DGC Ep 141: GTA III (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue our discussion about Grand Theft Auto III. We close out the game by picking a couple favorite moments, talk about some of the difficulty at the end, and of course, do our takeaways before turning to feedback, of which there was much. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game! (If you're Brett, anyway)

Podcast breakdown:
0:39    GTA III discussion
59:06  Break
59:46  Feedback

Issues covered: Tim gets demoralized, timing and bad luck, wall missions, time and patience running out, being indifferent to the player, one's changing taste, getting better at the driving (and falling into the ocean), 'cast being non-conducive to this style of game, being okay with not finishing it, feeling comfortable in some areas of the game, imagining giggling devs, timing missions pushing you to let go of stuff and learn the city well, lower mission density, running off the drawbridge, doing the coffee carts the second time (and rubbing it in), getting the bulletproof Patriot, everyone shooting at you around the world, stuff in the disc case (RTFM) including a good map, heist mentality, planning and executing your heist, cheating, moments of grace, fiero, triggering a stunt at the end of a mission, movie moment, side missions Brett tried, the cost of adding more on top of the simulation, other ways to scale the timing missions, making a big commitment to the story, likely low completion rate, wanting to care more about the characters and being pushed against the stereotypes, the high quality of the radio stations, adding flavor and life through radio, car damage model, running to the Pay and Spray, juking the police cars at high wanted level, punishing system countering the player's goals, inner turmoil, considering the game's impact, the freedom of this open world, loading times on PS2, opening up open world games and establishing the possibility of many franchises, committing to style, fantasy fulfillment of crime, media influences, realistic setting (as opposed to fantasy), pushing towards transgression, pushing the player into just getting things done and letting things go, expert frustration, running over pedestrians, running around the streets and bumping into people, dehumanizing pedestrians, Brett's favorite moment, the chaos engine, getting into the cartel area to go after the "oriental gentleman," switching into game development later, whether to get into QA, having useful skills, buying a developer lunch or a beer, company sizes, getting into game jams, what's punk rock (Brett has no idea), calling something virtue signaling and what that means, taking a risk in talking GTA, learning the map vs being directed, appeal of missions vs driving around shenanigans, player-directed vs designer-directed behavior, what people showed when they showed you the game, side content and achievements, how much simulation is too much simulation?, what brings people in, recognizing film-style realism, sports games looking like television broadcasts, inviting mechanics, the arcade driving model, forgiving damage model, listening to whatever radio station comes on, scratched disc and other reminiscences.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Gone with the Wind (obliquely), X-COM: UFO Defense, Final Fantasy IX, Deus Ex, Rockstar Games, Robert Loggia, seaofmorgan, djmurgatroyd, Kyle MacLachlin, Homo Ludens, Huizinga, Red Dead Redemption 2, PlayStation 2, Starfighter, TIE Fighter, Assassin's Creed (series), Spider-Man (2018), Halo, Metal Gear Solid, PacMan, The A-Team, Jesse Morgan, Dungeons & Dragons, Miles Truss, Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael, MaasNeotekProto, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Joe Carnahan, Mark Garcia, Shenmue, Harry Potter, Scarface, The Godfather, The Mechanic, Miami Vice, Christopher Wright, Don Winslow, Dan Simmons, Pokemon Red/Blue, GameCube.

Brett's Book Suggestions:
The Winter of Frankie Machine, by Don Winslow
Dan Simmons's "Joe Kurtz" trilogy: Hardcase/Hard Freeze/Hard as Nails

Global Game Jam

Next time:
Pokemon Red/Blue, up to Viridian City

Mea culpa:
"Fiero" appears to be a term popularized by Nicole Lazzaro, in the 4 Keys to Fun. We regret the error.

Dan Simmons's "Joe Kurtz" trilogy is actually set in Buffalo, NY, not Albany. We regret the error.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub