World of Goo: Art and Gameplay

wog_c1.jpgOne of the reasons I wanted to make World of Goo is because the gameplay is entirely physics based. I’m a sucker for physics / user generated / procedural / emergent / whatever systems – basically, stuff that writes itself so the developer doesn’t have to do a bloody thing and still get replayability and variation for free. But..

I’m also a sucker for adventure games. I grew up on games like Space Quest and King’s Quest and the LucasArts games. They are totally NOT physics / user generated / procedural / emergent / whatever, in fact, they are all the way on the other side of the spectrum, where game devs actually had to script every single possible interaction. The plus side was that since there was little re-use, nearly every scene and major action could be extraordinary, and the imagery iconic. And somehow (maybe because I was like 9 years old, but still even recently replaying Grim Fandango) I felt, I could go anywhere, lick anything, etc. Clever design and visual cues made me feel totally free in an otherwise entirely scripted and basically linear path. Anyway, that’s probably a whole article on interaction design, but the point is, I wish every game could be as visually iconic, artistically varied, and beautiful.

wog_t1.jpg wog_t2.jpg
wog_t3.jpg wog_t4.jpg
some levels from World of Goo

So my goal for World of Goo is to (hopefully) combine the best of both, where all gameplay is 100% physically simulated, and where each level is thematically extraordinary, visually iconic, and always (at least mildly) related to a story arc. There is very little asset re-use between levels, which is expensive in the sense that I have to create unique art by hand for every level, but as I’m seeing the game come together, I’m kinda happy how “beautiful” (or at least original) it is becoming. I just hope mom and dad (uh.. Sierra and LucasArts) are proud.

Anyway, I just got a piece of video capture equipment, so I’m gonna try and get some video of World of Goo online hopefully this week. Screenshots up above in the meantime.

Update: Good timing, I just found via gamesetwatch a post on the return of the adventure genre. I still don’t think the new casual versions have the heart the oldskool Sierra and LucasArts games had. Anyway, it reminded me of Johnny Rocketfingers 2 (not a casual game btw) – a dirty step in the right direction.

18 Responses to “World of Goo: Art and Gameplay”

  1. Mustafa K. Isik Says:

    Looking forward to “World of Goo”. The images look very stylish and promising. I have to express my deepest sympathies for your preference of our dead and probably/hopefully to be re-born beloved adventure genre :)

  2. Sergio Says:

    This suddenly sounds amazing, even though I was always looking forward to it.

  3. IainC Says:

    I am so feeling the 2D Boy love.

    I followed the EGP, messed with your SDK and generally got sucked into rabid GID’ing, although I wasn’t on the site.

    “Massive ups” in the yoof parlance of her majesty’s isle.

    Fly, my pretties.

  4. Nikica Says:

    Will the game be freeware ???

  5. KDarinG Says:


    I´m waitting for your game since you show it.

    Thanks for your work.

    PSP port¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  6. Asrr Says:

    Looking great

    I love Tower of Goo so I can ´ t wait for this … oh my …

    But … where is promised trailer? It is how long from this post? Month?

  7. Kyle Gabler Says:

    Ok, the video is done. I’m posting it here Monday Sept 10. I promise!

  8. Paulie Mindless Says:

    Well, that’s great, I am eager to see the video.

  9. RuchyGorgan Says:

    Finally the unveiling of this game will occur!
    Has to type that as best english as i could, so anxious to what this game will be!

  10. fluffy bunny Says:

    Your description of the adventure genre pretty much sums up the appeal of the genre for me too. In the best adventures, I feel like a real person in a real world, who can do almost whatever I want (within certain limitations). I mean, I don’t really feel like a real person when I play a shooter or whatever, because you pretty much just do one thing in those games (kill people and maybe navigate some obstacles). In adventure games, you can do so much more, or at least it feels that way when you’re playing the good ones.

    Anyway, keep an eye on to see the real revival of the adventure genre. :-)

    (anyway, I originally came here to comment on the gameplay video, which is completely awesome)

  11. » Blog Archive » World of Goo Says:

    […] World of Goo y es una frikada absoluta, original y con estilo, por lo que hemos podido ver en su blog. Muy recomendable el primer vídeo del juego, aunque aparte de desconcertar y de recordar […]

  12. Crab Says:

    Will this be available for Linux?

  13. sylverone Says:

    This is looking very nice! I was wondering how much you could do with the tower of goo idea and it’s apparently much more than I expected.

    As a side note I assume that you are probably looking forward to the debut of Maxis’ Spore? Your interests are very similar to mine (at least the ones you mentioned), and I know I sure am.

  14. Doug Sharp Says:

    I’ve been looking at competitors in the IGF and World of Goo looks like a contender. Best wishes.

    Can’t wait to play it. The trailer rocketh.

    My entry is ChipWits II. Give it a look at

  15. - Blog de juegos para Linux» Blog Archive » World of Goo tendrá versión para GNU/Linux Says:

    […] con unos seres en forma de bolas llamados Goo’s. World of Goo destaca por un gran cuidado artístico que se ha tenido en el diseño de los diferentes niveles y con una simulación física de los […]

  16. rodrigo unda Says:

    dear friends.
    i just love WOG.
    this is the kind on thing i wanted long time to see.
    since “neverhood” i haven’t loved so much a game.
    of course lucasa games are amazing, and i lovedto know they are inspiration for you too.

    a-ma-zing game.
    lovely artwork.

    best regards.

    rodrigo unda

  17. Stickybomb67 Says:

    I am from the future.

  18. Chinese Granite Says:

    just love WOG.
    this is the kind on thing i wanted long time to see.