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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.

A producer’s take on life at 22cans

Posted by 22cans (Creator)

Hello everyone,

As we are edging ever closer to the final two days of our campaign we will be ramping up our updates. This is the first update of today where we look at the production at 22cans.

A producer’s take on life at 22cans 

22cans was set up back in March 2012 by a handful of industry veterans and in that short time, a team, still only in its infancy has been through the motions of a very strong forming stage. This is normal for any team, big or small, as a group of talented strangers become united towards a common goal: to make great games! 

Our founders needed to ensure that they had the right disciplines set up and then fill them with amazing talent at different experience levels. Then they had to decide on a structure that would ultimately drive the culture we were looking for. It was important to have this outlined from the start in order to understand the best production processes that would work. At 22cans we benefit greatly from strong leadership by Peter and other industry veterans, but we devised a flat organisational structure of individuals, which is what underpins our friendly, family, ‘in this together’ culture. This is something we felt would lose traction in a complex structure, similar to ones we have worked in before. 

In order to ensure that the work is completed to time, and of the highest quality, there are many production processes. Theories and methods need to be tested, tweaked and implemented so that the team remains high performing and professional. Here at 22cans we have already been through a handful of scenario’s that lend a huge advantage to the production of GODUS in 2013, and we constantly assess and learn from our experiences. Curiosity was something that was unique in development but not unique in terms of delivery to the market and there were processes the team went through like any app development, including iteration, scrumming, bug fixing, testing, updating and submissions. While the team continues to update and maintain Curiosity, just over 8 weeks ago it was time for attention to be put on Kickstarting Godus. 

When I came to producing Godus for Kickstarter, this was something that was very new to the UK. Sam Van Tilburgh, Chief Discovery Officer, and I, spent 4 weeks researching the Kickstarter platform and planning how the campaign would run. We needed to be sure that everything we had planned was achievable during full production next year and more importantly, was what our fans wanted. We presented the idea to the team and made an agreement, as a team, that this was something we wanted to do together. We all agreed that laying the development process and 22cans team bare to the world was something exciting and challenging. The idea of making a game in the open and embracing what Kickstarter stands for, is something which we are really looking forward to. Here we are with a just a few days to go and that excitement is higher than ever. 

Myself (left) with Peter (centre) and Sam (right) at the start of the Kickstarter campaign.

The campaign to this point has been a mixture of outward facing tasks and internal development. I have been organising the team between both producing a prototype of Godus and managing the campaign with Sam. A normal day at 22cans is packed full of production process and methods that ensure we deliver to the timescales set. Let me give you a look of what a typical day looks like for a producer at 22cans (see the image below). Busy huh? 

The production set-up is typical of most studios; I set out high level milestones, which are then cut into sprints. At the end of each sprint is a goal for the team. In order to reach our goal sometimes we need to be re-active and add tasks to the baseline schedule. If this is case then I work with individuals on solutions that make sense for the projects interests. This is something that becomes easier as a producer with experience. 

I feel extremely honoured to be part of such a talented team that can achieve so much in such short sprints. I believe that if we are granted the opportunity to develop Godus in front of a Kickstarter audience this is ground-breaking for the games industry. One of the challenges that faces the industry beyond the gaming community is people understanding how games are made and the seriousness of the roles we undertake as games developers. This would be a chance to show how a great game is made and what we do to make it happen. 

Upon (hopefully) successful funding I look forward to sharing with our backers, the production cycles, key dates and production decisions made for Godus. There will be lots of shiny graphs and spread sheets, but it’s all part of the process as we start development on Godus.

Merry Christmas to you all and I hope to be speaking to you again in 2013, 

Best, Jemma Harris. Producer – 22cans


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    1. Bill Schneider on

      @marie, several problems with those ideas-
      1. you can only pledge 10,000 maximum (on the UK version it might be 5,000) I believe. I may be wrong.
      2. This is certainly against the rules- if it is not against letter of the rules (which it probably could be constructed to be) then its certainly against the spirit. I think tho that it could be considered agsint the letter too. Understandable - otherwise anyone could always find someone to pledge the extra... heck, an individual running it could pledge the extra on credit and then just take the money back off the project when the funding comes through. Not how the platform is meant to run at all, and its good. Otherwise the whole all-or-nothing community funded thing would be useless.

    2. Nick Mudry on

      Interesting insite on being a producer at 22cans. Currently I'm a student in game development, and running my own small, student team and pretty much working as the 'producer'.

      Thanks for the insite and good luck with 22cans and the Godus Kickstarter! :D

      Oh, Merry Christmas to you too. :)

    3. Missing avatar

      Andreas Hamm

      Spread the words, spread the numbers, spread the spreadsheets... ohh I'm loving puns.

      You've got some points in there: First off, a small team and a flat hierarchical structure is a very effective way to concentrate on the strengths of each individual. Second: a family-like atmosphere makes everyone happy in a company resulting in better productivity. Third: Big companies are usually out of control. Who says, you can't be productive in a small team? You've just proven yourself, that it's actually working. And I know from my own experience that a small team is way better than big complex company structures.

      And last but not least: Merry Christmas to you, too.

    4. Matthijs den Daas on

      What's that 'key risk meeting' on the schedual?

    5. Marie on

      Another idea, perhaps a sponsor can be found to pledge the remaining amount in return for some in-game product placement. Like Coca Cola for instance. They love finding new markets to promote their goods.

    6. Missing avatar

      Henrik Holm on

      @Sam Fitzgibbon Probably not. The prototype is a proof of concept. To test if their ideas could work. A quick visualization of what they plan to do. They don't even know what engine they will end using. Might even write their own. That would give them full control of all things engine wise but require much more work :)
      Prototype will be crashed when funded and it will not be released. I would love to play around with it but it will not be released.

    7. Marie on

      Isn't there some succesful software house that's on friendly terms with Peter that would be willing to pledge the remaining amount with the agreement that they'll get refunded when the product finally sells?

    8. Socrates on

      Pesti is right. There should be a few higher pledges without the second copy. I'd go for a digital addon of the kickstarter familiar. What about about a physical soundtrack addon?

    9. Pesti

      what about adding additional pledges for backers that don´t need 2 or more copies between 20 and 50pounds? maybe some people will pledge more then

    10. Joshua Stubbles on

      @RobertPrice From Dust was released just last year, Published by Ubisoft. It's not impossible for 22Cans to secure funding, especially with Peter attached to it. But the Kickstarter will allow, us, the fans, to be a part of it and I think that's what 22Cans really wants. Populous is one of my favorite games of all time and I cannot wait to see what happens with this reimagining of it.

    11. Rullakebab99 on

      whoa, i can like learn business and organizational culture from this. O_O - this is useful on so many levels, awesome!

    12. Sam Fitzgibbon on

      When (if) you get funding, will you be using this prototype as a base for further development or restarting from scratch? Thanks

    13. Missing avatar

      Tim Dittmer on

      Here's to a successful final push.
      I stretched my Pledge to the very limit of my purse now.
      God, I want this project to happen!

    14. Missing avatar

      Zarch on

      @Patrik Kickstarter is all or nothing, if it doesn't reach target then they don't get the money...

    15. James Marshall on

      That volcano looks amazing. Really hope you guys get to 100%. Can't wait to see the game take form.

      Can we have some more video updates? I love seeing you guys at work.

    16. Rik May on

      Thanks for the update, everyone is hoping the funding happens and this gets made as we all want the chance to be involved in a big title and big genre game!

    17. Robert Price on

      @Patrik It wouldn't be developed in that case.

      Modern publishers don't fund God Games, simple as. Think of the last time you saw a proper PC God game? :)

    18. Patrik on

      I wish you all the best of luck at getting this to 100%

      Will it hurt the development if this doesn't get 100%?

    19. Missing avatar

      Sascha Gellert on

      Praise the holy beechnut for this update!!

    20. Samuel Argento on

      I love the aesthetics of the volcano, the prototype reminds me of when I was a small child and played Tente [] and Lego []

    21. Robert Price on

      Nice update, Can't wait for development to start :)