With the upcoming sequel to Octodad set for a 2013 release date, Patricia Hernandez has posted a conversation with Phil Tibitoski in which she unearths some of the creator’s motivations and musings. All cephalopodic jokes aside, Octodad may be the greatest example of how the simple constraints of a game mechanic (i.e. useless tentacle arms) can become social commentary.
Phil told me that ever since he was a child, he made art to try to get people’s attention. He told me that now, as an adult, he’s constantly frustrated that people don’t look as closely as he’d like them to at his work. I ask him what it is about Octodad that people may not see, may not catch onto.
I see a father trying his hardest to do right by his family, but faltering even with the simplest things. It’s not exactly his fault. Circumstances would have it that he’s a freaking octopus. The player has the resolve to ensure that Octodad finds success no matter what he has to do, but it’s impossible to play the game with the finesse needed to avoid stumbling, avoid making a mess of things—often.
Phil said that he knows that his father tried his hardest in spite of it all. “I know he always means well and I know he loves us,” he assured me. Adulthood has taught Phil to respect those good intentions, regardless of the way things turned out.