Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we start a new series on 1999's Sega cult classic Shenmue. We've visited 1999 before, so we briefly set it in context before moving on to the salient question: What even is this game? We talk about the way the story begins, the environment interactivity, and the "open world" and time, among other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Up until we're looking for Warehouse 8
Issues covered: what this game was relative to 1999, the most expensive title of its day, lack of commercial success, a strange turn for Yu Suzuki, the importance of SEGA in the industry at the time, how much of Ryo's story has been told, Dreamcast's weird experiments, the change of the Japanese market, not even really knowing what this game was, starting from scratch even from a genre perspective, "full reactive eyes entertainment" or FREE, getting into the cold open, motivating the player, giving you an in to the mystery and the start of play, player and character motivations tightly linked, slowly introducing you to the world, removing some of the mechanics of mourning, the Band-Aid of power, "pointless interaction," little cutscenes with his father, methodical slow initial pacing, being worried about a full inventory, quickly removing a picture from the wall, a sort of tech fetishization, attention to detail, feeling like a simulation, what kind of simulation this is, very elaborate per-character scripting, the sorts of ways we simulate these days, the cost of developing a game like this, other highly scheduled games of the time, day-night schedules, always having the clock on the HUD, lack of time manipulation, learning to know your location, learning the schedules of characters, seeing a character leave or arrive at his apartment, being able to theorize about what characters it made sense to talk to, calling back to text adventures, process of elimination vs logic-ing out, systemic conversation options, automating something similar to Ultima keywords, spaces in the notebook, having cultural aspects in the story, integrating into a foreign culture, likely personal goals for the game, an allegory for certain clashes, the fortune-teller, upsetting the DAoC economy, staying away from the WoW economy, making crafting more or less optional, encouraging interaction between players or not, insider training in WoW, real world money, getting around in WoW, playing modless, finding a place again a decade later, having those moments you can't have any other way, being aware of your market and building budget-appropriate.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Charlie Chaplin, System Shock 2, Planescape: Torment, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, EverQuest, Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, Counterstrike, Alien vs Predator, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Team Fortress Classic, Half-Life, Quake, Final Fantasy VIII, Medal of Honor, The Longest Journey, Sierra, Unreal Tournament, Homeworld, Silent Hill, Super Smash Bros, Mario Party 2, Dreamcast, Crazy Taxi, The Offspring, Soulcalibur, Yu Suzuki, Hang-On, Space Harrier, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Out Run, Afterburner, SEGA, Blue Dragon, Phantasy Star Online I & II, Sonic Adventure, Blue Stinger, Seaman, Samba de Amigo, Rez, Ikaruga, PlayStation 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, Trespasser, Gone Home, The Sims, Majora's Mask, Groundhog Day, Ocarina of Time, GTA III, Assassin's Creed (series), Bethesda Game Studios, Skyrim, Deadline, Witness, LucasArts, Ultima (series), Yakuza (series), Godzilla, jesusfreak144000, Eric Fox, Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Makendi/Aaron, Twitch, Curse, Ashton Herrmann, Morrowind, Dark Souls, Game Maker's Toolkit, Dead Space (series), Frank Gibeau, Mark Brown.
Up until the end of the next open world section
Could not find the gold farmer article, sorry!