Author Topic: From Dust  (Read 1844 times)

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Offline Superman

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From Dust
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:45:51 AM »
From Dust is what happens when you take the basic idea of Black and White and combine it with a souped up version of the mechanics behind the falling sand games.

Your character is not so much a god as it is a spirit thingy. There are people that have freed you. In exchange you help them establish villages around each of the totems in each level so they can open portals to the next land.

You have the ability to pick up and place water, soil, and eventually lava, allowing you to alter the landscape. By diverting the courses of rivers, building climbable hills up the sides of mountains, creating land bridges, etc..., you give the people access to different parts of the land. Once they can reach a totem, they establish a village around it. Later in the game, villages established around totems grant you varying extra powers. Again, you aren't playing a god. Your powers have limitations, and the existing natural forces often act on the landscape faster than you can. It's not as simple as building a hill or lake where you need one. Land naturally levels itself, rivers erode and deposit soil, the ocean can wash away a newly formed beach, etc...

Often the levels have some special challenge. Tsunamis, high tides, volcanoes, earthquakes, an absence of certain resources, too much of a resource... so the gameplay doesn't get repetitive. I'm about halfway through the game, but it's been telling me that I've also been unlocking special challenges as I go. I'm not sure what those are like. It seems like there's a lot of content though, and I gather there's also a sandbox mode at some point.

The gameplay is actually fairly easy. I've only encountered one level that I would call difficult. Yet, it's still engaging. There's some reward mechanic (to extend gameplay, I assume) for spreading plant life over a certain amount of the island. I think it's redundant. Something about the game design itself inspires me to spend ten times as much time as needed on a level.

One of the first levels has a water source at the top of a mountain. This creates a river running through the island. By piling a fair amount of soil around it, I created a river that spiraled down the mountain, eventually running along side of itself. Water erodes soil as it moves, so it wasn't as simple as placing new terrain down and being done with it. Rivers also deposit soil in their deltas, so I ended up with a rather large island and the longer I played, the more I could do.

It's probably not a same for everyone, but I love it.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 10:02:38 AM by Superman »

Offline gumstitch

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Re: From Dust
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 16:48:51 PM »
Nabbed this one when it came out a couple of years ago. looooooved it!
So disappointed they never made a sequel or extra levels or anything.
I was so obsessed with it for a year before it's release, because it's exactly the kind of game i like, and games with those kinds of physics are really rare.

the sandbox at the end is incredible.

Offline Superman

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Re: From Dust
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 02:48:19 AM »
I just beat it the other day.

I've set up a couple little streams in the sandbox. It's still fun, but the gameplay really does benefit from having goals and stuff. I only played a couple of the little challenge levels. They lack the magic of the main game, but I appreciate them doing something different with the engine to stretch it out a little.

I agree, just a new level pack would be a huge addition to the game.

Offline Poopyhead pianoman ♫

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Re: From Dust
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 17:36:15 PM »
Maybe this is why we love Minecraft so much.
LOL @ Pam... if I had $20 for every time someone used that word with me... well....

I'd probably have like $60

Offline Superman

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Re: From Dust
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 03:31:21 AM »
Maybe this is why we love Minecraft so much.

There are some similar qualities. It's a little more limited than Minecraft's approach, but it's a lot more... realistic? organic?

There's just something really cool about digging out a little path for a river to run through, then coming back to it later to find that it has breached one bank to split in two, carved a new beautiful wide corner, and created a little swamp near the end where the current has slowed.

Offline Poopyhead pianoman ♫

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Re: From Dust
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 21:54:22 PM »
I agree. It'd be nice if that kind of thing happened in Minecraft.
LOL @ Pam... if I had $20 for every time someone used that word with me... well....

I'd probably have like $60