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What's In The Box?
May 26, 2013 4:55 PM   Subscribe

The secret at the centre of Peter Molyneux's iOS game, Curiosity, has been revealed. The winner, Scotland's Bryan Henderson, will be 'God' over Molyneux's next game, Godus. Peter Molyneux explained that "You, the person who reached the center, will be the God of all people that are playing Godus. You will intrinsically decide on the rules that the game is played on. "You will share in the success of the product. Every time people spend money on Godus, you will get a small piece of that pie."
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (40 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love this. Very Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:59 PM on May 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I had just relogged into Curiosity last week to see how it was going and found it be a giant laggy mess on all my android devices. The market was full of "cannot play" "too slow" "lots of lag since last update" reviews and I was never able to break any blocks again so I uninstalled.

I feel robbed.
posted by M Edward at 5:04 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Short interview with the winner
posted by Bwithh at 5:05 PM on May 26, 2013


"I downloaded the game about an hour before I won so I feel bad."

Woah!
posted by subdee at 5:10 PM on May 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


JP LeBreton's tweet "When we pay attention to Molyneux's grandiose BS we feed his desperately empty need for validation. Let's focus on creators who deserve it" really struck a chord with me.

It's perhaps overstating the historical record to say PM is famous for being famous, but that's mostly the shape of it these days. There is still a great deal of resentment in the old guard for his particular brand of self-aggrandising buffoonery.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:12 PM on May 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


So at the center of the cube was Molyneux's ego?
posted by ShawnStruck at 5:13 PM on May 26, 2013 [15 favorites]


Of course, if Wolfram is right, so jerk like this is probably controlling our world.
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was never mentioned in any of the promotional material for Godus that some random dude would be setting "the intrinsic rules" (whatever that means) of the game. If people are uncomfortable with this (and personally, I am), I wonder if 22 Cans will be offering refunds? I suppose I shouldn't have taken Peter Molyneux at his word. You would think I would have clued into this by now.
posted by protocoach at 5:15 PM on May 26, 2013


So in the middle of the cube covered in adverts for Populus was an advert for populus?
I'm shocked.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:15 PM on May 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm disappointed that inside the box was an ad for Godus. I was totally eye-rolling over Curiosity but as they extended the "experiment" over the months I came to grudgingly respect it. Sort of like an Andy Kaufman shtick applied to games. Could have ended more interestingly, not with just some over-the-top self-promotion. Peter Molyneux as The Architect.

Bonus: Peter Molydeux's interview is good for a laugh (note: not an actual interview).
posted by Nelson at 5:20 PM on May 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is like a second-wave cyberpunk story. It could shake out to either be amazing or a massive disappointment.

Which is usual for Molyneux, but I'm glad someone's doing it.
posted by postcommunism at 5:22 PM on May 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I want to like Molyneux more than I do. I think the gaming industry needs more 'pretentious' people and visonaries and people who push the medium forward. But none of Molyneux's games have really appealed to me. Say what you want about Suda51 or Jon Blow or Tim Rogers or the guy who made Braid, but they constantly release fun, playable, accessible games that back up their rhetoric.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:22 PM on May 26, 2013


I did have a dream that told me to buy Fable 2, so maybe Peter is more advanced than anyone's giving him credit for.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:23 PM on May 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


'Congratulations! You are now my number one salesman!

Commission only-- but if you clean the offices after hours you can keep all the change you find.'
posted by jamjam at 5:24 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is more and more annoying that he seems to find the most grandiose and inexact way of saying things.

What will the winner actually get? Probably a chat in their offices about rules, and then some sort of mod type position in the finished game, coupled with a few quid here and there if they make any profit. Not exactly "A digital god".
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:25 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Say what you want about Suda51 or Jon Blow or Tim Rogers or the guy who made Braid,

Heh, Jon Blow made Braid. :)

I'm glad most people aren't taking Peter Molyneux seriously anymore.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 5:32 PM on May 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


'Congratulations! You are now my number one salesman!

What will the winner actually get?

To be fair, Molyneux's track record is of ambitious 'idea' games which ultimately fall short, not marketing stunts. I can absolutely believe that his intent is to enthrone $RANDOM_WINNER as the deity of his next game and see what happens. I hope the money involved with the role is enough to live decently on -- some random guy who idly downloaded the app at the last minute and finds himself suddenly able to make a living by playing god in a make-believe world is, well, great. In terms of interesting game stories it's the anti-EVE.
posted by postcommunism at 5:34 PM on May 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I admit, if it were me, I would TROLL SO HARD.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:44 PM on May 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Molyneux is increasingly reminding me of a less angry, beardless Stewart Pearson.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:54 PM on May 26, 2013


Whatever his flaws, Molyneux is 1000 times the more interesting game designer than Jason Rohrer is
posted by Bwithh at 6:05 PM on May 26, 2013


4 million players. 150 days.

What a waste, we have figured out how to use that kind of effort to do good, rather than just simulate a lottery. It is like Cow Clicker, without the dramatic strangeness.

Foldit has more interesting game mechanics and you actually help cure diseases. Games with a Purpose are more fun than Curiosity (I played it) and they contribute to building a better map of the web. Not to mention game-like Stardust@home which has resulted in 12 papers while Common Sense is helping in developing AI.

Offer whatever reward you want, but if the only gameplay involves winning a lottery, you should at least make the meaningless game accomplish a meaningful goal.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:13 PM on May 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


> Peter Molyneux as The Architect.

This will be the sixth time we have overhyped a concept, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.
posted by lucidium at 6:35 PM on May 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


Eh, I thought this was pretty cool.
posted by HostBryan at 6:42 PM on May 26, 2013


I thought it was a cool prize. I thought Curiosity was exceedingly boring and tedious and went on far too long. Coincidentally, that also describes how I felt about the prize reveal video.
posted by Joh at 7:34 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a better prize than I expected, and I think it might be kind of neat.
posted by graventy at 7:40 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


So at the center of the cube was Molyneux's ego?

False. No cube is large enough to contain Molyneux's ego.
posted by Green Winnebago at 8:04 PM on May 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Molyneux's ego could probably fit in Garriot's castle.

Or Koster's echoing, empty skull.
posted by Foosnark at 8:22 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually you could probably put together a parody of this with other game designers.

Like Phil Fish's cube would be one of those goregeous cubes from Fez, and inside is another cube, and then another cube, and once you open all the cubes and rotate them 85.9 degrees he calls you an idiot.

Suda51's cube is just Lemarchand's box from Hellraiser and in the middle is a bloodstained mirror.

There's rumors that inside Tim Rogers' box is a perfect expression of pure game design genius, akin to Mario's jump, but nobody is patient enough to figure it out.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:33 PM on May 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


B·E·S·U·R·E·T·O·D·R·I·N·K·Y·O·U·R·O·V·A·L·T·I·N·E
posted by XMLicious at 8:54 PM on May 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


my first thought is the scene in Boogie Nights where, to try to keep porn fresh, they pull random guys off the street to be filmed having sex with Rollergirl. It didn't go well.
posted by luvcraft at 8:56 PM on May 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


as someone who enjoyed the game for exactly what it was - a portable stress relieving tool that released a tiny dose of dopamine every time I cleared a cubelet - I am profoundly sorry to see it go. Having frantically and giddily massed tens of millions of points over the past six months, these last couple of weeks using the various chisels, bombs, etc made it fun and exciting all over again. In fact, husband and I were there tapping away when the end (and rather anticlimactic reveal) came this morning.


Seriously, did nobody else enjoy the zen state that came along with the tapping but me? Was kind of hoping the prize would be deciding if another similar, yet customizable version would be released and have input on the designs...
Sad to see it go.
.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:54 AM on May 27, 2013 [4 favorites]



my first thought is the scene in Boogie Nights where, to try to keep porn fresh, they pull random guys off the street to be filmed having sex with Rollergirl. It didn't go well.


I thought this was a profound metaphor about how Molyneux is trying to change the gaming industry without considering whether the form of change is worthwhile or destructive, but now I realize you probably just posted a comment in the wrong thread.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:04 AM on May 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think people have too high expectations of PM while disregarding his penchant for hype. He's usually interesting and I'd rather have a Molyneux struggle with left-field concepts than Gears of Duty 56. Now can someone make a good Dungeon Keeper sequel?
posted by ersatz at 6:58 AM on May 27, 2013


I can't think of a more fitting deity for a video game than this shining, pimply specimen of the all-important male 18-24 demographic.
posted by Freyja at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "Actually you could probably put together a parody of this with other game designers."

Jonathan Blow's cube has brilliantly clever puzzles and creative mechanics for going further inside, but along the way you face an endless stream of prose that appears to have been copied from an angsty 10th grader's journal.

Richard Garriott has two cubes. The first actually has nine sides (but five of the sides are any good and one isn't even complete), and the second doesn't look much different than cubes you remember from a decade ago -- except that he's asking you for money so he can finish all the sides on this one.
posted by barnacles at 7:51 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


i think his games are only a disappointment when you compare them to his vision for his games. if you don't read the interviews and don't know about everything else he wanted to put into the game that just didn't happen and instead compare it to all the safe sequels and remakes that make up the bulk of major releases and amount to little more than graphics upgrades what he does is much more impressive. he's consistently innovative, trying new things and making them fun. populous, syndicate, and dungeon keeper are still some of my favourite games of all time. (along with dungeon master and the original fallout games)
black & white and the fable games could have been a lot better, but they were still engaging, different from anything else out there, and most importantly really fun to play.
all i know about godus is that it's a god-sim from that man that invented them. that's enough to know that whatever it is, it will be interesting and fun.(which is more then i can say about most games i've played recently)

on review, what ersatz said.
posted by Aleph Yin at 8:04 AM on May 27, 2013 [3 favorites]



I think people have too high expectations of PM while disregarding his penchant for hype. He's usually interesting and I'd rather have a Molyneux struggle with left-field concepts than Gears of Duty 56. Now can someone make a good Dungeon Keeper sequel?


The thing is, as Tim Rogers points out, is that Gears of War has exteremly solid mechanics, which is what's at the heart of the game. Rogers and Suda51 and even Jon Blow and Phil Fish make games that are instantly playable and fun, even as they embed more artistic critiques in them. I'm not smart enough to solve most of the puzzles in Fez, but just exploring that world was joyous and fun it itself. I think Molenyneux is more about the ambitious concepts, which is honestly really cool, and I enjoyed Black and White.

Wasn't the big hook of Fable originally the dog? And now we have Call of Duty Dog? Hm.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:17 PM on May 27, 2013


FABLE 3: "I hate menus," says Peter Molyneux. "They take you out of the game." So he designs a game in which to switch items or weapons you must stop what you're doing, teleport to your safe haven, go to the armory, select your equipment off a shelf, then teleport back to whatever it was you were fighting.

While John Cleese constantly tells you to buy the DLC.
posted by Spatch at 8:04 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


FABLE 3: "I hate menus," says Peter Molyneux. "They take you out of the game." So he designs a game in which to switch items or weapons you must stop what you're doing, teleport to your safe haven, go to the armory, select your equipment off a shelf, then teleport back to whatever it was you were fighting.

While John Cleese constantly tells you to buy the DLC.


That sounds so much more elgant than dumb modern FPSes that just limit you to two weapons, which you swap out with whatever ones you find on the ground!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:04 PM on May 27, 2013


I wish, wish, wish that I had one this, even if it turns out to be 99% hype. It would still be so cool. However, given the hate that the internet is capable of bringing onto someone, I would want the right to remain anonymous for at least a year after God Mode for Godus begins.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:58 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


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