World of Goo

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World of Goo
Box art
Developer(s) 2D Boy
Publisher(s) Independent
Nintendo WiiWare
Designer(s) Kyle Gabler, Ron Carmel
Version 1.40 (Linux)

1.30 (Windows and Mac)

Platform(s) PC, Mac OS X, Linux,[1] WiiWare[2][3]
Release date(s) WiiWare

NA October 13, 2008
EU December 19, 2008
JP Q2 2009
Windows (Steam)
NA October 13, 2008
PAL December 12, 2008
Windows (official website)
October 13, 2008
Mac OS X
November 2, 2008
February 14, 2009

Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player, Co-operative (Wii only)
Rating(s) ESRB: E
PEGI: 3+
Media Download
Input methods Mouse, Wii Remote

World of Goo is a puzzle computer game with a strong emphasis on physics, for the Wii, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (x86[4], x86-64[5]) by 2D Boy, an independent game developer consisting of Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, both former Electronic Arts employees.[2][6] It was nominated for the Seumas McNally grand prize, Design Innovation Award and Technical Excellence at the Independent Games Festival.[7] It was released for the Wii's WiiWare in North America on October 13, 2008.[8] On November 11 2008, 2D Boy announced that World of Goo will be released as WiiWare in Europe, instead of a retail release.[9] During the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, Nintendo announced that they will publish World of Goo in Japan during the second quarter of 2009. [10]


[edit] Gameplay

[edit] Overview

Placing a goo ball to construct a bridge.

The game is built around the idea of creating large structures using balls of goo. It is based on the prototype game Tower of Goo developed for Kyle Gabler's rapid game prototyping Experimental Gameplay Project.[11] The game is divided into five chapters, each containing several levels. Each level has its own graphic and musical theme, giving it unique atmosphere,[6] similar in style to Tim Burton's film designs. [12] There is also a bonus meta-game called World of Goo Corporation, where the objective is to build the highest tower using goo balls which the player collected through the course of the game. Players from all over the world can compete, as the height of the tower and number of goo balls used are being constantly uploaded to the 2D Boy server.

[edit] Objective

The main objective of the game is to get a requisite number of goo balls to a pipe representing the exit. In order to do so, the player must use the goo balls to construct bridges, towers and other structures to overcome gravity and various terrain difficulties such as chasms, hills, spikes or cliffs. Extra Goos recovered in the pipe are pumped through to the World of Goo Corporation, a sandbox area where the objective is to compete with other players worldwide by building the tallest tower possible.[13] Players can also try to achieve the "Obsessive Completion Distinction (OCD) Flag" for each level by completing the level under more stringent criteria,[14] such as collecting a larger number of Goo balls, finishing under a set amount of time or using as few moves as possible.

Levels and chapters in the game are interspersed with cut scenes.

There are several types of goo balls in the game, each of which has unique properties. The player must exploit combinations of these goo balls in order to complete each level.

The Wiiware version includes multiplayer with up to four people on the same Wii.

[edit] Levels

The overall World of Goo is split up into five chapters, each containing a number of levels. The chapters are set over the course of one year in the World of Goo. Each chapter takes place over one season, beginning in the start of summer, and ending at the end of spring the next year.

An additional 'chapter' selectable from the main menu is the World Of Goo Corporation. Goos collected above and beyond the required amount to pass a level are piped out of each of the played levels to here. Starting from just a single triangle of Goo, the aim is to build the highest possible tower. The Goos in the World Of Goo Corporation are unique in that they can be repositioned like Ivy Goos but are black and can only form two connections at once like Common Goos. In the World Of Goo Corporation, towers built by other players of the game are represented by clouds bearing the player's name, nationality and height of the tower, including details on the total number of balls collected by the player and how many were used in constructing their tower. The altitude of each cloud represents the height of that player's tower. An online leaderboard charts the heights of the top 50 towers, as well as the top 10 players for each level of the game.

There are a total of 48 levels in the game, including World of Goo Corporation .

In an interview the developers stated that the retail version released in Europe will receive an additional sixth chapter, set on the Moon.[15] Few details were disclosed, but reportedly this chapter will feature a freeform sandbox mode, similar to that of the World of Goo Corporation. This addition was then canceled for Wii when 2D Boy announced they were releasing the game on WiiWare in Europe.[16]

[edit] Plot

The story is told primarily through the aforementioned cut scenes and signs encountered throughout the game, which were left by a mysterious figure known as the Sign Painter.

Initially, pipes appear throughout the land, waking up many sleeping Goo Balls who have gone undisturbed until this. As they are filled with a childlike sense of curiosity and naivete they build themselves towards the pipes. Upon reaching the pipe entrance, the Goo Balls are sucked by the pipe system into the "World of Goo Corporation" main building where they are processed into many products, most prominently a drink. The excess Goo Balls are left outside the Corporation headquarters where they begin to build a giant tower. At the end of the chapter a few Ivy Goo Balls escape from a Corporation building by attaching themselves to eyeballs which have the ability to float. The chapter ends with the Goo Balls "seeing far away new lands".

In the second chapter, more pipes appear in a very windy desert where a giant power plant is located. However, during the past, the location and appearance of the plant was forgotten because it stopped producing energy. A new Goo Ball is introduced, which is ground up by the Corporation into a beauty cream. Near the end of the chapter the power plant, which looks like a giant woman, is discovered. It turns out that the power plant "ran on beauty" which is (according to the game) a volatile chemical like gasoline. After some of the Beautiful Goo Balls are injected into it, it becomes operational again, allowing the Corporation to open up a new factory.

During the third chapter it is said that the Corporation develops a mysterious "Product Z". It eventually turns out that the mysterious Product Z is actually the third dimension (Product Z is the Z axis in math). This causes much commotion amongst the general population who cannot see where anything is now. World of Goo Corporation tells them to contact tech support in the Information Superhighway.

In the fourth chapter the Goo Balls set out to find the mysterious "MOM" program amongst a vector style environment. Shortly after the beginning the Goo Balls find the object responsible for rendering the graphics. After pumping many of their own kind into the object the graphics render improves, creating a more realistic environment. Near the end they encounter the MOM program who turns out to be a spam bot. The Goo Balls decide to overload Product Z by sending every message in the history of spam to everyone at the World of Goo Corporation. After venturing to the recycling bin and un-deleting everything, the Corporation headquarters explodes, shutting down Product Z while creating a massive layer of smog that envelops the entire world.

In the final chapter, the remaining scientificly pure Goo Balls are sucked away to the ruins of the Corporation's Headquarters. The final level of the chapter reveals that all the goo has been sucked away, and the massive telescope at the site has been rendered useless as it cannot see past the layer of smog. The Sign Painter reveals in his final sign that he has now become the Telescope Operator. Some fly-like fish in the water connect to the telescope and pull it out of the ground, where it passes the layer of smog and sees the tower of goo that has been built at the former World of Goo Corporation Headquarters, which can also see past the smog. The telescope falls back to earth before it can see what the Goo Balls were building towards. The game ends revealing that they were building towards a new planet populated entirely by Goo Balls.

An additional chapter was initially planned for the European retail version of the game, located on the Moon; however such plans have been abandoned and 2D Boy have not given any indication as to whether or when this chapter may be released. [17]

[edit] Development

World of Goo was imagined by two ex-Electronic Arts developers, Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel. Their game studio, 2D Boy, was essentially based out of whatever Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop they could find. The developers estimate spending about $10,000 of their personal savings to develop World of Goo which includes rent, food, and minimal equipment. The two developers attribute the game's success to their blog and early web presence, as well as the awards it won at the Independent Games Festival at the Game Developers Conference in 2007, causing publishers who did not respond to their requests now wanting to publish the title.[18]

The developers used many open-source technologies such as Simple DirectMedia Layer, Open Dynamics Engine for physics simulation, and TinyXML for configuration and animation files. Subversion and Mantis Bug Tracker were used for work coordination.[2] The proprietary PopCap is used for font generation. The game was created by a very small team, with only three members at its peak.[19]

The developers depended upon the community to translate the game into Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish for the EU release in December 2008.[20] In a post on 2D Boy's blog, the game's developer estimated that due to piracy, only one out of every five copies of the PC version of World of Goo had been legitimately purchased. [21]

[edit] Audio

A free downloadable soundtrack was created by Kyle Gabler on January 20, 2009.[22]

The song "World of Goo Beginning" was created with the intention of resembling Libertango by Astor Piazzolla.[22] "Regurgitation Pumping Station" was originally written for a friend's short film about going on a date with the devil.[22] "Threadcutter" was originally written for a game called Blow which Gabler made available on his site.[22] "Rain Rain Windy Windy" was originally written for the soundtrack for a short children's film, commenting that writing children's music is difficult.[22] "Jelly" was originally written for a short film about a virtual reality world.[22] "Burning Man" was written for a friend's drama/mystery series. He made it by recording two friends singing single notes, and then using a keyboard to make it sound like a choir.[22] "Cog in the Machine" was originally written for another game of his called Robot and the Cities who Built Him.[22]

[edit] Reception

Both Wii and PC versions of World of Goo were well-received, holding an aggregate score from Metacritic of 94/100[23] and 91/100[24] respectively. On GameRankings, it holds an aggregate score of 91% for the PC.[25] Eurogamer called World of Goo "Physics' latest, purest, and most brilliant gift."[26] IGN said of the Wii version "World of Goo is an amazing WiiWare game that you simply must buy for this is exactly the type of software that needs both recognition and support", finding only minor fault with the camera controls and lack of a level editor.[19] WiiWare World gave the game 10/10, saying "Not only is World of Goo easily the best WiiWare release to date, it's also proof that you don't need a large development team or millions of dollars to create an outstanding video game."[27] said "World of Goo isn't "just" anything -- except, that is, one of just a handful of truly excellent original games for the Wii."[28]Nintendo World Report criticised the "slow start" of the game, but otherwise praised it as "easily the best WiiWare game to date and, perhaps, one of the best this generation."[29] Resolution Magazine referred to it as "an instant classic," awarding it 90%.[30] Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the Wii version a score of 95%, claiming it to be "Virtually flawless".[31]

World of Goo has won many awards. It won Best Independent Game from the Spike TV Video Game Awards show,[32] and won six Wii-specific awards and one for the PC, including Best Puzzle Game (for both Wii[33] and PC[34]), Best Artistic Design,[35] Best WiiWare Game,[36] Best New IP,[37] Most Innovative Design,[38] and Game of the Year from IGN.[39] GameSpot awarded it as the Best Game No One Played.[40] It was featured in Eurogamer's top 50 games of 2008 in the tenth slot.[41] Peter Moore, the head of EA Sports, in a rant about FIFA 09 being missing from Eurogamer's list, commented that he was surprised it was included up so high in the list, despite not having played it.[42] 2D Boy responded by saying they were honored that World of Goo had this much mainstream awareness, and that it derives sick pleasure from "industry big-wig's indignant, self-righteous incredulity".[43]

[edit] References

  1. ^ "World of Goo Linux Version is Ready!". 
  2. ^ a b c Murphy, Patrick (2007-12-31). "Road To The IGF: World Of Goo's 'Suggested Emotional Journey' To Wii". Retrieved on 2008-10-13. 
  3. ^ Macarthy, Andrew (2008-04-01). World of Goo switches from Wii to WiiWare "World of Goo switches from Wii to WiiWare". Nintendic. World of Goo switches from Wii to WiiWare. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Gillen, Kieron (2008-01-16). "World of Goo First Impressions". EuroGamer. Eurogamer Network. 
  7. ^ "2008 Independent Games Festival Winners". Independent Games Festival. Think Services. 
  8. ^ "Two WiiWare Games and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo. 2008-10-13. Retrieved on 2008-10-16. 
  9. ^ "World of Goo Coming to WiiWare in Europe!". WiiWare World. 2008-11-11. Retrieved on 2008-10-18. 
  10. ^ Harris, Craig (2009-02-20). "DICE 2009: Nintendo to Publish World of Goo". IGN. Retrieved on 2009-02-27. 
  11. ^ Bardinelli, John (2007-03-05). "Tower of Goo evolves into World of Goo, 2D Boy is born". Joystiq. Weblogs, Inc. 
  12. ^ Blyth, Jon (2 October, 2008). "World of Goo" (in English). Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2009-04-03. 
  13. ^ Shea, Cam (2008-01-22). "World of Goo Preview". IGN PC. IGN Entertainment. 
  14. ^ 2D Boy Blog
  15. ^ Calvert, Darrent. "2D Boy Interview - World Of Goo". WiiWare World. 
  16. ^ 2D Boy. "world of goo coming to wiiware in europe!". 
  17. ^ "world-of-good-news-euro-release-imminent". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 2008/11/12. Retrieved on 2009-01-13. 
  18. ^ "How the World of Goo became one of the indie video game hits of 2008". Venture Beat. 2009-1-2. Retrieved on 2009-1-10. 
  19. ^ a b Casamassina, Matt (2008-10-10). "World of Goo Review". IGN Wii. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-10-13. 
  20. ^ Gabler, Kyle (2008-12-01). "World of Goo translation for EU release". 2D Boy.,924.0.html. Retrieved on 2008-12-07. 
  21. ^ 2D Boy (2008-11-13). "90%". 2D Boy. Retrieved on 2009-01-29. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h "Music from World of Goo". Kyle Gabler. Retrieved on 2009-1-20. 
  23. ^ "Metacritic: World of Goo for Wii". 2008-12-11. Retrieved on 2008-12-11. 
  24. ^ "Metacritic: World of Goo for PC". 2008-12-11. Retrieved on 2008-12-11. 
  25. ^ "World of Goo Reviews". 2008-10-25. 
  26. ^ Blyth, Jon (2008-10-02). "World of Goo Review". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network Ltd.. Retrieved on 2008-10-13. 
  27. ^ Dillard, Corbie (2008-10-13). "World of Goo (WiiWare) Review". WiiWare World. Retrieved on 2008-10-13. 
  28. ^ Hayward, Andrew (2008-10-16). "World of Goo Review" (in English). Retrieved on 2009-04-02. 
  29. ^ DiMola, Nick (2008-10-17). "Wii Review: World of Goo". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 2008-10-17. 
  30. ^ Jones, Graham (2009-02-02). "WiiWare Review: World of Goo". Resolution Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-02-04. 
  31. ^ Official Nintendo Magazine, Issue 38, p.95
  32. ^ "Best Independent Game Fueled by Dew". Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  33. ^ "IGN Wii: Best Puzzle Game 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  34. ^ "IGN PC: Best Puzzle Game 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  35. ^ "IGN Wii: Best Artistic Design 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  36. ^ "IGN Wii: Best WiiWare Game 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  37. ^ "IGN Wii: Best New IP 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  38. ^ "IGN Wii: Most Innovative Design 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  39. ^ "IGN Wii: Game of the Year 2008". 2008-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  40. ^ "Best Game No One Played". Retrieved on 2008-12-28. 
  41. ^ "Eurogamer's Top 50 Games of 2008: 10-1". Eurogamer. 2008-12-30. Retrieved on 2009-1-7. 
  42. ^ "WTF? (Where The hell is FIFA 09?)". Peter Moore. 2008-12-31. Retrieved on 2009-1-7. 
  43. ^ "peter moore hasn’t played world of goo, looks down at it anyway". 2D Boy. 2009-1-5. Retrieved on 2009-1-7. 

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