Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 1991's Eye of the Beholder, from Westwood Studios and published by Strategic Simulations Inc. We set the game in its time before exploring its primary mechanics and the feel of being in this world. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
First level or two
Issues covered: knowing who the evil is, tactical top down Gold Box, the opening cutscene, being amazed at how much they get into the Game Boy version of a Metroid game, lots of movie tie-ins, a wide variety of machines, lack of automap, being everything one wanted for a Forgotten Realms nerd, one of the ten games, semi real-time, living inside the depths of Waterdeep, a style of play which continues today, having to rest immediately, gaining information through audio, uncovering the whole map vs racing towards the goal, tournament play, losing is fun, the only way out is through, annotating a later map, interacting with the play space, accessibility and the mouse, contextualization and abstraction in game design, having to throw weapons in the world, how cool the audio is, using items to locate yourself, creating a party, crunchy spells, shout-outs to upcoming work, difficulty in the bosses in Metroid games then and now, games influencing games, getting the green light, justifying the game via the sweet spot of trends, why not just make this a Star Wars game, how green lighting changes with bigger franchises, games that changed our perspectives.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gold Box games, Westwood Studios, Dune 2, A Link to the Past, Super Castlevania IV, SNES, Mega Man 4, Final Fantasy IV, Metroid II: Return of Samus (and Metroid series), Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega Genesis, Battletoads, Rare, Stamper Bros, Civilization, Another World, Space Quest IV, Monkey Island 2, Wing Commander 2, Hudson Hawk, Terminator 2, American Gladiators, Hunt for Red October, The Godfather, Amiga, PC-98, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Apple ][, Spectrum ZX, Amstrad, Questron, Disney, Legend of Kyrandia, Command and Conquer (series), Electronic Arts, Earth and Beyond, Louis Castle, Brett Sperry, Strategic Simulations Incorporated, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Pool of Radiance, The Ruins of Myth Drannor, Ultima (series), Wizardry (series), A Bard's Tale (series), Ultima Underworld, Dungeon Master, Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest (series), Diablo, Wasteland, Temple of Elemental Evil, Legend of Grimrock, Etrian Odyssey (series), The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, The Tomb of Horrors, Infocom, Ocarina of Time, Rogue, Deluxe Paint, Baldur's Gate, Jarkko Sivula, Single Malt Apocalypse, Sierra, LucasArts, Wierd Tales, Amazing Stories, Tintin, Pippin Barr, David Wolinsky, Game Thing, The Stuff Games Are Made Of, Walker, Dark Souls, Nintendo, Skyrim, Breath of the Wild, Johnny Pockets, Mad Max, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Republic Commando, Sam and Max: Freelance Police, Bounty Hunter, RTX Red Rock, Gladius, PlayStation, Tomb Raider (series), Halo: Infinite, Quake, MYST, Lode Runner, Sabotage, Robotron 2084, Joust, Dark Forces, WoW Classic, Everquest, MUD, Ultima Online, Meridian 59, Adventure, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.
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