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Bioshock infinite

Built to Play 65c/d: Sold Out

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Built to Play 65c/d: Sold Out

We visit a Malaysian theme park and discuss Internet Ethics

In this week's episode there are the following segments:

  • Daniel and Arman discuss Ubiland Malaysia. We return to the ancient TWIX-ON. Then we find our way to define ethics on the internet and Machinima's two-year-old advertising crisis. (0:00)
  • Colby Dauch tells us about building board games, and what building a board around the world of popular game BioShock Infinite meant for his company. (29:20)
  • A preview of things to come (54:55)

THANKS TO THE FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR "hey ragdoll" by Boyscout Discovery, "Sunrises" by Adrianna Krikl, AND "the clouds were like lace" BY Ben McElroy.

BUILT TO PLAY IS A PRODUCT OF THE SCOPE AT RYERSON RADIO STATION IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN TORONTO. IT WAS PRODUCED, EDITED AND WRITTEN BY ARMAN AGHBALI AND DANIEL ROSEN.

IF YOU LIKE THE SHOW PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND RATE US ONLINE. IT HELPS MORE PEOPLE FIND THE SHOW AND GIVES US AN IDEA HOW WE'RE DOING. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT DOWN BELOW.

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Built to Play 28: An Irrational Twitch

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Built to Play 28: An Irrational Twitch

This week on Built to Play it's the end of Irrational Games, as Ken Levine splits off into a smaller studio. 

The lead designer of BioShock Infinite announced that he wanted to work on smaller projects and plans to leave Irrational Games, with 15 members of the original team. This new team will work within their publisher, Take Two. Everyone else has been laid off. During BioShock Infinite's development in 2011, Irrational had around 200 employees. Levine has been promoting job fairs, potential work, and his old employees on twitter. 

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"Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I've ever had," wrote Levine in a blog post on the Irrational website. His next games will be "narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable."

Also this week Capcom and Virgin Gaming have partnered to create cash-backed Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition matches, which are semantically different from gambling. The players bet on the success on their own matches through Virgin Gaming's website, and then redeem them at a later date.

Meanwhile Capcom's Deep Down has no playable female characters "for story purposes," despite being a game with no set main character.  And the Year of Luigi comes to a close March 18, clearly Nintendo's best.

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We had a theme planned this week, but instead, Twitch Plays Pokemon took over our lives. 

Twitch Plays Pokemon is a single game of Pokemon Red played by upwards of 60,000 people at one time. Pokemon Red is a monster catching game first released in 1998 for the Game Boy and follows a boy named Red as he tries to collect 8 gym badges and beat the Elite Four. Based on the Twitch.tv video streaming service, players can type button presses into the chat and they have a direct effect on the game. During anarchy mode, they're all inputted one after the other, with every player getting equal say. In democracy mode, the controls are determined by majority vote every 10 seconds. Despite releasing their starter Pokemon, walking off the same ledge for hours and getting trapped in gyms, they have six badges, a Zapdos and are on their way to finishing the game.

To figure out what the heck is going on, we talked to Alex Rose, a moderator on the Twitch Plays Pokemon subreddit and IRC about the story so far, the Helixer-Domer conflict, and Pokemon Red. Unfortunately this interview was done in the middle of the week, so it's a little out of date. If you have any updates feel free to leave them in the comments. The interview starts at 23:27.

You can get further updates here. Twitch Plays Pokemon has led to someamazingfanartby the way.

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Next we have Conrad Kreyling, founder of Date Nighto and currently developing a HTML-based visual novel platform. After having trouble distributing visual novels with adult content, he decided to create a system based on html5 that could generate visual novels on the web. It's similar to Ren'Py and Date Nighto has already used it for one major project - Namco High. In Namco High you play as Cousin, a cousin to the Prince of All Cosmos, and you attempt to romance or date the ship from Galaga, Mr. Driller, various Homestuck characters and other old Namco characters. Kreyling talks about developing Namco High, the problems with censorship on the appstore and the popularity of the visual novel starting at 36:50.  

He also gave a list of recommendations: Daganronpa, Fate/Stay Night, Virtue's Last Reward, 999, and anything made by Christine Love.

We cap off the episode with a clip from an interview we had with Christine Love back in 2013, just after the release of her most recent game Hate Plus. You can find the full interview here. 


This week our music came from the Free Music Archive We used "Night Owl" by Broke for Free, "Happiness Is" and "Spring Solstice" by Podington Bear, "4AM Party" by Alex Gross and our ending theme was "Ladybug Castle" by Rolemusic.

If you hear your music and feel it was used inappropriately or without citation, leave a comment or send us a message.

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Built to Play 25: Our Time with Friends

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Built to Play 25: Our Time with Friends

In the news this week, turns out anyone can be a spy.

Your mom! A dog! Fictional creatures with no hands but human eyes! A new Edward Snowden report claims that the NSA used Angry Birds to collect personal information from smart devices. Rovio, creator of Angry Birds responded that they do not intentionally share information with the NSA although they do collect information to be shared with third party advertising networks. They will, "have to re-evaluate working with these networks if they are being used for spying purposes," according to Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. 

Nintendo's announced how they're going to respond to their low profit and forecasted loss for the fiscal year. CEO Satoru Iwata is taking a 50 per cent pay cut along with other executives. While they won't be making games for the iOS, they will be making playable ads. Plus, they'll take on licensing opportunities.

Then one of the co-founders of game review site IndieStatik, Josh Mattingly, sexually harassed a developer on Facebook.  He's since apologized, and Kotaku has an interview with the developer.

Meanwhile Microsoft bought Gears of War franchise, as Epic Games moves further away from actual game design. Back on Facebook, King is accused of plagiarism and Zynga goes through another round of layoffs. 

Also, the Global Game Jam ran last weekend.

The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour game design session. Ideally you go in with a set of ideas, not much finished and come out with a basic game. Run internationally, George Brown College held the Toronto chapter this year, and the event was co-organized by Randy Orenstein. He joins us to talk about potential fires, intense sleeping arrangements and a wedding. Starts at 28:50.

Here's the two games Orenstein recommended: Light Bound and Sportball

But on to Board Game Week.

Courtesy Plaid Hat Games

Courtesy Plaid Hat Games

Colby Dauch, president of Plaid Hat Games, joins us to talk about Bioshock Infinite: Siege of Columbia. Dauch helped put together several critically acclaimed board games like Summoner Wars and City of Remnants, and is developing the upcoming Dead of Winter. He also worked for Milton Bradley for Heroscape. Dauch chats about the difference between board game design and video game design, and building emergent narratives. We also get round to talking about stories from his own time playing games, and the importance of social experiments. Polygon has a great article that fills the gaps of the actual game's history. Starts at 36:10.

Note: Arman would like to apologize for mispronouncing everything in this episode. Plaid. Playd. Good grief. 

Farhang Namdar then takes some time away from developing Divinity: Original Sin, to discuss building a Divinity board game. Namdar works for Larian Studios, and his last game was Divinity: Dragon Commander. Dragon Commander has three levels of gameplay, a broad RPG, a tighter turn-based strategy, and a refined real-time strategy. Back when they were designing that Risk-esque middle portion, they decided to test it with a board game. Originally it was just a mishmash of parts from various other games, but it quickly became something unique. They were originally going to release as part of the limited edition, but those plans were shelved due to production costs. Namdar talks about how the board game helped them focus their mechanics and build a more interesting game. Starts at 48:30.


Our music this week came from the Free Music Archive. We used the following tracks: Peter DiPhillips - Hedge Schools, Super Flower - Lonely Summer, Violetta Pivnkakkara - Kukka, Chuzausen - Raro Bueno. Our ending theme was King Sens by Combustion Lente from the Ontario Independent Music Archive. 

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Built to Play 12: Voxels Versus Polygons

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Built to Play 12: Voxels Versus Polygons

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We talk about Bioshock Infinite and how its new DLC is buried at sea. Also at the bottom of the sea are the dignities of two once popular JRPGs, Capcom's Breath of Fire and Square Enix's Final Fantasy series.  Japan's generally doing well though as Nintendo's earnings are way better than you'd think. And if you've experienced too many polygons, soon you'll have all the voxels you could ever want thanks to the Minecraft-esque multiplayer role playing game, Everquest Next. Meanwhile in Europe, Ghostlight Games attempts to sell Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor II to retailers, and gets the cold shoulder.  Plus an interview with TJ Lutz about Pwnee Studios' procedurally generated platformer, Cloudberry Kingdom.

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