Dwarf Fortress: Decoding The View


Decoding the View

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Strike the earth!

Right now, the game should be paused (it says *PAUSED* in the upper left corner in teal). If not, press space bar.

Hit Tab until the side map goes away but you still have the key references (you'll need them, badly)

I will show you how to decode this in the next few steps. For right now, here is a quick primer.


Item (1) is the side pane, and it has all the possible key commands you can use. In this tutorial, I will tell you what keys to press so you don’t have to dig through the list, but you should know this pane is where the key shortcuts come from. Shortcuts are case sensitive. The larger pane on the right is the main view.


In general, you scroll the main view with the arrow keys. You scroll the side pane with the + and - keys


(If you don’t have a numpad, you will need to press shift + = to get +). Through the tutorial, I will refer to the list of commands currently shown as the “command view”.

The main view is comprised of several thousand square “tiles” in a grid formation, viewed from directly overhead. For the most part, each tile has a single character designating it. A guide to those tiles follows.

Box (2) shows a representative sample of ground. The color is not important, nor are the specific symbols used (,.`’” etc). All of those symbols show the same thing - the difference is just for visual pleasure (I realize the irony, yes). Right now all this stuff is “outside”, although that can change later.

Box (3) shows some trees. Like the ground symbols, not all trees have the same paragraph symbol. In general, trees are bigger and bolder than the surrounding terrain.

Box (4) shows your wagon and some dwarves standing near it. Dwarves are happy faces that have different colors. When two things occupy the same “tile”, the tile will flash or flip to show everything on that tile, even when the game is paused.

Box (5) shows the earth. All that black - and the random grey characters, which like ground, are only for “visual pleasure” - is rock or clay or mineral. Rock is considered “inside” - and the barrier between “inside” and “outside” is the filled in colored blocks. That stuff is “wall” - walls are just exposed earth.



Prev:   Starting the Game  || Next: Exploring the Views

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