Cloven-screen: Goat Simulator Adding Multiplayer


Goat Simulator is pretty much a dicking about simulator but oh, how lonely and pointless it is to dick about by yourself! Perhaps that’s the entire reason the goat is acting up. Why, put it in a pen with another real goat and perhaps they’d happily amble about and chew the cud all day long. I suppose we’ll find out in May, as developers Coffee Stain Studios are planning to add split-screen co-op with the first big patch and a new map t’boot.

As essentially an elaborate house of cards to flick at with a goat-shaped finger, Goat Simulator is certainly a game best enjoyed with others in some form, whether that’s crowding around a computer or streaming online. Multiplayer’s a natural addition.

But why only split-screen? Goat Simulator throwing around squillions of physics objects with Nvidia’s PhysX and Apex tech “would synchronise terribly in multiplayer,” Coffee Stain explain, and they “would have to rewrite most of the game code from scratch” to make it work online. Given how wonky the physics are with only one goat on one computer, one dreads to imagine how weird it’d end up online.

Update 1.1’s new level is said to be about the same size as the game’s original map. Coffee Stain’s Armin Ibrisagic said in today’s announcement, “A lot of people have been asking for DLC with new maps for Goat Simulator, but we would feel bad charging people for DLC content when people can just download new stuff for free from the Steam Workshop, so we decided to do a free update instead.” Which is hard to quibble with.


  1. LionsPhil says:

    Meanwhile, L4D2, a game from 2009, can synchronize its (admittedly rarer) physics objects and even zombie ragdolls (we all see the same hilarious midair-death flailing hunter leaps).

    It might be that PhysX is just that bad, but that seems all the more reason to avoid it.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Are you sure it’s 100% synchronized? :p

      • LionsPhil says:

        Fairly! The group I play with is on voice chat, and ragdolls in funny poses, or flying off in such a way that they hit some other thing, are percieved by all of us.

        It’s kind of unexpected, since ragdolls are usually not-worth-it netcode territory, and you’d expect a certain amount of fuzz in our agreement, but it does seem Valve got the whole shared-experience thing right there.

        • Geebs says:

          You can never ensure that everybody’s physics objects are the same, because of quantum.

    • ANeM says:

      As long as the PhysX engine is free to license we’ll continue to see it used in silly little projects like Goatsim.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Single player and multiplayer physics are coded differently. Then there is the “number of objects/values” problem that most MP game hide by having simple mechanics/environments/actions. Too many and the bandwidth becomes saturated (for anyone with less than 1mb upload, considering it’s an average limit to most).

      It’s possible, it’s just that it’s a lot of work, and harder to change mid engine.

    • Jad says:

      Well, L4D2 was a game developed

      1) from the ground-up as a multiplayer game, which speaks to the “would have to rewrite most of the game code from scratch” line above and
      2) by a major AAA studio with a sizable staff and almost literally limitless money

      • Gap Gen says:

        It speaks volumes that they can decide not to produce a sequel to their flagship series just because they don’t feel like it. Then again, Valve is much more a publishing house than an actual game developer these days, what with Steam and all of their recent games being made by acquired studios.

    • DrBomb says:

      I’m pretty sure Goat Simulator doesn’t use Source. It’s an engine limitation as they already have said.

  2. nimzy says:

    Zombies are next. Mark my words.

  3. youhavemyaxe says:

    I loved this purchase but this free update puts Goat Sim over the top. Unironically my goty 2k14 (so far)

  4. BoZo says:

    Wait, people have been ASKING for map pack DLC..?