This guide will tell you how to download a file from an unknown source. I've tested this and it seems harmless to me. Either way, if you know how to compile stuff in VStudio or cmake you can compile yourself the compatibility layer at their source code[github.com]
Go to this Reddit post and download the files provided in the Google Drive link[drive.google.com]
Go to the game files location, either by right-click on the game, show local files.
You should be inside Dwarf Fortress/ . Find the SDL.dll file and make a backup (rename to something like SDL.dll.old)
Extract the zip archive you have already downloaded in the first step. Place both files (SDL.dll and SDL2.dll) inside the game files.Great! You know are using your GPU to run Dwarf Fortress. This should increase your perfomance and enable Steam Overlay, at the cost of using your GPU
I Don't Want To Download This From An Unknown Source And I Know What I'm Doing!
Easy then. Download the source at github[github.com] and compile it. The devs explains how to in their README.MD file.
The game is so old it uses SDL: libraries written in C to draw things on the screen using CPU. While this was amazing in 2003 nowadays it's slow because it doesn't use GPU acceleration. Thankfully the devs of SDL made SDL 2.0, which make uses of OpenGL and GPU to draw things on the screen. Also, the SDL devs made a compatibility layer between SDL 1.2 and SDL 2.0, so you don't need to change anything to make SDL 2.0 work. Chad devs.
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