Diablo Loot Lord of Darkness

Diablo Loot Lord of Darkness

 
 
00:00 / 46:03
 
1X
 

Episode 015

Summary

In 1996, a small team of developers, who would later become Blizzard, created something dark, difficult, and addicting.

Diablo feels like something more than just a game about fighting in a dungeon as one of three archetypical character classes. It’s an action RPG, but it established something new. Players love loot and they will do anything for new loot.

Thus giving birth to a sub-genre, and a gameplay mechanic definition akin to metroid-vania. The Looter.

As of this writing, Looter Shooters are the progeny of Diablo with the greatest amount of universal appeal. Borderlands, Destiny, and the Division, all owe their success to the systems of play that Diablo created.

When I describe the mechanic you can see other examples in adventure or RPG games, where quality levels of loot are dropped seemingly at random, or at least when the right combination of conditions are true. Many games share this basic concept. Witcher 3, Fallout, Shadow Warrior 2, and the Assassin’s Creed Origins ( and newer ), series also use this mechanic.

It isn’t really the core gameplay loop of these titles. Or at the very least it’s an unobtrusive complimentary piece, that fuels more exploration rather than an urging the players to farm items.

In this episode my brother Robert and I give an oral history of our experience playing through the three Diablo titles, and chat about what was so engaging and interesting about them. We answer questions for ourselves about what elements in the combat, skill trees, and atmospheric elements we found to be the stand outs in the series.

Come along with us back to Tristram and beyond as we revel in our fandom of the endless loot-palooza that is Diablo.


Did we miss something about the Lord of Darkness that you want us to clarify? Let us know if you are enjoying the show via electronic mail or on twitter @betweenplayers

Thank you for listening to the show.


Listen to the show on:

Spotify
iTunes Podcasts
Google Play Podcasts


Special Thanks

Guest – Rob Meyer

IllustrationEvan McIntyre

Agency Through An Avatar

Agency Through An Avatar

 
 
00:00 / 0:30:04
 
1X
 

Episode 008

Summary

Something you create and also take with you. A reflection of you, but not of your image.

Avatars in games are not a new thing. Being represented as a 3D photo realistic polygonal model, is a far cry from our humble start. Our beginnings as paddle in space, or a hungry little mouth running from ghosts, or even a plumber trying to rescue a princess.

Inanimate objects in I Am Toast, anthropomorphized Raving Rabbits, or a simple adventurer with pointy ears and sword are us. They are extend us in that virtual plane as we conduct their movements, agonize over their steps.

These pixel powered apparitions are more than figures moving on our every whim. We can find ourselves attached to these surrogates, especially the ones we design ourselves. Spending an hour or more in a character creation screen, tweaking every possible combination until we have designed that next perfect reflection.

My friend David Diers will tell us about his, a red headed paladin that fights to protect those less fortunate. She has had a long history with him and it is amazing.


Tell us about your an Avatar you have and let us know if you are enjoying the show or what we can do to improve it via electronic mail or on twitter @betweenplayers

You can also leave comments on our tracks on SoundCloud

Thank you for listening to the show.


SHOW NOTES:

Special Thanks

IllustartionEvan McIntyre

Music & Audio ConsultingJosh Hunt

Background Music – Artist: Asthetic
Track: Space Trip II Chillwave – Synthwave – Retrowave Mix

Quality of Life

Quality of Life

 
 
00:00 / 0:29:58
 
1X
 

Episode 007

Summary

There isn’t anything more frustrating than losing your focus. The trance-like state that you can be in while playing games, like a spell, gets broken by choices that seem to be available.

The frequency and quality of games over the last 5 years have been incredibly high. As a pro-casual gamer it is all but impossible to keep up with the relentless release schedule. I myself am contending with a backlog of titles that, I dread, will never be complete.

With such limited time to devote to this hobby it should be easy to avoid pitfalls. The well tread loops of loot drops, discovering shortcuts to interlocking routes, mastering enemy patterns, etc… all serve to keep us in one place. Six feet from the couch.

But even with all these studios producing high-quality computer generated adventures, patterns slip through QA that can remove all commitment. Josh Hunt joined me to examine some of these dark user patterns and catalogue experiences that if removed, would have made for a flawless game.


Tell us about your favorite Quality of Life in a video game and let us know if you are enjoying the show or what we can do to improve it via electronic mail or on twitter @betweenplayers

You can also leave comments on our tracks on SoundCloud

Thank you for listening to the show.


SHOW NOTES:

Special Thanks

IllustartionEvan McIntyre

Music & Audio ConsultingJosh Hunt

Time

Time

 
 
00:00 / 0:32:17
 
1X
 

Episode 003

Updated: 10/16/2019
I remember I used to have time to play games.

A recurring theme in this podcast is the notion that, both myself and the people I interact with are Hard-Casual Gamers.

I am apart of the Millennials, which anyone born between 1977 and 2000. Although, there is no a universal agreement on this definition. Millennials in the US total more than 80 million.

Stats according to the census: as of July 1 2015 Source: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/millennials_report.pdf
If you prefer to grab a copy here I have added it to our archive.

In the past we would have been considered extremely dedicated gamers, sacrificing long hours to Playstation or Nintendo gods without a second thought. We didn’t have a lot of money but we had time.

Now that we have a full load of adult responsibilities we look for opportunities to unwind and decompress but with an ever growing surplus of games in our Steam accounts, it seems like a task that will never be completed.

We want to play, but what do we choose based on our limited time?

How do you find time to play games?

Tell us about your favorite quick players and let us know if you are enjoying the show or what we can do to improve it via electronic mail or on twitter @betweenplayers

You can also leave comments on our tracks on SoundCloud

Thank you for listening to the show.

SHOW NOTES:

Guest

Dave Rupert

Games we recommend from our chat

Special Thanks

IllustartionEvan McIntyre

Audio ConsultingDavid Diers

MusicAnamanaguchi – Dawn Metropolis

Difficulty

Difficulty

 
 
00:00 / 0:20:21
 
1X
 

Episode 002

Easy, Normal or Hard.

When games were younger, it seemed like there was one level of difficulty. And apart from secret codes, there wasn’t much you could do to improve your chances of success other than practice.

Is the challenge what makes a game compelling, interesting, or even valuable?

What are we getting out of the experience as a whole, without consequence?

Why does there appear to be an obsessed recently with the difficulty?

Do you remember the first game you played where you tried to crank it up to hard and decided it was too much?

Somehow, the notion of difficulty has migrated into the realm of modern game mechanics. Or more appropriately, difficulty has been sort of singled out in some cases as a pseudo mechanic.

What do you think about difficulty?

Tell us about your harrowing tales of game difficulty via electronic mail or on twitter @betweenplayers

Games we talked about

Special Thanks

Illustartion Evan McIntyre
Audio Consulting Josh Hunt
Music Anamanaguchi – Dawn Metropolis