DGC Ep 139: GTA III (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion about Grand Theft Auto III. We actually spend a little time talking about the counter-argument, that this game extends a middle finger to the moral scolds who wanted to cage video games, and then talk about specifics about its streaming, and talk about the dissonance between its systems and mission design, before turning to feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through "Last Requests"

Podcast breakdown:
0:32   GTA III discussion
57:07 Break
57:41 Feedback & reviews

Issues covered: voice actors who don't quite work and those who do, rough combat, dreading combat, avoiding alternate and secondary missions, moral scolds and violent video games, critical and player response to a finger extended at the establishment, punk rock, rap in the 90s in Oakland and LA, skewering American culture, handling your satire around certain topics, madonna/whore divide and stripper/nun divide, treatment of women in games, being in the right place at the right time, freedom of speech issues in film (and games), systems vs skinning, positive benefits of skinning and negative, consequences for actions, forcing player behavior by being unable to continue otherwise, pushing the boundaries when there are numbers, seamless streaming, systemic support for the streaming, parallel mission structure, flight sims as streaming, streaming in with media storage much larger than the available RAM, streaming in topography for flight sims, doing quest lines with multiple characters at once, intertwining mission structure, parallelizing and TV's subplot nature, RPG influence with quest lines and side quests and optional quests, putting various skill challenges into missions, skill challenges in opposition to the chaos engine, failing due to flipping your car, freedom fighting the missions, chilling with an open world, being able to exploit systems, suffering for the art of the exploit, exposing options, janky grenade throwing, finding simulation limits to exploit, our occasional lapses in knowledge or research, the hooker/health/money method, making horrific behavior palatable, "protagonist doesn't mean hero," punching up and punching down, hearing more of the radio because you're better at the game, double standards and hypocrisy, treatment of minorities, narrative framing, representation matters, liking to play the good guy, what freedoms do you actually have, lack of consequence for death or mayhem, limits of failure, upping the ante on police response, lack of a strong female lead in Rockstar games, playing a game when there's nothing like it and how that impacts you and returning to it later and seeing its flaws, abandoning World War II games because of a personal connection, feeling weird about war games where the only way they touch me is through entertainment, licensing term, lifecycle of a music license, unionization aspects and agent culture with music licensing (inheriting from film), complication of rights even for scores, personal soundtracks, save systems and using engines, choosing the wrong engine for the game you're making, writing all your game code.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Michael Madsen, Frank Vincent, ESRB, Jack Thompson, Paducah, Columbine, DOOM, Wolfenstein, Mortal Kombat, Joe Lieberman, South Park, Bonnie and Clyde*, the New Hollywood, The People vs Larry Flynt, Hustler, Penthouse, Playboy, Woody Harrelson, Ed Norton, Milos Forman**, Oliver Stone, Thomas Was Alone, God of War, GTA Vice City and San Andreas, Super Mario 64, PlayStation 1, Spyro the Dragon (series), David Jones, Elite, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Derek Smart, BattleCruiser 3000AD, Star Citizen, The Sopranos, David Murgatroyd, Red Dead Redemption (series), Spider-Man 2, Jamie Fristrom, Joseph Krull, Fallout (series), Grant Goodine, Manhunt, Kevin James, Thief, Silent Hill 2, Hitman (series), Black & White, The Sims, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Call of Duty (series), Medal of Honor, Ethan Johnson, Dylan Cuthbert, Q Games, Pixeljunk Sidescroller, Xbox/Xbox 360, Underworld Ascendant, Mark Eldridge, Unity, Unreal, System Shock 2, idTech, CryEngine, Dishonored (series), Prey (2017), Tacoma, Lulu LaMer, Thief: Deadly Shadows, Tim Sweeney.

Next time:
12-15 missions into Staunton Island

*Bonnie and Clyde was released in 1967.
** Milos Forman did in fact pass away in April of 2018.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub