November 2012

Where We’re At

It’s getting towards the end of the year, making it a good time to get an overview of the progress we’ve made on the project thus far.  We ended our Kickstarter August 10th, 2011, which really marked the beginning of development, having spent the previous months kicking around what could be done with Octodad.

To give you an overview of accomplishments thus far:

Summer 2011

Fall 2011

  • Prototyped new gameplay mechanics unexplored from Octodad 1.
  • Began prototyping the Church level as our intro and tutorial to the game.
  • Showed off Octodad at MineCon and Fantastic Arcade.

Winter 2011

  • Created our first teaser trailer.
  • Settled on the story outline and level progression of the game.
  • Moved on from our first polished level (Church) while prototyping aquarium-type levels.

Spring 2012

  • Worked on the House and Grocery Store levels.
  • Finished creating the rest of the family character models.

Summer 2012

  • Blocked out additional Aquarium levels and flashback levels.
  • Continued iterating on Aquarium level blockouts.
  • Began our Steam Greenlight campaign.

Fall 2012

  • Finished up the House level and entered final stages of Grocery Store level.
  • Showed off the game at PAX Prime.
  • Succeeded in being Greenlit through Steam.

If we put our progress in terms of level content creation we get this sort of chart:

So about where are we in the project?  The consensus seems that we’re probably around 40-50%.  A large portion of the prior work was iterating on new ideas, testing them out, and building up our tech.  Not to mention, we ended up tackling some of the more content-heavy levels early on.  We have high hopes of reusing some assets and other trickery to make the latter Aquarium levels quicker to create.  Lastly, we’re still aiming for a high layer of polish with voice acting and story progression cutscenes for when we are ready to wrap up the project.

What’s been great about this project has been the evolution since we originally pitched it on Kickstarter.  For something that we weren’t sure what we could do with it, we’ve come a long way towards delivering a solid, focused, and refreshing experience.  Every time we have the opportunity to show it off to different people, we are always humbled by the great response!

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Horse Talk: Come get your Phil

Austin, TX. Photo by Rami Ismail of Vlambeer

‘Horse Talk’ is a series here on the Octodad blog where we run intra-team Young Horses interviews. The first 2 or so questions are the same for each horse, but afterwords we crowd-source the team for things they’d like to ask the interviewee.

Who are you and what is it that you do at Young Horses?

I’m Phil Tibitoski and my technical corpy corporate title at Young Horses is President & CEO. I handle a lot of the business related work for the studio and I’m also in charge of community management/outreach. If you’ve ever talked to us on Twitter or Facebook it was probably me you were chatting with!

What are your favorite games and why?

It may sound lame, but I really like games that have a lot of heart to them. I don’t usually praise games for feature-sets or things like that. Games that cause you to feel differently or just have the ability to change your mood are the ones that usually captivate me most. They aren’t always from the same genre and they don’t always make me feel the same way, but they do evoke changes in my mood. My favorite thing about games is that they can completely change your outlook on a day or time in your life if they’re well made. Some games that have done this for me include Halo, Gitaroo Man, FEZ, Brütal Legend, Hotline Miami, Rock Band, and The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.

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Horse Talk: Seth Stirrups Some Thoughts

Seth at the IGF Awards 2010.

‘Horse Talk’ is a series here on the Octodad blog where we run intra-team Young Horses interviews. The first 2 or so questions are the same for each horse, but afterwords we crowd-source the team for things they’d like to ask the interviewee.

Who are you and what is it that you do at Young Horses?

Yar, I be Seth.  I do audios and make fart and butt jokes (be prepared for many in the ensuing answers).

What are your favorite games and why?

While I thoroughly enjoy games like Halo Reach and Borderlands 2, my heart is really in the games that aren’t incredibly difficult.  One of my favorite games from recent times is Polytron’s Fez.  I like things that are personal and that have good music.  I’m not talking about something with a catchy beat, I’m talking about something that moves me.  Fez’s OST moves me.  The game itself is also incredibly soothing.  I could play it for hours and not really accomplish anything, just wander around and enjoy the sights and sounds.  Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery ep is also a game that I enjoy a lot.

How did you get into game development?

I went to music school at Depaul to study Sound Recording Technology and for one of my production classes, the audio director from NetherRealm (Midway at the time) came in to do a few classes on fmod and interactive game audio.  From listening to him talk, I immediately knew that I wanted to get involved in game audio.  A year passed and nothing happened.  In that year, a small team of students from Depaul made a game called Devil’s Tuning Fork that was selected for the Independent Games Festival student showcase.  I happened to know one of the artists on this team, and I contacted him asking if there was going to be another team the following year.  It turned out there was!  I had missed the application deadline, but was lucky enough that I ended up getting a chance to interview for the team and was selected!  That project became Octodad.

If you weren’t doing audio and could possess any talent, what would be your role on a game dev team?

Assuming that I could love it as much as I love music, I would be a programmer.  I think it would be totally awesome to be behind how everything in the game works.  I think it would work really well with how my work habits are too, I like to have a set group of tasks and be able to formulate a plan to complete them.  I also like to be busy, and I feel like programming would allow me a tedious busy that I would dig.

What childhood cartoon show shaped your brain the most?

There is this one episode of Beavis and Butthead where they find a camera in the park and take a bunch of pictures of down their pants.  That scene has pretty much defined my life.

How many butts is too many butts?

One time I calculated that it would take about 11 pentrillion trucks to transport a mole of butts.  That is probably too many butts.

Which instrument do you wish you knew how to play?

The sackbut, obviously.

What’s your favorite sound effect that you’ve made for Octodad?

There was this one in the first game.  It is literally just me makin’ a fart with my mouth.  I always wait for it to come up in play throughs when people release objects that they are holding.  It still makes me giggle.

Which console generation for video games has been your favorite?

The system that had the most magic in it for me was the NES.  Don’t get me wrong, I love playing newer games on my ecksbawks, but I loved that earlier games required a lot of input from my imagination.  For instance, my favorite game for NES was Little League Baseball: Championship Series.

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