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Dwarf Fortress devs are adding philosophy to its ASCII world

The brotherly developmental team of Tarn and Zach Adams, have announced that their lifelong game project, Dwarf Fortress, has now been expanded in a theological sense. While none of it will have much of an impact on gameplay just yet, Dwarves and other residents of the world can now learn philosophy and pen works of their own, spreading ideas and knowledge throughout the land. This should eventually mean that societal changes can take place in short order, or across generations as different schools of thought arise.

“This doesn’t impact specific ethics yet, so you won’t have to worry that an elf-written book will make all your dwarves start eating dead bodies,” the developers said of the update (via PCG). However that is the sort of thing that will come into play one day.

As with much of Dwarf Fortress – or to use its full name, Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress – much of what is happening with these new features is quite emergent, with the developers setting up the ground work and letting their rather unique digital world alter itself. One aspect of the dwarves taking more time to think about their world, is that when writing books, they often write them on topics musing on what might have happened in the past had things gone differently.

fortress
I’m not really sure what’s going on here…

One even self referentially wondered what his life might have been had he not changed from being an architect to become a philosopher and write the very book he was writing.

More importantly perhaps, these philosophical dwarves can gather followers and push certain values or agendas forward, making them the potential saviours of your fortress, as much as a potential tide that could turn and drag the whole civilisation down with them.

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KitGuru Says: Dwarf Fortress is one of those games that I’ve tried to play a few times over the years, but struggle to get up that sheer learning cliff. Does anyone have any tips on how to get started? 

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