Dwarf Fortress, the father game to every survival strategy or colony building or base building game you’ve ever played, is looking prettier and prettier as it builds for a graphical release on Steam. (Previously, the game has only had ASCII characters for graphics.) Creator Tarn Adams has shared the look of Dwarf Fortress’ new world maps, one of the game’s greatest features, in a development update.  Where previously Dwarf Fortress worlds were hard to parse unless you were a professional at the game, they’re now obviously maps rather than assortments of ASCII characters—and quite nice looking to boot. Here’s an old medium-sized world map, then the same map in the new style.

An old Dwarf Fortress map.

An old Dwarf Fortress map. (Image credit: Bay 12 Games)

A new, graphical Dwarf Fortress map.

A new, graphical Dwarf Fortress map. (Image credit: Bay 12 Games)

The new map has a big readability upgrade for even experienced players. The shift from 8×12 ASCII to 16×16 pixel art tiles evens out the map’s proportions, making it significantly more recognizable. “There’s still quite a bit to do with river mouths and wetlands and oceans and mountains and trees and so on,” said Tarn Adams in a post, “But we’ve arrived at a point where it accomplishes the goal of making the world map more easily understood and thought it would be fun to share.”

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