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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: May, 2024
May 29, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Final Fantasy Tactics. This week, we put Tim Longo on the DGC couch for an analytical session about his major conflict about this game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Near to end of Ch 3 (B), or Ch 2 (T)

Issues covered: choice quotes, declarative statements, a favorite Final Fantasy game, the job system, the story-based RPG, history of the early JRPGs, what Brett remembers about the game, Tim enjoying the planning of it, the opportunities for surprise, the spell to discover what people are, having only a few hours to play each week, hitting the wall, the hosts on MMOs and loot, unlocking things and making you more powerful, having different experiences on the same maps, a diversion to Dark Souls, knowledge and skill gains, Tim's wall mission, why would you go there?!, zoning out and and discovering way more about the game, reviewers and having to finish a game, our lives and how the pod fits in, where Brett is in the game and the choices he has, spending the time to figure out the Zodiac system.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Wizardry, Curse of Monkey Island, Halo, Dungeons & Dragons, Eye of the Beholder, Ultima, Pool of Radiance, Dragon Quest, Dragon Warrior, World of Warcraft, Dark Souls, Kyle, Diablo III, Mark of Kri, Kingdom Hearts, Kirk Hamilton, Baldur's Gate III, Breath of the Wild, Inscryption, Perfect Dark, Eternal Darkness, Biostats, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Takeaways and email!

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

May 15, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Final Fantasy Tactics. We talk about the grind, job and abilities stuff, some tactics and end with a listener mail about balance. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played: 
To end of Ch 2 (Brett), somewhere in Ch 1 (Tim)

Issues covered: character representation in the sprites, enjoying the discovery of the macro, finding out how things interact, the Zodiac, why they ask for your birthday, information about turn order, things being unwieldy, a reactive strategy, how the brilliance starts coming in, the learning and grinding curves, an anecdote of the clockwork, achieving a Spelunky turkey and further digressions thereto, early grind, visiting cities and differentiating the shops, side missions for team members, having back-benchers, random encounters over time, the random table that each map draws from, how and whether the maps change, the importance of starting position, which environments we particularly enjoy, how the death mechanics work, preventing the enemies from getting the crystals, the min/max-ability, the revelation of the job matrix, the various roles and ways to augment your characters, auto-potioning, the story overwhelm, "Are we the baddies?", the progression to a more fantastic setting, how the story at the beginning of the game fits in, balance being overrated, the problem of pacing.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Matrix, Mario + Rabbids, Clint Hocking, Splinter Cell, Spelunky, Mossmouth, Metal Gear (series), Assassin's Creed (series), X-COM, Pokemon (series), Mitchell and Webb (obliquely), Game of Thrones (obliquely), Taylor Swift, Drew, Nobuo Uematsu, Chrono Trigger, Magic: The  Gathering, Dominion, Marvel Snap, Fallout (series), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More FFT!

Links:
"Are we the baddies?"

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

May 8, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Final Fantasy Tactics. We talk about the strategy around jobs, the multiclass approach, and more before turning to a listener question. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few more hours

Issues covered: what's a dictionary for, the calculator and the oracle, experimenting with characters in various Finals Fantasies, a digression into how the programming of AI works in FF XII, Brett the grinder and Tim the finesser, the depth and breadth of the jobs and abilities system, the strategy to have options later, the terse manual, the pleasure of discovery, a complex game with lots of systems, mechanizing items like spells in other games, a crisis of confidence, the other camera controls, the Japanese controller preferences, noseless portraits, the importance of character design, character styling, heroic proportions vs anime proportions, great pixel art with the animations, the coy comment from Zalbag, the hug between two sprites, building a scene just for a little movie, pixel techniques and palette progression/swapping, digressing into other/modern tactical games, the odds of success, we read the manual and figure out the height, "brand elasticity," wanting your cake etc, calculating your odds of who you'll lose and who you'll keep, risk aversion, starting off without locking into one thing, being willing to make the break, licensing things out to different creators, the high cost of games, what's a Final Fantasy?

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Unreal Engine, Dark Souls, Chris Hockabout, Andrew Kirmse, Kingdom Hearts, Animal Crossing, Crystal Chronicles, Disney, Naughty Dog, Dead Cells, Stardew Valley, Celeste, Disgaea, Advance Wars, Mario vs Rabbids, X-COM, Logan, Halo, Gears of War, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Star Wars, J. J. Abrams, Law & Order, Zelda (series), Mario (series), Nintendo, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Skyrim, Redguard, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More FFT!

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

May 1, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Beyond Good and Evil. We talk about the end parts of the game and the variety of the experiences you can have, before turning 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 bad guy, the end of game battles, the risk of forgetting when you do a lot of side content, misremembering the game, being delighted, smoke and mirrors, wanting the spaceship to be the lighthouse, the various tricky bits of the slaughterhouse, being taught how to get rid of electricity, one of the most memorable characters of all time, saying yes until the end, the jumping enemies, supporting the inventory, reflection puzzles, an annoying trigger for a cutscene, wanting more time with Pey'j, the Chosen One, many breadcrumbs at the end, diluting narrative, optional content being part of gameplay content, getting all the animals or not, flawed gem, a good looping track section, escalating the General's ship, religion coming in at the end, intriguing questions, nailing the tropes, improving user experience, put a moat around it, less stressful reintroductions of mechanics, the teleporting boss, touching moments, earning the sweet moments, looking at the prequel, the world-building of it all, subtle ways to reinforce the world-building, don't underestimate the camera, saying yes maybe too much, being uncategorizable, keeping the surprises coming, standing apart in its era, "it's the way to Gao, anyway."

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Apocalypse Now, Nintendo, Ocarina of Time, Michel Ancel, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Tim Schafer, Uncharted (series), Star Wars, Metal Gear (series), Assassin's Creed, Ghost of Tushima, Far Cry, Anachronox, Final Fantasy IX, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Final Fantasy VI, Biostats, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
??!

Notes:
It's General Kehck

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @devgameclub
Discord https://t.co/h7jnG9J9lz
DevGameClub@gmail.com

May 1, 2024

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1997's Final Fantasy Tactics, which took the series into a new genre. We talk about the game's presentation, basics, and technology as well as how the game begins. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First few battles

Issues covered: finals fantasies, 1997 in games, testing various games, placing us in that time, a surprising departure in the series, TTRPGs and being "like chess," translating a genre to the PS1, closer combat/smaller spaces, opacity, not remembering the game well, the Zodiac, some other series, a niche genre, limited input options and menus, Ivalice and medieval setting, a deeper simulated system than FF combat generally has, translating well to the genre, the opening cinematics, preferring alignment of story with general engine use, developing technology to stream video, in-game stuff holding up better, getting the leverage from sprites, the diorama look, merging gameplay with non-interactive content, pre-rendered rewards, terrain rendering and spinning the camera, the close-in space vs larger areas and fog of war, elevation and abilities, map differentiation for visuals and challenge, the game over screen, modern engagement.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy (series), Johnny "Pockets", GoldenEye, Diablo, Fallout, Castlevania: SotN, The Last Express, FF 7, Curse of Monkey Island, Grand Theft Auto, JK: Dark Forces 2, Myth: The Fallen Lords, Ultima Online, Outlaws, XvT, Starfox 64, Quake 2, Blade Runner, Dungeon Keeper, Age of Empires, Riven, Gran Turismo, Interstate '76, Populous, LucasArts, MechWarrior, Ogre Battles (series), SNES, Quest Corporation, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Chris Hockabout, Chris Corry, X-COM (series), Mario/Rabbids (series), Fire Emblem (series), Mark Garcia, Disgaea (series), Anachronox, Front Mission (series), Shining Force (series), Vandal Hearts (series), Valkyria Chronicles, Mass Effect (series), Star Wars, Blizzard, Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon: Forbidden West, God of War, The Sims, Vagrant Story, Metal Gear Solid, Axis and Allies, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
More battles!

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

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