The designer behind the massively popular Plants vs. Zombies, George Fan, has opened a new studio and left his old toys behind. With the gang at All Yes Good, he’s working on a full version of Octogeddon, a game he started during a game jam. It’s a common concept: you play as a giant mutant octopus, growing weird new fightlimbs.Octogeddon was built around Ludum Dare 24‘s theme of “Evolution.” Fan described the process to Gamasutra:
“The theme they gave me was evolution. I started brainstorming, I wanted to make a game where you can keep on evolving. I wanted something with a natural upgrade track that people could easily latch onto, hence the idea of starting with two limbs and adding more and more. Each limb can be a weapon, until by the end of the game you’re a massive shooting machine.”
The premise of Octogeddon’s prototype seems simple enough. You play as a giant octopus bent on the destruction of a fleet of submarines. Though the action starts slow, you’re quickly overwhelmed by faster and more numerous fleets of subs.
This is where evolution comes in, though. You gain DNA points as you clear waves of subs, and once you perish, you can use those points to add more arms or evolve them into more powerful forms. A wave of subs that took you down with ease before will be demolished in seconds when they face down your new spitting cobra arm.
Other PvZ veterans are coming to assist Fan on developing the Octogeddon concept to a full-fledged game. Kurt Pfieffer, a programmer on the XBLA version of PvZ, and Rich Werner who did the original art of PvZ, are both adding their experience.
Octogeddon is a fun, simple, arcade concept, and the absurd plight of an octopus with snakes, chicken heads, lobster claws, and other strange things for arms can quickly absorb you. The new version of Octogeddon won’t release on Steam until early 2017, but you can get the Ludum Dare version that started it all right now.