Individual Work
Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress is a procedurally generated adventure game displayed entirely using ASCII characters. The game has two distinct modes of play, "Fortress Mode", wherein the player attempts to build and care for a colony of dwarves and the fortress they will come to create, and "Adventure Mode", where the action simplifies into control of a singular character who can go it alone on quests and combat monsters. The random generation of the work entails the names of the worlds and the lands within down to their years of backstory and personal history, traits, and quirks of individual dwarves. This generation, alongside the difficulty and open-ended nature of the game, leads to the creation of unique stories every play-through.

Dwarf Fortress is visualized entirely through ASCII characters. Within the context of the game, every letter and symbol is given a unique meaning. For example, a face represents a dwarf, while solid double lines represent walls. Upward triangles indicate increasing elevation, while downward triangles mean the opposite. A symbol's color belays what composes the object in question. Light green triangles indicate that the terrain is but common reeds, however a yellow-green triangle means that the ground is made of chert. Stacked units and objects will flicker back and forth between characters, and assessing where everything is at all times creates for a slow pace of game. The UI itself is broken up into three distinct sections. the largest part is the main display of actors and objects on that particular plane. It contains the vast majority of goings on in the game. To the right of the main area is a textual information pane, where various commands and objects are listed. The information here can sometimes be expanded to fill the entire screen, depending on how lengthy the data requested is. The game is controlled almost entirely by keyboard input, but certain interface sections will allow mouse interaction. FOr example, when issuing orders to dig out areas, the player can drag the mouse over desired terrain.

While Dwarf Fortress does not tell a story in the traditional sense, it does have a tale to tell. When the game creates a world, it also generates a history of the land. The story it generates can be viewed in what's reffered to as "Legends" mode on the main menu, and while it can build only a simplistic narrative, it will be updated based upon the failures and successesof the fortresses you create in-game. Individual dwarves also have their own history, which will also change according to what happens over the course of your game. Beyond that however, any narrative is up to the player to create for themselves.

This game is quite significant because of the impact it has had on other major games like minecraft, whose creator has admitted to being greatly inspired by Dwarf Fortress. Although it is completely free to play, lacking any sort of purchase price or micro-transactions, it has been supported by its creator since its official launch in 2005, and has since garnered a great deal of respect for the depth and planning that the game takes.

Author statement: 
Dwarf Fortress is a single-player fantasy game. You can control a dwarven outpost or an adventurer in a randomly generated, persistent world. Although Dwarf Fortress is still in a work in progress, many features have already been implemented. The world is randomly generated with distinct civilizations spanning centuries of detailed history, hundreds of towns, caves and regions with various wildlife. The world persists as long as you like, over many games, recording historical events and tracking changes. Command your dwarves as they search for wealth in the mountain. Craft treasures and furniture from many materials and improve these objects with precious metals, jewels and more. Defend yourself against attacks from hostile civilizations, the wilderness, the depths, the dead and creatures of the night. Trade for all manner of exotic goods with your neighbors. Establish a barony and support the nobility as they make demands of your populace. Keep your dwarves happy and read their thoughts as they work and relax. Z coordinate allows you to dig out fortresses with multiple levels. Build towers or conquer the underworld. Build floodgates to divert water for farming or to drown your adversaries... and don't forget the magma! Lay out taverns, libraries and temples to enrich your dwarves' lives. What discoveries will your dwarves make? Accept non-dwarven residents from all over the world as your reputation grows. Surgery, sutures, splints, crutches and more: care for your wounded dwarves instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. Retire your fortress, then unretire it after spending time playing other roles in the world. Honey, wax, pottery, windmills, waterwheels, soap, plaster, wool, eggs, dyes, cheese, glass, animal training, papermaking, parchment, bookbinding and much much more... Play an adventurer and explore, quest for glory or seek vengeance. Meet adversaries from previous games. Recruit people to come with you on your journey. Explore without cumbersome plot restrictions -- thriving capitals, villages, catacombs, labyrinths, bandit camps, caves and more! Seamlessly wander the world or travel more rapidly on the region map and in underground tunnels. Travel by day and search for a place to shelter as night falls. Build a cabin in the woods with the help of your companions. Listen to rumors and help out town and civilization leaders. Earn a reputation as a hero, friend, soldier, enemy, thug, musician, etc. with the various civilizations in the world. Retire and meet your old characters. Bring them along on an adventure with a new character or reactivate them and play directly. Z coordinate allows you to move between twisting underground caverns and scale structures, fighting adversaries above and below. Climb, jump and sprint! Stealth system with vision arcs which also respects vegetation density and other factors. Use signs like shoe impressions and animal tracks to hunt and avoid danger. Steal a mummy's treasure or learn the secrets of life and death at a necromancer's tower. Visit your retired fortresses and ask your dwarves to join you on adventures. The combat model includes skills, body parts, individual tissues, material properties, aimed attacks, wrestling, one-time opportunities, charging and dodging between squares, bleeding, pain, nausea, various poison effects and much more. Attacks and other movements extend over several instants, allowing you to deliberately catch enemy blows or plan your counter-attack. Generated poetry, musical forms, instruments and dances. Watch the dwarves perform, or try it yourself! Hundreds of animals and other monsters, including many that are randomly generated for each world. Multi-tile climbable trees and many, many kinds of plants. Fruit, flowers and falling leaves. A dynamic weather model tracks wind, humidity and air masses to create fronts, clouds, rain storms and blizzards. Over two hundred rock and mineral types are incorporated into the world, placed in their proper geological environments. Add new creatures, weapons, plants, metals and other objects via modifiable text files. Extended ASCII character set rendered in 16 colors (including black) as well as 8 background colors (including black).