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You can pet the dog in Dwarf Fortress now

Latest update adds to both the Fortress and roguelike Adventure modes, paves the way for a Steam release

Dwarf Fortress mining Image: Tarn Adams/Bay 12 Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Dwarf Fortress, the elaborate colony simulation nearly two decades in the making, has a brand-new version available today. It adds new features to the game’s popular Fortress mode. But, perhaps most important of all, it will finally allow you to pet the dog in its roguelike Adventure mode.

The centerpiece of this new version of the game, referred to as the version 0.47.01, is the addition of villains in Fortress mode. First described in November 2019, villains will send infiltrators into your colony to steal artifacts. Only by capturing those invaders will you be able to interrogate them and determine who set them to their vile tasks. The update also includes hooks to further integrate the lives of your dwarves into the game’s procedurally generated histories. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. You can find the full list of changes on the Bay 12 Games website.

Most important is the fact that the addition of villains is one of the very last features to be added to the game before its Steam version can continue with development. Previously, the team at Bay 12 told Polygon that much of the graphical work had already been completed by its new partner, publisher Kitfox Games. Now that this new update is out in the world, Bay 12 can begin handing off stable versions for that team to work on.

Meanwhile, the Adventure mode also got a bunch of new features, including the aforementioned ability to pet animals in the open world. You can also now form a party before venturing forth, and control each member of that party in tactical combat. That addition allows for the potential to play Dwarf Fortress as a kind of Japanese-style role-playing game.

This latest version of Dwarf Fortress is available for free right now. There is no public release window for the Steam version.

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