DGC Ep 114: Dark Forces (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are beginning a new series about 1995's Star Wars: Dark Forces. We situate the game in its time a bit and then turn to the first three levels of the game, specifically talking about its level design and a bit about squeezing Star Wars into games. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through The Subterranean Hideout

Podcast breakdown:
0:46    Segment 1: Dark Forces
49:50  Break
50:25  Segment 2: Feedback

Issues covered: Star Wars character class, Bothan spies, Tim as Dark Forces tester, PlayStation version, credits up front, lots of adventure games in 1995, fond memories of DF, faking co-op by phone, project leader Daron Stinnett, prior Star Wars games, level design, not a discipline, innovating beyond DOOM, grounding the level design in architecture, creating a sense of place, increased complexity, verticality, auto-aim, ducking and jumping, lighting, scale of rooms and levels, grounded vs abstract levels, Star Wars economics, using more detail in rooms being visited multiple times, characters and story lines fitting into Star Wars, hunger for new Star Wars stories, loving and respecting Star Wars, building characters on Star Wars archetypes, bringing in Star Wars elements and fitting them into the game, Crix Madine, flexibility with using a new character, mechanics, vertex lighting, enemies who aren't facing your way, reimagining the Williams aesthetic, seeing Star Wars a bunch of times, controls, differences between GOG and Steam versions, Brett's weird keyboard configuration, sliding movement, pace of play, cover shooters, seeing canonical characters in mission briefings, seeing the hive of scum and villainy side of things, leaning on the existing world-building of Star Wars, polygonal Moldy Crow, fixed point and floating point math, seeing a thing in a cutscene and then in-game, levels getting bigger, resources carrying between levels, Brett delivers a punk serenade to the audience, Tim mispronounces "proliferation," pitch docs, DVD-style commentary on Jedi Starfighter, surfacing unreleased content, lack of bang for buck, not showing things that aren't complete, saving stuff for a sequel.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: George Lucas, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sierra, The Dig, Phantasmagoria, The Beast Within, The 11th Hour, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Warcraft 2, Blizzard Entertainment, TIE Fighter, Command and Conquer, Flight Unlimited, Looking Glass Studios, Chrono Trigger, Square, Enix, King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, Descent, Marathon 2, Hexen, DOOM, Daron Stinnett, Starfighter (series), Republic Commando, Outlaws, Jedi Knight, Bioforge, D, Super Star Wars, Rebel Assault I & II, Myst, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Kevin Schmidt, Ingar Shu, Matt Tateishi, Ultima Underworld, Anachronox, Mysteries of the Sith, Empire Strikes Back, Clint Bajakian, Half-Life, Amy Hennig, DOOM 3, Wolfenstein, Quake, id Software, Unreal, Descent, Brian Taylor, Buttercup Scratchnsniff, The Ramones, The Platters, Bing Crosby, God of War, Daniel C, Andrew Kirmse, Nathan Martz, Doug Modie, Troy Mashburn, Rich Davis, Halo 5, Arkham (series), Fallout 3.

Next time:
Through The Death Mark

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub