Posts Tagged ‘22 Cans’

The Abysmal Godus Is No Longer Abysmal, APPARENTLY

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.
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Impressions: Godus


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.

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Molyneux On Religion, Godus’ “Crazy” Single-Player

Peter Molyneux is up to his old tricks again, for better or worse. He’s gone gaga for Godus, and he wants the world to hear all about it. And who knows? Maybe this time – finally, after years of squandering his legendary status on unfulfilled promises and mediocre games – he’s onto something. Godus certainly sounds fascinating, with Molyneux describing it as a massively polytheistic EVE-Online-inspired social experiment that seems destined for player-driven chaos. But there are still far too many question marks, with the Curiosity-born god of gods and an offline single-player story being the biggest. So I took my promise-weary, cynical heart to Molyneux, and here’s how he replied.

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Molyneux Promises Ludicrously Big For Godus

True fact: pretty much all I do is interview Peter Molyneux. I try to do it as much as possible, because that’s the only time Jim lets me out of my box. Coincidentally, Molyneux knows a thing or two about boxes. His most recent one, Curiosity, erupted into a poof cloud of half-truths and forgotten promises, but now he’s sweeping them away to reveal a god game that might just be worth getting excited over. Admittedly, I say this with the caveat that Molyneux’s swung pretty wide of the mark in recent years, so take his promises to heart with a hefty swill of caution.

That said, he describes Godus as an insanely ambitious massively multiplayer EVE-Online-inspired god game social experiment – a “reinvention” of the genre if ever there was one. Head below for details on multiplayer, crazy god wars, why Curiosity was instrumental in reaching this point, the lessons Molyneux’s taking from EVE’s successes and failures, and tons more.

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Faithful: Godus To Appear On Early Access


The Godus beta will appear for us mortals not in a burning bush, but on Steam. Molyneux and friends’ “regenesis” of the god game will appear on September 13th, for $19.99, £14.99 or €18.99. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on it, if just to keep the critical demon which feeds on my soul fed and warm.

Rather fetching beta trailer, below.
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Telling Tales: Molyneux Vs Vanaman


Game Informer have done a lovely thing and put Sean Vanaman (the creative lead and author of Telltale’s The Walking Dead games) in the same room as famed promiser-of-worlds, 22Cans’ Peter Molyneux. The consequence of this gentlemanly meet was an extended discussion of how Telltale have tried to up stakes on the adventure genre, writing for games in general, and some stuff about zombies: a topic on which all developers now have to pass a three-stage exam if they want to be allowed to continue developing videogames.

Watch it below.
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Hail Mary: Project GODUS Officially Funded

The next step: making it actually look like this.

Kickstarter isn’t a kind place. Well, OK, aside from the whole “free money from the absurd generosity of people’s hearts” thing, I mean. But these days, if you don’t understand how to work the machine, it’ll chew you up and spit you right back out – probably with even fewer pennies to your name than when you first started. Even game design legends aren’t safe, as evidenced by high-profile failures like Old-School RPG and Dizzy Returns, and Peter Molyneux’s Project GODUS certainly looked like it could go either way. For better or worse, though, the Kickstarter deities have officially accepted fans’ offering, and GODUS will now get its wings.

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Molyneux’s Mighty Trash Talk: GODUS Multi Video

Right then, lesson learned: Peter Molyneux really gets into multiplayer matches. He’s not one for pulling his verbal punches, either. Confronted with the idea that one of his employees could topple his burgeoning godtopia, he curtly fired back, “I’m the father of the god game genre.” You can’t really escalate it any further than that, can you? But yes, hot on the heels of a quick GODUS prototype, Molyneux and co cans have released a full-blown multiplayer demonstration. Granted, it’s extremely rough, but it’s certainly, well… something.

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Vox Populous: Molyneux Got Us A GODUS Video

Perception of time isn’t what I’d call one of my strongest traits. Case in point: has it really been nearly 30 days since Peter Molyneux and co’s Project GODUS stomped its monolithic, Monty-Python-like foot onto Kickstarter? And have I really been alive for more than 30 days? Am I older than that? Was high school years ago? How very strange. Anyway, we finally have a video now. Of GODUS, I mean – not my painfully awkward high school existence. Delve beyond that oh-so-divine of interventions known as the break to see an early prototype of the Populous successor in action.

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Firstus GODUS Videous Footageus

It doesn't look like this. Yet.
I love the development ‘show’ that’s accompanying the GODUS Kickstarter, because it shows the small team caught up in the decision making progress of Peter Molyneux OBE. The most recent diary has an amazing moment: the first time the game is shown running! It should be accompanied by balloons, streamers, Ode to Joy, and a visit from the Queen, but it’s instead turned into a game development jam session. And we all know jam rather can be rather sticky.
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Not Royal Baby News: GODUS Prototype Within Weeks?

Pants on fire?

Royal Baby pregnant Kate royal pregnancy future king future queen the stallion that will mount the world Kate and William baby pregnant baby royal pregnant baby royal baby pregnancy.

Right that should get us the SEO hits, now let’s have some news about Peter Molyneux. His studio 22 Can’s divisive Project GODUS Kickstarter hasn’t set the crowd-funding world on fire to the degree he perhaps hoped – whether that’s because humanity has finally tired of his grand promises, of Kickstarted games or because the original pitch was so loose I can only guess. Now he’s saying there could be a playable prototype before the month is out, which would shake things up enormously (er, presuming it’s any good).
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Interview: Peter Molyneux On Curiosity’s Failings, GODUS

Last time I spoke with Peter Molyneux, he was practically abuzz with renewed vigor. He’d left Microsoft, started his own hand-picked studio, and ascended back into the high-concept realm he so loves to call home. But reality has a way of dousing even the most excited of flames, and Molyneux knows that better than just about anyone. But the godfather of god games was different when we spoke today: insanely thrilled to be launching a Kickstarter for his Populous meets Dungeon Keeper meets Black & White god opus GODUS, yes, but also wearied, frantic, and tremendously apologetic. It’s been a rough few weeks for 22 Cans, and it showed. And then something crazy happened: Molyneux cried. Openly. Without reservation. But not for the reason you might think. “I just,” he winced, his voice audibly cracking, “I still believe so much.”

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Peter Molyneux’s Tears: “I Still Believe So Much”

In an extraordinary interview to be published shortly, a clearly emotional Peter Molyneux broke down into tears when discussing the struggles he’s had with Curiosity, and his concerns about making promises for Kickstarter GODUS.

“I can’t blame people for not believing,” Molyneux responded, when it was suggested that his history of over-promising and under-delivering might hurt prospects for GODUS. Especially in light of the very negative reaction to Curiosity’s server failures – something the creator tells us was “a disaster”.

“I know I’ve said things,” Molyneux continued. “I wish I could not say them, I guess. I just… I still believe so much.”

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Wait, Where’s The PC Version Of Molyneux’s Curiosity?

If you ever read websites – or, indeed, words – other than RPS, you might have noticed that Peter Molyneux’s cube-tapping opus Curiosity is now officially inside the small, generally not-for-breaking wannabe-cubes we call mobile phones. You’ll remember, though, that 22 Cans’ original announcement definitely mentioned PC as well. So why aren’t we rapidly advancing our already inevitable carpal tunnel epidemic in hopes of gazing upon a “life-changing” secret? I got in touch with Molyneux to find out.

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Cube Your Enthusiasm: Molyneux’s Curiosity Delayed

And inside, we will find a single acorn. Then the world will explode.

I was ready. I spent weeks studying cubes – pouring over research, feeling them, learning their structural weaknesses, biting them, stacking them, attempting to fit them into round holes, living among them in their natural habitat, trying to understand what they fear most. I was going to crack open Curiosity‘s chocolate shell in one definitive swing and devour the “life-changing” nougat inside. But now it’s been delayed into September, and I really just want a candy bar. Peter Molyneux and co have, however, released a trailer that depicts a cube doing cube things. So that’s something, I suppose.

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What’s In The Box, Peter?

I bet there's a dead dog inside the cube

If you couldn’t make it over to the Rezzed game show we co-hosted last weekend – perhaps you live in another country, couldn’t afford it or sensibly realised that it would be unfair to expose that many other human beings to the dangerous, dazzling beauty of your face – have no fear. Well, have some fear, as the Western world is on the brink of ruin and all that, but specifically have no fear that there’s no way for you to see the speakers and sessions at the show. The chaps at Eurogamer were able to use some manner of magic electronic gun that can capture and store both sound and vision, and quite likely also the souls of whatever it’s pointed at. So here’s Peter Molyneux talking about his post-Lionhead plans with new studio 22 Cans, his thoughts on the excellent Molydeux spoof Twitter account and the “life-changing” contents of the mysterious cube in Curiosity.

Caution: includes wild, impossible claims and promises. But he wouldn’t be P-Mol if it didn’t.
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Life-Changing: Molyneux Pegs Curiosity For August

Guys, I know what's inside the box! It's the color green! What do I win?

Here at RPS, we consider all of our posts to be small, mysterious boxes with things of life-changing significance inside. Especially this one. So it’s a bit flattering to hear that fabled Fable-er and god of god gaming Peter Molyneux is totally stealing our format. Yep. That is definitely what’s happening. On August 22, Molyneux’s cube-tapping opus is coming to PC (and the tiny, rectangular PCs that can make phone calls), and he claims whatever’s inside will be “life-changingly important.”

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Cans Do: Peter Molyneux To Speak At Rezzed


Okay, just one more Rezzed announcement, perhaps: Peter Molyneux will be speaking to the assembled Rezzed audience about 22 Cans, the Curiosity app, and likely much more, at 4pm on Friday 6th July. That’s just the hyperbolic cherry on top of all the other superb stuff that’s going on at our event in Brighton, on the 6th and 7th of July. As well as hearing Mr Molyneux talk about his plans now that he’s free of Microsoft, there are tonnes of playable games, and even some core Hivemind nodes wandering about. You should probably be there.

Interview: Molyneux In The Moment, Pt 2

So then, cubes. Admittedly, they’ve been closely associated with games before, but during E3, Peter Molyneux told us about his ambitious plan to think outside the box by putting a mysterious item inside a box. As is typically the case with the extremely excitable mind behind Populous, Black & White, and Fable, it all sounds gleefully insane, and it showed in his blindingly sunny demeanor. Today, though, we discuss darker, more sinister things. Social games, for instance, and indie developers’ place at the kiddie table during shows like E3. OK, fine, we also discuss more cubes.

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Interview: Molyneux In The Moment, Pt 1

Peter Molyneux is excited. It’s early in the morning of E3’s notoriously draining day two, but it certainly doesn’t show. The god of god games seems energized and animated – reinvigorated, even. Admittedly, this is a man who – in the past – has been known to become lightheaded at the prospect of hyper-realistic videogame acorns, but there’s substance behind the passion this time around. After years of being caught up in triple-A content churn, Molyneux’s finally doing everything his way. His team, his project, and – perhaps most importantly – his wildest ideas.

Will they even stick, though? Can his 22 seemingly abstract experiments be fun? Should they be? Will this gigantic cannonball into the deep end of gaming’s least charted waters even make any money? For now, these questions couldn’t be further from Molyneux’s mind. In his own words, he’s “just experimenting,” and – while many of his former colleagues continue to stick to game development’s straight-and-narrow – he has no idea what he’ll find. So, near the ruins of what appeared to be a truly formidable breakfast, he and I chatted about that.

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