June 2012

Moving as Only City Slickers Know How

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.

celebrate the move in

To celebrate the successful move we decided to watch Indie Game: The Movie with the Team Meat commentary on our big new wall. That's John, Me, Devon, and Chris left-furthest back to right. Geisler is taking the picture and Zuhn is hiding behind me.

Read after the break for a bit more info on the move and plenty more pictures!

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How to Mod Octodad Levels

(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.exe

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 FilesOctodad (32-bit) or C:Program Files (x86)Octodad (64-bit).

Loading a level

Go to File, Open, and browse to C:Program FilesOctodadContentLevels
Select any file you want to edit.

Tips:

  • 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
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Happy Father’s Day

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.”

 

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A Fistful of Context

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?

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Kickstarter by the Numbers

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!

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