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samvt Dec 20, 2013 @ 3:01pm
GODUS (Video) Update (#36)
The following blog-style updates will narrate the daily going-ons of the development team, they are written by Sam.


This is the last update for 2013 and what a year this has been. It’s common to make up an end-of-year list and I’m no different. This time last year we were moving into the final hours of our Kickstarter campaign and my stress levels were finally able to return to normal; both backers and pledges were still coming in thick and fast. We posted an open invitation to everyone in the neighborhood and beyond to come down to the studio for a small celebration (which we ended up broadcasting live for the world to see [[url=http://www.twitch.tv/22cans/b/349947383]link skip to 11 minutes 30 seconds[/url]]). In January we came back to the studio and each got given our own obsessions to focus on and after the prototype we built the development of GODUS started in earnest. Then only a mere five months later we released our first Alpha to our Alpha backers and the feedback we received from that was invaluable. While our Alpha was around 200MB to download, the Beta which we announced at PAX and launched on 13th September came in at 650MB. That’s a mere nine months after development started in earnest! While there is still a lot of work left to do (Followers, Living World, Connected Worlds, God Powers, the list goes on and on) we’re pretty happy with how it’s gone and despite popular belief, your feedback does get taken into account by all of our designers. No doubt 2014 will be just as crazy and exciting, with new updates to GODUS for PC and Mac, a mobile and tablet version that will be going into Beta and of course the LINUX version at some stage. And don’t forget Bryan once the ‘Connected Worlds’ become active.

People gathered at our studio in December 2012 for the countdown

The team has been working on and finishing their latest sprint this week, which focusses on polishing existing features and of course expanding on the Follower behaviour, the new timeline and Leash. Earlier this month, we all took the afternoon off and met up at Peter’s place, where he had cooked us a truly lovely Christmas lunch. I have to also admit that some of us enjoyed a little tipple before we made our way there, but it just made everyone very jovial. Gary, Russell, Paul, Peter, Tim, Jemma and Peter (there’s two of them!) were the cooks for the morning but unfortunately not one of them had realized that a turkey needs quite a bit of time in the oven and so lunch was delayed by a tiny two hours. They should have had a spreadsheet with it all planned out on there, nevertheless the turkey that was served was absolutely delicious and very moist. Something had gone wrong with Peter’s (in)famous bread-sauce though as it resembled more of a gooey slop-mix and so wasn’t served. Brussels sprouts, carrots, red cabbage, perfectly roasted potatoes and of course gravy plus cranberry sauce (without strawberries) were put on the table. This time last year more than half of the people at the table were there enjoying a Christmas lunch together and it was absolutely amazing to do it again and with a few new faces too!

It was rather cosy around the table for our team Christmas lunch

The team are still working tirelessly on the game (Sprint 5 finishes today) but yesterday when the power went out for a brief two and a half hours everyone remained (in a dark office) waiting for everything to be sorted out. Card games came out, candles came out and overall the mood was quite jovial. Then when the power came up everyone stormed back to their desks to continue coding, making art assets and generally doing what a developer does best.

The team used candles to light meetings when the power went out

Leash It

Now, I was keen to continue this update talking about the new Follower system and the animations that go with it, unfortunately Dimitri (code) and Tim (animation) have both started their end of year break so that’s a no-go. However, one new piece of information I’ve learned is that the Leash which was shown in video update #35 actually replaces the Totem! Let me go into a little more detail about it;

While the Leash serves the same purpose as the Totem it does behave in a very different way. Firstly, you hold the left mouse button and then drag it it onto a Follower or Abode which will activate the Follower Leash. If you continuously drag it then you will draw a path which will fade off shortly behind the drag point. Upon releasing the Leash at any point, all affected Followers will immediately travel to that destination where they will look for something to do, similar to how the Totem worked. The line disappears once the mouse button has been released. Now if the Leash is released on an activity such as a building plot or farm field, then that activity will glow or show to indicate an objective. Otherwise the end destination of the line will glow as a small circle. Followers who are traveling to a destination while under the spell of a Leash will have a unique glow effect so they can be easily distinguished from other Followers. Clicking on one of them will make them snap out of the Leash mode and they shall look for a job applicable to them before going back to their previous behaviour. Shaking the mouse pointer will deactivate the Leash completely which is very akin to how it worked in Black&White and just feels great.

This is an early WIP concept for the Leash

Holding on an Abode (felt tent etc...) as it’s Leashed will display the occupancy slot in that specific abode, combine that with Follower types and behaviour I spoke about in a previous update and you can to see that Builders, Farmers, Miners, Traders and Breeders for example all will react differently to possible scenarios that this offers. If you then throw in the items of the world such as trees, rocks or belief bubbles and combine it with the Leash behaviour and Follower behaviour you can see how much gameplay this offers all of a sudden...

No doubt we will be sharing much more detail about the Leash (and more) in January 2014, for now all of us developers are returning to our families (abroad and in the UK) to spend some quality time together and look back at the year gone by where we’ve laughed, cried but most importantly were able to release GODUS on Steam Early Access and receive so much great feedback to work with in 2014 that GODUS is going to be the game of the year, next year, I believe!

Oh and remember there's also video update #36 up on our YouTube channel!
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Showing 1-15 of 73 comments
Lantean Dec 20, 2013 @ 3:23pm 
Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for the update.
Dunjeon Dec 20, 2013 @ 3:56pm 
Merry Christmas! I am a proud Kickstarter backer and am very pleased with the work and effort that you all have done on this amazing game.

Ignore the haters, and smile!
__fell Dec 20, 2013 @ 4:24pm 
sounds awesome! looks like a nice christmas as well, really enjoying the game so far and looking forward to seeing it progress
Mead&Meat Dec 20, 2013 @ 4:56pm 
Merry xmas guys
coffesmoker Dec 20, 2013 @ 5:44pm 
Its good to see that you guys keep us in the loop i hope you can keep up with the pace of information after christmas. I wish you all a happy x mas, and a happy new year.

I am definatly looking foward to 1.4. Seems things finally slowly come together to a more polished and complete experience cant wait to get my hands on it.
senakujin Dec 20, 2013 @ 6:28pm 
Merry xmas all, and a happy new year.
smash1986hu Dec 20, 2013 @ 11:06pm 
Well, I have to quote myself from the previous video update thread:

"I have to say. now I'm more worried than I was before this update. We started off with totems capable of controlling up to 2000 followers if I remember correctly. Than they reduced that number to 5!!! Now it seems with the new leashing system we can only control 1 follower at a time. It's just too much micromanagement for me."

Muirs answer to that was:
"Please watch the video again. The leash mechanic isn't taking the place of the totem, it's just another way to control your followers for those who want that amount of management.
Your followers don't need the leash, but it's a nice thing to have. For example, say you want to segregate your Samson followers away from the rest of them. With the leash, you'll be able to do this a lot faster and easier."

So much for that. Dumbed down mobile version for PC, here we come (again)...

Merry Christmas.
Last edited by smash1986hu; Dec 20, 2013 @ 11:06pm
Viperwayne Dec 20, 2013 @ 11:42pm 
thnks for the update guys have a great christmas and happy new year
Potato Cake Dec 21, 2013 @ 1:10am 
Thanks for the update Sam.

I agree with Smash about the leash, this is not what I was expecting.

The devs in video 36 sound a bit confused about what's going on and what their assigned tasks are. Everyone's response to the question "what are you doing for Godus next year?" was "um.. making it I guess?". It seems like maybe this video put them in an awkward position, unsure of what they are allowed to actually say (the vagueness of info from dev makes me think they're operating under strict non-disclosure guidelines). We've had a lot of verbal reassurance that it's going to be a fantastic game though. That's nice.

"I don't even like Christmas because of how it distracts me from making Godus!" PM enthuses. Right.

22Cans, from a PR point of view, be smart about these video updates. The last one was good because we got to see a demo with narrative about the new content. This one was lame because it was basically your team sitting around making promises about how they're going to work hard and how Godus will be super awesome, but they come across like they don't really know what's going on with the game.

The blog updates from Sam are much more informative and spare us having to listen to PM talk up his own wayward brainchild.

Merry Christmas.
samvt Dec 21, 2013 @ 1:42am 
They come across really really tired, because they are really really tired. :)
Muir Dec 21, 2013 @ 1:47am 
I got the leash/totem thing wrong, I do apologise, Smash. Video 35 gave the impression that the leash wouldn't be taking the place of the totem. Obviously between videos the devs made the decision that it would. However, according to the blogish update and the video, it seems that you'll be able to leash several followers at a time. To me, it looks like you're drawing them a godly glowing path to where ever you want them to go. Personally, I think I'll like it better than the totem as it gives me a bit more choice and control and requires a touch more strategy than the totem did.

Crumpy, I think this video was a lot more informal than the previous videos. Usually the devs are given advance warning so that they have time to prepare something to show/talk about. This video, on contrast, seemed more of a spur of the moment thing.

They do have a NDA, but since they work in sprints and (as far as I know) aren't given new tasks until the start of the 1st sprint, then it's very possible that a lot of them don't know, or aren't certain, what they will be doing in the next cycle. The artists know that they'll be making new follower types, new buildings, god powers and so on, but not which ones. Does that make sense?

Also, I believe that PM was partly serious in that quote. He's a game designer. It's in his blood. Not being able to do what he loves - especially when the game is halfway through it's development cycle - must be infuriating for him. I know how he feels as I'm champing at the bit, so to speak, because I can't do any coding or course work over the holidays. It's driving me mental that I've got a project sitting here which is halfway finished and I can't do anything with it until after my son goes back to school. As much as I love my son and spending time with him, I really wish that the school break was shorter so I can get my project done and move on to the next one.
smash1986hu Dec 21, 2013 @ 3:40am 
How will it work then? You can just select multiple followers with a mouse selection box like in an RTS game, and tell all of them to move somplace, or do something? If so, then the leash is not necessary. Just use the old RTS standards, and select muliple "units", right click somewhere, and that's it. This drawing a path also doesn't make any sense to me. By now everyone knows what the starting world looks like inside and out. So lets just imagine, that I want to send 20 followers from the starting point to the northerst part of the available map to start a new settlement (above the "swampholes"). Will I have to draw an "arrow" that long through all the mountains and valleys, etc? How is this gonna work, when the game is finished, and we really have a Jupiter sized world to navigate? To be honest this whole leash thing feels a little like cheating on the developers part, because if I have to draw a complicated route to guide my followers safely where I want them to go, then they don't have to update their pathfinding algorythms. I'm really not trying to pick on every single detail, I'm just honestly concerned, because I actually like the game, and I want it to be great in the end. And the most importand detail in a god game is how you interact with your followers/worshippers, and this leash thing just looks silly to me. Like something a 5 year old would enjoy in a flash game. I just can't imagine it will work. But I hope you are right, and when we finally have the chance to try it out ourselves I can say I was wrong.
Muir Dec 21, 2013 @ 4:27am 
If you look at the early WIP leash concept, you left click-drag over abodes and/or followers. The followers then get "attached" to the leash and follow the path to its end.

If, as per your example, you want to lead a group of people from the starting point to the northern side of the mountains, you can either trace the path all the way or draw a series of shorter paths. In other words, draw a path from the starting area to the AI temple then from there to the PvP temple then over the mountains.

I think the reason the devs have gone this route is because a lot of people were saying "I want to tell my followers which path to take. I built these steps for them and they're ignoring them and instead going through blighted land to get to the totem and they're dying because of it." So the leash gives the players the control to specify which path the followers take. If you're a nice god, you can lead them around dangers. If you're an evil god you can lead them right through dangerous areas and laugh maniacally as they drown/burn/whatever.
smash1986hu Dec 21, 2013 @ 4:48am 
OK. That doesn't sound as bad as I imagined :D So then if I left click-drag over a bunch of adobes they all spawn followers like when I click the flags on them now? Giving them a path sometimes can be very useful I admit, but I don't always care which way they go. If this could be combined with a simple "right click and go" style control for times when you just don't care, or it would be too long to worth the hassle, then I would be actually pretty happy with it.
FroggyPaddy Dec 21, 2013 @ 7:50am 
Happy Christmas lads ! thanks for the update. And pay your electric bills next year :)
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Godus > Godus Discussion > Topic Details
Date Posted: Dec 20, 2013 @ 3:01pm
Posts: 73