Ubi Shanghai started from scratch with I Am Alive

Protracted development detailed by Ubisoft.

Ubisoft Shanghai started from scratch when it took over production of I Am Alive, with much of original developer Darkwork's efforts being scrapped.

Since it debuted with a spectacular trailer in July 2008, I Am Alive has been shrouded in mystery. It emerged that Darkworks handed over the reigns to Ubisoft Shanghai last year, and the game was re-announced as a digital download late in September.

With its release at an unspecified date this winter drawing closer, and with the game nearing completion, Ubisoft has started to take the wraps off I Am Alive with a series of gameplay presentations - and the story behind its protracted development has started to become clear.

"First it was a CG trailer," Ubisoft Shanghai's Aurelian Palasse told Eurogamer, "It arrived in Shanghai in 2010, and we decided to make it more realistic."

In its current near-final shape, I Am Alive is a survival game set a year after a mysterious apocalyptic event, with a focus on traversal and inventory management.

"We started from scratch, but with the same pitch," Palasse said, "I don't want to take the point of view that our game's better [than Darkworks'] - but first of all it was a CG, so everything was possible, and it wasn't real gameplay. But we liked the pitch, and we liked the way it felt."

I Am Alive is scheduled to hit Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this winter. We'll bring you a more detailed look at the game in the very near future.

I Am Alive gets a comeback trailer

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