Bouncy @ EGX 2015 – Man or Goat

Sometimes gaming doesn’t have to be all about rescuing princesses, seeking ancient artefacts or driving a cool car through te streets of downtown Swindon. Sometimes all you need is a goat, a man and a bucket. Man or Goat was exhibited as part of EGX’s Leftfield Collective and I had the oppotunity to chat to creator, the ‘man’ in the previous statement, Gareth from Newtquest Games. I needed to meet the man who made the game that proved how canny Rob was when it came to detecting goat impersonation.

Gareth – as you may have guessed already – was a top bloke who is in the situation that many indie devs find themselves, namely wondering if the game he created was ever going to really get off of the ground. Which is always a shame to hear, especially when the game’s core concept is perfect for mobile gaming. If you haven’t listened to Episode 31 yet, or had popped outside to chase away that ferret that keeps sneaking under your fence to steal gnomes and missed the segment during which Rob and I played the game ‘live’ it goes something like this.

  1. Listen to the noise.
  2. Decide if noise or a goat or a man making the noise of a goat.
  3. Be surprised by the fact that it was actually a goat making the noise of a man making the noise of a goat OR Be surprised by the fact that it was actually a man making the noise of a goat making the noise of a man making the noise of a goat.
  4. Repeat (rebleat?) until you get sufficiently good enough at seeing through any potential ruse to get a decent score.
  5. Unlock more game modes, including the astonishingly brilliant ‘Poo Bucket’ mode.
  6. Tell all your friends that you’ve been playing a game during which you have to determine whether a sound you heard was a goat or a man making the noise of a goat – while being careful to also point out the fact that sometimes you were surprised by the fact that it was actually a goat making the noise of a man making the noise of a goat.
  7. Your friends start at step 1.

Or at least they should. Everyone should download and play Man or Goat

I mean yes, you should download it and play it because it is an amusing diversion from the everyday mundane, but you will also be helping to give a dev a bit of extra support, because I don’t want to live in a world where an indie game dev making goat noises in his car is actively discouraged.

I talked with Gareth about other animals that could have worked. We discussed the fact that animals that are both black and white are universally adored (while both forgetting that Skunks exist) and I explained the finer points of Panda breeding programs. Programs that involve people dressed like this:

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I mean honestly!? Why does the world have THAT but yet only a select few have played Man or Goat?

We can all remedy this injustice.

Download Man or Goat on iOS NOW. Don’t even read the rest of this article until it is downloading.

Hopefully you’ve now got the game and it is probably an hour later than when you started, which is FINE. It’s OK to be trapped in a world of faux-goat sounds. It’s fine to be stressing over not filling the poo bucket (get 200% correct to excel).

With insanely odd goats – courtesy of artist Konstantin Anufriev – brilliant sounds and a weirdly addictive quality the game is solid enough to be a hit, and be a hit it shall. All it would take is one YouTuber to put out a video and sales would go through the roof so quickly. Which is exactly what should happen here.

It’s also worth mentioning that the stand in the Leftfield Collective was always in use, with great amounts of laughter coming from players. This isn’t easy to achieve, but the reactions speak volumes. It’s also worth reading the dev blog on the Newtquest website as the process is laid out in a very interesting way. How did he great hundreds of unique goats for example? It’s brilliant to be seeing some who isn’t a dev as a career make his way into this exciting and varied area of our hobby, and the blogs really provide some very good methods for solving problems with a clear and sensible solution.

So do Gareth a solid, give yourself a genuine treat and play some Man or Goat. Heck, I may even make it this week’s BITG High Score challenge title.

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