Community of Dwarf Fortress

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Dwarf Fortress has attracted a significant cult following. Web communities on the game came up on Something Awful forums besides on Bay 12 Games. The game's difficulty, with most fortresses eventually succumbing to various forms of defeat, and to encourage further experimentation through it led to its unofficial slogan "Losing is Fun" Adams said that it was originally from the manual and there as a consolation for players to get a grip on the issue of permadeath. The game's official podcast is called "Dwarf Fortress Talk", where the brothers answer questions from players. They send out crayon drawings or short stories to the donors, customized to their requests and feature the highest donors on their website. Besides donations, Adams said some fans have given computers while others have directly helped him with the game development. A community member ported it to Mac and Linux for free and other volunteers handle the bug tracking system.

Players and members of the community have often written creative interpretations of game events. Fans have made diaries, short videos, comics and audio depicting their stories whether it involved success or defeat. Besides testing the game, sharing it with others and supporting it through donations, they make suggestions, help newcomers, share stories, and information in the Bay 12 Games forums. They maintain the Dwarf Fortress Wiki, a dedicated wiki for the game's content; there are also fan-organized podcasts and meet-ups. Adams commented about some fans who donated but have not played the game—just there for reading the stories. In 2006, a saga called "Boatmurdered" where fans passed around a single fortress and each played the game and saved it before sending it to another, was portrayed in detail from the start to its destructive end. This spread around gaming sites and boosted the game's popularity.

On the game's community, Tarn Adams said, "They are the reason I've been able to make the step from hobbyist to full-time developer. I'm lucky to be able to run with whatever ideas we have and try new things." On players sending him forum posts or emails detailing their stories or events that happened during the game, Adams said, "It's really gratifying, because it's one of the things we set out to do is to get people to write these narratives about their game." Adams has admitted that some feats of the community surprised even him. Adams stated that the most impressive thing he had ever seen done with the game was when a player managed to create a Turing-complete 8-bit calculator powered by dwarves.

There have been tutorials on YouTube with one being a 15-part series, and another 12-part written series called "The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress". There are third-party utilities for the game like "Dwarf Therapist" which helps the player in managing toggling labors and skills. Another one called "Stonesense" with the help of "DFHack", a library, can render the game in a 3D isometric view. A "DF to Minecraft" utility was developed where players could load their in-game works to be able to view it while playing Minecraft. An illustrated guide to the game, called Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress: Learn to play the most complex video game ever made was released by technology publisher O'Reilly Media in 2012 written by Peter Tyson. Containing 240 pages, it has a foreword from Adams and is updated along with the game's development.