Dwarf Fortress Tileset

By: Derek Yu

On: July 16th, 2008

Dwarf Fortress Tileset

For those that really can’t get past the ASCII in Dwarf Fortress but really love graphics and want to try the new release… just thought I’d point out that Ian McConville (Three Panel Soul) has released a pretty sexy character tileset. For information on installing the tileset, or making your own, head over to the official unofficial DF Wiki.

Here’s a bigger version of the screencaps on the left. (Thanks, hroon!)

And definitely keep your eye on the development log, because it looks like there could be a new release tomorrow (and possibly more soon after). The next version will address a few bugs, including a pathfinding issue that caused jobs to be randomly cancelled.

  • http://www.puppybuckets.blogspot.com/ Alehkhs

    wow… I really enjoy the simplistic yet intricate style!

  • Tim James

    Growing up with DOS and Roguelikes, I still don’t get why people cry about the ASCII.

    I’m sure everyone will reply with their reasons and all, but I still struggle to wrap my head around it and empathize. Taste is like that I guess.

  • MisterX

    I’ve been using the “Mike Mayday Graphics Edition” (since it was posted here) before, but this one also looks very nice, like Alehkhs said.
    I actually couldn’t really decide if I liked the original or the tileset version better, which is why I used to switch between the two. They just both have great advantages over one another :)

  • Eclipse

    tried but it runs slower than Half-Life 2 even in ascii on my laptop. I know it’s pretty intense cpu-side but… meh

  • muku

    Monet ripoff.

    SCNR. In all seriousness though, this looks rather pretty, I wonder if any information is lost as compared to the ASCII version.

  • Dusty Spur

    Man, the top screenshot reminds me so much of Dragon Warrior. This rules. I’ll have to try this.

  • Joe

    Far more people are put off by the interface than the graphics.

  • Seth

    why i like the ascii graphics has nothing to do with the imagination bit everyone keeps going at when this topic arise, but to me the ascii graphics just have this sort of dark and dreary mood to them that fits the game (and music). I have no desire to direct a bunch of cute dwarves in a pretty world…

  • Skyleak

    I can play incursion but not Dwarf fort w/o tiles. I don’t get it… Maybe I just like seeing little dwarfs (oxymoron?) running around.

  • Turniper

    Yes. interface is a much bigger problem. I like ASCII graphics, I’ve been playing ADOM, Xenocide, Dungeon Crawl and DoomRL for ages. But I just can’t collect enough intelligence points to understand DF interface. I sure understand that DF is much more complicated, than, say, ADOM, but some interface friendliness would be nice.

  • AmnEn

    DF – Awesome Game.
    Ascii – No Problem.
    Interface – Pain.

  • raigan

    yeah, the ascii is hardly the thing turning people away..

  • Foppy

    Ascii!?!?! Aaaaahhhh *runs away* ;)

  • Derek

    So which is the bigger problem, the ASCII or the interface? D:

  • Patrigon

    I agree that the interface is a bigger problem. I haven’t played DF in several months, so it may have changed, but I always had a lot of trouble figuring out how to get my dwarves to do new things. I kept having to do research online (like the DF wiki, etc.) instead of being able to figure it out myself. I promise I’m not stupid, either.

  • sinoth

    I don’t understand all the hatred toward the interface. Yes, you pretty much HAVE to let the Wiki hold your hand the first few days to see how the interface works, but it really isn’t too bad. There are still things that don’t make a ton of sense, but again it only takes a few days to get used to.

    For those who can’t play because of the interface, I wonder how long they really tried to learn it, and if they bothered with the wiki.

  • MisterX

    I agree, I don’t see any problem in Dwarf Fortress that really prevents you from having fun with the game, it doesnt even take a lot of effort, merely patience. I already had fun when I played my very first game, only understanding the very basics, and from then on it simply got better and better, guided by the Wiki.
    Though, I would say, compared with all the game has to offer the interface really is bad. Comparatively bad! :)

    In my opinion the problem is simply that Dwarf Fortress offers so many more possibilities than most games do. So as there is no tutorial of any kind it is just necessary to have something like the Wiki, unless you are in for dying often because of trial & error.
    But then again, we all know it: Losing is fun! ;) I just also want to succeed sometimes :)

  • Skyleak

    LOL I love Dorf fans, you can say what you don’t like about the game and they’ll just say something relative to- “You didn’t try hard enough to play it right” or “didn’t read the wiki” All of which is usually true but that doesn’t mean people didn’t have problems. I mean I love the game to death but it doesn’t always cooperate with me. I had two farmer/herbalists go an entire season without planting the seeds I picked. Why?… I dunno, maybe I didn’t read the wiki LOL.

    I’m definitely getting better though except I can never put together my own game. I try downloading graphics and fonts and setting them up and changing the config and I always- ALWAYS get a black screen with no game.

    The game could definitely use a Dwarfepedia alphabetical in game manual that describes and defines everything. Alt Tab to the dwarf wiki works but an in game would just be friendlier.

  • Skyleak

    New Version out BTW.

  • Zulgaines

    If you’re not alt tabbing between your game and the wiki for a week then you’re not having fun!

    Also, sucks to be you casual-gamer guy. Make a notebook, take the starter course.

    DF is to be earned, not given.

  • Skyleak

    Am I casual gamer guy?!?!?!
    I’ve been playing the game since it .23 I’m just not good at it.
    I don’t mind complicated games I actually like the challenge… *YOU KNOW* like table top games.

    People say Incursion is hard to learn too, I found it to be an easier game to learn.

  • raigan

    If you look at other very complex and powerful programs (such as Maya), they spent a great deal of time developing ways to provide the full power to users WITHOUT crippling them with an overly complex interface.

    Obviously learning Maya isn’t _easy_, but the difficulty is more the inherent complexity of the tasks and NOT the interface.

    Just basic mouse support would be a good start, and more complex mouse-based stuff like pie menus would probably make a huge difference.

    Plus, why are the screen dimensions locked? Having all three different views up makes the “map”/world view uselessly thin — lots of people have widescreens these days!

    I love the idea of both DF and LCS, but playing them is too much work to be fun.

  • Zulgaines

    No Skyleak, I wasn’t aiming at you. :P

    I was actually being sarcastic, I agree with you about the interface. :)

  • Anonymous

    I love Dwarf Fortress, but the interface is crap. Before you scream out “READ THE WIKI!!” Let me just tell you I have read the Wiki thoroughly, and I do understand the gameplay mechanics. It’s just that the interface has driven so many people away it’s not even funny. Toady, if you’re reading this, please just listen to me; WORK ON THE INTERFACE. Just do it. Thats the main problem with the game, thats why so many people have trouble playing this, fix it. Please.

  • Gutter

    As raigan said, Maya > Blender3D, Photoshop > GiMP. Why? Blender3D and GiMP, while powerful applications, are doomed because of their interface.
    You hear about people raving on how we must read tutorials on tutorials, and that once you get used to it it’s amazing, but guess what? People don’t do it.
    Don’t let DF be the next Blender3D/GiMP!

  • MisterX

    At poster #23:
    What exactly is so “crap” about the interface? I think I’m not really getting that. I see the interface as being too cluttered, badly structured, too hard to use, etc., but I don’t see how it really drives somebody away from Dwarf Fortress more than other aspects of the game, like the general wealth of options. I don’t see how the interface could “solve” this.
    But anyway, I’m not arguing, I simply want to know what makes it that bad.

  • Alipicus

    IMHO, it`s the ASCII that is scaring players away. Yes, the interface is cluttered and inconvenient, but it`s not a big trouble when you learn how to use it. I am currently playing Mike Mayday Graphic Edition(we want a new version) and I am loving the game with it. I am plainly not capable of playing the original ASCII version though…and I tried, I tried hard.

  • Mark

    Awesome! I installed the new version and started a mountain fortress in an area where the trees skirt the edges, with a brook running through.

    When the dry season brought dwarven traders, the promise of things to steal brought a pack of *dark gnomes*. Luckily the caravan guards were well equipped to deal with them, and the gnomes cheesed it. They were eventually all hammered and shot to pieces!

  • Skofo

    Dwarf Fortress sucks lol.

  • Scott

    The interface might scare people away when they get the game, but ASCII scares them away before they even download it. Of course most of the people who wouldn’t even try a ASCII game probably wouldn’t try it with graphics like these either.

  • idiotmeat

    I also would like to know what’s so bad about the interface. I start playing a fortress game, and what do I see? Hotkeys for building, designating work, building querying, character querying, fortress stats, and etc. Then under building, there’s various types of things to build, as you would expect. Same goes with designating work. Is all the “hate” because there’s not a giant “GIVE RED DWARF MORE FOOD” button in plain sight, or context sensitive menus?

  • Prio

    The interface has some nasty shortcomings, but none of them are quite as bad as watching the more rabid DF fans rub it up and down their bodies like a bar of Dial soap, moaning about how the only possible reasons anyone could well and truly dislike the interface must stem from gross intellectual weakness and a most noteworthy shallowness of character.

  • gulo gulo

    it’s true though the interface roxxx

  • Anonymous

    @Prio: Agreed. The interface is bad, but the apologists who defend the interface are worse. DF is an amazing game, don’t get me wrong, but jeez…

  • ludomancer

    I have to support the feelings that the interface is poor. It’s not just a shortcoming, it’s downright terrible. Keys do different things on different pages (use PgUp/Dn here, but Up/Down Arrows here for similar functions, stuff like that).
    I’ve tried to get into it several times, but it’s not worth it. I dream of the day when the developers give the interface an overhaul so it can be enjoyed by people who don’t have a week to kill “researching” how to play.

  • magallanes

    i want to play DF but still i don’t get it about the interface, im played ascii since Infocom so i don’t think that its a ascii trouble but the interface + amount of task that you can do can be overwhelming even for a experienced gamer.

  • Zulgaines

    It’s just not intuitive at all, as the DF fans said themselves you need to spend days working with a large wiki just to figure out how to do things.

    If it was a complexity issue then the problem would be figuring out what to do period, not how to do it.

  • MisterX

    I hope I don’t get along as that evil fanboy here. I haven’t even remotely spent enough time with DF call myself that.

    Anyway, I still don’t see the big trouble with the interface. Like I said before I don’t think that the interface alone really is a reason not to play Dwarf Fortress, and it surely doesn’t take a week to get into it when guided by a Wiki.
    You just also got to realize one thing: There is a totally overwhelming wealth of things to do – but you merely need to understand very few of those for the start.

    I think I haven’t even seriously built more than 3 fortresses, none of which were all that advanced. I suppose I haven’t seen half of what DF has to offer, yet I’m loving it nonetheless.
    For my first fortress I totally followed the Wiki instructions and played a while. This taught me many of the basics, so I could expand a lot on this with my second fortress. Quick reminder: That still has been good fun.
    And from then on I already understood most of the essentials, so that I could freely go about the fortress-building and only whenever I found something I didn’t understand it could easily be looked up in the Wiki.

    I understand that people can be put off by the game easily, but just do it again, do it the way it is explained, and I guarantee you will have fun, if you are at least a bit into the general concept. You should just try not to be so overwhelmed.
    I was quite struck when I found out how Dwarf Fortress really isn’t all that complex, but that it’s *just* incredibly extensive.

  • Derek

    Interface improvement is one of Toady’s Core goals:

    “INTERFACE OVERHAUL, (Future): A coherent interface, additional options and mouse support.”

    So it’ll come eventually!

  • Prio

    > Keys do different things on different pages (use PgUp/Dn here, but Up/Down Arrows here for similar functions, stuff like that).

    This is really the major sort of thing that discouraged me about DF, personally. A weird interface? That’s okay, I can learn that. An inconsistent interface that keeps jerking the rug around in a way that’s very difficult for humans to keep track of? Now we have a problem. That makes mastery of the interface comparable to learning a new language with all kinds of bumps and oddities and inexplicable peculiarities. And languages are hell to learn if you haven’t literally grown up with them. (I have similar problems with some of my LG phone’s interfaces. Still have to stop and think about nearly everything I’m doing, and it’s been a couple years now.)

    I mean. I’ve played it. I’ve had fun. I’ve managed to build thriving farms and dug as deep as the chasm. But the interface frustration factor kinda impedes the fun, and the enthusiasm… faded. A frustrating interface and control scheme really, really can make people turn away from a game. I mean, it’s the friggin’ interface; as far as the game goes, it’s your hands, feet, mouth, and then some! If the interface sucks, you’re turned into an epileptic cripple, and unless the point of the game is to be an epileptic cripple, it truly hurts the game.

  • Prio

    Whoops, didn’t see Derek’s comment. Cool beans.

  • John Roth

    Howzabout a tutorial? The only thing that turned me off from the game is the shear amount of incredible crap there was to keep track of and do…

  • Dave

    I haven’t gotten much use out of Ian’s tileset so far. Some of the tiles happen to be misplaced, so the periods on the title screen look like ground tiles, and occasional ground tiles look like commas. It wouldn’t be a big issue to just fix this myself, but seeing that nobody has noticed it so far, I doubt anybody would care either way.

  • http://cultured.easternity.com Ben

    Seriously, stop griping about the ASCII graphics (which are quite cool) and the interface. I admit the interface is hard to use (it took me awhile to figure out how even to get the dwarves to do anything but sit around the wagon) but it’s a tough game.

    My recommendation is one of these graphics guys puts his effort into making a front end that will solve all these problems. Drop-down menus or buttons. That will get rid of “interface issues.” Then everyone can enjoy losing! :)

  • Ryan

    I love Dwarf Fortress as much as the next guy (well, I guess really MORE than the next guy, since the next guy probably doesn’t know it even exists, but really this parenthetical statement is becoming quite long so), but you can’t say that the gripes about the interface are unfounded. I believe that games should be hard, but that difficulty shouldn’t arise from not being able to figure out how to get your guys to move! The interface is probably the largest problem that is keeping DF from spreading to a more eclectic crowd, and I’m glad that Toady’s aware of the issue.

  • http://mizipzor.blinkenshell.org mizipzor

    I heard something a while ago about some “mods” for the game that would turn it into a mini-dwarffortress which would resemble some kind of tutorial like thing.