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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: Category: Games
Apr 26, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on GoldenEye 007. We talk about the shelf-level event, running towards the end, and some wonky controller stuff. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the SP game!

Issues covered: Moneypenny presentation, illness, leveraging the Switch N64 save states, the scene on the train, using the laser watch, not how trains work, lack of lock-on, camera assist, twenty brackets, getting a head start on the puzzle, the feel of the train, designing for your strengths rather than throwing in something new, the pains of playing retro games, the maximum throw vs the minimum throw, overcorrection due to overacceleration, autoleveling, tuning the sticks before hitting the emulator level, the three Cs -- character/camera/controls, typical Nintendo re-releases vs emulation, leaning into the fantasy fulfillment of being Bond, the diagetic interface of the watch, the health/shields in full-screen and reflecting the watch, being in your face about critical information, levels becoming more linear at the very end, affordances for the game, a survey of the last few levels, trying to reflect the movie, secret agent levels you want to be in, the final setting and a good pay-off, the real dish, scaling the difficulty with objectives, relying on QA, the fantasy satisfaction of relentlessly heading towards the end, not crediting the face scans, evolving crediting standards, playing multiplayer, Tim the spirit animal, the Big Wheel, trying to focus on the thing that's new, taking my retirement in stages, Tim and his dang bandit knife, earning every mile, asymmetrical multiplayer, difficulty and objectives, mutators and other means of changing difficulty, multiplayer customization, arcade transition.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris (apologies to Thandiwe Newton and Ms Harris), Uncharted, Dead Space, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Okami, Dwarf Fortress, LucasArts, Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, GameCube, Half-Life, Valve, Deus Ex (series), Halo, Republic Commando, Jedi Knight, Fallout 3, Matt Tateishi, Adventure, Colin "The Shots" Tougas, Shenmue, Dreamcast, Indiana Jones, UbiSoft, Dark Cloud 2, Travis McGee, Dark Souls, Death Stranding, Bounty Hunter, Outlaws, Jeffrey Sondin-King (Pinecone), Troy, Crystal Dynamics, Celeste, System Shock 2, Silent Scope, Dino Crisis, Kingdom Hearts, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
GoldenEye MP 

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

Apr 19, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. We talk about story accommodations, enemy AI, NPCs, and level design concerns and questions. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Roughly up to mission 10

Issues covered: talking to the people who set up the mission, Moneypenny and representation, changing up the briefing, objective structure, "the Dark Nintendo," how Rare got bought, the challenges of adapting a film where Bond isn't in every scene, objectives in a first-person shooter, interpreting the objectives, confusing visual language, arcade action with waves of enemies, feeling simulation-y, pressure on the player, the impact on the game, technical achievement in the level design, non-linear levels and the problems with landmarking, spy fantasy locations, wanting a boat chase, bad telegraphing, blowing people's minds, enemy animation and location-based hits, blood effects, shooting off hats, smoke and mirrors, asking the team what to do, what the player brings to the game, the AI missing you, putting your money in the enemies, projectile speed, being the fantasy guy vs being the guy, pegging the easy difficulty right, superheroes vs realism, finding objectives that aren't objectives, escort missions, using your one verb and puzzling, making mountains out of molehills, what games opened things up for you, the impact of specific MMOs, walking simulators, haikus of stories. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil 4, GameCube, Microsoft, Quake, Half-Life, Duke Nuke'em 3D, Hitman 2, War Games, Monolith, No One Lives Forever (series), GOG, National Lampoon's European Vacation, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Shadows of the Empire, Quiller (series), Sean Connery, Starfighter, DOOM (1993), Rainbox Six, Soldier of Fortune, Shigeru Miyamoto, Last of Us (series), Mark of Kri (really Rise of the Kasai), Collin "The Shots" Tsougas, John Romero, Super Mario World, Devil May Cry, Chrono Trigger, Destiny, Elden Ring, Diablo, Metal Gear Solid, EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Gone Home, Dear Esther, Proteus, Firewatch, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Dark Souls, Kingdom Hearts, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
Finish single player


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

Apr 12, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1997's Rare classic, GoldenEye 007. We set the game in its time before getting down to brass tacks, including comparing the experience to the film. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First full mission (three levels)

Issues covered: the license, a bit about the film and the film series, 1997 in games, the flourishing of the first person shooter, late in a console cycle, disparity between PC FPSes and console FPSes, Rare with a lot of games and a lot of further game studios, missing the original controller, remapping shenanigans, threading the needle on a film adaptation, filling in gaps in the license, choosing your exciting set piece, wide level design, the triple cut, Hong Kong cinema, cinematic choices, contrasting with later cinematic games, how many mechanics will you incorporate, chasing this game, choosing different presentation, showing death the character death, an era of accessibility needs recognition, at last listening to our hate mail.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Nintendo, Fatal Frame, PlayStation, Pierce Brosnan, Nintendo 64, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen, Alan Cumming, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Skyfall, Diablo, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Fallout, Quake, SW: Jedi Knight: DF2, Blood, Outlaws, Turok, Shadow Warrior, Hexen II, Raven Software, 3D Realms, GT Interactive, Duke Nuke'em, Postal, Curse of Monkey Island, Age of Empires, The Last Express, Final Fantasy VII, Colony Wars, Wing Commander: Prophecy, Riven, MYST, XvT, Interstate '76, Mario Kart 64, OddWorld, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Diddy Kong Racing, The Stamp brothers, NES, Slalom, Wizards and Warriors, Battletoads, Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark, Microsoft, Viva Pinata, Banjo Kazooie (series), Donkey Kong Country, Silicon Graphics, Timesplitters, Free Radical, John Romero, Majora's Mask, Minish Cap, Metroid Fusion, The Fugitive, Harrison Ford, Mission: Impossible, John Woo, Hard Target, Broken Arrow, Face Off, Metal Gear Solid, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Alpha Protocol, Telltale Games, IO Interactive, Machine Games, Colin "The Shots," Devil May Cry, Dark Souls, Celeste, Luke Harris, Tetris 64, Starfighter/JSF, 343 Industries, Kingdom Hearts (series), Republic Commando, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
More GoldenEye 007

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

Apr 5, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we catch up on our mail bag and tackle a ton of different topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: catching up on the mail bag, kind words, jumping down onto back of a Chardalyn Dragon, the most important bowling bowl in the universe, frames for playing games, when are you playing the game, going deep on a game and joining its community, moments of discovery, reflections on the 'cast, how we approach our play, what you miss when you play and what you look up later, communities around game, responsive move sets, where you put your investment in development, learning the move sets, invading and being invaded, having a manager, getting way deeper into the game, the stress levels of the game, adventure mode, the Very Pouty Bard, the stress levels of this game, sunk cost fallacy, the weight of continuing a game, expecting not to get too deep in the game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dwarf Fortress, Kodie Martin, Super Mario 64, John Romero, Vampire: The Masquerade, Brian Mitsoda, Collin "The Shots" James Tiberius Tsougas, Diablo, EverQuest, PlayStation, David Brevik, Dungeons & Dragons, Troy Mashburn, 343 Industries, Brian Taylor, Alien, Final Fantasy IX, Nier: Automata, OliverUV, Jason Grinblat, Freehold Games, Boatmurdered, Dark Souls, Kruggsmash, Tarn and Zach Adams, Eve Online, Frog Fractions, Brenda Romero, Train (board game), Sea of Thieves, Valheim, Roll20, Johnny "Pockets" Grattan, Minecraft, Legend of Zelda, Jeff Cannata, World of Warcraft, The Dungeon Run, LucasArts, Game Theory Group, Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow, The Walking Dead, Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds, Assassin's Creed, Luke Caspar Pearson, Sandra Youkhana, Keza MacDonald, Jason Killingsworth, YOU DIED, Michael Justice, FROM Software, Namco Bandai, Skyrim, Jeffool, Artimage, X-COM, Pong, Kingdom Hearts, Demons's Souls, Civilization, Magic: The Gathering, Flight of the Conchords, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
New game series! 

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

Mar 29, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our series on Dwarf Fortress. We tell a couple more stories, get into how this would or would not eat up our lives, and turn to takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Another 10 hours (Brett) or two hours (Tim)

Issues covered: withdrawing from society to create an heirloom, failing your ghosts, feeling the wet walls, watching the water spread around, creating a well by flooding your lower level, getting stuck in the morass vs learning, the continuing sadness of the Very Pouty Bard, the looming tension in other games, the complexity of some of the systems, diving into other menus, finding the mission system, sanding down difficulty edges, running into the system friction, losing is fun, the pleasures of recovery, so many ways of failure and the time to failure, every happy family, the real boss: the happiness scale, getting further away from the paint can, layer of abstraction, play intensity and life mismatching, the strength of the theme, the amount of iteration and being able to see them, driving design and iteration, the profit motive vs archiving, it's okay to be unforgiving, the presentation allowing for opacity, procedural generation, generating a lore bible or tome, becoming the go-to example for a mechanic, zeitgeists, dead drunken cats, seeing the chain of events that leads to a bug.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Populous, Civ, SimCity, World of Warcraft, Spelunky, Dark Souls, Leo Tolstoy, Ratchet & Clank, BattleCruiser 3K, Firewatch, Colin "The Shots" James Tiberius Tsougas, Kingdom Hearts (series), Super Mario 64, Jumping Flash, Halo, GoldenEye, Kill.Switch, Gears of War, Cliffy B, PlayStation, Daron Stinnett, PacMan, DOOM (1993), Gothic Chocobo, Far Cry 2, Dead Space, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Links:
Tarn Adams NoClip

Next time:
Maybe the mailbag?

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

Mar 22, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dwarf Fortress. We turn to the Steam version of the game and especially talk about how a more graphical presentation changes the feel of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
2 - 8 hours (Tim - Brett)

Issues covered: starting over, an unhappy bard who you just can't make happy, the necromancer who injured himself in a ravine and who raised an undead to defend him, exploring the game's systems to try and make her happy, goals that arise indirectly, the accomplishment of making her happy, abandoning saves, letting the simulation run, walling in your staircase and the art being unclear, 500K events, the history of the world, watching the world be built or discarded, being curious about a smaller world, resource pressure, task management, a relatively frictionless first year, the leap of graphics, zooming up through the canopy, seeing your floors, realizing what things represent, going narrow so you can go deep, generating stories, hidden personality variables, dating sims, adding pressure by adding a bunch of new dwarves, meeting areas, a starving cow, so many timers and spinning many plates, the evocative melancholy of the music, games from our childhood.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Animal Crossing, Black & White, Chris Corry, Andrew Kirmse, Valheim, Minecraft, Kitfox Games, Starfighter, Chris Crawford, Rimworld, Populous, SimCity, Tarn Adams, Colin Tougas, Pokemon Red/Blue, Wizardry (series), Ultima (series), Eye of the Beholder, Etrian Odyssey (series), King's Quest, Space Quest, Tetris, Lode Runner, Ultima Underworld, Docobron, Final Fantasy IX, Super Mario World, Metal Gear Solid 3, Chrono Trigger, The Witness, Artimage, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More DF and our takeaways

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

Mar 15, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Dwarf Fortress. We talk about working on a thing for a long time, the refinements of the latest version, and a host of other small issues. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Several hours of the latest version of the game

Issues covered: rendering different glyphs, working on a thing for twenty years, the historical record, preservation, iteration, a game of saying yes, being able to leverage systems to other purposes, adding to the interface, modernizing their UI, experimentation and direction, setting goals, greater clarity, when a dwarf can't do a thing, doing more planning due to exposure to the systems, intuiting where things should go in relation to one another, the presentation of UI, the depth of the emotional state of the dwarves, world generation and fantasy elements, amount of space determining how dwarves will act, hotkeying to views, elevation levels of the world, planning ahead, the responsiveness of the dwarves, increased tick rate and the way it impacts play, communicating state of what the dwarf is up to, how the game might do on Steam, the appeal of life simulation games, emergent stories, a child playing with the trash, adding dialog for trade, giving goals or quests without a quest system, making a thing out of the trade panel, the tradeoff of fidelity and simulation, the benefits of Moore's Law, games we have a hard time playing now, liking problematic things, the sign that a thing is a problem from another's perspective, simple mechanics that work, increasing the fun.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Halo, World of Warcraft, APEX Legends, Fortnite, SimCity, Lynx, Lexis-Nexis, DOS, Linux/Unix, Emacs, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Minecraft, Populous, Civilization, RimWorld, The Sims, Will Wright, DOOM (1993), Cities: Skylines, Fallout, Farmville, Skyrim, Flight of the Conchords, Colin Tougas, GTA III, Pokemon Red/Blue, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid, Dragon's Lair, Tron, Death Stranding, Jarkko Sivula, Rogue, Dark Souls, RPG Maker, Unity, Godot, Uncharted, Mainichi, Mattie Brice, Microsoft Powerpoint, Sierra On-Line, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
The Steam Version

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

Mar 1, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on 2006's Dwarf Fortress. We explore our failures by telling some stories about our experiences, and describing what that tells us about what this game is and what its systems might be. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Our first Fortresses

Issues covered: needing a Trade Depot, changing state of a building, feedback on buildings, iconography challenges in a game of this scale, the emotional state of your dwarves, seeing a melancholy dwarf, a dwarf wading into a pond, state vacillation, being aware of the passage of time, building a really good fortress that fails anyway, the underground river, a drowning cat and a shaking room, enjoying the failure, maybe having to plan ahead for the failures, storytelling as a vessel to understand the game, being unable to attach to dwarves as individuals due to cognitive load, gaining attachment to particular dwarves, developing your game in public vs private and the dev story attached, what language its in, moving to Simple Direct Layer, the feral cat and its bad seed kitten, the jaguar battle and post-traumatic stress, going in and out of a bedroom, the confluence of so many systems and story generation, messing up my first trade, the arrival of additional dwarves, wanting some kind of save states, "Happiness is a thing," wanting a chair, early strategy tips from Brett, not knowing how to farm, hunting vermin, intent in design choices, the actual interaction vs the way we talk about it, movie recording and wanting to share, wanting a bit more information about why things aren't happening, wanting a game to be the entire presentation, short runs and roguelikes, judging for the IGF, accidentally summoning a bunch of zombies, layering in more stuff with text and leaning into subverting your story.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sophie's Choice, Sim City, Civilization, Virginia Woolf, Rogue, X-COM, Battlecruiser 3K, Tarn and Zach Adams, pfs:Write, DOS, Dark Souls, Sam, Spelunky, Nethack, A Dark Room, Frog Fractions, Zachary Crownover, Plundered Hearts, Thief II: The Metal Age, Dishonored, Prey, Dead Space, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
The most recent Windows version

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

Feb 22, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our themed series on the flexibility of text with 2006's Dwarf Fortress. We set the game in its time and then start delving into the play of the game, and the steep cliff of learning how to play it. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A couple of hours

Podcast breakdown:
0:46 Dwarf Fortress
54:36 Break
55:13 Feedback

Issues covered: an early early access game, ASCII vs glyphs, setting the game in its time, lack of simulation games at the time, similar games we've played, not knowing how to categorize the game, failure to launch, not playing the game but playing the learning of the game, exploring the game's systems, bouncing off tremendously, in-game help, "losing is fun," being different from the mainstream, an opening cutscene and music, fictional grounding and world generation, the depth of the dwarves, getting clues from the help and discovering how to do those things, the minimal interface, the combinatorics of choices made, being in a jungle vs a pine forest, having a sad dwarf and building for them, reassigning dwarf abilities, balancing for combat by what the fortress produces, thinking ahead and attracting attention, invading raccoons and a miasma, losing a sense of scale of time, seasons and weather, a flowing river, the little stories you see play out, the tamed feral cat, a cave-in, the ant farm appeal, moments of discovery, levelling up, turning someone into a recruit, games getting shorter if they are level-based, eyes bigger than stomach, scope creep problems, overstuffing a game, systemic expansion, reactive planning in Rogue vs grinding in Diablo, increasing player agency, customizing TTRPGs to react to the players, running the games in our brains, a framework for storytelling, dabbling in game design without having to do it from scratch, accommodating flexibility and adaptation, having a lot to keep in your head, simpler rulesets, designing for physical vs digital, designed scarcity.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Artimage, Bay 12 Games, Zach and Tarn Adams, Rogue, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Gears of War, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros, TES: Oblivion, Final Fantasy XII, Dead Rising, Okami, Zoo Tycoon, Thrillville, Civilization, The Sims, Populous, SimCity, Skyrim, Minecraft, Kamil, Branden, Assassin's Creed, Fallout (series), Morrowind, Rogue Legacy 2, Star Wars: Starfighter, Murray Lorden, Diablo 2, Nintendo Switch, Nick Miller, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Joel Gifford, Marvel Snap, Hearthstone, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Next time:
More Dwarf Fortress!

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

Feb 8, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our series on Plundered Hearts, the pirate romance text adventure, and also turning to a short bonus discussion about Twine games. We mostly discuss our takeaways before turning to the bonus discussion. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:18 Takeaways
51:02 Break
51:12 Bonus Discussion

Issues covered: text adventure length, an introductory adventure and the audience it sought, being unable to market, a diversion to Rogue Legacy 2, finding a parser bug, game pack-ins, losing a thing to the parser, a garter on a crocodile, waiting and responding to player choice, playtesting internally, not knowing to wait, inventory combination vs revisiting every location you've missed, failure-driven games, piecing clues together through trial and error, choosing your verbs carefully, whether there are multiple solutions, the hostility of a trial-and-error design, subverting your genre through mechanics, Tim's life as a series of flow charts, a structure still used today, flow charts for puzzle steps, working back from a problem to the solution, responding to your players, using good writing to provide a rich experience, interesting work coming from diverse sources, being playful with text, Twine as an environment, what you can do with good writing and simple tools, text effects, the approachability of the tools, personal games, an experimental game and interpretation, the structure of "howling dogs," simulation aspects, commentary on games, the default response and the "that's interesting," poetic/evocative/allusive tone, being in a browser and the affordances, a commentary on the games industry, the anxiety-provoking games, feeling seen, being exactly spot-on, a learning tool, the value of constraints.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dark Souls, Zork, Infocom, Byte, Nibble, EGM, Nintendo Power, Rogue Legacy 2, Halo, LucasArts, Day of the Tentacle, Emily Short, Counterfeit Monkey, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Dungeons & Dragons, MYST, Space Quest, King's Quest, Reed Knight, Ron Gilbert, Peter Pan, Errol Flynn, Geena Davis, Cutthroat Island, Matthew Modine, Activision, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Chris Klimas, Hypercard, howling dogs, Porpentine, The Writer Will Do Something, Matthew Seiji Burns, Tom Bissell, Game Developer magazine, Magical Wasteland, IF Comp, Andrew Plotkin, Meg Jayanth, Richard Hofmeier, Papers Please, Hot Pockets, Mountain Dew, Warhammer, Frog Fractions, Universal Paperclips, Frank Lantz, HP Lovecraft, Melville, Shakespeare, Mark Laidlaw, Eliza, Zachtronics, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia. 

Errors!
It was not Papers, Please (which is also excellent and by Lucas Pope), but Cart Life that was by Richard Hofmeier

Links:
When You Say One Thing and Mean Your Motherboard

Next time:
...?!

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

Feb 1, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our mini theme of the flexibility of text. We examine the Infocom era by playing a late title, Plundered Hearts. We discuss some of the rougher aspects of the game and the mechanics of text adventures, including the facilities of the language and some of its modern descendants. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Tim (all), Brett (the first section)

Issues covered: setting the game in its time, graphic adventures in the time, the death of Infocom, the variety of Infocom's game, Tim pulling his hair out, the cinematic nature of the game, some digressions on Deadline, extending the play through difficulty, saving the game, puzzles and wordplay, exploring the parser, accommodating the player, playing with tropes, Tim misses the boat, a bit of description of the parser and virtual machine, rooms and inventory, fore and aft vs north and south, abstraction and flexibility, restrictions, great graphics via visualization, the perfect run and the perfect score, the modern text adventure market, trigger warning for adult themes, a female protagonist, failure states, "a fate worse than death," a commentary about the dangers for women in the world, a game that she wanted to play, the context of the medium and the inherent danger of the world, having an impactful victory, Vermin's SL1 of Dark Souls, Pippin Barr and experimental games, Break Out and performance art, from Rogue to Diablo.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Rogue, Calamity Nolan, Reed Knight, TIE Fighter, Aaron Reed, Maniac Mansion, Sierra Online, Space Quest 2, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Nintendo/NES, Punch-Out, Final Fantasy, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Day of the Tentacle, Cornerstone, Zork, Deadline, Deathloop, The Lurking Horror, Ballyhoo, Moonmist, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Activision, Sea of Thieves, Amy Briggs, Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, Sleep No More, Colossal Cave Adventure, Apple ][, Volkswagon, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Dark Souls, Tomb Raider, Choose Your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy, Sir Ian Livingstone, Ink/Inkle, Around the World in 80 Days, Sorcery (series), Heaven's Vault, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Suspended, Brian Moriarty, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Dark Souls, Emily Short, Elsinore, Pirates of the Caribbean, verminthewepper, Pippin Barr, David Wolinsky, Marina Abramovich, The Artist Is Present, Kill.Screen, GameThing, Breakout, don't die, Father Beast, Diablo, Ragnarok Valhalla, Glenn Wichman, The Eggplant Show, Dave Brevik, Moria, Nethack, Oliver Uv, Brogue, Caves of Qud, Cogmind, Rogue Legacy 2, Mark Garcia, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
A bit of a bonus and takeaways!

Errata:
It's a babelfish, I can't believe I couldn't remember that

Brett confused Astrologaster with Heaven's Vault (he was referring to the latter)

Links:
Interactive Fiction Database

GameThing podcast!

Pippin Barr's site
Don't Die by David Wolinsky


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

Jan 18, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we elaborate our series on Rogue by looking at one that continues its legacy, that is, Rogue Legacy 2. It's right there in the name! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours (well, about a dozen for Brett)

Issues covered: Rogue-likes and Rogue-lites, comparing it a bit with Spelunky, the journal in Spelunky, games like it Tim has played, getting something out of runs, unlocking character types, bespoke levels vs tiled spaces and level generation, kitchen sink design, the clarity of the legacy, the punishment of starting over from scratch, not feeling like I got any further, quality of life improvements, the many ways you can make choices, terrific music, seeing your life flash before your eyes, humorous traits, saying yes to everything, sequel polish, the verb mix, grinding here vs JRPGs, improving skills, wrapping Rogue elements, multiple currencies, maintaining the Rogue with taking the gold, psychology of gold, removing a pillar and losing some enjoyment, knowing someone who beat Rogue, beating Darth Vader, an emergent property of Rogue, making a game you could play yourself, the cleverness and wondering how deep it can go, the punishment of Dark Souls and the progression layer, preferring an endpoint, long-term commitment, other Rogues to check out, a discussion of kit-bashing, kit-bashing and the art department, model kits and the origin of the term, kit-bashing in film, learning to parry.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Spelunky, Clue (obliquely), Colin Northway (obliquely), Dead Cells, Castlevania, Darius Kazemi, Oliver Uv, Cellar Door, PlayStation Vita, Dark Souls, Hades, Humphrey Bogart, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Darren Johnson, TIE Fighter, Derek Yu, Boss Fight Books, Sebastian Deken, Final Fantasy VI, Civilization, Paul Pierce, Haden Blackman, Diablo, njallain, Roguelike Celebration, International Roguelike Convention, Brogue, Caves of Qud, Gamma World, Cogmind, Michael Brough, 868-HACK, mysterydip, Maas Neotek Prototype, Ian Milham, Dead Space, Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout (series), Skyrim, Republic Commando, Star Wars, Industrial Light & Magic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Bloodborne, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
TBA!

Links:
Darius Kazemi on Generating Spelunky

Caves of Qud and Wave Function Collapse

Brogue's Mechanisms

Michael Brough on Roguelikes


Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
Discord: https://t.co/YVZOe7ZygI
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Jan 11, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our brief series on Rogue, though admittedly if you want the full experience, cut up the two episodes into one minute pieces and randomly select fifty to eighty of those pieces and play them in random order. This week we talk about strategies, life lessons from Rogue, and of course give our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few more hours (Tim) and way too many (Brett)

Issues covered: a visit by June, meeting a griffin, lack of physical damage in creatures, desirable item assessment, changing how you play by what you find, combinatorics, not knowing how many good wands there are, Brett's many strategies, traps and their impact later, the importance and pressure of food, inventory management, having to level up as you go, invisible creatures, regeneration, information is power, constraints dictating the design, treasure rooms and teleportation, the anecdote factory, whether items are weighted, iterating the design, monsters carrying items, fearing the kryptonite ring, the loot factory naming scheme, your first cursed item, life lessons learned from Rogue, resting too long, throwing potions, confusion, multiple dice games and scalability, the profound impact of constraints, someone oughta make a genre out of this, efficient for development, finding my exit strategy, simple objects creating depth, making the most of mechanics, yes and, the power of iteration, grinding as a failed strategy, always having a chance you might win, signing up for the experience, the supreme flexibility of text, comedy and the roguelike, retention and the roguelike, incorporating RPG elements, resetting a space.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Valheim, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls, Colossal Cave Adventure, Infocom, Space Quest, King's Quest, MYST, Spelunky, Diablo, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, Storyteller, Call of Cthulhu, GURPS, Shadowrun, Solitaire, Hunt the Wumpus, mysterydip, Ron Gilbert, Goat Simulator, Zach Gage, Deus Ex, Prey, Dishonored (series), Deathloop, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
Bonus game!

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

Jan 4, 2023

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1980's seminal and genre-naming title, Rogue. We set the game in time and talk about what constitutes the genre before diving into some particulars. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few runs

Issues covered: buying the game in a box, being disappointed in the ASCII, being turned off by procedural games, the differences in later games, the lore of the game, playing on a mainframe, the roots of so many games in text format, a top 50 achievement in games, the elements of the Rogue-like, procedural generation, inventory, randomized items, permadeath, getting over the hurdles in types of games, a chain reaction of bad things, clicking with a specific experience, simulating the rogue-like, a long shadow, playing to get a feel, being terrified of letters, trying things at random, a voyage of discovery, knowledge, renaming everything, consistent descriptions, thinking about strategy, the cumbersome bow mechanics, more depth than expected, the possibilities of emergence, anecdote factory, "wait, there are bear traps?"

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Adventure, Atari 2600, Colossal Cave Adventure, Dungeons & Dragons, Egghead Software, Moria, Nethack, Jamie Fristrom, ADOM, Angband, Zork, Infocom, Mystery House, On-Line Systems, Sierra Online, Ken and Roberta Williams, Hunt the Wumpus, Star Trek, Pac-Man, Battlezone, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Activision, Taito, LucasArts, Space Quest/King's Quest, Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold, DARPANET, World of Warcraft, Mario (series), Dark Souls, Rogue Legacy, Epyx, Spelunky, Oblivion, Morrowind, PSP/Vita, Andy Nealen, Diablo, Calamity Nolan, Dead Cells, Eggplant (podcast), mysterydip, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Mark Garcia, Artimage, LostLevels, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers. 

Next time:
Get that Amulet of Yendor!

Twitch: brettdouville or timlongojr, instagram:timlongojr, Twitter: @timlongojr and @devgameclub
Discord: https://t.co/YVZOe7ZygI
DevGameClub@gmail.com

Dec 22, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we look back at the interview that were, relistening and highlighting some great bits from our conversations with other developers this year. We again extend our thanks to Jaime Griesemer, Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Rosie Katz, and Ian Milham.

Thanks too to our perennial thanks: Kirk Hamilton, who composed our intro and outro music, Aaron Evers who sponsored it, and Mark Garcia for our logo and our store.

Finally, thank you also to our listeners, for bringing up interesting questions each week, for supporting the things we do, and just for listening.

Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Next time:
On January 4th, we return with a new game for a new year.

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

Dec 15, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we conclude our bonus episodes about Dead Space by chatting with Ian Milham, who was a former LucasArts colleague of the hosts and the Art Director on the space horror classic. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
00:47 Interview
1:15:32 Break
1:16:02 Outro

Issues covered: the cost of getting in, the set top box, an homage, getting an internship on the basis of a lie, getting in on the appeal of LucasArts, having the timing, having opportunities, getting the parts to make something for Xbox, learning on licensed titles, having to prove yourself right away, being paranoid, making lots of key art, living survival horror, living and breathing your game, promoting yourself to avoid cancellation, building with the team you have, complementary skills, "tomorrow is a good idea," the alchemy and identifying how people work together, deferred rendering, finding the compelling aspect of the world, finding the tone, using gothic churches and buttresses to hold the world together, requiring interesting surfaces for the lighting, removing the scares with UI, making the UI cool because of the warmth of the environment, getting fixated on the solution you want and finding something better, the game telling you what it is, keeping the train on the track with real-time Stagecraft, adding a cloud in the sky, problem-solving in the moment, getting to know what the team can do together, being fine with a remake, "the team makes the game," working within the constraints of technology or that you set for yourselves, end of year show.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Microsoft, WebTV, Shadow Madness, LucasArts, Star Wars: Obi-Wan, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, EA, From Russia With Love, Battlefield: Hardline, Crystal Dynamics, Industrial Light and Magic, The Mandalorian, Thor: Love and Thunder, Disney Animation, The Little Mermaid, Bomberman, Bad Bad Bunnies, PlayStation, Final Fantasy VII, Annabella Serra, Renderman, Nintendo, Rogue Squadron, Grim Fandango, Tim Schafer, Infinite Machine, Nihilistic Software, Dan Connors, Chris Ross, Xbox, Rosie Katz, The Two Towers (game), Everything or Nothing, LotR: Battle for Middle-Earth, Glenn Schofield, Striking Distance, Callisto Protocol, Road Rash, The Simpsons, Godfather, Renderware, Ben Wanat, Sledgehammer, Chi Wai Lao, John Bell, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Bioshock, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Unreal, Tron, No One Lives Forever 2, Dark Souls, Calamity Nolan, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
End of year roundup!

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

Dec 7, 2022

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we present an interview with Rosie Katz,. who acted as a level designer not only on Dead Space, but the Call of Duty series (and with whom the hosts work today). Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:47 Interview
1:03:30 Break
1:04:00 Outro

Issues covered: starting in central tech testing, getting in through QA, using Maya as a level design tool, bringing in the internal tech tool, easiest level design test ever, picking between games, switching to new IP, feeling the pressure to be more action-oriented due to sales potential, looking at competitors, not needing the vision to be communicated, the classic schism, games needing the room to be what they are, a room that has everything, a complicated set piece, what you do as a level designer on Dead Space, managing streaming, importing references into the tools, having setups provided, focusing on combat scenarios, doing real level design, understanding pacing first, putting the lock before the key, building in polish from the beginning, foreshadowing with audio early, moving to wide linear level design, getting to make multiplayer levels and play them internally, modding, playing many many levels, shifting meta and player creativity, less work and greater reward, making stuff that you wouldn't normally play, consistency in a single game, learning from the experienced folks with your own experience.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Tiger Woods 2007, EA, Godfather 2, Sledgehammer Games, Visceral Studios, Call of Duty (series), DICE, Ubisoft, Michael Condrey, The Simpsons, Ian Milham, Glen Schofield, Resident Evil (series), BioShock, Gears of War, Star Trek, Star Wars, Crystal Dynamics, Noah Hughes, Nintendo Wii, Infinity Ward, Titanfall, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.

Next time:
... another interview?!

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

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

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