Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 137

Author Topic: What turns you off about DF?  (Read 167949 times)

ThreeToe

  • The Natural
    • View Profile
    • http://www.bay12games.com
What turns you off about DF?
« on: April 18, 2009, 03:59:19 pm »

More specifically, what problems did you have before learning the ropes of the game?  We figure we are losing 90% of the players because of the UI and other barriers, and that doesn’t even count the ones scared away by the ASCII graphics.  Now, this doesn’t mean we are about abandon the rest of the game to start the presentation arc.  It is just as important to have endless monster attacks from the underground, and challenging sieges. 

What do you think is scaring people away?  The building placement?  Designations?  The embark screen?  Or maybe its finding the right tile sets and setting them up.  We are hoping at some point to build easier commands and tutorials to help bring in more players.  We have to identify the main culprits first.  So what is frustrating you the most about Dwarf Fortress?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:08:32 am by ThreeToe »
Logged
Show your true champion nature:  support Bay 12 games!

Shaostoul

  • Bay Watcher
  • Expanding your universe.
    • View Profile
    • Shaostoul Patreon
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2009, 04:11:34 pm »

ASCII graphics aside (I believe this is the main killer in the growth of the community.) and UI aside as well. It's a fairly complex game. If you have no idea what you're doing, you lose fairly quick. I had a friend tell me a lot of how to do things, just to get me started. I think a simple tutorial that is really easy to understand would help.

But if anything, it's becoming too easy. That's my main issue if anything. You get to a certain point and trying isn't really necessary any more. I've tried implementing a new creature, but it is giving me problems.

So ya... top 3 ASCII Graphics and finding a complete tile set to not have it bug people too much... Complexity at the beginning with no real tutorial on the basics or advanced tutorials to explain some of the further into the game stuff... and it being too easy once you have a grasp of what it is you're doing.
Logged
I mod games and educate others how to do so as well, if you'd like to learn join my Discord and you can join a bunch of like minded individuals. (Presently modding Space Engineers and No Man's Sky.)

Looking into modding DF? This forum guide & wiki guide may still be a good start!

sonerohi

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2009, 04:18:13 pm »

I think a better tutorial for how to designate things. I, personally, figured out how to build things, but for the life of me digging seemd to make no sense. It took a tutorial that I find on the wiki to educate my of digging, and even then it took me awhile to understand ramps and channeling.
Logged
I picked up the stone and carved my name into the wind.

Slappy Moose

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2009, 04:18:44 pm »

Actually, the only thing that keeps me from playing 24/7 is the lack of sieges and the updates.

Whenever I play, I think "Well, I shouldn't get to addicted or the update will just make me have to restart EVERYTHING." Which is an annoying habit because I really want to play but I get so immersed that I hate to have to get the newest version.

Second, I wish there were much more goblin sieges, and there was some way to increase their frequency from within the game, so I could start having 24/7 sieges once my fort's defences are all set up.

Besides those two problems, I fucking LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVEVOEOVOBUNRINGOHGODAOJSIAAUUUUGH Dwarf Fortress.
Logged
Zaneg Thazor: Armok Reincarnate Story http://www.bay12games.com/forum/index.php?topic=19291.msg196691#msg196691

[Healthcare Update Thread] Personally, I can't wait for doctors to get possessed and start surgically attaching axes to champion soldier's arms.

Ampersand

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2009, 04:19:19 pm »

I think if there were some pre-made in game scenario tutorials, it would really help the growth of the game. I think the lack of coherent goals is what makes it difficult to pick up and play for many people. Even if they were player created tutorials, using the notes system to provide tips on how to accomplish things like farming and building a military, I think it would help tremendously.
Logged
!!&!!

Satatik

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2009, 04:19:27 pm »

I'll keep it simple. The unwieldy interface coupled with the "WTF am I supposed to do" factor. That is the biggest issue. People have no idea what to do from the start. Those tutorials that were written helped that issue.

Next is the ASCII. This is easily solved by good graphics sets/tile sets. But we really need to add support for them 100% and make them more official because most people don't even know they exist or how to install them.

Once you solve the "What the hell am I supposed to do?!" + The ASCII turnoff problem (with tile sets) then all that is left is the interface.

Mouse support is already in for designations, but you need to expand mouse support. I know it goes against the feel of a rouge like but fortress mode is hardly a rogue like. Add more templates for stockpiles with submenus and types so we don't need to mess around with custom stockpiles as much. (with clever interface design this will be easy)

Adding more mouse support will easily take more burden off the interface which uses the keyboard too much for things it shouldn't (like moving the cursor to select something)

NEXT is probobly the most important for me. Embark profiles. I think if you shipped more profiles with the game it would make things more newbie friendly. Perhaps use some of the ones on the WIKI? Those are pretty decent.
Logged

Kardos

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2009, 04:21:47 pm »

Aside from basic tutorials on what each menue does and how to dig and change z-levels, the / * - + <page up> and <page down> usage in the menues really bugs me.  If the menues at least had a unified system for moving around and selecting things, it would be a major imporvement in my opinion.

Also, legendary thread, because ThreeToe posted in it.

Edit:  Upgrading to full Unicode would be a good step in my opinion.  It would allow for the game to retain its ASCII feel, but diversify what symbols represent what objects, allowing the creation of full graphical tilesets by the players, instead of forcing today to spend a few weeks on art projects.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 04:26:05 pm by Kardos »
Logged

Siber

  • Escaped Lunatic
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 04:28:50 pm »

I can't remember really what slowed me up whtne I started playing DF, because that was a while ago. There are three solid things that pop into my mind that would help, and one more nebulous thought.

In fact, those three thoughts can be merged into one. You should pick out one of the community graphics packs and bundle it with the game. Have an interface in the game menus for switching graphics sets and include the ASCII look as an option for people who prefer it, but going with a real tile set will massively expand accessibility for most. Second, I think the game should come with a pre-generated world, selected for being interesting, or at least for having one or two interesting sites. This will enable third, a tutorial mode, where you embark on a pre-selected site and get tips on how to set up your first fort.

There are a lot of improvements that could be made to the interface, of course, and to the fun factor. Other people probably have much more coherent thoughts on that. One thing might be to include an options screen instead of making people edit a .ini file, maybe even have some pre-defined high-mid-low performance profiles so people with less know-how can get a better experience. But I think the things I outlined above would go a long way towards holding the average gamer's hand at the outset, instead of punching them in the gut.
Logged
BLOCKQUOTE>quote:
I''m not sure I''ve ever seen a computer game before where the AI was capable of going insane, throwing a tantrum, committing atrocities, comforting each other, and expressin

Neonivek

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2009, 04:39:33 pm »

Hmmm barriers to playing before hand. Ill try to remember but I didn't have as much problem as most other people because I HUGGED the Wiki.

Mind you that this is observations I made at the time and not currently. I also don't offer solutions.

Adventure Mode:
-The problem with adventure mode is that overall it is pretty much unfinished. So my comments on it arn't all warrented.

1) Adventure mode was nearly impossible: I always picked "Start Now" and didn't know it started me off naked without weapons and next to powerful enemies. So I always died. I even used random objects laying around as weapons thinking it would improve my chances. In fact I didn't even know I could wrestle until much later.
2) Equip screen in adventure mode is a fruitless exercise even now: I don't even pretend to know how to navigate the equipment screen in adventure mode...
3) Caves are mindless and random: There seems to be little rhyme or reason to caves. You could search forever and never find the boss while fighting random enemies laying around
4) Dark Fortresses are impossible: Dark Fortresses seemed impossible, Enraged goblins destroyed my early adventurers. (I actually never fought their archers) While I enjoyed fighting them it was more because there was nothing else to do.
5) No mid difficulty: It seems that everything either is easy to deal with or nearly impossible. So I could do the easy Caves or impossible Fortresses
6) Caves are sometimes impossible to find!: Yes I can't believe I forgot about this. My greatest peave is that sometimes it was nearly impossible to even find the cave your looking for.
7) How do I make money?: I tried desperately to get money so I can get better equipment. Unfortunately I found that missions gave nothing and Goblins didn't give me usable equipment (I am also a goody goody so I didn't kill my own people). Though it wouldn't matter even if I did find sources of money because:
8) Trade screen of missery: Trade is hopeless. How am I supposed to buy anything if he won't show me a price of give me an indication of what he wants? Even today I don't even bother.
9) Towns of Missery: Where am I going? What is this building here? I think I will go in it and go to the top! Ohh my goodness how do I get down? This is going to take forever! I just want to find the castle so I can speak to the king is that so much to ask? Ohh wait now I am at the castle... Now where is the king? He isn't at this throne? Is there a suicide button anywhere?

Fortress Mode
-Overall I had less problems with Fortress mode because I hugged the Wiki.

1) Information overload: There are so many things on the list but I have no idea what is essential. I pretty much had to use the Wiki.
2) I was supposed to be prepared already?: I was attacked by a Trog or Kobold ambushes rather early
3) *SNORE* Defense: Because I could never get my military up before I was attacked and killed I did perfect defenses. Which made the game rather boring. Goblins never became a challenge at any point of the game.
4) Mechanical devices...: Even today I don't bother with the mechanical devices (specifically things that give and produce power) they make little sense and the Wiki isn't as helpful as it could have been.
5) Barrels, Bags, ohh my!: I thought I had enough, I guess I should build even more!
6) What am I supposed to be doing?: I was aimless and building things not knowing what it is for. What is a Quern and why do I need it? How do I even advance?
7) Trade Depot of horror!: Ohh my I just remembered how much of a horror it was using the Trade Depot. I ain't going to lie, it took me a few months to even bother with it and a few more to put it down correctly. In fact a lot of my frustration with the game (and probably explaining my lack of military)
8) Mountains are for sissies!: I actually liked Non-mountains more then Mountains. Thus I often had to deal with aquifiers and lack of minerals even if I did manage (Though differing biomes) to get past them. So I had a unknowingly tougher time.
9) Fuel what is fuel? How do I get coal? Why can't I use Wood?: The fact that you need to burn wood to get fuel is against your instincts. I certainly didn't think that is how it worked and I ended up thinking that Fuel was some sort of endgame item.

Both:

1) Goblin, No Goat, No wait it is a Giant!: Ohh my goodness the second I got a Graphic pack I never went back. I was going out of my mind not knowing what I was fighting unless I specifically looked (and when your wondering if that is a Dog or a Dragon... sometimes the excitement makes you run without looking).
-Id personally would think this would turn most people off. Because not only do they have to learn ASCII but even if they did they could be murdered by mistaken identity.

This is overall all I can remember but even then I don't think my list is accurate or complete. I also doubt I am typical.

Ill think of more later.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 04:43:39 pm by Neonivek »
Logged

Stele007

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2009, 04:47:33 pm »

Interface & navigation issues aside, I think the worst part for me was how ugly the default graphics are.  I installed a different version recently to test something, and the graphics were so bad I had to close it out and install a tileset + graphic set before the test.  It's just a lot more interesting when your dwarves actually look unique instead of just different colors of a generic happy face.  Maybe if the default tileset could have more graphical representations of objects (at least for basic things like barrels, stairs, tables, chairs) it'd make it look more like a proper fortress.  But I'm also a sucker for graphics.

Some other things that threw me off at the beginning was having to enable labor for dwarves to do jobs and later I'd find out that my initial design was kind of crappy, but you can't really fix it once you've dug it out (constructed walls just aren't the same...).  Also, I had no idea what I should start making at the beginning (other than food, which I started making too late...).  I started playing with the 2D version, but probably with the 3D version it's even harder to start out since you aren't guaranteed water, magma, trees, flux, or ore.  The player has to know to find all these things.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 04:51:20 pm by Stele007 »
Logged

penguinofhonor

  • Bay Watcher
  • Minister of Love
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2009, 04:53:06 pm »

One of the things that slowed me down in the beginning was being confused by [v] and [k], and I think the fact that they're so easily confused yet are both very necessary is one of the biggest interface problems.
Logged

kutulu

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2009, 05:01:01 pm »

What do you think is scaring people away?  The building placement?  Designations?  The embark screen?  Or maybe its finding the right tile sets and setting them up.  We are hoping at some point to build easier commands and tutorials to help bring in more players.  We have to identify the main culprits first.  So frustrating you the most about Dwarf Fortress?

The tile set install procedure was probably my second answer; having to copy over raw data files is intimidating if you don't already know it's going to be fine.

Before that, though, is the sheer amount of information you need to know just to get started and not have your dungeon fail immediately.  This is probably a major undertaking, but I was just thinking yesterday how it would be nice if the game sort-of 'ramped up' in difficulty.

My thought process was basically this: DF is significantly more complex than most RTS games on the market.  In a typical commercial RTS game, there are in-game tutorials or training missions where key aspects of the game are disabled while you learn the ropes.  Just as two examples: in my first dungeon, my only mason dwarf went insane and claimed my only crasfts workshop and I had no clue what was going on, then a bunch of kobolds came in and stole a bunch of tools.  I was still trying to work out how to get my dwarfs fed and boozed up, and hadn't even had time to get migrants in!  I admit that once you get into the spirit of the game, losing a dungeon is fun, but if you lose your first one within two or three hours, its discouraging.

Third would have to be a more convenient or efficient way to manage bulk job setup for dwarves.  This is super high on my list mostly because I'm having serious trouble porting DwarfManager to Linux due to the difference in cross-process memory accesses.  Without dm I can literally spend hours trying to get a large influx of immigrants working the way I want.

--Mike
Logged

tomato

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2009, 05:02:19 pm »

just like others said - lack of tutorial mode was the biggest problem for, luckyly i found the wiki fast and i'm a quick lerner  ::)

as i was playing in rougelikes before, lack of graphics wasn't any problem for me, now I prefer ASCII  ;D
Logged

Duke 2.0

  • Bay Watcher
  • [CONQUISTADOR:BIRD]
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2009, 05:02:24 pm »

 I would argue as far as ASCII goes, DF is rather clever. In fact, you guys did a lot of things very well when it comes to the interface like showing all of your options on screen and keeping things organized. Still, while this gives you brownie points above other roguelikes the genre itself is very tricky with these things.

 I would say my greatest problem was the amount of micromanagement required. Sure your first housing block is nice to be seen dug out and filled, but after a while placing beds and such gets a tad odd. So really just better ways of managing large numbers of dwarves efficiently and making areas for them to live easily.
 Also, related to this, seeing the stats of every dwarf. I found it interesting, but finding the one or two miserable dwarves amidst an ecstatic fortress is difficult. All I would suggest here is a system a lot like Roller Coaster Tycoons windows for guest happiness and thoughts, so you can gauge the happiness of your fortress.

 I suppose I would be bad at this, as it has been nearly a year since I have had any real problems with DF.
Logged
Buck up friendo, we're all on the level here.
I would bet money Andrew has edited things retroactively, except I can't prove anything because it was edited retroactively.
MIERDO MILLAS DE VIBORAS FURIOSAS PARA ESTRANGULARTE MUERTO

Techhead

  • Bay Watcher
  • Former Minister of Technological Heads
    • View Profile
Re: What turns you off about DF?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2009, 05:20:27 pm »

I personally hate how fluids behave. Water takes forever to flow down a aqueduct and forms impossibly shallow gradients. This adds to my frustration in dealing with aquifers. Water from a lake should rush down a aqueduct like a  big ol' wave. Perhaps the pressure system is the problem.
Logged
Engineering Dwarves' unfortunate demises since '08
WHAT?  WE DEMAND OUR FREE THINGS NOW DESPITE THE HARDSHIPS IT MAY CAUSE IN YOUR LIFE
It's like you're all trying to outdo each other in sheer useless pedantry.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 137