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My first Lord of Dwarves playthrough

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For the first time in three years of Lord of Dwarves development I sat down and played an entire scenario from beginning to end. Naturally I've been playing the game in bits and pieces as I develop it, but this time I set up a scenario and set out play it till the climax. No stopping to fix a bug here or tweak a UI there. And you know what, I'm happy to say it played really well.



I started out by creating a Sandbox game with a 'climax battle'. The goal was to prepare my dwarves for a goblin invasion in one years time. A year was a pretty quick timescale for an climax invasion but as with most fool errands I began with confidence and bluster.


Workshops & Crafts

I started by gathering wood and other resources followed by building some basic workshops. There are many workshops that allow crafting of tools, cooked food, arms, armor, and many other things my dwarves would need to prepare for an impending goblin invasion. I even had time to plant a nice grove of trees (note: I did not have time to plant a grove of trees. I should have been crafting swords. This was foolish).

Underground Living Space

Dwarves prefer to sleep underground rather than on the surface where - as every good dwarf knows - they risk falling up into the stars. As such I dug a staircase down a few layers and mined out a living space for my dwarves complete with kitchen and brewery. No dwarf should be forced into battle without a good ale in his hand.


Once the living space was dug out I had my miners dig deeper to find stone and eventually tin ore. I envisioned using the stone to build a castle wall around my village. And the tin I would use to craft armor that my warriors would need to survive the coming invasion. I was sure the acquisition of tin or would more than make up for the loss of a few miners to giant underground spiders.

Castle Wall & Farming

I started building the castle wall to protect my village. Meanwhile my farmers were hard at work setting up crops as a long term food source. Mean-meanwhile the deer were helpfully eating those crops that my dwarves probably didn't need anyway.

Abbreviated Castle Wall

I imagined a tall castle wall with a archer tower on each corner. Back in reality my one year dead line was quickly approaching and I had to "abbreviate" my castle. One or two blocks high is just as good as 7 or 8, right?


Goblin Invasion

Once the goblin invasion started I quickly ordered my archers to the north tower with a reserve of arrows ready to go. Did I forget to install a front door?

That's a lot of Goblins

I didn't recall how many goblins I programmed to be involved in a climax battle. It turns out that I programmed one crap load (see picture). That's a crap load of goblins coming at my small force of dwarven defenders. I'm sure it will be alright.
That's a crap load of goblins


It was not alright. The dwarves put up a good fight but in the end there were just too many goblins. Next time I'll build a better wall. Next time I'll craft some better equipment for my soldiers. Next time I'll have fixed that bug where my archers walk all the way to the south tower to refill on arrows when there were plenty of arrows right there!

Back to Work

We all wish for features that never make it into the games we play. One of the nice things about playing your own game is that you can just go change it! Over the course of playing this scenario I took notes about things I would like to improve - balance changes, features, UI, etc. In all I wrote down 53 notes to myself from this one play through! Time to get back to work.


If you'd like to learn more about Lord of Dwarves check out lordofdwarves.com

Or see my latest screenshots on twitter

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Very cool sir. I'm sorry your dwarves didn't make it. Their deaths will not have been in vain if you continue to push forward in your game development. It's looking really nice. 

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This looks like minecraft with better graphics. :) What do goblins do if you have a full stone wall room with stone roof? Can they break it?

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This looks like minecraft with better graphics. :) What do goblins do if you have a full stone wall room with stone roof? Can they break it?

If you have a door they will eventually bust through that, but if you seal yourself in completely they'll have to dig their way in!

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I love that feeling when your game just comes together. That magic line where it stops being "a bunch of code" and starts being "a chaotic war against one(1) crap load of goblins."

Edit: I'm rooting for the goblins, btw. It only makes sense, given my own project. I hope that's okay.

Well said! It can be hard to describe how creative coding can be to non coders.

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This looks like minecraft with better graphics.

I was thinking it looks like Dwarf Fortress with better graphics!

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