After an absence of more than a decade, Out of This World creator Eric Chahi is coming back with a brand new game.

My secret shame: I don’t care about E3. I used to, but it no longer speaks to me as a gamer. I don’t mash buttons, I don’t dance dance and I have zero interest in controlling my games by flailing around like a spastic idiot. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get all giggly and fanboyish when something really rings my bell. Something, for instance, like the news that Eric Chahi is making a new game.

Announced by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot at the company’s E3 press conference, Chahi’s new game has a working title of Project Dust and tells the tale of a primitive tribe of masked natives struggling to survive in a harsh, deadly environment. “Project Dust is the spiritual heir to Populous,” Chahi said. “The game is set in an extreme version of planet Earth where nature unleashes her power in a much more violent way than what we are used to. Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, volcanic eruptions are what the days are made of for the people of Dust.”

“In this kind of God game, users will play with powers to manipulate the world around them. Ground, water, lava, fire, plants and trees model the world like a child playing sand castles on the beach,” he continued. “With such powers, players will help their people resist, expand and migrate so they can accomplish their quest to find a safe place.”

The trailer for Project Dust looks cool but what makes it particularly noteworthy, if you haven’t picked up on it by now, is the fact that it’s being made by Eric Chahi. Chahi is kind of like the game industry’s Harper Lee: He worked on a couple of small projects in the 80s before creating the brilliant and acclaimed Out of This World (known as Another World outside of North America) almost single-handedly in 1991. He followed that up with the 1998 release Heart of Darkness, after which he effectively walked away from the industry. He’s had a hand in a couple of Out of This World update projects in recent years, but Project Dust will be his first new game in well over a decade.

Will the old magic still flow through his fingers? We’ll find out next year; Project Dust is targeted for release in the spring of 2011 on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and PC. To find out what else Ubi has in store for the coming year, check out The Escapist’s full coverage of Ubisoft’s E3 2010 press conference right here!


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