Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Plundered Hearts, the pirate romance text adventure, and also turning to a short bonus discussion about Twine games. We mostly discuss our takeaways before turning to the bonus discussion. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
51:12 Bonus Discussion
Issues covered: text adventure length, an introductory adventure and the audience it sought, being unable to market, a diversion to Rogue Legacy 2, finding a parser bug, game pack-ins, losing a thing to the parser, a garter on a crocodile, waiting and responding to player choice, playtesting internally, not knowing to wait, inventory combination vs revisiting every location you've missed, failure-driven games, piecing clues together through trial and error, choosing your verbs carefully, whether there are multiple solutions, the hostility of a trial-and-error design, subverting your genre through mechanics, Tim's life as a series of flow charts, a structure still used today, flow charts for puzzle steps, working back from a problem to the solution, responding to your players, using good writing to provide a rich experience, interesting work coming from diverse sources, being playful with text, Twine as an environment, what you can do with good writing and simple tools, text effects, the approachability of the tools, personal games, an experimental game and interpretation, the structure of "howling dogs," simulation aspects, commentary on games, the default response and the "that's interesting," poetic/evocative/allusive tone, being in a browser and the affordances, a commentary on the games industry, the anxiety-provoking games, feeling seen, being exactly spot-on, a learning tool, the value of constraints.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dark Souls, Zork, Infocom, Byte, Nibble, EGM, Nintendo Power, Rogue Legacy 2, Halo, LucasArts, Day of the Tentacle, Emily Short, Counterfeit Monkey, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Dungeons & Dragons, MYST, Space Quest, King's Quest, Reed Knight, Ron Gilbert, Peter Pan, Errol Flynn, Geena Davis, Cutthroat Island, Matthew Modine, Activision, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Chris Klimas, Hypercard, howling dogs, Porpentine, The Writer Will Do Something, Matthew Seiji Burns, Tom Bissell, Game Developer magazine, Magical Wasteland, IF Comp, Andrew Plotkin, Meg Jayanth, Richard Hofmeier, Papers Please, Hot Pockets, Mountain Dew, Warhammer, Frog Fractions, Universal Paperclips, Frank Lantz, HP Lovecraft, Melville, Shakespeare, Mark Laidlaw, Eliza, Zachtronics, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.
It was not Papers, Please (which is also excellent and by Lucas Pope), but Cart Life that was by Richard Hofmeier
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