From Dust

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From Dust
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Release date(s) NA/EU July 27, 2011
Release type Multi-platform
Genre(s) Strategy
Mode(s) Single-player
GameID(s) NPUB30418, NPEB00466
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From Dust is a god video game, designed by Éric Chahi and developed by Ubisoft Montpellier. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade in 2011. Described as a spiritual successor to Populous, the game revolves around The Breath, which was summoned by a tribe to help them seek and recover their lost knowledge. In the game, players, controlling a cursor, can manipulate matter such as lava, soil, and water. Players can help the tribespeople to overcome challenges including finding different totems and overcoming natural disasters. In addition to the story mode, the game features a Challenge mode which offers a shorter, but harder experience.

Originally starting its life as a strategy game, From Dust marked the return of Éric Chahi to the video game industry following an extended sabbatical after the completion of his last game, Heart of Darkness. The project was created as a result of his fascination with volcanoes, and his desire to combine the ambivalence and violent characteristics of their nature in a new video game. The team was further inspired by African and New Guinean tribes, Conway's Game of Life, works of Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński, and Koyaanisqatsi. Some features, such as the biological life cycle of the tribespeople, were left out of the game because of the huge amount of work they would require. Ubisoft was originally doubtful about the project but was later convinced by Chahi. The game was made by a small team within the Montpellier studio, so was considered an independent game produced by a large publisher. The game was announced at E3 2010 as Project Dust.

The game received a generally positive reception on release, with critics praising the game's physics, simulation, openness and graphics, while criticizing the game's artificial intelligence and camera angles. Opinions on the game's Challenge mode and mission design were polarizing. The PC version of the game fared worse than other platforms for its technical issues and digital rights management. The game was a commercial success for Ubisoft, selling over half a million copies and became Ubisoft's fastest-selling digital game. Despite its success, Chahi confirmed that he will not return to develop a sequel.


Only options that deviate from the default configuration to ensure best performance are listed below. The full list of default options is available here.

CPU configuration

Setting Option Notes
Preferred SPU threads 2 May improve performance on weaker CPUs.

GPU configuration

Setting Option Notes
Resolution scale threshold 1024 x 1024 Fixes blocky shadows when Resolution Scale is over 100%.
Write color buffers On Fixes missing graphics.

Known Issues

There are no reported issues with this title.

Special Notes