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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, 2022
Sep 28, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Far Cry 2. We talk about the extreme friction of the game, landmarking and open world layout, and touch a little bit on the buddies. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Several more hours

Issues covered: variations on the same song, high degree of friction, a simulation of a place, allowing for authorship within the simulation, clashing of systems, not mattering which side you choose, making your choices matter, not spending your time doing what you want to be doing, running into natural boundaries, playing jazz or the jam band, having to switch up weapons, not having to switch weapons, not quite getting the recipe right/seeing the proof of concept, the noodling before the chord changes, time of information spread in this vs deeper stealth games, not having the clarity of information, leaning more into the power fantasy, running out of resources in the friction, game scale opposing stealth, engaging with the buddy system, buddies personifying ways of improving, losing some buddies, expendable buddies, boosting Japan's quality control, balancing stability and forward momentum in development, the impossibility of keeping your politics out of games, having to have a theory when you are out past what is known, having to make decisions in development, the nonviolent ending, having to feel balance in games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sim City, GTA III, Ghost Recon (series), Metal Gear Solid V or V, Thief, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed (series), Patrick Redding, biostats, W. Edwards Deming, Square Enix, UbiSoft, Sam Thomas, mysterydip, BioShock, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia, "The Blink."

Next time:
More hours/Finish?

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

Sep 14, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Far Cry 2. We talk about the tutorial some more, the perils and pleasures of an open world game, and avoiding being a map game despite having a map. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: casual colonialism, doling out tutorial bits at the right pace, feeling equipped with skills for the game and for the open world, remembering the location, being a game with a map that doesn't feel like a map game, driving feeling dangerous, lack of radar, forcing level design to accommodate lack of map, tangent: how to get money into your PS wallet, having a moment of either terror or excitement over the open world, we've taught you everything you know, having hooks, not knowing what the next story mission, balancing the power level for later, escalating power levels, not knowing how to pursue particular goals, missions equaling upgrades of different types, being able to strategically plan, sanding down the friction of making choices like these, repetitive combat, a good player story generator, a comedy of errors trying to blow up a truck, an ammo cache that killed its guard, fire propagation, hang gliding straight into the ground, getting a new map, having to hunt the needle in the haystack, revisiting SimTown, skeuomorphisms, how to do onboarding with sim games, personification of goals, focusing scale.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Breath of the Wild, The Witcher (series), Kingdom Hearts (series), Unreal (series), GTA III, Halo, PS3, Xbox 360, STALKER, UbiSoft, Assassin's Creed (series), Lord of the Rings (obliquely), Star Wars (obliquely), Splinter Cell (series), Ghost Recon (series), Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, SimTown, mysterydip, Civ 3, Calamity Nolan, Biostats, Johnny Pockets, Total War, X-COM 2, Old World, Jurassic World Evolution 2, Jeff Goldblum, Frontier Developments, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, Zoo Tycoon, Elite: Dangerous, David Braben, Afterlife, Michael Stemmle, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Far Cry 2!

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

Sep 7, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on UbiSoft's 2008 series-establishing classic, Far Cry 2. We set it in its time, and talk a bit about shifting engine wars and attendant publisher/developer drama, before briefly getting into the tutorial. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The Tutorial

Issues covered: the UbiSoft open world formula, picking your UbiSoft ur-game, engine wars, branched engine work, getting into or out of the engine game, the open world first person shooter, a brief overview of Clint Hocking's career, games of 2008, grindhouse games, commitment to the first-person aesthetic, picking your character, setting their games in fictional countries, embracing African conflict, expositional value, setting up the chaotic situation, the diagetics of the game, mercenaries coming in, malarial effects, showing the systems, fire propagation, wishing they'd lean into the politics, disclaiming the team diversity to avoid political, having your cake and eating it too, tending to avoid modern realistic settings as players, the sales of the historical era, video game tourism, presenting variables, the diagetic map, the implicit simulated world and how the games get away from that, the onboarding, performance and enemy count and music, gatekeeping around what's a game, games where the interactivity shines through or justifies the choice to make it a game, putting clues together, simple choices that personalize, accretion effects, moments of calm, taking your decisions forward, being forced to the golden path.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: SimCity, Xbox 360, UbiSoft, Prince of Persia, Assassin's Creed (series), Ghost Recon (series), Watch Dogs (series), Rainbow 6 (series), Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil, Michel Ancel, CryTek, CryEngine, Dungeons & Dragons, Crysis, Dunia Engine, Hunt: Showdown, Lumberyard, id Software, Epic Games, Unreal Championship, Quake 4, Source Engine, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Splinter Cell (series), Gotham Knights, Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Eric Lindstrom, Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow, Republic Commando, Left 4 Dead, GTA IV, MGS 4, Devil May Cry 4, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Alien: Isolation, Rock Band 2, Fable II, Gears of War 2, Little Big Planet, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, Braid, World of Goo, Nintendo Wii, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros: Brawl, Spore, Army of Two, Kane and Lynch, Wet, BGS/Zenimax, Prince of Persia (2008), Half-Life, The Stanley Parable, Call of Duty (series), Megaman 3, Oliver Uv, mysterydip, Castlevania IV, Final Fantasy VI, Will Wright, Ashton Hermann, The Red Strings Club, Deconstructeam, The Witcher III, Gone Home, Firewatch, The Walking Dead, Uncharted 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mass Effect, June, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Far Cry 2

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

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