Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 21, 2012.

Update #29

Christmas and Gore

Hello everyone!

Just shy of 24 hours to go before our Kickstarter finishes and we're still seeing great progress on making our stretch goals. The whole 22cans team is over the moon about your support for our vision. Thank you so much for backing us successfully. We are now able to make GODUS, and because we couldn't have done it without you, we are now going to do it with you! Enjoy the ride - it's going to be fantastic.

You are probably thinking about Christmas now. We've got you covered…any gamers you know, people who maybe played the original Populous or Dungeon Keeper, you can now get them a very special gift! We will send all our backers their printable version shortly after our Kickstarter finishes so you can print this and gift it you anyone you like.

Will There Be Blood?

This is Jack at 22cans! So Peter and I have been debating an element of GODUS… When it comes to the competitive and smiting aspects of the game, your little followers will inevitably perish. When this happens we are wondering whether there should be blood. Due to aspects such as maturity ratings affecting sales, and aesthetic sensibility, proper gore is surprisingly a rarity in violent games. Personally I feel that as an indie, we are free of corporate shackles to worry about violence affecting sales, and on an emotional level, I think it can be quite powerful to feel the contrast between the peaceful daily lives of a town you have built and then seeing those followers become the victims of blood-thirsty battles.

I don't think overly comedic blood like Happy Wheels is the way to go, but just a level that emphasises the violence in a negative light. Peter on the other hand says that as a father he feels that there should be no violence.  We did discuss this in a video recently but it was too violent for broadcast! Either way, we thought it was important to ask the backers how they felt. Should there be graphic violence? Should it be completely clean? Should it be an optional switch? Let us know.

Also if you missed our live broadcast yesterday you can watch the recorded show here, you'll see us take a pizza delivery from Skulburn, reach 49,004 before a troll withdraws their £5,000 pledge, reach our goal and the team does a little dance for everyone.

Thank you everyone, the final countdown has begun!

22cans

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator David Kennington on January 16, 2013

      Gore and gibs abound!

      I think gibs are a great way to instill a sense of power in games and I really think it would help to capture the feeling of being a god. With the art style you have going, it's going to be hard to surpass anything beyond cartoon violence regardless of how much red there is or number of body parts.

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Michael W Kandefer on January 2, 2013

      When there are resources available to make something optional, then make it so. Especially when it comes to making a game more inclusive.

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      Creator James Hollis on December 31, 2012

      It should be obvious where a big battle has been fought and when individuals die. But having gibs flying everywhere is not right for the game. Keep it U, or at least PG. Maybe put up lots of gravestones.

      Also, most deaths should probably occur due to natural disasters like volcanos, in which case it's not realistic to have blood and gibs everywhere.

    4. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator David Williams on December 28, 2012

      Seeing a plasticine man being attacked with a sword, drop down to the floor and stop moving removes the player from the 'war' situation far more than seeing a man being attacked and bleeding from an attack. I'm not a proponent of 'gore' (hate slasher movies) but in this scenario I think it's warranted for adults playing the game and wanting to be immersed in their godly tasks.

    5. N4300883_30391184_6996.small

      Creator Dan on December 27, 2012

      I vote yes for Blood. I like the emotional impact of it. Seeing your followers just get ripped apart after becoming so attached will be good for the player.

    6. 40.small

      Creator Paul Fruehauf on December 24, 2012

      Reading through the rest of the comments, I think a lot of us are going with the "Put in a toggle/slider" option, which I also happen to be for. There are lots of pros and cons to both sides of the argument, and questions to be raised about the lack of blood and gore versus the presence of blood and gore. Placing that decision in the player's hands (with the default being off, I agree, to prevent the wee ones from deciding that it's OK to dismember the others at the local Kindergarten) would be interesting. A three switch, or more, system sounds like it would help appeal to the spectrum of people this game seems to be appealing to, as well as maybe help the designers with potential moral pitfalls.
      However, I also liked the idea that I read down bellow about the whole "Death Monument". One of the fun parts about Black and White and Black and White 2, for me at least, was the representations in the landscape and town of our alignment. A giant edifice of steel and pain would make sense for someone who goes to war a lot, versus a more mournful reminder of the loss of life that comes with a god that tries to be "good".
      TLDR; Gore slider, default off. Monument of death in game would be awesome with gore or without.

    7. W-zor2c.small

      Creator intrepidis on December 24, 2012

      The gore should definitely be off by default, in case a child picks up the game. People hungry for depictions of murder and death can turn it on.

    8. Pixel_pogo_mini.small

      Creator Pogo Beta on December 23, 2012

      Optional, default off.
      Personally, I would play it with blood off, but it may as well be an available option. The only reason I can see to completely bar it from the game is to get a tamer ESRB rating (which, as mentioned, COULD allow for more widespread sales).

      The final decision is largely based on the tone you want to set with this game. When I played Black & White, I felt guilty if I set a villager down wrong and they slid down a hill screaming or something. Even though they flailed in an almost slapstick way, I was uncomfortable with the perceived suffering. The whisper of "Deaaaath" and the turning into a skeleton was enough to let me know somebody was finished, and that reinforced my role as an overseer. Had there been blood trails or dismemberment or that sort of thing, I would've felt less "I was responsible for that villager's death" and more "I killed that villager."

      Setting aside the few people who want a blood setting because they just find it amusing, the inclusion of blood and gore definitely adds depth and gravity to the violent encounters, whether it's god-on-man or man-on-man.

      I guess my next question would be "how does it affect the gameplay?" If the blood and gore are purely aesthetic, I would find it more forgivable to give it a miss. If they change the game in any FUNCTIONAL way, however, I'd encourage their inclusion.

      Hypothetical: A villager could choose from a variety of jobs. A farmer takes up arms to help fight off an invasion. He succeeds and survives, but he has lost a leg in battle and is now considerably less effective working on the farm. Perhaps he becomes a musician or a writer and can work without penalty.

      Another hypothetical: A massive battle takes place in the village square. The remaining villagers are terribly depressed when they see dead bodies where the battle took place (until the bodies are cleared and buried), or the bloodstained ground (until the rain washes it away).

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Cold Pencil on December 22, 2012

      Optional no gore by default

    10. Missing_small

      Creator cheese on December 22, 2012

      There should definitely be blood and gore on by default. People opposed to red pixels accompanying depictions of warfare and death can turn it off.

    11. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Adam Titus on December 22, 2012

      I like the Idea but I know some won't. It should be an option to switch it on and off I believe so both sides of the argument can have their way.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator Jonny C on December 22, 2012

      Optional gore seems the best choice. Heck, if it is a decision made by a parent, make the gore level password protected too. Recently, varsovie, mentioned the improvement to framerate an optional level of gore could make, and Erik Verboom made a good point that blood isn't the only marker of a grisly battle. Optional gore is the way to go (password protected maybe even perhaps).

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      Creator Jazzy on December 22, 2012

      As so many others have said already, toggle option available, >>default OFF<<. I love the cartoony style of the blood though, it looks like goo :3

      Traces of battle should be evident - scarred land, craters etc. Makes it much more realistic.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Max Everingham on December 21, 2012

      I think you can be more imaginative than just showing blood - your ideas will be more creative than mine, but if you want to create a bond with your villagers, why not something that a look of severe disappointment of their faces as they expire, or a puff of smoke, or something similar? ;-)

    15. Sam%20av%20new.small

      Creator Sam Porter on December 21, 2012

      I think it's very interesting to see the reactions here, somewhat disproves the notion that gamers are all bloodthirsty creatures eh? ;)

    16. Missing_small

      Creator SpaceShipRat on December 21, 2012

      "Blood and Gore" should ALWAYS be an optional switch.

    17. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Erik Verboom on December 21, 2012

      I suppose it depends on the graphics style. If it stays cartoony like this, then blood would probably be very bright red which I actually don't find very appealing. And it doesn't necessarily add anything. I certainly wouldn't mind either way. I think it's far more important that some other trace of a battle can be seen after it's over. Lots of erratic foot steps, bodies, debris, craters perhaps. If that's present, the presence of blood itself is kind of moot: you've already provided the visual feedback that lets players know how significant the battle was, providing that visual pay off.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Schaflmuch on December 21, 2012

      " I think it can be quite powerful to feel the contrast between the peaceful daily lives of a town you have built and then seeing those followers become the victims of blood-thirsty battles"

      I am a follower

      give us a blood option, love the gore Art

    19. Missing_small

      Creator varsovie on December 21, 2012

      You can also tier Gore in three level, NONE, ALL and MEDIUM (medium having some blood puddles, maybe wounded people, but no gushing or bloody particle effects). Not only it allows for everyone to have the level of BLOOD they seems necessary, but on smaller devices no gore could improve the framerate.

    20. Missing_small

      Creator Brandon on December 21, 2012

      Make the blood & gore an option. For example, by default it will be "activated", but you can enter the Options menu and choose to turn it off, and the other way around.

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Stickparter on December 21, 2012

      Make it an option. No gore whatsoever would be a highly ridiculous form of censorship; or even worse - a way to make it seem like violence is completely harmless. I think parents usually have a very backwards understanding of this issue...

    22. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator D Eric on December 21, 2012

      I want blood and option to desactivate it thx !

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Zachary Kuttas on December 21, 2012

      But if need be make a toggle option, there are people out there who want to see the aftermath of their gigantic battles

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Zachary Kuttas on December 21, 2012

      If there was gore it'd be much more of a artistic game and it would push people to play it, face it what buy doesn't like making something then watching in full detail of it being destroyed. Simcity could take a few pointers from you. Even though its a totally different type of game

    25. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Rade Martinović on December 21, 2012

      I would like to have as real gore as possible with current art direction.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Christian Mathias Mueller on December 21, 2012

      I would opt for
      a) No blood or
      b) Toggle option
      I would play without blood - it's supposed to be a fun game, not a splatter movie...

    27. Missing_small

      Creator chris chapman on December 21, 2012

      Toggle option, default off.

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Zachary Ward on December 21, 2012

      I think there should be an option. Defaulted to off. Those who would be angered by the gore can have their feelings spared, while those who wish for full immersion can turn it on at will.

    29. Zly01ubmk3lxarbiux6w.small

      Creator Alex Winters on December 21, 2012

      Toggle, default off.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator lars-göran on December 21, 2012

      i want the option to turn it on (off by default)

    31. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Emily Leathers on December 21, 2012

      I don't see the need for gore. If other backers/players do, I'd opt for a switch that is off by default (meaning opt-in gore).

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Domenic Giancola on December 21, 2012

      I like things like that being a toggle. That way those who want the more visceral reminder of the cost of war can have it, those who don't can leave it off. I think it would take it even further if sites of large battles became graveyards, shrines, grieving sites, etc. as reminders of the costs of your actions. It would give those areas of the game a lot more emotional weight.

    33. 05.small

      Creator Jonathan Vd Wijngaarden on December 21, 2012

      No gore vote here. Populous never needed it and it opens up the game to a broader audience. The limbs across the battlefield is completely useless imo - this is not a game about misery but about having fun with total control over worlds =)

    34. W-zor2c.small

      Creator intrepidis on December 21, 2012

      Please have a switch for the gore. In Fat Princess they had an option to have confetti instead. This was a really lovely option and made me feel comfortable playing it with my 5 year old son.

    35. Missing_small

      Creator Jimmy Dole on December 21, 2012

      I think as you open the game the first option of gore should be in a dialogue box, to prevent any mistakes in people not taking it off, preventing anyone being offended by it or not wanting to play because of it.

    36. Avatar_9417_1273434784.small

      Creator Social-Pariah on December 21, 2012

      'Gore' does seem like an important feature of any war scenario, giving it a visual impact. It depends on how much effort was needed for a toggle switch. If it came to gore or no gore I would say gore, as your target audience is hardly little children in the first place, anyone above the age of 12 is pretty much mentally prepared for red splotches on the ground.

    37. Missing_small

      Creator Peter Hyder on December 21, 2012

      It will always be a good idea to have the option to switch it off. In terms of levels of gore, take a look at the blood pack DLC for Shogun 2 Total war, while they went for a style similar to graphic novels in both the look and colour, something similar could be incorporated onto your battlefields.
      There is nothing wrong with showing some brutality and sadness on a battlefield, in fact, arguably games which show any type of violence without the effects of which are glorifying it. While you do want to actually sell the game, having a battlefield of broken bodies with a tasteful amount of gore, maybe a couple limping or moving wounded, possibly even grieving mothers could add a huge level of immersion into your game and make players think twice when they are considering their own people. In games like Black and White 1 & 2 you just were not connected with your settlers, that is a really important mistake which I hope you do not follow.

    38. Missing_small

      Creator Felix Forsberg on December 21, 2012

      I think u will be more immersed with the game if it is gore

    39. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator loner1200 on December 21, 2012

      Would agree that there needs to be an option. I would say default to off. That prevents kids from unknowing stumbling upon it while adults can still switch it on. I loved B&W as a child, one of the reasons I'm supporting Godus, and it seems to me Godus could be fun for the younger crowd as well. Just because it has to be adults supporting the creation of the game doesn't necessarily mean it has to be targeting just adults.

    40. Missing_small

      Creator Tim on December 21, 2012

      Give a slider, confetti and candy canes replace blood on one end, then on the opposite side get it all the way to the point where the field may as well be a giant swimming pool :D

    41. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pascal on December 21, 2012

      You'll make the most people happy by offering something like a violence-slider.

    42. Missing_small

      Creator Callum Doherty on December 21, 2012

      Due to the games visual style I believe that there should be blood but a small amount, like a splash when a follower dies, this gives the players a reaction about there follower dieing because they did exist and with a small amount of blood this can really affect the player to be more cautious, creates a connection. The blood can permanently stain the land, such as the 'Battle of Gallipoli' in which poppy's now grow where the battle took place, this gives a impact onto the player, a sense of guilt and remembrance.

    43. Missing_small

      Creator Martin on December 21, 2012

      An switch with 3 options seems to be the best to me.
      1) No blood or gore
      2) Blood, but minor and nothing else
      3) Full on violence as bad as you can make it

      If you just do 1 and 3, people who want 2 will be unhappy. Equally, if you just do 1 and 2, people who want 3 will be unhappy.

    44. Missing_small

      Creator Smatt McLachlan on December 21, 2012

      Switch! Should make everyone happy, yes, everyone?

    45. Missing_small

      Creator Howard Pullan on December 21, 2012

      I'm going to sit on the fence slightly. I think:

      - Yes there should be blood to add to the sense of loss when your followers die. But i would caveat this and say that the level of blood should not be gratuitous, or detract from the overall visual style.

      - I think that there should also be an option to turn blood off

    46. Avatar30.small

      Creator Filip Stefanovski on December 21, 2012

      there should be an option with blood or without blood :) so everywone can play it

    47. Annuh403x403.small

      Creator Anne CH Postma on December 21, 2012

      Addendum: If you do go for the bloody version, you can do it 'over the top' as far as I am concerned :)

    48. Vertaugust4.small

      Creator Brotacon on December 21, 2012

      I think with having realistic violence inside the game you run the risk of detraction. People might view it as juvenile or gratuitous irrespective of the context or meaning you attach to it. Cartoon violence wouldn't be appropriate either.

      It's possible to show conflict in a negative light without the need for blood and gore. Not that I find either of those things offensive in any way.

      Why not just have something like a graveyard monument that grows larger/more grotesque the more people you lose? Every time the player returns to their city they see a reminder of what it cost them.

    49. Annuh403x403.small

      Creator Anne CH Postma on December 21, 2012

      I'd go for the optional switch, you then give the choice to the players. Personally I'm not a real fan of bloody games. But if you let the players choose this as an option you can please everyone that way.

    50. Kaj-stenvall12.small

      Creator Treatise on December 21, 2012

      Here's a thought experiment. What's more offensive: seeing blood, or glorifying and marginalizing the results of violence?

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