Dwarf Fortresss new and improved Steam version launches “sooner than you might think”

Dwarf Fortress, the absurdly-detailed roguelike simulation game that’s been in development for 20 years, is coming to Steam “sooner than you might think”.

That’s according to publisher Kitfox Games, providing a cheeky response (opens in new tab) to one fan’s request for information on the long-awaited Steam version. The store page (opens in new tab) still lists the official date as “time is subjective,” which is at least a bit more fun than the usual “when it’s ready.”

In a blog post (opens in new tab) earlier this year, the devs said they could launch the Steam version as early as this fall, but that launch would depend on how many planned features players wanted implemented on day one. More recently, the devs have been teasing (opens in new tab) an “exciting announcement” coming soon.

As shown on SteamDB (opens in new tab), the Steam store backend currently lists a January 19, 2023 release date for Dwarf Fortress, though that is a placeholder date and very much subject to change ahead of any official announcement.

The original Dwarf Fortress is one of the best free games out there, but the Steam version aims to justify its purchase price with new features like, uh, graphics. The original game’s world is rendered entirely with text characters representing characters and objects, and the new version promises to offer a much more user-friendly experience.

Dwarf Fortress entered development way back in 2002, and over the course of those two decades, it’s become one of the most absurdly detailed simulations in the history of video games. Basically, you lead a group of dwarves to establish a fortress in a procedurally generated fantasy world. Everything from the emotional state of your dwarves to the dampness of individual bits of ground is simulated, leading to worlds ripe for robust player-driver storytelling. It’s one of the few video games on display at the Museum of Modern Art (opens in new tab).

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