The From Dust wiki last edited by BGoldenTLE on 06/07/14 02:01PM View full history

Overview

From Dust puts the player in control of a god that must lead the natives of the world away from the dangers that lie within and onto the promise of the Sanctuary. The game revolves around a civilization that has lost its heritage and turns to " The Breath" for guidance. The player, as a god, must help them retrieve the lost knowledge again; using your knowledge of the terrain to help them navigate the world during missions.

The game was released for the Xbox 360 during the 2011 Xbox Live Summer of Arcade. The PC version has an announced release date of August 17, 2011. The PS3 version was released on September 13, 2011.

Gameplay

The natives look to you for direction

In From Dust, the player cannot control the natives directly, but instead has to help them past obstacles by manipulating the terrain that exists in the world. The player can use different types of elements like matter or trees by moving them around to different places in the world. This manipulation in turn opens up new opportunities for expansion by the natives.

The gameplay is primarily based on helping your people to survive natural disasters in order to reach the end of the level. From Dust features simulations of real-world geological processes. Water will always flow downhill, either by filling shallow ground or by carving out a new path through the sand. Sand will erode when water flows over it; while rock is more solid and cannot be eroded. When in contact with water, lava will cool and form rock. Lava and fire will burn any vegetation that it touches. With this knowledge in hand, the player is then faced with the task of diverting water and/or lava, putting out fires, preventing water from flooding your village, helping vegetation to grow and creating and reforming the land to allow migration of the natives.

Lava and water can be used to shape the landscape

Throughout the game your tribe can claim totems that are located throughout the world which give the player additional abilities. Only the inhabitants can give you access to these totems and if, during the course of the game, one of your villages is destroyed then you lose that ability.

Music plays a small, but important role in the game. Whenever your people access a new totem, learn a new power, or the 'Breaths' ability recharges, the game gives a musical cue to inform the player.

Elements

These are the different elements in the world:

Matter is used to shape the landscape to benefit the players tribe.

MatterDescription
SandSand erodes quickly from water, but can be used to create new fertile land. If water runs near sand then vegetation will start to grow which will decrease the rate of erosion.
RockRock is more sturdy than sand and will not erode from water. However, it cannot host vegetation.
LavaLava can be used to set the vegetation on fire or to create rocks by dumping water on it. As lava flows down to the sea new land will form.
WaterWater can be used to create rivers or lakes, to help vegetation to grow, or to cool lava.

The unique trees in the game are used to modify the existing terrain and elements:

TreesDescription
WaterWater trees expand when filled with water and explode when fire or lava is near, releasing their stored water.
FireFire trees spout fire at regular intervals and can keep water at bay. The fire trees will also set any nearby vegetation or settlements on fire.
ExplosiveExplosive trees can be heated to destroy any hardened rock on the map. This can be used to channel the different elements to your civilization's advantage.

Story

Totems give new powers to "The Breath"

The game's story is spread out over 13 maps. The story starts with the inhabitants calling for the "Breath" to help them. They know little of the world other than their ancestors, the Ancients, had left and had not returned. As the natives progress through the maps, they gain dormant powers for the "Breath" and learn more about the totems and world their ancestors left behind. The natives are looking for the Sanctuary, a safe-haven that their ancestors built. On the last level, Origin, the "Breath" gains the powers of the world and can build the natives the Sanctuary. However, after going through to the other side, the inhabitants find themselves at the place where they started, the first map.

More background information of the story are told through a text codex called the 'Memory of the Tribe'. Additional entries for the codex can be found by finding artifacts in the maps and spreading vegetation throughout the world. These entries explain and give deeper insight to the world, vegetation, "Breath" powers , animals, natural disasters, and the natives themselves.

Levels

  • The Breath
  • The Ritual
  • The Roar of the Sea
  • The First Power
  • The Thousand Sources
  • Wildfires
  • Waves
  • High Tides
  • Tears of Stone
  • The Raging Earth
  • Emergence
  • Movements
  • Origins

"Breath" Powers

When activated, the totem gives new powers to "The Breath". The following two powers are passive and become activated whenever a village is in trouble from a natural disaster:

PowerDescription
Repel WaterRepel water protects the village from encroaching oceans or raging tsunamis.
Repel Lava or FireRepel lava or fire protects the village from lava slides and wildfires.

There are powers that the "Breath" actively controls. The powers are all limited as they are tied to a timer and have a cooldown. These are the following powers:

PowerDescription
Jellify WaterJellify water congeals any water on the map. This allows the player to create paths for the natives by scooping out water from a river. This power lasts for 60 seconds.
Put out FirePut out fire extinguishes any raging fires on the map. This ability lasts for 60 seconds
EvaporateEvaporate dispels any water on the map and halts all water sources from producing. This powers lasts for 60 second.
Infinite EarthInfinite earth gives the player an inexhaustible amount of sand to use. This power is on a 15 second timer
Amplify BreathThe Amplify Breath power increases the amount of an element that the "Breath" can absorb. This power lasts for 15 seconds.
Engulf AllEngulf All absorbs any and all matter that the player picks up. This power is on a 50 second timer.

These abilities are given to the breath on the very last stage of the campaign. All of these abilities have an infinite timer:

PowerDescription
Breath of EarthThis ability gives the player control over all the earth based powers in the game. The "Breath" can create dirt at will and make hills rise out of the ocean.
Breath of LavaBreath of Lava provides an unlimited supply of lava for the player. With this power volcanoes can be formed and destroyed. Volcanic eruptions are also controlled by the "Breath"
Breath of WaterThe Breath of Water gives the "Breath" control over all the aquatic elements of the game. Springs, whirlpools, and even tsunamis are under your control.
Breath of PlantsWith this power, the player has control over all plant life of the map. You can spawn water, fire, and explosive trees. Additionally, the player can seed the entire soil with plant life or make the land barren.

Challenges

The game has 30 challenges spread across all new maps and are unlocked by playing through the single player campaign. The levels tie into the game's time based leaderboards. These challenges range from simple point A to B exercises, to racing against the clock to prevent your village from being wiped out by an oncoming tsunami.

The following is a list of the challenges:

Page 1

  • Fire!
  • Running in the rain
  • Bail Out
  • The Big Wave
  • Canyoning
  • Pump it up
  • Xuenylom

Page 2

  • Aquasplash
  • Waterfall
  • Guardian Angel
  • Explosions
  • Sacrifice
  • Gospel
  • Hell

Page 3

  • Fluids
  • Collapse
  • Epic Tsunamis
  • Ditch
  • Countdown
  • Migration
  • Nitro

Page 4

  • Quicksand
  • Atlantis
  • Irony
  • Drill
  • Sunken Secret
  • Trees of Water
  • Deadly Crossing

Page 5

  • Wagon of Fire
  • The Descent

Development

A dichotomy. Beauty and danger

From Dust is the project of Eric Chahi, creator of Out of This World/Another World. After he worked on and helped release Heart of Darkness in 1998, he took a break from video games and explored other hobbies. One of them was volcanology, or the study of lava, magma, volcanoes, and other related geological phenomena. The idea of the game came from when he was on vacation,

"I decided to create Project Dust during a trip in Vanuatu in 1999. I was near the Yasur crater and it was strongly active. I could see its explosion; the sound was incredibly loud, like an airplane breaking the sound wall. Bombs were falling everywhere and sometimes really close to us. I was at the same time fascinated by this breathtaking beauty and really scared. I remember I had two thoughts at this very moment: 'I want to create another game before I die' and 'in the game I want to convey this ambivalence of Nature, beautifully and potentially violent at the same time'.

He pitched the game to Ubisoft in 2006 who liked the concept. For the art and world geometry, the team looked for inspiration from the Yemen islands, Polynesia, and the Sahara. Along with overall look of the world, the inhabitants were given a look from African and New Guinean tribes. This inspiration led to the natives receiving masks and playing musical instruments.

Reception

From Dust has received generally positive reviews with a Metacritic score of 80.

The PC version of From Dust has drawn a lot of criticism for its limited framerate, lack of graphical options, and poorly tuned controls. The DRM for the PC version has also received many complaints as it was reported that the game would not require an always-on system. However, the game launched with the Ubisoft's proprietary DRM system.

System Requirements

Minimum

    • OS: Windows XP SP3 / Vista SP2 / Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz / AMD Athlon64 X2 4400+ 2.3 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB (XP) / 2GB (Vista/Windows7)
    • Graphics: 256 mb / shader 3.0 GeForce 8800 GT or ATI Radeon HD 3000+
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0 –compliant sound card
    • Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, optional controller * This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT

Recommended

    • OS: Windows XP SP3 / Vista SP2 / Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 920 2.66 Ghz or AMD Phenom II X4 3.00 Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB DDR3
    • Graphics: 512 MB / GeForce 9 or ATI Radeon HD 4000 series
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0 –compliant sound card
    • Peripherals: Keyboard, Mouse, joystick optional (Xbox 360® Controller for Windows recommended) * This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT

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