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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: December, 2021
Dec 29, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we finish our series on Halo: Combat Evolved. We talk about some of the major story beats here towards the end, the repetitive aspects good and bad, letting the fights play out in front of you, music, and more! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Issues covered: why is the Flood on Halo, a floor wax and a dessert topping, how do you prevent people from visiting dangerous places, proper noun series, wiping the galaxy of food, Sentinels working for and against you, the deeper meaning of Halo and religious resonance, dealing with big archetypes and lending timelessness, explaining/contextualizing as you move on, losing the mythic, having to get Keyes's authorization codes, using the enemies against one another, engaging and becoming the focus, detecting when the player should be the focus of attention, sandboxes and thinking you can do more than you actually can, stealth and not for Halo, the repetition of the Library, the strength of the original graphics, the golden triangle, the dance of combat and the depth of multiplayer, switching grenade types, tactical choices behind weapons for the enemy types you'll fight, going out and returning to the Pillar of Autumn, feeling different if you have vertical movement, the confusion of the engineering space, having to find the armory, finishing the game co-op, Brett's many failures, requiring skill checks along the way to lead you to the challenge, art/architecture getting in the way, payouts getting drowned out by frustration, time pressure, high skill ceiling, smoothing out the experience, orchestral accompaniment, combining disparate musical elements, the impact of music, the theme song matching the character, setting tone and mood with the Flood themes, pairing opposites, conservative plus primal.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Destiny, Portal 2, Stephen Merchant, Wesley, Star Wars, Legend of Zelda (series), Bruce Willis, Looper, Call of Duty (series), Medal of Honor (series), DOOM (1993), Resident Evil 4, Star Trek, Andrew Kirmse, Skyrim, Death Stranding, Marty O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, John Williams, Indiana Jones, ET, Harry Potter, Nintendo, Myth, Resident Evil VII/Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
A little bit of Infinite

Errata:
Brett realizes it's not a beholder but a cacodaemon in DOOM, but has D&D on the brain. We regret the error.

Also, the Covenant ship is the Truth and Reconciliation.

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

Dec 22, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Halo: Combat Evolved. We talk vehicles, architecture, lore, and level design before turning to feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the Library!

Issues covered: the ungainly Marine vehicles vs the sleek Covenant vehicles, enjoying the shooting quite a bit, the driving model of the Warthog, camera-based driving, driving into walls and off edges, co-op driving, the freedom of driving in the sandboxes, checkpointing based on logic vs location, promoting experimentation, having the feel of an RTS and having the freedom to move around, component-based mix and match, watching an RTS fight from both sides, having the ability to use the damage model to your advantage, having two guns and not constantly refilling just one or two weapons, knowing what weapons you can pick up, orthogonal weapon design, high-level play, the feeling of the different difficulty levels, looking at the original artwork, space Egyptians, beton brut, building from an architectural principle, lower noise in the original art, the huge sense of scale, the story being told in a particular way, not wanting the lore to take precedence, archetypes and mystery, liking a reboot, losing your bearings from the repeated nature of the spaces, the granularity of its environmental modules, kitbashing in other games, differentiating through enemy mixes, Halo being best as a horror game, the Covenant had a point!, suddenly having a shotgun, AR tie-ins fueled by Doritos and presented by Mountain Dew, how Halo holds up, not loving the horror, loving the horror.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Andrew Kirmse, Myth, Baldur's Gate, Triple Click podcast, DOOM (1993), John Romero, Jaime Griesemer, Mark Garcia, Stargate, James Cameron, Aliens, Nic Bouvier, GoldenEye, Star Wars, RA Salvatore, Bungie, Destiny, Ridley Scott, Prometheus, Resident Evil (series), Final Fantasy (series), Witcher (series), Mario (series), Mike Wu, Skyrim, Fallout (series), Bethesda Game Studios, Flood/They Might Be Giants, Polygon, Nolan Filter, Paranormal Activity, Pokemon Go, 7-11 Presents Halo 4: King of the Hill Fueled by Mountain Dew, Geoff Keighley, Tim, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
Finish the game!

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

Dec 15, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series about Halo: Combat Evolved, Bungie's seminal 2001 FPS on the Xbox. We set it in time, discuss its development history, and delve into tutorialization. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to rescuing Keyes on the Truth & Reconciliation

Issues covered: 2001 in games, lull in PC shooters that year, Bungie history, the astonishing development, seeing the migration in the game from the units on the battlefield, betting big, other shooters on consoles, the unexpected internal hit at Microsoft, Oni's complex combat system, the seminal paper on first-person controls, aim acceleration, the big impact of being purchased, the audacity of a PC-focused developer muscling into the market, the library advantage of Sony, lack of distinguishing system sellers, the sole mascot, the enterprise/application/services mentality, the alienation of PC games, DirectX as a unifying force, friends lists and achievements, Xbox Live, politics derailing JSF being the Xbox Live launch title, orthogonal approaches like GamePass, unthawing the Chief, the usability lab, just asking you to look to establish preferences, Technical Requirements Checklist/Technical Checklist of Requirements, being rebellious, a lot of mysteries right at the beginning, sequences for health/shields, giving context, having a motion tracker, Covenant mirroring you vs grunts that don't, low morale pests, clear and different silhouettes, target prioritization, dropping the weapons they carry and enabling different decisions, being able to swap to the old graphics, hating our wokeness, dynamic ability and missability of treasure stuff in RE4, being a bit obscure, survival horror working against scouring an area, possibility of inviting a critic, indie games, the age difference between Leon and Ashley (vs the apparent difference), aging the protagonist towards your own age.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: GTA III, Silent Hill 2, Ico, Civ III, Anachronox, Animal Crossing, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Devil May Cry, MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, Super Smash Melee, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, Jak & Daxter, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Game Boy Advance, Advance Wars, Max Payne, Black & White, Dark Age of Camelot, Baldur's Gate II, Painkiller, DOOM 3, World of Warcraft, Everquest II, Asheron's Call, Bungie, Marathon (series), Myth (series), Mumbo Jumbo, Take Two Interactive, Apple, MacWorld, Microsoft, Ed Fries, Oni, Republic Commando, Starfighter (series), GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Rare, Jason Jones, id Software, Epic Megagames, PlayStation, Forza, Brute Force, MechAssault, George Lucas, Bill Gates, Nintendo, Sega, Dreamcast, Star Wars, Geoff Jones, Medal of Honor, Saber Interactive, 343 Industries, Troy Mashburn, Karl Popper, Resident Evil 4, Zachary Crownover, Nick Miller, Limited Run Games, Indie Game: The Movie, Suikoden 2, Jason Schreier, MinnMax, Rebel FM, Undertale, Braid, Call of Duty (series), This War of Mine, 11bit Studios, Ben Zaugg, Resident Evil VII, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More!

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

Dec 8, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this add a bonus to our series on Resident Evil 4 by taking a look at Resident Evil Village. We talk about the bit of the game we played, some of the things that come with first-person and realistic rendering, and then turn to some feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first couple hours

Issues covered: the entrancing Lady Dimitrescu, looking forward to playing more over the break, the very different storybook introduction, whether these games are a continuation, building on things others have been doing, the way photorealism falls into an uncanny valley from even props, the way older games signify what is interactable, feeling like you're in a vision mode, knowing the baselines from your initial experience, the acceptability of something rundown, a modern update of RE4, "why does this keep happening to me," wanting to know who you are, being a cipher should maybe go all the way, age-appropriate character delivery device, the over-the-top murder of Mia, the impressive engine they are using, good claustrophobic audio and camera design, finding your sweet spot, slowing in ADS, good resource balancing, a single enemy being terrifying, the creepy guy who is like Mendez and being transported with the ringing of the bell, the systemic daughters that can be defeated in specific ways but short-term dealt with, the slower pacing, doing less with more, prioritizing the right things/focusing on the right stuff, survival horror and working through dark stuff safely, the game you had in your memory, how a game is set against the background of other games you're playing, how we deal with things that are pretty gross, calling it out, needing to be better, being open to perspectives, listening.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Calamity Nolan, Metal Gear Solid, Inside, Limbo, Last of Us 2, Gone Home, Dear Esther, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, What Remains of Edith Finch, P.T., Metal Gear (series), Half-Life, Alien: Isolation, Monster Hunter World, Capcom, Artimage, God of War (2018), Sasha Visari/Truffles Mochacchino, Wii, Ratchet & Clank, BioShock, Ocarina of Time, Hitman 2, Trespasser, Reed Knight, Seamus Blackley, JJ, Karl Popper, RockStar, GTA III, Activision/Blizzard, Chris Corry, Xbox Live, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
???

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

Dec 1, 2021

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Resident Evil 4. We talk about various set pieces at the end, a bit about ammo types and balance, and of course, our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Issues covered: having more cutscenes and quotable lines, set piece stuff that reminds you of other series, tying back to the series, parallels with Metal Gear Solid, being campy vs leaning into camp, new enemy types, whether an enemy was skippable, feeling resource poor, weapon choices, conserving resources as much as you can, losing resources to being unable to line up enemies, making ammo more powerful via upgrades, killing parasites with flash grenades, whether resource constraints are balanced for all players dynamically, leaning more heavily on QTEs, replacing mechanics with QTEs, forcing exposition, camera authoring, uninteresting skill challenges, Ashley driving and the rail-shooting, being more action-y than survival horror, wish fulfillment/power fantasy, where you can kill enemies, Krauser and backstory, leaning on prior character knowledge, feeling like the Saddler battle doesn't pay off, not having the right location, the eye in the mouth, the series going darker, replaying the jetski scene again and again, controller problems, planned obsolescence, the rainbow proposition, sturdier controllers, credits story time, ending with a bit of a whimper, Mike we hardly knew ya, Brett's Book Recommendations, the commitment to design tension, the pacing of combat, linear macro design with arena sections, agency in level flow, the AI states and how they work everywhere, the great balancing across the whole game, balancing a game you can't change, pushing your game further but not too far, adding the right things and leaving the right things behind.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metal Gear Solid, Konami, Capcom, Die Hard (obliquely), Killer 7, Grasshopper Interactive, Suda51, Fatal Frame, Hideo Kojima, Dark Souls, 28 Days Later, Gamecube, PS4, Nintendo, Deus Ex, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic, Julian Gollop, X-COM, Soren Johnson, Civilization III, Control, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Good question! Thought you might ask!

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

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