The Slapstick Cephalopod: An Interview with the Octodad Team
[Community member AwesomeExMachina had the opportunity to speak with a group of game developers from De Paul University working on the game Octodad, which is bizarre, awesome, and definitely worth your attention. Want to see your own work on the front page? Write something awesome and put it in the c blogs! -- Kauza]
I’ve knocked over the same wine glass for the sixth time. I’m simply trying to move it a few inches into the sink, because my wife politely asked me to wash the dishes and because she holds onto a banana I desperately need to finish my octopus decoy. But I keep knocking it onto the floor. My limbs just keep slapping it around. At one point, I actually hurled it across the room as if it was placed on a precariously taught catapult. Finally, I succeed and the last glass is in the sink. But even as my wife presents me with my reward in her outstretched hand, I can't seem to grab it. I press a wrong button, switch to my leg control, and tumble over our dining room table.
The motion I search for should be simple and would require the most marginal of motion in reality. But I am in a quaint, colorfully painted digital home, reminiscent of a 1950s dream, and I am an octopus in a suit, who is trying desperately to be a father. I am a terrible father, it seems, and even worse octopus. But this is the whole point. Because I am not struggling with just the control scheme, but also with the incapacitating laughter of my clumsy failures.
I am playing Octodad and movement is an intentional nightmare. My characters has no thumbs and no hands. My tentacle can adhere confidently to objects, but moving it from one point to another is a game of patience and disaster. Everyday motions like picking up objects require rapt attention. The two legs seem often unable to support the character’s weight and their movement is likewise loose and unhinged. My character is a squirmy mess of poor motor control.
Octodad doesn’t want your money – it’s free to play, in fact. It simply wants to make you laugh.
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