A multiplayer survival game of parenting and civilization building. Get born to another player as your mother. Live an entire life in one hour. Have babies of your own in the form of other players. Leave a legacy for the next generation as you help to rebuild civilization from scratch.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (257) - 76% of the 257 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Nov 8, 2018

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Recent updates View all (4)

November 3

Weekly Update #35: Games of Chance

This week I developed an extension of the category system which allows crafting transitions to have more than one possible outcome. This is obviously needed for things like fishing, which is included in a minor way in this update. The old "do this and get that, guaranteed" just doesn't feel right when dipping a hook in the water. You'd be hauling 'em out one after another.

All transitions in this game are A + B = C + D. In the past, A and B could be categories, which might mean that an axe can chop anything in the "kindling source" category into kindling.

The new probability system now allows C and D to be categories as well, but a new kind of category with weights for each member. Whenever the transition is invoked, one of the members is picked at random, according to the weights. The weights can be any probability distribution. Some outcomes can then be very rare, when that's appropriate (like catching a special fish, or finding a diamond in a mine).

But I didn't stop at fishing. To fully put this new system through its paces, it made sense to explore the human activity that led to the development of probability theory in the first place: games of chance. Also known as gambling. Thus, I didn't just stick in a probability set with a few outcomes, like fishing. I included one set with 21 outcomes (for a pair of rolled dice), and another with 52 outcomes (for a deck of cards). Good thing I did this, because including categories this big unearthed a serious, long-term crash lurking in the category system.

And come to think of it, fishing and gambling really do go hand in hand.

The tutorial was also updated with some improved wording and a "hint hallway" for people who are really stuck (age-gated at 35, so you have to have been trying for 20 minutes before you get any hints).

Those of you who saw moving ice holes related to penguins, that bug has finally been found and fixed. And a new protocol is in place (PING/PONG) to help the client detect true cases of the bouncing-forever bug, as opposed to just genuine network outages. This should result in far fewer false reports. And one new cause of bouncing-forever, this time caused by the new reconnect system, has been fixed.

And stacks, and partially-used objects, no longer revert to their full state on server restart. Their true states are correctly remembered. This also means no more weird universal locks after server restart.

All that said, I still have quite a long list of mini-bugs on GitHub to fix this week before the Steam release on Thursday. That will be my focus, and there will be no new content this week (it would be weird to ship a content update on the very day that the game goes live---the new players will need a week to settle in). I hope to push out the final bug fixes (including content fixes) on Tuesday, to allow time for some last-minute fixes on Wednesday as well.

The plan is to put out a nice-sized content update the following week, and then continue with weekly content updates thereafter.
7 comments Read more

October 26

Weekly Update #34: Plaster and Paint

Plaster is cheap, but pigments are a bit harder to come by. Except for yellow. That one is easy, but oh so cruel. Outlawed in 1908, in fact. Have you ever noticed that mangoes make your mouth itch a little bit? Now imagine being force-fed the leaves!

And yes, I suspect that I'm one of the only game designers in the world who, upon deciding to add wall paints to my game, realized that I would also need to add mango trees. That leads me to ask: where would this game be without Wikipedia? There's an information rabbit hole lurking around every corner.

Steam integration seems to be up and running smoothly. When this update went out, the Steam client fetched and installed it (with a bit of automated goading on my part). The plan is to get one more content update out the door next week before Steam launch week. I also have a nice fat queue of GitHub bug reports to go through. Thank you, and keep 'em coming, folks.
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“This game broke my heart and restored my faith in humanity.”
Vice Motherboard

“The stories you create are intimate, complex and multidimensional... a moving microcosm of the human condition.”

About This Game

A multiplayer survival game of parenting and civilization building. Get born to another player as your mother. Live an entire life in one hour. Have babies of your own in the form of other players. Leave a legacy for the next generation as you help to rebuild civilization from scratch.

Hey folks, I'm Jason Rohrer, and I've been working on One Hour One Life for more than three years. I've been doing everything myself---I drew all the graphics on paper with pens and markers, I coded the entire engine from scratch, I composed and performed all of the music, and I even made all of the sound effects. It's a very personal game, and it's really unlike anything else that's out there. It's also a huge game---over 1300 fully interactive, craftable objects already. And it's only getting bigger, with weekly updates adding new things all the time. The game was initially released on my own website in February of 2018, and over the intervening months, I released 29 updates off-Steam. I've promised to keep releasing weekly update for at least the next two years, with the end goal of making the largest, most comprehensive crafting game in history.

Okay, so what about the game itself?

First of all, you only live for an hour, where each minute marks a passing year. You join the game server as a newborn baby, and some other randomly-chosen player is your mother. You depend on her for your survival. And why will she be willing to waste her valuable time and resources to keep you alive? Because she's going to die in an hour just like everyone else, and if she wants what she accomplishes in her lifetime to have any meaning, then the next generation (aka, you) is her only hope. And if you survive into adulthood, you may get the chance to have babies of your own---other players, just joining the server---and those babies will be the next generation that gives meaning to your own life accomplishments.

Across this ever-growing family tree of generations, players are collectively conducting an enormous project: they are rebuilding civilization from scratch. The online game world starts out as a near-infinite expanse of wilderness (four billion meters wide from east to west, and four billion meters wide from north to south, with a total surface area of over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 square meters, or 36,000 times bigger than Earth). The very first player to join the server is Eve, and she starts out in the wilderness as the root of the family tree. Eve and her immediate offspring lay the foundation for the future civilization, perhaps making a few primitive tools, cooking basic foods, and starting a small farm as they scrape out a meager existence before dying. Future generations will build on this primitive foundation, eventually mastering more and more advanced technology, including domesticated animals, metal working, permanent buildings, and transportation networks.

But as real-life history has shown, civilization is fragile. A generation that is born into the lap of luxury---on the backs of their ancestors' hard-won accomplishments---can just as easily squander their inheritance as build upon it. Key resources run out over time, so careful management, planning, and organization are necessary to prevent an inevitable collapse. Thus, the game graduates from the individual challenge of primitive survival in the early stages to a group organizational and leadership challenge in the later stages. How do rules and procedures for group survival propagate across multiple generations? What did our great grandparents have in mind for this village?

The main mode in the game involves being born as a helpless baby to another player as your mother, but you can also play with your friends as twins, triplets, or quadruplets. One baby is hard enough to take care of---any mother that can successfully take care of quadruplets deserves the eternal gratitude of you and your friends.

All of this is happening on my own centrally-managed, persistent servers, and your purchase includes a lifetime account on these official servers. After you buy the game, you can instantly connect to this world with no configuration or server set-up. It all just works. You also get access to the full source code, including the server code. Technically-minded folks can run their own private servers, or even use the powerful content editor to make their own mods.

I hope you'll join us as this sprawling civilization-building experiment continues to unfold. Many thousands of players have already collectively lived over 400,000 hours in this endlessly-changing world so far. Before the Steam release, the average playtime for each player was 17 hours, with dozens of players logging over 500 hours each, and 94% positive off-Steam player reviews. This is a deep and rich game already, and there are still hundreds of content updates to come.

No two lives are ever the same, and a new story always awaits on the other side of the [GET REBORN] button.

Jason Rohrer
October 2018
Davis, California

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or newer
    • Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce G210M or better; 256 MB or higher
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any

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