Info

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.
RSS Feed
Dev Game Club
2019
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: April, 2019
Apr 24, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of 2001's Devil May Cry, discussing underwater controls, the camera, combos in combat, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Missions 11-17

Issues covered: the two scariest words in video games, the underwater sections, forcing emotional stress through cumbersome controls, putting the player out of her element, pulling you out of the experience because your character is usually a superhero, sailing the ghost ship, game play "jokes," collision detection and keeping the player on walkable space, testing against 2D instead of 3D, 2D thinking in level design, walk boxes, moving the world around the ship, camera relative controls and camera switching, everyone's playing in the pool and Mario has an inner tube, having to model everything and yet keeping a set of fixed cameras, making the mistake of designing the camera around the levels instead of vice versa or in concert, framing for coolness at the sacrifice of player cohesion, being curious about where the camera ends up, attempt to make more vertical game play in Republic Commando, believing you can do anything with the camera and players proving you wrong, making 3rd person game play with a first person mentality, making a test case or prototype that proves out your camera design, lack of block and blocking with an attack, going without block to promote fast and forward motion, having trouble with Sparda, streamlining combos down maybe too much, finding the combo rhythms, physical mastery games, Brett puts the petty in competition, reading the telegraphing of bosses with the camera, the stress of restart/lives mechanics and boss battles, learning for one boss but not gaining thereby, trial and error on bosses, cultural appropriation, being able to defeat Phantom in the hallway, experimentation in game play to find information and secret missions, chapter endings in the Resident Evil series.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jedi Knight, Resident Evil (series), Frictional Games, Amnesia, SOMA, Halo, The Goonies, Sony Santa Monica, God of War, SCUMM games, Grim Fandango, Thimbleweed Park, Ron Gilbert, Republic Commando, Super Mario 64, Tomb Raider, Soul Reaver, Remi Lacoste, Prince of Persia, Ubisoft, Full Throttle 2, Mysteries of the Sith, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Super Mario Odyssey, Diablo III, Dark Souls (series), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Kirk Hamilton, Maddy Myers, Kotaku Splitscreen, Derv_PNW, Super Metroid, X-COM, Half-Life, Link to the Past, Gothic Chocobo, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Jak & Daxter.

Next time:
Finish the game!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Apr 17, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of 2001's Devil May Cry, discussing enemy introductions, the mission structure, grinding to find your difficulty level, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Missions 5-10

Podcast breakdown:
0:32 Devil May Cry part one
34:32 Unintentional break
34:56 Devil May Cry part two and feedback

Issues covered: enemy introductions, bosses or more fodder enemies, finding first rooms for enemies that fit, introductions in Republic Commando, first person camera intros, marionettes and dread, weapon intros, smoke and mirrors in intros, ceding character for game play, cutting polygons from a model, high poly counts smoke and mirrors, introducing weapons, lacking weapon introductions in Jedi Starfighter, ideal intros, devoting a mission to introduce a new unit, limited introductions in Diablo, Japan and "cool" culture vs "hot" culture, cultural appropriation, snapping your fingers to open the door, Dante's insouciance when talking to a giant boss, changing and growing Capcom's brand identity, time pressure, teaching the player that time is a factor in getting the best rank, timed levels in games, being all about speed, eating your health away and an avenue to increase time, integrating time into games, kill streaks and time, overlaying a mission structure on a physical location, saving the game between missions, putting the mastery forward, giving frequent feedback, using trophies as a means to give feedback, ranking play in general, intrinsic gratification vs feedback, having multiple save slots and experimentation, being able to go back to earlier sections of the castle, limited resources in Resident Evil, upgrade stations being in the world, being able to move back and forth through the world, fast loads, grinding to find your equilibrium difficulty-wise, increasing player skill, using all the tools and feeling accomplished, using the shotgun for the banshees, taking another look at Bayonetta, level capping in Diablo and Paragon, ways of elongating games (as a service), accessibility in games, interpretative difficulty, commercial benefit to being "the difficult game," being more positive on the Internet, Nintendo and difficulty, doing a good job of making a hard game, feeling "guilty" about lowering difficulty, applauding commitment, the accessible controller.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Ben Grimm, Lobot, Professor X, Nick Fury, Republic Commando, Todd Howard, Fallout 3, Jedi Starfighter, Nintendo, Blizzard, Starcraft (series), Warcraft (series), Diablo (series), Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents, Metal Gear (series), Hideo Kojima, Suda51, Ghost of Tsushima, Infamous (series), Akira Kurosawa, Capcom, Resident Evil (series), Clover, Platinum, Bayonetta, Viewtiful Joe, PN 03, DOOM (1993), Metal Gear Rising, Jedi Knight, Reed Knight, Matt Tateishi, Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena, Gran Turismo, NES/SNES, Castlevania, Metroid, Pit Droids, Kingdom Hearts (series), God of War, Alpha Protocol, Destiny II, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Darren from Ohio, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, War and Peace, Captain Underpants, Tacoma, Gone Home, Steve Gaynor, Return of the Obra Dinn, From Software, Souls (series), Bloodborne, Patrick Klepek, Super Meat Boy, Celeste, Keza MacDonald, Jason Killingsworth, King's Field, Microsoft Game Studios, Nathan Martz, Once Upon A Monster, Sesame Street, Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Next time:
Missions 11-17

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Apr 10, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 2001's Devil May Cry, an action beat-'em-up from Capcom. We situate the game in its time and talk about its evolution from the Resident Evil series with its action. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First four missions

Issues covered: gaming in 2001, the origins of the title as Resident Evil 4 and making it into a new franchise, leaning into the tone, the beginning of the Clover legacy, distilling down to God of War, camera changes, we riff on the ranks, evolving the camera from Resident Evil, branching off the controls, dealing with the stick when moving from screen to screen, the Capcom 5, many takes on Dante's Inferno, "Devil May Care," dripping with style, style *is* substance, a game that wants you to dive in and get good, switching to be more aggressive to fight the first boss, where you can run from the return of that boss, the presentation of easy mode, learning to read a hard game, trying different third-person cameras at this time, facing difficulty and having to figure it out, change in game tastes in the last two decades: repetition vs continuing spectacle, physical limitations, grinding for consumables and the store, how does scoring work, taking a weird detour into watery skulls, how this series evolved to present day and greater generosity, procedurally generated emails, Diablo's shrines, the strategy of allowing a shared copy of the game actually driving sales, virality, generosity driving sales, hacks and cheats and the difficulty of preventing them.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Capcom, Jedi Starfighter, Ico, Grand Theft Auto III, Anachronox, Silent Hill 2, Resident Evil (series), Halo: Combat Evolved, Metal Gear Solid 2, Max Payne, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, Diablo, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Onimusha: Warlords, Nintendo GameCube, Super Smash Bros. Melee, 007: Agent Under Fire, PlayStation 2, Jak & Daxter, Twisted Metal Black, Andrew Kirmse, Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Hideki Kamiya, Shinji Mikami, Clover Studio, Platinum Games, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Dark Souls (series), God of War, PN 03, Killer 7, Dead Phoenix, Dante's Inferno, Patrick Klepek, Kingdom Hearts, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Full Throttle 2, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Mr. Beast, DOOM (1993), Eric Fox, David Brevik, Quake, GOG, Alpha Protocol.

Next time:
Through Mission 10

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Apr 3, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we look in this bonus episode at Diablo III to discuss the game's impact and systems, while also touching on a Kingdom Hearts update and getting into a ton of listener feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: Kingdom Hearts 2 side/end game stuff, the inventive choices you have to make to do side stuff in JRPGs, figuring out constraints and min/maxing against them, generosity in game design and development, finding ways in development to layer on more stuff, adding more to a game, being good at making the game you make and losing that institutional knowledge, sticking together and iterating, thinking outside the box for a platform, business model and the endless game, not caring about the campaign, being able to drop into certain types of game, soaking in the endorphins, having quest randomness in the first game and in adventure mode in Diablo III, hero rooms in Republic Commando, having areas become memorable through repeated play, games as a service, encouraging and cross-pollinating classes, Diablo and WoW influencing one another, incorporating the auction house and gray market sales in Diablo II, going against player expectations, purchasable cosmetics as a revenue stream, being generous with your success, vicious and virtuous cycles in revenue models, anticipating Diablo IV, establishing your game's reputation, procedurality and generosity, shooter-looters and the expense of making new content, embracing rogue-likes as a way to leverage a small team, making a lot of content and having players chew through it, procedural board game generation and fitting together worlds, lore through-lines from the first game in campaign mode, bringing in new characters to bring in both new and old fans, having to establish a character as interesting in their own right, leveraging 3D for more variety and efficiency, every character having spell-like abilities, couch co-op is more about the couch, reflecting on the Brevik interview, gold taking up space in inventory, weird multiplayer friction with gold taking up space, high value resources and gold forcing you to spend money, disarm trap skill, mechanics in conflict with the game, low lethality of traps, bosses in Diablo, difficulty of making boss battles interesting, experimenting with traps as a boss battle design, limiting to one mouse button for the Mac, Blizzard having a lot to answer for with our nation's youth, the cost of connecting to the Internet in the late 90s, video games pushing technology, the changing expenses of telecommunications, digitizers, skill and technology gaps for 3D modeling, even making stuff in 2D on a computer was hard and slow, getting into the industry, growing the developer tent to include economists and psychologists, grit and streamlining, knowledge vs design grit, grit as a side effect of development style, adding grit to the development process, adding in only what you need.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Kingdom Hearts 2, Lore Reasons/Waypoint, Square, Final Fantasy IX, Republic Commando, Crystal Dynamics, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Nintendo Wii, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Diablo (series), Nintendo Switch, Dominion, Borderlands 3, Blizzard, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Reed Knight, Dead Cells, Jason Schreier, Maddy Myers, Into the Breach, FTL, Andrew Kirmse, Meridian 59, Destiny, Star Wars, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, A Way Out, David Brevik, Anthony Gallegos, Marvel Heroes, RebelFM, LamestarGames, Journeyman2011, Raymond Cason, Good Old Games, Derek Achoy/speakyclean, Shenmue, DreamCast, Sean Richards, Super Mario Galaxy, Bungie, StarCraft, LucasArts, Zimmy Finger, Out of This World, Portal, Jon Knowles, Turn 10, Forza Horizon, Super Star Wars, SNES, Dark Forces, Mark Crowe, BakedPotato, Jesse Morgan, Aaron Evers, Mark Wahlberg, Invincible, Halo, Mike Vogt, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter (series), Capcom, Dark Souls, Bethesda Game Studios, Daron Stinnett, Starfighter, Unity, Unreal, Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Baumgartner, Dark Crystal.

Next time:
Devil May Cry -- First 4 Missions!

Links:
The Making of Final Fantasy IX

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

1