Goat Simulator, described by its creators as “a small, broken and stupid game that was made in a couple of weeks”, became an overnight hit, selling millions of copies worldwide. And now, lead designer Armin Ibrisagic is continuing to explore virality in games by launching Animal Super Squad with Double Moose Games.
Like its predecessor, Animal Super Squad plays with physics and absurd ideas, putting players in control of a motorized toilet driven by a chicken. But appealing to players’ funny bones isn’t the only aspect of Goat Simulator that Armin kept alive. To give their second title viral potential, Double Moose forged Animal Super Squad around user generated content:
“Fans continue to surprise us by creating such crazy stuff. We’ve encouraged that even more in Animal Super Squad by making it driven by user-created content. Thousands of players have already used our level editor to make some pretty imaginative (and weird) stuff. In one level, a user modded a tiny platform into the chicken’s butt, letting it double jump an infinite amount of times on a vertically played level.”
Letting gamers take on the role of developer may get players talking. But to truly give it viral potential, Armin knew they couldn’t depend on word of mouth to see the game succeed. To really encourage the spread of Animal Super Squad, they directly connected players with the rest of their community.
“We worked with GameSparks and Unreal to implement cross-platform play, as well as build a common repository where players save and access any user created levels. By securely seeing a Steam player upload their level, and directly share it with anyone on console or mobile, we’re giving players unrestricted access to every level, maxmizing the potential reach of each.”
As part of a small and scrappy team, Armin and his team are lean, but nimble, working with third party technology to deliver features that players usually expect from development giants.
“One of the downsides of being a small team is that all the features players come to expect from bigger companies can be tough to match. We make up for it by acting fast and using third party tech. Unreal Engine helped us get the level editor going on console and mobile, and GameSparks had already done all the hard work for us to enable cross-platform play.
We always make sure we have the best tools possible. Without having third party tech to offload some heavy lifting, it would have been very hard to have a game with a level editor, that simultaneously releases on all systems and enables cross-platform play. ”