motivating line of the section: Only YOU have the power to move forward!


2.1 – Downloading


In this tutorial, we’re going to be playing along in an area already generated by me so we can be on the same page. We’re also going to be using Mike Mayday’s Graphical Set, an enhancement which changes Dwarf Fortress’s default ASCII graphics to a more understandable graphics set, which looks much better! Everything you need is included in the following file. It’s as easy as that!

MAC USERS – PlayOnMac let’s you run windows applications on a Mac. I haven’t tested it, but it should work! Website here. (I don’t have a mac to port the save to the mac version of DF, if anyone could help with that, it’d be much appreciated!).

LINUX USERS -Either (1), you can Download from above and use WINE, which runs windows applications (this is how I learned DF, before it got ported to linux).

Or (2), you can DOWNLOAD the linux version with the save and graphics pack included. This requires installing some libraries, so check out THIS, and scroll down to your distro. **On Arch Linux (64-bit), I had to install some additional libraries to get the sound working (which really isn’t that important) that aren’t listed, lib32-sdl_ttf (sudo pacman -S lib32-sdl_ttf), lib32-openal, and lib32-libsndfile. Don’t know about other distros.

CUSTOMIZE DF YOURSELF AND JUST DOWNLOAD THE SAVE – Already feel more comfortable with another graphics set or no graphics set? Download JUST the save here. Also the main website where you can download df versions for all platforms is here.

*Side Notes* – We’re going to be running Dwarf Fortress version 31.25, so I can’t be held accountable for anything if you decide to follow this tutorial with a different version.


2.2 – Running Dwarf Fortress


After you download the above, extract it anywhere you want. It’s just a compressed folder so there’s no installation required. And if you haven’t already, execute it!

You’ll get past that nifty animation, and come to the main menu.

Here we are, where we have a few options. Since I already generated a world and found a spot to embark our dwarfs, you only have to worry about loading the region. To do so, hit “enter” on “continue playing”.  This will bring up a list of saves.

There are two options here, region 1 and region 2. Go ahead and select region 2 with the arrow keys.

By the way, if you have any questions that I don’t address during this tutorial, you can access the magma wiki, which is an immense source of everything Dwarf!

*PRO TIP* When you start making fortresses, there will be a lot of saves on this screen with a lot of foreign fortress names which don’t help in distinguishing them, so you may want to take a note of the region number (in this case we are working in region 2).

continue on to 3.0 – Getting to Know Dwarf Fortress