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16 August, 2014

The Godus Diaries - Part 1 - Perfect For My Lifestyle

** As I explore and create the world of Godus, I thought it might be fun to post a few diary entries on my adventures, discoveries and thoughts so far. These may contain spoilers of things you haven’t yet unlocked in the game (although I’m only at the early stages), so stay away if this isn’t your bag. No spoilers in this first entry though. **

Katy McCarthy was climbing a mountain.

The mountain was snowcapped and steep, the going was hard, and Katy couldn’t say exactly why she was climbing it. She just knew she had to.

Earlier that morning, Katy woke and ventured outside her abode, with the intention of lending a hand building her neighbour’s dwelling, for she was a builder after all.

But on entering the sunlight her eyes found their way to the horizon, which was defined by the mountain range none of the villagers had ever dared to cross. The steep cliffs acted as a natural border or wall, hemming in the settlement’s idyllic lifestyle of peaceful farming.

Inspiration hit Katy as if the very hand of God had reached down and touched her, and all of a sudden she knew what she had to do, her life suddenly filled with a new and much stronger purpose.

She would conquer the mountains, extending her people’s knowledge of the outside world, helping them grow beyond what they had long ago accepted as their lot. She would do this not for her own personal glory, but for the glory of all. Katy walked straight past her neighbour’s half-finished abode, and kept on walking.

Nearing the mountain’s whitened peak, Katy was close to quitting, her energy levels now almost non-existent, and she considered turning back, accepting defeat. But for the second time that day, an inexplicable force reached down, and she discovered an untapped well of purpose and determination, giving her the boost she needed to carry on. Turning back around she saw how close she was to the top, and continued putting one foot in front of the other.

Clearing the ridge and clambering up onto the plateau, Katy was stunned by what she saw. A ruined beacon of some sort, abandoned and ravaged by time, greeted the builder from far below like an exclamation mark, an end-goal that brought with it the immediate understanding that she had been brought here by a force beyond herself. This is why she had come.

Gathering materials from around the plateau, Katy set about rebuilding this ruined sentinel, and once finished, set the beacon alight. The villagers below and to the south, looked to the mountain top, seeing that there was now a way beyond what they had previously known and been limited by, whilst Katy, her mission complete, now took the time to look down over the unexplored land to the north.

Green, inviting plains split by a gently running river would provide her people the resources and room they needed to expand, grow, learn and evolve.

Katy McCarthy rested.

I’ve been enjoying my time with the iOS version of Godus, the newest entry to the god game genre from Peter Molyneux and his team at 22cans. But I can also appreciate and understand why many haven’t been.

The F2P, timer-ridden structure monetised by IAPs is not for everyone, and it would be interesting to see a premium version released to see how it would compete alongside the current one. I’m finding however that this F2P version fits neatly in with my lifestyle.

Being married with a full-time job, and all the commitments that come with life in general, means I don’t have a lot of hours to pour into building an entire civilisation from scratch. I check into the game every now and then during the day to collect my resources, and then have a longer play session at night, allocating those resources and terraforming as needed.

I’m enjoying the idea of having this living world in my pocket (I’ve been playing on iPhone) and watching it grow and evolve, discovering as I go the many fun surprises 22cans have laid in front of me.

The terraforming is akin to raking a small zen garden, and it’s exciting to be able to carry out the game’s main mechanic with your bare fingers, rather than be distanced from it by a keyboard and mouse.

There’s a myriad of small details that add value and warmth to the game, such as how each of your followers will have an actual name, such as Katy McCarthy in my opening story. Or watching as a follower takes it upon himself to light a campfire, and sit gazing into it.

The visuals too are a treat. Like a softened Minecraft, all curves instead of corners, they are simple yet effective.

I currently have 1155 followers, 36 wheat farms, six ore mines, I’ve just unlocked my third beacon and, over the course of a day, I’ll collect around 50,000 belief points (the game’s main currency). So I’m pretty well set for resources at the moment as my world continues to expand. I’m having a great time and I haven’t spent a cent.

I’m not defending Godus - it doesn’t need me to defend it - I’m just trying to provide a counterpoint to the argument against its F2P iOS build.

I look forward to posting some more diary entries as my civilisation grows and learns, unlocking new technologies and God powers - to stay abreast of new articles sign up to our newsletter. From what I’ve read on 22cans’ website there are some intriguing plans for the future of the game, as multiplayer is eventually brought in and players' worlds start to collide.

Feel free to hit us up in the comments below or on our social feeds with your own stories and impressions, or your opinions on the business model. If you’re hating the game’s business model try to provide feedback as to why. We look forward to reading your thoughts.

Check out the trailer below and grab the game for free right here.

Ok, I'm off to deal with the pesky Astari, and to find out what the story is with those strange blue rocks...

Garry Balogh

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