Chahi’s Project Dust Heading To PC

By Jim Rossignol on August 17th, 2010 at 9:30 am.


UPDATE: Ubisoft confirm that there will be a digitally distributed PC version of this game.

Eric “Another World” Chahi is making a game that is currently code-named Project Dust. It’s a Populous-like sandbox featuring a tribe of alien type folk, which is looking rather beautiful (see trailer below), but which we didn’t think was heading to the beige box. However, in an insightful Chahi interview for Edge online it is claimed that the game will appear on Steam. Fortunately for us, such details do not escape the bionic brain of LewieP.

I’ll poke Ubi to double check this is true (it is, see above). If true, then good, because it looks like just the kind of game that might please me. You can never really have enough simulated volcanoes or tiny people dependent on your whims.

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60 Comments »

  1. Kali says:

    Ubisoft, eh?

    So, what type of DRM will be on this title?

    If it’s that Always-On bullshit, I’ll be skipping this one.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      They could use Steamworks. THEY COULD USE STEAMWORKS, EH, UBISOFT?

    • AndrewC says:

      I would like to counter this accurate but repetitively negative comment with : FUCK ME WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL THING HOLY SHIT WOW!

    • bildo says:

      @ kali

      They used steamworks for a recent game, so that’s good. However, their DRM isn’t THAT bad. I mean, it’s no starforce.

    • Delusibeta says:

      @bilbo Only that you’re praying that a) your internet connection doesn’t die and b) their servers are up, and stay up every time you play a game. If either of the two conditions aren’t met, you can’t play. Yep, nothing like Starforce then.

    • bildo says:

      @ Delusibeta –> bilDo :)

      My internet is down maybe two or three times a year. I can live without games for a day or so. Besides, if you really have a problem with DRM then pirate it. I have never pirated before and won’t do it, but then again, I don’t complain.

    • AndrewC says:

      Bildo – so, to be clear, if your solution to the DRM is piracy, the DRM has failed. And if your attitude to most people, even in hi-tech areas like big cities, having wobbly internet is that your Internet is fine so you don’t care, then you have failed. Please stop.

    • Mac says:

      @Bildo There DRM is that bad … I stupidly caved in and bought Assassins Creed 2 when it got to £12 – yet, even though it is a single player game, I was unable to play it on Sunday evening when my ADSL went down for 3 hours. Having DRM that stops legit customers paying is very bad, and I will not be caving in and buying any more Ubisoft games with always on DRM again …

      I feel dirty ….

    • SanguineAngel says:

      @ Bildo

      Sorry to maintain this off topicness but I wanted to weigh in here. I just moved and am without internet for approximately 2 weeks. That’s not an insubstantial period of time. The fact is that you cannot currently guarantee a steady internet connection and so implementing a system on paying customers whereby they must rely on an internet connection, even though the product has nothing to do with the internet at all is foolishness. As AndrewC rightly points out, it is quite telling that the solution for a paying customer to use the software freely is to Pirate it anyway is ludicrous. And let’s not forget that the paying customer who pirates it to get it working then contributes a supposed “lost sale”.

      On the other hand, Project Dust is looking good and I loved the heck out of Populous back in the day.

    • bildo says:

      @ AndrewC

      I live in the middle of nowhere. Pirating is not the solution to DRM, nor did I say it was. Instead, you attack me saying I have failed. I do care for others, but what else can you do? Besides, pirating is a temporary method to play a game you have wanted to play so badly, but can’t due to harsh DRM. Why should that person suffer when it’s the companies fault? There is no incentive to pay for the game when you can’t play it!

      And no, ubi DRM is not worse than starforce. Anything that is capable of screwing up your OS is automatically worse.

    • Freud says:

      My connection is very solid. I will never buy a Ubisoft game as long as they have this DRM. It is about drawing a line in the sand. If we accept this what is next? Them installing something that monitors everything we do our computers to make sure we don’t do the nasty (pirating, not watching german midget leather porn). All with the Orwellian phrase “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about”.

      F**k them and the DRM they rode in on. Not a cent from me.

    • Tacroy says:

      An anecdote: I was interning in Seattle when Bioshock came out. I, of course, bought it immediately, but the demands of my internship made it such that I didn’t get around to actually installing the game until afterward.

      Now, it turned out that my internship ended about a week before the lease on my apartment started. I couldn’t find anywhere to couch surf (everyone I knew had gone for the summer), so I bit the bullet and stayed at the cheapest hotel I could find.

      As it turned out, the hotel had no wireless or indeed Internet of any sort. I thought “Well that’s fine, I’ll just install this shiny new Bioshock and while the week away playing it”.

      Nope, no can do. Bioshock refused to install unless I had an Internet connection. Despite the fact that I had gone out and damn well bought the thing. And this was in an area without any free wifi nearby; I wasn’t going to pay another $10 at Starbucks or whatever just to play the game I’d already paid $40 for.

      So I spent the week playing Dwarf Fortress and Psychonauts instead. I still haven’t played through Bioshock, because the whole thing just pisses me off too much.

      (And Dragon Age:Origins is starting to get there with me – it insists on talking to a server every time I load my saved game, because I have “premium content” and it needs to authenticate before I can play. Fuck you EA, I paid for that shit and I don’t want to sit here and wait while my game talks to your slow-ass servers. If I’d just pirated it instead of waiting until it was at an acceptable price point like a nice consumer, I wouldn’t have to deal with this bullshit.)

  2. robrob says:

    de_dust

  3. Oozo says:

    Getting pretty damn exciting – especially since, judging by the interview, Chahi still has very much kept true to his “no bullshit”-agenda that made “Another World” a game well worth playing even today. No HUD, no objectives, no clearly defined hero – a marketing nightmare, maybe, but certainly a potential dream come true for this gamer here.

  4. Baboonanza says:

    Mybae I’m missing something by not having sound (at work), but wht the hell is this about?

    Looks like Black And White 3 to me :)

  5. Baboonanza says:

    Alos, I played Another World for the first time recently when it was available for cheap. An utterly brilliant game, it reminds me of modern Indie games only created almost 15+ (?) years ago!

    • Coillscath says:

      Funny you should put it like that, it’s very true in a way. I’m finding more and more that indie developers are the only developers that can capture the pioneering attitude towards making something simple and fun, but very fresh, that was so abundant in the 90s. Sure, there were some really, really bad games in the 90s too, but at least they were BAD and not just passable, uninspiring blockbusters, like the cookie cutter CoD clones the market’s become saturated with nowadays.

  6. lozavich says:

    Wow, this is looking stunning. Now let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like Spore.

  7. rxtx says:

    Looks beautiful – the water doesn’t quite look natural but I’m happy to believe it’s stylised and live with it

  8. Veldjes! says:

    Wow. First Dungeon Keeper and now Populous remakes are en route. The only thing I need to be satisfied completely is Myth 4. Well, and MechWarrior 5, probably. Sigh

    • AndrewC says:

      Interesting, isn’t it – Populous-clones, a new Dungeon Keeper, Deus Ex, Theif, XCom, Tell-tale adventure games, Dragon Age, flight simulators, a new Syndicate even. On and on and on. A veritable re-run of that last ‘golden age’ that PC gamers always mourn the passing of, all there, all coming up over the next year. Won’t stop them complaining about no-one making games for them anymore.

      What a shame.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Actually what’s interesting is that despite many people saying that the harking back to the “golden Age” and that the casual gamer is so dominant a market force, the market is turning back to that same age of gaming now.

      Still, people will complain but I believe that they have a right to. In addition, I am confident that due to the way games are developed there are actually a lot of flaws in game design. I would say, though, that the biggest problem with the “golden age of Gaming” thing is not that the old games were better but simply that the new games, by and large, aren’t that much better. I mean, a lot of time has passed and technology is rediculously more advanced than it was 10 or 15 years ago. But Game design has not kept pace and publishers are without a doubt playing it a lot “safer” in terms of the products and concepts they support.

      Don’t get me wrong though; there are still games being released today that I think are amazing. Some are even on consoles! I do think those tend to be the exception, but then they always have been. I think what irks a lot of us now is that there is a lot more exposure for mediocre content than there used to be now that games are big business. Publishers are painting lead and selling it as gold so to speak

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Darn it that was supposed to read ‘despite many people saying that the harking back to the “golden Age” is a rose tinted fiction’

    • ErikM says:

      There’s still that Mechwarrior game on the horizon! Though I haven’t heard of it for ages. The trailer they released was awesome at any rate. Hope the game turns out to match the trailer :)

    • AndrewC says:

      Well, there was an awful lot of poo-ey nonsense back then that we just don’t remember. If anything, the poo-ey nonsense we get these days is slightly better on account of it being slightly more professional and slick.

      While it’s great to campaign for the sort of games you really like, i’m suggesting the complainers are willfully ignoring all this stuff that is catering to them just so they can complain about the stuff that isn’t. That haters gonna hate isn’t news, but that there’s all this stuff, often hugely ambitious and well funded stuff too, that seems really exciting IS news. There should be a blog about it!

      This is just a regular letting-off-steam post that happens when the grinding, prissy negativity of the PC community gets too much. It’s all ok really.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Well that’s fair enough, and quite true. I would like to campaign for less poo-ey nonsense though. FAR less poo-ey nonsense.

      To be fair, whilst there are still games catering to the golden age crowd, there are usually concessions being made for the “casual” audience or for other platforms and these are legitimate complaints. This is good and bad, naturally – good for the casual audience who get to access the genre but bad because; as every game wants to be a success and appeal to more people, the entire genre becomes more diluted and often weaker as a result… and bad for those who didn’t want the concessions too.

      Also, whilst there are games being produced for the golden age crowd, it also rankles that they are few and far between and not usually well funded compared to the bigger budget poo-ey nonsense. And in all honesty, there are some genres that are essentially ignored completely.

      BUT Haters should absolutely learn to appreciate what they do have and at the VERY LEAST appreciate modern classics for their own strengths and not lament that it’s not the game they wanted it to be. I understand their pain though.

    • AndrewC says:

      Have you ever listened to someone going on about ‘things ain’t what they used to be’ – horrible, bitter conversations they are.

      While it is great that game designers are looking at some really great games for inspiration at the moment, they are also looking *backwards*, which sort of worries me.

      What is definitely not great is that there are so many, on these comments threads even, that refuse to see that it is their favourite games that modern games designers are taking as inspiration, instead just whining about no-one caring about them. It’s an excellent way to make game designers not care about us.

      So that ‘things ain’t what they used to be’ rhetoric always raises red flags with me, and it too much defines the PC gaming community. At least the console community is sometimes defined by over enthusiasm for upcoming games, regardless of what awful piece fo dullery that game may be.

      This is turning into quite the tangent. Hey Sanguine: how about that Dust? Looking pretty cool to me.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I say Andrew, that Dust game does look awfully exciting indeed! I love the ideas it is presenting and have very high hopes for it indeed.

  9. mlaskus says:

    Great! Another World is one of my favourite games. I will never forget how it scared the shit out of me at the very beginning and how satisfying it was to finally beat it. Hell, how satisfying it was to survive the first few minutes for the first time. I’m looking forward to this.

  10. Koozer says:

    Yum yum. Problem is it looks like you’ll be controlling one bloke, probably from a 3rd perspective for those pesky consoles to handle better. How can you admire the majesty of your landbridge canal filled with lava without an aerial view? The fluid dynamics look amazing though, I look forward to rerouting seas into my enemies’ camps.

    • iax says:

      Cheer up and read the interview linked in the post before jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Eric Chahi stated: “You influence them more indirectly. It’s a kind of god game, but one where nature plays an important part – you have abilities but they’re not unlimited. You’re not an individual from the tribe, but the tribe as a whole. You’re not a god. If they disappear, you disappear.”

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Hmm… Isn’t that the definition of a forgotten god? Being gone?

    • Josh W says:

      Only in one kind of fantasy. In another kind a forgotten god goes about doing whatever, and someone works out something weird is going on, does a bit of research, and finds out that he is responsible for part of their problems, and tries to stop him.

      Or in the case of you playing that forgotten god, you could get on with whatever plans you have only for the people your manipulating to suddenly work out your their and start calling on other old Gods or whatever to stop you, sort of like dungeon keeper where the heroes only start coming after your dungeon has reached a certain size/been arround for a certain amount of time.

  11. Bob's Lawn Service says:

    Not to sound dense, but what exactly is it going to be? That could be a sanitary towel advert for all I can tell.

  12. Tei says:

    :-O

    I demand more human sacrifices to put this on my PC as quick as possible :-)

  13. pimorte says:

    It would help them if they masked what is so obviously a smoothed heightmap with some surface variation.

  14. derella says:

    Looks and sounds like a lot of fun to me. And it’s gorgeous!

  15. Muzman says:

    It’s probably a tad premature (and I probably said this last time), but: Magic Carpet mod for this tut suite.

  16. stahlwerk says:

    A Peter Molyneux game without Peter Molyneux…

    Hey this might be working out all right! ;-)

    Cautiously optimistic, also the geology looks awesome. If its playable with a controller, then all the better!

  17. Urael says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic.

    If it’s coming out on PC – It’s a must-purchase.

    If it’s coming out on PC with stupid, always-on, ‘Net-connected DRM it can rot on shelves for all I care.

    You listening, Ubisoft?

  18. Isometric says:

    Great!
    This has PC written all over it.

  19. Monkeybreadman says:

    I love how, what looks like a very interesting game is announced for PC, and the first and most discussed topic is DRM. Long may it continue i say.

    This game could be programmed by the hands of vestigal virgins following direction from the Almighty himself, if it has Ubisoft’s always on DRM, i ain’t buying it.

    Well done Ubisoft, nice to know someone out there is more stupid than i am

  20. Quests says:

    I don’t like savages, gods, and Black&white crap, too much wilderness.

    I really rather see Chahi doing a new Another World type of “adventure opera”. That’s what he’s great at, why would he do a so-called “god game”? Why are you guys happy that Eric Chahi is making a game of a genre he’s probably not good at?

    incidentally, I miss Flashback’s city level.

  21. airtekh says:

    I see the word ‘Dust’ in the title and I eagerly click expecting to see the EVE inspired spin-off from CCP.

    Must read slower.

  22. mihor_fego says:

    I really loved the design style as it appears on the trailer! Another World was a gem of the Amiga era, stylistically perfect, really punishing, but so gripping you couldn’t care less for the insta-deaths. Chahi created the best narrative-driven platformer without any dialogue or text. Way ahead of its time, but at the time well received by most, something that explains a lot about the current game market; what would now be an indie hit, back then had mainstream success. Another World and Lemmings really changed the way I saw games back then.

    If this plays like Chahi describes, I can’t wait! This is what we need more of people… a populous for the current console generation could mean a lot for the future of gaming. Remember, back in the days populous first got released all saw it as a new dawn for where gaming concepts can go. Perhaps games like this can be a new re-start for a more creative era. I’m not complaining about the quality of current games, as I think that the shooter genre is really going well after all these years of mainstream polish. The variation of gameplay styles and really radical art design is what we’re lacking. Well, a Void comes out of the blue now and then, but it’s not enough.

    As far as DRM goes… Ubisoft’s last attempt failed. I didn’t buy AC2 not because of DRM, though, but because the first was a pretty world with really boring gameplay. Boycotts are a way to press the publishers, but speaking for myself, I’ll buy a game if I think it’s worth and then apply a crack if needed. And no, that’s not supporting piracy: no pirate gains anything from me, no publisher loses his sale – I just play my game without any hassle. I’ve bought over 200 games over the last two years and I won’t accept any accusation on using a crack on these, even if it violates the pathetic eula.

  23. PHeMoX says:

    That looks awesome! I love the Populous games and this looks a lot like a modern version of it.

    I totally approve of that game lol. :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh god I hope you get to offer sacrifices to the volcanoes :D

  25. UsF says:

    Oh no. I hate that. Why is it that when a game comes along that I’d really like to play right now, there isn’t even a release date set yet. It looks awesome and I really like these kind of games (small tools for manipulation, but great long term effects). Kind of like a small scale Sim Earth with good graphics. Finally!
    How about a beta, please? Or an alpha for pre purchasers.

    Also leave your stupid DRM out.

  26. Zyrxil says:

    I don’t care what Google tells me, “canalize” is a made up word. I don’t “cakize” flour and milk.

  27. WiPa says:

    That water is amazing.

  28. Troy says:

    just to emphasize UBI SOFT eh ….
    dont care if it is uber game of the decade if it ships with their stupid drm
    the game will not be seeing a dime from me .

  29. Zogtee says:

    “My connection is very solid. I will never buy a Ubisoft game as long as they have this DRM. It is about drawing a line in the sand. If we accept this what is next? Them installing something that monitors everything we do our computers to make sure we don’t do the nasty (pirating, not watching german midget leather porn). All with the Orwellian phrase “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about”.

    Actually, that sort of thing is already in the works… It’s just a matter of time until some politicians somewhere gives it the green light. Anything to fight piracy and terrorism, you know? Bow down to Hollywood, slaves…

  30. duel90 says:

    POPULOUS

    I have wanted a sequel to Populous: the Beginning since forever. It is one of my favourite childhood games, I still love it.

  31. Pijama says:

    I got a “Black and White done right” epiphany when watching the video, somehow.

  32. Maltose says:

    Is that Optimus Prime?

  33. Araxiel says:

    Reminds me of
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBGGAjMg9vw

    I just love to see tiny people getting eaten by earhquakes and getting burnt by volcanos

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