"After 25 billion cubelets have been destroyed, over 150 days... we have reached the end," Peter Molyneux says in a video that was first revealed to the winner of his experimental game, Curiosity. "How can anything be worth all that effort?"
Curiosity - what's inside the cube, a game about a secret inside a gigantic digital cube, has come to an end — and the secret is how the developer's next game, Godus, will operate. Appearing to speak from inside the center of the game's digital cube, Molyneux says that the winner of Curiosity will literally become the ruler of Godus, determining the game's rules and sharing in its success. "You will decide on how many people play a game," Molyneux says to the winner. "You will accrue riches from that game, from the start to finish of your reign. That, by any definition of the word, is life changing."
"You will have fame, you will have fortune."
"You will have fame, you will have fortune, and you will have the power to introduce morals into a game," Molyneux says.
Curiosity was introduced last year with a simple premise: get a bunch of people together, have them deconstruct a giant cube, and compete to discover its mysterious core. The cube was made up of over 60 billion individual "cubelets" that players could tap on to destroy, revealing another cubelet underneath. Players had to remove every cubelet from each layer in order to reach the next and worked together across the iOS and Android platforms to smash blocks and race to the center. The game raised interesting questions, with the value and substance of the secret a complete mystery — leaving players wondering if the winner might be able to hide or sell the secret.
"I hope the world agrees that it's a worthy prize."
"This idea of allowing one human being to be the god of an entire game genre came to us many years ago," Molyneux says, "but only now, when we're all connected... that we have the power to do it. I hope the world agrees with me that it's a worthy prize."
Godus is clearly an experiment in its own right, and successfully completed Kickstarter funding back in December. The title is a follow-up to Molyneux's first "god game," Populous, back in 1989, and is set for release on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS this September.
Update: Wired has interviewed the winner, 18-year-old Bryan Henderson from Edinburgh, Scotland. As it turns out, Henderson never spent any money on the game, and only started playing “about an hour before I won the thing." And it seems like Godus' god may not be altogether benevolent; when asked if he might use his new-found powers for evil, Henderson replied “I think now and again I’ll definitely take advantage of it."
Update 2: In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun (via Polygon), Peter Molyneux has revealed that Henderson will not rule the gods indefinitely. According to the developer, Henderson will likely hold the position for no more than a year, and his options will be limited to ensure he doesn't ruin the balance of the game. "He can't decide everybody in Canada will explode or anything like that. There are limits to his power," explained Molyneux.