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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: April, 2022
Apr 28, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2011's Dark Souls. We talk about some bosses, exploration, and our quest for humanity. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett: 66h, level 75
Tim: 21h, level 30ish

Podcast breakdown:
0:48 Dark Souls
1:01:57 Break
1:02:23 Feedback

Issues covered: that dang mimic, Brett's fistful of rings, Tim the Tree and moth killer, production budget, the cost of polishing any given encounter, making specific choices about your systems and how they interact with the level design, forcing the player to think about how to use the space, farming to have equipment, the things Tim has that I don't have, running through the Firelink Shrine to get elsewhere, the game trolling you with resources, rushing and pushing too hard and dying, Tim one-shots the Butterfly trading off with a bow, the area beyond the Crest of Astorias, changing strategy mid-game, being able to self-balance, clearing a whole area and feeling powerful and accomplished, similarities to MMOs, the "no way" moment of a shortcut, encountering a sad demon, admiring the majesty of some of the bosses, understanding the impact of the game, more polish and usability choices, giving permission to return to run-based games, learning telegraphs vs being given telegraphs, Brett is old, the birthday gift for Tim, stripping down mechanics and watering down, not really hurting the bottom line, being numb to your own game, losing perspective, making games for yourself, finding the balance for a different audience, being proud of Fumitsu ratings.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Assassin's Creed, Nintendo, Prince of Persia, Elden Ring, World of Warcraft, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life, Studio Ghibli, Capcom, Tunic, Legend of Zelda, Hollow Knight, Jedi: Fallen Order, Tomb Raider, Uncharted, Gothic Chocobo, Pokemon, Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout 3, Morrowind, Dungeons & Dragons, Artimage, Skyrim, Republic Commando, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Bloodborne, Sekiro, CoD: Modern Warfare, Fumitsu, Starfighter (series), Metal Gear, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Dark Souls!

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

Apr 20, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dark Souls. We talk about how we use our souls, where and how we farm for resources, the player's goals, the variety in any given encounter, and much more! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Tim: ~15h, Brett: ~52h

Issues covered: worrying about the level cap, the variety of a single encounter, farming for arrows, fighting down in Quelaag's lair, the satisfaction of escaping Blighttown, recontextualizing spaces, the flow of the world design, convincing smoke and mirrors, brains and memory, getting time away and confidence, the huge help of an NPC in a battle, when and whether you want to fight the dragon on the bridge, finding sets of armor, feeling locked in to your choices, the curse mechanics, the choice of a lack of a map, having to earn the bonfire every time, the two weapon slots, not being able to buy miracles, clearing up the weapon confusion, the black knights, mini-bosses as skill checks for bigger bosses, playing similar approaches but with very different skills, progressive deepening, the bell ringing cinematic, having only a single/simple goal, being confused about the Darkroot Garden mist, gaining Humanity randomly, missing out on the full Humanity experience, bow timing, Drunk Souls, piecing the narrative together, using the Master Key.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Half-Life, Elden Ring, Monkey Island, King's Quest/Space Quest, Demons's Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Artimage, Qhuenta, Morrowind, Bloodborne, Alien: Isolation, Resident Evil (series), Tunic, Death's Door, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Dark Souls!

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

Apr 13, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dark Souls. We talk about how progress is made, the run-based approach, and the mix of player skills and RPG stats, amongst other discussions. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett: ~29h, Tim: ~12h

Issues covered: the melodramatic NPCs, enjoying the architectural setting, seeing dragons, not knowing there were tree creatures, the bosses Brett has seen, being different from other RPGs with equipment and loot, mixing player stats and player skill, having trouble with the parry, having to memorize enemy attacks, learning and losing the timing on counters, feeling like you are learning to speed-run the sections you enter, cheesing a boss, whether or not you click, the cost of upgrading a low stat because of the XP costs, the XP system granting the same number of souls for an enemy type, the sense of progress and accomplishment being in the player and not tracked by the game, feeling like losing souls is a huge setback vs knowledge, learning and mastery as progress, dropping some Humanity knowledge on Tim, having a helping hand from an NPC, the slow death of manuals, wanting to feel like you discover secrets, the usefulness of the messages, moving trees and revealed paths, Brett drops the trompe l'oeil, being afraid you'll miss important things, personal progression and increasing confidence, grinding to find out what things will drop, the double gargoyle, seeing players who get really good, getting invaded and getting wrecked, not understanding the invasion mechanics.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dragon's Dogma, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, The Last Guardian, Demons's Souls, Elder Scrolls (series), Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Labyrinth, Jedi Fallen Order, Star Wars, Triple Click, Dishonored, Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Tunic, Death's Door, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Dark Souls

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

Apr 6, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on Dark Souls, the 2011 breakout from From Software. We briefly set it in its time before going on to make our characters and discuss the outset of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours (Brett: 3, Tim: 6)

Podcast breakdown:
0:49 Dark Souls
56:52 Break
57:25 Reviews & Feedback

Issues covered: an exception, the thing we mention all the time, the look of Western fantasy tropes by Japanese developers, exaggerated architecture and the third person perspective, working on the same style of game for so long, picking female characters, pushing against normal choices, picking classes and not understanding what all the stats mean, cheesing the final boss in Demons's Souls, picking a rogue character, figuring out what the builds are, not being a transparent game, accentuating the moment to moment, punishing gratification, allowing players to customize the experience, the in-game messages that other players can leave, tutorialization messages, beautiful grotesquerie, series that don't maintain consistency, whether you can plunge on the Taurus Demon, a Singing Review, the mudcrab merchant and all the books in Skyrim, lore reasons, a listener makes his own game, lack of accessibility vs usability, vibrancy in a medium, stagnation, "I guess this is my life now, I'm Dracula," rebuilding a temple in Morrowind, being pointed in the direction of everything vs not, being grabbed by the weird friction.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Elden Ring, Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, L.A. Noire, Rockstar, Team Bondi, LoZ: Skyward Sword, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Bastion, Limbo, Rayman: Origins, Skyrim, Morrowind, Microsoft, Bioshock, Amy Hennig, Nintendo 3DS, Switch, Metroid Dread, From Software, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Bandai Namco, King's Field, Dragon's Dogma, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Dungeons & Dragons, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Susanna Clarke, God of War, Hideo Kojima, Resident Evil Village, Tunic, Baldur's Gate, Tomb Raider (series), Death Stranding, Sekiro, Bloodborne, mysterydip, Jeffool, Brian David Gilbert, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Halo, Republic Commando, Frank O'Connor, LucasArts, Starfighter, Rogue Squadron, Warcraft, Zimmy Fingers, A Short Hike, Darren from Cleveland, Todd Howard, Calamity Nolan, Disney, Spike & Mike's, Pixar, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, The Book of Kells, Hayao Miyazaki, Logan, Lord of the Rings, The Witcher 3, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy (series), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Links:
Quote from Design Works book about the dragon design

Skyrim's Top 5 Books

Zimmy Fingers new game

Next time: More Dark Souls!

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

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