Hey, I'm Christophe Galati (chrisDeneos). 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the Game Boy. With that in mind, I launched myself into the creation of a game, Tasukete Tako-San: Save me Mr Tako. To me, this game is a way to take what I've learnt and pay tribute to my influences with my first “real” indie game that I intend to publish. The team consists of a friend who is doing all the sound design and music (Marc-Antoine Archier), and me, the programmer, game designer and graphics designer.
- Platformer / Action game. You have to travel through a dangerous world whilst saving as many people as possible and fighting assorted enemies and bosses with the help of different powers.
- You play Mr Tako, a small octopus that can move, jump, and spit ink . Spitting ink onto an enemy will paralyze them, allowing you to use their body as a block. This makes it possible to create new paths or to protect yourself from enemies using these new platforms to your advantage.
- You can find chests which give you one of the 35 (current number) hats . A hat gives you an additional power . These are very varied, ranging from improving your abilities (life, amount of ink, speed, jump height, ...), or stronger powers (sword, bow, bombs, etc. ..). Also, if you have a hat, you can take an extra hit before dying.
- If you already have a hat, it will stock it if you find a new one. You can take it again with Select button.
- When you break pots you can find ink, lives and gems. Finding 100 gems gives you an extra life.
- You will encounter many differents bosses.
- You can change the Color Palet, like on the Game Boy Color, and set the pixel matrix on the screen.
"During a stormy night, an army of Octopuses attacked a humain ship. One of them saved a woman who fell into the sea. A fairy, which saw is actions, give him the power to breath outside the water, but in exchange, he has to promise to never hate a human."
- In this mode, you go through Levels. When you finish a level, the next one will be unlock. In some levels you will find hat powers, which will help you reach the end. In each level, there are three abducted children that you will have to save.
- Kirby-like Worldmap, you can go to level doors moving and jumping like you will do in a regular level. On the worldmap, your ink gauge is infinite so you can play with your powers. Separate in multiple worlds, you can return to the previous world when you want.
- Dialog System, to speak with the characters and progress through the story.
- Village and special places. Some places in the world which are not levels. You will have to go in those places in your quest. You can find merchants and side quests there.
- Tako-house, a place in the worldmap where you can go to take one of the power you already found.
- Hidden levels, that you can find using a specific power in a certain place, or resolving a side quest.
- Local Multiplayer mode. 2-4 players.
- Select one of the different Octopuses characters to play.
- Co Op mode: play the Runner mode with your friend, in his semi randomly infinite world.
- Versus Mode: Arena battle, like Towerfall. There are some chest in the Arena that will randomly attribute you one of the additionnal powers. You have to beat your friends with them.
- The game is set in a semi-randomly generated world , with forced side-scrolling. There are currently about 300 patterns, divided into three worlds. These are assembled to form a random level. There is a difficulty curve which changes the environment as you advance.
- You can affect the scrolling speed with signs. Walk on them increase the speed but, if you spit ink over them before walking, they will slow the scrolling down. However, faster scrolling also means a higher score!
- When you die, a Phoenix resurect you while you have lives.
"A long time ago, the Octopus was the master race on earth. They were the guardians of the memory of an ancient world, using their wisdom to rule peacefully. But that was before the rise of a new race. Humans. Since the advent of humanity, octopuses were hunted, eaten and used in nefarious ways. Humiliated and defiled over the centuries; one octopus decided to avenge the honor of his kind by putting an end to the human species. Overcome with madness, he began to kidnap young people, plunging the world into chaos. But there is one last hope for the world. This hope... is you."
The final game will be composed of a Story Mode, Multiplayer mode and Runner mode. I intend to released it on Wii U eShop and Steam, if everything goes to plan.
The first demo that I published on 29th September 2014, the original release date of the Game Boy in Europe, 24 years ago.
Hello! It’s been a long time since I have written about any news here (since last Christmas actually). It’s time to fix that. A lot of things happened this year: My life changed drastically, and some dreams came true for Tako. Here is what happened in 2017:
I) Becoming a full-time Indie
As you may know, I started to work on Tako-San in 2014, in my free time during my studies and then my job. After going to Tokyo Game Show last year, I was confident enough to make a big decision, leaving my job at Persistant Studios and becoming a full-time indie game developer. And that’s what I did in January, leaving Paris (after living there for five years) to return to my hometown in the south. It was hard. I had to say goodbye to many friends, but I don’t regret it, as it paid off. I still have my student loan to repay, so I moved into my parents’ house, where I had time to work and focus all my energy on the game. Then I did all the paperwork to get my “one-person company” status.
Just before leaving Paris, I contacted a street artist (Gzup.fr), and he agreed to put some Tako art in the Parisian streets (he is a big fan of Wonder Boy). This way a part of me was able to remain in the city where I evolved so much.
II) Signing with a publisher: Nicalis
The other thing that gave me enough confidence to leave Paris was the discussions with Nicalis. We had been exchanging emails since 2015, even if I wasn’t searching for a publisher at that time. We finally met each other at the Tokyo Game Show. Soon after that we start talking about the “Nintendo NX” and publishing. The negotiations took longer than expected, leaving me with almost no news for three months. During that time I continued to work on the third act of the game. It was very scary, but fortunately they came back in May and everything was set up. We signed the contract just in time for…
III) Return to Japan
I wasn’t expecting to return to Japan so quickly, but Tako was selected for Tokyo Indie Fest and BitSummit! This time there was no need to make a crowdfunding campaign, thanks to Nicalis. Valentin Seiche made another cool artwork for the trip! (his tumblr). It was one of the best events of my life. I met awesome people (including many inspiring developers), got to visit Japan more (especially Kyoto) and ate delicious food (basically everything). I also showcased Tako in a bar in Tokyo (Twitter.com), and met with Japanese game industry veterans again. It’s a tough battle between Stunfest and BitSummit for the best indie event in my heart, and I hope I’ll be able to attend both events next year. Now that I live far from everything, it’s easy to lose track of time...but these events refilled my batteries and gave me new ideas for the final part of the game.
IV) Finishing the content
The whole summer of 2017 was dedicated to finishing the content of the game, which I did! Every piece of the universe I created fit together as planned. I made every elements in the order of its appearance in the game, so the last dungeon and the final scene were actually the last things I created, and they took a long time to make. But I managed to put everything I envisioned in the game. I didn’t think that it would end up as such a vast world. It feels like a JRPG trapped in a platformer, but I’m really proud of it.
I want to thank Marc-Antoine Archier (his Twitter) again. He did an amazing job on the game’s soundtrack, with more than 100 tracks that gave life to this world. I can’t wait for all of you to listen. While I was finishing the content, Nicalis started working on the Switch port of the game. They also helped to implement cool new features, including Widescreen support (so now you can choose between 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio) and Backgrounds (like the Super Game Boy had on the Super Famicom). I'll tell you more about this in the next news.
I also got the time to finish all the sidequests and Easter eggs, including the appearance of indie game characters. Will you find them all?
Then the Switch version of the game was announced on August 29 (as well as the fact that Nicalis will publish the game).
V) PAX and party in the USA
Right after that, I went to another adventure: going to the US for the first time in my life to showcase Tako at PAX West! It was a rock and roll adventure. I met many new people, like the Shovel Knight team—they gave me a plushie to congratulate me for my work! In all the events I attended this year I met people I know from internet thanks to the project, and I'm happy to count them as friend now. I also got the chance to visit Nintendo of America. As Tako was just announced for the Switch, many people were very excited and came to the booth. They were not disappointed, and got one of these cute goodies. It was also the first time I saw the game running on the Switch. It felt incredible.
Here is one presentation of the game we did live on Twitch with Tyrone from Nicalis. Just five minutes before we started, he told me to answer their questions in French to prank them. It was fun.
After a week in America I went back to France, while Tako also made an appearance at BICFest, in South Korea.
VI) Port and QA
After those trips, it was time to get back to work, to polish and debug the game. That’s what we have been doing since September with Nicalis. I had to play the game over and over again, tracking bugs and issues, as well as polishing details. Then, the Nicalis testers started playtesting the game too (and found funny bugs I missed!).
The playtesting phase helped improve many details in the game, especially around the difficulty level. For example, if you die against a boss, we added a bubble to help you return directly to it (instead of playing through the whole dungeon again).
As the QA took longer than expected, it gave me extra time to add the Boss Mode in the game. So you’ll be able to find it after beating the game!
In December, I went back to Paris to do my first full playthrough of the game on the Switch. The game is now almost ready for submission. Unfortunately we won’t be able to release it in 2017, but it will be released as soon as possible next year.
This year has been quite a rollercoaster, full of hard work, but everything is now ready for me to rock next year. My work on the game is almost over and I have to start thinking of my next projects. I’ll be writing my next news on the Nicalis blog! (Blog.nicalis.com). Everything will change for me next year, and I hope all your dreams will come true. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, and can’t wait for all of you to experience the game. I said it last year, but this time 2018 will really be the year of Tako!
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