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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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May 11, 2016

Turning to our third game, Dev Game Club goes to Japan with the new remastered re-release of Final Fantasy IX on PC. We establish the context for the series both in relation to other FF titles and discuss it in context of its release year of 2000 before turning to talk about what's going on in the beginning of the game. Plus, it's Tim's first time with a JRPG, so we talk about the genre itself a bit too. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
In theory, up through the first battle with Beatrix in Burmecia.

Podcast breakdown:
0:35      Podcast intro
1:55      Intro to and context for FF9
28:31    Break
28:48    Beginning part of the game
1:14:39 Break
1:14:56 Next time

Issues covered: games context for 2000, backwards compatibility to PS1 and the IO controller, the hosts' console histories, time warp/alternate reality, Tim's preconceived notions of JRPGs, random encounters (pro and con), balancing Western RPGs, reading random creatures and world-building, subtractive vs additive content, cleric-mage-fighter-thief and testing the fringe classes, player choice in when you grind, JRPG mechanics from Brett's point of view, turn-based battles, rock-paper-scissors combat, status effects, job systems, the genre toolbox, character and story specificity, how you win writing awards with an RPG, lighter vs darker tones, character relatability, introduction straight into safe battles, localization limitations, stylized characters, 16-bit era, story construction, Shakespeare in Final Fantasy IX, equipping abilities and where do abilities come from anyway?, exploration of themes: appearance and birth station and determining your life, technical progress, the recurrence of Cid in Final Fantasy, Vivi as the soul of the game, technological weirdness - multiple programs, handcrafting, linearity, active time events, black mages and Black Waltzes, character and creature design vs the Western palette of creatures, weapon synthesis, Moogle tutorials.


Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Deus Ex, Diablo 2, Baldur's Gate 2, Reed Knight, Banjo-Tooie, Paper Mario, Majora's Mask, The Sims, PlayStation 2, Republic Commando, Xbox 360, Final Fantasy Tactics, Chrono Cross, Tomb Raider, wipEout, Atari 2600, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Apple ][+, Ultima series, Square Soft, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Chrono Trigger, XenoGears, Einhander, Mistwalker, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Dragon Quest, Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons, Gold Box series, Eye of the Beholder, Bard's Tale, Final Fantasy series, Persona series, Kingdom Hearts, Wild Arms 3, Dark Cloud series, Dragon Quest VIII, Skies of Arcadia Legends, Ni No Kuni, Witcher series, Geralt of Rivia, Hayao Miyazaki, Justin Bieber, Tidus, Tim Allen, Vagrant Story, Uncharted series, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Hitman series, Shakespeare, King Lear, Hamlet, Kafka, Fallout, LucasArts, Monkey Island, Crystal Dynamics, Day of the Tentacle, Zack McKracken, Maniac Mansion.

Apology: I totally got the voice actor for Tidus wrong. Mea culpa.

Next time:
Play up to the Black Mage Village!

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

3 Comments
  • over a year ago
    Brett Douville
    @CRB I have often wondered what caused Tim to lose all his hair, getting dropped on his head is as good an explanation as any :)

    I would love to revisit an early Fallout game, though we probably won't do it next because we'll want something a *bit* shorter after the 40-50 hour Final Fantasy IX play.

    @Matt B Yeah, I'm really glad I got Tim to agree to this one (though to be fair he owed me after Hitman 2 :)
  • over a year ago
    Matt B
    This is super interesting to hear. 1. because you are game devs so it's interesting to hear that perspective. 2. hearing someone talk about JRPGs who haven't really played one before, but has played WRPGs. I have the opposite experience when I try to play, say Fable. For example I was running through the story so fast I was afraid I was missing everything. I was used to having to grind and search for equipment upgrades.
  • over a year ago
    CRB
    ...Tim said he THINKS he had a Genesis as a child? Did he suffer some kind of head trauma as a teenager? ^_^

    Anyway, great show topic! I randomly played through this last summer.

    Any RPG dev talk is much appreciated. Considering Tim's predilections, might a Baldurs Gate or Fallout 1/2 episode be in our future...?