GeekNights Podcast: Tarn Adams Interview

By: Derek Yu

On: January 16th, 2008

Tarn Adams

There’s a great podcast discussion with Tarn Adams on GeekNights. Tarn, as you may or may not know, is one half of the Dwarf Fortress team, and its sole programmer. The other half, Zach (also Tarn’s brother), develops stories which Tarn makes work within Dwarf Fortress’s intimidating game engine.

The podcast focuses on Dwarf Fortress, but Tarn touches on a variety of subjects, from his older games to his thoughts on gaming and game design in general. I found it to be pretty fascinating.

And, I gotta say, for a self-described introvert and the developer behind one of the most insanely detailed games ever made, Tarn is very well-spoken and sounds really down-to-earth. Respect!

  • Lim-Dul

    Hey, I enjoyed the interview through and through. It’s true that Tarn is very well-spoken. :-D
    I guess you have to have a really coherent and logical mind to be able to code a simulation of such an insanely detailed world.
    Dwarf Fortress is, in my opinion, one of the best games ever made – at least from the perspective of the whole idea. As some people have pointed out in the sprite pack comments section the implementation is lacking a bit though and sadly I can’t get myself to master the game to its full extent…
    That doesn’t change my general opinion about the whole project though.

    P.S. I’m just afraid that Tarn or Zach lose interest at some point and Dwarf Fortress will be left in an “unfinished state” – I mean, it’s an extremely ambitious project – especially for only two people. Or that someone will take over the game (e.g. after Tarn and Zach are finished with it) and break it… Gah…

  • trav

    I’m having trouble downloading the podcast >_<

  • trav

    also, hey Lim, what would you call mastering it to the full extent? If you use the wiki and irc channel the game becomes pretty easy to play

  • Lim-Dul

    Well – reading how the game works is one thing but I actually mean playing it for longer periods of time to take full advantage of the persistent world. I simply don’t have time for this. =)

  • PHeMoX

    Great podcast. :)

    I’m a bit ASCII-phobic, but I’ve decided to go try the game out before soon. It sounds pretty unique and when he talked about even having a weather simulation in their too, “not so important now, but it’s there”, I was like huh? Wow! Basically the whole concept of a generated world as detailed like that is very interesting to me.

  • Gordo

    Nice interview, reminds me of Silent Hill: Origins.

  • gnome

    An excellent podcast/interview sporting some groundbreaking ideas. Oh, and gotta love Dwarf Fortress. A masterpiece.

  • Kemo

    Ha, Toady is an anime fan.

  • Koholint

    Gordo, how are you getting away with posting that on EVERY recent topic?

  • trav

    got it, WGET for the win!

    Good interview. I didn’t realize how many games toady had made

  • Lim-Dul

    *Gordo, how are you getting away with posting that on EVERY recent topic?*

    You know – it’s because the message filter on this blog only blocks comments with useful links in them, not comments that actually ARE spam. ;-)

  • Gordo

    Nice interview, reminds me of Silent Hill: Origins.