Disclaimer: I tend to get really emotional and personal when I talk or write about music, so if that isn’t your thing, you should probably bail.
“There’s always a point, like when I’m all by myself composing…where I’m thinking, ‘is this anything? Is this idea gonna be interesting to anybody?’ You have this whole series of self-doubts. And then there comes a point that I get over the hump, like I add some instrument, or I play some melody and it’s like ‘oh, oh, oh, ok, that’s what this was meant to be!’”
- Marty O’Donnell, composer for the Halo series
Terrified. That is the only word I can use to describe my feelings as I set out to create something. Whether I’m going to write a blog post for the Octodad page, or write a piece of music for the main menu of the game, I am simply terrified as I try to start.
What is going to come out of me? Is it going to be anything worthwhile? Will anyone even like it? Am I even qualified to be doing this?
These are things I wonder and must move past in order to get anything done. There’s paint on the brush, but I’m unable to overcome that inertia to get myself going. And then I remember the reason I do create: No one else will ever make the thing if I don’t. The sounds that are in my mind and my heart will never see the light of day if I don’t codify them. It is terrifying to create because in doing so we show everyone a piece of ourselves that we have hidden. I have never been comfortable showing anyone my writing or my music because it is like I am letting them pry open my brain and root around in there.
I guess I should probably cover how I got to feeling the way I do about music before I go into too much more on this train of thought. I was raised a musician, I have been playing the flute since a young age. Music is always something I’ve enjoyed and had a knack for. I always wondered about it, though. Why has music existed for so long? Why is it something that has transcended the fall of civilizations, and why do people like it so much? How can someone devote his or her entire life to something that takes so much work?
I’ve never really had a deep attachment to it until recent years. I studied music (specifically, Sound Recording Technology) at Depaul University. Why did I choose to do so? Well, it was logical. I was good at music, so why not continue on in that for the rest of my life? Alright, sure. Well, it was at university that I finally developed the deep emotional connection to music that I feel now. I finally understood, through exploring so many different types of music, why it is such a wonderful thing. It is a beautiful expression of who we are. It allows us to see into the souls of those creating it. It is not this thing that we have on in the background at a party, or in the car, or wherever, it is what the people sound like. Music is what our thoughts and our beings speak. It wasn’t really until the last two years or so that music ever made me teary-eyed, until I was listening to a piece and got this incredible, indescribable feeling that consumed every fiber of my being, a feeling like I was connected to everyone by this piece of music, that I really understood why music has stood the test of time.
With the invention of the portable music device, music has been becoming intensely personal. The music on our ipods is something that we feel we have ownership of. Those songs belong to me! With this in mind, I set out to write music, that I do it for myself, to move myself. Everything I write is intensely personal. The only thing I have in mind when writing is to make make something sincere. On this note, people often ask me what type of music I listen to. My Response? Anything that moves me. Anything that is sincere. I am drawn to things that people have put their whole being into, things that they created out of love and were a part of them. I love it for the same reason that it makes me uncomfortable: that I can come to know something about another person that they couldn’t possibly have described to me in words. Something deep about their mind that is hidden, but is ever present in their own brand of music. The same can be said about every type of art, and I am drawn to other creations in the same manner, but none so deeply as music.
At this point of writing this post, I’m beginning to become uncomfortable with what I have said, but I know what I have said is sincere. I really hope that everyone has something in their life that brings them as much incredible joy as music does for me. I think I’m pretty much done rambling about this for now. This has probably wasted several minutes of your time and I’M NOT SORRY. DEAL WITH IT.
People always talk about how important things like team building and vacations are. Around June of this year we realized that we had actually been a team and had been working on Dadliest Catch for an entire year already. We’re always keeping track of how much work is getting done every week and things like that, but to realize you’ve been working on a project for an entire year is sort of a jolt to the brain.
Dadliest Catch is probably the longest running project any of us have worked on before when it comes to games. With all of us either working full time jobs and working on the game or working full time on the game itself we had yet to really take any sort of big break to recharge our horsepower. Geisler came up with the idea that maybe we should go on a team vacation and once we all hopped on board with the idea we ended up deciding to rent a cabin in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.
We all had a pretty amazing time, and it allowed us to come back to Chicago to start kicking some serious ass on the development of the game again. It also did a great job of providing some perspective on things while giving our hivemind brain some time to sort of process everything that’s gone on in the past year.
Geisler’s car broke down about 2 hours from our destination, John and I swam under a freakin’ waterfall, we played some board games, and even watched all 3 Jurassic Park films. (Even the awful ones, aka 2-3.) Oh, and we ate at Applebee’s.
We figured we’d share some of our pics that we took while we were out.
Coincidentally we didn’t have food catered or hold a depth-jam.
Pictures after the break.
Moving isn’t an easy thing to do when it’s just yourself, or you and your significant other. Moving in Chicago under those same circumstances becomes even more difficult due to the insane proximity of all buildings and the general need for a truck rental. Have you ever driven a huge 16 foot moving truck through alleyways or narrow streets while people continuously honk at you and complain about your very existence in their little world(s)? How dare you actually get in their way for more than a 10 second time-span! Moving from apartment to apartment in Chicago should really be considered some sort of horrific Olympic sport. Try moving out as quickly as you can in order to move the truck everyone is mad at for blocking the alley and then do the same thing moving in across town where everyone is still pissed you exist in their space. All while trying not to crash a humongous truck into all the various little cars. So fun!
Now do this with five people’s worth of stuff…
Although this sounds like a huge hassle we were really in dire need of a new larger space for the Young Horses corral. Try spending a year sitting in one room where if you back up more than a foot you hit someone else.
Read after the break for a bit more info on the move and plenty more pictures!
(Windows only, sorry!)
Disclaimer: This is really only for hardcore people who want to play around a bit with the levels. The tools we originally used to make this game are pretty crude and buggy, so only recommended for people with a lot of patience and curiosity! Unfortunately, we can’t offer any support or updates for this editor because we’re busy with the development of Dadliest Catch.
OctodadEditor was made after the project was submitted to IGF and is the basis of the editor for Octodad: Dadliest Catch. We have a version that works with the original game, however it is an early build and also buggy. You will probably find it much friendlier than irrEdit (detailed below) in many ways. It supports playing the game in editor and has some undo/redo support.
Download here: OctodadEditor
You must extract OctodadEditor.exe to the install directory of the game:
C:\Program Files\Octodad\ (32-bit) or C:\Program Files (x86)\Octodad (64-bit).
Loading a level
Go to File, Open, and browse to C:\Program Files\Octodad\Content\Levels
Select any file you want to edit.
- Press F5 to play the level in editor. Press F4 to play the level in editor, spawning Octodad at the camera location.
- Any content you create (including new levels) must be placed in the Content folder. You can create your own folder as long as it is somewhere inside Content.
- You must edit existing levels if you want to play them outside the editor. For instance, L0Tutorial or L1Kitchen.irr.
- The level files are technically just XML, so you can hand-edit them if you’d like.
- Irrlicht supports many file formats, such as .obj, .x for models, .jpg, .png for textures and more. Check it out here: http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/features/
- The editor functions similar to irrEdit, the first scene editor we used. A quick howto on how irrEdit works can be found here: http://www.ambiera.com/irredit/gettingstarted.html
This one goes out to Ken Zuhn, aka my dad! Happy Father’s Day, dad!
Science Fact: The octopus has three hearts. Ostensibly this is because the two hearts on the sides handle pumping blood through the gills and the third heart sends freshly oxygenated blood into the body. However, recent studies have shown that the triple heart structure may exist to “Better spread the love.”
We’ve been playtesting Octodad for a while now, and as we’ve been building our first level towards a more-or-less complete state, I’ve noticed something. Gray boxes just aren’t much fun!
I’ve been under the impression for a long time that mechanics are the end-all and be-all of game development, and that any Octodad experience should be just as fun blocked out as it is with art. But that’s simply not true. Something crucial is missing. It’s not feedback or juice, we have plenty of both built into the game. There’s a difference between picking up a block and picking up a trout.
The difference is context! Context is all of the information surrounding an object or a situation. What it looks like, what it sounds like, where it is, what’s around it, and why. I’ve found that small amounts of information make a world of difference in play experience, sometimes moreso than the mechanics themselves! Why? Well, simply put, mechanics are needed to make the game work, but context is needed to make the players work.
Here’s a quick example of what I mean. Observe a blockout box. It is an object in Octodad that has some very specific mechanics. Can you tell what you do with this box?
About two and a half months ago the guys over at War Balloon Games, the creators of the magnifique Star Command, put up a brave analysis of where their Kickstarter money was spent and what it was spent on. We’ve also been attempting to be as transparent as possible with our development and we figured it might be nice to give everyone a breakdown of our budgeting/spending since we wouldn’t be where we are without all you beautiful folks supporting us.
At the end of our Kickstarter campaign we’d raised a solid $24,320.
This was $4,320 past our original goal of $20,000 and we are pretty damn pleased with that.
After both Amazon Payments and Kickstarter took their cut of the money raised we were left with approximately $22,400.
Read after the break for the full low-down!
A man once was walking down the street. Behind him he heard a sound like the popping of wrappers and the pulling of suction cups. The man quickly turned around, but there was nothing there.
Frightened, the man began to walk faster. The sounds resumed, every now and then he swore that he heard something like mouth farting too. Soon he began to to run but the sounds kept pace. A burbling was begining to add to the cacophony just as he reached his front door. The man turned around again and the noises stopped.
The man threw open his front door ran into his home, closed and locked his door and sat on his couch with a sigh of relief. Then he heard it. It started slowly, a tapping. Like something without hands was holding something and rapping it against his door. Slowly the man stood and made his way to the door. He grabbed a cleaver that he kept close by for just such an occasion.
Taking a deep breath he threw the door open.
“OCTOPUSSSSS!” Fujimoto cried and threw the cleaver.
Nobody was at the door.
THEN WHO WAS KNOCKING?!
Or a video of animation skinning, transformation, and physics glitches during the preproduction of Octodad: Dadliest Catch.