Goat Simulator 3: making the stupidest game of the year is more complicated than you think | Games

DOlly Parton once said, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” Similarly, making an intentionally silly game seems more complicated than it sounds. Working on the sequel to 2014’s divisive Goat Simulator, Stockholm-based studio Coffee Stain North has made an art of appearing chaotic. (There was no Goat Simulator 2, by the way. That’s part of the joke.)

If you missed it then, the sim’s premise is simple: you live in the less accurately simulated animal, wreak goatish mayhem in a goalless sandbox world, earn points along the way for damaging things, perform Tony Hawk. and licking things. Sometimes the goat travels with a jetpack, sometimes it is abducted by aliens; sometimes he turns evil and sacrifices a fellow goat into a pentagram of fire. It is foolish. Has no sense. And that is the point. So how do you follow it up with something substantial?

“It’s been harder than expected,” explains Santiago Ferrero, the game’s creative director, of the quest to find the sweet spot on the Venn diagram between bugs, fun, and just plain bad. “It is like the hair on the head. It should look like you just got out of bed, but you’ve actually been spending way too much time in front of that mirror. The same goes for buggy and stupid.”

For the last five years, Ferrero and the team have been working on that dilemma. Goat Simulator started out as a viral video game improv experiment, but now it’s an expansive world, with more for the person holding the controller to do and a proper beginning and end. It’s also online multiplayer, something that, despite its popularity on social media, the first game didn’t have. Friends can now move around remotely as a herd of four customizable goats. “Our philosophy has always been that multiplayer enhances everything we add to the single-player experience,” says Ferrero, “and that has been proven time and time again…Think of the first Goat Simulator as a comedian rehearsing material in front of a mirror, and Goat Simulator 3 as finally being able to get up on stage in front of an audience.”

However, making it work has required some sophisticated goat technology. “Simulating a goat is no big deal,” he says with a shrug, arguably the world’s foremost goat simulation expert. “But simulating four goats, online, with all the destruction and physical simulation that goes with it, really requires almost NASA-level technology. That has been quite a challenge.”

So what will those goats do together? Your squad can start one of seven different mini-games, anywhere, anytime, with different consequences. For example, if you start a round of Hoofball, think Rocket League with goats instead of cars. in the middle of the street, then you might as well get run over in the middle of the match. “We’ve tried to make them as dynamic as possible so we can adapt to all kinds of locations, but part of the fun is that some of them are less than optimal or even buggy,” says Ferrero. “The dynamic world, along with the different goat teams of the players, will create endless variation and chaos.”

There are a lot of self-consciously wacky gags in Goat Simulator, and players love them. People are willing to leave seriousness at the door and embrace silliness. You can count on the sequel to be chock-full of jokes, ridiculous customization options, and unpredictable results, and when it gets into people’s hands, it’ll really live up to its potential for Really Dumb Stuff. “We don’t really know what to expect, and neither do the players,” admits Ferrero. We’ll find out in a Reddit thread, meme account, or Twitch stream when the game launches in November, though the first game may be tough to eat.

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