Coming to Steam early access in January.
Wobbledogs is the work of Tom Astle, a former gameplay engineer on The Sims 4, and lets players loose in a world of physically simulated – but crucially, and slightly terrifyingly – rapidly mutating dogs. As such, while dogs start out in a broadly familiar form, they’ll quickly take on strange new shapes and behaviours as their evolutionary lines advance.
“Dogs have highly variable bodies controlled by a simulated genetics system,” explains Wobbledogs’ newly launched Steam page, “As they age, they periodically enter a pupal state and physically mutate. The foods they eat fill their guts with different flora [that] influence the dogs’ mutations, letting you craft and mold them to fit your own idea of canine (im)perfection!”.
That’s the, uh, science bit then, but Wobbledogs also concerns itself with sandbox-y home comforts, providing the tools needed for players to construct delightfully garish, labyrinthine habitats, where their increasingly weird charges can merrily spend their days.
If you like, you can simply sit back and watch your Wobbledogs go about their business, but it’s also possible to take a more direct hands-on approach, praising them, petting them, and more. Astle notes that a dog’s physically simulated body – and its various mutations – affect how it will experience the world, and this combines with its unique personality traits and behaviours to govern the way it interacts with other dogs and objects.
Wobbledogs is set to enter Steam early access in January 2021, and Astle says the intention is to stay there for around a year. That time will be used for bug hunting and polishing, and to add some additional content, including new mutations – both functional and aesthetic – new objects and interactions, better animal AI, new gut flora, and more.
Based on the phrase “gut flora” alone, I’m sold.