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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: Category: Games
Dec 13, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Trespasser. We look through the glass darkly at the mistakes and how they illustrate some things, before turning 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: the funhouse mirror, writing the weird things on the whiteboards, voice acting, a game lost to time, the inner monologue, some good set up of a level, the invisible blocking wall surrounding Hammond's, box lifting master, weird technical friction about saves, looking for the white keycard, a misaligned bookshelf and visual language, the green disc, the personal memoir, rubbing the disc on the drive, the keycard mess, finding an alternate solution, immersive sim stuff, parallel developments, shining a light on something you didn't know you wanted, the preset objects, restoring forces, deconstructing what the designers put to place your own, contrivances, more keys that aren't keys, not leaning on the license, a more straightforward puzzle, 526327, the extending weird finger, modeling "dexterity," throwing the keycard in the Atlantic, a helpful (?) velociraptor, pressure plates in the ruins, playing something mid-development, games that should be canceled, deals that forced the game out, breaking your game while you build it, getting better at making the game, hitting the board in the wrong place, setting up the physics and seeing the world a certain way, shaking the Jell-O, letting the Jell-O settle, learning how to kite the dinosaurs, spawning three dinosaurs, making terrible mistakes, choosing appropriate goals, not knowing if a thing is possible, mashing up things, being aspirational, leading the way, admiring the purity, dinosaur ecology, getting to see something like this, being consistent in your rules, providing clarity.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, Through A Glass Darkly, Minnie Driver, Richard Attenborough, Jimmy Carter, Populous, Civilization, Peter Molyneux, Sid Meier, Ultima Underworld, Half-Life 2, DOOM (1993), Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Spielbergs, Bethesda Game Studios, Call of Duty, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Skyrim, Todd Howard, Velvet Underground, Jell-O, Fallout 3, Hal Barwood, Ray Harryhausen, Land That Time Forgot, Zoo Tycoon, Far Cry 2, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
??

Notes:
Having not seen 1974's The Land That Time Forgot in quite some time, Brett misremembered the movie. He was actually thinking either about scenes from a movie called The Valley of Gwangi, which is from 1969, or One Million Years BC, (1966) both of which feature stop-motion animation by Harryhausen.  

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

Dec 6, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Trespasser: The Lost World. We talk more about the physics of the game, the problems of video game proprioception, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
To level 4 (Brett), to level 6 (Tim)

Issues covered: abracadabra, discussing fixed point vs floating point, obvious and easy-to-fix bug or patch problem, backface culling, finding a human space, inelastic collisions vs elastic collisions, physics modeling and fussiness, infinite forces, doors and jambs, physics object modeling, tech demos, the box stair stepping problem, imagining a third person view, spending an hour to get up to a second floor, box vs pill, your arm and proprioception, snaking through doors, being able to rotate the boxes, a diversion into evolutionary/genetic algorithms, the abominable procedural animation, lining up the crosshairs and weird satisfaction, learning how the guns shoot, sniper spotting, procedurally generated animation systems, what works and what looks right, unnatural alive and dead, watching two T-rexes fight, approximating with ideal objects, trees: nemesis edition, sumo or inflatable costumes, standing still and they can still see you, pathing and getting back to a player behind a tree, getting away from the T Rex, emergent behavior, recontextualizing the world to get the magic, a sticky good bad game, scaring off some velociraptors with an empty gun.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: PlayStation, Minnie Driver, Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, GIRP, QWOP, Halo, Seamus Blackley, In the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises, JFK, Spore, No Man's Sky, Soren Johnson, Civilization, Far Cry 2, Reed Knight, TIE Fighter, Arkham Knight, Control, Alan Wake, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Finish the game!

Notes:
Genetic algorithms was the term Brett was looking for

Hayao Miyazaki video

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

Nov 22, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1998's Dreamworks Interactive title, Trespasser. We set it in its time (a year with many great games... and also Trespasser) and then discuss a bit of the games foibles and noble attempts. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First level or two

Issues covered: an intro that works on many levels, repeating lines, games from this great year, a fan base that loves this game, Steven Spielberg bringing weight to bear, a relic, shooting for the stars, experimentation and memorability, the blase noting of dinosaurs, not reflecting a player's needs, learning from bad games, bringing in film people to do a game person's job, needing to get the game out, spotty voice acting, representing the character poorly, the weird IK and dinosaur behaviors, open spaces, committing to the bit, leveraging my hand, having to figure out how to solve a puzzle, outsmarting a procedurally generated raptor, other wonky games swinging for the fences, shipping a game without patches, 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jurassic Park, Minnie Driver, Richard Attenborough, Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid, Baldur's Gate, Half-Life, Thief, Starcraft, RE 2, Grim Fandango, Unreal, Myth II, Fallout 2, Descent: Freespace, Starfighter, Rogue Squadron, MediEvil, Gran Turismo, Starsiege Tribes, Banjo Kazooie, Steven Spielberg, Boom Blox, EA, Wii, Louis Castle, Seamus Blackley, The Dig, Gilmore Girls, Quake, Velvet Goldmine, Studio 54, Good Will Hunting, Circle of Friends, Big Night, RTX Red Rock, Austin Grossman, Spider-man 2, Jamie Fristrom, Clint Hocking, Far Cry 2, Wayne Knight, Jeff Goldblum, DOOM (1993), System Shock (series), Surgeon Simulator, Goat Simulator, Octodad, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, X-COM, Julian Gollop, Arkham City, Galleon, Toby Gard, Die By The Sword, Artimage, Bloodborne, Kenneth Baker, Sea of Stars, SNES, Chrono Trigger, Sabotage Studios, Twin Suns Corp, Nintendo, Switch, Tacoma, Maas Neotek, Space Oddity, David Bowie, Alan Wake, Epic, Omicron: The Nomad Soul, Quantic Dream, Microsoft, Quantum Break, Roy Orbison, The Coconut Song, Guitar Hero, Brutal Legend, Ozzy Osborne, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Arkham Knight, Control, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More of Trespasser

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

Nov 15, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Alan Wake. We talk a little bit about what's going on in the DLC and Tim talks us through American Nightmare, before we turn to takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The Signal and The Writer
American Nightmare

Issues covered: what's going on with Zane, was the DLC originally part of the game, the better use of the light mechanic with the words, feeling like the main game was a proof of concept, becoming more open world, delays and fuzziness, naturally exploring mechanics with the words, easy should be easy, coming into the lighthouse and then the cabin, opening up spaces for combat, the swinging light, remixing the original game for DLC, figuring out which Alan you're at, connecting the universes through the wikihole, the structure of American Nightmare, using the currency to purchase weapons, there's nothing like a Remedy game, removing the distance to the character, applying the team while fulfilling obligations, growing the team, world building is everything (for Tim), the audio scape, the importance of narrative and mechanics converging, going for the weird, physics matters... but it doesn't have to, there's something attacking me!... it's a chair, you have to be able to relate to the character, paying off on the relationship.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Control, Quantum Break, Silent Hill 2, Arkham City, Microsoft, Max Payne, Prey: Mooncrush, Alien: Isolation, The Punisher, Commando, Twilight Zone, Trespasser, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
???

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

Nov 8, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Alan Wake. We dive into the ocean that is the story and talk about the game's themes and how they layer, among other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the main game!

Issues covered: not thinking through the tanning bed, the underwritten FBI agent, the effectiveness of the woods, changing pace with the town, The Well-Lit Room, connecting to Control, discovering it's Baba Yaga, enjoying the band shell, challenges in balancing the end of games, the centrality of the lake vs the open world, open world challenges for horror games, enjoying the meta, foreshadowing, wanting just the story, layering the themes, primal themes, Mr Scratch in the sequels, replayability, player personae mismatches, wanting an easier story mode, finding their way, the benefit of returning to something later, having longer and maybe too many cutscenes, camera choices, switching genres and committing to bit, bending the mechanics at the end, a studio strength, weak female characters, unlikeability, comparing heroes between the games, whether you need to play American Nightmare, stupid things we fought over, why thermoses, the week of meat, descoping, the different games that the pros play, the age of social media. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Silent Hill, Control, Quantum Break, Quantum Leap, Primer, Twin Peaks, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Hellboy, BioWare, Baldur's Gate III, Epic, Naughty Dog, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Gears of War, Max Payne, Maas Neotek, Adam Adamowicz, Skyrim, Fallout 3/4, Halo (series), Star Wars, Tomb Raider, Batman, Luke Theriault, 1989 (Taylor's Version), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
The two DLC

Links:
Adam Adamowicz (more about Adam

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

Nov 1, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Alan Wake, which we're playing via a remaster. We talk especially about the combat, amongst other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to Ch 3 or 4

Issues covered: Night Springs episode, word salad, feeling the need to have it wrapped up, PNW locations, not quite hitting right, representing the setting, Remedy touchpoints, primal fears, collectibles and types, the three Cs, the cohesion of the lights, making you feel like a putz, pulling the camera away, lack of situational awareness, a difficulty diversion, wanting to almost die, inanimate objects, finding the right tension, spawned Taken?, weapon progressions, getting a better flashlight, the excellence of the 5.1 mix, annoying difficulty bugs, the RROD, what do you do when source material conflicts with good game principles, adaptation, where are all the women?, lack of promotion, game choice, demographics and the birth of the industry, our negative reviews.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Control, Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, Grand Theft Auto, Stephen King, Max Payne, Resident Evil (series), Silent Hill 2, Capcom, Trespasser, C. Ross, Psycho Mantis/Metal Gear Solid, Eternal Darkness, Lego Movie Game, Mystery Dip, Starfighter (series), Republic Commando, Tomb Raider (series), Halo (series), Barbie, Oppenheimer, Branden, Rockstar, Epic, Maas, Kotaku, Jason Schreier, Nintendo, Atari, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Finishing the main game

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

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

Sep 27, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Batman: Arkham Asylum. We talk about the progression system in the game, the various forms of reward, how well things are integrated, and Tim gets to relive the death of the Waynes. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Near to end (Brett), thru 2nd Scarecrow (Tim)

Issues covered: the death taunts, Edward Nigma vs the Riddler, relatively few gadgets, discussing the gadgets and their uses, not knowing what they had yet, using gadgets as a reward, dependencies on rewards and presentation, breaking up health and armor into increments, the weirdness of Batman getting XP, player expression, health and then opening up more options, seeing how you would evolve the formula, crafting environmental scenarios, finding ways to bring in the rogues gallery, rewarding you while gratifying you, spreading out the villainy, giving space to each villain, having too much space for the villains, every combatant being bespoke, threading villains through rather than opting in, economical reuse of space, changing up combat patterns, pushing the player rather than reusing the same quarter, rethinking strategy but not being stuck, not overloading with combat options and then larding on, being able to struggle through without being perfect, players finding something that works for them and sticking with that, combat overload, interview tapes and deepening the characters, did this game create Batman fans?, tying all the pieces together, the tightness of the economy, being able to play the alley scene, retelling the origin stories, 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: other Arkham games, BioShock, Bethesda Game Studios, Joel Schumacher, DOOM (2016)/DOOM Eternal, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Finishing and takeaways!

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

Sep 20, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Rocksteady's breakout hit, Batman: Arkham Asylum. We freeflow our way through a bunch of combat, put on the visor, and even hit a couple of the villains (and I'm not talking about our emails). Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
More of the game (Brett to Poison Ivy, Tim to first Scarecrow)

Issues covered: Tim's many times dressing up as the Joker, Joker owning the island, having a Batcave on the island, being prepared as Batman, Bioshock vibes, layers of Arkham, layering activities over level areas, seeing things before you can get through them, a Metroidvania for the collectibles, not needing to do challenges for XP, Joker teeth as breadcrumbs to what you should do next, an approachable game for the license, Detective Mode as a little alienating from Batman, seeing how the world is put together, a bit of a cheat for Batman, character vs player focus, predecessor experiences, being mashable and less punishing, having a dozen enemies and being able to lower fidelity, everything working together, dramatic and telling finishing blows, a bunch of knockouts all at once, wanting it to feel like Batman is outnumbered and overcoming it, reinforcing goals and caring about the right things, being able to modularize the combat and change the feel, battle loss taunts, finding ways to show the highest LOD models, the Scarecrow introduction, horror movie scary stuff, the surreal space of the Scarecrow, asking the controls to be more generous, having Scarecrow be over the top and weird, wanting the fear to come from the A/V experience, Daredevil and Batman, centering the Rogues Gallery, pathetic and horrific Bane, a small universe, the Justice League vs the Vengeance League, feeling the impact of freeflow combat immediately, audience and alignment of all the goals, seeing the problem-solving in action, putting all the pieces together, "The Witcher is Just Fantasy Batman," when you don't feel connected to the character, fighting Deathstroke, embracing the multiverses, 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Bioshock, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix, Metroid, Tomb Raider, Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark of Kri, God of War, Tim Ramsay, Republic Commando, Eternal Darkness, Dead Space, Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien: Isolation, Christopher Nolan, Star Wars, The Boys, Watchmen, Bvron Music, Assassin's Creed, Half-Life, Halo, GoldenEye: 007, Jarkko Sivula, Tim Burton, Eye of the Beholder, The Witcher, Call of Duty, Control, Deus Ex (reboot), Jack Kirby, Pokemon, Calamity Nolan, Mark Garcia, Artimage, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers. 

Next time:
Even more of the game!

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

Sep 13, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 2009's Rocksteady breakout, Batman: Arkham Asylum. We set the game in its time, as well as introducing its principals, and talk a bit about one man's fandom. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Roughly up to first Scarecrow encounter

Issues covered: introducing the center of the madness, returning to these two, mythology and archetype, the games of 2009, some early Rocksteady history, coming out of the shadows, developing their process, taking on the superhero genre, licensed titles and not overcoming them, replicating game designs to the license, something finally living up to or exceeding expectations, a long digression into superhero cinema, seeing the attention to detail, pre-code comics and other Brett comic history, a small development team, puzzle box, comparing team sizes, a time with fewer new sorts of games, the August window, great voice cast and writing, seeing signs that they really care, narrative design and other writers, getting a lot of mileage from the voice cast, setting up the story, a big plan from the Joker, introducing Arkham as the location, constraining Batman to present the Joker, not your typical Batman universe, exaggerated characters, a simple setup/trope, establishing a new look for Harley Quinn, other influences for the art direction, "I admire its purity," the clear proof of concept in vertical slice, what a vertical slice, solving major production questions, a good tutorial room vs one that works less well, having all the elements, how Batman has stealth, using fantasy in the checkpointing, impacting later Batmen, filling a Pokedex. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dungeons and Dragons, Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, DC and Marvel, The Batman, Robert Pattinson, Sega, Michael Keaton, Batman: The Animated Series, PlayStation, Jamie Fristrom, Insomniac, Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Demons's Souls, Ratchet & Clank, Brutal Legend, League of Legends, Assassin's Creed II, Infamous, Eye of the Beholder, Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Bayonetta, Rocksteady, Urban Chaos, Warner Bros, Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, Jamie Walker, Sefton Hill, Argonaut Games, Ubisoft, Star Wars, Electronic Arts, Lord of the Rings, Godfather, Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Joel Schumacher, Peter Jackson, Superman 64, Freedom Force, Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, Sandman, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, X-Men, Ben Affleck, Metroidvania, Fallout 3, Bethesda Game Studios, Dark Souls, BioShock, Madden, Baldur's Gate III, Larian Studios, Paul Dini, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Arlene Sorkin, Adrienne Barbeau, Half-Life, John Cena, Steve Austin, The Rock, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns, Alex Ross, Gotham Central, Gears of War, Tomb Raider, Alien, Penny Arcade, Sam Fisher, Thief, Flight of the Conchords, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More! We don't know how much more!

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

Sep 6, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Eye of the Beholder. We talk more about D&D adaptation, spend some time with a sequel, and get to our takeaways before emptying the mailbag. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: which levels count in the sequel, killing lots of beholders, whether you could have killed Xanathar in the original, striation of hit point values, scaling for sense of power, paying off on the quests, finding all the beholders, beholder physiology, having more fun with beholders as designers, bulettes and basilisks, "just keep going," being trained for level navigation, designing towards the player understanding, wanting coordinates, using simple concepts well, modular repeatable and combinable concepts, leaning into the limitations, an onion layer level, "mapping matters," loving drawing maps, sanding off of friction (various ways of telling the player how to get there), being more embodied in the dungeon, the more you take out the less the experience becomes, allowing for abstraction and having to draw you in other ways, translating D&D, why simulate the math, a bad game to simulate, "what is a saving throw?," using video games to inform the evolution of your tabletop game, emphasizing the human, a more elegant system, dice variance, a useless party experience, usability issues, bad games that were influential on us, remembering movie moments but not the gameplay, even bad actors are better than what we could do at the time, digging into all the RPGs, not knowing what to do in SimCity, DOS vs Mac music and early audio, a craftman's respect for audio, warm analog music, hearing multiple versions of the same soundtrack, not playing a lot of real-world games, physics in games and pitting against fun, wanting to get to specific rides vs how you build a park, Tim gets turned off on the CRPG book, building on foundations and the legacies they carry, business concerns, shipping code passing cert, climbing uphill to make changes, maintaining the feel.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Eye of the Beholder II, Winnie the Pooh, The Dungeon Run, Metal Gear Solid (obliquely), Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM (1993), Gary Gygax, PS5, Xbox Series X, Dark Souls, Temple of Elemental Evil, Indiana Jones (series), Far Cry 2, Starfighter, Jurassic Park, Ultima Underworld, God of War, Baldur's Gate (series), World of Warcraft, William Shatner, Vampire: the Masquerade, Call of Cthulhu, Mechwarrior, Mechassault, Warhammer, Morrowind, Fallout, Diablo, Westwood, Ashton Herrmann, Kyrandia (series), Lands of Lore, Trespasser, Clint Hocking, Assassin's Creed (series), Darkstone, Neverwinter Nights, Kingdom Hearts, Twisted Metal Black, Warcraft II, Quake, MYST, Grim Fandango, The 7th Guest, NextGen, Sam Thomas, The CRPG Book, Skyrim, The Bard's Tale, Disco Elysium, Rogue, Betrayal at Krondor, Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City, Andrew, SimCity 2000, GameBoy, MegaMan, NES/SNES/N64, Grant Kirkhope, GoldenEye 007, Metroid (series), Half-Life (series), Rollercoaster Tycoon, The Matrix, Disneyworld, Great Adventure, Canobie Lake Park, Dungeon Master, Chris, Populous (series), Dungeon Master, Fallout 3, mysterydip, Commander Keen, Dwarf Fortress, Metroid Prime, Bethesda Game Studios, Halo (series), Bungie Studios, Tomb Raider, Galleon, Toby Gard, Redguard, Reed Knight, Todd Howard, Starfighter, Grand Theft Auto (series), Starfield, Unreal (series), Gears of War, Republic Commando, Jack Mathews, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Our next game?

Links:
The CRPG Book
Dungeon Master Encyclopedia and video

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

Aug 30, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Eye of the Beholder. We killed Xanathar! We saved Waterdeep! And we talked about simulation vs game vs narrative and various other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Issues covered: potential NPCs, getting misled by the star, hating the missing buttons, good reveals on secret doors, unmotivated puzzles, brute force, accidentally solving a puzzle, up into a small enclosed space, not finding the Drow, wanting more of a sense of NPC presence, leaning into narrative and game-iness, using game-iness to add drama, simulation elements in D&D, being more naturalistic, spiking a door vs more elaborate narrative elements, having to abstract rest mechanics, having consequences for time advancing, JRPGs and rest mechanics, dying many times to the beholder, getting so much of the map connecting moments, identifying magic items, using enemies as clues via audio, the silent mind-flayers, not seeing the dice and having the opportunity to balance, terrifying appearance of Xanathar, being unprepared, not seeing all of the beholder effects, respawning monsters, not being able to level up your mages enough, running away from Xanathar, mouse panic, using collision audio to know where he was, wand spamming, being teleported into the final room, not understanding the teleporters, portraits and the art style, not knowing when to stop pushing, giving impressions through simple art, adding audio to later games, D&D of particular eras.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Crystal Shard, Ultima Underworld, Temple of Elemental Evil, Fallout, Baldur's Gate III, Pool of Radiance, Star Wars, William Shatner, Sierra, LucasArts, Diablo (series), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Takeaways and mail bag

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

Aug 3, 2023
The first episode of Discord Game Club - The community appreciation cast for DevGameClub.  In this episode, Artimage and Mark introduce themselves, touch on their gaming background, as well as how they got into the cast, before diving into some community provided content for discussion.  Additional media: Kotaku Article mentioning DevGameClub: https://kotaku.com/an-insightful-look-at-why-old-final-fantasy-games-were-1777807188 Razbuten - The Problem With Mini-Maps: https://youtu.be/nmzYRT7LBQs Egoraptor - Sequelitis - Mega Man Classiv Vs. Mega Man X: https://youtu.be/8FpigqfcvlM  DevGameClub Discord
Jul 26, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1991's Eye of the Beholder, from Westwood Studios and published by Strategic Simulations Inc. We set the game in its time before exploring its primary mechanics and the feel of being in this world. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First level or two

Issues covered: knowing who the evil is, tactical top down Gold Box, the opening cutscene, being amazed at how much they get into the Game Boy version of a Metroid game, lots of movie tie-ins, a wide variety of machines, lack of automap, being everything one wanted for a Forgotten Realms nerd, one of the ten games, semi real-time, living inside the depths of Waterdeep, a style of play which continues today, having to rest immediately, gaining information through audio, uncovering the whole map vs racing towards the goal, tournament play, losing is fun, the only way out is through, annotating a later map, interacting with the play space, accessibility and the mouse, contextualization and abstraction in game design, having to throw weapons in the world, how cool the audio is, using items to locate yourself, creating a party, crunchy spells, shout-outs to upcoming work, difficulty in the bosses in Metroid games then and now, games influencing games, getting the green light, justifying the game via the sweet spot of trends, why not just make this a Star Wars game, how green lighting changes with bigger franchises, games that changed our perspectives.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gold Box games, Westwood Studios, Dune 2, A Link to the Past, Super Castlevania IV, SNES, Mega Man 4, Final Fantasy IV, Metroid II: Return of Samus (and Metroid series), Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega Genesis, Battletoads, Rare, Stamper Bros, Civilization, Another World, Space Quest IV, Monkey Island 2, Wing Commander 2, Hudson Hawk, Terminator 2, American Gladiators, Hunt for Red October, The Godfather, Amiga, PC-98, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Apple ][, Spectrum ZX, Amstrad, Questron, Disney, Legend of Kyrandia, Command and Conquer (series), Electronic Arts, Earth and Beyond, Louis Castle, Brett Sperry, Strategic Simulations Incorporated, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Pool of Radiance, The Ruins of Myth Drannor, Ultima (series), Wizardry (series), A Bard's Tale (series), Ultima Underworld, Dungeon Master, Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest (series), Diablo, Wasteland, Temple of Elemental Evil, Legend of Grimrock, Etrian Odyssey (series), The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, The Tomb of Horrors, Infocom, Ocarina of Time, Rogue, Deluxe Paint, Baldur's Gate, Jarkko Sivula, Single Malt Apocalypse, Sierra, LucasArts, Wierd Tales, Amazing Stories, Tintin, Pippin Barr, David Wolinsky, Game Thing, The Stuff Games Are Made Of, Walker, Dark Souls, Nintendo, Skyrim, Breath of the Wild, Johnny Pockets, Mad Max, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Republic Commando, Sam and Max: Freelance Police, Bounty Hunter, RTX Red Rock, Gladius, PlayStation, Tomb Raider (series), Halo: Infinite, Quake, MYST, Lode Runner, Sabotage, Robotron 2084, Joust, Dark Forces, WoW Classic, Everquest, MUD, Ultima Online, Meridian 59, Adventure, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
more Eye of the Beholder!

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

Jul 19, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we add another bonus to our series on Metroid Prime with an interview with Jack Mathews, a technical lead on the title. We cover a lot of ground in this one, folks, which is appropriate for a Metroid game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
1:10 Interview
1:03:17 Break
1:03:53 Outro

Issues covered: scanning for IP addresses, supporting QuakeWorld, bored by anything but coding, the Wild West, the Dallas studio, feeling like a Nintendo series, similarities between the glide renderer and the GameCube hardware, a central technology group, arriving to a bit of a mess, a lot of lost undirected work, taking veteran console first person success and turning MetaForce into it, cancelling titles, unhappy marriages, starting on day one, building data streaming, hardware meant for streaming, pattern AI, dynamically modifying for performance, working on a world editor, "you know, a duck," building practical things, there being a lot of fans, bucking against doing first-person, limitations of the controller, working towards accessibility on the controller, having to be 60 and having to stay there, optimizing for the worst case to avoid a hitchy mess, avoiding performance traps in specular and bump mapping, being unable to choke the memory pipelines, throwing up flashing if you went under 60 ever, taking something away to justify anything else, software is a gas that will expand, limiting the content rather than expecting technical wizardry, testing Nintendo's demos, faking specular, being consistent and polished, having a sytem rather than scriptosaurus rex, planners and not designers, limitations, being a bad engineer or a bad artist, knowing where you fit, seeing the constraints in the game, Tim's crisis of faith, Love and Lemons plug!, targeting games where we know people, giving people constraints, relying on designers too much to accomplish goals, embracing constraints.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: GameSpy, Quake, 3dfx Voodoo, Ritual Entertainment, Retro Studios, Armature Studio, reCore, Dead Star, Bluepoint, Shadow of the Colossus, Demons's Souls, Joe Powell, Tim Cook, id Software, John Carmack, Quake World, Zoid Kirsch, glQuake, Gary McTaggart, Charlie Brown, LucasArts, PowerVR, Ion Storm, Rare, GoldenEye, Andy O'Neal, Raven Blade, Shigeru Miyamoto, MetaForce, Jeff Spangenberg, Iguana Games, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, NFL Madden (series), Twisted Metal, Steve Baum, Steve McRay, Matt Kimberling, Akintunde Omitowoju, Frank Lafuente, Unreal, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Mike Abrash, PS3, Jason Behr, Karl Deckard, Mark Pacini, Mike Wikan, Legend of Zelda, Love and Lemons, God of War: Ragnarok, Sony, Kynan Person, Dave Bogan, Daron Stinnett, Dark Forces, Outlaws, Matt Tateishi, Indiana Jones & the Infernal Machine, Jedi Knight, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
??? Tim and I to discuss

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

Jul 12, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we add a bonus to our series on Metroid Prime by looking into Metroid Fusion, before turning to the mail bag. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Almost all of it

Issues covered: the space jump boots, connectivity with the GBA, Metroid nostalgia, a hardcore game, GBA architecture, moving goalposts, kinship between Metroid and Legend of Zelda, snacking on Dread, an A bug in a final room, code save states, a limited control set and linear upgrades, having keycards/security access, Samus's lack of agency, changing what you think about the character, enjoying the setting, not knowing where to go, not thinking about space in a particular way, host origin stories, roles we've had, leaving for opportunities, burning out, a book club for games, keeping up with technology, learning languages, not being able to share what we're doing yet, how we keep going, hitting versions of writer's block, context shifting, being good with just a small amount of work, project doldrums, mental thinking, sometimes you just need idle time, gaining perspective via sharing, asking why questions, shifting between productivity approaches, disguised linearity, games where the level design pulls you along, trusting the developers and trusting your players, player empowerment, games we didn't get, not enjoying the controller for FPSes but changing later, getting revved up by programming and needing cooldowns.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Blarg42, TheSecondQuest, Game Boy Advance, Pokemon Stadium, Zelda: Four Sword, Crystal Chronicle, PacMan, Splinter Cell, Tingle Tuner, Legend of Zelda, Mercury Steam, Dead Space, Event Horizon, Team Ninja, Tomonobu Itagaki, Kyleanderror13, Republic Commando, Star Wars: Starfighter, LucasArts, Tomb Raider, Jonathan Williams, Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout 3, Mario (series), Rebel FM, Naughty Dog, Looking Glass, System Shock 2, Irrational Games, Soren Johnson, Civ 3, GamaSutra/Game Developer, Sixty Second Shooter Prime, Jamie Fristrom, PlayStation Vita, Commander Keen, Luke, RPG Maker, Bvron, Fumito Ueda, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, Ocarina of Time, Link to the Past, Arcane Studios, Dishonored, Prey, Death Loop, Planescape: Torment, Castlevania, Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, Dark Souls, Jarkko Sivula, GoldenEye, Demon's Souls, Resident Evil, Nathan Martz, Final Fantasy (series), Dungeons & Dragons, Trespasser, Skyrim, Minecraft, Dragon Quest Builders, Valheim, Dwarf Fortress, Joel Burgess, Capy Games, Ubisoft, Watch Dogs, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
TBA!

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

Jul 5, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Metroid Prime. We discuss the visor modes, the pleasing arc of the end game, and other topics before we 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: the face of the Metroid Prime core, reflecting the art of Samus in the environment or creatures, seventeen films in five and a half days, vision modes in games, using vision modes for boss fights and other uses, what is that sound you're hearing?, scanning to get the riddles, using this as a blueprint to figure out other things to do, using the Chozo descriptions to find the artifacts, having the sense of empowerment returning to the areas, not needing to move the goalposts, the toppled tower and other setpieces, a game about seeing, scanning the totems as an unlock, the prophecy of the chosen/Chozo one, where these games connect together, Omega Pirate adding visors to combat, love/hate and the Ridley battle, those Switch joy-cons, learning the pattern recognition, not being sure where your collision ends, finding depth in the movement system, having a final boss that's a little easier, Tim totally misses me saying "that's how we roll" in our Metroid series, translating into a new genre and going their own way, excellent art direction, making the 3D work, the importance of craftmanship, the controller matters, making a business model choice.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Mark Haigh-Hutchison, Marvel (film series), Star Wars, Republic Commando, Mortal Kombat (series), Arkham (series), Assassin's Creed (series), Dr. Who, Morrowind, Halo, Eternal Darkness, Brad Furminger, Everybody Switch, Nintendo Labo, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Bonus content!

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

Jun 21, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2002's Metroid Prime. We talk a bit about some favorite moments, the suit design, the visors, a bit of a grab bag of topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: wondering which creatures were in which games, wondering if the music is your canonical music, crab hands with chords, a non-ergonomic system, using the dog-ears, kibbitzing about controllers, being pulled ahead by inherent mystery, camera direction and half pipes, Tim brings up Artorias again, the moment of fiero, charging up the half-pipe, building up momentum, seeing some things with the thermal visor vs the x-ray visor, testing the player's abilities, serving the purpose of reinforcing play modes, the primordial morph ball, retuning game play for versions, the stress of bosses, relative challenge of bosses in Zelda games vs Metroid, lack of grinding, the variety of progression blockers, the stages of water, thinking you'll drain the water, changing water into not water, not keeping track of where there's water, the first person obscuring that water will be traversable, finding a good energy tank, a bit of a bug, peeling the onion as you have additional tools, seeing the grapple points, wanting better map information, map annoyances, a well set-up "puzzle," framing the camera well in the morph ball, opening up Metroid to the Breath of the Wild, desaturated colors, not missing the dual-stick feel, being able to lock on and pay attention to other things, lock-on facilitating guns as tools. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metal Gear Solid (series), Brainy Gamer podcast, Switch, Castlevania, Hollow Knight, Super Metroid, Dark Souls, Dead Cells, David Wolinsky, Pippin Barr, GameThing, Nintendo, Legend of Zelda (series), Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Alex Neuse, LucasArts, Metroid Fusion, Ernst Lubitsch ("Let the audience add up two plus two. They'll love you forever."), Breath of the Wild, Nintendo Wii, Dungeons & Dragons, The Dungeon Run, Steve Martin, Billy/The2ndQuest, Halo, Jonny Quest, Flight of the Conchords, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More Metroid Prime!

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

Jun 14, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we take a short break from our series on Metroid Prime to catch up on the mail bag. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: GoldenEye, Republic Commando influences, tracking data in games, informing your decisions, figuring out what to do with your data, Arecibo radio telescope, feeling like we're in the game, a favorite multiplayer mode, socially playing GoldenEye, choosing weapons for Dead Space, keeping your enemies closer in Dead Space for tension, what's with all the remakes, why you might do a remake, not enjoying older media, training your new generation of creators, likening GoldenEye 007 to a heist, quicktime events, systemic approaches to spectacle, players knowing they are playing a boring game, feedback through animation, "breaking the game," acceptable frame rates, not feeling the 60Hz, picking a goal and sticking with it, taking a village to fix frame rate, finding the frame rate that makes sense for your game, new funding models, GamePass and 150 million monthly active users, hidden objectives in games, the fun of discovering an objective, cost accessibility and game sales.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: GoldenEye 007, gonsalet, DOOM (1993), Quake, MDK, Outlaws, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Switch, Republic Commando, Halo, Rainbox Six: Rogue Spear, SWAT 4, Irrational Games, Ken Levine, Freedom Fighters, IO Interactive, Star Wars, Unreal, Alex Epton, Deus Ex, The Walking Dead, The Art of Live Ops, Maple Story, World of Warcraft, Steve Meretzky, Infocom, Sam Bates, Sean Bean, Contact, Assassin's Creed, Brett Baptist, Blarg42, Dead Space, Capcom, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, System Shock, Callisto Protocol, Ian Milham, Shadow of the Colossus, Medi-evil, Link's Awakening, Call of Duty, Daron Stinnett, Electronic Arts, Michael, Arkham Asylum, God of War, Dark Souls, From Russia With Love, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Warzone, Fortnite, Rare Studios, Grant Kirkhope, mysterydip, Tears of the Kingdom, Skyrim, Eric Johnston, Starfighter, Breath of the Wild, Microsoft, Activision/Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, Artimage, Jedi Starfighter, TimeSplitters 2, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Back to Metroid Prime

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

Jun 7, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Metroid Prime. We discuss the particular alchemy of combining Metroid's formula with the shooter format in a Nintendo vein, with comparisons to other shooter lineages and discuss what it means for level design, among other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to Thardus (in theory)

Issues covered: getting a power-up and not thinking the ball shape should work, being boneless, structuring the space as a first-person game, the see-lock-discover-power-revisit-lock loop, opening the map too much, both of us having hives, turning off hints, making notes, not hiding secrets in the same way as the 2D games, making the challenges visible, using the map to find negative space in 2D, scanning when you come into a room, the trauma of working on Nintendo, the capabilities of the GameCube and its media, the game holding up very well, managing the art direction, world continuity, gun dimensionality, looking at the world in one way, other shooters that have maybe the one thing, making a shooter that fits the franchise and not following others, going their own way, owning the space, making a system seller, translating enemy archetypes, translating the morph ball into a sort of 2D space, morphing back into Samus and moving the camera, first-person dive rolling, a digression on the music and translating it to a higher quality way, be inspired to play the games from the 'cast, cardboard shenanigans.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dungeons & Dragons, Metroid Fusion, Halo, God of War, Dark Souls, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Doom, Quake, idTech, Prey, Half-Life 2, Dead Space, Breath of the Wild, The Witcher (series), Assassin's Creed (series), Retro Studios, Super Metroid, Ocarina of Time, TimeSplitters, Turok, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Rare, Super Mario Sunshine, Wind Waker, KillZone, Luigi's Mansion, Beyond Good and Evil, Crystal Chronicles, Four Sword Adventure, Obi-Wan, Metal Gear Solid, Star Wars, Super Mario Odyssey, Koji Kondo, Megaman 2/X, DaveK_Says, Morrowind, Warcraft, spock_thoughts, GoldenEye, Calamity Nolan, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Find out in our Discord!

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

May 24, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we start a new series on Metroid Prime, which we are playing via the Nintendo Switch remaster. We set the game in its time, talk a little bit about Retro, and then wall jump into the action of the tutorial area. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Until you arrive on Tallon IV

Issues covered: Tim's purging, Western developers making FPSes for Japanese publishers, basing things on the lock-on, a game set apart by art direction, a ban on 2002, Brett's bookend years, the Capcom 5, the games for GameCube, being in the helmet, attach rate, top sales, reminiscing about a former colleague, the transition to 3D and Mark HH to support, seeing the potential for the game beneath the engine, ripping away ownership of the FPS, returning to the 2D formula, doling out their lesser selling properties a bit at a time, starting with all the gadgets, taking notes when you play a Metroid game, adding accessibility via the lock-on, locking on without a target, scanning as the second thing, good world building and boss teasing, teaching you how to fight with a simple boss, the amazing music and audio design, getting to look through the helmet, augmenting the sense of embodiment, finding community in an MMO, design for addictiveness, having an engaging game and then making something punishing, taking a game too far, the golden mean, ethical free-to-play, game metrics, key performance indicators, costs of people who play a game too much, designing to encourage people to step away from time to time, the humble origins of the James Bond theme, 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: GoldenEye 007, Splatoon, Capcom, Lost Planet, Retro Studios, Halo, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Eternal Darkness, Ratchet & Clank, Morrowind, Animal Crossing, Kingdom Hearts, Timesplitters 2, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, 2015 Games, Infinity Ward, Jedi Knight 2, NOLF 2, BF1942, GameCube, Wind Waker, Resident Evil, Super Mario Sunshine, James Bond 007: Nightfire, Metroid Fusion, Dark Cloud 2, Sly Cooper & Thievious Raccoonus, Splinter Cell, Warcraft III, Neverwinter Nights, Jedi Starfighter, LucasArts, Resident Evil 4, Republic Commando, Metroid Dread, Nintendo Switch, LoZ: Tears of the Kingdom, Geist, Shadows of the Empire, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Jon Knowles, Shigeru Miyamoto, MegaForce, Super Mario 64, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Wired magazine, DOOM (1993), Metroid: Samus Returns, Bandai/Namco, Metroid: Other M, Mario Kart 8, Breath of the Wild, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Arkham Asylum, Unreal, Colin "The Shots," World of Warcraft, Everquest, Marvel Snap, 343 Industries, June, Aristotle, Super Mario Galaxy, Sony, Star Wars: Galaxies, Raph Koster, Ultima Online, Calamity Nolan, James Bond, Guy Morgan, Monty Norman, Bad Sign/Good Sign, V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas, John Barry, Grant Kirkhope, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Check the Discord!

Links:
The James Bond origin track

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

May 17, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on GoldenEye 007 by diving a bit into the multiplayer and discussing our overall takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Multiplayer (for about an hour)

Issues covered: getting the good old Rare stories, writing music for the Nintendo 64, finding the Donkey Kong pitch, how remarkably easy it was to play it multiplayer, privacy concerns and game services, car horns and dogs, motion sickness, picking the guns, weapon placement, modes versus mutators versus picking your guns, asymmetrical play, house rules, a social multiplayer experience, lower stakes, not shooting if the other person doesn't have a gun, bullet penetration, more depth than anticipated, feeling the depth, rocket explosion use, a feature under the radar, ease of use, convincing the publisher, a humorous multiplayer, breaking the rules of FPSes, a historical development branch, seeing the one-upmanship in action, the multiplayer dark horse, the multiplicity of the modes, a cinematic FPS that uses the license really well, good characterization and escort missions that don't bug you, spending time makes characters matter, friendly AI at the time, objectives and level of difficulty, learning on the easy difficulty so you can play on the more difficult levels, drowning in nostalgia, building the realistic levels, the limitations of the tech and how it helped, the spookiness of fog.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Grant Kirkhope, Neill Harrison, Stamper (family), Donkey Kong Country, Bill Roper, Calamity Nolan, Switch, DOOM (1993), Halo, Unreal Tournament, Outlaws, Quake, Artimage, Biostats, LucasArts, Clorf, Starfighter, Noclip, Gran Turismo, Pete Brubaker, id Software, Time Splitters, Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux, Starsiege: Tribes, Rogue Spear, Mario Kart 64, Steve Ash, Chris Klie, Alan Cumming, Drew, Minnie Driver, No One Lives Forever 2, The 002nd Quest, Shadows of the Empire, Silent Hill 2, Turok, Dead Space, Dark Souls 2, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Our next game!

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

May 10, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we insert a bonus interview into the middle of our series on GoldenEye 007. We speak with Grant Kirkhope, one of two composers on the title. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:58 Interview
1:03:57 Break
1:04:32 Outro

Issues covered: starting at Rare in '95, composing in hex, the imposing approach to programming, fitting in 1 Mb, making a clarinet from one note, limiting your palette, looping your cymbal decay, working within your limits, downsampling from 44.1 kKz and using the EQ, working from good tunes rather than a huge palette, getting a degree in trumpet and living the musician life, the dole and mom's house, sending in casette tapes, having a meg of memory to play with, going to Disneyland, a farm in the middle of nowhere with teams in stables, a family affair, GameBoy in the morning and GoldenEye in the afternoon, limiting who could be in what building, a culture of friendly rivalry, taking ideas and building on them, brilliant bosses, being into the Bond films, the best film releases of every year, not knowing what you're doing, working on the multiplayer in secret, "not pleasing anyone a lot but pleasing a lot of people a little bit" these days, coming up with the idea in the morning and doing it in the afternoon, the indie spirit, small teams, making the engine you need and no extraneous bits, building games like Nintendo, working from two or three sentences, how does this thing sound (spiky things vs forest things), messing around until you hear what you like, instinctual, developing from an emotional sense, delving into Statue Park, trying to find the John Barry magic, being afraid you're going to get fired and instead moving on to another project, getting a chance to film all the sets, having the magic destroyed, a game that just kept selling and selling, the godfather of trap music, pause music becoming the soundtrack of the game, falling into games without training, music living on when the games don't necessarily, things that get into your head as a child, remembering what you've done, making someone's favorite game, having quite a journey, games as not a destination for composers, having a scene.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Donkey Kong, Graeme Norgate, Rare, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Viva Pinata, Kingdoms of Amalur, Civilization: Beyond Earth, Mario + Rabbids, The King's Daughter, Pierce Brosnan, Edinburgh, Nintendo, Blast Corps, Ken Griffey Baseball, Dave Wise, Robin Beanland, Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, Van Halen, Killer Instinct, Keybase, Atari ST, Tim and Chris Stamper, Donkey Kong Country, Microsoft, Mortal Kombat, Faith No More, Duran Duran, Martin Hollis, Shigeru Miyamoto, Captain America, Monty Norman, John Barry, Gregg Mayles, Pinewood Studios, The World Is Not Enough/Tomorrow Never Dies, Sea of Thieves, Thunderbirds, Sting Ray, Tim Schafer, Psychonauts 2, Chris Woods, David Byrne, How Music Works, Velvet Underground, DOOM, Dark Forces, Neill Harrison, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Multiplayer and takeaways

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
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