Ever since it was released last November, the game of Curiosity: What's Inside the Cube has gotten a rather decent following: people playing to get to the center and find the "life-changingly amazing" thing inside. Throughout the development of the game people have wondered exactly when, if ever, it might end. There have been highs and lows, such as when people had the option of paying to either remove or add cubes to the block. However, just a couple of days ago on May 26th on lucky person actually made that final tap and reached the prize....
And it seems that perhaps for once, Molyneux might not have been exaggerating about how big of an impact the prize might have on the life of the person that was lucky enough to win it.
The winner, Brian Henderson, gets a prize package that includes what Molyneux dubs a "digital godhood"; they can pass down rules in the upcoming 22cans game Godus, which has been billed as "The Regenesis of the God Game" by the company. Brian will become the god which all players in the game are patrons of, and while he remains in that position he also gets a percentage of all of the profits the game makes. For a game that could potentially sell quite a lot of units that could mean a nice pay day without really having to do anything.
Now, whether or not Brian will also be giving any direction while the game is still in development is an unknown factor at this point, but it seems that he will be able to make decisions once the game starts up that have the potential to affect literally every single player that chooses to play it.
Here's where it gets interesting though.
Not even a couple days later, pretty much as I'm writing this, Molyneux has revealed more details: first of all, and at least somewhat reassuring, is the fact that "“He can’t kick everyone in the world,” Molyneux says. “He can’t suddenly decide that everyone’s games get deleted. These [powers] are within the confines of game balancing. Some of them are moral decisions, some may be territorial decisions.”" So there will be limits to Brian's powers, even if those limits are still set quite high.
The more eyebrow raising thing though, is that after a grace period, people will be able to potentially overthrow Brian, and if they get his position, they also get his deal, which includes gaining an income from the amount the game sells.
When he announced that Henderson was the player who clicked the final cube in his Curiosity game over the weekend, Molyneux said that as a reward for playing a virtual deity in Godus, Henderson will receive a “significant” percentage of the game’s profits. But, the game designer told Wired, other players will be able to usurp Henderson’s heavenly throne — and his salary.
It will be quite a social experiment to see if people will rise up against their digital ruler in order to attempt to get a sweet piece of the pie themselves. It probably won't be easy, and I would have to think that after the initial fervor regarding the game dies down that any profit to be made may be minimal at best, so Brian probably still gets the best part of the deal out of this. Still, having control over the decisions of the game may be enough incentive for people to vie for the position regardless.
There will likely be a bit of a wait for the game to come out before more details regarding how all of this works are divulged. The only reason that video was released on the Internet is because Brian choose to let everyone know what he'd been giving when the developers asked him whether or not he wanted to share the information or keep it to himself. Could there still be secrets left to reveal? I'd bet on it. Either way though, if nothing else this is turning into quite an interesting experiment regardless of whether or not it will actually be a good game, although the latter would be nice as well.