Playing God(us)

« View all Writing

Populous, Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, all classic god-sim PC games I absolutely loved as younger, less bearded, child. So when I heard that the man behind those treasured memories was embarking on a Kickstarter campaign to launch “the regenesis of the God game”, I couldn’t enter by credit card details fast enough.

Fast forward more than a year and Peter Molyneux¬†(the father of the god-game) and his new company 22 Cans, have shared a Beta version of their vision, that I and hundreds of other people have bought into. It’s fascinating to see how the game has progressed, from early concept art through to it’s current incarnation, a game described on the loading screen as only 49% complete. What the Kickstarter campaign has done is allow 22 Cans to show fans behind the scenes of Indie game development and involve them in some of the decision making through forums and testing.

I felt the need to write this post after logging into the backers forums and the message boards on Steam where the Beta has been opened up to the gaming public. The internet commenter never ceases to amaze in their spitefulness and poor punctuation.

Perhaps it was too early to share a game that is very much work-in-progress with the world but nothing 22 Cans have done justifies the anger that has filled forums and even the review pages of some websites. A lot of what has been said has been directed (gleefully in some cases) at Molyneux personally, maybe due to his position as an industry old-boy and his legacy of classic games. In their last video diary, he tackled the issue of negative feedback head on, rather masterfully I thought, but the sheer volume of moaning and bitching has got to hurt.

So I want to say, for what my opinion is worth, that I think Godus is a bloody great game and that what 22 Cans has done by opening themselves up to players is brave and laudable. The game is far from perfect, but what is available to play so far is beautiful and immersive and addictive. I can’t wait to play the next release.

If anyone wants me, I’ll be sculpting a beach resort for my loyal believers.

Godus gameplay screenshot