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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: March, 2022
Mar 31, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Morrowind, giving our takeaways and then trying to get to the bottom of our mailbag. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
103 hrs (Brett) vs 36 hrs (Tim)

Issues covered: Brett destroys the heart of Lorkhan and meets another god, games that don't end, wondering about what would happen with the quests, grandmaster quests, not caring about the prophecy, the ur-game, building up a lot of game over time, a leveled-up version of Morrowind, slimming down the dialog options and NPCs, the potential to do everything, approaching the MMO grind loop, feeling like you're in the same game, delivering on the dragons, the sense of a real living world in the abstract and in the experience, the art direction, naming rules, the time to push back to strange, useful frictions, systems you can experiment with, not being handholdy, going big but going built, being in the right era to find a template, interconnected systems, unintended consequences and the ripple effects, emerging systems, the value of continuing to iterate on your ideas, the accessibility of Oblivion, not having to kill a guild master, crazy late game stories, delivering for the writers, creative collaboration, integrating into the creative goals and finding a way to avoid antagonism.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Fallout 3, Tunic, Dragon Age, Monster Hunter World, Halo, Menzobarran, Eye of the Beholder, Starfield, Ubisoft, Far Cry, DOOM (1993), Quake, Father Beast, Xbox, Ashton Herrmann, OpenMW, mysterydip, Evan Skolnick, Halo, Star Wars, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
A bit... of Dark Souls

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

Mar 24, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Morrowind. We thought we were so close, but neither of us has finished and so we talk about some late quest stuff. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett 102 hrs, Tim 36 hrs

Issues covered: losing a quest item, Brett spends many hours playing weekend games, having no next steps for a quest, having guild quests to finish, not obvious when there's more stuff, having to talk to everybody, the journal breaking under it's own weight, not remembering names, voice anchoring you to a character, skipping stuff in the world and not being curious, having the idea of the space but not quite having enough support to see the transitions, not being able to identify the current quest for yourself, a good formula to build upon, becoming acclaimed by all the councilors, speaking to the Gods, having to buy a slave in the main quest, the main quest being a whole game on its own, maximal games and being what you want, a brief tangent into Enchanting, going after the Dark Brotherhood, the commitment to the books, rewriting The Lusty Argonian Maid, a good quest, the feeling of a homebrew campaign, having a character be recalled for politics, carrying too much stuff, devaluing items, MMO levels of systems, having a long life with a game, discovering stuff for ten years, making a specific class, the "and" games, Brett and lore, wanting the lore to impact what you're seeing, finding the vampire clan houses, curing vampirism, saying yes to everything and the costs that incurs.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Psychonauts 2, Reed Knight, Dungeons & Dragons, Fallout 4, Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Chrono Trigger, AD&D Gold Box, Artimage, Kingdom Hearts, Mass Effect, Star Wars, LucasArts, Ashton Herrmann, mysterydip, Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Takeaways and Mailbag catch-up

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

Mar 16, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Morrowind and briefly celebrate 300 episodes of Dev Game Club. We've mostly devolved into discussing what has happened in our individual playthroughs at this point, but what else is one to do with an RPG this substantial? Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Tim: 29 hrs, Brett: 90 hrs

Issues covered: 300 episodes, Thermopylae, skill-based play, Brett finishes the Assassin's Guild, having the writs to get off easy, economical use of the mechanics they have, wanting the NPCs to cross your path more so you have a bigger moment when they intersect with the main story, feeling lost in the main quest, nothing handed to you on a silver platter, readability with a pixel-perfect font, the correlation between level advancement and guild advancement, being unable to get in to the Houses, not knowing what to do to become Hortator, opacity to figure out what to do, too big a game to be trial and error, "if I could just find some poetry," Tim pretends he hasn't read "The Lusty Argonian Maid," getting blocked by NPCs, being generous with fast travel, having a lot of unresolved mystery and meeting the dwemer, leaving all the lore behind, using all the hooks to do things, the flexibility for modding, the first time you enter a dwemer dungeon, whether there are callbacks to earlier games, having to finish this thing, running the game below minimum spec, the ways games bring people together, voice acting vs text, the broader reach that voice allows, experimentation in the indie space.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dungeons & Dragons, Reed Knight, Greg Knight, The Witcher 3, Final Fantasy IX, Kevin Kauffman, Fallout 3, Todd Howard, A Beautiful Mind, Oliver UV, Baldur's Gate, PC Gamer, Daron Stinnett, Falcon 3.0, Mig-29, Jeffool, Wildermyth, Janine Hawkins, LMNOP, Steven Spielberg, Deathloop, Elsinore, Harley Baldwin, Hamlet, Emily Short, Chris Crawford, mysterydip, Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Notes:
The name I couldn't come up with was Emily Short.

Next time:
Finishing Morrowind!

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

Mar 9, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Morrowind. We talk about the role-playing feeling of the game, how the guilds have a sense of real progression and reputation, and motivating play. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett to 71 hrs, Tim to 24

Issues covered: Tim decides he's going to be a good assassin from now on, having to kill the leads of guilds I'm head of, a level design soapbox moment, not leveraging symmetry, getting lost in Vivec City, victory in the Arena, self-guided missions, feeling like some quest-givers gave meaner quests, going to various locations for guild quests, doing work for the Night Mother, the squabbling over artifacts, an assassination behind locked doors, "the most Mel Brooks assassination," being OP for the game, feeling like the later games are more generic, feeling like you are really playing the role, infiltrating a base for a target, backbiting amongst the academics, having a bold moment of quest design, iterating on the formula, developing a sense of place, enjoying motivated play, friction between groups motivating play, having a complete experience from a quest line, revisiting the game, MMO feeling, the structure of The Witcher 3 and side quests that aren't, figuring out the alchemy system and its power, using the mad magician as motivation, a sum of parts game, not proud, adding time to every quest line.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Three Musketeers, Greg Knight, Mel Brooks, Starfield, Fallout (series), Reed Knight, Crazy Taxi, Dungeons & Dragons, The Witcher, Sam, Stephen, Kingdom Hearts, The Matrix (obliquely), Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
??? What is time?

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

Mar 2, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Morrowind. We talk a little bit about the systems and friction, our individual stories, and Brett solves his Magicka problem. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Just more hours of Morrowind

Issues covered: not sharing the same experience, we compare hours played, a Chocobo Paradise situation, finding where the UI tells you what factions want from your skills, joining the Imperial Legion, working on my long blades, paying off your murders, the weird reveal of the fog of war, very specific usability in terms of having to talk to people, the strangeness of the setting, the friction of the navigation of literal space and its basis in tabletop, wanting to get more usable and sacrifices are made, pure open world design, Eurojank with systems and friction, physical movement in the 3D space, discovering a community of vampires, being guided to points of interest, using markers on the map, training limits, how level design has evolved for dungeons in open worlds, the things that have started to work, finding the Ghost Wall, spending two hours on one assassination, seeing layered architecture in a place, managing the inventory with single icons for groups of potions, having your own diseases, an above-ground Underdark, conjuring a ghost to absorb its magic attack, being so systemic that weird actions result, equations that scale up, emergence of systems, the acrobatics of 1000, Valestra the Thinker, loving the support of all the different play styles, Tim atoning for his sins, a Mage's Guild where you have to teleport to get in, the creative goals of the game guiding how much art you reuse, marketing needs, being responsible with making your art,

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Legend of Zelda (series), Final Fantasy IX (obliquely), Tolkien/LotR, Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Mount and Blade, Fallout 3, Ultima Underworld, Assassin's Creed (series), Hitman (series), Pulp Fiction, Halo, National Lampoon's European Vacation, mysterydip, Zeriquinn, Dan Hunter, The Witcher (series), Eye of the Beholder, Logan, Mario (series), BioWare, Call of Duty, Bungie, Horizon (series), Tom Cruise, Robert Mitchum, Resident Evil 7, David Collins, Uncharted/The Last of Us, Resident Evil Village, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
When does it end?

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

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