Coming Soon to Godus… New & Improved Features
As you’re no doubt aware (especially if you’re amongst the forum regulars with whom we speak on a daily basis), the forthcoming Settlements revamp is actually a much bigger, more involving update than just fixing the issues previously outlined in this article on our blog.
Today, we’re sharing details of just a few of the visual improvements on which we’ve been working over the last month-and-a-half and we’ll be following up with details about some of the new features and functions soon.
According to their coder, Fabs, this is a technical term.
Currently, the version of Godus you’ve been playing looks something like this towards the start of your game:
Following the forthcoming update, your Homeworld will look more similar to this:
Fabs, who implemented the projected shadows into the game, describes them in his own words:
“On console, it’s quite easy to do gorgeous shadows – you will normally use cool things like Gbuffers, or perspective shadow maps, or even make it easy on yourself and use stencils, but creating a game for mobile devices makes things a bit more challenging. We wanted to make something that both looked beautiful and also wouldn’t use up all your battery life.
Like all successful game development, it is a matter of finding appropriate workarounds, and we let the art department really get involved in it by having something similar to decals on the land, leaving procedural generation of shadows only on the landscape itself. That’s why, when you get hold of the update and have a look for yourself, you’ll see the land edges look more organic than the shadows on the houses.
All in all, the whole effect is quite convincing, and I’d say that we probably take a tiny fraction of CPU time of any other more advanced, or accurate shadowing system out there.”
Ah, the timeline. This is something that we really wanted to make more functional, clearer to follow and enjoyable to use. We weren’t as happy as we’d like to have been with the version that’s currently in the game, which looks like this:
So, our first attempt was to split the timeline in two, with distinct areas for cards you’d discovered and for which you were gathering stickers to unlock, and those cards yet to be brought into your game.
While this may have improved functionality, we thought it was a bit messy and not particularly visually exciting.
So, back to the work:
We really liked this one. This version added a switch allowing you to toggle between undiscovered and completed cards, enabling you to track your progress and see what additional abilities you’ve unlocked. We also created a version that used an image of Homeworld instead of a photograph:
Both attempts looks a lot prettier than the examples given above too, however we wanted the planes for undiscovered and in-progress cards to feel more connected and look visually cohesive.
So, on to the next try:
We’re really happy with this design. We think it makes your progress much easier to track, allows you to focus on which aspects of the game you’d like to unlock next much more easily… and it hits the visual fidelity mark we were looking to hit.
Tony, who implemented and animated the timeline, has this to say:
“I can’t stand boxes. I’ve already spent too much of my life making bloomin’ boxes with text in. The timeline pleases me no end, taking what could have been a rubbish spreadsheet and instead making something vibrant and full of motion. The goal here is to make something that gives you all the information you need, but is in and of itself fun to play with.”
This has been a long time coming. You’ve been wanting it, we’ve been wanting to make it and now it’s finally in the game. We think that flowing water helps make your Homeworld come alive and makes the landscape feel much more active.
Have a look at the clip below to see water flowing in Godus.
At present, you can sculpt the water to form rivers and waterfalls. We’ve got lots of ideas on how dynamic water can impact gameplay and we’re looking forward to exploring that in future updates to the game.
The naming of things
Exclusively for PC players, the forthcoming update will bring with it the ability to uniquely personalise your Homeworld by allowing you to name individual Followers, Abodes and Settlements. To say that we’re looking forward to seeing all the weird and wonderful ways you use (and abuse) this feature is a gross understatement.
Rest assured that this isn’t the only PC-exclusive feature we’ve been dreaming up lately and we’re looking forward to sharing more details once our ideas have taken shape.
More to follow next week!
Keep an eye on the blog for more updates to follow next week. In the meantime, please feel free to speak up in our forums.