Spinning Plates: Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress

Tynan’s Rimworld has drawn a lot of comparisons to Tarn Adams’ Dwarf Fortress, and it’s not hard to see why. Both games adopt a similar premise: you are in charge of a small band of randomly-generated characters. From that humble beginning, you can create large, sprawling fortresses (Dwarf Fortress) or colonies (Rimworld), keeping your merry band of dwarves or colonists safe from whatever harm the world throws your way. Both adopt a similar top-down perspective, and both seem set on simulating ever more complex interactions between various in-game objects, delighting in tangled webs of resource management and simulating the health, thoughts, emotions, relationships, and appearance of every single colonist or dwarf. Over the years, Dwarf Fortress has acquired a legendary reputation as a generator of interesting stories, and Rimworld aims to do the same.

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Ludonarrative dissonance, thematic incoherence

Originally published 24 Aug 2016; recovered after tragic server shenanigans.

“Ludonarrative dissonance”: I’m going to say that it’s become something of a cliche in games criticism. It’s a term that was coined by Clint Hocking to describe a peculiar situation in the 2008 game Bioshock. Continue reading “Ludonarrative dissonance, thematic incoherence”