Dwarf Fortress screenshot with the contrast set to high

[Update]: Dwarf Fortress' new and improved version has now landed onto Steam, and I'm happy to say that it has done so alongside overwhelmingly positive reviews!.

Dwarf Fortress is one of those games I always wanted to get into, but never could due to how obtuse and convoluted the menus/interface are,  especially when you consider the near-infinite complexity that it prides itself on.

Those of you with way more time and patience than I, however, will be happy to hear that Update 0.43.01 has now been released, and it brings with it numerous improvements to the work order system, a couple of important bugfixes, and best of all, news about the new compiler and 64 bit version. First of all, here are the brief patch notes:

General Changes:

Ability to build up new sites in adv mode, either yourself or by assigning companions

Ability to do carpentry in adv mode

Ability to chop down trees in adv mode

Ability to make stone axes in adv mode

Ability to pull branches from trees in adv mode

Can put start conditions on work orders (by amount of resources or dependence on other work orders)

Can specify materials/images/etc. in work orders

Can create work order from profile which is tied to specific workshop

Can set maximum number of shops that a general work order can task at once

Can set maximum number of general work orders per shop or disallow them by profession or altogether (note: this won't work for active old-save jobs)

Allowed perpetual work orders

Repeatable work orders, ability to set restart frequencies

Major bug fixes:

Stopped masterpiece trading from causing artisans to suffer effects of art defacement

Other bug fixes/tweaks:

Got rid of work order limit of 30 jobs

Improved work order filtering (respect partial vs. full results etc.)

Stopped work orders from taking more than one slot per workshop

Stopped non-citizens from being charged for violating production orders

Stopped mother from getting both her and spouse's miscarriage thought

Refreshed material list when deleting uniform item

XML export now has the exact site rectangle

As for the 64 bit version, I'm afraid there isn't much information as of right now, only that there are going to be a couple more bug fixing patches before the developers disappear into a new compiler, and most importantly, a 64 bit version of Dwarf Fortress.

While it most likely won't affect performance given how ridiculously complicated and interwoven all of the systems are, a 64 bit version will allow Dwarf Fortress to utilize a lot more RAM, and with it create much larger and detailed worlds without causing as many crashes that seem to occur these days if you go overboard with the world generation.

There is currently no release date set for the 64 bit version, but if you've been following the development of Dwarf Fortress you probably know full well that it will only arrive when its finally ready. Until then, may I suggest reading this wiki article on the proper way of creating a "catsplosion", a thing that apparently exists and is completely reproducible.