DGC Ep 167: Obduction Bonus

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we aren't quite ready to say good-bye to MYST and devote a bonus episode to the 2016 Cyan game Obduction. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A couple of hours for Tim, the whole game for Brett

Issues covered: being down the rabbit-hole for Brett, talking about the opening of Riven, losing the framing of the placed cameras, a game where you can't die, the MYST formula, getting lost without a map, the addition of photographs, having theories and testing them, mechanically consistent, being on a separate track from the rest of game development, technology and design and VR, natural evolution, recreating levels on later technologies, designing around limitations, learning to read the language, adventure games start-up cost, adding fluency as you played FPSes, mouse-look, the odd navigation on a phone, new interface/new game, ways that analog bits are bleeding into the design, no systems in the game, finding MYST Easter Eggs, physically fully rendered puzzles, not always pointing the camera in the right direction, camera and level design, Mew under a truck, saving Aerith, secrets in the age of arcade, closing and opening doors in Cyan games, modern accessibility and having automated animations, having our predecessors lay the groundwork for a later game, what makes a good MYST puzzle, Channelwood and the water pipes, the Selenitic Age, making the games for ourselves, larger teams meaning more eyes, timing puzzles and variety, our next game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: MYST (series), Cyan, Unreal, Riven - The Sequel to MYST, realMYST, Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, Dungeons and Dragons, Super Mario Bros, Minecraft, Little Big Planet, Dreams, Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Arkanoid, Metal Gear Solid, Star Wars, Uncharted, Fallout, Tacoma, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, LucasArts, King's Quest, Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Half-Life, DOOM (1993), Duke Nuke'm 3D, Quake, Morgan Gray, Nick Foster, Gone Home, Nintendo, Switch, Wii, Super Mario Run, Red Faction Guerrilla, Gears of War, MJVogt85, Cory Potomis, Pokemon Red/Blue, Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix, Mortal Kombat 2, Waypoint, Tron, Pac-Man, Burger Time, Food Fight, Dig Dug, Nolan Filter/irreverentQ, Zimmy Finger, Mark Crowe, Diablo, John Romero, Bethesda Game Studios, Jak & Daxter, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania Anniversary Collection, Konami, SNES/NES, Metroid, Symphony of the Night, Radiohead, Moby.

Next time:
The first two levels of Super Castlevania IV

Link:
That Time Some Players Thought Mew Was Under A Truck

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 166: MYST Bonus Interview with Robyn Miller

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we're so lucky to get to talk with Robyn Miller, co-designer of MYST and its artist, composer, and writer as well. We think you'll agree, it's a fascinating discussion. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:40      Interview!
1:06:14 Break
1:06:43 Additional discussion

Issues covered: getting into game development, bringing other interests and skills to bear, drawing a world and following what the world wanted to tell him, the fluidity of working in HyperCard, following where things take you, going to an expo with your product, HyperCard as a precursor to the web, learning that computers would connect together, each machine being isolated, self publishing and having publishers come to you, adding a soundtrack to make a CD-ROM worthwhile, a small number of games, packing in with OEMs, pushing further with MYST into narrative/cinematic/gameplay/interface, the ease of PR when you have a narrative about two brothers, throwing all your influences in like a soup, choosing an island to provide natural barriers, designing for non-linearity, diving into imaginary worlds through role-playing, dropping the mechanics of the tabletop RPGs in favor of story-based games, being into 19th century novels, multiplayer being an ideal, wanting character and story and puzzle all to be communicated together, maturing as developers, putting in doodads because you didn't know better, the order in which worlds were built, evolving the design within development, moving from 2D illustration to 3D modeling, redrawing wireframes in minutes and full frames in hours, turning off all the objects not in the view, seeing into a world for the first time/being the first person in a place, finding a video solution, having QuickTime come along at the right time, pushing the limits of technology and working with its developers, how the music came to be, proving to the publisher that music wouldn't work, wanting only diegetic audio, not wanting the publisher to corrupt the vision, mismatching emotional direction with the player experience, having the soul of an artist, unknowingly trailblazing, finding your way via your passions, a distillation of making a game.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Manhole, Spelunx, Captain Osmo, The Book of Atrus, Riven, Zoobreak Productions, Obduction, The Immortal Augustus Gladstone, Rand Miller, HyperCard, Bill Atkinson, Activision, Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, Dungeons & Dragons, Rod Miller, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anton Chekhov, Quicktime, Stratavision, TRON, Chuck Carter, Macromind Director, QuickTime, Broderbund, LucasArts, Sierra, Vangelis, Michael Giacchino, Mark Crowe, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Supergiant Games, Bastion, The Sims, Lightning Returns.

Next time:
A bit of Obduction!

Links:
HyperCard on Computer Chronicles

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 165: MYST (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we finish our discussion of 1993's MYST. We talk about avatar-based puzzle games, story elements, and some other bits and bobs before turning to our takeaways from the game and answering listener feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:45     Final sections discussion
58:27   Break
59:00   Takeaways and feedback

Issues covered: not seeing the fourth ending, a first-person avatar/playing as yourself, increasing immersion, not having to develop a back-story, throwing back to text adventures, forcing a light touch on the story, removing layers of story, the player succeeding or failing, using FMV to reinforce that they are people which matches with you, other story/adventure games, getting stuck in the Stoneship Age, being unable to see details in the frame, up-rezzing and porting, having difficulty with the compass and the submersible lamp, logical vs physical connections in Stoneship and Channelwood Ages, Brett and Tim do math on-air, the sounds in the Selenic Age, teaching how a puzzle works, compatibility issues in 1994, the lore in the books, trying to piece together the timeline, the themes of reading and being immersed in a book, finding through-lines in Cyan's work, stewardship of young minds, fan service and Jules Verne, absent fatherhood, we work through a possible plot hole, talking about each of the endings, threading your story and lore to enrich the world, accessibility in interface and approach, limiting verbs, complexity in other adventure games, playing to your strengths and using constraints to improve your game, being in the right place at the right time, technology matters, Brett's Book Minute, interface suggestions for touch, VR controls, parallels between game design and modular synthesizers, gameplay programming and constraints, making choices around accessibility and context-sensitivity, disturbing side rooms, word of mouth and watercooler talk to get ideas about games, leaning into obfuscating, playing games in the 80s, finding ways to make a community work together, disarming nuclear silos in MGS V, getting out through the solar system in Noby Noby Boy, placing limitations on yourself in the age of the Internet.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sierra On-Line, LucasArts, Colossal Cave Adventure, Zork, Enchanter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Curse of Monkey Island (obliquely), King's Quest (obliquely), Space Quest (obliquely), The 7th Guest, Gabriel Knight, Phantasmagoria, Roberta Williams, Tex Murphy, Full Throttle, The Dig, Grim Fandango, The Wire, biostats/Ryan, The Manhole, Alice in Wonderland, The Mysterious Island, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Gone Home, Tacoma, Xbox 360, Assassin's Creed, Riven, The Lighthouse, gutenberg.org, The Impostor, Javier Cercas, Raymond Cason, realMYST, Walker Farrell, Super Mario World, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Starfighter, HyperCard, Nolan Filter, Cory Potomis, Pokemon Red/Blue, Rockstar, Mortal Kombat 11, Richard Powers, Plowing the Dark, Silicon Graphics, Dark Souls, Ninja Gaiden Black, Majestic, Destiny, MGS V, Noby Noby Boy, Red Dead Redemption, GTA San Andreas, Jonathan Blow, The Witness, Robyn Miller, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

Next time:
Either an interview or a bit of Obduction!

Links:
Modular synthesizers

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 164: MYST (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue discussing 1993's MYST. We talk about representing a physical space, the problems of camera and limited modes of interaction, and a host of other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Two more ages!
(Both: Channelwood; Tim: Stoneship; Brett: Spaceship)

Issues covered: turning a lot of valves, making and motivating a physical space, losing a sense of direction due to the lack of camera, having a hard time getting your bearings, filling in the blanks and having your intention mislead you, wanting to know where the touch box is, the importance of camera framing, minimizing the HUD, maximizing the diagesis, simplification as a strength, cameras as challenge or gameplay and that not being designer intent, building out the whole world, when a gun isn't Chekhov's gun, elaborate bits and not being clear on their relevance, caring so much about their story and lore, clockwork/repeatability/knowledge loop, mixing bedrock interactions with new mechanics, using repeatability to encourage experimentation, player goals and implicit goals, reinforcing the sense of a real space, lack of reversability in other adventure games, closed loops and watertight game state, not knowing why a thing is in the game, having those AHA moments, when you get it vs when you don't, making puzzles to keep intruders out, being stuck and not having anything for your brain to chew on, accidental solutions, accidentally solving things, reading player intent, how you rank your design goals, setting the game apart from competitors, Mac vs PC, Brett gives a KH update, humor in puzzle games vs dramatic/horror adventure games, using the books to be invested in the ages, more reading than expected, DGC merch, the creeping sense of dread, Johto region update, Brett being a monster.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Anton Chekhov, Sierra, LucasArts, Day of the Tentacle, The Witness, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Greta Garbo, HyperCard, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Leonard Nimoy, Waypoint Radio/Lore Reasons, Natalie Watson, Raymond Cason, The 7th Guest, Broken Sword, Monkey Island, Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight, Infocom, Enchanter, Zork, HP Lovecraft, The Lurking Horror, Cameron Hass, DOOM (1993), Soma, Amnesia, Halo Infinite, Jamie Zucek, Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Pokemon OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu, Pokemon Sword/Shield.

Next time:
Finish MYST

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 163: MYST (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series looking at 1993's MYST. We talk about the strains of adventure games at the time, HyperCard, the emergence of the CD-ROM platform, and a bit about the game itself. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
One Age (Mechanical, as it turned out)

Issues covered: what we're playing it on and why, the game landscape in 1993, using MYST to justify CD-ROM pack-ins by OEMs, using HyperCard to work together and pool their talents, HyperCard base technology, broadening the base of PCs, non-gamers having a copy of MYST and showing off your new PC, everyone knew what MYST was, the limitations of the art style in other graphical adventures, MYST and DOOM (1993) clones, streaming video, the benefit of constraints, image transitions, confluence of many emerging technologies, interconnected puzzle games, walking simulators and a simpler interface, hidden object games, simplicity of interface, sense of solitude, music and ambient soundscape, Redbook audio, game developer snobbishness, comparing MYST and DOOM (1993), covering the same ground again and again, trying to find a toehold in the world, getting lost in the open structure, finding the format of the main island puzzles, pixel hunts, spurious interactivity, enlivening the space, real-time puzzle/interaction, avoiding spoilers, teaching concepts, aha moments that keep you going, because it feels so good when I stop, the answer is there somewhere, putting two and two together to make five, how you set resource costs for upgrades, tuning for both cost and behavior in upgrade systems, numerous small points about Devil May Cry, bouncing between multiple characters.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: UbiSoft, iOS, Riven, Day of the Tentacle, Link's Awakening, Kirby's Adventure, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, The 7th Guest, Syndicate, Master of Orion, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father, DOOM (1993), Megaman X, Starfox, Disney's Aladdin, SNES, Sega Genesis, Mortal Kombat 2, Samurai Showdown, Virtua Fighter, NBA Jam, LucasArts, Sierra, King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry 6, The Sims 2, Cyan, Cyan Worlds, Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, HyperCard, QuickTime, Broderbund, Stratovision 3D, Macromedia MacroModel, Photoshop, Gateway, HP, Dell, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Fortnite, Lighthouse, Dark Forces, John Knowles, The Manhole, Alice in Wonderland, Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, Chronicles of Narnia, Zork, The Room, Gone Home, Skyrim, Gorogoa, Dear Esther, Proteus, Unreal Engine, Source, Vangelis, Starfighter, Jedi Starfighter, Blarg42, Devil May Cry (series), Daniel C, Ben Zaugg, Metal Gear (series), Wayne Cline, Star Wars, Resistance 3, Jak & Daxter, irreverentQ, MaasNeotekProto, owellgi, dontkickfood, Gothic Chocobo, biostats, Makendi.

Next time:
Two more Ages!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 162: Devil May Cry 5 Bonus

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we take a bonus trip to discuss a more modern game in Devil May Cry 5. We especially note how much they capture the feeling of the original game, despite modernizing some aspects. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first few hours

Issues covered: cramming everything Devil May Cry into Devil May Cry 5, iterating on a formula and delivering the same feel, pulling the Resident Evil series along, iterations in camera, having the same feeling of play but with lower effort, feeling cool even outside the cutscenes, the reward of spectacle, risk/rewards and timing and breakers, translating enemies to the modern era, the addition of the grapple action of a breaking arm, teaching you to grapple and incorporating it into a boss fight, the story catch-up at the main menu, going back and forth in time, fighting with a motorcycle, opening credits sequence, tight franchise identity, being happy with the sequel, high level of craft, lack of maturity in the women characters, Barbie-Dolling the bodies, being careless with stereotypes and archetypes, lock and key and self-awareness, Dante's styles, fan service, Brett's Book Minute, using difficulty to train the player for higher difficulty levels, different ways to address turn-based vs real-time goals, trading off the cerebral for the immediate or vice versa, being too nit-picky about the details.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: William Blake, The Force Awakens, God of War, Resident Evil (series), The Raid: Redemption, A Star Is Born, Adam Driver, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Platinum Studios, Vanquish, Bayonetta, Ninja Theory, Metroid: Other M, Team Ninja, Heavenly Sword, Hellblade, Microsoft Game Studios, Diablo III, Kingdom Hearts 2, Jak & Daxter, Takashi Miike, Ryu Murakami, In the Miso Soup, Book Riot, Horrorstör, Grady Hendrix, Mike Vogt, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Johnny, David Brevik, War and Peace, X-COM, Fallout, Final Fantasy 9, FTL, Into the Breach, Temple of Elemental Evil, Tim Cain, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, MYST.

Next time:
MYST (check Twitter for how much)

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 161: Devil May Cry (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we complete our discussion of 2001's Devil May Cry, discussing the ending of the story (for the benefit of one co-host) and some mechanical elements about the structure before turning to our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game! (In theory)

Podcast breakdown:
0:45 Segment 1: End of game discussion
42:55 Break
43:10 Segment 2: Takeaways and Feedback

Issues covered: Tim confesses, spending big chunks of time on bosses, Trish's betrayal, packing story into the end, fighting your brother Vergil, the high cost of failing Mundus, Trish's sacrifice, fighting in an intergalactic void, the shooting mechanics at the end vs the swimming mechanics, changing up the mechanics at the end, high melodrama, escaping the building, the surprise return of the biplane, strength in character rather than plot, introducing themes through associations, Mundus's motivation, seeing the underpinnings of future lore, negative reinforcement and mission continue, resource consumption across retries, disincentive to grinding, learning skills and the player improvement loop, jankiness with Nightmare, using space to your advantage, losing Devil Trigger to use the Sparda sword, end-of-game rankings, reconsidering your approach to consumables, the Nightmare boss's design elements fighting one another, blood locking, artfully obfuscating blood locking, embracing and clearly communicating blood locking, artificial creation of potential wall moments, good world structure as a means of limiting blood locking, not clocking failure, running with Happy Accidents, ultra focus on high skill/high speed mechanical combo-based melee skill-based combat, juggling minor enemies, third person experimentation, being able to read the animation tells, additional aesthetics driving feel of the game, swagger in game design, gamification of ranking your successes, camera and levels must work together, working on our audio, how animation contributes to play, communicating movement through tiny details, telegraphing and animation, frame counting in fighting games, video games bringing people together, cultural appropriation and context, historic insularity and imperial context in Japan, preferred camera style, refining cameras, preserving drama with camera.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Dark Souls, God of War (2005), Space Harrier, X-COM, Final Fantasy IX, GTA III, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Legend of Zelda (series), LucasArts, Call of Duty, Onimusha, PlayStation 2, Kingdom Hearts, Suda51, TheSentry42, Waypoint Radio, CaffeinatedBrushes, Josh Rogers, James King, Warcraft, Command and Conquer, Don Daglow, Ester Olsen, Donut County, Zimmy Finger, Ico, Alpha Protocol, God of War (2018), Jak & Daxter.

Next time:
A bit of Devil May Cry 5!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 160: Devil May Cry (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of 2001's Devil May Cry, discussing underwater controls, the camera, combos in combat, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Missions 11-17

Issues covered: the two scariest words in video games, the underwater sections, forcing emotional stress through cumbersome controls, putting the player out of her element, pulling you out of the experience because your character is usually a superhero, sailing the ghost ship, game play "jokes," collision detection and keeping the player on walkable space, testing against 2D instead of 3D, 2D thinking in level design, walk boxes, moving the world around the ship, camera relative controls and camera switching, everyone's playing in the pool and Mario has an inner tube, having to model everything and yet keeping a set of fixed cameras, making the mistake of designing the camera around the levels instead of vice versa or in concert, framing for coolness at the sacrifice of player cohesion, being curious about where the camera ends up, attempt to make more vertical game play in Republic Commando, believing you can do anything with the camera and players proving you wrong, making 3rd person game play with a first person mentality, making a test case or prototype that proves out your camera design, lack of block and blocking with an attack, going without block to promote fast and forward motion, having trouble with Sparda, streamlining combos down maybe too much, finding the combo rhythms, physical mastery games, Brett puts the petty in competition, reading the telegraphing of bosses with the camera, the stress of restart/lives mechanics and boss battles, learning for one boss but not gaining thereby, trial and error on bosses, cultural appropriation, being able to defeat Phantom in the hallway, experimentation in game play to find information and secret missions, chapter endings in the Resident Evil series.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jedi Knight, Resident Evil (series), Frictional Games, Amnesia, SOMA, Halo, The Goonies, Sony Santa Monica, God of War, SCUMM games, Grim Fandango, Thimbleweed Park, Ron Gilbert, Republic Commando, Super Mario 64, Tomb Raider, Soul Reaver, Remi Lacoste, Prince of Persia, Ubisoft, Full Throttle 2, Mysteries of the Sith, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Super Mario Odyssey, Diablo III, Dark Souls (series), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Kirk Hamilton, Maddy Myers, Kotaku Splitscreen, Derv_PNW, Super Metroid, X-COM, Half-Life, Link to the Past, Gothic Chocobo, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Jak & Daxter.

Next time:
Finish the game!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 159: Devil May Cry (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of 2001's Devil May Cry, discussing enemy introductions, the mission structure, grinding to find your difficulty level, and other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Missions 5-10

Podcast breakdown:
0:32 Devil May Cry part one
34:32 Unintentional break
34:56 Devil May Cry part two and feedback

Issues covered: enemy introductions, bosses or more fodder enemies, finding first rooms for enemies that fit, introductions in Republic Commando, first person camera intros, marionettes and dread, weapon intros, smoke and mirrors in intros, ceding character for game play, cutting polygons from a model, high poly counts smoke and mirrors, introducing weapons, lacking weapon introductions in Jedi Starfighter, ideal intros, devoting a mission to introduce a new unit, limited introductions in Diablo, Japan and "cool" culture vs "hot" culture, cultural appropriation, snapping your fingers to open the door, Dante's insouciance when talking to a giant boss, changing and growing Capcom's brand identity, time pressure, teaching the player that time is a factor in getting the best rank, timed levels in games, being all about speed, eating your health away and an avenue to increase time, integrating time into games, kill streaks and time, overlaying a mission structure on a physical location, saving the game between missions, putting the mastery forward, giving frequent feedback, using trophies as a means to give feedback, ranking play in general, intrinsic gratification vs feedback, having multiple save slots and experimentation, being able to go back to earlier sections of the castle, limited resources in Resident Evil, upgrade stations being in the world, being able to move back and forth through the world, fast loads, grinding to find your equilibrium difficulty-wise, increasing player skill, using all the tools and feeling accomplished, using the shotgun for the banshees, taking another look at Bayonetta, level capping in Diablo and Paragon, ways of elongating games (as a service), accessibility in games, interpretative difficulty, commercial benefit to being "the difficult game," being more positive on the Internet, Nintendo and difficulty, doing a good job of making a hard game, feeling "guilty" about lowering difficulty, applauding commitment, the accessible controller.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Ben Grimm, Lobot, Professor X, Nick Fury, Republic Commando, Todd Howard, Fallout 3, Jedi Starfighter, Nintendo, Blizzard, Starcraft (series), Warcraft (series), Diablo (series), Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents, Metal Gear (series), Hideo Kojima, Suda51, Ghost of Tsushima, Infamous (series), Akira Kurosawa, Capcom, Resident Evil (series), Clover, Platinum, Bayonetta, Viewtiful Joe, PN 03, DOOM (1993), Metal Gear Rising, Jedi Knight, Reed Knight, Matt Tateishi, Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena, Gran Turismo, NES/SNES, Castlevania, Metroid, Pit Droids, Kingdom Hearts (series), God of War, Alpha Protocol, Destiny II, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Darren from Ohio, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, War and Peace, Captain Underpants, Tacoma, Gone Home, Steve Gaynor, Return of the Obra Dinn, From Software, Souls (series), Bloodborne, Patrick Klepek, Super Meat Boy, Celeste, Keza MacDonald, Jason Killingsworth, King's Field, Microsoft Game Studios, Nathan Martz, Once Upon A Monster, Sesame Street, Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Next time:
Missions 11-17

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 158: Devil May Cry (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on 2001's Devil May Cry, an action beat-'em-up from Capcom. We situate the game in its time and talk about its evolution from the Resident Evil series with its action. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
First four missions

Issues covered: gaming in 2001, the origins of the title as Resident Evil 4 and making it into a new franchise, leaning into the tone, the beginning of the Clover legacy, distilling down to God of War, camera changes, we riff on the ranks, evolving the camera from Resident Evil, branching off the controls, dealing with the stick when moving from screen to screen, the Capcom 5, many takes on Dante's Inferno, "Devil May Care," dripping with style, style *is* substance, a game that wants you to dive in and get good, switching to be more aggressive to fight the first boss, where you can run from the return of that boss, the presentation of easy mode, learning to read a hard game, trying different third-person cameras at this time, facing difficulty and having to figure it out, change in game tastes in the last two decades: repetition vs continuing spectacle, physical limitations, grinding for consumables and the store, how does scoring work, taking a weird detour into watery skulls, how this series evolved to present day and greater generosity, procedurally generated emails, Diablo's shrines, the strategy of allowing a shared copy of the game actually driving sales, virality, generosity driving sales, hacks and cheats and the difficulty of preventing them.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Capcom, Jedi Starfighter, Ico, Grand Theft Auto III, Anachronox, Silent Hill 2, Resident Evil (series), Halo: Combat Evolved, Metal Gear Solid 2, Max Payne, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, Diablo, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Onimusha: Warlords, Nintendo GameCube, Super Smash Bros. Melee, 007: Agent Under Fire, PlayStation 2, Jak & Daxter, Twisted Metal Black, Andrew Kirmse, Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Hideki Kamiya, Shinji Mikami, Clover Studio, Platinum Games, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Dark Souls (series), God of War, PN 03, Killer 7, Dead Phoenix, Dante's Inferno, Patrick Klepek, Kingdom Hearts, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Full Throttle 2, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Mr. Beast, DOOM (1993), Eric Fox, David Brevik, Quake, GOG, Alpha Protocol.

Next time:
Through Mission 10

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 157: Diablo III Bonus

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we look in this bonus episode at Diablo III to discuss the game's impact and systems, while also touching on a Kingdom Hearts update and getting into a ton of listener feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Issues covered: Kingdom Hearts 2 side/end game stuff, the inventive choices you have to make to do side stuff in JRPGs, figuring out constraints and min/maxing against them, generosity in game design and development, finding ways in development to layer on more stuff, adding more to a game, being good at making the game you make and losing that institutional knowledge, sticking together and iterating, thinking outside the box for a platform, business model and the endless game, not caring about the campaign, being able to drop into certain types of game, soaking in the endorphins, having quest randomness in the first game and in adventure mode in Diablo III, hero rooms in Republic Commando, having areas become memorable through repeated play, games as a service, encouraging and cross-pollinating classes, Diablo and WoW influencing one another, incorporating the auction house and gray market sales in Diablo II, going against player expectations, purchasable cosmetics as a revenue stream, being generous with your success, vicious and virtuous cycles in revenue models, anticipating Diablo IV, establishing your game's reputation, procedurality and generosity, shooter-looters and the expense of making new content, embracing rogue-likes as a way to leverage a small team, making a lot of content and having players chew through it, procedural board game generation and fitting together worlds, lore through-lines from the first game in campaign mode, bringing in new characters to bring in both new and old fans, having to establish a character as interesting in their own right, leveraging 3D for more variety and efficiency, every character having spell-like abilities, couch co-op is more about the couch, reflecting on the Brevik interview, gold taking up space in inventory, weird multiplayer friction with gold taking up space, high value resources and gold forcing you to spend money, disarm trap skill, mechanics in conflict with the game, low lethality of traps, bosses in Diablo, difficulty of making boss battles interesting, experimenting with traps as a boss battle design, limiting to one mouse button for the Mac, Blizzard having a lot to answer for with our nation's youth, the cost of connecting to the Internet in the late 90s, video games pushing technology, the changing expenses of telecommunications, digitizers, skill and technology gaps for 3D modeling, even making stuff in 2D on a computer was hard and slow, getting into the industry, growing the developer tent to include economists and psychologists, grit and streamlining, knowledge vs design grit, grit as a side effect of development style, adding grit to the development process, adding in only what you need.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Kingdom Hearts 2, Lore Reasons/Waypoint, Square, Final Fantasy IX, Republic Commando, Crystal Dynamics, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Nintendo Wii, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Diablo (series), Nintendo Switch, Dominion, Borderlands 3, Blizzard, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Reed Knight, Dead Cells, Jason Schreier, Maddy Myers, Into the Breach, FTL, Andrew Kirmse, Meridian 59, Destiny, Star Wars, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, A Way Out, David Brevik, Anthony Gallegos, Marvel Heroes, RebelFM, LamestarGames, Journeyman2011, Raymond Cason, Good Old Games, Derek Achoy/speakyclean, Shenmue, DreamCast, Sean Richards, Super Mario Galaxy, Bungie, StarCraft, LucasArts, Zimmy Finger, Out of This World, Portal, Jon Knowles, Turn 10, Forza Horizon, Super Star Wars, SNES, Dark Forces, Mark Crowe, BakedPotato, Jesse Morgan, Aaron Evers, Mark Wahlberg, Invincible, Halo, Mike Vogt, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter (series), Capcom, Dark Souls, Bethesda Game Studios, Daron Stinnett, Starfighter, Unity, Unreal, Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Baumgartner, Dark Crystal.

Next time:
Devil May Cry -- First 4 Missions!

Links:
The Making of Final Fantasy IX

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 156: David Brevik Interview

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we extend our time with 1996's Diablo with an interview with Condor/Blizzard North co-founder and Diablo lead programmer and designer David Brevik. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:39 Interview
1:21:19 Break
1:21:51 Wrap-up

Issues covered: falling in love with games as a young person, learning how to program, finding out you could make a living making games, typing in programs from magazines, sticking with games, clip-art discs, founding Condor, Diablo pitch document, meeting people at CES, genre calcification and RPGs, working on a fighting game and finding out the SNES and Genesis games were being developed independently, switching to PC games, having the whole gang up to get a pitch, starting with Rogue and adding graphics, the short life of claymation-based graphics, signing as turn-based but Blizzard wanting real-time, getting a 3D0 contract for a football game on the M2, a side distraction into baseball and other sports, cutting turns up fractionally, being all-in on the turn-based/permadeath nature of Rogue-likes, strategy games going to real-time, squeezing more money out of the publisher, getting real-time running in a couple hours, stealing from X-COM's graphics, having a moment when the clouds part and the angels sing, democracy works, having an "I've never seen this before" moment, moving away from D&D tropes and getting darker, having internal hockey tournaments, lowering "time to killing monsters," removing complexity from potions and also verbs, pen and paper requiring character development and games less so, stealing the attributes/requirements loot properties from Angband, getting away from Tolkien and towards the Gothic from the art direction, the contribution of music to the tone, trading player-oriented drama for immediacy, constraints leading to a cornerstone of the series, simplification of the good and the evil, having the stories you get from playing rather than from dialog and designer-written story, running around in multiplayer, getting owned by The Butcher, tackling lots of big new programming stuff on Diablo including networking, having a tutor in Pat Wyatt, inventing Battle.Net, coming in with the multiplayer very late, peer-to-peer model and notifying others, non-deterministic model and rampant cheating, erring on the side of being generous, uniting people on the Internet, the huge impact of Diablo's designs on gaming as a whole, David's latest project, going from CEO to a one-man-show, the huge impact David's had on the industry, transformative games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Iguana Entertainment, Condor/Blizzard North, Flagship Studios, Hellgate: London, Gazillion Entertainment, Marvel Heroes, Graybeard Games, It Lurks Below, Pong, Apple ][+, Richard Garriott, Ultima, Inside (magazine), Intel, FM Wave, Tramiel family, Atari/Atari Lynx, Gordo 106, Sunsoft, Acclaim, 3D0, Justice League Task Force, SNES, Sega Genesis, Silicon & Synapse, Warcraft, Davidson & Associates, Math Blaster, Reading Blaster, Allen Adham, Mike Morhaime, Pat Wyatt, Chris Metzen, Rogue, Nethack, Moria/UMoria/Angband, Primal Rage, Dune 2000, Baldur's Gate, X-COM, Starfighter, Mortimer and the Riddle of the Medallion, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons, NHL '94, DOOM (1993), Erich and Max Schaefer, Matt Uelmen, Dragon magazine, Amazon, Total Entertainment Network, Daron Stinnett, Dark Forces, Loderunner, Terraria, Starbound, Zork, Don Tomassello (now that's random), Planescape: Torment, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Bill Roper.

Next time:
An additional bonus episode with Diablo III!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 155: Diablo (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we finish our main discussion of Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 classic Diablo. We cover level design in a procedural world, how the tone of the game darkens further in this final segment and then turn to our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Killed Diablo!

Issues covered: quoting oft-repeated lines, last two levels as a more authored experience, strategy for the final levels and killing Diablo, the final cutscene and tying to Diablo II, exposition delivery, over-the-top font, going after Lazarus, missing quest pieces without Leoric, missing exposition when you kill a character out of order, random teleportation stuff, "co-opetition," missing major quests with the random quest selection, lack of in-game messaging about random quest generation, possible complaints if seen as a single-player game, getting the itch to play again because of multi-player, level design and macro tiles, fitting a set up tiles together, seeing the algorithm, having more authoring capability from bigger pieces, purely algorithmic generation, following a table-driven approach, feeling like a real place and good environment choices, not getting drops that fit your character, innovation in loot drops to encourage other styles of play, getting an unique item, procedural everywhere, shifting to real-time, the influence of this loot system, giving an identity to your loot, the cool lighting model, constraints breed creativity, simplicity of the game, multiplayer as a key element of the game, trading in multiplayer, our upcoming bonus episodes.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Star Wars, Jonah Lobe, Bethesda Game Studios, Mario (series, obliquely), Kingdom Hearts (series), Borderlands (series), Planescape: Torment, Gold Box (series), Eye of the Beholder, Might and Magic, Ultima, Spelunky, Castle Ravenloft, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Rogue, Nethack, Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Warcraft, Everquest, MUD, Carl Sagan, David Brevik, Path of Exile, Blizzard North, Tanarive Due, The Good House, Stephen King.

Next time:
An interview! And your feedback!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 154: Diablo (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue discussing Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 classic Diablo. We talk a bit about macro pacing issues and how other systems tie into that, changes in enemies as you go deeper, and some tight spot anecdotes. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the Caves

Issues covered: going after the Lord of Terror with the Horadrim, cutscenes tying together two games (end of one to beginning of next), Brett gives a Kingdom Hearts update, the side games of KH, getting Mickey and Donald and Goofy as you play, limited inventory slots, emotional peaks and valleys in the dungeons, tranquility of the town and resetting your emotional baseline, the loop of magical drops and identify, reducing anxiety, music reinforcing the emotional state of the area, limited resources and resource sinks, how inventory stacks and filling it with gold or potions or what-have-you, encumbrance systems and negative reinforcement, balancing the loot loop with resource sinks, monster reskinning and reuse, converting sculpture into 3D models, using 3D models to make 2D images, having a different walk cycle in town, your weapon palette changing when your armor does, transmogrification and aesthetics in WoW, mixing and matching enemy stats, enemy types and managing mana use, recharging staves, immunity and bosses, how to generate a monster, getting cornered and having to manage your potions closely, continuing to play when UI tabs are up, multiplayer requirement, the best implementation winning history, moving to controller use on the PC, playing widely, inspiring designers from games off the beaten path, drawing inspirations from unexpected places, playing our failures, Diablo on Good Old Games, pacing vs action in town visits, approachability and the need for breaks, Diablo II's ongoing community, being a dad with Pokémon, separating character from save, profile character vs save character, next time.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories (et al), Dominion, Magic: the Gathering, Metal Gear Solid (series), Game Boy Advance, Resident Evil, Jill Murray, Kirk Hamilton/Strong Songs, Dungeons & Dragons, Skyrim, Fallout, DOOM, Dark Forces, World of Warcraft, Dark Souls, Dan Smith, an opinion haver, TurboGrafx/PC-Engine, Dungeon Explorer, N64, Operation Winback, Ultima 8, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Gauntlet, Gears of War, Trespasser, Clint Hocking, Far Cry 2, Richard Lemarchand, Uncharted 2, Dear Esther, LucasArts, Henry David Thoreau, Hearthstone, Andrew Henninger, Jamie Zucek, Pokémon, Warren Linam-Church, Plato.

Next time:
Finish the game!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 153: Diablo (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue discussing Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 classic Diablo. We look at tone, discuss art direction, dive a bit into procedural loot and how it has reverberated through games since, with other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the Catacombs

Issues covered: dark and brooding tone, gothic melodrama, using the palette to your advantage, having to address troubles with art direction to make the game play readable, choosing an unusual palette for the time, diving into the lore in the manual, character design through-lines in Blizzard properties, stuffing the retail box with stuff (including lore), having fewer quests and sticking to the essential quest of killing Diablo, the issue with lack of urgency in open world main quests, "pixel hunt," procedural loot and generation of items, the winner gets the credit ("Diablo loot"), procedural loot invading anything with even light RPG elements, the store, obvious future refinements to the loot drops, chasing the loot, entwining loot and difficulty, buying from the store to refresh it, the audio cues of drops, classification of loot value with colors, adopting colors for relative difficulty as well, the Butcher's Cleaver, having the experience of a gold drop, re-speccing your character around the drop you get, sorcerer changing spell types for the enemies you find, spatial management as the warrior, sub-speccing yourself, associating items with attributes rather than classes, the town music, game musicians learning the town theme, knowing you're safe from the music, Tim's golem spell and who's having the fun, the better implementation winning, clearing an area in Diablo and not being able to in 3, clearing to white in Republic Commando, having the initial experience in SWRC to move data to the hard drive, determining how long the initial scenes in SWRC are, remapping controls and how you do it and why you might not.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Diablo III, DOOM, Duke Nukem 3D, Aaron Evers, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Disney, Starcraft, Overwatch, Starfighter, LucasArts, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Tomb Raider, Destiny, Borderlands, Freebird, Stairway to Heaven, Halo, Star Wars, Indiana Jones (a series of only three films I will *fight you* on this), Resident Evil, Red Sox, Lee Davey, Ultima 8/Ultima (series), Gears of War, Kill.Switch, Gauntlet, Raymond, Ben Zaugg, Republic Commando, Matt Alan Estock, Adam Piper, Jeremie Talbot.

Next time:
Through the Caves

Link:
Dave Brevik on moving from turn-based to real-time

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 152: Diablo (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new game: Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 classic, Diablo. We situate the game in time and in the RPG landscape of the 90s before diving into the first quarter of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Levels 1-4

Issues covered: Brett's Ph.D. falls to Diablo, playing in the various pits of LucasArts, games slipping across the industry due to Diablo multiplayer, RPGs of the 1990s, apparent look of Diablo as an isometric turn-based game, tabletop lineage and Western RPGs, limitations on casting, coming from arcade design, the origin of rogue-likes, loot drops, the death of RPGs and the rise of first-person shooter, overturning genre conventions, moving a strategy game reinvention to the RPG, having multiplayer, underpinnings of so many loot systems, screenshot test, limiting down to one character, balancing AI design to allow the player to react, mechanics/dynamics/aesthetics framework, lack of health bars, being pulled in and freneticism and panic, position maintenance and target prioritization, doing everything with one input, lack of numbers, streamlining health/stats, quest selection, saving frequently/infrequently, memorable terrifying boss, simple quest system, multiplayer games, getting a friend to help you retrieve your corpse, lack of game history in the curriculum, DGC timeline, lack of cursing, tenets and pillars of studios as well as for the games, incorporating players into games, fighting each other, Japanese interviews, the show music and production, leveling up spells.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, Doom, Quake, LucasArts, Duke Nukem 3D, Pokemon Red/Blue, Super Mario 64, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, PlayStation, Civilization II, Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario Kart 64, Crash Bandicoot, Meridian 59, Andrew Kirmse, 3DO, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Betrayal at Krondor, Sierra Games, Ultima VI, Ultima VII, System Shock 2, Fallout, Elder Scrolls: Arena, Might and Magic VI, Wizardry (series), Eye of the Beholder, Ultima Underworld, Gold Box (series), Halo, Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, Jack Vance, Chainmail, Gauntlet, Nethack, Moria, Rogue, Dave Brevik, Condor Games, PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, Rise of the Triad, Dune, Command and Conquer, BioWare, World of Warcraft, Fallout 4, Destiny, Dark Forces, Jogsidf, Deus Ex, King's Quest/Space Quest, Johnny Grattan, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill 2, Julian Gollop, X-COM, TIE Fighter, Sakaguchi Hironobu, Ueda Fumito, Kojima Hideo, Suda Goichi, SWERY65, Deadly Premonition, Aaron Evers.

Next time:
The Catacombs

Links:

PC Gamer Diablo Preview

Original Diablo Pitch Document

Dave Brevik Classic Game Postmortem

IGN Interview with Dave Brevik

Arcade Attack Podcast Interview with Dave Brevik

Diablo 2 Office Tour

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 151: Kingdom Hearts (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of Kingdom Hearts. We talk about the end of the game, a few topics we'd never got around to, and of course, our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:47    KH Discussion
56:50  Break
57:20  Takeaways and Feedback

Issues covered: the separation between the sky and the land, Brett playing again and again and again, leaning on Tinkerbell with default equipment, boss escalation at the end of the game, Tim's power problems, Ansem's final form, where we ended leveling up, wanting more item slots, when a game grabs you, Disney moments that pull on the nostalgia, nailing the animation and modeling archetypes of so many varying shapes/sizes/gaits, high degree of developer difficulty, contextual attacks, triggering attacks from menus, differences with the PS3/PS4 version, carryovers from another style of game, transitional games, making sense of the story, Ansem and his reports, relying on the journal or not, losing track of characters, the Gummi Ship construction, finding the Gummi Ship missions, minimal vs maximal design, relying on the Internet or a strategy guide for secret bosses and late-game content, having an ending that sets up a next game, smashing up two franchises, being the last moment in dev history that you could have smashed these together, trying to introduce people to JRPGs rather than billing it as Final Fantasy, mashing up mechanics and systems, bringing people in with action-oriented mechanics, being okay to be earnest, "cool" culture vs "hot" culture, main characters as children, Sora as child vs Ansem as adult, Sora as the stand-in for the child in all of us, canceling Squirtle's evolution to grind him forever, Brett obsessing over a thing, what we're playing next.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Matrix, Alice in Wonderland, Final Fantasy IX, World of Warcraft, Witcher 3, Prey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Metal Gear Solid, Fantasia, MediEvil, Dark Souls, Heart of Darkness, Final Fantasy VIII, Kung Fu, Square Soft, DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Infinity, Elite Beat Agents, NK Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Brian Lam, Pokemon Blue, Game Boy Pocket, Snazzy Snorlax, God of War (2018), Pokemon Let's Go, Diablo, Blizzard, Ni No Kuni.

Links:
Diablo on the Wayback Machine

Next time:
Diablo! The first four levels/up to the Butcher.

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 150: Kingdom Hearts (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of Kingdom Hearts. We talk about some memorable moments, some about character design, a bit about AI... a whole hodge-podge. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the Hollow Bastion

Issues covered: Brett playing simultaneously on PS4, televisions, being stuck on the boss, grinding and action combat, navigating in 3D, slow leveling, assigning items to party members and changing their strategies, leaning into tech points and the way the camera and enemy AI fights that, parrying the boss, games that require grinding versus those that don't, leveling via critical path in Pokémon, the Trinity symbols, character design in Atlantica, new Heartless visual and enemy design in different worlds, camera controls in the PS4 version, combination of 3D camera design and level design, difficulty navigating with few landmarks, designing one's house, logical flow colliding with geometric flow, camera relativity and movement, designing your areas and cinematography around what your camera does well, level length with Halloweentown, visual beats from the films, wishing you were the movie character, letting a moment be a moment, the Hundred Acre Wood, minigames in the Hundred Acre Wood, summons, item synthesis, pro-tips for combat and leveling, lock-on and enemy AI design, strategies for using space in combat, camera design for combat, running different programs, Game Dev Club,

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Peter Pan, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, The Wrath of Khan, Final Fantasy IX, Pokémon Red/Blue, Anachronox, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Square Soft, Soul Reaver, Doom, Quake, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 4, Winnie the Pooh, Bambi, The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, Dagur Danielsson, Arkham (series), Ben Zaugg, PlayStation, XBOX, ENIAC, EarthBound.

Next time:
Finish the game!

Link:
Brett talks about the end of EarthBound

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

 

DGC Ep 149: Kingdom Hearts (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion of Kingdom Hearts. Tim sings a bit, Brett raps a bit, and we talk about what makes this game work or not work, as well as delving into the combat. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Monstro!

Podcast breakdown:
0:42 Tim sings + Kingdom Hearts
44:03 Break
44:33 Feedback + Brett Raps

Issues covered: birthday, the giant Kingdom Hearts collection, "I think this game might be bad," bizarre linearity, weird triggering, loving some films and not having connecting with others, lack of supporting systems, pushing strategy guides, lack of level logic, IP control and lack of public domain, what films they pair up with the games, being out of their design element with various choices, not connecting with FF characters, how the characters level, the lack of a moment when you level up, lack of boss requirements, zero XP, the camera is bad, paying attention to the technical points, handling the general case for graphics, why are they making this just a button mashy game, going in and out of the Bizarre Room, meeting Merlin or Jiminy Cricket, the occupation of Japan, strength/weakness collection mechanics, when we don't like a thing, enjoying analysis but respecting how hard it is to actually solve problems, applying the podcast day-to-day, designing for knucklehead stealth, embracing chaos and humor, lore in series, finding hooks that service new players, structural choices to bring in new players and opt-in to lore, how films deal with lore, play sets and toy box differences in Disney Infinity, Brett raps.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Tarzan (film), Chris Corry, LucasArts, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Hercules, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh/The Hundred Acre Wood, Song of the South, Mary Poppins/Mary Poppins Returns, P. L. Travers, Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks (obliquely), Alfred Hitchcock, Big Hero 6, Frozen, Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Tangled, Disney Infinity, Final Fantasy (series), Dark Souls, Tim Rogers, Kotaku, Vagrant Story, Alice in Wonderland, Cameron Daxon, Boss Key Books, Tim Dooley, Bobby Oster, Pokémon Let's Go, Persona/Shin Megami Tensei (series), Warren Linam-Church, Thief, Dungeons & Dragons, No One Lives Forever, Hitman 1 & 2, Giant Bomb, Mikkel Lodahl, Halo, Gears of War, Assassin's Creed, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls (series), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Saw (series), Disney Infinity, Wabash College, Project Spark, John Lasseter, Skylanders, The Incredibles, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Tasha Robinson.

Next time:
Up to the Hollow Bastion

Links:
Kotaku's Kingdom Hearts Review

Cameron Daxon's Pokémon teams

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com

DGC Ep 148: Kingdom Hearts (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we start a new series about Kingdom Hearts, the 2002 Disney / Square crossover game that culminates in Kingdom Hearts III this week. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Wonderland!

Podcast breakdown:
0:38    Kingdom Hearts
42:01  Break
42:30  Feedback & Singing Review

Issues covered: series lore in non-console games, E3 2001, licensing starting to wane, part of the EA business model, working with a license and not making a "play the movie" game, the land grab of licensing, struggling with using licensed titles, schedules not lining up with film, a positive change in licensing, seeing movies in theaters or drive-ins on Disney's re-release schedule, the specialness of seeing one, the lack of home video, seeing cartoons on TV, relationship with the iconic characters, the return of Disney animation in the late 80s/early 90s, bringing in Broadway talent to score the new movies, Disney World and Disney Land, choice of first Disney world, the abstract start, the weird bedroom scene, Destiny Island, bringing in characters from Final Fantasy X and other Square properties, being made for someone else, merging of worlds, fearing the limits of the game, usability problems in Traverse Town, triggering steps by randomly going through a door that had previously been locked, doing one-off mechanics and adventure gamey stuff like a Final Fantasy game, Game Boy constraints and the games they inspired, the evolution of Pokémon mechanics, "constraints inspire creativity," relatability of Pokémon vs Kingdom Hearts, groundedness of mythology in Legend of Zelda vs Final Fantasy milieus, save warnings, informing the player of your mechanics, bucking trends with intent, picking your battles, Nuzlocke style, PvE and PvP in Pokémon and stats buffing and debuffing, singing review.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jedi Starfighter, Nomura Tetsuya, Square, Final Fantasy (series), Parasite Eve, Ehrgeiz, The World Ends With You, The Bouncer, Disney, EA, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Final Fantasy XI, Metroid Prime, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Dark Cloud 2, GTA Vice City, Eternal Darkness, Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus, James Bond in 007: Nightfire, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Two Towers, The Fellowship of the Ring, Spider-man, Activision, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Warcraft III, Battlefield 1942, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Mafia, Dungeon Siege, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, SW: Republic Commando, LotR: Return of the Kings, Stormfront Studios, EA Spouse, Daron Stinnett, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Indiana Jones, Force Unleashed, Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Warner Bros, Alan Menken, The Great Mouse Detective, Robin Hood, Sakaguchi Hironobu, Hashimoto Shinji, Super Mario 64, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, Hercules, Final Fantasy X, Mary Poppins, Marvel vs Capcom, Pokémon Red/Blue, John Lethbridge, Chrono Trigger, Game Boy, Link's Awakening, Metroid II, Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, Minit, Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu, Jan Willem, Vlambeer, Rami Ismail, Jesse Morgan/seaofmorgan, Pokémon Sun/Moon, Star Wars: Starfighter, Iwata Satoru, HAL Laboratories, Iwata Asks, Nintendo Wii, Legend of Zelda (series), GTA III, Ben Zaugg, Gothic Chocobo, Ryan/biostats, Dave Mason, We Just Disagree, Frozen, Pixar.

Next time:
Through Monstro!

Links:
The GameBoy Programming Manual

Iwata Saving Pokémon

Iwata Asks

 

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
DevGameClub@gmail.com