DGC Ep 116: Dark Forces (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are finishing 1995's Star Wars: Dark Forces. We talk a bit about the final levels of the game while punching dragons and then turn to our takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
We finished the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:44     DF Discussion
59:08   Break
59:38   Takeaways

Issues covered: the Kell dragon, entirely too much discussion of dragon types, being unsure what to do, not matching up with the fantasy, puzzle elements in fighting, having a role-playing moment in an action game that you don't often have in an RPG, starting as a Luke Skywalker game, lacking a hook for why it's Jabba's ship, enemy types, cuts later in games, the iso chamber maze puzzle, making the level itself into an interesting space, bending constraints to your will, not having anyone to tell you you can't do a thing, lowering risk, shifting towards production realities, the cost of a pivot raising aversion to risk, distinctions between studios (tech-driven vs design-driven vs art-driven), having to compete on all three, "you are fighting Boba Fett, so that's pretty cool," player skill puzzles, executing on a plan that's working, minimal story telling, television vs films, build up and implication, filling in a lot yourself, leaning on the films, the only source of Phrik in the galaxy, unmotivated space, the conveyor belt action bits, gaminess of a level, placing obstacle courses at the end of games, denouement and falling action, climax and the lack of remaining action, remaking the game, level design high water mark, being evolutionary rather than revolutionary, elevating through design and Star Wars bits, gadgetry and secondary mechanics, introduction of the Dark Trooper, high quality music, using Jedi in games, what you choose to build into your design, cornering the market in the Auction House, picking a setting that supports the fantasies, the MDA framework.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: The Force Awakens, Return of the Jedi, TIE Fighter, Jon Knoles, Mysteries of the Sith, Final Fantasy IX, The Witcher, Baldur's Gate, Rebel Assault, Republic Commando, Ingar Shu, Kevin Schmitt, Reed Knight, Duke Nukem 3D, Steve Chen, Starfighter (series), John Drake, id Software, Epic MegaGames, Half-Life, Unreal, Quake, Outlaws, Jedi Knight, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Fallout, Leonard Boyarsky, Tim Cain, Obsidian, Chris Avellone, Planescape: Torment, Justin Chin, Mario, Ratchet & Clank, Battlefront II, Clint Bajakian, John Williams, @notmyviews, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Everquest, Ultima Online, Raph Koster, Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax, Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware, Tomb Raider, Wolfenstein.

Next time:
Bonus interview!

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub