The 'Dwarf Fortress' Creators Weren't in it For Money, But Now They Need It

In a quiet update to fans earlier this month, the creators of Dwarf Fortress revealed the surprising reason why, after more than a decade, the game was now coming to Steam: “We don't talk about this much, but for many years, Zach has been on expensive medication, which has fortunately been covered by his healthcare. It's a source of constant concern.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

In a way, I would say that Tarn and Zach’s success with their fundraising recently is probably largely due to how quiet they have been about money for so long. Dwarf Fortress is a brilliant thing that many people love and more people are interested in, and at this point they have built and incredible and loyal fanbase who know that Tarn and Zach are only asking for more money now because they need it. I can’t fix the evils of capitalism that are making it necessary for them to raise money like this, but I can help a couple of good dudes out with :tenbux: even if I don’t think I’m likely to play the Steam version of DF anytime soon.

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I can’t speak for anyone else but I have been a small business owner for 16 years. During that time I went through a divorce and remarriage. My health care was initially under my 1st wife’s plan. After the divorce and remarriage I had to jump on the exchange. Saved my bacon, I promise you.

One of the underrepresented success stories of the ACA is the fact it provided affordable health care to people who would be priced out on individual coverage like myself.

Without the ACA, I would have had to eliminate my budget for contract employees. Thankfully, my wife is a journalist who recently was named editor of the and her employers are incredibly generous with their benefits package.

Bottom line, with two small business owners in the same home the ACA was golden.

And let’s not forget, the creators of Dwarf Fortress would probably be denied ANY coverage because of preexisting conditions. I am glad they have options even if the options are not perfect.


This serves as a good reminder of how much art, thought, and joy humanity is denied because so many creative people can’t afford to dedicate themselves to what they care about.

It’s more than a little overwhelming, honestly.


It’ll be interesting to see how much this makes once for sale… That kind of money can potentially change perspective

Though, concernedape has so far remained down to earth

I do hope they at least have some sort of financial guidance related to saving appropriately for future health concerns, considering their recent language suggesting they’ll give the money back in some way