Game: prOto

two red creatures float against a blue background
  • Grades 4 - 12
  • Ages 8-10, 11-14, 14+

Journey through billions of years of change!

prOto is the journey through evolution from the first cell in existence, billions of years ago. Guide your cell through the darkness - searching, developing, living.

The Facts Behind the Game

Life on Earth is old! The Earth itself is approximately 4.5 billion years old, while the oldest potential evidence of life dates to nearly 3.8 billion years ago. While there is significant debate about when larger, more complex cells arose (estimates range from as long ago as 3 billion, to as recently as 1.5 billion years ago) these were still single-celled organisms. In fact, roughly the first 3 billion years of life on Earth was the sole dominion of single-celled organisms. Cells only began organizing themselves into multicellular organisms around 900 million years ago, and the first animals wouldn’t arise until sometime between 800 and 650 million years ago.

The ROM Connection

a trilobite on shaky fractured stone beneath the letters ROMThe future Dawn of Life permanent gallery at the ROM will tell the story of life on Earth - from the origins of life to the origins of dinosaurs. It will showcase not only samples from Earth’s early history when life first started, but key fossils throughout the Earth’s history that reveal how life diversified over time and faced major crises. This gallery is essentially the ‘missing link’ between the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures and the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs on the second floor of the ROM.

What's a Game Jam?

At a ROM Game Jam, teams of developers spend a weekend at the ROM learning from collections and curators and use those ideas to build fun games inspired by the museum.  With only two days to research and create their games, the results can be weird, wacky, and downright wonderful!

prOto was created by Aspiring Fires.

Game Info

(Please note this game is only playable on a computer and is not optimized for mobile devices.)

# of players: 1

Platform: Windows

Controls: Mouse or touchscreen

To play:

  • Follow the "Go to the game" link and click "Download" to download the zip file.
  • Extract the files to a folder on your computer.
  • Open the "prOto" folder.
  • Open "prOto.exe".

    • Optimal settings for playing, when launching:
      Resolution: 1920x1080
      Quality setting: Fantastic
  • Follow the instructions on your screen.


a cell in a shaft of sunlight in the ocean many cells within a cell membrane against a watery background one creature follows another through the ocean a small aquatic worm chases smaller organisms two spiky creatures swim through the water two strange creatures swim against an ocean background