Demigod: Not your father's RTS...

Published on Friday, January 16, 2009 By Brad Wardell In Demigod Journals


I was reading in the forums someone saying something to the effect of "I was playing a game and the other player took all the flags in the first 15 minutes and it seemed like it was hard to come back from that."

In the final version of Demigod, the game would be over before 15 minutes if that happened.

BETA 1 of Demigod was the engine test for compatibility.

BETA 2 of Demigod was the engine test + Internet connectivity.

BETA 3 of Demigod, due next Thursday is where we start to get into the actual game play.

So let's talk briefly about what our vision for that game play is.

Our goal for Demigod has been to make it the "Counterstrike of strategy". That means games should be intense but also relatively short.  The only time a game of Demigod should last more than half an hour is if both teams are very evenly matched.

If you are an expert and you are playing someone who is new to the game, the game should be over in 10 minutes.

In betas 1 and 2, we intentionally made it so that wasn't the case so that we could get people to test out the actual engine parts.  But starting with Beta 2B (today) that begins to change as we start to go towards the final stretch.

Whether playing it single player against computer players or playing on-line, the depth of the game comes through the game mechanics themselves, the persistent world and the game play options.

Stardock and Gas Powered Games have a lot of experience making very complex, very epic strategy games.  Galactic Civilizations, Supreme Commander, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc. are all very large-scale, epic strategy games.

And as cool as those games are, they're not the types of games you can easily sit down and play with friends or simply sit down and play during a respite after work. They require considerable commitment.

And as a gamer, with Dawn of War 2, Empire Total War and Starcraft 2 on the horizon, my need for epic RTS games is going to be met and then some.

Demigod isn't designed to compete with a Starcraft 2 or a Dawn of War or a Sins of a Solar Empire. It's something quite different. Something quite new. 

Demigod is the game that you and your friends can sit down and get going in minutes without having to go through a few "test matches" to help them get the hang of playing.  Its depth is in the subtlety of the game mechanics. Its skill is in how you handle your Demigod; how you equip him (or her); how upgrade your Citadel; which parts of the map you fight over and having the judgment of when to do what.

There is no "build order" in Demigod because there are no buildings to build. There are no peons or construction units because there are no resources to harvest. There are no barracks because you do not construct your units (other than generals who summon their units).

And yet, the mechanics for getting gold and getting access to better stuff is in there.

You get gold by controlling certain parts of the map and killing units and Demigods.

You get access to better units by controlling flags on the map.

You are able to get better abilities by earning experience in battle.

You are able to become stronger by purchasing items and weapons and armor from the shop.

And all of this is done without managing peons, building mines, constructing barracks or anything else.  The game focuses on the funnest elements of RTS games.

And hopefully in the next week or so, players will begin to see where this design leads to and like it as much as we do.

Stay tuned.