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The origin of the project that would become The Solar System began in the middle of 2011 with environment artist Chris Albeluhn, who, being unemployed and in need of a new portfolio piece, began development of Earth on the Unreal engine. With the planet modeled and showing the capabilities of what the engine could achieve in the astronomical setting, Albeluhn broadened his focus of the project with the other significant planetary bodies of the Solar System, including the Sun, the Moon and the seven other planets. With nearly every aspect of the program covered by him, Albeluhn still needed the written information about the celestial bodies. Therefore, fellow environment artist and writer Samuel Horton joined the project in early 2012.
The first video preview was released near the end of January and gained approximately 70,000 views. The second video, however, was released on April 1, 2012- it went viral on April 15 and within a week it had accumulated 300,000 views, dozens of news articles and over nine thousand dollars in donations.
Albeluhn's friend, collaborator and fellow environment artist, Adrian Budd, joined the project in April of 2012 for the business development of the program. The team founded a company, Edible Hammer Games, with the incentive of further developing The Solar System. The release date for the program was announced as being May 21, 2012.