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Mmmm... Free Goo.
March 9, 2009 10:33 PM   Subscribe

World of Goo was released last year on PC and Wii and, despite an 82% piracy rate (previously), still went on to become one of the best selling games of 2008 and win a swag of awards. In a recent blog post (the first of seven) the developer, 2D Boy, has been detailing the early days of development for World of Goo. But just don't read about this proto-Goo... play it! They have made this early version of the game available to download for free. And don't forget that the soundtrack to the completed game is also still free and available for download.
posted by Effigy2000 (65 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I pirated it, then bought it.

If you haven't heard of World of Goo, this video gives a good feel of all the hype around the game.
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:31 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did the same. This is the second time today that I've been given cause to praise a game unabashedly. This is one of the best games ever.
posted by cmoj at 11:33 PM on March 9, 2009


I have it for the Wii. I'm ashamed to admit how early on it kicked my ass.
posted by sourwookie at 11:48 PM on March 9, 2009


Good timing, I was about to resume my goo-game I stopped when my previous video card died a few weeks ago. And earlier tonight I recommended the game to my roommate and he plans to buy it. Piracy is overrated.
posted by palidor at 11:50 PM on March 9, 2009


I first saw World of Goo at my friends house on the Wii. I don't have a Wii but when I got home looked it up and was pleasantly surprised that it was available for the PC. So I bought it and I'm addicted. The OCD parts are really killing me.
posted by lilkeith07 at 12:03 AM on March 10, 2009


my god, the OCD. how.the.fuck.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 AM on March 10, 2009


World of Goo is absolutely fantastic. I loved the demo and bought it promptly, without even pirating it. I then showed three of my friends and watched as they purchased it as well. It's really great, and I love that it's two guys.
posted by disillusioned at 12:41 AM on March 10, 2009


Related.
posted by spiderskull at 12:45 AM on March 10, 2009


I've bought it three times. Nyaah.
posted by dickasso at 12:46 AM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I went to stay with my brother and his family over the Christmas holiday, and my gift to them was a Wii. First thing I did after helping my brother set it up was buy World of Goo for them. Pretty much the entire family got addicted - moreso when we discovered you can use multiple controllers simultaneously. I love that game - I think that was the reason they got a Wii and not an Xbox or PS3.
posted by Ritchie at 1:12 AM on March 10, 2009


my god, the OCD. how.the.fuck.

I have OCD on most levels, which one are you having trouble with? There are tutorial videos for all of 'em on YouTube if you get really stuck. Some of them require exacting precision or amazingly quick action, but a good number rely on using a devious trick, some of them undocumented.

World of Goo is becoming a very important game, nearly the first indie title to hit mainstream. It's telling that it does so much right that few commercial publishers would ever think to allow.

As for the prototype version of WoG.... it's interesting, but I expect this would have been a better post if you'd waited until they'd released some more prototypes. (Also, then I'd have had a better chance of scooping you, heh.)

Of course, an even earlier prototype was Tower of Goo, which is also free to download.
posted by JHarris at 1:51 AM on March 10, 2009


As an aside, a few years ago I was kind of down on the game industry as I lost interest in all of the big budget AAA-franchise titles and became a "lapsed gamer". Warren Spector's rant at the 2005 GDC really summed it all up for me, since it seemed like at the time we were doomed to see all of the money go to safe iterations of previous designs (can we just ban all future first-person shooters except for Half-Life please?). While this certainly played out in a lot of ways, I think games like World of Goo are emblematic of the wonderful parallel growth of Internet distribution, whether it be through Xbox or Steam or whatever. The "budget" titles made by smaller developers are where the real creative stuff is happening, and I'm no longer so worried about ballooning costs devouring innovation in the game industry. Maybe it's just that I've done more exploring and have found a layer that's been there all along, but I've gone in the opposite direction with my feelings toward the industry. People can have their Halos and endless sequels, and I'm not even saying games like that aren't fun. But I'd rather spend my time with different types of games and expand my horizons, and thankfully it seems like that's getting easier!

Also, Warren Spector is working on a Disney game now, and I pray nightly that he is okay.
posted by palidor at 3:11 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you have a Wii and a computer, is there any reason to prefer one platform over another for this game? Cost is about the same, where I live. I wish Wiiware games had demo's.
posted by davar at 3:44 AM on March 10, 2009


If you have a Wii and a computer, is there any reason to prefer one platform over another for this game?

I'd say go for the Wii version - it's just such a perfect fit for the system.
posted by oulipian at 4:09 AM on March 10, 2009


despitebecause of an 82% piracy rate (previously), still went on to become one of the best selling games of 2008

FTFY

I've accidentally achieved a few OCDs and hunted down a couple others. But yeah, a lot of them are impossible. I've thought of a few tricks but I'm not quite OCD enough to find them all, nor do I want to ruin it by watching the videos. So here I am, in a state of incompleteness but unwilling to take either route to completion.
posted by DU at 4:30 AM on March 10, 2009


Oh and you want the Wii version. You can tell it isn't native there, but I found the controls a little more intuitive. Using the WiiMote is like a long stick to direct the goo balls. Also, it's nice to work the game while lying back on the couch rather than hunched over a keyboard.
posted by DU at 4:33 AM on March 10, 2009


(can we just ban all future first-person shooters except for Half-Life please?)

You didn't like Portal?
posted by P.o.B. at 4:44 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


This post came 3 days too late: Steam had it on sale for 5.00 this weekend!
posted by absalom at 5:00 AM on March 10, 2009


I loved Portal. Obviously that comment wasn't completely serious, although I don't really consider Portal a FPS in the same vein as something like Halo. Portal is an example of actually doing something new with that paradigm instead of just repeating the same stuff. Or at least that's how I see it.
posted by palidor at 5:17 AM on March 10, 2009


It's like Lemmings, but gooey.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:18 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course, that 82% piracy figure is just for the PC game. Many more people have bought it on Wii.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:25 AM on March 10, 2009


> You didn't like Portal?

To be fair, Portal is more of a first-person puzzle game than a first-person shooter.
posted by bjrn at 5:33 AM on March 10, 2009


I loved World of Goo. I think its classic appeal comes from the fact that the basic proposition is really simple but versatile. There's nothing to learn, nothing about the game gets in the way, but it generates enough complexity, novelty and difficulty to make it continuously rewarding. And then on top of that, it's really nicely presented. I even like the music, and I'm someone who regards turning the speakers off as an automatic preliminary to most games.
posted by Phanx at 7:07 AM on March 10, 2009


DU: Only two OCDs are actually impossible. The last level doesn't have one. The level "MOM's Computer" can only be OCD'd on the first attempt unless you're playing a more recent build of the PC version.
posted by JHarris at 7:10 AM on March 10, 2009


Wow. It runs pretty well on a MacBook with one of those underpowered X3100 chipsets. Nothing I've seen in the demo would cause me to think it wouldn't, but the last small game I bought, "Hordes of Orcs," took several releases before I could play it at any but the most minimal settings.

I happen to be reading Blood Music right now, so I'm feeling a little conflicted about helping the goo-kins.
posted by mph at 7:24 AM on March 10, 2009


Portal is an FPS before anything else. That's the genre it falls under. I agree it's also an escape/puzzle game, but you can't say it's not a shooter. I think this is one of the great things about that game, the non-killing aspect, and should be an aspect of FPS' that could be explored a little more in within that genre. It's a point I wanted to "tease" out of what palidor was saying, the idea that it is a genre that has been mercilessly drilled into a small niche with little creativity left to it. When the fact of the matter is: there is still room for it grow, such as a non-shoot-em-up shooter!

...I'll skip the rest of my art/subject-growth and 3rd-Person-Shooter blathering/derail.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:27 AM on March 10, 2009


My usual mantra is actually "no more violence" since that's probably holding developers back more than the viewpoint of the player character. I'm not going to start this debate, but the older I get the more I'm bothered by the prevalence of violence in games, both from the gameplay standpoint and with regards to any "moral" considerations. But essentially I think creativity happens when someone stops assuming what properties a game should have and just does some crazy shit, and violence is a pretty common assumed property.
posted by palidor at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Portal is an FPS before anything else.

Eh? It's pretty damn light on the S, surely?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:08 AM on March 10, 2009


Oh, and the World of Goo soundtrack is fantastic, although I wish he'd fix the annoying MP3-ey glitches in a couple of of the tracks.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:09 AM on March 10, 2009


I just bought World of Goo on sale this weekend, and it's been a blast. Something about the goos squealing "YIPPEE!" when you connect them just cheers me up. It is a beautiful game.
posted by Nedroid at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2009


Portal is an FPS before anything else. That's the genre it falls under. I agree it's also an escape/puzzle game, but you can't say it's not a shooter.

I can and will say that Portal is not a shooter. FPS is the genre it's shoehorned into because it was developed in an engine known for FPS games, has the first person perspective, and FPPuzzler isn't really a recognized genre. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the portal gun is what supposedly makes it a shooter? That's akin to claiming practically every game ever made is an RPG in the sense that you play the role of the controllable character(s).
posted by owtytrof at 9:32 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Keep an eye out for the Steam weekend sales. Goo was on sale for like five dollars/euros last weekend. I got every single id software game in a bundle for 35 euros in their January sale.

(I practically buy all my PC games from Steam these days. What a great service.)
posted by slimepuppy at 10:00 AM on March 10, 2009


Love this game. Bought it for the wii for myself, and for a friend. And I got pretty far but am now stuck, and don't care. I WILL FIND A WAY.
posted by davejay at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2009


I tried it, through various means, but I wasn't a big fan. Not for me. It is, however, a very well-designed game, and that really shines through.
posted by graventy at 11:43 AM on March 10, 2009


Bought it after hearing so much hype about it.

The Hype was right. I was a game and console agnostic until I got stuck with a Wii two christmasses ago. It is one of the few games I go back to regularly. Anything else from 2D boy is an insta-buy now. It's that good.
posted by djrock3k at 11:55 AM on March 10, 2009


Part two of the feature, which includes a newer version of the 2006 build to download, is now available.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:29 PM on March 10, 2009


Portal is a shooter, through and through. Shoehorned or not, (and honestly, saying 'shoehorned' is saying it would have garnered the same attention if it wasn't made that way - which is something nobody could say) the game was changed from a 3rd person to First Person, and the delivery system of the Portals was changed to...Ta-Daa: shooting. Unless someone actually can somehow prove these don't happen, how is it not an FPS? The Half Life series has a Gravity Gun, and a bit of the game requires doing things not killing but still is an FPS - nay? I think people would be singing a bit of a different tune if there were people you would have to dispatch with the Portal Gun right? So killing is what's required of an FPS? owtytrof, that's a pretty narrow definition of RPGs just as you seem to have a narrow definition of FPS'. OTOH, I think we can all agree Myst is not an FPS.
Sorry for the derail.

World of Goo = Awesome
posted by P.o.B. at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2009


Portal is a shooter, through and through.

Not buying it. Core game mechanic of a shooter: shooting things. Core game mechanic of Portal: things going through portals. Yes, it's a gun shooting the portals, but the game is not about the shooting itself; it's all about the consequences of portal placement. (You don't even have the gun for the first few levels...)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:21 PM on March 10, 2009


You don't even have the gun for the first few levels...

Just like Half-Life 1 & 2?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:24 PM on March 10, 2009


Saying Portal is a shooter because it involves a gun is like calling Driving Miss Daisy a racing movie because it involves a car.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:28 PM on March 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who cares? Just call it "genre-defying"

palidor even took back his anti-FPS statement. Really, condemning one genre because there are a lot of games in that genre is pretty foolish. It could be argued that Gears of War innovated quite a bit with its cover system, now a standard. Halo standardized a control scheme for consoles still in use today.
posted by graventy at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2009


Just call it "genre-defying"

Couldn't agree more. That was part of my original point.
Although not my intent, I just find it a bit amusing to see people compelled to rail vociferously against the obvious. As if I'm taking away from the game or people are upset they partook in something beneath them.
I would agree with the point that Quake was never about shooting missiles, but about the placement of those missiles.

*Gets in General Lee, hits the gas, leaves thread in smokecloud while Dixie horn plays*
posted by P.o.B. at 2:14 PM on March 10, 2009


That was part of my original point.

Say what? Your original point(scroll up if necessary) is that Portal is a shooter. That's not exactly touting the game as "genre-defying."

The Half Life series has a Gravity Gun, and a bit of the game requires doing things not killing but still is an FPS - nay?

Right, Half-Life largely focuses on shooting and killing your enemies. It's a shooter with some puzzle/action sequences built around a gravity gun. It's not a gravity gun game with no convential dispatching of enemies being called a shooter. Subtle, no?

Anyway, you're right that it ultimately doesn't matter what you call it.
posted by owtytrof at 2:31 PM on March 10, 2009


*Drives back into thread, yells out window*

It is an FPS, but it takes the general conventions and does something else with them. Thus a genre-defying FPS. Happy? Besides, cherry-picking what I say doesn't negate everything else I've said (scroll up if necessary).

Agian, sorry for the derail people!

*Drives off*
posted by P.o.B. at 2:57 PM on March 10, 2009


FPS is defined by the simple gameplay: "shoot anything that moves (that doesn't light up on your radar)".
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2009


Portal is hardly genre-defying. It's a first person puzzle game. It's not that far removed from Myst, which came out in '93 (god, I feel old). Mirror's Edge is a first person running game. Thief is a first person sneaking game. The Ship is a first person murder game. Plenty of first person role playing games out there too.

You can argue anything else til you're blue in the face, but the operative word in FPS is the final Shooter part.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:34 PM on March 10, 2009


Ok I downloaded and ran this and I can't figure out the goal. I've just got a bunch of black goggly eye balls that I can some times stick to stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 3:36 PM on March 10, 2009


You can argue anything else til you're blue in the face, but the operative word in FPS is the final Shooter part.

Yeah, it's crazy how you don't shoot in Portal!!!

What?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:47 PM on March 10, 2009


Portal's genre classification is irrelevant! My original comment was about my satisfaction with the development of online distribution, since it seems to make games like World of Goo possible. In the absence of big names like Valve leading the way in creativity, I think a distribution model that encourages smaller teams and more risk-taking is exactly what the industry needs, at least in order to make me happy. I won't argue the value of FPSs or recycling genre conventions in general because, yes, dismissing an entire genre is stupid, but more importantly, because I'm not the audience for those games so long as all of the downloadable "budget" titles get my attention.
posted by palidor at 3:47 PM on March 10, 2009


(Please start talking about online distribution so I can be relieved of my guilt for derailing the thread with an offhanded remark!)
posted by palidor at 3:49 PM on March 10, 2009


Portal's genre classification is irrelevant!
Portal is a comedy. Maybe a comedrama. There.

I just wish the good independent games had more visibility. Steam needs like an IGF finalists weekend or something, and the XBLA community games desperately need a better search than "popular" or "alphabetical".

The problem with online distribution is that services quickly get overwhelmed with a large volume of games. Separating the good stuff in the Wii's giant store of old games and WiiWare isn't really that easy.
posted by graventy at 4:06 PM on March 10, 2009


Yeah, it's crazy how you don't shoot in Portal!!!

What?


From wikipedia: First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre, featuring a first person perspective, with which the player views the action as if through the eyes of the protagonist and in which the primary element is combat based around shooting.

The primary act in portal is not combat or shooting. It's the creation of portals to bypass obstacles. The fact that you use a device that shoots the entry and exit points is irrelevant to the basic mechanic. If the main character used magic to have the portals appear to where the cursor pointed, it would cease to be a shooter by your definition. Does Thief become a shooter because one of the missions requires you to shoot an arrow into a ceiling but other than that there is no (need for) combat? Also, bear in mind that if you shoot the 'enemy' in Portal (the turrets) the projectile simply goes through them. Shooting the enemy directly accomplishes nothing.

There are plenty of examples with games that have shooting in them without being shooters. Mario Galaxy, the aforementioned Thief, The Ship etc. A movie that has humour in it does not make it a comedy. If a movie has action in it it is not necessarily an action movie. And so on.

And anyone who states that gameplay genre X has little creativity left to it is not paying enough attention. Just because MTV is not playing music you like it doesn't mean it isn't being made. It's just a bit trickier to find.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:54 PM on March 10, 2009


The fact that you use a device that shoots the entry and exit points is irrelevant to the basic mechanic.

I would beg to differ. Shooting is intrinsic to the gameplay. I don't see how saying "Nope, no shooting - Lalalala!" changes that.
Even if it was "Bioshock Portal Magic" (shooting portals from your hand), it would still be an FPS.
I could think of a few ways of killing people with a Portal Gun (redirecting turrets, dropping people out of ceiling portals, etc.).
I'm not strictly defining the game because it has shooting in it, but like I said it is intrinsic to the gameplay thus a shooter.
Look, I could go on about other dynamics of the game, but I'm not going to keep this up. Either you agree or disagree with me . Cool either way.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:55 PM on March 10, 2009


We got the PC version from Steam, and the Wii version. The 6 year old LOVES WoG. Loves it. It's an absolutely genius bit of code.
posted by dejah420 at 7:30 PM on March 10, 2009


I would beg to differ. Shooting is intrinsic to the gameplay. I don't see how saying "Nope, no shooting - Lalalala!" changes that.

Didn't you zoom off in a cloud of dust? Can I call you a cab, bro? No, really.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:51 PM on March 10, 2009


The music is what gets me. The strange combo of pioneer epic and Triplets of Belleville.

But I've been stuck on MOM's Computer so long I just gave up.
posted by dw at 9:23 PM on March 10, 2009


The download reminds me of Soda Constructor
posted by jaronson at 9:54 PM on March 10, 2009


Mitheral: The download is an early prototype of World of Goo. It's not really a game at that point, so there is no goal.

dwWow, you got that far and gave up? What is the problem, you can't figure out what to do?
posted by JHarris at 6:16 AM on March 11, 2009


Didn't you zoom off in a cloud of dust? Can I call you a cab, bro? No, really.

it's alright, you can act grown up. No, really.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:35 AM on March 11, 2009


Sadly, the publisher of World of Goo went bankrupt recently.
posted by jefftang at 7:47 AM on March 11, 2009


dwWow, you got that far and gave up? What is the problem, you can't figure out what to do?

I can't get the tower to hold together. I'm not even sure building the tower is the right thing to do. The switch in game structure just threw me.
posted by dw at 10:22 AM on March 11, 2009


Well that makes one of us.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:16 AM on March 12, 2009


Flattery will get you nowhere.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:37 PM on March 12, 2009


I never realized the "82% piracy rate" was extracted from numbers exclusive to the demo.

“by the way, just in case it’s not 100% clear, we’re not angry about piracy, we still think that DRM is a waste of time and money, we don’t think that we’re losing sales due to piracy, and we have no intention of trying to fight it.”
2D BOY’s Ron Carmel

Interesting.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:11 AM on March 13, 2009


"Sadly, the publisher of World of Goo went bankrupt recently."

Yeah, but they're restructuring, not shutting down. They're not even laying anyone off. It has a lot more to do with the broader economy than their game or particular distribution philosophy.

Just bought World of Goo today.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:49 AM on March 21, 2009


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