DGC Ep 123: Deus Ex (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we have finally turned our attention to 2000's Deus Ex. In our fourth episode in the series, we talk about maps, the damage model, augmentations, and more! Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up through the Paris Cathedral

Issues covered: stealth and non-lethal play, hitting your foes with tranq darts, externalizing statistics, the things you track, a decision or a priority, a stuffed UI, adding notes to images, self-motivated play vs auto-mapping, usability, detailed maps, orienting yourself via the maps, feeling in conversation with the designer, map fidelity and playing into the fantasy, leaning on the existence of a map as a designer, leaning on navigation mapping as a crutch, spatial sense, making navigation design choices based on the needs of the game, emergent design and not holding hands, navigation as a resource, taking away mechanics you lean on, sneaking up on snipers, accurate modeling of bullet trajectory, making weapons feel like they should feel, suspected player collision model, accuracy model, difficulty making decisions, understanding the weapons having not using them, the damage model, weapons being more lethal sometimes than others, random vs statistical distributions, seeing the RNG and damage model, tuning and spread and balance, player expectations and numbers, progressive improvement in random chance in MMOs, perception is everything, "it's not a blunderbuss," augmentation choices, not meeting tougher creatures when you make the choices, not upgrading, recycling + healing non-stop, playing into power fantasies of different types, potential "best way to play," being a sum of parts rather than strong at any individual thing, VO issues, player stories in the Dowd level, making weird decisions with guns, audio design, triggering enemies through walls, provoking exploration, more player stories in the Dowd level, scripting interactions and weirdness, clash of script and AI, player feedback, a future bonus episode, proper noun soup.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Fable, Metal Gear Solid (series), Ultima Underworld, Far Cry 2, Elder Scrolls (series), Perfect Dark Zero, Xbox 360, Dead Space, Resident Evil, Dark Forces, Unreal, Halo, X-COM: UFO Defense, Sid Meier, Civilization, World of Warcraft, Planescape: Torment, Fallout, Thief, Grehtn/Zimmy Finger, Darren from Ohio, Prey (2017), The Witcher 3, Warren Spector.

Next time:
Finish the game, no really, really!

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub