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Machinima

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 30: Speak for Yourself

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Built to Play 30: Speak for Yourself

This week on Built to Play, we wrap up Vector 2014, and Youtube channels get all bought up. 

It looks like Disney is in final talks with Maker Studios to buy up the extremely popular Let's Play and review producer for $500 million. Most notably, Maker contains PewDiePie aka Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, who has one of the most popular Youtube accounts in the world. It's unclear what Disney intends to do with Maker, but here's hoping it involves a new Disney theme park ride in which PewDiePie plays every game you love, but can't afford right now.*

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Warner Brothers seems to have the same idea, as they invested $18 million into Machinima, a Los Angeles-based video game network. Machinima has been struggling, and began last week by laying off 30 employees. Warner is likely looking to keep Machinima alive as a way to keep their marketing tendrils close to young boys, or so says Variety.

Meanwhile, ShiftyLook is shutting down, meaning an end for Namco High. It turns out ShiftyLook was a prolonged experiment to promote long dead franchises. Since everyone now knows what WonderMomo is, Namco decided the experiment was complete. 

In more bewildering news, King thinks they're worth $7.6 billion, which is seven times more than the cost of Instagram. This is despite losing their trademark claim in the US and Candy Crush Saga reaching its peak months ago. We aren't stock advisors and cannot give you stock advice, but maybe don't buy King stock? Oh and Ubisoft Toronto is developing five games at once and PlayStation Home still exists. You're welcome. 

Courtesy Team Vector

Courtesy Team Vector

In our features, we talk militarised violence, gender studies in World of Warcraft, and how to run a festival with only three people. 

Courtesy Alex Myers

Courtesy Alex Myers

Game design professor, Alex Myers was in the marines for a year and a half and despised it. But since he's left, he's kept having run-ins with the military and militarised violence. When he was working on his Master of Fine Arts, he played hours of Counter Strike, letting other parts of his life suffer. After getting a hold of himself and worrying about the psychological effects of the game, he made Winning, a CS modification in which players stood only a foot apart and must shot each other in the face. Since then he's become the director of the game design program at the Bellevue University, which is in a Nebraska town that's fairly reverent of the military. Alex talks about navigating his personal relationship between games and the military. Starts at 26:30.

Courtesy Angela Washko

Courtesy Angela Washko

From war to hearts and minds, Angela Washko began talking about feminism inside World of Warcraft when he father asked her why she liked feminism. Or how her father put it, "Feminism is just something butch lesbian angry dykes use to hate men." Angela was shocked and decided to start exploring spaces where people were less educated about feminism. She had played a lot of World of Warcraft and had encountered the usual internet vitriolic misogyny, so that seemed like a prime stop to get started. And that's when things became pretty intense, pretty quickly. Hear more starting at 36:20.

Courtesy Team Vector

Courtesy Team Vector

Lastly, I sat down with the Vector Game Arts Festival organizers, Skot Deeming, Diana Poulsen and Martin Zeilinger to talk about how they felt they weekend went. Vector was a festival that celebrated the intersection of contemporary art, philosophy, and game design over February 19th-24th. They talked to me about how it got started, the chaos of running between exhibits, and what they're thinking for next year. Starts at 46:50.


This week's music came from the Free Music Archive and Freesound. We used "Thumb Wars" by Hypersleep, "School Boy" by Pietnastka, "Fantasy" by Podington Bear, "Simon" by L'homme Manete and "Sea Battles in Space" by RoccoW. Our ending theme was "Great Recession Waters" by Fields of Ohio. Thanks to ermine and robinhood76 for their Freesound clips.

*We pronounce PewDiePie is a couple ways that is barely recognizable as his name, more out of a sense of distrust than accident.

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Built to Play 24: Ungames

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Built to Play 24: Ungames

We're back from the Winter break, recharged and ready to go.

In the news we had King, the developer of Candy Crush Saga, attempt to trademark the words Candy and Saga, but suspiciously not Crush. Nintendo's earning reports were dire this week, as they posted a $240-million loss. Part of that is due to a tough Yen, but most of it is because the WiiU is not selling. Also, Microsoft and Machinima turned out to be bribing Youtube stars to talk positively about the Xbox One. Plus we quickly roundup CES and talk new details about the Steam Machines and Playstation Now.

Courtesy Dom2D

Courtesy Dom2D

Download here. Subscribe on iTunes. 

For our interviews this week, we're dive into our theme month and found people who are challenging our definition of a video game. We have Damian Sommer on his card game Without Question. He talks about the difficulty designing a card game, and the appeal of having a more vague set of rules.  He also explains his recent distribution problems, despite the game's popularity. That starts at 26:50.

Courtesy NFB,

Courtesy NFB,

We also had David Dufresne, the director of the National Film Board documentary Fort McMoney. Fort McMoney is an episodic documentary video game that plays similar to Myst. However, unlike Myst, everything in the game is real. The documentary is about a number of environmental, economic and social issues around the Northern Alberta boomtown Fort McMurray. David explains how the game came together and how his previous documentary, Prison Valley became the basis for Introversion Software's Prison Architect. The next round begins January 27. Starts at 38:13.

We end off by replaying an interview we did last summer with Jordan Weisman, the creator of the tabletop RPG, Shadowrun. Weisman recently started a video game studio called Harebrained Schemes, which developed a new PC version of his game, called Shadowrun Returns. Jordan discusses the difficulties in moving a game played with friends to the computer screen. Coincidentally, Shadowrun Returns newest DLC, Dragonfall, comes out later this month. Starts at 49:10.


Our header image this week is courtesy the NFB game, Fort McMoney. We used the following music in this week's episode Gillicuddy - Adventure Darling, Luca la Morgia - Money Talks, Michael Mloszeski - The Road North from the Free Music Archive. Plus, a sample of the song, Valdock Poubelles from Fort McMoney.  One tiny additional fact, we should add that Radio-Canada and the Globe and Mail helped out on the doc too. 

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