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Atavism is an impressionist First Person Shooter game that I’m making (thus far) by myself as my primary working project. I’m making it in my free time between University and work, and I hope to one day release it for purchase on PC storefronts.

Themes and Gameplay

Atavism is defined as tendency to return to a previous way of doing something that prior generations did, and for something to be atavistic is to exhibit a behaviors that have been done for generations, like sitting by a fire or being afraid of the dark. In essence, it is a word that captures what it is to be human, sharing common ground with our ancestors from the primeval days of man.

I feel as though games are well able to capture this feeling by immersing the player in another experience; the most common gameplay mechanics are indeed reflective of perhaps the most atavistic behavior of all: combat.

In the small scope of an indie game, I hope to provide the player an experience that stretches from the Isolation of early man – with evocative natural environments and foes, to the Familiarity of relatively recent history – with an unusual populated city with talkative fellow humans, to the speculative Abstract of post-singularity humanity – with a hostile and infinitely strange world and an absence of intimate human contact. I plan on doing this by exploring the breadth of environmental gameplay and melee-oriented combat in humanity’s beginning to contemporary FPS gameplay among soldiers and armies to the surreal advent of machines and strange technology in the twilight of our human forms – the gameplay adapting to suit the themes of each respective period.

I’m particularly inspired by the surrealist art and impressionist film movements, where much emotion and experience is conveyed subliminally or through atmosphere without a distinct narrative, leaving the player to be impressed upon by the work and perhaps look back in retrospect to learn a little about themselves.

Technical Aspects

I’m making this game in Unity, at time of writing using 2017.2, with plans to upgrade to 2018.1 when it reaches a stable release in order to utilize the Job System and Shader Graph.

All programming is therefore done in C# using Visual Studio. I’m making all of my 3D assets using Blender, of which I’m an amateur in modeling and animating but have found myself effective, given time. Any other image editing is done using Paint.Net, video capture is done using OBS, and design work is primarily stored in Microsoft OneNote and several actual notebooks I have scattered around my desk.


Project Timeline

I’m currently a student with a part-time job working on this project alone, the programming of which is all I have formal education in and the game design/narrative is a personal interest and talent of mine.

I plan on working on this game until it’s done, which is something that I believe is properly scoped to allow me to complete it within perhaps three years. It’s both a strong piece of expression for myself and an incredible learning experience (and portfolio piece), so I see no reason to stop working on it until I’m well and satisfied with it.

That being said, I’d be thrilled to work on this game with a proper team! If you’re interested, please visit the Join The Team page for information and let me know.