One of the best things about Dwarf Fortress is telling someone about something that happened in Dwarf Fortress. The latest update post for Dwarf Fortress’ Steam edition digs into the game’s activity zones and how they’re created with the shiny new interface, and it winds up being a good old fashioned Dwarf Fortress story.
As you dig out new caverns and rooms in Dwarf Fortress, you can give them specific functions – tell the dwarves an area is a workshop, and they’ll bring the materials needed to run the workshop. Some areas, however, don’t need materials, but still need designation as a particular kind of area – an example of this would be a temple or gathering hall.
To do that, you paint a ‘zone’ over the area in question, and then designate it with the proper label. A meeting area can be, for example, an inn or tavern, a temple, a library, or a guildhall – each of which dwarves use for different needs. You can also assign these designated rooms as part of larger complexes, and it works a bit like setting up a smart home – you tell the system which broader location each room is part of.
In his example post, Dwarf Fortress creator Tarn Adams decides to create a new temple and to dedicate it to Utag Loafivory, a human god of “trade, wealth, and hospitality.” In his fortress, there are a couple dwarven members of the organised Utag religion, called ‘The True Stick-Fellowship,’ and Adams decides to give the newly designated temple to them.
Dwarf Fortress at this point picks a name for the temple, and comes up with the most Dwarf Fortress name imaginable: The Sanctum of Lunch, which incidentally is what I’m calling my refrigerator from now on.
Adams explains – and shows with snipped gifs throughout the post – how these new menus work, and that you can choose to rename something if the game gives you something dull. But ‘Sanctum of Lunch’ is a god-roll name, which is convenient because Utag happens to be the god of sandwiches (these fall under the broad category of ‘hospitality,’ obviously). The temple should give dwarves something else to do with their intestines rather than dragging them around behind them.
Check out our list of sandbox games if you’re interested in the freedom Dwarf Fortress gives you to set your own goals. Just don’t ask us when Dwarf Fortress is launching on Steam – we don’t know yet, either.