Curiosity solved Godus' discovery problem, but player retention will be down to game design, says Molyneux

Stepping stones to success

Curiosity solved Godus' discovery problem, but player retention will be down to game design, says Molyneux
"I want the game I'm working on to be #1 on iOS, Android, PC, Mac and Linux for 18 months. That's not much to ask is it?" joked Peter Molyneux.

Talking at the 3MG: Marketing & Monetising Mobile Games summit in London, Molyneux was discussing his vision for reinventing the god game genre he kicked off with Populous back in 1989, entitled 'Innovate don't imitate'.

Stuff of legends

"There is super exciting stuff for game designers to get their hands on now," he pointed out.

"I want to play my game everywhere, on my iPhone, my tablet, my Apple TV," he said, talking about taking games multiplatform.

"And there's persistence. I love the idea that I might be able to show the world I created to my grandchildren in 20 years time."

Molyneux explained that he was also awed by the fact that the potential number of players is now measured in fractions of the world's population; "Let's say a third of the world's population, that's billions of people," he mused.

Putting the pieces together

This was the background to 22cans' current project Godus.

But prior to its release, 22cans released cube-tapping game Curiosity, which was created in order to solve some key problems.

"Our biggest problem was going to be discovery," Molyneux said.

"When Curiosity ended, we were top trending on Twitter, while Bryan (the winner) has been interviewed by the BBC and Wired.

"My belief is now on the day of release, we will have one million downloads for Godus."

This prediction is backed by Molyneux's belief in the power of social media "as long as you can join people together in non-threatening ways".

This was underlined by Curiosity's launch.

"I thought it would do 50,000 downloads, but on the day of launch Curiosity got a helluva lot of press. We got 50,000 downloads in about 45 minutes," Molyneux revealed.

It's my world

As for describing Godus, Molyneux called it a 'reacting, living world', or a 'digital hobby'.

In more specific terms, you can create and sculpt your own world, nurture your primitive followers, and undertake multiplayer battles to gain more followers, who will added different racial traits to your population by breeding.

In battle, you can also win personalised followers, ie your friends, which can be linked by Twitter so that anything a 'won friend' types on Twitter will show up over their character in Godus.

Running a live demo of the game, Molyneux showed a small village, collecting the belief generated by followers. Belief if required to power your god powers to do things like manipulating the landscape.

Asked a question about retention, Molyneux said that it was his goal as the designer to ensure that Godus' day 2 retention would be 100 percent.

"Giving people a world that they can immediately understand will be crucial to our retention," he said.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.