From Dust

Spotlight

VideoFrom Dust gets Google Chrome launch trailer

Eric Chahi god game coming to browser in April.

FeatureEric Chahi on From Dust, Peter Molyneux and what's next

"You have to fight to make this kind of game come alive."

From Dust

Earth to earth.

Key events

FeatureSaturday Soapbox: At What Point Does a Game Become a Toy?

Pure playfulness, from physics simulations to Windowsill.

I spend a frightening amount of my spare time pretending that I'm God. Or rather, I spend a frightening amount of my spare time playing From Dust, in which you get to play as God, but only if you happen to view God as a cross between a mouse pointer and a vacuum cleaner. Most evenings you'll find me in the middle of the primordial gloop, inhaling sand and then dumping it out again into wonderful sagging mini-mountains, dribbling ridges of hot rock along the edges of canyons, or simply slurping stray water out of a pit I've just punched into the ground.

It's Nottingham, the end of a crisp autumn day, and Eric Chahi's smile is as bright as the late October sun - although his is a face that seems reluctant to ever frown.

From Dust sells 500,000 on PSN, XBLA

From Dust sells 500,000 on PSN, XBLA

Ubisoft claims digital is the best way to test new IP.

Downloadable god game From Dust has sold over half a million downloads on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, Ubisoft has revealed.

That figure doesn't take into account the game's PC release.

The publisher seems very happy with the figures, arguing that its success is all down it being launched on digital platforms rather than as a full retail release.

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FeatureGameCity Discussions: Richard Lemarchand & Eric Chahi

From Dust and Uncharted creators captured in conversation.

Nottingham doesn't have the swagger of Los Angeles or the neon allure of Tokyo, but it can boast a games show that puts E3 and TGS to shame. GameCity is a festival in the truest sense of the word, a celebration of a community and a culture that's sadly all too often swamped by corporate concerns.

FeatureEric Chahi on From Dust, Peter Molyneux and what's next

"You have to fight to make this kind of game come alive."

French video game designer Eric Chahi is one of the leading lights of independent development. His last game, downloadable god simulation game From Dust, launched to critical and commercial acclaim. His iPad and iPhone versions of influential adventure game Another World are now out the door. In short, Chahi's star has never burned brighter.

EU PlayStation Store update 14th Sept

EU PlayStation Store update 14th Sept

From Dust! Renegade Ops! God of War!

All hail god game From Dust, which headlines this week's update to the EU PlayStation Store.

Ubisoft's beautiful Caribbean sandbox was showered with a delightful 9/10 in Eurogamer's From Dust review.

But perhaps you fancy something with more firepower. Then meet Renegade Ops, a twin-stick vehicular shooter from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios.

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From Dust PS3 release date

From Dust PS3 release date

Éric Chahi's god game finally hits PSN.

Superb god game From Dust will be released for PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network on 14th September, Ubisoft has announced.

The game is already out PC and Xbox 360.

"It can be rushed through in half a dozen hours, will sustain you for twice that, but the game's modest length and size don't reflect its elemental, existential scale," wrote Oli Welsh in his Eurogamer From Dust review.

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Steam offers From Dust refunds

Gamers get money back due to DRM mess.

Steam has begun offering refunds to gamers angry that PC versions of From Dust require an internet connection to play.

From Dust PC patch to remove DRM

From Dust PC patch to remove DRM

Ubi backtracks on internet authentication.

Controversial DRM that demands users log on to the internet every time they boot up the PC version of From Dust is to be removed from the game via a title update, Ubisoft has announced.

Following uproar on the game's official forum last week over contradictory claims from Ubi over how the game's online authentication works, the publisher posted a statement on the message board today explaining that it had decided to ditch the DRM.

"We recognise that one of our posts in the From Dust forum regarding the need for authentication in the game was not clear. We sincerely apologise for the misunderstanding," it read.

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Notch wades into Ubisoft DRM debate

Always-on internet "encourages piracy".

Minecraft creator Marcus 'Notch' Persson has chimed in on the raging Ubisoft DRM row, describing the publisher's demands as "insane".

Out This Week - 19/08/11

Xenoblade! Age of Empires! Soldiers!

The warm and fuzzy till-ringing sound of capitalism returns to shops this week, as the games industry escapes the annual drought of summer.

From Dust breaks Ubisoft sales record

From Dust breaks Ubisoft sales record

PSN version "available soon".

Eric Chahi's eye-catching god simulation From Dust has broken publisher Ubisoft's day one digital download sales record.

The Xbox 360 game broke record digital sales after launching on 27th July.

It had the highest first day sales of any Xbox Live Arcade game that Ubisoft has ever released, with sales approximately 45 per cent higher than Ubisoft's previous best-selling XBLA release - a game the French publisher failed to disclose. Was it Beyond Good & Evil HD, or perhaps Scott Pilgrim vs. the World?

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Were you to describe the entire spectrum of gaming using a graph or chart of some description - and that is the sort of thing the internet tends to do, so I'm not ruling this out for the future - you would probably struggle to place our Game of the Week further away from the other thing I've been playing over the last few days, however you chose to label the axes.

From Dust

From Dust

Earth to earth.

From Dust is a different kind of god game. In most examples of this rarefied strata of strategy game - including its closest relative and direct inspiration, Peter Molyneux's classic Populous - the player-god is a blend of accountant, general and town planner who manages resources, shapes cities, counts off prayers and wars with rivals. A manager, in other words; a director of human affairs.

From Dust's god - known as the Breath - has the same aims: the survival, settlement and progress of its people. But it's both more hands-on and more remote, giving only the most basic instructions to its nomadic tribe of followers while directly manipulating nature instead: shaping rivers, moulding earth and rock like putty, creating order from chaos, coaxing life from barren dust.

The game's designer, elusive Frenchman Eric Chahi - who hasn't released a game in 13 years - is a keen amateur geologist, and it shows. The terrified and displaced tribesmen crawl out of a hole in the ground to find themselves in a fantastic setting resembling the Earth many millennia before human existence. They speak of following in the footsteps of elders, yet the planet is tortured by volcanoes and tsunamis, apparently suffering the birthing pains our own did as it coughed up landmass and life.

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From Dust PC release date pushed back

The PC version of From Dust, Eric Chahi's striking attempt to reinvent the god game, has been pushed back until 17th August, Ubisoft has confirmed to Joystiq.

It had been due to launch in tandem with the Xbox Live Arcade version later this week. No reason for the delay was offered.

A PlayStation 3 version is also planned, but is currently without a release date.

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Why From Dust can revive the god game

Chahi talks genesis of comeback project.

It's fair to say that the god game has fallen to earth somewhat since its early-'90s heyday, when the likes of Populous and SimEarth held heavenly sway over the PC charts.

From Dust PC release date

From Dust PC release date

Set to launch alongside XBLA version.

The PC version of Eric Chahi's God sim From Dust will launch alongside the Xbox Live Arcade version on 27th July, Ubisoft has announced.

Grab it from Steam, the UbiShop and the other usual digital download suspects.

Simon Parkin played with sand for Eurogamer's From Dust preview last month. "The rhythm of save and build is mesmerising and for the first time in a long time, makes god’s work seem appealing," he wrote. "As such, this is a second coming that all can anticipate eagerly."

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From Dust, Uncharted 3 at GameCity6

Nottingham festival flexes muscle this October.

Another World creator Eric Chahi, Naughty Dog lead game designer Richard Lemarchand and Flower developer thatgamecompany's Robin Hunicke headline the GameCity6 festival this October in Nottingham.

FeatureFrom Dust

Another world.

Game designers are gods, conceiving new realities before coding them into being. They set their dimensions and boundaries, the rules that bind them together and the shapes and colours that eventually fill them.

From Dust

Elementary.

In From Dust you're God, and God, in turn, is a vacuum cleaner. He's a frantic, over-worked, middle-managery kind of vacuum cleaner, if that's remotely possible, and one that's locked in constant, hectic mediation between populace and environment. You know, just like a vacuum cleaner.