“It was surprising that they liked it, period. And to the extend that we’ve blown up. It’s still a shock. People are playing a text game. That’s weird.”
– Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams, speaking to PC Gamer about the game’s surprising (to him) success.
Remember last week, when we pointed you towards a great (and lengthy) interview PC Gamer conducted with Dwarf Fortress developer Tarn Adams?
Part two was published today, and it turns out that’s also pretty intriguing – especially if you’re curious about what it’s like to have your dream game project get away from you, transform into something else, become popular, and go on to inspire fellow devs to improve upon a game you didn’t mean to make in the first place.
“[Adventure mode] was the original plan,” Adams told PC Gamer. “We were writing this horrible game, the 3D one. It’s just the strangest game in the world. It’s not a game. Not anything. But that didn’t come together, so this random side project suddenly becomes our fantasy game. And it’s been strange to adapt to that.”
“The Adventure mode isn’t even a good game. Whether you think Dwarf Fortress is a good game or not, it’s a game, and people can play it. Adventure mode is still amorphous,” he continued. “It’s kind of funny, we never achieved our original goals, right, with a simple RPG. There’s no real feel of a game loop at all, where you’re accomplishing things. You do have these reputations that build up, but you never quite feel like you’ve changed the world and that it’s carrying on. Whereas in Dwarf Fortress you do that pretty quickly. So it wasn’t surprising that that’s the mode they liked, because it’s the only one that’s a game.”
You can read the rest of Adams’ comments (which cover everything from bad programming habits to the design idiosynracies of various Dark Souls games) over on PC Gamer.
An interesting read via Gamasutra News