A Steam version of Dwarf Fortress is coming. This upcoming release from Bay 12 Games and Kitfox Games will be the same Dwarf Fortress we all know and love with several visual and auditory enhancements for players to enjoy. And by “enjoy”, I mean “put their head down on their keyboard and cry as their fortress burns.” Remember, Losing Is Fun!

Check out this (very short) Dwarf Fortress Steam announcement teaser to get your first look at the new graphics in motion:

If you’re not super familiar with Dwarf Fortress, it’s a game that will sound very familiar at first. You command a troupe of dwarves and must build a fortress. Sounds simple, right? Well, the level of detail in this game is absolutely insane. Individual dwarves all have their body parts (down to the pinky finger), personalities, wants, and needs tracked. The same goes for the animals and monsters in the game. A sort of physics exists in the game, allowing players the freedom to divert liquid or use gravity to their advantage. Want to unleash a fountain of molten lava on some invading goblins at your front gate? You can do that.

It is, however, notoriously difficult to make sense of, especially since it uses ASCII graphics. (That is to say, the creatures and buildings are represented with symbols.) That’s why the Dwarf Fortress Steam version will be including a brand-new graphics tileset to make it a little easier to understand. New music is also in the works to make it a little more palatable for a wider audience. That aside, the game will largely be the same as always.

So why is Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam as a premium title after all of these years? The Adams brothers (no relation) who work on the game are dealing with some health issues and they’re not comfortable with the uncertainty of Patreon and one-time donations. As such, it’s hoped that the Dwarf Fortress Steam version will bring in a little extra money so they can live their lives and keep working on the game. After all, it’s not even halfway complete and they’ve been working on it for over a decade.

Kitfox Games will be partnering with Bay 12 Games in order to bring the game to Steam. If you’re concerned about the original version, worry not: the Adams brothers still retain the rights to Dwarf Fortress. Kitfox is simply helping them out with customer support and marketing.

Dwarf Fortress can be supported via direct donation or Patreon, and you’ll soon be able to buy a premium version on Steam and Itch.io. In the meantime, you can add the game to your wishlist on Steam. As with most things from Bay 12 Games, the Dwarf Fortress Steam version will launch when it’s good and ready.

What do you think of the Dwarf Fortress Steam version being announced? Will you pick it up on Steam or do you prefer the classic version? Let us know in the comments below!


Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!


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