Zach and Tarn Adams, the brothers behind Dwarf Fortress, have come charging into the year 2014 with a new Patreon page. Previously the only way to give money to Bay 12 Games was through PayPal, sending them a check, or pasting loose change to an index card and tying it to a pidgeon.
The page went up last month, on April 27. In just three day's time the team has racked up over 550 patrons and more than $2,000 a month. After Tarn quit his job as a math professor, the page says, Bay 12 Games has become their only source of income.
"Our best-known game is Dwarf Fortress, which we've been working on since 2002," they wrote. "It was first released in 2006 and we've been improving it ever since. Known for its depth, the complexity of its mechanics and the stories told by those who played it ... The game's text graphics certainly aren't flashy by today's (or yesterday's) standards, but they allow us to add more content than we'd otherwise be able to manage."
Dwarf Fortress is an incredibly dense simulation of life in a rich fantasy world, offering multiple game modes including Adventure, a roguelike role-playing adventure, and Fortress, where players shepherd a group of dwarves carving a life for themselves in the wilderness.
The PayPal and direct mail options are still available and are especially appealing for those who are interested in getting their own, unique piece of hand-made Dwarf Fortress art.
"If you contribute by mail," their website says, "and provide your return address somewhere on the envelope or check, you may receive a unique drawing, most likely in crayon."
Dwarf Fortress is currently in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and is helping change the way MOMA maintains their collections. Earlier this year, Bay 12 Games added a new feature which brings procedurally generated poetry to the game.
Polygon has spent a lot of time with Dwarf Fortress in the past. Check out our Overview of the Legends Viewer module below, and take a deep dive into dwarven history.