From Unigine to Project Offset

Or, Where the Mind Wanders

Unigine Heaven BenchmarkWith all this engine talk up in the air recently, Richard and I thought to sample Unigine’s demo benchmarks. You might already know Unigine from its association with Afterfall, the on-again off-again post-apocalyptic RPG – most other titles using the platform were admittedly unfamiliar to us.

In any case, while waltzing through their newest DirectX 11 -supporting “Heaven Benchmark”, I was struck by massive déjà vu: I could have sworn I’d seen a project of this type some years before - one that had been riding a considerable wave of hype, indie credibility and a touch of megalomania no less.

I’d completely and conveniently forgotten its name, though, and nobody seemed to remember what I was talking about.

After spending considerable time booting up and patching my Swiss cheese of a brain - enough to get some Google on - I was able to pin down my hunch: Project Offset! Can you think of a less demarcating, less descriptive codename for a fantasy project? How is one supposed to go about searching for that, exactly? Gawrsh! Naming conventions aside, the most relevant question obviously is:

What’s happened ‘tween 2007 and 2009?

At a glance, nothing much. As you can probably tell from the aforementioned, the Project Offset team intentionally chooses to remain secreted and thus provide to the public little else but a barren website, even foregoing the inclusion of a logo - an interesting take on hype, if nothing else! The entirety of the website embraces this no-nonsense approach, and therefore no official screenshots are available at this time. Bummer.

With a bit of digging, however, you could easily uncover a slew of Offset-related materials elsewhere; one such source might be Thomas Raoux’ portfolio, which contains videos of the game’s wind simulation as well as a downloadable ragdoll demo.

Here’s a quick bullet point list of what’s happened to team Project Offset in the meantime:

  • …“little company was acquired”1
  • …“have been making great progress on [their] game”
  • …“relocated to northern California”
  • …“still operate in a very independent way”

The above trailer from GDC ’09, only titled “Meteor”, consists of some positively Dark Messiah –looking footage. Check out the no-longer-very-independent yet still-very-secretive fantasy title and their developer blogs at!

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