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 Dwarf Fortress  dev: 'It always comes back to surprising ourselves'

Dwarf Fortress dev: 'It always comes back to surprising ourselves'

March 16, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

March 16, 2017 | By Alex Wawro
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More: Console/PC, Design



"It's never been a dream system, it's been like a dream systematization of what the little nuts and bolts of magic are, so that we can glue them together however we want and surprise ourselves."

- Dwarf Fortress developer Tarn Adams, speaking to PC Gamer about a core philosophy of the game's design.

It's been over decade since sibling game developers Tarn and Zach Adams released the first alpha of their procedurally-generated, dwarf-centric world sim Dwarf Fortress on the world. 

Devs who have been following the project since then know that not only is it still not finished, it hasn't received a major update since last July. The development team is preparing to make some significant additions to the game, including a new magic system which Tarn Adams discusses in fascinating detail in a recent interview with PC Gamer.

"What we want, we don't care about balance, here. We want the world, a lot of its structure, to be determined by what the magical things are about the world. Because that's what makes it a fantasy world simulator, right?" Adams said, explaining that the game will ideally be able to generate world with a full spectrum of magical presence -- everything from full-on wizards in hats casting firebolts to civilizations that have evolved to accommodate citizens who can teleport at will.

"It's never been a dream system, it's been like a dream systematization of what the little nuts and bolts of magic are, so that we can glue them together however we want and surprise ourselves," he continued. "It always comes back to surprising ourselves."

The full interview, one magic-focused chunk of a larger conversation with Adams at GDC earlier this month, is well worth reading over on the PC Gamer website.



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