It's been a long wait for Dwarf Fortress' hotly anticipated Steam release, which was originally announced back in March 2019. But avid fans of large fortifications and small bearded dudes may not have to wait much longer. Replying to a tweet asking when Dwarf Fortress will launch on Steam, publisher Kitfox Games stated that it'll be coming "Sooner than you might think."
Sooner than you might think!August 28, 2022
How soon this will be, exactly, is of course up for debate. Kitfox Games provided no further specification about the release date, while the launch date on the game's Steam page still reads "time is subjective". Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that Kitfox Games would make this statement if the Steam release was, say, more than a year out.
Meanwhile, over on Dwarf Fortress' development blog, creator Tarn Adams teased an "exciting announcement" coming "soon" in his most recent update. Adams also mentioned that the announcement is related to the Dwarf Fortress demo that will be shown off at this year's PAX. Given the PAX expo starts this week, specifically running September 2-5, it seems likely that we'll hear more about this announcement in the coming days.
There's good reason why Dwarf Fortress fans are excited about the upcoming Steam release, which provides a massive overhaul to the game's presentation and UI. The ASCII visuals are being replaced with lovingly detailed tile-based sprites, which Shaun recently obsessed over while reporting on the game's update to its animal people. Meanwhile, the game's UI and menus are getting mouse support, buttons, extra tabs, and other quality of life updates that should make the game significantly easier to grapple with.
In any case, it's all very intriguing. Maybe I'll finally be able to play Bay 12's wildly ambitious colony sim, which up to this point I've simply found too idiosyncratic to get on with.