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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: Page 1
Sep 6, 2017

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are beginning a series of episodes about 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense. This week, we talk about terror attacks, game tension, gratification, and a bit of base management. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours past the first ground mission

Podcast breakdown:
0:38 Segment 1
41:18 Break
41:47 Feedback

Issues covered: managing the clock speed, difficulty of the game and having to get better, failure screens, terror attacks, meeting different alien types, starting over again and getting more ground missions, learning the dynamics of covering one another, being unable to understand line of sight, infiltrating an UFO, contributions to tension, researching tech tracks, being unable to capture an alien alive, the use of radar dishes, recruiting scientists and soldiers, base building, the research loop and discovering what's out there, weapon lists, no storage of time units, energy costs, soldier stats, deep management, saving mid-ground mission, AI difficulty balance towards fairness, developing difficulty more towards numbers changes than behavioral ones, real-time flight combat, finance game, QAing a game like this, QA and developer skill and having trouble identifying how difficult to make your game, gratification of mastery or partial mastery, pin and fork moves in chess, fire propagation, learning how to use grenades, losing bodies and artifacts to grenades, alien deployment curve, tutorials, incorporating lessons without folks knowing they're being taught, underestimating tutorial building time, taking your time to build skills over multiple small levels, layering in simulation.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Twilight Zone: To Serve Man, The Naked Gun, TIE Fighter, Fallout, Cryptosporidium-137, Destroy All Humans!, Nintendo, Ultima, Super Mario World, Julian and Nick Gollop, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, John Yorke, Half-Life, Halo, Republic Commando, Starfighter, System Shock 2, charles F. george, minatorrent, Final Fantasy IX, Nickname_Placeholder, Aaron Evers, Ducky Shirt.

BrettYK: 1
TimYK: 73

Next time:
Play six months

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

1 Comments
  • two and a half years ago
    Mike Cellar
    Love the podcast, but it's kinda sad that even seasoned players who have developed games on their own struggle so badly with a game like X-Com - which is actually quite accessible.
    When I first played it I ... had no manual, if you get what I'm saying, and I figured out most things anyway. And if you guys struggle with that stuff, it's no wonder the gaming industry gravitates toward serving players everything on a silver platter.
    That said, despite frequent cringing in this particular series - like when Brett proudly pronounced when he'd have his new base operational when he actually hadn't commisioned the most important buildings of them all, namely a radar, I still enjoy listening to the podcast and hope you keep up the great work.
    Cheers
    Mike
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