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Dwarf Fortress getting close to a Linux release on Steam

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Dwarf Fortress from Bay 12 Games and Kitfox Games just had a big tech upgrade, and it sounds like their Native Linux release is coming quite soon.

In a recent announcement on Steam they mentioned the game has now been upgraded from the ancient SDL to SDL 2, along with many optimisations. SDL 2 being a good "stepping stone to ports" and they have "Linux compiling and playable; it just needs some testing" — so we're getting close.

Not only that they've also added in experimental multithreading to make the game faster and smoother. Additionally some new tree graphics and grass ramps were added as well. While all this is going on they're also working on the adventure mode, the "long work" of updating various menus and adding in more audio has begun.

Game Features:

  • Not just generated geometry -- a whole simulated world. Generated rise and fall of civilizations, personalities, creatures, cultures, etc. Infinite hours of gameplay.
  • Now with beautiful pixel graphics!
  • Learn the basics with in-game tutorials.
  • A lifetime “living” project - created/updated since 2003, with no end in sight.
  • Generate your unique world and manage a bustling colony of dwarves, even as they probably mine towards their eventual demise.
  • A new endless hobby, just for you!

Overall the Steam release has gone well for them, as they made over $7 million in January. Sales fall off pretty rapidly though but according to their June 2023 report they're still seeing around 200-300 sales per day. Considering how much they've made this year, they'll be able to work on it for a very very long time.

You can buy Dwarf Fortress on Steam. It currently has an Overwhelmingly Positive user rating from over 19,000 players.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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20 comments
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Pengling Jun 29, 2023
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For the glory of Boatmurdered!

Seriously, though, I can't believe that Dwarf Fortress is 20 years old already! Hopefully it will continue to be a well-deserved success - can't wait to see the Steam Linux release add to that.
Nezchan Jun 29, 2023
If there's any dev I actually believe when they say "Linux support is coming, we're working on it", it's Bay12.
CGull Jun 29, 2023
When it does release, I'll buy it.

I'm just glad nobody has yet yelled that I should just run it in Proton.
scaine Jun 29, 2023
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  • Mega Supporter
Quoting: CGullWhen it does release, I'll buy it.

I'm just glad nobody has yet yelled that I should just run it in Proton.

Up until January 2021, you could play it natively for free. But they've been Windows-only since, presumably focussing on their Steam release and graphics upgrade. I'm amazed that they've landed $7M. Superb.

I mean, it's also Platinum in Proton, so I don't really get the reticence, but whatever - I used to be the same, but since the Steam Deck, I don't have the energy for "no tux" anymore.
Purple Library Guy Jun 29, 2023
Quoting: scaineI mean, it's also Platinum in Proton, so I don't really get the reticence, but whatever - I used to be the same, but since the Steam Deck, I don't have the energy for "no tux" anymore.
Oh my god, the Steam Deck has been draining his energy! So they're vampiric. Knew they were too good to be true!
Philadelphus Jun 29, 2023
Oooh, multithreading! Building megaprojects with lots and lots of dwarfs has always been my main interest, and of course that tends to slow the game down when you've got ~200 little simulated dudes running about the place. I should benchmark my in-progress fort with Proton and the native version when it comes out.
Pyretic Jun 29, 2023
Quoting: CGullWhen it does release, I'll buy it.

I'm just glad nobody has yet yelled that I should just run it in Proton.

Out of curiosity, why is Proton a bad thing? I recently got my Steam Deck and haven't noticed any major performance dip using it compared to native??? It's a genuine question, I'm new to Linux and I'm trying to learn the basics.
Cyril Jun 30, 2023
Quoting: Pyretic
Quoting: CGullWhen it does release, I'll buy it.

I'm just glad nobody has yet yelled that I should just run it in Proton.

Out of curiosity, why is Proton a bad thing? I recently got my Steam Deck and haven't noticed any major performance dip using it compared to native??? It's a genuine question, I'm new to Linux and I'm trying to learn the basics.

https://media.tenor.co/images/c20cb897a883ab6242bbebedfc5df625/raw




Welcome to GOL though!


Last edited by Cyril on 30 June 2023 at 12:44 am UTC
Nezchan Jun 30, 2023
Quoting: PhiladelphusOooh, multithreading! Building megaprojects with lots and lots of dwarfs has always been my main interest, and of course that tends to slow the game down when you've got ~200 little simulated dudes running about the place. I should benchmark my in-progress fort with Proton and the native version when it comes out.

Never mind megaprojects, just start breeding chickens!
Nod Jun 30, 2023
Quoting: Pyretic
Quoting: CGullWhen it does release, I'll buy it.

I'm just glad nobody has yet yelled that I should just run it in Proton.

Out of curiosity, why is Proton a bad thing? I recently got my Steam Deck and haven't noticed any major performance dip using it compared to native??? It's a genuine question, I'm new to Linux and I'm trying to learn the basics.

There are three common schools of thought:

The first school thinks Proton is bad because it discourages developers from making native Linux ports. Implicit in this argument is that native ports are superior to running windows native games using translation layers like wine and dxvk. Adherents of this school tend to also skew towards being anti DRM and being free software (as espoused by the GNU project / Free software foundation) advocates. When pushed some of them will admit they would prefer the platform remain "pure" even if it means Linux will not be seen as a viable platform by the mainstream.

School two maintains that Proton is good as it establishes Linux as a viable target platform for games. Adherents of this school sometimes argue that as Linux (via the Steam Deck) becomes more popular as a target platform developers will start to produce native ports in order to get better performance. They claim that Proton solves the chicken and egg problem of bootstrapping Linux as a viable gaming platform.

School three doesn't really understand half of these acronyms and religious arguments, they just want to play some games and think that the Steam Deck is great as its focused on producing a platform designed from the ground up to support PC gaming.

These are Gaming variants of religions wars that have very long histories in the UNIX world, for example Linus the pragmatist (school 2) vs Richard Stallman the purist (school 1) vs big business (school 3) that adopted open source and Linux on the server because it just works better than anything else.


Last edited by Nod on 30 June 2023 at 5:19 am UTC
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