Project Origin #01

Many years ago, I had an idea. Not many people have heard about it, but I now feel ready to let the world know. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s a game. A huge, epic game. A game that lets you control your own human population from the very beginning of human history, to the end of our current era and beyond.

Being a massive fan of management and city-builder games, one thing has always bothered me. You’re never given the opportunity to create your own personal, intimate settlement. One where you decide architecture style, what laws to follow, religious believes and culture. All the factors that differentiate populations around the world are usually already defined. You’re left with a plot of land where it’s up to you to build skyscrapers as fast as possible.

Well, what about the small, but strong communities? The ones where you have a personal relationship to the mayor and the guy running the local grocery store? You’d think there was one game that let you build a massive empire, or just a farm in the outskirts of that empire if that was your thing. A game giving you a whole world as a sandbox. There’s no shortage of that last one, but those usually only let you build block by block. I’m dreaming of a game whereas I’m able to rule a whole kingdom one moment and taking a break from everything because I just felt like making something small and personal. Where nothing’s off limits. I can create anything regardless of how large, or small it may be.

Introducing Project Origin. A game where you start of by managing a small population in the stone age and help their development throughout time. Any management aspect is available for you to take fully control of. My admittedly highly ambitious project which I’ve been developing for the last 3 to 4 years, and I’m finally going to tell the world about it! This idea came to me a few years back while at work. I was employed at the home care services, driving from home to home, usually taking care of elderly people too healthy to stay at a care facility, but still in need of help. I often worked 7 days a week and spent what little time I had left hiking or playing games with my friends. At work however, I spent much time in the car alone with my thoughts. I’d often ask myself what was next. What am I to do with my life? I had two passions: Software development and gaming. This naturally eventually led me on the path to game-development.

On a sunny, but cold Friday while on my morning round, it suddenly hit me. This game which would combine all the best parts of my favorite games: Exploring the human history like in Empire Earth and Civilization. Having a simple, but beautiful art-style like in Legend of Zelda (2D games), Stardew Valley and Kingdoms and Castles. Being able to customize buildings like in Sim City (2013) and Stonehearth. Advanced governing like in Urban Empire. A simple, but tactical combat system like in Advanced Wars. Smart and creative game-mechanics like in Factorio and Don’t Starve. All while maintaining a limitless sandbox, like in Minecraft and Terraria. Is such a big game even possible?

I’ve been wondering about that for many years, designing one game-mechanic after another, getting closer and closer to a solution. Then it finally hit me. What if the game wasn’t made using 3D models and realistic graphics? Like most indie developers I eventually realized that I must shrink the project down to a realistic goal. Being unwilling to get rid of game-features, the only choice left was to decide upon another art-style. Pixel-art. The go-to choice for indie-games. Reusable, modular tile-sets. This is genius, I thought to myself. This will allow me to start developing the game immediately, and so that’s what I did. But before we get to the fun part, we must first prepare.

Welcome to the development blog-updates of Project Origin. Stay tuned to learn more.