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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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Now displaying: February, 2020
Feb 26, 2020

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we engage in a little bonus talk about 2014's Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth. We talk about the game's strengths and iterations over Civ III and also the things that particular work for the hosts in the game, before turning to a brief celebration of our episode 200 and some feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours of Beyond Earth (9 for Brett, 15 for Tim)

Podcast breakdown:
0:57   Beyond Earth Discussion
40:31 Break
41:16 Ep 200 and Feedback

Issues covered: how much Beyond Earth we played, getting its hooks in, knowing you've lost, many types of victories, pursuing victory types, not stacking units, board game simplicity, being mocked by other leaders, having a good set-up for interest if not for victory, being condemned for violence against aliens, getting over the hump, the huge benefit of tooltip additions, integrating advisors into the UI, the web of technology rather than the linear development, more visually parsable tech web, colorblind settings in Civ III, affinity colors and positions, exploring the tech web, adding RPG elements/progression to units, expanding your city, preferring the tone and setting, putting money into an opening cinematic, Brett's Book Recommendations, 200th episode surprises, the castle flip, being into the JRPG nonsense, our good fortune in interviews, spending time with immersive sims, Brett unwraps a thing, our poster with six Easter Eggs (true video game fashion), a heartfelt thank you from a listener, our own thank you to our listeners, some gentle ribbing about our ability to count, whether designers should be programmers, not being held back by what you know to be possible, being able to communicate clearly between design and engineering, the value of communicating and terminology, Caveman Tim, finding a way to say yes as an engineer, laying out logical steps for programmers, following up on older episodes, why Shenmue contracts down to having a job, autobiography in Shenmue, the Civilopedia being what you can do and not what you should do, Civilopedia as a legacy feature, a fantasy Civ.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Jurassic Park, Dark Souls, Confucius, Boris Johnson, Shenmue, Simon Parkin, A Game of Birds and Wolves, The New Yorker, Metroid (series), Castlevania (series), Alex Neuse, SNES, PlayStation, Kingdom Hearts (series), Disney, MYST (series), Final Fantasy (series), Persona 5, Prey (2017), David Brevik, Robyn Miller, Ken Levine, Bill Roper, King's Quest, Space Quest, Mark Crowe, DOOM (1993), Diablo, Quake, System Shock II, Hitman 2, Deus Ex, Thief, Ultima Underworld, Arkane Studios, Dishonored (series), Giant BeastCast, Vinny Caravella, Aaron Evers, Mark Sean Garcia, Devil May Cry, Mario 64, Halo, Skyrim, Fallout, Gothic Chocobo, Pokemon, Game Maker's Toolkit, Johnny Grattan, John Romero, Murray Lorden, Roberta Williams, David Perry, Shiny Entertainment, Republic Commando, MDK, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Warcraft (series), Jedi Starfighter, GTA III, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Yu Suzuki, Björn Johannson, Magic: The Gathering, Warren Linam-Church, Mikael Danielsson, Master of Magic, GOG.com, MicroProse, Ultima VII, SimTech, Master of Orion, Wargaming, Star Control II.

Brett's Book Recommendations:
For Civ III: A Game of Birds and Wolves by Simon Parkin
For Shenmue: What I Carry by Jennifer Longo

Next time:
more Civ bonuses!

Twitch: brettdouville, instagram:timlongojr, @brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Feb 19, 2020

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our discussion of Civilization III (and of the Civilization series generally). We talk about Tim bending the game to his will and falling down the game's rabbit hole before turning to takeaways and feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the Modern Era!

Issues covered: Brett just can't play the game, making a very specific game, finding the ceiling of your audience, sticking with the series, interacting with the game at a narrative level, our rabbit holes, OCD: The Game, pursuing the space race victory, Tim leaving a perfectly good planet, techno-utopianism, the final frontier, espionage and the information fog of war, losing to the United Nations wonder, trying to get to a victory as fast as possible, skipping unnecessary tech, turning to another game in the series, setting your own goals and being drawn into a game, "all games are the same," building a society of the industrious and unhappy, choosing your Civ to suit, building a rocket in 1890, not being able to copyright gameplay, interlocking systems and numbers, balance and cost/benefit and personality, politics and responsibility, how bad American history education is, emerging stories due to interlocking systems, the strength of the AI, kudos to us, what we play and why, considering more recent AAA and indie games, being mindful of our positions in the industry, looking forward to next episode (our 200th!).

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Telltale Games, Apple ][, Ancient of Art of War, Rob Zacny, Waypoint, Three Moves Ahead, Star Trek, Skyrim, Fallout, Leonard Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, Elon Musk, SpaceX, Dominion, Jurassic Park, Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams, Nellie Bly, Sigmund Freud, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Nikolai Tesla, Beyond Earth, LOOM, Bruce Shelley, Age of Empires, Avalon Hill, MicroProse, Firaxis, Jon Shafer, Barbarians at the Gates, Soren Johnson, Offworld Trading Company, World of Warcraft, Mike Morhaime, Rob Pardo, Civ Revolution, Ani_Mitchell, Jesse, John Romero, MYST, Return of the Obra Dinn, Undertale, Fez, Zack, Breath of the Wild, God of War (2018), Pokemon Let's Go, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Final Fantasy IX, Death Stranding, 343 Industries, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Persona 5, Prey (2017), Spider-Man (2018).

Next time:
Beyond Earth Bonus! And Episode 200!

Twitch: brettdouville, instagram:timlongojr, @brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Feb 12, 2020

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of Civilization III. We talk about Tim triggering a World War, the slow-down in the mid-game, Brett as a war criminal, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the Modern Era

Issues covered: Rome gets what it deserves, having more vs fewer Civs, running out of time/hitting a point of no return, not knowing what to ask for when you're suing for peace, wanting more feedback, being the type of game you need to figure out in a time when games wouldn't hold your hand, wanting a shallow end of the pool, having suggested scenarios, do they lean on old players, wondering if culture wins are possible against military might, experimenting to figure out the rules, getting an army and not knowing what to do with it, having military history vs not, fantasy/science fiction settings and the burden to teach, educating a player as they follow the series, Tim triggers a world war through diplomatic agreements, talking about history, trade and the economy, the weird ending screens, democracy hating war, appreciating the craft, this being a forever game, whether Brett would get a game with a different skin, bouncing off this style of play because it's not escapist, watching the AI and learning from that.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Star Trek, Fallout, Civilization: Revolution, Dominion, Magic: The Gathering, Beyond Earth, Madden (series), Daron Stinnett, Final Fantasy (series)/ Final Fantasy Tactics, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Sid Meier's Pirates, Balance of Power, Risk, Starcraft, Persona 5.

Next time:
Finish the game/additional games!

Twitch: brettdouville, instagram:timlongojr, @brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Feb 5, 2020

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of Civilization III (and of the Civilization series generally). We talk a bit about the middle game generally, why it doesn't catch on with Brett as much, and especially address the layers of game play and how they interact. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the Medieval period

Issues covered: converting members of the population to entertainers, lowering taxes instead, fighting overpopulation, filling out a tech tree to trigger the next age, bouncing off this game again and again, managing complexity, educating yourself with the Civilopedia, finding the decisions less interesting, lack of simulation pressure, having found a boring game and having less to worry about, fighting over every resource, having all the spice, cascading effects over resource distribution, thinking about how the AI might work, characteristics of nations and persons, thinking too hard about civilization breaks the game down a bit, the horrors of balancing, the benefits of iterating a franchise, running into the turn limit, the types of victories, a clash of simple systems, low complexity of any individual system, games of conflict and domination, turn-based combat and domination, putting faces to the civilizations, playing characters as caricature, marketing with Gandhi, personification and putting naming things, the pros and cons of having associations, competition games generally, the astonishing level of achievement here, generating little stories about your civilization, personalizing your board game, what do you bring into your game, visualizing your relationships with other civs, preferring "your" version of a game, playing games linearly but developing them out of order, interpreting the title (and possibly irony), how we teach history in America, sanitizing history, understanding causes, sitting back and evaluating rather than being in it, procedural rhetoric, mirroring it history, games in other areas that focus on different civilizational histories, getting to games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Star Wars, Dune, Diplomacy, Risk, Fallout, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Phil Simms, The Osbornes, Dominion, Balance of Power, Chris Crawford, Mario Kart, Pandemic Legacy, Risk Legacy, X-COM, Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock, PRACTICE, Jeffool, Final Fantasy (series), Sam Thomas, Europa Universalis, Ester Olsen, MicroProse, The Aristocrats, Paradox Interactive, Persona 5, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Day of the Tentacle, Tacoma.

Links:
Rob Daviau, Designing a Legacy Game
Sun Tzu's War Academy
The Apollo Program

Next time:
Finish a game!

Twitch: brettdouville, instagram:timlongojr, @brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

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