A small indie video game studio yesterday discovered something unexpected: people would rather pretend to be a goat than shoot stuff. At least as far as their games are concerned. A gameplay video of of their alpha game “Goat Simulator,” made a few weeks ago for the Global Game Jam, has racked up more than 200,000 views in 24 hours. Despite not even being out yet (and with no release date in sight), “Goat Simulator” is being hailed as an early contender for “game of the year” of 2014. So much for gamer stereotypes.
Goat Simulator, created by the Swedish-based Coffee Stain Studios, is simple: you run around and climb things as, well, a goat. You also get points for destroying objects like barrels, tables and dinnerware, and head-butting buckets at humans with the force of a sniper rifle. OK, so there is a little first-person-shooter-like action if you count the goat’s headbutting of objects. But the internet’s mainly going wild about the goat.
“When I woke up today my video with the damn goat had 100,000 views, which is like more than all our other real game trailers the last year combined,” Armin Ibrisagic, Coffee Stain Studios PR manager and the game designer who came up with the idea of the simulator, told me in an email. “So yeah, we're really stoked that people have shown such an interest in our pet (heh, pet) project!”
Until Goat Simulator, Coffee Stain Studios was known for Sanctum, a first-person-shooter combined with a tower-defense game that has you fend off alien invasions with various projectiles. Clearly not as interesting as behaving like a goat.
People on Twitter, YouTube and reddit (which propelled the video to mainstream audiences and press) are demanding Coffee Stain Studios shut up and take their money to build the game proper. The question on everyone’s mind then, is when is this game coming out?
Ibrisagic didn’t have a straight answer to that, given “Goat Simulator” was intended as just a goofy learning exercise in UDK (a 3D game physics engine) during the Global Game Jam. “We are discussing what more we can do with Goat Simulator now that people have shown such an interest in it, but we don't want to promise anything,” he wrote, and continued, “We're going to listen to people's opinions in the coming couple of days and see how it goats.”