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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: October, 2023
Oct 18, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin our annual spooky series in a little place called Bright Falls, with Remedy's 2010 horror adventure Alan Wake. We place the game in its time a bit (not that long ago) and talk about how that first episode presents itself. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Episode 1

Issues covered: reviewing our spooky season, feeling like a 2010 game, the Alan Wake DLC for Control, hard to compare with other developers, doubling down on a hook, connecting their games together, featuring the preoccupations of one writer, reviewing 2010, an open world game, systemic survival games, thinking about some open horror games, empowerment and lack of dread, being close to a visual narrative, stitching together narrative, simple combat, graphic novel treatments and tv treatments, iterating on what they do well, bullet time, theming around narrative, making you a little unsettled, thin interactivity, leaning on Stephen King, the Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks connection, the early ages of narrative design and adding writing, pacing out in an open world version, cross-pollination, licensed music, the diner scene, what is reality, too many puzzle boxes, not worrying about the threads too much, the Riddler writes in, Brett's Arkham City Riddler progress, having a controller for the first time, the mouse and the flash-in-the-pan, a great first controller game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Karl Stewart, Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil (series), Silent Hill 2, Dead Space, Eternal Darkness, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Remedy Entertainment, Max Payne (series), Quantum Break, Control, Sam Lake, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, X-Files, Twin Peaks, House of Leaves, Bioshock 2, God of War III, Mass Effect 2, Starcraft 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Just Cause 2, Fable III, Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2, Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas, Limbo, Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra, Deadly Premonition, Epic Mickey, Darksiders, AC: Brotherhood, MGS: Peacewalker, PSP, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, The Long Dark, Evil Within (series), idTech, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Shenmue, Stephen King, The Shining, Misery, Blue Velvet, Dean Stockwell, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Microsoft Studios, The Coconut Song, Reservoir Dogs, Stuck in the Middle with You, Practical Magic, LOST, S., Doug Dorst, American Nightmare, Calamity Nolan, Geoff, Mark Hamill, LucasArts, LodeRunner, DOOM (1993), Quake, Ken Schoemake, SSX, Tony Hawk Pro Skater (series), Final Fantasy IX, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Episodes 2 and 3? Maybe also 4? We'll see

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

Oct 11, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we add an interview to our series on Batman: Arkham Asylum. Karl Stewart, Director of Marketing for Eidos at the time joins us to talk about the importance of the role and how it contributes to a product's success. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:54 Interview
1:03:18 Break
1:03:51 Outro

Issues covered: a full year, the early history of Karl, drawing anatomy, getting the fundamentals of brand and retail, listening to the team and developing the language and brand, breaking the assembly line, blurring the line between team and publisher, differentiating different types of creative director, developing trust, the usual separation of the two, how the marketing tells a story, translation without the input of creators, avoiding games that were moved too quickly, bringing confidence to the team, showing the publisher what they've got, creating a bond with the studio, publisher working with studio more closely, the superhero stigma, seeing the playable demo, the game influencing the brand, changing how people think about superhero games, maybe giving it back and arguing against, getting two covers, canning a Dark Knight game, discussing and selecting a logo, wondering about an opportunity, moving floors, controlling social from the studio, building a studio-centric model, working in the same world, handing your teenager over, having a push as a team for marketing, working to create the brand identity, going down the rabbit hole, taking a big expense, an Asylum ARG, challenging what we do, going different with the logo, a press event on Alcatraz, a ghost story, being immortalized, stuck in a cell, struggling to get marketing on board, bombing out Washington DC, everything is intentional, making a character relevant again, collaborating with other people and mentioning them by name.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Merchant Retail Group, Signature Brand Inc, Eidos, Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics, Petrel Marketing, Pure Imagination Studios, BAFTA, Thunder Child, 124, IGN, Tomb Raider (series), Lara Croft (Guardian of Light), ZX Spectrum, John Lasseter, James Song, Bob Lindsey, IO Interactive, LEGO, Bionicle, Ford, Age of Conan, Jamie Walker, Sefton Hill, Urban Chaos, Unreal, Phil Rogers, Andrew Reiner, Andy McNamara, Warner Bros, Rob Dyer, Loony Tunes, 300, Lee Singleton, Mini Ninjas, Battle Station Pacific, Jurgen Goeldner, Nathan Burlow, Matt Geyer, Remi Sklar, Carlos D'anda, Insomniac, Darell Gallagher, Rockstar, GTA, Tim Miller, Blur, Noah Hughes, Meagan Marie, Lars Winkler, Janet Swallow, LucasArts, Todd Howard, Phil Rogers, Yoichi Wada, Rich Briggs, Halo, I Love Bees, Lee Singleton, Trevor Burrows, Sarah Hoeksma, Philip Ser, Geoff Keighley, Spike TV, Star Wars, Republic Commando, Chris Williams, Bethesda Game Studios, Pete Hines, Fallout, Dr Dre Beats, Batman Begins, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Note: Apologies if I misattributed any names cited in this episode. There were many of them, often only with a firs tname, and tracking them down was quite a project. (Even so, I know I missed a couple.)

Next time:
Spooky Season Game

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

Oct 4, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Batman: Arkham Asylum, the breakout hit for Rocksteady. We talk about the final villains of the game and then turn to 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: quotes, getting back to the Scarecrow, a digression to other games in the series and how they treat the Joker relationship, Batman v Superman, the usefulness of constraints, a solid boss area for Croc, good audio/haunted house, turning on a dime, getting Batman and his preparedness, horror elements, taking place in one night, the plant boss, the everpresent boss, the weirdness of the party, the 'roided out models, managing the goons and using the batclaw, maximum Batman, a tighter City, fawning over the suit, saying yes to too many things, becoming the one game, where do you take the Batman/superhero, Batman!, having some distance between the player and the character, making collectibles really Batman, genre hybridization, made by people who love games, freeflow combat and guiding Batman, the importance of constraints, redesigning Batman's universe, getting released from the Asylum. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Hitman: Blood Money, Eternal Darkness, God of War, Resident Evil, Metroid Prime, Nintendo, BioShock, Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Belmont, LostLake, Majora's Mask, Telltale, Spider-man, Wolverine, Black Panther, Christopher Nolan, Tomb Raider, Star Wars, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
TBA!

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

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