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Penny Arcade Game Dev Talks Episode Two

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the hide-your-fruit dept.

PC Games (Games) 30

jayintune points out an interview with Joel DeYoung of HotHead Games, the studio that developed the Penny Arcade video game. He describes some of the new additions coming in the sequel, how old characters and zones will be handled, and plans for the game's release. Additional details are available from DeYoung's comments during PAX, and Joystiq has some screenshots. "Maxing out your stats at the end of Episode One means that your party can be as high as Level 15 if you import your save game and character. Your character's look and all of your items are available to you as well, and if you want to improve upon your looks, you can always browse through the new customization options at the start of the game. About the only thing that won't carry forward is your weapons — we've automatically upgraded Tycho's tommy gun to a shotgun, Gabe's fists now have brass knuckles and your character has traded in your rake for a hoe. We're sticking with the garden tool theme!"

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Will they be getting rid of the DRM? (-1, Flamebait)

NotInfinitumLabs (1150639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178381)

It seriously hindered my enjoyment of the first game. Anytime I disconnected from the internet, it would not recognize my installation as legitimate.

Re:Will they be getting rid of the DRM? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178445)

Really? Did you actually buy the game, or do you just enjoy lying as a hobby? Because I did buy the game, and it works perfectly fine offline. The only time you need to be connected is during installation; exactly as was claimed.

Re:Will they be getting rid of the DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178525)

Uhhhh dude, congrats on just identifying yourself as a pirate. Pirated copies act as you say, genuine purchases work perfectly offline.

Re:Will they be getting rid of the DRM? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178539)

I agree with your question, but not the premise of it.

It just didn't feel right buying a game that I knew that had DRM in it that actually restricted the amount of installs one could have. While I probably won't ever go beyond whatever retarded limit they had set, the possibility that I might is enough cause for alarm.

Really, I'm not a soothsayer. I just don't know what will happen in the future.

This is just one of those concessions to DRM that I just don't like accepting. Then if I ever do go beyond the amount of allowable installs, I have to go out of my way to e-mail someone, or call someone up, or whatever, just so I am allowed to reinstall the game. It's a bullshit process. I paid for the damn game. Don't give me hassles.

I have no idea if their process of reactivation is painless or not. I really don't care. When I want to do something, and there's no damn good reason why I would have to wait, I do not like waiting. Making me wait just because you want to believe you've cut some just blow into some despicable scoundrels on the high seas is not a good way to keep your customers happy.

Even so, I'm still tempted to buy their second game. I immensely enjoyed the first enough to play it a few times. The demo turned the game into an impulse buy. Now a sequel, I won't bother with a demo, which makes it even more of an impulse buy. Seriously. Just get rid of the install limit and keep whatever other DRM you had that wasn't so "fuck you in the ass without lube and a reach around" bad and I'll be a happy customer.

Re:Will they be getting rid of the DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25179045)

> so "fuck you in the ass without lube and a reach around" bad

Hey don't knock it 'til you tried it.

The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178393)

I recommend it, if only for the dialog options.

It wasn't particularly hard either, so it's great for casual gamers too. And the animations were surprisingly decent.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178713)

I agree, the combat was really fun and just for the weird storyline and dialogs this is worth playing. Even if you are not a PA fan.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178771)

It wasn't particularly hard either

Did I do something wrong, then? I was finding it fairly easy at first too. I played the game until I hit the urban "slum" area, and the first enemy I ran into killed me off with two hits. The hell? It's not exactly as though I can go anyplace else, or go back and grind up in levels... Best of all, when you die and respawn, (if I'm remembering correctly) you're missing all the items you burned through during the first battle. Makes for a nice downwards spiral.

I obviously missed something, but when a game smacks you in the face like that, I tend to shut it off and play something else. I have a lot less patience with this sort of thing than I did when I was 13, I guess. It's a shame, because I was really enjoying the game up to that point.

It's doubtful I'll be purchasing Episode II.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179143)

Yes, you apparently did do something wrong. Did you learn how to block attacks by that point? Did you learn how to make your attacks do more damage? While there was an increase in difficulty, it wasn't so large that you couldn't have won that battle.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179591)

I don't recall ever blocking an attack, to be honest, or any mechanism to do so. It's been a while since I played it, though. I'll probably pick it up and try again at some point.

Regardless, one could look at this in two ways: We're both talking about how "I did something wrong", but I apparently missed a crucial element of gameplay. One could also look at it as the game failing to introduce those concepts forcefully enough for thick-headed individuals like myself... although I seem to have no problem playing Disgaea 3.

Also, the way the game dealt with player deaths just seemed rather... bad. You just lost a fight, and you no longer have any of the items you used during that fight, but you apparently gained nothing (except knowledge, I guess). In fact - I believe you lost an achievement - if playing on Xbox Arcade version - if you die at all. I got into a cycle where I lost a few times in succession, and had no items to use then (which I used liberally to try to win said fight earlier). At that point, I was at a fairly severe disadvantage, and so put the game down and played something else.

We'll see how the second play attempt goes, I suppose, before I decide whether to buy another episode. I really did want to like this game.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (3, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179793)

There was a method to block, you had to press Space (PC version, obviously) when the enemy's name blinked or something like that.

Even so, the level/difficulty curve was a bit, uh, off. I remember going to the carnival area and having my ass kicked by enemies capable of killing a character in a single hit. After gaining two levels, they suddenly were only capable of doing single-digit damage.

The combat system could use some work, and they really need to add some way to "grind" items and experience, because you're right: it's not that hard to get yourself into a hopeless situation where your only way out is basically shear luck or reloading/starting over.

In fact - I believe you lost an achievement - if playing on Xbox Arcade version - if you die at all.

You lost an achievement if any of the characters died, at all, even if you revive them. Assuming the Steam achievements match the Xbox achievements, of course.

Re:grinding (1)

Fluffy the attack ki (890645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180955)

One could grind for items by breaking boxes, trashcans, and other such containers which, if I remember correctly, respawn when you leave an area.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181843)

There was a method to block, you had to press Space (PC version, obviously) when the enemy's name blinked or something like that.

Wow... I still don't recall that mechanism. Lol, thanks. I'm going to play again and see if that even game up in the tutorials before the slum areas. Probably did, I'm sure I just forgot.

And yeah, one of the self-balancing mechanisms of RPGs is the ability to level grind if a player is having difficulty getting past a particular enemy. By removing this, they're fixing the difficulty level for us thick-headed folk at an absolute level. If we can't beat an enemy at the level they deem appropriate - well... SOL - or resort to hopping over to the forums to get hints.

You lost an achievement if any of the characters died, at all, even if you revive them. Assuming the Steam achievements match the Xbox achievements, of course.

Once again, good to know. You've earned that +Informative friend, thanks.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25183391)

One could also look at it as the game failing to introduce those concepts forcefully enough for thick-headed individuals like myself... although I seem to have no problem playing Disgaea 3.

I think it just boils down to you not paying attention well enough. It introduces a lot of core gameplay concepts to you right away.

I got into a cycle where I lost a few times in succession, and had no items to use then (which I used liberally to try to win said fight earlier).

Two things to remedy that. The first being that you could have went back to the first area and just did a grind for items. All of the item boxes were back where they needed to be.

Secondly, you didn't have to keep going the same route in the slums area. You could have gone down a different path and maybe found an enemy or two that was a little easier to deal with. That should have been enough to gain you a level.

You also have to keep in mind that any of your guys attacks are stronger/weaker/normal against certain types of enemies. Once you learn this (mainly through trial and error, some is a little intuitive), the game becomes significantly easier.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 4 years ago | (#25196097)

between blocking and actually seeing what enemies had resistance to what types of attacks, it make the game a good casual play for me.

Ya, there was some growing pains where I was getting my ass kicked by hobos, but once I learned how to block correctly -and- that Tyco's gun wasn't effective against 'Enemy Type X' so I used him to just do group effects or toss bombs, etc.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179597)

It wasn't particularly hard either, so it's great for casual gamers too.

I hate it when people say that. "Casual" gamers want games that are easy to understand, not easy to win. Noone can win Tetris, it gets as hard as you can handle and then you lose yet it's not something limited to elite players.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180905)

What, you've never won Tetris? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=k_O3Oaz2bos [youtube.com]

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181189)

Samus... on a... cello?

Great, now I've got a new fetish.

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182687)

Pfft, B mode doesn't count. Everyone plays only A mode. Do they even include B mode in newer versions?

Re:The first PA game was actually pretty good (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25184983)

Tetris DS [wikipedia.org] contains all kinds of crazy mission, timed and height modes. Tetris TGM3 has an ending, which you can play through (like Blocksum). It looks like this [youtube.com] .

Less poop, more substance (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178405)

I played the game on a Linux computer, and then moved the game to my wife's Linux laptop. I didn't notice any weird DRM.

My beef with the game was the overt abundance of silly toilet humor. These guys are very smart, and very funny. They can do much better than that.

Re:Less poop, more substance (3, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178509)

My beef with the game was the overt abundance of silly toilet humor. These guys are very smart, and very funny. They can do much better than that.

Dude, it's Penny Arcade. That is sort of what they do. Not all the time, but enough of the time that if you can't stand that sort of humor, you probably shouldn't be reading PA (or playing the game).

Re:Less poop, more substance (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178675)

I've been reading PA since the late 90's. Toilet humor constituted about 50% of the game. It pops up rarely in the comic strips.

Re:Less poop, more substance (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181825)

Obviously you have a short attention span because Penny Arcade has only rarely resorted to cheap toilet humour in its comic strips.

Re:Less poop, more substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25179931)

Yes! They are smarter then this but they have not done a large story ark before. So Yes, this was expected since their largest story arc has been 5 or so comics with 1 - 3 panels of story in each comic.

Its like staring a kid out with a big wheel and excepting that child to plan/implement a cross country road trip. After all, the kid did make it out of the drive way.

I except them to get better over time but you have to give them time to adjust to this new medium to play in and I hope people will give them time to adjust.

Re:Less poop, more substance (1)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180181)

My guess is that the toilet humor is a result of the game taking place in an 1800's Lovecraftian world, whereas most of their humor in the strip takes place in a time period where there is a video games industry. Perhaps they feel that making pointed attacks against industry shenanigans wouldn't work quite as well in a pre-videogame world. Although I suppose there could be some humor in making ye olde cartoon analogues to names like Gamestop, Activision, Jack Thompson, etc. Considering their target market is basically people who read Penny Arcade, it could work.

Re:Less poop, more substance (1)

RupW (515653) | more than 5 years ago | (#25183409)

I played the game on a Linux computer, and then moved the game to my wife's Linux laptop. I didn't notice any weird DRM.

There's a three install limit [playgreenhouse.com] with the usual contact-them-for-more. It's an install time only check so it's hardly intrusive.

It supports Linux! (3, Interesting)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178697)

I really don't like Penny Arcade comics that much. I ended up paying for the game because the demo was really fun and I like to give my money to people that support my OS directly. It's so rare these days and I can't see why. WINE is nice and all but I really like that unfiltered performance and compatibility of native versions. So give Hothead your money they are already spreading the word that they were surprised by the number of sold Linux versions (in a good way).

'Bout time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178865)

That's great! I've been waiting on this!

Sergey (1)

woqer (1376271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25222895)

Its cool game. So go on. See here: Sublustrum [questarena.net]
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