DGC Ep 165: MYST (part three)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we finish our discussion of 1993's MYST. We talk about avatar-based puzzle games, story elements, and some other bits and bobs before turning to our takeaways from the game and answering listener feedback. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Finished the game!

Podcast breakdown:
0:45     Final sections discussion
58:27   Break
59:00   Takeaways and feedback

Issues covered: not seeing the fourth ending, a first-person avatar/playing as yourself, increasing immersion, not having to develop a back-story, throwing back to text adventures, forcing a light touch on the story, removing layers of story, the player succeeding or failing, using FMV to reinforce that they are people which matches with you, other story/adventure games, getting stuck in the Stoneship Age, being unable to see details in the frame, up-rezzing and porting, having difficulty with the compass and the submersible lamp, logical vs physical connections in Stoneship and Channelwood Ages, Brett and Tim do math on-air, the sounds in the Selenic Age, teaching how a puzzle works, compatibility issues in 1994, the lore in the books, trying to piece together the timeline, the themes of reading and being immersed in a book, finding through-lines in Cyan's work, stewardship of young minds, fan service and Jules Verne, absent fatherhood, we work through a possible plot hole, talking about each of the endings, threading your story and lore to enrich the world, accessibility in interface and approach, limiting verbs, complexity in other adventure games, playing to your strengths and using constraints to improve your game, being in the right place at the right time, technology matters, Brett's Book Minute, interface suggestions for touch, VR controls, parallels between game design and modular synthesizers, gameplay programming and constraints, making choices around accessibility and context-sensitivity, disturbing side rooms, word of mouth and watercooler talk to get ideas about games, leaning into obfuscating, playing games in the 80s, finding ways to make a community work together, disarming nuclear silos in MGS V, getting out through the solar system in Noby Noby Boy, placing limitations on yourself in the age of the Internet.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Sierra On-Line, LucasArts, Colossal Cave Adventure, Zork, Enchanter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Curse of Monkey Island (obliquely), King's Quest (obliquely), Space Quest (obliquely), The 7th Guest, Gabriel Knight, Phantasmagoria, Roberta Williams, Tex Murphy, Full Throttle, The Dig, Grim Fandango, The Wire, biostats/Ryan, The Manhole, Alice in Wonderland, The Mysterious Island, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Gone Home, Tacoma, Xbox 360, Assassin's Creed, Riven, The Lighthouse, gutenberg.org, The Impostor, Javier Cercas, Raymond Cason, realMYST, Walker Farrell, Super Mario World, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Starfighter, HyperCard, Nolan Filter, Cory Potomis, Pokemon Red/Blue, Rockstar, Mortal Kombat 11, Richard Powers, Plowing the Dark, Silicon Graphics, Dark Souls, Ninja Gaiden Black, Majestic, Destiny, MGS V, Noby Noby Boy, Red Dead Redemption, GTA San Andreas, Jonathan Blow, The Witness, Robyn Miller, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

Next time:
Either an interview or a bit of Obduction!

Modular synthesizers

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub