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Ant Simulator teaches us ants can’t strafe but the world is very pretty up close


The problem with games still daring to use the world “simulator” in the title (ones that don’t come out of Germany riding various kinds of tractor, anyway) is the word now has a set of definitions that are used randomly. Is it a joke game about exploding roundabouts? Meant as a quick descriptor but not the actual title? An honest simulation? It’s a minefield of possible misunderstandings. Ant Simulator lands a little closer to obeying the rules of nature than Goat Simulator did and manages to look wonderful doing it.

Back in 2014 during Ludum Dare 29, a prototype version of Ant Simulator was created in just 48 hours. It let you explore as an ant for a bit but didn’t promise much else, being a fully 3D game made in less than two days. Proving quite popular, developerEric Tereshinski decided he’d like to turn it into something more fully featured. Here’s how he’s getting on:

What I really like about this is the sense of speed partly due to the wonderfully impossible scale of everything in the world. Having recently come out of a many month fascination with Doom, I miss first-person games feeling like I’m controlling the world’s most violent race-car. Even the prototype had it, though with a lot less of the excellent clambering about. In a world where I knew how to operate a 3D game engine, the first thing I would build would be a movement model like this. With it in place, you can layer fun things on top.

Which is what Eric and his team have planned next, with all sorts of additions in mind. You’ll be going to war with rival anthills, bringing your own colony up from nothing to dominate … well, somebody’s back garden, probably. They’ll also be procedurally generating the levels and the resources you’ll collect within them. Personally I’m looking forward to the garden strimmer boss fight.

Thanks, GR+.