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. Updated weekly.
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Negative (43) - 27% of the 43 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (1,057) - 74% of the 1,057 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Nov 8, 2018

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy One Hour One Life


Recent updates View all (39)

August 16

Vacation Update: A Reprieve from the Rift

I'm still out of town on my family vacation, but it was clear that life inside the rift had gone completely haywire in my absence, mostly due to newly-discovered forms of griefing that I cannot fix until I get back. We have a lot of great data an ideas to work with, though, and the path ahead is clear.

In the mean time, so I can enjoy the rest of my vacation worry-free, the Rift is disabled, and the ever-growing Eve spiral is back in action, with no forgotten-area culling.

Thanks for hanging in there during these rocky times, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle next week.
2 comments Read more

August 3

Weekly Update #69

Whole New World


Thank you all for bearing with me as I continued to adjust and perfect what is now the most massive set of fundamental changes in the history of the game. Like I said in the last update, we got off to a very rocky start, but by the end of this week, it was almost completely smooth sailing.

Containing all player activity in a bounded area, instead of letting it spread infinitely on the map, revealed all sorts of problems, particularly in terms of resource distribution, settlement locations, and griefing. On an infinite map, there are always more resources available if you walk far enough in any direction, which is what people used to do to find settlement locations, and you can also easily hide from trouble-makers in the vastness. A bunch of important features in the game, like fences, were rendered unnecessary by the unbounded map.

So, first up, let's take another look at that now-ancient map generation algorithm. It placed biomes independently in patches, and there was no structure to that placement. That meant that the biomes that were useful together, like swamps and grass (a prime settlement location) almost never spawned next to each other. Finding a prime spot used to require a very long walk. This also meant that jungles could border the arctic areas. The independent placement resulted in a lot of map variety, but there were obviously some trade-offs.

The new algorithm uses a more naturalistic topographic layout, with biomes in altitude rings. This means that each biome always borders the same other two biomes. Swamps always border grass, for example. Now prime settlement locations are all over the place. I also added per-biome likelihood controls, so the really-necessary biomes can be more common---they have wider topographic bands. Finally, I classified three biomes as "special": arctic, desert, and jungle. These aren't needed quite as much as the others--they're only needed for advanced tech---and it's more interesting if they are far-flung on the map. They don't occur in regular topographic rings, but instead at the centers of each topographic peak.

This one change resulted in a dramatic improvement in the survival rates of settlements on the map. Suddenly, the bounded arc area became quite livable. Even better, the old long walks to find a settlement location were gone.

Living close together highlighted a bunch of new problems. Families often live in the same village for generations, yet are still logically separate due to war swords and inability to curse each other. After many generations together, they might even speak a common language. At that point, they really are one village.

Now, if you can curse someone in a language they understand, it will work, whether or not they are in your family. And elders from two families can declare PEACE to each other, as long as it's in an understood language, thus disabling the war swords. They can also declare WAR to each other again later if need be. Note that both these features also work before you learn a common language across generations if you do the work to actually type the other family's language.

Now that people live near each other, fences are everywhere. This is good. Towns are more interesting with fences. However, rogue fences can also be a problem. The idea with fences is that they homestead unclaimed land with a waiting period to ensure local consensus. But what about out in the wilderness? In an infinite map, it's all unclaimed land, but in a finite map, it might need to be used by someone in the future. A fence bisecting a large wilderness area is a real problem. The 2-hour decay period for an abandoned fence is too long in this context. So, I've given you a way to remove a fence, with the help of an elder and a brief waiting period. The idea here is that you'll only be able to remove abandoned fences, because of the waiting period. If someone cares about the fence, they will intervene and cancel your removal notice.

And regarding resources, the only non-renewable so far that has been a real problem has been iron. So I've given you a high tech way to produce more iron by burning oil. Iron never runs out now, but oil is finite, so there still is an eventual limit. Those diesel mining outposts are extremely valuable, both in terms of production and the expensive capital improvements that are installed there.

The goal in all of this is to enable a collective challenge: How long can you all survive together before civilization collapses globally? The most recent record was 44 hours. But there's enough oil on the map to support farming for 100 people for at least ten days. I'm guessing that 44 hours is just the beginning, and you'll all be gradually getting the hang of it over time.

It took a while to come together, but this really does feel like a wholly new and improved game. There's something going on at any moment in this world now. There's a story to tell.


And with that I'm off on a two-week vacation with my family. There will be no updates for the next two weeks.
15 comments Read more


“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

Note (June 18, 2019): This game is being updated weekly. That means it's going to change, a lot, over the next few years. The game is already playable, feature-complete, stable, and chocked full of content---it's already an entertaining and interesting game. However, my goal is to make the very best game possible. In a large-scale multiplayer setting, it's very difficult to predict the group dynamics that will result from a given change, so there will be some experimentation along the way. You may not like every change that I make, but you should know that I'm working hard and doing my best to explore this brand new design space, and we'll hopefully end up, eventually, at the best destination possible. In the rare case where a given change ends up being completely disastrous, I always act quickly to fix it. There are hard problems to solve, and with your support and input, we can solve them together. That is part of what your are buying when you buy this game: a seat at the table around a game that is changing and improving week after week. Thanks for your input, trust, and support during this process! --Jason


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

What Curators Say

47 Curators have reviewed this product. Click here to see them.

Customer reviews

Review Type

Purchase Type


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph

Display As:
Show graph
Hide graph
Excluding Off-topic Review Activity
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...