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
A guy who was waiting for his flight at the airport in Portland wanted more screen display space for his Playstation video game session, so he plugged his PS4 into a public computer screen that was displaying a map of the airport.
Get ready to go directly to gross-out because a Garbage Pails Kids-themed Monopoly game is on its way! 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the delightfully disgusting trading cards that parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. According to Bloody Disgusting, Topps has “all sorts of plans in motion for the big celebration,” starting with this […]
Japan’s Game Urara was a magazine about hacking, porn, piracy, mods, and underground gaming culture. It lasted only a few issues in the mid-1990s, but its extraordinary contents distinguished it from all others. A quarter of a century later, it lives on as a set of high-quality scans at the Internet Archive. Senn writes at […]
The latest iPhone cameras are undeniably impressive, but they’re still no match for a professional camera when it comes to taking clear, wide-angle shots. These six accessories will transform your iPhone into a pro-level camera in seconds, thanks to powerful and easy-to-attach lenses. 1. Lemuro 18MM iPhone Wide Lens MSRP: $100 | Sale Price: $80 […]
Few things in life are more universally dreaded than going to the gym, which is unfortunate since a new year usually means making new resolutions to get in shape. Thankfully, this BodyBoss 2.0: Portable Home Gym has everything you need to burn fat and build muscle in the comfort of your own home. With just […]
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to travel more, you owe it to yourself to learn the language of the place you’re visiting. If you’re not sure where to start, give these resources a look. From mobile apps to online courses, these products can get you conversant in a new language before you […]