jdodson: Escape Goat was recently released and was just Greenlit on Steam. Now that people have played it I am curious what your reaction to the launch and peoples responses have been?
Ian Stocker: The Steam launch and GoG launch both went great, they were profitable and introduced the game to thousands of new players. It was great to see the Steam forums light up with comments and feedback on the game.
jdodson: Escape Goat has a really awesome premise. I am curious how the concept was born and when you decided to start working on it?
Ian Stocker: Escape Goat started as a new project, with no existing code, on January 1, 2011. The working title was Bastille, and it was going to be a single-screen puzzle game that would take place in a prison. The goat theme was added later, when some friends and I found a Reddit thread on the best misused English idioms. Escape Goat was the top voted answer, and that's when I decided to adopt it as the title and theme of the game. That was probably about three months into development.
jdodson: Is the Goat a witch and does the her purple color factor into her magical-ness in some way?
Ian Stocker: This is up to the player to determine! He does have a lot of magical properties though...
jdodson: What games have you been playing recently?
Ian Stocker: I haven't played a lot of new games, but I do dip in on Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, a classic roguelike you can play on the web. It can devour whole hours of time without you realizing it, though, so beware!
jdodson: Escape Goat is a really tight platformer with some unique concepts. How did all the different aspects of the platforming come together? Did you start with a grand vision or just put in elements and work with them until they worked?
Ian Stocker: It was built up piece by piece, with only some vague concepts of what I wanted to see in the game. I knew I wanted it to show the whole room at once, with no scrolling, like classic puzzle games (Adventures of Lolo, Solomon's Key). And I wanted the controls to be similar to Mega Man, Alucard from Symphony of the Night, and Robot Unicorn Attack. The concept of machinery and mutable environments was discovered early on when I put stacking blocks and laterally moving gearblocks in the game. As soon as I saw them working, I knew this had to be the hook for the game. It took six months to get it bug-free though, since I had never done any physics programming before, and this game needed a unique physics implementation.
jdodson: Escape Goat is out, curious what’s next for you? Escape Goat 2 or some game updates?
Ian Stocker: Yes, I'm finally able to resume work on Escape Goat 2 now that EG1 has been handled on Steam. I still need to push updates to the DRM-free marketplaces, and there will inevitably be a few more support requests, but now I am able to spend a significant amount of time finishing up EG2.
jdodson: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Before we wrap things up, is there anything you’d like to leave us with?
Ian Stocker: Thanks for covering my game and interviewing me, and if you check out my games, be sure to let me know what you think: www.magicaltimebean.com/contact