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Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
Since releasing Godus v2.1 last Friday we’ve had a lot of really useful comments from the community (as well as more than few support requests, too). This week, we’ve been hard at work implementing a ton of changes based on this feedback.

The update, released on Steam today, includes a bunch of exciting new cards, new gifts and some important bug fixes.



New stuff:
  • New Gift: Flag - allows you to put a flagpole in your world to increase happiness and look cool. (more flags to come!)
  • New Gift: School of Fish - Fish can now be placed in the sea.
  • New Card: Statue of Belief Collection - added, enables you to store some belief when you're not there to pick it up.
  • New Card: Tree Buff - The tree buff upgrade card further increases the amount of belief produced by
    abodes in the vicinity of trees.
  • New Card: Super Follower Boost - Boost your followers even more, making them work harder and longer.



Fixes:
  • Stopped campfires being created on top of gem seams and granite
  • Fix for rock colours being wrong in some situations
  • Fix for part of the fountain tutorial not appearing.
  • Destination button in events now only appears if there is at least one event to pick from.
  • Happiness and gift balancing
  • Fixed some tooltip locations
  • Reduced Astari Fire damage, to fix bug with them being too easy to kill
  • Tree of joy springs up out of the floor rather than being dropped
  • Gems only rewarded after all followers have climbed pit of doom steps
  • Fix to prevent temples ending up in the water whilst sculpting
  • Tweaks to happiness for homeless followers
  • During leashing tutorial leashes, will only be accepted if they end on the layer of the temple itself or the one under it.
  • Removing rotation snap back
  • Balance file changes
  • Settlements with courtyards now allow followers to go back home
  • Minor colour tweaks to trees and beautify
  • Fixes to Mac audio when sacrificing followers
  • New splash screen text
  • Revised colours for trees on various landscapes



Coming soon – mod our balance files!
Probably the most frequently requested changes we make to the game by the Steam Early Access community and our Kickstarter backers is that we reduce the wait timers for Godus on PC and Mac.

In the spirit of collaboration with the community, we will be implementing a major change to the way we set our balance files for all aspects of Godus.

In the near future, we will be providing you with the ability to manually set many of the values within the balance files for yourself. We will then collate your feedback with the intention of making global adjustments to Godus on PC and Mac based on your collective contributions.

You’ll be able to access the balance file values form with the settings menu:

Balance Menu

This will take you to the in-game Balance Changer, which will allow you set the values for Abodes…

Abodes Balancing Screenshot

…for Followers…

Followers Balancing Screenshot

…and also for Belief.

Belief Balancing Screenshot

A simple interface will allow you to set these values however you wish. Want everything to be built instantly or to have Belief costs set to zero? Now you’ll have the ability to do so from within the game.

Balance Interface Screenshot

You’ll then be able to update your game or, if you want to start again from scratch, restore them to their default settings.

Balance Updating Screenshot

However, what we really, really want you to do is share your edited balance files with us and let us know how and why you think your changes make the game more enjoyable.

We’re hoping there’s consistency in your replies, but we’re also aware that people will want to play according to their own preferred play style.

It’s here that your feedback will be vital to help us understand why you’ve made particular changes. So, be bold! Be detailed! And please don’t skimp out on any of the more juicy parts to your reasoning.

Balance Email Example Screenshot

We want Godus to be a game that you keep coming back to, so what better way of doing that than by engaging our core players?

As always, we keep a close eye on all of the feedback from our community, so please continue to share your thoughts in either our official forum, our Steam Early Access forum or the 22cans Facebook page.
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
Last week we released the hotly anticipated Settlements revamp for PC and Mac to the main branch of Steam. It’s worth mentioning up-front that this will require you to restart your game, however the upside of that is that you’ll get to play our rather charming new intro sequence, first described here: What are we working on right now?

Click here to read the full blog!
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
In this video, Fabs (of 22can's coding group) takes time out to tell you all about how he got started in the games industry, why he chose to throw his lot in with the 22cans team and what it's like to work for Peter Molyneux.

Fabs also describes his favourite aspect of Godus as well as the parts of the game of which he's the most proud, plus he reveals his all-time favourite game that he likes to play when not up to his neck in complex code.

Enjoy!



http://youtu.be/0Fks4fl3-TY
Community Announcements - G.K. @ 22Cans
One of our major goals with Godus is to connect players from all walks of life and of different gaming backgrounds together. The principle way we want to do this is in Godus is with Hubworld… but we’re a canny bunch (even if we do say so ourselves) and that’s not the only trick up our sleeves.

If you take a close look at the row of social media icons at the top of our website, you’ll notice a new addition on the right-hand side…


This is all thanks to our fantastic friends over at Gamepedia who host what is now the official, definitive Godus wiki!

Of course, wikis are only as good as their content and that content needs to be kept up to date… and that’s where you come in.

We’re on the cusp of releasing the biggest and bestest update for Godus yet – the Settlements revamp we’ve been coyly talking about on our blog and in the forums for the last month or two – and on its release, a lot of the articles on that wiki will be rendered as little more than historical curiosities, relics of a bygone era when the game was in its infancy.

So, we would like you – our passionate, knowledgeable community – to assist us in bring the Godus wiki up to date. Not just for Godus on PC either, but also for the mobile version too.

We will be scouring the wiki on a regular basis and those who contribute the most interesting, informative and helpful articles will receive signed Godus merchandise, like the kind you see below:


If you think your particular wiki contribution is crying out for our attention, then get in touch! Drop us line via Community@22cans.com and we’ll take a look and see if it’s truly prize-worthy (chances are, it will be – we’re a soft touch like that).

If you’ve never edited a wiki before, don’t be shy! You can visit the Gamepedia Help Wiki, a great resource for both new editors and even experienced editors looking to hone their skills. You can check out the pages for Basic Editing and Formatting to get started today. You can also get in touch with the Gamepedia staff through their IRC Channel or by e-mailing community@gamepedia.com.

It’s Peter’s desire to create the most cooperative, collaborative and communicative group of players for any of his games yet, regardless of platform, so you can expect to see further initiatives like this in the future.
New forums and Facebook for Godus on mobile

Facebook page update for Godus on PC/Mac & mobile devices

We’re looking forward to the worldwide release of Godus on iOS – we’re so close now we can smell our servers sweating with anticipation – and to support the forthcoming launch, you’ll also notice a change to our Facebook pages. In future, our 22cans Facebook page will be the home of the PC, Mac and eventually Linux versions of the game, as well as for any company announcements. Meanwhile, the Godus Facebook page will be the home of mobile version. This is to allow for any differences between the two versions as we continue to develop the game for both PC and mobile devices and also help prevent confusion as to what version we’re talking about when we’re providing tech support or sharing new videos and screenshots.

That’s it for now – we’d like to close by thanking Ben Robinson and Benjamin Tarsa of Gamepedia for all their help with the Godus wiki and to say we’re very much looking forward to seeing all your wiki contributions!
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
In this video, games industry legend Peter Molyneux (22can's Lead Creative & CEO) takes time out to tell you all about how he started making videogames and the changes he's seen over the course of his career, the reasons behind his decision to set up 22cans and the working atmosphere he's fostered, as well as what makes the studio's approach to development so unique.

Peter also describes his favourite aspect of Godus as well as the parts of the game of which he's the most proud, plus he reveals what games he likes to play and how he likes to relax when not dreaming up his next brilliantly bonkers idea.

...oh and there's another cheeky tease right at the end for all Godus players looking forward to our forthcoming Settlements revamp update. Enjoy!



http://youtu.be/besM4KvsRc8
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
As you’re no doubt aware (especially if you’re amongst the forum regulars with whom we speak on a daily basis), the forthcoming Settlements revamp is actually a much bigger, more involving update than just fixing the issues previously outlined in this article on our blog..

Today, we’re sharing details of just a few of the visual improvements on which we’ve been working over the last month-and-a-half and we’ll be following up with details about some of the new features and functions soon.

Click here to read the full blog.
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
In this video, Gary Leach (22can's Lead Game Engineer) takes time out to tell you all about how he got started in the games industry, why he became a founding member of the 22cans team and what it's like to work with Peter Molyneux and lead our posse of programmers.

Gary also describes his favourite aspect of Godus as well as the parts of the game of which he's the most proud, plus he reveals his all-time favourite game that he likes to play when not up to his neck in complex code.

...oh, and there's another cheeky tease in there for all Godus players looking forward to our forthcoming Settlements revamp update. Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/e48PMUV6bFA
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
In this video, Paul Mac (22can's Art Director) takes time out to tell you all about how he he got his break in the games industry and why he came to help set up the 22cans studio. He also describes his favourite aspect of Godus as well as the parts of the game of which he's the most proud, plus the kind of games he likes to play when not slaving away creating gob-smackingly beautiful bits of art.

...oh, and there's a cheeky tease in there for all Godus players looking forward to our forthcoming Settlements revamp update. Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/I2dBdQK2d84
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
Jack here from 22cans!

Sometimes we look back on earlier builds of GODUS and it blows our mind when we stop to consider how far the game has progressed. Sometimes this can be to do with the mechanics, other times it can be with aesthetics or the game’s performance.

It’s been a fascinating experience seeing how the community has been able to adapt and respond to our iterative design approach. Previously, this has always been a process that has occurred behind closed doors. It’s terrifying putting it out there for people to see because the nature of something such as Early Access is a relatively new concept to the industry, with the danger being that some people will play GODUS and panic that the current state of the game is what it will always be!

The most magical vibe has been flowing throughout the 22cans studio the past few weeks at just how dramatically things have progressed. The team has been putting everything they have into this game and it’s really starting to show. Whenever we attempt to take screenshots or record videos of the game, we have to re-author them by the time we go to release because the game has been changing so fast and so they never represent the most recent version of our work.

We can’t wait to show you the results once it’s all come together. For now, though, I thought it would be fun to look at the below screenshot from an older version of GODUS and to question what’s actually missing from it…

Image #1

There aren’t many trees in this landscape. I love trees! And when I start to feel like a part of my land is missing trees, I plant some more. Sadly, after some time I forget which trees I planted and which trees were already there! It seems slightly odd that after all the effort I made to customise my landscape that I am somehow unable to admire my handiwork because I don’t know what was my work and what was already in the world. I think I would feel a lot more satisfied with my customisation if I could clearly tell apart where I had left my mark on the world.

I love the art direction of the GODUS world. Whenever I think of it, I picture the green plateaus. For me that is the image that defines the world. I also love how vast the world is. I feel like my little people are engulfed in a huge landscape that would takes them an age to venture through. However, with this feeling of an expansive land I would expect to see gradual changes in the world. I think about my experiences moving through other virtual worlds – such as in Shadow of the Colossus or Red Dead Redemption – where I would head north and start to see snow laying on the ground and suddenly I’d feel like I really was in a different part of that world. Wouldn’t it be great if I had the same strong feeling of exploring far and wide when looking around my Homeworld?

Image #2

Speaking of the visual beauty of GODUS, it is certainly pretty. I genuinely find it to be a joy to the eyes to scroll around and play in this world. Having thought about it a bit harder lately, we’ve already dreamed up a few ways to improve on it. For instance, I feel that the small shadows that are currently present do help to give the world definition, but still aren’t truly believable. Proper shadows would be a much nicer solution, adding emphasis to the world in a way that’s both consistent and visually striking. We’ve also been thinking about the sea a bit more. Water gives a lot of wonderful motion to the world and I want to take more advantage of that. I think having lovely looking streams and waterfalls to play around with would really help make my Homeworld come alive.

As you grow your civilisation, you are almost certainly going to have a lot of abodes on your hands. I want this both to feel fun and also for your world to grow in beauty as your population becomes denser. However, in the past this hasn’t proved to be as beautiful looking as it could be. The problem we’ve had in GODUS is that your abodes haven’t felt like they were related to each other. Currently, they all feel isolated and with only certain kinds of abode designs, the repetition of assets can be quite noticeable. Not only this, but previously worlds have ended up as flat seas of houses.

Image #3

The first iteration of this solution was a very primitive. We saw this as a great opportunity to introduce farming. We used fields to break up the sea of abodes. The fields were built by abodes nearby a settlement statue. Problematically, this has required players to destroy their abodes to make space for them. This is something that we’re looking forward to having solved in our forthcoming update for GODUS.

Image #4

The second iteration was based around the idea of wanting to allow the player to customise their settlements. We added the ability to sculpt your own roads (very primitively), we added a barrier to make abodes in the settlement feel more inclusive, plus we enabled the player to assign their followers to be breeders, workers, or buffers. We also changed the requirements for building fields and abodes. Unfortunately, these proved to be very unintuitive mechanics that didn’t offer a great experience despite their complexity. So, we realised we needed to go back to the drawing board. Nevertheless, these mistakes have proved beneficial in the long run thanks to our iterative approach to game design. Whilst some mistakes may now seem fairly foreseeable in hindsight, they have led to some very innovative ideas that you’ll get to play with in our forthcoming update.

Image #5

We recently discussed how we would solve these problems moving forwards. Once you progress through the ages, it is important that there is a noticeable difference between the abodes of the last era and those in the next. This also ties into our new vision for revamping Settlements. These are areas that our art team have been thinking hard about as they continue to iterate on the game’s artwork.

Lastly, I’d say that I don’t get the feeling of living companions in that first screenshot. I see a few of my little people around, but I wish there was more for them to see and do. Their journey through the world seems to greet them with the promise of new environments, but I wonder if there could be more discoveries for them? It would be great for them to have unexpected encounters with things that are more alive than the shrines and mountains that we’ve all become used to.

So these are just a few of the things that spring to mind when I look at that first image. Yet there’s still so much more to come! Keep an eye out for more details very soon.

Much love,
Jack Attridge
@Jakamofo
Community Announcements - Matthew Allen
Over the last few weeks, we’ve recognised that since the v2.0.5 update, an increasing number of players have found Godus’ Settlement mechanics to be a bit unintuitive and, well, just not as fun as they ought to be.

So, a core group of us went away and brainstormed a few solutions to this dilemma and in the process, we rediscovered some of our original ideas.

We’re not quite ready to share the full details of how we are going to be bringing these ideas to fruition – some of the new features and functions we have in mind for the Settlements revamp are quite advanced and we think it’s better to let you know precisely what we’re cooking up once everything has been locked down and proven to be technologically viable.

However, since we’re very excited and enthusiastic about these advancements, we do want to let you in on our thinking and demonstrate that we have read your comments, digested your feedback and are sprinting hard to bring them into reality.



PLACING SETTLEMENTS
What drives our thinking about Settlements is the course of human history itself. We want to give you a way to take your initially small group primitive followers and take them into the agricultural age while accounting for considerable growth in population.

While the current system does make specific areas within your Homeworld more distinct and civilised, we would prefer to do so in a way that’s less restrictive and more naturalistic, all while amplifying your abilities as a god.

When placing a settlement with the current system, it can be challenging to create farms around it due to the dense population you will have created up to that point. Additionally, all settlements tend to look a bit too similar to each other for our liking.

We know that that current system can lead to confusion over how to get the most out of your Settlements and even over the size of your Settlement before it is placed into the world. What we want is to give you a more accessible way to further the development of your Followers’ habitation and one that doesn’t rely on being menu driven or needing a lot of intricate GUI elements.

The new system we’re currently working on will add much more diversity to your Settlements. We’re developing an inventive (surprising, even) solution to make Settlements more charming, more efficient and more aesthetically pleasing… and makes you feel more like you’re playing with god-like powers, too.



BUILDING SETTLEMENTS ON HILLS AND VALLEYS
We want to deliver on our vision of a world as presented in our original concept art for Godus, where Settlements can thrive across multiple layers of the landscape.

Creating Settlements under the current system does make good use of Godus’ trademark sculpting mechanics and allows you to bring life to flat areas, however we’ve seen that for many players, this tends to lead to the whole of their Homeworld being flattened as they expand their population.

We would prefer there to be more visual variety in how you evolve your Homeworld and between the Settlements you create for your Followers. We want to enable you to build Settlements in a less restrictive and uniform way.

Our goal is to enable you to see your followers build vertically as well as horizontally in harmony with a beautiful, undulating landscape.



GOVERNING YOUR FARMS AND FARMERS
We want to make the involvement of farming in the Bronze Age and mining in the Iron Age feel more compelling and challenging without forcing you to worry about too much micromanagement.

We’re quite fond of how the current system works for Builders – we think it’s clear, simple and fun to play. We also like the current balance between building houses and farms, as it neatly reflects how we humans behave in the real world.

That said, the current way you assign roles to your Settlement’s workers is too clunky and fussy – we have seen that it has led to confusion, especially with the Buffer class of follower.

Our new designs focus on making the way you govern your farmers and miners more immediate, instinctive and cohesive by extending existing, proven systems as well as doing a better job in how we describe them.



GROWING AND HARVESTING CROPS
The way we think about crops is as a resource that makes sense without us needing to describe it in too much detail. We want you to think of them as behaving just like they do in the real world – people need food to work, after all.

As such, we like how the production of wheat is tied to building new Abodes. However, it’s become very clear that the current mechanics can be quite hard to grasp and require too much explanation, especially for less advanced players.

While the logic behind how wheat works at the moment is sound, it’s obviously not as fun as it could be. Also, the fact wheat disappears instead of being a resource you collect is in conflict with how we think about it as a resource in the first place.

We’re exploring new lines of thought as to how your followers harvest wheat as a resource for building and have this mechanic be as intuitive and engaging.



ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS
One of the most requested features from the community is for a way to automatically collect Belief. We’re now in the process of implementing a Statue of Collection, which will collect all the Belief generated by your followers within a given area.



OTHER GUI IMPROVEMENTS
We’re also looking into ways to increase the level of detail for the information you can gather about your Followers and Settlements as a way to enhance your god-like omniscience.

We’re sprinting hard as a team to get this new functionality into your hands as quickly as we can – we can’t wait to show you in full just what we’re creating for you. We hope that the new Settlement designs will not only address some of your concerns, but also lead to a more enjoyable and empowering Godus experience.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts, so please share your impressions in either our Kickstarter backer forum or in our Steam Early Access forum here.
...

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