DGC Ep 034: Resident Evil (part 1)

Welcome to our first episode examining 1996's survival horror classic Resident Evil. We discuss many of the features that are evident from the beginning of the game that set it apart from other sorts of 3rd person games of the time. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up until the Residence (in theory)

Podcast breakdown:
0:24 Segment 1: History and themes
58:07 Break 1
58:35 Segment 2: Reader mail and next time

Issues covered: last episode's interview, removing player empowerment, bold decisions in design, can this game be made in the US in 1996, other cultures borrowing genres and reinventing them, frustrating the player and the impossibility of getting this game made today, impatience vs methodical play, subverting player expectation, map coverage and "safety", a systemically light game, jump scares, vulnerability, accumulation of small details, resource management, feeling every shot, inventory management, inability to drop, will this character actually survive, playing the tank controls version and panicking, modern control setup, having a separate character control the camera in Super Mario 64, interesting camera angles, showing less can be more, short cinematics to reinforce emotional focus, giving back control after a moment of zombie first-person, indie space, the inversion of having a bad-ass who is having trouble surviving, discussion of trophies and achievements, having a todo list.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gilmore Girls, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Wasteland 2, Fallout, Alone in the Dark, Night of the Living Dead, The Thing, Solaris, Stalker, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Quake, Marathon, Time Crisis, Tomb Raider, Star Wars Republic Commando, Nathan Martz, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto III, System Shock 2, Resident Evil 4, Dressed to Kill, Fear Effect series, Devil May Cry, Super Mario 64, Friday the 13th, Alien: Isolation, Scream, Mr Futile, Jan Braunsberg, Assassin's Creed series, Arkham series, Firewatch, Gone Home, Walking Dead, Prototype 2, Guacamelee, Double Fine, Head Lander, Costume Quest, Grim Fandango, DotT, Drew_Homan, RebelFM.

Next time:

Play until you get to the tunnels

Alone in the Dark came out in 1994. Dev Game Club regrets the error.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub