Dev Game Club

Join hosts and game industry veterans Brett Douville and Tim Longo as they explore older titles to talk about the influences those games had and what we can learn from them even today.
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Dev Game Club


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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 26, 2016

Welcome to our first episode examining 1996's survival horror classic Resident Evil. We discuss many of the features that are evident from the beginning of the game that set it apart from other sorts of 3rd person games of the time. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up until the Residence (in theory)

Podcast breakdown:
0:24 Segment 1: History and themes
58:07 Break 1
58:35 Segment 2: Reader mail and next time

Issues covered: last episode's interview, removing player empowerment, bold decisions in design, can this game be made in the US in 1996, other cultures borrowing genres and reinventing them, frustrating the player and the impossibility of getting this game made today, impatience vs methodical play, subverting player expectation, map coverage and "safety", a systemically light game, jump scares, vulnerability, accumulation of small details, resource management, feeling every shot, inventory management, inability to drop, will this character actually survive, playing the tank controls version and panicking, modern control setup, having a separate character control the camera in Super Mario 64, interesting camera angles, showing less can be more, short cinematics to reinforce emotional focus, giving back control after a moment of zombie first-person, indie space, the inversion of having a bad-ass who is having trouble surviving, discussion of trophies and achievements, having a todo list.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gilmore Girls, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Wasteland 2, Fallout, Alone in the Dark, Night of the Living Dead, The Thing, Solaris, Stalker, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Quake, Marathon, Time Crisis, Tomb Raider, Star Wars Republic Commando, Nathan Martz, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto III, System Shock 2, Resident Evil 4, Dressed to Kill, Fear Effect series, Devil May Cry, Super Mario 64, Friday the 13th, Alien: Isolation, Scream, Mr Futile, Jan Braunsberg, Assassin's Creed series, Arkham series, Firewatch, Gone Home, Walking Dead, Prototype 2, Guacamelee, Double Fine, Head Lander, Costume Quest, Grim Fandango, DotT, Drew_Homan, RebelFM.

Next time:

Play until you get to the tunnels

Alone in the Dark came out in 1994. Dev Game Club regrets the error.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub

Oct 19, 2016

Welcome to our fifth and final episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We are lucky enough to interview Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, Producer/Lead Programmer and Art Director respectively on Fallout as well as two of the three founding members of Troika Games. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:38        Interview with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky!
1:01:10   Break
1:01:35   Geek-outro

Issues covered: the Wild West of early studio game development, the meta-installer, making engines in your spare time, tabletop after-hours, abstracting the operating system, GURPS character generator, working you way up, pizza and game dev, RPG renaissance, bold theme choices, filtering passionate ideas, making your dream game, career paths into game development, clubhouse Interplay and a creative atmosphere, business incursion, from the garage to the office park, right place right time, QA preferring your game over being paid, By Gamers For Gamers, making your colleagues laugh, companions in scripting, wearing multiple hats, making a Tarrasque into a Death Claw, making heads from clay and digitizing, cavalier oblique and making the tools work, bringing various sensibilities to the game, throwing a party for your return, a family of talking raccoons, finding your creative partners, system and story *should* work together, what makes good level design, digging yourself a big hole, exposing variables and state to designers, managing teams of small size, ambient music, art influences, Vault Boy instead of icons, voice talent, everything coming together, consequences, "games should be fun," freedom, setting the world on fire, Tim Cain's grandfather and mother, constraints and necessity, Fallout DNA.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Interplay, Maxis, Stonekeep, Troika Games, Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade, Blizzard, Diablo III, Obsidian Entertainment, Grand Slam Bridge, EA, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Jason Anderson, Carbine Studios, Wildstar, Rags to Riches, Lord of the Rings, D&D, GURPS, Earthdawn, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Black Isle, Wasteland, Tolkien, Mad Max, Doom, Nintendo, David Byrne, How Music Works, CGBG, LucasArts, Super Metroid, Star Wars, The Simpsons, Chris Taylor, BioShock, Ken Levine, Ambient Isolationism, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, Monopoly, Richard Dean Anderson, Richard Moll, Tony Shalhoub, Ron Perlman, David Warner, CCH Pounder, Night Court, Monk, Wings, Fallout 2, The Inkspots, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dr. Strangelove, Fallout 3, Jonah Lobe, Temple of Elemental Evil.

Next time:
Resident Evil! Play up until the Residence (past the shed).

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub

Oct 14, 2016

This is a companion bonus episode to Dev Game Club, a weekly podcast in which Brett Douville and Tim Longo examine classic games and discuss their relevance and impact today. 

We tie together our episodes about Fallout with a preceding title and a successor in Wasteland 1&2. 


Oct 12, 2016

Welcome to our fourth episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We finish off the game, discussing our various choices, and then turn to the various pillars we draw from it. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The base and the Cathedral

Podcast breakdown:
0:35    Segment 1: Finishing Fallout
45:12  Break 1
45:50  Segment 2: Pillars and Feedback

Issues covered: going back to the Glow, voice acting, sharing assets between various animated characters, criminal underworld quests, the liberation of playing and letting the chips fall where they may, missing out on content, growing an audience by offering multiple play styles, murderous Tim Longo, blowing up the base, satisfying cinematic resolution, getting stuck on the force fields, obscure solutions to big problems, the many uses of the radio, close quarters rocketry, stealthy super mutants, inventory loophole and managing weight limits, hardened power armor, carrying useless items until the end of the game, stopping in empty tiles (including the ocean), UFO, multiple ways to resolve the Master, holodisks and the Pipboy, accounting for followers and not, tying off storylines with little snippets, character consistency and leaving the Vault for good, melancholy, fascist Vaults, selfishness and survival, unintended consequences that matter and hard decisions, the RPG renaissance, permitting risk in RPG settings, mature themes and elements, Senate hearings on violence in videogames, filling a story-telling vacuum, avoiding the good/evil binary, giving characters meaningful motivations, getting XP for non-violent actions, reader feedback, Bonus Content: Wasteland 1 & 2,

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Keith David, Dishonored, Bioshock, Fallout 2, Citizen Kane (obliquely), Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta, Final Fantasy X, Super Metroid, Star Wars (obliquely), Mad Max, JRR Tolkien, Bioware, Icewind Dale, Black Isle, D&D, Arcanum, Troika Games, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson, Temple of Elemental Evil, Vampire: Bloodlines, Mass Effect, Ultima series, Ultima VIII/IX, Lionheart, Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate, Bard's Tale series, Wayne Cline, LucasArts, ESA, Mortal Kombat, War and Peace, Brian Luzietti, sixty second shooter prime, Jamie Fristrom, Day of the Tentacle, Telltale Games, Double Fine Productions, Fallout: New Vegas, System Shock 2, The Witcher series, GURPS, Stefan Schmidt, Neo_Ouija, Cat-charlie, Mikael Danielsson, MrFutile, Swinlo44, Resident Evil, Kitty Horrorshow, Chyrza.

Next time:
For our next series, we will be playing Resident Evil! Looking for an interview for next week.

Brett's Twitch channel
Brett's YouTube channel
Brett's Streaming Horror from a couple years back

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub

Oct 5, 2016

Welcome to our third episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We examine tactical combat, leveling strategies, encumbrance as a specific mechanic, and also a lot of what we saw and did. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Everything before the base and Cathedral

Podcast breakdown:
0:42 Segment 1 -- all of the above
58:07 Break
58:38 Segment 2: Feedback, next time, and teasers

Issues covered: weapon offerings, Power Fist empowerment, late leveling, Ian meets his maker, knowing when the kills are coming, feeding memory from the CD, Tim's last followers, tactical combat numbers, twitch tension, fantasy fulfillment, thoughtful decisions, sound design supporting mechanics, narrative moments in combat, stimpack use, encumbrance and survival, mechanics that force you to reload when you get lost, return to town loop, forcing choices through encumbrance, building tension through limits, making tactical decisions for a large party, combat occurring over two dozen entities, fine line of authorial direction, Easter eggs in "tell me about," broken quest lines, addiction and radiation mechanics, apparently random damage, fixing barter and making interesting choices, how we got the power armor.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Hamlet, FF 9, Lawrence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Mel Gibson, Ralph Fiennes, X-Com modern reboots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ultima series, Waking Mars, Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams, Resident Evil, Temple of Elemental Evil, King's Quest series, Wasteland 1, System Shock 2, Necrogeist, Split Screen, Idle Thumbs, Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, Nick Breckon, Sean Vanaman, Jason Schreier, Kirk Hamilton, World of Warcraft.

Next time:
Finish the game!

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub