About Me

My name is John Pursey and Terra Diem is my main personal hobby project.

I started in the video game industry as a software engineer in late 1997, helping in the late stage completion of Barbie Magic Hair Styler. Since then, my career has run the gamut from individual contributor to tech lead and studio technical director. I’ve worked on kids games, AAA games, single player games, and MMOs. I’ve worked at game development studios and most recently on Stadia. The game I’m most proud of is the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, where I led a small team to rebuild the world authoring tools.

Professionally, I have always focused on the technology, tools, game engines, and platforms that games are built on. However, like so many others, I have always had an interest in the gameplay and in building my own game. I’ve had many aborted projects in the past, but Terra Diem stuck with me during the pandemic years and I decided it was time to go for it!

About the game

Terra Diem started as a vehicle for me to learn Vulkan, in my open-source game engine Game Bits. I am not a graphics programmer by any stretch, so this was an interesting challenge. Choosing something graphically simple was important, and a Minecraft-style block world seemed like a great starting point. However, over time I got more interested in the game itself than the rendering, and Terra Diem was born.

Terra Diem is a creative sandbox-style game with RPG and story-telling elements. It will feature a large, explorable world combining both generated and hand-built elements. Much of the design is still in flux, but stay tuned on this dev blog to learn more!