Hi all at 22 Cans :)
backed your project :
RE Godus Design: As a person who adored populous and populous II on the amiga and had the skills to knock up a serial modem cable and play against friends, I must say this :
I think the reason why populous was such genius was to some extent its simplicity and its limitations helped focus the strategy play because theyre was less distraction, isometric or fixed viewpoints is not so much a limitation in RTS games take starcraft, rotating the camera around massively and zooming in and out all the time would just distract the player from the strategy at hand, games arent about being all things to all players. make the camera auto itself about allot without zooming about and flailing distractingly around, maybe have a free camera mode perhaps for players in a non match modes single player etc. and godsims in a way are designed for isometric from above type viewpoint, as you are a god and gods usually view from above the disdainful hubbub of the little peoples lives, they only need their obedience and prayer to enhance their own power.
Perhaps also put sprogging in the game once a house unit is at full power ;) or maybe thats too much micromanagement maybe as an easter egg just an animation ;)
I also played Powermonger which in my opinion was somehow not as good as populous and populous’s 2 player serial play was most fun and addictive, regardless of how beautiful powermonger was, it was slightly too complex and the graphics packed into the screen, and I never mastered it in the same timeframe of populous, almost anyone could start playing populous and within a 30 minutes be able to handle all the controls and be manically working toward gaining enough mana to wipe the opponent out, eventually leading to a point within an hour or 3 where one player was either defeated or conceded.
as an example of one of the best examples of modern smartphone games that had a brilliantly linear learning curve, i would say plants v zombies exceeded angry birds for example in its simplicity to learn, addictive play, stretching the players skills but never being too hard and cause the player to give up.
I think that main game mode for godus if its an RTS multiplayer competitive Godsim, should be that the games / match length can be tailored to say a certain timeframe or perhaps have conditions settable where the game is over explicitly in the sense that recovery for the losing opponent is not possible, this would then make a game where online matches and leaderboards were possible, I know this sounds a bit competetive, but maybe there could be other modes of play too for those – not interested, in multiplayer match style games.
Dungeon Keeper I didnt play but I would say, dont make a game which is to complex with too many things fo the player to manage so as to keep the stress levels low and the fun high, Ie let the population on the landmass decide the best spot to place a mine on the basis of resource, settlers though fantastic was a little complex in this respect even, maybe the player help them uncover the resource by land movement, the flat land principle and they build bigger houses mechanic is a good one to be retained from populous agree, I think the player placing houses is unnecessary let the population pick the best spot on the basis of land movement as populous did, alleviate the player from having to micro manage everything that happens in the game. for instance i dont in competitive play want have to spend my time rotating a house in 3d to place it on the landscape.
And this is where i would say black and white turned me off, It was an amazing game revolutionary clever beautiful etc but imo it was too complex, it didn’t grab the players imagination in the same way that simple populous did after 10 minutes of play, even now If I had two serial linked amigas I would prefer to play populous over Black and White … because populous was like a superb and addictive electronic board game with just enough complexity too make it interesting but not so much as to flounder the player with controls.
Let the little people in Godus execute intelligence as to what to build and where to allow the player to concentrate their strategy on the larger scale issues. make the number of players selectable after all an 8 way game, is probably going to take allot longer than a 2 player game ? And I think some games today are in danger of being to big for peoples time budgets, and like a good film, there is something satisfying about finishing a multiplayer match in say an hour or two, as their is a sense of satisfaction and completion for both players one way or another ;)
The ability to scale player numbers and fixed selection of map sizes to enable a time scale of average completion for a game, so that someone can come back from work and say right I want to play a competetive godsim match for 45 minutes and have a satisfying complete game in that fixed timeframe and then maybe at the weekend they want a four hour match etc more players larger map etc, But I think the idea of fixed map sizes is a good one as it limits games going on for ever etc. make it just like populous so that the rader map shows the whole of the map being played on.
Its that sense of completion which is a good thing with a board game if monopoly or snakes and ladders or the dark tower went on for weeks on end you would lose the sense of fun and place or reason in the game, so either have matches or something meaning I can choose how much time I put into the game in advance roughly and get a satisfying conclusion. As there are too many ginormous games on the market and as populous proved you could have a match based based godsim, and not enough games that have that satisfaction of conclusion that board games have. This conclusion-al element does not mean the game is short as you can have variation in game length and maps and themes and play many matches, ie one match isnt the games full extent either. just dont make it so standard play last 3 weeks a match ;(
and dont have character development so that some players can bring more powerful gods into the game etc, make it so that only the players with the best strategy bringing it fresh every time from the ground up … win, ie all players start off equal apart from their position on the map :) its just the strategy that tells. or perhaps like scissors paper stones they can choose from three god archetypes and their set of powers and dependant on what other players selects this impacts the gameplay style / strategy a player takes etc ? shrug something like that.
admittedly my advice might sound too much like making a populous remake which godus isn’t fully, but I certainly think take most from populous imo.
wow think i might have waited too long for that 22 penneth worth, but anyway good luck im sure i’ll like whatever your smart team at 22 cans comes up with ;)