The Abysmal Godus Is No Longer Abysmal, APPARENTLY

By Alec Meer on March 12th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

look into the eyes of the chap on the left

Peter Molyneux and 22 Cans’ intended Populous heir Godus is the most miserable gaming experience I’ve had in many a year. It was so crushingly short on joy and cleverness, it seemed like a tech demo made without a design, it seemed to believe Farmville was gaming’s future, it was a betrayal of its own heritage, and it was an insult to all that had been promised. I struggled to find anything to convince me that it existed for any reason beyond making money. As an angry young man, I loathed games often. These days, I simply feel sadness and tiredness when I play a game I don’t enjoy. But Godus I loathed, and completely so. There should be no surprise, by now, at unmet promises, but the sheer scale of the oath-breaking here was breathtaking.

Now there is Godus 2.0. There are apologies. There are promises. There is talk of it being an almost ground-up rethink. It may very well be true, and certainly an attempt at salvage on this scale is to be admired. But we have been fooled so very many times before.

There are claims like “almost no clicking” and “it feels delightful.” There is this: “The game you had before is nothing like the game you’re going to get now.” Maybe so. But there are so many other games I need to play which weren’t at any stage appalling. Godus doesn’t deserve a second chance as far as I’m concerned. I shall await positive or negative buzz before I even consider returning to it.

At any rate, Peter Molyneux and co have just now broken cover after going dark since Octoberish, revealing sweeping changes for Godus. This was done via a video, in order that we can see and hear all the earnestness and sincerity. So here are some 22 Cans staff – including their infamous Teller Of Tales – apologising for the ‘first’ version of the game, apologising for radio silence for the last half-year, and presenting their new vision for their hitherto goddamned terrible god game.

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Some appealing concepts and sweeping changes in theory for sure, but there is, to my mind, too much implied self-congratulation in there too. The click-frenzy of the earlier versions suggested a bewildering lack of awareness of what had actually been made, so it is very hard to trust (surely premature) claims that it feels so darn wonderful now. This is the British games industry’s own Ford Nation. I wonder if we’ll ever hear the true story of what happened, and who was really responsible for Godus’ most grevious failings.

If you’d rather read than watch, this is why 2.0 isn’t just a patch, apparently:

“We needed to make it because of the feedback we got from you – that it was a click-fest, that you didn’t really know what you were doing or why you were doing it, that there wasn’t enough variation in gameplay, not many people were playing the story, not many people were playing multiplayer. So we went back to the drawing board on the foundations of our features. The reason we did that is that we really truly want to make a great game.”

All of this may well be true. Certainly, it’s far better that they’re now acknowledging Godus 1 was a disaster than pretending all was well. I suppose it also a good thing that the crowdfunding, post-publisher age means a woeful game need not remain a woeful game, that it can adjust to the feedback of its players rather than just be put out, left to die and its entire genre or subject matter deemed too non-commercial. It is certainly a good thing that this update is free to everyone who has been unfortunate enough to have backed or bought the game to date – it’s an attempt at amends if nothing else, and means they haven’t opted to take the money and run.

I am, sort of, glad this has happened. Even so, there’s no way I’m touching this with even my least-favoured barge pole (I have a sizeable collection, you know) until I hear at least some third-party chatter that we’re not having our collective leg pulled again. There are so very many other games, and life is so very short.

If you have a more forgiving and open-minded heart than my shrivelled, bitter one, the 2.0 update is available now, via Steam Early Access.

Also, John’s been doing some further sleuthing, and discovered this when he zoomed in really close on the video:

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162 Comments »

  1. Artist says:

    “There is, to my mind, too much implied self-congratulation in there.”
    Yes, but its Peter! Its supposed to be like that! Right? =)
    However I somehow doubt that Godus will ever become anything that can live up to its heritage.

    • Groove says:

      Ole’ Pete is claiming that the game is 50% done at present, and yet it still looks like an engine demo. So it’s probably not going to live up it’s heritage, no.

      There might be a tech tree to develop, but unless higher levels of tech unlock all of the game’s actual systems and mechanics then I don’t see where this is going.

      Also, the guy stuck holding the mike seems to have far more of a clue. Knowing what you can do to replace a removed tree would have been a fairly natural segue at that point and might have detailed an element of actual player agency.

  2. Archipelagos says:

    Apologies and promises regarding something Molyneux is involved with? Gasp. This is new.

    • Astroman says:

      The only reason for all this anger and hyperbole is because Molyneux’s name is on the game.

      I don’t see how any one can say that they like Populous but think Godus is abysmal. Both are games about flattening terrain by clicking on it. Sound shitty? Why did you buy it?

      • Marr says:

        Oh, how about maybe that Populous manages to have way more fun game mechanics, strategic depth and a better interface inside 900kb, running on Twenty. Five. Year. Old. Tech.

  3. Lars Westergren says:

    I think I would have preferred to read about you trying out 2.0, rather than repeating old grievances (legitimate though they may have been).

    • Cinek says:

      +1. I have no hopes for this game to be modern-day Populus, however it might be a fun game in it’s own way. Is it now? I have no clue, read just the same rumbling I did last time. ~_~

    • tumbleworld says:

      … You get that it’s not ready yet, right?

      • bitesize says:

        From the article: “the 2.0 update is available now, via Steam Early Access.”

        • PopeRatzo says:

          That’s the con. “It’s not ready yet” but it’s “available through Steam early access”. The best of both worlds.

          Early access will always be a whore’s promise.

          • Marr says:

            Although some of the Steam whores have a heart of gold, and are genuinely working their way though college.

    • thenerdyhalf says:

      If you’d like to see a 2.0 -first reaction- review, please check out my post! =]
      http://www.thenerdyhalf.com/2014/03/13/the-plunge/

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yes…while I agree with Alec’s position of “why should I give this a second chance when there is such a history of disappointment and so many others without that clamouring for my time”, the “buzz” that answers that question is at least partially expected to come from Impressions and Wot I Thinks from…trusted games reviewers, like Alec and his fellow hiveminders.

      As an article, while agreeable in sentiment, it’s also very much “So, this exists. Uh. Tell us if we should tell you if it’s worth your time?”

  4. rikvanoostende says:

    Any change to Godus is a good change, but I hope it doens’t set a precedent that eventually leads to something like: “Hi! You backed a futuristic FPS, but it sucked so we’re making you a forklift simulator instead. No refunds!”

    • Groove says:

      First Person Forklift is the game Kickstarter needs, not the game it deserves.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Kickstarter deserves nothing so much as to be ignored.

        It is killing gaming.

        • joa says:

          I am interested to hear how, exactly? I mean we haven’t really seen the result of a Kickstarter yet have we?

          • malkav11 says:

            Sure we have. Expeditions: Conquistador. FTL. Banner Saga. Broken Age (well, half of it). Shadowrun Returns. Consortium. Knock-Knock. Just to name ones I’ve personally backed that can reasonably said to be out. For my money, all of the above except Consortium (which I have yet to play since apparently they’re still working out some teething issues) are at least decent and most fantastic.

            So, yeah. Ruining gaming, tellyouwhat.

        • Don Reba says:

          What Kickstarter has done was create a healthy game development middle tier, making more substantial games than indies, but not yet AAA.

    • Surlywombat says:

      The precedent would be “hi, you backed a god game but we made a big turd on your doorstep instead, you didn’t like it so have made %whateverthehell2.0is%”.

    • Cinek says:

      Hi! You backed Planescape: Torment successor. But we think it’d suck so instead we’re making turn-based RPG with crises and tons of other shit that never got anything to deal with original Planescape: Torment.

      • cpmartins says:

        Planescape: Torment’s main (and arguably, only) quality was the writing. The new torment promises gigantic writing and world building quality. The combat was, quite literaly, shite. ANY change to that would be an improvement. I backed T:ToN and I could not be happier with the direction they are taking.

        • zain3000 says:

          ^This. I wish the all the Torment:ToN anti-turn-based crowd would just go away already.

        • Zekiel says:

          I sort of agree (the writing was definitely the high point) but would like to offer a minor counterpoint – I would argue that bad realtime-with-pause is actually less bad than bad turn-based. That is because you can control the speed of RTWP whereas you are stuck with the speed of TB. If the developers screw up the difficulty then RTWP is more lenient than TB – either because you can quickly get through fights that are too easy, or because you can use cheese tactics (like running round in circles) to get through fights that are too difficult.

          So – I can understand some objections to turn-based Torment.

          Having said that, as a backer I’m perfectly happy with it being TB, and I think that some of the stated objections to it are silly.

        • Cinek says:

          Planescape: Torment had many qualities – from world, through stories, characters, RPG mechanics, etc. “New thing” is complete departure from everything that made Torment trying to create a new RPG that got only one thing in common with P:T – “Torment” in title.

          The whole crises BS is just one example of how they don’t give a shit about anything that was in P:T.

          And as for combat – RTwP can be build to the depth of TB quite easily. Noone ever asked for 1:1 copy of P:T combat mechanics. Rather by far improved mechanics – and people gave dozens if not hundreds of ideas how it can be done to the point where strategic depth and immersion of such game would by far exceed anything possible with turn-based gameplay. And for Turn-based fanboys there was even an idea of implementing optional automated pause after each action – just to give you your beloved experience without issues crippling pure TB combat games (You want to see shitty combat? Try Shadowrun: Returns. P:T combat was brilliant in comparison to that crap. There’s literally nothing good in combat from new Shadowrun, P:T at least made you use your brain from time to time – S:R is just brainless clickfest).

          • GDwarf says:

            Seriously? P:T had horrendous combat, and real-time with pause is simply an admission that you’ve made combat too complex to actually do in real time, but don’t want to change anything.* You also seem upset that it’s not set in Planescape and doesn’t involve the Nameless one. The initial pitch made it abundantly clear that that would be the case.

            I also love the idea of crises. One of Torment’s biggest failings was its horrendous combat that never served any purpose. Now the combat is to be improved and it will always occur for a reason and have a point. That’s a huge step up.

            I loved the original Torment, and the sequel looks like it’s hitting many of the same notes.

            *I’m being facetious, but I never liked rtwp much. It just doesn’t mesh with turn-based rules (and all the Infinity Engine games were DnD 2,0, which was very turn-based) and requires you to pause every half-second so you can queue up moves, rather than the streamlined approach good turn-based games have.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      At what point are they changing the “game” and not mechanics/GUI and other elements? It’s like getting feedback that the suspension is all over in a race game, the physics broken or the tracks just boring, and the Devs going out and working hard to correct it. (Though no idea if that is true in this case)

      Or has something else changed here?

  5. Convolvulus says:

    If I carve my initials into Milo’s forehead, will they still be there in ten years?

  6. Erinduck says:

    Remember when he said this about Black and White, promised everything would be better in the sequel, and it wasn’t? Remember when he said this about Fable and promised everything would be better in The Lost Chapters because the cut content would show us everything that we missed, and it wasn’t? Remember when he said “okay, this time will be different! Fable 2 will definitely rock your worlds!” and it didn’t? Remember when he said “Okay, for real though, Fable 3? Everything you hoped and dreamed for!” and it wasn’t?

    Remind me again why anyone bothers reporting on this guy. He is to pointless apologies what Chris Crawford is to misplaced anger.

    edit: Oh god I finished the video and THIS is what it took them 5 months to implement? THIS?

    • bills6693 says:

      I’m just going to put out an unpopular opinion here – I loved B&W2.

      I liked how miracles were generated with mana rather than being ‘objects’, I liked how you built up your town, the ‘impressiveness’ factor (whatever it was called!). I somewhat enjoyed the military side of it – while I personally didn’t go down the ‘military rule’ route, I liked the threat being there that I had to deal with, and how using your godliness was sometimes too destructive.

      I mean, I enjoyed all the B&W games, not just 2 – but I did genuinely think 2 was great.

      Same goes for Dungeon Keeper – I really enjoy DK2 (and still play it). Can’t comment on Fable as I only played the first one. But apparently I’m the audience these sequels were made for.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      I liked all those games. Well, not so much fable 3, but I still enjoyed it and finished it.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        None of them were necessarily bad. I liked a few of them too. It’s just the reality distortion goggles that Moly wears must be amazing. :)

        But alas, so it is with all artist that their vision is perfect in their/our own mind/heads.

        • GardenOfSun says:

          That’s true, but we tend to distinguish them on the basis of whether (or how much) they’re right in this assumption.

    • Listlurker says:

      Gotta say … I loved Fable 2 … one of my favorite games ever. It may be relevant that I never played Fable 1, and that I didn’t know anything about Peter Molyneux when I bought Fable 2. I bought the game simply because it looked interesting to me.

  7. Cerzi says:

    Replacing constant clicking with clicking and dragging in a line to select things? Impressive – maybe in Godus 3.0 they’ll have developed the technology to click and drag in a box instead to select more than one thing at a time.

    • Jools says:

      It’s as if Molyneux and his design team honestly think that complaints about “clicking” are in any way interface related. I mean, they do understand that “clicking” is just a shorthand way of saying “doing a repetitive action that requires no thought or decision-making,” right? I’ve never seen someone misinterpret something so completely.

      • LTK says:

        Yeah, it’s really astonishing how much they missed the mark there. What is the reason that collecting belief even has to be done manually, in that farmville-esque housekeeping manner? They’re not crops, it doesn’t even make any sense.

        • Apoplexy says:

          The belief collection mechanic is a total deal-breaker for me; it’s just busywork aimed at the “casual” tablet market.

          I guess for 22Cans the PC is a secondary market anyway.

          • Groove says:

            Manual collection isn’t exactly an inspiring mechanic for a god game, but it’s not like it’s totally without prescedent.

            In B&W you could manually gobble up forests to speed up your civilisation’s growth, but here it was key that the same task would be done at a slower pace without your help. It was also nice that manually doing things taught your pet to perform that task.

            On a different tack this kind of mechanic could fit into a frantically paced game where the main challenge is keeping all of your various plates spinning. I remember enjoying the old game Space Colony but despairing at some things that weren’t automated. I later realised how they would have purposefully left you with too many things to do to keep you running around like a madman, constantly putting out fires.

          • Apoplexy says:

            Whether or not other games have done it before is irrelevant. If a game needs to include constant, pointless clicking to keep the player engaged and under pressure, then the rest of the gameplay mechanics need some serious work.

          • somnolentsurfer says:

            Yeah! That Starcraft 2, forcing me to manually build SCVs every 15 seconds, when it could just happen automatically! Blizzard are NOOBS!

          • Devan says:

            @Groove
            I see those as significantly different mechanics. Gathering trees or grain was a way of increasing your resource income without assigning more workers to the task. I haven’t played Godus, but from what is described it sounds like clicking simply moves the already-collected resource into some reservoir where it can be spent from. That is an arbitrary requirement with no benefit to the user compared to letting the resource move to the reservoir automatically, and is used in casual games for habitualization and the illusion of fun/productivity.

          • fish99 says:

            I also haven’t played Godus, but what I’m seeing described here sounds a lot like the manually collecting sunshine and coins in Plants vs Zombies, and it’s absolutely fine there, even in the mouse driven PC version, and it’s an awesome game.

            Obviously I’d have to play Godus to see if the mechanic makes sense and adds anything in that game.

          • Apoplexy says:

            @somnolentsurfer

            StarCraft 2 is about balancing your economy and army so that you CAN build those SCV’s every 15 seconds, because it’s the most efficient way of playing the game, however it still allows you to be inefficient and queue them up if you prefer.
            If StarCraft 2 was like Godus(2.0), then you’d have to “click-drag” across each line of SCVs to tell them to return to the command centre every time they’d harvested minerals/gas.

          • Groove says:

            @Devan

            You’re quite right. I have no faith that the system is being implemented well here, I was just trying to make the point that it’s not impossible for them to come back from here and implement other systems that would have manual collection make sense.

            Currently it looks like a load of dangly balls.

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        Perhaps Curiosity was a tutorial all along. By the way, does the winner play Godus at all?

      • Cinek says:

        I’m strongly convinced that noone, not even a single person in 22Cans can be considered a PC gamer.

      • captainparty says:

        The point of constant belief clicking was to get you to make Towns, which collect all in a large area and which you got enough gems for 2 or 3 of, then you would have to buy more gems to make more towns. Its a free to play game that they charged for in the kickstarter, realised they’d be murdered and have to give back all the money if they released it free to play and so just half arsed it

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          One has to wonder if his “great experiment” is to see how much money they can screw out of people whilst producing the worst video games humanly possible. First “Lets spam click a cube”, now this pile of crap, lord knows how much money he’s already made from the kickstarter and early access sales combined for producing virtually fuck all.

      • GardenOfSun says:

        Very much this. I do understand some people would like Alec to sacrifice himself and actually try himself this thing, but one must say this video does nothing to encourage someone to do that.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Steady now, let’s not get carried away!

    • DatonKallandor says:

      In Godus 4.0 they’ll realize that manually collecting doesn’t constitute a game – and they’ll have to make a game.

      • Baines says:

        That game will be called Godus II, with a new Kickstarter, and Molyneux saying how the first Godus didn’t live up to expectations but Godus II will be pure gold. (Dare we hope that he will claim that it won’t be on rails, as he shows rail shooter video and describes rail shooter gameplay? Or do we have to wait until after Godus III for that one?)

  8. Loque says:

    “There is too much clicking, it’s a click fest, please fix it”.

    Enter Godus 2.0

    We understand no one likes clicking only. Please welcome the click and DRAG technology. You don’t click each individual point: you DRAG YOUR F**KING MOUSE all over the map to do accomplish the same task”.

    Next step, Godus 3.0 “pinch to zoom”.

  9. Alaska says:

    To be fair, it is Early Access. Isn’t the whole point of that to pay for a broken, unfinished tech demo and then hope that a good game will come from this?

    • Arathain says:

      Sure, but there’s a difference between a broken unfinished tech demo with some interesting design. You should be able to see the design vision shining through the bugs and crudeness. Godus 1.0 seemed to work OK, but there wasn’t much of a suggestion of an interesting game in there.

      • SockDog says:

        The problem is this piece is pretty much bashing the initial early access release and saying why bother to try it any further. If there is anywhere a product can try something weird, break things and generally fuck things up it should be under the early access banner. Annoys me to high heaven that people want to ignore that fact in their desire to be first at playing something.

        To be clear, I’m all for reviewing early access titles as long as it is done with consideration of that status. This piece should have discussed the impact of the changes made in 2.0 against the faults of 1.0, you know judging the product rather than the process.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Here’s a novel idea, if they are trying something weird that might turn out shit they COULD just do a regular beta rather than trying to charge people for a broken, terrible game under the early access banner. The way they did it just wreaks of cash grabbing tbh. They must have known the game was unfit for anything like release. Putting a blue “EARLY ACCESS” box on Steam does not excuse them for this, they should not have monetised this game AT ALL.

          • HauntedQuiche says:

            Guessing it was different when Project Zomboid was released as a barely-functional boredom simulator?

            Or when Minecraft had… maybe… 10 minutes of gameplay if you were really easily satisfied?

            This is the sort of change and recreation that Early Access is MADE for.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            I have a problem with early access in general tbh. I don’t care whether this is what its made for, its a borderline scam imo. The games industry evolved making products and selling them once they were finished. Now companies have decided that it’s ok to sell something less than 50% complete and justify it by plastering “Early Access” all over it.

            Also what “facts” are these you speak of? There is literally nothing early access provides as far as feedback that a beta of any kind wouldn’t give them, instead they went even further with it. They are now releasing alpha builds to the public and selling them at similar to a full price game. The only benefit is to subsidise their development costs but to me it sets a horrible precedent. Developers have less need to actually finish a game and make it good. If their early access isn’t well received they can just rush the rest of the game, cut their losses, knowing that at least they have a bunch of early access money that they made.

            Just because you can quote 2 examples where this model worked doesn’t mean that the horde of early access games popping up weekly are all justified in doing so. The sooner this trend of “buy an unfinished game” goes away, the better.

        • HauntedQuiche says:

          But don’t you understand?

          Endless, pointless whinging is really fun. Why let facts get in the way?

          • Potem says:

            Godus deserved to be shit on, the mere idea that what they did could somehow have been considered good enough mechanics in the first place is a testament to Molyneux and his studio’s arrogance and deceptive nostalgia whoring. Some stuff just needs to be endlessly shamed and laughed about.

          • Listlurker says:

            Honestly, I’v never considered Molyneux malicious. He seems like an “idea man” who gets caught up in his own hopes for an idea. Of course, he over-promises and under-delivers routinely these days, but I don’t get the feeling it’s all some sort of calculated, sinister plot.

            But then, I never claimed to be clairvoyant …

      • nebnebben says:

        BLASPHEMY! BURN THE INFIDEL!

  10. Fenix says:

    I just realized that watching Molyneux talk eerily reminds me of Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate sermons!

    • MrThingy says:

      Also, there’s that wierd ‘passive aggressive’ thing Molyneux seems to bring to these videos.

      PS – Crikey, looking into Jack’s eyes… there’s the cold dead stare of a man who’s had enough…

      • Bo Steed says:

        “Ah, this feels lovely… that feels lovely…. what the hell are you doing? Asking questions now? Is that what we’re doing? Let me just stop the video for a bit because Jack here wants to change the script. Ok, you done now? Any more little revisions you want to make to my video? No? Good…. Now here’s the next thing and this is lovely…. Wait, what? Now you’re jumping ahead. That part’s for later. Would you like to put my nameplate on your desk? Are you Peter fucking Molyneux now? Because I thought I was. I could have sworn I was when I woke up, but no. Go ahead. You’re the award-winning, God’s Gift to Video Games Mr. Peter Molyneux now. Go for it.”

        • Josh W says:

          The social dynamics of that video are hilarious. “I’m busy calming down the insane playtesters, lets do your bit later Jack, although actually. we don’t have time, do you have something to add, actually drat you do, never mind stop talking, goodbye everyone and sleep tight.”

          Edit – I should mention that I’m teasing sympathetically; I’m sure this is that classic thing where as you get up to the point of delivering something, and everyone goes a little bit mental in their own personal ways, and they’ll be a lot more relaxed once they’ve released for a few days, got a bit of positive feedback and had a bit of a rest!

  11. Tatty says:

    Well, I played Godus (Slight Return) for about half an hour and it’s definitely slightly different. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (big of me, I know) because it’s still hopefully nowhere near the finished product but I’ve still got a fundamental problem with the mechanic of growing your civilisation by snaking a line of mud huts across a map until they hit various triggers.

    And Peter, clicking and dragging has never been ‘delightful’. The Molyneux Swoosh?

    • Groove says:

      “it’s still hopefully nowhere near the finished product ”

      He claims it’s just under 50% done at 13:00.

      • Tatty says:

        Yep, 48% according to the game’s loading screen. 48% of what though? Pink bubbles? Empty rhetoric?

        I want to like the game because a part of me still wants to like Molyneux. Battered Consumer Syndrome, I think it’s called.

        EDIT – Oh yeah, stickers aren’t delightful either Peter. They’re sticky.

        • MichaelGC says:

          Wasn’t Godus v1.0 40% complete? So those wanting to try the full game will need to wait for Godus v8.5.

          • Tatty says:

            Not sure, but it was something like that. Didn’t pay much attention because I thought it was a broken loading bar…

  12. Shooop says:

    Peter Molyneux.

    Surely no one can be so gullible to believe anything the man says at this point by now can they? He’s a pathological liar.

  13. DeanLearner says:

    OK, this is bollocks. How did they miss the point so much?

    People are not saying clicking is bad, they’re saying that the only notable action is clicking on these huts. Change that to click and drag and the only notable action is clicking and dragging these huts. It is not an improvement.

    This process should be automatic… like…oh I dunno POPULOUS?

    You apparently want to make a “truly great game” but the impression I get is, you’re lazy. You don’t need it to be amazing because you’re already earning money from it.

  14. DeanLearner says:

    I also get the impression P-Dog doesn’t actually know what’s going on in the game half the time. It’s sad almost.

  15. Rizlar says:

    We needed to make it because of the feedback we got from you – that it was a click-fest, that you didn’t really know what you were doing or why you were doing it, that there wasn’t enough variation in gameplay, not many people were playing the story, not many people were playing multiplayer.

    So it was shit and noone played it. I can see how that would be a problem.

  16. SandmanXC says:

    2 little 2 late

    • Cinek says:

      2 late for what? This game isn’t even a beta. It’s just an alpha still running intense development. You can tell that when it goes for open beta tests or release, but now? o_O

      • jrodman says:

        Too late for the “brand” of Godus, I think.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Hopefully this game just dies, there needs to be some form of wake up call to the industry that tells developers, selling unfinished games as “early access” is not ok. If they’d kept a lid on the game nobody would have slated it, as it is I hope it fails, no matter how good. Taking the piss out of consumers by selling a nowhere near finished product this bad is not ok and people need to stop paying money towards crap like this, right now.

        • Baines says:

          Keeping a lid on development could also mean that the game would get slammed out of nowhere at its eventual release. It could very well be that Molyneux just isn’t making a good game. A lack of openness would just delay that realization, while openness could potentially warn developers in time to change things.

          I’m not saying that openness is always good, but it isn’t always bad either. Just as how some games get significantly better as development continues, while others don’t.

        • Lemming says:

          If it dies, then the wake-up call to the industry won’t be ‘early access is bad’, it’ll be ‘no-one likes god games’.

  17. Lexx87 says:

    After his rather good presentation at the first Rezzed, he convinced me enough that 22 Cans was going to be different.

    So far their total output has been complete balls, so well done.

  18. Ergates_Antius says:

    When was the last time Peter Molyneux actually produced something great? DK2 in 1999?

    The gaming world has moved on a lot since then – why would anyone assume the he still has “it”? (whatever “it” actually is…)

    EDIT: Except he wasn’t involved in DK2 – DK then in 1997 – 17 years ago. He hasn’t made a really good game for 17 years!

  19. DenieD says:

    If I didn’t see the video to go along with the sound I’d of thought he was talking about a 1980′s 8bit game… Since when has “Click and Drag” been a ground breaking mechanic?

    Also as someone else pointed out above me, this game just cries out for Click and drag a box to select stuff… It’s not like that’s a new idea or something though, they must have purposefully decided it wasn’t the direction they wanted to take.

  20. edwardoka says:

    I remain absolutely convinced that Peter Molyneux saw the Game of Thrones TV intro sequence and thought “I could make a Populous style game using that aesthetic!” and proceeded to ignore everything that made the intro so good.

    • Cinek says:

      Really? I never thought of that. Completely different ascetics, though certainly there is a common element of layered terrain. But it’s not the first nor last time it was used.

      • edwardoka says:

        Oh, I know it doesn’t look a lot like it now, but it’s not just the layered terrain, buildings “grow” once the space is cleared for them as well in the same way that towns and locales unfold in the GoT intro.

        It’s not difficult to imagine that a brief was drafted based upon the “manipulate terrain like in populous but make it look like GoT” but that the technical and art departments took one look at the brief and immediately put the brakes on it – adding constraints which would transform the aesthetic from the gritty 3d board-game aesthetic of the intro into the cartoony look of Godus, which would be considerably easier to make look “acceptable”, particularly when you consider that this is also going to be aimed at the mobile market.

    • Jackablade says:

      It’s quite suprising we haven’t seen a licensed game that uses the intro sequence game board for some sort of strategy title.

  21. RogB says:

    those screens look like 90′s powerpoint (or Lotus Freelance) presentations, clipart and all.

  22. Danorz says:

    nope, still shit, still a cow-clicker, still waiting on bubbles to appear

  23. Freud says:

    Funny that people thought Molyneux was the genius behind Bullfrog when it’s obvious he was just a car salesman. Every game since involving him and his vision for a game has been mostly terrible.

    • Geebs says:

      I seem to remember him doing articles about coding in assembly language in ST Format many years ago. Which is pretty impressive if it was actually his work.

    • Widthwood says:

      Or maybe he was actually good, and then he lost it. People in general are rarely able to continue repeating initial successes throughout their lives…

  24. durruti says:

    Help him already, oh Godus, before it’s too late! Can’t you see he’s suffering?

  25. tomimt says:

    I’ve been following the development of Godus from the sidelines and I was certain, that they had abandoned the whole game in silence. I can’t really say if the changes done now are adequate to turn the game good, as I’ve heard mostly negative stuff about it, but they do look like something that could make the game more fun to play.

  26. JoeX111 says:

    I admire Alec for going on the offensive here. Too often, it feels like the RPS hivemind shows its righteous indignation over a thing, then swallows their anger and forgets it come the next round of PR-friendly interviews and glowing previews. Kudos for staying on point.

  27. Volcanu says:

    Kotaku (of all places) had a really interesting article on Molyneux yesterday, with lot’s of his former colleagues talking about him and his ‘infamous’ promises. It was a good read actually, and it certainly gave the impression that Peter is a rather peculiar (eccentric if we’re being kinder) character that often ignores the truth if he doesnt like it. One was left with the impression that he was very much the face of Bullfrog, an ideas man too perhaps, who needed some equally (or should that be more?) talented people to rein him in and make them workable.

    He also started sobbing during the interview section – which was more than a little strange. Anyway I’d link to it, but I think the RPS moderator hawk would seize my post in it’s mighty talons, screech thricefold and then drop it down a deep ravine.

    • kincajou says:

      I found and read the article, it’s a really good read and worth a shot. It actually helps in understanding molenyeux a bit better.

      http://kotaku.com/the-man-who-promised-too-much-1537352493

      Hell, if the mods allow the spambots, there might be a chance this gets through

      • Widthwood says:

        Molyneux – the early days:

        Stole his grandmother’s money to buy Pong,
        lied to another company to get free PCs under false pretense,
        used child labor to test his games,
        shot children he hired with BB guns, hospitalizing “a couple” of them by shooting in the eye

  28. Maxheadroom says:

    So what about that bloke who ‘won’ the Curiousisty cube-thing?

    Wasnt his ‘prize’ to be some sort of super being in Godus for a year? bet that feels pretty hollow now eh?

  29. somnolentsurfer says:

    Perhaps it’s just my nostalgia speaking, but I can’t help thinking the reactions to Godus have been overly harsh. I played the initial version for a lot of hours, just sculpting the land and pushing out the boundaries of my home world. It wasn’t a game of great strategic depth, but then neither was Populus. As a world crafting toy though, it was passable fun.

    I’d love to see more actual reasons behind the choices in the game, some strategic advantage to not just making everything flat, and some ability to guide the advancement of my civilisation into different technologies based on what they’re trying to achieve. I guess the problem was that there was never any sense of what it is they should be trying to achieve, or any sense of threat. Hopefully I can find out after work whether they’ve fixed any of that.

  30. alex_v says:

    I really enjoyed the previous versions of Godus, and I’m enjoying this version even more. The air of cynicism and mean-spiritedness in the comments section here (towards a nowhere-near finished game) is actually slightly nauseating imo.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      This. The degree of rage that Molyneux provokes on the Internet is truly staggering.

    • clem2k3 says:

      I with you two, Godus will never be my favourite game but I killed a few hours quietly building up my village before I ran out of content, something that I was well forewarned about.

      Not played the new one yet, but I expect similar. Its a game I’ll enjoy, stop playing then never think about again.

      On here it sounds like this game’s very existence is harming people left right and centre …

      Disclaimer: I liked B&W, a lot. I have also only recently discovered that Peter existed not having immersed myself in gaming press until recently.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I’m a backer of Godus and I was less than impressed with the original release. That’s fine. Some I will win, some I will lose. However, the spite directed at Molyneux in these pages is beyond the pale – as indeed it was with Braben during the Elite Kickstarter.

    • Scurra says:

      I guess I join this tiny subthread of people who quite liked the initial version of Godus and think that this new version is heading in a positive direction. I have no regrets about backing it on KS and have really enjoyed following the development process – well, at least until they went silent a couple of months ago. And yes, putting the first version on Steam Early Access was a mistake of, well, godlike proportions.
      But I still like it. So there.

      • chabuhi says:

        Clearly we are what is wrong with the world. I enjoyed the first bit of Godus, though I had envisioned something more akin to Populous. I didn’t like that it had a very Facebooky-buy-gems-to-play-for-another-five-minutes feel to it, but I saw the early potential at least. Have not yet tried the update.

        To make you truly hate me: i loved Fable 1 and TLC through several playthroughs, Fable 2 slightly more, and Fable 3 slightly less. I loved the B&W games. I guess I’m a sucker for worlds.

        The hate though … I do agree that Molyneux frequently disservices himself by speaking, but then again there are far more important things in the world to feel indignant about. It’s just games. I mean, my collection over nearly 40 years includes hundreds of titles (and a working Magnavox Odyssey), so I don’t think my passion can be questioned, but they’re still just games.

      • GDwarf says:

        Indeed. I don’t get all the hate Godus v. 1. got. It was a fun little world-shaping sandbox. Too much clicking? Perhaps. Did the later stages take too long? Yeah, houses shouldn’t take 20 minutes to construct. But those are all trivial to tweak. The things people seemed to complain the most about (“There’s no end goal”, especially) seem to all be because it was Early Access. It had a prototype of combat included, and while it wasn’t flawless it also wasn’t bad.

        I find v.2 to be largely the same as 1, really, but that’s not a negative for me because the downsides that apparently made it the “WORST GAME EVER!!!” weren’t with parts of it I ever saw anyways.

  31. pmouse says:

    As a full time lurker here Ive had break my silence just to say

    Peter Molyneux fuck off

  32. hideinlight says:

    Peter Molyneux makes a promise.
    We all know what happens when Peter Molyneux makes a promise.

  33. Jimbo says:

    Stop mincing your words and tell us what you really think.

  34. jealouspirate says:

    Does the video include Moylneux crying? That’s really what I’m looking for out of his game development.

  35. Frosty840 says:

    Opened game.
    Died a little on the inside.
    Was told to clear rocks by holding mouse on them.
    Holding mouse button on rocks auto-clicked on rocks, producing a repeated clicking sound, so you get the aesthetic of having to click without giving yourself the RSI.
    Same thing happened with trees.
    Rocks and trees still appear to exist solely to be a nuisance to the player and force them to click on things that they hate.
    Clicked on the building that got created when I clicked on the rock.
    Worker left first building, built second building.
    This unlocked the landscaping tutorial, which brought up a “Landscaping Tutorial” dialog with “Show tutorial” and “big red X” buttons.
    Clicked the big red X.
    Landscaping tutorial began.
    Landscaping tutorial forgot to render the land I was supposed to be landscaping in the landscaping tutorial, so I couldn’t finish the landscaping tutorial I had told the game I didn’t want to do.
    Closed game. Submitted bug report. Died on the inside some more.

  36. Bull0 says:

    You’d have to be very, very committed to give this another go.

    • MrThingy says:

      Well, I’ve spent about 20 mins on v 2.0 and have this to say…

      They should rename GODUS the Bashar Al-Assad simulator, as I have absolutely nothing but outright contempt for the people under me.

  37. Morcane says:

    Drag and drop stickers. Amazing. It feels soooo smooth and silky.

  38. MellowKrogoth says:

    “I suppose it also a good thing that the crowdfunding, post-publisher age means a woeful game need not remain a woeful game”

    Sorry, what? That’s a naive affirmation that reflects a severe lack of knowledge about the internal workings of the game industry. I would’ve thought that after running this site for so long you’d know a little more.

    Publishers give chances to bad games rather often. I’ve heard of one sinking millions into rebooting the game two or three times until it was good. Of course unlike crowdfunded games they don’t actually show you the failures, you only get to see the finished product.

  39. A-Scale says:

    Never again, Peter. I really liked B&W and Populous, and I thought B&W2 was pretty good despite losing some of the original’s essence. I never played the Fables because I am not a consoleman. Perhaps that’s why I was willing to give you some credence when you started talking about GODUS. I thought you had your head on straight, and that you were going to make a spiritual successor to Populous. It’s clear to me now that you’ve become enthralled with the theory behind Facebook clickfest games, but you’ve forgotten that the monetization mechanics can only work if there is a solid story and gameplay to back it up.

    Goodbye, Peter.

  40. RagePoon says:

    My main grief with all of this is that they are so focused on multiplayer… Honestly this is one of those games that would do well to focus on the single-player and then model the multiplayer around that.

    Good luck Pete.

  41. ErraticGamer says:

    I might be slightly more impressed by his claim to have built the perfect game this time if he hadn’t built a shitty game LAST time when he was claiming to make the perfect game.

    And the time before that.

    And before that.

    And. And. And.

    The trust bank is empty Peter. You’ve done drawn all the trust out. Come back another time.

  42. captainparty says:

    The game as it is was designed to be a free to play timewaster, that much is really obvious, then Peter accidentally let it slip that it would be free to play in an interview, all hell kicked off on the kickstarter page and their forums, people realised they’d be able to claim their money back as it was significantly different from what was pitched and so 22cans would lose all the cash, they’d got rid of the cash shop (for now) and they’re left with a game thats no fun because everything has to be done manually because the automation is add on content that you now can’t buy, the very existence of a separate currency to use to speed things up aside from the belief used for everything else is proof enough

  43. sinister agent says:

    What’s this “Godus” thing?

  44. MkMax says:

    if you want Peter to stop trolling us, stop giving him exposure, this article right here is exposure

    • SlayerG says:

      Exactly. Peter Molyneux is a complete hack. Stop wasting effort reporting on this man’s endless failures. He doesn’t deserve the free publicity.

  45. WedgeJAntilles says:

    Having played it a bit today, it’s still abysmal. They haven’t really changed the core mechanics, they’ve just streamlined the interface a little bit. It’s still a shit game underneath; lots of pointless busywork, nothing really engaging. This shows that they really don’t understand people’s criticism, or they don’t care. I’m really starting to regret backing this one.

  46. drygear says:

    If this was in third person it could almost come from The Onion:

    “Peter Molyneux and his company 22 Cans, developer of Godus, one of the most awful gaming experiences in recent memory, have promised to improve their shitty game. In a new video- so that viewers might see and hear their sincerity- the developers of the soul-crushingly awful game have announced sweeping changes to the abysmal successor to Populous. They apologize for the ‘first’ version of the abortion of a game as well as their radio silence for the last half-year, and present their new vision for their hitherto goddamned terrible god game.”

  47. Arglebargle says:

    Is Molyneux evil or just delusional? I have zippo denada hope for this remake, as I didn’t care for the games he did that folks thought were good.

  48. UberWaz says:

    I was at E3 many years ago and watched a keynote where Peter Molyneux was unveiling Black and White.

    And he used the same bullshit P.T Barnum patter that he’s been using for years.

    He was watching the screen and gasping, as his sodding Gorilla was doing something ‘absolutely unscripted’ that demonstrated that it was learning exponentially.

    I bought into it until he did the same gasp in an interview a few weeks later.

    Shameless.

    And remember this little gem from 2011. What happened to your virtual boy Peter?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uieh3RfkCng

    Just one long, perfectly rehearsed shill for Microsoft.

  49. frogulox says:

    Godus specifics aside; I feel its interesting as a crowdfunded effort to think about the projections initially calculated for the various expenditures. Obviously if you are at a point where you have a game going and its blown out and found to be rather inadeqquate (at best) forcing a complete redesign and shift in focus etc is going to be remarkably cost intensive. Since its basically staring from scratch in a lot of aspects it has in effect wasted The People’s money.

    Game design and development would assuredly have this happen many a time but one would hope not so far into the piece.

    Perhaps any project with him as even a peripheral atache requires a serious consideration to margins for development time and feature washout. As well as projected sales as affected by consumer doubt and disappointment.

  50. thenerdyhalf says:

    Hey Alec, maybe you’ll decide not to pull out the barge pole but here’s at least one 2.0 review :)
    http://www.thenerdyhalf.com/2014/03/13/the-plunge/

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