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An interview with the man behind Goat Simulator

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We discuss the goat’s name, feminism, and whether this gratuitous goat is an appropriate role model for kids… get it?
Goat Simulator  has swept the internet like a foot-and-mouth pandemic. Ever since Armin Ibrisagic and the other mavericks at Coffee Stain Studios uploaded a video of a game involving a goat running rampant in a small sandbox town, the world has been crying out for it to become a real, purchaseable entity.

With an alpha gameplay video that’s currently garnered over 2.8m views, it was clear that the gaming community – nay, the world – had been crying out for a game like this, so Coffee Stain stepped up and are now making Goat Simulator a reality. I tracked down Mr Ibrisagic, one of the leading minds behind the game to have a serious chat about it.

goat simulator

Good morning. What are you guys up to today?

Just working on the small things right now. The hilarious design part of that game was a couple of weeks ago. Right now we’re adding Steam Workshop, leaderboards and all that other stuff.

Goat Simulator wasn’t going to be a full game originally. What changed it from being a mess-around to a serious (or not-so-serious) game?

We imported a goat into Unreal Engine 3 and used nVidia’s APEX framework to just throw our goat in there to start breaking stuff. As it happened, I downloaded Adobe Premier and played around with making a trailer, which I’ve never done before. I threw in some Skype and Facebook sounds, put it up on the internet and it just exploded! People were begging for us to make this game, so we’re doing it by popular demand.

Making people’s goat-embodying dreams come true…

At first, I was actually scared about the reaction we’d get as we’d just finished the DLC for Sanctum 2 and I thought people would be questioning why we weren’t ironing out bugs in that game, or making more DLC for it. Basically, why are we making a stupid goat video? So when I put it up I tried to make it clear that it’s not a serious project… but apparently people wanted it to be a serious project!

I’m one of those people. What more can you tell us about the goat? Does it have a name?

The goat is a female goat called Pilgor.

It’s great to see a strong female protagonist who’s not defined by her body.

This is an issue that we hold close to our hearts.

How will the game develop from what we’ve seen so far?

We want to keep the game stupid. It’s important for people to know that the game is supposed to be a bit dumb and a bit buggy. We could spend two years on the game and blow it up. We want to take what made the video go viral, polish it, add Steam Workshop and leaderboards, but we don’t want to make the game like Skyrim or GTA.

Shame, I always dreamed of a Grand Theft Goato. Will it have some kind of story?

No. There’s no story to tell. It’s all about messing around.

Why a goat? What’s a goat got that a llama doesn’t?

Actually, all animals are goats. A llama is a Mexican goat brought up on corn and tacos. Bears are goats too, just fluffier and stronger. Giraffes are just really tall goats.

So what kind of goat is this one?

This is just a goat goat

What were your inspirations for this game? While it looks like a goat-based GTA, its name and branding suggest this is a serious simulator.

We just figured goats are funny and we’ll call it Goat Simulator. That said, Surgeon Simulator was hilarious, so maybe there’s something there. I guess our main inspiration was funny YouTube videos and other stupid simulators.

Did you study the habits and rituals of goats when designing this game?

We did study goats for a long time. We actually hired three goats at our office, that are working on the simulator right now.

Are they motion-capture actors, or are they just hanging around and inspiring ideas?

They’re just consultants.

It’s good to know that goats are getting fairly and honestly represented in this game.GoatGame 2014-02-11 15-14-32-47

It seems that all this goat does is rampage around, sometimes wielding an axe by its tongue, attacking people. Don’t you think this sends the wrong message to kids who may want to grow up to be like this gratuitous goat? And what about human children?

I think our protagonist is a really good role model for both young goats and humans alike. Our goat always gets its ass kicked. It gets hit by cars, falls off ladders, but it always gets up again. I think everyone can take some inspiration from that.

So this is in fact a spirited allegory, making all creatures remember that when we fall down, we have to get back up again.

Exactly.

What do you do when you’re not doing goats?

We’re actually working on a new IP right now, but can’t reveal anything about it.

Can you reveal a single word about it? Does it involve goats, humans, walking around?

It involves movement.

There we have it, breaking news here at Screen Robot!

All images:Coffee Stain Studios

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