Blog Archives

MineCon Super Fun SurpriseVille Deluxe O’Tron

So we’ve been looking for a time and place in which it would be opportune to show off the new game in motion to the public. A few months back we submitted Octodad to be displayed at MineCon and by way of luck or maybe love we were accepted to show off the game! Technically we were cleared to show off the first game, but maybe we’ll sneak in something special for all of you to give you a look at our shiny new baby toy man Octodad 2.

We get about 20 minutes to present whatever we like in the Indie Theater. Our presentation is on Friday, Nov. 18th at 7:30 pm PST. Be there if you’d like to see what we’ve really been up to since our Kickstarter ended.

We’ll also have a nice little kiosk setup in the expo hall so make sure to come by, play the game, and hang out with Kevin Geisler and I. We’ll probably be handing out some goodies as well.

Look for this logo:

OctodadMineCon

Kiosk Logo. Look for this and you'll find us!

– <3 Phil

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We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

Aside from tending to our recent Kickstarter campaign, we’ve been building up our tech to prepare us better for development on Octodad 2.  With the original game, we had just three months from the start of production to push out a release, leaving little time to polish all we would have liked.  Now that we have a bit more breathing room for Octodad 2, we figured we’d spend more time in preproduction to build up a strong foundation.  For instance…

Improved Controls

When people talk about Octodad, the first thing they usually mention is something about the controls– awkward, frustrating, difficult, crazy.  Certainly our goal was to create a unique experience around the control scheme, but we think we can really improve the feedback and provide less frustration while still keeping a high level of wackiness.  For instance, we’ve done a lot to change arm movements so that it’s more responsive and better with throwing.  Throwing of course being necessary so that Octodad can finally play catch with Tommy without giving him a black eye or breaking a window.

Physics Upgrade

While we’re using a lot of code from the original as a base, we figured now would be as good a time as ever to upgrade to PhysX 3.0 to be set for future development.  We’ve learned a lot from the first round on what works well in the environment and what ends up wreaking havoc for gameplay.  Octodad’s body is now more solidly built in order to better interact with the other objects in the level.  But don’t worry; he still maintains his wobbly posture.

Cameras

The original game didn’t have quite the camera system that we would have liked.  Nobody likes fiddling around with a manual camera, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to add more automated control to better guide players.  Not to mention the cinematic possibilities.  In fact, our prototype animated cameras are currently able to evoke strong emotions* even in completely empty scenes.

* Strong emotions may actually be confusion.

Editor

The increase in efficiency in our production pipeline probably comes from the fact that we’ve built a new editor from the ground up.  Things like having undo and being able to play in editor is already making it tons easier to iterate on content.  Gameplay is also being expanded quite a bit with new functionality exposed for the designers to mess around with.  I wonder if fans will want to someday make their own custom levels?

Save System

We’ve been working on making a much more expansive save system so that players are no longer left in the dark as to when their progress is saved.  In addition, we’ll be saving after completed objectives rather than having to start the entire level over again.  We’re hoping that this lets players feel more adventurous when they play with less worry that they’ll lose everything.

Graphics & Animation

Octodad has a natural affinity towards water for some reason and we plan to showcase that a lot in Octodad 2.  We’ve been working on improving our graphics fidelity by implementing water shaders and better particle effects, as well as some major lighting changes.  Ultimately, it’s all to complement our new art style, which we’re pretty excited about.  That reveal, however, is being saved for a future date. :)

– Kevin G.

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What Indie Dreams Are Made Of

When we began to create Octodad, we never thought that one day we would be here working on a bigger and better sequel while being supported by the community at large. Although development is going as scheduled, I think we’re all in bit of a stupor as to the fact that it’s really happening. I myself can’t believe that I’m actually in a sense getting paid to MAKE VIDEO GAMES. I know that most of us have been dreaming of doing just this almost our whole lives and now that it’s finally here, it’s no less than a breathtaking endeavor.

Our largest inspirations for making games probably come from our wacky senses of humor. We’re always joking around about something in order to not go completely insane while being cooped up in one room for so long with the same couple people every day. Not that we don’t love one another to death, but something has to keep it light in here while we take on what is probably the largest challenge of our young lives. All of us spend somewhere between 30 and 50 hours a week working on the game so we’re pretty much a family at this point. :)

We’ve been rolling along now for a few months taking care of a bunch of pre-production business and getting the Kickstarter ready to go, but now we’ve gone into full-on development! It’s pretty damn scary, but also incredibly exciting at the same time. I personally have been having a bit of a rough start due to my computer crapping out at random times, but luckily I’ll be ordering a new one for development soon. I’ve been making due for a while now just hitting save as often as possible, but it’s getting a bit ridiculous at this point.

Young Horses Office

Young Horses "Office"

Recently most of us moved into a new place and we’ve designated this dining room as the Young Horses office space. We’ve got about six desks in here at the moment and there’s another on the way, but as you can see we’re nice and cozy. It’s pretty great being able to just turn around to ask a question or discuss something with a part of the team at any time. Up until now we’ve mostly been communicating via things like Skype, gChat, and email which just can’t match the efficiency of face-to-face.

Scrum and Problem Solving Area

Where problems are solved and plans are made.

Like I said before, we’ve already been hard at work as you can tell from both the boards behind Chris’s, our lead artist, desk. We’ve just made it through our first real sprint and things are looking good!

Chris's Desk

Chris's Desk

To the left you can see Chris’s fancy Cintiq which he spends countless hours on doodling up all sorts of Octodad wizardry for all of you. I’m also loafing about in the background there writing this very post.

Our mantle.

Our indie mantle.

Our mantle is covered with Octodad related goodies at the moment including a couple of the Kickstarter prize prototypes that we’ll be throwing into production quite soon. Devon, who’s one of our fancy programmers, sits on that shiny green ball all day and bounces along while typing like some sort of mad man. We also managed to slip away from the IGF pavilion at this year’s GDC with our cool marquee intact!

– Phil

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