I have been very patient since March 2019 when Tarn Adams, the creator of Dwarf Fortress Announce The game will enter Steam with a brand new graphical interface. Since then, Adams has released a steady stream of updated videos and screenshots showing the work in progress, but this latest video finally allowed me to start grasping with my hands and saying “Now give it to me” on my monitor. A large-scale transformation of the Dwarf Fortress is being sought-just as importantly, sound-excellent.
Dwarf Fortress is known for using ASCII symbols instead of art, but it also has a very sparse soundtrack, with only two songs, played by Adams on an acoustic guitar. The Steam version of the game is expanding the music and graphics, and the 10-minute soundtrack in this new video is almost intoxicating. It starts with an equally sparse acoustic guitar, then layered in atmospheric touch and exciting crescendo. I don’t know who is making the soundtrack, but it reminds me of the music composed by the composer Darren Korb for Supergiant Games. I mean it’s a compliment.
The main purpose of the video is to show off the new desert biome scene for the first time, and I think it looks very good. Dwarf Fortress is usually played from a fairly “zoomed out” angle, so it’s not easy to identify everything on the screen when the video is between the surface and the fortress below and in and out of the menu. But hey: it has menus, and they seem easy to understand. The same goes for mouse controls, such as drawing areas to specify storage rooms or where dwarves dig.
There may be a thousand little things to do before the graphics of Dwarf Fortress are released, but it is really ready. I hope that in a year I will not sit here and do my hands.