Octodad is a an rage-filled adventure game available on Steam that has won the hearts of so many gamers and fans. It came out in 2014, but has managed to stay popular and loved throughout all of these years. However, there are still some questions that many fans, including myself, have wondered about this successful game. Philip Tibitoski, a game developer for Octodad and part of Young Horses Inc., was able to answer these burning questions for us.
Philip first told us about the origins of Octodad. This game started an extra-curricular project at DePaul University in Chicago for the Game Developers Conference. Philip says that Seth Parker, the Audio Composition and Design leader is able to explain the origins best. Seth describes the process to us, “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 the entire day, banging our heads against the wall, trying to come up with eight-page pitches to bring to the team. John Murphy… one of the artists and I were in a group together and we were like, ‘Okay, let’s go crazy.’ ” He goes on to explain the process of how Octodad came to be. “Somebody said something that reminded me of Descartes so I was like, ‘What if you were a kind of a passenger in 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.”
The style of Octodad was mainly influenced by “Saturday morning cartoons, such as that a lot of the team had watched when they were younger. Ren and Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Animaniacs were big influences,” according to Philip. He explains that some other gaming influences for Octodad were Enviro-Bear 2000, Minotaur in a China Shop, and QWOP.
As we all know, Octodad is famous for how rage-inducing it is. There is a reason why this mechanic is in place, and Philip describes the game as wanting to be, “unlike any other.” He says that, “Creating something that would cause people to be like ‘What the heck is that?!’ and be compelled to tell someone about the weird thing they saw that they can’t believe exists.” Another factor that went into this decision to develop the game this way is that no amount of video game playing and practicing could assist you in a game such as this.
Philip believes the part of Octodad that makes this game stand out from the rest is the level of difficulty as well as the balance in the game. “We did our best to make something purposefully difficult, but also at the same time widely accessible for anyone to be able to play. Striking that balance is a difficult thing to do that I don’t think is even often attempted in other games.”
Octodad has a more lighthearted tone compared to many other games. Comedy and humor is a huge part of the game and is what makes it so enjoyable to play. “Octodad allows people to laugh and enjoy their own missteps without much judgement. It’s not about being super skillful or an unstoppable powerful hero,” Philip tells us. The idea of Octodad is that the player takes on being an Octopus in a regular family trying to live a normal life despite the obstacles, according to Philip. “It’s also fun to watch other people play the game, and that leads the person wanting to give it a try themselves.”
The team knew that Octodad was enjoyed by many different players, but they seemed to not quite expect how popular it would eventually become. “We had no idea that we’d be able to successfully start our own small game because of it.” We’re super grateful and are trying to follow our original path of creating things that no other studio would create,” Philip states.
This game takes risks that many other titles have not yet done. Octodad has stood out for years and has been loved by so many avid gamers and fans. This game was exactly what the team needed to get their name out there in the gaming world. For many years to come, Octodad will be a stand-out rage game from the rest.