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This Video Game Fulfills Your Fantasy of Being a Horrible Goose

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  • This Video Game Fulfills Your Fantasy of Being a Horrible Goose

    Sometimes, when you’ve had a rough day, the best answer is to go home, play at being a goose and drop someone’s sandwich in a pond.

    Or at least, that’s the premise of Untitled Goose Game, a video game developed by four friends at a Melbourne-based studio, which involves a goose hellbent on mildly annoying residents of a nice English village. It has charted an unlikely path to the top of video game charts and spawned memes of avian terror on social media.

    With absolutely nothing at stake — no world to save, no baddies to fight — the pleasure of the gameplay comes from the bothering of townsfolk: chasing frightened children, stealing from shopkeepers and honking incessantly at people trying to read.

    Jacob Strasser, one of the creators of the game, said the village was a nod to the British television programs he and his friends grew up watching on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, like “Brum,” a children’s show with a sentient vintage motorcar.

    He and his team at the studio House House loved “the kind of Englishness that seems very proper and prim,” he said, which runs “very counter to the chaotic course of the goose.”

    The game, which can be played on the PC, Mac and Nintendo Switch, was released on Sept. 20. It quickly rose to No. 2 on the British and American Nintendo eShop charts, and last weekend, it bumped The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which was released on the same day, from the top spot on the Australian chart.

    “People really take to this idea of a horrible goose,” said Nico Disseldorp, another of the game’s creators.

    The idea started as a joke in a messaging channel at the studio, when one of the developers shared a stock image of a goose. “Let’s make a game about this,” the developer wrote, spurring a thread about geese’s weird ankles and their perpetual frowning.

    “We realized that people who live near geese seem to have this difficult relationship with them,” Mr. Disseldorp said. “They seem to be a bit afraid of them.”

    Not the same way you’d be scared of a poisonous snake, he said, but more like a “social awkwardness.”

    In the game, players putter around in the guise of a feathery, bottom-wiggling bird, ticking off the game’s assignments, like “Make the groundskeeper hammer his thumb” and, “Steal a pint glass and drop it in the canal.” While the village is imaginary, its buildings are modeled on a real town, although “no one has recognized it yet,” Mr. Strasser said.

    The goose’s nuisance spree is set to Debussy’s “Preludes,” which acts as an interactive soundtrack, plinking softly as you waddle up to an unsuspecting child, and then swelling as you leave him weeping and searching the ground for his stolen glasses.

    The game’s composer, Dan Golding, recorded the music and then chopped it up to create phrases that react to gameplay, as a live piano player might have done to Charlie Chaplin’s slapstick.

    Alex Walker, editor of the gaming website Kotaku Australia, said there were “very few games that make you laugh.” Many people have watched a goose “on a warpath” or been attacked by one, he said, adding: “Now you get to do that to other people. It’s cathartic to be the goose.”

    And as for the odd name?

    The game first drew attention with a video teaser in 2017 that went viral and landed on the front page of Reddit. The trailer was labeled Untitled Goose Game, with the developers assuming that people would understand it to be a working title, with a real name to come later.

    But the video became “so popular that everyone just knew it by that name,” Mr. Disseldorp said, “and we just kind of gave up.”
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

  • #2
    This is amazing.
    They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
    -Mr. Raceboy


    • #3
      Okay, this is weird as fuck. I'm watching Ron White on Netflix and I just clicked on this thread and he just started talking about how horrible geese are. Swear to god.
      "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses." H.L. Mencken


      • #4
        This is one of the few peaceful threads, I have read in sometime.
        Wait hold on the trump impeachment thing is also kinda peaceful.
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        • #5
          I so want this game! It's on my Steam wish list.
          "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.



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