When we set to create Octoboy we wanted to do something unique. With all the games that are out you have to take a risk and try something different.
The first few weeks of development our team sat and asked themselves many questions.
What kind of game do we do? An infinite runner? The world doesn't need another one. What about a tower defense game? We have seen at least a thousand. What do we do? How do we differentiate ourselves?
During the discussion one of the first things we talked about was the kind of games we played as kids. Yes, there was a lot of arcades, "Game and Watch" but some that came to mind were those water games. Remember them?
Of course merely copying them wouldn't result in a good game. You have to take advantage of what a digital device can do. We checked if someone had tried similar ideas and we saw a few but it looked like they were just copying those old water games and we wanted to create something that went beyond them.
The way you played those games is that you pushed a button that created bubbles, real bubbles that moved objects that were moving underwater. Then you tilted the device left and right to try to get rings and objects in specific places.
In a few days we did a prototype for the iPhone and found the controls quite simple and natural to use. Then Octoboy was born. We chose an underwater setting and went with those controls.
The result is that you have to control the main character with physics and forces. It's different but we think it feels natural and is quite easy to use and understand.
You control Octoboy by tapping below him to create bubbles that push him up. Then you tilt the device to move him left and right. Octoboy reacts as if he was underwater. Just like those old games but with tons of wonderful levels, enemies and things to explore and discover.
The next year of development was spent on level design but that will be explained in a future blog post.