Steer Madness is a single-player game where the player assumes the role of Bryce the Cow, a walking, talking bovine determined to put an end to animal exploitation and turn everyone vegetarian. During gameplay, the player goes on a series of missions to save the animals using many different tactics. The game is based in an open city environment and features several transportation methods, with gameplay similar to the game Grand Theft Auto (without the guns or violence). Players have the option to walk, use a bicycle or drive (in select missions) through the city to get to different areas of the game. Missions involve many gameplay elements, including climbing, jumping, racing, puzzle solving and operating heavy machinery.
Steer Madness was developed in Vancouver, BC, Canada, by the independent game developer Veggie Games Inc. The majority of the game was made by just one person, Veggie Games Inc. founder Johnathan Skinner. This includes all of the programming (which was done from scratch), story, design and a significant portion of the artwork. He worked on the game in his spare time for about a year and a half while working other jobs, then decided to focus all his time into finishing and publishing the game. He registered the company (Veggie Games Inc), got a small office and hired an artist to help. After about 6 months of full-time development and the help of a few student interns, the game was complete and ready for release.
Music for the game was licensed from local independent artists, including Angie Inglis, Anita Athavale, Feisty, Hector and The Winks. Voice acting was done with the help of friends who were convinced to read lines into a microphone while sitting inside a little box which was sound-proofed with swatches of carpet and pillows.
Taking the self-publishing route, game CDs were printed in small batches and sold through the website. Various animal rights groups in Canada, USA, UK and Germany purchased wholesale quantities in order to resell the game CDs through their online stores as a form of fundraising.
Steer Madness received two awards shortly after it was released. The first award was Best Animal-Friendly Video Game from the 2004 PETA Proggy Awards, and the second was Innovation in Audio from the 2005 Independent Games Festival.