Dwarf Fortress has its Steam debut

Released Dec. 6, 2022, Steam’s Dwarf Fortress is a building and management simulation for game enjoyers everywhere.


Promotional poster for Dwarf Fortress, available on Steam.


Dwarf Fortress is a building and management simulator game created by Bay12 Games that was originally released as a free game in 2006. On Dec. 6, 2022, Bay12 Games released an enhanced version of the game to the video game distribution service Steam for $29.99.

With this enhanced release, Dwarf Fortress will include support for community mods through the Steam Workshop feature of Steam.

The tile sets in the Steam release are also updated to look less complex. Dwarf Fortress’ original map is all graphically represented by text. For example, a tree would be marked as a text up arrow.

The world generation is procedurally generated including the generation of different biomes, with each biome having different plants and animals. The dwarves that the player overlooks are also randomly generated. Both their mental and physical characteristics are randomly generated and are different for each dwarf.

Dwarf Fortress’ main game mode is an open-ended sandbox game that has no end goal or objectives, with the only way for the game to end is for the player to be defeated or until the player retires the world. If they decide to do so, the world can be reused for a new game, in which the player will create a new fortress.

There is also a mode called Adventurer Mode that will allow you to explore your generated worlds in an open world roguelike.

Dwarf Fortress is known for its extreme difficulty and complexity of mechanics. Since so many things are randomly generated, at times something completely unexpected can happen. And also, due to the extreme depth that the mobs and environments are made with, there can be unforeseen effects that can happen.

Through these weird effects, some strategies make the player’s fortress more effective in unusual ways. For example, since dwarves are psychologically complex, they are deterred and become sad when other dwarves die. To counter this, something called a puppy fountain can be made. In essence, by having a bunch of dogs in a room with a hole in the middle, the puppies that are spawned in the small space begin fighting and will eventually fall into a hole. They then plummet into the spikes onto the drop below and explode. The dwarves who see the puppies explode become more and more desensitized, and will be less sad when other dwarves perish, thus becoming stronger.

Although Dwarf Fortress is extremely difficult, I thoroughly enjoy it and the memes that surround it.