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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: 2024
Feb 21, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series of one-off episodes about games that featured rotoscoping, turning to 1989's Prince of Persia. We set it in its time and discuss its publisher and author before talking about the game proper. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
To levels 4 (Tim) and 8 (Brett)

Issues covered: the series hook, games from 1989, rotoscoping, similarities to Tomb Raider, tiles and metrics, a more systemic/discretized game, precision and replay, figuring out the level enough to know where to save, that speedrunning feeling, do you ever wish you could rewind time, requiring more game due to mechanics, having to learn the whole game, the feeling of running and jumping, the tension of animation and input, multiple inputs, the intertwining of animation and design, the feeling of swashbuckling, the great feeling, action as character and commitment, wondering how many people finished the game, the punishing feeling, checkpointing, punch the eagle, the great feel of parrying, pushing through the enemies, tells, the approaches of different guards, cinematic combat, difficulty in text adventures and player appeal, chipping away at knowledge, adding drama, resources and the doppelganger, level design and reuse, animating bits of the world, his books, mixing up the skeleton.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Another World, Jordan Mechner, Broderbund Software, Populous, Game Boy, Super Mario Land, Tetris, Ghosts and Goblins, Sega, Golden Axe, Shinobi, SimCiy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ultima (series), Star Trek, Final Fantasy II, Castlevania III, Print Shop, Choplifter, Karateka, Lode Runner, Hypercard, The Last Express, Agatha Christie, Tomb Raider, Triple Click, Plague Tale: Innocence, Dark Souls, Jamie Griesemer, Halo, Mario 64, 1001 Arabian Nights, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Errol Flynn, Indiana Jones, Civilization, Robin Hood, Captain Blood, Daffy Duck, MegaMan (series), Kirk Hamilton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Final Fantasy VI, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Another rotoscoped classic

Links:
Making Prince of Persia

June: 1:01:00 or thereabouts

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

Feb 14, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a little miniseries of games which heavily feature rotoscoping and different ways in which that technology is used, starting with Another World (1991). We set the game in its time, talk about rotoscoping, and discuss a lot about the world and games which seem descended from it. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Whole darn thing (well, almost, Tim)

Issues covered: swinging back and forth in cages, starting and stopping the game, rotoscoping and some places it's been used, the basics of rotoscoping, how far Tim got in the past, baffling fluidity, echoes of other media, excellent character design, a "yes" game, other influences, thinking of this in terms of Mario, a cinematic moment, not making the movement a goal, choosing moments over systems, a fork in the lineage road, doing a project of this length solo, having a singular vision, hinting what you should pay attention to, the limits of tech and whether it can do anything for you, working on games that you wouldn't necessarily play.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Final Fantasy IX, Tomb Raider, Eric Chahi, Delphine Software, Flashback, Amiga, Final Fantasy IV/II, LoZ: Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Return of Samus, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega Genesis, Monkey Island 2, Civilization, Prince of Persia, Commander Keen, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Walt Disney, Richard Linklater, Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, Keanu Reeves, Karateka, Ico, Metal Gear Solid, Tron, SpaceChem, Space Team, David Cage, Nintendo, Rare, MegaMan (series), Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dragon's Lair, Don Bluth, mysterydip, id Software, DOOM (1993), Mike Fisher, Shenmue, Dreamcast, Madden (series), John Romero, Carlos, Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy VI, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Some other rotoscoped game!

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, Insta: devgameclub, Threads: DevGameClub, Twitter: @devgameclub
Discord
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Feb 7, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we return to our series on Alan Wake with a special interview with Sam Lake, Creative Director at Remedy Entertainment. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:52 Interview
1:02:20 Break
1:02:50 Outro

Issues covered: getting started with PCs and TTRPGs, starting out as a writer, starting with a positive audience, Greyhawk/Temple of Elemental Evil, coming out of the demoscene, teaming up with Apogee, finding ways to insert story into games, selling the IP due to its success, knowing they'd have the ability to make something new, second album syndrome, concepting tons of ideas to make the dream game, themes that stuck around, wanting a flawed main character whose not an action hero, writing a story about the creative process, inspirations, post-modern writing and games, how to work within the grab bag of design elements, the sauna crew, making hard decisions, a sense of relief, retaining the story and thematic elements, pulling out a victory, having a different feel because of all the extra built stuff, supporting conflict and action, keeping character motivations in sync with player expectations, early game management, adding transmedia elements and tools, using voiceover to guide the player, integrating more video, the talk show, blending those elements well to expand the game world and character, extending the value of the Easter egg, making the connection between the games a surprise, the Remedy-Connected Universe, dreaming up characters with the actor in mind, the musical number, leveraging Easter eggs, Tim's streaming commitments.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Death Rally, Max Payne, Control, Commodore 64, Petri Järvilehto, Dungeons & Dragons, Apogee/3DRealms, Duke Nuke'em, George Broussard, Scott Miller, Dark Justice, Rockstar, Janos Flosser, Hitman, IO Interactive, Stephen King, On Writing, David Lynch, Twin Peaks, Paul Auster, Bret Easton Ellis, LOST, Hideo Kojima, Quantum Break, Matthew Porretta, Courtney Hope, Illka Villi, James McCaffrey, Old Gods of Asgard/Poets of the Fall, Tim Schafer, Ken Levine, BioShock, FireWatch, Gone Home, Sam & Max, David Wolinsky, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
???

Notes:
I did not edit out GameThing's Season 8 theme, since they have apparently already let people know that was what is coming next.

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

Jan 31, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on 1999's Homeworld, the 3D space RTS from Relic Entertainment. We talk a bit more about dynamic difficulty, address the final missions, and turn to our takeaways before a couple of mails. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished (B) and almost (T)

Podcast breakdown:
0:00:47 Discussion
1:05:45 Break
1:06:14 Email

Issues covered: Defeating Games for Charity, Video Game History Foundation, watching someone blast Mother Brain, Tim streaming, streaming and getting paid, a chill Dark Souls player, enjoying playing with people, joyful weekend, not finishing a game, how to make the game interesting over and over again, carriers and docking, learning skills for one use, RTSes using the campaign to prepare for multiplayer, micromanaging, managing the brutal rescue of the trading ship, freeing up everything for the final assault, watching ships crawl through space, trial and error, punishment of failure, the appropriate story depth, avoiding elaborate storytelling, feeling like legend and myth, twice as many shorter missions, flexibility through resources, stately capital ships, early vs late game failure, ship control layout, satisfyingly destroying the enemy, cinematic presentation, high-stakes final mission, a human point of connection, naval/military chatter, doubling down on a thing, purity of spaceship focus, ship design, designing across civilizations, consistency of armament, the usefulness of salvage corvettes, being careful with dynamic difficulty, having options, turtle strategies, watching players use and discover tactics streaming, committing to 3D, having to relearn controls, having a light touch with the story, whether we should do a TTRPG primer, real space physics vs WWII space flight, 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Kingdom Hearts III, Kaeon, Contra, Metroid, X-COM, Kyle, Dark Souls, LostLake, Bvron, Belmont, mysterydip, Artimage, Mark Garcia, BioStats, Calamity Nolan, D&D, Resident Evil Village, Phil Salvador, Rogue, Starcraft (series), Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Blizzard, Halo, Warcraft (series), Robocop, Avalon Hill, Civilization, Johnny Pockets, Eye of the Beholder, Baldur's Gate, Go, Senet, Mancala, John Woo, Andrew Enright, Anachronox, Final Fantasy VI, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers. 

Next time:
???

Links:
Defeating Games for Charity (a real website)

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

Jan 24, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Relic Entertainment's Homeworld. We talk about the difficulty of a couple of the missions, how our RTS expectations maybe work against us, and fighting the camera. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through MS10 (Tim) or MS12 (Brett)

Issues covered: religious experiences, Defeating Games for Charity, dynamic difficulty, scuttling vs recycling, trading off the unit types you have for the ones you need right now, dynamic difficulty, being too clever with difficulty design, the usefulness of playtesting different skill levels, having the wrong guess of how many units you need, reactionary play or more in the moment, a puzzle-solving feel, a lot of empty time and strange pacing, getting over the hump, being unable to plan, fighting the 3D nature for probes, trailblazing but not quite getting there, wanting help from the game for 3D targeting, fighting the orientation, wondering about the upcoming sequel for usability, digressions into the lore, T-Rex predators, the inventory of Trespasser, whether we should play more weird bad good games, which games fit that definition.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Mark Garcia, BioStats, Artimage, Calamity Nolan, Kaeon, Kyle, Bvron, Final Fantasy IX, MegaMan X, Grand Theft Auto III, Devil May Cry, MegaMan 2, Dark Souls, Far Cry 2, Rogue, X-COM, Julian Gollop, Deus Ex, Starcraft, Blizzard, Civilization, Tomb Raider, Mario 64, Halo, GoldenEye 007, Nintendo, Trespasser, Maas, mysterydip, Jarkko Sivula, Ryan Troock, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Shenmue, Deadly Premonition, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time: 
Finish the game!

Links:
Defeating Games for Charity 

T-Rex on T-Rex

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @devgameclub
Discord: https://t.co/h7jnG9J9lz
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Jan 17, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 1999's Homeworld, the innovative RTS from Relic Entertainment. We talk about interacting with the game and its presentation, and discuss some of the ways in which it creates and eliminates friction in that genre. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to M8

Issues covered: a separate manual for the lore, the mysterious science fiction/fantasy, a circle?, meeting the traders for the first time, a matter-of-fact aesthetic, feeling the stakes, grounded vs exaggerated, how each of us interact with the game, setting up the attitude of the ships, Tim's strategies to steal things and get ahead, opening up the side of the mother ship, a leap forward in some ways, limiting the resource type down to one, comparing to 2D tech trees, simplified building queues, dealing with the small fast drones, taking out an enemy fleet, the weird feeling of building at the end, having the feeling of a base attack with a capital ship attack, the quick dock vs the slow drawn out wait, a diversion to explain Battlestar Galactica, setting up archetypes and breaking them, thinking about what our mistakes have been, sending the wrong ships against the capital ships, no one sets out to make a bad game, an anecdote about Skyrim, closing out the game and pushing it out and taking cover, artificial idiocy, whether the movie people ruined Trespasser, the interaction of movies and games, Defeating Games for Charity.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Halo, Planet of the Apes, Charlton Heston, Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Warcraft, Starcraft, Star Trek, Ultima Underworld, Eye of the Beholder, Chris Corry, The Simpsons, God of War, Mikael, Matt Groening, Cory Barlog, Skyrim, Istvan Pely, Fallout (series), Republic Commando, Jedi Starfighter, EGM, Trespasser, Will Crosbie, Jim Gee, Alex Seropian, Noah Falstein, Dreamworks Interactive, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Tom Bissell, Nolan Filter/CalamityNolan, Dark Souls, Rogue, Final Fantasy IX, Mega Man, Kaeon, Devil May Cry, X-COM, Metroid, Belmont, Bvron, Kyle, Error, Lostlake, BioStats, Mark Garcia, D&D, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers. 

Next time:
Up to M12?

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

Jan 10, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we start a new series on 1999's Homeworld, from Relic Entertainment. We set the game in its time and then turn a little bit to the opening moments and the tutorial. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First couple of levels + tutorial

Issues covered: a layered intro, our history with RTSes, the music hitting, transitioning to a console player, console RTSes, a new timeline, setting the game in its time, going against the norm, Relic and its RTS series, the big genre of the time but one that never grew, grognard capture, the appeal of online games, early e-sports, popularity in Korea, the feel of a space sim, checking all the boxes, how 3D it really is, switching views to elevate a target point, mouse and keyboard, doing their own thing with hotkeys, evolution working on games, presentational advantages, a graphics benchmark game, economical game development, elegant ship design, great silhouettes, maybe tessellating, editors that look like RTSes, spending budget on contrails, using specific things on PCs vs the graphics cards, camera and control, mining everything you can and building as you go, replacing inferior ships with new ones, finite people and resources reflecting themes, elegance in design, framing the camera well, the great use of the fleet commander and the magic of moving the camera, WWII space physics vs more accurate space physics, interestingly bad video games, finding those bad games, moon shots, imagining a deeper ecology, speedrunning Trespasser, a diversion into speedrunning.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Starfighter, Starcraft (series), Total War (series), Warcraft (series), Quake, Halo, Battlestar: Galactica, DOOM, Diablo, PlayStation, Age of Empires (series), Pikmin, Brutal Legend, Tim Schafer, Johnny "Pockets", System Shock 2, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Planescape: Torment, Shenmue, Owen Wilson, Command and Conquer (series), Westwood, Tim Curry, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross, Silent Hill, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, Quake III Arena, Omikron: The Nomad Soul, David Cage, Asheron's Call (series), D&D Online, LotR Online, Turbine Entertainment, Derek Flippo, Sega, Creative Assembly, Blizzard, Ensemble Studios, Total Annihilation, Impossible Creatures, Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, Warhammer: 40K, Myth, Bungie, Call of Duty (series), LucasArts, Galactic Battlegrounds (series), Force Commander, Andrew Kirmse, TIE Fighter (series), Descent: Freespace, Wing Commander, Colony Wars, Elite, Star Citizen, Star Wars: Squadrons, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan, GoldenEye: 007, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil (series), Eric Johnston, X-COM, Julian Gollop, Baldur's Gate, Troy Mashburn, Trespasser, Biostats, Belmont, Reed Knight, Dragon's Dogma, Bethesda Game Studios, D&D, Black and White, ARK: Survival Evolved, Valheim, Half-Life 2, GameThing, Dave Wolinsky, Pippin Barr, Control, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
A few more levels!

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

Jan 3, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we recap 2023 through our interviews. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: good interviews with non-designers, lots of gems, Statue Park, keeping 60 and visor modes, limiting scripting, building spaces and Lincoln logging gameplay, talking to a marketing person, putting the name in the symbol for a new logo, challenging norms, challenging rinse and repeat and generating trust.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Artimage, Grant Kirkhope, GoldenEye: 007, N64, Neil Harrison, Rare, John Barry, Monty Norman, Jack Mathews, Metroid Prime, GameCube, Switch, Lincoln Logs(TM), Legend of Zelda (series), Retro, Karl Stewart, Arkham Asylum, DC, Warner Bros, Star Wars, Republic Commando, LucasArts, Chris Williams, Greg Knight, Tomb Raider, Eidos, Rocksteady, Crystal Dynamics, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Our first game of 2024! (Wonder what it'll be?)

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

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