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Gods and Heroes: A Writer's Lament - Requiem for a Game

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common

Michael Fiegel, a former writer and content designer for Perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes, pens this article from a developer's perspective, about the indefinite hold that has been put on the game and his own reactions to it.

You will never meet the young lady in the sewers. You will never discover why she's down there, or what she's looking for, or how that involves a disembodied spirit with a short temper.

You will never meet the man who -- mimicking a myth he had once heard -- tied his infant daughter to a spear and hurled her into a river, assuming the gods would save her. You will never learn if he was right.
You will never meet the daughter of the goddess of vengeance. You will never hear her warning about the weather, never hear her funny quips and wry observations. You will never learn where the West Wind went.
The reason you will never meet these people is that the game they were a part of, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, was put on "indefinite hold" on October 9. For six months prior to that date, I was a writer and content designer for the game, and the individuals mentioned above were but a few of the hundreds of personalities, quests and stories I created during that time, alongside a team of other writers, implementors and designers.

Read the whole article here.

Jon Wood
Managing Editor



  • KeoghKeogh Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,099Member



    Perhaps you could consider writting a paperback novel using some of the themes you've been using over these past many months.

    The best of luck too you, on creating more new worlds and adventures.

    "Don't corpse-camp that idea. Its never gonna rez"
    Bladezz (The Guild)

  • daeandordaeandor Houston, TXPosts: 2,692Member Uncommon

    It is a shame to see so much work "go to waste."  But such is the cycle of life...

  • bezadobezado Posts: 1,126Member Uncommon

    I am very sad for you and annoyed, I know kinda what that must feel like. Try and get out of the whole they dug for you so you don't become more depressed. Best of Luck man.


  • QazeQaze Palgaea ShrinePosts: 247Member

    Real shame about that, it would've made a great game.

    Qaze - Atheist, Nihilist, Sadist.
    Mudkip Video

    image Xfire= Qaze3000 - Add me if you're not a total retard.

  • DabruuzerDabruuzer Toronto, ONPosts: 123Member Uncommon

    Very eloquently put.  And for what it's worth, I appreciated all the effort you (and the others on the project) had put in.  Hope to see your work in another title soon.

    A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

  • HexxeityHexxeity Kansas City, MOPosts: 848Member

    The biggest industry tragedy is that it is so rare for the same company to employ good designers, good writers, AND good programmers.

    From what I saw in beta, G&H had good writers, but the other two areas were either just mediocre or very severely lacking.  And I think that's a big part of why the project never saw fruition.  A shame.

  • UproarUproar MIPosts: 521Member Uncommon

    I've beta'd or am in beta still on a good number of the games about to be released.  I only stopped logging into G&H for about a month or maybe it's been two, because I already figured out that I liked it and would get it upon release... I decided to concentrate my time and help on games that IMO still stunk.  G&H was good.  Not Great perhaps, but it was engaging, visually appealing, and the classes were interesting enough.  I actually thought this one looked good enough that it would make it on cruise control.

    Frankly, I think G&H was better then every single other beta I have been in over the last year.  Noted exception is AoC still hasn't sent me an invite!  (What's up with that??).  Anyways, if this game doesn't get picked up by someone else I'll be surprised.  Give it another shot of inspiration by a new team and it will definitely shine on release day.

    I liked Gods and Heroes.


  • SalvatorisSalvatoris Fort Worth, TXPosts: 1,360Member

    The real shame as I see it is the black mark on Perpetual's record.  The ambiguous wording, and hush-hush attitude surrounding the 'out of left field' shelving of the game really makes it hard for me to have much faith in their Star Trek game.  

    Just a few days before they announced the game being 'on hold',  they were still in full on PR mode.  The game's launch certainly appeared to be right around the corner.  Every other day there was some new info about the game, screenshots and videos all over the top of the page here......  then poof.  No Gods and Heroes for you.

  • ValanceValance Beavercreek, OHPosts: 189Member

    I was in the beta for Gods and Heroes too, and I really liked it. I wasn't expecting much - my attention was on WAR and AoC. But I stayed up all night the first time I played it, and for the next few weeks I had a lot of fun with Gods and Heroes. It had that 'life' and that reason to log in that some mmos lack. Walking around with your own mini army was great, and the quests were above average, especially the ones where you get new god powers. I hadn't intended to buy the game as soon as it was released, but after the beta I was looking forward to preordering the game. I was shocked when it got canned. I've beta tested a lot of games, and this one was near the top. Very polished and flushed out for a beta.

  • ajm563ajm563 Conroe, TXPosts: 48Member

    Thanks for writing that.  I'm saddened that I won't get to experience a game I was really looking forward to.

  • zagreoszagreos lousiville, KYPosts: 53Member

    It is indeed sad. The feeling of lost comes with everything you spend time in doing only to lose it or have it cancled.  I've also bataed the game and thought it wasn't all they bad even though the graphic was not something i liked alot.

    The quest were okay, i liked it more than i like doing quest. Life is a cruel mistress. She gives you hope and takes it away only to leave you with slightly more painful hope. I wish you the best! good luck.

  • URMAKERURMAKER NOLAPosts: 652Member Uncommon

    well said.


  • Xix13Xix13 Tampa, FLPosts: 259Member

    Fair journies to you, Michael, on your next project, as I'm sure you'll be back into creating characters again soon.  I didn't know much about G&H, but I certainly appreciate your feelings of loss, from the other side of the coin.  Many of my favorite MMOs are now gone and with them, the wonderful characters I had created for myself.  No more Xixjen, the Gadget Girl of EnB.  No more Xixasaurus, Xixdoggie Dawg or XixTheFish from SWG.  No more gentle mutant Xix from Auto Assault.  No more cat-like Xixelle from Horizons.  All characters who'd become almost alive in my mind yet will never again live.

    It's interesting that we can put so much of ourselves into what isn't real.  But we do.  Such is the power of the immagination.  In a small way, at their best, these virtual worlds and their trials and tribulations can teach us alot about ourselves and about how we handle many aspects of our own lives.  Every time you care about something, even something unreal, you give a little of yourself to the process.  So the loss is real, even if the world is not.

    -- Xix
    "I know what you're thinking: 'Why, oh WHY, didn't I take the BLUE pill?'"

  • WolfheartWolfheart Surprise, AZPosts: 19Member

    Thank you for your  feelings on the matter.


    I think the big issue we as beta testers (and a gaming community) had was the way it was handled, the no warning, and for me..still taking pre-orders..even NOW you can still pre-order the game.

    This is what I feel has gotten most of us in an uproar.

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    Too bad about G&H, I was looking for to it far more than I was STO.  Course I was also looking forward to Imperator too and Mythic shelved that once they got the WAR game going.

    Oh well....

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hexxeity

    The biggest industry tragedy is that it is so rare for the same company to employ good designers, good writers, AND good programmers.
    From what I saw in beta, G&H had good writers, but the other two areas were either just mediocre or very severely lacking.  And I think that's a big part of why the project never saw fruition.  A shame.

    I agree.  From what saw through testing, the writing was excellent.  I would have liked to have seen more of it.  Hopefully I will in future games.  Good luck to you in the future.

  • joeybootsjoeyboots Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 628Member Uncommon

    I played during the beta also. It is quite a shame, this game had such potential. I hope it comes back someday.

  • BakgrindBakgrind Austin, TXPosts: 291Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by joeyboots

    I played during the beta also. It is quite a shame, this game had such potential. I hope it comes back someday.

    Man I totaly agree with you on that. I was so looking forward to playing a  non elf or hobbit  type game. 

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member Common

    My advice to the writer:

    1.) You have talent. Don't waste it writing for quacks.

    2.) Forget you ever worked for PE. Putting them on your resume will be very detrimental before too long.

  • mehhemmehhem chicago, ILPosts: 653Member

    No one likes to games fail like this.  In the long run though its probably better off.  Less emotional grief now than if people were playing for a year.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,575Member Uncommon

    I was in beta for a short time, but one thing I really appreciated was the writing.  I think the writers did a fantastic job with the backstory for the characters I met.

    Another thing I liked was the artwork.  The artists did a great job on the avatars.  Usually in mmo's I struggle to find one or two avatars that are acceptable, but in God's and Heroes i created several male and female avatars that I was pleased with.

    I think the game had some potential.  Hopefully it will make a return.  I would rather see the minion system minimized or scrapped though in favor of a really good pvp system. 

  • leftguardleftguard NewportPosts: 70Member

    I was in beta too - you guys created a wonderful world full of detail and imagination, and the storyline developments I experienced were superb! It's a dreadful shame that all that work went to waste but I was at least privileged to see the game at the stage that I did.


  • AlrickAlrick MoscowPosts: 6Member

    To tell you the truth, I barely read the quest texts in GnH beyond directions part. Why? There's no need. Why should I try to find out the reason for mob grind this time around? I was lvl8, maybe there's genius in quests for higher levels. But from what I have seen, only a 'gladiator lost his lucky charm' quest was of any interest. Others are dull.

    The game was dull in its essence too, actually. Were it shipped, I don't think there'd be much success. It's WoW-Rome, with lesser depth and polish. Having seen it, I'm glad that I'm not a Star Trek fan. I suspect that these guys will get their share of sorrow when respective MMO from Perpetual sees the light of day - if it ever ships, that is.

  • RedwoodSapRedwoodSap Fenwick Island, DEPosts: 1,235Member

    SOE will buy GnH and slap it on the station pass. It was the plan all along.


  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member

    This was a nicely written article. Thank you, Michael.

    I am one of those (few?) players that *does* pay attention to writing and quest design. I appreciate creativity, pathos, and humor when I come across it--and I have seen it all in the really good games.

    G&H had potential and promise. I might have even been willing to subscribe to it for a bit.

    The game seemed in some ways like an attempt to marry features of WoW (persistent world MMO) and Guild Wars (minion/heroes system) in gameplay design and put it all into a Roman/Classical setting. It was a clever idea.

    The thing is, I suspect Guild Wars handles minions (Heroes) better, and WoW handles the persistent world thing better. I doubt G&H would have pulled many players away from these two behemoths, particularly not on a subscription basis.

    I know it won't happen, but I would love to see ArenaNet purchase the content of G&H and set it up in their gameplay fashion. The content of G&H just seems better suited to the kind of Henchmen/Heroes/Mission style of play that you see in the Guild Wars campaigns. If they then dropped the subscription fee, I think people would have liked G&H a lot better and that it would have fared reasonably well in the marketplace.

    Sadly, that won't happen -- but that's what I wish would happen. It seems a shame to have all that writing and "set design" just gather dust in some virtual warehouse at PE.

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