sunnuntai 27. syyskuuta 2009

RetroEnter Presents: Dwarf Fortress

How can I ever put this to proper words?

Dwarf Fortress is probably the most ultimate sandbox game ever made. Just about everything is up to you in this vast city-building/roguelike masterpiece. You can generate a very customized worlds of yours just by altering the numerous parameters (such as 'number of civilizations', 'volcanism' and 'savagery'). Your world will have a history of its own, legendary heroes and bloody wars between nations. Unique stories, each time! Also, the generated worlds are diverse and truly huge. In theory, even one generated world in DF will last for lifetimes.
Example of a generated world

Alright, you can generate this freaking big world and stuff. So it's a good game according to RetroEnter... What the heck do you do really do in this game, then!?

The basic idea of this game is that you control 7 dwarves with pre-customized professions. The professions can vary from fishing to building siege engines and from architecture to wood cutting. Ideally, you should start the game with agriculture-oriented dwarves to supply food for your population. Fishing, farming and brewing are by far the easiest ways to feed your dwarves. Of course, agriculture surely isn't the only way to do it. The possibilities are truly endless.

Dwarf Fortress without a third-party graphic set

Your dwarven outpost will gain wealth as you craft things from wood or rock or from nicely engraved walls. Almost everything you do will increase your fortress wealth. Wealth lures immigrants and that's also your quickest way to expand and get richer faster. The only downside of being wealthy is that it will lure thieves. Kobolds are but pests and Goblins are a true nuisance. They will try to snatch your valuables and kidnap your children. Fortunately, defending what is yours is quite easy. Designing your stockpiles wisely will tremendously help in guarding them. Later on your created wealth will attract more hostile actions from the Goblins. They will start to make ambushes for your poor woodcutters and eventually try to wipe out all of your dwarves. In order to prevent this, you should for example take dogs with you when you are beginning your journey. Training them into war dogs will ease the pain with early intruders. Their value is significant in defending your fort later on, too. Dedicating some of your dwarves as soldiers will do the same trick also.

Dwarf Fortress with DFG graphic set

The art of trading is also a presented in Dwarf Fortress. Other civilizations, such as the elves, will send trade caravans to your outpost and you can interact with them by trading and by declaring demands. Bargaining itself slightly differs whether you are dealing with humans or with dwarves. Just remember this when you ordering clothes from humans: you'll get what you bargain for! (their clothes won't fit your dwarfs, nor will their armor!)

There's one thing you could debate on. Is this game 2D or 3D? In the early days DF only featured the X- and Y-axis. Nowadays it has the Z-axis, for height.
That means you can build realistic castles or towns, anything. Check out what your constructions could look like when you use a third-party add-on called 3Dwarf!

A fortress viewed in 3Dwarf

This game really has no ending. It just keeps going and going from season to season. It's just about having fun in your own personal way or accomplishing self-set goals. Anything. There's tons of more things I could write you about this game, but I think I am going to share them with you later.

Despite the extremely steep learning curve, you should give this one a go!
PS. This could be the future of Dwarf Fortress!

perjantai 25. syyskuuta 2009

RetroEnter Presents: Adom

The next retro game I'd like to share with you all who aren't yet familiar with the greatest roguelike of all times: Adom!

Adom is clearly one of the most advanced roguelikes out there. Its storyline is fine indeed and the whole world of Ancardia is a diamond itself. Thomas Biskup, the Creator, sure knows how to do everything right in games. The way Adom utilizes random number generating is spectacular: it always supplies you with well-balanced randomly generated dungeons along with corresponding difficulty and treasure. The stakes rise as you go deeper into the dungeon as the monsters get harder and the rewards better.
In the valley called Drakalor Chain there are all kinds of towns, providing shelter from the hostile surroundings. It's not very safe to roam in the wilderness because of roving barbarians, packs of predators and wandering necromancers. Chaos and corruption has turned the whole valley mad, so it's good to see somebody friendly once in a while in towns, which are also a source for quests, useful hints and shopping. Sooner or later you will leave the outside world behind and head towards the ultimate goal that lies very deep down in the caves.

I myself find this game very addictive. I envy everyone who haven't yet tried this game, because the unknown factor in this game makes the playing really intriguing. Therefore I must encourage you to try this game. The learning curve is pretty steep for roguelike newbies but it's definitely worth the learning! The game can also be really frustrating, because when you die you'll lose your saved game. Unless you "savescum" and copy your .svgs into another folder. That's something you should avoid, for it really ruins the idea of this game.

Get it!

torstai 24. syyskuuta 2009

RetroEnter Presents: Spiderweb

In this first post, I want point out a living legend: the founder of Spiderweb.
Pay homage and bow down before the Great. Jeff Vogel is a gaming demi-god.

In my eyes, he is a big part of reviving the oldschool RPGs into modern standards. That is invaluable for the gaming business. Oh, and when I say modern standards, I don't mean amazing graphics. I think that if you are reading this blog you probably don't have an obsession with graphics. Let us all dream about modern games with the content, not with the overrated appearance.
Just don't get me wrong, in my eyes Jeff Vogel's games are beautiful to the outside, as well.

Anyway, back to Spiderweb. If you have a thing for Ultima-like RPGs or any good RPGs in general, you oughta check out the Exile -series, and Avernum too (that kind of comes with it). Actually you should check every freaking thing that Jeff Vogel has touched. I might sound like a fanboy, but it just is so true.
I just love the way he builds the game. The world is always packed with all sorts of sidequests, along with the ingenious plot. It doesn't get boring, when the NPCs have personalities and things to say. All the hints you get are really worth it. Nothing is explained too much, just the way it should be.
Support this great man. The games are very reasonably priced and buying them is easy.