Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Octodad Team Interview
Written by Catherine Bartlett
Pax Prime allowed me the pleasure of sitting down with Young Horses, Inc., the team behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch, the sequel to Octodad.
How did you come up with the idea for Octodad?
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.”
What has this experience been like? How have things changed since working on this game in college to now?
Kevin Z: “I admit that I don’t leave this house enough. This is where I live and where I work, I sleep over there and work over there and mostly everyone just comes in and brings the outside with them and I get to stay here.”
Phil: “For me, its actually more social because I had to go into the role of interfacing with people outside of the company and passing and relaying that back here. I used to be a lot more shy and then I started going to stuff like GDC and things like that and having to pitch the game to people on the spot.”
Did you have any issues developing the game or come across roadblocks?
Kevin Z: “The major thing in particular, and this happened in both Octodads, we had this part where we completely lost focus on what the game was supposed to be. We went for big instead of good. Like we had this awful, giant level where nothing really happened and you walked for 45 minutes. The worst walking in the universe, but there was nothing to knock into. You just walked from room to room…It wasn’t until we were slapped in the face with how awful it was that we realized how far we had gone off-message. The same thing happened to us in Dadliest Catch, where we were building these really typical game-like levels that didn’t make any sense for Octodad…we were getting away from the part where Octodad was doing normal things because we were too busy trying to get him to do these adventurous fun things. But people didn’t like that, that isn’t what they play Octodad for, they have Zelda for that. We also got slapped in the face by several colleagues.”
Where do you guys see yourself going as a team? What are your goals?
Phil: “Basically we want to get this out there, get this shipped, have said that we put out a commercial product and see how it does and see if people are actually willing to pay for it. Up until this point, it has been a lot of guesswork that people will pay money for it. Greenlight is a nice indicator that people do want it, but at the same time there is still a nagging doubt that it will not do as well as we’d like it to since the other ones have been free. In the future, if this does well we want to continue as a team and just keep making weird things.”
Any last words or declarations?
Seth: “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.”
Rebecca "Bonks" Rothschild
- by Rebecca "Bonks" Rothschild
- posted at 5:56 AM
- September 19, 2012