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Godus is a delightful reinvention of the god game from 22cans and Peter Molyneux, who created the genre. Mac, PC, Mobile iOS & Android
Godus is a delightful reinvention of the god game from 22cans and Peter Molyneux, who created the genre. Mac, PC, Mobile iOS & Android
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17,184 backers pledged £526,563 to help bring this project to life.

Designing GODUS Update #5

Posted by 22cans (Creator)

Hey everyone.

It's Friday so here's our fifth "Designing GODUS with Peter & Jack" video.


After clarifying some of the good/evil concepts we mentioned yesterday, plus the characters of the world, Peter and Jack discuss the lighter side of your GOD POWERS and how you can use them. They then discuss the role of the in-game familiar, before rounding off the week with an overview of the game structure.

In the design update Peter and Jack delivered on Thursday, the topic was GOD POWERS. We've given you a teaser image of the Tornado GOD POWER and today we're following up with an annotated version which will hopefully clarify how this is going to work. Remember that the SPIRAL gesture to increase the power of the Tornado can be done with either your finger or a mouse.

Throughout the week Peter and Jack have been discussing some of the design features of GODUS in a series of videos. This document summarises the features raised in the videos (please direct any spelling or grammar mistakes to @jakamofo). A full game design document will be released with the game to backers who pledged in the applicable tiers. 


So far we've been keeping on top of all the feedback, suggestions and ideas. There's a lot of it! People have also asked us how GODUS will be made available through digital distribution, so we wanted to give you an update on this.
We absolutely love multi-device play at 22cans, however the distribution model of GODUS isn't 100% in our hands, a lot of it depends on you, our audience. And it also depends on what the digital distribution landscape will look like in a little under a year from now. Currently we are discussing all options with potential partners such as STEAM and DRM-free. We love STEAM but we also love the model that Minecraft uses.


Finally we wanted to give you an overview of some of the interviews Peter Molyneux has given the last few days. The people from thesixthaxis spoke with Peter about 'GODUS, Kickstarter and Managing Expectations'. CNET on the other hand looks at 'Curiosity: Behind the amazing success' (and disaster) of a mobile gaming hit - but the closing paragraph focuses on GODUS. The kind people from VG247 sit down and talk about how 'Molyneux is returning to his roots'.

All the best,


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    1. Erik Ted Majoroš on

      I would love to have the ability to choose familiar. There were several options in B&W, please give us the chance to choose and/or customize our familiar! I'd die to see a snow leopard as my GODUS familiar.

    2. Missing avatar

      Jeroen van der Maat on

      How hard would it be to make the download free, and use an account to play?
      That way I can play "my copy" of the game on PC and Android. And my login info authorizes the running copy. I wouldn't expect save games to sync (although that would be amazing), but I also wouldn't want to purchase two copies of the game.

    3. Stéphan' M. on

      I hope we won't have that educative part with the pet/familiar.

    4. Simon - | The Order of the Goat $7.77 | on

      Is there kind of a endless gamplay for Single Player? Sandboxmodus ? Or just a Campaign?

    5. Luke Lewitzka on


      Perhaps the sculpting/crafting mechanic could be not unlike an artists medium....

      Perhaps you could have a 'pallette' of elements. ie. fire, water air earth etc.

      To create a tornado, you would grab the 'air color' from the palette and then 'paint' in spirals.
      To create a meteor, you would have to 'mix' 2 elements (fire and earth) to create a new element 'colour' and then gesture that pigment in a way that would produce a meteor.
      Creating a geyser would be water and fire (steam). so on and so forth...

      I like the idea of not having a set list of powers, but rather crafting and creating your own unique powers and experience.

    6. Missing avatar

      Christopher Kolenda on

      I've enjoyed and been inspired by your games since Populous on a Commodore Amiga, a few moons ago. I"m glad you opened the door to the community by way of Kickstarter (the Kickstart reference isn't lost on me) but I too notice the wall we've hit here at around 6900 supporters. I'd say it's time to Slashdot the 22 cans Godus project.

      I tried a submission as an Anonymous Coward on 11/21 but didn't make the cut. Anyone else with a /. account that would be wiling to gratuitously try and bolster our ranks?! []

      Now that I've done my duty and attempted to grow our followers I'll say I'm +1 to the crowd of Mates that's disappointed to hear of Fragile Fiona's demise by way of the chalice of Political Correctness. I won't pretend that I don't understand your decision, but I was in love with the idea of her from the word go.

      To my darling Fiona, you will be missed!!

      Now, get /.'ing you lot!

    7. Dan Murphy on

      STEAM for distribution please!

    8. Matthijs den Daas on

      Would it be possible for us backers to live-stream playing populous, black & white or dungeon keeper and plug this kickstarter during those live-streams? (I have no idea if there are legal ramifications for that sort of thing) Playing those games could get people in the mood for Godus...

    9. D Morgan on

      agreed anybody got the personal email address of simon lane aka honeydew of the yogscast then message it to me privately, I think he would have interest in seeing this project reach its full potential.

    10. Voxavs on

      Game reviewers could be a help, but the fact is there is not much to show yet.

    11. Matthijs den Daas on

      Backers, we need to collectively think about how to promote this kickstarter. Start tossing ideas around.

    12. Voxavs on

      Only two grant over a day, frustrating.

    13. Elliot on

      @ the team: Cool.... But having whined about that, I'd actually be pretty happy to choose a raven. :-P

    14. Matthijs den Daas on

      Other ideas for promoting the kickstarter:

      1: As soon as you have anything playable, do a Twitch tv stream where you show the game live while talking to the audience, and promote the kickstarter.

      2: Invite Molydeux over and let him do a video about his take on the project.

      3: Start a competition: Whoever comes up with the best idea for Godus gets to come over to 22Cans for a day and do a design meeting about the idea with the designers at 22Cans. (Naturally, the competition links the kickstarter page, however it doesn't make backing a requirement for entering the competition).

    15. Matthijs den Daas on

      @22cans: Thanks for the response! I understand now that the focus first needs to lie with promoting the game. On that subject, how feasible would it be to get a famous actor (like Stephen Fry who has over 5 million followers on Twitter) to do narration for the game, including the pitch for the game? This would mean he can get attached to the project long before the kickstarter ends, and thus in time for him to let his 5 million twitter followers know about the project.

    16. Eryun on

      I love so much that judge their one's village man by the connecting facebook. so expected. gamer must gonna be love them.
      And I want to GODUS are distributed in appstore normally, and free. even if it hard to continue the service, hard to get some money, I really want to GODUS be spreaded many of country, many of friends. I believe that mobile game got the power when many people enjoying the game, around friends enjoying more.
      in the same point of view, why don't you make the way that breeding their follower to easy. in the smurfvillage(you know this game? game of just breeding their smurf. many girl or oldman enjoying this game), user can easily develope their village with just clearing easy quest periodically. and why don't you many tactical option in GODUS showed in the Multi-play.

    17. 22cans Creator on

      @Matthijs den Daas absolutely our designers would love to talk with our backers and community about design ideas etc... but we first need to have a successful Kickstarter! Then we'll be able to really get involved, right now we're pitching the idea for GODUS. :-)

    18. 22cans Creator on

      @Elliot Those are examples of inspiration because, as you say, they're known. :-)

    19. Miguel Targaryen on

      @Elliot, i'm sure that they used the ravens as a perfect example; probably u'll have diferent pets to choose like dragons, phoenix, pegasus, eagles and any kind of mythological/magical animal u can think plus all the animals who can fly and... probably some land animals too.

    20. Missing avatar

      LyhjeHylje on

      The main thing that caught my eye; Peter is sitting on the main(?) developers chair, takes his mouse, starts clicking around blindly demonstrating the control mechanism causing the mac behind him to wake up and start bouncing icons in the launchpanel!
      I hope you guys have backups.

    21. Elliot on

      Also, are the Allfather's Huginn and Muginn the only familiars (with the exception of those unique ones offered as KS rewards)? Or are they simply examples used because they're widely known and easy to describe? I'd quite like a range of choices, and it'd look a bit more varied in multiplayer if different people had different familiars.

    22. Matthijs den Daas on

      I'd also like to know what your population can do with seas and oceans. Can they make boats? Can they go fishing? Can they wage battles at sea? I think visually it can be really spectacular to see a fleet in battle being washed away by a huge wave created by a god. And what about twisters cast at sea? Do they turn into water-twisters? And once those twisters end, would the water come crashing down again?

    23. Matthijs den Daas on

      I've been thinking about the way towns form, specifically the notion that flat terrain increases the size of your houses and thus the size of your population. The problem I have with this design is this:
      What if I want a town on a mountainous area because I like how it looks? Would I be severely hampering my progress if I built it that way? And what about trying to make a town with lots of trees among the houses? Those trees would take up precious space. Would this also negatively affect my population?
      What I'd hope to see is that these things don't affect your game too negatively. If they would, it would decrease diversity in strategically valid town designs.

    24. Elliot on

      I had always assumed that "Cult" was referring to the collection of your followers - and thus was a term I quite liked (perhaps because I was thinking of the technical ethnographic/PoR term; a quick google search for "cult" should give the wiki page). It implied that the choices you made would affect the form of their veneration and practices in some way, something I'm still hoping to see, although given the scale of the game it's questionable how much and how often you'd actually see such specific nuances.
      Given that it was going to apply to something more like a group of players, rather than the followers of a specific player (that's what I understood those comments about a "clan" to mean) I can perhaps agree for it to be gotten rid of, but not because of negative connotations. However the alternative - clan - is just too boring and mundane. I see other people have already suggested pantheon, and that seems fantastically appropriate, despite yet further others' objections. If the term is to refer to a group of players, then those players each take the position that a Jupiter or a Heimdall in a traditional pantheon.

    25. Jonathan Rudd on

      @Peter Hambly that's a very clever idea!

      @Peter M and team, thank you for the update. I'm really Happy with the iterative process you're using, with fans and your own team.

      Looking forward to next weeks update :)

    26. Voxavs on

      A lot of developers neglect the crowd for some reason. Like the funding has been raised and "See you in two years and thanks for the fish". We want to know what's going on. The thing is development is very closed right now. But why not to let people look inside, like make some streams of you coding or making assets, or drawing art. If you implemented a new feature show it. Don't keep people in the dark.

    27. Matthijs den Daas on

      There's been a lot of great suggestions on these video update comments and I was wondering:
      Given the format 22cans currently has for communicating with the backers, it does create a remarkable opportunity that I really hope you'll make use of. What I mean is, wouldn't it be awesome and unique if, even just once, the designers at 22cans pick an idea from the suggestions and tell us how the idea is good, how it is bad, how costly it might be to build it, and what kind of problems you might run into? An in-depth analysis of the idea posted by a backer. Normally this wouldn't happen, but the communication between backers and 22cans is so good that I hope it might this time be possible to do this. Even just once...

    28. Peter Hambly on

      Think I have a possible idea for the trio aka Bob, Fiona, Sid. Instead of set names and gender that can be seen as offending a particular gender type for the particular roles of the trio, how about you make it so when that particular feature becomes available you get to either Name the character yourself thereby setting the gender or use a facebook friend or family ?

    29. Missing avatar

      Sam on

      Very interesting to follow these updates, must be real fun to design a game.

      I hope the funding picks up again, this project needs more press coverage. I hope Wired covers this soon after their articles about Molydeux and Curiosity.

    30. Voxavs on

      @Martin Castaldo
      Oh, man! Bridges, bridges, bridges lot's of them! I think bridges is a must 'cos a city separated by a river is a nice thing to have. English folks must know a big deal about them, but I still wonder why not a single one of Peter's RTS games haven't had bridges.

    31. Rising-Mos on

      Please show the prototype as soon as possible. That would get more pledges, and it would give something real for us to show for other people and spread the word :)

    32. Yourtime on

      I am really scared that you wont make it, I really hope you do, I want that the game get funded! Kicktraq still loves you, but we need more pledges!
      I love the idea that you start a progress and the prayers process and finish the progress
      I really hope you can show the prototype as early as possible, it will decided much of your pledges, but I am sure it will improve it much! :D

      "big mouth idiot", lol you are the person who makes the whole project more sympathic and gives the right charisma into it, but I agree it would be great to see more of the team and of course more sketches!

    33. Andy O'Shea on

      Hey 22cans, can't wait to see the prototype! I think this may be what is holding a lot of people back from pledging. Here's a couple of questions that may interest people.
      *Huginn and Muninn, will they be the only Familiars or do you think there will be more to choose from come launch?
      *Will a player be able to play without any familiars, perhaps to make the game more difficult for themselves?
      *God Powers, perhaps find ways to make them both good and bad. In the picture above you could use the crevice created by the tornado to channel away lava from an erupting volcano for example.
      *Gift of the Gods would be cool if your followers had prayers that, when they are praying, show up in a bubble over their heads. If you're quick you can answer their prayers with a Godly gift!
      *On the male/female followers thing, just create one for each sex then no-one can complain!

      Really hoping this gets funded, I miss me a goog God game, keep up the good work 22cans

    34. Stelly

      I would love the familiar to morph into followers to spread your faith, gather information, or even help or hurt people and you can follow them see them morph, if you evil the look menacing, if you are good they look like angels...

      Will the followers be able to shape the land, for example mining, and creating bridges across rivers?

    35. Pedro Machado on

      It would be really great if your followers could settle/develop their civilization inside caves or underground, kind of like the dwarves in LOTR, for example!

    36. D Morgan on

      Brliiant Video, peter your honesty at the end was generous and true, it takes a team to make a great game, and will be brilliant to meet the team and know them all by name. All the ideas sound really solid, sounds like a game that many people will enjoy in many different ways, Brilliant work guys, support to you all, Sending Get well wishes to Fab Coder are vital, now all we need to do is persuade a younger generation to get in on what will be a fantastic game.

    37. Peter Hambly on

      I just wanted to say I have really enjoyed watching the videos this week it has really made me feel like I am actually part of the development team, even though I haven't really added anything to the comments.

    38. Doomchild on

      i'm loving the ideas so far, but i have a few question/suggestions concerning followers and the often mentioned "gift of the gods"

      how in depth will the individual followers be?
      will they have their own moral alignment (which would probably shift towards the players alignment) and a personal level of belief.
      if so, could these properties influence how they act and how they use the gifts if they are gifted by the player with something special? (i dont know yet what you have specifically planned as "gifts of the gods" but i imagine it would be like ancient mythology where gods pick mortals for a specific task and give them special abilities or items)
      when i first heard about the gifting i imagined several scenarios where you could give a certain follower for example the gift of healing, then depending on his moral alignment and his belief in you he could either go out and heal people while spreading belief in you, heal people and start calling himself a god thus creating a sect or cult among your followers or maybe exploit his gift for profit.
      this could maybe tie in with the single player challenges as perhaps you get a challenge to go after the followers who have left your homewold to follow your "chosen-one" who's strayed/betrayed you.
      also the idea of the familiars intrigues me and might fit in with the above suggestion, you could send out your familiars to look for suitable followers to gift or followers in need. maybe even use the familiars as a way of interacting directly with followers as in many mythological stories where animals/familiars/visions served a messengers and deliverers for gods.

      i really think the posibility for followers to abuse gifts or use them in a different way you would want them to could be interesting as it would stop you from just randomly gifting every peasant that wanders around. also the possibility of a gift gone awry turning into a challenge might be fun, win back the straying followers or kill em all to set an example...

      i just hope that followers dont end up like in black&white where they felt little more than just ants walking around the landscape (dont get me wrong, i loved black&white, played it till the disk shattered)

    39. Missing avatar

      Craig on

      I'd like to know more about how the player will control and interact with the familiar. I loved that aspect of Black & White 1 where you could reward or punish your pet to teach it to act in certain ways and how it was difficult to make the perfect pet so it would sometimes do things you didn't want it to, like poo on people. In Black & White 2 it was really easy to make the perfect pet and so I felt like it lost a lot of the charm and humour that the first one had.

    40. Sky on

      When you suggested Hugin and Munin as pets/familiars I got really exited, so I drew what I imagined they could look like I'd like to tell the ravens to do different things, like pick up and throw a follower or save them from danger. They could cast minor spells too maybe? I'd like to hold them on my hand.

    41. michael on

      Love the ideas so far. I really hope funding picks up. I think showing the prototype as early as you can will help. Also regarding the clans or cults another alternative could be Sect.

    42. DadouXIII

      Loved this update, this is getting more and more interesting!
      Bring back the temple :D

      Oh and new Kickstarter tiers, yay!

    43. Missing avatar

      Jimmy Dole on

      I think you should have 2 choices for each name, a male and a female, to fit preferances because I would personally prefer trying to kill an immortal man and protecting a fragile woman.

    44. Matthijs den Daas on

      If sculpting is the main focus for the gameplay, the task that players will be doing the most, then I think sculpting should basically also be how combat and familiars and other such features are controlled. Just like you can nudge land to create mountains, nudging an army into a certain direction should also work. Pushing and pulling villagers around, shoving your familiar to where you need him to go, it should all feel the same as sculpting the land does. What I'd really hate to see is control schemes for the different parts of the game be different from one another. It just wouldn't feel natural that way.

    45. Thales Nunes M on

      Really liked the solution for "good" and "evil" measures.

      But I'm worried that you won't reach the goal. I really don't want this to happen, but if it does happen, what you will do? Will you take the prototype to a publisher?

    46. Jesper Enbom on

      @Kristan Alicesun and @Mikeal Sundström has good points. Personally I miss the time when games was off steam, not for I hate to log in there just because it miss the part where you didn't have to log in there, when you could simple and easily put the game on your desktop and open it whenever you pleased.
      However I do feel like it would be best if you could make it steam and non-steam exclusive. (Just because of the people that will go: "NOT ON STEAM! That game gotta suck!") Which sadly many do, if the game is not on steam.. many will probably boycott it So try to get a steam and non-steam edition! :)

    47. Kristan Alicesun on

      I agree with Mikael that Steam shouldn't be required. A basic DRM free version like those sold on would be good to have. Many people don't like having to log into their games.

      BUT, as a very loyal Steam customer, I'd be very disappointed if you kept the game off of Steam. Mostly for the convenience of having all my games in one place. But also for extra features like Steam Workshop for mods.

    48. Rodolphe Ponsard-Goiran on

      I wanna see Godus on Mac ! Hope you can make it :)

    49. Missing avatar

      Mikael Sundström on

      Most of my thoughts have already been said, so i won't repeat them.

      I must, however, say this about distribution; Please, for the love of GOD, do not make this Steam-exclusive. I've boycotted all forms of DRM that needs installation since the early days of Starforce, meaning Steam will never be installed on any system i own unless they remove the DRM portion of their platform. (Not very likely to happen.)

      I would strongly urge you to look at other alternatives, or at the very minimum, not make it exclusive. DRM-free is always best, of course, but if you absolutely feel you need a DRM, please make it something less intrusive.

    50. Missing avatar

      EOPE42 on

      @ PM & 22Cans - You guys don't have to change anything or apologise:

      Can we have Suicidal Sophie instead also? /joke. To be honest happy to hear it's a minor feature.


      You guys have clocked a decent amount of time this week: Thank you so much! Honestly feel free to educate if suggestions are workable or break down and explain why as you guys are the guys with solid credentials at the end of the day and the executive power to make a great god sim game.