Survive With A Society In Primitives

Well done, traveller, you’ve almost made it to the end of survival week. And you’re still capable of rational thought and reading! Truly you are an immortal of our time. I’ve got a reward for you. Primitives, a student game by seven final year-ers at the Queensland¬†University of Technology, starts in a similar fashion – chop down a tree, make a campfire, get some stone, try not to eat your own face off in hunger. The twist comes when you start building huts, causing AI compatriots to arrive and turn the game into more of a third-person RTS. It’s also totally free and available in a beta state now. Trailer and some thoughts below.

It’s an interesting prototype and idea, but is a fair bit of work short of a finished game. Developers Ugly Stick are still working away, planning to release updates publicly. What’s currently there is functional but buggy and cosmetically very basic – poor animation and unfinished textures. It’s playable but it’ll take a few goes before you reach the tribe stage rather than dying of starvation with only a few rocks to keep you warm.

My first playthrough ended after I punched a wolf to death then a friend of his managed to eat me. In a wonderful display of a not-quite-finished physics engine, my character model then rocketed into the sky, ragdolling wildly. My second I strayed too far from camp at night and froze to death after killing a mammoth with a spear. It’s definitely a survival game.

Grab the demo here or through IndieDB.


  1. rockman29 says:

    That’s the most adorable woolly mammoth that ever was made :)

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    “Well done, traveller”

    Yep, that’s all I needed – read the rest of the post in the voice of Falconhoof.

  3. Cinek says:

    Trend “name your company by first (and most likely the only) game you’ll ever make” continues.

    • tormos says:

      Well I mean when you’re releasing a student game that’s probably pretty logical, no?

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      What does the phrase “You look like you were beaten with the ugly stick as a child?” have to do with cavemen?

      • Harlander says:

        Yeah, the spears don’t look that bad in the context of the rest of the graphical style

      • primitivesgame says:

        The Name Ugly Stick was originally a tongue in cheek reference at our low poly art style, before we changed it. Our Logo was an ugly joystick and the game was called Primitives as in geometric primitives used in modelling.

  4. Urthman says:

    At least they got right the fact that primitive peoples talk in the Papyrus font.

  5. Barberetti says:

    Where’s the Man Wearing Gas Mask With Fish On A Stick Survival Week logo then eh? EH?

    Just downloaded this and will try it out tomorrow night while having a few beers. Looks like it could be fun.

    Edit: Spoke too soon. No inverted mouse option.

  6. Hex says:

    I’ve wanted to play a cave-man-em-up or an American-Indian-em-up for a good long while. I’m a little sad to see that this game seems to be focusing on building a settlement and presumably resource management.

    It would be nice to play a survival game that was a bit less frantic, as John was writing earlier this week. Something where a settlement exists on its own without you, perhaps, while you take the role of a hunter and have to contribute to the clan’s food, while also keeping a look-out for other clans/saber-toothed-beasties/foreign-invaders.

    I dunno. I just feel like these games might benefit from less of a perpetual grind to survive, and maybe allow the player to get into a comfortable groove, and then have to react to crises as they arrive. Oh no, there’s a famine and no food in the area! Do we move the encampment or do a rain dance? That kind of thing.

    What would be especially nice is to give the player the opportunity to use his mastery of his home environs to accomplish his goals. To know the local flora and fauna to such a degree that he can use them to oppose any bipedal threats that wander into his territory.

    Essentially I want to play Apocalypto: The Game.

  7. Monggerel says:

    Aahahahhahah that title oh man
    shoulda just called it savages

    • tormos says:

      “The poor dears don’t know any better: THE GAME”

    • manny says:

      Game is quite cool in the design department, I always thought the hunter gatherer life was exciting.

      Alternative titles:
      “Not quite as advanced: The Game”
      “Undeveloped: The Game”
      “Indigenous People: The Game”
      “Homo-sapiens” The Game”
      “The Original White People”
      “My Burden: The Game”

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Look at them, so cute with their little sticks

    • primitivesgame says:

      Or the article could have been Persevere with a Pack of Primitives! Plenty of room for alliteration!