DGC Ep 027: Super Metroid (part 3)

Welcome to the third episode in our series examining Super Metroid. We delve specifically into the boss battles we've played thus far and spend some time talking about player skill and both positive and negative feedback loops in its play. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through the boss "Draygon"

Podcast breakdown:
0:29      Segment 1: Intro and boss battles
36:57    Break 1
37:22    Segment 2: Player empowerment, feedback
1:05:54 Break 2

Issues covered: choosing the Chozo suit, boss design, back history, negative reinforcement, not reading the manual, telegraphing, reappearance of Crocomire (and others), Kraid two-step shooting, skill-based bosses, experimentation and nearby save points, using lesser monsters as foreshadowing, robots that activate, 1950s robots, art directing towards technical limitations, wanting more meaning from the holes Botwoon disappears into, working within constraints, chasing fidelity, choosing constraints, player skill for boss battles, teaching you (or not) to use the grapple beam as a weapon, helpless states in boss battles, "three great scenes and no bad ones," outsmarting a bigger foe, player empowerment, getting a weapon just as you start to feel a need for it, creating artificial wishes to fulfill, multi-use grapple beam, discovering play as a game developer, missiles vs super missiles and bombs vs super bombs, blowing the glass to get to Maridia, super dash power fantasy, wall jump, positive feedback loop in player skill, negative feedback loop in scouring the map, the other half of the empowerment equation, circular level design, learning jump heights and distances, staying in the moment, watercooler talk -- different playthroughs, playground chatter, discussing levels next time, statue room, reader feedback.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedThe 39 Steps, Andy Mindler, Boba Fett, Lara Croft, other games in the Metroid series, Jedi Starfighter, Godzilla, The Terminator, Alien series, R2-D2, Forbidden Planet, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, WoW: Legion, Bionic Commando, Capcom, Bastion, FF VI, Bethesda Game Studios, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Dishonored, AL_Roman.

Next time:
Finish the game!

Rolling Stone article on Super Metroid

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub