We get asked many of the same questions on a regular basis. Here are some of the most popular and what we have to say about them.
When is the game coming out?
We’re still on track for around end of year 2013.
What platforms is the game coming out on?
PC/Mac/Linux both through Steam and direct through something like the Humble Store. We are looking into additional platforms, but those would take place after the initial release.
How did you guys come up with Octodad? Were you on drugs?
We weren’t on drugs, at the time. We’ve described this so many times it’s in multiple interviews. Seth Parker, Audio Composition/Design: “We had pitched for three days of basic ideas…one page pitches. So…we split up into teams of three and four and basically sat around for an entire day, banging our heads against the wall, trying to come up with eight-page pitches to bring back to the team… John Murphy, one of the artists and I were in a group together and we were like, ‘okay lets just go crazy.’ Somebody said something that reminded me of Descartes so I was like, ‘what if you were kind of a passenger in your own body?’ And then someone was like, ‘what if you were driving your own body?’ ‘What if you’re a guy inside a robot and you were driving them?’ ‘What if you’re an octopus in your head?’ ‘Well, what if you’re just an octopus?’ And that was how it happened.”
How many people work on Dadliest Catch?
There are 8 people that are part of Young Horses. We also have 2 additional 3D modelers who help us in their free time.
Hello all, Kevin Zuhn here with a message from the past: Building tutorial levels is hard! Back on the first Octodad we left our tutorial level until late in development, and it shows. Upon starting Dadliest Catch, we decided to do it right, and build the tutorial first. This time we would make it a wedding scene in a church so that it would be exciting and memorable as well as informative. The church level has therefore been in development from day one, and you can look back through its history to see how Octodad has taken shape over time!
Lucky for all of us I kept archives of outdated versions of Octodad from years past! Take a walk with me through time. Don’t worry, it won’t make your nose bleed. I think.
One Month Into Development:
Welcome to late July, 2011! At this time, our Kickstarter was still weeks away from finishing. Functionally speaking, our sequel was still identical to Octodad, and our editor had only advanced slightly since the end of the first project. You can see in the chapel below that we had old character models, and if you were to play this, it would be with the old controls!
When you work on something and fill it with love, you sacrifice pieces of yourself to your creation. Time, energy and hope are all slain on the altar of design and implementation. Octodad has put a lot of time into building something he doesn’t want to see disappear due to a misstep or thrown vase: his family. I feel the same way, sometimes, when I open the Octodad Editor and start building little worlds for him to exist in.
If there is one trait Octodad seems to have, it’s confidence. He can stride through a room, flip tables and knock down grocery shelves without seeming to really care. Our game is a stealth game where the main character is wearing his disguise at all times and we encourage the player to go hog wild on the world around them. His confidence comes from the player and the need to keep up the charade.
The secret is, Octodad does care. The suspicion meter that fills when you do things that make you stand out as non-human is a symbol of Octodad’s fear. A symbol of the people around him taking note of his flaws and marking them as strange. His ultimate fear is having his family slip away when they discover what he really is.
Octodad captures our foibles. He has an inept body and his communication skills could use some serious work, but he tries. He puts effort into keeping his family happy. He honestly doesn’t mean to flip that chair or destroy a cart of watermelons, but he’ll keep going after he does it. He’ll keep trying. He overcomes his fear, and continues on even while his suspicion meter fills and people begin to whisper.
This is a trait I need to use when I work on building his world. On occasion I will tie myself up in logic when working on a level, or I get overwhelmed with something small and my own suspicion meter begins to fill. When mine hits max, though, my level doesn’t restart I become paralyzed with dread.
How will I achieve my tasks? Why does time move so fast? How could I be so stupid and make so many mistakes? These questions lead me into bouts of anxiety and insecurity. I become manic and paranoid about getting kicked off the team or drawn and quartered in the town square.
These fears only stop when I finally stand my ground and say “No”. Octodad keeps going even when his suspicion meter is 90% full. He keeps trying to keep his family happy by doing the best he can, and damnit so should I. I sit at the computer, re-open the editor and get to work as my fears sizzle away under the joy of making something that functions like it should.
Something both Octodad and I have, that we should really put more trust in, is family. I didn’t know any of the guys on the original Octodad project when it started. Since it’s release and the shrinking of the team to what we are today, I can say with confidence, that we’re a family.
And just like Octodad I don’t want to let them down.
I know I can turn to Zuhn and Chris to help me solve my crazy logic knots and go on creative explosions. That I can rely on Geisler and Devon to fix bugs and provide me with cool new toys to make the game better. That John and Phil will both be full of feedback to give and Seth will compose the right notes that tie the game all together.
We’ve all put a lot of love into making Octodad: Dadliest Catch great. When we’re hitting our strides, and are together, any sort of personal fear is lost in the confidence that we’re happy with what we’re doing and we can’t wait to show the rest of the world.
Come play Octodad: Dadliest Catch in person at PAX East in Boston, on March 22nd-24th! Visit us at booth 781. We’re part of the larger AMAZING Indie MEGABOOTH, and 6 of the 8 horses will be in attendance to show off our neat-o game for ya’ll.
Meet the PAX going horses:
- Majdi Badri – Designer, Writer
- Kevin Geisler – COO, Programmer, Producer
- John Murphy – Designer
- Seth Parker – Music/Sound Design
- Devon Scott-Tunkin – CFO, Programmer, Artist
- Phil Tibitoski – CEO, Community Manager, Biz Dev
We’ll be there to answer any questions you have or just chat it up about your favorite games. We could even talk about the oatmeal flavors that best fulfill your morning needs for sustenance!
Find out more after the break!
Trials of Testing while Indie
We don’t have the money to hire a QA department to test Dadliest Catch for bugs and we at least didn’t think we had the resources to playtest it properly. When we started working on the game we used things we’d previously done with the first Octodad which mostly meant we reached out to friends and family to play the game. We still do this, but there’s a point where those resources either dry up in that they aren’t as interested or they aren’t as useful because at that point they’re too used to the game. At that point, like us, they’re likely unable to see the flaws we need people to point out.
There’s a time and a place for testers who are experienced and we bring them back to test new content/levels that it would make sense for them to play. However, we also need to be consistently finding new players to make sure the game still holds up from new perspectives. The game can’t become so hard that a new player becomes lost due to not having logged the same kind of hours a more experienced player has.
Hard in this case doesn’t always mean traditional difficulty. There’s the possible situation in which we get too used to communicating to a certain subset of player, one that’s highly experienced in our chosen way of communicating to them. If we get stuck in this position then we’re alienating any one who doesn’t think in the same way. Someone needs to be able to pick-up and play the game without any interference or help from us. This is pretty obvious, but it isn’t an easy thing to achieve. This is why we need as many new testers and eyes as we can get on the game. We can’t ship ourselves digitally with each purchase to help out if and when players get stuck.
More after the break.
Have you ever been curious as to what games occupy the little free time we have? There were a ton of standout titles in 2012, and especially in indie games it was a prolific year. Here’s a look into the gaming lives of the Young Horses and some of the titles that continue to inspire us to do what we do.
Check after the break…
It’s probably not a stretch to say that the first Octodad became popular for two major reasons: it was quirky and it was free. But aside from that, it’s interesting to take a look at what has really helped push us into the spotlight over the past couple of years since our release on October 31, 2010. (As a disclaimer, I tried not to accidentally leave out key people who have helped us, but I apologize if I did!)
Sometimes Octodad is in the news, and sometimes people say some nice things about it. Dadliest Catch for instance has been getting a solid amount of attention in people’s “Most Anticipated Games of 2013″ lists. In case you don’t follow us on twitter or like us on facebook we figured it might be good to consolidate all these links to one place of maximum linkage.
Octodad’s 2 year release anniversary! (November 1st)