DGC Ep 126: Tomb Raider (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are turning our eyes to 1996's Tomb Raider. In this episode we situate the game in its time, paying particular attention to the challenges of 3D and technology at the time. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Through Peru

Issues covered: setting the game in its time, 3D acceleration, "at least they got our names right," having to control a bunch of extra stuff in 3D, camera control in Super Mario 64 or Crash Bandicoot or Resident Evil, handling challenges differently through design and technology, Brett fumbles around the PS1 hardware, lack of save anywhere on PS1, designing for console vs PC, "the Indy game that people wanted," starting in Peru and Raiders callbacks, the ambient score supplementing exploration and loneliness, broken keymapping, Lara's evolving backstory, a strong self-sufficient woman, objectifying the character, nude mods, strong character design, British culture, traveling well, amalgamation of clear character archetypes, sensibility of a British icon, setting up a world via simple short character interactions, analogue in Resident Evil, world-building through grace notes, pulp antecedents, pure exploration, exploration as its own reward, finding secrets, doing whatever it needs to do to serve the core fantasy, level construction, Brett becomes a German, wanting more tracked data, stats and baseball, adding more tracking over time, using data in development, digging into his WoW stats, the person Tim spends the third most amount of time with, games that terrify you so much you can't play them, does Alien impact people who don't know the movies.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jason Botta, Crystal Dynamics, Toby Gard, CORE Design, PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot, Lara Craft GO, Nokia, 3Dfx, Xbox, Super Mario 64, Nintendo 64, Diablo, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Donkey Kong Country 3, Resident Evil, Quake, Indy's Desktop Adventures, Duke Nuke'em 3D, Civilization, 3DO, Meridian 59, Andrew and Christopher Kirmse, Game Developer, GDC, Game Programming Gems, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Next Generation, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Batman, Temple of Doom, Allan Quatermain, H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, Spice Girls, Ian Livingstone, EIDOS, Deathtrap Dungeon, Games Workshop, Warhammer, Peter Molyneux, John Wick, Soul Reaver, Hal Barwood, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, The Producers, Maas Neotek Proto, Final Fantasy, League of Legends, DOTA, Blizzard, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Eric Bartoszak/WeyounNumber6, Prey, Alien: Isolation, P.T., Ico.

Next time:
Thru Greece

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub