I just started playing Dwarf Fortress, and I'm curious as to why you can create an underground lair but never have to make lights or torches. Also, is there a day/night cycle in DF? I know the screen never dims or anything but I'm still not sure how to check what time it is in the game. Thanks for any help!

  • This should contain everything you need dwarffortresswiki.org – eyeofthehawks Jun 3 '14 at 13:58
  • I'm not seeing anything relevant in the wiki. I see where it talks about tiles and their attributes, but it doesn't say anything about needing to light dark tiles. – slim Jun 3 '14 at 14:13
  • Then it probably doesnt exist – eyeofthehawks Jun 3 '14 at 14:14
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    Unfortunately, questions about "why" you don't need to make lights or torches is really asking why the developer designed it that way, which is not something that we can answer, which is why this question is being closed as off-topic. If you can rephrase your question to ask something concrete that doesn't require knowledge of the developer's intent, this question may be re-opened. – CloudyMusic Jun 3 '14 at 15:26
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    While there is no gameplay effect from lighting, you can use Rendermax to make lighting appear. – SaintWacko Jun 3 '14 at 15:26

Simple: because Dwarf Fortress does not (as of this writing) implement lighting.

The closest thing it has is the determination of whether a tile is "inside" or "outside", which, for light, is approximately:

  • For each x,y position on the map:
  • Create a ray from the highest z-level and go down.
  • If something blocks the ray then everything below that (x,y,z) position is dark, everything above it is light.

If something is lit and then covered back up it will still count as light.

There is also no day/night cycle in Fortress Mode, it does have a calendar system with days, months and years. In Adventure mode there is a day/night cycle.

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    There is a day/night cycle in adventure mode. – kotekzot Jun 3 '14 at 14:36
  • Ooh right, I've never played adventure mode, updating my answer. – Elva Jun 3 '14 at 14:39

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