Dwarf Fortress is getting a workshop overhaul for Steam

Further interface refinements are making the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress easier to manage

Using the new visuals that are coming soon, this mountain has several forges and dorms for the dwarves. The lava to the east is being blocked, though it's unclear if it's going to keep holding the lava back.

Dwarf Fortress has a well-earned reputation for being extremely complex, and that complexity has meant a host of new concerns for developer Bay 12 Games as it works to update the management game with a graphical interface for its upcoming Steam edition. Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams has provided another peek into the development process this week, with a look at how workshop interfaces are coming along.

If you haven’t played Dwarf Fortress, it’s important to understand that workshops are extremely important to the game – most dwarves will spend the majority of their time in a workshop, and they’re used to create just about everything dwarves need to live, thrive, and improve their living conditions.

In the old ASCII-based Dwarf Fortress, they could be a bit of a pain to deal with: you’d have to pull up one window to see the materials sitting in a workshop, and another window would show the tasks that could be performed there. Adams explains that these are being condensed into one window in the new version, with handy mouse-clickable buttons to interact with workshops and their available tasks.

The art Adams shows off in the latest Steam post isn’t final – some of the system font labels are clearly placeholders, but it provides a good idea of how much easier and faster it’ll be to queue up tasks in this graphics-enabled version of Dwarf Fortress.

(Click for the full-size version)

In other news, Dwarf Fortress’ third developer, a cat called Scamps, has had a birthday. Here is Scamps.

“Time is subjective,” the Dwarf Fortress release date still reads. We’ll find out when it’s coming out when Bay 12 is ready to tell us.