give an insight into their lives and feelings.
  • Crapsack World: The entire galaxy. Hence the attempts at recolonization.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Potentially, anyway. Sometimes, instead of fighting to the death, raiders will be "pacified," which effectively means that after some time in the brig they can be peacefully integrated into the base.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Played straight and subverted. The straight examples come from food replicators that change matter into mediocre food, while the subverted examples come from the option to grow organic food on board your station for serving in pubs.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Corpses (from dead colonists and raiders) get recycled for their mass, which then (via food replicators) is consumed by the remaining residents. A bit of Fridge Horror, quite literally....
  • Isometric Projection: As opposed to the top-down perspective of the Amnesia Fortnight prototype.
  • Lost Colony: Derelicts - empty bases that show up nearby every now and then, which may or may not contain hostile lifeforms hell-bent on attacking any security staff you send their way.
  • Killer Robot: As of Alpha 2, derelicts can be infested with these.
  • Morale Mechanic
  • Oxygen Meter: Entering space (While wearing a suit, obviously) gives a resident around 8 minutes of time before they have to return to the airlock to resupply.
  • Planet of Hats: There are already entire races of frog and chicken people living alongside humanity as of Alpha 1.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "DF-9" is a triple pun - not only does it reference the fact that the game was inspired by "Star Trek Deep Space Nine" and "Dwarf fortress", but it shows and abbreviation of the name of the company.
    • One possible hazard involves a resident complaining about feeling pregnant (Regardless of gender), and then a parasite suddenly bursts out of them. In the same vein, one possible name for a resident includes the name Ripley.
    • Speaking of Alien, one of the types of organic foods, the "Icky Pod", even bears a strong resemblance to a Xenomorph egg.
  • Space Station: The game is all about building a working (Though somewhat doomed) spacestation with a huge variety of alien species as citizens and numerous possible random disasters that you as the player have to deal with.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Can be accomplished by forcibly opening the airlock doors.