Oh Ye-Of-Little-Faith Special: World of Goo Demo

By Kieron Gillen on October 15th, 2008 at 9:26 am.

Burn Goo Burn! Disco Inferno! Yes!

This is mainly of use to the cynics (and the evangelists, of course). Anyone who’s even slightly vulnerable to purple-prose will have already worked out how to buy it and done exactly that. If you haven’t – well, what are you waiting for? A demo? Well, wait no more. It’s currently spreading across the net, but let’s point at Filefront for this 33Mb slice of splendidosity. It’s the whole of chapter one, which made me start ranting about it all those months ago. You will too.

Well, almost probably. A couple of tiny thoughts plus some more Goo-in-action-video-footage follows…

Here’s the footage…

It’s a fun period which World of Goo finds itself in. It’s absolutely the honeymoon period – I literally saw my first negative comment from someone who’s played it last night, and I had to go to NeoGaf to actually see that. Literally everyone else loves it which I haven’t seen since… well, the early days of Portal, but even then I saw downbeat stuff earlier.

Of course, that’s also inevitable. No cultural object appeals to everyone. The people more likely to like something are attracted to it initially – they’re the core audience, after all. The more they rave about it, people outside the core audience come in. And since some of them will find their experience differ from the initial crowd, they express their reservations. Or slag it, if they’re wired that way. It’s backlash cycle, and natural and unavoidable.

To be honest, I don’t think it’ll be a big backlash – partially because, like Portal, it’s immensely loveable and partially because as an indie game it’s unlikely to sell the multi-millions required to get a real backlash. But still, in the time before a single minor chord in the orchestra of public voices, it’s easy to smile. Pure joy and gaming. It’s why we formed RPS, y’know?

Join us. Play the bloody demo.

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89 Comments »

  1. Voidman says:

    Like the Lemmings but more gooey…(?)

    Love it. In the pipeline (pun intended)

  2. Fire_Storm says:

    “Not a single solution has made sense to me.”

    It’s cute that single celled organisms are at the stage where they can try Indie Gaming now, it’s just a shame they developed the ability to post on forums so quickly.

    the Information Superhighway levels made me smile the kind of smile I usually reserve for post coitus. Thank you RPS for showing me your World of Goo.

  3. Junior says:

    I saw a negative comment the other day, Horrible things.

    I got the game last week, I’m still crawling slowly through it, partly because I don’t want any poor goo balls to die if I can help it. It’d be a much happier world of goo if they all got to join me in that big corporation in the, um, World of Goo corporation.

    See you in the sky!

  4. Scott says:

    I feel where that guy’s coming from (Mr. Negative Comment, that is,) sometimes is does sound like you just keep piling Goo until it works. It’s less of a thinking puzzle game and more a feeling/intuition one. It can be frustrating at times, and I do think the difficulty is rather absurd in places. Maybe it’s just because I’ve suffered the savegame deletion bug twice, but I feel as though part of my enjoyment of the game is feeling like I should be enjoying it. However, my feelings about the game are overall quite positive, as anything negative that the gameplay creates is easily eclipsed by the atmosphere and excellent music.

    And on another topic, profanity pack? Where do I get that? I preordered but there was nothing on it in the emails…

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    Scott: Oh, not saying that I don’t see his point either – just that he’s the first one who that is his main impressions.

    (The tactile nature of the game’s puzzle solving is a big part of its appeal for me)

    KG

  6. Okami says:

    If you really want to loose faith in humanity, try reading the World of Goo trailer comments on gametrailers.com…

    It will make you sad and angry and possibly a criminal if you can find out where those little fuckers live…

  7. Not Bernard says:

    According to the website, “When the profanity pack is ready, everyone who pre-ordered will get a download link via email.”

    I know what that guy’s saying, it’s not like other puzzle games, and I quite like that. It feels a lot softer, almost.

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    Okami: Oh, they don’t count! I was talking about human beings.

    KG

  9. DarthS says:

    I don’t get the ‘none of the solutions made sense’.

    I was playing through the first chapter the other day while my flatmates 6yr old looked on, eyes as big as saucers. He managed to play through one of the opening levels with nothing from me but helpful reminders to read the signposts, and has since bugged me at every opportunity for another go.

    Evangelising this game is hard however. “It’s great! It’s just like…uh…”

    What is it like? I want to say Portal, but that’s like comparing apples and oranges. They’re both fruit but they taste nothing like each other.

    I should be able to say; “This is great! You’ve never played anything like it before!” but in this age of cynicism everyone just roles their eyes.

  10. AbyssUK says:

    If only it had a run train button it would be perfect

  11. Gap Gen says:

    Anyone who comments on internet video sites is probably tainted, anyway.

  12. klo8 says:

    Thanks RPG for showing me World of Goo. It’s awesome

  13. Nero says:

    Nice to have a demo out. This means I don’t have to be called an asshole by some random Steam guy for not giving him the pre-order preview chapter (sorry dude).

  14. Ben Abraham says:

    Downloading as we speak.

  15. Valentin Galea says:

    I really tried to hate that game but ended up loving it!

    It’s kinda hard puzzle wise, but what the hell I’ll play the levels just for the music alone:)

  16. Carra says:

    Aaah. Yesterday I played the “Eureka” level.

    I was quite glad to have figured out the solution to the level just by reading the levels name :)

  17. phuzz says:

    For those of us trying out the demo on our work computers, Alt+Enter will switch the game to windowed mode…
    Not that I’d be playing games at work or anything.

  18. Saflo says:

    Are they saying UNATCO?

  19. Meat Circus says:

    @Saflo:

    Maybe, but I’m sure one of the things they say is “Take the money!” though.

  20. Saflo says:

    That’s good advice.

  21. The Sombrero Kid says:

    negative comment wise, it really needs said that there’s a distinct lack of resolution settings or any other for that matter which is presumably going to be rectified but i feel it was RPS and other reviewers duty to point this out.

    not a major failing of the game and definitely does little if anything to detract from the gameplay experience but I’d say it’s a major failing on the part of the reviewers to not point this out, it seems a little deceitful.

    btw the game is f*cking brilliant!

  22. Colthor says:

    If I’d just played chapter 1 as a demo I don’t think I would have bought the full game. Don’t get me wrong, it made me smile lots of times – the installer, the loading messages, and I spent a couple of minutes just playing with the brilliant mouse pointer when I loaded the game – but the basic mechanic you wind up using for much of chapter one, sticking black balls together until they collapse under their own weight and you try again (especially on the Tower of Goo level I didn’t feel like I understood why it was breaking. It could do with some sort of feedback, like Bridge Builder’s colour-changing lines that go red before they snap, or something. But cuter.), which frustrated me and didn’t seem that interesting or compelling.
    Everything else was lovely; the music, the graphics, the squidgy goo. The penultimate level of Chapter 1 is particularly beautiful.

    Happily, when you get to Chapter 2 it keeps all the good stuff, but adds more toys to play with and more interesting puzzles. And Chapter 3 does it again.

    And at the start of Chapter 4? I laughed and grinned like my heart wasn’t a blackend, shrivelled potato.

    So if you play the demo and aren’t that taken with the “blobby, real-time Bridge Builder” game mechanic, be assured that the later chapters are a lot more fun.

  23. Shadowcat says:

    I have mixed feelings about the demo being the first chapter, no more and no less. I pre-ordered, and while I liked the first chapter lots, it didn’t on its own warrant the level of hype.

    I maintained a small amount of cynicism for a while longer, but I have become more and more entranced as the game has progressed. Each chapter brings new unexpected wonders, and the game has well and truly won me over. I even dreamed about it last night.

    So yes, the game really is fabulous, and well worth the asking price; but if the first chapter is all you see, you might reasonably imagine that the subsequent chapters will be more or less identical.

    Maybe a sort of teaser trailer of some of what is to come could be the reward for completing the demo. Something to dispell the above concern, and get people really excited about more goo?

  24. Esquar says:

    someone please seed the torrent for this, I have the feeling filefront doesn’t like my un-american ways.

  25. MonkeyMonster says:

    Like I needed more of a reason to get it and then that trailer is embedded on here… How can I possibly resist those little buggers and their whoops of joy…

  26. ZeroByte says:

    Here’s a list of demo mirrors from the 2dboy forum. Filefront hated me too.

  27. ZeroByte says:

    God dang it! I forgot da link.

  28. Gpig says:

    I’ve only played the first 8 stages so far but I regret buying it, especially at $20. My opinion might change after I’ve beaten the first area, but it seems odd to not like a game that doesn’t have any kind of learning curve after that long.

  29. thelf says:

    Seconding Sombrero Kid – no widescreen mode in 2008 is definitely a bit of a WTF and deserved a mention (I know you’re writers and hate all technical information because you can’t be poetic about it but throw it in a sidebar or something).

    Surprisingly tricky, too, which is not a turn off yet but if it has a conventional difficulty curve I’m not sure I could even complete the full game. It’s definitely “oh, neat” rather than “oh, darling!” at this point.

  30. Sam says:

    @Gpig – It appears that the ease with which people can complete World of Goo varies wildly – while you see no learning or difficulty curve in the first 8 levels, other comments on the internet suggest that others find even the first chapter tricky.
    I’m mostly in your camp (although some of the guys on the World of Goo forums scare me with their solutions), but I promise you that after Chapter 1, things get more interesting and varied. Plus, you can (and should, if you’re finding it easy) go for OCDs on each level. That’s why they’re there – and they do have a learning curve.

  31. Alec Meer says:

    I really struggled with a lot of the first chapter on my initial playthrough, then part way through chapter 2 something flipped in my brain and I suddenly wasn’t struggling much at all. When I went back to Ch.1 later, it seemed laughably simple. Consistently though, it’s the inventiveness and charm that really makes the game, much more so than the challenge.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:

    @Alec

    agree with you here about half way through chapter 2 something flipped with me, I didn’t notice it but as I’m playing it on my PC and laptop on the bus simultaneously I found the first chapter ridiculously easy the second time round.

  33. DaveJonesLocker says:

    I’ve been following RPS’ coverage of this impending release and downloaded the demo as soon as RPS informed me of its release.

    I have to say, I quite like it. Comparisons to DMA Designs’ “Lemmings” (Amiga) are not far from the mark. It’s clever, clean and colorful and otherwise well-presented.

    I got the same sense of being thrown into the water and expected to learn to swim, which is exciting, but can also be a bit frustrating when the learning curve ramps up if you choose the “bog level” path. I couldn’t solve that one in several attempts and opted to take the low road instead.

    In all, it looks like a game I will recommend to others and eventually buy for myself when money is not as mythical a resource as it seems to be now.

    I’m also impressed by developers’ website, insofar is its forums appear to be set up with feedback in mind.

    The only complaint that sprang to my mind while playing was simply that the pre-level clues flashed away before I could read them, but perhaps my eyes are old and bent.

  34. IcyBee says:

    A hack to change the resolution has been posted on the official forums.

    You have to edit config.txt in the preferences subdirectory.

    It seems to work, but higher resolutions result in tiny buttons/text. Try 960×600 for WS play.

  35. Sam says:

    @DaveJonesLocker:
    As far as the “bog level” goes – it helps to have some physical intuition about bridges, levers and springs. You’re probably doing what I guess everyone tries to do first and applying lift in the wrong place.

  36. Dan says:

    “We have just been informed that World of Goo will not be available in Europe until Feb/March of 2009. Copies purchased yesterday in Europe will continue to work.”

  37. Roman Levin says:

    I really, really liked the game but I don’t think it was quite as brilliant as some people make it out to be. I mean, it’s not up to Portal’s standards of awesomeness. Which is not what I’d call damning with faint praise.
    My biggest complaint is that several of the levels felt kind of random in terms of execution. Especially in the epilogue. By which I mean that realizing what you have to do was rather easy but actually doing it sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t.

  38. The Sombrero Kid says:

    @IcyBee
    yeah, that doesn’t work it makes the game unplayable (imo) mission critical text and objects appear off screen and generally lower the quality of the experience.

  39. unique_identifier says:

    the world of goo corp tower building thing with synched country tagged nameclouds is cute. They could have easily settled with some crappy vertical board of numbers, but no.

    i’m a bit befuddled by the regurgitation level in the demo. is there meant to be a win condition (although there’s at least one approach i’ve thought of that i haven’t tried yet)?

    this demo hasn’t inspired the same ear to ear grinning and gleeful laughter that Braid did, but it does make me smile.

  40. Mike says:

    Ive just completedthe demo and I am so buying this game now!

  41. Hypocee says:

    Unusual scattershot here.

    Colthor – what made you buy the game then?

    Shadowcat – NO SOUL

    Kieron – I left a negative comment right here at RPS on the review, unless you’re talking about a negative impression of the whole game.

    General – The whole thing was far too easy for me challengewise, which is unusual. I’m sure it helps that I’d played Bridge Builder and Tower of Goo, but even on the non-truss levels the solution was almost always obvious at first glance – it was never more than a matter of exploring exact strain limits/weight distributions. Mom’s Computer was the only one to stick me for any significant time, first because I kept trying to build out of the ____ in some way, and second because in pursuing that I found that if you swing them hard enough you can break the _____s through the side of the _____. I spent some time pursuing that red herring.

  42. DaveJonesLocker says:

    @Sam

    That’s exactly right. My false sense of intuition about the cause and effect of the physical nature of the game was quickly sent back to school. Still, I found it enjoyable and not overly frustrating. When three attempts at the “bog” seemed like enough, it was nice to have an alternate path to follow.

  43. Sam says:

    @Hypocee – did you get all the OCDs for all the levels too? I agree that the non-OCD solutions are generally fairly obvious, but I’ve not figured out all the OCD ones yet.
    I agree about MOM’s Computer, though, I was similarly distracted by both the same red herrings.

  44. unique_identifier says:

    @ Sam, re: “it helps to have some physical intuition about bridges, levers and springs” … “applying lift in the wrong place”

    hahaha, that was exactly the moment i sat back for a moment and recalled physics and realised what a bloody idiot i was. simple harmonic motion and torque and the distance between the pivot and the point of application of force and all that rot. or just remembering what its like to play with a see saw.

    going off on a tangent, i’m kind of curious how they’re actually simulating them goos.

  45. AbyssUK says:

    I had difficulty at first but then realised that you can make fully crossed boxes by adding another blob.. suddenly things stopped falling apart.

    i.e. [X] not [/] or [\]

  46. rez says:

    After having read the intensely positive reviews here and elsewhere, I ran (virtually) to Steam to purchase this gooey bit o’ fun. While I’ve had a lot of fun with the first chapter and the first bit of the second, I admit I was initially disappointed. This might be because I had unrealistically high expectations of the game, due in part to the reviews out there.

    I’ve since re-adjusted my expectations and found this game to be every bit as lovable as I’d been led to believe. The feeling it inspires is a bit reminiscent of the first time I played Worms Armageddon (hadn’t played any of the other titles at that point). I guess I’m just a sucker for 2d graphics, cute animations, and wacky sound effects. The fun puzzles and solid (highly viscous liquid?) gamplay mechanics don’t hurt either.

  47. Hypocee says:

    UID – you need to look around carefully for things that could help you. ;)

  48. The Sombrero Kid says:

    @Hypocee
    lol :)

  49. unique_identifier says:

    i cant wait to hear about the profanity pack. it’d be hilarious if those cute little gooballs could guess when their structure was undergoing some kind of failure and pipe up with an appropriately timed torrent of abuse.

  50. Hypocee says:

    Sam – no no, I’m not that triangleet! I’m having a nice time going back through and figuring those out. I did get one on my first runthrough, but it was a ‘save as many Goos as mathematically possible’, which in my view doesn’t count.