From Gamasutra: There have been few indie gaming success stories as big as Dwarf Fortress, an ASCII freeware simulation game in which the player helps to establish and govern a colony of dwarves, as they construct a Moria of their own.

The scope of the game defies belief: it contains an extensive world generator, a three-dimensional cellular automata system for simulating fluids, naming languages for all major races, an economics simulation, and even a complete Adventure Mode in which the player can explore abandoned fortresses.

It's so detailed that large web communities have sprung up around the game, both on the developer's forums and Something Awful, where players trade stories about what happened in their games. Some of these stories have even become popular outside the game's community.

Amazingly for a game as rich as Dwarf Fortress, it remains the work of just two people, programmer Tarn "Toady One" Adams and his brother Zach. Tarn supports himself primarily with donations from Dwarf Fortress enthusiasts. In this interview, Tarn talks about the inspiration and origins of the game, and some of the finer points of its construction.

This interview was originally held over a private IRC conversation, and edited into a more traditional interview format.

Interview: The Making Of Dwarf Fortress