This week on Built to Play, Supreme Commander asserts that "the holocaust never happened," thanks to trolls.
Valve added the ability to tag games on Steam based on consensus. Suggest a tag often enough and people agree, it becomes an official tag on the game. This tactic has led to tags like one attached to Supreme Commander, along with "Jews did 9/11." Valve's initial response was to claim it was a perception issue. From the Steam FAQ, "Often this is simply because there is some piece of information regarding the game that customers feel is missing from the store page."
Valve has since removed some of the more abusive tags like "not a game" and "hipster garbage" which were attached to Gone Home. But Farming Simulator 2013 remains tagged as a "roguelike."
Across the Pacific, Nintendo is trying out free to play games with Steel Diver. And the Zero Escape visual novel series didn't sell enough copies in Japan to make the final game in the trilogy. The game's director Kotoru Uchikoshi says that the first two games, Virtue's Last Reward and 9 Hours 9 Days 9 Doors are in the red domestically and so he won't get a big enough budget for the third game.
Finally, Flappy Bird went through a whole saga and then disappeared. After becoming the most popular game on iOS app store, critics, including Jason Schreier from Kotaku, lambasted the game for its simple design and addictive sensibilities. The creator, Dong Nguyen, who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam, was then attacked by people over twitter about the game's difficulty and by designers who felt that the $50,000 he was making a day through advertising was undeserved. Nguyen then removed the game from the app store for the sake of its players mental health, which is either a sick burn or genuine concern. The word is still out.
Our interviews this week are all about love, the human heart and relationships.
Matt Hammill of Asteroid Base joins us to talk about Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. The game is a two-player co-op game about flying through space, fighting aliens, and giving each other intense "love dances." The game's title began as just an in-joke between the team, but soon grew to inform the game's design and some of their perception of outer space. In the game, space is a neon-bright version of the abyss filled with so much colour that the Powerpuff Girls would blush. It's also led to some interesting testing sessions, as the game seems to attract actual couples. You can find out more starting 26:18.
Then Kara Stone talks about her art project, Hand to Heart, which uses your hand as a controller, and your heart as a gameplay mechanic. Through a variety of different controllers based around the human hand, the player tracks their own heart rate. Stone's found that it inadvertently causes all four players heart rate to sync up, even in the chaos of say, the Long Winter concert in Toronto. You can hear her talk about it starting 37:20.
By the end, Jake Reardon and Justin Amirkhani discuss Always Sometimes Monsters, their cross-country adventure game. You have a week to make it from the east coast to the west coast to find a lost love. The game is mostly based on Amirkhani's experiences hitchhiking across North America, back in 2012. Amirkhani met Sam Rossi Harries who fell in love with a cyclist named Maya. Together they treked across the west coast of the US to meet her again in a random beach in Oregan. But that's not the only experience Amirkhani's drawing from, and Reardon has his own life to share. Starts at 42:50