THE PCG Q&A
Untitled Goose Game lets us waddle a mile in the webbed feet of an extremely annoying goose. And not only is it fun, and has resulted in lots of amusing gifs and memes, but it's got us thinking about other animals that might be deserving of their own games.
There's already been Goat Simulator and Ape Out, plus we've got Maneater and Bee Simulator on the way, so that takes care of goats, apes, sharks and bees. But surely we can think of more furry, fanged, and feathered friends who could star in an upcoming game.
That's our question this week: What other animal deserves its own game? We've listed our answers below, and you honk your answers into the comments.
Evan Lahti: A Grand Theft Auto-style game starring a crustacean who can hijack any object, big or small, as a shell. Hijack a coffee cup right out of the hands of a trendy barista. Hijack a dog house. Hijack a coffin. Hijack a Shell gas station. Hijack the Pope's hat. I'd call it Grab That Crab.
Wes Fenlon: This is almost too easy, but I don't think there are many animals on this earth more inherently goofy than the giraffe. So a comedy physics sim would be a slam dunk. Don't put me in the giraffe's natural habitat: stick me in a town where I have to navigate doorways, drive my convertible (obviously) under low bridges, and rudely stick my head into third floor windows. Just getting through everyday life as a Giraffe in the City would be a challenge, and hopefully hilarious.
Bo Moore: I want a Ratatouille-style cooking game where you prepare dishes by platforming your way around a kitchen, pushing ingredients off the shelf, tossing some in from a distance. Perhaps there's also a stealth element where you have to hide from human chefs that don't believe a rat should be in the kitchen.
Alice Newcome-Beill: PC gaming has been privy to a huge swath of the zoological spectrum, everything from ants to snakes to sharks sometimes all in the same game. However, one glaring omission I can think of is a game specifically about feral dogs or wolves.
It would be interesting to see a game explore how the relationship of canines evolved to include humans to an almost symbiotic level. Prehistory and evolution I feel are criminally underused settings and mechanics as far as video games are concerned, but games like Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey are exploring this realm in some interesting ways.
Joanna Nelius: In the same spirit as Untitled Goose Game, there should be another one where we play as a cat from hell. Knocking things off tables. Scratching expensive furniture. Pooping right outside the liter box. Meowing loudly because our food bowl is one piece of kibble away from being full. There should be some sort of challenge round where we try to draw blood from our human's dinner guests, and the more blood we draw, the closer we come to unleashing a special demonic cat power.
A dead dog
James Davenport: You can only pet the dog if the dog steals a magic pocket watch and plummets from heaven to get revenge on the criminal underworld. Protect all manners of children that can talk to animals currently exploited by the cartoon mafia to collect XP and wind back the pocket watch counting down the time until your next inevitable dog death. But some dogs won't work fast enough. The watch will march towards oblivion and, in keeping with the plot of the Don Bluth original, your dog avatar will burn in hell. The next expansion is all dog hell lore and faction battles enter the picture. It's a whole thing. Send in a picture of your pet and play them (dead) in the game. Cheaper than taxidermy.
Jarred Walton: I would be a bad parent if I didn't suggest someone make a hamster game. Trying to navigate the dangers of a small town in a hamster ball would present many difficulties: stairs, walls, doors, cars, other animals. Basically, someone should make Untitled Hamster Game, because my kids would love it. I would be forced to buy it, whether or not it was any good. Bonus points if the hamster gets to fly in a remote controlled helicopter—because I've had to play this video way too many times.
A polar bear
Trying to make it to #Friday like... #PolarBearDay pic.twitter.com/aLp3WUaynbFebruary 27, 2019
Lauren Morton: I'm honor-bound to say polar bears because that's kind of my thing. I was originally amused by Bear Simulator during its Kickstarter phase years ago but it has since fizzled out as far as I can tell. What I really want is for Might & Delight to make a Shelter 4 about polar bears. Yes, I know they already made Shelter 2 about lynxes and that should satisfy my desire for snowy environments but this is a wishlist. But what does a mother polar bear guard her cubs from on her grim, beautiful trek across the tundra? Inevitably catastrophic climate change, I guess.
Morgan Park: During my last trip to the Los Angeles Zoo, I witnessed something truly magical. One of the monkeys had climbed to the top of the habitat, reached out as far as it could to yank a big leaf off a branch, and proceeded to drag it around like a wagon. It was adorable, but it was even better when a zoo employee came in to confiscate the contraband. The monkey wasn't supposed to have the leaf, but it was not about to give up its new green friend. The ensuing chase went on for six minutes. Every time the employee would get close, the monkey would climb up the wall and swing to the other side.
Eventually, they gave up and let the leaf stay. The employee didn't love it when we all cheered. What I'm saying is that this needs to be a video game, like, yesterday. I call it Leaf Me Alone: A Monkey's Journey.
My boy had a rough day. Saw a cat in the neighborhood and sat on the fence chirping for 30 minutes to warn me. I went out front and the cat ran away. Home safe now. pic.twitter.com/Hi3P8m4WXoAugust 13, 2019
Tyler Wilde: There's a ground squirrel living in my yard, and he gets up to some mischief. Stole a cucumber from my garden once. Another time he sat on the fence informing the neighborhood that he saw a cat with piercing chirps that sounded like a smoke alarm. He's got quite a tunnel network going.
You could, as a virtual ground squirrel, dig tunnels through a suburban neighborhood, steal produce, escape from predators, and startle humans by bolting beneath their feet, pausing, staring at them, briefly chewing some food, and then diving into your subterranean nest—my squirrel seems to enjoy that. Maybe set it around the time of World War I when, fun fact, California formed a pretend military unit out of school children and told them to kill as many ground squirrels as they could. Part of your job could be to organize a counter-army to drop nuts on their heads and tie their shoelaces together with your little squirrel hands.
Chris Livingston: Both of my parents are lifelong, avid birdwatchers so I grew up knowing a lot (and caring very little) about birds. But as I got older I started to enjoy and appreciate birds, especially crows. There's no complicated song to memorize: they pretty much just say "caw" which suits me fine. They're incredibly smart, have great memories, and a group of them is called a murder.
When a crow is killed by a predator, other crows sometimes gather around the corpse and try to discover what killed it. They chase after the predator and even attack it (which is called mobbing). That's badass. I want a game where I'm a crow detective who has to solve the murders of my fellow crows and hunt down the killers for a little mob justice.