We Like Games About Terrain: From Dust

If it’s true that PC games are basically all about terrain, then From Dust – which Ubisoft assures us will appear on PC – must be quintessentially PCish. In it players directly manipulate the terrain to help the tribe of little computer people they are caring for. That means redirecting lava, flows, setting water running down different routes, and otherwise directly messing with topology. There are also some other, special powers that will allow more complex environmental effects, creating emergent situations. From what Guillaume Brunier says in this video (below) From Dust is a fairly experimental design (although you can see the precursors for it in things like Populous), and is leading to quite a dynamic development process. “We get the simulation and the game giving us back some answers that we didn’t even think about, so that’s cool.” Sounds cool, Guillaume. Looks better. Go take a look.

Thanks, Gametrailers! We will totally respect your bandwidth in the morning.


  1. pakoito says:

    Hellooooooooooooooooooo Population 2.0

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Been there, done that. Using Minecraft, and a zombie spawner. ;)

  2. Urthman says:

    Shameless Minecraft rip-off.

    • Berzee says:

      likes this

    • Groove says:

      I am saddened and angered by the lack of minecrafting based news today. Between this and the rps servers being down, after you dared provide them for FREE, I am seriously considering being annoyed at you all.

  3. Cramen says:

    Populous: The Beginning 2? I was just thinking about that game earlier today. It’s nice to see something in that genre again.

  4. hopper says:

    *redirects lava into village*

  5. Oneironaut says:

    As long as it doesn’t have UbiDRM, I’m interested.

    • Rich says:

      It’ll almost certainly have UbiDRM. The only games published by them that haven’t have been those outside of direct Ubi control.

      This is a game that could be utterly ruined by lose-connection-lose-progress DRM.

    • Urael says:

      Oh c’mon, Ubisoft. Haven’t we bitched enough about your EVIL-DRM(TM) solution by now for you to notice and remove its blight from the world??

      Am genuinely torn between wanting to play this and standing by the effort to boycott all UBI-DRM’d products. It’s been easy so far – nothing has been released that I’ve wanted to play. But now this…


    • Tom OBedlam says:

      What a shame.

    • Davie says:

      What a shame.

    • Shakermaker says:

      It will be released on Steam.

  6. Spatula says:

    Holy shit that tech looks good.

  7. Rich says:

    I’m thinking Black & White without the annoying Creatures or having to defeat other gods.

    • roy7 says:

      I was just thinking it is Populous + Black & White myself. :) I might need to dust off B&W sometime…

    • Lukasz says:


      creatures and other gods was the backbone of BandW games

      it is like saying it is like tetris but without blocks or Tomb Raider without ancient civilizations.

    • jsdn says:

      The creatures and the other gods is exaclty why I disliked Black and White, so I’m interested.

    • Matt says:

      But in what other game can you abuse your pet until it stops going to the bathroom?

  8. Oneironaut says:

    Also, isn’t the music in that trailer from one of the Battlefield games?

  9. Dreaded Walrus says:

    This is Eric Chahi’s latest, right? I remember seeing this at E3, when it was Project Dust. Looking forward to it massively.

  10. yhancik says:

    Guillaume, Jirn, Guillaume !

  11. DarkFenix says:

    I saw this on gametrailers the other day, then it destroyed my interest with the lack of any mention of a PC version. I’m still not interested in paying for it, what with UbiDRM and all. If it doesn’t have that DRM I’ll buy it, if it does I’ll pirate it.

    • Okami says:

      How about you don’t buy it, don’t pirate it and don’t play it?

    • Rich says:

      Pirating it only justifies their draconian DRM.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Wouldn’t the DRM only be justified if he tried to pirate it and couldn’t because of the DRM?

    • DarkFenix says:

      Well if pirating it justifies their draconian DRM, then it justifies me pirating the next game they release with said DRM. Sorry but I’m not seeing the downside for me.

    • Rich says:

      True, but widespread piracy (real or imaginary) is their justification for even having DRM to begin with.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      That’s going to be their justification for it regardless of the actual situation though. I don’t think I’d be “proving them right” if they were going to be taking their action regardless. Anyway, DRM, yeah. Quite a bummer no matter how you slice it.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I don’t see what’s wrong with pirating it. I’m facing the possibility of losing my housing benefits because of the Tories and losing my home. I think it’s harder to justify how anyone or any business can be earning that amount of money than it is piracy.

    • Rich says:

      Pretty difficult to justify that. It’s not like Ubisoft get UK government subsidies or are even based in the UK.
      I’m not actually saying you shouldn’t pirate the game. I’ve downloaded a few myself. I just don’t fool myself into thinking I’ve got the moral high ground.

    • Davie says:

      Buy it, then pirate it. You gave them their money, and you have a functional game. Only moderately illegal. Problem solved.

    • Rich says:

      Davie’s solution is the morally right one if you actually want to play it. You haven’t actually stolen anything, but you’ve modified the game to run the way you want. It doesn’t send any massage though.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      How about we just each give UbiSoft 500 dollars without actually buying a game. I think that’s the best approach, everything else is morally bancrupt. What kind of twisted creature would only consider giving them money if they recieve a game in return?

  12. Dominus says:

    Populous + Black and White = epic win!

  13. Lewie Procter says:

    Eric says PC himself in the video.

    I think we can trust that. He’s always been a big supporter of as many platforms as possible.

  14. Hakkesshu says:

    “It is not clear if it is the same world as Out of This World… or not”


  15. Max says:

    I would love to see a terrain controlling game that involves more realistic sculpting (e.g. scooping up dirt and pushing it around) rather than the magical (and easier to program) height-map editors that most games use.

    • Cvnk says:

      Wurm Online?

    • UsF says:

      Wurm Online is a slow as hell to manipulate heightmap :) You might be able to dig basic caves, but they are restrictive, too. Shame though.

  16. James G says:

    Ahh yes, have been thinking this looks quite interesting. Will certainly be keeping an eye on it, and have fingers crossed that it avoids the worst of Ubisoft’s experimentation with DRM. The lack of such intrusions in RUSE leave me hopeful.

    I seem to recall reading that it would be a digital-download release only. Anyone know what services it will appear on? I’m assuming Steam at least, but there is always the possibility they’ll elect for something silly, like GFWL only.

    • Rich says:

      I think RUSE falls into the category of published by Ubi but not under their direct control.

  17. HYPERPOWERi says:

    Populous HD! This looks friggin’ sweet.

  18. Army of None says:

    Oh god. I can see this sparking some Populus esq wet dreams.

  19. Eclipse says:

    Population? you meant Populous right? (Also Populous 2 exists)

  20. Taillefer says:

    Obviously the best use of this technology is for another Wetrix.
    I hope it leaks into other genres.

  21. The Great Skratsby says:

    I don’t care if it has UBI DRM.

    I need this.
    Populous mixed with Black and White plus Another World’s creative drive (being absolutely stunning) on top of that.

    Yeah, my preference is outweighing principle.

  22. Spliter says:

    Unless by “quintessentially PCish” means an FPS requiring sometimes twitch reflexes then I’m not buying it.
    I also wonder which DRM will be used to ruing this game.

  23. Friend says:

    I see I’m not the only one instantly reminded of Populous by this. It’s a really interesting idea, and hopefully one not ruined by DRM. I feel that the popularity of games focused on more than just standard combat fare is on the upswing, thanks large in part to Minecraft (of course) and games like it, and the prospect is a promising one.

    More games that focus on creativity, please and thanks.

  24. Tacroy says:

    Tall guy was like “talk talk talk” and short guy was like resent.

    Cool video clips though!

  25. Edawan says:

    It’s coming to the PC ? Best news of the day !

  26. duel says:

    I was still waiting for Populous: The Middle

    But I guess this will do.

    • Urael says:

      I wonder how many here will get that without having to look it up…

      Loads, most likely. :)

      Now that I’ve watched the vid, it looks even better than it did before, back when I merely loved it. WANT.

  27. laikapants says:

    Blerg, I hope they roll out more info soon (esp. regarding the heavily bemoaned UBIDRM and whether or not it shall be present). I don’t wanna buy it on XBLA, but if UBIDRM is there I’mma have to.

  28. Shazbut says:

    What did Out Of This World have to do with that? They look like two completely different games.

    Looks great. Can’t wait for it to be released so I can almost buy it and then not because of the DRM.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      They probably just wanted to remind us that Eric was responsible for that game so we pay better attention to this one. Worked on me, anyway, because Another World was incredible for its time.

    • Ezhar says:

      Yes, bonus points for the Another World footage.

  29. newton says:

    I’d like to add that Eric Chahi is one of the loveliest guys you can possibly meet in the industry, therefore this game will rock. That is all.

  30. zornbringer says:

    holy smokes. thats the most interesting game ive seen in years. populus was before my pc time but of course i know black and white. this game seems to take it to the next level.

    hope the physics calcualation wont be too massive to comprehend for my little pc

  31. Torqual says:

    Where is the gameplay? Looks like a nice techdemo of a world editor to me. Peter Molyneux send your lawyers at them. They are stealing your populous and black & white ideas.

    Have a nice day

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m wondering about the gameplay too. Is it more like Populous where there is an AI opponent with similar powers, or is it more like the Sims where you’re building for the sake of building? Maybe there is a quasi-opponent, in the form of AI weather and natural disasters that you have to constantly counter by changing the terrain. It will be interesting to see how that’s handled.

    • ObowersA says:

      On the gameplay front, there’s some mention of it on

    • ObowersA says:

      (link fail) link to uk.gamespot.com

  32. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    You listening pig?

  33. Triple Omega says:

    If you’re going to boycott it on principle, it doesn’t matter whether you pirate it or not. They’re not losing any more money by you pirating. It’s only when you pirate the stuff that you would and could pay for that it matters.

    Also, no DRM ever stops pirates and no DRM-less games ever suffer from piracy by lacking DRM. So using piracy as an excuse for DRM is ridiculous. They should just come out with the truth and say they use it to block 2nd-hand trade.

    • mrmud says:

      Thats an incredibly blanket statement backed up by no evidence what so ever.
      Good job internet!

  34. DevilSShadoW says:

    another game that lets me play god with pixel people’s lives? Sure I’m in. But if it has that ubiDRM bullshit I’ll end up playing a bought version with a crack like i did with AC2

  35. Vandelay says:

    So, is this not actually a full release game? They said it would be out on Xbox Arcade and PSN Network. Not something that really bothers me, but a little surprising that something like this wouldn’t be a major release.

    It does look very interesting. I can’t really see how it would actually play tough, as you seem to be able to manipulate everything at will, which sounds like it would make everything a little too easy. There must be some restrictions coming in some where, which could just end up sucking the fun out of it. Still, definitely one to watch out for.

  36. CoyoteTheClever says:

    DRM? No thank you. I’ll pass on this one. I couldn’t be less interested in whatever Ubisoft is doing.

  37. DaggleC says:



  38. Davie says:

    My god, water that behaves like water. Water that MOVES. I must have this.

  39. Enigmatic Gray says:

    I read this before watching the video, and then the talky bits were much more amusing. :P

  40. Grey! says:

    so uninteresting. tech demo is not a game.

  41. Tetragrammaton says:

    Splendid. (Although the bird-manbaby worries men)

  42. DavidK says:

    Not sure what’s more astounding: how fucking incredible that looked, or how few commenters seemed to notice.

  43. UsF says:

    Maybe you can get some info or feedback from the Devs/Publisher. I tried via mail and received nothing. Might be the general customer relationship management that not every mail of any beta-begger like me (I assume that is what they read into it) are answered. :(

    I hope their decision to release it on Steam means that they feature Steamworks and therefor don’t require their own DRM. I’d buy it then. Haven’t bought the new Settlers, Silent Hunter, Assassins Creed or Splinter Cell yet, because of that crap, still waiting :/

  44. Araxiel says:

    “Release it on the PC? No chance english bed-wetting types. I burst my pimples at you and call your PC-releasing request a silly thing; you tiny braineopd wipers of other peles’ bottoms.”

  45. Dezztroy says:

    Don’t listen to Rich.

    The game will use Steamworks, and Valve’s policy doesn’t allow a DRM like Ubi’s in their Steamworks games.

    So no, this will NOT use UbiDRM.

  46. Mitch says:

    Ubisoft? DRM? lol! Nope.