The new version of Dwarf Fortress adds temples, libraries, and inebriation

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I love that a game like Dwarf Fortress can exist, even though it's a virtual certainty that I will never play it with anything even remotely resembling competence. Its sprawling scope and obsessive focus on detail is overwhelming; as Shaun noted in his report about the Dwarf Fortress Patreon that launched in the spring, many aspire, but few succeed. But those of you who do will be happy (I hope) to hear that a new version of the game that's been in development through 2015 is now live.

The first paragraph of the update announcement should give you a feel for what awaits. "The flow of fortress life is quite a bit different now—specific breaks and parties have been replaced by taverns and performances and needs and inebriation. You can designate a tavern, temple or library from a meeting area zone, bedroom or dining room using the new Assign Location option. The location list ('l') will let you know what sort of furniture and items you need, and you can set tavern keepers, scribes and other occupations there as well. You'll need to set up a drink stockpile and a chest for goblets in taverns for drink service to work properly, but dwarves can still drink without a tavern as before. You can assign multiple rooms/zones to a single location."

Oh, but there's a lot more than just that. There are now three different types of writing material—papyrus, paper, and parchment—each created through a different process, that can that be made into scrolls or quires; quires that contain writing can be bound into books, and Dwarves can read books in the library and use them to pass along their values. On the other side of the culture coin, it's now possible for Dwarves to get drunk, act crazy, pass out, and even die from alcohol poisoning, although given what I know about Dwarves I can't even begin to guess how much booze it would take to actually kill one.

The new release of Dwarf Fortress—version 0.42.01, if you're keeping track—also makes numerous bug fixes and tweaks, as you'd expect. Details and a download link are up at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.