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Author Topic: DF Talk: Playstyles and You  (Read 43068 times)

ciadude2

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2011, 09:46:16 pm »

I'm a combination of the three. I play with LoFR mod and Fortress Defense because I like to keep things interesting. I enjoy designing massive fortresses specifically with defense in mind. Before I strike the Earth I look around for the best defensive position.

I generally design my fortresses with running water and internal heating and all of that crap. I try to design an aesthetically pleasing as possible fortress while making it very defensible.

I also focus on a layered defense. Not like, here's a couple of traps an after that if they get in I'm dead.

I do a minefield scattered formation of weapon traps out way out on the frontier of my forts entrance, getting more concentrated as you get closer, usually with a very dense bunch of them in front of my trading area, and then another set of densely packed traps right after that, and another set on the outside of my front doors. Then on the inside of the doors is an airlock type area with a thin maze that leads to my last line of defense, but a main hallway that I can block off with doors for easy access. The maze has traps randomly scattered in it and is mainly there to delay whatever monstrosity managed to get past the outer defenses while I get my militia to the very last line of defense at the last set of doors.

So all in all I have 7 layers of defense in the average fort including my militia. Sometimes if the terrain is right, I'll make a drowning chamber, but I'm usually not patient enough for that. Besides, it's not bloody enough to be dorfy.

So yeah. I like building, using it as a simulator, but also having the clear goal of staying alive with Fortress Defense. It's very satisfying looking at your militia commander and seeing that he's killed dozens of goblins and such. In my last fort I had a dwarf with a copper knife and no armor take out 3 alligators.

Anyway.. yeah.
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Cruxador

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2011, 01:40:01 am »

Well, simulation and construction are essentially the selling points of the game. Simulation moreso, now that games like Minecraft are getting in on that whole "construction" thing. However, gamism is also pretty poorly represented here as an example. Captntastic describes it by focusing on things that most don't necessarily consider positive. Gamism, as described, essentially amounts to "dumbing down". Nobody who plays DF wants a simple game, if they did they'd play something else instead. Gamist concerns are more about resolving things into an enjoyable experiences, and treat accurate simulation and compelling narrative as merely tools towards that end, often less important than the nature of what the player directly works with. While it's accurate to say that gamists would like access to a challenge and a fairly smooth difficulty curve, and coherent mechanics could be considered gamist, although that's vague enough that it isn't a useful criteria for this discussion. However, "points" and "high score" are not really accurate. True, the notion that success should be rewarded is ultimately a gamist one, but rewards can and should be more like "kill the monster, get a reputation bonus and a bounty" or even "successfully carry out a heist, get the stuff you stole". "Slick loot" as we see it wished for in DF is more of a narrativist thing; people are mostly satisfied with the power scale of items in the game, and thus want interesting things rather than powerful things.

Speaking of narrativism, that's a philosophy that really shouldn't be overlooked, and considering how often it's mentioned in the same breath as simulationism and gamism, I'm surprised it's not mentioned. People who want interesting stories to arise are a pretty substantial portion of the DF-playing population, and the Adams brothers seem to share some narrativist values as well. Although Toady seems to be mostly simulationist in mindset, it's worth noting that he doesn't mind abandoning pure simulation in favor of the narrative, as with the plans to redo the personality system.

As for myself, I'm decidedly simulationist. I like that the game can have such diverse and solid systems, even when I can't actually interact with them directly.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 10:29:03 pm by Cruxador »
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Putnam

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2011, 02:12:23 am »

I'm somewhere between simulationist and gamist: I think the game should be realistic, but it should under no circumstances sacrifice fun for that.

For example, I think that all materials, creatures, etc. be exactly as in real life; fairly simulationist. However, if a feature is annoying, then it should be fixed at the expense of realism. Realism first, fix if need be.

Spinning Welshman

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2011, 07:00:50 am »

I'm a simulationist. I'm still learning about the game, but always what grabs me most are the little stories and details it throws at you. I'm constantly taken aback by the level of detail in the dwarves lives, the way they react to their surroundings and events, like engraving a wall with a scene depicting the death of a dwarf dying while heroically defending the fortress, and all the other little things that makes the dwarves seem alive :)

i've only been playing a few weeks, but i can't think of any other game that compares to DF in sheer detail, long live the fortress :)
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RenoFox

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 08:44:59 am »

Simulationist. I like how the dwarves are virtual people instead of units you produce from a factory. In a true "asshole engine" manner, playing with them is fun precisely because they have their own thoughts and opinions about the world they live in.

I love Threetoe's stories about evil adventurers because they show why exactly going around with a Zelda/Final Fantasy mentality is a bad idea. You can do what you want, but a realistic society has safeguards to stop people like that.

While adventure mode needs goals, they are best provided by an open world where you can start working to make yourself a king or some other similiarily outrageous goal. Th world isn't made for your story, and that's why your feats in it are so phenomenal.

Fieari

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2011, 10:30:48 am »

I'd put myself 60% gamist, 40% simulationist, negligible% constructionist.  Legos on the computer do not interest me.  I didn't say 0%, because in as much as construction contributes to simulation, I appreciate it.

I haven't played dwarf mode seriously since the 2d mode.  For all of 40d, I was interested only in legends mode.  Now I'm getting pretty involved in adventure mode, although it could use some more content, and definitely more sim.

I wonder if this could be made into a forum poll?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 10:35:06 am by Fieari »
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CharlesPeter

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 12:11:53 pm »

i think having only 3 categories is a little limited, considering the scope of Dwarf Fortress.


1:  i wouldn't consider myself a gamist; i don't care about winning or getting the most riches

2: i wouldn't say i'm a simulationist. i've been playing for maybe 2 years, and I don't think I've ever had an economy. i've only once had a baron and a king. and the workings of the world; while interesting, don't really have an effect on the game that much (as the game stands currently)

3. i definitely wouldn't consider myself a constructionist. most of my forts are single layers with very small rooms and no traps, magma chutes, windmills, or waterfall generators.

I would say that I am:

4: Observer.
I like watching the game. I set up the initial parameters of the site (how violent it is, what the biomes are like) and then I spend only a few months setting all the designations and then I spend most the rest of the time watching all the dwarves go about their business. But I don't really hold any stake in the fort. I don't care if the dwarves are happy or if my constructions didn't work properly or if the badgers are particularly aggressive on this map; i just like watching all the ways they deal with problems. i like to watch how the fortress will destroy itself, with as little involvement from me as possible. sometimes that means that my forts only last a year, and the last couple months are a single mason huddling in a corner dying of thirst cause a badger broke his legs, and other times the fort will last through siege after siege, with all the military dwarfs only coming to fight after the vile force of darkness has marched in through the front doors and into the danger room. i will send them to fight occasionally too. as well i might pierce the 3 caverns and leave it exposed just to see what finds its way up.
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EnigmaticHat

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2011, 03:53:28 pm »

I tend to see DF as a story telling tool; basically I want the game to tell me a story.  I want to be able to influence that story, but I don't want to be the driving force behind the world; I'd like to see my characters having to react to events in the world (wars, famines, monsters, that sort of thing), and in turn be able to see the effects their actions have on the world.  I'm eagerly awaiting the time when the world will continue to change after world gen.

While fort mode has some cool aspects, I much prefer adventure mode.  It's easier to control, easier on my computer, doesn't restrict me to a "box", and I like playing one character more than a bunch of them.  Unfortunately, adventure mode doesn't have much to do right now, so I'm waiting for some upgrades to adventure mode (cities/undead will help, but it's still just go there, kill that).  In particular, I'd like the option to play a character that has to struggle to survive, and the possibility for dangerous situations to arise for a character that doesn't seek them out.

I'm in love with whole simulated fantasy world idea, so I'm simulationist in that regard.  I like to make my adventures/forts as efficient as possible and to mess around with the logistics of how they achieve their goals, so I'm gamist in that way, although I try to roleplay morals and goals for my characters, so it's certainly not just about highscores.
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Neonivek

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2011, 04:54:31 pm »

Yeah. It is like The Simulation is what makes the game fun and the gameplay is what allows you to have it.

Though I am more or less speaking about the amount of unfun UI and silly exploits and random crazyness that gets in the way... then it being about the highscore.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 04:59:34 pm by Neonivek »
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Fieari

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2011, 05:24:21 pm »

I'd also like to amend "gamist" to say that I don't want to win... I want to lose.  But I want the game to force me to lose despite my best efforts.  I want to try holding on with my last breath, my last fingernail.  I want to try, and try, and try again.  And finally, through some critical alignment of events, possibly survive.  And then retire that fortress and have it make an impact on world politics at large.

That's what I mean by gamist and simulist.  I think I can sum it up like this:  I want what I do to MATTER.  Not aesthetically, but functionally.
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Tharwen

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2011, 05:30:50 pm »

I think I like the simulation aspect, but then ideally want a way to piss about in a game-y sort of way within that simulation (to see how badly I can fuck it up, for example).

Can Dwarf Fortress be described as a game? It doesn't have any goals; it just has ways to interact with the world and the player has to create their own enjoyment from it. Maybe bay12games.com doesn't actually host a game for download, but once you start it up and start using it, a game is created in the interface between your imagination and the computer?

...does that make sense to anyone?
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Neonivek

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2011, 05:34:28 pm »

I think I like the simulation aspect, but then ideally want a way to piss about in a game-y sort of way within that simulation (to see how badly I can fuck it up, for example).

Can Dwarf Fortress be described as a game? It doesn't have any goals; it just has ways to interact with the world and the player has to create their own enjoyment from it. Maybe bay12games.com doesn't actually host a game for download, but once you start it up and start using it, a game is created in the interface between your imagination and the computer?

...does that make sense to anyone?

It falls under what I call "Implied Goals" in that it seems to have clear goals build in. In a similar way that The Sims has no actual "End of the game" nor does it give you any clear goals, and yet it still has soft finish lines.

A game where there are no implied goals and nothing to really achieve except what you decide is what I call a Toy.

It is the difference between Legos, and Legos where you can become the mightiest warrior in all the kingdom.
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rosareven

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2011, 09:16:23 pm »

It largely depends on my mood, but most of the time I play DF as a mix of simulationist and constructionist. I start off with a mix of mess digging and designing, as the fortress moves on normally for a while I'll suddenly get taken by a strange mood at the keyboard, and decided to start doing strange things like dig to the deepest z-level of the map, start a mess fractual art room construction, attempt to colonize caverns or anything else that suddenly struck my fancy. I'm still new to the game so sometimes I'll go ahead and try something that I didn't know what it was for, like a quern, pottery and beekeeping, but only when I feel either well defended or utterly suicidal.

I'm also going to put myself in my own category "adventurer", who don't min-max like gamist, don't pursue realism like simulationist, don't play lego like constructionist. I abandon survival in the game just to see what something would look like or what would happen if I do something.

Can Dwarf Fortress be described as a game? It doesn't have any goals; it just has ways to interact with the world and the player has to create their own enjoyment from it. Maybe bay12games.com doesn't actually host a game for download, but once you start it up and start using it, a game is created in the interface between your imagination and the computer?

Toady intended DF to be a fantasy world simulator, so it is indeed more than just a game. You can use it for the purpose of generating a world, backgrounds and settings for a story that you want to write, use it to generate a world map, use it to generate fine details of the world so that you can just focus on the main plot and let DF's world generation provide you the rest. You can use it as an inspiration tool to discover new things for a new story line, etc etc. DF can be "used" instead of "played".
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 01:26:01 am by rosareven »
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Greiger

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2011, 09:41:09 pm »

Simulation + Gamist.

I like building up a fortress and watching how things play out.  But I also like to maximize my capabilities within by own rules.  I want a strong military, every fortress I strive to make my military a little bit stronger, without resorting to things like danger rooms and adamantine.  Every fortress I try to make my fortress' average happiness a little higher, and the population even higher.  Or tame and breed some powerful creature that I never bred before.

Every adventurer I want to be richer, have higher killcounts and be better armed, than my last.  All while modding the game to include more dangerous monsters and wildlife.

But at the same time I love the complexity of the simulation.  I love seeing that one fortress resident that opts to hang out in their room than go to one of the half a dozen parties because they don't like big crowds.  I like seeing that soldier who neglects to show up for all the training sessions because they have little sense of duty, and I don't kill off my nobles or wounded, because that just does not seem the right thing to do.  In adventure mode I mod in custom reactions so that I can choose to simply hunt wildlife and make crafts instead of the get rich quick with little risk method of looting the outside of a megabeast cave and running.

Can't say I'm much of a construction player though.  I make the occasional aesthetically pleasing construction, but that's never my primary goal.  Maybe I'm just too much gamery and too stingy with my resources.
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DG

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 05:12:34 am »

Well, Captain...I'm not sure that the examples you've provided are so much play styles as they are philosophies. If you had asked "What do you think should be the primary focus of DF?" and then provided those three broad options it would make sense. But I , for instance, am terribly obsessive-compulsive when I play this game. I'd describe my play style as (ridiculous) perfectionism. I'd have no qualms about restarting a fortress simply because I mined out the wrong square, resulting in eye-jarring asymmetry (shudder). Even knowing perfectly well that I can just rewall with no functional difference. Of course that never happens, because I constantly back-up my saves and save-scum whenever I stuff-up or I'd lose my hair. Now, that's what I call a play style (I know it's bad and I'm trying to change) but it doesn't subscribe me to or prescribe me from any one of the options you described.

So maybe your terminology is wrong or I'm misunderstanding you?
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