Ten Questions With… An Octopus (friendlyOctopus)

Ten Questions With… An Octopus (friendlyOctopus)

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If Cloudrift is anything to go by then octopuses (octopi?) aren’t just good for takoyaki and predicting football results, but also at making addictive games! Of course it could just be a human developer masquerading as a friendly octopus, but we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Check out our ten questions with friendlyOctopus below to find out more about his début title, Cloudrift.

Can you give our readers a quick introduction of yourself and your work?

Hi, I’m an octopus! Blub blub blub. I’m thirty something, was born and raised in Great Britain, and currently have eight legs. During the day I work as a Software Developer. Having dabbled with making games for many years, I finally had an idea that I decided to keep working on until it was done . . .

How did the idea for Cloudrift come about?

I got interested in procedural generation and was playing around with it to produce desktop wallpapers (example further down below!), and landscapes for a Terraria-esque game I was working on (now on hold). Then came the idea of that terrain actually moving, and a player having to surf it to stay alive. Straight away I thought it would also be cool to have items that manipulate the procedural generation.

Cloudrift is your first Steam release. How did you find the experience?

Yes, my first release on any platform, and I’ve been really impressed and happy through the whole process! Perhaps things weren’t as smooth in the past, but I only ever needed to send one email direct to Valve, just to check on the status of something. They’ve got things set up so that if you’re sensible and take the time to read the information they provide, everything is clear and all your questions are already answered. If there is an unanswered question they and other developers respond quickly on their developer’s forum.

What are the games that influenced you and how?

I think and hope that Cloudrift is fundamentally quite unique, but there are a few ideas in there that might be slightly similar to the old c64 game Wizball! That game and it’s music really got me (more) excited about computer games a long time ago. I’ll leave you to go and discover Wizball if you don’t already know it! Nowadays I like playing all sorts of games: Fallout, Skyrim, Cities Skylines, Civilization (1 to 5!), Elite (1 to Elite Dangerous!), and yes Minecraft but not for a few years!.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

What was the biggest challenge while creating Cloudrift?

The only challenge was finding the energy to get on with it during weekends and holidays when not doing the day job! Unless working on something where I really need to concentrate, I listen to music to keep me feeling energetic! Good tasty coffee helps too!

What aspect of creating Cloudrift was the most fun?

Play testing, and making it look nice. Many hours were spent making tiny changes to the cloud and colour algorithms, and fine tuning the (often subtle?) particle effects. Creating Cloudrift entirely on my own, including code, sound effects, and music, and getting it up for sale on Steam was of course immensely rewarding. I’m extremely proud of it 😛

What are the future plans for Cloudrift/friendlyOctopus?

I’d like to investigate getting Cloudrift onto consoles (if anyone reading can help with this please get in touch!). I’m a PC fellow, but Cloudrift is the idea that came to me and I think it will suit consoles. I also have a couple of exciting ideas for new games, watch this space!

What is the most unusual thing on your desk right now?

I’m afraid I’m one of those people that likes a clean tidy desk, so there’s really nothing unusual or interesting! Here’s a boring photo to prove it! Maybe I should get some cool things in case I’m ever asked this again?

As a solo developer do you have any advice for other developers who want to follow the indie route?

Everything takes roughly 28 times more effort than you think it will, and there are about 20 times more things to actually do than you think. It’s a big undertaking, just bear that in mind! Keep your code tidy and well maintained. Eat a varied diet. Be polite. Never tickle a bear. More tips are available in the Tips screen in Cloudrift!

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks very much to GAMERamble for their interest in Cloudrift and for taking the time to write a well informed review!

If anyone would like to get in touch please use any of these methods!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/403270/

http://www.friendlyoctopus.net/

https://twitter.com/FoctopusGames

From our side we want to thank the mysterious cephalopod mollusc for creating such a great game and answering our questions. We would also love to see Cloudrift on consoles, so anyone with any knowledge on how to make this happen please do get in touch with the developer! Those looking for more insights about this unique game can check out our review HERE.

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11 Comments

  1. Bobba Fetacheese December 11, 2015
    Reply

    Boo! Hiss! Another clean desk. I was expecting something at least octopus related on there. Where did all the messy developers with interesting desks go! On a more serious note, Wizball was the shit back in the day. Someone should do a remake.

    • friendlyOctopus December 11, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Bobba, another stereotype proved wrong! If a messy desk means messy code, then I don’t approve 🙂 Yay Wizball! Hmmm, what might a remake look like? How could it possibly be improved upon? 🙂

    • cmaralm26 December 13, 2015
      Reply

      Actually there is already a Wizball remake: http://retrospec.sgn.net/game-links.php?link=wizball

  2. cryptictriptich December 11, 2015
    Reply

    Least. Fluffy. Looking.Cloud. Eva.

    • friendlyOctopus December 11, 2015
      Reply

      Hi crypticticticblubblub sorry that’s too hard for an octopus to pronounce! Yes I experimented with trying to make the cloud more cloudy, but it got in the way of the game being playable so I went with what we see now!

  3. cemuslogso December 11, 2015
    Reply

    A developer not looking to hog the limelight or become the next big indie “personality”? Nice to see someone letting their work speak for itself for once. Or it could really just be a octopus. Would be cool eitherway.

    • friendlyOctopus December 12, 2015
      Reply

      Hey, how many humans do you know that have 8 legs?! Thanks for the comment, it doesn’t matter who I am so long as people enjoy the game!

  4. Nekoblux December 11, 2015
    Reply

    Assumed the “ball” you roll around was a deadmaus homage now I see it is a Wizball reference?

    • friendlyOctopus December 12, 2015
      Reply

      Haha I’m a massive fan of both actually Nekoblux! And I’m aware Player One looks similar to both. Deadmau5 is the music that keeps me coding a lot of the time. It sounds even better underwater, the bass goes all wobbly.

  5. FrederickF December 14, 2015
    Reply

    Nice, i have the same speakers. Logitech right?

  6. friendlyOctopus December 14, 2015
    Reply

    Heh yeah they are Logitech. I find the minimum volume on the sub woofer is too loud! I like it but not sure my neighbours are too happy!

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