onStart – Octodad is about destruction, fatherhood

Posted by: 7/8/2013

There are a lot of folks in the world that struggle to complete day to day tasks. These could include grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, or just making coffee. Now imagine trying to do all of those tasks while being an octopus.

That is the idea behind the upcoming game titled Octodad: Dadliest Catch. It is being developed by a small team called Young Horses, Inc., based in Chicago. When I asked president and community manager Phil Tibitoski to describe Octodad: Dadliest Catch, he responded with “destruction, deception, and fatherhood.”


The player controls Octodad, who is a loving father, a happily married man, and has a great career. But he is secretly an octopus, yet to everyone else he looks like a human. With very unique controls to move Octodad through levels, it makes it more challenging to complete every day tasks. It also features very destructible environments, and that can lead to Octodad making a mess in any room he enters.

While the original Octodad has been online to download for a few years now, you could only explore Octodad’s house in the first game. Octodad: Dadliest Catch will put you out in public for the first time, like at a grocery store or aquarium. This will introduce more stealth gameplay as you don’t want folks to get suspicious and blow your cover.


Although stealth plays a larger role in the game, Tibitoski made sure to point out that this game will still be about destruction. “But don’t worry, you’ll still be a destructive mammoth like the world has never seen before. Destruction is still a big part of the game,” he said.

When learning about Octodad: Dadliest Catch, the first thing that comes to mind is; ‘How did Young Horses come up with the idea’. Tibitoski explained that the team had been sitting around for three days trying to pitch basic ideas, and they were getting no where. They decided to split into groups to see if that would help the brainstorming. One group contained Seth Parker, who is working on the audio for the game, and John Murphy, a designer.

Somebody had mentioned an idea that reminded Parker of Descartes, so he responded with “what if you were kind of a passenger in your own body?” This snowballed to “what if you’re a guy inside a robot and you were driving them?” It then turned into “what if you’re an octopus in your head?” Finally someone said “what if you’re just an octopus?” They rolled with that idea, presented it to the full team, and Octodad was born.


A huge break came for Young Horses at E3 2013. The team had been in contact with Sony a little before the trade show, and about a month before the Sony E3 2013 press conference, Young Horses found out they would have a chance to be on stage showing off Octodad: Dadliest Catch to millions of people.

The game was featured during the press conference when Sony executives were discussing some of the indie games that would be coming to PlayStation Network in the near future. While Tibitoski was not on stage (that was Kevin Geisler, COO and programmer/producer), he said that he was in the audience for the Sony press conference.

“I was however in the audience. It was one of the best moments in my life to see something I took part in creating reach such a huge global audience alongside all the other amazing games that were shown,” said Tibitoski.


It was revealed at the Sony E3 2013 press conference that Octodad: Dadliest Catch would be releasing on the PlayStation 4 along with PC, Mac, and Linux versions. Tibitoski said that they are interested in bringing Octodad to Xbox One. He said the team believes it would be a perfect fit for the Kinect, but “we haven’t made any moves towards this yet.” He continued by saying “it might not happen, but we’d like to if it seems feasible.” He also confirmed that the PC version of Octodad will support game pads.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch makes you smile the entire time you play the game. It makes the mundane task of brewing coffee enjoyable as Octodad is flinging cups, water, and coffee all over the place due to his clumsiness. It is a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by games that focus on serious and mature themes. While I have nothing wrong with mature games, playing Octodad is a good reminder that games can still be silly and enjoyable.

The original Octodad can be downloaded from the website here. Octodad: Dadliest Catch is set to release in early 2014 for PC, Mac, and Linux, with the PS4 version shipping shortly after. 

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