Getting Started With the Game Dwarf Fortress On Your Mac

Hi this is Gary with Let me show
you how you can play Dwarf Fortress on your Mac.
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There you can read more about it, join us, and get exclusive content. So this is something a little different for
MacMost. I’m going to show you how to play what might be the most complex game ever created.
It’s been in constant development for almost two decades. It doesn’t look like much. It
looks very retro. But it’s a very deep game. It’s even complex to get it installed on your
Mac. Alright. First, where to get Dwarf Fortress.
Well, you’re going to go to Then the link is right there to go to the
Dwarf Fortress page. Then you’ll see Windows, Linux, Mac. You’ll want to download the Mac
version and it will download to your Downloads folder. So now in our Downloads folder let’s
extract it, just double click on it to open it up. You’ll get a folder that has everything
in it. Now there’s going to be a combination of things in here. The Game, and the Game
Saves, and all sorts of other data and tile sets and things so I don’t think putting this
in the Applications folder is the right place. So instead I’m going to create a New Finder
Window here. I’m going to go Home and I’m going to create a Games folder here. Then
I’m going to move this Dwarf Fortress folder in there. I’m even going to rename it. Now
if I try to run it it’s not going to work. Why? Because, of course, I didn’t download
this from the Mac App Store and it’s not a signed app, you know, they’re not following
all the rules for Mac development here. So when I try to run it this is what happens.
It’s going to say Are you sure you want to Open it? I’m going to say sure Open. It’s
actually going to run this Terminal window here and bring up this It cannot be opened
because the developer cannot be verified. So there are normally ways around this except
that they don’t work with Dwarf Fortress because you’re running this DF file. This is what
it’s running. It’s an executable but it’s in a wrapper here so you have to get permissions
for this. But this is also then running other things that are in the Library here. So in
order to get this to work you’re basically have to tell the Mac to grant permissions
to run stuff inside this folder. To do so we’re going to use the terminal. So in a new
terminal window here I’m going to go into this directory here. So I’m going to do CD
space and then drag the directory in and now I’m there. If I do a list I can see and I’m
seeing what’s in here. Now I need to basically grant permission for everything in this folder
to run. This is the command for that. xattr dashr dashd and then com dot apple dot quarantine,
so it’s basically going to go and add everything in this folder to quarantine and the dot slash
there that says basically this current folder. When I add that it’s going to give me an error
there on some file in there but it’s not important because it has actually worked and granted
permission for that. So now I can close this window here and when I run, by double clicking
DF, it will now launch. So you get this whole intro here. You can
watch it but I’m going to hit the Escape key to skip it. Now let’s start off by first getting
out of this small little window that we’re in. The easiest way to do that is to hit the
green button here. Now it goes to full screen and we’ll start a game by hitting Create New
World. Basically I’ll hit the Return key there and it’s going to do all this stuff here.
You can read through all this stuff and follow instructions. Hit the Escape key to continue.
You use the Escape key a lot. I’m going to go and create a world. I’m going to change,
use the left arrow key to go and make a smaller world size to speed things up here. Then I’m
going to leave everything else as normal. I’m going to do Y for go. It’s going to create
this world here. It’s actually building this simulation now year by year to create this
world. So when you get to some commands there at
the bottom you have to use Enter to accept. You have to wait some more. Now you’re ready
to go and start playing. You’ve created a world. So you’re going to go and hit the Return
key with Start Playing selected. You’re going to choose Dwarf Fortress. I’m not going to
cover the other modes for the game in this video. It’s going to setup the world so you
can choose an area to embark. This is where your dwarves are going to start their little
kingdom. So you can move around here with the arrow keys and on the left you’ll see
the little area you’ll be embarking on. Now you want to look at the stuff on the right
and pay very careful attention to get a nice balanced area to exist in. You can use a Find function here. I find it
doesn’t work very well. But you want to look for something that number 1 doesn’t have an
Aquifer. You see how it says Aquifer there. You don’t want to have that because it’s going
to make it very hard to dig things out. There’s going to be so much water underground. You
want to look for something that has some metal and some soil. So you just move the arrow
keys around till you find something that kind of fits that description. You also want to
have some trees because you’re going to need some wood to build things. Here’s a spot I found that has got trees,
it’s got some soil, it’s got some metal. There’s no aquifer. Most importantly I can embark
there. Notice the E command at the bottom is highlighted. If you come across an area
like this you’ll see there’s already a dwarf fortress there. Some other civilization that’s
occupying it so you can’t embark there. I’ll use this one. I’ll hit E to embark and I’ll
just play now. Prepare for Journey allows you to customize your dwarves at the very
beginning. but you get a pretty good set to begin with so you don’t have to worry about
preparing for the journey until you have played a few times, at least. I’ll hit Play Now and then it will take me
to my area. So now that I’m here I want to hit the spacebar and Pause. You can see Pause
at the top left. Basically you do a lot of things while things are paused and then you
let it run forward. Notice I’ve got a spot here where that’s my wagon and my dwarves
and you can see a couple of them have already started wandering off because I didn’t hit
Pause right away. These wandered off all the way over here. They are basically by the wagon
where I have some supplies. Now the first thing I want to do is look around. If you hit the K key you go into Look mode.
This little yellow X is a cursor and anything you move it over will be described on the
right. You’ll see the full area all the way to the right of the screen and then there’s
a column with descriptions and menus and then there’s the large map where you’re going to
spend most of your time looking. You can hit the Tab key to change modes. So for instance
I can go into a mode here where it just gives me a big area for menus on the right and then
the map on the left. So notice here that if I move off there’s
nothing there. It’s just emptiness. So what is going on there. Well, there are levels.
You can go up and down levels using the greater than or less than keys. By that I mean you
have to hold the Shift to do greater than or less than. So if you use the greater than
you’re going to go down. So I go down here and you can see the bottoms of these little
lakes here and this is just all underground stuff. If I use the less than I’ll go up so
I’m up at this level and I go up to another level. This is kind of like a higher level
here and this is even a higher level. So you can kind of get the idea you have this terrain. This is great because it’s a great place for
me to dig. I need to dig out my fortress and I’ll be able to just go right into the side
here and dig in. If you end up in an area where there are no cliffs like this then you
basically have to dig down from the floor. But it’s easier if you just dig in and that’s
what we’re going to do. But before we do that let’s make things a little nicer. Notice how
everything here is just ascii characters. Right. It’s very retro looking. Well there
are tile sets that you can download. So when you’re playing Dwarf Fortress you’re
going spend a lot of time at a site called This is going to contain
all sorts of invaluable information for you to be able to learn how to play this game.
Now one of the things here is a Tile Set repository. So if I search for Tile Sets I can see Tile
Set Repository here and there are all these tile sets that you can download. There are
tons of them. I’m going to go with one of the most popular ones. I’m going to search
for it, Phoebus, and I’m going to click on the graphics set here and then I can go and
follow the links. So what I’m going to do is go to the Graphic Set Package. I don’t
want any kind of preinstall. Go here and I’m going to hit Download Now. It’s going to download
this file here which then I can look at in my Downloads Folder again. Let’s open that
up. So to make things easy I put two Finder windows side by side. One shows my Dwarf Fortress
folder and the other shows the folder for this tile set. There are four locations that basically I
want to copy from the tile set into my Dwarf Fortress folder. So the first location is
if I look under Data there’s a folder called Art. If I look here there’s a folder called
Data and Art. I want to take everything in here and drag and drop it into here and replace
all of the stuff. Some of the stuff is new. Some will get replaced. The second place I
want to do that to is In It. So if I look in In It I’ll see two folders here. Sometimes
you’ll just see the files. But in this case I want to go into the one that this is No
TrueType meaning no truetype font. I don’t worry about that. I just want to go in here
and you’ll see these three files. If I look under In It here I’ll see three files that
match those. So I drag and drop these in here and Replace. The third location is under Raw,
Graphics. In here I can see Raw, Graphics. I drag and drop all this stuff from here into
here. Apply to All, Replace. Then under Raw there’s also Objects. I’ll drag and drop and
Replace All. That’s it. I just installed the Tile Set here. Now different tile sets have different sets
of instructions. Some of them have these files here for installers but I find that they kind
of don’t work on the Mac. They’re more oriented towards Windows or Linux. But by actually
dragging the contents of those four folders into the equivalent folders in your Dwarf
Fortress main folder then you can install the Tile Set. So now that I’ve done that we’ll
go back to Dwarf Fortress. Go to Escape and then Escape again. I’m going to go Save Game
and when it’s done saving I can Quit. Quit. Now I’ll run the game again. Let me expand
the window to full screen. I’ll hit Continue Playing. Loads it all in and now you can notice
that I have some nice looking terrain here. I’ll use the Tab key to change the mode so
I have a nice big screen over here. I can also use the trackpad or magic mouse to zoom
in and out. So two fingers here on the trackpad. I can get it to a nice level. Things look
a lot nicer now. Notice the font here. It’s using what’s called
a TrueType font so it looks really nice. But I find it messes up a lot on the Mac. The
F12 key switches between TrueType and using Tiles with letters on them. So if you find
your text at any point in the game messing up use F12 to switch modes. Now let’s get
back to what we were doing. Here’s the side of the hill that we’re going to carve in to.
The first thing I want to do is I’m going to use d for designations and then I’m going
to use d for mining. Then I’m going to move my cursor, that little yellow X that sometimes
eludes you and I’m going to carve into the mountain. So I’m going to hit Return to start
where I’m drawing and then Return to end. It’s going to mark out this area. So at that
point I’m going to hit Escape to escape that. Then I’m going to hit the spacebar to Unpause.
Unpausing and Pausing is tricky because sometimes you’re paused because you’re in a menu and
just by hitting Escape it unpauses. Sometimes you pause it manually and you have to use
the spacebar to unpause. When I unpause what’s going to happen is one of my miners is going
to realize there’s a job to do and he’s going to go here and try to dig this out. So I’ll
unpause here and sure enough there’s a miner. He goes in and he starts digging in the rock
and digging out the room that I wanted. In this case it’s a long hallway. You’ll find
out later on it’s really useful to have a long hallway in the beginning of your fortress
because there are things later in the game that you want to add by the door. So make
sure there is plenty of space. I’m going to use d again to designate and
d for mine and then move the cursor here. You can move the cursor faster by holding
the Shift key. Then it moves it by blocks of ten and then without the Shift key by one.
I’m going to start here and hit Return and then I’m going to move it down to here and
hit Return again to cutout a rectangle. Then I will Escape, spacebar to unpause, and you
can see my miner will go in and dig out this space as well. So now I’ve got a little bit
going here underground. It would be nice to speed things up if I had another miner. I
pause the game here. What I’m going to do is I’m going to go to u, I’m going to use
the u key there and I see all of my dwarves. I can use the r key to go through them. I
can see, for instance, I’ve got a jeweler. A jeweler is not really useful at this point
in the game. So I’m going to use the z key to go to the unit. I can see what he’s up
to. He’s got no job right now but he’s got some experience in doing various things. I’m
not going to worry about that because I’m going to go and hit the p key. You can see
at the bottom it’s p for preference. And L for labor. I’m going to go through this list
here. Now when you’re going through lists often
instead of the arrow key you need to use the plus and minus key. By plus key I mean the
equals key with the Shift held down. But I’m going to go over to mining and I’m going to
hit Return and say it’s okay if you do some mining. As a matter of fact, for now, I’m
going to go and tell you not to do jewelry. If I hit Return for jewelry I’ll see the sub
stuff here. I’ll Escape to go out of it. I can do Shift and Return to turn off jewelry
stuff. Now this dwarf is now a miner. I can then Escape and then unpause. Now I’ll actually
have a second dwarf go in there and start mining. So now that I’ve created this room I can set
an area. I’m going to use i to create a zone. I’m going to move the yellow cursor there
at the beginning of this room here. Hit Enter go all the way to the bottom right and hit
Enter and then I get to define what the room is. I’m going to say this room is going to
be a meeting area, so m. Now it’s a meeting area. I can do Escape for done and what will
happen now when I unpause is my dwarves and even some animals will start just gathering
in that area. I’ve told them to gather there. So let’s carve out some more areas. Now when
I unpause my miners will get to work carving that out. I want to get some of my other dwarves
working here. I’m going to go and define other areas. d to designate and t is chop down trees.
So now I’m going to move the cursor here over some trees. So let’s go over to the side here
and say from here is one corner of the rectangle to here and they will chop down some trees.
Then I will unpause and I will get some dwarves working on that. So there one dwarf came over
to it and started chopping down that tree. Now that I’m going to have some wood piles
I can build some things. So I’m going to do b for building and w for workshop and then
c for a carpenter’s workshop. Then I get these 3by3 x’s here. I’ll put the carpenter’s workshop
in this room. I’ll hit Return and then it will ask me to choose a material. I only have
cherrywood at the moment as to that tree that was just chopped down. So I will select that
by hitting Enter. You can see a dwarf is actually carrying some logs now into where that carpenter’s
workshop is and building it. Once I have something built like this I use q and q allows me to
control things. So I can go and put my X over the carpenter’s workshop and I can do things
like a for add a new task. Now I can make things. So I’m going to use the plus key to
go down through here or I can just use the shortcut b to make a bed. I can a for add
a new task and I can do t for table. a for add a new task and c for chair. As a matter
of fact I’m going to add another bed there so you q things up. Now there’s also something called Stockpiles.
So I’m going to go back to the menu here and do p for piles and then I’m going to define
one corner of it here and then another corner of it here. But before I do that I’m going
to set what type of stockpile it is. So I’m going to do u for furniture and then I’m going
to hit Enter. Now that’s a stockpile area for furniture. So what’s going to happen now
is as this furniture is built by the carpenter it’s going to then be automatically moved
to the stockpile area. Stockpiles are important because any time you produce something or
collect something you can set a stockpile up to have it go there. That includes things
like refuse. So you want to actually define something where there’s like refuse out in
the wilderness. Here you can see I had some furniture already in my wagon that I brought
with me. The dwarves are instantly going to move that to the stockpile. Now that I’ve got some beds I can create a
bedroom. I can create another area and let’s do that. I’ll do d and d and mine out an area
over here. I’m also going to mine out another room that going to be for a farm, an underground
farm. So that’s going to go in this room. So I’ll do b and then p for farm plot. What
I’m going to do here, this is a weird kind of thing you need to do, using the u and the
m and the k and the h key to change the shape of this. So u to make it a little taller and
k to make it a little wider. So I’ll do a 3 by 3 farm here in the corner of this room.
I’m lucky that it’s kind of sandy soil area here. You can’t build a farm on rock. I’ll
do that. I’ll Escape back here to build and then I will create a workshop, that’s actually
a still, l, and this will allow me to take the products I grow and turn them into a drink.
So I’ll use the materials I have here. I’ll use limestone which is some of the material
I’ve dug out. That will take awhile to be built so I have to make sure I have dwarves
that can brew and make sure I have dwarves that can farm. When I use the q key here just like with the
carpenter’s shop I can go over to the farm here and I can plant things. So you could
see here I have things I can plant. Now I’ll use the a, b, c, and d keys to change seasons.
So go to the a, season and then go down to plump helmets and plant those. You’re going
to have some of those seeds with you. b go down to the same things and plant those. c
go down to the same thing and plant those and d go down to the same thing. So all four
seasons I’m going to plant what are basically mushrooms. Now after I get some plants I can
wait until the still is built and go to the still here and add a new task and say brew
drink from plant. I don’t have enough plants now to do that. I’m going to check back in
a little bit once I’ve got some plants. In the meantime I will go and build, b, a
bed. So you create a bed in the carpenter’s workshop. It’s basically like Ikea you’re
just creating the parts. Then you go into a room here and you place it. You can see
I’ve got two beds. One cherrywood and one pearwood. I’ll place one there and then I’ll
do b again and place another one near it and then I will wait. You’ll see people will go
and pick up those beds, go in and assemble them in those spots. Once I do that I can
use q key again. Go over to a bed and say r make bedroom. I can use the plus key to
increase the size to make this whole thing a bedroom. Then Enter and then I can say I
want this to be a dormitory, d, not assign the bed which means the dwarves can just freely
use the bed if they’re tired. The whole thing is a dormitory so multiple people can sleep
here. I can add more beds later on. Then Escape for done. Now when the dwarves get tired they
have a place to sleep. I’m going to create another room that will have the chair and
table next to it. That’s where they’ll go to eat. So once you have all this going you’ll probably
want to dig down. That’s the last thing I want to show you. The way to dig down is first
figure out where you want to dig from. So out to there. Then at the end of this I’m
going to, instead of d for mining, I’m going to do j for downstair. Then I’m going to hit
Return. Return again. So it’s a one square downstair thing. Then I’m going to unpause.
They’ll dig out that area and then dig the downstair. That doesn’t get you much. If I
go and use Shift and then greater than you can see you’ve got that one square there where
I can see now because I have the downstair. I can see what’s down there but I haven’t
actually dug it out. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to d for designate and go
here and build an upstair downstair. I’m going to create basically a stairwell. So I’m going
to do i for u d stair and I’m going to put it right there. That will then dig out that.
So now there’s a downstair from the top and an upstair to meet it. You’re going to need
that every time. Because I did it an up downstair I have a downstair here to go to the next
level. So let me do that. I’m going to go down to the next level and have that same
exact square I’m going to do the i for up down stair and two Returns just to show I
want that one spot. Now I’ve dug down two levels. Let’s go back up here and I will Escape and
unpause and you’ll see a miner dig down there and they disappear because they go down. Let’s
go down there and see that they’ve dug out a little hole there. They’ve gone down yet
another level. I’ve dug out this little shaft here with stairs in it. I can now do d and
dig out some more area. So let’s dig out a whole area around this and you can see my
miners will come down the stairs and start digging out this area. If I go up a level
there’s part of that stairway up a level there. I’m at my main floor. I can go down and I
can see the miners digging out this area here. They’re going to find different types of stones
that has different uses. They’re going to find gems. They’re going to find gold, silver,
copper. They’re going to find iron ore which is the most important thing because then you
can create a wood furnace to create charcoal and then take the charcoal and then put it
in the smelter with the iron ore to create pig iron and then eventually steel. You could
use a metalsmith to craft steel weapons and do all sorts of things. Now I know the term, just scratched the surface,
is overused. But that’s really what I’ve done here. This game has variety. There’s so many
different things you can do with it. It’s also a very different type of game. It’s more
of a simulation than a game. You’re going to lose at some point. Your dwarf fortress
is going to be destroyed. They’re monsters that appear. Invaders. There’s going to be
problems like you’re going to run out of food. You’re going to run out of water. There are
ghosts. All sorts of weird things. Every time you play you’ll learn how to do something
new. You’ll learn how to build new type of weapons, make jewels, do trades with nearby
towns. Then each time the story that you’re building will end. It may take hours or days
of playing to get to that end for that fortress. Then when you’re done you just start again
building a new fortress. It’s not for everyone. But if you’re into
world building kind of games, or strategy games, then you should definitely give Dwarf
Fortress a try.