Posted by Ellis Spice on October 20th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The first major update for 22 Cans‘ Godus has arrived, bringing new lands, tweaks for Halloween, and more.
The big new feature for this update is the new lands to explore. Players can now construct an Ark and stock it with supplies, bringing their followers into the new, more advanced Frontier Age, which contains new cards to collect.
Meanwhile, in order to get into the spirit of the season, the landscape has been given a ‘scary’ change as well as followers dressing up for the holidays. Players can also win items from the new ‘Voyage’ challenge mode to decorate the world with .
Godus is available to lord over download from the App Store now for free.
After messing around with giant cubes and social experiments, the famously eccentric game designer Peter Molyneux returns to the God game genre with Godus. This spiritual successor to Molyneux’s earlier game, Populous, is currently in beta on PC and has just soft launched on the New Zealand App Store. We let absolute power corrupt us absolutely in this edition of It Came From Canada!
Witness and shape the beginning of human history in Godus. As a benevolent deity, players will guide their followers from a single hut on a beach at the dawn of time up until around the Roman Empire, although the game could certainly continue from there. The main way to achieve this is by molding the Earth and allowing the population to expand. It’s almost sad mowing down thick forests to let humanity proliferate like a virus, but such is life. There don’t seem to be any threats to the tiny citizens, like predators or natural disasters, so players can just focus on reproduction. As the population grows, the player’s godly power increases – granting them new skills like the ability to shift oceans or terraform more parts of the single, continuous map.
The game unsurprisingly has numerous subsystems as well. More intense god powers, including burning bushes or controlling followers directly through “leashing,” draw from the belief of worshippers. Players naturally gain belief as their small world grows, but it can be purchased using the game’s real-money gem system as well. Players can also purchase sticker packs to activate the special cards they receive with each level up. These cards bestow various bonuses like faster building speeds or the ability to start settlements on different terrain. Fortunately, stickers appear naturally in the world too.
As more of the cold, unconquered North gives way to the player’s bright civilization, players will encounter ships and beacons allowing them to interact with other players online. In fact, the grand prize for finishing 22Can’s previous game Curiosity was becoming the God of Gods in Godus, along with a share of the profits. However, in many ways the game works best as an isolated experience, an entire little world unto itself.
That shoebox diorama quality is accentuated by the game’s almost paper cut-out art style. The solid colors and obvious layers of the landscape may not be realistic, but they’re charming. The same goes for the cute sound effects like the mysterious voices on the wind and the happy little tunes villagers whistle while they work. The distinct layers also make it easier for players to meticulously sculpt the land as they see fit. They can even make terraced steps out of the Earth for followers to climb to higher places, when their spotty path finding works that is. However, it is still a little too easy for fatter fingers to make unintended changes, which is especially annoying when those accidental changes waste precious belief.
Still, Godus successfully captures both the tedium and the power trip of what being an all-knowing, all-powerful force must feel like. Players can get their hands on a world of their own when the game fully launches.
It’s not exactly a secret that Peter Molyneux/22cans deity simulator, Godus is coming to iOS. However, we were able to learn about a few more specifics here at GDC.
Godus was really designed with mobile in mind from the beginning, and it shows when watching the game in motion. “My passion has been to reinvent a genre of games I stumbled upon back in the early 90s called Populous,” said Peter Molyneux, “I wanted to reinvent the genre around this beautiful, wonderful, incredible device. What you’ve got here is a god game reinvented for this touch device, and reinvented for the audience.”
What’s more, the game will feature a sort of continuous form of multiplayer – kind of like an MMO. When you play, you’re playing with however many other players/gods are on at that moment (possibly into the tens of millions), all at the same time. And all of their lands are connected as a part of one extremely large and continuous world filled with other islands and other gods.
This even carries over into the game’s cross-platform functionality as changes made to your land on the iPad, iPhone, or PC will display in real time on any of the other platforms. “You’re connected to thousands, even millions, of people,” explained Molyneux, “We tried this out on this crazy app called Curiosity, and we connected together hundreds of thousands of people who simultaneously touched on the cube. Well now we’re connecting millions of people together. We did a cube, and now we’re doing this vast planet.”
It’s also been confirmed that Godus will be free to download for iOS, but no specifics have been given on its approach to monetization. The plan is to encourage players to want to spend money, but not force or require them to. “I love free to download. I never want to go back to having to pay money before having an idea if I’ll like something,” stated Molyneux. “What we have to do is get people to want to spend money, rather than need to spend money,” he continued, “I’m inspired by the way that the supermarket, especially American supermarkets, tempt you to spend money. We call it ‘Invest-to-Play’.” Personally I’m rather curious to see how all of this will work in practice.
Godus will be soft-launching in select territories (New Zealand, The Philippines, Sweden, Ireland, and Denmark) within the next few weeks.
Over the weekend, details have emerged regarding Peter Molyneux and 22 Can’s first iOS game: Curiosity.
Peter Molyneux is a name that will be very familiar to many PC and console gamers. Known for his outlandish and over-enthusiastic statements, pre-release, he’s been responsible for some of the best games out there from the Populous series to Theme Park and Theme Hospital. He’s also been behind the Fable series of games, one of my personal favorites, but also a series that has been overpromised frequently.
Having left Microsoft and Lionhead Studios in March to begin work at new company 22 Cans, Molyneux has just announced details regarding Curiosity.
The title is set for release on August 22 and will focus on players hacking away at a giant cube, made out of 60 million different shapes. It’s all in aid of finding out exactly what’s underneath all those cubes. Initially, only the player who hits that final blow will find out what’s inside, hence the name: Curiosity.
It’s best thought of as a social media experiment with 22 Cans studying how this news will spread.
It gets stranger, still, with the prospect of in-app purchases funding everything. A Q&A Session at Indie conference, Rezzed, has reported that players will have to buy a limited number of chisels that will improve their tapping strength. While most of these chisels will be inexpensive, a diamond chisel will also be available, priced at an eye-watering $50,000.
It’s frankly pretty bizarre stuff. Will it work? Only time will tell, but we’ll be sure to keep up to date on developments as Curiosity could prove to be a fascinating experiment.
Do let us know how you feel about the in-app purchases involved. Would you ever consider spending so much on this kind of app?