Many of my friends enjoy playing The Sims like they’re watching an ant colony: Hardly interfering, merely observing. I, as a video game control freak, prefer to engineer their life. Eat Create Sleep is creating something that’s in between those playstyles. In Crest, you get to play a god who shapes the lives of its tribespeople by making a series of “if” statements, a.k.a. commandments.
Created in Unity, Crest shows the ongoing lifetimes of a few ancient, reproducing tribes. You don’t get to control them directly, as they eat, build farms, and reproduce, though. Rather than mouse clicks, they are governed by their traits: They can have “low,” “average,” or “high” greed, goodwill, fertility, etc. This decides how quickly they’ll reproduce, how much of their life they’ll spend working on the farms, how eager to reproduce they will be, and so on.
This is where the player comes in, making “commandments” which are actually a series of two-part statements. For instance, you can decree, “if you have high greed, you have high fertility. If you have low chastity, you have average goodwill,” and so on. That can change each tribes’ attributes, directing them to switch up their behavior. This is where it becomes interesting: After some time, they will interpret the commandment in their own way, so a high fertility saying may be turned into “if you have high fertility, you will live a short life,” or “if you have high greed, give a lot of food away.”
Eat Create Sleep started an IndieGoGo campaign, and interestingly enough, $1 awards invitation to some secret ritual that will be filmed post-release. If you’d rather play Crest, $15 nets the game as well as the event. You can also show support by throwing your votes at the game’s Steam Greenlight page.