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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.

Technology Update on Godus

Posted by 22cans (Creator)

Hello everyone!

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.

Take care,

22cans

Comments

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    1. Stelly
      Superbacker
      on

      I would like to see better building dynamics, better textures and water effects, will this be in the final release??

    2. Missing avatar

      Gregor Schnuer on

      I love the look and feel of the landscape and people. There two things that are 'unsettling' (pun intended): first, the houses have no windows - even small black squares would be great; second, the little people seem to have no passion for homemaking as there are no fences, to paths, to gardening of any sort - its absence makes the landscape look very sparse.

      A slightly larger addition that would make it feel a lot more engaging without any gameplay changes would be a day/night cycle, where all the little houses light up a little (just a bit of light from the front door, and windows if they will have any). The idyllic image of a dark landscape with lights dotted about is quite moving and if focussed on the houses, it shouldn't require too much processing power for portable versions.

      Let me know what you thing...

    3. Liam Coulls on

      Please show us some of your ideas about what mines should look like and do in the prototype

    4. Liam Coulls on

      Please add more detail to the house system, it looks like the are only a few houses, i think that once they have started building up they should then just keep building until they run out of space. Also it would be awesome if they build interesting places like a church blacksmith or a market.

    5. Richard Jones on

      @Michael they're not using Unity (yet.)

    6. Rik May on

      Suggestion to the 22 Cans Team -

      Freezing and Melting Ice To Create Rivers

      It would be very cool to be able to do something new with the water such as have a God power to freeze it, break it up and melt it with sun rays to create another river. It would be taking the feature in Black and White where you tapped rocks to break them to a new level, this time being able to do the same thing with ice chunks in addition to melting them.

      Animal Breeding

      Animal breeding would be very cool as well, providing your followers a constant supply of food, pigs for bacon, cows for meat, crops for grain etc

      Cant wait to get stuck into the development, hoping the funding gets raised to get this game started!

    7. Rik May on

      @Gregory - I think he was only talking about that element of the game, not the game in the entirety as even in Black and White was released you could do a wealth of things that we have not seen yet due to the early stage of the game.

      Many elements make a game, houses are just one of them, there are so many more.

    8. Gregory Wollf on

      "The whole objective, the whole point of the game is that when you see a house you ask 'why isn't it growing' and you modify the land around it to make it grow." (Peter)

      Really? That doesn't sound terribly exciting or strategic at all. That sounds like 'boring' and 'mundane' not the phenomenal cosmic powers or the delightful reinvention talked about earlier. Is this really the point of the game?

    9. Miguel Targaryen on

      Hi! after seeing the video and reading the update, i've some questions and suggestions; I know the game it's a prototype, but i'd like to know about more advanced stuff. Anyway, if the goal with the video it's just show how the sculpt works, how people settle and the style of the game, then u've done it; Anyway, i'd like to know more things... here i go:

      1) The option for controls that @Rik May has written, it's exactly what i have in mind. You should be able to change the radius of sculpting easily, to make huge changes with the big radius, and then add details with the small radius. Also, i think that the cursor should show some circumference of the area we are sculpting while we're clicking.

      2) Are Miracles implemented in he prototype?

      3 )Will be the mining an important factor for Multiplayer and the Homewrold? What will people do with the minerals apart from swords, shields and armors. Can there be jewelry if the extract gems? Will they build machines and tools instead of weapons to build faster or improve their farming skills?

      4) I'm really really worried about "endgame" in the Homeworld... For the multiplayer i don't think it's very troublesome because the matches should last between 15 to 45 mins lenght.
      But in the Homeworld.. i don't know how you are going to make it, so when i've all the miracles and thousands of followers i don't get bored...
      As an example, Minecraft it's the game with an awesome endgame as even when u have your fortress and your diamond armor, tools and weapons, u don't end there, u can build ANYTHING in your mind to make your life easier, and still the only limit it's my imagination to build the stuff!!

      So the question is, how will be the endgame of the Homeworld? Will i be able to build this: https://www.google.es/search…
      or this king strange rock formations?: https://www.google.es/search… I Want to build ANY kind of natural landscape!! If i'm a God, there should be no limits to my creativity.

      5) The Landscapes you're showing right now looks like if the followers were living in Hobiton... https://www.google.es/search… It's the game going to have just Hills and sand?? Will there be more ecosystems like Jungles: https://www.google.es/search…, deserts: https://www.google.es/search…, steppes: https://www.google.es/search…, Mountains: https://www.google.es/search…, Freezed steppes: https://www.google.es/search…????

      6) Even if this is a prototype my question is: Will there be more kinds of houses?? or all of them will be like in the prototype? Can we Cusomize our houses like the editor in the Spore game?: https://www.google.es/search…

      7) Will our followers have a specialized society, so we can have: farmers, blacksmiths, miners, bakers, chefs, carpenters, fishermans, quarry-workers, sheperds, priests, doctors, woodcutters, ship-assemblers, etc, etc. i guess u have enough examples xD; i'd like to see that they have exclusive buildings(like some nursery, or workshop, or churches...), as well as their own lifes (i want to see how they go to work, and sell stuff and then go back home at night).

      8)I LOVE the Matthijs den Daas Wall idea!! it's awesome!!!!!!!!

      9) Will there be various civilizations that follows us? i'd like to see that aztec or american indians or Norse civilizations join forces with a typical occidental or egyptian or greek civilization under my influence.

      10) Which will be the maximun technology level/Age the followers will reach? just Middle age?

      11) I really hope there's magic apart from our God powers... so there can be wizards that challenge our powers... so we can have various Wizards/Sorcerers... we can have:

      -Allied with us Wizards (Like Elminster form Forgotten Realms)

      -Against us that try to kill our followers OR usurp our position (Like Raistlin in Dragonlance books)

      - Hermit Wizards thay just want lo live without our intervention; Don't like to be bothered.

      This can be also really funny if take in consideration that clerics don't use to get along with wizards.

      Also can there be a cleric-Dungeons & Dragons-like follower/s with powers and able to punish-good/bad people?

      I hope you read all it; i know i't very long, and probably if this succeds, and when u create the forums, i'll repost part of this as diferents posts to discuss about it :D, but right now i'll be Ok just showing some of my ideas and hoping u can answer any of the multiple questions posted :p.

      Thanks for reading!!, Greetins, Miguel

    10. Russell on

      So would the houses be shifted up and down as you adjust the land beneath? Realistically most houses would collapse with enough movement but with godly powers that can be prevented.

    11. Rik May on

      Its probably an automatic thing with the trees and rocks at the moment, an auto generator that makes trees and rocks appear at random without having to place each and everyone by hand, of course I reckon to do it by hand as a manual option would be welcome as could be done in Black and White.

      It leaves the option up to the player which is good, let it automatically random generate or manually.

    12. Stéphan' M. on

      I'll never understand how the trees, rocks, and stuff appear back while you destroy/create landscape or how houses get bigger, but I believe it's a question for later, no worries...

    13. Mike Overhill-Smith on

      @22 Cans - Excellent update, keep up the good work!

    14. Missing avatar

      EOPE42 on

      @ Matthijs den Daas - I think that suggestion is excellent, mining ores perhaps for types of buildings or more? Great thinking.

      @Rik May - possibly, but I like the power to terraform to be moderated by mana usage or some resource that keeps the feedback in check, otherwise it looses it's incremental improvement gameplay that this slower genre is all about. :)

    15. Rik May on

      Suggestion to the 22 Cans Team -

      Taking into account that only nudging has been covered at the moment for sculpting Id like to suggest an option for more customising. Essentially I think it would be a huge benefit to have a brush system for sculpting, akin to Photoshop. The size and diameter could be adjusted so that the inner radius has the most push on the land and the outer radius has the least push. This would provide a much more pressure sensitive "stylus style" sculpting experience for the player for creating little mounds or hills for example.

      Loving the concept so far and hope the funding flows in to get this awesome game made!

    16. Michael Alexander
      Superbacker
      on

      I don't mean to be rude, but if you're using Unity, is there any reason not to export to Linux too?

    17. Matthijs den Daas on

      I'm starting to think that the uncovering of valuable materials from underground may be a lot more of an important part of the gameplay than I previously thought. Let me explain why:

      The land sculpting is currently being designed as the main thing that a player spends his time doing. It is designed to be like slowly nudging the landscape into the shape you want. This is somewhat similar to minecraft, where you reshape the world one cube at a time. But I think an important motivator that is present in minecraft is missing from the formula that Godus seems to be using.
      That motivator is that in minecraft, whatever cubes you extract from the world can be used as a resource. This means that with every cube you mine, you gain something that could be used for all sorts of things, and that is a very powerful motivator. When you nudge the land in Godus, no such resource is gained. At least not from the actual sculpting. This very powerful reward from minecraft's cubes is also, in some way, shape or form, needed in Godus to make it's core mechanic truly fun.

    18. Rising-Mos on

      since this haven't been discussed before, I will ask it: are all the followers the same? are there fighters, sward fighters, labor and such? also, are all the building the same or can you define different building percentage, e.g. 30% for fighters and such. That would be awesome! you don't have to define the location as that is done by the people themselve but having diversity in followers and buildings will give the game a lot of complexity. Players can then create their own home with different percentages of things and have different powers. Depending on how you want to do it, you can have the definition of the percentage explicitly (in some kind of adjustable bars) or they could depend on the way you treat the followers and it is defined automatically. Just some thoughts to consider.

    19. Hakan Karaduman on

      i think i will cancel my pledge, i decided to wait until last hours and see all updates. i hope prototype goes better.

      first question is what are our goals in the game? just modifying the world? i think it should be like this;

      as a creator we firstly create a world, before the gameplay starts. and then dont have that much freedom to change the world, we can order the people that obey us to make the changes. like dig this area, blow up this mountain bla bla.

      and if the obey us a lot they do what we say, if they do not obey , they dont do what we say but do what other creator (god) says. and that means we are in trouble. because with this way they can destroy our praying stuff.

      i dont know , i have no idea in this position, how game will shape. lets just wait and see. i hope you 22cans guys read those messages and consider them.

      by the way, sorry for my poor english, it is not my native language but i hope i told what i think. if you curious and dont understand, let me know and i write it again in a different way.

      have good days.

    20. Alexander R on

      @Act - I agree it would be good to see the humans doing some basic tree chopping and leveling of the land later as the game develops.

      Maybe some fishing boats can be made on the beaches too and put out to water ?

    21. Etienne on

      I am was waitting this amazing update!
      Impressive to see the work with the prototype screen tactile.The demo seems fun already!
        You've worked hard and it seems to be very positive. Do not forget to relax.
      This really exciting to see the development of this game!
      Do you know if you will have different cultures as in B & W2?
      I think your goal is to have a graphic style very "bare", but do you intend to give a little more realism in the PC version. I love this graphic style but I think the effects of the water and also smoked and fire, and to better texture ...Too early , I know. But we'll see that later. ;-)
       
      Take care

    22. Vincent Oostelbos on

      Haha, I felt a bit bad for Sam when Peter said it wasn't right... "What do you mean it's not right?" Especially when in the end it was just a number thing. Still, a very good update, excited as always about the progress.

    23. Act on

      I think! Like in Populous the beginning. The little people should be shaping the land themself. They will try to shape the land in any way they can, within their human capabilities. But will be halted in their process by steep slopes and bushes/ rubble/ rocks.

    24. Yourtime on

      could it be that the youtube link got overflowed?

    25. Phillip Ebdon on

      Others have said this but how is home world going to work if you do have little control over your believers ?
      Wouldn't they just run around building houses and so on

    26. TimmyShire on

      @Marc Middleton - which is why we should just trust Peter on these things :)

    27. Samuel Argento on

      Great job, guys... and girls :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Marc Bissonnette on

      I've got a link to this (The Godus kickstarter project) from canadianisp.ca, as well as from the business FB page - I *really* want to see this go ahead!!!

    29. Matthijs den Daas on

      I wanted to add to my previous post about walls:

      If the border of a town doesn't change for a while and they turn that part of the fence into a wall, then instead of moving the wall when that part of town grows again, they leave the wall where it is and build houses outside of the wall. When there is enough distance between the old wall and the new border of town, they start a second wall. Since the old wall has been around the longest, it'll be the thickest, tallest and strongest one. This way, you get a layered town, just like some large midieval cities in real life had multiple walls.

    30. Marc on

      @TimmyShire - completely agree with you, I wasn't sure whether the powerfulness was wrong at first, but when peter changed the variable from 2 to 0.75 and it allowed greater and more precise interaction with the terrain, I knew then that that was the right choice.

    31. Yourtime on

      I really see how serious you are getting.. and its amazing the things, I only hope its not getting annoying to click so often, I just played reprisal and found out its okay actually.

    32. Richard Jones on

      Great update. I use Python extensively for my own game development and prototyping work; I also use cython as a means to easily bring in C-level speed boosts while retaining Python's toolset, rather than switching to directly writing C and losing Python's features.

    33. Matt Tipper on

      Seeing you guys work so hard to get every detail right is really inspiring, keep up the good work and I'm very much looking forward to the prototype!

    34. Missing avatar

      Corey Bradford on

      Looking good. This video makes me more excited for Godus. The landscape editing seems to work well and I agree with Peter that our should be allowed down. I know as a god you should be powerful but reducing that power and making it slower should make for more exciting and engaging gameplay.

    35. Matthijs den Daas on

      I think it'd be nice if the villagers built a small fence at the very edge of their village to outline the borders of the village. If the shape of the village changes, they move the fences accordingly. If the shape of the fences doesn't change for a while, they will slowly make the fence into a wall, which becomes bigger and stronger if the wall isn't moved.
      Within the borders of a town, a happy people (under the rule of a good god) will plant flowers and such, and under the rule of an evil god, a frightened people will make sacrificial altars everywhere, littering the landscape with the blood, bones and carcasses of whatever they sacrificed to their god to try and appease it.
      This way it should be visually obvious where a town begins and ends as well as what kind of god rules over the town.

    36. TimmyShire on

      Seeing this prototype is really quite exciting. Initially I thought powerful was better, but seeing the change inaction - an Peter's reasoning behind it - I actually much prefer it.

      Out of interest, will we eventually see different citizen types? With you talking about the houses getting bigger and being dependant on the land it reminds me of two of my favourite classic games Caesar 3 and The Settlers. I really love the idea of each citizen having a role (woodcutter, fisherman, etc) and your societyrelying on your careful control of the land to ensure each role can be fulfilled.

      Is that something that you're planning? (not for the prototype, obviously, but eventually).

      Keep up the hard work (even if it is making you all very tired!).

    37. DonQuitto on

      Nice work so far 22cans, remember to rest aswell :P

    38. Bill Schneider on

      Actually looks really nice I think. I am loving the art style. The things I'd raise with the prototype/tech demo so far is
      - can people remove the trees themselves? For that matter how are the trees generated, they just seem to appear.
      - How do they climb up and down the 'ledges' which make up the slopes in the game?
      - How is/will there be any control over where they settle? They just seemed to go off and expand onto any flat ground they could find, and there always seemed enough flat space for a small house. Will this be the same in game, just going off and settling wherever they feel like?

      The biggest thing for me so far is that I want to see how its actually a game... what players will do other than terraforming and casting miracles. How do they direct their people towards an actual objective, or something to actually do?

      And also, what will you do on homeworld with such little control over the people, their building etc as it is now? You'd just end up with a random sprawling city, wouldn't you?

    39. Ebu diGriz on

      Still no wallpapers... :(

    40. Andrew Easter - on

      Nice to see the process, the team must be exhausted.

    41. Missing avatar

      Derik
      Superbacker
      on

      You guys got this. Keep up the updates! Takes a bit out of you working late but only a few days more and you can (slightly) relax!

    42. Missing avatar

      EOPE42 on

      You guys are certainly burning the midnight oil! "Oh my godus!"

      Agree with PM, slower is much much better, I'm getting that therapeutic endorphin rush watching those slow, little modifcations to the landscape that make little improvements; that or the lovely ale I'm currently nursing!

      It's looking very very good, and thank you for the technical info in the description text, very interesting!! Onwards and Upwards!