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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

Is this game about...? (spoiler alert)

A topic by wolff08 created Sep 11, 2017 Views: 642 Replies: 2
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First off I want to say that playing this game was a beautifully haunting experience, how the narrative unfolded through the letters of friends and relatives was simply brilliant. Considering that it only took me about an hour to complete I'm impressed with its overall presentation. On the downside the mechanics were not readily apparent at the beginning but can be figured out through logical deduction. Also, I experienced a couple of bugs midgame where Tikvah would hold onto an item (the egg basket and milk pail if I remember correctly) and wouldn't release it. She could still pick up other items and use them but the item she was stuck with was unusable until the next day. Okay so unto my topic, I noticed a few things about the game which might hint at its setting:

1. "Tikvah" is a Jewish name (it means "hope" right?)

2. Judging by the outfits of Tikvah and the mailman the game takes place in Eastern Europe

3. The segregation of Tikvah's community from the rest of society as hinted at in the letters (I might be reading too much into this one)

4. Was that ash falling from the sky in the second to the last day?

If I'm guessing correctly your game is either set during the the Holocaust or is inspired by it. If so this makes your game even more impressive as the Holocaust, being such a sensitive topic, is difficult to portray in a medium such as video games. If it is about the Holocaust then I would say that you handled it in a very respectful and  dignified manner without lessening the horror of that particularly dark period of human history, thank you for the experience and kudos to you sir.


Hi Wolff08,

Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed your time with it. There are a few bugs as you mentioned, I plan on  fixing  up the bugs people are reporting, but as this is essentially a passion project of mine it's difficult to find the time. For this particular kind of bug, I've found that clicking the item a few times to drop and pick it up again usually solves the issue.

On to your analysis! It makes for a very interesting and thought provoking read. One of my favourite things about this is reading peoples interpretations. Although it is a narrative focused game, it was intentionally left vague to allow for this kind of interpretation. 

I am of the opinion that there are 3 factors in any piece of work: The creators intention, the piece itself, and the viewers interpretation. Of the 3, I think it is the creators intention that is least important :) Therefore, I think it's more interesting to hear what people think it's about, their own propositions, rather than myself telling people what it's about. So, if you think it's about the holocaust, then it is for you. If someone else thinks it's about industrialisation, then it is for them, too.

If you're curious, however, about my intentions, I can say that I didn't specifically set out to make it about the holocaust. I didn't know Tikvah was a Hebrew name until someone told me after release. The aim was to represent abstract, high level human concepts such as nostalgia, struggle, loss and lack of agency without referencing a specific place, time or event. I think this is the reason that different interpretations are not only possible, but relevant.

Many thanks for sharing!

All the best,

Memory of God

Thanks for the reply, the insight you just gave on your development process is very enlightening. I have heard of a similar comment before saying that once a video game is released it has a tendency to take on a life of its own. I think that it is this subjective kind of view, what you call the "viewer's interpretation", that makes for a valid argument that video games can be considered as an art form since it can be interpreted in different ways. I believe that your game resonating with me as being  a portrayal of the Holocaust when it was not your original intent says a great deal about the matter.

Thanks again and  here's hoping you can come up with more thought provoking games.