Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a series on the Bullfrog classic Populous. We set the game in its time and place and talk a little bit about Bullfrog and the different directions simulation games were going, driven by different designers, before talking a little bit about the weirdnesses of this game proper. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Tutorial and First Battle
Issues covered: welcoming Tim back and a discussion of his trip, 1989 in video games, a little discursion into Midwinter, creating the God Game, the immense sales of Populous, the Bullfrog game legacy, absorbing smaller developers into a larger publisher, the different directions that simulations were going under different developers, geographic distinctions, creating genres, limitations in processing power and UI representations, trying Populous in 1992 without a manual, the tutorial in the manual, failing the tutorial, the UI representation, performance concerns and filling the space, raising and lowering terrain, overloading icon use, the pause menu, GDC Lifetime Achievement Award, trying to figure out the best way to do a thing, influencing a game vs controlling the game, reading the map, using cartographic techniques in lieu of shading, killing the enemies indirectly, making your leader into a knight, mixing religious iconography, "we" are good and "they" are evil, the macro of the game, the way characters become stronger, overloading the use of the bars on the shield, lowering land to prevent a new leader forming, raising land to create a path for your knight, visual novel recommendations, an update on Pockets the Great, how deep the Civ rabbit hole goes, finding appropriate mentors, not always having the answer, listening to and asking questions of a report, the Socratic method, getting to know your people, setting Phoenix Wright in LA for a Western market, regional dialects, Shu Takumi's dog.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Revenge of Shinobi, Phantasy Star II, Golden Axe, Herzog Zwei, NES, River City Ransom, Castlevania III, Mother (Earthbound Beginnings), Final Fight, Strider, Xbox One, Nintendo GameBoy, Super Mario Land, SimCity, Midwinter, Minesweeper, Prince of Persia, Stunt Car Racer, Commodore 64, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, LucasFilm Games, The Colonel's Bequest, Roberta Williams, Batman, Bullfrog Productions, Peter Molyneux, Fusion, Amiga, Black & White, Lionhead, Microsoft, EA, Dark Forces, Dungeon Keeper, Powermonger, Syndicate, Syndicate Wars, Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Theme Hospital, 22 Cans, Godus, Origin Systems, LucasArts, Maxis, The Sims, Spore, Will Wright, Respawn Entertainment, Sid Meier, Civilization, Ultima Underworld, Warcraft, Rogue, MYST, Richard Garriott, Looking Glass, id Software, Tropico (series), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Hotel Dusk, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Danganronpa, 999, Nonary Games, Jonathan Stoler, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Nolan Filter/irreverentQ, Murder by Numbers, Picross, Johnny Grattan/Pockets, Morrowind/Arena/Daggerfall, Brian, Republic Commmando, Nick Faulhaber, Shu Takumi, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers.
Five (?) more battles?
Amusingly enough, it *was* a Populous postmortem talk where I first heard Peter's anecdote
Thank you for playing... Wing Commander!
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