Gnomoria > General Discussions > Topic Details
dwinblood Mar 22, 2013 @ 11:55am
How can this possibly compete with Dwarf Fortress? - Resurrection of Deleted topic - OP didn't like results
I believe it is a bit sad that someone can delete and entire thread that had over 70 posts when it was not going the way they wanted.

This is a topic that a lot of people will probably ask, and that topic had a lot of good discussion that was not just for the benefit of it's original poster. I see a lot of people posting similar questions and I thought it was important to have some place for them to read.

There was a lot of good info in the original thread. Unfortunately, I cannot recover that for you.

I have my own opinions - which I am sure you'll see plenty of...

The gist of the deleted thread from the OP perspective:
This is a blatant carbon copy of Dwarf Fortress. Why couldn't they do something original?

Some people chimed in agreeing, but most did not.

Most people stated the following things:
1) Most games are a copy of something else. Even Dwarf Fortress inheritted its designs from games like Angband/Nethack/Rogue and was inspired by Dungeon Keeper too from what ToadyOne(Dwarf Fortress developer) stated.
2) ToadyOne has been working on Dwarf Fortress for many years and getting close to $40K/year in donations from a very dedicated niche crowd.
3) ToadyOne has expressed no interest in adding a GUI or Graphics to Dwarf Fortress. Third party additions by a DFHack application such a Stonesense add visualization in another window that is similar in appearance to Gnomoria. Third party tileset support was added and has had recent code SDL programming by someone other than ToadyOne to further support that and window size changes during game play, etc. Yet, ToadyOne himself has stated that he is making the game he and his brother wanted to play. He is very dedicated to the direction he wants to take and does not really alter this course at all.
4) Gnomoria is early alpha stage. The foundation of the game is all that currently exists. The foundation is OF COURSE going to be very similar as that is required to make this play the way people want. Once, the foundation is in place then it will start showing its own differences... it already is.
5) Adding graphics and a GUI is not cloning. It is EVOLVING the game. Diablo was essentially Angband/Nethack/Rogue style game with GUI and graphics added. Numerous other Diablo like games have since arrived. It created the Action RPG Genre.
6) Dwarf Fortress started a new Genre. Minecraft was initially started by Notch to do what Gnomoria is doing, and then on a whim Notch tried it in First Person view, and then also encountered a game called Infiniminer, and the direction of Minecraft changed to be what you have today. If that had not happened you likely would have seen something like Gnomoria several years ago.
7) Gnomoria and Towns are both examples of people being inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, etc and wanting a game that does not exist. They are willing to play what the Dwarf Fortress developer puts out, but they are not seeing responsiveness to requests to make a better UI (without sacrificing depth) and integrate graphics. So, eventually they will likely make something themselves.
8) Making a graphical/GUI based game is a lot more work than making an ASCII visual, and keyboard driven game. Whether this was done this way because, ToadyOne had a great game idea (it is great), but lacked the skills/knowledge at the time to do the graphical side of things... I do not know. This is my suspicion. I actually used to share this problem. However, I didn't go ahead and make my game ideas without the graphics like ToadyOne and it was after I played Dwarf Fortress that I realized "I should have!"
EDIT: I am adding that apparently, ToadyOne did have the graphics chops, he just didn't see graphics as being up to the task of handling individual teeth missing and such. So, he focused on the systems and simulation and forgoe graphics and GUI. I am of the opinion it could have, and could still be done. I actually think you can communicate more information with graphics than you can the way DF looks now. Have it pop up a window showing the condition of the dwarf when you mouse over them. It doesn't have to be big. Trial and Error. It can be done.
9) The barriers for Dwarf Fortress are the insane learning curve and very unfriendly user interface. You can learn all the crazy menus that are listed, but they are not intuitive so the only way to learn them and remember them while playing is to spend a tremendous amount of time learning. Therefore, it takes a significant amount of time before you can truly enjoy Dwarf Fortress and the depth of detail it has.
10) Dwarf Fortress has tremendous detail. Though lately it has been focused on adventure mode, and not the Fortress mode. Dwarf fortress has a back story generated with a world map.
11) Gnomoria is starting to go it's own direction with the idea of Gnomes being more like tinkers. Making beds is much more involving in Gnomoria than Dwarf Fortress as an example. It already has unique NPCs and creature types with their own behavior which have nothing to do with Dwarf Fortress.
12) Gnomoria can eventually offer the same depth as Dwarf Fortress but, it is YEARS behind in development, and the differences between Gnomoria and Dwarf Fortress will continue to emerge as each are developed.
13) Many of us that support Gnomoria also played a lot of Dwarf Fortress. We do not see adding graphics and a GUI as a bad thing. We see it as something that should have been done a long time ago with the original Dwarf Fortress. Some people even conceded they'd be fine with the current Dwarf Fortress graphics (with a tileset), just for the love of God add a modern interface.
14) GUI interfaces have existed since before 1990. You can still use hot keys if you like and insist on hardcore old school interface, that is no reason to torture your players unless you target audience is yourself. Which ToadyOne has indicated is kind of the case.
15) Graphics of the quality of Gnomoria also existed before 1990 and would be more than adequate for this type of game.


Overall the theme was that we should all embrace ALL of the games that are coming out in this new EMERGING Genre type. We should welcome them.

There was a lot more... sorry, I cannot say more, but people are welcome to chime in here. I promise NOT to delete this thread even if it does not go my way.

EDITED: To remove original poster of deleted thread's name by request.
Last edited by dwinblood; May 8, 2013 @ 2:08pm
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dwinblood Mar 22, 2013 @ 12:12pm 
Another person said something like this (Sorry it is deleted I cannot credit you):
EDIT: Credit = WarPigeon

Picture it like this:
Someone writes an amazing Book. You think it is the greatest story ever told. It is full of spelling and grammar errors. These things turn away some people you really think would love this story.

You wait for awhile and nothing for these people ever comes out.

So, you go and correct the spelling and grammar errors and now the story is available to more people, without sacrificing any of the details of the story.

This is why games like Gnomoria and Towns are doing what they are doing. Dwarf Fortress will not be altered to be accessible to people that expect a more modern and useable interface.

Dwarf Fortress could exist with ALL of its detail without requiring its current UI and graphics.

In fact, some people stated that graphics can offer a higher level of information quickly processed by vision than can be provided by different color ASCII characters. This includes when using a tileset, because, the tileset is still only those same ASCII colored characters with a different appearance. So, the level of information remains tied to that...


I remember one person saying, they found it hard to be immersed in Dwarf Fortress when their biggest threat was an Ampersand. :) I thought that was amusing.


I should add.... I REALLY like Dwarf Fortress. I started playing it in March of 2010. I didn't play it for over a year, and decided to go back and play it again. I discovered the painful truth that I had to relearn almost everything over again because, the interface is not intuitive at all. My wife encountered the same thing.


We tried Gnomoria and it offered a similar experience, but we could play it immediately.

It is not dumbed down, it is not a carbon copy, it is an EVOLUTION.

User Interfaces evolved. Graphics evolved.

ToadyOne chose not to use either of these evolutionary stages. That is his right and he DID make an incredible game. It is just not made for most people to play. It has nothing to do with its complexity. It is a horribly designed user interface. That is #1 problem. Some people that is the only problem they see. Some people the #2 problem is the graphics, though this does not matter as much to some people.

If they added a UI and basically merged what stonesense did for Dwarf Fortress into Dwarf Fortress then there is a good chance Gnomoria and Towns would not exist. Their authors would be happily playing Dwarf Fortress.


When you make a cool and deep game the inevitably some of your players will end up being game developers. I read forums where many people were offering to help ToadyOne. The help was refused with the exception of the conversion to SDL which primarily was only used to facilitate tiles better, to allow window resizing during play (by dragging corner), and I believe some mouse area selection (doesn't work great).

So, as these Developers are playing the game their going to be saying "Wouldn't it be cool if?" to themselves. I am a developer. I do this for EVERY game.

From there it leads to a developer usually making something that as a lot of those What IFs.

For Dwarf Fortress.... it often came down to "Imagine this game with graphics, it's level of detail is amazing... it'd be incredibly popular!", "Imagine this game if it allowed you to use a mouse for most of the commands!".....

Those two things ALONE are all Dwarf Fortress needed to be HUGE!!!!

People like Notch would not have felt the need to try to make a graphical version. So, thanks to ToadyOne sticking to his guns we do have "Minecraft". It may not have existed if ToadyOne had not insisted on not doing GUI and graphics.

Another person in the deleted thread suggested calling the new genre "Block Porn" :)

That was another amusing statement I remembered.
Last edited by dwinblood; Mar 23, 2013 @ 9:14am
MercuryEX Mar 22, 2013 @ 3:49pm 
dwinblood, thanks for posting about this topic. I have reads LOTS of varying threads concerning "Is this a ripoff of DF" and its getting a bit old (have read similar posts about towns too). I've been gaming since the early 80's when all we had was BBS' games and they were ascii based (because thats all we had!!), but in the current age of Computer Gaming you should be able to make the game "YOU" the developer want but...if you want to bring your vision to a larger player base you need to make the game accessible to a larger group of people.

I tried DF for the first time yesterday and really wanted to love it but, like you stated, the interface is really for the passionate DF hobbyist which is fantastic but not for me. I have mild A.D.D. and find it difficult to stay tied to a game for an extended period of time unless it really caters to a change of scenery AND an approachable learning curve. I would say Gnomoria is a bit more approachable than Towns at this point in development but both games have improved on the DF model in terms of interface.

Bottom line is, if DF is your thing play DF, I'm glad that you have the patience to deal with the interface but look at the games that are coming out and find the ones you are interested in supporting. A lot of the Indie developers are putting out games that you WILL get your moneys worth out of (most of them range from $5-$20) and you help to support the future of the PC platform for gaming. I try to break down the minimum dollar per hour of my software purchases and in most cases if i can get at LEAST $2 per hour of entertainment out of a title I'm pretty happy. I can honestly say I've spent $50-$60 dollars on enough games that were garbage AND less then 10 hours of gameplay that I am happy to support these indie developers, even if they are improving on existing games.

Peace.
tyl3r.n Mar 22, 2013 @ 3:53pm 
This can't compete with Dwarf Fortress at all. That game is so complex and Tarn Adams has basically coded a world with a life of its own. I have nothing against improving on the GUI like Gnomoria does, but at least try to make it original somehow, instead of just DF with Stonesense and such.
marry chrismass Mar 22, 2013 @ 5:56pm 
I'm an avid DF fan and when I saw this game for the first time, it made me a little bit mad. What really made me angry was when Gnomoria came onto steam greenlight, and people were commenting things such as "omg minecraft/terraria ripoff!" One of the few things I will admit I've became passionately enraged by on the internet. I'm over the game's existence; not so much the comments. Honestly though, this game is beneficial to DF drawing more people into the genre. Hopefully once digested, a gamer will be more willing to play around with DF, looking for a more indepth game.

Also, nice post man. That's a lot of opinions to recall from memory.
Last edited by marry chrismass; Mar 22, 2013 @ 5:59pm
dwinblood Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:02pm 
It is already competing. It may not be winning, but it is competing. People are trying to compare a game that has been in development less than a year (Gnomoria) to a game that has been developed for 5+ years (Dwarf Fortress).

It really is about people that are fans worried this will take from Dwarf Fortress. It may actually convince some people to try Dwarf Fortress.

I played the hell out of Dwarf Fortress for many months from 2010 - 2011. I didn't play it all in 2012. I went back a few weeks ago, because I wanted to try it out some more even though the adventure mode ToadyOne has been focusing on is not of interest to me. I found out that everything I learned in the past (almost everything) I had to relearn because, the menus are NOT intuitive by any means. It is only through playing a lot that you memorize them. Until you memorize them you have to hunt and peck to try and figure out what is where. It is a very poorly designed interface. You can learn it, and master it, and if you do then Dwarf Fortress is absolutely amazing. The question is that if it is such a well designed game should it FORCE its players to use something so poorly designed in order to play it?

I had many funny stories in Dwarf Fortress. I missed playing it.

Gnomoria while nowhere near as deep as Dwarf Fortress already has the core gameplay down, and easy to pick up. It is already starting to add depth, and it is already doing things that Dwarf Fortress did not do. So, is it basically an evolution of Dwarf Fortress? Yes.

It is also still in development and MANY years behind Dwarf Fortress. I will say its developer seems to be developing a bit faster than Dwarf Fortress now. After a few years though he might slow down too.

I think Dwarf Fortress is probably the deepest and most detailed game I have ever played. If the interface were better the rest of the world could love it to.

If the fanboys want us to skip Gnomoria and play Dwarf Fortress then they better convince ToadyOne (Tarn) to give us a decent GUI interface to replace the crazy menus.... that'd be a good step. It'd then be a great step to merge Stonesense into the official game rather than having to use DFHack to hack into the exe.
Leb Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:19pm 
For another analogy (as if we need more)

look back to when Doom set the stage for FPS games. FPS games following Doom's footsteps were called "Doom Clones." Eventually the industry accepted that this is it's own kind of game and thus FPS as a genre emerged.

And frankly... the genre of these sort of city building "God-games" has been around since Dungeon Keeper, not Dwarf Fortress. Gamers need to stop dung flinging in forums and just be happy that we're seeing so much great creativity and innovation in the game industry.

Imagine a game industry where someone could patent a type of game. "I am EA and I make battlefield, nobody else can make games in a modern time period that involve guns!"

I'm glad I do not live in that alternate universe...
woden87 Mar 22, 2013 @ 7:29pm 
To reiterate a list of differences I had noted in the previous thread:

Gnomoria allows soldiers to have various perks, which can (sometimes drastically) change that individual soldier's role or performance in combat. Dwarf Fortress, last I checked, has nothing of the sort.

Gnomoria requires devices and their component parts to be researched before they can be produced; in other words, your settlers do not start with the knowledge of, for example, how to construct a windmill. Dwarf Fortress, as I recall, has no such requirement, and allows you to construct any device as soon as you have the materials and a capable dwarf.

Gnomoria has power requirements for devices, physical transmission systems for power (currently consisting of axles, with gearboxes allowing a curve in the system), and requires levers and other switches to be connected to this power transmission so that they can disable or enable it. By contrast, Dwarf Fortress has no power requirements, and treats switches as if they were connected with their devices through WiFi (i.e., no physical connection is required).
DocDecoy Mar 22, 2013 @ 7:49pm 
SO in the end, what's the verdict on this? If a person can look past the origin of the game (let's just say I'm someone that never even heard of DF), will they enjoy this?
woden87 Mar 22, 2013 @ 8:05pm 
A few more differences of note:

Gnomoria provides difficulty customization options at the start of each world, allowing the user to tweak the depth and rarity of ores, and the number, type, and frequency of enemies. Dwarf Fortress allows users to pick their starting location on a large world map (with the location greatly affecting both resources and enemies), and allows users to mod the creature files to adjust the strength of individual types of enemies -- but does not allow a "peaceful" playthrough.

Dwarf Fortress has large populations of unique-yet-disposable dwarves; it is not uncommon for fortress populations to break well into the hundreds for a "healthy" fort, with death and immigration both being common occurrences. Gnomoria, on the other hand, focuses on a smaller population: deaths are (usually) rare, but can be devastating to a fortress, and until recently the population wasn't even able to get much larger than 50. The individual gnomes might have less personality and distinguishing characteristics than D.F.'s dwarves, but they end up feeling more important and less easily-replaced.

Originally posted by Doc Dec0y:
SO in the end, what's the verdict on this? If a person can look past the origin of the game (let's just say I'm someone that never even heard of DF), will they enjoy this?
Yes. There's been plenty of people, both on the Gnomoria forums and on Bay 12 Games forums (the Dwarf Fortress official forums), who have said that they have played and enjoyed both games. Liking or disliking one is no barrier to enjoying the other, unless you choose to make it be a barrier.

If you like one game, you'll almost certainly like the core elements that both games share. Each game, however, does things a bit differently, and has a different feel overall. Dwarf Fortress, however, is much less accessible than Gnomoria... if you can get past that, it can be great fun, though.
Musera Mar 22, 2013 @ 8:55pm 
Learning the DF interface is like learning to type with a hammer, only more painful. It's a massive weakness and the main reason the game isn't overly popular. I can't tell you how many people I know who have put 30 minutes into the game and turned it off in disgust. Personally I don't blame them, after half hour you should have a basic understanding of what you are doing, not be completely clueless and it is all down to a horrendously designed UI.
qweqwe Mar 22, 2013 @ 9:03pm 
PLATINUM TROLLING THREADS
SEAL OF INFINITE REPEATEDNESS
AND DISASTEROUS TROLL FEEDING
PLEASE PROCEED TO RESERVATIONS


in short DONT ANSWER
NEVER ANSWER
TO THOSE THREADS
STOP FEEDING
retrox Mar 22, 2013 @ 9:57pm 
I wish there were a dozen more developers making games like DF, Gnomoria, and Towns. I would buy them all.
Ondaderthad Mar 22, 2013 @ 10:19pm 
Every RTS game is a clone of Dune 2 (ms-dos 1992) but nobody claims that Starcraft is "just a copy"
It's now called a Game Genre.
DF, Gnomoria, Towns! and a few others currently on Kickstarter are just the same. It is now a Game Genre.
15 years ago I was playing Nethack and I also had a brief look at Dwarf Fortress. But I don't really enjoy ASCII display in 8 bits colours anymore.
dwinblood Mar 22, 2013 @ 10:24pm 
Ondaderthad - I know that handle from somewhere. Did you do much with Neverwinter Nights?
dwinblood Mar 22, 2013 @ 11:19pm 
I am sure you must be a person that I worked with quite a bit on little things here and there. I checked. I am the author of NPC ACTIVITIES, and the horse scripts for Bioware that ended up in the final 1.69 patch. I suspect you are the same Ondaderthad that I interacted with then. I sent you a friend request to avoid spamming this forum more. You are welcome to reject the request, or accept, chat a bit and then boot me from the list. :)
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Date Posted: Mar 22, 2013 @ 11:55am
Posts: 184