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by SadViscachaStudio on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Arid is a gritty, open world survival experience that challenges players in surviving the most arid place in the world. This is a student project from third year students at Breda University of Applied Sciences. The current quality of work has been achieved in 18 weeks. The game is currently available on Steam.

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The Atacama

It's the 30s. You are the pilot of a cargo flying 8000 meters over the Atacama, a mysterious failure in the engine and a miraculous landing has left you stranded in one of the largest and most arid deserts in the world. Will you survive the harsh temperature and conditions of this unique setting? Is there even a way out?

Open World Survival

As a singleplayer survival open world, Arid aims at delivering a semi-hardcore experience that does not hold the players hand. After a guided onboarding the player will be left to explore and progress the story how they prefer. Will you find and repair all the refuges on the map? Will you explore for additional resources? How many days can you survive?

The game currently has around 2 hours of content, and 4 waiting to be released. We added some examples of the level iterations during the last 4 months, with the collaboration of both level designers and artists.

Day and Night

"Survive the day to embrace the darkness of the night. Find a bed to recover energy or embrace the darkness and explore the desert at night. Vision is scarce but without dangers such as the sun exposure and high temperatures, it will be easier to find resources."

In our game, we have a dynamic day/night cycle and sandstorm events, that enrich the player experience. It has been a challenge to keep the balance between exterior and interior lighting in a dynamic environment.

Concepting and UI

Building a strong base of references and concepts was crucial for the creation of such a large and ambitious project. 

Procedural Terrain

Building a large open world is no easy task, to ease this process we utilize as many procedural techniques as possible. The terrain is built by a tool created in Houdini, and is capable of taking an input sculpt in-engine and transforming it into the beautiful luscious desert.

Procedural Caves

The caves in the game are also made procedurally using a tool that utilizes Houdini's viewer state scripting to it's full potential.

Rigging & Animation

The feeling of struggling to survive a harsh environment wouldn't be complete without animation; whether it's climbing a rope taking a much needed sip of water.



Core Team


Riccardo Di Giovanni - Producer/Project Lead


Aleksandra Radivilovic - Co-Lead Artist Environment Artist / Tech Artist
Lars van Tooren - Co-Lead Artist / Environment Artist
Ruben Hochapfel - Prop Artist
Siobhan Kaufman - Concept Artist
Joshua de Jonge - Environment Artist

Bryan Boomsma - Character Artist
Lizzy Wilmer - Animations


Feiko van Dijk - Lead Game Design
Sebastian Binder - Lead Level Design
Demian de Vries - Level Design
Yevgeny Veļkin - Level Design
Leon van den Berg - 3C Design / QA Manager
Amber Holtrop - System Design / QA
Simon Frühauf - Technical Design / QA
Joshua Lai - 3C Design / QA
Sule Cankaya - Game Design / QA
Louis Rousseau - UI / UX


Thijs Bouwhuis - Lead Programmer / Gameplay
Tim van den Bosch - Tools / Gameplay
Lucas van Marrewijk - Gameplay
David ten Kate - QA Engineer / Gameplay


Flavio Cangialosi - Composer / Sound Design
Giuseppe De Luca - Sound Design


Samuel Habekotte - Rigging
Peter Prickarz - Technical Artist

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