Collin Kelly

Platform: Web Game

Epitaph is an alien civilization extinction simulator: a text-based idlegame in which you observe (and optionally interfere with) the development of procedurally generated alien civilizations, trying (and usually failing) to help them stave off a wide variety of existential risks. Will your interference give them the edge they need to survive and flourish, or will you inadvertently cause the deaths of billions and the total collapse of civilization… again?


  • Interfere with the development of alien civilizations
  • Become personally acquainted with dozens of unique extinction events and existential risks
  • Feel deeply pessimistic about the future of all sapient life

Epitaph makes extensive use of procedural generation. Pretty much everything about the alien civilizations is generated, including the languages from which things like their species names, city names, and home planet names are drawn. Because Epitaph targets the web platform, it adapts fairly well to a variety of different screen sizes, so it might be a good fit for a large touchscreen display. Since it’s an idlegame, it “plays itself” when left alone, so it could be left running in the background on a large screen and people could occasionally tap things to intervene as they passed by.

I made Epitaph in the first two weeks of September 2016 as an entry for the Fermi Paradox Jam on itch.io. I’d been wanting to make something involving procedurally generated civilizations for a long time, but the mechanics of how the player would interact with these civilizations continued to elude me. It was only when I saw the FermiJam prompt that the final pieces of the puzzle fell into place.


Max Kreminski – Designer

Download a playable build here!