city simulator

Banished photo essay: 25 years of farming and surviving harsh winters

Ian Birnbaum at

The town of Dolothia was established when five families were unceremoniously banished from a nearby nation. The exact circumstances of this banishment were never explained to me, and I didn’t press the issue.

After The PCG Herald heard about the town’s struggle to survive in the wilderness, I was dispatched as a field reporter to document its early years. What I found was a harsh reality where 10-year-olds work fields in driving rain and snow, a bad harvest kills families, and a single misstep leaves the town frozen during winter. In the end I was embedded in Dolothia for 25 years, chronicling its struggles and triumphs in photos and timelapse gifographs. This is the life of a Banished town.


Chill out with an hour of zen-like Banished gameplay footage

Ian Birnbaum at

We recently learned that Banished, the quasi-medieval city builder by solo dev Luke Hodorowicz, will finally be available next month on February 18. Now a full hour of gameplay footage has been set free, and we can see the ebb and flow of the final release. I’ve been watching it, and let me tell you: this game is pretty relaxing. Granted, my zen-like calm did begin to crack during the summer famine, when citizens began dying off at an alarming rate.


Dwarf Fortress developers plan to work on the game for the next thirty years

Ian Birnbaum at

The creators of Dwarf Fortress are famously averse to press, which is why the internet’s eyebrows shot straight up to the ceiling when it saw this excellent and extensive interview published to Gamasutra today. Zach and Tarn Adams, the creators of the open-world roguelike dwarven civilization simulator, opened up to talk about their thirty-year(!) plan for development and an attempted buyout of the game.