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Reviews Comments: Love the game myself, but... Dwarf Fortress game review by theredlongitude

I notice all the extremely positive reviews and I just have to write a somewhat dissenting review. I love me some Dorf Fort, laughed at some of the things my idiot dwarfs do to get themselves killed, literally gasped when a recently conscripted, unarmed Recruit pulled an embedded iron crossbow bolt out of a !!Forgotten Beast!! and stabbed it in the brain case with it. I play the game to death and enjoy every second of it... but, I'm not posting this review to gush.

There's really now excuse for why user accessibility is so damned dreadful after so many years of development other than pure elitism. Dammit Toady, if you don't have the time to work on the user interface, just post a general call for help on the Bay 12 forums! I'm sure there are hundreds of people that are willing to streamline the UI, make a better fucking tutorial, smash those bugs, and everything else that an outsider would notice from the outset. I'm not saying to put the entirety of the DF wiki into the game, there needs to be some discovery. I'm starting to think that the DF community all have some aspect of Stockholm Syndrome, maybe that of an abused spouse who refuses to leave his or her partner. We don't need to put up with such a terrible interface! Something intuitive, better interaction with the mouse, all that is possible if Toady dropped his pride and asked for help. Hell, he wouldn't even have to pay for it, we'd all do it for free!

I'm sure there are some already out there that fix everything I say. I'm saying put it in the official download, into the vanilla game so reluctant noobs aren't chased away. If it's a matter of adaptability for DF vets, add the option to switch to the old UI. Set up a poll so that the ones people send get voted to the top, then Toady will vet it, then it goes into the game.


  • Kajin
  • 24th Sep 13
DF is awesome. But the UI as it stands is a masochist's idea of a good time.
  • Frank75
  • 2nd Oct 13
I don't play DF myself, but after all I've heard about it, I have to say: DF is a game where it's possible to build a working, Turing-complete mechanical computer. If you can't do that with the non-GUI of DF, you won't be able with a user-friendly interface either.
  • JeranKorak
  • 1st Jan 15
I strongly agree that DF needs a better interface, but mods do alleviate the issue somewhat. There is some mouse-support available, and I've certainly seen things get a bit better since I began playing in the early days of 40d. I will state that I've gotten adapted to the interface to the point that I don't even look at the icons anymore to know immediately what I'm doing, but that took a looooong time. It does work, but 'functional' does not in any way equate to 'friendly'. Nobody should ever labor under the delusion that a better UI would in any way dumb the game down or make it less enjoyable.
  • Ralphrius
  • 5th Jan 15
There's a "Starter Pack" launcher floating around with some tilesets, mouse support and a number of mods/utilities like Dwarf Therapist to help alleviate the difficulty for beginners. This, along with the quickstart wiki, has been a blessing for me as a beginning player. However, of course, like you said, that's all third party.

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