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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: November, 2021
Nov 24, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Resident Evil 4. We take a little sidestep into the things that aren't mentioned in the manual, and then work through Chapter 4. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the end of Ch 4!

Issues covered: things we didn't notice about the game, target practice, going to apparent side tracks first, extending play to try to slow trade-in, collectibles, gacha mechanics, needing to enjoy the core thing, a precursor to lootboxes, expanding to other types of players, ways to expand the mechanics, upgrading treasures, having the nagging idea that you might need to go back, hidden mechanic that extends play, adding discovery, Eastern vs Western design philosophies, misreading the thing they wanted from the El Gigantes, the dragon room, having to come back to a side room, leaving Ashley behind, the layers of history of Europe vs Japan, looking for locations and ideas that can support a lot of varied fictional, differences between systems and level design and parallels with programming, the creature that seems unkillable, being unable to read the boss' states, the Salazar bot and Salazar as an enemy (versus others), the mine car section and its tensions, failing the QTE at the end, wanting an indication that a QTE is coming, feeling unfair, Brett makes a plan, the problem with setpieces, matching expectations, insta-killed by being grabbed by a lava gigante, dropping barrels on your enemies, fighting in close quarters, being absorbed into a giant plant, jumping down to avoid QTEs, turning and running and fighting the design, Your Princess is in another castle, giving a little bit of thanks.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Shenmue, Arkham Asylum, Metal Gear (series), Dark Souls, Demon's Souls, Assassin's Creed, Legend of Zelda (series), Arkane, Dishonored (series), Prey, Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Ico, Dragon's Lair, Republic Commando, God of War, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Donkey Kong, The Thing, Control, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia, Temple of Doom.

Next time:
Finish the game!

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Nov 17, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Resident Evil 4. We talk about the ecology of the monsters, defense sequences, and bobbing and weaving. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the end of 3-4

Issues covered: sagacity and gardens, finding the PS4 to be a slightly easier platform, the enemy count, the easier tram ride as a setpiece, running out of ammo in the town on replay, being thoughtful of ammo use and switching to the knife, the suplex, the retinal scanner, Mendez taking the stylized symbol shape, the ecology of the parasite, the dev-evolution of the parasites, feeling like a cohesive setting, a place that used to be a place, Saddler's insectoid form under the robes and his cosmic horror staff, the creep Salazar, gunning and running, taking advantage of AI slowness, higher breeds of hybrids, using the sandbox in interesting ways, having to defend Ashley when separated, having the final exam with Ashley and changing up the challenges, Brett discovers that Tim didn't get the turret gunner, getting a lot out of spaces, the back and forth with Ada Wong, localization issues, another test of the player, Ashley's contextual attacks, the camera closing in and Ashley sticking super close, avoiding the hard thing, noticing the weirdness, poor localization choices, investing in decisions you make (especially when it comes to cultural sensitivity), justifying the investment, othering and foreignness, screaming at Leon, playing RE4 more as a strategy game, pacing and a strategic spectrum, using games to do games stuff.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: PS4, Zach, Dungeons & Dragons, James Bond, Alien, Benjamin Button, Tomorrow Never Dies, Michelle Yeoh, Kumail Nanjiani, Call of Duty, David Cage, Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Max, Guillermo del Toro, Akira Kurosawa, Ghosts of Tsushima, The Seven Samurai, Sony, Stephen, Xbox, X-COM, Alien: Isolation, DOOM (1993), Control, Alan Wake, Reed Knight, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
All of Ch 4

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Nov 10, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Resident Evil 4. We talk about the new horror in the game, our systematic companion and the other NPC, look at the choice of paths, and then take the tram. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
To Chapter 3

Issues covered: remembering the game, recovering the map, El Gigante reveal, stabbing the creature in the back, getting to no health but being allowed to recover, taking big swings early, foreshadowing traps and the dog, the systematic companion, the church and navigating to Ashley, the quality of the puzzles and being more grounded, the emergence of the Las Plages virus, introducing the enemies, reuse of gameplay objects in the siege, ugh-inducing achievement names, losing Ashley to the Gigante, the many ways Ashley interacts with the game, mechanical/narrative consonance, being introduced to interactions before you have Ashley to interact with them, being able to plan and having accommodations for the plan and executing the plan, maximizing the amount of play you can get from a space, having an apparent plan but being unable to pay it off because of camera movement, changing the camera to be lower in the El Gigante fights, the difficulty of the tram section, the accuracy of the Wii version, another potential way to play BioShock, the soft way BioShock reinforces whether you should deal with the Little Sisters, systems and endings, the interconnectedness of RE4, modality of fire and move at the same time being key to the pacing, finding all the little things in a game you love, tapping A once or twice for slow or fast doors, returning to Ordinary,

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Zachary, God of War, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Leon: The Professional, DayOfTheDan, The Lonely Island, Andy Samberg, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Mark Garcia, BioShock, Dishonored II, Wildermyth, Janine Hawkins, Walker Farrell, David Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years, Zachary Crownover, Sam, Grim Fandango, Silent Hill, Control, God of War (2018), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
More RE4!

Links:
"Play" in evolutionary science

Death animations in RE4

Sam Thomas's RE4RL game and trailer

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Nov 3, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Resident Evil 4. We talk a bit about the modern mechanics it introduces to the series and consider how it maintains its balance despite it. And, of course, we take a peaceful boat ride across a lake. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up past the lake

Issues covered: quoting the merchant, how the chain saw Ganado appears in the opening section, approaching the town in a particular way, bottlenecking, the dynamism of the enemies, knifing enemies, integrating the merchant into play, art object collection and the economy, trends in 2005, player agency not working against survival horror, the risk of breaking your economy, wondering if they tune for money drops, wanting to find all the things, tuning dynamic difficulty, navigation puzzles, paths to be able to run away, the canyon area, the ups and downs of the series, excellent and non-excellent helicopter rides, QTEs and non-repeatability, maybe being generous in the remaster, attracting you to the collectible, the peasants just farming, keeping performance up with lots of characters, not using tons of tricky spawning, film grain look plus feeling color graded, the lake creature being a cryptid and not just a big alligator, having more characters, introduction of Ada Wong, the scale of the first big monster feeling so overwhelming, getting tossed from the boat in the lake, upgrading weapons and carrying a lot of grenades, are guns worth more after being upgraded?, obsolete upgrades, ideology and abstraction, how the DLC recontextualizes BioShock Infinite, maybe giving BioShock too much credit for its themes, are there horror games that fill us with dread, being scared at a young age, psychological horror getting to you, the importance of audio, power dynamics and increasing tension.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Zachary, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Rage, id Software, Designers Notebook, Left 4 Dead, God of War, Lord of the Rings, Devil May Cry, Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tim, BioShock, Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Message, Baron/Daniel, Tanner, Fatal Frame/Project Zero, WiiU, PT, Alien: Isolation, The Exorcist, Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion, Minecraft, Valheim, Dragon Quest Builders, Control, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Find out on Twitter, maybe, if I remember :)

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

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