Demo fortress for new players

November 17, 2018

New server subscription players will now find a save in demo folder showing a typical small fortress in early game. It has essential areas and buildings constructed, labours and administrators assigned, and some production orders configured. Also, points added for many important locations around the fortress with some comments.

This is intended to show what Dwarf Fortress is like to new players. Still, studying a proper tutorial will probably be required to play though.

The same can also be downloaded from here.

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Support Bay 12 Games

November 5, 2018

Just a reminder - if you enjoy playing Dwarf Fortress, whether via DF Remote or on desktop, consider supporting its authors, Tarn and Zach Adams. Dwarf Fortress is free and redistributable, and they rely solely on donations for all these years.

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3D map viewer and gallery for subscribers

November 1, 2018

This is the same 3D viewer I made long time ago and it's still not quite finished, but it's good enough to look at your fortress in 3D and share it with friends. The original viewer is still available for everyone, but now Server Subscription users have a gallery page with all their map snapshots, and also a button in the iOS app to save a snapshot. Links to view individual maps are public and thus can be shared with anyone.

The gallery has actually been available for some time now, so for those who already knew about it, the latest changes are the addition of previews and Delete button.

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Server Subscription is now available

October 15, 2018

Server Subscription has now been available for several days already, I've fixed some glitches, thanks to the brave first users, so it's time for a proper announcement.

Server Subscription provides, well, a cloud server with Dwarf Fortress + DF Remote running on it. The price currently is 4.99 USD or a corresponding amount in other regions. A free 3-day trial is available.

  • No need to configure and maintain your own server, just download the app and start playing. Also it will help who were not able to set up a server at home due to their home and mobile network configurations.

  • You can upload and download game saves, even if your subscription expires. So it's easy to generate world, embark and start playing on desktop, continue on the go, and again on desktop when you're back home.

  • Additional online services. The first one to come will be an online 3D map viewer. The same as I've already mentioned which is available for everyone, but subcribers will have a gallery in their online account, a button to make a snapshot of their current game, and also a button in the app for that.

    Then, in no particular order: A plugin/command/tool to synchronise local games with online account. A way to play in the browser (like my old Web Fortress and not a custom UI like in the app). And some sort of a successive multiplayer support.

  • And last but not least, subscription users get updated and bug fixes faster because it's easier to investigate any issues I notice.

Subscription is an optional service that provides a pre-configured server with DF Remote. Remote server plugin will always be free for installation on your own computer. Dwarf Fortress is a game by Bay12Games available for download free of charge. Support them!

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September 13, 2018

Looking at the new iPhone models which are now ALL bulky flawed unusable, I feel I need to buy several pre-iPhone X phones, and an iPhone SE while I still can. For a family that uses Apple devices only for more than 10 years it's a very sad day - seeing now for sure that Apple turns to shit, and there's no alternative.

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Support for closed-source/commercial VCVRack plugins in miRack

June 26, 2018

Great news! I've managed to implement loading of closed-source VCVRack plugins into miRack. This means it now makes sense to build packages for desktop operating systems. And soon you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of miRack, including lower CPU usage, more responsive UI and multithreaded processing - and still use all the same plugins you have, including commercial ones you purchased.

Of course this does not affect miRack running on ARM boards - only open-source plugins can be used in that case because they need to be compiled for ARM in first place.

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Hardware woes

June 13, 2018

I mentioned that I got a touchscreen for my Tinker Board to use with miRack. It is a Waveshare 7" 1024x600 LCD - a very nicely built slim display without a bulky separate driver board. It has capacitive multi-touch (maximum 2 touches though) that doesn't require any drivers.

Unfortunately, touch recognition didn't work well - X coordinate was jittering and Y coordinate was just inaccurate with different error across the screen. Thinking I was just unlucky to get a bad item, I ordered another one, directly from Waveshare and this time a slightly different model - with additional film on screen and a nice black frame around, and a different control board that has audio output jack (via HDMI) and OSD with brightness and other usual controls.

Again, the build quality is quite good, but unfortunately it doesn't work quite well again. Touch recognition is much better now, no problems with that. But I'm getting some artifacts on screen, flashing lines, and occasionally the display just shows a "no signal" message. Interestingly, these problems go away if I set any resolution higher than the native one (e.g. 1280x720), so maybe it's something related to refresh rate, timings or something, but nothing I tried helped. Also, Tinker Board with this display doesn't work when connected to my power bank which wasn't a problem with the old one (it's expected the new screen draws more current, but now I think its features are probably not worth it).

There's a chance my new screen will work well with Raspberry Pi (after all, most components are designed for/tested with it and in fact the display doesn't have any issues when connected to my MBP), but being about twice slower than Tinker Board, RPi isn't a very good choice for this particular project. Also it's a shame that the official Raspberry Pi 7" touchscreen has a rediculous 800x480 resolution - more of a toy (and an overpriced one).

I don't know, I'll probably try ordering the first model again because most likely I just got a bad one in that case. But overall it's all very disappointing. I was aware that the whole SBC ecosystem isn't exactly industrial-quality, there's a lot of lower-quality components and a lot of, well, tinkering involved. But I didn't think it'd be that bad. I've already spent a lot of time and money on this but still don't even have a touchscreen neither for myself nor to recommend to people who wants to build a miRack-based device - and a good (oh well, at least properly working) touchscreen is one of the main components.

UPDATE: Looks like munually tweaking pixel clock (via Modeline option on Xorg config) affects display artifacts I'm having. I think I've made it better now although not completely eliminated yet.

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A touchscreen for Tinker Board / miRack

May 26, 2018

A touchscreen for my Tinker Board arrived today. It's a 7" screen with 1024x600 resolution and multitouch. Good thing about it is that it's just one slim board, and just a HDMI connector and a USB connector for touch and power (no separate driver board or power connection).

So first of all I tried miRack on it, and it works quite well. There are some things that need to be sorted out for comfortable operation, like scrolling lists by dragging (for module browser), enlarging some UI elements, and tweaking plug position when connecting wires so that you can see where it is behind a finger. And then comes multitouch, support for which seems to be a mess in Linux, an which is not supported neither in the current Rack UI code nor in GLFW framework it uses. So I don't know how long it will take.

Multitouch is required at least for scrolling and zooming the patch, however I was also thinking about having a dedicated hardware joystick.

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