Tarn Adams, Zach Adams. Dwarf Fortress. 2006

Tarn Adams, Zach Adams Dwarf Fortress 2006

  • Not on view

The earliest computer games were programmed using ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). The developers of Dwarf Fortress, a single-player fantasy game, purposely forwent subsequent developments in computer graphics, choosing its retro aesthetic. Rather than relying on a naturalistic three-dimensional interface, the game generates its own complex world, which the player can modify, out of classic two-dimensional tiled building blocks and text-based graphics. The goal is to build a viable dwarf settlement in a vast user-generated world of continents and seas. Every terrain has multiple levels, on the surface and below it, with more than two hundred rocks and minerals that players can mine and make tools from. In order to succeed, players must forge alliances with competing civilizations, consider how a wide range of factors (including natural resources and weather conditions) will influence their dwarf colonies, and learn to navigate an abstract world.

Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011 .

Many early computer games, beginning in the 1960s, were programmed using American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). The developers of Dwarf Fortress, a single-player fantasy game launched in 2006, purposely forwent subsequent developments in computer graphics, choosing ASCII’s retro aesthetic. Rather than relying on a naturalistic three-dimensional interface, the game generates its own complex world (which the player can modify) out of classic two-dimensional tiled building blocks and text-based graphics. The goal is to build a viable dwarf settlement in a vast user-generated world of continents and seas. Every terrain has multiple levels, on the surface and below it, with more than two hundred rocks and minerals that players can mine and make tools from. In order to succeed, players must forge alliances with competing civilizations, consider how a wide range of factors (including natural resources and weather conditions) will influence their dwarf colonies, and learn to navigate an abstract world.

Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.
Medium
Video game software
Credit
Gift of the designers
Object number
1748.2012
Copyright
© 2019 Tarn Adams
Department
Architecture and Design

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