DGC Ep 089: Super Mario 64 (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are in the midst of our series on 1996 3D platforming sensation Super Mario 64. Tim intros the 'cast for the first time and we discuss both macro and micro design. SM64 Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to 50 stars!

Podcast breakdown:
0:44     SM64 Segment
42:02   Break
42:33   Feedback segment

Issues covered: likening Brett to a car, increasing difficulty of stars within a hub, Brett getting all the stars for a bunch of worlds and figures out how he got there, red coin challenges, rising frustration but increasing skill, getting access to the second Bowser battle, hub and spoke structure, choices and exploration, building a sense of place by allowing players a bit of choice of which path to follow next, linearity as a review trope, sacrificing narrative for non-linearity, player choice reducing narrative urgency, abstraction of narrative helping with non-linear stories, avoiding stress and soft gating, finding stars out of order, dynamic difficulty built into design, maintaining order for consistency and communication's sake, courses as missions, wanting the clues to the other stars earlier, telling stories via stars, tagging the current star, move set with many possibilities from few inputs, triple jumping in place, gaining height, 100 coin stars, profound impact of the game, finding every way to die in Shifting Sand, adding new stuff that doesn't work as well, swimming in 3D character games, variant gameplay should be easier, the difficulty inherent in the flying controls and not making the transition well from 2D, experimentation, mods and getting in, the paintings and the world of 2D, maintaining some jankiness, leaving bugs in, giants killing you in Skyrim, adventure games and intentional blind alleys, motion sickness, being software driven vs hardware driven, gambling and children, not all characters created equal, matching loot box mechanics to the property.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Cadillac, Super Mario Odyssey, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces, Nintendo, Skyrim, Super Mario World, Super Mario Sunshine, Game Developer Magazine, Uncharted 4, Mike Reddy, Half-Life 2, Adam Griffiths, Dan Pinchbeck, The Chinese Room, Dear Esther, Logan Brown, From Software, Paper Mario, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3D Land, Halo, Day of the Tentacle, Wolverine, Aaron Evers, PSVR, Vive, Oculus, The Witness, Shadow of the Colossus, Alien: Isolation, TIME Magazine, Ben Zaugg, EA, Madden, FIFA, Aaron Rodgers, Lionel Messi, Star Wars, Battlefront, Piotr/jatyoni.

Next time:
Beat Bowser (finally)!

I could not find the issue of Game Developer I wanted, but here's the magazine archive

Adam Griffiths's mod 

That One Time It's Different 

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub