Peter Molyneux’s Godus may never grow to be the game that was promised when it launched on Kickstarter.
As reported by Rock Paper Shotgun, designer Konrad Naszynski has in a series of posts on the Godus message boards expressed his frustration – and indeed, his cautious optimism – about what the game has failed to achieve to date and the progress that might yet occur.
You all want to know what this game is actually supposed to be, well so [do] I,” he said. To be brutally candid and realistic I simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the Kickstarter page, a lot of the multiplayer stuff is looking seriously shaky right now especially the persistent stuff like hubworld.
Things are just moving slowly. A lot slower than I’d like to be honest, it’s somewhat frustrating. From the minute I played the alpha I could see the direction Godus was heading in and I didn’t like it.”
Naszynski, who worked unpaid at 22cans for a period before securing a proper position, says that much of his work to date has involved wrestling with the game’s Asian mobile publishing plans and high staff turnover.
As this was happening the decision makers in 22cans took notice and got involved,” he continued. For a while it was looking pretty grim, there was a lot of pressure to just focus on maximising revenue from mobile. Peter got involved and things started to turn around again.
We compiled a long broad list of things we can do to the game (both mobile focused and PC focused) with items made up from a combination of community feedback, Kickstarter obligations, publisher requests and my own ideas. We then had to score them based on difficulty of task, resources required and cost against returns.
Quite frankly it’s been exhausting, but I’m starting to feel cautiously optimistic. If I had it my way I wouldn’t bother with mobile, not worry about cost and just work on improving the pc experience, but that’s never going to happen. Make no mistake though, I can’t ignore mobile. It’s the main source of revenue for the project and without it Godus is finished, simple as.”
However, the reception that greeted its eventual release was critical, and Molyneux himself even apologised for the game upon the release of its last major update.
The warning signs that all was not well have been there for a while. Despite at one stage claiming that his studio 22cans was centralising all of our creativity on one entity, and that entity is Godus”, the developer announced new game The Trial late last year.
He also spoke in scathing terms about crowdfunding, describing it as a hugely risky undertaking”, adding: "There’s this overwhelming urge to over-promise because it’s such a harsh rule: if you’re one penny short of your target then you don’t get it. And of course in this instance, the behaviour is incredibly destructive, which is ‘Christ, we’ve only got 10 days to go and we’ve got to make 100,000, for f**k’s sake, lets just say anything’."