Earth Analog Launches its Fractal Planets Into the Universe

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s especially true for the habitability of a planet being used as hard as Earth.  The end is coming and that means it’s time for humanity to move, finding a new home that will be similar enough we can move right in.  While odds are low for any given star system to have an Earth-sized planet in the Goldilocks Zone, the low end of the estimate of the number of stars in just the Milky Way Galaxy is 100 billion, so there’s bound to be something out there we can use.  Earth Analog is a space-faring game about the quest to find a new planetary home, but the universe is a much stranger place than initially anticipated.  Who’d have expected the planets to be made of 3D fractals?

Earth Analog is mostly a game of space tourism, going from one planet to the next while collecting a few resources to keep the spaceship in one piece.  The draw is to explore its planets, generated using ray marching instead of traditional polygons (here’s a good explanation of the process), each of which is a combination of hand-created and procedural generation.  What this means is that the math that creates them is specifically designed to produce the overall effect, but designing every nook and cranny of even a small planet is just a little outside of what can be reasonably expected.  The initial planets feel fairly normal but the farther you go into the universe the trippier they get.

Earth Analogue launched today on Steam, and while the response has been a bit rocky the first patch has already been released.  It may be better to think of this as Early Access instead of a full launch, seeing as there are plans for more gameplay mechanics, features like vegetation, new planetary systems as the fractal renderer creates fascinating new vistas, and plenty of tweaks and adjustments based on player feedback.  For what’s available now, though, the trailer gives a good look at the weirdness of space, so give it a watch to see the kind of planets that won’t work for supporting human life in Earth Analogue’s mathematically generated universe.