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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.

What’s Missing From Godus?

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Jack here from 22cans!

Sometimes we look back on earlier builds of GODUS and it blows our mind when we stop to consider how far the game has progressed. Sometimes this can be to do with the mechanics, other times it can be with aesthetics or the game’s performance.

It’s been a fascinating experience seeing how the community has been able to adapt and respond to our iterative design approach. Previously, this has always been a process that has occurred behind closed doors. It’s terrifying putting it out there for people to see because the nature of something such as Early Access is a relatively new concept to the industry, with the danger being that some people will play GODUS and panic that the current state of the game is what it will always be!

The most magical vibe has been flowing throughout the 22cans studio the past few weeks at just how dramatically things have progressed. The team has been putting everything they have into this game and it’s really starting to show. Whenever we attempt to take screenshots or record videos of the game, we have to re-author them by the time we go to release because the game has been changing so fast and so they never represent the most recent version of our work.

We can’t wait to show you the results once it’s all come together. For now, though, I thought it would be fun to look at the below screenshot from an older version of GODUS and to question what’s actually missing from it…

There aren’t many trees in this landscape. I love trees! And when I start to feel like a part of my land is missing trees, I plant some more. Sadly, after some time I forget which trees I planted and which trees were already there! It seems slightly odd that after all the effort I made to customise my landscape that I am somehow unable to admire my handiwork because I don’t know what was my work and what was already in the world. I think I would feel a lot more satisfied with my customisation if I could clearly tell apart where I had left my mark on the world.

I love the art direction of the GODUS world. Whenever I think of it, I picture the green plateaus. For me that is the image that defines the world. I also love how vast the world is. I feel like my little people are engulfed in a huge landscape that would takes them an age to venture through. However, with this feeling of an expansive land I would expect to see gradual changes in the world. I think about my experiences moving through other virtual worlds – such as in Shadow of the Colossus or Red Dead Redemption – where I would head north and start to see snow laying on the ground and suddenly I’d feel like I really was in a different part of that world. Wouldn’t it be great if I had the same strong feeling of exploring far and wide when looking around my Homeworld?

Speaking of the visual beauty of GODUS, it is certainly pretty. I genuinely find it to be a joy to the eyes to scroll around and play in this world. Having thought about it a bit harder lately, we’ve already dreamed up a few ways to improve on it. For instance, I feel that the small shadows that are currently present do help to give the world definition, but still aren’t truly believable. Proper shadows would be a much nicer solution, adding emphasis to the world in a way that’s both consistent and visually striking. We’ve also been thinking about the sea a bit more. Water gives a lot of wonderful motion to the world and I want to take more advantage of that. I think having lovely looking streams and waterfalls to play around with would really help make my Homeworld come alive.

As you grow your civilisation, you are almost certainly going to have a lot of abodes on your hands. I want this both to feel fun and also for your world to grow in beauty as your population becomes denser. However, in the past this hasn’t proved to be as beautiful looking as it could be. The problem we’ve had in GODUS is that your abodes haven’t felt like they were related to each other. Currently, they all feel isolated and with only certain kinds of abode designs, the repetition of assets can be quite noticeable. Not only this, but previously worlds have ended up as flat seas of houses.

The first iteration of this solution was a very primitive. We saw this as a great opportunity to introduce farming. We used fields to break up the sea of abodes. The fields were built by abodes nearby a settlement statue. Problematically, this has required players to destroy their abodes to make space for them. This is something that we’re looking forward to having solved in our forthcoming update for GODUS.

The second iteration was based around the idea of wanting to allow the player to customise their settlements. We added the ability to sculpt your own roads (very primitively), we added a barrier to make abodes in the settlement feel more inclusive, plus we enabled the player to assign their followers to be breeders, workers, or buffers. We also changed the requirements for building fields and abodes. Unfortunately, these proved to be very unintuitive mechanics that didn’t offer a great experience despite their complexity. So, we realised we needed to go back to the drawing board. Nevertheless, these mistakes have proved beneficial in the long run thanks to our iterative approach to game design. Whilst some mistakes may now seem fairly foreseeable in hindsight, they have led to some very innovative ideas that you’ll get to play with in our forthcoming update.

We recently discussed how we would solve these problems moving forwards. Once you progress through the ages, it is important that there is a noticeable difference between the abodes of the last era and those in the next. This also ties into our new vision for revamping Settlements. These are areas that our art team have been thinking hard about as they continue to iterate on the game’s artwork.

Lastly, I’d say that I don’t get the feeling of living companions in that first screenshot. I see a few of my little people around, but I wish there was more for them to see and do. Their journey through the world seems to greet them with the promise of new environments, but I wonder if there could be more discoveries for them? It would be great for them to have unexpected encounters with things that are more alive than the shrines and mountains that we’ve all become used to.

So these are just a few of the things that spring to mind when I look at that first image. Yet there’s still so much more to come! Keep an eye out for more details very soon.

Much love,
Jack Attridge
@Jakamofo

Albert Soler, Jeffrey, and 17 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Tommy Kronholm on July 26, 2014

      You have to get away from the microtransaction thinking - lose the gems, go and play Black and White 1 for 48hours straight - then you are allowed to work again.

    2. Creator Zoran Cavic on July 24, 2014

      Whats missing from godus hmmm let me think....hmm...how..about THE FRIGGIN PC GAME I BACKED!

    3. Creator Paul Pflugradt on July 23, 2014

      Tophernator +1

    4. Creator 22cans on July 21, 2014

      We've not forgotten about Godus on Linux by any means! We'll be porting Godus over to that platform when the game is further towards the 100% content completion point.

    5. Creator Turk on July 20, 2014

      To whom it may concern

      your game is rubbish because it is not a game, it is a pay to play RSI inducing mobile focused rubbish. You can tell Peter M that this is the last time i ever spend on any of his products and i am so glad that War For the Overworld is not done by him. He will end up giving EA's version a good run for the money for bovine droppings.

    6. Creator Glenarama on July 19, 2014

      Whats missing from Godus? A game is whats missing - Its just an experience and a dull one at that. There are no interesting short term goals to get excited about.

      You have the template for what folks here wants - just remake populus - conquest oriented - with updated visuals and a better UX. Sure put in some fun new aspects like village life, landscape progression, tech evolution or expansionist win strategies - but folks signed up for a fun game.
      The new landscaping is a chore - stretching is more work than raising/lowering - of course folks are complaining about having to flatten the land its tedious - it was novel in Populous but you didn't feel like you had to flatten an infinite world, constraint in this case is a good thing.
      Im sorry if you guys want to do something completely new - but you shouldn't have sold it as a populous game.

    7. Creator Phil on July 19, 2014

      What's most annoying for me is that this was sold as an updated and new 'Populous' but the game they're trying to make is nothing like that at all. The game they are delivering isn't a fun concept or even a game at all. It's just dull clicking.

    8. Creator Allan MacKenzie-Graham on July 19, 2014

      What Tophernator said, except for this: "I still believe in Godus." My faith in godus is long gone.
      As for Linux, I feel for you guys, you were misled also. But the game isn't any good on a PC platform. And frankly, the mobile version seems tedious as hell, too. Gotta hate it when your game becomes work.

    9. Creator Phil on July 19, 2014

      Everything about the game seems geared towards making it a "pay to play" mobile game, they know they can't make it that at launch or they'll risk having to give all the backers a refund as they won't fulfil the kickstarter promises, but within a few months, I'm sure we'll see that all change.

      What a shitty game.

    10. Creator leszek zak on July 19, 2014

      Tophernator has said it well.................
      To say 22cans is a company it seems to me that it has a very bohemian aproach with this game. Take a look at ELITE Dangerous on how to do a kickstarter and involving the backers.....
      I could say more but cannot be bothered much like 22cans with there customers.
      Im off to hug a tree.

    11. Creator Mark Enticknap on July 19, 2014

      As a pc gamer the pay to play mechanics you are putting in worry me. The last several builds encourage spurts of activity followed by a LONG waits...then repeat. this is all well and good for people with short attention spans but I would like to play a fluid game, not one where I'm restricted and then encouraged to "invest" in order to progress. I'm already disappointed and frustrated that you put the game in the stream sale so everyone has got what I'm getting for half price and it's not even been released yet (still waiting for a truthful official statement on that by the way....you're great at avoiding the harder posed questions from your backers!)
      I'm excited to see the aesthetic chants you put in, but as someone else pointed out it seems to make little difference when compared to the broken mechanics and f2p ideas are still abundant!

    12. Creator Tony Porter on July 19, 2014

      After 40 hours of playing a clicking simulator I'm done. I dred each update that "suggests" deleting the save file.... going through the pain of unskippable tutorials and crippled progression mechanics just make my heart sink each time.

    13. Creator Bruno Fonseca on July 19, 2014

      I Don't want to seem rude, but when I read this update the phrase "polishing a turd" came to my mind.
      Right now, with the current game mechanics, I'd rather play the first Populous, and that is significantly uglier than Godus.

    14. Creator Brians Magic Hammer on July 18, 2014

      @Adam what game? it's a pretty (ish) landscape simulator at best with a few badly designed game mechanics thrown in at the last minute. Honestly, you'll get more enjoyment out of farmville at the moment.

    15. Creator Ian Bourne on July 18, 2014

      Haven't really played in ages. Early versions utterly buggy and unplayable; haven't seen any advance in that. Still buggy. Still no game. Sorry, but this is woeful.

    16. Creator Patrick Foster on July 18, 2014

      Hey look at us it's been a year and a half and we have trees. Wtf.

    17. Creator Adam J Purcell on July 18, 2014

      Yes, any danger of us Linux users ever getting to play the game?

    18. Creator Sleet on July 18, 2014

      Thanks for the update, Jack! I'm looking forward to seeing these changes in action, as well as whatever else the team has come up with.

    19. Creator Chris Mead on July 18, 2014

      I also agree with Topernator to an extent. I think the problem is project creep. No one had a fixed idea of what Godus should be or how it should play right at conception of the project. What we had was a few airy fairy ideas about water and trees and nice conceptual artwork all based that was sold on the basis of Populous and Black & White. Now we need pay or wait to pay for pipe dreams.

    20. Creator roffelito on July 18, 2014

      I was really shocked by how lousy the early (EARLY) version of the game was when we first got to play it.. the clicking nearly broke my index finger and I felt bad for killing all the trees... but I'm positively surprised to see development continue, the team listening to player feedback, keeping adding new things, trying different variations, iterating etc.. must be an amazing (and tough) process you guys are going through! looking forward to seeing this game slowly be molded into the awesome, intelligent, and unique product I always hoped it would become! take your time - be patient - you're on the right track!

    21. Creator Xenophon on July 18, 2014

      @Tophernator, Couldn't have said it better.

    22. Creator Tophernator on July 18, 2014

      While I am certainly looking forward to the new version, I'm honestly baffled by the point and tone of this update.

      Basically every change you are describing here, every 'triumph' is an aesthetic one, one where you looked at the game and went 'wait, it needs more trees' or 'People are upset that they have to make flat plains filled with houses, so now, lets make them make flat plains filled with houses... and farms!' or 'lets make them make a flat plain filled with houses, also houses and farms that are contained inside of a wall!' or 'Look! more colors!'

      Of course, aesthetic changes are important. I agree that the latter screenshots look much nicer than the first one, but when the critique you've been getting has been consistently about the mechanics of the game (the stickers, the linear progression, the lack of 'life', the absurdly long timers, the misuse of wheat and iron as just another set of bars to be filled, the need to flatten land in the first place, the general 'freemium' feel to a game we paid $20 or more for, etc...), giving us a post about how happy you are that the game *looks* nicer, when none of those underlying issues have been addressed is just incredibly... wrong.

      I still believe in Godus. I think that, somewhere in there, there is exciting potential and the chance to become a good game. I'm eager to see what is coming in subsequent eras, as well as what Hubworld and other mechanics you are working on will look like, but please, update us on the progress of those, NOT on how nice you think the game looks because now there are more trees.

    23. Creator Neo on July 18, 2014

      But what about Linux?

    24. Creator Jeffrey on July 18, 2014

      I don't think I've played since that first screenshot, but I played for 5 hours straight! I can't wait to find time to get back to it. Thanks to the team for all of your hard work.