Having read David’s post about Dwarf Fortress (I keep wanting to call it Gnome Fortress for some reason) I had a “quick” play. Admittedly my interest in computer games peaked when I owned a SNES (a D-pad and six buttons really should be enough for anything) and since then my tolerance of computer game complexity just about stretches to Command and Conquer style offerings.
But there was something strangely compelling about
Gnome Dwarf Fortress. ASCII graphics: check. Near-vertical learning curve: check. Certain defeat: check. It doesn’t sound like a winning combination, but I was compelled to delete it before addiction set in.
Afterwards I kept thinking about the link between a product’s learning curve and the willingness of the end user to invest time and energy in learning how to use the product sufficiently well to obtain what they consider to be a successful outcome.