Bay 12 Games has outlined a rough Dwarf Fortress Roadmap for release -- and it looks like there are still several months of work to go before launch.
Dwarf Fortress is a colony sim that has been in development for over a decade. It originally launched for free on PC as a standalone game, but an upgraded version on Steam was announced nearly three years ago.
Since then, developer Bay 12 Games has provided occasional progress reports on how the graphical and UI overhauls have been going, detailing improvements to the game's menus and the work system (among other aspects of the game). The one major looming question, however, is when the Steam version of the game is actually going to come out. Now, Bay 12 Games has detailed a release roadmap -- and it looks like we still have several months to go at the minimum.
Dwarf Fortress Roadmap Shows a Lot of Work Still Needs to Be Done
The good news is that the Dwarf Fortress Roadmap confirms that we're past the midway point of development: the majority of the work that needs to be done on the Steam version has been done. The bad news, however, is that the remaining work will still take several months to complete -- and there are some uncertainties about what will actually be available at launch.
As detailed in today's Steam Community announcement, Bay 12 Games has to finish menus for the remaining game systems such as Justice, Health, Diplomacy, and others. There are also overarching systems that need to be improved such as hotkey support and other usability improvements. Naturally, the devs are also squashing bugs, creating new bugs, and then squashing those bugs.
Aside from that, there are some unanswered questions. The Dwarf Fortress Roadmap raises the question of whether or not there will be Steam Achievements (and other Steam features) and how well other game modes like Adventure Mode and Arena Mode will be supported at launch. It is possible that the dev team may launch the Steam version without upgraded menus for Adventure Mode and Arena Mode at launch, releasing these features at a later date.
Finally, it looks like Dwarf Fortress could launch as early as Fall 2022 in the best-case scenario. There's no hard confirmation just yet, though, and anything can change over the next several months. While you'll have to wait some time to enjoy the fancy new graphics and menus, you can still play the original Dwarf Fortress for free on PC right now.