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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 29, 2016

In this third episode discussing recently remastered LucasArts classic Day of the Tentacle, we finally move on to talk about specific puzzles -- this is a spoilery podcast. Plus, Tim has a moment of psychological devastation as Brett unveils the implications of his approach. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Last third of the game! Finish it off.

Podcast breakdown:
0:30 Specific puzzles where we got stuck
38:20 Break 1
38:53 History and its discontents (okay, grab bag)


Issues covered: puzzle games and programming/debugging, Ron Gilbert's Rules of Adventure Game Design, getting to a point where a game is unsolvable (and not knowing), squeaky bed puzzle, when objects are decomposed and not, interface differences between PC and console, spatial relations in adventure games, the right time to cut away from a scene (what to show and what not to -- production solutions), fixating on the bowling ball, Rosebud, "Meanwhile..." cutscenes, the Rule of Three, the rules of the mummy (as a hint or a reminder), giving players options, the risk of doing puzzles out of order, intentional red herrings, narrative trade-off vs getting stuck in linear adventure games (to which DoTT is contrary), procedural adventure games, mowing the lawn while acting as a hint line, comparing LucasArts adventure games to other adventure games, "A" bugs then and now (LucasArts ahead of its time), the producer army, leaving interesting "bugs" in and those becoming a core part of the game, turns as a fuse, early adventure games' mechanics, labors of game love, indie games' freedom, "default" game choices, choices better fitting a setting or idea, "make it bushy," Tim's soft noodle he'd like to be hard, Tim's psychological self-insight into competition, podcast metagaming, Tim compliments Brett (this never happens, so I am remarking on it), fiddling with the mummy, doing just enough for some players to get a gag, returning to the headspace of the adventure game, the origin of narratives and puzzles in the adventure game and hybridization, dialog tree puzzle, Silly Putty, getting stuck (reader mail), week off (week of the 4th of July).

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Tom Mathews, "The Website Is Down," Ron Gilbert, Sierra On-Line Games, System Shock 2, Indiana Jones, Citizen Kane, Sean Clark, Mike Stemmle, Monkey Island series, The Longest Journey, Humongous Games, Pajama Sam, Dave Grossman, Bethesda Game Studios, Halo series (obliquely), Tribes, Dynamix, Starfighter, Witness, Deadline, Infocom, DOOM (2016), Cthulhu, Planescape: Torment, Final Fantasy IX, Baldur's Gate, Noah Falstein, Curse of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, The Last Express, COD: Modern Warfare, Link's Awakening, The Witness, The Stanley Parable, Jonathan Blow, Professor Layton, Myst.

Links:
Ron Gilbert on Why Adventure Games Suck
Puzzle by Puzzle Analysis of DoTT
GDC talk about DoTT Puzzle Design by same author


Next time:
We think an interview! Depends on schedules. We're working on it!

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

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