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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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Now displaying: June, 2019
Jun 19, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we turn to 1991's Super Castlevania IV, due to the series having its anniversary this year. We talk about quite a lot of stuff, including its arcade nature but also its nods to the home market, its tone and setting ,how it teaches stuff, an a host of other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first two stages

Podcast breakdown:
0:42 Castlevania Discussion
46:32 Break
47:11 Feedback

Issues covered: games in 1991, the arcade nature of this title, Metroidvania, arcade elements, common approaches to design, making Simon feel heavier and different, remaking Castlevania, the different approaches of other Castlevania games, playing something so old school, learning skills along the way, learning timing, using layers in Mode 7, exploring with some depth, jumping levels and stair climbing, the cool thing you can do with the new hardware, the multiple uses of the whip, powering up the whip, discovering that you can whip the background, teaching moments, enemy design, cursing the bobbing medusa heads, ramping the difficulty on enemies, mixing up enemies by plussing them up, putting all the enemies in the manual, possible sales technique, multi-phase bosses, patterns to detect in their movement, using sprites to lengthen out a spine, fighting the boss mid-level, seeing the boss's health level throughout the level, balancing difficulty, JRPGs, your weapons of choice, using hearts as ammo, the original name Dracula Satanic Castle, satanic panic of the 80s in the US, the animated series, talking about the many entries, the many places this series has gone, a Singing Review, uses for players guides, prodding you to think, developers working with players guides, getting Mew and Mewtwo in Pokemon, Japanese development.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy IV (/II), Civilization 1, Megaman 4, Monkey Island 2, Metroid 2: Samus Returns, Streetfighter 2, Another World/Out of this World, Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, Neverwinter Nights, Road Rash, Tecmo Bowl, Konami, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Contra, Frogger, Pro Evo, Dance Dance Revolution, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, GameBoy Advance/Nintendo DS, Bionic Commando, Indiana Jones, Dungeons and Dragons, Bram Stoker, Netflix, Warren Ellis, Hideo Kojima, Platinum Studios, SNES Classic, MJVogt85, Paranoid Android, Radiohead, Moby, Magnus Carlsson, MYST, Riven, John from Cincinnati, The Wizard and the Princess, Space Quest, King's Quest, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Obduction, Infocom, Sierra, Robyn Miller, Rand Miller, David Wingrove, Dark Horse, The Witcher, Starfighter, Jedi Starfighter, Republic Commando, Fallout 3, Skyrim, The 2nd Quest, Disney, Imagineering, Jonathan Ackley, Chris Pavis, Rob Huebner, The Journeyman Project, Presto Studios, UbiSoft, ScummVM, ResidualVM, Gothic Chocobo, irreverentQ, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Unreal Engine, The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, Lightning Returns.

Next time:
The next three stages

Links:
Myst and Disney

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

Jun 12, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we aren't quite ready to say good-bye to MYST and devote a bonus episode to the 2016 Cyan game Obduction. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A couple of hours for Tim, the whole game for Brett

Issues covered: being down the rabbit-hole for Brett, talking about the opening of Riven, losing the framing of the placed cameras, a game where you can't die, the MYST formula, getting lost without a map, the addition of photographs, having theories and testing them, mechanically consistent, being on a separate track from the rest of game development, technology and design and VR, natural evolution, recreating levels on later technologies, designing around limitations, learning to read the language, adventure games start-up cost, adding fluency as you played FPSes, mouse-look, the odd navigation on a phone, new interface/new game, ways that analog bits are bleeding into the design, no systems in the game, finding MYST Easter Eggs, physically fully rendered puzzles, not always pointing the camera in the right direction, camera and level design, Mew under a truck, saving Aerith, secrets in the age of arcade, closing and opening doors in Cyan games, modern accessibility and having automated animations, having our predecessors lay the groundwork for a later game, what makes a good MYST puzzle, Channelwood and the water pipes, the Selenitic Age, making the games for ourselves, larger teams meaning more eyes, timing puzzles and variety, our next game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: MYST (series), Cyan, Unreal, Riven - The Sequel to MYST, realMYST, Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, Dungeons and Dragons, Super Mario Bros, Minecraft, Little Big Planet, Dreams, Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Arkanoid, Metal Gear Solid, Star Wars, Uncharted, Fallout, Tacoma, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, LucasArts, King's Quest, Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Half-Life, DOOM (1993), Duke Nuke'm 3D, Quake, Morgan Gray, Nick Foster, Gone Home, Nintendo, Switch, Wii, Super Mario Run, Red Faction Guerrilla, Gears of War, MJVogt85, Cory Potomis, Pokemon Red/Blue, Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix, Mortal Kombat 2, Waypoint, Tron, Pac-Man, Burger Time, Food Fight, Dig Dug, Nolan Filter/irreverentQ, Zimmy Finger, Mark Crowe, Diablo, John Romero, Bethesda Game Studios, Jak & Daxter, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania Anniversary Collection, Konami, SNES/NES, Metroid, Symphony of the Night, Radiohead, Moby.

Next time:
The first two levels of Super Castlevania IV

Link:
That Time Some Players Thought Mew Was Under A Truck

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

Jun 5, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we're so lucky to get to talk with Robyn Miller, co-designer of MYST and its artist, composer, and writer as well. We think you'll agree, it's a fascinating discussion. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:40      Interview!
1:06:14 Break
1:06:43 Additional discussion

Issues covered: getting into game development, bringing other interests and skills to bear, drawing a world and following what the world wanted to tell him, the fluidity of working in HyperCard, following where things take you, going to an expo with your product, HyperCard as a precursor to the web, learning that computers would connect together, each machine being isolated, self publishing and having publishers come to you, adding a soundtrack to make a CD-ROM worthwhile, a small number of games, packing in with OEMs, pushing further with MYST into narrative/cinematic/gameplay/interface, the ease of PR when you have a narrative about two brothers, throwing all your influences in like a soup, choosing an island to provide natural barriers, designing for non-linearity, diving into imaginary worlds through role-playing, dropping the mechanics of the tabletop RPGs in favor of story-based games, being into 19th century novels, multiplayer being an ideal, wanting character and story and puzzle all to be communicated together, maturing as developers, putting in doodads because you didn't know better, the order in which worlds were built, evolving the design within development, moving from 2D illustration to 3D modeling, redrawing wireframes in minutes and full frames in hours, turning off all the objects not in the view, seeing into a world for the first time/being the first person in a place, finding a video solution, having QuickTime come along at the right time, pushing the limits of technology and working with its developers, how the music came to be, proving to the publisher that music wouldn't work, wanting only diegetic audio, not wanting the publisher to corrupt the vision, mismatching emotional direction with the player experience, having the soul of an artist, unknowingly trailblazing, finding your way via your passions, a distillation of making a game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Manhole, Spelunx, Captain Osmo, The Book of Atrus, Riven, Zoobreak Productions, Obduction, The Immortal Augustus Gladstone, Rand Miller, HyperCard, Bill Atkinson, Activision, Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, Dungeons & Dragons, Rod Miller, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anton Chekhov, Quicktime, Stratavision, TRON, Chuck Carter, Macromind Director, QuickTime, Broderbund, LucasArts, Sierra, Vangelis, Michael Giacchino, Mark Crowe, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Supergiant Games, Bastion, The Sims, Lightning Returns.

Next time:
A bit of Obduction!

Links:
HyperCard on Computer Chronicles

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

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