Normally when I play Dwarf Fortress I tend to play with the vanilla release and the ASCII tileset. In the past, I have tried out many of the different graphical tilesets that are popular (spacefox, Pheobus) but none of them have really stuck. I always end up going back to the plain ASCII because it gives me more room for imagination. The dwarfs don’t look any certain way on the screen, it leaves the way they look up to me and I like that. Part of the fun of playing DF is that you get to use your imagination to create the world… The game itself is just a framework, a scaffolding to help you create a story and a world.
A while back I came across a post on the DF forum by user ‘HaterSkater’ posting his fabulous ‘Duerer’ tileset. The tileset attempts to make the game look like an old 15th century map. In his very own words: “That’s it. Engraved Dwarf Fortress.”
Here is a link to the post where you can see examples of the wonderful artwork: DF Forum Post
As you can see it’s really beautiful, and the first time I saw it I was impressed with the way it transformed the game. Most tilesets make the game more ‘playable’ but they also add a cartoon like element as well as often changing certain symbols into a picture of the object which can cause confusion when reading text for example. The Duerer tileset dose little of that and actually makes the game look like you are playing in a whole new world. Some kind of cross between an old 90’s Age of Empires slash Kings Quest and an old Ultima map.
I loaded up the tileset last night on an existing fort I’m running and I was amazed on how it changed the feel of the fortress right away! It’s almost as if I am playing a whole different game!
Here are some screenshots:
As you can see, the map looks amazing and he really did a lot of work to get the feel just right. I have to say this tileset may be the one that rips me away from the default. I just love the brown feel of the world now! Hats off to you HaterSkater!