When you were a little kid, did you ever tell yourself “I’d love a fantasy game that simulates everything”? One where you could be your little group of warriors and build the best base ever, go trade, wage war, drink beer, and breed cats indefinitely? Well, Tarn Adams told himself the same thing, but instead of just idly wishing it, he started to make it. And thus was born Dwarf Fortress.
A simple enough idea for a game: Control some dwarves as they go mining. But then he started to add one little feature, then another, and another.He and his brother wrote down everything they’d want to be in the game, and at about 1500 items left on this list he’s far from done. But even at this point(only at v 0.28) we’re at a level of minutiae unlike any other sim out there, with what might seem like the most insignificant of things like rain shadows, rock formations and cat reproduction being reproduced to help build (pardon the bullet point) a living breathing world. Sure, the entire interface is text based, but those brave enough to dive in will never want to get out.
I’ve had the pleasure to do a 1-on-1 interview with Tarn Adams, and for someone who supposedly sits in front of his computer all day long, he is very well spoken and extremely interesting, if bizarre at times. We discuss the history of Dwarf Fortress, its pleasures, its pains and its future. There’s even a dietary discussion near the end. Unfortunately, do to some messy software, Tarn pops in and out from time to time, but otherwise it went swimmingly, and you too can listen to Tarn’s ramblings.
So, what do you think of this interview? Have you ever tried to play Dwarf Fortress? What was your experience like? Who else from the industry would you like to hear from? Just let us know by leaving a comment below.
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