Automagic: Love Footage And Tools Demo

Graphics wizard and solo MMO developer Eskil Steenberg has just posted up a couple of videos from GDC. The first shows a substantial amount of footage from the game itself, with Steenberg playing around in the game world, building, deploying items, creating infrastructure, setting off remote radio bombs, sabotaging AI manufacturing plants, exploring deserts, and so on. Amazing stuff. Perhaps even more impressive, even for the non-technical among us, is Steenberg’s tools demo footage. Go watch. Original trailer here.


  1. Meat Circus says:


    Love will never be finished. Because I will have Mr Steenberg locked in a shrine in my basement.

  2. Tei says:

    This smell and look like a GarrysMod modificacion on a persistent world.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    Tei: No, it really, really doesn’t.

  4. bob arctor says:

    The shooting is still not there, the FPS basic combat. However it’s looking very interesting and I’m sure that will come.

    The tools are very interesting, however I’m not sure about designing things without a grid, and the LOD ramping up and down reminds me of Messiah where things morphed and polys changed constantly.

  5. Ginger Yellow says:

    The Co-op podcast did a show on the GDC video a couple of weeks back. FAscinating stuff. And yes, the real time tools are astounding.

  6. Jonas says:

    But–! It–! He–! HOW!? How can he do all that all by himself!? This is incredible! No amount of exclamation marks will suffice!

    How does he even get the money to do all this?

  7. Tei says:

    So.. what? having all this tools, will be very complex, so the newbie player will be unable to do stuff, he need to learn, and the process of learning will be damaging: he will be a risk for his team (the human team), he can accidentally delete or move stuff, maybe kill the generator, or stuff…

  8. Quests says:

    Seems incredible. The number and functionality of the infrastructures make for astonishingly complex, intriguing, fascinating game mechanics… the powering, the frequency mechanics, the brief exploitable moments chained together to make an effective assault… and then the possibility to build a huge metropolis with tunnels, maybe later on services, stations, nightclubs, anything.

    I’m stunned, this is another world, in every sense.

  9. AndrewC says:

    A world that genuinely runs on a persistent set of rules instead of canned and scripted ‘events’ leaves me quivering with excitement. And when I fail to understand those rules at all I shall be left sobbing in the corner.


  10. Meat Circus says:

    Tei: hush now.

  11. jackflash says:

    So, so, so, so cool. I love innovation!

  12. bergotronic says:

    Perhapes, some day, in the magic future, we will see a Dwarf Fortress 2.0 with these types of visuals… a man can dream…

  13. Schaulustiger says:

    This guy can only be described as a genius. LOVE seems to not just be a game, but the living proof of a whole new approach to game development. These tools look absolutely impressive, even if I don’t have a strong tech background.
    The gameplay footage leaves me a bit confused, though. I’m still not convinced that it can be played by a broader audience. I even think that one player with bad intentions can ruin the game’s world for the 199 others. The way you can shape and influence the environment might prove to be too much power in the hands of a player.

    Putting that aside, I’m really looking forward to the day that we can get our hands on this lovely piece of software.

  14. Noc says:

    What it’s looking like, to me, is Multiplayer Dwarf Fortress. I think I approve of this.

    And Tei, what you are describing is a Multiplayer Game With A Learning Curve. They all have them! It’s also probably worth noting that the reason it gives something of a Garry’s Mod vibe is because he was cheating, and giving himself unlimited access to all of the tools in the game. Which, you know, presents him with a huge list of goodies and placeables that would, admittedly, be overwhelming to new players.

    Presumably, available tools would be more limited in the game. You’d start off with a few things, and slowly find and scavenge more complex and useful tools and blueprints and equipment as you build and explore and progress.

  15. Okami says:

    I have a vision of giant, sprawling cities filled with penis shaped buildings.

    Come on, you all know this is going to happen!

  16. Miles says:

    This lookings frigging amazing. Colour me impressed.

  17. maniacator says:

    The buildings look a bit… lovecraftish, somehow.
    Building the Platau of Leng with access to cthulhuesque cities… very nice. I am forwarding to play this game!

  18. Markoff Chaney says:


    SAY IT


  19. Gabanski83 says:

    Looks like a construction set that would actually be fun to muck about in, for once.

    Looking forward to building things and playing the game.

  20. Ian says:

    I’m not excited by this game purely because I still don’t really know what it is.

    I will be interested to see more brainthinks on it as development goes on.

  21. Noc says:

    Schaulustiger: It’s notable that you can only use all of those tools within a certain radius of your monolith. So you can’t, you know, dig impassable ditches across the world, or fill a desert with mines. And I assume that you can also create or lock access privaleges to your own stuff, so other people can’t just waltz in and break everything you’ve set up. Or fill your base with their own junk, or whatever.

    . . . actually, the more I think about it, the more interesting this stuff is looking. The idea of someone ruining your day by spamming windmills all over the landscape LOLOLOL isn’t particularly engaging, but the idea of someone ruining your day by sneakily setting up some sort of listening post and monitoring different bands of radio traffic to figure out what frequencies and codewords your defenses are using, and using that knowledge against you is, well, interesting.

    What I’m really wondering about, though, is how the server stuff will be set up. Will it just be running on a few central servers? Or will you be able to set up your own servers, and play your own games? Will you be able to just play it singleplayer, or in session-based multiplayer games with friends?

    Personally, I don’t think I’d mind tromping around this place by myself and building stuffs, without other people about to muck it up.

  22. Valentin Galea says:

    This is the stuff that dreams are made of!

  23. Rabbitsoup says:

    that is just insanely well done, most large companies cant carry off real infrastructure and puzzles like that. will it work though?

  24. ZomBuster says:

    “So here we show some of the tools being used for making love” I admit I smiled there

  25. Naurgul says:

    Yay! It’s nice to see all these concepts Eskil has been talking about in action. Love seems like it will be a great experience. I am fairly excited and cautiously optimistic about it. :)

  26. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Tei: Oh no! Not the Human Team!

  27. chequers says:

    looks like second life in a better engine. God, I hope Linden don’t buy this. It has too much awesome potential.

  28. Schmung says:

    His 3D tools are mental. Properly unlike anything else out there. I wonder if you can even use traditonally painted maps or adjust the UVs manually or if it’s entirely shader based. The interface is suitably lunatic as well and the modelling and and and

    Yes. It’s rather a lot to take in at once and so different to what’s out at the moment that I can’t quite take it in. Really not sure what to make of it.

    Not even given the gameplay video a look yet.

  29. bansama says:

    The darn video refuses to stream for me. And having to click the play button every second grows annoying so all I know is that there are cables, a windmill and you make holes in stuff. I’m sure the rest is even more impressive but I’m not wasting anymore time trying to watch it to find out.

  30. terry says:

    The video’s not working for me either, but I am excited for the look of this game.

  31. cyrenic says:

    If anyone’s got youtube links to these videos, I’d be grateful for them.

  32. Heliocentric says:

    Never mind building up, i want to to build down into the ground Nuclear bunker style. And i think this game will let me.

    Obviously i will construct on top of this bunker a babel tower as an afront to god, I’ll probably fall off it too.

    edit: click back to home, then to the video page, then click the mp4 download version, that works for me.

  33. Maniac11919 says:

    The video isn’t showing for me at all, in either IE or Firefox :/

    Youtube or another link would be extremely nice if anyone has one…

  34. Ginger Yellow says:

    The great thing about this project from Steenberg’s perspective is that even if the game bombs, he can just sell/license the tools.

  35. Kurgol says:

    Was no-one else impressed by his asteroids…

    Those of you who can’t stream the video – there is a download link that worked fine for me right next to each vid…

  36. gulag says:

    Oh look! A GUI for Dwarf Fortress! Love it.

  37. Schaulustiger says:

    Noc: I said it might prove to be too much power. Of course there will be restrictions to what you can actually do. But such an immensely open world system holds the danger of being too easily exploitable.
    I admit, it’s difficult to foresee as we haven’t been shown the actual gameplay (how to acquire blueprints/ressources and how you team up with others), but imagine someone just working against you. Not in a bulldozer way (at least I hope that it’s not possible to just undercut a whole base) but in subtle ways. Like blocking important routes with buildings. Like opening ways into your base that undermine your defense.

    But I like your thoughts about using those mechanics to create really mind-blowing experiences like this sabotage stuff you mentioned. Thinking about that, I’m intrigued by the idea of LOVE not being a real MMO, but more like a “normal” multiplayer game (in the terms of setting up your own server, protecting it with a password etc.).

  38. mandrill says:

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, but this man is going to change the face of game development. If the big developers aren’t facepalming at the fact that they didn’t think of this then I’ll eat my hat, and theirs as well.

  39. Biggles says:

    @Schaulustiger, actually, that’s the sort of saboutage that will make this game way more interesting than the normal fare. You can attack someone by really thinking outside the box, and have to do the same to defend against them.

  40. bansama says:

    Those of you who can’t stream the video – there is a download link that worked fine for me right next to each vid…

    No link showing for me.

  41. Schmung says:

    @ Mandrill : It’s certainly very interesting stuff, but you need to keep in mind that the tech is only appropriate for a subset of games. It’s great for smaller teams and indies because it allows really rapid prototyping, but I don’t thing it’s going to change the way that the really big companies do things.

    Would be very surprised if we don’t soon start seeing increased amounts of content in games with a procedural element though.

  42. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    “Now let me show you some of the tools I’m using for making Love”

    brilliant! Well worth my time

  43. Aldaris says:

    Those game design tools…
    I mean, what set of game design programs can run astroids and allow you to shoot up the graphic trees? And as for the game play: Multiplayer above ground Dwarf Fortress with less mindless death.
    Let’s pot a link to this on the DF forum and see their reactions.

  44. Bhazor says:

    Here you go you big dummies.
    link to (Game)
    link to (Love making equipment)

    Though it is looking great I have to say that unless there’s serious compression issues it looks a lot jaggier than the early pictures did. Damn that lying man. The development kit is truly breath taking though.

    Also if you don’t do a Making Love article I’ll be speechless.

  45. Bremze says:


    Looks like the game will have quite a learning curve but I would buy it even if it was just running around the beautiful environment. I understand why Eskil wants to go for a MMO but hopefully it will be possible to set a standard password protected multiplayer game.

  46. Radiant says:

    The tools are free and available right now no?

    How much will the game cost to play?

  47. gulag says:

    I’m not sure where I read/heard this, but it makes for an interesting set-up. Allegedly LOVE is built with servers of 200-ish people in mind, in a PVE environment. 200 is an interesting number in terms of how it relates to the theoretical limits of inter-personal relationships (The Dunbar number; approx. 150 people.).

    If that is the case, you will have slightly more people in any one server than you can handily keep tabs on, or directly co-operate/interact with, but not so many that their goals and asperations will not directly intersect with your own at some point.

    It’s a fascinating set-up. Slightly too many people to be ‘friends’ with all of them, but only just enough social room to brush shoulders and manouver in. All in the context of a world being visably shaped by your peers.

    I predict monarchy, democracy, revolution, secret societies, conquest, factions, and society-spanning projects. Can’t wait.

  48. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Gulag
    Well I predict each server having around 80 crazy racists, 60 twelve year olds constantly talking about how terrible everyone is while they try to play like it was Quake, 12 griefers and about 40 people spamming their terrible band.

    The other 8 will be journalists writing about it.

  49. Stupoider says:

    Oh man, I can’t wait for this game. It’s beautiful, looks fun, I prefer PvE content to PvP, and Eskil Steenburg is a genius!