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Where The Goats Are

Where The Goats Are is a slow-paced, meditative game about life and raising goats. · By Memory of God

Slooooooow paced

A topic by daria2b created Sep 11, 2017 Views: 284 Replies: 1
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Hey, great game! I liked the artwork and the music. Everything really comes together to give the player that experience of slow paced life. 

I myself thought that the player character was moving way too slow, I got so nervous that I don't have enough time to get things done, that I couldn't enjoy the 'medicative' aspect of the game. I even skipped a couple of letters just because the character would be too slow to get to the gate. 

In a way I undertstand you wanted to give players more things to do so they don't get bored. Maybe the days should be just a little bit longer to keep this medatative effect more intact. I would imagine that after you finish all the chores on a farm, you'd have nothing else to do apart from looking at the sky, or re-reading the same books and letters. It might be just my imagination, though :)

Great job!

Developer (2 edits) (+1)

Hi Daria2b,

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I understand your feeling of the character moving too slow, and sorry you view this as a negative thing. However, all the things you mentioned were by design in order to get a certain feeling across. I think the criticisms come from the game not being what you expected it to be, and perhaps I can explain a little more about my intentions with the game, as what you described is exactly what I was trying to do with this.

 Tikvah is not your typical young, athletic videogame protagonist, and slowing down her movement was important for me to accentuate this point. It would be a very different experience if she could dart around everywhere and get all the chores done super efficiently :) The speed of movement helps reassure players that the game is not designed for efficiency or mastery of mechanics.

Being 'meditative' does not necessarily mean relaxing game :) The act of meditation is an active pursuit and must be practised. It is work for the betterment of ones self. I see meditation as the active choice to detach from your worldy obligations and focus on doing nothing for a certain time. This facilitates a clearing of the mind to essentially reflect on life and ascertain what is actually valuable and what is not, to put things in their proper place in your mind and life. The reason there are more things in the game than there is time to do all these things, is because it forces a decision on the player on what they spend their time doing. Now, you made the decision to skip the letters. That is interesting, as you prioritised other things over the letters but seem to feel some regret for doing this. For me, the really interesting question is this: why did you feel the need to get things done when the game never explicitly told you you have to do anything?

###Spoiler### Life goes on even if you don't do all your chores! In the game, I mean. ###Spoiler###

So, if the goal of the game was to be a nice relaxing game, then yes I agree all your criticisms would be entirely valid. However, for me the goal of the game was to present the player with essentially a very limited sandbox and set time within which to act, but by the end ask the player to reflect on their actions. The key difference being the intention was not necessarily to create an enjoyable experience!

Completely understand your frustrations with the game, however I hope these insights go some ways to understanding the thought process behind the design decisions. And sorry you didn't find it relaxing!

Thanks again for sharing.

All the best,

Memory of God