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Too Human: Curiosity Winner's GODUS Prize Temporary

Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity is officially, incontrovertibly over. A young man by the name of Bryan Henderson from Edinburgh, Scotland cracked the not-quite-infinite cuboid egg, and out oozed godhood. Well, OK, virtual godhood in 22Cans’ upcoming GODUS – which has drawn some rather, er, mixed reactions from mere mortals. I got in touch with Peter Molyneux to talk about that, potential dishonesty, how Henderson’s “god of gods” role will function, and why a mobile contest decided a crucial feature for a PC game, and he revealed a particularly interesting nugget: godhood and all it entails (including a cut of GODUS’ eventual earnings) has an expiration date. After that, the throne will be up for grabs, but you’ll need a lot more than luck and tap-cracked fingertips to claim it.

“The interesting thing is that what Bryan has won is a grace period where he can be god of gods for a certain amount of time,” Molyneux told RPS. “We’re talking about that period of time [right now]. It won’t be less than a few months. It might not be more than a year. And then we’ll unveil the ability to usurp the god of gods and replace him with someone else. That someone else will then take on all of Bryan’s powers.”

Suddenly, Curiosity’s crunchy, divinity-filled center seems a bit less, er, life-changing, right? Somewhat surprisingly, Molyneux doesn’t think so.

“It didn’t seem right to me that Bryan would be god of gods for all time,” he explained. “It seems right to me that he has a period of time to be god of gods, and that can’t just be a few days. It needs to be substantial. And in that time, many things could happen. And of course, the amount of physical money he gets depends on how successful the game is. So he’ll probably be god of gods for an amount of time approaching a year. That’ll be a year from release, by the way. It needs to be enough time to make it meaningful for him in every sense of the word.”

He added, however, that the amount of time could be significantly greater or less. It all depends on Kickstarter backers’ impressions of GODUS throughout alpha and beta testing, which will kick off very soon.

“I want to gauge people’s reactions – not just to the center of Curiosity, but also to gauge the reaction to GODUS. Because maybe later today but certainly tomorrow, we’re releasing the PC alpha of GODUS to Kickstarter backers, and it didn’t seem like that sort of decision should be made without some sort of feedback from the people who will actually be playing GODUS.”

He further noted that “god of gods” powers will function both through an in-game dashboard (probably active once per week) and direct communications between the reigning god of gods and the god of god of gods, 22Cans. Ultimately though, Molyneux and co plan to draw the line at heavenly edicts with hellishly game-breaking consequences.

“What they aren’t going to be is carte blanche uncontrolled, unrefined decisions that would throw the balance of the game out entirely. Bryan can absolutely request something to happen, and we’ll make our best effort to do it. But he can’t decide everybody in Canada will explode or anything like that. There are limits to his power.”

Check back soon for the full interview, in which Molyneux and I discuss whether this was the plan for Curiosity from the start, what would’ve happened if GODUS’ Kickstarter failed, what happened to the promised PC version of Curiosity, how much of an effect newly announced mobile publisher DeNA will have on the game, free-to-play/business models, and whether or not 22Cans’ much-ballyhooed 22 experiments will continue once GODUS releases. 

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