Facepunched: Prehistoric Survival Game Before

Open the door, get on the floor, everybody fund the game Before.

While the many ends of human civilization are all the rage nowadays, Before has been looking at its beginnings. It’s a singleplayer-focused survival game about your prehistoric tribe exploring, foraging, hunting, surviving wild animals, surviving the elements, and, over time, developing a culture, beliefs, and rituals. It all sounds delightful, but creator Bill Lowe was struggling for money to finish it. Normally this is where I’d link to a Kickstarter campaign, but no need! You see, those moneybags from Rust and Garry’s Mod gang Facepunch Studios have taken Before and its team under their gamewing.

Facepunch bossman Garry Newman explained today:

A while ago I got chatting to Bill. He had found himself in the position that a lot of indies find themselves in. He had this great talent, this great game idea, but he didn’t have time to make it – because he had to put food on the table. A man’s gotta eat. So I proposed that we make it together. Facepunch would hire him and anyone he wanted, and we’d make the game.

What pleasant people. I’m enjoying seeing Facepunch are spending their indie squillions, using it as freedom to play and experiment and hire people to make whatever they please, from arcade tennis to arcade simulators. They probably could’ve bought an island or two instead. They possibly still can.

You might fancy reading Indie Game Enthusiast‘s recent interview with Lowe, touching on stuff like emergent possibilities and not blowing a game’s surprises before it’s even out.

Several thousand years later, some idiot sets off a nuke and we end up with every other survival game.


  1. shinkshank says:

    Well, that sounds vaguely interesting. Sort of wish we had a bit more on it than mock images and a few broad ideas, but I guess that’s where every game starts out. I’ll keep an eye out for this I suppose.

  2. Rich says:

    Take that Godus!

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Godus and BC, it looks like. Definitely seems worth keeping an eye on. The art’s pretty good, at least.

      • Geebs says:

        Looks like Molyneux and chums were ahead of the game as far as that art style goes. Who’d a thunk it?

  3. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Facepunch need to do something. Very much regretting buying Rust in it’s early form, they have done very little in a year.

    • HadToLogin says:

      It’s great to see all those money poured in Rust goes to make best game ever. Too bad people who bought Rust won’t get it.


      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        According to Steam I’ve had 80 hours of play for £15. Seems a reasonable return I s’pose.

    • spamenigma says:

      Look at the weekly dev blog, they have done loads with it, don’t forget they started over and its looking really good so far.. be more patient!

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        I do look at the devblog, and I jump in to the experimental build on a week to week basis, there’s barely anything there! The blog is full of cosmetic tweaks and very little else.

  4. Goodtwist says:

    Before is so yesterday..!

    • Niko says:

      – Have you played before?
      – Before what?
      – Before the game!
      – Which game?
      – BEFORE!
      – Whaaaaaat

  5. cyrenic says:

    The alt text for that first image might be one of the best this site has ever seen.

  6. David Bliff says:

    Hopefully this turns out, I was really hoping The Stomping Lands would be good but by all indications it’s a mess.

  7. Alexrd says:

    The carved, minimalistic art style always holds my attention in videogames. This is no exception.

  8. int says:

    Oh I get it. It looks the way it looks because they didn’t have textures back in prehistoric times.

    • Jalan says:

      Tactile sensations were purely myths. Back in their day, everything had the appearance of a playground slide and that’s the way they liked it.

  9. rcguitarist says:

    I’m interested. Hopefully we will finally have a decent single player survival game.

    • Bobka says:

      I hear The Forest is decent? I would also like a good single-player survival game, though.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        The Forest is single player. They plan on a peaceful mode too, just man v wild.

  10. MrFinnishDude says:

    Oh man!
    Imagine hunting a mammoth in this game, scaring it away from you with torches and making it fall into a pit filled with spikes and then throw rocks at it until it dies. Just like our badass ancestors
    It would be much more cooler than hitting it with your stone axe until it dies, and educational!

    • Gog Magog says:

      watch the beast squirm and bleed and gurgle, cracked eyes transfixed with a wild ravening and you stare long into them now vessels for the seamless cold of the outer dark

      • Niko says:

        *runs away crying*

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        I was all for it! Now I hate myself.

      • MrFinnishDude says:

        Well hey its a months meal for my whole tribe.
        It’s evolution baby!
        We pretty much hunted them to extinction this way.

        • David Bliff says:

          Good luck preserving it for a month without any salt around, if it’s not below freezing outside. I’m not sure humans (even entire tribes) were actually capable of efficiently using a hunted mammoth.

  11. yhancik says:

    Btw, do you remember B.C. ? link to youtube.com

    (oops, Eight Rooks mentioned it above. My bad)

  12. purpledoggames says:

    I’d also like to congratulate Alice on the alt text for the first image. Made me smile. And now my head is full of booms and akalackas.

  13. felisc says:

    That first screenshot had me excited about a Tail of the sun remake. … But yes, Before looks gorgeous, good news.

  14. DemonDog says:

    Sounds really cool – neat to see a kind of sandbox game that isn’t a Minecraft clone!

  15. Christo4 says:

    Aww… This is one game where the art and all that looked really good for some multiplayer warfare or cooperation :(. Something to take your mind off things at the end of the day.

  16. Shiloh says:

    I quite fancy playing a prehistoric game. Something like Unreal World but with woolly mammoths, Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals.

    In my ideal world, the game would be set in France, somewhere along the Vezere, during the latter end of Würm glacial stage, and you’d be part of a wandering band of hunter gatherers just starting to settle the land and faced with the perils of surviving in a hard world.

    Art and ritual would be important, as would fishing, trapping and hunting. Competition for resources (between humans themselves and also with the dwindling bands of Neanderthals) would ensure an element of conflict as well.