Lord of Dwarves was born of two games that I highly respect but have never played.
The first game is Dwarf Fortress. For those who don't know Dwarf Fortress is a city management and resource gathering game with invading armies. I've watched many a Dwarf Fortress let's play and anyone who is familiar with it will know it's depth and complexity are something to be admired. It is obvious that an astounding amount of effort has gone into game features, world history, AI, even attention player accomplishment. However in all it's years of development practically no effort has gone into it's interface.
Interface is important.
I'm especially picky about interfaces. One of my pet peeves is lack of keyboard short cuts for frequently used actions. I'm looking at you 4X strategy games. If each turn half a dozen messages pop up on the right of my screen and I have to click each message just to pop up a dialog in the center of the screen, move the mouse over, dismiss the pop up, and then move the mouse back over to the next message - it's so painful. Seriously just map the messages and the dismiss button to the 'enter' key. I could do in 10 seconds what takes a minute to do. I've literally stopped playing games cause their interface slows it down so much.
And it's unfortunate because these games are not bad. Often the game play is great - as is the case with Dwarf Fortress. But I know my personal limit and I have little time for poor interfaces.
The second game is Minecraft. Sometimes I go to images.google.com and type in "Minecraft" and a random thing. Like just right now I typed "Minecraft Lord of the Rings". Holy cow! I can't believe the stuff people have created. It's amazing!
But despite the fact that I love the creations, that I think the resource gathering and tiered crafting systems look like tons of fun, I've never played it. I know what type of gamer I am. I'm an achiever. I want to overcome obstacles. If I build a castle I want to man it with soldiers and see how it stands against a siege. I want to improve my design so that next time the attackers don't get quite so far.
This is why I started building Lord of Dwarves. I wanted to play a game with the unit management, resource gathering, and invasion mechanics from Dwarf Fortress, but with an interface that wasn't a pain. I also wanted the totally customizable 3D world that Minecraft offered, but with meaningful enemies that could challenge the constructs that I created.
I'm happy to say that things are coming along nicely. Many core engine components are already completed. And I look forward to the day when I have a playable demo for everyone.