It’s Good to be The Goat: A Look at Goat Simulator

A look at Goat Simulator. Examining why it's good to be a goat.

A look at Goat Simulator. Examining why it's good to be a goat.

Yes, it’s good to be the goat.

Coffee Stain’s newest project, Goat Simulator, was created as a game jam project and put on Steam April 1st because the fans demanded it. The developers make no bones that this is more likely a broken game. With an array of wacky physics and clipping issues, they are right. Though the bugs is the charm of this ten-dollar game.

It's a Goat!

When the title Goat Simulator slid across the Steam store front page as part of the welcoming carousel of fresh digital goods, I dismissed it. The type and image were the same as every farming and wood cutting simulator I have ever seen before.

Only a few days later as I was watching a let’s play of the game that the game’s true identity revealed itself. Goat Simulator is a simulation all right. Simulate just how crazy barn yard animals can get if left to their own devises.

You play as a goat, that is trying to cause as much havoc as it possibly can. The more destruction you do the higher your score. Yes there is a leaderboard attached to this giving its game feel.

Will we see pro Goat Simulator players creep up in the wood work? I don’t think so. Though it might be a funny marketing tactical move to see a Steam exclusive Goat Simulator tournament as the best players compete to ‘BAAA’ their way to a big prize pool.

At its heart Goat Simulator is a party game. It’s fun to sit back on your couch with big picture and have a beer or two with friends as you all chuckle watching your goat fly off a mountain into a crowd of people at a back yard party.

The developers used the ’90s Tony Hawk skateboard games as a jumping off point. This is clear in trying to pull off complex combos to rack up high scores. I most admit it was addictive bouncing on trampolines doing backflips with an axe attached to the goat’s tongue to increase the score. The goat is able to carry items by licking them.

The score mechanism factors in the things around you that you interact with to come up with your score. Doing a flip over a box will trigger a multiplier or if not add it to the score put in the trick description what you did in the context of the event. The following is an example to illustrate this point; ‘a flip’ would be ‘a flip over a cardboard box’. This adds a level of satisfaction into a game that could have gotten away with just being a dumb sandbox experience.

The other cause that might give this product legs after the hype of it being a silly goat game is the added Steam Workshop support. It’s amazing what the steam creative community comes up with. Goat Simulator is the perfect match for the odd and funny things people like to model and texture. The silly nature of the game lends itself well to allow people to try anything they might of wanted to do in the unreal three engine.

Goat Simulator with Workshop support is relevent to internet culture and memes. When something new creeps up and becomes a thing in popular culture some one, anyone anywhere can add it to the game.

We now live in an age where a game created in a matter of months, generates interest and goes to market. A block buster $60 game is not the end goal. Games are much smaller in audience, scale and approach.

In retrospect, Coffee Stain released an idea out into the community.

Hopefully Goat Simulator will have many adoptive parents that will by playing the thing and creating content for and about it will breathe life into it for years to come. Though time will tell. For now, it’s good to be the goat.      

About the author

Bob Nat

Bob is an Artist, Illustrator and Cartoonist with a Geek bent. He enjoys playing video games and writing and drawing about them.