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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: August, 2019
Aug 28, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week we begin a new series on 1993's seminal FPS DOOM. We talk briefly about the year in games before digging into the game proper. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First Episode!

Issues covered: where the game takes place, adventure games at a good spot, hard drives and CD-ROMs, designing for efficiency, polar opposite of rendering presentation from MYST, first-person perspectives, tone and subject matter, how each host met up with the game, Brett's hoarding problem, "things have changed," shareware model, how you could write from/to a disk, "free to play," levels becoming more organic, pushing technology, avoiding drawing pixels multiple times, simplicity of rooms and limited enemies, having a better sense of place, adding a map (which ten years before would have been the game), moving in the map, comparing goals of different FPSes, abstract levels vs grounded ones, trying to find the first-person formula and simplifying down, limited enemy types in the first episode, dealing with enemies in a mix, hearing before you see, high school aesthetic, the whole aesthetic in the cover, gore, leaning into what your technology can do, contrasting themes in first-person games, falling into the game, getting your skills back, developing your vocabulary, we totally get the dates wrong on a couple games, playing with a mouse and keyboard vs sticks, speed speed speed, weird choices for sprites, the pacing of the intro, having a horror intro the overshadows, organic bits of design, being able to see across spaces, feeling exploratory, having a sense of place through vistas, addressing an elephant in the room, professionalism in development, Blast Processing, a faster memory pipeline, design beating technology, Riven and Metroidvania, looking across spaces to an exit and being spit out near it later, stat experience and Pokemon (as well as other stat stuff), players figuring stuff out, the game making an argument to you, how does a player reason about a thing and letting a player intend to do a thing, non-exposed systems, Tim guesses who is who.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Day of the Tentacle, MYST, Link's Awakening, Syndicate, Mortal Kombat II, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Masters of Orion, The 7th Guest, Eye of the Beholder, Ultima VII, Wizardry (series), Dark Forces, LucasArts, Chris Corry, Commander Keen, Castle Wolfenstein, Space Quest, Daron Stinnett, Andrew Kirmse, George Lucas, Star Wars, Matt Tateishi, Quake, Dune 2000, Marathon, System Shock, Ultima Underworld, Diablo, Beavis & Butthead, Frank Frazetta, Mysterious Island, Marvel, DC, Spider-Man, Batman, Mario (series), Thief, Nick Foster, Outlaws, Skyrim, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, DOOM (2016), Halo Infinite, 343 Industries, Fallout 4, Sam Thomas, SNES, SEGA, Super Mario Kart, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy, Dreamcast, Saturn, PlayStation, Steve Race, Walker Ferrell, Castlevania, GoldenEye 007, Nier: Automata, Riven, FF6, EarthBound, Chrono Trigger, Pokemon, Gothic Chocobo, Shigeru Ohmori, SimCity, Nintendo Power, World of Warcraft, Rich Davis, Derek Achoy/Speakyclean, Jackbox.

Next time:
Second Episode!

Links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlulSyBI2aY

Formulae:
Change in Stat = floor{ min{ ceiling[ sqrt(Stat Exp.) ], 255} * Level / 400 }

Correction:
Steve Race was the director of development for Sony America, not its President. He left three months or so after his announcement at E3 1995. The Sega Saturn was $399, and the PlayStation debuted at $299.


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

Aug 21, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week the podcast does something a little bit different and takes a quick side-turn into the SNES Classic. After playing two games off-cam and two games on, the hosts talk about each game in turn. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A bit of a number of SNES Classic Games

Issues covered: the difficulty of Contra games, old school punishing difficulty, power-ups, memorization, eating quarters, shooters and brawlers, reflex-based games, playing on d-pads, putt-putt golf, unlocking where the hole is, more interactions than golf, politics and interfering with other players, screen-watching and Kirby's Dream Course, bards and paladins, physics and ricochet prediction, playing defensively, having a number of shots before being tired, forward feedback loop, the other Kirby game on the Classic, discussion of various other consoles of the time, down the rabbit hole of other consoles of the time, seeing the depth of fighting games right there on the screen, more quarter plugging, move discovery, the beauty of Street Fighter IV, fighting game sticks and cheating, dabbling in fighting games, knowing you could systematically improve, labor practices, story modes in fighting games, covering e-sports and fighting games, raising your game to a higher level of play through muscle memory, obsession, EVO, Nintendo being tentative about their fighting games, lack of player support, racing games and digital control time, casual racing games that you can get good at, solo joy-con play, getting demolished, getting better at racing games over time, rubber-banding and other balancing, getting better power-ups in the back, balancing difficulty dynamically, trying to incorporate both a child and a parent, clearing up Brett's confusion about the time that has elapsed between Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night, Castlevania in the future, the rug that looks like the Himalayas, getting tons of upgrades to change the feel of a Metroidvania, the pure moment-to-moment enjoyment in Castlevania, first-person retreading spaces, completion and percentages, having a parry in Return of Samus, learning by failure, being constantly focused, appreciating just moving your character around, solving various additional problems, twin-stick control, more inviting combat, a bug in TR Anniversary revealed, collecting souls and shards, being able to grind for what you like, having the ability to customize Pokemon abilities, using crafting to better ends, unavailability of Castlevania DS games, chipset emulation, what we're playing next.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Street Fighter II, Super Mario Kart, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Contra III: The Alien Wars, PS2, Andrew Kirmse, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Xbox 360 controller, Bloodstained, Nintendo Switch, Kirby's Dream Course, Marble Madness, Super Mario World, Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VI/III, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Metal Gear (series), Intellivision, Dungeons & Dragons, Shamus, Adventure, Street Fighter movie, Mortal Kombat (series), Crystal Dynamics, Tekken Tag Tournament, Battle Area Toshinden, Virtua Fighter, Soulcalibur, NetherRealm Studios, Injustice (series), Maddy Myers, Kotaku Splitscreen, Compete, Smash (series), Mario Party (series), Mario Maker, Nintendo DS, Steve Ash, Chris Klie, Daron Stinnett, Forza, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Kart 8, Nintendo Wii, Donkey Kong Country, Secret of Mana, Super Mario Galaxy, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, Pokemon: Red/Blue, Gothic Chocobo, Dave Wisecarver, Metroid Prime, Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Return of Samus, Dark Souls, Dead Cells, Platinum, Bayonetta, Halo, Skyrim, Twilight Princess, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Nolan Filter/irreventQ, Castlevania 64, Portrait of Ruin, Order of Ecclesia, Giant Bomb, Konami, Virtual Console, Koji Igarashi, Shenmue, Seaman, DOOM, Bethesda, John Romero, Sigil, DOOM Eternal, Half-Life, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Thief, Dark Forces, Ultima Underworld.

Note:
Brett indeed also played Earthbound on the SNES Classic but forgot in the heat of podcasting

Next time:
DOOM (Whole first episode)

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

Aug 14, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week take a little time to talk about Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, in our bonus episode for the series. We talk about how much of a Castlevania game it is as well as a number of other topics in a free-flowing discussion. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first few hours

Issues covered: being pierced by shards, feeling the beat, blood pools, the many similarities with Castlevania: SOTN, introducing characters and having a ton of little conversations with them, having quests and such, crafting and other additions, Kickstarter history of the project, the simple mechanics of the quest system, upsides to the shards and powers and farming, permanent buffs from eating food the first, the prime factorization of Todd's hair cut curse, mastery bars for button sequenced techniques, having to replay bosses and learn their patterns, powering lots of things up, adding different layouts of equipment, whether the bosses measure up, using the first boss to teach you to read the attacks, the transition to 3D, dynamic camera, 3D vs pixel-perfect collision, getting stuck on collision simplifications, not being as clear with collision, splitting attention in projectile-based Metroidvanias, touching on the show, bringing in characters and setting a new tone, consistency of voice work, David Hayter's performance, adding the compendium, switching to 3D for the main series and maybe keeping with the pixel art, we noodle around the Zangetsu talk and are wrong about many things, Brett's Book Recommendation, some comparisons between Dark Souls and Castlevania, styles of RPG influence, enemy scale, getting more out of Symphony of the Night than your friends, cultural issues and localization and a more global audience, requiring a good writer for translation, providing for fan translation in the indie space, the difference between trying different abilities in Pokemon vs Diablo, acquisition costs for spells in Diablo vs Pokemon, combos vs motions with respect to button... sequences, gamer use of combo vs dev use.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Koji Igarashi, DeBarge, Rhythm of the Night, Unreal Engine, Gothic Chocobo, Sony, Shenmue, World of Warcraft, Dark Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Fez, David Hayter, Shadow Complex, Samus Returns, MGS V (or V), Devil May Cry, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton, Infocom, Deadline, Witness, josh (if that is his real name), Hidetaka Miyazaki, Alex Neuse, Halo 5 / Infinite, RĂ´mulo Santos, Pokemon, Monster Hunter (series), Le Ton Beau de Marot, Gone Home, Tacoma, Shawn, Diablo, clorf, Street Fighter, Kirby Dream Course.

Next time:
Catching up on the mail bag at last

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

Aug 7, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week complete our Castlevania discussion with the beloved PlayStation classic. We talk about actually finishing the game, the size and scope of the thing, character movement, enemy variety, and a host of other topics including our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:38 Castlevania SOTN discussion
52:30 Break
53:07 Takeaways and Feedback

Issues covered: the end dialog of a game this gothic and melodramatic, the Japanese lens, localization in the 90s, various early memes, ideogram languages and translating into small amounts of space, translation as an art, the reward for getting a greater percentage of the game, finding your way to the inverted castle, having a 3D bias, following industry trends, Tim's mea culpa, the fully inverted castle and how big it is, whole new enemies and placements, wondering how they came to invert the castle and make the changes they did, the nightmare of mirroring or copying geometry, having the transformation buttons easily accessible, mapping where the bosses show up and whether there are more, Alucard and being both a hero and a vampire, not being familiar with these games, familiars and their various identities, challenging yourself to play different ways, the various sub-weapons, comparisons to Metroid, fitting together sprites for larger characters, managing pixel density, the availability of Redbook audio on a PlayStation, making changes in the CD hallways, getting the most out of memory, precise character animation, avoiding stun lock and when you are committed to a move, the huge space of the RPG elements, giving a look at Richter, gothic theming, video games are Hawaiian shirts, in Transylvania it's always the 15th century, how much of it is there is and player choice, wanting the player to miss stuff, exploration in space and systems, the ability to miss the big change, loving the bosses, seeing bosses again and in number, big bosses, committing to movements, grounding the character to match the groundedness of the space, motion blur on the character, full-screen effects, a first meetup for the podcast, emulation QoL improvements and auto-attacks, changing the feel of a game with QoL improvements, playing the unimproved Dragon's Dogma, leaning on fast travel, licensed titles, living in the worlds others have created, managing fan expectations, lack of consistent voices, reaching niche markets, using the Star Wars IP and bringing it to genres, Brett identifies his perfect license.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Zero Wing, Resident Evil, Starfighter (series), Douglas Hofstadter, Le Ton Beau de Marot, Siskel & Ebert, Metroid (series), Stranger Things (obliquely), Alex Neuse, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy Tactics, Tomb Raider, LucasArts, Bob Dylan, Grim Fandango, Aliens, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Ray Harryhausen, God of War (series), PlayStation/Xbox, Dead Cells, Super Mario World, Dark Souls, Legend of Zelda (series), Diablo, Metal Gear (series), Hal Barwood, Universal Monsters, Edgar Allan Poe, Metal Gear Solid, Thief, Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Ueda, Ico, Hideteka Miyazaki, Contra, SNES Classic, Devil May Cry, Bloodstained, Koji Igarashi, Warren Linam-Church, Chrono Trigger, MYST, Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XII, Dragon's Dogma, The Witcher III, Elder Scrolls (series), Morrowind, Ashton Herrmann, Xbox 360/Arcade, Shadow Complex, Chair Entertainment, Epic Games, Gothic Chocobo, Hollow Knight, Star Wars, Daron Stinnett, Justin Chin, Matt Tateishi, Dark Forces, EA, Lord of the Rings, James Bond, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Fallout, No Mutants Allowed, Wasteland 2, TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Ingrid Bergman, Konami.

Next time:
Some of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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

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