Peter Molyneux games are always about faith – and when Godus came out, it threw the PC gaming world into existential crisis. Did he really leave Lionhead behind to sweat over a game that turned out to be a bit bum? Was that part of the plan, to test our strength of belief? And what sort of God uses their powers to crush beautiful Ordnance Survey landscapes into flat planes?
Godus 1.0 was boring (read why in our Godus review) – and Molyneux knows it.
“Our first release was 25 per cent,” he said. “What we were trying to say by naming that is, yeah, 75 per cent of the game is missing – it’s like giving you Call of Duty without guns. It is fundamentally going to be on the boring side.”
By the time of Godus’ first early access release, 22cans hadn’t delivered on “the big motivators” for reshaping its world – instead choosing to refine the game’s AI and sculpting mechanic.
“It was boring because we only gave you the two things in the game – we gave you sculpting, and we gave you a little bit of expansion,” Molyneux told Eurogamer at GDC.
“We could have shut our doors and gone into our ivory tower and not released anything. We could have actually gone and got a publishing contract and kept a secret and come to GDC and released the game in a shock and awe campaign, but we chose to do this slightly crazy approach, which was to involve the community in the development side.”
The fact that Godus was boring, said Molyneux, was “one of the most useful” pieces of feedback 22cans received.
“That’s incredibly useful, because you can do something about that,” he explained. “We always knew that the biggest motivator of Godus was the thing that we couldn’t introduce until everything was set, which was this hub-world connecting people together.”
“The risks are people do say it’s boring, or it’s tedious or it’s buggy or my wrist hurts from clicking too much,” he went on. “We can choose to say that’s tough, do more wrist exercises, but instead we chose to go back to the drawing board, re-define it and look at how people approach the game and what they did.”
Molyneux’s rhetoric is typically frank – and the work 22cans did to reconfigure Godus for its 2.0 update admirable. But the sad truth is that, as of March, our Tim found that Godus was still “ferociously boring”. Have you found that too?