Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


DwarfCorp from Completely Fair Games is a single player tycoon/strategy game for PC. In the game, the player manages a corporate colony of dwarves. The dwarves must mine resources, build structures, and contend with the natives to survive.


If you're a developer/programmer and have the technical chops to compile C# code on Windows, continue reading. Otherwise, if you just want to play the game, buy the game on Steam or You can also try a build on our releases page (above), but these builds will not be updated after the weekend of September 23rd, 2017.

If you're a developer on Linux and Mac, it may be possible to build the game without too much fuss using Mono, provided you have a content package that was first built on Windows. One of our contributors has a solution for this.

The project is financed directly through sales on Steam and Since September 2017, all proceeds from sales go directly to our contracted developers.

External Dependencies

To develop DwarfCorp, you need the following libraries.

  • The XNA 4.0 library (not included)
  • Note: If you are running Windows 8 or higher, you will need to use MXA instead. This is included in our repository as a convenience. XNA has gotten very old and support was dropped for it long ago, and we must jump through hoops to get it working.
  • XNA-FNA for cross-platform development (forked)
  • LibNoise.NET (source code included)
  • JSON.NET (source code not included. You should get this through nuget.)

Cross Platform Development

We dont' officially support developing the game on anything other than a Windows machine at the moment. The game is developed using XNA/FNA using the XNA content project, which only supports a windows development environment. That said, the game can be cross compiled for windows/mac using FNA, but only in windows in a Visual Studio environment. Why XNA? Because it was cool when the project started (late 2011/early 2012).

If you're a developer on Linux and Mac, it may be possible to build the game without too much fuss using Mono, provided you have a content package that was first built on Windows. One of our contributors has a solution for this.


To build and run in the game on a windows PC, you must do the following:

Building for XNA on Windows

  1. Download and install Visual Studio. Any version after 2012 will probably work. Our dev team currently uses Visual Studio 2017 Community.
  2. Download and install the XNA Game Studio 4.0 library (or install MXA from our repository if you are running Windows 8 or higher)


We started developing DwarfCorp in 2012. Back then, XNA was still a supported library in Visual Studio 2010. Ever since then, support has been dropped. So if you want to compile the game in say, Visual Studio 2017 Community, you will need to install the hacked up "MXA". This is a version of XNA that is hacked together to work on newer versions of Windows. We have included this in a folder called "MXA" under the root of our repository. Open that zip file, and install the dependencies one by one (there are 5 in the zip folder).

Note that in 2017, the MXA project seems to have disappeared itself. Newer versions of Visual Studio (2017 and higher) don't seem to work with it. Luckily, there is another hack that you can apply to MXA to get it working with Visual Studio 2017 here:

Note that we have included those hacks in our wiki here:

Original source is here.

Important note about the MXA Hacks!!

These hacks will install Microsoft.Build.Framework.dll into the global assembly cache (GAC). Since the GAC is no longer used to install Visual Studio dependencies, any upgrade you make to visual studio will break all of your projects after applying this hack. To resolve this issue, you must completely uninstall and reinstall visual studio instead of upgrading it, and then reapply the MXA hacks to get DwarfCorp compiling.

Compiling Build in VS

Once you have Visual Studio and XNA (or MXA) installed, you're ready to compile DwarfCorp.

  1. Open DwarfCorp.sln in Visual Studio
  2. Right-click on DwarfCorpXNA and set it as a StartUp project
  3. Add references to XNA binaries to the DwarfCorpXNA project.
  4. Build LibNoise project
  5. Set the DwarfCorpXNA build mode to Release or Debug
  6. Build DwarfCorpXNA
  7. You're done! Launch the build!

Problems and Solutions with building for XNA on Windows

  • I opened the solution but I don't see anything View->Solution Explorer
  • I can't install xna on windows 10
    • Install xna refresh
    • (you may find that google marks this download as malware. We do not endorse this binary but we have a programmer using it and virustotal seems to find no malware scanning the file)
  • I can't download from the mxa website
    • If this happens, we've included a complete copy of MXA in our repository for you to use.
  • 'Unable to find manifest signing certificate in the certificate store'
    • Project->DwarfCorpXNA properties-> Signing-> Create Test Certificate
    • You can use whatever password you want

Building for FNA on Windows

  1. Open 'DwarfCorpFNA.sln' in Visual Studio
  2. Build for XNA first. This will create the content files needed by FNA. Do this from within DwarfCorpFNA.sln
  3. Set 'DwarfCorpFNA' as the 'StartUp' project.
  4. Build DwarfCorpFNA.

Project Structure

There are several projects under the main folder:

  • DwarfCorpXNA contains source code for XNA builds of the game.
  • DwarfCorpFNA Contains source code for the FNA build. Most of the files in here are just cross-included from DwarfCorpXNA, but using different linked libraries and compile flags.
  • DwarfCorpContent Contains images, sounds, music, and content configuration files for DwarfCorp. Most assets in this content project may not be redistributed without the consent of Completely Fair Games Ltd.
  • LibNoise Is a fork of LibNosie.NET noise generation library.
  • FNA is a fork of XNA-FNA.


The game is released under a modified MIT licensing agreement. That means all source code is free to use, modify and distribute. However, we have explicitly disallowed modification and redistribution of the following game content (which remains proprietary):

  • Images/Textures
  • 3D Models
  • Sound Effects
  • Music

No forks, binary redistributions, or other redistributions of this repository may include the proprietary game content. It is up to the redistributor to provide their own game content. "Source code" may also include raw text files, JSON library files, and XML configuration files (which are not considered proprietary "game content").

It's complicated. If you have a question about the licensing, raise an issue on the repository.

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