Viewing entries tagged
Namco High

Built to Play 30: Speak for Yourself

Comment

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.*

Download here. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.

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.

Comment

Built to Play 28: An Irrational Twitch

Comment

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. 

Download here. Subscribe on Stitcher. Subscribe on iTunes.

"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.

TPP1.png

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.

NM2.jpg

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.

Comment

Built to Play 21: More Choices, More Problems

Comment

Built to Play 21: More Choices, More Problems

comics-to-be-or-not-to-be-cover-artwork.jpg

This episode is all about choices! PS4 or Xbox One? Pah!

Davey Wreden, designer of the Stanley Parable, talks about the problems of marketing a game, when all the game has is choices. Kris Piotrowski, Renaud Bedard, and Marie Christine Bourdua discuss the best place to go drinking. Then author Ryan North explains how to build a choose your own adventure game without always killing the player. 

As for the news, we delved into numbers. Millions watched the League of Legends finals. A million bought the PS4. Microsoft spent millions on the Xbox One. And there are probably a million different reasons not to spend $500 on Namco High. In our Bonus Round, Daniel reveals the Newya, and the horrifying new world of the VGX.

Download it here. Subscribe on iTunes.

This episode uses audio from djgriffin at Freesound, and Dots by Mentz from the Free Music Archive.

Special thanks goes to Disasterpiece who let us use the song Home from the Fez soundtrack. For more from Disasterpiece, you can check out his website, or listen to the rest of the Fez soundtrack below.

Comment