The main site has a whole page on the development cycle of Dwarf Fortress. There's multiple complex lists, with various terms used. This page is made to explain the development cycle of DF.
There's several pages resuming the projected features of the game :
The currently official development page. These are Toady's next to do goals. It consists of various ideas, separated into categories, about how to improve the game, mainly composed of adventure mode ideas. Any other Dev pages(exeept for dev_now) are obsolete right now.
Dev_single is a consolidated page which includes every planned feature in the game. Needless to say, this page is subject to modification, as older goals are accomplished or become irrelevant.
Dev_Future lists all the far-future goals, which would be initiated only after the version 1 of the game, which will be finished in several years at least.
Dev_V1 lists every feature that must be implemented before the game can be considered "version 1".
Dev_Next is what Toady is currently working on. This part is cut into "Updates", which will be released separately.
The nearly daily dev log is written on Dev_Now. Here, Toady describes his progress on the current update.
Dev pages hierarchy
You can see how dev pages are related with this simple chart :
|=======================================Dev===================================| |====================================Dev_single===============================| |=====================Dev_V1=====================|==========Dev_Future========| |================Dev_Next=================| |===Update1===|===Update2===|===Update3===| |=Dev_Now=|
Dev_single regroup every single idea Toady and Threetoe ever had for the game. Inside this, there's goal fixed for the V1 of the game (Dev_V1) and other goals for after the V1 (Dev_Future). Within Dev_V1, Toady selected some features he want to start working on, it's Dev_Next. Since there's a lot of features that are very time-consuming, he separated his workload in different updates, and he relates the progress he made on the current update's programming on Dev_Now.
Inside Dev_V1 and Dev_Future, you can see that Toady regrouped his ideas into "Arcs". These arcs are a collection of core items, bloats, reqs and power goals (see below) that share the same theme. For instance, there's the Army Arc, or the Caravan Arc. Toady selected some of these arcs to work on (on the Dev_Next page), in the aim to complete them (or at least do a part of them) in the near-future.
A core component is a key feature of the game. It's a subpart of an arc, dedicated to a specific thing.
Inside the "Relationship Arc", there's "Core 59: Love and Romance". Or inside the "Fire and Lighting Arc", there's "Core 14: Fire".
These things are smaller items that need to be completed during the development process. It may be old bugs that keep crippling the game. Or smaller features needed to implement larger ones.
The "Bustling Town Arc" need the "Req 148: Expanded Dungeon AI" to be done. The "Army Arc" needs the "Req 18: Armor-Clothing conflicts" to be resolved before the next release.
Bloats are often "funny stuff" that could be added to the game to give it more depth. It includes new ways to interact with NPCs, and new uses for the items or otherwise smaller items that aren't really needed but could be nice to have.
The "Presentation Arc" include "Bloat 106: Justice Interface". Or the "Bloat 241: Creature Antics" could be added in the "Dungeon Arc".
Power Goals aren't features nor bug fixes, but scenarios that should spontaneously arise during the game, thanks to new features.
The "Combat Arc" could lead to "Power Goal 28: Release the hounds". The scenario described in "Power Goal 53: Messala" could happen after the "County Arc" is implemented.
Other development data
- A lot of bugs have been spotted in the game, and they will, of course, be removed at one time or another. You can check the reported bugs in the Bug Tracker page.
- Each month, Toady One writes a report on the financial state of Bay 12 Games, and quickly describes what he'll be working on over the course of the next month. There's a subforum for these announcements.