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.
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.
A week off, then more chapters!
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