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Domestic Violence and Abuse

How Four Friends Made Untitled Goose Game by Accident


What in the world is Untitled Goose Game? Where did it come from? Who made such a bizarre game, and how did
it explode in popularity seemingly overnight? If you’ve been following Untitled Goose
Game’s development for a while, it might not surprise you that such a charming title
has gained such widespread acclaim so quickly. What’s really fascinating about the game,
though, is just how relaxed and downright unprofessional its developers are. We mean that in a good way. For the team at House House (yes, that really
is the studio’s name), Untitled Goose Game was a joke that went too far, and its sudden
popularity has come as a complete surprise. House House are not what you’d call professional. They’re not what they would call professional,
either. In the words of one member of the studio,
Jacob Strasser, “We’re three years more professional than we were three years ago”. That is, apparently, all they can commit to. The four fledgling members of House House,
Jacob, Michael McMaster, Stuart Gillespie-Cook, and Nico Disseldorp, made their first game
entirely for fun. Push Me Pull You was a summer hobby project
that got out of hand. The team worked on their game in their time
off, building it after work or during study breaks. Without really knowing how it happened, the
team eventually submitted the game to Sony and managed to get it released on the PlayStation
store, but it was hardly a deliberate attempt to make a commercial game. Nor was the game in any way financially lucrative. House House managed to get some funding from
the Australian government for advertising the game, but beyond that, their budget came
entirely from their own pocket. Push Me Pull You brought in some revenue,
but it was so negligible that it wasn’t even worth dividing between the four of them. Nevertheless, they’d made a game that they
were pleased with, and they were eager to find a new project to work on. They just had no idea what it should be. Sharing ideas together in a group chat, the
members of House House started throwing up some random, silly suggestions. Eventually, Stuart posted a simple picture
of a goose. No context. No explanation. This picture of a goose should be their new
game. The rest of the group laughed at this ridiculous
idea…before thinking that, sure, why not? They didn’t have any better ideas, and it
would be fun to mess around with a goose game for a while before making something more serious. The team were all interested to develop their
skills and learn new things. Push Me Pull You had been a graphically simple
2D game, so they really wanted to make something three-dimensional, like Mario 64. To help them learn, they made a simple goose
model and a little garden area, and let chaos reign. While House House are all Australian, they
felt that the perfect setting for this game was a quaint English village – somewhere
quiet and peaceful, where a naughty goose would be the worst thing any local resident
could possibly imagine. To this end, the game’s art style drew significant
inspiration from British children’s television: programmes such as Fireman Sam or Postman
Pat. The blank faces of the humans were deliberately
modelled after background characters in Thomas the Tank Engine. This was fun, but it was time to move on to
something less inherently silly. Nobody at House House really expected anyone
else to get much from their goose game; it was simply their own little in-joke. They wrapped up their training exercise by
making a trailer from the limited gameplay footage they could get from their garden,
and they released it online. They didn’t even bother giving this pretend
game a title. They figured that if people liked it, great,
but otherwise, they could release what they’d already done as a small game, put it to one
side, and try at finding an actual new idea for a bigger project. Except, to their surprise, a lot of people
actually really liked Untitled Goose Game. They really liked it. 10
It turned out that, as Australians, House House had underestimated the notoriety of
the humble goose. What they had thought was an in-joke amongst
themselves tapped into a shared – but unspoken – anxiety that plagued many people across
the Northen Hemisphere. Everyone agreed: geese are terrifying. Met with an astonishing early wave of enthusiasm
and attention, House House accepted that there was clearly more to be done with Untitled
Goose Game. They would need to expand the scope of their
initial demo, they’d need to actually come up with a name for their project, and, it
seemed, they’d need to explore their options for the game’s music. While the initial plan was to leave Untitled
Goose Game without a soundtrack, the team had roped in Dan Golding for the game’s
trailer. Dan had previously provided music for Push
Me Pull You, so he was an obvious choice. Dan had reached for the simplest, easiest
grab: Claude Debussy’s Prelude Number 12, which is out of copyright, and therefore free
to reuse, even commercially, as it’s within the public domain. Scoring the trailer was quick, easy, and didn’t
take any extra thought. It was clear from reactions to the trailer,
though, that people really liked how well the eclectic piano music fit with the gameplay,
with commenters expressing their hope that this music was present in the game. So, Dan began building a dynamic soundtrack
out of Debussy’s work. He recorded himself playing each piece of
music twice: once slow and calmly, and once fast and energetically. He then sliced these recording into tiny bitesize
chunks, so that the game’s soundtrack could switch effortlessly between fast-paced chaos
and casual nonsense. As work progressed on the still Untitled Goose
Game, the team at House House attempted to keep things as casual as possible. They weren’t interested in becoming serious
professional developers, whatever that might mean. Where necessary, they roped in other developers
to help with things they couldn’t do alone, and worked with publisher Panic Inc to get
the game more traction. Otherwise, they did their best not to take
their work too seriously, which is why the game eventually shipped still without a name. In fact, on launch day, after a hectic few
initial hours of dealing with the game, House House packed everything up and headed into
downtown Melbourne to join a protest against the ongoing climate crisis. Sure, their goose game was important, but
it wasn’t the most important thing they could be doing. Speaking to Kotaku, Nico said:
“If striking for you means that you can’t play our video game on launch day, that’s
OK. People can play our game, or another game,
some other time. The climate emergency is urgent, and needs
us to drop what we are doing and demand that governments act immediately.” (We look forward to the healthy discussion
that will arise from including this quote in the video.) Environment protests notwithstanding, Untitled
Goose Game became an instant hit upon release. Players couldn’t get enough of the antics
of an adorable yet very unruly goose. The only major complaint among many players
was that there simply wasn’t enough of this game! Well done, House House – you’ve left people
wanting more. A dumb joke has turned into one of the most
notorious indie games of the year. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t
take yourself too seriously. Have fun, be creative, and feel free to explore
the weirdest, wackiest ideas you can think of. You never know what little nuggets of gold
you might find along the way. Relax. Have a good time. Everything’s going to be okay. Everything except the climate, of course. If we don’t do something soon, we are all
going to die.

Cesar Sullivan

100 thoughts on “How Four Friends Made Untitled Goose Game by Accident

  1. I am so confused by the script of the introduction to this video. You seem to assume that this is both the most popular game ever, and also that nobody who clicked on the video in their Recommendeds has ever heard of it or the developer before. Maybe it's the slow, methodical delivery or something, but I felt vaguely like I was being talked down to. Who is this video for?

  2. I only noticed this game and played it because i'm just known as a goose from a lot of people because of my avatar, very glad i did get to play that game though

  3. The climate is ALWAYS changing since the dawn of time. It's never not changing. This is just the umpteenth time the govt and media has fearmongered about the climate. We're all going to be perfectly fine.

  4. No matter how hard you try to make some popular thing, it's probable
    to your work never be popular. The popularity comes from random ideas completely randomly. If you what to do something popular, the best thing what you can do is rapidly do a bunch of random things.

  5. I love how the origion of the goose game, is that he just randomly showed up in the devs dms and ruined everything

  6. "if we don't do something soon the world will end in 7 years." Said in 1989 and still echos to this day. Keep Politics out of games and keep Hysteria out of your videos. You want people to enjoy them? Then try not brainwashing next time.

  7. I love how this turned into another climate change/global warming ad. Great job.

  8. You don't have to know what you're doing. Just what you want. The first will come with time.

    Also, glad to see game devs take the climate issues seriously. I'd have done the same!

  9. Piss off with your Climate-Hoax BS! If the Devs were so serious about the Scare-Tactic AGENDA, then they would not even Own a computer… considering it requires actual DIRTY energy to be made and operated. The reality is.. that the Carbon-Tax system is a SCAM, designed to Bankrupt the World… and put all the power and control into a very few Radical Mentally Ill / Personality Disordered, hands. Just like the Goose game… a game that encourages people to Steal things and cause havoc… the Devs, and the CULT that they are party of… want to Steal everyones wealth and freedom… for their own personal gains. See: Animal Farm and 1984. Stop listening to the bought and paid for $hill "$cientists" (and look whom funds them). Find the whistleblower scientists.. whom easily debunk the BS… but are not put in the Ma$$ media Brainwashing-Machine. BTW – Its more than likely this "Story" is also part of their little Psychological Operation games. IE: A big steamy load of BS.

  10. What a lovey video about a lovely game from a lovely studio. Ugh, far too much lovely; DEATH APPROACHES!!
    Seriously though, this is beautifully made and I was intrigued as to how Australians could nail somewhere quaint in Britain so well so thank you for making it. I have subscribed. 🙂

  11. I feel like I'm listening to a children's show (like shes reading a children's book). Her voice is so calming.

  12. As a kid, I'd often go feed ducks in the park with my grandparents. Once there were some geese, and I was feeding them as well. But then one got to greedy, wanted to take the bread right out of my hand, and instead bit my finger. It was bleeding all day. I'm not terrified of geese, but they deserve respect and you have to understand that they can mess you up if they want to.

  13. they should make a goat simulator-untitled goose game crossover where our two protagonists cause destruction together

  14. The game is non violent with no blood, gore, sexually explicit content, etc. Thus youtubers can play it without the fear of demonitization. No algorithim supression when a video is monetizeable equating to more notoriety for the game, exploding its popularity. It does help that it is a fun and interactive concept that they pulled off.

  15. Thomas the Tank Engine Episode 539: Thomas kills a goose and returns to the Fat Controller with goose blood all over him

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