• We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.


Zeal Game dev
Jun 1, 2011
A Game of Dwarves - Development Diary #1

Hello all!

First let me introduce myself. I'm a young man living on the Island of Gotland, smack in the middle of the Baltic sea.
I've studied Game Design at the University and are now the Lead Designer on A Game of Dwarves.

The task has fallen upon me to work as a community manager during Fridays, so each Friday I'll be posting in this Development Diary as well as making a new post in the Dev-blog (link) The information in the blog posts might be different than the forum posts, so be sure to check it out. These reports will contain various information and cover different topics, ranging from overviews of the whole project to in-depth looks on individual features.

However, before that I'd like to give a quick introduction to A Game Of Dwarves. In aGoD the you take control of a dwarven prince and it's your task to guide the dwarven people as they set out to reclaim the land of their forefathers.

The game is akin to old school management games featuring dwarves and everything that contains. The dwarves will dig, build, and fight their way trough the very earth itself and while exploring they will find treasures and monsters. I'll get deeper into the actual game in the next update because I want to mention something else as well this week.

I want to talk about the goals we are currently working towards and what we'll be doing the upcoming month.

Right now we are charging against two large goals; Alpha and GDC. The Alpha have been a long term goal for quite a while so working towards getting all the features in the game complete is nothing new, GDC on the other hand...

As most of you know GDC is a big gathering of developers, full of awards and announcements. During this the conference we'll be meeting with every journalist in the US that will have us. So expect to receive major updates on the game in the aftermaths of GDC!

Last but not least I have a favor to ask, I need some topics to cover during the upcoming months, next week I'll be talking more about the game as a whole but after that I'm not sure what topic to cover. So give me your ideas and wishes and maybe I'll write about it. Post even if a topic isn't large enough for a whole report I'll either answer it here on the board or maybe I'll make a weekly report covering several smaller topics.

Have a good one

View attachment Dungeoneer_conceptsheet_black.jpg
click me for picture
Last edited:
Suggest: Don't akin your game anywhere near Dungeon Keeper. There are far too many fanatics with regards to DK. Your game will either be too close to that game and you'll get flack for copying it, or you won't be close enough and get flack for not being close enough. Steer clear of comparing yourself to that title, just ask the people that developed Dungeons last year (or maybe the year before), I'm sure they can tell yu waht kind of bull pucky they got from the gaming public.

No, make your game stand on it's own and tell people, it's nothing like DK, nothing like it at all... Even if you have to lie until it's released.
It was a nice read.

What I would like to know:

Different types of threats our dwarves will face, be it orcs, trolls, demons, or maybe even elves, etc.

The structure of the dwarf settlement. Exterior entrance, walls, underground system.

Types of structures, objects or rooms dwarves can construct and their effects.


Sandbox vs objective driven?

Yes, I know not all these topics can give good diaries but it would be nice to know that stuff :p
What about :

The world :
- Size of the world (x,y,z) ?
- Random generator/map pre-created/Editor available ?
- The different stones/minerals

The food if any :
- Type of food/drink
- Harvest/hunting/brewing system

The creature we can encounter:
- friendly/neutral/foe
- Utility of neutral creature (like cow -> milk)

The different buildings

The equipment for the dwarfs

I'm surprized you already started to make some DD. I hope to learn many things from your future DD.
Any plans for multiplayer?

Dwarf Princes facing off?
One player controlling all monsters?
Treasure hunt? (most gold on a set time/first to a certain limit)?
Tower defence inspired gameplay (prevent monsters from reaching the throneroom)?
I'd like informations on the "economic" side of the game.
One of my favorite game is The Settlers IV and what I enjoy the most in it is the rather complexe economic chains.

For example if you want a miner you will have to extract iron and coal, the coal will fire the forge to allow a settler to melt the iron and produce a ingot. The blacksmith will then use this ingot to produce a pick and finaly a settler will pick it up and become a miner.
If you want some meat you will need a farmer to produce grain to feed the cattle, the cattle will then be sent to the butcher and so on.
I would really like little production chains like that in the game. Not just digging gold and then buying a warrior but really finding the necessary ressources and refining them to obtain tools, food and so on.

It may be a little ambitious for the game but it would add a lot to it, it's been a while since The Settlers IV and since then such production systems are very rare in games. It's a shame, I think there's really a public for that.

So how complexe is the "economy" of the game ? Is it just about finding gold and buying units or is there a little more depth in it ?
How many dwarf "classes" are there ? Miner and warrior are obvious but what else ? Will you have farmers, blacksmiths, cooks etc. ?
I'd like get a better grasp on the Dwarfs you command.

What kind of classes/categories of units exist?
Will there be unique "Heroes" aside from the main character?
Is there some kind of personalisation of units?
In what way will I be able to command the units?
Is there an experience system for the units?
I expect there to be successive stages once in a while, so I'm asking will I be able to take units to the next stage after finishing one?
I'm pretty sure you guys are bringing this to PSN, which I'm stoked about :). Maybe you could do a topic about the challenges of developing for multiple platforms? Also interested in the things the good folk above have posted, so point listing them again. Good luck with developing the game, looking forward to playing it :).
Could you talk about Space management at some point?

What strains are there on expanding your "dungeon" (or whatever its called), will there be things you can't dig through, that you have to dig around?
Are there factors that keep you from expanding too much?

Stuff like that.
Great starting dev diary. It tells us something about the game as well as keeping a certain mystery around it.

May I make a suggestion to sticky this and keep the most latest dev diary stickied whilst unsticking older ones just so it isn't buried under the piles and piles of treads this forum will have. ;)
A nice little read, looking forwards to reading more about this game. A bit difficult to say what I'd like you to write about in the DD's since I really don't know much about the game yet, might be easier after the next DD I suppose.
How big will this game get? How many dwarves are we talking about? :)
WoW! Thanks for all the nice topics and kind words guys, I'll be sure to ad them to my list of possible future topics. Many of your questions will be answered in the next Weekly where I go trough the core aspects of the game more thoroughly.

Question? Are you aware of a game called dwarf fortress and has it influenced your game design as it has similar aspects of course with dwarfs and digging tunnels and character management?
Most (or all) of these have been asked by now but here's what I'm wondering about;

Will the game be 3D and if so how will the interface deal with that?
Will there be settlers style production chains?

Also I notice a number of levers in the picture that ends the diary, what are they for? Will we be able to engineer weird death machines.
Is there Multiplayer?

How Many Players?

Coop or Vs. ?