Phillips: Molyneux was a broken man, but now he’s back

Peter was pretty much a broken man.”

Those are the words of 22Cans CEO Simon Phillips, who has told Develop that the disastrous events surrounding Godus earlier this year took their toll on one of Britain’s most famed developers.

This really kicked the shit out of him. I think he faced a lot of questions, like why am I doing this? What’s the point of it all? How did we end up here? It was a low point for him,” Phillips said.

The thing we had to do quickly was to get Peter, and the rest of the guys at the studio, just to acknowledge what had happened. Everyone had their heads down, no one really wanted to talk about it or deal with it, but I knew we had to acknowledge and work out what had happened, be practical about it and just get on with it.”

However, having handed over the reigns to Phillips and got back to the job of developing as opposed to managing, Molyneux is very much on the path to recovery.

It’s been three or four months now and the transformation in Peter is amazing,” Phillips added. He’s back to his more buoyant self and getting involved with designs again, both for The Trail and Godus. He’s enthusiastically designing for both projects again, which is nice because he doesn’t have to worry about the boring stuff.

Peter’s a lot happier. We’re starting to see that in the designs again, which is really cool. It was horrible to see him lacking that, particularly given that I’ve known him as a designer. But all it took was a frank conversation to say ‘this is shit, this is really, really shit’."

Phillips touched upon the situation regarding Godus’ God of Gods earlier this month when he admitted that a plan was not yet in place for Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson to receive his prize. He has emphasized, however, that a prudent approach to fixing Godus must take priority over haste.

Everyone else still helps,” he said, while admitting that just six developers are assigned full tiem to the game. The lead coders are on The Trail, but they know the codebase of Godus and they’re quite happy to come over and work on features to help the guys work through things.

The difficult thing is, and people ask this all the time, why can’t we just put 50 people on it and just get it done quicker? Because that’s not commercially viable. To stand a chance to get this product to where we all want it to be, we’ve got to do it really sensibly. We need a team we can manage, who can finish one bit of the game at a time.

Godus does alright commercially, it does enough to keep it moving forwards and keep everyone interested. We still back it up financially ourselves anyway because everyone has put so much into this game to get it this far, we want to get it to where we want it to be. That’s going to take careful management – not just throwing a lot of shitty features in there just to say ‘hey, look, it’s all in there now’.”

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