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Unheadlined Goose Game interview

House House's Jacob Strasser and Michael McMaster on the studio's surprising growth from gosling to gander

Jacob Strasser and Michael McMaster still don't entirely believe they're real, professional game developers.

This is despite having shipped a game of moderate notoriety (Push Me Pull You) and being just one day away from a second release that's getting considerably more flap: Untitled Goose Game.

Strasser and McMaster are one half of Australian studio House House, which McMaster describes as a group of four guys who hung out together and played games with one another and had never made a video game before... until they had. Push Me Pull You, he says, was just a summer project they made for themselves and other friends that slowly morphed into a PlayStation release. "I don't know how professional we are now," he says, "but it felt like a slow process of professionalization."

"We're three years more professional than we were three years ago," Strasser adds.

"For all of Push Me Pull You, we never received a paycheck"

Michael McMaster

Push Me Pull You was not a runaway success. House House's first game was made entirely part-time in "bedrooms and lounge rooms and stuff," according to McMaster.

"We were fitting it in around study we were doing, or day jobs," he says. "A fair bit of that game's marketing was supported through state government funding, so that helped us travel to a few conferences. But for all of Push Me Pull You, we never received a paycheck. It was completely done with day job funding. We got some money [from the game], but it pretty much all stayed in the company. It was not a massively commercially successful game. We didn't expect it to sustain us."

But House House did gain a small amount of notoriety; just enough that when the team posted the first trailer for Untitled Goose Game in 2017, it drew a significant amount of interest. This was a surprise to the studio, as the idea for the game was at the time not much more than a casual joke that fellow team member Stuart Gillespie-Cook put on Slack one day. They ran with it on a whim.