The harsh reality of being an indie developer is that audiences — and even other developers — may not take a studio seriously until they've created a game for consoles, Octodad: Dadliest Catch developer Philip Tibitoski told Polygon.
Tibitoski expressed the idea that making games for PCs is so common, legitimacy as a game developer is more acutely commanded by publishing a video game to a console like the Xbox 360 or — in Young Horses' and Tibitoski's case — PlayStation 4.
"We're reaching an audience we wouldn't normally reach on PS4," Tibitoski explained. "Normally indie developers and people who play indie games have an idea of who we are, generally, and the audience who plays console games didn't. Bringing Octodad to console would let us reach more people and we thought it was a good opportunity.
"I feel like until you've made a console game, a lot of people don't take you seriously," he added. "It's a weird thing, and I think it's because of what people know. Adults like, say, my parents, will say, 'Oh, you're putting a game out on the computer,' but then you're like, 'Oh we're working with Sony." And Sony is a brand and a company that people see and say, 'Oh, you're doing something real.' It's weird."
Tibitoski added that Young Horses "might" incorporate the DualShock 4 touchpad in the final version of Octodad: Dadliest Catch, but only if they find an appropriate use for it. Like many other developers working on PS4 titles, Tibitoski doesn't want to "stick something in there just because." Unlike Octodad's optional PlayStation Move motion controls, which Tibitoski noted adds a layer of challenge to the game, adding extra features for the DualShock 4 would only feel gimmicky.
Tibitoski said the game went into development for PS4 shortly after E3, and that the porting process was very easy.
"We originally didn't think we had the experience to develop for a console, because we've never had the experience before," he said. "We though, eh, let's just get the PC, Mac and Linux stuff out and finished. But then Sony had been so supportive — hey sent us devkits for PS4, and told us that if we didn't want to do it, it was fine, we could just send them back — and we thought, okay, why not. We tried it and then we were eager to make a console game."
According to Tibitoski, Octodad: Dadliest Catch will launch for Windows PC, Mac and Linux in January on Steam, while the PS4 version is planned for early March. The game will also be compatible with Remote Play.