Indie Game Spotlight: Untitled Goose Game
Oh, boy, do we have an extra super horrible Indie Game Spotlight exclusive for you today! We’re talking, of course, of Untitled Goose Game, a slapstick simulator, where you play a goose hassling a town full of people who would very much like you to stop hassling them, please. It feels a bit like playing the videogame version of an old cartoon, complete with reactive soundtrack. Everything that happens in the game is very low stakes (the goose doesn’t get involved in political scandals, or drive a car off a ramp etc.), but there’s a lot of room for comedic performance in doing things like stealing clothes off a washing line and dumping them in a pond.
The team at House House shares roles a lot, and so the game was predominantly designed collaboratively by four people. We chatted with Stuart Gillespie-Cook, who mostly works on animation. Also within House House is Jake Strasser, largely responsible for the design of levels and environments, Nico Disseldorp who does all the programming, and Michael McMaster who mostly works on art direction and UI. The iconic sound effects were made by Em Halberstadt, and Dan Golding designed the music. There’s also art from Kalonica Quigley and additional UI programming from Cherie Davidson. Stuart Gave us the lowdown on the curious title, the game mechanics, and dream crossovers. Read on!
What’s the story behind the title of the game?
This more or less happened by accident; at first, we just needed something to put on a video we were submitting to a festival. It’s become one of the best things about the game, and I’m so glad we stuck with it. I will say it’s a weird thing to explain when your very not-online hairdresser asks you “oh, what game are you working on?”
How did the team come up with the animation style?
The whole visual style of the game is designed to be nice and clean, very readable and approachable. The animation specifically takes a lot of inspiration from slapstick and pantomime—with big, over the top reactions that are impossible to miss. We wanted to squeeze as much emotion as possible out of these people without facial expressions, so everything has to be evoked with body language. We also lean heavily on two dimensional, hand-drawn effects that are lifted from comics—lines to represent the direction of a honk, stars when someone hits their thumb with a hammer, etc.
Untitled Goose Game offers a unique take on the puzzle genre. What other mechanics can we expect?
Because it’s a game that’s largely about interacting with a bunch of people, the game borrows heavily from AI systems in stealth games. Playing with a character’s awareness of where the goose is, where they left their stuff, where that sound came from etc. is a big part of the comedy of the game. So, while it’s less restrictive than most stealth games, and there’s no real fail state (ie. if a character sees a goose, they’ll think “ah, there’s a goose” rather than “I’d better shoot and kill that spy”), those explicit behaviours that are so present in the stealth genre are really important in our goose game.
If you could have the goose cross over into any cinematic or game universe, what would it be and why?
It would be nice to see the goose chase Postman Pat over a hedgerow. That era of British children’s television has been a huge influence on the game. Otherwise, we’re always open to having the goose in Smash.
Are you ready to fulfill your wildest dreams of becoming a mischevious goose and harassing people? Of course you are! Check out the website to find out how you can get your hands wings on Untitled Goose Game!
found @ 35 likes ON 2019-09-27 03:43:43 BY ME.ME