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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: February, 2022
Feb 23, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Morrowind. We spend some time catching each other up on our successes and failures, talk about it as a preparation game, and the interconnectedness of the lore. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
More hours of Morrowind

Issues covered: Brett finds Tim's yurt, "Dare I continue," being out at the boundaries of the systems, a preparation game and not a find the things you need on the way, finding things to be too difficult, the mercenary who couldn't follow me, asking the game to cheat, Tim having Divine Interventions from early in the game, paying to teleport, Morag Tong sharing quests around, needles in haystacks, carrying armor back to sell, Dark Elven Barbarian Ashlanders, reuniting the clans, defeating the Dwemer, the feeling of richness of the world, creating mysteries and webbing them together, quests as direction rather than reward, white folks writing Africa/colonialism, hearing repeated references to slavery, Tim revisits Elder Scrolls lore, navigating the web of connections, diving into Daedric lore, playing Skyrim looking for how it will fit in memory, diving into memory and virtual memory, Z-keying a head all the way to Tenpenny Towers, the memory systems of consoles, Tim learns about crime and the uses of the writs, sleeping in the wrong bed, avoiding theft, accommodating the assassin's playstyle, being taught how to play the game, finding a bug in Halo and being unable to finish the fight, weird mission select structures, the opacity in the structure of Morrowind, individual playthroughs and how it makes you think about the game, having the low friction and higher friction layers of play, a frictionless model with weirder content, checking out the whole Halo series.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dragon Magazine, Ray Winninger, Fallout 3, Double Negative, Bioware, PlayStation, Sony, XBox, Half-Life, Guy Carver, Dreamcast, Dungeons & Dragons, mysterydip, The2ndQuest, Halo (series), GoldenEye, Agent Under Fire, Final Fantasy VI, Animal Crossing, Dragon Quest Builders, Ashton Herrmann, Breath of the Wild, Ubisoft, The Witcher 3, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword, Psychonauts 2, Watch Dogs (series), Far Cry (series), Assassin's Creed (series), Shoe, Bungie, 343 Industries, DOOM (2016), Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Still More-owind

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

Feb 16, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2002's Morrowind. We talk about our own weird experiences some more, since we are essentially playing different games, and how we are feeling the intersection of different quest lines. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Another handful of hours

Issues covered: down and out in Vivec City, getting around in an oddly constructed city, weather effects, lava in dwarven ruins and by the side of the road, whether there are arenas in every game, feeling like you found something secret, the way the writing tricks you about being special, assassination writs, getting map markers vs directions, chaining silt strider vs boats to locations, the most Bethesda hour and a half, finding a way out of Suran, walking your dad all the way through the world in Fallout 3, QAing while you play, bursting at the seams, you never forget your first assassination, a little short for a stormtrooper, Tim enters cheese mode, using the door trick, paying your way through quests, having to kill a whole family, the various reactions to assassination, returning to the dwarven ruin, is this my life now?, high sense of discovery, choosing what you want to spend your time on, modern games and the externalized question mark vs Morrowind and the internalized question mark, activating quests, decoupling race in D&D, buying your way into NPC's hearts, a mushy game, paying your crimes off or sitting in jail, being mechanically mushy to compensate for lack of DM, everything having a purpose, being approached by the Dunmer hare krishna, "have you heard the good word about Dagoth Ur?," dreaming and prophecy, simple quests with rich text, overlapping every location with multiple quest lines, keyword unlocking, "always be sneaking," "we don't care if they finish the story," having your own story, some feedback about technical terms.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Knights of the Old Republic, Assassin's Creed (series), The Walking Dead, Choose Your Own Adventure (series), Trevanian, Breath of the Wild, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Fallout 3, Star Wars (obliquely), Hitman (obliquely), Darren Johnson, TIE Fighter, Miller's Crossing, Resident Evil (series), Witcher III, Fallout (isometric series), Dungeons & Dragons, Le samourai, Dragon Quest Builders, Richard Lemarchand, Crystal Dynamics, Amy Henning, Soul Reaver, Naughty Dog, _cpjk, Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Even More-owind

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

Feb 9, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. We talk a little bit about how leveling appears to work, finding quests and using the journal, and just heading off on your own. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
More hours

Issues covered: two roads diverging in a wood, the various Tongs, having some fantasy etymology and naming conventions, the emergence of groups and politics, a huge leap forward from prior Bethesda games, clear analogies to Forgotten Realms, the Dark Brotherhood quest lines, murder triggering a quest line, quests being tied to guilds, worrying about the flexibility of the game to support player choices, grinding reputation in an MMO as opt-in, the QA/dev speedrun challenge, game exploits vs bug exploits, fictional identity to align quests vs clear differences between main and side quests, getting lost on the "roads," modularity and reuse, going deep and losing focus, committing to a character concept, the "good" assassins, etymology of cantor vs canton, the hugeness of Vivec City, tracking a serial killer, trying to track down the Morag Tong under the Arena, the trade-offs between single-character and party RPGs, raising your open skill, "I want to kill people but I want to be good!," opposing the old guilds and the new in the underbelly, cities are their own thing, surprise moment to introduce a spell, opening up all the variables as fodder for quests, adding layers of backstory pieces as you go, going deep into every bit of content, your major skills and how they contribute to leveling, born under a bad sign, the ability to break the game, loving the game because of its flexibility, the user experience problem, not reading the effing manual, having the strategy guide, success breeding stagnation and not pursuing the bugs, isolation and bringing in new talent and the same people making the games, building up technical debt and the costs of servicing technical debt, making different triage decisions and the balance of your focus, sailing the Ship of Theseus, managing scope and risk, 404'ed credits, changing the feel with dual wielding vs the grenade, player overwhelm with choices.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Emil Pagliarulo, Witcher III, Fallout 3, Factor 5, Rogue Squadron, Reed Knight, Xbox, Dragon Age 2, Baldur's Gate, Ultima, Dungeons & Dragons, Just Once/James Ingram (obliquely), Breath of the Wild, Less Than Zero, mysterydip, NetImmerse/Gamebryo, Billy Idol, Grand Theft Auto (series), Uncharted (series), Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Halo (series), 343 Industries, Jaime Griesemer, UbiSoft, Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More-owind

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

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