In the July 24, 2011 edition of the New York Times Magazine, Jonah Weiner profiled Tarn and Zach Adams, the brothers who created the game Dwarf Fortress, which is kind of like a much geekier, vastly more complex version of Minecraft (in fact, the creator of Minecraft is a fan of Dwarf Fortress). Weiner says, "Dwarf Fortress is, from the perspective of game play, perhaps the most complex video game ever made."
It's rendered with extended ASCII characters, like a roguelike.
Though its medieval milieu of besieged castles and mutant enemies may be familiar, Dwarf Fortress appeals mainly to a substratum of hard-core gamers. The game’s unofficial slogan, recited on message boards, is “Losing is fun!” Dwarf Fortress’s unique difficulty begins with its most striking feature: The way it looks. In an industry obsessed with pushing the frontiers of visual awe, Dwarf Fortress is a defiant throwback, its interface a dense tapestry of letters, numbers and crude glyphs you might have seen in a computer game around 1980. A normal person looks at
and sees gibberish, but the Dwarf Fortress initiate sees a tense tableau: a dog leashed to a tree, about to be mauled by a goblin.
... The brothers [Tarn and Zach Adams, creators of Dwarf Fortress] themselves are often startled by what their game spits out. “We didn’t know that carp were going to eat dwarves,” Zach says. “But we’d written them as carnivorous and roughly the same size as dwarves, so that just happened, and it was great.”
The article is a fascinating profile of obsession.
Rob and I are going to interview Jonah about his article in the upcoming edition of Gweek, Boing Boing's podcast about games, science fiction, comic books, and other geek media.
The Brilliance of Dwarf Fortress
Analogue Pocket is a forthcoming handheld game console that runs old Nintendo carts and offers a built-in synthesizer and sequencer. A multi-video-game-system portable handheld. A digital audio workstation with a built-in synthesizer and sequencer. A tribute to portable gaming. Out of the box, Pocket is compatible with the 2,780+ Game Boy, Game Boy Color & […]
Blizzard's cowardly decision to appease Chinese authoritarians by ejecting a champion player who expressed support for the pro-democracy struggle in Hong Kong has kicked off a global rebellion by the company's customers, who are furious that the firm has put its profits over an entire nation's right to self-determination and basic democratic freedoms.
After a day of making people look at a black hole, Epic Games has released the next iteration in the amazingly popular battle royale shooter Fortnite. A new map, boats and bandage bazookas are just some of the ‘new’ things. Players can now carry an injured buddy to safety, or go fishing — maybe both […]
Do you own a Mac? Unless you’re using it for a paperweight, you almost can’t afford not to get the Magnificent Mac Bundle. It’s a roundup of some truly essential security and file management apps, bundled up with great photo and video enhancers. The best part is that all nine apps are potentially available for […]
As much as vaping has taken over the market during the last decade, there’s still a lot of questions about the technology, as well as health concerns that we’re just now finding out about. One thing you can say about smoking: You know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to pipes that you […]
We can’t all go through life with just a pair of sneakers and flip-flops. Sometimes, you have to invest in a pair of high-quality dress shoes. However, you’ve probably discovered that high-end footwear almost always comes with eye-popping price tags. You’ve got to compromise on second-hand or just suck it up and take out a […]