Dwarf Fortress is a fascinating concept, but if you’ve ever laid your eyes on the subterranean simulation, you’ll know it’s not been the easiest thing to actually look at. That’s set to change very soon, however, as the game’s developers have announced that the game is expanding on its current Patreon pricing model with an official Steam and Itch.io release, which will accompany a massive graphical overhaul.
In a press release, the game’s developers, brothers Tarn and Zach Adams say that the decision to go premium is the result of family health issues and “the uncertain structure of Patreon.” They do say, however, that the premium releases are merely an alternative means to support the project, which has been in development since 2002.
The suggestion is that not all that much will change, and that despite a new publishing partner, the Tarn and Zach will continue to own and shape the game for the forseeable future. The most apparent change, however, comes in the form of a very new look, replacing the game’s traditional text-based graphics with a new tileset from modders Michał ‘Mayday’ Madej and Patrick Martin ‘Meph’ Schroeder.
You can check out the game’s new look for yourself in the (very brief) teaser trailer below, which compares the traditional format with the new look. It’s a drastic departure from what’s come before, and in my opinion robs the game of some of its personality, but the devs say the change “will make it easier for some people to play.”
Significant mod support means that if you’re not a fan of the new look, it’ll be easy enough to change it back. Tarn and Zach have also announced Steam Workshop support, which will make it possible for current modders to bring their projects across to the new platform.
Read more: Check out our list of the best indie games for PC
There’s no release date for the new versions of the game just yet, but its Itch and Steam pages should be live now. If you decide that this isn’t the way you want to play, then you’ll still be able to get hold of the game for free, and all upcoming updates will be shared across all platforms.