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Penny Arcade Game Dev Talks Episode Two 30

Posted by Soulskill
from the hide-your-fruit dept.
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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Penny Arcade Game Dev Talks Episode Two

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  • 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.

    • by meist3r (1061628)
      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.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      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 ga

      • by Kneo24 (688412)
        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.
        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          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 p

          • by _xeno_ (155264) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @05:29PM (#25179793) Homepage Journal

            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.

            • One could grind for items by breaking boxes, trashcans, and other such containers which, if I remember correctly, respawn when you leave an area.
            • by Dutch Gun (899105)

              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.

          • by Kneo24 (688412)

            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 ha

      • by uncledrax (112438)

        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.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      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.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:55PM (#25178405) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Saturday September 27, 2008 @02:16PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        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.

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

    • by WDot (1286728)
      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 marke
    • by RupW (515653) *

      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! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meist3r (1061628) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @02:44PM (#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).
  • by woqer (1376271)
    Its cool game. So go on. See here: Sublustrum [questarena.net]

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