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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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Dev Game Club
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Now displaying: Category: Games
Nov 23, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2008's survival horror in space, Dead Space. We talk about the ways we are maybe breaking the game a bit, art design, level design and camera framing, and sometimes... how it doesn't work. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Into Level 7 (Brett) or 4 (Tim)

Issues covered: unkillable aliens, alien encounter tropes, taking themselves seriously, unknowable cosmic horror being taken seriously, dying again and again in a turret section, managing a lot in the asteroid section, being unable to learn a pattern, silence accentuating strangeness, building up to turning on the turret, the increasing grandiosity of set pieces, making set pieces last longer through difficulty, replaying areas in games and allowing that richness to carry you through, set pieces with cutscene rewards, the right mix in a set piece in the centrifuge, putting the character in unlikely places, breaking the game with the pulse rifle, the expectations of the space marine, good achievement design, getting rewarded similarly to a headshot, using stasis to learn where to shoot, fearing running out of upgrades, the suit design and the skeletal vertebrae, making Isaac look like he's in the same space as his suit, not feeling space, extra layers of geometry, repeating spaces to make things feel artificially familiar, framing doors so that you can see what you're doing next, not needing the breadcrumbs.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Visceral, Star Wars: Starfighter, Alien (series), Independence Day, Resident Evil 4, Event Horizon, Tom Cruise, Asteroids, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Dark Souls, The Last of Us II, Uncharted (series), Tomb Raider (series), Killer 7, Suda 51, Grasshopper Manufacture, Platinum, H. R. Geiger, Mystery Dip, Blarg42, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Our last episode of play

Errata:
Brett was in fact on suit level 3. He regrets the error.

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

Nov 9, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2008's space survival horror game Dead Space. We talk about the fantasy of competence and the grounded elements of the tasks, and contrast that a little bit with the spells. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few more chapters

Issues covered: a weird D&D one-shot, the player insert character, rebooting Space Quest, being in the right place at the right time, hitting all the tropes, set dressing to make a space feel lived-in, Tim makes an unintentional pun, diagetics around the map, committing to the level load, audio design, a sense of game development craft in earlier survival horror vs a more polished modern game, set pieces with slight difficulty spikes, learning the hard way that goop slows you down, a natural way to put timers in, perfect feedback, in space no one can hear you scream, everything coming together in one section, hearing the centrifuge in the outer hallway, the player recognizing his changes, paralleling the original mystery and narrative design, the hallway with the banging, changing the light levels as you pass into an area, delivering the space walk under constraints, teaching you that you can only go short distances, being deflating, landmarks and their lack, getting disoriented and having a moment of not knowing where to go, power nodes as keys to rooms, only soothing my OCD brain, designers liking the psychology of giving up a thing, unnecessary and manipulative friction, spells/Jedi powers, motivating the science fiction, "I slow the enemies down to make it easier to cut their limbs off," getting better at the player skills, a remote worker butcher, maybe breaking the game, echoing the monsters in the static of video communication, Drunk Souls.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Extra Life, Dungeons & Dragons, Child's Play, Half-Life (series), Star Wars, Liam Neeson, Space Quest, Alien (series), BioShock, Event Horizon, Mass Effect, Alien Isolation, Resident Evil, Republic Commando, Star Trek (obliquely), Lance Henriksen, Ian Holm, Nintendo Wii, Patrick Redding, Prey, Skyrim, God of War, Pipe Dream, Artimage, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
A week off, then more chapters!

Links:
Artimage's Twitch and Extra Life challenge

Karrokay on the Heath One-Shot

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

Nov 2, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 2008's EA space horror game Dead Space. We position it in a change in Electronic Arts at the time (having just done another game from 2008) and then get into the spookiness of it all. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Chapter 1

Issues covered: Halloween Longo shenanigans, doubling down on 2008, the limits of the podcast, Electronic Arts at the time, shifting to new IP and building creative teams, conservatism as a publisher, building the IP and then owning it, starting with the horror, being direct vs being baroque, overly antagonistic actors, setting up the story by using existing tropes, the janitor, another version of diagetics, excellent character design, a third-person character who doesn't speak, cohesive character, picking science fiction influences from places, rough spots on the onboarding, being cohesive with character and setting, constraints driving their design and resources, a single location story, fish out of water but using the tools you have, building survival horror into the bones, holographic UI, technical benefits, who was the innovator, stealing like an artist, committing to the bit, a short but sweet review, hearing your language in a game, permadeath and Far Cry 2, Extra Life.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jean-Luc Picard, Aw Jeez, Dark Souls, Lord of the Rings, EA Spouse, Star Wars, Bioware, John Riccitello, Mirror's Edge, Dante's Inferno, Harry Potter, Warner Bros, George Lucas, Resident Evil (series), Bill Paxton (RIP), Far Cry 2, BioShock, Visceral Entertainment, God of War, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Callisto Protocol, Alien, Sunshine, Event Horizon, Glen Schofield, Ian Milham, Prey, System Shock 2, Republic Commando, Gears of War, Kill Zone, Kill Switch, Max42357, Raymond, SimCity 2000, Masuhiro Sakurai, Jeffool, Clint Hocking, Manveer Heir, Ben Abraham, Extra Life, Artimage, Lani Lum, Ocarina of Time, Monolith, Dungeons & Dragons, Joel Gifford, Troy Mashburn, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Chapter 2-5

Links:
Masuhiro Sakurai's YT English link

Destructoid on Far Cry 2 and permadeath

Ben Abraham's FC2 Permadeath

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

Oct 26, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we turn to a second bonus interview with Patrick Redding, credited as Story Designer on Far Cry 2, though we would tend to call that a Narrative Designer today. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:45 Interview
1:16:50 Break
1:17:20 Outro

Issues covered: happening to start listening at the right time, a background in physics, avoiding computer programming, applying problem-solving skills, hearing about new media, exploring story and design through tabletop, thinking about how to incorporate story into existing games, coming on to an existing team, getting thrown into the deep end, why you'd drop the PS2, string of pearls, wanting to reinvent the wheel, tearing apart the macro structure of the game and piecing it back together, moving from camera designer to narrative designer as a field promotion, shipping another retail game while joining a second, not designing the story but tightening the linkage between authored content and player-driven play, waterfall vs iterative and maintaining consistency, making a shooter and not an rpg, systemically reflecting the choices of PCs and growing out that modularity to the whole game, hitting thresholds and dealing with levels of chaos to expose the Jackal, freedom being required in time *and* space, anteing up your buddies, counterpressure and infamy, analog parameters becoming indistinguishable from random, the main wager of putting your buddy in play, a real deal-breaker for the PC, carrying through everything to achieve a pressure dynamic, having far more underlying variables to affect, the simulation of sensibility, offloading computation to the player brain for narrative meaning, creating a narrative from a sports team, the difficulty of getting parseable human interactions in games, thinking about the approach and where the tension is coming from, pie-slice approach and shells of interaction, the emotional whiplash of going from closing mode and tempo to passivity, the big switch, enjoying the camaraderie, narrative design vs writing, the emergence of narrative design in the industry, changing expectations when you ship.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Clint Hocking, UbiSoft, Splinter Cell (series), Gotham Knights, Apple ][e, Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, Xbox, PS2, Greg Gobbi, Jeff Hattem, Tuque Games/Invoke Studios, Hasbro, Nic Eypert, Richard Dansky, Tom Clancy, Red Storm Entertainment, White Wolf, Republic Commando, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Black, Jean-Francois Dugas, Eidos Montreal (Onoma), Guardians of the Galaxy, Deus Ex, Heart of Darkness, Yojimbo, Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammett, Call of Duty 2, Battlefield 1942, Jonathan Morin, Watch Dogs (series), Thief, The Walking Dead, Telltale Games, Metal Gear Solid V (or V), Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol, Glen Schofield, Striking Distance, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Dead Space (2008)

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

Oct 19, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we discuss Far Cry 2 with none other than Creative Director Clint Hocking. We talk about his early career before getting into the game proper. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:43 Interview with Clint Hocking
1:07:12 Break
1:07:37 Outro

Issues covered: starting out in writing, taking a terrible pay cut, good fortune, taking on many jobs, tough development cycles, making a perfect version of the first game, making the game in the last six months, reacquiring a brand, finding something fresh in the prototypes, open worlds and RPGs, taking new ground, fertile ground, "of course there's a game here," what you do when you don't have a corridor, playing on a harder difficulty, a world that's hostile wherever you go, forward pressure, enjoying playing your own game, making the better movie in the game than what's in your head, surfing the wave, the anecdote factory, playing at concert speed, the PC version vs the console versions, committing to the game, punctuating the sentence or the musical phrase, going all the way as developers, everything working together to create a physical bond that works towards just one or two moments in the game, holistic design, picking the place, reading up on colonial issues, not knowing if you'd make the game again, the exigencies of the medium, the difficulty of approaching some topics, a game that sparks different sorts of questions, bringing topics and concepts to an audience who might not encounter them, an actually mature game, the future creeds.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Splinter Cell (series), Assassin's Creed (series), Ubisoft, LucasArts, Valve, Amazon, Watch Dogs: Legion, Edge Magazine, Unreal Tournament, Crytek, Crysis, Prince of Persia, DOOM (1993), Castle Wolfenstein, GTA III, Morrowind, Oblivion, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Battlefield 1942, Half-Life, John Romero, Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Tomb Raider, Alexandre Amancio, Black Hawk Down, Trespasser, Legend of Zelda (series), Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

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

Oct 12, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Far Cry 2. Brett describes to Tim some of the buddy system stuff he missed, and then the hosts look at later installments before turning to takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Far Cries 3, 5, and 6

Issues covered: a cry too far, buddies dying and having to choose how, variants on missions and why you might not do one, being able to replace some buddies, punishing moments and impact vs lack of control, a false sense of agency, making a safe area dangerous, wanting to get to the Jackal, your buddies turning on you at the end, how much the weapons and enemies update, always having a fresh gun, real things in the world as progression items, the fork in the road, quality of life and usability and the loss of the commitment to useful player friction, becoming the "list game," automated gaming, caring more about why you're doing what you're doing, missing immersion and discovery, watching the minimap/playing the UI, increasing enemy variety and using damage types, stealth improvements, playing in a dark way, going campy, leaning on cultures and claiming not to be political, diagetic design/character embodiment, healing yourself or your buddies, the right feedback at the right times, the feedback in the world, audio design communicating so much, greater depth of simulation, useful friction and leading to interesting encounters, what games iterated on these ideas?, open world checklist, dealing with the "real world."

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: STALKER, Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now, Crysis, Arkham (series), Assassin's Creed (series), Ghost Recon (series), Metal Gear (series), Ratchet and Clank (series), GTA III, Metro (series), Just Cause (series), Saint's Row (series), This War of Mine, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
?? Spooky Game ??

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

Oct 5, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Far Cry 2. We talk about some more systems in the game as we plan to play the descended versions and present our takeaways next week. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Midpoint (Brett) and more (Tim)

Issues covered: gun loot and such in the ongoing series, the elimination of friction, putting the objective marker far from the quest giver, the efficiency of taking out a checkpoint, intrinsic rewards vs other intrinsic rewards, the gun aspects, everything being diagetic, driving with the map in your lap, everything is entropic including you, consistency of vision, cars and physics, the pinging audio in a Datsun-like car, putting the systems in the game, the length of system loops, wanting degradation/negative feedback to be because of something you did, forcing dramatic moments, the distinction of player initiation, malaria mechanics, progressing the game, pressures on the player for styles of play, being trained by faction gameplay, living your best murderous life, "No Russian," feeling black and white about the Jackal, a bold commitment to a backdrop, mad libbing the missions, a game meant to be played once, endangering your experience, everything is may-mays, early dynamic storytelling, slurs about the player, being edgy and gritty, not being able to feel the impact, thinness of representation, the limit of lived experiences, the messaging around Mass Effect, feeling too derivative, sci-fi soup, lack of ideology/motivation, resonating with the structure, player insertion, lack of narrowing of options, the series of grey decisions, being able to identify a franchise from just one scene.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Ghost Recon (series), Diablo, System Shock 2, Fallout (series), Breath of the Wild, Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, Reed Knight, Tim Ramsay, Republic Commando, The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger, Call of Duty (obliquely), Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, The Witcher, Patrick Redding, Skyrim, The Walking Dead, Sean Vanaman, Jake Rodkin, The Lord of the Rings, Ian McKellen, Rocksteady, Arkham (series), Papers Please, Lucas Pope, Return of the Obra-Dinn, Dark Souls, The Honorable T. H. Isismyre Alname, Mass Effect, KotOR, Bioware, Star Wars, Star Trek, Jeff Cannata, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Far Cry 2+

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

Sep 28, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Far Cry 2. We talk about the extreme friction of the game, landmarking and open world layout, and touch a little bit on the buddies. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Several more hours

Issues covered: variations on the same song, high degree of friction, a simulation of a place, allowing for authorship within the simulation, clashing of systems, not mattering which side you choose, making your choices matter, not spending your time doing what you want to be doing, running into natural boundaries, playing jazz or the jam band, having to switch up weapons, not having to switch weapons, not quite getting the recipe right/seeing the proof of concept, the noodling before the chord changes, time of information spread in this vs deeper stealth games, not having the clarity of information, leaning more into the power fantasy, running out of resources in the friction, game scale opposing stealth, engaging with the buddy system, buddies personifying ways of improving, losing some buddies, expendable buddies, boosting Japan's quality control, balancing stability and forward momentum in development, the impossibility of keeping your politics out of games, having to have a theory when you are out past what is known, having to make decisions in development, the nonviolent ending, having to feel balance in games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sim City, GTA III, Ghost Recon (series), Metal Gear Solid V or V, Thief, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed (series), Patrick Redding, biostats, W. Edwards Deming, Square Enix, UbiSoft, Sam Thomas, mysterydip, BioShock, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia, "The Blink."

Next time:
More hours/Finish?

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

Sep 14, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Far Cry 2. We talk about the tutorial some more, the perils and pleasures of an open world game, and avoiding being a map game despite having a map. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: casual colonialism, doling out tutorial bits at the right pace, feeling equipped with skills for the game and for the open world, remembering the location, being a game with a map that doesn't feel like a map game, driving feeling dangerous, lack of radar, forcing level design to accommodate lack of map, tangent: how to get money into your PS wallet, having a moment of either terror or excitement over the open world, we've taught you everything you know, having hooks, not knowing what the next story mission, balancing the power level for later, escalating power levels, not knowing how to pursue particular goals, missions equaling upgrades of different types, being able to strategically plan, sanding down the friction of making choices like these, repetitive combat, a good player story generator, a comedy of errors trying to blow up a truck, an ammo cache that killed its guard, fire propagation, hang gliding straight into the ground, getting a new map, having to hunt the needle in the haystack, revisiting SimTown, skeuomorphisms, how to do onboarding with sim games, personification of goals, focusing scale.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Breath of the Wild, The Witcher (series), Kingdom Hearts (series), Unreal (series), GTA III, Halo, PS3, Xbox 360, STALKER, UbiSoft, Assassin's Creed (series), Lord of the Rings (obliquely), Star Wars (obliquely), Splinter Cell (series), Ghost Recon (series), Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, SimTown, mysterydip, Civ 3, Calamity Nolan, Biostats, Johnny Pockets, Total War, X-COM 2, Old World, Jurassic World Evolution 2, Jeff Goldblum, Frontier Developments, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, Zoo Tycoon, Elite: Dangerous, David Braben, Afterlife, Michael Stemmle, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Far Cry 2!

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

Sep 7, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on UbiSoft's 2008 series-establishing classic, Far Cry 2. We set it in its time, and talk a bit about shifting engine wars and attendant publisher/developer drama, before briefly getting into the tutorial. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The Tutorial

Issues covered: the UbiSoft open world formula, picking your UbiSoft ur-game, engine wars, branched engine work, getting into or out of the engine game, the open world first person shooter, a brief overview of Clint Hocking's career, games of 2008, grindhouse games, commitment to the first-person aesthetic, picking your character, setting their games in fictional countries, embracing African conflict, expositional value, setting up the chaotic situation, the diagetics of the game, mercenaries coming in, malarial effects, showing the systems, fire propagation, wishing they'd lean into the politics, disclaiming the team diversity to avoid political, having your cake and eating it too, tending to avoid modern realistic settings as players, the sales of the historical era, video game tourism, presenting variables, the diagetic map, the implicit simulated world and how the games get away from that, the onboarding, performance and enemy count and music, gatekeeping around what's a game, games where the interactivity shines through or justifies the choice to make it a game, putting clues together, simple choices that personalize, accretion effects, moments of calm, taking your decisions forward, being forced to the golden path.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: SimCity, Xbox 360, UbiSoft, Prince of Persia, Assassin's Creed (series), Ghost Recon (series), Watch Dogs (series), Rainbow 6 (series), Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil, Michel Ancel, CryTek, CryEngine, Dungeons & Dragons, Crysis, Dunia Engine, Hunt: Showdown, Lumberyard, id Software, Epic Games, Unreal Championship, Quake 4, Source Engine, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Splinter Cell (series), Gotham Knights, Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Eric Lindstrom, Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow, Republic Commando, Left 4 Dead, GTA IV, MGS 4, Devil May Cry 4, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Alien: Isolation, Rock Band 2, Fable II, Gears of War 2, Little Big Planet, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, Braid, World of Goo, Nintendo Wii, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros: Brawl, Spore, Army of Two, Kane and Lynch, Wet, BGS/Zenimax, Prince of Persia (2008), Half-Life, The Stanley Parable, Call of Duty (series), Megaman 3, Oliver Uv, mysterydip, Castlevania IV, Final Fantasy VI, Will Wright, Ashton Hermann, The Red Strings Club, Deconstructeam, The Witcher III, Gone Home, Firewatch, The Walking Dead, Uncharted 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mass Effect, June, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More Far Cry 2

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

Aug 31, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on SimCity 2000. We talk disasters and scenarios and of course, our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A new beginning and a scenario

Issues covered: looking at the scenarios, recovering from disasters, plane crash disaster, choosing what disasters you would use, flooding in particular, kicking down the sandcastle, what it models and what it doesn't, wanting to have a conversation about it with your child if they played it, street-level view of community, a fun-house mirror on urban development, various areas of study referenced in the simulation, the books referenced for further study, sicknesses in the modern sim, needing an influx of cash to keep your villages going, looking at the scenarios, reflecting on Flint Michigan, choosing to reflect a real place, eminent domain, being curious about why that was included, finding compromise, focusing on progress, expose/explore/explain your passions, inherent statements in how you win, the huge scope of this game and the wish fulfillment of that, a simulation can't be everything and as a game you have to be careful, urban renewal and SimCity, the Launch arcologies.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: mysterydip, Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America, Cities: Skylines, The Boys, Roger Ebert, Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language, David Macauley, Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Disney, Five Nights at Freddy's, Call of Duty, American Factory, Roger & Me, SimTown, Will Wright, Raid on Bungeling Bay, Doom, Civilization, Maxis, Midknight22, Shadow of the Colossus, ICO, Chris, Cyberpunk, High Rise, J. G. Ballard, Crash, Dredd, Megaman, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Notes:
The 5e book list in the DMG is very different from the 1e list.

Next time:
...?!

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

Aug 24, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on SimCity 2000. We talk about the lore of SimCity and what Brett and Tim appreciate or don't about sim games these days. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Speed-playing to modern day and beyond

Issues covered: unsung hero CPAs, playing on cheetah speed, taxing different areas at different rates, digging into a hole, being in a deficit spending, the tech tree, the money cliff, what preconceived notions the game requires, what's cheating, experimenting through multiple cities, not caring about what the buildings are, seeing the numbers and ignoring the lore, having to grow the city to survive, changing tastes as you get older, a city in flux, the ant farm (and not the ants), contrasting with Civ, modernizing your city, losing humanity, feeling joy playing it as a younger person, the melancholy of small towns, philosophy, disruption, cities and where you like to live, the game for kids vs the game for adults, missing the sense of human scale, moving to more relatable levels as designers, being conservative/preservative and progressive, the constant churn of capitalism, textile mill porn, the explosion of games, defaults vs choices, how you'd fix SimCity, Tim designing a different game, leaning in to politics, taking an overt stand, finding other local maxima, inclusive design, assuming your audience.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Marc Elrich, Ronald Reagan, Joker, Scarecrow, Civilization, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Sam Anderson, Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum, Animal Crossing, SimTown, MacWorld, Next Generation, Cities: Skylines, The Sims, SimAnt, Dungeon Keeper, UbiSoft, Watch Dogs, Peter Molyneux, Sid Meier, Will Wright, Black & White, Fable, Populous, Ole Sollie, Megaman, 20XX, Super Meat Boy, Fez, Legend of Zelda (series), Dark Souls, Artimage, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More SimCity!

Notes:
The Sam Anderson book Brett was referring to was Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City

Links:
The Secret Ideology Hiding in SimCity's Black Box

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

Aug 17, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on SimCity 2000. We end up spending a lot of time talking about the political choices that inform the game, as well as other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
More hours?

Issues covered: being the opposite of what rangers or druids do, the San Francisco method, finding natural borders, responding to the water crisis, getting clued by the newspaper, planning ahead for subways, district sizes and ratios, trying to make your city look a certain way, needing that transportation budget, how Europe approaches traffic accidents vs the US, politics in games, procedural argument, where you put your coal plant, cars put in the parking lot, when subways should be built, keeping your commentary out of your marketing, how you make an argument, what appears in the newspaper and its lack of correlation to the history, broadsheets vs tabloids, how do you generate the newspaper content, WillTV, evolving buildings and aesthetic choices around them, Megaman X lore, how the podcast impacts our work, more musical selection, why the metal blades are so useful, Magnasanti.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Will Wright, CalamityNolan, MegaMan X, Dark Souls, cbb2016, DOOM (1993), MYST, Raymond, mysterydip, Judge Dredd, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Links:
Can't Beat Air Man

Countless Memories

Mega Man 2: The Sequel That Saved the Series - Pikasprey

Magnasanti Polygon article

Magnasanti dev video

Next time:
More hours?

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

Aug 11, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on that classic sim, SimCity. We very briefly situate it in time and talk a little bit about Will Wright before talking over some of the strangeness that is this game (or toy). Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Tutorials or A Few Cities

Issues covered: which version and why, establishing the SimUniverse, Wright and describing his design process, a good representative for our art form, a simulated ant farm toy, setting it in its time, licensed titles, the origins of the game in practice and in theory, a wide variety of influences, industrial design, where other designers get their influences, working in a space with other designers, picking your battles and choosing conflict, different sims being developed at the same time, legacies, a recognizable space, playing with it like a toy, setting your own goals, differences in the motivation for play, a very Western lens, making assumptions and scope, a Christian church as a statement, designing to constraints, what you're building and what you're not, meeting the citizens' concerns, zoning and pipes and infrastructure, how cities grow in reality and the intersection with history, the newspaper as a conduit for information and setting and feel, the weird content in the newspaper, advisors and the pulse of the people, being grounded, the things that are your concern, budgets and taxes and deficits, audio associated with taxes, "Read my lips: no new taxes," being careful with incentives, replaying MegaMan levels, audio budgets, the names and lore of MegaMan, listening to music when you code, generated art, humans as creators and consumers of art, art as conversation and exploration, enjoying procedurally created levels and worlds, AI assistant tools, kudos to the hosts, being humbled by how our games touch people.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Will Wright, The Sims (series), MAXIS, Spore, SimAnt, SimCopter, SimTower, SimEarth, MegaMan 2/X, Prince of Persia, Populous, Tetris, GameBoy, Castlevania (series), Star Trek: The Next Generation, Batman (1989), MYST, DOOM, Day of the Tentacle, Star Fox, Secret of Mana, The 7th Guest, Bill Gates, Link's Awakening, Raid on Bungeling Bay, John Romero, Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language, Urban Dynamics, Star Wars, Alien, June Longo, Shigeru Miyamoto, Pikmin, Legend of Zelda (series), Civilization, Populous, Sid Meier, Black & White, Dungeon Keeper, Cities: Skylines, X-COM, Dark Souls, Mrs Reckis, mysterydip, The2ndQuest, NES, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, OCRemix, Metal Gear Solid, Valheim, Minecraft, Parham, Republic Commando, Skyrim, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More hours? Hard to know how to schedule this one :)

Links:
-Mega Man 2 (Original Version) by The Minibosses (metal medley of MM2 tracks)

-Mega Man 2: Tickle My Wily by Star Salzman (kind of an epic orchestral/electronica OCRemix piece)

-Cataclysmic Clash by Game Over (MM3-inspired, but quotes recurring music from MM2- also has lyrics!)

-Mega Man X Guitar Medley by FamilyJules


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

Aug 3, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on MegaMan 2 and X. We talk difficulty for sure, before turning to our usual takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
More of MegaMan X

Issues covered: the big story turn inside the boss, the tedium of taking out enemies again and again to get drops, minimal loot tables, seeing more of an enemy, the limitations of trial and error and difficulty, playtime and quarters, designing around lives, fighting games, a bad port, the social experience of arcades, shifting marketing, a different design mentality, hot-swapping weapons, other usability additions, reusing a formula, mini-bosses and learning things, simpler patterns, the dash on a button, good boss character design, doing the hard thing, Ornstein and Smough, game structure around bosses and experimentation, having to account for the Buster, getting things from the bosses, variety of environments, the cohesion of the levels, character feel, the mascot, vibrancy of the visuals, accessibility, games and agency, Solaire as an accessibility option, house rules as an accessibility option.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Castlevania, Super Metroid, Dark Souls, NES/SNES, Sega Genesis, Pac-Man, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Nintendo, Sony, Circuit City, Fry's Electronics, Monster Hunter, Resident Evil 4, Shadow of the Colossus, Mario (series), Metal Gear (series), Sam Thomas, The Last of Us II, Ratchet & Clank, Super Smash Bros, Celeste, Dark Forces, id Software, Ninja Gaiden, Tomonobu Itagaki, Candyland, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia, Dog Game Club.

Links:
SSB Mega Man trailer 
Bit Brigade Concert

Next time:
??? Time will tell

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

Jul 27, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Megaman games, turning to Megaman X. We very briefly set it in its time, discuss the new feel that the SNES gets you, as well as other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Three bosses

Issues covered: the SNES Classic deal with using the reset, setting difficulty on the emulated game, sequels and console generations, "the new standard in entertainment," additional frames and transitional animation lending character in 16bit, depth of music and audio, designing new movement into the level design, iconic silhouettes and the expression of the concept art, heads and heroism, a different Megaman, Brett dives into the lore, hair as a poor robot lifestyle choice, distinct biomes, the ronin robot end of MegaMan 2 and its final battle, the earnestness of a SVP letter, leaning into robots, animal-named robots and Metal Gear, boss order, flying robots that destroy level bits, continuity of the series, cinematic introductions on the SNES, Tim is behind on the lore, being able to distinguish games at the time, modern indie equivalents, upgrading in the level, lack of payoff to gaining the ability/no training, discussing Proust, hearing the music a lot, an unresolved musical cue, another difficulty discussion, constraints and chiptunes, interesting orchestrations.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: SNES Classic, Celeste, Dark Souls, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft, PlayStation, Sega Genesis, God of War, Myst, Sam and Max Hit the Road, DOOM (1993), X-Wing, Link's Awakening, Day of the Tentacle, The 7th Guest, Bill Gates, Sinistar, Super Metroid, Mario (series), Castlevania (series), Halo, Keiji Inafune, Game Boy Advance, Pinocchio, Aisha Tyler, Isaac Asimov, Metal Gear (series), Terminator (series), The Matrix, Nintendo, Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Peter, Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, The Megas, The Immortals, J. S. Bach, Daft Punk, Gothic Chocobo, Infamous, Resident Evil, Pokemon, Mark Brown/Game Maker's Toolkit, Elden Ring, Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, Destiny, Assassin's Creed, Marty O'Donnell, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Links:
What Capcom Didn't Tell You About Resident Evil 4

What Makes Celeste's Assist Mode Special

Game Maker's Toolkit Video Game Accessibility Playlist

Notes:
Indeed, you can re-enter levels in MegaMan X

Next time:
Finish with the game

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

Jul 21, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Capcom's MegaMan series, looking at the latter half of the game, exploring its difficulty and how it presents a final exam, among other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the Game! (Hmm...)

Issues covered: multiple forms of mastery, leaning on rewind, playing "au naturale," analogues in the podcast hosts, being confused about item 1, how the powers match up against various bosses, Brett's tornado, choosing the right weapon for the job, wondering whether you learn from earlier enemies for the final exam, plotting out your path, the final areas of the castle and challenge, divergent paths in game design, multiple ways of using the same ingredients, being frustrated by the type of game, having the gratifying sense of overcoming a boss, gaining knowledge, being surprised by a mid-game cutscene and map, puzzle rooms and weird rooms, the final exam, the bomb maze room, having to fight all the mans again, an amazing ending cutscene, wanting to know about the lore, identifying how to make games fit better to players, matchmaking very quickly, mixing different things together, the consequences of not reading mechanics and how that impacts a game, not knowing who Sen is, the Painted World, shipping your vertical slice, the terror of the Tower of Latria, showing the flaws of the mechanics.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metroidvanias, Wonderful 101, Platinum Games, Clover Games, Okami, Hideki Kamiya, Viewtiful Joe, GameCube, Wizardry, Ultima IV, Conan the Barbarian, Sabotage, Lode Runner, Robotron, Joust, Mario (series), Metroid, Nintendo, Contra, Assassin's Creed, Raymond, Celeste, Todd Howard, Halo (series), Josh Mankey, Dark Souls, Stardew Valley, Warren Linam-Church, Ico, Sasha, Shadow of the Colossus, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Fumito Ueda, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia, Dog Game Club.

Next time:
3 Mens of MegaMan X!

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

Jul 14, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we start a new series on MegaMan 2/X, looking at them as different platformers from the time. We set it in context a bit. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Three enemies

Issues covered: Dog Game Club, playing a couple games instead of one, fighting mens for their weapons, playing second iterations, bringing in past favorites, setting the game in its time, mascot games, structure and wanting to choose your order of attack, using the boss for its weapons, technical limitations and difficulty, learning a level, generosity with powerups, run-based play, grinding for drops, some things that feel unfair the first time you fight them, getting the gist, having wall stages, annual release schedule, Mega Man 10 or X, tic-tac-toe enemy board, dabbling in some enemies, not knowing what order to progress, using passwords, possible orders of enemies, damage types and using the right tools for the job, Tim shades Billy Mitchell, deriving stuff from Mega Man, wanting to run, spawning enemies rhythmically rather than placement, how the platforming feels, being more methodical, character design for collision in this and Mario, good characterization with fewer states, swapping, not designing for you controller, having to be able to go to any level first, where you can get to powerups, homework: watch out for cool level design moments, books about the inside, keeping the good stuff, keeping current through peer recommendations, finding a friend group, listening to podcasts, not feeling like you have to keep up, finding threads through games, following journalists, first person football, losing perspective, the ways games are impacted by other media, butt explosion T-shirt, reactions in games, why games hit when, a return to Anor Londo.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Bark Souls, Soul Rover, Mark Garcia, Shibaenmue, Resident Beagle, Castlevania, SNES, PlayStation, Pokemon, GameBoy, Metroid (series), Zelda (series), Capcom, System Shock 2, Wasteland, Electronic Arts, Fallout, Dragon Quest 3, Enix, RC Pro/Am, Rare, Bionic Commando, Ultima V, Nintendo, Tecmo, Ninja Gaiden, Final Fantasy II, Pool of Radiance, Baldur's Gate, Chrono Trigger, Populous, Super Mario Land, Prince of Persia, Broderbund, SimCity, Castlevania III, Konami, Contra 2, Sierra, King's Quest, Space Quest, Manhunter, Colonel's Bequest, Keiji Inafune, Resident Evil (series), Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, Tetris, Guacamelee, Sonic (series), The Brady Bunch, Johnny Grattan, Crash Bandicoot, Ultima Underworld, Donkey Kong, King of Kong, Ratchet & Clank, Shonen Jump, Astro Boy, Sega Genesis, Tomb Raider, Spelunky, Super Meat Boy, Blood Sweat Pixels, mysterydip, Junction Point, Jason Schreier, Press Reset, Ray Chase, Bioshock Infinite, John Webb, Prey, Bioshock, Triple Click, Waypoint Radio, DLC, Kirk Hamilton, Maddie Myers, Hollow Knight, Kingdom Hearts, Dishonored, Austin Walker, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, ESPN NFL 2k5, Trespasser, Coleco, Mattel, Morrowind, The Honorable T. H. Isismyre Alname, Robin Hobb, David Eddings, Velvet Underground, Bloodborne, Demons's Souls, Drew Scanlon, Jeremiah Johnson, Giant Bombcast, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
Finish MegaMan 2!

Notes:
The King of Kong person Brett was thinking of was Billy Mitchell

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

Jun 1, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Dark Souls, and so we turn to our takeaways and discuss our final hours with the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett finished

Issues covered: the podcast mirrors the game, feeling like you have godlike powers in New Game+, spending hours on farming different resources, putting the pieces together, enjoying mysteries and putting the clues together, what you take from Dark Souls as an imitator, examining a space and trying to figure out where you can go, senses of accomplishment and discovery as opposed to the checklist, where the studio goes from here, attribute changes in the sequel, miracles and their mechanics, the flexibility of having options, seeking out the things I hadn't found, poor Solaire, feeling of coming full circle, memorable fights and world connections, "butt exposion!", smaller memorable moments, the snoring of Frampt, the inadequacy of the camera in tight spaces, keeping from going on tilt, teaching patience and observation, antithetical game design, a game of secrets, having little guidance, the impossible balance of this game for multiple classes, the knowledge you gain along the way, controlling ambience and tone, the vague pieces of history, Brett's Book Recommendation, character and player knowledge, leaning on archetypes, the weird afterlife metaphor, Star Wars as arsenic, how far do you go to explain a thing, finding your line per game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Kingdom Hearts, Sherlock Holmes, Day of the Tentacle, Bloodborne, Sekiro, Elden Ring, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Tomb Raider (1996), Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven, Practice/NYU, Rob Daviau, Morrowind, Skyrim, Demons's Souls, King's Field, GTA III, Wolfenstein, Mario (series), Artimage, Platinum Games, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Dungeons & Dragons, Mass Effect, Star Wars, Keza MacDonald, Jason Killingsworth, Robin Hobb, Assassin's Apprentice, Dan Hunter, Jedi: Fallen Order, JJ Abrams, Half-Life, Neverwinter Nights, Legend of Zelda (series), Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
We don't know!

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

May 25, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dark Souls. The big story is about how Brett is a monster, but we also dig into setting goals for yourself. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett 154h, Level 160
Tim 39.5h, Level low 50s

Issues covered: squeezing the Dark Orb, Drunk Souls, having more options as you level, having multiple hammers, the fire centipede, liking feeling really nimble, fighting death skullops, entering the painted world and going back to the Asylum, the curiosity killing the cat, Gwynever and Gwyndolin, Timmy bringing twilight to Anor Londo, murdering a fire keeper, wanting to uncover the mysteries, usability in exposing ethical choices in other games, signposting choices, digging into the Catacombs, Patches the cleric-hater, not knowing if you should go places yet, having things you want to do, using simple systems to recontextualize sections or skills, dealing with curse resistance, farming humanity, black knights and going on a black knight murder spree, avoiding an enemy for hours and hours and turning the tides, setting goals for yourself, #consequences, lack of quest log, designing to require the Internet, egg vermifuge removes parasitic egg from body, the importance of discovery, using humanity where it's dropped, "I may have died 28 times but at least I learned something," the uncanny valley of player performance, gameplay as escape from the limitations of reality, accepting film as reality, sports games emulating tv presentation, usability and difficulty, the value of figuring out how things work, accessibility and difficulty.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Artimage, Mass Effect, God of War, The Matrix, The Walking Dead, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Mario (series), Peter, mysterydip, Michael Abbott/The Brainy Gamer, Johnny "Pockets," Shakespeare, James Joyce, Microsoft, David Cronenberg, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Notes:
Brett's "rendering bug" is actually a reflection of the sky dome, but it doesn't read that way on his PS3

The Higgins Armory did in fact close in 2014, but the collection lives on in the Worcester Museum of Art

Links:
How players behave (h/t mysterydip)

Next time:
Brett finishes?

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

May 18, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dark Souls. We catch you up a little bit on where we are before trying to catch up with the mail bag! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett 115hrs, lvl 114
Tim 33hrs, lvl 50

Issues covered: getting and placing the Lordvessel, Frampt and the second bell, Anor Londo and the two bosses, farming rats for humanity, getting invaded and hiding, the mystery of Gwynevere and leaving Anor Londo and also what's with Gwyndolin, meeting Reah (sp?) again and again, being ambushed by paladins, grinding to upgrade, Tim defeats the Ceaseless Discharge, having sorcerors that revivify the skeletons, powering up your spells, the fire keeper's soul, kindling more, fast traveling, a level design joke, twinkling sounds and occasional marks, being invaded and the costs of banishing, parallel play, recordings of other players, asynchronous multiplayer, fellow-feeling, a Metroid moment, making a big soul-infused thing, good RPG math tropes, missable bosses, the actual level cap, what weapons we use, the reward is the knowledge and the items, the origin of that quote I mentioned, pushing scale, using framing really well for landmarks and aesthetics, "butt explosion!"

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ashton Herrmann, Morrowind, Bloodborne, Demons's Souls, Elden Ring, Death Stranding, Animal Crossing, Metroid, Jarkko Sivula, Ben Zaugg, Sam Thomas, The Honorable T.H. Sismyre Alname, VaatiVidya, Triple Click, Kotaku Splitscreen, Shadow of the Colossus, Disney parks, Brandon Fernandez, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Links:
That Majestic Quote

Next time:
Maybe Brett finishes?

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

May 5, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dark Souls. We catch you up a little bit on where we are in the game, leveling weapons, and the mix and match of combat, to name a few topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Brett: Level 80, 77 hrs
Tim: Level 41ish, 27 hrs

Issues covered: defeating the Iron Golem, finding the bonfire, discovering you can dash and jump, watching a giant drop rocks into a hole, killing a hydra, switching back to the leather armor, fighting the nerves, fiero, pushing it too hard, a scripted invasion, one-shotting the gaping dragon, seeing a space and then fighting in it, the game clicking, a game of patience and intent, having a mace for a long time, transient curses, getting all the moves at once in some games, feeling like you push to a place where you farm things, twinkling titanite, lot of cool armor sets, walking with the silent ring, considering some souls already lost, Blighttown's scaffolding, having to push quickly when cursed, planning gear against what an area is like, vertigo feelings, "Hey, I just got a humanity," thinking that humanity drops from killing lots of enemies, lots of little button combos, the discovery of mechanics versus explicit telling, speculating on the benefits of magic weapons, attacking with two hands, the rhythm of switching weapons, omnicompetence, wish fulfillment, market conditions and getting through games, choices that cut you off from experience, usability problems and fairness, player skill and spectacle.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: "They Might Be Giants," John Huizinga, Shadow of the Colossus, Mario (series), Jedi: Fallen Order, God of War, Morrowind, Dagur Danielsson, Deus Ex (series), Skyrim, Epic Mickey, Warren Spector, Junction Point Studios, 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 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

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