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Man Or Goat is a game where you listen to goat noises and decide if it’s a real goat or me pretending to be a goat.


First let me explain why I had to draw 972 goats. I wanted my game to have some longevity. I wanted the player to look at the level select screen and think :

“I’m enjoying going though all these levels, and there are still loads of levels left!”

I decided that 81 levels with 12 goat noises per level was about right. 81*12 = 972 goat noises. That should take the player a while to get through, and even longer to go back and get higher scores.

But why draw 972 unique goats? In early prototypes of the game all the goats looked the same. It just wasn’t good enough like this. I felt that 972 visually unique goats would give the game more of a chance on the App Store. More style, more polish and more humour. With this in mind I came up with a plan that would provide 972 unique looking goats by automating as much of the work as possible.

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Man Or Goat is a game where you listen to goat noises and decide if it’s a real goat or me pretending to be a goat.

Even though it’s a game about goat noises it still needed to look good. Where was I going to find good quality goat graphics? Having done a bit of artwork in the past (years ago really) I thought I might be able to draw them myself. After a few weeks of trying really hard this is as good as I could achieve :

my-early-goat-attempt goat sketch

These are, of course, horrendously poor. That goat on the left isn’t too bad, but it wouldn’t inspire players to tap the GET button after looking at the App Store screenshots. Perhaps if there was a GIT button.

This blog post is the story of how I got to this :

IMG_0157 IMG_0158

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In Man Or Goat you listen to goat noises and decide if they’re a real goat or me doing an impression of a goat. In my last post I explained how I recorded the noises of real goats, but how did I record my goat impressions?

When listening to the 1000+ real goat noises, 25 distinct categories of noises emerged. Goats don’t just bleat. These categories are crucial to the variety of the game’s noises. It was obvious that I needed to record my own goat impressions within the same categories. So here are some examples from the classic “bleat” category, the type of goat noise most people instinctively imitate when asked to make a goat noise (happens a lot) :

But goats make lots of different types of noises not just bleats. For example here is what I call being sick :

Goats also make zombie sounds when they want to :

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Goats are funny. Search YouTube for "goat noises" and see the millions of view counts. Man-made goat impressions are just as funny :

This was all the encouragement I needed. How could I turn goat noises into a game?

It was May 2013. The idea I had was to play a goat noise and let the player decide if it was a man or a goat. The following todo list took over my spare time :

  • Figure out how to get hundreds of goat noises
  • Record hundreds of my own goat impressions
  • Learn how to make games for iOS

Only three things on the list, this won't take long at all. Wrong.

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