Updated Dwarf Fortress comes to Linux, fixes those pesky marksdwarves

An early 2021 WIP screenshot of DF adventure mode
(Image credit: Bay12 Games)

The Steam version of legendary simulation game Dwarf Fortress has a vital new patch out updating the graphical edition to work on ye olde Linux, a most dorky operation system for that most dorky of games. It was a delayed release, mostly because primary developer Tarn Adams just got over a bout with covid.

Per Kitfox games, "this patch has some needed updates, like the ability to look at old alerts, ammo that works when uniforms are changed, and soldiers that don't hoard rotten food in their rooms."

Two of those are particular bugbears of the Steam release, as for whatever reason soldiers just really wanted to leave their work rations on the floor in their rooms, where they'd promptly rot. The other's a blessing for those Dwarf Fortress architects who'd really like to make use of marksdwarves—some strange bug was keeping them from properly picking up ammunition when assigned a custom kit. A real problem, after all, since making sure your soldiers are wearing the right armor for their job instead of just whatever they pick up is important stuff. They'll be working in the near future on getting the full, in-depth ammunition control system working in the new UI, so you can be sure your soldiers only practice with shoddy bone bolts and fight with the proper steel ones.

It also just wouldn't be a Dwarf Fortress update without some of those extremely funny, strange out of context patch notes that just shine. We've got a doozy of one this time, which I honestly love: "Made creatures more able to get out of trees." Normally this is not a problem. Imagine you just want out of a tree, well, you can just fall right out of that tree. Staying in the tree is in fact, generally speaking, the harder task than getting out of it.

The other big fix here is important stuff, as it was discovered by Dwarf Fortress' to be a related cause of big slowdowns by that second programmer they hired.

"Optimized relationship lookup for socializing dwarves" is a very small-sounding thing, but it turns out a lot of CPU cycles were getting spent on Dwarves trying to figure out if every person they said hello to while passing in the fortress hall was somehow, in the most byzantine ways, related to them—crawling family trees of procedural history in the process.

With Linux handled we're going full-on for adventure mode—Dwarf Fortress' world spanning roguelike exploration RPG arm

"The main work will be on adventure mode. There should be more to show there soon as we get the site travel images in place and get the character running around the world again. Putnam has been working on some interface changes that should allow us to more support the keyboard/mouse interface options as we go, which I know is concerning for some people. It has taken longer than we expected to get the ball rolling generally on adventure mode, but the time ahead is clear now and we're optimistic it'll go smoothly," they say.

You can find Dwarf Fortress on Steam.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.