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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: Category: general
Dec 13, 2017

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are beginning our new series on 2001's quirky Western-built Japanese-style RPG Anachronox. We set it in its time, and discuss how we decided to play it and then spend a lot of time on its world-building. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Bricks

Podcast breakdown:
0:40    Anachronox in time, Initial discussion
38:36  Break
39:04  Thanks and feedback

Issues covered: Games of the Year, how we came to choose Anachronox, 2001 in PC games, mash-ups, lack of character creator, is the character a Chosen One, possible character antecedents, world-building in simple ways and picking up things as you go, avoiding the lore bombs, dialogue trees vs continuing dialogue, progenitor race tropes, technology we don't understand but make use of, more character antecedents, film noir tropes, Boots as sad sack, layout of the introductory area and not getting lost, mix of architectural styles, moving city blocks around, putting ideas into games more quickly, investing in mechanics to make them pay off multiple times, boat action sequence, mini-games, shifting audience expectations, less forgiving audiences, changing suspension of disbelief, character names, a codex with all the names of stuff, potential fragility of scripting, thank yous, German B-thing, Tim's phone audio, musical touches in Mario 64, Brett's favorite Mario 64 levels, games we replay, Brett and Freud, picking games and timing, interviews, difficulty in getting Japanese devs, next time.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Alien Isolation, Nintendo Switch, What Remains of Edith Finch, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Assassin's Creed Origins, AC Unity, AC Syndicate, id Software, Quake II, Mass Effect, Silent Hill 2, Max Payne, Clive Barker's Undying, Oni, Bungie, Soul Reaver 2, AVP, Star Wars: Starfighter, Halo, Final Fantasy, Deus Ex, Blade Runner, Omikron: The Nomad Soul, David Cage, David Bowie, Starcraft, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Gateway, Rendezvous with Rama, Babylon 5, Geoff Jones, Frederick Pohl, J. Michael Straczynski, Firefly, Sam Spade, Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Grand Theft Auto III, Dark City, City of Lost Children, Alex Proyas, Rufus Sewell, Unreal, Half-Life, Dario Casali, John Romero, DOOM, Chase Thompson, Super Mario 64, Aaron Evers, MDK, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Good Old Games, Metal Gear Solid, Mark Garcia, Gamer Lawyer, Skyrim, Fallout (series), Bioshock (series), Hitman (series), Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, Mario Kart, World of Warcraft, Tim Dore, Sigmund Freud, Thief: The Dark Project, Bullfrog, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital, Silent Hill 2, Portal, TIE Fighter, Star Wars: Rogue One, Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, System Shock 2, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Oddworld: Abe's Oddyssey, Ashman86, Jason Schreier, Kotaku: Splitscreen, Republic Commando, Chris Avellone, Julian Gollop, Marc Laidlaw, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Larry Holland, The Phantom Menace, AddictArts.

Next time:
Up to (and possibly through) Votowne

Corrections:
Arthur C. Clarke wrote Rendezvous with Rama. We regret the error.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Sep 20, 2017

That week, the Dev Game Club podcast welcomes special guest Ken Levine, founder of Irrational Games and designer/writer of System Shock 2! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:33     Intro
1:50      Early days of SS2 and Irrational
31:33    Break 1
31:57    SS2 World-building, design, future
1:17:16   Break 2
1:17:29  Quick note about next episode

Issues covered: "Shock" prototype, Looking Glass relationship and Ken's early career there, Irrational Games beginning, business structure, imagining your audience and what you'd like to make, fingering .plan files, emergence and immersion, simulation, persistent world, personal ownership of experience, engine strengths and weaknesses, making fish stew, the benefits of constraints and happy accidents, polish, sense of place, naturalism in a science fiction setting, making the most of minimalism, turning a weakness into a strength, economical design, race track design/nooks and crannies, lack of time for level review, "spreading the butter thinner over the bread," elevator as storage chest, balancing, player skill vs. character skill, the "genius of the novice," story influences and groundedness, leaning on the audio space, writing towards the voices you have, bringing everything you have to the party, single-player squad shooters, letting people figure things out, crunchier design, the pendulum of accessibility, dealing with player frustration as a resource, what next

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Paul Neurath, Looking Glass, Jon Chey, Rob Fermier, Apocalypse Now, Dark Engine, Thief, EA, Origin, Se7en, Doug Church, The Magnificent Seven, Star Trek: Voyager, Hideo Kojima, Eric Brosius, Dorian Hart, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, Star Wars, System Shock 1, John Carmack, Ultima Underworld, Choplifter, Defender, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Might and Magic series, Doom, Warren Spector, Bethesda Game Studios, Quake, Todd Howard, Fallout 3, Skyrim, The Division, Republic Commando, GTA series, Starfighter, Terra Nova, Roberta Williams, Alien/Aliens, Kemal Amarasingham, Stephen Russell, Terry Brosius, Courtnee Draper, Sean Vanaman/Jake Rodkin, Firewatch/Campo Santo, Bioshock, Freedom Force, SWAT 4, Tribes Ascend, The Lost, Firaxis Games, Minecraft, Dark Souls, Don't Starve, Fallout 4, Left 4 Dead, Battlezone, Austin Grossman.

Next time:
Hitman 2: Beginning through level 4

@IGLevine, @brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

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