Earthsim versions 1 & 2 were developed from 2006-2012. Combining a high resolution planet simulator with a universe scale rendering engine let Earthsim work as an interactive 3D exploration based encyclopedia.  Educational ‘cut scenes’ or documentaries would get triggered as you explore a ‘living’ simulated universe.

So much good work went into the Earthsim project that the original developers have decided to resurrect the project in the form of a game.

For this next version we are going to focus on all the details of a living green ecology along with the weather systems that interconnect with it.

Earthsim – The Green Machine

Imagine a beautiful living natural landscape, one you can fly over and view from any angle. It’s up to you to keep this world alive.

Can you survive the four seasons, 5, 10, 50 and 100 years? Or go for 1000 years to prove you have what it takes to build a world that can survive?

Rain falls, and water flows over the land as rivers and is absorbed into the soil. Trees grow and lakes form and dry out. Forests grow or die away into deserts.

Aim Of The GameBuild a resilient ecosystem and keep it alive through various levels.

Challenges include tidal waves, drought, volcanoes and meteor strikes.

Two play modes:

Play through

  • Each level consists of a landscape that the player must master and keep alive.
  • Each landscape has its own characteristics and challenges, starting from the simple to the more complex. 
  • Learn the various challenges encountered and build skills as you progress through the game

Build – Share

  • Build / Sculpt your own landscape.
  • Upload and try out your level with other users
  • View and download top rated levels


The videos below show the early prototype work on the engine that we used for Earthsim 1 and 2 products. The engine was advanced for its time, but it has been 10 years and things have moved on. The limiting factor is no longer the ability to render things well. Modern GPU’s are very powerful but the limit is set by the amount of data that is required to feed the GPU for the rendering and how realistic that data is. We need a very rich and detailed simulation engine. And this is really what Earthsim has always been about.


To improve on the videos below we need a simulation engine that can run real-time simulations of the surface details of a world. Only then will it be possible to render the vistas needed without requiring huge data sets and massive level loading times.

Terrain sim + Water sim + Atmosphere sim -> Biosphere sim 

Earthsim requires high performance realistic water and atmospheric simulations that can feed into land surface simulations. All these simulations combine their data sets in real time to provide a landscape wide data feed for the Biosphere simulation. This Biosphere simulator then manages all the life forms on the surface of a planet.

We are aiming for one over million simulated life forms.

The videos below show what we achieved with the Earthsim 2 engine from 2011. We expect to go far beyond this with the new engine in the coming years.

At the end of 2011 we had the planet engine able to resolve an earth like planet down to 1cm of detail. The videos below show some of the work we did on the way to hitting the 1cm resolution milestone.

Putting a an ocean onto the surface of Mars allowed us to clearly see ancient river channels. Three years before NASA made a similar announcement.
Very high resolution simulation and rendering of the planets using the latest satellite scanning data at the time.
Early work on Dinosaur animation blending in 2007. Mainly showing how the Acrocanthosarus can bend its neck left right and roar high and low. Some early herding and predator prey behaviors too.
Some of the pieces we implemented through 2011
From the first time we got the planet rendering down to 10M accuracy


Game Content

  • Prebuilt game levels you progress through.
  • Build your own levels and share them with others.
    • View & try out the best user created levels.
  • Future Versions
    • Multi player management: Team up with others to manage larger levels and even a shared planet
    • Use the Green Machine as a basis for Earthsim Dinosaur World.

Learning Content

The Original Earthsim featured three types of in house generated content:

  • Encyclopedia Interactive: entries on on plants, animals and geological formations throughout the known universe,
  • News: pieces on discoveries that guide the viewer to and through those discoveries
  • Documentaries: Longer pieces that tie smaller elements together into a bigger user driven hierarchical path through the experience, a guided learning game experience.

As the new game develops we will look into adding learning content back and creating a new updated free version of Earthsim.

All Earthsim content aims to highlight the connections across all disciplines and demonstrate a unified systems view of the universe.

Development Blog