DGC Ep 059: Planescape: Torment (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are discussing 1999 Infinity Engine classic Planescape: Torment. We talk a bit about franchise fatigue, turning tropes on their heads, turning back historical design choices, and discuss some of what we saw as we played. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up through the Undercity

Podcast breakdown:
0:37     Segment 1: PST Talk
49:53   Break
50:26   Segment 2: Feedback, next time
(51:28 Aw Jeez)

Issues covered: Tim's bachelor party (really!), franchise fatigue, turning tropes on their heads, unexpected games, opportunities to unbalance a game, level curves, the meanings of systems, combat complexity, interface opacity, inability to die, shedding the arcade design sensibilities, finding a wider audience, matters of taste, finding ways to improve usability and recovering from mistakes, deliberate design choices for aesthetics, first microtransactions, winking at the player, breaking out of patterns, accreted design in D&D, stats mean more than level, more adventure game than RPG, overwhelming Hive area, map markers and POIs, seeing more of Hive than intended, Brett's many Hive quests, Tim getting killed and awaking underground, playing by different rules, deflating a quest, player distress and tension, sifting for what's important, portals everywhere and everything a key, creating a secret with every fact, working with the same tech and toolset again and again, hardware generations and changing expectations, user feedback and reviews, GDC, the connections between Ueda's games.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedD&D, Rich Davis, Geoff Jones, Haden Blackman, Star Wars, Mysteries of the Sith, Tomb Raider, Halo (series), Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Final Fantasy (series), Infinity Engine, Diablo, Soul Reaver, Republic Commando, TIE Fighter, Ultima (series), Ms Pacman, Spelunky, Stefan Schmidt, Fallout, Tolkien, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling (obliquely), Black Isle, LucasArts, SCUMM, Chris Suellentrop, Shall We Play A Game?, degreekelvin, Jonny Whitlam, MacDork, knowitman, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Link to the Past, Harper Hadley, TeeJay, Fumito Ueda, 3D Monster Maze, Sinclair Timex ZX81, The Last Guardian, Glixel, Rolling Stone, John Davison, Shigeru Miyamoto, Robert Gunardi, Super Metroid, Chris Avellone, Gothic, Piranha Bytes, Elder Scrolls (series), Witcher (series), Reed Knight, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father, Day of the Tentacle, Maniac Mansion, King's Quest, Sierra, Wizard and the Princess, Shin Megami Tensei, Persona (series), Chrono Trigger.

Next time:
Through Ravel's maze

Fumito Ueda on Glixel

The Wizard and the Princess on the Internet Archive

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub