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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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Jun 22, 2016

In this second episode discussing recently remastered LucasArts classic Day of the Tentacle, we talk about how to move on when you get stuck and speculate about how these games were constructed. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Hard to say; approximately another third of the game (~3 hours)

Podcast breakdown:

0:24       Segment 1: How you get unstuck
34:03     Break
34:30     Segment 2: puzzle development, reader mail
1:15:19  Outro


Issues covered: Gabe Newell's non-joining of Twitter, what you do when you get stuck, stepping away from the game, re-walking the whole space, training you away from the straightforward solution, moving all the inventory to one person, squirting disappearing ink on everyone, discovering clues via what's allowed to move back and forth in time, holding yourself back from looking it up on the Internet, inventory item combination, getting clues about what to do next, Tim getting stuck on Space Quest 1 for six months, the high cost of adventure gaming, ludo-narrative consonance, the difference between consulting a walkthrough and figuring out a puzzle on your own, interface differences and difficulty, controller vs mouse and keyboard, first use of voice acting, lore bombs and voice acting, casting and directing voiceover, the excellence of the LucasArts voice department, Broken Age documentary, local talent, the rules and boundaries of an adventure game world, writer's room, having a shared history between designer and player, setting up the rules for what's allowed, differences between characters' puzzles, adopting a character worldview, how do the writers split the work, intentional red herrings and crossover meanings, predicting player actions, usability and children, experimenting on the world, the affordances of a space and status effects, when being a game developer gets in the way of puzzle-solving, l'esprit d'escalier, Chron-o-Johns and object time travel transfers, seasonal games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Half-Life 3, Sierra On-Line, Monkey Island series, Grim Fandango, Double Fine Productions, Broken Age, Telltale Games, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy IX, Dave Grossman, Tim Schafer, Larry Ahern, Space Quest, Starfighter, Secret of Monkey Island, Thurston Howell III, Woody Allen, Final Fantasy XIII, Les Nessman, WKRP, Darragh O'Farrell, Khris Brown, Bethesda Game Studios, *Wes* Johnson (not Stephen), Star Wars, Curse of Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert, Thimbleweed Park, Humongous Entertainment, Firewatch, Full Throttle, Jonathan Ackley, Sam and Max Hit the Road, Dark Souls, Demons' Souls, Super Mario Bros., Ryan Johnson, Gian Ciammariconi, Richard Bussey, World of Warcraft, Persona series, Far Cry 2, Idle Thumbs.

Links:
Thimbleweed Park
Thimbleweed Park Podcast

Next time:
Finish Day of the Tentacle! Final episode will be spoiler-ific.
Send us email about where you got stuck!

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

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