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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: Page 2
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
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Discord Invite

Apr 26, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on GoldenEye 007. We talk about the shelf-level event, running towards the end, and some wonky controller stuff. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the SP game!

Issues covered: Moneypenny presentation, illness, leveraging the Switch N64 save states, the scene on the train, using the laser watch, not how trains work, lack of lock-on, camera assist, twenty brackets, getting a head start on the puzzle, the feel of the train, designing for your strengths rather than throwing in something new, the pains of playing retro games, the maximum throw vs the minimum throw, overcorrection due to overacceleration, autoleveling, tuning the sticks before hitting the emulator level, the three Cs -- character/camera/controls, typical Nintendo re-releases vs emulation, leaning into the fantasy fulfillment of being Bond, the diagetic interface of the watch, the health/shields in full-screen and reflecting the watch, being in your face about critical information, levels becoming more linear at the very end, affordances for the game, a survey of the last few levels, trying to reflect the movie, secret agent levels you want to be in, the final setting and a good pay-off, the real dish, scaling the difficulty with objectives, relying on QA, the fantasy satisfaction of relentlessly heading towards the end, not crediting the face scans, evolving crediting standards, playing multiplayer, Tim the spirit animal, the Big Wheel, trying to focus on the thing that's new, taking my retirement in stages, Tim and his dang bandit knife, earning every mile, asymmetrical multiplayer, difficulty and objectives, mutators and other means of changing difficulty, multiplayer customization, arcade transition.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris (apologies to Thandiwe Newton and Ms Harris), Uncharted, Dead Space, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Okami, Dwarf Fortress, LucasArts, Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, GameCube, Half-Life, Valve, Deus Ex (series), Halo, Republic Commando, Jedi Knight, Fallout 3, Matt Tateishi, Adventure, Colin "The Shots" Tougas, Shenmue, Dreamcast, Indiana Jones, UbiSoft, Dark Cloud 2, Travis McGee, Dark Souls, Death Stranding, Bounty Hunter, Outlaws, Jeffrey Sondin-King (Pinecone), Troy, Crystal Dynamics, Celeste, System Shock 2, Silent Scope, Dino Crisis, Kingdom Hearts, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
GoldenEye MP 

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

Apr 19, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. We talk about story accommodations, enemy AI, NPCs, and level design concerns and questions. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Roughly up to mission 10

Issues covered: talking to the people who set up the mission, Moneypenny and representation, changing up the briefing, objective structure, "the Dark Nintendo," how Rare got bought, the challenges of adapting a film where Bond isn't in every scene, objectives in a first-person shooter, interpreting the objectives, confusing visual language, arcade action with waves of enemies, feeling simulation-y, pressure on the player, the impact on the game, technical achievement in the level design, non-linear levels and the problems with landmarking, spy fantasy locations, wanting a boat chase, bad telegraphing, blowing people's minds, enemy animation and location-based hits, blood effects, shooting off hats, smoke and mirrors, asking the team what to do, what the player brings to the game, the AI missing you, putting your money in the enemies, projectile speed, being the fantasy guy vs being the guy, pegging the easy difficulty right, superheroes vs realism, finding objectives that aren't objectives, escort missions, using your one verb and puzzling, making mountains out of molehills, what games opened things up for you, the impact of specific MMOs, walking simulators, haikus of stories. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil 4, GameCube, Microsoft, Quake, Half-Life, Duke Nuke'em 3D, Hitman 2, War Games, Monolith, No One Lives Forever (series), GOG, National Lampoon's European Vacation, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Shadows of the Empire, Quiller (series), Sean Connery, Starfighter, DOOM (1993), Rainbox Six, Soldier of Fortune, Shigeru Miyamoto, Last of Us (series), Mark of Kri (really Rise of the Kasai), Collin "The Shots" Tsougas, John Romero, Super Mario World, Devil May Cry, Chrono Trigger, Destiny, Elden Ring, Diablo, Metal Gear Solid, EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Gone Home, Dear Esther, Proteus, Firewatch, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Dark Souls, Kingdom Hearts, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Finish single player


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

Apr 12, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1997's Rare classic, GoldenEye 007. We set the game in its time before getting down to brass tacks, including comparing the experience to the film. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First full mission (three levels)

Issues covered: the license, a bit about the film and the film series, 1997 in games, the flourishing of the first person shooter, late in a console cycle, disparity between PC FPSes and console FPSes, Rare with a lot of games and a lot of further game studios, missing the original controller, remapping shenanigans, threading the needle on a film adaptation, filling in gaps in the license, choosing your exciting set piece, wide level design, the triple cut, Hong Kong cinema, cinematic choices, contrasting with later cinematic games, how many mechanics will you incorporate, chasing this game, choosing different presentation, showing death the character death, an era of accessibility needs recognition, at last listening to our hate mail.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Nintendo, Fatal Frame, PlayStation, Pierce Brosnan, Nintendo 64, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen, Alan Cumming, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Skyfall, Diablo, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Fallout, Quake, SW: Jedi Knight: DF2, Blood, Outlaws, Turok, Shadow Warrior, Hexen II, Raven Software, 3D Realms, GT Interactive, Duke Nuke'em, Postal, Curse of Monkey Island, Age of Empires, The Last Express, Final Fantasy VII, Colony Wars, Wing Commander: Prophecy, Riven, MYST, XvT, Interstate '76, Mario Kart 64, OddWorld, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Diddy Kong Racing, The Stamp brothers, NES, Slalom, Wizards and Warriors, Battletoads, Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark, Microsoft, Viva Pinata, Banjo Kazooie (series), Donkey Kong Country, Silicon Graphics, Timesplitters, Free Radical, John Romero, Majora's Mask, Minish Cap, Metroid Fusion, The Fugitive, Harrison Ford, Mission: Impossible, John Woo, Hard Target, Broken Arrow, Face Off, Metal Gear Solid, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Alpha Protocol, Telltale Games, IO Interactive, Machine Games, Colin "The Shots," Devil May Cry, Dark Souls, Celeste, Luke Harris, Tetris 64, Starfighter/JSF, 343 Industries, Kingdom Hearts (series), Republic Commando, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More GoldenEye 007

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

Apr 5, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we catch up on our mail bag and tackle a ton of different topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: catching up on the mail bag, kind words, jumping down onto back of a Chardalyn Dragon, the most important bowling bowl in the universe, frames for playing games, when are you playing the game, going deep on a game and joining its community, moments of discovery, reflections on the 'cast, how we approach our play, what you miss when you play and what you look up later, communities around game, responsive move sets, where you put your investment in development, learning the move sets, invading and being invaded, having a manager, getting way deeper into the game, the stress levels of the game, adventure mode, the Very Pouty Bard, the stress levels of this game, sunk cost fallacy, the weight of continuing a game, expecting not to get too deep in the game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dwarf Fortress, Kodie Martin, Super Mario 64, John Romero, Vampire: The Masquerade, Brian Mitsoda, Collin "The Shots" James Tiberius Tsougas, Diablo, EverQuest, PlayStation, David Brevik, Dungeons & Dragons, Troy Mashburn, 343 Industries, Brian Taylor, Alien, Final Fantasy IX, Nier: Automata, OliverUV, Jason Grinblat, Freehold Games, Boatmurdered, Dark Souls, Kruggsmash, Tarn and Zach Adams, Eve Online, Frog Fractions, Brenda Romero, Train (board game), Sea of Thieves, Valheim, Roll20, Johnny "Pockets" Grattan, Minecraft, Legend of Zelda, Jeff Cannata, World of Warcraft, The Dungeon Run, LucasArts, Game Theory Group, Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow, The Walking Dead, Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds, Assassin's Creed, Luke Caspar Pearson, Sandra Youkhana, Keza MacDonald, Jason Killingsworth, YOU DIED, Michael Justice, FROM Software, Namco Bandai, Skyrim, Jeffool, Artimage, X-COM, Pong, Kingdom Hearts, Demons's Souls, Civilization, Magic: The Gathering, Flight of the Conchords, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
New game series! 

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

Mar 29, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Dwarf Fortress. We tell a couple more stories, get into how this would or would not eat up our lives, and turn to takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Another 10 hours (Brett) or two hours (Tim)

Issues covered: withdrawing from society to create an heirloom, failing your ghosts, feeling the wet walls, watching the water spread around, creating a well by flooding your lower level, getting stuck in the morass vs learning, the continuing sadness of the Very Pouty Bard, the looming tension in other games, the complexity of some of the systems, diving into other menus, finding the mission system, sanding down difficulty edges, running into the system friction, losing is fun, the pleasures of recovery, so many ways of failure and the time to failure, every happy family, the real boss: the happiness scale, getting further away from the paint can, layer of abstraction, play intensity and life mismatching, the strength of the theme, the amount of iteration and being able to see them, driving design and iteration, the profit motive vs archiving, it's okay to be unforgiving, the presentation allowing for opacity, procedural generation, generating a lore bible or tome, becoming the go-to example for a mechanic, zeitgeists, dead drunken cats, seeing the chain of events that leads to a bug.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Populous, Civ, SimCity, World of Warcraft, Spelunky, Dark Souls, Leo Tolstoy, Ratchet & Clank, BattleCruiser 3K, Firewatch, Colin "The Shots" James Tiberius Tsougas, Kingdom Hearts (series), Super Mario 64, Jumping Flash, Halo, GoldenEye, Kill.Switch, Gears of War, Cliffy B, PlayStation, Daron Stinnett, PacMan, DOOM (1993), Gothic Chocobo, Far Cry 2, Dead Space, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Links:
Tarn Adams NoClip

Next time:
Maybe the mailbag?

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

Mar 22, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dwarf Fortress. We turn to the Steam version of the game and especially talk about how a more graphical presentation changes the feel of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
2 - 8 hours (Tim - Brett)

Issues covered: starting over, an unhappy bard who you just can't make happy, the necromancer who injured himself in a ravine and who raised an undead to defend him, exploring the game's systems to try and make her happy, goals that arise indirectly, the accomplishment of making her happy, abandoning saves, letting the simulation run, walling in your staircase and the art being unclear, 500K events, the history of the world, watching the world be built or discarded, being curious about a smaller world, resource pressure, task management, a relatively frictionless first year, the leap of graphics, zooming up through the canopy, seeing your floors, realizing what things represent, going narrow so you can go deep, generating stories, hidden personality variables, dating sims, adding pressure by adding a bunch of new dwarves, meeting areas, a starving cow, so many timers and spinning many plates, the evocative melancholy of the music, games from our childhood.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Animal Crossing, Black & White, Chris Corry, Andrew Kirmse, Valheim, Minecraft, Kitfox Games, Starfighter, Chris Crawford, Rimworld, Populous, SimCity, Tarn Adams, Colin Tougas, Pokemon Red/Blue, Wizardry (series), Ultima (series), Eye of the Beholder, Etrian Odyssey (series), King's Quest, Space Quest, Tetris, Lode Runner, Ultima Underworld, Docobron, Final Fantasy IX, Super Mario World, Metal Gear Solid 3, Chrono Trigger, The Witness, Artimage, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More DF and our takeaways

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

Mar 15, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dwarf Fortress. We talk about working on a thing for a long time, the refinements of the latest version, and a host of other small issues. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Several hours of the latest version of the game

Issues covered: rendering different glyphs, working on a thing for twenty years, the historical record, preservation, iteration, a game of saying yes, being able to leverage systems to other purposes, adding to the interface, modernizing their UI, experimentation and direction, setting goals, greater clarity, when a dwarf can't do a thing, doing more planning due to exposure to the systems, intuiting where things should go in relation to one another, the presentation of UI, the depth of the emotional state of the dwarves, world generation and fantasy elements, amount of space determining how dwarves will act, hotkeying to views, elevation levels of the world, planning ahead, the responsiveness of the dwarves, increased tick rate and the way it impacts play, communicating state of what the dwarf is up to, how the game might do on Steam, the appeal of life simulation games, emergent stories, a child playing with the trash, adding dialog for trade, giving goals or quests without a quest system, making a thing out of the trade panel, the tradeoff of fidelity and simulation, the benefits of Moore's Law, games we have a hard time playing now, liking problematic things, the sign that a thing is a problem from another's perspective, simple mechanics that work, increasing the fun.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Halo, World of Warcraft, APEX Legends, Fortnite, SimCity, Lynx, Lexis-Nexis, DOS, Linux/Unix, Emacs, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Minecraft, Populous, Civilization, RimWorld, The Sims, Will Wright, DOOM (1993), Cities: Skylines, Fallout, Farmville, Skyrim, Flight of the Conchords, Colin Tougas, GTA III, Pokemon Red/Blue, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid, Dragon's Lair, Tron, Death Stranding, Jarkko Sivula, Rogue, Dark Souls, RPG Maker, Unity, Godot, Uncharted, Mainichi, Mattie Brice, Microsoft Powerpoint, Sierra On-Line, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
The Steam Version

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

Mar 1, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2006's Dwarf Fortress. We explore our failures by telling some stories about our experiences, and describing what that tells us about what this game is and what its systems might be. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Our first Fortresses

Issues covered: needing a Trade Depot, changing state of a building, feedback on buildings, iconography challenges in a game of this scale, the emotional state of your dwarves, seeing a melancholy dwarf, a dwarf wading into a pond, state vacillation, being aware of the passage of time, building a really good fortress that fails anyway, the underground river, a drowning cat and a shaking room, enjoying the failure, maybe having to plan ahead for the failures, storytelling as a vessel to understand the game, being unable to attach to dwarves as individuals due to cognitive load, gaining attachment to particular dwarves, developing your game in public vs private and the dev story attached, what language its in, moving to Simple Direct Layer, the feral cat and its bad seed kitten, the jaguar battle and post-traumatic stress, going in and out of a bedroom, the confluence of so many systems and story generation, messing up my first trade, the arrival of additional dwarves, wanting some kind of save states, "Happiness is a thing," wanting a chair, early strategy tips from Brett, not knowing how to farm, hunting vermin, intent in design choices, the actual interaction vs the way we talk about it, movie recording and wanting to share, wanting a bit more information about why things aren't happening, wanting a game to be the entire presentation, short runs and roguelikes, judging for the IGF, accidentally summoning a bunch of zombies, layering in more stuff with text and leaning into subverting your story.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sophie's Choice, Sim City, Civilization, Virginia Woolf, Rogue, X-COM, Battlecruiser 3K, Tarn and Zach Adams, pfs:Write, DOS, Dark Souls, Sam, Spelunky, Nethack, A Dark Room, Frog Fractions, Zachary Crownover, Plundered Hearts, Thief II: The Metal Age, Dishonored, Prey, Dead Space, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
The most recent Windows version

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

Feb 22, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our themed series on the flexibility of text with 2006's Dwarf Fortress. We set the game in its time and then start delving into the play of the game, and the steep cliff of learning how to play it. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A couple of hours

Podcast breakdown:
0:46 Dwarf Fortress
54:36 Break
55:13 Feedback

Issues covered: an early early access game, ASCII vs glyphs, setting the game in its time, lack of simulation games at the time, similar games we've played, not knowing how to categorize the game, failure to launch, not playing the game but playing the learning of the game, exploring the game's systems, bouncing off tremendously, in-game help, "losing is fun," being different from the mainstream, an opening cutscene and music, fictional grounding and world generation, the depth of the dwarves, getting clues from the help and discovering how to do those things, the minimal interface, the combinatorics of choices made, being in a jungle vs a pine forest, having a sad dwarf and building for them, reassigning dwarf abilities, balancing for combat by what the fortress produces, thinking ahead and attracting attention, invading raccoons and a miasma, losing a sense of scale of time, seasons and weather, a flowing river, the little stories you see play out, the tamed feral cat, a cave-in, the ant farm appeal, moments of discovery, levelling up, turning someone into a recruit, games getting shorter if they are level-based, eyes bigger than stomach, scope creep problems, overstuffing a game, systemic expansion, reactive planning in Rogue vs grinding in Diablo, increasing player agency, customizing TTRPGs to react to the players, running the games in our brains, a framework for storytelling, dabbling in game design without having to do it from scratch, accommodating flexibility and adaptation, having a lot to keep in your head, simpler rulesets, designing for physical vs digital, designed scarcity.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Artimage, Bay 12 Games, Zach and Tarn Adams, Rogue, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Gears of War, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros, TES: Oblivion, Final Fantasy XII, Dead Rising, Okami, Zoo Tycoon, Thrillville, Civilization, The Sims, Populous, SimCity, Skyrim, Minecraft, Kamil, Branden, Assassin's Creed, Fallout (series), Morrowind, Rogue Legacy 2, Star Wars: Starfighter, Murray Lorden, Diablo 2, Nintendo Switch, Nick Miller, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Joel Gifford, Marvel Snap, Hearthstone, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More Dwarf Fortress!

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

Feb 8, 2023

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.

Podcast breakdown:
0:18 Takeaways
51:02 Break
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. 

Errors!
It was not Papers, Please (which is also excellent and by Lucas Pope), but Cart Life that was by Richard Hofmeier

Links:
When You Say One Thing and Mean Your Motherboard

Next time:
...?!

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

Feb 1, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our mini theme of the flexibility of text. We examine the Infocom era by playing a late title, Plundered Hearts. We discuss some of the rougher aspects of the game and the mechanics of text adventures, including the facilities of the language and some of its modern descendants. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Tim (all), Brett (the first section)

Issues covered: setting the game in its time, graphic adventures in the time, the death of Infocom, the variety of Infocom's game, Tim pulling his hair out, the cinematic nature of the game, some digressions on Deadline, extending the play through difficulty, saving the game, puzzles and wordplay, exploring the parser, accommodating the player, playing with tropes, Tim misses the boat, a bit of description of the parser and virtual machine, rooms and inventory, fore and aft vs north and south, abstraction and flexibility, restrictions, great graphics via visualization, the perfect run and the perfect score, the modern text adventure market, trigger warning for adult themes, a female protagonist, failure states, "a fate worse than death," a commentary about the dangers for women in the world, a game that she wanted to play, the context of the medium and the inherent danger of the world, having an impactful victory, Vermin's SL1 of Dark Souls, Pippin Barr and experimental games, Break Out and performance art, from Rogue to Diablo.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Rogue, Calamity Nolan, Reed Knight, TIE Fighter, Aaron Reed, Maniac Mansion, Sierra Online, Space Quest 2, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Nintendo/NES, Punch-Out, Final Fantasy, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Day of the Tentacle, Cornerstone, Zork, Deadline, Deathloop, The Lurking Horror, Ballyhoo, Moonmist, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Activision, Sea of Thieves, Amy Briggs, Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, Sleep No More, Colossal Cave Adventure, Apple ][, Volkswagon, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Dark Souls, Tomb Raider, Choose Your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy, Sir Ian Livingstone, Ink/Inkle, Around the World in 80 Days, Sorcery (series), Heaven's Vault, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Suspended, Brian Moriarty, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Dark Souls, Emily Short, Elsinore, Pirates of the Caribbean, verminthewepper, Pippin Barr, David Wolinsky, Marina Abramovich, The Artist Is Present, Kill.Screen, GameThing, Breakout, don't die, Father Beast, Diablo, Ragnarok Valhalla, Glenn Wichman, The Eggplant Show, Dave Brevik, Moria, Nethack, Oliver Uv, Brogue, Caves of Qud, Cogmind, Rogue Legacy 2, Mark Garcia, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
A bit of a bonus and takeaways!

Errata:
It's a babelfish, I can't believe I couldn't remember that

Brett confused Astrologaster with Heaven's Vault (he was referring to the latter)

Links:
Interactive Fiction Database

GameThing podcast!

Pippin Barr's site
Don't Die by David Wolinsky


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

Jan 18, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we elaborate our series on Rogue by looking at one that continues its legacy, that is, Rogue Legacy 2. It's right there in the name! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours (well, about a dozen for Brett)

Issues covered: Rogue-likes and Rogue-lites, comparing it a bit with Spelunky, the journal in Spelunky, games like it Tim has played, getting something out of runs, unlocking character types, bespoke levels vs tiled spaces and level generation, kitchen sink design, the clarity of the legacy, the punishment of starting over from scratch, not feeling like I got any further, quality of life improvements, the many ways you can make choices, terrific music, seeing your life flash before your eyes, humorous traits, saying yes to everything, sequel polish, the verb mix, grinding here vs JRPGs, improving skills, wrapping Rogue elements, multiple currencies, maintaining the Rogue with taking the gold, psychology of gold, removing a pillar and losing some enjoyment, knowing someone who beat Rogue, beating Darth Vader, an emergent property of Rogue, making a game you could play yourself, the cleverness and wondering how deep it can go, the punishment of Dark Souls and the progression layer, preferring an endpoint, long-term commitment, other Rogues to check out, a discussion of kit-bashing, kit-bashing and the art department, model kits and the origin of the term, kit-bashing in film, learning to parry.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Spelunky, Clue (obliquely), Colin Northway (obliquely), Dead Cells, Castlevania, Darius Kazemi, Oliver Uv, Cellar Door, PlayStation Vita, Dark Souls, Hades, Humphrey Bogart, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Darren Johnson, TIE Fighter, Derek Yu, Boss Fight Books, Sebastian Deken, Final Fantasy VI, Civilization, Paul Pierce, Haden Blackman, Diablo, njallain, Roguelike Celebration, International Roguelike Convention, Brogue, Caves of Qud, Gamma World, Cogmind, Michael Brough, 868-HACK, mysterydip, Maas Neotek Prototype, Ian Milham, Dead Space, Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout (series), Skyrim, Republic Commando, Star Wars, Industrial Light & Magic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Bloodborne, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
TBA!

Links:
Darius Kazemi on Generating Spelunky

Caves of Qud and Wave Function Collapse

Brogue's Mechanisms

Michael Brough on Roguelikes


Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
Discord: https://t.co/YVZOe7ZygI
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Jan 11, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our brief series on Rogue, though admittedly if you want the full experience, cut up the two episodes into one minute pieces and randomly select fifty to eighty of those pieces and play them in random order. This week we talk about strategies, life lessons from Rogue, and of course give our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few more hours (Tim) and way too many (Brett)

Issues covered: a visit by June, meeting a griffin, lack of physical damage in creatures, desirable item assessment, changing how you play by what you find, combinatorics, not knowing how many good wands there are, Brett's many strategies, traps and their impact later, the importance and pressure of food, inventory management, having to level up as you go, invisible creatures, regeneration, information is power, constraints dictating the design, treasure rooms and teleportation, the anecdote factory, whether items are weighted, iterating the design, monsters carrying items, fearing the kryptonite ring, the loot factory naming scheme, your first cursed item, life lessons learned from Rogue, resting too long, throwing potions, confusion, multiple dice games and scalability, the profound impact of constraints, someone oughta make a genre out of this, efficient for development, finding my exit strategy, simple objects creating depth, making the most of mechanics, yes and, the power of iteration, grinding as a failed strategy, always having a chance you might win, signing up for the experience, the supreme flexibility of text, comedy and the roguelike, retention and the roguelike, incorporating RPG elements, resetting a space.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Valheim, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls, Colossal Cave Adventure, Infocom, Space Quest, King's Quest, MYST, Spelunky, Diablo, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, Storyteller, Call of Cthulhu, GURPS, Shadowrun, Solitaire, Hunt the Wumpus, mysterydip, Ron Gilbert, Goat Simulator, Zach Gage, Deus Ex, Prey, Dishonored (series), Deathloop, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Bonus game!

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

Jan 4, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1980's seminal and genre-naming title, Rogue. We set the game in time and talk about what constitutes the genre before diving into some particulars. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few runs

Issues covered: buying the game in a box, being disappointed in the ASCII, being turned off by procedural games, the differences in later games, the lore of the game, playing on a mainframe, the roots of so many games in text format, a top 50 achievement in games, the elements of the Rogue-like, procedural generation, inventory, randomized items, permadeath, getting over the hurdles in types of games, a chain reaction of bad things, clicking with a specific experience, simulating the rogue-like, a long shadow, playing to get a feel, being terrified of letters, trying things at random, a voyage of discovery, knowledge, renaming everything, consistent descriptions, thinking about strategy, the cumbersome bow mechanics, more depth than expected, the possibilities of emergence, anecdote factory, "wait, there are bear traps?"

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Adventure, Atari 2600, Colossal Cave Adventure, Dungeons & Dragons, Egghead Software, Moria, Nethack, Jamie Fristrom, ADOM, Angband, Zork, Infocom, Mystery House, On-Line Systems, Sierra Online, Ken and Roberta Williams, Hunt the Wumpus, Star Trek, Pac-Man, Battlezone, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Activision, Taito, LucasArts, Space Quest/King's Quest, Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold, DARPANET, World of Warcraft, Mario (series), Dark Souls, Rogue Legacy, Epyx, Spelunky, Oblivion, Morrowind, PSP/Vita, Andy Nealen, Diablo, Calamity Nolan, Dead Cells, Eggplant (podcast), mysterydip, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Mark Garcia, Artimage, LostLevels, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers. 

Next time:
Get that Amulet of Yendor!

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
Discord: https://t.co/YVZOe7ZygI
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Dec 22, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we look back at the interview that were, relistening and highlighting some great bits from our conversations with other developers this year. We again extend our thanks to Jaime Griesemer, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Rosie Katz, and Ian Milham.

Thanks too to our perennial thanks: Kirk Hamilton, who composed our intro and outro music, Aaron Evers who sponsored it, and Mark Garcia for our logo and our store.

Finally, thank you also to our listeners, for bringing up interesting questions each week, for supporting the things we do, and just for listening.

Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Next time:
On January 4th, we return with a new game for a new year.

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

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