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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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Mar 22, 2017

Welcome to the first episode in our series exploring SNES classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. We situate the game in time and talk about its long shadow in game development before tucking into the game proper. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the end of the Eastern Palace

Podcast breakdown:
0:30 Segment 1: LoZ
49:38 Break
50:09 Eastern Palace & Feedback

Issues covered: Zelda's long history and which of them Brett and Tim played, action adventure with overworld, each identify their favorite, differences between entries, overworld flow vs Metroidvania skills and re-traversal, visual telegraphing of skill usage, getting lost, marking the map, lack of direction or quest log, goals and gating, the misleading fortune teller, setting of context, dream sequence, the role of Zelda, Agahnim trying to break the seal, initial experience, learning combat mechanics (hit locations sometimes mattering and sometimes not), initial dungeon mechanics, cost of death in dungeons, leaving through the sewers, light simulation elements, two levels of tiles, layered dungeon spaces, getting bombs earlier, off the beaten path, combat difficulty, how we fill in our roles, team size and diversity of roles, specialization, knowing about business and marketing, Brett reveals Master Chief's secrets, reviews, licensed titles, interviews, unionization and standardization and film.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry, Back to the Future, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy IV, Civilization, Another World, Battletoads, Monkey Island 2, Legend of Zelda (series), Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Hideki Kamiya, Platinum Games, Okami, Clover Studio, Fumito Ueda, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Souls (series), Jedi Starfighter, Skyrim, Final Fantasy IX, Michael Keane, Starfighter, Wayne Cline, Ultima, Richard Garriott, Daron Stinnett, David Lee Swenson, Shibby Train, Peter_randomnumbers, Kevin Kauffman, Ben from Iowa, Kotaku Splitscreen, Aladdin, Lion King, Shadows of Mordor, Arkham series, MrSean2k, Ken Levine.

Next time:
Play up through (first?) battle with Agahnim

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

 

Mar 15, 2017

Welcome to the final episode in our series exploring PS1 and PC 3rd person action-adventure game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. We delve into the last bits of the game including pluses and minuses surrounding its environmental navigation and puzzles, its voice acting, and then turn to our takeaways and pillars. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finishing the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:36 Soul Reaver discussion
55:55 Break
56:35 Pillars/Takeaways and feedback

Issues covered: controls and directional awareness, a visit to the human city, Brett's memory problems and the human city, number of pizza wedges, realizing you're in the wrong place, order in which you see new navigable challenges, visual language when you don't read it yet, over-subtlety, macro design, wishing for a key, the tradeoffs of a connected world, wanting to revisit the world, world connectivity, mapping of interdepencies, level design role in late 90s, gray boxing, seven deadly sins, tough block puzzles, working well within constraints, trailblazing and ambition, trying new things in grognard-captured genres, Dumah battle, gas and flame puzzle, rules, Dumah returning to his throne room, fighting camera and the boss at the same time, good final puzzles, symbol language, opening up a puzzle possibility set by adding a simple element, teaching the right thing, voice acting, efficiency of writing, delving into Serafan lore, Moebius, the point of no return, cohesive narrative and mechanics, the spectral realm and inherent gameplay, camera-control-environment holism, adult theme and mature story, economy of storytelling, interviews, marketing influence, what game do you think is worth revisiting?

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metroid (series), Conan the Barbarian, John Milius, Tomb Raider, Ico, Riley Cooper, Legend of Zelda, Ultima (series), Mario 64, Jonathan DeLuca, Metal Gear Solid, Tony Jay, Amy Hennig, Naughty Dog, Otello, Shadow of the Colossus, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, MegaMan, HeadLander, Call of Duty, The San Francisco Kid, Karen, The Last of Us, John Caboose, Natewhs152, Nintendo systems, Breath of the Wild.

Next time:
Either Interview or Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, through the first dungeon.

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

Mar 8, 2017

Welcome to the third episode in our series exploring PS1 and PC 3rd person action-adventure game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. We pick apart the jumping madness that is the Drowned Cathedral, talk animation priority and interruption, and hit up some development thinking to boot. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Rahab

Podcast breakdown:
0:40   Soul Reaver discussion
55:48 Break
56:25 Feedback and next time

Issues covered: continental philosophy, Morlock the ramming boss, substituting in a boss as an enemy, jumping through the environment, gaining projectile from the boss, jumping section followed by jumping section, analog vs digital controls, lack of cueing for the jump physics, camera not helping you, level design working against the grain, convergence of level design camera jump physics and checkpointing, never dying and wasting time, skill-based jumping, dramatic choices vs mechanical choices, the analog nature of the glide with the mantle, jack of all trades/master of none, lack of specialization, putting story and character first, team size and time equals budget, stakeholders, dependencies, a flying cheat during development, animation priority (i.e. when you can break out of an animation), technical limitations on animation, "the player has to win," directorial choices to add drama or hide flaws, ownership of jump arc, air steering, leaning on your non-realistic visuals, glyphs, seeing the lack of glyphs in the game but feeling like I don't need them, did glyphs play a bigger role, was it a development mistake, portals being hidden from the player rather than being critical path, Tim loses progress while reading the manual, feedback.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Richard Wagner, Mario (series), Prince of Persia (series), Little Big Planet, Tomb Raider (series), Rayman 3D, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, Zelda (series), System Shock 2, Ken Levine, Amy Hennig, Dark Souls, Vlambeer, Naughty Dog, Crystal Dynamics, Final Fantasy IX, Brian Taylor, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mega Man, Wii Music, Bjorn Johansson, Hitman 2, DLC Podcast, Jeff Cannata, Christian Spicer, Tim Schafer, Mega 64.

Next time:
Finish Soul Reaver!

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

Mar 1, 2017

Welcome to the second episode in our series exploring PS1 and PC 3rd person action-adventure game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. We delve into character design and how it is supported by character art and animation and pick a bone with lack of environmental direction. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to Zephon

TTAG: 49:28

Podcast breakdown:
0:42   Segment 1: Soul Reaver discussion
56:32 Break
57:00 Segment 2: Feedback

Issues covered: year anniversary, gothic horror elements, color choices, silhouette, mechanics reinforcing narrative, animation reinforcing character, economic character design, ludonarrative consonance and dissonance, navigation and puzzles rather than combat, pacing strengths and problems, death mechanic elegance, getting away from "lives," rivalry between vampires, character design of bosses, gaining your first power, boss fight with Kain, revenge fantasy propulsion, having nothing to fear, enabling player experimentation, lack of directionality or map, having to scour the map, missing portals, giant organ design meeting, lack of Cathedral organ payoff, Brett finds a bug, bad dungeon mastering, solving the three pipes puzzle, unfounded architecture, broke-not-Baroque, stumbling on a solution, Zephon character design, Zephon boss hint and point of interest, inconsistent use of torch, visual design of doors and belly, free look mode, unfinished game, clues for free look, reaching to the toolkit, surprise Halo info, Christian literary influence, maturity of writing and narrative.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Paradise Lost, Darkman, Phantom of the Opera, Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Mario (series), Uncharted, Arkham Asylum, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, Medi-Evil, Ghosts and Goblins, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Assassin's Creed (series), Divine Comedy (obliquely), Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dungeons and Dragons, Aliens, Dan Cabuco, Ultima Underworld, Scott Nebel, FF IX, Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda (series), Game Developer (RIP), Chris Corry, Star Wars: Starfighter, Jonathan DeLuca, 343 Industries, Halo, Yanni, Guillermo del Toro, Richard Wagner, Faustus, "Twivver."

Next time:
Two more bosses/ up to Rahab

Links:
Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds

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

Feb 22, 2017

Welcome to the first episode in our series exploring PS1 and PC 3rd person action-adventure game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. We situate the game in time a bit and then turn to its storytelling style, its early game, and its primary mechanics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up until the first boss

Podcast breakdown:
0:37 Segment 1: Intro to Soul Reaver
55:45 Break
56:07 Segment 2: Feedback and next time

Issues covered: horror influences and origins, historical context, light touch of the storytelling, IP ownership, character motivations, additional powers as rewards rather than as keys or enablers, worldbuilding of Nosgoth as a feature, Kain as twisted god and reflecting Paradise Lost, moving past tank controls and grids, differentiating the two realms visually, reaving souls, two ways to view the world/environment, mechanical consonance of reaving with walking between the realms, revenge and propulsion/being driven, relating character motivations to mechanics, an era of increasing production values but risk-taking, material world interactions and losing them in the spectral realm, combat depth, using the environment to grapple and dispose of enemies, camera difficulties, warp gates as fast travel, warp gates as save mechanic and persistent objects/replenished enemies, Brett explains what 'oracular' means, Tim gets lost through the warp gates, building a level that works with your camera, camera development, PC configuration, expecting the camera to help you, using landmarks to navigate the world, camera confusion in boss battle, blaming the camera for usability, going to first-person camera mode, mantling and character collision, Foley support, figuring out influences of a modern game, keeping current, being careful of being too critical of peers.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: HP Lovecraft, Amy Hennig, Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider (series), Marvel, Naughty Dog, Evan Wells, Richard Lemarchand, Uncharted, Silicon Knights, Eternal Darkness, Dennis Dyack, Eidos Interactive, Max Payne, George Broussard, 3DRealms, Cthulhu, Legend of Zelda, Super Metroid, Siri, Darksiders, Vigil Entertainment, THQ, Kill Bill, Diablo, Paradise Lost, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Metroid Prime series, John Wick, Fumito Ueda, Shadow of the Colossus, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, Republic Commando, Mario series, Metal Gear Solid, MediEvil series, Nick Tapalansky, The Last Guardian, Evil Within, Oxenfree, Bethesda Game Studios, Luke Thériault, Final Fantasy IX.

Links:
Ico novel in English

Next time:
Up until the boss "Zephod"

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

Feb 15, 2017

Welcome to the final episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus and turning to the present with some bonus content surrounding The Last Guardian. We talk about the games' pillars and our personal takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A bit of The Last Guardian

Podcast breakdown:
0:34 Segment: Pillars/Takeaways/The Last Guardian

Issues covered: getting all the tails and fruits and making one's way to the top of the temple, meaningful companion characters, making a boss the level, set pieces vs mechanical depth or integration, grip meter convergence, holistic integration of space/camera/mechanics, trying the outlandish, the discipline of simplicity, console lifecycle and buyer influence, credits padding for publishing, storytelling and mystery and curiosity, repeated themes, mechanical depth and replayability, unpredictability, description of Trico, art direction, sense of scale, design of Trico, narrative setup, onboarding in The Last Guardian, understanding how a thing works and still finding it magical, degree of difficulty, quibbling over controls seems to miss the point, charm in character control, world design and camera missing wonderful moments, holism misfire, could does not equal should, competing goals, changing the approach to play.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Phil Rosehill, Super Metroid, Naughty Dog, The Last of Us, Darksiders, Dark Souls, God of War, The Last Guardian, Journey, Flower, Republic Commando, The Incredibles, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, Mario series, James Taylor, Team Ico, gen Design, Conan the Barbarian, Mako, Rygar, Jurassic Park, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Crystal Dynamics, Amy Hennig, Uncharted, Indiana Jones, Visceral Games, Tomb Raider, Tim Cain.

Next time:
First couple of hours of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

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

Feb 8, 2017

Welcome to the third episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We discuss Colossus's mysterious world, talk about Agro, the camera, delve into the story, and also recap the eight Colossi that make up the second half of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Final 8 Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

Podcast breakdown:
0:41 Segment 1: SotC discussion
1:03:34 Break
1:04:22 Segment 2: Final Colossi, Feedback

Issues covered: visiting areas ahead of fighting Colossi, stripping away the filler combat, a Cursed land: justifying its emptiness, the Zen garden, beauty is a purpose, a meditative space, no support to the completionist or progress on the map, altar icons on the map, getting the platinum, less is more, openended-ness as a hinge to mystery, filling in details by yourself, archaeology as jigsaw puzzle, being memorable and provocative, being left wanting more, PS2-era quality, the end of Agro, dependence on Agro in fighting Colossi, characterization of the horse, less accessible controls (vs driving like a car), the joyfulness of a slow trot, criticizing the controls, justifying turning heavy things on a dime in AAA games, the dynamism of a camera in an open world, beautifully framed shots, using the rule of thirds dynamically for framing, camera designers, open space as an aid to framing, AAA camera design and implementation, topography to accentuate shots, tradeoffs, story spacing, visual aging and greying of Wander to reflect the cost of his quest, Mono's voice reaching through the void, opening the sealed gate, Agro jumping gaps, Agro's sacrifice, replaying to try and save her, interactive crossing the bridge, should it be a cutscene?, being more generous with the player, echoes in the end between Wander and the Colossi, splitting a god into multiple pieces as a parallel myth, the sword as my instrument and the instrument of my demise, Dormin resisting being pulled into the pool, Mono and Agro and the baby and the garden, the soundtrack, the music of horse riding, the Tim Horse Surprise, wall of sound vs silence, scoring to tell you what to feel, the final eight colossi, frustration of character-relative bow aiming, showing the limits and warts of mechanics, New Game+ mechanics and goals, hidden depths in Ueda's work.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Shadows of Mordor, Diablo, Titan Quest, Baldur's Gate, Souls series, PlaystationTrophies.org, Uncharted series, Bioshock (obliquely), The Last Guardian, Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, Remi Lacoste, Ubisoft, Prince of Persia, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Assassin's Creed, Fable, Peter Molyneux, Eadweard Muybridge, Final Fantasy IX, GCMSHPLC, shabby329, Jedi Starfighter.

Next time:
Bonus! A little The Last Guardian and talking about Ueda's pillars.

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

Feb 1, 2017

Welcome to the third episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We discuss Colossus's form, intro, animation, and a number of design elements, including brief recaps of the first eight Colossus battles. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first 8 Colossi

Podcast breakdown:
0:40 Discussion

Issues covered: brief history, high-level structure (boss battles), boss battle-centricity, bosses as story arcs and reward structures in other games, pacing benefits, higher peaks and deeper valleys, puzzle bosses and the puzzle-y aspects of each Colossus, presentation of the first Colossus, description of the opening scenes, organic design, story setup, narrators, shadowy figures, echoes of the sarcophagi, Brett teaches Tim the name of the horse, Agro as companion, horse as primer for environment/Colossus navigation, inverse kinematics, introduction to all the mechanics, slow animation of the Colossus, first impressions, Colossi as levels, sense of majesty, giant/automaton/golem, Dormin telling you what to do on occasion, fur and scampering, large wind-ups as tells, deep dive on the grip meter, description of Colossus death, particular order of attacks and payoff, avoiding backtracking, the mournful weight of lore and echoes, making the Colossi suffer and the descent of the player, original co-op design, talking quickly about each battle, additive mechanics and puzzles, kofun tombs, a moment that remains with you forever, audio-visual support for the bird fight, deeper dive on the electrified eel, Trico qua Colossus, building relationships rather than puzzles, puzzles as friction or obstacles, beams of light from Colossi corpses, golem construction materials, reminders of how bad you should feel.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash, Team Ico, genDesign, LucasArts, Republic Commando, Halo, The Last Guardian, Titan Souls, Cuphead, Super Metroid, MegaMan, Antonio Gaudi, Indiana Jones, Ico, Star Wars, God of War, Demon's Souls, Wizard of Oz (obliquely), Monster Hunter, Jeffool, Gothic_Chocobo.

Next time:
Finish Shadow of the Colossus!

Links:
NICO online co-op prototype
Game Maker's Toolkit on Ico is pretty great
Extra Frames (from Extra Credits) on Shadow of the Colossus


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

Jan 25, 2017

Welcome to the second episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We discuss bits of Ico's narrative, the holistic and economic aspects of the design, the build-up of tension and mutual support between the characters, the combat, and a host of other issues. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Second half of Ico!

Podcast breakdown:
0:33     Ico

Issues covered: the source of all future quotes, camera/yorda/scale holism and reinforcement, taking copious notes, the "b" word, spots where the camera doesn't work, setting down the controller, pushing through player skill games, visual language in encounter design, maintaining the connection with Yorda in combat, story act structure, the arc of combat encounters, castle cohesion, castle as a character, being able to see from title screen where you'll go, points of interest, story bits with the Queen at the gate, the castle as a real place, Yorda's leaps, building relationship and trust and tension, establishing reciprocal feeling, Yorda's powers, opening the other door, cutting ropes around the reflectors, puzzles where the platforming is pushed a bit too far, camera control, depleting Yorda to open the gates, the expanding dark circle with the sickly green rim, clever environmental object design, a touching moment, fighting the shadows from the sarcophagi, character art of the Queen, Queen Himiko and art/textiles of ancient Japan, the boss battle, losing Ico's horns, Yorda freeing Ico from the castle, recovery of humanity and rebirth, credits nostalgia, the beach scene and reunion, HDR/bloom effects, watermelon alternate ending, a little bit about how Yorda's AI might work, Brett's new Emo band, potentially scripted, Yorda's personality vs Trico's, favorite bits, "Are they really going to let me do this?," common emotional tones in Ueda's games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil, Day of the Tentacle, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, Super Mario Galaxy, Tomb Raider, Uncharted, Prince of Persia, Brothers, The Last of Us, Stranger Things/Eleven, Shodan, Okami, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (obliquely), The Sims, Republic Commando, Cameron Hass, Myst, Riven.

Next time:
First 8 Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

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

Jan 18, 2017

Welcome to the first episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We situate it in time a bit, and then turn to the opening few rooms and the design, technical, and narrative departures already visible. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the windmill

TTAJ: ??!

Podcast breakdown:
0:38     Segment 1: Ico
59:33   Break 1
59:58   Segment 2: Themes for next time, feedback

Issues covered: situating Ico's release in 2001, other games focusing on character control and repetition, passion for or against, focusing on different elements, feeling like a young boy, introduction to the game, the spice shop of little boys, economical storytelling, recognizability, space occupied by the character, environment as character, lack of player agency in the camera, showing the player the environment, what does the camera want me to know, camera as drama/emotion rather than mechanic, spiraling up and down, dream sequence, greasy oily shadows, language barrier between them and to the user, usability issues, lack of instruction on the controls, contextual R1, press and hold, tenderness and humaneness, mechanical connection, assuming responsibility, inverse kinematics, animating the character to IK to solve problems, balancing fidelity and responsiveness, impact of the game on game developers, giving permission to try different things, game dev economics, separating Yorda from the inanimate, press R1 to feel emotion, set dressing plausibility and mystery, non-interactable stuff, passive interactions, consistency in interactability, overtelling and lore, moral questions, trophy hunting, soaking it in, robot testing, various automated tests in AAA dev, that one time* we blew it, why we blew it, breakout success of Myst.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Mafia III, The Last Guardian, Fumito Ueda, Shadow of the Colossus, Devil May Cry, Halo, Silent Hill 2, Metal Gear Solid 2, MGS 4, Pikmin, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, Luigi's Mansion, Hideki Kamiya, Platinum Games, Capcom, Konami, Max Payne, Hitman 2, System Shock 2, King Kong, Jessica Lange, The Arrival, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy IX, Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider series, Journey, Velvet Underground, Prince of Persia, Sony, Jesse Harlin, Don DeLillo, Zero K, @TheHanna, TIE Fighter, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Bethesda Game Studios, Starfighter, Microsoft, Noel Llopis, Cameron Hass, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Myst series, Riven, Uru, Obduction, LucasArts, Sierra, The 7th Guest, Curse of Monkey Island**, The Room, The Witness, Cthulhu.

Links:
Noel Llopis, Monkey Testing

Next time:
Finish Ico!

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

* not one time
** I said Monkey 4, but this is the game I actually meant.

Jan 11, 2017

Welcome to a special interview episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We welcome Larry Holland and discuss the overall arc of his career building games for LucasArts and specifically TIE Fighter. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

TTAJ:

Podcast breakdown:
0:31       Interview with Larry Holland
1:05:53  Break
1:06:21  Outro/Next time

Issues covered: early career, educational background and focus in anthropology, love of history, military simulation, World War II trilogy, shift to IBM PC, CGA->EGA graphics, reliving history from both sides and controversy, life and death struggles, manuals to support games, combat focus vs flight/avionics focus, switching to a fictional history, quiet around the Star Wars property, moving to 3D from rotating and scaling sprites, adding a 2D cinematic engine, film "history," reflecting the environment as an attempt to be immersive, WWII air combat speeds and gun camera footage vs BVR fighting, life-and-death and pilot knowledge, craft systems management, challenging players with choices, situational awareness, adding mission complexity driving specialized targeting commands, managing franchise complexity, site targeting, multi-level goals and showing players what they were, completion fanatics, origin of the level editor, "beware of the designer's second game," sleeping at Kerner, turning QA into mission designers, learning how to build games while building games, building behaviors, orders and choreography, the agent of the Emperor, a secret society, moral grayness vs the stark black and white, partisan politics and points of view, discussion of what's next and focus.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Totally Games, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Super Zaxxon, HESWare, Noah Falstein, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, PHM Pegasus, Strike Fleet, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour ("BoB"), Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe ("SWotL"), Falcon series, Spectrum Holobyte, F-16, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Timothy Zahn, Peter Lincroft, Ed Kilham, John Glenn, Halo, David Wessman, David Maxwell, Rogue One, The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt, SW Republic Commando, Phil Rosehill, Super Metroid at AGDQ, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Uedo, The Last Guardian, Team Ico/genDesign, Japan Studio, Loco Roco, Patapon, From Software, Demons's Souls, Echochrome, Gravity Rush, Tokyo Jungle, Puppeteer, Knack.

Next time:
We begin Ico! Play up until you have passed the Windmill.

Links:
Awesome Games Done Quick

Shall We Play A Game? GOTY episode

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

Jan 4, 2017

Welcome to a bonus episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We welcome two guests, Reed Knight and Darren Johnson, who worked in QA on the original titles and co-led the QA team on the Collector's Edition. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

TTAJ: 14:24

Podcast breakdown:
0:29        Interview segment
1:10:00   Break
1:10:22   Outro, Next time

Issues covered: Tim introduces QA as a discipline, Reed self-introduction, QA being in start credits of Full Throttle, Tim's interviews, Darren self-introduction, early history of Reed and Darren in QA, games that are fun to test months in, score competition, day in the life of a tester, bug entry process, having only one computer for entering bugs, "anti-speed runs," thinking in terms of triggers or events, gluing events together, getting the editor and looking for bugs, finding voice lines that had never fired in original TIE Fighter, finding bugs that weren't literally visible in-game, non-crash "A" bugs, Reed disputes Brett's account of an "A" bug, Darren defeating Darth Vader, best gaming moments, the lengths you go to to break a game, "SUM PIN TO DO," missing a bug because you haven't gone far enough, fighting for bugs on behalf of the player, suggesting technical solutions from QA, healthy tension between departments, "upstairs," Kerner Blvd, adversarial advocacy vs. regulatory capture, maintaining objectivity, balancing games from test, lead tester importance as ship date looms, maintaining loyalty to the QA team, turning to the Dark Side, getting QA consensus, "once a tester always a tester," humility vs arrogance, direct discussion with testers, every 1000th bug, golden age, free range testing, working on a platform title (due to license holder requirements), compatibility, quantity of bugs in modern day, playing console manufacturers off against one another, day one patches, usability issues, playing XvT co-op as former QA, TuneIn and Amazon Echo.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Rogue One, Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear, Emperor Zurg, Dark Forces, Full Throttle, Tim Schafer, Metal Warriors, Big Sky Trooper, Jedi Knight, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Stormfront Studios, Eragon, Don Daglow, Smithsonian, Leap Frog, Duke Grabowski, Bill Tiller, Gene Mocsy, Hal Barwood, Zelda, Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures, Yoda Stories, Afterlife, Day of the Tentacle, Dave Grossman, Mad Otter Games, Disney, Brian Kemp, Larry Holland, Totally Games, Dan Connors, Mark Cartwright, The Last Starfighter, Fallout 3, Todd Howard, Daron Stinnett, Starfighter, Brett Tosti, Galactic Battlegrounds, Battle for Naboo, Obi-Wan, Bill Roper, Tim Cain, Bethesda Game Studios, Nintendo 64, Shadows of the Empire, Livia Knight, Telltale Games, Sean Clark, Tabitha Tosti, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Ico, Fumito Ueda, BlueTieCasual.

Next time: Interview with Larry Holland!


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

Dec 28, 2016

Welcome to our YEAR END SPECIAL. We look back on our interview segments and our favorite game takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

TTAJ: 53:15

Next time:
We have one and possibly two TIE Fighter interviews lined up, but then we are going to turn to 2002's Ico and 2005's Shadow of the Colossus. Look for us on Twitter for how far to play. 

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

Dec 21, 2016

Welcome to our fourth episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We discuss the story of the Collector's Edition additional missions and then turn to our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Missions 11-13

TTAJ: 1:06:00 (late this episode!)

Podcast breakdown:
0:37    Segment 1: Final battles
39:00  Break
39:27  Segment 2: Takeaways

Issues covered: story review of last few battles, cloaking technology as verboten in Star Wars license, tying into Endor and the trap at the new Death Star, being in the recognizable Star Wars universe, forward performance problems, thinking about future proofing, emulating and Steam, Lucy and the anthropology, failing a mission and rethinking your strategy, using the slam mechanic, circles of the Emperor, viewing your stats, proper pronunciation of Bothan, Brett and lore, having both the success of preserving the Empire and knowing it's about to fall, differing voice actors, not getting to see Zaarin, moving to a 3D rendering, deep simulation, the majesty of being in the space, committing to the fantasy in small ways, how much stuff is in this game, simulation complexity of a fictional craft, AI craft doing the same energy management, mission design around specific craft/loadout, feeling the hand of the designer, modern possibility of failure, we hear from the animal quarter, Brett owes Tim a dollar.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Scrabble, Ernest Adams, Dungeon Keeper, Ultima series, Rogue One, Skyrim, Monkey Island, Jedi Power Battles, Masters of Teras Kasi, The Last Starfighter, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Demon's Souls, Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, Brian Taylor, Dave Filoni, Star Wars Rebels and Clone Wars, Republic Commando, Sean Duffy.

Next time: A Year in Review

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

Dec 14, 2016

Welcome to our third episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We discuss the story of the first expansion pack, address some criticism when it comes to these missions, and Brett digresses over technology from the day. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Battles 8-10

TTAG (Time to "Aw, geez"): 1:43


Podcast breakdown
:
0:35 One segment this week!

Issues covered: licensing and the Expanded Universe, the TIE Defender as the centerpiece of a series of battles, Zaarin and Thrawn, choosing Thrawn over Vader, the mag pulse torpedo, Full speed to Killimaar!, being the Red Baron, technology race, using audio to give you hints and direction, lack of feedback to developers, hobbyist press, calling the hint line, over-long missions, changing the rule set on you, dead time, bulletproofing and A bugs, test plans, algorithmically breaking a game, software vs hardware operations, Caveman Tim, texture mapping, fixed point math, floating point operations vs whole numbers, transform and lighting, capital ship scale, render order and limiting your triangle drawing, overdraw, major revolutions in hardware, streaming podcast recording, beam weapons, zooming.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Disney, Trading Places, Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, Don Ameche, Ralph Bellamy, Heir to the Empire, Totally Games, Star Wars Rebels, The Clone Wars, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Scrabble, The Great Waldo Pepper, Robert Redford, Howard Hughes, Abbott and Costello, John Carmack, Steven Spielberg, Sean Clark, Robin Williams, Star Wars: Starfighter, Colony Wars, Wing Commander, Reed Knight, Dark Forces, Voodoo, Tomb Raider, Unreal, X-Wing Alliance, Darren Johnson, miggohoo, Idle Thumbs, DLC, Rogue One.

Next time:
Finish the game!

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

Dec 7, 2016

Welcome to our second episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We discuss the story in greater depth, as well as the various storytelling modes and how they cross over between each other. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Battles 4-7

Podcast breakdown:
0:31    Segment 1: Story and storytelling
50:32  Break
51:00  Segment 2: Feedback

Issues covered: expansion packs, setting of the campaign in the Star Wars chronology, adding new technology as a way to expand the game from the movies, a game's power curve, making the player part of the story, how the secret order ranks work, point bonuses and happy accidents, not knowing what you've missed, modern design removing mystery, stretching the character of the Emperor, medal ceremony, Star Wars story melodrama, military careerism, depth of simulation vs breadth of options, beam weapon, wingman commands, component targeting, flight sim complexity in the early 90s, use of the beam weapon, mastery for perfect puzzle play, use of the simulators, the damage system, prioritizing repairs, various screens, energy management, dumping lasers into shields, starting with one ring of shields (forcing player action), experimenting as a result of failure, most difficult missions, hard failure (funeral and prison planet), having to pay attention/less directed play, map, scale, WWII clips influencing Star Wars film battles, strategy guides and game development, Tim the submarine operator, 15-pin serial connections, recharging your lasers, digging around for joysticks at the local Best Buy, nostalgia bias, no perfect games, letting games go, games as "just a job," healthy self-regard, corporations as psychopaths, overwork.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gilmore Girls, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Totally Games, The Madness of King George, Jedi Starfighter (obliquely), Republic Commando (obliquely), Wing Commander, Rogue Squadron series, Call of Duty, Battlefront, Brian Taylor, Kurt Strock, DLC podcast, Ken Levine, Janos Flosser, Shall We Play A Game podcast, Silent Service, F15 Strike Eagle, Their Finest Hour: Battle of Britain, B-17: Flying Fortress, ARMA series, Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, Freelancer, House of the Dying Sun, Aaron Hansen, Waka2234, Warcraft, The Last Guardian, Kurtbamf.

Links:
George Lucas on WWII and Star Wars 

Tora! Tora! Tora! Clip

TIE Fighter Strategy Guide

Crunch Crash

Next time:
Battles 8-10

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

Nov 30, 2016

Welcome to our first episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We talk a lot about the Star Wars presentation, simulation depth and choices, and touch a bit on the story. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Battles 1-3

Podcast breakdown:
0:29      Segment 1, Felis Interruptus
20:35    Quick Break
20:40    Segment 2

Issues covered: six degrees of Bill Bixby, Holland's WWII series, alternate histories, showing the perspective of the bad guys, multiplayer and technical feasibility, Star Wars presentation, cockpits in the films, cookie-cutter bureaucracy of the Empire, linear narratives driving things forward in other games, simulating a military career, voice work, Star Wars melodrama and narrative glue, leaning on the films' fiction, secret society of the Emperor, bonus objectives, naming your pilot, save structure, opening cinematic, propaganda, paralleling the films, the Thrawn trilogy, color choices in the HUD, key confusion, level of difficulty, playing like a puzzle game, flight simulation dead ends, genre lulls, flight sims as technical showcases, grognard capture, flying the F-22, moving to flight action, Warthog sims, simulators everywhere, bridging to more accessible games, configuring the complex flight stick, roll and pull configs, guiding the mouse, pulling you back to Star Wars, flying a variety of craft, basis of the Assault Gunboat and the Tydirium Shuttle, introducing the TIE Advanced, vulnerability in the popcorn ship, managing difficulty, energy management, "where's my lasers?", flight model, player skill payoff of deep simulation, roguelikes and punishment, mission length, finishing the primary objectives and moving on, player agency with extra content.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: That Darn Cat, Disney, Bill Bixby, Incredible Hulk, Marvel, Star Wars, Larry Holland, LucasArts, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Day of the Tentacle, Chuck Yeager, Falcon series, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Battlezone, Indiana Jones series, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour, Wing Commander, X-Wing, Totally Games, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Rogue One, Dark Forces, Starfighter, James Taylor, Yoda, Deus Ex, Bob Page, Republic Commando, Timothy Zahn, Heir to the Empire, Reed Knight, Star Citizen, Descent, ARMA, F-16, Daron Stinnett, Spectrum Holobyte, Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Call of Duty, Starcraft, Return of the Jedi, Battlestar Galactica, Souls series, Bioshock, System Shock 2.

Next time:
Battles 4 through 7

Errata:
"That Darn Cat" featured Dean Jones, not Bill Bixby. DevGameClub regrets the error.

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

Nov 23, 2016

Welcome to Dev Game Club Bonus Content. We've both played a little bit of The Evil Within and here we lovingly render our verdict in stunning HD. Usually, Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary, but here in Bonus Content we just chat about something descended from one of our main games and talk about the directions it's gone.


Podcast breakdown:
0:35    Bonus Content: Evil Within and Feedback
58:27  Bonus Bonus Content from Brett

Issues covered: action horror vs slower-paced, text description, gore overload, stealth elements, using fire to your advantage, putting carts before horses, the agony crossbow, Mikami's tropes, story scale/scope, the Japanese factor in melodramatic amp-up, the hospital hub, empathy work in horror games and slasher films, keys to the lockers, fictionalizing all the game mechanics, expensive progression system, getting all the progress, brief encounters with chainsaws, tight level design, look of specific technology (idTech 5, Unreal), character design, NPC companions, PS1 controls, film and Resident Evil, New Years Resolutions.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill series, Tomb Raider, Rage, DOOM (2016), Uncharted series, Far Cry series, Assassin's Creed series, Hitman, Alien Isolation, Bethesda Game Studios, Shinji Mikami, Capcom, Bioshock, Quentin Tarantino, Halloween I and II, Destiny, Republic Commando, Chris Williams, Wolfenstein: The New Order, BattleTankBob, Final Fantasy VII & IX, Robin Sakai, Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima, Greg Naughton, Fallout, UnderTale, Underrail, Troika Games, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Kill Screen, TIE Fighter, Mortimer and the Riddle of the Medallion, XvT, X-Wing, Chris Suellentrop, JJ Sutherland, Shall We Play A Game podcast, Chris Metzen, Blizzard Entertainment, The Instance podcast.

Next time:
TIE Fighter, the first three battles

Notes:
The early "ARG" Brett refers to from the 1980s was called "Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse."

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

Nov 16, 2016

Welcome to our fourth and final episode examining 1996's survival horror classic Resident Evil. We discuss the major story beats of the section, the nonsensical mess of the ending, the tyrant, and talk about some pillars and takeaways from the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finishing the game! In the labs.

Podcast breakdown:
0:29 Segment 1: The end and takeaways
52:03 Segment 2: Reviews and what's next

Issues covered: current events, RE story beats, the thin hand-waving at a conspiracy involving Wesker, multiple endings, filling out the map and finding the three computers, faking urgency, new game+ stuff, credits sequence, commitment to melodrama, Wesker and Revolver Ocelot, famous villains, asymmetry and symmetry in monsters, foreshadowing and suspense, lack of feedback fighting the tyrant, poor telegraphing, teaching is important, custom coding vs systemic work, frustrated filmmakers, disempowerment/anti-wish fulfillment, genre reinforcing well with mechanics, self-contained/holistic spaces, better puzzles at the end, resource management, cinematic cameras and techniques.


Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: John Oliver, Last Week Tonight, Metal Gear Solid series, LOST, Chrono Cross, Silent Hill 2, Siri, Starfighter, 343 Industries, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, Capcom, Warren Spector, Firewatch, Sean Vanaman, Jake Rodkin, The Evil Within, DOOM (1993), Quake, Tomb Raider (2013), The Descent, Soma, Amnesia, Frictional Games, Penumbra, Alien: Isolation, Dead Space, Event Horizon, Rage, DOOM (2016), Yarkie, ChadBarth, TIE Fighter, Rogue One.


Next time:
Join us next week for a little bonus content for Thanksgiving week!

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

Nov 9, 2016

Welcome to our third episode examining 1996's survival horror classic 3. We discuss the major story beats of the section, delve into the puzzles, discuss how spaces like these are made, enemies, a whole cornucopia of topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up through the Tunnels

Podcast breakdown:
0:32      Segment 1: Story beats, Puzzles
54:30    Break
54:54    Segment 2: Feedback

Issues covered: C.O.L.D., story beats and "wacky Japanese stuff," meeting Lisa more than once, military industrial complex, Barry's story and splitting up, puzzle battle with Lisa, knowing what to do and be unable to do it, weaknesses of the camera and controls, bending the verbs to do a different thing, thinking things won't work as a game developer, examination puzzles, sham object puzzles, spider reveal, Lisa creature design, Brett's former fear of spiders and how it differs from Tim's, bringing your own history to a game, using simplest collision detection, carrying the Zippo, walk boxes to restrain character movement, abstracting the space, enemy choices and design, shark fears, monsters out of place, diving in and trusting the game's save system, not every game is for every person, audio and its unique way to cut into us because it has no frame, use of silence to accentuate environmental sounds and build tension, use of windows in the game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Starfighter, Metal Gear Solid, Back to the Future, rest of Resident Evil series, Ken Levine, System Shock 2, Skyrim, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, The Evil Within, SOMA, Amnesia, Neverwinter Nights, Lord of the Rings (obliquely), Day of the Tentacle, Dave Grossman, Grim Fandango, Thimbleweed Park, Ron Gilbert, Killzone 2, Final Fantasy IX, Assassin's Creed, The Shallows, The Muppet Movie, Jaws, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Nathan Martz, Dark Souls, Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist, Robin Sakai, Michael Lewis, Republic Commando, Dave Collins, Jesse Harlin, TimmyMcCoy, Fastpaced350, Cameron Potter.

Next time:
Finish the game!

Links:
Walk boxes in Thimbleweed Park

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

Nov 2, 2016

Welcome to our second episode examining 1996's survival horror classic Resident Evil. We discuss the tight resource management of the game and the spatial logic of the place, amongst other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the tunnels (in theory)

Podcast breakdown:
0:33    Segment 1: Resources (saves) and Spaces
50:27  Break
51:00  Segment 2: Feedback, next time, links

Issues covered: save system, Tim and min-maxing OCD, clearing the map, differences between easy and normal, difficulty settings in games then and now, difficulty for developers and QA, punishing the player, controller difficulty, memorizing spaces, frustration and fighting the controls, fear response on lower difficulty, popping heads, running into other characters and having the space stop making sense, story choices, lack of story logic, "gaminess" of the design, crate teleportation, inventory systems in RE, realism fighting sensibility, localization, house structure as a real place not holding up, finding the balance of game needs and realism in level design, deliberately breaking spatial sense, surreal spatial design, Aetherium design, negative-space editing, exploiting engines, piecing together bits of story in journals, the wrong Moonlight Sonata, referring to the lighter, passive storytelling, VATS and more tactical options for added depth.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Batman, Justice League, Alone in the Dark, Apple ][, Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, SNES, Metroid series, Fear Effect series, Dead Rising series, Hideo Kojima, Resident Evil 4, GameCube, Biohazard, Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within, Psycho Break, Silent Hill 2, Winchester Mystery House, Robert Venturi, This American Life, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Starfighter, Hal Barwood, N64, Reed Knight, Bethesda Game Studios, Skyrim, GamaSutra, Troy Mashburn, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Beric Holt, Fallout series, Soldier of Fortune, Oblivion.

Next time:
Really play up and into the tunnels. No, really this time.

Links:
Brett on GamaSutra playing and talking Skyrim

Brett on recognizing a designer's work

Old post in which I mention The Aetherium from Infernal Machine

Old post about difficulty settings

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

Oct 26, 2016

Welcome to our first episode examining 1996's survival horror classic Resident Evil. We discuss many of the features that are evident from the beginning of the game that set it apart from other sorts of 3rd person games of the time. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up until the Residence (in theory)

Podcast breakdown:
0:24 Segment 1: History and themes
58:07 Break 1
58:35 Segment 2: Reader mail and next time

Issues covered: last episode's interview, removing player empowerment, bold decisions in design, can this game be made in the US in 1996, other cultures borrowing genres and reinventing them, frustrating the player and the impossibility of getting this game made today, impatience vs methodical play, subverting player expectation, map coverage and "safety", a systemically light game, jump scares, vulnerability, accumulation of small details, resource management, feeling every shot, inventory management, inability to drop, will this character actually survive, playing the tank controls version and panicking, modern control setup, having a separate character control the camera in Super Mario 64, interesting camera angles, showing less can be more, short cinematics to reinforce emotional focus, giving back control after a moment of zombie first-person, indie space, the inversion of having a bad-ass who is having trouble surviving, discussion of trophies and achievements, having a todo list.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gilmore Girls, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Wasteland 2, Fallout, Alone in the Dark, Night of the Living Dead, The Thing, Solaris, Stalker, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Quake, Marathon, Time Crisis, Tomb Raider, Star Wars Republic Commando, Nathan Martz, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto III, System Shock 2, Resident Evil 4, Dressed to Kill, Fear Effect series, Devil May Cry, Super Mario 64, Friday the 13th, Alien: Isolation, Scream, Mr Futile, Jan Braunsberg, Assassin's Creed series, Arkham series, Firewatch, Gone Home, Walking Dead, Prototype 2, Guacamelee, Double Fine, Head Lander, Costume Quest, Grim Fandango, DotT, Drew_Homan, RebelFM.

Next time:

Play until you get to the tunnels

Notes:
Alone in the Dark came out in 1994. Dev Game Club regrets the error.

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

Oct 19, 2016

Welcome to our fifth and final episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We are lucky enough to interview Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, Producer/Lead Programmer and Art Director respectively on Fallout as well as two of the three founding members of Troika Games. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:38        Interview with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky!
1:01:10   Break
1:01:35   Geek-outro

Issues covered: the Wild West of early studio game development, the meta-installer, making engines in your spare time, tabletop after-hours, abstracting the operating system, GURPS character generator, working you way up, pizza and game dev, RPG renaissance, bold theme choices, filtering passionate ideas, making your dream game, career paths into game development, clubhouse Interplay and a creative atmosphere, business incursion, from the garage to the office park, right place right time, QA preferring your game over being paid, By Gamers For Gamers, making your colleagues laugh, companions in scripting, wearing multiple hats, making a Tarrasque into a Death Claw, making heads from clay and digitizing, cavalier oblique and making the tools work, bringing various sensibilities to the game, throwing a party for your return, a family of talking raccoons, finding your creative partners, system and story *should* work together, what makes good level design, digging yourself a big hole, exposing variables and state to designers, managing teams of small size, ambient music, art influences, Vault Boy instead of icons, voice talent, everything coming together, consequences, "games should be fun," freedom, setting the world on fire, Tim Cain's grandfather and mother, constraints and necessity, Fallout DNA.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Interplay, Maxis, Stonekeep, Troika Games, Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade, Blizzard, Diablo III, Obsidian Entertainment, Grand Slam Bridge, EA, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Jason Anderson, Carbine Studios, Wildstar, Rags to Riches, Lord of the Rings, D&D, GURPS, Earthdawn, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Black Isle, Wasteland, Tolkien, Mad Max, Doom, Nintendo, David Byrne, How Music Works, CGBG, LucasArts, Super Metroid, Star Wars, The Simpsons, Chris Taylor, BioShock, Ken Levine, Ambient Isolationism, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, Monopoly, Richard Dean Anderson, Richard Moll, Tony Shalhoub, Ron Perlman, David Warner, CCH Pounder, Night Court, Monk, Wings, Fallout 2, The Inkspots, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dr. Strangelove, Fallout 3, Jonah Lobe, Temple of Elemental Evil.

Next time:
Resident Evil! Play up until the Residence (past the shed).

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

Oct 14, 2016

This is a companion bonus episode to Dev Game Club, a weekly podcast in which Brett Douville and Tim Longo examine classic games and discuss their relevance and impact today. 

We tie together our episodes about Fallout with a preceding title and a successor in Wasteland 1&2. 

 

Oct 12, 2016

Welcome to our fourth episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We finish off the game, discussing our various choices, and then turn to the various pillars we draw from it. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The base and the Cathedral

Podcast breakdown:
0:35    Segment 1: Finishing Fallout
45:12  Break 1
45:50  Segment 2: Pillars and Feedback

Issues covered: going back to the Glow, voice acting, sharing assets between various animated characters, criminal underworld quests, the liberation of playing and letting the chips fall where they may, missing out on content, growing an audience by offering multiple play styles, murderous Tim Longo, blowing up the base, satisfying cinematic resolution, getting stuck on the force fields, obscure solutions to big problems, the many uses of the radio, close quarters rocketry, stealthy super mutants, inventory loophole and managing weight limits, hardened power armor, carrying useless items until the end of the game, stopping in empty tiles (including the ocean), UFO, multiple ways to resolve the Master, holodisks and the Pipboy, accounting for followers and not, tying off storylines with little snippets, character consistency and leaving the Vault for good, melancholy, fascist Vaults, selfishness and survival, unintended consequences that matter and hard decisions, the RPG renaissance, permitting risk in RPG settings, mature themes and elements, Senate hearings on violence in videogames, filling a story-telling vacuum, avoiding the good/evil binary, giving characters meaningful motivations, getting XP for non-violent actions, reader feedback, Bonus Content: Wasteland 1 & 2,

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Keith David, Dishonored, Bioshock, Fallout 2, Citizen Kane (obliquely), Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta, Final Fantasy X, Super Metroid, Star Wars (obliquely), Mad Max, JRR Tolkien, Bioware, Icewind Dale, Black Isle, D&D, Arcanum, Troika Games, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson, Temple of Elemental Evil, Vampire: Bloodlines, Mass Effect, Ultima series, Ultima VIII/IX, Lionheart, Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate, Bard's Tale series, Wayne Cline, LucasArts, ESA, Mortal Kombat, War and Peace, Brian Luzietti, sixty second shooter prime, Jamie Fristrom, Day of the Tentacle, Telltale Games, Double Fine Productions, Fallout: New Vegas, System Shock 2, The Witcher series, GURPS, Stefan Schmidt, Neo_Ouija, Cat-charlie, Mikael Danielsson, MrFutile, Swinlo44, Resident Evil, Kitty Horrorshow, Chyrza.

Next time:
For our next series, we will be playing Resident Evil! Looking for an interview for next week.

Links:
Brett's Twitch channel
Brett's YouTube channel
Brett's Streaming Horror from a couple years back


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

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