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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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Jul 22, 2020

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue to flog the dead tauntaun of our series on Republic Commando, through a pair of interviews. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:53 Interview One
54:05 Break One
54:17 Interview Two
1:46:40 Break Two
1:45:55 Feedback

Issues covered: starting out as a theater geek, finding a job in the newspaper, faking co-op via phone, QA as the breeding ground for designers and producers, needing to staff a project after folks left, finding management talent in QA as well, the benefits of a theater education in level design, the historical areas of the Indiana Jones game (including the Aetherium), using similar research as for set design, theatricality and 3D spatial design, matching believability with fun, reallocating resources to JK's ex-pack, scripting cutscenes, Leia/Marcus engine, the long crunch of Indy, figuring out how to ship a game, sharing design amongst Daron and programmers, looking into leadership, thinking you'd come in for mission design and having so much people work, leadership vs management, moving into more of a direction role, getting to build on something you knew, choosing pillars around features, aiming for more bombast, tying missions together, wearing a producer hat as well, "90% of the challenges are people challenges," picking people for the project, wanting to work with people, skill sets and talent, diving back into the first person shooter, building consensus and going too far, finding the right boundaries for consensus, using pillars and goals to set the sandbox for discussion, giving respect to others, having the connection of the team, listening as an actor (and as a director), the trust on the stage, physics as a misstep, switching to computer science for grad school, doing military contracting in academia, Caveman Tim lifts his head, learning a million subjects all at once, remembering that first interview, getting a random offer, having no flight simulator experience, starting out playing pure flight sims, programming mission logic, figuring out how a game works from the tools, EvE (the Event Editor), knowing the LucasArts legacy, learning everything about being a professional programmer and a good collaborator, moving quickly into leadership, the internal MMO, working closely with level designers, being asked to be a lead, "the designer's programmer," having a rapport with designers (and building it), fighting for the users, learning to work with people, being able to hold the technological line, a game being too expensive to build, helping shore up technical management, helping the programmers help the designers, Brett makes an Alien reference, not being set up for failure, opportunities for growth, the potential problems of success, the conundrum of what people make sense when on a project, the weird side effects of matrix management, we agree to never do it again, the difficulty of writing squad-style AI for varied potential parties in CRPGs, the goals of action games vs RPGs, differing fantasies, disconnect from expectations of players if you had more independence in CRPGs.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: LucasArts, Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion, Star Wars: Dark Forces, Star Wars: X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Star Wars: Jedi Knight, Mysteries of the Sith, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Starfighter (series), Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider (series), Microsoft, 343 Industries, Halo (series), Nintendo Wii, Jason Botta, Playstation 2, Xbox, MobyGames, Tacoma, Skyrim, Reed Knight (nee Derleth), Dan Connors, Jonny Rice, Nihilistic Software, Ray Gresko, Rob Huebner, Justin Chin, Infinite Machine, GT Interactive, Activision, Dan Pettit, Geoff Jones, Outlaws, Kevin Schmitt, Ryan Kaufman, Telltale Games, Hal Barwood, Wayne Cline, Daron Stinnett, Troy Mashburn, Rich Davis, Dave Bogan, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tim Miller, Unreal, Harley Baldwin, Tim Schafer, Full Throttle II, Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout (series), Apple ][+, Colossal Cave Adventure, Macintosh SE/80, Richard Feynman, Pixar, Doom, Quake, Diablo, MYST, Steve Ash, Aric Wilmunder, SCUMM, Steve Dauterman, Garrett James, Descent: Freespace, Chris Corry, Andrew Kirmse, Sony Online Entertainment, Star Wars Galaxies, Jesse Moore, Doug Modie, Reeve Thompson, Force Commander, Tron, David Lee Swenson, Steve Dykes, Malcolm Johnson, David Worrall, Vernon Harmon, Sam and Max: Freelance Police, The Warriors, J. Scott Peter, Alien, Battlefront II, Patrick Sirk, Chris Williams, Harry Potter, EA, Nathan Martz, John Hancock, Michelle Hinners, Ashton Herrmann, Mass Effect, Baldur's Gate, Josh Lindquist, Hollow Knight.

Next time:
A final(?) interview

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

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