Technology Update on Godus
Today we are giving you an update on our prototype. We wanted to release a gameplay montage but the prototype wasn't quite ready yet (as you will learn in the video) so we've taken a slightly different approach.
22Cans is a relatively new startup so we haven’t yet had the opportunity to invest hundreds of man-years in a cool engine and tool technology. We’re not afraid to experiment though. Our first ‘experiment’ – the super massively multiplayer Curiosity was built on a mixture of different technologies including 8 different programming languages, the Unity game engine, Amazon cloud servers and of course Apple and Android devices. While some may see it as a drawback not having a welter of technology at our beck and call, the benefit for GODUS is that we’ve been agile and able to home in rapidly on exactly the pure uncluttered art style and game simulation that Peter is so passionate about.
While we’ve been looking to see if some of the existing engines such as Unity could speed up the prototype or later development phases for GODUS, it’s also the case that with the right team simply going back to basics can yield extraordinary dividends in a remarkable short space of time. Those basics initially were a scripting language called Python and a low-level graphics library. We are fortunate in having a passionate and talented development team lead by the superb, experienced Senior Engineer Gary Leach. The wide skill-base in the team has quickly allowed us to concentrate on the implementation of the delightful art style. Concept art for this was first put forward by our Head of ArtPaul McLaughlin and his team about 5 weeks ago. I’ll hand over to Gary to dive into just how our prototype came together.
Story so far
We started developing the prototype in order to test out various ideas for the look and feel of the game we were describing.
Our design process is extremely fluid, with constant testing and feedback being central to our flow, so the programming team wanted to give design a first stab at something to flesh out the ideas.
Work started when Paul Mac presented the terraced terrain visualisation. We instantly knew that this was something a bit different from terrain systems we had seen and worked on previously, but it was an intriguing idea which we wanted to test out.
Our programmer Fabs produced the initial demo over the course of a weekend, written in Python. This gave us the proof-of-concept and he continued to flesh this out while the rest of the team were working on Curiosity updates.
By the time we were ready to move other people into the project Fabs had added various features, including basic people movement, and had done an initial port to C to get the speed up.
At this point we put together an feature list and assigned tasks to people – Pavle was to manage people movement including house building, Paul headed up land sculpting and Fabs and I managed tech including porting to other platforms. This code doesn't run on a third-party engine, it's written directly in the OpenGL graphics language and C++ which keeps us as flexible as possible, but it does have downsides – we had to knock together a complete asset pipeline (we based this on Autodesk's Fbx libraries for graphics)
The time-line for getting the demo together was aggressive to say the least, but we feel we now have something that at least gives a flavour of the game to come.
We still have a lot that we'd like to do to the demo before production starts in full, and hopefully your feedback will continue to help us define the game, but we think it's come a long way in a short time! Thanks for your support and ideas! Keep them coming.
Tim Rance CTO, Gary Leach Lead Engineer
We are very happy to see we now have over 10,000 people backing Godus for a total of £300,000 of our £450,000 goal. With only 6 days left the pressure is really on, but we'll keep updating all of you and showing our prototype.
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BACKER- You get access to our exclusive backer forums. You also get the heartfelt thanks from the team at 22cans.Estimated delivery:
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STUDENT - You'll receive a beta key to test GODUS with us and will also get access to our exclusive student forums where you'll get feedback on your game design and any career advice you might need. This is perfect for any students who are currently studying game design and/or development. Everyone will also get access to an online masterclass session and we will look at some of our tools together The university with the highest number of students who pledged will also receive a guest lecture by Peter. This tier is only for students and you'll need to confirm your university after our campaign is finished but it can also be used as an add-on for any other reward tier.Estimated delivery:
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FOLLOWER - You get one digital downloadable copy of GODUS plus access to our exclusive backer forums. You also get the heartfelt thanks from the team at 22cans.Estimated delivery:
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SUPPORTER - You get one digital downloadable copy of GODUS plus access to the GODUS beta version (playable but unfinished) and also round-the-clock access to the 22cans development webcam once project GODUS is in full production (may be mildly and ironically NSFW). Plus an in-game achievement – a trophy only Kickstarters will ever receive, streaming access to the Making of GODUS documentaries and video updates and also a PDF of the GODUS design document. Plus everything a BACKER gets.Estimated delivery:
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BELIEVER - You get one digital downloadable copy of GODUS plus access to the GODUS beta version (playable but unfinished) and also round-the-clock access to the 22cans development webcam once project GODUS is in full production (may be mildly and ironically NSFW). Plus an in-game achievement – a trophy only Kickstarters will ever receive, streaming access to the Making of GODUS documentaries and video updates and also a PDF of the GODUS design document. Plus everything a BACKER gets.Estimated delivery:
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BENEFACTOR - You get an additional digital downloadable copy of GODUS plus access to the GODUS beta version (playable but unfinished) and your name will appear on the '22cans website roll call of thanks', you will be granted your own in-game pet or familiar (a mystical animal who’s unique to you) in GODUS. Plus everything else a SUPPORTER gets and @22cans will follow you avidly on Twitter.Estimated delivery:
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PATRON - You get TWO digital downloadable copies of GODUS plus TWO access keys to the beta version (playable but unfinished) and your name will appear on the '22cans website roll call of thanks', you will be granted TWO of your own in-game pet or familiar (a mystical animal who’s unique to you) in GODUS. Plus everything else a SUPPORTER gets and @22cans will follow you avidly on Twitter. All tiers above PATRON will also receive this additional copy and beta key.Estimated delivery:
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ACOLYTE - You get all the previous rewards (BENEFACTOR, SUPPORTER and BACKER), plus a third digital copy of the game (this TIER makes a good HOLIDAY SEASON GODUS GIFT, see details on our page). Your name will also appear on a Curiosity layer for the duration of a layer, assuming the experiment hasn’t concluded.Estimated delivery:
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ASSOCIATE - You get one special digital edition of GODUS, which includes a personalised title screen for your copy of GODUS and a non-digital but exclusive 22cans GODUS teeshirt. It also comes with an exclusive Kickstarter level and you get an unlock code for an exclusive GODUS god power. Plus you get everything an ACOLYTE gets (your special edition replaces the other three normal editions from the previous rewards).Estimated delivery:Add £10 to ship outside the UK
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PARTNER - You get two special digital GODUS editions. Your followers in your Homeworld will carve a statue of your image. You also get access to GODUS Alpha where you can download and test the game with the 22cans team (not onsite). You also get an in-game credit – your name will appear for all to see. Finally, your teeshirt will be signed by anyone or everyone at 22cans, including Peter Molyneux.Estimated delivery:Add £10 to ship outside the UK
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VALKYRIE - You get the three special digital GODUS editions that a PARTNER gets, with an exclusive Godus Wishing Well, inspired by the Temple in Dungeon Keeper, for your Homeworld. Sacrificing the right items will gain you bonuses! Plus you also get a GODUS design/art book signed by anyone or everyone at 22cans. And you get everything else a PARTNER gets. (Please note that any tier above VALKYRIE will also get the Wishing Well).Estimated delivery:Add £10 to ship outside the UK
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ELEMENTAL - You get the three special digital GODUS editions that a PARTNER gets plus a GODUS design/art book signed by anyone or everyone at 22cans, including Peter Molyneux. You also get a visually stunning and beautifully-framed print of GODUS artwork. This classy limited edition is numbered. Plus you get everything else a PARTNER gets.Estimated delivery:Add £10 to ship outside the UK
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IMMORTAL - You get four special digital GODUS editions (includes those a PARTNER gets), plus an in-game character will be named to whatever you wish (within reason), it will display a unique personality and look which you create with the team’s help. This character will appear in every person's Homeworld. You also get a unique physical figurine of your character. Worldwide shipping is included! Plus you get everything a PARTNER gets.Estimated delivery:
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DEITY - You get a real, exclusive piece of hand engraved GODUS Titanium jewellery, hand made and beset with one sparkling real diamond. Diamonds are forever (this TIER makes a lovely HOLIDAY SEASON GODUS GIFT, see details on our page). Plus you can help design GODUS and can name an in-game power to anything you wish (subject to legal and moral restrictions, of course). Plus you get everything a PARTNER gets.Estimated delivery:
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IDOL - You get everything a DEITY gets, plus a monthly Skype design meeting with the team during the development of Godus, a 22cans design workshop in Guildford, England with Peter Molyneux, who will help craft your design ideas. You’ll also be treated to a lively design session over dinner at Peter Molyneux’s house. Accommodation and flights are not included.Estimated delivery:
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GOD OF GODS - You’ll receive a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit E3; The Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June 2013. You’ve arrive there as the guest of honour of Peter Molyneux and the 22cans team. You’ll be given a coveted VIP pass and will, should you wish, agree to be interviewed with Peter for G4 TV. E3 is the world’s leading electronics show. Chances like this to attend as a VIP with developers of the calibre of 22cans are of course extremely rare. Flights and accommodation are included. Plus you also get everything a DEITY gets (excluding the jewellery).Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)