When Dwarf Fortress finally comes to Steam, it's going to have a whole new look. There will be graphics (opens in new tab)! You'll be able to gawk at pixel critters (opens in new tab), handsome monsters (opens in new tab) and maps that actually look like maps (opens in new tab). Perhaps more importantly, however, the way you control and interact with your burgeoning dwarf empire is also getting an overhaul.
In the latest dev update (opens in new tab), designer Tarn Adams has given us a look at the new and improved UI. Though it might still look rather plain compared to some of the flashy, elaborate interfaces other modern games sport, it's quite a big leap compared to what Dwarf Fortress veterans are used to.
Here's what you can expect if you start playing the original, ASCII version:
And here's how the new version is shaping up:
Instead of having to navigate using your keyboard, the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress will finally let you take advantage of your mouse, making navigating its menus considerably less fiddly. You can expect additional tabs, too, and the ability to more easily find what you're looking for by using a text filter.
There's still work to be done, however, and there's no word on a release date yet. The team started work on the new version back in February, but it's no small task to effectively rebuild the game. In the meantime, Dwarf Fortress Classic (opens in new tab) isn't going anywhere, and it will continue to be free and updated.