Shape of the World, final week on Kickstarter


Welcome dear visitor of the oasis!
Would you like to take a walk in a beautiful world that grows around you?



“Shape of the World is an exploration game where a rich and colorful world grows around you. Your presence is the driving force behind the procedurally populated environment as you establish permanent monuments to mark your journey.

Shape of the World builds on the ideas of experiential games like Journey, Flower and Proteus where health hearts and kill points don’t enter the equation. It’s an evolving world that grows with each step and hints at distant landmarks, encouraging you to delve deeper into the woods. Shape of the World offers a unique unfolding experience for those seeking an alternative to quest-driven adventure games.”



Shape of the world is currently on its last week on Kickstarter.
The game will be released for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac.
Without your presence, will the forest still come alive?


Support on Kickstarter

DinoSystem on Kickstarter

Great news!
DinoSystem is now on Kickstarter!


DinoSystem is a survival game set in a simulated ecosystem.

Every element of the world is emergent and evolves according to physical and biological rules: plants grow with sunlight and fertility, animals need for food, water, sleep and mate. Weather, temperature and day length depend on seasons. Lakes form or evaporate, and terrain become fertile or arid depending on a miriad of simulated variables.

In God mode you have complete control over the ecosystem, while in Survival mode you join the ecosystem and fight for your life. DinoSystem will be released for PC, Mac and Linux, and, if the stretch goal is reached, it will be also ported to smartphone.

Head over to the Kickstarter page for more infos.
Please help this project become reality :)

Review Shelter 2

Welcome everyone to our very first game review!
Today it’s all about the new game of Might & Delight, Shelter 2

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As a big fan of the original Shelter game, I’ve been looking forward to play Shelter 2 ever since it was announced.
A big thank you goes to the Might & Delight team for letting us have a copy before launch.
But enough with the introductions, let’s jump right into the game!

Starting off as a pregnant Lynx, you try to escape a pack of hungry wolves. As you escape the dangerous chase safely, the stars are calling you. Following them leads you to a den, warm and safe. Finally you’ve found shelter, the perfect place to bear your kittens.
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You even get to name the little furballs! Isn’t that just adorable? I named mine after the other members of the Playful Oasis team. Let’s see if one of my kitty colleagues will get eaten by predators or starve. Of course we don’t want that to happen!

In my freshly baked role as mother Lynx, proud and strong, I head out into the green, unknown world.
After countless failed attempts and already declaring myself as a failure as a mother I finally did it. I CAUGHT A RABBIT, YES!
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My babies devoured the prey hungrily. I would have never thought that a bloodstained animal could actually look cute, but d’aww look at their dirty little paws.

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Now come on my minions, uhm, children, let’s go see the world!
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Seasons passed quickly as I explored the vast lands with my little familiy. I grew into my role as a mother and my children grew in size.

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My personal hunting highlight happened just at the beginning of winter, when I was afraid there might be not enough food around. I caught my first deer AND a rabbit in just one jump. My children were so proud of me.

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It seemed like the blink of an eye when suddenly my children started to outgrow me. They even started to catch frogs on their own! I felt that soon, the time would come to part ways. We celebrated our remaining time together with a little family trip to “the beach”.

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Suddenly it happened, on a cool autumn morning, when I just wanted to head back towards our den. All my precious children stood there, rooted to the spot and looked at me. I called for them, as I did so many times before, but they didn’t answer me. The time of separation had come. I turned around and ran away as fast as I could, not looking back.
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Lying down on the wet grass I remembered all our adventures, the good and the bad times. Goodbye Ellie, Tom, Konrad and Dani, I thought you all I could, now it’s your turn to walk this world.

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As the game ends you get the option to start a new family, one of your cups taking on the role as parent. I was very lucky that all my babies survived, else they wouldn’t be available for a new playround.

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In terms of longtime motivation, Shelter 2 offers a huge amount of collectibles. During this first playround I only found very few. They are spread all over the world and finding them all is quite a challenge!
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Ok, time for conclusion and rating. Here are my pros and cons:

+ Beautiful graphics, especially the shader effects
+ The feeling of a living world
+ Awesome setting and role

– Movement controls
– Orientation
– Understandability of UI elements

After a few understandability and movement control issues in the beginning, I really enjoyed my stay in the world of Shelter 2. There are a few things I would have liked to see (more individual characters for the kittens for example). However, all in all the game offers a great and unique experience.
A worthy successor for the Shelter series! My rating: 3/4 clover leaves


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Shelter 2 will be released on Monday, 9rd March.
I recommend: Head over to steam and buy it icon biggrin Review Shelter 2


LlamaJam 913x1024 #LlamaJam
Inspired by ABC15s coverage of an amazing llama chase in Arizona we thought Playful Oasis would be the perfect plattform to host a llama Jam.

Get creative and create your own llama chase game. The best games will be featured on Playful Oasis and become world famous (well, we can try).


Start: 26.02.2015 20.00 PST
End: 27.02.2015 23.59 PST


Send your finished builds to:

Praise the llama!


llama #LlamaJam Photo by ABC15

Procedural games about bees

I love procedual games and I’m super interested in insects. When I heard that the game design students from Zurich would do games about bees for their procedural game design course, I went nuts. Now the prototypes are done and I want to share them with you!


Change the genetics of your bee in the laboratory and let it fly through a dangerous parcour, designed by a mad scientist! Experiment until you manage to create the ultimate bee.

Created by Don Schmocker & Melanie Vetterli




The player takes the role of a queen bee who has to find her worker bees who have fled the hive after a hornet attack. She has until sunset to save her colony from extinction. But the meadow isn’t as peaceful as it seems – hornets and other dangers are waiting for the queen to make a mistake.

Created by Dominik Troxler




A roguelike action game about a robotic bee whose task is clearing beehives from parasites and healing infected bees.
This game will be getting a sequel, in spirit at least. So stay tuned!

Created by Alice Ruppert & Martina Hugentobler




Multiplayer time! The scene: A junk jard, The actors: Two mechanical insects fighting over fireflies.
If your insect is destroyed it will be procedurally re-composed within second but with completly new stats.

Created by Dominik Haas & Aline Baumgartner
Drones Procedural games about bees



To Bee or Not to Bee

A turn-based strategy game where you control a bee colony that has to survive the expansion of another bee species, hostile and dangerous. Explore the levels and send your bees out to gather nectar and produce enough honey to win. Always stay in motion and out of the reach of the enemy as good as possible. Place your hives on new locations to protect them as you cannot actively fight the opponent.

Created by Fabian Brunner
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A quite trippy experiment about procedural level design, hands off beat visualization and beat detection.

Created by Goran Saric & Christian Schmidhalter
BeeHigh1 Procedural games about bees



A Bees Life

In this game you play as a Bee searching the fields for flowers with your friends.
The Goal is simple: collect the pollen of several flowers and bring them to the beehive.

Created by Flavian Schwitter
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Well that’s it for now. I’m really impressed by the diversity and quality of the prototypes, considering that they where developed in less than two months. As a turnbased strategy games lover I was especially hooked by To Bee or Not to Bee, still have to beat that super hard third level…

Are you interested in one of the games? The developers will be happy to receive an email from you!
Thanks for reading icon biggrin Procedural games about bees


As a side-note: The very first prototype for Niche – a genetics survival game was also created during the very same procedural game design course last year. And it looked like this:

Acomodo Procedural games about bees


The feeling of nature

Hi there,

I’m one of the only members of Playful Oasis who isn’t actually a gamedev. I founded last year and helped with the web design here.
I got the request to write additional content for the site and there I was – sitting in front of the bright computer screen and startet thinking. Games and nature, a very broad subject. Why do I like nature in games? Why do I even like nature itself? And what does it take to fully immerse myself in the world of a game?

Hear it

The first question is easy to answer: Simply because I love nature. Why do I love it? The answer to this question takes us to the third. Most importantly but often overlooked by the sheer beauty that meets our eye: The sound. Singing birds, the rustling of leaves through the wind, the sound of fresh snow when you step on it or even the silence on the top of a mountain. There are thousands of different sounds in nature and the key to create an immersive world aren’t realistic visuals in the first place. Without those important sounds video games are just an interactive painting – a quite boring one.

This fact was illustrated pretty good by Robin Arnott’s Deep Sea. Wearing a taped gas mask, so all you could see was complete darkness and only using your ears to navigate through the horrifying underwater world, created a terrifying experience deeply disturbing people and letting them rip off their headphones in panic.
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Photo by Matthew Wegner

See it

Now let’s talk about visuals. A video game about nature doesn’t need to be super realistic like for example The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. It needs to deliver variety to the eye. It doesn’t neccessarily need to be colorfoul like a forest in autumn or a hayfield in summer. More important are the different shapes and structures. A dessert isn’t only a huge plain. It has a variety of dunes and patterns painted by the wind. A forest has more than two different kind of trees and a complex undergrowth.

The icing on the cake isn’t on the ground, it comes from above. Who doesn’t love a beautyful colored sky during sunset or watching the clouds passing by. Even down below sunrays can create a dense atmosphere. Imagine the brief morning light shining through the leaves of a lime surrounded by fog.

The Long Dark by Hinterland Games did a great job in creating a fascinating winter landscape and managed to combine it with a realistic soundscape, although there is room for more. Nonetheless, every picture you take in the game could be used as a desktop background.

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Feel it?

Obviously we aren’t there yet, but a bright future lies ahead in regard of the upcoming virtual reality devices. There have been experiments with google street view and many people experienced the immersive power of VR in horror games.

When it comes to nature, especially first person exploration games come to my mind. There aren’t a ton of these out yet, but games like Kira show that you can easily create worlds where the player wishes to live in. You feel like a child again, wandering around looking at everything with curiosity and deeply enjoying the experience. A result games rarely are able to achieve nowadays and which reminds me of when I started playing them in the beginning. There I can feel it again: pure joy.

kira oculus The feeling of nature

Welcome to the Playful Oasis!

Playful Oasis is a collective of four indie game teams, each developing their own game related to nature/biology.
All teams will post development updates on a regular basis, offering you interesting behind the scene insights.
We will also post news & reviews about other game related projects and blog about nature topics in general.
We hope you enjoy your stay icon smile Welcome to the Playful Oasis!