Brandon Boyer

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Honestly quite old, but dug up again as Spelunky creator Derek Yu adds paintings of that game to his DeviantArt account, the illustration above is a tribute to a legendary anonymous Dwarf Fortress recounting called The Hamlet of Tyranny.

Yu summarizes the encounter thus: “Daneken, the captain of the guard, makes his final stand against the fire demon Ashmalice. He wields the sword called Endless Death of Tears and prepares to plunge it into the demon’s heart, avenging his fallen comrades.”

I bring it up again not just because it’s completely stunning, but because every time I think about the still basically impenetrable Dwarf Fortress, I remember the tweet above, which I still firmly believe with all my guts, and which — now that Spelunky‘s been released — I want to give all my money to support a Kickstarter for.

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  1. Part of the evocativeness of DF is that there’s a lot we don’t see, but rather imagine. Legendary creatures are somehow more horrific when they’re simply named, and histories carved on walls have a little more cache to them than if there were an actual drawing. But Dwarf Fortress is a failure in UI of epic proportions, and the hard core players are so acclimatized to it that they wouldn’t want it cleaned up- they’d have to dump all of the learning they had to do to play. That being said, I would support the fuck out of a Derek Dwarflike.