We launched a successor game, Carnac, a while back after Itzan died, following on an almost identical premise. A similar scenario resulted, although it was much more short-lived.
Looking back on these two games, I came to the conclusion that while follower-count scoring is an interesting metric for judging the rank of various gods, I found it to be too quantitative, and also seemed to be more a measure from a mortal's perspective.
I also found that in the above two games, the rule-creation system at the beginning was very fun and interesting, but that ultimately during gameplay, rules were often bent or occasionally outright broken, with little concern or care from the gods that another had broken a rule; (except for one particularly salty deity in the first game, we won't mention any names).
Following other discussions we had on the forum about the meta-feel of god games and other games, players seemed disgruntled by the fact that they became political/societal too quickly, especially on a forum about speculative evolution. Many players avoided playing god games because they didn't have enough evolution in them, and other players avoided evolution games because they were looking for a more role-play type of feel to their games.
So, I thought for a while, and came up with the below idea for a god game. The basic premise of this game is that while we are gods, our world is still organic and built around the core processes and ideals of evolution, and so while there will be room for god complexes, roleplay, and scandals, there will also be room for biomes, lifeform evolution, development of sentience, and a whole host of other things. This will allow players to become attached to the world not only for the sake of their own deity, a society, a religion, or a specific mortal (although this can still definitely occur), but to also become attached to the world for the sake of the world itself, its ecosystem, and the evolving creatures living therein. Furthermore, when it comes to rules and behaviors of deities, in this game every deity will be taking on a physical form, meaning that disagreements about what is and isn't allowed will be solved in the physical universe by discourse or force, not by meta-discussion. There won't be a "divine pact", but groups of deities may still attempt to make or enforce one organically if they so choose. Scoring, also, will not be attributed to worshipers, particularly because we will be evolving the world from the ground up, and thus sentient worship won't be available right from turn one. Scoring will instead be done based on "divine merit", things that are considered great by the world itself, who will be a silent arbiter of the actions of the deities (the world itself will be roleplayed by me, the GM).
So, hopefully, this does two things: encourage more players to join, due to a wider interest area and a wider scope of actions remaining relevant, and also keep the game interesting for longer, since population isn't the scoring metric.
But then there was one. Nameless, it echoed throughout the silent island, a voice with no substance, a shout with no content. And it was the first god. And it did not want to be alone.
And thus, from the first was birthed the second. From the first and the second was birthed the third. The first and the second then fought over who would birth the fourth with the third, and after a harsh battle which lasted a century, the first won over the second; and although the third did not wish it, the first and the third together birthed the fourth.
They four traveled the island together for centuries, looking about at its lifeless void. And despite their past grievances, they decided it was time; time to give birth to much, much more. But they knew that there had to be more than simply birthing more. Until now, there has been only four. No reason for names, or for any distinctions, other than the order in which they had come forth. And maybe more than these four would come forth...
You all play as physically existing deities on a currently [mostly] empty world. Your goal will be to gain prestige and fame amongst both gods and mortals alike for great feats of creation/evolution over the history of the world. These "points of divine merit", if you will, will be awarded by me, the GM, upon various laudable actions.
The world is small, and consists of a single island the size of New Guinea; 462,840 square kilometers, surrounded by a deep ocean. Currently, the island is simply bare exposed bedrock rising above the ocean, with small lichens and microscopic life. The ocean also is already seeded with microscopic plankton and other minute life forms. (This is designed to aid players in skipping the micro-bio part of creation/evolution so that they can focus on larger creatures, thus keeping the development of the ecosystems interesting and kickstarting their development.)
A few housekeeping rules/statements:
2. You can do more than one action per turn, but please keep it respectable. If you want a hard limit, I will cap actions at 3 actions per turn. These actions can be as vague or as described as you please.
3. I myself will be attempting to refrain from stepping in as a deity myself, as I will try to solely be the arbiter/narrator of the world and it's situations.
4. Turn actions results will be determined by an unweighted roll of a d100. Even gods are not perfect here. The degree of your success/failure will be dependent on the roll, while the extent of your success/failure will be dependent on the nuances of the action itself.
Players beyond the four can simply come in order - fifth, sixth, etc, and can, if they wish, choose from the prior deities two which they will call their "parents". We will wait until we have at least four deities present before beginning the first turn; in the meantime, said deities can interact with each other and make discussion about where they see this world going in their eyes.
Players can join after the initial gameplay has begun as well, "Dropping In", and going through the same above introduction process. They will also begin at the center of the island when they initially drop in.
Edit: These three biomes have been chosen; the Terrestrial Coral Reefs of the West, The Swampy Marshlands of the East, and the Tropical Rain-forests between them.
After which they will begin to build and evolve its ecosystem, creating basic flora and fauna and guiding them through the evolutionary process in a form of theistically-guided evolution. Or, they may modify the geography itself; or, perhaps, engage in interaction with other gods; or, anything else the gods could possibly want to do.
Since turns are 100 years apart, life will focus around fast paced evolution; for example, a species of fish may evolve limbs in the short span of a century, aided by the divine power of a nearby deity.
Eventually, sentience/sapience will either be created, or will develop on its own, and will most definitely play into the fame and feats of the gods.
There is no stipulation for lifeforms or ecosystems to be 100% logical; for example, a species of rock-creatures (that is, creatures made of stone), could theoretically exist and evolve over time alongside everything else. As long as the god creating or evolving creations can reasonably explain their behaviour to the other gods, it is acceptable.
Starting Deity Template:
Rank: __________ (First, Second, Third, etc)
Parents: _______ and _________
Physical Appearance: ________________________________