How Minecraft was born


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One day I’ll recreate my favorite Dwarf Fortress setups in Minecraft, and it will be amazing.

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I played Minecraft for 15 hours straight over the w/e, and afterwards had to break the hard news to the kids - it’s a total waste of time.

This w/e I will re-validate my conclusions through another strenuous research session.


I’ve been spared the Minecraft bug because it’s impossible to buy the game online in Illinois (google skrill and illinois for some fun).

DF though… I’ve burnt weeks of my life on that game. If Minecraft had more DF in it I’d probably put some actual effort into finding a way to purchase it.

Yeah I was kind of wondering, if DF is “almost unplayable”, how does my husband spend 5 hours straight playing it sometimes.


the only thing that took me from dorf fortress to minecraft was the online play, otherwise df had it. too many hours in that game, and i feel like i barely scratched the surface. vanilla minecraft doesn’t have the depth to compare.

luckily, the mc community came out with FTB. FTB is the shizz…

Can anyone attest to actually playing Dwarf Fortress? I’ve heard many many folks praise its ingenuity and creativity but none of them seem to actually play it. I myself have always feared being driven insane so I’ve avoided it.

Basically, a mortal player willing to subject themselves to a particularly brutal roguelike environment can make it a year or two into a game. The rest is for geniuses, the insane, and elder gods.


Dwarf Fortress is probably the most inscrutable game ever made, but that doesn’t make it unplayable. It’s just extremely difficult to get started because you have to first decipher the moon logic UI the game uses and the dozens of poorly documented and confusing game mechanics.

Lets plays, tutorials, and the like are basically mandatory. Someone sitting down to play with just the game and whatever passes for its official manual will be totally and completely lost.

Of course once you spend enough hours to finally understand the game enough to play it well, you get to enjoy the horrible performance problems that crop up with larger fortresses.

Games with massive manuals in the 80s were “impenetrable” and “virtually unplayable”, DF is quite intuitive after you apply a few hours actually learning the system of keyboard shortcuts. I feel people often over mystify the process, it’s a really fun game after all, nothing esoteric about it.

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I’ll just leave this here.


Have you played around with 1.7.2 yet? You may be in for some extra time wasting.

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uh oh. I’m on IOS at the mo, I dread going full version. I’m good at out of control gaming.

Real. Damn. Good.

Well, I can’t tell you what to do. I’ll just leave this here.

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Sounds like someone never figured out how to irrigate.

unnnnnnhhhh … must … not … eeeuuuueehhehe … think of the poor children!

I’ve sunk tens of hours into it. Fantastic depth and very satisfying. I also actually really enjoy the ascii graphics, they give it a ‘book’ like quality, in that your imagination is doing a lot of the work - I don’t use a tile-set (more graphical icons) because I actually like that aspect of the game.

The menu system is a little obtuse, but to be honest with you the keybinding is quite intuitive (you’ll be guessing shortcuts soon enough and will be right 90% of the time; in the build menu and want to build a chair? It’s probably going to be ‘c’) and if you a spend a couple hours learning the ropes you’ve got the hang of it (it’s just a drill-down menu at it’s heart so not the nightmare you may have been led to believe).

There are a couple of areas of the game that are genuinely a pain to manage (military, I’m looking at you), but the bulk, and especially the basics, are easier to master than is made out.

You DO need to watch some videos and go through a good walkthrough for your first couple hours, but thats a consequence of the depth, and well worth the investment.

It’s a cruel game though - and losing is easy. Accepting this early is important.

Dwarf Fortress is like the Krypton Factor in that respect.

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I ran into a similar problem in buying the game. My debit card is through my bank, so I called them and had them clear an international payment. Pretty easy, and sooooooo worth it.

Bought it back before the Nether update. Sadly since then I haven’t actually been able to play a lot due to netbook, but given it was like… ten bucks at the time and the few months i had in were awesome I’m still happy with my purchase.

Plus when computer situation improves I’ll get to be in my blocky blocky home again.