Introducing Godus’ new, improved Settlements for PC & Mac
Today we are releasing the hotly anticipated Settlements revamp for PC and Mac to the main branch of Steam. It’s worth mentioning up-front that this will require you to restart your game, however the upside of that is that you’ll get to play our rather charming new intro sequence, first described here: What are we working on right now?
Following the release of v2.0.5, we quickly recognised that players found Godus’ Settlements mechanics unintuitive and, well, just not as fun as they ought to be.
So, a core group of us went away and brainstormed a few solutions to this dilemma and in the process, we rediscovered some of our original ideas and are now working very hard to bring them to fruition.
Today, we’re presenting the gameplay details for how the new Settlements work in full and better yet, you’ll be able to play with them first-hand not long after you’ve finished reading this article.
Please be aware that some of the images below are mock-ups from our design doc – we know you like to see our thought processes, which is why we’ve reproduced them below, however they really do look a lot nicer in-game. Check out this selection of screenshots to see what we mean:
Overview to new the Settlements
- Once your followers have reached the Bronze Age and are about to establish farming via the Farming card, you will be introduced to the Settlements menu.
- Selecting the “Farming Village” card will create a ring in the game indicating where you would like to place a farming settlement.
- Once placed, all abodes within this ring will draw in to each other and be squished together. Once squished together, they act just like a single abode, inspiring your followers to become workers and even generating belief as well.
- When your followers reach the Iron Age and you have unlocked the Mining card, you will find your mining settlements will function in the same way.
Creating new Settlements
When placing a new settlement, you’ll be able to physically squish all your abodes together either through dragging with the cursor (or by pinching your thumb and forefinger together on mobile).
We hope this new tactility not just gives the game a bit more visual flair, but also makes you feel more powerful and god-like too.
If there is an obstacle restricting the spread of a settlement across the land, such as a field, then affected abodes are placed on top of the squished structure.
Once squished together, your abodes will function as a single unit. You can continue to build up a squished settlement by placing additional settlement rings nearby and dragging the selected abodes into the larger clump.
Settlements on hills and valleys
The new settlements have been designed to be built over different layers of land, so you can place a settlement on terrain made up of different heights. We really hope that this will lead to players having much more distinctive and beautiful looking Homeworlds.
If the centre of your settlement sits on a higher layer of land than an outlying abode, then provided there is enough space the abode will be pulled up onto a higher layer, sitting closer to the larger clump of settlements.
If there isn’t enough room on a higher layer of land for an abode to be pulled closer, then it will be placed on top of the larger, central clump of abodes.
Governing farms and farmers
The new design also improves the way you find out about your settlements and assign work to your followers.
Farms and mines now work the same way as builder settlements – if there’s an empty plot of land nearby, an icon will appear over the clump of abodes. Selecting the clump will then send out a farmer to turn it into a field for producing wheat.
You no longer have to manually assign roles within a settlement – for example, once you’ve placed a farming settlement and its population has grown to a sufficient size, all the new workers will be farmers from birth.
We’ve made improvements to how you find out how your settlements are working, too. Fields now display context sensitive information when selected, allowing you to see how many farmers are working on it, whether there are any spare slots for additional workers and the time until the next crop is produced.
Growing and harvesting crops
We’ve also improved the way you generate food for your followers. We’ve made it much easier to understand that your followers need wheat to build abodes once you’ve unlocked the card that speeds up how fast they can build.
Fields then produce wheat as a collectable resource. The wheat that players collect from fields is then accumulated into the Wheat bar.
Farmers and miners need food to work, just like builders need food to build. When farming, mining or building, wheat is consumed and the bar decreases.
We’ve replaced the buffer class of follower with the god-like ability to boost farmers and miners directly by selecting them, just like builders. We think this is a much a clearer, more cohesive and all-round more fun way to play with settlements.
The pit of DOOOOOOOOM
(We loosely based this feature on the Steam forums… JUST KIDDING!)
Over the course of the development of this update, it quickly became apparent that it was no longer possible to appropriately balance the game on PC with simple files changes. While we’ve reduced the time it takes for fields to generate crops and reinforcements times on Voyages, we also chose to create a brilliantly bonkers new feature.
It is our pleasure to introduce you to the pit of doom:
The pit of doom is located towards the start of the game. It enables you to sacrifice the lives of your unwitting followers in exchange for gems by leashing them to this gruesome monument.
Gems will allow you to manually tweak how quickly you progress through the game, allowing you to redeem them for extra belief, resources (wheat and ore) or stickers.
What’s that? Gems, we hear your gasp? Well, before you get all breathless, please check out the image below:
We understand that some gods are impatient to progress, and so the pit of doom allows you to earn gems at the cost of great suffering by your followers. We hope this delights everyone who has been clamouring for the ability to inflict cruelty onto their devoted tribe.
The pit of doom is not the only way to earn gems, however – completing Voyages will give you the same reward (between 10 and 30 gems), and each map along the way will give you between one and three gems. You’ll also be able to find gems hidden in chests as well as mine for them once you’ve progressed further into the game.
Gems have quite the history in our community, and we recognise it isn’t an entirely rosy one. They have been seen as a cash mechanic frequently used in mobile games, and nothing more. But gems are more, much more than that. Gems have been used in games for ages, as markers denoting power and as currency. Given that we’re going for feel of gods playing with the world like it’s a table-top game, those kinds of gems make a lot of sense to us. But how to separate one kind of gem from another? The PC community has asked us to make a ‘pay-up-front’ kind of game, where there is no place for the mobile game variety of gems. But what about the table-top variety? Could that version of gems be embraced by the community? Given our iterative style of designing the game, we can but simply try.
Of course, you may believe that us re-introducing gems is only a stepping stone to bringing back the gems for sale. We can only tell you that we’re aiming at an entirely different goal for gems. To be clear: we have no intention to bring a gems-for-sale option to PC. We’ve listened to your feedback on the matter. That we’re experimenting with a very different interpretation of what a gem is has nothing to do with monetising the game and it won’t be turned into that at any time in the future either. Given how strongly the PC community feels about this, we wanted to make sure you didn’t have to worry about that kind of gem-monetisation mechanic returning.
PC/Mac-exclusive designer’s commentary
As a final bonus exclusively for our PC players, you will also have the ability to listen to Peter and Jack’s commentary as you play through the latest version of Godus. Simply head to the Settings menu in the top right-hand corner of the screen and you’ll find an option allowing to hear exactly what their thought processes were and from where they drew their inspiration, as well as more than a few helpful hints and tips for the game.
Marathon gameplay livestream on Twitch
Our very own community rock star (and part-time Tony Stark lookalike) Matthew Allen will be conducting a marathon six-hour livestream of all the juicy new gameplay we’ve brought to Godus this Monday, August 11th, over on our official Twitch channel, starting at 5pm UK time. Be sure to come and watch him play while we man the chat room!
Contribute to the Godus wiki for loot & glory!
We also recently partnered with Gamepedia on what is now the official, definitive Godus wiki. We’re hoping that some of our more committed community members will help to bring this resource up to date following the release of today’s new build and in exchange, we’ll be rewarding the best contributors with limited edition swag. For more info about this, please check out this post on our blog.
But really, this is just the beginning
We’ve been sprinting hard as a team to get this new functionality into your hands as quickly as we could. We hope that the new settlement designs not only address some of your concerns, but also lead to a more enjoyable and empowering Godus experience.
However, Godus is still in beta and as such, is very much a work-in-progress game. We will not consider the game final until we’ve transitioned out of Early Access. Moreover, our commitment to making Godus a truly great PC game for PC gamers remains undiminished and we will be commencing our PC-focused sprint later on this year. Keep an eye out on our blog for more news about this in due course.