Rustling a Few Feathers - The Pigeons of Dad Quest

Hello, Eric again, coming back to you with some more Dad Quest enemy lore. Pigeons have been a staple of Dad Quest since the very beginning of development. In fact, I made the pigeon art even before the game’s initial conception! Back in the day when I was learning Flash, I made a little game called Bird God in which you clicked to spawn pigeons until the game lagged. You can still find it on itch.io.

I thought these birds had a lot of charm, so when prototyping the early combat system, I figured I’d bring them into Dad Quest as a sort of living punching bag. They’ve been in the game ever since.

The Pigeon Family is one with a long history of violence and oppression. For decades, the pigeons have fought for their right to live amongst humans. Tired of being killed and treated as lesser, a group of pigeons in Mountain City have banded together to form the Pigeon Mafia, a rebellious organization that promises protection for fellow pigeons in exchange for a life of servitude. The Mafia’s violence has stirred controversy amongst the pigeons, scattering defectors across the mainland.

The common pigeon is harmless, living a nonviolent life of hopping about and eating gravel. They are often hunted or farmed by humans for this gravel, as it’s used as currency.

The brute of the family, the giant pigeon is over twice as large as the average bird. These are very dangerous foes, able to easily overwhelm a human and tear them apart. Their gigantism also alters their brain, leading to violent tendencies; they will often attack humans on sight to protect their kin. They will jump up and down as they approach, manically flapping their wings to intimidate. They then stab with their beak and talons to deal damage. The Pigeon Mafia seeks to employ Giant Pigeons and use their strength as a weapon.

Pigeon Wizards are high ranking members of the Pigeon Mafia who possess powerful magical abilities. They have been known to launch surprise attacks on humans by trapping them and spawning pigeons to attack. Their other abilities are unknown, but they should not be trifled with, despite how silly they look. Rumors say they’ve been trying to resurrect what they call the “Pigeon Lord” to spearhead their plan for world domination.

Dad Quest will release in Early Access on 23rd February – to keep up to date, there are a few options: Add Dad Quest to your Steam wishlistfollow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

January 19, 2017 by Neil Fozzard

Designer of Dad Quest talks about the game's tone and humor

We've got a great blog on level design for you just below from Ryan Huggins, Sundae Month's designer, who is currently working on Dad Quest. If you're up to date with all of our recent news, go ahead and skip this section, but here is a little recap like you find on TV dramas.

Previously on Dad Quest...
  • We've just announced that Chapter 1 of Dad Quest will launch on 23rd February, when you'll be able to get your hands on the game on Steam! (Don't forget to add the game to your Steam wishlist!)
  • Secondly, we're giving away 10 Dad Quest mugs that have been made specifically for this release date announcement - to win one, simply visit our competition blog!
Anyway, here is Ryan's blog on level design!

Hello everyone! I’m Ryan Huggins, the designer of Dad Quest. Today we’re gonna take a very brief look at one of the design philosophies central to my approach to Dad Quest’s tone and humor. This approach is shared with the other members of the team, but this post probably focuses a bit more on my thought process. Hope you enjoy!

OKAY.

Dad Quest is a game composed of weird situational humor, action platforming, and subversion. So with that said, most of what makes Dad Quest, Dad Quest, is not humor, but the approach to the game’s tone. That tone arises not necessarily from the jokes themselves, but from the CONTEXT in which they occur. Context is one of the words that comes up most often when we are discussing Dad Quest and in a lot of scenarios, it is context that makes what might be a truly terrible, sad, unfunny sequence into one that makes the player smile or laugh. As a designer, that context is what creates a space where you can subvert a player’s expectations, and therefore allows you to be funny in a satisfying way.

So, making levels in Dad Quest has been an interesting experience for me. Normally, I wouldn’t really consider myself to be a level designer, ESPECIALLY not for comedy games. In fact, previously I believed that level design, systems design, and narrative design were so intertwined that it would be almost trivial to differentiate between the skills required for the development of small games.

Oh boy, WAS I WRONG.

Here are some examples of just a SMALL portion of the sketches I’ve done just for the first 30-40 minutes of the game. I would say this makes up about 8% of the total sketches and only 1.5 of these images even have any connection to what’s currently in the game.


Level design and implementation is such a huge part of the game development equation that it takes up almost 70% of my development time on Dad Quest. I not only had no idea how time consuming it is, I also had no idea just how difficult it is to get right.

To many outside viewers of Dad Quest, it might appear that our focus might be on what’s ‘funny’, or what is outlandish and weird (especially because we make so much silly promotional content), but that is not necessarily the case. We learned not to do this pretty early in the game’s development, because one question that was asked pretty frequently was, ‘What is funny?’ Unfortunately, as we learned, what’s funny isn’t always what’s fun - and even moreso, being funny in a vacuum is not satisfying.

As I grew as a game designer and into my design role for Dad Quest, I developed what I believe is an even better question: ‘Does the context of this situation lend itself to a humorous outcome?’ This question changes how you approach the problem in a number of ways and that perspective change (context change, even) means everything to me when I think about how I’m setting the stage for any interaction. (An additional easter egg is that you can replace “humorous” with any type of outcome and the question still works!)

So, how does our comedy philosophy work its way into Dad Quest? As I’ve said, comedy is, in a lot of ways, not something that we meticulously plan out in Dad Quest, but as a group, we laugh a lot and have a lot of fun. We try to channel that into our game’s context, setting and world. Really, we just work quite hard to create that narrative, gameplay, and visual context where a lot of funny, subversive, amusing, or just ridiculous things can happen. This is very much our preferred work environment! Then, as game developers and artists, we let these things happen somewhat organically within the game. The writing, gameplay, art, music, etc existing as a way for us to facilitate the telling of our story. And that story is just a bunch of bad (dad) jokes that we created a whole world for, so that they could exist without feeling arbitrary.

Ryan Huggins

January 13, 2017 by Neil Fozzard

Release date announced and win a fantastic mug!

Dad Quest Will Release in Early Access on 23rd February 2017!
And You Can Win a Mug to Celebrate!

Today, we’re happy to announce that the comedy, action-adventure, platformer with RPG-elements, Dad Quest, will release on 23rd February!

Dad Quest will debut with Chapter 1, and will be regularly updated with exciting and expansive content.

In order to keep up to date with the ever-thrilling Dadventures of Dad Quest, you should add the game to your Steam Wishlist, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Now, it’s your chance to win one of 10 fantastic mugs! Everyone in the office wants one, but our budget doesn’t go that far. ( D: ). So, go ahead and take them off us by entering below – lucky you!

January 12, 2017 by Neil Fozzard