Godus, a God Game at Kickstarter

Ok, to date I have never bothered to post too much about potential kickstarters that are out there but I wanted to post about Godus because there is only 10 days left and it has only hit a little more than half of it’s small goal of $450,000 pound goal.

There are a few reasons why I really want this one to work out. First and foremost is that it is a god game! God games have really died out of the modern game culture but I think they are still an awesome genre. It isn’t my favorite genre but one of my favorites surely. The basic premise of any god game is that you are a God (hence the name) that has followers. What happens past that depends on the game, some games give you free form to let you help your followers propser or destroy the world, or ignore your followers and mess with other gods. This is part of the genre that I have always enjoyed, they tend to be very much sandbox games which is definitely a favorite type of mine.

There really hasn’t been a lot of games like this of late. The last real one was Spore which had a great concept, but Wil Wright just overreached what he could do at that point in time. Other good examples of this game can be found in Black & White, Populous, Darwinia, Dungeon Keeper (We will say being a dungeon overlord actually counts given how the game actually operates), ActRaiser or Evil Genius.

One thing you might note from this list of games is that there is a single designer who is behind several of them. His name is Peter Molyneux.1. Molyneux, I believe, can actually be credited with creating the God Game genre when he launched Populous in 1989. I can remember playing a port of the game on my Super Nintendo back when I was being and being amazed by the game and clearly I was affected because I try to play the genre whenever I can.

Unfortunately, I do think Spore did a dis-service to the genre. For one, it wasn’t entirely a god-game, but it wasn’t not either. It was a strange amalgamation. I don’t think the genre was ever overly popular, but most people felt that Spore was genuinely a bad game. The unfortunate thing is that it sold really well so it got a lot of people saying it was a bad game and because it does have an association with the God Game genre, it is possible that people (and future developers) want to shy away from the genre now.

But it is a really good genre and deserves a new addition to its maligned library. By the name alone the intent surely seems to be that they want to make a modern version of Populus, but hopefully learning some lessons from the last 25 years of design. The game also looks very stylized which I think for a smaller, more independent game might serve it well.2 Godus looks to be a good game with a top notch designer and they are trying to stay somewhat independent so that they can make the game they want. Isn’t that what Kickstarter is supposed to be about?

I can already hear people’s thoughts of, even with the big name and nice art if others aren’t getting into it, maybe there is a problem with the game. Well they did make some early mistakes I feel and some stuff that they just can’t get around. For one, they are a company in the UK which means they work off the pound and I think that is creating some dis-interest. I have a friend that said that he didn’t want to contribute because it was more expensive than normal Kickstarters and he is right. Because of the exchange rate, it is slightly more expensive. The second related problem is that I don’t think they had a conversion chart out of the gate at what stuff was. It turns out that $15 pound level is actually going to cost you $24. And you see where the problem is.

Even so, I don’t think that is a big enough problem to warrant not funding Godus. The game looks good, and we need more games like this out in the world to give us some variety. I can’t be the only one who feels this, so hopefully they will reach their goal. If you’d like to help contribute, please click here.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Who has also designed games in other genres such as the Fable series, The Movies (which actually was similar to the God Genre and might be considered part of it), and Theme Park.
  2. Games that don’t have the funding to be ultra realistic do well if they have a good style, and I definitely think that Godus carries with it a pretty nice style.