Ecce Homo is certainly ambitious – set across three time periods, it aims to capture the sum of human evolution. From the plains of the Savannah 60,000 years ago to the forests of Europe 48,000 years later, the game follows humans moving from hunter-gatherer people to the tribes setting up permanent settlements and beginning to farm the land.
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The game was a semi-finalist in the Developing Beyond competition set up by Epic Games and the Wellcome Trust, but unfortunately wasn’t selected as a finalist. Still, what the team managed to produce and planned to create rivalsPatrice Desilets Ancestors – a game from a much larger team with a much bigger budget.
Each one of the game’s three parts would see you playing at a different stage of the human journey, and with each time jump your abilities would change. At first, in the Savannah, you would have access to simple weapons, spears and clubs, but by the final act you’d be able to use bows against your enemies.
While the game was to be narrative led, it would take place in open environments dotted with enemies that are dangerous not in number but through your own vulnerability. Just a couple of hits from a club will kill your character so you’d need to be stealthy to survive and get ahead of your foes.
As a game being developed with the help of the Wellcome Trust, developers Holy Warp were assigned a scientist who helped them plot out the game. Studying fossil history, the team hit upon a world that was both historically accurate but also threaded with magical realism – your character would see things that weren’t always there. Many of these strange creatures would be based on the half-human half-animal images in cave paintings.