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Will of the People Beta Test Video and Feedback

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
Based on Manuel's suggestion, I created a gameplay video of the latest Will of the People Beta. This is my first time using OBS so it's a bit rough but I'm now a content creator! :cool: Unfortunately, I don't have a mic and it's a bit boring so I wouldn't recommend watching it for fun. I'm not sure how useful this video will be but I enjoyed making it and I think I'll work on improving and releasing more videos in the future. My specific goals were to:
  • Test OBS.
  • Test game mechanics.
  • Demonstrate the present state of Godhood gameplay.

The video shows the early game up to a failed sacrament against the Elders using the Chastity commandment and Classic difficulty. My computer is fairly high end with an NVidia 1080, Intel 9700k, Samsung 970 SSD, 32 GB PC3200, Windows 10, and 1440p monitor.


Feedback

Much of this is generalized and based on my opinions. While I have been a dedicated game player for decades, I submit that I'm not a professional critic, game designer, or QA tester. I'm sure some people will disagree with what I say but I'm making an honest effort of constructive feedback and to make a positive contribution. I also realize that much of this is likely intended to be addressed in future releases. Please note that the questions I ask below are rhetorical so don't feel obligated to respond. I'm a big fan of Abbey Games and have followed Godhood's progress from the very beginning. I like the foundation of the game and I genuinely look forward to the final release.

Feedback that Manuel requested

  • Sanctify and Enthusiasm
I liked sanctifying resources as a way to pace game time between sacrements but it did lead to some initial confusion not shown in my video. It's not the most intuitive mechanic and could benefit from a gameplay tutorial that walks you through it. It's almost assured that a first time player won't understand why resources aren't available and enter their first few sacraments too early. I also like the enthusiasm mechanic as a way to drive progression and to make a strategic decision point. Both of these items lead into the next piece of feedback.​

  • Cap on resources is unnecessary
I like the enthusiasm mechanic but I feel there are too many systems pressuring you to progress with enthusiasm, resource cap, aging, and disciple moods. Enthusiasm encourages you to go on sacraments often so you can't really waste too much time gathering resources. In addition, the disciple assignment limit prevents you from gathering too much before enthusiasm starts falling. I think this also makes building upgrades that increases resource caps undesirable since there's little benefit for delaying sacrements for more than a few turns.​

  • Reassigning tasks before sacrament
Repeating resource gathering is a nice quality of life improvement but it leads to one bit of tedium. When you are inspecting sacraments, you want to pick an ideal team to ensure success. After you have found the team you want, you need to go back to the village and reassign tasks to disciples that won't be participating. I understand that the way it worked in the first release was a bug but it made it easier to assign tasks before moving on to the sacrament.​

  • Starting resources and building order
The start of the game is also slowed by the lack of resources. You only have enough offerings to level up one disciple and you need to increase your god level before you can begin gathering more offerings. This causes a back up of disciples who are ready for a miracle but with out the ability to initiate the ritual. In addition, the building that allows you to recover from a broken state requires several levels. The end result is that you really have to focus on increasing your god level quickly because of the gating of important structures. I think I preferred the ordering in the previous version where you can start gathering offerings pretty much right out of the gate. I also prefer starting with 50 offerings so you can level up your first two disciples immediately.​


General Feedback

  • Gameplay feels slow
What are the the key achievement milestones and how are they telegraphed?​
As I see it, there's presently two major milestones in the game, the encounter with the Elders and then the final encounter. In my video, it took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to make it to the elder encounter. Outside the intro sequence, there isn't much to lead you in this direction. I don't feel that progression well outlined so you're just kind of progressing without purpose. I feel this causes the game to drag and I feel it could be improved with additional story points to reinforce your goals.​
While progressing down this path, you receive a trickle of buildings and improvements as you level up but there are no major inflection points and you just kind of continue playing. I think the lack of milestones makes the game feel boring and it takes too long to get to the first major encounter. The other achievement points like disciple levels, miracles, and god levels are a nice steady flow of improvements but the frequency lessens the individual impacts. Maybe some of these things could be consolidated, to where there's a critical turning point every 30 minutes to an hour? I like the pacing of REIS in this regard where a short expedition would be followed by a shower of rewards and upgrades to click on.​

  • Founder ages too quickly
This goes along with the achievement milestones and it would be nice to have your starting crutch available up to a key inflection point. In the above video, I retired my founder early on before any major accomplishments and they are seemingly only useful for the first half a dozen or so sacraments. Roster size and allocation is also limited in the beginning so you're motivated to get rid of dead weight. Finally, seeing someone becoming less useful after 40 hits pretty close to home.👴

  • Too much RNG
I love RNG and I love rouge lites. I can appreciate the challenge and how it forces carefully considered strategies. For a while, I was a top player in REIS, finding optimal strategies and getting high scores in the weekly challenges. I really enjoyed the min/maxing and finding the best builds.​
I find myself trying to apply strategy to my roster in Godhood but you can't do much to combat the randomness. I want an optimized team that will be more effective and I'm finding that difficult. Now that you can't use the same miracle sites multiple times, you can't really make an optimal character build. This is on top of the already randomized starting stats and random relics. Overall, you can't seem to do much to optimize a disciple outside of two miracles and very limited sun stones. By the way, the one miracle that has a chance to grant sun stones is absolutely required for every disciple because ability points are extremely powerful. I understand how limiting miracles impacts balance but it also impacts the feeling of power that a player has. You also have to rely on luck for the entirety of the game to make sure you have a good roster composition that can be effective before growing too old.​
In my video, I was trying to find ideal candidates for the top physical attackers, Rage Prophets, Smite swords, and Beast Walkers. I then discovered that I couldn't send disciples to the farm multiple times and that the Beast Walker's favorite ritual site wasn't even available. By the time I got to the Elders, I didn't feel like I had enough diversity in my roster to put up a strong enough team. The Elder team is also very diverse and I couldn't plan my team ahead of time before seeing the composition.​
I think it's really fun in RNG games to exploit mechanics and make stupidly powerful characters that face extremely difficult challenges. This is how high level gamers play other roster management games like XCOM, Darkest Dungeon, and even REIS. I don't think character optimization is currently viable in Godhood if you can't repeat rituals to get, for example, 30 cunning on a Beast Walker.​

Information presentation

  • Too much mousing over
Information is often buried two levels deep where you have to click on something and then mouse over an icon to see the benefits. Overall, I think it would be better to put more information at the top level. Think about when you are deciding which ritual site to build. You have to mouse over every single ritual to see the bonus before choosing. Wouldn't it be much easier to have a list that shows all the sites and their associated benefits? I found that in my video I was spending quite a bit of time mousing over things to determine bonuses.​

  • Buffs during sacraments are hard to follow
The little icons that appear under your characters shouldn't have a mouse over. I'm always tempted to mouse over these things to see the benefits. Of course, disciples are always moving around the screen so you can't really get a good look at the benefits. I am aware of the space bar but that pauses the game but sometimes I just want to quickly asses the situation without pausing.​

  • Text formatting and information display updates
You probably already know about these things but I wanted to call them out just in case. There are a number of places where text wraps and doesn't fit in the allocated space. There's also issues with delays in the information updates like the perform miracle button not going away immediately, disciple names not updating right away, and the bouncing building icons not showing on the screen for several seconds. All of these instances can be seen in my video.​
 
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RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
Here's a second video of a War commandment run in Classic mode. I managed to tweak the settings so the video quality should be much better but I'm not happy with my post process options so far. Does anybody have any suggestions for some easy video cropping?

This is another failed run but I think my strategy was improved and the run was about 10 minutes shorter this time around. I tried pushing the enthusiasm a bit but I still spent most of my time starved for resources. I had two disciples grow old in this run and I felt like I was running a retirement community. I don't have nearly enough time to get anyone to max level.



I'm definitely going to try easy difficulty next time!
 
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