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NOTE: The downloadable package hasn't been created.  To discuss the proposed
embark details and option settings go here.

Stonegears is a Dwarf Fortress package which is intended to be used with the play-along tutorial. It lets you jump right into the game, has graphics which are easier to understand than with a default installation, and has various other tweaks. (((DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS)))

Notes, caveats and warnings[edit]

  1. The game is played almost entirely via the keyboard. The few times where your mouse can be used will be noted.
    • Sometimes you scroll up and down a list using the arrow keys, while other times you scroll using the plus and minus keys, which can cause a bit of frustration until you get used to it.
    • If the game is unresponsive except to the arrows keys and the Esc then you likely have caps lock on; turn it off to make the game responsive again.
  2. The graphics you see in the screenshots in this tutorial will be different than those found on all the other pages of this wiki, since Stonegears uses a non-standard graphics set, while the default installation uses text symbols to represent things. For example, by default, cages are represented by a and armor stands are represented by a .
  3. Sieges, ambushes, and most things requiring a military are turned off, since training and using the military has its own learning curve, and the military is somewhat buggy. If you want to face these challenges in the tutorial game you can change the INVADERS option to YES when you feel you're ready (though it will take a minimum of 2 to 4 seasons for attacks to start).
  4. Dwarf Fortress is a "wide open sandbox" type game with no way to win/finish and no long term goals other than those you set for yourself, a type of game which isn't for everyone. Once you master the basics of the game you can set yourself challenges or try to build a megaproject to keep the game interesting. Some players download game mods to introduce new variety or to make the game more challenging. Other players play the game round-robin (succession games) or combine playing the game with storytelling which they post to the stories forum.
    • The use of most game mods requires generating a new world. Trying to apply these mods to an existing game (like the one used for this tutorial) will at best make your game behave oddly and at worst cause the game to crash.
  5. Dwarf Fortress is still in the alpha stage of development, meaning that there's plenty of bugs, and many components of the game are partially (or even minimally) implemented placeholders. In spite of this, there are many people who really enjoy the game.

Tutorial conventions[edit]

Links to other Stonegears pages will be marked with ‡ (except for "back to the main tutorial page" link, "to the next tutorial page" links, and links on this page). All other links are to non-tutorial pages.

When the tutorial wants you to press a key it will put it in a box, so that t means "press the 't' key". Uppercase keys and lowercase keys do different things, so it's important to use the correct case; t means "press lowercase 't'" while T means "press uppercase 'T'". Pressing several keys in a row will be presented as multiple boxes separated by short dashes, so that a-B-c means "press lowercase 'a', then uppercase 'B', then lowercase 'c'".

Quoted text from the game will be presented on a black background with the same colored text as in the game.

This is an example of quoting text from the game.

The same visual effect will be used when naming specific colors. For instance, naming red or yellow.

Step by step guide[edit]

The following pages should be worked through in order. At the end of each page is a Notes section which can be skipped, but which has information useful to understanding the game.

  1. Starting the game, saving the game, and looking around.
  2. Digging, cutting down trees, and harvesting shurbs.
  3. Stockpiles.
  4. Farming.
  5. Workshops.
  6. Living area: bedrooms, dining hall, meeting area, digging through stone, item dumping
  7. Crafts.
  8. Cooking, butchery and fishing.
  9. Digging deeper.
  10. Summer: auto-saves, processing plants, brewing.
  11. Immigrants.
  12. Construction: drawbridges, levers, constructed stairs and floors.
  13. Metalworking, glass making, and ceramics.
  14. Caravans and trading.

Informational pages[edit]

Once you've completed the starting the game page you can take a look at any of these pages whenever feel like, though these pages will also be linked to from within the step-by-step guide when relevant.

See also[edit]

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Macros: Recording and then replaying key presses, to save on repetitive typing.
  • Burrows: Burrows can be used to restrict certain dwarves to certain areas of your fortress, and are also used to tell civilian and the military where to go when an attack happens.
  • Utilities: Third party applications, which can do visualization, help ease of use, and let you cheat.
  • Exploits: Taking advantage of game bugs and simplistic game simulation mechanics.

Getting help[edit]

If you're merely confused or finding some aspect of the game weird, try reading the Notes sections at the end of each of the step-by-step pages and following the tutorial's in-wiki links to articles on the relevant subjects. If you're stuck, try:

  • Talking directly to other users via IRC.
  • Posting your question on the gameplay questions sub-forum of the Dwarf Fortress online forum (though you have to register first).