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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: September, 2019
Sep 25, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week we turn to the start of our bonus content about DOOM. We look at 1995's added fourth episode "Thy Flesh Consumed" as well as John Romero's 25th anniversary megawad SIGIL. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Thy Flesh Consumed & SIGIL

Podcast breakdown:
0:40 TFC & SIGIL
47:26 Break
47:59 Feedback

Issues covered: shooting a lot of eyes, who worked on what with Thy Flesh Consumed, difficulty level, level design propelling you forward, having to jump gaps by moving fast, open sight lines and being fired upon, more death surfaces, seeing the evolution of level design and discovery of emergent mechanics, having moments of surprise, Brett's rendering issues, the experiments in this game space, playing with expectations and making you feel like you know the level, circling back to the same place, seeing John Romero's style, being able to convey a level from memory in a single sentence, masterful manipulation of geometry, increasing detail and nuance, teaching you about the eye triggers, Baron backstabbing, Tim talks about the level with the three paths with the colored keys, being fully immersed in a level, squeezing every drop of blood from a design stone, being a master of your techniques, feeling a little too agitated, playing with a controller vs a mouse and keyboard, aim assist and magnetism, playing with highest resolutions and hardware, speed of controller games vs mouse & keyboard games, better tools and using DOOM as a learning tool, a lesson from the Pokemon series, the huge reach of the biggest franchise, Nintendo games as exemplars of good design, games we've been inspired by despite not having played much, the granularity of game bits, mental mapping in Will Wright's games, mea culpa mea maxima culpa, playing with a controller vs a mouse with the most recent game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Tim Willits, id Software, Kevin Cloud, John Romero, American McGee, GZDoom, Shawn Green, Hexen, 3D Realms, Daikatana, Nintendo, Switch, XBLA, nickmcco, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, GameCube, N64, JC Porcel, Super Crate Box, Final Fantasy (series), The Sims, Richard Evans, Will Wright, Mark Brown, The Game Maker's Toolkit, GTA III, Matt Ackeret, Apple ][, Atari 2600, The Witcher III, DOOM (2016).

Next time:
DOOM (2016)

Links:
MiniDOOM 2 Trailer

Download link for Mini DOOM2

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

Sep 18, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week we complete the main game in our series on 1993's seminal FPS DOOM. We talk about the level design some more as well as the use of maps and other topics before turning to our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Episode Three: Inferno!

Podcast breakdown:
0:39 Segment 1: Inferno
57:32 Break
58:04 Segment 2: Takeaways

Issues covered: the feel of the new levels as the descent into Hell continues, use of terrain and more Gothic elements, the arc in DOOM II, BSP-ing symbols into the walls, being unclear about landmarks vs puzzles, the Unholy Cathedral and puzzle teleporters, personal pacing then and now, Slough of Despair and the spare room, where we got our BFGs, Brett makes his first Cyberdemon/Baron of Hell mixup and keeps doing it all episode (sorry), contrasting arenas with corridors, comparing Gromesh Mines, BSP improvements, 2D topology and mapping vs fully 3D maps these days, feeling like you can lean on the map, what companies do with maps, underestimating the needs and use of the map, the map as crutch, avoiding blood-locking through good level design, blood-locking and speed, speed as score attack, death animations and audio, the exploding Pinky in alpha, mechanical information conveyed through death feedback, persistent bodies and landmarking, the memory and performance expense of dead bodies in modern 3D shooters, favorite moments, using the chainsaw, punching Barons, the rabbit ending, heads on pikes, lap claps, big steps in first-person level design, story and level design, video games growing up, bringing Hell to Earth, unapologetically being what you are, going over the top, propulsive play, the importance of technology, Tim speaks to the younger generation by bringing up Howard Hughes, being on the bleeding edge, emergent enemy behavior/orthogonal design, simple rules for enemies, simple tools for generating game play, high numbers of enemies, being able to drop an enemy anywhere.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Roald Dahl, Paradise Lost, Sandy Petersen, Dark Forces, Thief, Ultima Underworld, Legend of Zelda (series), Nintendo, Metroid (series), Wolfenstein 3D, id Software, Dungeons & Dragons, Quentin Tarantino, GTA III, The Ramones, Once Upon A Time... in Hollywood, Masters of DOOM, James and Dave Franco, John Carmack, Howard Hughes, Epic/Unreal, Star Wars Republic Commando, Halo, Randy Smith, Bungie, Bethesda Game Studios.

Next time:
Episode 4: Thy Flesh Consumed & SIGIL!

Tracks:
Unholy Cathedral (intro)
Slough of Despair (break)

Links:
Bunny ending

Maybe... Randy Smith talking about emergence

Note:
Dis, in Dante's Inferno, is a City and not a "plains." We regret the error.

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

Sep 11, 2019

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we this week we continue our series on 1993's seminal FPS DOOM. We spend some time especially on level design and the environments and specifically how they feel different from the first, as well as other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Episode two!

Issues covered: figuring out where we actually are, Hell bleeding through, chaotic and asymmetric geometry, non-critical path key use, additional exploration, pace of play then and now, Tim uses the "I-word" on a non-explicit podcast, immersion then and now, speed of play in the 2016 sequel, cover and higher lethality in modern shooters, reasons shooters slowed down, getting use out of smaller amounts of play-time, the authoring of levels then and now, expectations of differing business models, wanting to live in the space for longer, using the keys to get weapons rather than just to get to the exit, communicating change to the player, setting and rules surprises, cosmic horror influence, specialization of level design, holistic differences, teleporter and stair and platform use, where you got your shareware in 1993, Steam collecting data on cards and such vs Quake_Test, simple puzzle, dungeon master influence, using lighting for effect, AI rules, emergent behavior, escalation of clutter from human body parts to demon body parts, knockback, having additional sprites/frames, communicating AI state visually, closing the Pokemon Pandora's Box, diving deep on EVs and IVs and fans finding a way, high degrees of systems plus social equals success?, slimness of Nintendo UI, Nintendo patching glitches out, Marathon on modern systems, pitch-counting your Pokemon battles, areas to run through in games that are okay.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: John Romero, Sandy Petersen, Wolfenstein 3D, Call of Cthulhu, Quake, Half-Life, Tomb of Horrors, Tom Hall, Anachronox, Predator, Splinter Cell, Nintendo, fulltilted, Bard's Tale Remastered, Prey, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Eye of the Beholder, King's Quest, Wizard and the Princess, Pokemon, Gothic Chocobo, Mario Maker 2, Patrick Klepek, Waypoint, Smash Bros, Marathon, Alelph One, Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Daggerfall, Chris Mead, Ben Zaugg, minatorrent, Tomb Raider, Metroid: Samus Returns.

Next time:
The final episode!

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

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