"wasn't meant to be a god game" but a real-time strategy with "a lot of micromanagement." The level editor changed that.
It was "really enjoyable to use" interacting in real-time to the environment, "where everything is dynamic." Chahi feels it will give the God sim "new momentum".
"I do think that From Dust can give the genre new momentum – for one thing because the gameplay is tense and exciting whereas normally this type of game has a slower rhythm," said Another World creator, Eric Chahi.
"And we also took the simulation aspect as far as we could; the whole world is in a constant state of change, and everything the player does can have important short or medium term repercussions on the world."
"Diverting a river will completely reshape the landscape: for example, endanger a town or put out a fire. As a result, the gameplay comes to the fore, with the player creating challenging situations they have to respond to, caused by the domino effect of their own actions. That’s the beauty of the plasticity of simulation-based gameplay," he continued.
His original vision for the game was sidetracked after enjoying the level editing tools so much, thanks to From Dust's constantly changing landscape.
"As strange as it might seem, originally From Dust wasn't meant to be a god game, but an RTS game featuring a lot of micromanagement," noted Chahi.
"It was the same world, with volcanoes, tsunamis, and so on, and simulation was a key element of the game, but the player didn't interact directly with the environment."
"However, we had a level editor that allowed this interaction in real time, which was really enjoyable to use – there was something tactile and fascinating about interacting with a world where everything is dynamic."
"So we combined the interactive enjoyment of the editor with the original world to create a new entity, the 'Breath'. From Dust became a god game."
Naturally the project involved research into other God simulators out there like Peter Molyneux's Populous series and his more recent Black & White.
"I'm a big fan of those games. I remember replaying Black & White to see how the camera was handled. We asked ourselves a lot of questions – did we need a totally free-roaming camera like in B&W, or customised points of view like in Pikmin, for example."
From Dust releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC July 27th. It was only announced as an XBLA and PSN title but this month saw a mention for PC, much to the delight of desktops everywhere. Are you glad someone is injecting the God sim genre with new life?