Now that the Curiosity cube has been completed, we speak to its creator Peter Molyneux about what exactly the grand prize means.
This is like something from a Douglas Adams novel. 22Cans' first mobile experiment Curiosity has at last come to a close, and the centre of the cube has revealed not only that there is a God, but that his name is Bryan Henderson, an 18-year old graphic design student from Edinburgh.
I should explain. Curiosity, the first game from Fable creator Peter Molyneux's new studio 22Cans, challenged players from all around the world to dig to the centre of a giant cube by tapping away at its many, many layers on their iPhones and iPads. Bryan - sorry, Our Lord - was the lucky person to tap away the final "cubelet" revealing the mystery at the middle and winning the opportunity to oversee 22Cans' next game, Godus.
A "God game" in the shape of previous works by Molyneux like Black and White and Populous, Godus comes with a twist: Everyone's game world is connected, with one person, the God of Gods, Bryan, sitting at the top controlling what happens across the entire thing. As Molyneux himself explains, Bryan will have the power to influence Godus on a global scale:
"He'll have a control panel where he can make decisions and submit them, and those decisions become law. It's not that he's on the design team here. I mean, we'll obviously listen to his views but this is not a job. He'll only have to take these decisions maybe once a day but more likely once a week.
"Brian's responsibilities will be taking some moral choices about what goes on in the game; there will be some preferences he can choose. None of these are implemented yet so it's hypothetical, but for example, if he may decide that everyone's followers in everyone's worlds will not be allowed to rest, and they'll work until they drop dead. That will change the world for everyone subtly. That will make everyone's followers much more miserable but also more productive. He could also decide that everyone's followers will only work a certain amount of time each day - that will slow down games but make followers happier."
Once Bryan has submitted his changes, using option boxes and sliders, 22Cans will take them and impose them over the Godus universe.
"We have the power to apply any change to any world or any group of worlds," Molyneux explains. "If he wanted to, he could change everyone's worlds who are aged between 20 and 25. Or he could change worlds in a certain territory. He could change things on a minute scale or a global scale."
And that, Molyneux hopes, will pose some interesting moral and meta ponderers:
"This started when I realised the whole genre of God games was turning into something unsavoury compared to what I thought God games were. That led me to think if I was going to reinvent God games, how would I do it? The fascinating question was if you could connect everyone's game together what would that do?
"If everything is connected, that means that whatever you do in your game has an effect on other people's games. It's going to be fascinating to see if people follow him or rebel against him. It's going to be fascinating to see how he reacts to being overthrown."
Oh yes, that's the other thing. Though Bryan has won the chance to play the God of Gods for a fixed time (Molyneux says it will be more than a few months, probably around a year) eventually he'll be vulnerable and other Godus players will be able to challenge his rule. If he gets overthrown, another person will assume his throne and reap all the benefits of being God of Gods.
"When he is God of Gods, he'll receive a percentage of all the revenue we make from Godus. When he's overtaken, the person who takes over will then receive that royalty," explains Molyneux.
Life of Bryan
So how does Molyneux feel about our new Lord? After all, with more than 4 million people playing Curiosity at one time or another, this could have been anyone. Will Bryan, who, by the way, only downloaded Curiosity for the first time an hour before winning, be a good God?
"We're so lucky it was Bryan. This was so risky. This could have been someone from Outer Mongolia who didn't speak English and didn't really give a s**t. Bryan's perfect. He's like the person who buys a lottery ticket for the first time and wins. He's not too much of a gamer, he's a person. My one fear was that he'd be too much of a gamer, too hardcore.
"My dream now is that he's thoughtful about the changes he makes. He's probably going to be someone who cares about the morals of the Godus universe. I hope occasionally he's a bit playful and maybe a little bit dark sometimes, but interesting. And then I hope that the world starts to realise they can rebel, because that's going to be an interesting journey."
Godus is about to hit its alpha stage, where 900 extra generous Kickstarter backers will be sent an early version of the game to play and report back on. After a beta test later in the year, where Bryan will be introduced to the game for the first time, it's planned for public release around autumn. Molyneux says it will keep on going as long as people are interested:
"There will always be a God of Gods. After a period of time, Bryan's reign may be challenged and someone might overtake him, but there will always be a God of Gods. How long it lasts for is up to how many people are enjoying it. As long as we have interesting ideas we'll keep putting them in."
So, all hail Bryan Henderson, our new God of Gods and, possibly, destroyer of worlds.