April 26, 2014

The Universim - A fresh look at the simulation genre

Over the past couple of years, I personally feel like the god and simulation genres have been going in a less than satisfactory direction. There have been quite a few niche simulation games such as Prison Architect and the fairly viral Goat Simulator. Those are all well and good but a game hasn't made me feel like a proper deity of sorts for a long time. Many hopefuls like myself looked towards Peter Molyneux's current project Godus. Sadly, a lot of hope has been lost for it after the slew of communication with the backers along with slow development updates.

A new game in development now seems like it may quench my unreasonable thirst for feeling like a god in a living world. The Universim is now up for backing on Kickstarter and I believe it's worth every penny.

For more information and my expectations of The Universim, head under the cut.

The Universim pins itself as a "next-generation planet management god game." I'd like to think of it as the living world parts of the SimCity series and the evolutionary growth of Spore with a hint of a Black and White 2 vibe combined and stretched and molded into a beautiful interplanetary experience.

The video on Kickstarter begins with us being told a story of humans learning and evolving into their modern day selves from the perspective of the planet they're populating. From campfires to skyscrapers, they grew and truly existed on this planet. Making use of the resources available and enduring natural disasters. Eventually they turn to the stars in search of more planets, resources... and life.

As a god of the world, you have the ability to not control but to guide your people through the ages. You're able to influence their research and growth. You could lead them to a prosperous age of advancement or perhaps you could cause them to completely obliterate each other in war "almost as though you're managing your own ant farm." They call this Organic Gameplay and I am absolutely excited for it. I may have an irrational yearning to feel like an all powerful god but I don't want to feel like my people don't have a sense of self. The AI will make most of their decisions themselves but you'll be there to sway them in whatever direction your heart desires. 

Beyond whatever control you may have over the fate of your people, random events can occur that you will have to deal with. Disease will be a very real threat that could destroy the civilizations that have taken generations to achieve. You may also have to be concerned with items of unknown origin falling out of space into the laps of your people. It could be your choice to open it up to discovery new technology or a horrible sickness. The world is very much so alive and you have to be prepared to deal with the ever changing landscape that is your people's lives. Preparing antibiotics and readying armies could save you... or not.

In a time where simulations games are either far too zoomed in such as The Sims or any of the varied (NOUN) SIMULATOR (YEAR) games, it will be nice to be able to see an entire world living, moving and evolving as I see fit. My only complaint thus far would have to be that the planet sizes miiiiight be too small for my personal taste. Maybe once more information comes out about civilizations and interplanetary discovery, my opinion of it will change. 

 Below I've included the aforementioned video and a link to the Kickstarter page. Take a moment to watch and look over everything. The development of this game will be something to watch with all the features and elements that are planned.

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