Hi everyone! We're a supergroup of four indie game developers who are getting together to make a compilation of local multiplayer games, called Sportsfriends. We think the best way to play videogames is to do it with other people next to you, and we've been trying to revive the multiplayer scene with our games by showing them at parties and public events around the world for the past couple of years.

I'm Bennett Foddy (on reddit: foddydotnet). I made QWOP and GIRP, and I'm making a souped up version of Pole Riders for Sportsfriends. Also present to answer questions:

  • Doug Wilson (doougles) who made J.S. Joust, the no-screen game that won the Game Developer's Choice innovation prize this year.

  • Ramiro Corbetta (ramiroc) who made Hokra, which won the audience prize at Indiecade this year.

  • Noah Sasso (nnooaahh), creator of Barabariball, that just won the prize for Creative Design at the Hoplay festival.

Ask Us Anything - not just about Sportsfriends!

But if you're interested you can check out the Kickstarter for the compilation. Also, Rampart was a pretty cool multiplayer game, maybe check that out too.

Proof: 1 2 3

/edit 4:45pm EST: Ok, questions have started to slow down and the guys are showing fatigue. We're going to take a break now but we'll try to answer any new questions as we're able. Thanks everyone for your interest and support!

Comments: 1391 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

madeofpockets1560 karma


foddydotnet1336 karma

for shits and giggles

The_Flabbergaster487 karma

foddydotnet917 karma

Dude it is... not a good sign that the hurdle is there in the sandpit with you.

doougles97 karma

local multiplayer ya'll!!

nnooaahh60 karma

why not?

Debbi3d331 karma

I love your game, I love you, get inside me.

foddydotnet690 karma

I'm already inside you. Give me back my phone.

egLAIKA270 karma

i hope this comes across as genuine, because I mean every bit of it. I am a very big fan of all of your games. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent learning how to run in QWOP, getting a raisin at the top of mount GIRP, and streaming competitive Pole Riders with my roommate. I live in a pro-gaming house with some of the best Starcraft 2 players in the world, and I do my absolute best to represent the Foddy games in the house. These are the games they can't beat me in. This AMA, and Sportsfriends makes me incredibly excited, and I can not wait to play whatever comes along with it. So just thank you, and keep up the good work.

Now to just figure out how much money I can spare to donate....

edit: Fuck it. Have $100 dollars.

PS. I can run like a normal human being in QWOP.

Edit 2: Okay so people are asking how to run in QWOP, let me see if I can explain this:

you do a long O, and short W to start it. Think of it as halfway between your OW combination into your QP. Almost a moment after pressing and holding O, you'll hold W. This will take your first step. Practice that quite a bit. It'll take a little time to get comfortable with, but that's how you should start every game.

Then your general motion goes like this:





Is sort of how you play it. The Q and the W are your main driving buttons, so typically when you let go of one, you press the other. The O and P are your 'finesse' buttons. They're to drive your leg and push off with your feet. You just keep alternating long Q's and W's with taps to keep your legs moving and shorter holds of O and P to keep your balance and push off with your feet.

That is very basic, and as soon as your can associate the keys with the parts of the legs, and you have that rhythm sort of down, it'll start to make a lot more sense.

edit 3: video proof

nnooaahh64 karma

thanks laika

itsmoist208 karma

Why do you carry an umbrella?

foddydotnet792 karma

Am I supposed to say 'fo drizzle'? I live in England dogg, I ain't picking up my umbrella for no shitty drizzle

Derpiderp190 karma

Awesome you're here! Can you finish QWOP and GIRP yourself? Where you as frustrated as in the youtube videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmcMG4uxiHk)? What did you think when you first saw that video? When did you know when to stop improving the game and just leave it as seemingly impossible as it is now? What was your inspiration for creating these games? Thanks!

foddydotnet351 karma

I can finish GIRP, that's like baby-mode compared to QWOP. With QWOP I get about halfway but I freak out and choke when I see the hurdle. And yeah I had to stop after a particularly bad ragequit so I haven't played it in a while.

I always stop making games when they feel creatively complete and this is not always the same as being properly polished or fixed. But even if I had decided to work on it for five years full-time, I probably would have made it harder rather than easier. More like CLOP.

Big sources of inspiration: Summer Games, Track & Field, Carl Lewis Challenge, Crazy Climber, Final Assault

Kuronza175 karma

You guys made my days in school be filled with hate.

foddydotnet265 karma

I think school is probably like that with or without QWOP. All we had was Lemonade Stand and Loderunner and it was still like that.

andrewsmith1986170 karma

Why do you torture me?

foddydotnet451 karma

Because you spend way too much time on reddit. Also, your hair.

notsopro146 karma

Did it take ages to get up and running?...

foddydotnet241 karma

if you're hoping to start a pun thread with that joke, I don't think it has legs

raimaji123 karma

Do you wake up in the morning and ask yourself what new game you can create to torment people with?

foddydotnet347 karma

I sure do. I am trying to design a game called 'Cretin' where you fail over and over again at the easiest of tasks.

Jademalo87 karma

Question for Ben - Are you excited about making a game with Pen Ward? Because I sure am :D

foddydotnet115 karma

I am super-excited about it! I've only met him once or twice so far but I have a secret plan to befriend him through the game dev process.

Aregular8919 karma

Could you tell him to release a fucking Adventure Time soundtrack?

foddydotnet23 karma

I will tell him, but I'm not sure I have any more pull with Pen Ward than you do

Brocktoberfest65 karma

What are your personal bests on QWOP?

foddydotnet100 karma

about 50m on regular QWOP. About 25 seconds on iPhone QWOP.

fucrate64 karma

What do you guys have against real sports? Why are you inventing games which are so amazing they will replace all other sports?

doougles44 karma

We got nothing against real sports! Some of us are big sports fans. I'm actually a longtime Knicks fan. Yes it's been an unpleasant decade.

And yes, how do we get J.S. Joust at the Olympics?!

ramiroc39 karma

After we played your game Gasketball, we knew there was no reason to try to emulate real sports - you had mastered that already. So we went after something a little different.

arjiebarjie55 karma

Do you know Jane Rankin? She was my English language teacher this year and said she was related to one of the developers of QWOP. Cool if so.

foddydotnet61 karma

Yeah that's my aunt in law. Uptown top Rankin.

sadf0151 karma

Did you ever expect QWOP to be as big as it was around the internet?

foddydotnet114 karma

not at all! In fact I posted it almost two years before it suddenly rose to internet fame. The internet is extremely random that way.

McP1ckl3s50 karma

If you each of you had to make one change to each other person's game, what would that change be and why?

ramiroc64 karma

I'd add a career mode to JS Joust.

nnooaahh61 karma

i'd add a career mode to hokra with an extended story, cutscenes and moral choices.

doougles42 karma

I keep asking Ramiro to experiment with different player types (in Hokra). Remember Nintendo Ice Hockey? The fat guy, skinny guy, short guy? Like that, but with squares. It might disrupt the minimalistic feel of the game, though.

wiiinks50 karma

We called them Garfields, Odies, and Nermils.

doougles26 karma

That's amazing

cantmissit49 karma

Did you intend to only have one pattern to play QWOP properly?

foddydotnet176 karma

no, what would be the fun in that? There's no 'right' way to play QWOP (there's a wrong way though, when you drag yourself along on one knee)

AirChordan45 karma

For anyone who wants to answer, do you think you could put in to words why it is local multiplayer is so important to you?

For Bennett, Pole Riders really seems to trigger the same feelings as QWOP, only in a more direct multiplayer form, where the physics are loose enough that the players are constantly on the edge of their seat wondering if the moves they're making are actually going to succeed. Was that what you were aiming for?

foddydotnet76 karma

All the best times I've had with videogames have involved local multiplayer. From playing Amiga games with my brother as a kid, to games of Command and Conquer over an ethernet link, to playing Street Fighter 2 in the arcades, there is really no singleplayer or internet multiplayer experience that can compare with it. I'm personally very sad that splitscreen multiplayer went away from modern 3D console games.

On your other question, yeah I think the nice thing about simulated physics is that it produces unpredictable outcomes. I love the busted physics in the recent FIFA games for this reason - all those hilarious kissing moments really improve the experience for me.

TBatWork8 karma

all those hilarious kissing moments really improve the experience for me.

Will you be incorporating accidental kissing physics into future projects?

foddydotnet5 karma

Sounds like a plan! I'd love to make a game about kissing actually. Have you played Chulip?

doougles22 karma

There's nothing quite like yelling at your opponents/teammates, hearing the roar of the crowd, seeing your opponents' facial expressions, and so on. Also, I find that it augments the whole gameplay experience to be able to hang out before and after the match. Online, you typically just disconnect after the match. It leaves you feeling empty. You can't go out for beers or anything.

Online multiplayer has its own advantages, of course, but I do think it's important that we don't forget about local multiplayer. A game like Hokra is just as valuable as any single-player game. I've devoted more hours to Hokra than most single-player games, at least.

EverythingFerns44 karma

Can you tell me how in the heck the QWOP character made it to the Olympics?

foddydotnet92 karma

I think each country is entitled to field at least one athlete in each event, no matter how blowful they are. QWOP is from a cold scandinavian country that isn't good at sprinting.

crokethinky43 karma


foddydotnet107 karma

You're in luck, I already made one.

doougles19 karma

Bennett already made it! CLOP: http://www.foddy.net/CLOP.html

elwooko42 karma

QWOP, GIRP, CLOP. Fuck, Marry, Kill

foddydotnet43 karma

Good plan, although I probably wouldn't marry the dude who is paralyzed from the waist down. (I mean, knowing nothing else about their personalities, of course!)

(did I dig myself out of that hole?)

doougles32 karma

Marry GIRP, fuck CLOP, kill QWOP.

And speaking of fucking CLOP: http://kotaku.com/5940066/hardest-video-controls-ever

doougles17 karma

btw I love Fuck, Marry, Kill - keep 'em coming.

allthe_gundams23 karma

Did you intentionally decide to make QWOP so difficult to control or was that an unintended side effect of the way the mechanics work?

foddydotnet40 karma

Intentionally. Although, making it easy would be a phenomenally huge engineering problem that would probably cost millions of dollars!

bryface21 karma

can you tell us about the appearance of QWOP in this season's premiere episode of The Office (US)?

that show keeps surprisingly up to date on various internet memes, and i'm curious as to how these appearances are arranged logistically. did they need to contact you for permission, or just for posterity? or did they contact you at all?

foddydotnet30 karma

Yeah they needed to contact me for permission, but also to get footage of someone playing it competently!

king_of_blades20 karma

Have you seen the QWOP cosplay?

foddydotnet21 karma

Yeah I've seen two of them now - here's the other one. I love that stuff.

bobbylox20 karma

Is slapping the other players allowed in all of your games, or just JS Joust?

foddydotnet41 karma

you can definitely slap the other player while you play Pole Riders. Do it just before you score a goal. Tell them I said it was ok.

ramiroc14 karma

I actually don't think that any Hokra game has ever turned into a slapping match. We're trying to release these games to a wider audience to make sure we fix that.

frizzle_16 karma

Fuck you. Seriously. So much frustration.

foddydotnet21 karma

I will assume you mean 'fuck you. seriously' in the good way.

scumbagsteve1236814 karma

Why can the QWOP guy not run if he is stupid?

foddydotnet30 karma

I think of him as being Bizarro Carl Lewis. Running's just hard for him.

brofu14 karma

What's your favorite FPS?

foddydotnet47 karma

I guess probably Mirror's Edge. I played it without shooting a gun, though, so maybe it doesn't count? I've had some incredible times with splitscreen FPSes though, like Goldeneye and Halo.

nnooaahh23 karma

doom 2

doougles16 karma

Proteus: http://www.visitproteus.com/ ... or if you really want a "shooter" then the original Tribes (http://bit.ly/cY0VG5)

ramiroc16 karma

I've played a lot of the Battlefield series (1942, 2, Bad Company 2, and 3). I also really like playing split screen Halo 3.

Baseball1000x11 karma

Is successfully playing QWOP even possible? Or did you make it with the intention of being impossible just for laughs?

foddydotnet88 karma

There's around 17000 youtube videos of people finishing QWOP. Maybe you're just bad at games? I'm just saying...

IanJL110 karma

What type of games do you like to play?

foddydotnet26 karma

I probably spend more time playing indie score-attack games like Super Hexagon or Ziggurat than anything else. But in terms of AAA games, the one I played the most, by far, from the past 5 years was Dark Souls.

doougles11 karma

Proteus: http://www.visitproteus.com/

Cart Life: http://richardhofmeier.com/cartlife/

And local multiplayer games!

domcamus9 karma

In recent years there seems to have been a trend towards real world play and face to face experiences. I'm thinking of things like ARGs, pervasive games, Come Out and Play, Hide & Seek and so on. Sportsfriends feels like a part of that trend. At the same time, it adopts a business model which involves selling directly to individual consumers. Do you think that in future we might see games working more like music, with most of the cost of development being covered by live "performances"?

doougles10 karma

I hope so! btw, I definitely respect the ARG / pervasive games scene, but I think the four of us are more directly influenced by the blossoming live videogame scene - Babycastles and No Quarter (NYC), Gamma (Montreal), Wild Rumpus (London), and so on. EVO too. I'm currently more interested in more "contained" games that facilitate traditional spectatorship

twitinkie9 karma


nnooaahh26 karma

we're not even talking about a game, we're talking about practice

dunk3d8 karma

Have you tried getting Dan Harmon to endorse Sportsfriends? I saw him playing JS Joust at the XOXO arcade event in Portland and he seemed to really enjoy it (except when he got poked in the eye). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO-FJSrdyxA

doougles12 karma

Someone put him in touch with us!

nothingsacredgames7 karma

I know local multiplayer is the big thing for you guys, but I was wondering if any of the games will be available for networked multiplayer? I grew up playing games in front of a TV with my brothers, and still love to play with them, but we're now scattered around the world, making it pretty tough to make the local thing happen.

ramiroc8 karma

The idea is for our games to bring friends together. I really like online multiplayer too, but we're trying to harvest a different kind of social interaction that I feel like you can only really get when you play locally. So invite your friends over and play Sportsfriends.

doougles8 karma

Not our games - at least not any time soon.

Also, I have no idea how to make J.S. Joust playable online :)

Ademontis6 karma

Dear Sportsfriends, out of all the cups you own which would you say is your favorite?

<3's Professional Hokra Champ and Member of SportsEnemies

nnooaahh9 karma


ramiroc7 karma

We don't answer questions from the evil SportsEnemies.

drewmsmith6 karma

Is it possible to get the Star in CLOP? If so what's it do? If not why's it there?

foddydotnet11 karma

haha, I knew this question would come up!

tylerthedesigner6 karma

You guys are truly an inspiration to get off the couch and punch a friend with a Move controller. Especially Doug.

ramiroc8 karma

Tyler, I hope that Hokra, BaraBariBall, and Super Pole Riders gets you back on the couch. You can still punch your friends there.

doS2wo5 karma

What is your favorite game with extreme difficulty?

Did any particular game inspire you to make QWOP?

doougles9 karma

Also, don't miss Kaizo (Asshole) Mario: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r86NLwCYXfk

foddydotnet8 karma

I can recommend Messhof's Punishment games. They're so hostile to the player it becomes quite hilarious. More recently, I've been totally hooked on Super Hexagon.

QWOP is my take on the athletics games of the 1980s, like Summer Games, Track & Field, and Microsoft Decathlon

dandylandy5 karma

You've made my studying for exams over the years so much more bearable with QWOP breaks. Thank you, Mr. Foddy.

foddydotnet17 karma

You're welcome! I hope I messed up your exam scores just a little. Like one or two percent.

kirkkismet4 karma

ALL: what is your favorite species of bear?

nnooaahh9 karma


ramiroc4 karma

I have to agree with Noah here.

CorneliusFudgePacker4 karma

Any neat plans for some new games? Or any new ones coming out soon?

foddydotnet10 karma

Well, if our KS succeeds I'll be making Super Pole Riders. And I have to make a game with Pen Ward as a reward for the LA Gamespace kickstarter, that already got funded. I've got quite a few in the pipe, actually.

doougles10 karma

Yes, all of us are constantly working on games.

Check out this crazy trampoline-controlled game Bennett and I have been working on: http://kotaku.com/5940366/an-erotic-wrestling-game-that-you-play-with-two-trampolines-yep

Xilogh3 karma

Could you describe your thought procces when you created Sportsfriends? What minigame is the most innovating one in Sportsfriends?

ramiroc5 karma

The thought process was along the lines of: we each really care about each other's games, but we are not sure what's the best way to release them. What if we get together and do a compilation around this idea of local multiplayer games that we really care about? Yeah, good idea, let's do it! In terms of innovation, it's hard to argue against JS Joust. I mean, it won the Game Developers Choice Innovation award, beating out Portal 2 and LA Noire... fancy stuff!

doougles5 karma

The hope was to do something collaborative - to bring together some of my favorite games into one package. All four games share the same spirit - the idea that minimalistic, spectator-friendly multiplayer games can be deeply rewarding.

foddydotnet3 karma

It has to be Doug's game, JS Joust, which has no screen and no graphics, just sound and motion. It brings people in to competitive gaming who are normally totally allergic to games! Even my wife likes it, and she hates ERRRRYGAME.