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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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Mar 8, 2017

Welcome to the third episode in our series exploring PS1 and PC 3rd person action-adventure game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. We pick apart the jumping madness that is the Drowned Cathedral, talk animation priority and interruption, and hit up some development thinking to boot. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Rahab

Podcast breakdown:
0:40   Soul Reaver discussion
55:48 Break
56:25 Feedback and next time

Issues covered: continental philosophy, Morlock the ramming boss, substituting in a boss as an enemy, jumping through the environment, gaining projectile from the boss, jumping section followed by jumping section, analog vs digital controls, lack of cueing for the jump physics, camera not helping you, level design working against the grain, convergence of level design camera jump physics and checkpointing, never dying and wasting time, skill-based jumping, dramatic choices vs mechanical choices, the analog nature of the glide with the mantle, jack of all trades/master of none, lack of specialization, putting story and character first, team size and time equals budget, stakeholders, dependencies, a flying cheat during development, animation priority (i.e. when you can break out of an animation), technical limitations on animation, "the player has to win," directorial choices to add drama or hide flaws, ownership of jump arc, air steering, leaning on your non-realistic visuals, glyphs, seeing the lack of glyphs in the game but feeling like I don't need them, did glyphs play a bigger role, was it a development mistake, portals being hidden from the player rather than being critical path, Tim loses progress while reading the manual, feedback.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Richard Wagner, Mario (series), Prince of Persia (series), Little Big Planet, Tomb Raider (series), Rayman 3D, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, Zelda (series), System Shock 2, Ken Levine, Amy Hennig, Dark Souls, Vlambeer, Naughty Dog, Crystal Dynamics, Final Fantasy IX, Brian Taylor, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mega Man, Wii Music, Bjorn Johansson, Hitman 2, DLC Podcast, Jeff Cannata, Christian Spicer, Tim Schafer, Mega 64.

Next time:
Finish Soul Reaver!

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

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