Considering the trainee level of our team,The Secret of Space Octopuses is a quite ambitious but still humble and passionate project seeking to reconcile oldschool atmospheres and principles with more actual technologies and sensations.
Starting with the “abduction by aliens” cliche, the whole story is about a secret, the Space Octopuses Secret and the reasons that lead them to kidnap humans.
Proning humour and a cartoon style, we are having fun with using, diverting and even sublimating archetypes of the kind.
In art direction we thus find strong principles like a very pronounced color code where green is prevailing, stranges landscapes blending oddities and technologies, and a tone oscillating between humor and unhealthy atmosphere.
During our game, the player will discover the Octopus society and his attitude during the adventure will lead him to two differents conclusions. Despite a wealthy-wanting background we did our best to provide an uncluttered narrative so the player will never be cut off in action.
It was one of the strong principles of our project and maybe the one that put us the most to the test. The world and story are therefore expressed through landscapes offering a wealth of information, sometimes obvious, sometimes more subtil, and through often funny or profoundly retarded verbal exchanges between Octopuses.
B.O.T. the "Bunch Of Trash", built by Little Buddy to escape from the Octopus World, owns a database that will never stop to update gradually as he explores the environment. In concret terms, this is a wealthy codex that ‘ll gradually become complete as you discover new elements.
In the end there is more than 60 pages of information about the characters, places, Boxes, technologies or the history of the Octopus culture that are waiting for you!
In The Secret of Space Octopuses, you are controlling the robot B.O.T. who has the extraordinary ability to absorb elements to recycle them into Boxes. Whether it's rocks, plants, fuel or even some animals, there are many items to recycle and they all offer unique characteristics. Try to destroy then and absorb some stalagmites will allow you to create a "Rock Box". Heavy and resistant, the Rock Box can be used as projectiles, whether to exterminate Octopuses, activate a very high mechanism or overbalance a platform, but it can also be used as a footboard, helping you to reach normally inaccessible heights.
Another exemple, the "Glue Box". With the ability to adhere to all kinds of walls, fixed or mobile, the Glue Box also lends itself to different uses. A flying ennemy is making resistance? Stick it one Glue Box or more in the legs, the weight of the box will easily weaken its jetpack and get it back quickly within reach of B.O.T.'s fists.
The Glue Box may also keep B.O.T. glued to a wall, very useful on a too steep slope, or to avoid a dangerous ground sticking it-self on the ceiling. This Box also works wonder when it comes to combine different Boxes together.
There are many sorts of various Boxes. There is among these the Hover Box, useful to get around contaminated water zones or gain speed, the Boom Box, the friend of the freaks of explosions, the Flash Box that will flash your ennemies and light up dark places, the lethal Boing Box that has the annoying habit of bouncing in all directions. You also can turn the Octopus weapons against them-selves creating Death Boxes, abuse the local wildlife with Beast Boxes, deafen your neighbours with Juke Boxes, cheat your aptitudes absorbing Energy Boxes, or just call your friends to the rescue providing them with Roboxes. There are in total more than eleven types of Boxes that you have to find discover and then use.
With a bunch of various boxes we wanted the player not only to experiment and aquier each situations but above all offering the oppurtunity to make this game their own.
At the helm of B.O.T., a fast and powerfull colossus robot, The Secret of Space Octopuses regularly drives you in the middle of subtils and fun fights. Heros as well as ennemies are grounded on an omnipresent PHYSIC, offering them a dynamic and unpredictible behavior. To be concret, giving a slight hit wont make your ennemies fly in the air like a heavy hit would. A heavy run-up hit will even be more devastating and if the octopus ends up stucked to a wall or on one of its fellow its even better ! The environment offers a not inconsiderable asset during fights and this is quite smart to launch an octopus trough a confine cave, making it bounce against the roof then back to the floor, so you accumulate the DAMAGES IT ENDURES . The subtlety of our FIGHT SYSTEM lies in the fact that its only the physical impacts of the attacks and the environment that will hurt the ennemies or B.O.T.. So, this is totally possible to kill some octopus without batteling out with B.O.T.’s fists. You can make them fall deep down or into a trap, launch an octopus on an another one or drag them straight to a wall while they are running amuck you, there is a lot of harmfull interactions that you can use against your ennemies. But be carreful! the same goes for B.O.T. that will easily hurt itself if you receive an octopus after launching it trought the air, or if you don’t pay attention especially in tough environments. This PHYSIC subtelty makes the whole difference for our game, making the interactions much more dynamic and unpredictable, simple health bars are left behind !
Another particularity during fights, the dynamic complexity. Since Little Buddy is a prisoner on the run, directing B.O.T. will conduct some alerts, giving informations about the danger he is to the octopuses. To be concret the more you kill octopuses and the more your head will be wanted, the more you bring misery into the octopus army and the more they will strenghten their team, making your life an hell on earth. On the other hand if you stay discret, or if you’re a lame, your head will be less wanted and the octopuses will mistakenly (or not) underestimate you. As you can see the complexity is compatible with every players and every playing habits.
Despite the risks B.O.T. is a real scrapper and has many skills. He is capable of slight but quick following hits that are perfect to break throught weak octopuses lines, loading 3-steps hits that will blast its ennemies, destroy shields or environments, grabbing its ennemies to launch them where it wants into the air, spreading out a shiel to throw shots back into ennemies, making side dodges and of course using boxes that will lead the crappy octopus into fallacious but fun traps.
Thanks to a wealthy universe and a rich gameplay the exploration takes a huge part of The Secret of Space Octopuses. Recently escaped from his cell, Little Buddy escorted by his robot B.O.T. will have to find the only way to leave the alien world from where he is kept : a spaceship, trying to release humans and revealing all the secrets around their abduction on his way.
In order to strenghten the mind of this little human being lost in a weird and hostile world we gave priority to sprawling levels from where the way out isnt allways obvious. We’re hoping the player will enjoy exploring the environment as it pleases him and be glad each times he’ll discover his way to the following levels. Furthermore, there is many secret areas spread throught the 8 levels of our game and finding or resolving them will provide rewards. Indeed, depending on the player’s commitment in exploring the octopus world the game offers 2 different endings and pushing on exploration allows to understand more and more the octopus society and goals as well.
Beyond the narrative or contemplativ angels, being able to entierly explore the octopus world prove to be a quite huge challenge. The environments are tough, with many traps and you ‘ll need to reveal many reflexs or tricks to get rid of the most desperate situations. Following the example of fights, B.O.T.’s moves are grounded by a omnipresent PHYSIC. You will have to learn how not to miss a jump, crash against a wall, avoid falling stalagmites and dangerous slope. Keep in mind the boxes will be your best friends, it’s wiser to progress safe thanks to the LightBox light or keep a BeastBox if you make an unexpected fall. What’s more, the boxes made we enjoyed to design our levels. There is many situations where you’ll need to use boxes, and if you’re a speed run fan, a deep ravin or a toxic water-plan will actually be great shorcuts.
Here is another point we are waiting to catch the players out and that never stop keemping in mind when we designed the levels : the speed run. Every time you complet a level a chrono mode will be unlocked, and as you can imagine you’ll get the oppurtunity to smash records. The gameplay gains here in value, the shortcuts joined to an expert use of the boxes will allow you to smash records and reveal all the fun of the game.
The idea of a multiplayer mode became obvious as long as we were practicing our game in solo. The deliberately dynamic and simple gameplay of The Secret of Space Octopuses leaded us to design a multi mode. The solo adventure was already equipped with a coop mode for 4 local players, the game deserved a dedicated mode where the players would get involved in VS or coop mini games, experimenting in a whole new way the strong principles of our gameplay. We were’nt necessarily interested in designing original modes, it was all about putting our level design and the physic the game was already offering into pratice.
To be concret,The Secret of Space Octopuses multi offers wellknown modes like Deathmatch, Survival or King of the Hill (in a more personal version) but you can forget everything you’d seen in other games, there ‘s no comparison with what we’ve imagined ! Allthought we kept the “platformer” style the arena prove to be filled with turnarounds and you’ll allways have to pay attention at where you walk. Great fights have nice surprises in store, you might for example be shot out of the map by a player who, helped by the momentum of a ventilator, gave you the punch of your life. The boxes are of course invited to the party and will randomly spice the fights up.