DGC Ep 038: TIE Fighter

Welcome to our first episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We talk a lot about the Star Wars presentation, simulation depth and choices, and touch a bit on the story. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Battles 1-3

Podcast breakdown:
0:29      Segment 1, Felis Interruptus
20:35    Quick Break
20:40    Segment 2

Issues covered: six degrees of Bill Bixby, Holland's WWII series, alternate histories, showing the perspective of the bad guys, multiplayer and technical feasibility, Star Wars presentation, cockpits in the films, cookie-cutter bureaucracy of the Empire, linear narratives driving things forward in other games, simulating a military career, voice work, Star Wars melodrama and narrative glue, leaning on the films' fiction, secret society of the Emperor, bonus objectives, naming your pilot, save structure, opening cinematic, propaganda, paralleling the films, the Thrawn trilogy, color choices in the HUD, key confusion, level of difficulty, playing like a puzzle game, flight simulation dead ends, genre lulls, flight sims as technical showcases, grognard capture, flying the F-22, moving to flight action, Warthog sims, simulators everywhere, bridging to more accessible games, configuring the complex flight stick, roll and pull configs, guiding the mouse, pulling you back to Star Wars, flying a variety of craft, basis of the Assault Gunboat and the Tydirium Shuttle, introducing the TIE Advanced, vulnerability in the popcorn ship, managing difficulty, energy management, "where's my lasers?", flight model, player skill payoff of deep simulation, roguelikes and punishment, mission length, finishing the primary objectives and moving on, player agency with extra content.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedThat Darn Cat, Disney, Bill Bixby, Incredible Hulk, Marvel, Star Wars, Larry Holland, LucasArts, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Day of the Tentacle, Chuck Yeager, Falcon series, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Battlezone, Indiana Jones series, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour, Wing Commander, X-Wing, Totally Games, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Rogue One, Dark Forces, Starfighter, James Taylor, Yoda, Deus Ex, Bob Page, Republic Commando, Timothy Zahn, Heir to the Empire, Reed Knight, Star CitizenDescent, ARMA, F-16, Daron Stinnett, Spectrum Holobyte, Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Call of Duty, Starcraft, Return of the Jedi, Battlestar Galactica, Souls series, Bioshock, System Shock 2.

Next time:
Battles 4 through 7

"That Darn Cat" featured Dean Jones, not Bill Bixby. DevGameClub regrets the error.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub