Dwarf Fortress: Starting The Game


Starting the Game

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In the Dwarf Fortress folder:
Windows: open Dwarf Fortress (the .exe file). 
OSX: Use the "$INSTALL_LOCATION/df" script to start the game (as noted below in the comments, thanks JP!)

If you changed the file above to turn off the intro, you’ll see the menu. Press enter to “Create New World”.

Press the down arrow. Press left twice to set history to “very short” - this will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to create a new world.  You can ignore everything else, and press “y” to go. Enjoy the pretty, incoherent pictures. When it’s done, press enter. Here’s mine.



Now hit “start playing” after it finishes saving. Press enter on dwarf fortress. It will think for a few seconds. Then you come to a fancy complicated screen.

We’re going to ask the game to find us a nice, easy starting site. Press “f” to use the finder.
Use the arrow keys to scroll through the list on the left. We are going to look for low-savagery areas with NO aquifer, and a river, and clay. Use the right and left keys to scroll through options on each list item.

We end up with a bunch of flashing green Xs. Press “ESC” to exit the finder. Use the arrow keys to move the yellow X around the center map and put it on top of the flashing green Xs, which indicate suitable sites. Find one that seems reasonable according to the description in the right column (in particular, keep an eye out for trees and try to avoid surroundings that seem excessively hostile, else your play might be cut short by a herd of bears) and press “e” to embark.

From the new screen, we are going to press down and press enter on “prepare carefully”. On this screen, use the arrow keys to move your cursor (the white text) and do the following things:
  • 2 dwarves get 1 pt of mining each
    • (press right to move your cursor in the skills column and press + to add a point, then press left to move your cursor back to the dwarf list and press down to select the next dwarf, repeat).
  • 1 dwarf gets 1 point in woodcutter, 1 dwarf gets 1 pt in carpentry.
  • 1 dwarf gets 1 pt in mason
  • 1 dwarf gets 1 pt in grower
    • you need to scroll down to see grower
  • 1 dwarf gets 1 pt in brewer
    • again, scroll down to see it

  • now press tab to view items. We want:
    • alcohol (variously named as rum, beer, wine...)
    • plump helmets - as many as possible
      • Keep adding those until the “pts” in the bottom right hand corner is as low as it will go.


Okay! Sorry about all that. Now it’s time to PLAY THE EFFING GAME. Press “e” and wait for a bit while the game thinks. Once you get the message ending with “Strike the earth!”, press Esc


Prev:  Setup || Next: Decoding the View

2 comments:

  1. On OSX you do not start Dwarf Fortress via the .exe, but instead use the "$INSTALL_LOCATION/df" script to start the game, as explained in the README.osx

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    1. i never would have known that in a million years, thanks! updated & credited

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