Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. This week we talk a bit about how we're playing the game, what that suggests about its design, and continue to delve into all this vampire mythos. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Up through Hollywood
0:50 VtM: Bloodlines
Issues covered: how we get from area to area, the Nosferatu primogen... Gary, sect and clan, getting to meet Grout (or not), meeting our first vampire hunter, playing to the tabletop fanbase, integrating the worldbuilding and servicing fans, getting caught up in the machinations, building a power base, sending the player back and forth between hubs, having dialog options that tie into the politics, feeling like a double agent, Nosferatu as the Shadow Broker, misreading Malkavian cues, including Tzimisce and whatever Pishi is, having a number of trope locations, good connections between locations and storylines, being able to rely on a quest log, needing to take notes, missing a codex, a narrative quest log presented in a more mechanical way, having difficulty remembering who or where a character is, lack of a player-focused map, wanting a little more direction at times, telegraphing and inconsistency, the affordances of GMs/DMs and adapting tabletop RPGs, more of an action game and an adventure game, testing spending upgrade points, dialog supporting the RPGs, needing to support things as augmenting the storylines, their first 3D game, lack of levels, the combat not delivering XP, having difficulty reading the cameras, leveling obfuscation, choosing melee over guns, audience expectations around combat for RPGs and particularly modern-set RPGs, sum of parts/grotty fish stew, maintaining the Masquerade, increasing your stealth so high that you can get closer to things, whose hand you're playing into, appreciating the many scary locations, having to hit the right level of pastiche, someone asking me not to sing a singing review, indirect control games, the rhythm of conflict, direct vs indirect control in Populous, limitations of controls, MOBAs, iteration in AAA: sprints vs longer prototypes, gating iteration, the difficulties of high fidelity, iterating a big feature in Skyrim, how milestones change late in development, working on an intellectual property you love, the difference in feeling of playing each clan type, solo character RPGs being the big difference, how you're reined in to have the game be buildable, choices around women.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dracula/Drakthar, Dungeons & Dragons, Fallout (series), Mass Effect, The Shining, Silent Hill, The Witcher 3, Shenmue, Hitman (series), Half-Life, Troika, Bethesda Game Studios, Crimson Peak, Bioshock, Thief, Dishonored 2, Resident Evil, Maas Neotek Proto, Podcast Addict, Spodboy, Jon Cheatham, Giant Beastcast, AwwwwwYeeeaahhh, Populous, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, John Webb, SNES, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, Glenn Corpes, Warren Linam-Church, SW: Republic Commando, John Romero, Skyrim, Todd Howard, Dagur Danielsson, CCP Games, Dragon Age (series), Deus Ex, Kingdom Hearts, Chinatown, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.
Up through Chinatown
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