Tarn Adams

Tarn Adams

Tarn Adams is the co-founder of Bay 12 Games with his brother Zach, where they work on their fantasy simulation, Dwarf Fortress, one of the first video games acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has been writing procedural interactive narrative projects for over twenty years.


Dwarf Fortress

Talks & sessions

Legends Mode: Dwarf Fortress Postmortem

Dwarf Fortress, the settlement management and fantasy world simulator by Bay 12 Games, was released in 2006 after four years of development, and has been in continuous development through the present day.  Growing up with the internet and as video game design practices and technology advanced, the game and the community that support it have evolved together.  Join Zach and Tarn Adams as they discuss the history of the game, their successes and mistakes over this process, from the humble beginnings of the game as a side project in 2002 to the graphical overhaul of the early 2020s.

Long-term Simulation Design

It's common now for games to be in active development for many years, both before and after the initial launch.  As time passes, it takes effort to keep both the design and technical elements from collapsing under the weight of new features.  How do we build our games to withstand time?  Tarn Adams will discuss lessons learned over two decades of work on Dwarf Fortress, and why it didn't join the pile of failed projects that preceeded it.