You’re going to want to play new indie MMO One Hour One Life for a lot more than one hour


Looking for something new and interesting to cap off your Friyay? Swing by Steam and take a peek at One Hour One Life. It’s a survival game, kinda, but it’s also an MMO. RPS called it a “multiplayer humanity sim.” A real MMO, where the other players actually matter, built by a one-man dev team with unique hand-drawn graphics and music.¬†The pitch is that you roll up into the game as a baby, the offspring of somebody else on the persistent server, chosen at random. You live for an hour, with each minute representing a year as you age. Your task is… whatever you make it, though hopefully it’s to make the game world a better place for the next generation, which will include your own next character if you’re hooked.

“Across this ever-growing family tree of generations, players are collectively conducting an enormous project: they are rebuilding civilization from scratch. The online game world starts out as a near-infinite expanse of wilderness (four billion meters wide from east to west, and four billion meters wide from north to south, with a total surface area of over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 square meters, or 36,000 times bigger than Earth). The very first player to join the server is Eve, and she starts out in the wilderness as the root of the family tree. Eve and her immediate offspring lay the foundation for the future civilization, perhaps making a few primitive tools, cooking basic foods, and starting a small farm as they scrape out a meager existence before dying. Future generations will build on this primitive foundation, eventually mastering more and more advanced technology, including domesticated animals, metal working, permanent buildings, and transportation networks.

“But as real-life history has shown, civilization is fragile. A generation that is born into the lap of luxury—on the backs of their ancestors’ hard-won accomplishments—can just as easily squander their inheritance as build upon it. Key resources run out over time, so careful management, planning, and organization are necessary to prevent an inevitable collapse. Thus, the game graduates from the individual challenge of primitive survival in the early stages to a group organizational and leadership challenge in the later stages. How do rules and procedures for group survival propagate across multiple generations? What did our great grandparents have in mind for this village?”

Damn. You want a strong community in a world where what do actually matters? Here you go.¬†Worth noting too is that the source code for the game is public, so folks can run their own servers, though frankly I’m more interested in what happens to this one. And the game has fully released this week for $19.99 – no early access shenanigans here.

“I hope you’ll join us as this sprawling civilization-building experiment continues to unfold. Many thousands of players have already collectively lived over 400,000 hours in this endlessly-changing world so far,” developer Jason Rohrer writes. “Before the Steam release, the average playtime for each player was 17 hours, with dozens of players logging over 500 hours each, and 94% positive off-Steam player reviews. This is a deep and rich game already, and there are still hundreds of content updates to come.”

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