Hey Reddit, my name is Nick, and I was an animator on the game. We're all here together at the Young Horses HQ, and we'd love to take your questions on the game, development, cephalopods, anything!

Octodad is a comedy game that we worked on for about 2.5 years. It came out about an hour ago and is currently one of the best selling games on Steam!

We're all here to answer your questions:

Designer/Writer - /u/AvariceOrange

Lead Programmer - /u/luthyr

Lead Artist - /u/ATranquilMind

Programmer - /u/devonsoft

El Presidente and Community Manager - /u/ptibz

Designer - /u/johmmmmmm

Creative Director/Writer - /u/kzoradm

Audio and Composer - /u/seth1389

Proof: https://twitter.com/octodadgame/status/428968813854740480

EDIT: Thanks for the questions guys! I think we're gonna wrap it up here, though a couple of us might stay on to answer any remaining queries. If you want to check out the game, you can get it from Steam, The Humble Store, or GOG.

Comments: 455 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

apadamson254 karma

Is Octodad actually an allegory for struggling with alcoholism? The octopus form that no one can see is the father being constantly drunk, struggling with his motor skills while trying to keep it a secret?

AvariceOrange241 karma

People have compared our game to living with a disability as well. Really, the core narrative is "I have a secret and if others find out, they won't love me". When in reality that is the furthest from the truth.

jennCAH99 karma

Hi guys. I'm really excited for you.

This is a question for Tibbles. Why do you like pugs so much?

AvariceOrange148 karma

Because he is actually a bunch of pugs standing on each other wearing a big coat and pretending to be human.

Maxistentialist75 karma

Can you guys talk about how you animated some of the physical comedy in Octodad? It's one of the funniest animated things I've ever seen.

SenatorMcGibbens96 karma

Honestly? Disney movies. I watched a ton of them when I was younger and have recently embraced their charms again as an older dude. They really have a mastery of timing and comedic slapstick that is completely in a league of its own. Obviously I'm not quite up to their level...but it's a high bar to aim for!

Edit: This is of course for the cutscenes, not Octodad himself. Read Devon's response above about that!

devonsoft92 karma

Octodad's major physical movements are all just the physics engine. He's a ragdoll made of lots of capsules linked together. There's an upward force being applied to his head so he can stay up, which makes him feel like a marionette. When you move the mouse the mouse velocity is applied to the end of his tentacle in camera space. His feet have an extremely heavy mass when not being used. When you first lift his legs the mass lightens considerably and an upward velocity is applied. The leg movements are more acceleration than the 1:1 velocity change that is the arm so they feel a little looser and allow for hilarious overcorrections to happen. There are facial animations, and the cutscenes wer animated. The animations were all rigged by Chris Stallman and animated by him and Nick Esparza (custscenes). I worked with Chris to structure his rig and physics for the best look and feel.

LLBee68 karma

What actually happened in order for you guys to get a slot during the Sony E3 conference? It was really amazing to see a game like OctoDad seen on such a big stage!

AvariceOrange169 karma

Sony: "You bros wanna hang and maybe like...get on the PS4"

Us: "Yes."

sudo_rossy68 karma

Can you list any funny bugs/glitches you came across during development? Screenshots or videos are a huge bonus!

I played the PS4 version at Eurogamer and it was fantastic, can't wait to get a copy on steam :)

InfamousBLT16 karma

Oh god why.

Yet another reason to buy this game. I thought you guys weren't releasing it until February, so my body was not ready. This is a great surprise! My wife is leaving town this weekend so your timing was PERFECT. Now I just gotta get home from work and pick it up. So pumped for this game! Thanks for the AMA!

AvariceOrange8 karma

Thanks for swinging by!

tomsenior438 karma

is your dad an octopus?

PTibz62 karma

Yes. Wait...no.

SenatorMcGibbens113 karma

Maybe. I don't know. Can you repeat the question?

AvariceOrange47 karma

My dad could never be...an octopus. I mean, he did just knock over all the dishes, kick the table over and...squirt ink...but that's natural...right?

tomsenior48 karma

can i also say its awesome to be able to talk to you all right now, you all must be so excited!

AvariceOrange13 karma

My teeth were chattering at around 11:50 am.

gilles_trilleuze27 karma

Why is there such a huge narrative gap between getting married and having two kids? Will you release DLC where octodad delivers a baby?

*blub of fatherly excitement *

devonsoft40 karma

the wedding is more of a flashback/dream, hence the fade to white and him "falling" through the credits and waking up in modern day.

Bashnek26 karma

How did you come up with such adorable dialogue for these children?

Also who voices octodad?

Edit : And is there anywhere i can pick up the music?

Edit again : How did you decide what to put in the trailer?

Edit3: Individual twitter handles? (if you have them), you seem like interesting folk ;)

seth138925 karma

Tom Taylorson Voiced Octodad and Chef, Anne Sonneville does Scarlet and Tommy, and Stacy/everywoman was done by Fryda Wolff. I haven't had a chance to put the finishing touches on the Soundtrack, but we will tweet from the mountaintops when it becomes available.

AvariceOrange18 karma

I actually have the mind of a child. Like, implanted in my back. It helps me write in the voice of Stacy and Tommy.

kzoradm11 karma

Octodad is voiced by Tom Taylorson! The full Octodad soundtrack is not available yet, but you can get the theme song and its variants from Ian McKinney at his soundcloud.

insecuritiesgalore25 karma

Hi! Just wanted to let you guys know that my cousins and I were in a Sony store not too long ago. Decided to play the trial of Octodad, 10 seconds into the game, we burst into laughter. I'm talking me crouching on the ground, all of us not making any noises because we're just clapping like seals, and tears in my eyes. Oh his tentacles. How I love moving those tentacles.

AvariceOrange20 karma

Thanks! Stories like those really push us on.

JessePB25 karma

What was the biggest challenge in taking Octodad from your prototype to the final game?

AvariceOrange27 karma

Proving that it could funny and a challenge. Wobbly, woobly, shakey stuff. Confirmed.

Then how to make it challenging without making it utterly impossible.

Hopefully we struck a chord in the middle.

MOOMANiBE24 karma

Do you plan to quit your day jobs and work on your next game full-time if (more like when) Octodad is successful? Or do you prefer the stability?

SenatorMcGibbens29 karma

My dream since I was ten was to work on big AAA games. I still want to try and do that, but this experience has been so awesome that it will definitely inform everything I do from now on.

seth138919 karma

A lot of us have quit our day jobs at this point. But yes, we'd all love to do games full time!

columbiafreight19 karma

About how long is the game and what will make the PS4 version worth getting when it's released in March?

devonsoft29 karma

The game is around 3 hours to complete the story, then replayability to get all the ties, find the secret level, and play co-op. The PS4 version mostly has PS4 bonuses: move, more use of DS4, crossplay on vita, and easy streaming to youtube and twitch.

rougegoat12 karma

crossplay on vita

Crossplay on Vita? Does that mean there is a Vita version being worked on or do you mean Remote Play?

luthyr23 karma

He means remote play.

cabbit18 karma

I really love the game's connection with the concept of impostor syndrome, could you talk about that for a bit?

SenatorMcGibbens32 karma

It's quite interesting how much people read into the first Octodad and continue to read into this one. Honestly, our initial intent was not to make some grand commentary on human nature and imposter syndrome, but that's sort of what happened. Really, the subtext is left up to the player, and we're just facilitators.

theintention17 karma

You have 6 words to convince me that I need this game. Go.

devonsoft79 karma

loving father. secret octopus. full-frontal nudity.

theintention57 karma

Are we sure you didn't just describe Japan?

AvariceOrange11 karma

All of those things happen. Really.

Lachryman15 karma

I want to know why Seth has been putting off his masterpiece, 'Heinous Anus'.

seth13898 karma

My manuscript was lost to the ages due to hard drive failure

AvariceOrange6 karma

I wish this were at the top of the page.

gilles_trilleuze13 karma

I remember playing the original game a few years back and the controls were pretty painful. The new multitouch controls for the trackpad are beautifully simple and work really well for the game. Where did you get the idea for the innovative controls?

devonsoft11 karma

I was the main mac developer on both games. The multitouch controls went through a lot of iterations. I was frustrated that it was so hard to play on mac trackpad on the original game and wanted a good way to intuitively "walk" with your fingers. After prototyping one finger left leg and two fingers right leg which felt awkward I tried switching legs based on whether the next touch was to the left or right of the previous. Although it fails sometimes, especially on your first touch, it works really well for the most part. Originally they used pinch and spread to grab, which was interesting but failed too often. Also doublt two finger tap for switch modes which people had trouble with. Midway through development the gamepad controls got really good with no switch mode and I was inspired by that to try no switch mode (this only works if you are not using three finger swipes for os controls, otherwise three finger tap switches modes). All the OS controls Apple uses and allows did create a nightmare of trying to find the right controls. It's very hard to use three finger or four finger touches as the OS will lose all touch information when swipe between apps or expose etc happens. Apple understandably doesn't want apps to disable these controls so there's no way to override them without using private lib hacks.

The windows 8 touch controls were done by luthyr and are quite different (but also quite good) as they are designed for holding a tablet with two hands and using your thumbs.

MartB6413 karma

any hints as to when the PS4 version might be available?

devonsoft24 karma


ef1412 karma

Did the game go through some type of "developing hell" or was it, kind of a smooth sailing?

AvariceOrange23 karma

We all had day jobs for the first 75% of development. We had a Clark Kent-like day time self and then we'd run home and be Superman for 2 or so hours working on the game.

Towards the end many of us left our day jobs to work full time on the game in order to get this beast out!

Odusei12 karma

The last part of your game is a radical departure from the established "secret octopus" narrative. What inspired you to make a stealth section with attack dodging and all that?

kzoradm12 karma

We wanted each level to be unique and varied in its challenges, while also reflecting the story at the time. Early on we imagined Octodad going out to the car to get a new suit before tackling the aquarium, but it made more sense for him to go straight for his family!

On the mechanical side we really wanted a level where you shimmied on ledges and moved objects around to hide behind, and Octodad being naked seemed like a good reason to do that.

luthyr11 karma

We were trying to tread the fine line of having the game's progression ramp up in difficulty and to keep things fresh for players who got used to the controls too quickly and found the game too easy. People wildly differ on how good they actually get, but we wanted there to be some challenge by the end.

bsou111 karma

How easy was it to get running on the PS4 .

For my personal game Dev I use Unity , but I wonder if the ps4 deployment process is straight forward .

luthyr19 karma

The fact that we did not use Unity is actually what allowed us to be on PS4 earlier (Unity is still in beta). It took about a month to get it playable. Right now it is about on par with the PC version content wise, but we are now working on optimization, sony-specific stuff (like controllers, trophies), and TRC stuff.

It is very similar code-wise to our Linux port, with their tools being very easy to just work from Visual Studio. I don't want to exaggerate and say PS4 is really simple to code for, but it's surprisingly not far removed from standard PC development.

gilles_trilleuze11 karma

how did /u/seth1389 make all those bubble noises? did he use his butt?

seth138914 karma

No butts were involved in the making of Octodad's voice. But Tom does have an awesome explanation of how he came up with the voice. It involves a lot of hands touching lips.

SenatorMcGibbens12 karma

He could have fooled us though.

BizarroBizarro10 karma

I've been hearing about you guys for some time now.

How did you guys stay so relevant for those 2.5 years that development took? What would you contribute to staying so readily at the front of the gaming news?

I'm an aspiring game developer and I couldn't imagine keeping people interested in my game for such a long period of time before release. Good luck on the sales!

SenatorMcGibbens18 karma

The support from Sony was huge in being able to afford going to conventions and just getting our name out there. I think that was the point it truly blew up for real (and also around the time I came back to help finish the game!)

AvariceOrange11 karma

Going to as many conventions and shows as we could. Every PAX, new people would discover us that had never heard of us. Three types of people would visit our booth:

  • Fans of the first game, who were thrilled about the new game.

  • People who were utterly confused and had to play the weird game.

  • People from the first two categories bringing their friends over the next day.

I think that same logic applied to our online presence as well.

BuffaloVision9 karma

did you consider other cephalopods for dad?

devonsoft19 karma


ColoradoScoop9 karma

Is this a game that anyone (young kids, non-gamers) can pick up and have some success at? Or does it require some inherent ability and finesse with game controls?

AvariceOrange13 karma

Everyone is bad at our game, and then, usually in the first few minutes they pick up the movement and then are pretty good. Kids are great at picking it up, and usually do it super fast.

essyoo8 karma

How is Octodad set up? Is it a bone driven character or ? Are you scaling joints or just using translation driven by the ragdoll system? How did this affect your character's topology? Would you use the same pipeline again and if not, how would you approach the problem differently?

Apologies in advance for the barrage of questions. Thanks for doing a Q&A!

devonsoft12 karma

I kinda answered that further down Basically bones position and rotation is set to the same as the physics ragdoll, except for some blending with animation for his mustache and face. If I were to do it differently I would allow it to be more customizable to create cool mods like an elephant, slenderman, spider, etc., it's very hard coded currently. Our pipeline is pretty bad using .X animations exported from maya and hardcoded c++ so I would probably use modified fbx and xml definitions for the physics in the future.

tackangel6 karma

Is the crew fans of Octodad's appearances in VGCW?

SenatorMcGibbens4 karma


seth13894 karma

Yes, we usually cheer him on and watch the matches!

AvariceOrange3 karma

Very much. We get very...very emotional about the fights.

pyroman1366 karma

Has anyone on the team actually touched or interacted with an octopus....you know to get their feelings on your portrayal of them?

AvariceOrange5 karma

We spent all of our Kickstarter money on putting an octopus in a motion capture suit and having it do normal human things.

We went through a lot of octopi.

YeahMax6 karma

Did you guys ever see Cr1TiKaL's gameplay video of your first game? If so what'd you guys think of it?


AvariceOrange7 karma

He makes up a name for Tommy and there is a nod to that in the grocery store.

YeahMax4 karma

That's great, haha. It's good to see devs appreciate others who help bring attention to their games.

AvariceOrange4 karma

Let's Plays really helped generate interest in our wacky world and characters and the Grocery Store level is teeming with little hat tips and references.

The_Fast_Turtle6 karma

Will Octodad have a short story or just have like different things to do?

AvariceOrange5 karma

The game has a pretty in depth story and you'll get to see Octodad interact with each member of the family.

cabbit6 karma

What sort of tools/sites do you use for the various development functions? I'm kinda professionally curious about what you use for build & release automation, but also what sort of project management software you guys used to collaborate.

devonsoft6 karma

trello and skype chat for project managment. visual studio, xcode (mac), code blocks (linux), the projcets are not automated at all which is also something we did badly. steam builds are like using svn so that's pretty nice. The drm free builds are a pain currently, just manually packaging linux and mac and using nsis for windows installer. nsis is pretty nice, despite being a bit dated. art is all done in maya and photoshop. the editor we shipped with the game was created by luhyr and uses our engine and .net 3.5.

Stevoisiak6 karma

Why weren't we allowed to preorder Octodad 2? Was it a contractual issue?

SenatorMcGibbens16 karma

We'd never really done a launch before, and by the time the question even really came up it was already kinda late. But hopefully now you can read all the reviews and decide if the game is something you might want to try!

seth13896 karma

We wanted the game to have a bigger impact on the first day.

rogXue6 karma

So any plans (personal or professional) after you get Octodad completely out the door?

SenatorMcGibbens8 karma

I was thinking about applying for this gaming academy thing at University of Texas. I still want to try my hand in the AAA development world, but this whole indie experience has been INSANE and awesome!

devonsoft7 karma

buy more test computers. go to japan.

MarioMaster20086 karma

I just asked you this on Twitter, but I figured I'd ask it here for exposure (and this shows how into Team Fortress I am, that I'd ask this out of all the questions I possibly could.) First of all, I absolutely love the design of the promotional hat you submitted to the Steam Workshop, and I hope beyond all hopes that it gets in. Kudos to the artist and all that.

But my question is, let's say that it gets added to TF2, as a promotional item for Dadliest Catch. If I have the game through the Humble Store, or any other service that provides a Steam code, will the Steam code get me it?

Additionally, as a completely unrelated question: Octodad's wedding was featured in this game. Was he unmarried in the first game, despite having children?

devonsoft7 karma

We can't say at this time, but it is most likely to have to be a halloween hat if it gets accepted. We'd love to have it free with the game.

AvariceOrange7 karma

The hat is still kind of up in the air.

The wedding in the beginning is a flashback that takes place even before the first game...and isn't the only flashback featured in the game...

Shevy215 karma

When will you add Fireballs?

AvariceOrange4 karma

I'm working on it!

seth13894 karma


Nymo5 karma

How many aquarium visits did the team go while working on the project?

AvariceOrange7 karma

Actually, just one. We walked the halls of the Shedd during one of the hottest days in Chicago. It was great! We took tons of notes and grabbed a bunch of pictures.

LiJax5 karma

Do you have any advice for any students trying to get into the indie game market?

SenatorMcGibbens12 karma

It's gonna sound silly and cliché, but make your own things. Write down all your ideas. Prototype. Show your shit to EVERYONE. Absorb their feedback, positive AND negative. And don't forget, a good idea is still just an idea. Execution is what's valued.

AvariceOrange5 karma

Break the mold. Make something really strange, but fun. There are a million rogue-likes and platformers and FPSs and RTSs and other things that end with Ss.

Grab something weird, grab something fun and try to mix them together. If isn't working, stop working on it, but keep the idea close by. You may use some sort of mutation of it later.

willydearborn5 karma

How's the PS4 version? When is it coming and how has it been developing on the system/working with Sony?

luthyr12 karma

PS4 version is in a pretty good spot. We basically just have optimization, sony-specific stuff (controllers, trophies, etc.), and TRC requirements.

I've been playing around with Move + Nav controller scheme and really love it. You still use thumbstick and triggers to walk around, but you move the Move controller to use arms. We have single move support as well, but I think that can get strenuous trying to play the whole game in one sitting.

rougegoat6 karma

Wait, you have Move support for the PS4 version? Was this a recent addition?

luthyr8 karma

We announced it a while back. It's more of a fun toss-in for the one-move support, but I think Move+Nav configuration really sells it.

Quenk5 karma

Octodad was one of the games I was looking forward to this year ever since I saw the speedrun of the original at AGDQ last year. Did seeing someone play the original game like that influence anything when working on this one?

devonsoft6 karma

yes. we watched tons of playthroughs to find what people hated and enjoyed.

everyonehasfaces5 karma

Got nothing to ask, just best of luck and if all goes well think about the vita later.

AvariceOrange3 karma


ArthurEloi1155 karma

How this ideia came up? And how did you guys planned those references in the market stage, I mean they're really funny and clever.

Loving it so far, thanks for all the hard work!

SenatorMcGibbens7 karma

Thanks for your support! We wanted to give nods to everyone who supported us and helped get our name out there, and a grocery store seemed like an ideal place for a lot of subtle references!

TairyHesticIes4 karma

no question, just want to say: AWESOME GAME GUYS!!!

SenatorMcGibbens4 karma


AvariceOrange3 karma

You're an awesome person!

Wizzer104 karma

How do you feel about some of the slightly less complimentary reviews that have been buzzing around?

AvariceOrange3 karma

We knew the game wasn't for everyone and if you look at say CVG and then at EGM you can see where oppinon plays a huge part. We're pretty pleased so far with all the reviews, even the negative ones.

It helps us know what to keep in mind for our next game.

teaspoon834 karma

First, thanks for making this game and including Steam Workshop support. Already see a few platformers and a take on Shadow of the Colossus. Anything in particular you guys are curious to see the community make that just didn't fit in the game?

AvariceOrange5 karma

I'm working on a mod called: Hotline Mydaddy.

MasterChief36244 karma

Octodad: Dadliest Catch looks so special and exciting and fun. Congratulations on your release :)

Unfortunately I am not a PC player as my computer overheats way too easily when playing anything. I also don't have a PS4. So I was wondering if you are planning on bringing Octodad: Dadliest Catch (or Octodad anything, really) to any other game systems, like the Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii U?

I heard about the local co-op and that sounds like such a blast! I just wish I had a system that I could trust enough to not explode to play it, haha :)

devonsoft3 karma

the game currently would require severe optimizations to do those 3. If we do a vita or ipad port though it will become more likely to do older consoles. But no plans for those at this time either.

N0IDED3 karma

How did this concept come to be? Extensive brainstorming? Random highdea? It's genius, but undeniably ridiculous.

That said, I'm really excited to play.

AvariceOrange4 karma

Lots of idea thrown against a wall, then thrown out, new ideas thrown, and then thrown out.

Eventually our mind bins had been scraped clean and then Octodad crawled out. The original concept was a robot being controlled by an octopus in his head and you had to pull levers and hit buttons to move it. Then we got rid of the robot and just stuck the octopus in the suit.

StickNoob1173 karma

Do you have any plans to bring the original Octodad to Steam and if not, why not?

devonsoft4 karma

not at this time. we'd like it to encourage people to get the new game, and we'd also like to keep the original game free for people that want it.

henry_blackie3 karma

Are there any plans for an Octodad sequel?

devonsoft9 karma

Not at this time. Although Octolad or Octodad Kart Racing would be interesting...