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Young Horses Interview: Creating Octodad and Pushing the Indie Charge

Posted on the 07 December 2013 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
Young Horses Interview: Creating Octodad and Pushing the indie Charge
With the upcoming arrival of the new year, I got the opportunity to speak with some the developers that will be leading the indie charge behind these new consoles.  First up, Philip Tibitoski of Young Horses, one of the mad geniuses behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch.  
Octodad is one of the more quirky indie games I've seen this year, how did the game's concept come to life?
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.” Young Horses Interview: Creating Octodad and Pushing the indie Charge Octodad was one of the premier indie titles that will be coming to the PS4, can you talk about what development was like with the new hardware, any challenges?
Philip Tibitoski: Overall, development on PS4 has been smooth sailing for us. We'd been developing the game for PC/Mac/Linux for a few years before we got the opportunity to bring the game to PlayStation and so we already had a good foundation to match up with its similar to PC architecture. Our Linux build specifically helped as it was similar in layout and functionality. Getting the game up and running on PS4 took about a months time from one of our programmers who was working part-time, Kevin Geisler.
I know the game is also coming to PC as well, but will there be any special PS4 functionality i.e. PS Move, Dualshock 4 speaker, light bar, or the touchpad.
Philip Tibitoski: We'll be shipping with PS Move support as we announced here a few months ago, but we've also recently been messing around with the touchpad to use in controlling Octodad's arms. The PC version will also support control via DS4, Xbox 360 Controller, and more.
How long has the game been in development, and at what point on the timeline did Sony come into the picture.
Philip Tibitoski: The game will have been in development for about 2.5 years by the time we release in January 2014 on Steam. Sony began speaking with us back in 2011 about the first Octodad, but it wasn't until PAX East 2013 that we got into serious talks about PS4.
How many people work at Young Horses? Does the team work full time on the game?
Philip Tibitoski: There are 9 of us at Young Horses now. 2-3 people have always been working full-time on the game, while the rest of us have been keeping closer to part-time hours for the majority of the project. All of us for most of the project did also hold other full-time or part-time jobs to sustain living and the costs that come along with living in Chicago. More recently though, many of us quit those jobs to go full-time on the game and finish it up in hopes we'll be able to only work on our own games in the future.
We don't want to spoil the game by any means, but can you give my readers a brief synopsis of the narrative.
Philip Tibitoski: "Octodad's existence is a constant struggle, as he must master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodan nature a secret from his human family. Opposing the octopus are scores of staircases, boxes of banana peels, and one intense sushi chef.
Octodad has gotten himself in a bind between his wife’s mounting mistrust, and a disastrous trip to the local aquarium! Manipulate his body like a squishy marionette to maintain the masquerade, as too much suspicion from the proper populace will doom him to sleep with the fishes!"
We're looking to expose a bit more of the story of Octodad himself in this game and are really pushing some of our values through in the dialogue, cutscenes, and gameplay. Young Horses Interview: Creating Octodad and Pushing the indie Charge I always love to ask indies what the term being "indie" really means, what do you feel being indie really means?
Philip Tibitoski: I think that being indie involves creating something entirely of your team or yourself without compromising that vision due to outside forces alone. It's about creating something that has a real personality and isn't what you might normally see out of another developer with a bigger budget or maybe more at risk.
I like to lighten things up for the last 3 questions, with random questions if you will indulge me.  The whole console war has always been entertaining to me, but this time around, trashing and trolling has come to an all time low. Will there ever be a time where Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft ever get along with one another ? :D
Philip Tibitoski: A lot of the trolling of one another the big companies may do is all in good fun and business. Having spoken with representatives from all 3 companies I can say that they really respect one another when it comes down to it. It's just for laughs and competition that things get rowdy from time to time. Fans on the other hand can be quite...passionate.
If you could choose one game that was released this year, and throw it away, which would it be?
Philip Tibitoski: I doubt I'd ever do that for any game, as anything that's ever been published or shipped deserves to exist. It's crazy hard to create something like a video game, album, book, etc. Creative endeavors like this are super draining on those that do the creating.
As far as games that I really didn't care for from this past year go...Dark Souls and Spelunky don't appeal to me much at all. I can see how others could get very invested, but for me something just doesn't click. I played both for a few hours and haven't been motivated to pick them up again since.
I'm a fan of quirky Japanese titles, what is your favorite Japanese developed title and why?
Philip Tibitoski: That's a way hard question, but a few I really dig are Gitaroo Man, Mr. Mosquito, and Jet Grind Radio. They all are very weird in their own ways and I like that a lot. I enjoy games that surprise me.
You can expect Octodad in 2014 for PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4.


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