Impressions: Godus

By Jim Rossignol on September 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.


It is 1991. I am eagerly clicking my way into my copy of Populous II, recently purchased from WHSmith (can you imagine!) and Uncle John is watching over my shoulder. He observes for a while, and then says “just looks like a lot of clicking to me.” It is, I say, but there’s something going on here, a struggle, a strategy.

It is 2013. I am eagerly clicking my way into my copy of Godus, recently purchased from Steam, and the internet is watching over my shoulder. It observes for a while and then comments “lol, just looks like a lot of clicking to me.” It is, I say, but there’s something going on here. Isn’t there? This time I am not so sure.

Qualifications first. Godus is in beta, and something like 40% complete, according to 22 Cans. There’s going to be an in-game shop, which is not yet implemented, and there’s a huge range of possible changes and new features that could be made in the coming weeks. It is very definitely a work in progress, and that seems to be reflected in most aspects of the game. This unfinishedness creates an exciting possibility space. Anything could happen in the next… 60%.

That said, the game is available for $20, and so therefore well within the purview of some critical discussion.

Godus is to be the “Regenesis Of The God Game”, apparently, and what that means is that it has a Populous-like aspect to it: you are interacting with the RTS-view world as a god, and doing things like altering the landscape, raising totems to direct your followers, and causing them to grow across the world so that you are more worshipped, and therefore more powerful. You have no direct control, other than getting them to gather at a totem when it’s activated, and the little fellas depend on your rudimentary terraforming for their rolling urbanism. More powers are to come, obviously.

It’s very attractive, I must say. The sort of low-poly flat shaded look works really well here. And there’s something compulsive about that world. I want to open it all up. I think. But…


The basic process of expansion in Godus involves clearing space for settlements to be founded. When space exists, you can get a villager to go there, if they are nearby, by clicking on a previous settlement with a flag on it. Flagged settlements can eject someone. If that someone has to walk too far, or has nowhere to settle, they will eventually die.

Mana, too, plays an important part, and you can’t landform or totem-throw without it. This must be manually collected from each house – they generate a tiny pink orbs from time to time, each with a value dependent on the size of the settlement – and eventually you will only collect when you need to, because that collection process involves a quite extraordinary amount of clicking. Except its not really extraordinary, because that’s what these sorts of games involve. Populous was like this, as Uncle John observed, and I should not be surprised. But I still am, because all that clicking hasn’t, so far, led to much.


I’m several hours in, and so far I have simply expanded from a beachy spur in the (very pretty) ocean, and into a hilly landscape. It’s been grindingly slow. Things to do along the way largely involved pulling the layers of land about (which never feels fluid, and is like having something elastic stuck to your fingers, causing many a misclick to destroy a settlement) to make space for settlements, and occasionally to reveal resources that can be collected to unlock cards, which do something that’s not really clear to me.

The most novel moment so far has been the “online” battles – launched via the discovery of some kind of monument – which involve being popped out of my world and into an “arena” situation with a perplexed Godus “player” (actually a slightly creepy bot), whose base I promptly swamp with my frenetically clicked-up swarm of worshippers. I’m a bit foggy as to what this is supposed to be about, or even why it is part of the single player game, but it unlocks lots of the cards, and is presumably an option for more rapid advance. Having crushed numerous “players” whose ability to play seemed AFK, I stopped going for battles. It just didn’t feel right. And it was a little creepy to see the bot referring to its dad being out.

And so onwards my people expand. More little settlements, hundreds more pink bubbles, and so far no conflict or jeopardy of any kind. Well, there are occasionally wolves, but they are just a scrap of pixels that are ultimately meaningless in the scheme of things.


Where, then, is the struggle and the strategy? Are they really restricted to those arena battles with hapless randoms? Apparently there are to be “Other Peoples” in your world, but this must in the 60% of the game that’s not yet in the beta.

It’s important to remember that such delights are on the roadmap, but for now at least I am beginning to be haunted by not the ghost of Populous, but rather other games which require a lot of clicking. Games with little jeopardy, and plenty of things to collect. Free games, which appeared on a popular social networking site. It’s a queasy feeling.

So I suppose – for now at least – it’s just about the building. It’s about the civilisation rising up and up. Which I suppose could work out, eventually. But I am not sure what it will take to reach that, or what that means in a game with no immediate jeopardy. How am I to keep going without challenge or danger?

From what I have seen so far, From Dust was a better tribe-inspirer, with far more interesting terraforming, and the clumsiness of the “online” aspects of Godus have put me off ever wanting to look at them again. Far from the richness of Godly action and indirect strategy I’d expect from a god game (let alone the “Regenesis” of the genre), I’ve yet to detect much of anything other than very slow, unimpeded expansion, and a gradual unlocking of a tech tree which makes only the most marginal of changes to what I see happening on the field of play. If I am god, then I am god of a very quiet little world.


Anyway. This bit is important, because it is the conclusion: we can make no firm judgement on Godus as yet. There is the largest part of the game still to come, including (presumably) the “real” online battles, the sense of challenge in the world, and doubtless a slicker and more satisfying opening section of the game. That the beta is so far disappointing might come from that great distance from the finishing line. That the beta is so far disappointing comes, perhaps, from expectation rather than reality. But sometimes reality does need to reach for expectation. It could still do so.

Oh God game, let us pray it does so.

Godus is available now via pre-purchase on Steam.

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167 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I still need to finish ReGenesis. What a fantastic show.

    • Mstrymt says:

      It was a really good show, with a good ( if somewhat rushed ) ending.
      But at least it had an ending and didn’t just get cancelled mid-season.

      • alfred says:

        my roomate’s mother makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her check was $14943 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go Here
        ………………. http://goo.gl/G40gh3

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    One of the things I found about Black and White was that there was a lot of busywork involved in shepherding the RTS segment of the game and as a result I ended up neglecting my creature. Perhaps in theory the idea was to train it to help the villagers to build stuff, but I never got that far. I’m unsure whether this was my failing or a failure of balance in the game. I hope that this game gets it right, in any case. Peter Molyneux has interesting high-concept ideas, but the key is meshing these concepts with game mechanics that work.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It was fairly easy to teach your pet to harvest grain, cast food / water miracles, and dance. If you did that, you could leave it alone and it would provide a steady positive influence.

      • SnowCrash says:

        That or it would start eating everybody and throwing stuff around… one of the tow.

        • InternetBatman says:

          You could go into the temple, make it think about eating people, and then beat the crap out of it. That was really the best way to take care of negative behavior rather than waiting for it to happen.

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            Big Murray says:

            Yep, just like my dad did to me.

            … what?

          • LionsPhil says:

            I don’t remember that.

            What I do remember is having a tiger, which was completely idiotic and useless. I threw rocks to it all day and it never learned to catch. Or not to use the grain store as a litter tray.

            The the second level took it away and left me with rather limited power to do much but throw heated rocks at enemy settlements, because I couldn’t reach with anything nice to influence them.

            Then the third or fourth level started by having an endless stream of fireballs raining down on my settlement. Apparently the solution to that was to have had my creature learn to catch and safely dispose of them. My big dumb cat stood around gormlessly watching screaming peasants burn to death as my gnarled and taloned evil hand tried to put them out with rain showers, and I gave up on a very, very broken game.

          • LionsPhil says:

            (Whaddya know. After something like five attempts, RPS’ comment system’s “going to silently eat this message without any kind of feedback” word-of-the-day appears to be “p o o p e d”.)

          • skorpeyon says:

            I never played this game properly. I just beat the snot out of my pet regardless of what they did because they were always doing SOMETHING stupid. That, and because they made the smacking just SO SATISFYING. It was kind of like they wanted to encourage animal cruelty. My pet had a permanent black eye.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Basically, you’re gonna get no where with the tiger. It’s dumb. It’ll mess up any other creature (until it learns fireball), but it’s really dumb. I knew someone who trained his monkey to defecate on defeated enemies. I also usually taught my pet flock of birds (and in an incredibly dumb decision, pack of wolves one time). It made converting far away villages so much easier.

            http://www.wischik.com/lu/senses/bwcreature.html

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        Gap Gen says:

        OK, I suppose I was quite young when I played so I never quite got that.

      • Zogtee says:

        I spent so much time trying to train my creature and I routinely beat him to near death, but he never learned anything. All he did was collect his own faeces and build a hill with it. Then he would sit down next to it and eat it. One day he freaked out and fireballed everyone and everything in the village, which was funny, because I never showed him how to use fireball. I uninstalled and never touched that bugfest again.

    • Lemming says:

      It wasn’t your failing, B&W was fucking horrible. Your villagers and your pet were sub-intelligent babies that couldn’t do the smallest thing without your intervention. This doesn’t fall into that trap, because a) there’s no pet, so your attention is only ever on your people and b) their default action is to just stay in their houses and breed until the house is full and that’s it. They don’t feed, they don’t sleep they don’t wander off looking for trouble.

      I realise that might sound like it’s swung too far in the other direction, but this is only a 40% complete beta after all, and I’m hoping some kind of resource gathering is eventually implemented. All that lovely water that isn’t even fished seems a bit of a shame, after all.

      • HeavyStorm says:

        Yep. I remember reading about B&W a lot in Gamespot before launch. Man, was I excited about it. One of the first pre-orders I made in my life (one of the last, too), and it was a mess. First, it simply wasn’t worth installing before patching up (which, back then, meant a lot of time online making a huge download and a even larger phone bill).

        It was FiringSquad who did it. I insisted on the game for quite a while – all the pieces of a great game where there, good graphics, a new concept (no UI!), an artificial intelligence of sorts that should learn from me, open-ended puzzles, good music and what should be a collection of good jokes. I pushed for a week maybe, and then read the review. “Why would a God be spending time hunting sheep for a shepperd?”). I immediately realized how broken it was (HYMYM shattering, huh?). The quests where simply stupid – made no sense. The creature was stupid. I tried teaching it lots of things, but it learned half, forgot half. And building the tribe was, well, impossible. Everything required wood, too f#!#ing much wood, so I spent more time planting and harvesting wood than anything else. Completely imbalanced.

        After that, what? I simply ignored B&W 2, but I bet on Fable. Until it became a simple arcade-style game for consoles. More recently, I expected that a concept as simple as Curiosity couldn’t be flawed. But, well, a click fest infected with bugs from the get-go.

        This guy people made Theme Hospital. For me, that was on of the top. I could spend days replaying it. He made Magic Carpet, Theme Park, so many great things. Maybe Molyneux is haunted by his past grandiosity. I saw him cry on that video, but I don’t think he should. He’s accomplished, but he has been making too many bad choices. OR, maybe, it was always the team. Because, you know, few people actually come up with such great thing by themselves.

        Wrapping up this ramble, I will stay away from GODUS. In game shop? Like Facebook s**t? Online stuff that completely break the gameflow just to add that “so required” online feature? Broken interface?

        Yeah, its not “done”. More than half of the game has yet to be made, but heck, why are they showing it if it isn’t a promise of what’s to come? Their Kickstarter was a success, so why try to milk money from us through Steam? Do they need more? No, I don’t think that’s the case. They think it’s ready for player (non-kickstarting players) criticism. And while they aren’t charging full price for it, which should be the case with all pre-alpha games (looking at you, DayZ and Planetary Annihilation), no way I deceiving myself again.

        Let’s hope our dear Peter learns from his mistakes this one last time. For the sake of us, gamers, let’s hope 22 cans 3rd game shines through all others corpses he has hidden in his closet. Because, when he shone, he could blind a person five miles away.

  3. MrSean490 says:

    “…And it was a little creepy to see the bot referring to its dad being out.”

    Please elaborate on this good sir

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Was the bot called Jesu5, but any chance?

    • Ruairi says:

      At the start of each of these “online” skirmishes a kind of lobby appears with a chat window (that you cant reply to)
      In it, a 15 year old girl starts chatting with you, as well as several other “people”. Thing is, there is a ALOT of underlying creepiness, with implied domestic abuse and later on something akin to online pedophilia with her Online friend “charlie”. Saying that though, Ive hit a roadblock atm, and i cant progress too far into this story mode, so no clue how it turns out.

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        aleander says:

        Yup, and there’s the dan guy who makes rather terrifying suggestions at the 15-year-old, and you are playing an online variant of the voiceless Gordon Freeman. In essence, you should get a trigger warning with your low-poly god game.

        • Ruairi says:

          Aye, Dan the lad. Gah, he’s not really a creeper but that comment about popping her online battle cherry was bloody offside. I’m really worried what the hell is coming up.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            That sounds… beyond creepy. It’s in danger of passing right through “distasteful” and straight into “somebody should probably get fired over this”.

      • Sam says:

        It is a really odd thing to include, and I agree deeply creepy.

        Is it there to indicate that somewhere in that 60% of not made game there’s a chat room system for finding people to play with? If so, I don’t think it’s a good idea to advertise that by reference to how it’s a useful tool for grooming girls.

        It also provides a charming example of the “link with random people’s social media” feature. When you inevitably beat the bot that represents the girl there’s a chance you’ll be rewarded with a representation of her in your world. So you have a little “x AmY x” villager wandering around your world, representing a girl who appears to be suffering online sexual abuse, put in a powerless form over which the player has literal god-like power. And in the final game you’ll get her real world tweets or facebook updates appearing in the game, so it feels like it’s the real person! Yay.

        It stinks of something that sounded like a “wild, crazy, provocative” idea in a caffeine fuelled meeting.

        • LionsPhil says:

          “Deeply meaningful!”

          But it’s OK, right, see, because making people go “dude, WTF?” is stimulating debate, and that means it’s successful art.

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          I think you mean “cocaine-fueled meeting.”

        • Slight0 says:

          Seems a bit over the top to refer to the girl’s online creeper situation as “suffering online sexual abuse” as if she’s withstanding ongoing emotional trauma and actual sexual abuse of any sort. As far as she’s concerned she’s got a playful new friend. Still distasteful of course.

      • Hunchback says:

        Wot?

      • MrSean490 says:

        Thanks for the response! Somehow, I feel like it just raised more questions haha.

      • MrThingy says:

        Yep, this was very creepy indeed.

      • Tei says:

        Is this real, or a joke?.

        edit: seems real

        • Ruairi says:

          Nope, Actually occurs throughout the game. Completely Creepy Meta abuse plot, no joke.

          • Nenjin says:

            Maybe PM is just trying to have a beta that is truthful to how online MP and random social networking ends up.

            Anyways I think this pretty much put me over the edge for Godus. I feel like this is what happens to your game when you drink too deeply of the F2P koolaid. Then again, I also increasingly feel like I’m no longer the target audience for these games.

            Maybe someone on Kickstarter will come along and deliver.

      • Niko says:

        “Alot of Underlying Creepiness” is a pretty good fantasy creature name
        http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ru/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

        • vivlo says:

          It sounds like whoever programmed the chatbots wanted to make a nasty joke/didn’t enjoy his work/will get fired quickly

          • Bull0 says:

            Unless there’s specific references to Godus’ mechanics in the chat I’m going to take a wild guess and say they got a library of chatbot text from somewhere and dumped it in for testing without really thinking about it

          • Slight0 says:

            Right, I’m sure 1 of the 3 people on that dev team will get fired.

        • Ruairi says:

          Great, Now I will spend my day double checking my grammar. You know, like, alot.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            The wonderful thing about the furry Alot beasts is they render a mistake that some of us would obsess on negatively into cute adorable images. Do not fret. The Alot will steadily seep into your brain and remind you.

        • Buckermann says:

          im not native english, so U must 4give my speling.
          Alot.

          It actually physically hurts me writing like that :(

          • Niko says:

            Not sure if it always has to do with not having English as native.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            It always amuses me when someone uses that as an excuse to substitute numbers for words and capitalize letters mid sentance

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            There is German, which is well-known to have entirely random capitalization.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            Hrm. Well now I don’t know what to think. =\

        • Premium User Badge

          Bluerps says:

          Btw, note that Allie Brosh, the lady who discovered the Alot, has written another post (two, technically) on that blog, after being silent for about one and a half year. I’ve discovered it more or less per accident a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it might be worth to point out. Like her last post it’s about depression, and it is amazing!

      • Turin Turambar says:

        Somehow, this hidden metanarrative seems more interesting than the game itself! Imagine if they make their story advance through newer updates!

      • JFS says:

        … the fuck.

    • Lanessar says:

      I’m just getting into the whole story.

      It’s very interesting.

      There’s a teenager “X Amy x”. This is not her real name.

      She lives with an unemployed father (read: Alchoholic). She has to leave the computer every time he gets home, or fears the beatings. I can respect that.

      But then there’s the slightly pedo “Dan84″, who, while also unemployed, apparently cannot learn how to play a basic game. Duder literally mined zero gems during a match.

      I suspect the pot has destroyed any brain cells he might have.

      Although, he does like creeping the teenage girls. The moment he learns about the crazy cat lady’s age, he runs off. Very suspicious.

      Then there is Bella, the crazy cat lady, who seems overly concerned about everyone’s life.

      I suspect if you told her personal information, she’d probably stalk you and feed you to her cats. Never trust a person who has a profile pic where the cat is more visible than the person supposed to be in the photo.

      Then there’s this mysterious “Charlie”.. who talks to no one but fifteen year-old girls.

      Let’s say that again, “he talks to no one but the fifteen year old girl”. And is a wierdo.

      Yeah, can we say “Buffalo Bill”? Next he’ll tell her to put the lotion on it’s skin, precious.

      Apparently he knows everything there is to know about the game and keeps giving spoilers. I’m suspecting he gives tips for webcam favors, we shall see how it turns out…

      Why are you hating on x Amy x?

      Let’s look at the other options, shall we?

      We have Dan84, who’s a bit of a pedophile. Yeah, that time where he’s creeping on the “Bella” player, but learns that she’s gainfully employed (read: over the age of 20) and “suddenly has to go”? But consistently flirts with x Amy x?

      Or how about Bella? The obviously crazy cat lady. She’s in everyone’s business. Aside from the fact that she took the name (and likely the eyeballs) of a character in a book for unfulfilled teenage girls, she has that “Misery”-style motherly attitude which is frightening. Most likely, she’d stalk you and feed you to her cat.

      Then you have “charlie”, merely mentioned by x Amy x. This guy only talks to underaged girls over the net.

      That’s right, ONLY talks to 15 year old girls.

      But seems to be a “pro” at this game. Always giving out helpful hints (possibly for some hot webcam luvin, one can never be sure).

      Now, x Amy x, I understand her life.

      Unemployed (read: mostly drunk) father.

      She has to run when he “gets home” (returns from an all-nighter at “Silverbacks”).

      Probably gets beaten if she’s on the computer when dad returns home in order to hit up his hentai pr0n site.

      Of the characters to complain about, I’d probably rate her as the “least creepy” of the bunch.

      From this, we draw four conclusions:

      1. “Charlie” is probably Buffalo Bill. Amy will end up as a lampshade soon.

      2. Never trust anyone who uses a profile picture which contains more of their pet cat than their own face.

      3. Dan84: most likely to get a job (unless fed to a cat).

      4. The OP really needs to learn what “creepy” really is. Because I’d worry far more about the other three.

      • Premium User Badge

        Don Reba says:

        15-year-old? That’s what this is all about? In Canada, the age of consent was raised from 14 to 16 only five years ago. It is 12 in Mexico.

        • Lanessar says:

          In England it’s 16 and America 18.

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            Just to clarify, I am not defending inappropriate forum behaviour. It is just that being attracted to another person past the age of puberty is entirely natural and labelling someone a pedophile for being attracted to a 15-year-old seems plain malicious. Of course, whatever the natural inclinations, laws should be respected.

          • trjp says:

            For the record, paedophilia is being sexual attracted to someone who is not sexually mature – it has NOTHING to do with ages of consent so it has nothing to do with 15-year-old girls, whatsoever(*)

            I’m at a complete loss as to why we’re having this conversation about a PM God game tho – I’m beyond any possible explanation for what people are saying!?

            (*) unless you’re the tabloid press – where it means anything you feel like, alongside honesty and self-moderation

  4. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I miss buying games from WH Smith. They had no clue what they ought to be charging and you could find some great bargains there.

    Godus continues to look beautiful, though its hard chopped-off edges make me want someone to remake Zarch/Virus.

    • serioussgtstu says:

      I used to buy Warhammer in WHS whenever I was visiting family in England because they were equally clueless about the pricing for miniatures. Also the ones in Northern Ireland used to sell fireworks, which even as a child I found bizarre. It was the books, fireworks and Warhammer shop, and nobody questioned the reasoning.

    • MrThingy says:

      I remember finding Midwinter II – Flames of Freedom in WHS for a fiver, after it had been lingering at £25 for months. Haha, they must’ve stuck with RRP until they realised they weren’t selling any and then panicked.

      I use to love just gazing at the box art and screenshots, imagining in my head a game that was probably better than the coded reality.

      • Frosty840 says:

        Ah, Midwinter 2: Flames of Freedom, which led to the not-a-sequel-for-some-reason Ashes Of Empire and its Firebird-suite-inspired soundtrack.

        Luvvly.

        • MrThingy says:

          I wanted Ashes of Empire soooo badly, but I was on Atari ST with no hope of getting an Amiga or PC in the near future. Looking at screenshots in CU Amiga and Amiga Format was heart-breaking.

          RIP Mike Singleton

  5. Forgoroe says:

    There’s so much of this game that I want to get into it, BUT….. It genuinely looks like an alpha. A real alpha. If I had to give a percentage of completion I’d give it a 30%. Which is way too low for me to invest in. Your article just says it all.

    • Ruairi says:

      It doesn’t feel feature complete at all, its not an Beta at all, No multiplayer, the “shop” is disabled ect. I’d honestly wait if you have not got it already.

      • Karol says:

        There’s a few things amiss with this preview here. The “multiplayer” battles mentioned in the article are actually single-player challenges linked to an event. They do have a creepy story, but I’ve been barely halfway through them and I don’t know where it’s going to go next.

        There IS multiplayer in the game. You unlock it by rebuilding a temple to the north of the starting location. It’s literally called Temple of Multiplayer. You can play multiplayer games with Steam friends that way.

        The “cash” shop that’s not implemented yet isn’t a cash shop at all. You mine the gems in the game once you research mining. It’s not really gamebreaking anyway, since you still need to raise your population beyond a certain point to progress further.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drayk says:

      It may be an alpha, but i find it pretty cool that they are willing to show it in this incomplete state… It changes from all those fables promises where he did not deliver.

      Maybe working with a direct imput from gamers is what Molyneux needs. We’ll see.

  6. CaBBagE says:

    Persevere with the clicking of little pink balls until you get to the settlement improvement thing that brings roads and a central belief collection statue, it’s liberating to say the least!!!! :)

    • AshRolls says:

      I didn’t get that far. I ran out of mana. I looked at roughly 50 houses with pink blobs that all needed individually clicking on. I logged out.

      I’ll play again on full release but at the moment their is still clearly a lot of balancing and fleshing out needed.

    • jingies says:

      But once you build your first settlement, the mana price goes up. And up again after your second, and your third. If you want to build a fourth you can only ‘buy’ it with the suspiciously pay-to-win gems.

      Looks like intentionally crippling the game to make money selling gems.

      • Noviere says:

        I don’t know if they plan to sell gems… But I was able to mine them in game.

  7. kobadow says:

    At the moment, the game appears to have very little depth and is hardly an advancement of the genre. The number of people even talking about reshaping the land as a central feature, does not give me a positive vibe. This is 2013 for Shiva’s sake!

    I’ll reserve judgement as to whether I wasted 15 quid or not.

    Perhaps 22 cans could rebirthgenesis Powermonger. I’d pay quite a lot for that. I loved that game more than my pet rabbit.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      Powermonger was really fun! I wish GOG or someone would pick it up.

      I remember enjoying it a lot but being spectacularly rubbish at it.

    • Widthwood says:

      Good realistic terraforming in games today is just as hard to do as it was 5 or 15 years ago. Because you can’t just throw more computing power at the problem, you have to invent genius AI and algorithms to make it work.

    • pavelr says:

      If you are looking for some advancement in the genre or let´s just say different approach, I would suggest to you to try a game called Cubesis. There are gods, but you can control them only indirectly. It is turn based. And probably the most important part: it brings in puzzle elements. You have to do a bit of reading at the beginning in the tutorial, but other than that, it is really unique and really enjoyable. Press somehow ignores it, but It is definitely worth a try.

  8. GeminiathXL says:

    Actually, about the shop:

    I’m 99% sure that 22-cans were planning on adding it, but the kickstarter community made such an uproar about it that they decided to leave it out. It’s remnants and ruins are still in the game though.

    Don’t quote me on it, but I read it somewhere.

  9. Bull0 says:

    Beta: feature complete. A game that’s 60% missing is not a beta, it’s an alpha. Calling it a beta to imply it’s feature-complete and drive orders and then admitting sheepishly that it’s nothing of the sort seems like fraud, and the description should be changed immediately. In fact, I can’t find anything on the steam store page that backs up the 40%/60% thing. They’re just calling it a beta.

    Also, this looks like rubbish, and I’m not at all surprised. Depressed, saddened, disenchanted, feeling like my childhood really IS dead, but not surprised.

    • kobadow says:

      A ‘Game’ as defined by the bilge on Apple’s app store. That’s the uncomfortable feeling I get at this juncture with Godus.

    • Jimbo says:

      Well it’s Molyneux isn’t it. If it’s 40% complete then realistically there’s only another 10% or so left to go.

      • Bull0 says:

        But that other 10% will be

        *wells up and draws a handkerchief; stares meaningfully over your shoulder*

        amazing

    • LionsPhil says:

      Alpha, Beta, et. al. have long been driven into utter uselessness by people using them to mean whatever they want them to mean at the time. All such words now effectively just mean “incomplete”.

      • Bull0 says:

        I don’t accept that. Calling a game a beta when it’s not feature-complete is a lie. Lying about what a consumer is spending their money on is violation of the trade descriptions act.

        If 22Cans don’t know what the term Beta means they shouldn’t use it. Ignorance is no excuse.

        • skorpeyon says:

          The issue is that beta, to the average user, doesn’t mean “feature-complete” anymore, but rather “not-done”. I agree with your stand as to what it truly means, but most people don’t see it that way and calling it an alpha doesn’t really mean anything to them. In fact, I remember people being confused when Minecraft’s alpha went on sale, some of whom didn’t understand what an “alpha” was. It’s possible 22Cans was trying to avoid this.

          Frankly, based on Molyneux’s previous promises and results, especially recently, I doubt this game will be any good when it’s gone “gold”, either, so I doubt it’s going to matter to much of anyone what it’s called in the interim.

          • Baines says:

            These days, “beta” only means “You can play it before it officially ships”.

            It hasn’t meant “feature complete but unfinished” in ages, and hasn’t even really meant “unfinished” in the traditional sense in quite a while. There are too many games these days that are pretty much in eternal development up until the point the developer quits bothering (like Minecraft and Terraria) where even “release” isn’t “finished”, and on the other end you have publishers for whom “beta” is just another word for “demo.”

          • Bull0 says:

            Beta is used all the time, across various computing-related industries, and does not exclusively apply to pre-release computer games. “It hasn’t meant that in ages” is false. I fully agree that there *are* a lot of charlatans around at the moment that are peddling glorified tech demos as beta computer games; they deserve various things, your money is not one of them.

            None of that changes the meaning of the word Beta to simply “not finished yet”. Stop making excuses for these people. Demand more of the people you buy products and services from. Demand some standards! Or stop complaining when they rip you off. You can’t have both.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I don’t think you appreciate how ill-defined the terms are. Consult Wikipedia’s version; they put the (cited) alpha/beta distinction on whether the testing is on-site, or released; not on if it’s mostly feature complete or not. (If you track back far enough I believe the origins are in in some IBM A-B hardware testing process.)

            Throw in all the 2.0 sites going through their phase of “it’s released to production but we’re still going to slap ‘beta’ on there” in the ’00s and you have terms that don’t really mean a great deal any more. Those words have been murdered.

          • Bull0 says:

            That’s specific to testing. Wikipedia defines Beta in a couple of places. Try this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Beta

            Generally those web 2.0 sites you mentioned were in permanent beta, because they were continuously implemented – but they didn’t launch with half their features missing and call it a beta.

            And they didn’t charge people $20 to alpha test it.

          • Widthwood says:

            Google famously used Beta tag for stable but feature-incomplete services. And their usage was what partly popularized the term.
            They did grown out eventually from beta, it just took unusually long time to do.

    • trjp says:

  10. Seafort says:

    Been playing Godus since Friday. I’m quite impressed with the game but so much is missing or not refined and polished that it creates a bad impression of the game.

    It is alpha really even though they say it’s beta.

    The incessant clicking until you get the Settlement upgrade is tedious and destroys all hope of playing another game afterwards due to the RSI you receive :P

    But you can only put so many Settlements down until you run out of influence/belief or gems. It should be just a flat rate you pay of maybe 5000 inf. but it starts at 2500 then increases to 10000, 25000 then swaps to 50 gems. I don’t have the Mining upgrade yet so can’t afford another settlement till I get it.

    I’m hoping they get the multiplayer working and the “cloud” servers soon so the world is infinite and not like it is now with borders.

    A good foundation to start from but they have alot of work to do but like the disclaimer says they are only 40% complete so plenty more to look forward to :)

    • Ravenholme says:

      The 40% complete thing is a huge sign that it is actually Alpha. A beta is feature complete and in need of polishing, an Alpha lacks the entire core feature roadmap, which is the impression I’m getting from people’s feedback on Godus

  11. CaBBagE says:

    Oh yeah, and besides the centralised belief gathering thing, try to at least get to 1000 people, then you get ‘cliff sculpting’ or whatever it’s called, you can then drag stuff around with a bit more gusto! :)

    • Ulaxes says:

      For me the game get’s better every minute I’m playing it (8h so far). That upgraded sculpt power felt really good and godly :)

      One time I was pushing part of a mountain away for my people to get to a shrine and I felt like… well god clearing the way for the israelis through the red sea. Really cool.

      I might just stop there and wait for the game to be finished though. I saw enough to be ensured that my backing and trust was wellplaced. With the feedback from the beta 22 Cans should be able to make a really great game.

  12. Premium User Badge

    alphager says:

    There’s going to be an in-game shop[…] Aaaand I’m out. I’ve got a kid, a wife and a job. I’m not able to devote time to play multiplayer; it’s single-player only for me. I’m not going to play a single-player game with an in-game shop.

    • Seafort says:

      There isn’t going to be an in game shop. 22cans have already said this.

      The kickstarter backers didn’t want it so 22cans scrapped it.
      So there is no pay2win crap in Godus. As it’s a bought product and not F2P.

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        In-game shop doesn’t mean automatically a Pay2Win model.

        • dagudman says:

          The thing is that with gems you were able to buy cards, and these cards allowed you to progress a lot faster. If you had the money you could probably get to the space age in an hour, because there are so many cards of course. It is not entirely pay to win, but it is rather pay to win faster.

          • Karol says:

            You still buy cards with gems, but you can mine the gems in-game after you get mining.

        • macca321 says:

          e.g. Xenon 2

    • Sam says:

      There’s a lot of conflicting information about the gem shop in Godus.

      Just before the release on Steam, @pmolyneux tweeted “Gems, are in Godus almost completely gone.”

      Apparently there’s a much more detailed post on the backer only forums (what a great idea to hide information from potential customers), which talks about the gem shop as being a super exciting experiment, and promises that it’ll not mess up the game. It very much talks about the gem shop as something that is still going to be in the game. But I don’t know the date of that post relative to the beta release or the tweet.

      It doesn’t actually matter a great deal to me if the gem shop is removed at this stage. The game is designed around the gradual gathering of resources in a risk-free environment. As you get more resources, you unlock ways to get resources faster. Being able to spend $50 to get those resources even faster doesn’t change the fundamental mechanics of low-skill, low-risk interaction for empty reward.

      If I want to play that kind of game I’d go to Cookie Clicker, which has the significant advantage of being free and not taking itself nearly so seriously.

      • Bull0 says:

        How great is cookie clicker? I came for the cookies, I stayed for the transmuted otherworldy grannies

      • skorpeyon says:

        Cookie Clicker is also rife with amusement, which Godus seems to significantly lack from what I’m reading on here. Unless creepy as hell chat rooms that leave you silent and unable to reply count as amusement. To me, they don’t.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      It’s already been confirmed as not happening, I had the same reaction!

    • Xocrates says:

      As far as I could gather from the reading the backer forums, there is no shop in the PC version, with all gems being received in game through mining and single/multiplayer battles. However the mobile version seems set to be f2p and all bets are off there.

  13. Richeh says:

    There’s something about Godus that I can’t quite trust. It could be that the “prize” for the finger-tappy game was hugely oversold promo for Godus. It might be the cynical commercial nature of the kickstarter and then the shop.

    It might be that when Peter Molyneux calls it “The regenesis of the god game” he really means “remember that game I made that everyone liked?”. And he’s saying it because in the years since Populous he’s repeatedly overpromised and underdelivered until everything’s a disappointment that we believed in because his previous game was slightly less of a let-down.

    It’s painful because each and every time there’s a semblance of an amazing game that just doesn’t deliver properly. $20 for 40% of a game that will probably deliver 30% of what it promised? Probably not, thanks.

  14. edwardoka says:

    Every single gameplay video I’ve seen or description thereof has made me deeply grateful that I can see through the Molyneux Reality Distortion Field. The fact that it’s the top selling game on Steam bothers me greatly.

    Edit: And to all the people who say “Once you have x and y it makes things much easier”, I say “In that case, they should be giving players that functionality straight away instead of forcing clickgrind to make the game actually usable”

  15. MrThingy says:

    I wish you could just click the mana ball at the bottom left to automatically collect from the available houses?

    I don’t mind missing out on the “Zadok the Priest” musical sub game in lieu of some naff reward of a few “coal” or “sandstone” cards.

    That said, I’m really enjoying Godus, but my knuckle is f**ked.

    • Ulaxes says:

      Yeah, the settlement should definatly be available much earlier. Or some sort of “Collect”-god power.

  16. Premium User Badge

    samsharp99 says:

    I’ve played quite a bit and I think I’ve got further in than Jim – I’ve done about 8/20 of the creepy bot storage missions. They seem like a weird foray into RTS skirmishes that doesn’t really seem to fit that well with the rest of the game. They’re not a completely terrible concept though.

    It’s also worth reading the ‘design notes’ in the menu as they mention that they are aware of quite a few of the things that Jim mentioned (like the AFK AI).

    I too had horrible flashbacks to things like Farmville when I saw the little pink orbs and flags appear. I stuck with it though and when you unlock Settlements the fear mostly went away combined with the upgraded abodes and in hindsight it fills the gap at the beginning of a strategy game where much isn’t going on until you’re established. Seems to control the pacing of the game very heavily (oh I can’t expand there until I have enough belief to terraform the land nearby to make a path etc.) (oh I want that resource chest but it’s buried under 10 layers of ground).

    The resource chests / cards actually work quite nicely here I think – with your ‘upgrades’ being achieved by finding chests or increasing your population.

    Beautify = awesome. Make stuff pretty!

    I’m not saying I’ve got Molyneux coloured spectacles on (the terraforming can be very frustrating even with the upgrade, the horror of thinking I was playing farmville, the totem placing can be a bit awkward, having to click on your dudes to save them from dying) but the game has managed to keep me entertained over the weekend which isn’t bad considering they reckon they’re only 40% there!

    • MrThingy says:

      “The resource chests / cards actually work quite nicely here I think”

      – Except I seem to have reached a stage where
      1. Remaining chests are grey and outside my zone (with no expansion shrines nearby)
      2. I can hear a whisper, but no tell-tale particles for chests (are they buried too deep?)

      Without those I’m stuck but have put it down to “Alpha” territory.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        There is a point where you can rebuild shrine things which give you more land around them – look for a little broken block thing, put your totem over it and get about 5 people out to it, they will rebuild it and it will give you more land

        • MrThingy says:

          Unfortunately I’ve used all those up. :|

          It would be nice if the “Explorer” power up gave you a limited range boost as well.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Heh, well, I’ve just built up a shrine only to find that it exists solely to invite your friends to the game.

            I’m done. That is bad in free to play games let alone games you pay for. Molyneux, you and I are done forever. That shrine was the straw that broke the camels back – you may think this is exciting social interaction, I see it as you asking me to become the internet equivalent of a cold caller, to my friends. We have fundamentally different opinions about where gaming should go – you seem to want to make gaming less about the game and the story and more about interaction between people. I was done with that in 2009 when I realised facebook was boring. I will continue to pay my money towards projects which offer compelling, well written and imaginative stories, clever game mechanics and polished experiences which draw me into their world. Peter, I’m sure you will continue to plod along making money and spouting your visionary nonsense and good luck to you. I see you as the George Lucas of gaming. And guess what, when I want social interaction, I will message/call/see my friends. I don’t need you to open a world of socialisation for me, I already have that.

            Didn’t realise it pissed me off quite that much, ah well.

          • Bull0 says:

            Ouch. Still, that sounds like yet one more hangover from Godus’ true origins as a F2P handheld title. Doesn’t make any sense for a retail release. File it alongside the cash shop.

          • Premium User Badge

            Falcyn says:

            “Heh, well, I’ve just built up a shrine only to find that it exists solely to invite your friends to the game. ”

            You do realize that’s the multiplayer shrine, right? As in: you use it to start matches. It has nothing to do with inviting people to buy the game and literally every multiplayer game that uses Steam for matchmaking has the same invitation feature — it’s normally just in the overlay rather in the game itself.

    • Premium User Badge

      samsharp99 says:

      Oh – the other thing I wanted to and forgot to mention was how stale your ‘civilisation’ starts off being – people build a house and then go inside. YOU NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN unless you pop-out a new person or you destroy their home (which I did a lot until I realised that the buildings take a few seconds to destroy and if you un-terraform it rebuilds quickly).

      Fortunately, when you get the settlements, your civilisation starts to have a bit more ‘life’ to it with people wandering the paths etc.

      • macca321 says:

        You can get a Statue of Exporation which makes people wander about more.

  17. evilgenius says:

    There already is a working multiplayer in the game. wich is really fun to play, it is only possible with someone out of your friendlist (that has godus). it is almost the same as the creepy bot “multiplayer” games, but then fun

  18. LordMidas says:

    I wanted to put words up on the Godus forum (other than the bug that I found). But now Jim has turned words into something much more meaningful and just plain better. Thanks Jim, for being a better writer than me, but yet writing exactly what I wanted to say.

    I just hope Molyneux and team read this.

    Oh, and one thing extra to add to Jim’s lovely writing. Once you clear out the rocks and the trees, to make a nice flat land, so your believers can build homes, it all becomes very bland and sterile. A flat surface with buildings isn’t very pretty.

    • Niko says:

      But that’s because how it works in real life, you can’t build anything in a cliff face or on a hill! Oh wait…

      • LordMidas says:

        Yeah, but I would’ve liked to have some trees around my buildings, a bit of grass, perhaps some bushes. Not just flat beige slab. Just something a bit, well, prettier.

        Though I suppose this is just the alpha gameplay. Prettying up a game comes right at the end. This is what happened when I worked at Codemasters. Get the game mechanics and gameplay working (ahem) perfectly first, then polish the look and feel.

        Still, the big problem is releasing a game at 40% and wanting everyone to ‘test’ it for you, is that many think they have just bought the full game. Like Sheng-ji. He seems to think he’s got the final game and will never buy a Molyneux game again. Dude, it’s not finished. There is much to add, change and fix. I’m looking forward to seeing the things I (and Jim) think are not very good get changed, enhanced and improved. Plus all the stuff that is yet to be added.

  19. bstard says:

    Pre-purchasers wont see god anyway, or whatever reward your faith promises you.

    Looks nice though this game, hupsa! On the ‘interesting when incubated’ list.

  20. Caiman says:

    I really, honestly don’t see the point of playing these games at alpha. Beta, maybe, but at alpha (which, as others have pointed out, is what this game is really at now) all that initial joy of discovery of a new game is quickly tainted by the knowledge that it’s really incredibly rudimentary and missing all the cool stuff that keeps you wanting to play, missing all the balance that makes it compelling, missing all the polish that makes it a pleasure. So yeah, alpha becomes disappointing, and it taints your perception of the entire thing. I’ve made the mistake of playing a handful of alphas and every time I never go back to the finished product, the magic has gone, and it went in a flash.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      Exactly my thoughts. I won’t buy an early access game for fear of burning out before it’s actually finished.

  21. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    Manually clicking on pink bubbles? I don’t really remember populous 2 being this tedious.

    • schlusenbach says:

      I’m sure, lots of clicking is an “experiment” and the results will be very “interesting” or perhaps even “life changing” and of course a little bit “crazy”. All these “people”… “clicking”.
      “Weird”.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Yes.

        I just played a couple of hours of populous 2 to refresh my memory.

        It’s clunky. But it’s an interesting clunky.

        Manually sprogging populations out of your settlements is a bit clunky and should have been augmented by some more automated emit-peoples sort of slider. There’s objectives of course, such as.. make flags? make people? make war?

        Oddly “make war” is much more effective at getting your people to increase population than “make people” is. As a result make people seems to be mostly pointless. Make flags seems to be a request to make popluations maximize in your settlements, which really rseults in more worship power. This really could be a lot more clear in the interface.

        There’s some kind of levelling up which makes little sense, and a save system designed by morons.
        The game takes an amazingly long time to remove the ability to simply remotley drown your opponent by lowering land.

        Overall it feels far more interesting as a sandbox than a straight-up game. Perhaps that’s all he ever knew how to build? But I like this one at least, and it doesn’t involve clicking to collect energy.

        So I’ll read impressions to find out Godus progresses, but I’m not going to expect too much. The original isn’t really that great a game just a sort of interesting experience.

        • terry says:

          The “make people” icon you talk about is actually to merge followers together to make them stronger, it *reduces* population.

  22. Zekiel says:

    Is it just me who thinks the opening paragraphs of this article are eeriely reminiscent of Watchmen?

    “It’s 1945, I sit in a Brooklyn kitchen, fascinated by an arrangement of cogs on black velvet. I am sixteen years old. It is 1985. I am on Mars. I am fifty-six years old. The photograph lies at my feet; falls from my fingers, is in my hand. I am watching the stars, admiring their complex trajectories through space and time. I am trying to give a name to the force that set them in motion.”

    (Possibly overthinking this)

    (Also I don’t have anything to say about Godus)

    • In Zod We Trust says:

      That’s exactly where my brain went too Zekiel. Might be time to read Watchmen again. Or maybe just V for Vendetta, which is better IMO.

      I also have no opinions on this game. I will disapprove of it when it is released instead of this alpha/beta. I did like me some Populus though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      The social media platforms are extended gutters and the gutters are full of shovelware and when the drains finally choke up, all the casual gamers will run out of gems. The accumulated filth of all their monetization and engagement looping will foam up about their waists and all the Zyngas and Popcaps will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “lol”.

  23. Premium User Badge

    elderman says:

    Recently, the Idle Thumbs guys talked about how all games they’ve worked on have been utter crap throughout most of their development. The full effect of a game, the fun in playing it, the rhythm of the things you do, the flow of the story, etc. are the result of all the components working together. Before it comes together, the game sucks. Alpha or Beta, that’s where Godus is now and probably will be for a long time.

  24. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I watched TB’s early look at Godus earlier and I must say that while the terrain looks pretty good, the way it forces you to terraform in a certain way seems rather stifling. What if I want hilly terrain for my people? Oh and about those buried treasures.. why that? It’s like a minigame or something. Unnecessary and it messes with the world. One would they they’d be able to come up with something more in theme with the rest of the game.

    That and the endless clicking. Kind of reminds me of another ‘project’by Molyneux. So much clicking.. what is it good for?

  25. The13thRonin says:

    Peter Molyneux promises the world… Again…

    The world is not delivered… Again…

    No-one is shocked.

    What happened to reclaiming the glory of Black and White? This is to Black and White what a flash game is to Skyrim… It looks cheap, nasty and gimmicky by comparison.

    Then again it’s not like they can make Black and White 3 after they messed 2 up so badly.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Ever heard word “beta” or heck: “alpha version” – cause that’s what it is: an incomplete, early development version of the game. Bit too early to judge, don’t you think?

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        A lot of the stuff that’s been mentioned (limited homeworld, no real challenge, fake multiplayer, etc.) is very clearly a result of the alpha state of the game, but there are apparently finished elements which are still very worrying, like the manic clicking required to harvest belief or the same manic clicking to terraform terrain.

        Those are elements which, while easily fixed, highlight how the devs’ vision might not align with what we want of the game.

      • zaphod42 says:

        We shouldn’t judge it for the bits that aren’t done, and we shouldn’t judge the graphics if there are bugs and it isn’t finished, but we absolutely can criticize the gameplay as they’ve shown it off so far, as it seems intended to be.

      • Slight0 says:

        Just to be clear, currently the game is in beta at version 1.4 and beta is very far from alpha. When a game hits beta it should be a pretty accurate reflection of what the core gameplay is and have most elements in place. If what they say is true and they still have 60% of the game to build, then they shouldn’t have moved out of alpha to begin with as it deceives people into thinking its mostly done. Some people, like myself, want to buy a game when its finished or close-to finished because I believe the earlier influx of cash slows development and has them thinking their game is good enough.

        I don’t want to buy a promise from some strangers because I arbitrarily trust all indie studios. Point being, when a game says its in beta, especially when they hit that version 1.0, it should be a pretty close draft of the final version at around 85%-90% completion.

        I mean at this point in time the game has absolutely no way to lose. No inherent challenge, risk/reward, problem solving, or threatening elements. Their in-game AI isn’t even close to done either.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Oh god, I would love to have a new Black and White game. I can still remember the logo of the developer which was a lion.

      I enjoyed the heck out of Black and White.

  26. Xocrates says:

    The game does feel really weird right now.

    Here’s the thing though, I get the feeling that the Homeworld (i.e. 90% of what you can do right now) is something that you’re supposed to build over the course of weeks or months while dedicating your time to single and multiplayer.

    This is further noticeable because the game actually encourages intermittent play as opposed to long continuous sessions, since belief keeps building while on single/multiplayer and even when you’re logged off. So while I frequently struggle to get enough belief to do anything worthwhile while playing, everytime I go back I can get around 15-20k belief just from the settlements.

    Right now the game is really grindy, though still strangely compelling, but it is very much on a “wait and see” state. There is the potential for something really amazing there, but it’s still a long way off.

    • Ulaxes says:

      That is actually a part that I enjoyed much more than Populus or B&W.

      I think it’s a good concept to have a constant growing world plus short and (hopefully more than now) fun multiplayer matches. When I got the first B&W I played it for 10h straight. For that moment I thought this is just the greatest game ever. But it really threw me off to start again from scratch each level. So I played it till maybe lvl3 and stopped. Still the first 10h were pure love.

  27. Lemming says:

    My own thoughts have been as follows:

    I like what I’m seeing so far. It’s got a very sedate, slow burn reward system. I enjoy hunting for treasure chests, and ruins to convince my populous (ha!) to whittle into something special. The clicking for mana on houses, at first, did seem rather an annoyance, but that’s because I kept trying to click on them exactly, and you don’t have to do that. One click on a building, takes the mana (if it’s there), the next unloads the flag (if it’s there), so before long I was zooming out, and quick clicking across all my buildings. When you hear the collection of tones that creates, you can see what it was intending and I found it rather therapeutic. I do still think an early god power should be a ‘suck up all my mana’ button, just for convenience though.

    The bot battles (yeah the fake player thing is a bit creepy), are a clear indication of the online element they are talking about implementing, as they are purely optional with the promise of more reward cards. Yeah the ‘player’ appears to be AFK, but that’s only to start with as there are 20 battles and each one gets progressively harder, presumably to simulate the range of players you’d encounter (I’m guessing it would be match-made automatically based on how advanced your tribe is). All that said, I found it a nice unintrusive way to get some multiplayer action in an otherwise very private single player experience.

    Expansion isn’t just mowing down trees and flattening the landscape if you don’t want to do it that way. I tend to take my time, let the houses fill up and expand forward with the minimum amount of destruction to try and maintain some kind of wilderness. It’s a method that works just as well as the former.

    TL;DR: It’s already pretty great for $20.

  28. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    I’m withholding judgment until the “beta” is actually a beta. I’m certainly not going to play it right now. First impressions are assholes.

    But, for the moment, I’m glad I backed. It doesn’t seem like much of anything yet, but it took Minecraft a while to become worth playing too. It sounds like it could be interesting at some point, and that’s worth the dough I threw at it.

    That it’s the most popular game on Steam right now is odd, though. I guess I grossly underestimated Molyneux’s reputation. Or how many people loved Populous. One of the two.

    • Ulaxes says:

      Yeah, I’m also glad I backed. The comparison to Minecraft or Terraria isn’t to far off gameplaywise I think.
      Every time I thought: “Enough of this clicking, I quit!” I found something interesting on the map and invested another 30mins to get there. There’s still way too much clicking going on in collecting and sculpting. I’m hoping they balance this and make it a bit easier.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I’ll judge it when it’s done, but so far it doesn’t look promising…

  30. int says:

    Are there no map size options? That map looks very small.

    • Ulaxes says:

      the map is insanly huge. The clipping plane looks crappy though, that might give the impression that it’s somehow limited.

  31. kobadow says:

    Anybody ever read ‘Complicity’ by Iain Banks? The ‘god’ game the main character is playing is THE GAME I WANT TO PLAY, DAMMIT! It is complex and nuanced and has a life of its own while he is AFK.

    Mr. Molyneux – build Godus into something like that and I will pay you lots of pounds. This digging for buried treasure nonsense is Appstore crap of the highest order.

    Where is the ambition and creativity?

    • terry says:

      I recall in an interview that the game Banks was inspired by was actually Civilization.

  32. zaphod42 says:

    Classic Molyneux. Looks great on paper, but in practice… not so fun.

  33. Text_Fish says:

    I too spent much of the weekend clicking away at Godus (so much so in fact, that my girlfriend came in from the other room and asked me what the infernal clicking noise was about!). It’s somewhat addictive and occasionally gives you the illusion of control, but it’s actually become apparent from looking at other peoples experiences that it’s pretty much an on-rails God game, at least until there are enough features added (or unlocked perhaps) to give the player some real choice.

    I saw a shipwreck on a distant piece of land and decided it was my goal to get a settler there, but as there are no land expansion shrines on the opposite beach I’m stuck infuriatingly close until the game arbitrarily deems me worthy of a land expansion card, seemingly delivered from thin air for no apparent reason.

    I did manage to get passed the monotonous mana harvesting problem by unlocking (from a shrine) the ability to make settlements, which collect the mana from neighbouring buildings in to one convenient ball, but the more settlements you build the more expensive they become in future, eventually requiring money from the as yet unreleased shop. At best settlements are a temporary fix for the over-clicking problem — at worst they’re an admission by 22cans that this key aspect of the game is horribly tiresome.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    I’m at the point where Molyneux’s name on a game serves as a dire warning, rather than some kind of exciting beacon of hope.

    Frankly, I’m starting to wonder if his successes were as much about having a good team that could take his big ideas and hone and temper them to something that actually constituted gameplay. It seems like the more unfettered creative control he gets, the worse he does. But maybe that’s just correlation rather than causality, since they’ve both been largely going in one direction only.

    What I find weird is that (outwardly) he seems to be striving to recapture some of his past glories — or at least, that’s what any of us would be doing in his place, I imagine — and yet, he’s trying to include modern gameplay elements that are almost universally disliked amongst his core audience. Microtransactions, cow-clicker gameplay … hell, even stumbling straight into creepy sexism territory when anti-sexism-in-games sentiment has never been higher. These are supposed to be the sorts of things that greedy unscrupulous publishers force upon reluctant dev teams, not the things that dev teams eagarly add when they have no publisher oversight at all.

    So far, with all the questionable gameplay and the promise of mobile versions from the start (now announced as free2play with microtransactions, I believe?), and how quickly they caved on the PC microtransactions thing, I’m starting to think that mobile is their main target and the inclusion of a PC version is just a means to that end. That they would prey on our 1990s nostalgia via Kickstarter so they could produce something that was never targeted at us to begin with.

    After all, whatever ill will that sort of exploitative tactic might create amongst Molyneux’s core audience would be tiny compared to the years of disappointment he’s accrued so far. And it gives him a chance to maybe get spotted by the casual mobile gaming audience, who don’t really know him and aren’t tainted by his past failures.

    Hmm.

    • Slight0 says:

      Given what I’ve seen, I don’t think your post is too far from reality. Your post seems to imply that the PC version, the one we care about, has micro-transactions which isn’t true as the developers have stated there will be no cash shop. Micro-transactions on the mobile version would actually make more sense, considering popularity is the way to go when dealing with the mobile market and free to play games get on the radar faster.

      I also feel you’re jumping the gun with the whole “sexism” comment. There hasn’t really been any dialog in that weird chat simulation that should cause this game to be associated with the word “sexism”. Sometimes it seems like men are becoming more sensitive to it than women, the usual victims, are.

      • Graerth says:

        I wouldn’t say his post implies pc cash shop (he even said they caved in on it on pc fast), more as in “They made kickstarter for a pc game, but in reality they’re making a tablet game and porting it for pc”

  35. pupsikaso says:

    Can someone honestly tell me they were expecting something else from Molyneux at this point?

  36. Vael Victus says:

    So, Amy’s real.

    http://godus.wikia.com/wiki/X_AmY_x

    We need some more info on these bots, ideally a video. Because they sound hilarious.

  37. Jenks says:

    I’ve had a lot of fun with it so far. This is definitely a game the wife and I will play together, in the same vein as Minecraft and Terraria.

    Settlements fix the overclicking issue. In the very beginning it felt like Plants vs Zombies, clicking pink bubbles instead of sunshine. Towards the end, before I unlocked settlements, it got pretty tedious. Forgivable balance issue in a beta.

    I did a few of the “pvp” battles. The creepy bot text is only in the beginning of the fight, like a pregame chat room. After the first one, which was a complete train wreck, I skipped the chat room stuff on the rest. Actually I let another one go for a few sentences – it consisted of the 15 year old girl accusing the adult man of never going to a party, and then the adult man replied that he was at one recently but it was a ‘sausagefest,’ to which she responded ‘ewwwww.’ I’ve skipped the rest since.

  38. nimbulan says:

    This is pretty much what I’ve heard others say. In its current state, Godus is just busy work. Annoyingly slow terraforming, pointless digging for treasure, and those “multiplayer” battles don’t seem to involve much. The seeming inclusion of a f2p-style cash shop to skip the grinding is very worrying as well. I guess we’ll have to see if further development can mold all of this together into something that’s actually fun.

  39. bretfrag says:

    It’s ‘purview’, not ‘purvey’/

  40. mcwill says:

    There is no p2w item shop, and as far as I can tell there was never going to be one in the PC version.

    Why is the beta full of item shop crap? Because the beta is painfully obviously a bad tablet port. You have to “flick” the miracle selector to make it scroll, and tapping a million things is much easier on a tablet. Molyneux’s only said the tablet version will have an item shop. So what you’re seeing there is tablet shit creeping across.

    As for the game itself, it’s OK, although echoingly empty in many ways. TotalBiscuit’s suggestion that players be allowed to simply hold down the mouse button instead of having to double click relentlessly to move land up or down is without doubt the best way forward. Right now, modelling the land doesn’t feel so much like being a God as being a guy with a spade. Godhood shouldn’t ever give you carpal tunnel syndrome. And everything takes waaaaaaaay too long.

    Bit weird that so many of the criticisms seem to come from people who haven’t really played very far. 2-player multiplayer? Just go a little further inland than the Battle thingy. Endless purple blob clicking? Just unlock Settlements. Settlements got too expensive? They reduce in cost as your population increases. Things costing in gems? You need to unlock Mining so your little wotsits can mine them for you. There’s a lot to be said about the balance and timing of all this, of course, but to suggest it’s not there is simply inaccurate.

    And, again, there is no damn item shop. Everyone give it a rest with this misinformation already.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’m generally pretty impressed with the balance of this. Things are unlocking at just about the times I need them. It just takes so long.

      And the flicking and scrolling all work beautifully on the Mac trackpad. Holding down to raise or lower wouldn’t work nearly as well. :-)

    • Premium User Badge

      Trinnet says:

      It’s not really misinformation though, is it – they designed a shop, and while they’ve removed it from the current release, they are unwilling to commit to not reintroducing it.

      So if you’re a potential buyer, you should act as if there will be a shop, since “we might not bring back the shop” isn’t super reassuring.

  41. somnolentsurfer says:

    It certainly *feels* like Populus. And the clicking is extremely compulsive. And Molynuex’s game’s have always been most interesting as sandboxes.

    The early game sculpting does feel elasticky and unresponsive. It gets much better once you can drag multiple layers at once, but progressing does fell kinda grindy. It seems like it’s supposed to have a Civ like progress system, but a game of Civ lasts maybe 20 hours, and I’m 10 hours into this without getting past the second age.

    I think the lack of threat is because they really want that to come from playing multiplayer. But I’m not sure how this is going to pull my friends in from playing Starcraft.

  42. bretlee996 says:

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  43. macca321 says:

    As a kickstarterer of this, I’m quite pleased to play a game in an early, unfinished state. If they respond to feedback then it could turn out fantastically – I wonder if they should have called it a ‘development play version’ rather than a ‘beta’, and restricted it to kickstarter supporters. The best software is written via a feedback cycle with customers.

    As for the online shop, if they sell hats and stuff, that’s fine. Pay-to-win would be a biiiiig disappointment.

  44. WarOnGamesIndustry says:

    Peter Molyneux says he hates cow clickers, like Farmville, but then makes a game that is pretty much just a AAA cow clicker.