Good Heavens! is a cozy crafting RPG in a world made of floating islands in the afterlife. It's an open-world sandbox game where you build and improve your base and character. There are multiple skill paths to level up as a farmer, warrior, cook, or trader which makes it the perfect game for online co-op.
Good Heavens! is influenced by crafting and exploration games like Valheim, Don't Starve, Astroneer and by colony simulation games like Dwarf Fortress and Rimworld.
Procedural world generation & narrative
Online co-op with class dynamics
Simulated dynamic ecosystem, factions, and cities
Random encounters and events
Skill-based progress system
Welcome to Xant-Rar! A realm made of islands floating in the emptiness of afterlife. If they live righteous lives, the souls of humans, animals, and plants are brought here where they'll have everything they've ever wanted for eternity!
At least in theory....
In fact, Xant-Rar's creator, the Mighty Rar, is a clumsy god. He snatches souls from our world and drops them into his universe—messing up everything he creates to make those souls happy. Now, all those unlucky souls must learn to accept that they will live forever in this twisted, false, heaven-ish realm and the dream of Xant-Rar turns into a hopeless cause.
However, the Mighty Rar decides to give Xant-Rar (and himself) one last chance. The clumsy god finds a soul to be the messenger to his realm and puts a tiny mobile island under one's service. This messenger is the soul of a gamer who choked on chewing gum. Immediately outraged, the gamer blames the Mighty Rar for being resurrected to this ridiculous place!
Foiled again, the Mighty Rar packs up and leaves his creation. Now, alone in this realm of absurdity, with the tiny mobile island, the player must find a way to bring salvation to the others from their nonsensical and miserable lives.
The world of Good Heavens! is divided into floating islands. Each island has a few different biome types and each biome has its own resources, races, and creatures.
Biomes are created during world generation depending on factors like moisture, temperature, and height. Each biome has its own ecosystem.
Biomes contain one or more races that make up the population in the area. Races are factions with political tendencies and cultures.
Each culture has its own technology and class system. They progress on their own according to the resources they find.
Each NPC has a class in the game that has unique needs and characteristics. Some classes are specific to one or more cultures in the game. The classes in each city define the produced resources and quests in that city.
The world is procedurally generated at the start of each game. Several algorithms are used to create floating islands, their biomes, population, and cities.
The cities have several buildings and NPCs. The city type is governed by the dominant class on the island. For example, if the population of Entertainers is abundant in a city, then they form an amusement city. There are specific events and quests related to each city type.
The resources found on the island govern the economics of the city. There might be progress blocks in the city if they don't have access to certain resources. Players can solve this problem by trading or completing quests. (e.g., a monster sits on the iron mine blocking access).
Each city in the game has its own history and a behavior pattern. Depending on these patterns, cities might trade with other cities or they might be enemies. If a player helps one of the cities, this might hurt the relationship with the other.
Players have the ability to change the game world through their actions but the ecosystem dynamically reflects on itself.
We're not making use of a deep simulation to calculate every detail in the game, yet there are two layers of simulation to create a sense of a living world. The first layer happens directly around the player. All the creatures in the scene are intelligent and make decisions according to their priorities such as attacking, fleeing from enemies, eating and resting. It's fun to observe and interact with an ecosystem, since each creature reacts differently towards the player.
The second layer of simulation is a bit hidden and more text based. This layer calculates animal populations, city buildings, factions relations, governments and advances in technology given a set of data that can be manipulated by the player once again. Let's assume there's a food chain in an environment having berries, bunnies and wolves in which bunnies eat the berries and wolves prey on the bunnies. If the player interacts with this ecosystem and removes all the bunnies, the simulation should cause the wolves to go hungry and die eventually.
Another example would be a city stuck in lower technology era with no access to metals, where root cause is a creature blocking the iron mine. If the player cleans the entrance of the mine, the city will start producing iron, the buildings will improve, new items will start being sold and the city might soon declare war on a rival city!
Progression & Skills
Each playable character has a set of common skills including weapon mastery, cooking, crafting, constructing, farming, mining, resarch, diplomacy, barter, armor mastery and dodging. Players level up the skills of their characters and need to craft higher quality gear specific to their skills.
A chef with an upgraded chef outfit, chef hat, and a ladle is very fast and effective in the kitchen. During the single player mode, players can easily leave their gear on an empty clothing stand and click on a different stand with their combat gear in order to change their outfits.
In multiplayer mode, a chef's gear can turn its player into a powerful tanky support unit because of the damage soaking and taunting abilities of the chef outfit and the long-lasting stun ability of the ladle.
In Good Heavens!, the game loop requires players to engage in a range of activities like gathering, mining, and farming of resources, managing a base, cooking, crafting, and managing relationships with NPCs and factions. Players avoid dangerous areas or strategically attack some locations to make them safe zones.
Each of these activities require a different set of skills. In multiplayer mode, it makes sense for each player to specialize in different areas.
Depending on team composition, a player might get some combat-related skills, be a farmer who specializes in winemaking and generates a good amount of income for the team or might end up being the key to accessing the noble faction in a neighboring city by unlocking some unique quests.
The event system is designed in a way to place to spotlight on different roles throughout the game. During gameplay, most of the tasks can be handled by one or two team members. Yet there are some specific events that get harder to accomplish during a multiplayer session. Slaying a boss, for example, is relatively easy during a single-player mode but it requires all team members to join the fight in multiplayer mode.
Similar to slaying a boss, there are events that favors characters with soft skills. A perfect example of this is a beer festival where the team gathers to produce and serve the highest quality ale and lagers while also trying to entertain the NPCs.
WHO ARE WE?
The intended playtime for Good Heavens! is above 100 hours. Most people have a favorite game that they've spent more than 1000 hours in. We want to develop that game and most of all, we want to create a game that we'd like to spend more than 1000 hours in.
Good Heavens! is a passion project in which every team member does the work they like the most. Our team has 8 developers with a cumulative 75 years of experience in the game industry.
Our biggest common passion is gaming; we take it as a lifestyle. Maybe that's the reason why we go and celebrate our 10th anniversary in a country camp, playing all sorts of board games and drinking beer.
We also know how to work with each other. Our first game Monochroma (2014) and the newest one, Circadian City (2021) are developed by the same people. So, everybody knows each other and knows how to work with each other. A funny fact: Perhaps the biggest issue among these 8 developers is the genres of single player games they love. But we can play a multiplayer crafting game for many hours together. We believe that this will be one of our key strengths during development; we can create a great harmony with so many insights from different genres, for Good Heavens!