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In an all-news episode, we discuss the end of the Nintendo Club, Persona 5, and Net Neutrality for all.
We haven't had a chance to discuss the news for a while, so we thought it's time to catch up on everything we've missed since mid-January. Sony Online Entertainment was bought by Columbus Nova, and renamed Daybreak Game Company, alerting our suspicions. The Club Nintendo is becoming more exclusive to the point it no longer exists. Microsoft expects to believe that people will play Minecraft on the Hololens. Square Enix, against the will of God himself, made a profit. Persona 5 may have the coolest menus in video games. Net neutrality may be a real thing in the US and Canada.
THANKS TO THE FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR "Songe D'Autumne" and "Hungaria" BY Latch Swing. and "Baby Sleeping" by Natalia Svortzova.
BUILT TO PLAY IS A PRODUCT OF THE SCOPE AT RYERSON RADIO STATION IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN TORONTO. IT WAS PRODUCED AND EDITED BY ARMAN AGHBALI AND WRITTEN BY 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.
Music comes from the Free Music Archive: "Little Red Lantern" by Krackatoa, "Hundy Mil Tight" by Podington Bear, "Dream Land Attack" by Thiaz Itch and "Flying Pear v1" by Daddy Scrabble, with some help from OC Remix: "Legend of Zelda Jazzy" by AmIEviL.
THIS EPISODE WAS WRITTEN BY DANIEL ROSEN, EDITED BY ARMAN AGHBALI. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT.
As we enter a new theme month, we're talking about translation. That's translating languages and translating mediums.
Colin Williamson joined us from Seattle to discuss the process of localization. Colin used to work for Square Enix as a localization expert back in the mid-2000s, and helped retranslate some of the oldest Final Fantasy games, even going back and correcting the work of industry legend, Ted Woolsey.
Woolsey's work was flawed, though not for a lack of style. He did the translations largely on his own, couldn't communicate often with the design team, and had crazy deadlines to finish them. Colin meanwhile worked in a team, not too far from where the actual designers worked, and he started the translations while the game was still under development. Those circumstances also helped him codify all the language currently used in Final Fantasy games, like "Phoenix Down" over "Phoenix Feather." A lot has changed since Woolsey worked for Square, and Colin tells us all about it, starting 21:30.
Colin also gave us a couple games that are particularly great examples of localizations. For our own list, take a look at our primer.
On May 8 and 10 we visited the Bento Miso for Comics vs Games and the Bit Bazaar to talk 3D, VR, books and board games.
Comics vs Games is a yearly event in Toronto where comic artists team up with game designers to create a video game. This year, the theme was 3D, leading to the virtual reality games Altar and Libraria. Altar, created by designer Daniele Hopkins and artist Gillian Blekkenhorst, allows you to briefly walk around the ruins of an alien civilization. While designer Kyle Dwyer and artist Adam Hines teamed up for the pop-up book adventure game, Libraria.
(All photos from Attract Mode's 3D gallery. Clay models were all done by Ventla are long forgotten Nintendo characters that we can't name. The two prints are meant to be 3D with red/blue glasses. If you have 'em, try 'em.)
Each round of Comics vs Games is accompanied by a gallery curated by the fellows at Attract Mode, a video game art collective. This year they held a 3D gallery containing a selection of three dimensional 2D art, presented with old school red and blue glasses. We talked to Matt Hawkins, a long time member of Attract Mode about why they collect video game fanart, and some of beautiful renditions of Dark Souls and Year Walk, amongst numerous other games. You can hear from him, Gillian and Kyle starting 35:00.
Then at the Bit Bazaar we checked in with Conor McCreery and Elizabeth Simins on the other ways one can turn a book into a game, or vice versa.
Conor McCreery was at the Bit Bazaar, a sort-of independent video game flee market, to show off the new prototype of the upcoming Kill Shakespeare board game. Conor is one of the creators of Kill Shakespeare, a comic where all of Shakespeare's works exist in the same universe. Imagine the Marvel comic book universe, but for Hamlet and Othello. With those sorts of mashups already on the table, their publisher, IDW, invited them to turn the three-volume comic into a board game. Conor tells us about how the game works, how they got involved, and why a Kickstarter does more than raise thousands of dollars. You can hear all about it, starting 51:30.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Simins talked about the power of video game zines at one of the panels at the Bit Bazaar. Elizabeth, an artist who occasionally does a comic for Kotaku with journalist Cara Ellison, told us about zine's appeal and their utility. For those who don't know, a zine is like a small handcrafted magazine made by only a few people. Elizabeth loves their physicality and so do the people who buy them from her, although she admits she probably won't get rich off a zine. Still, they enable her to discuss things like misogyny in games, like in "Ain't No Such Thing as Misogyny." If you'd like to hear more about video games zines, and a few of Simins projects, take a listen at 51:30.
We used music from the Free Music Archive and Soundcloud*. From the Free Music Archive, "japanese prog" by Rushus, "Sun Bum" by Monster Rally and "Touching" by Souvenir Driver. From Soundcloud, we found "Trance Transistor Radio" by Arai Akino on rachelroh's profile. We changed up our theme this week to "Daniel Kruis" by RoccoW.
Built to Play was made by producer Arman Aghbali and feature editor Daniel Rosen.
If you liked what you heard be sure to leave us a comment or a review on iTunes or Stitcher. It helps more people find the show.
*This music was all taken under a creative commons license. If you feel your music was used inappropriately, be sure to send us an email.
This week on Built to Play, the Japanese Beethoven didn't write that theme for Resident Evil.
He also didn't compose most of the work he has under his name. Most of Mamoru Samuragochi's work, including the Resident Evil theme, was written by 43-year-old composer Takashi Niigaki since at least 1996. Niigaki also claims that Samuragochi isn't deaf either, as they held conversations together. Nippon Columbia has since stopped distributing most of Samuragochi's work, and his publisher cancelled the release of three upcoming scores. As Daniel put it, the deaf brilliant composer may not actually be any of those things.
Nintendo, meanwhile, is considering a unified operating systems for future consoles. This idea comes in response to its disastrous quarterly earnings, and fiscal year. Many have called this a great plan regardless of the financial maladies surrounding it, as Nintendo often trails behind technologically. For instance, current recursive nightmare that is the Wii Virtual Console residing in a sub-level OS within the WiiU.
Also this week, Game Informer revealed that Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes may only be a couple hours. They played through the main story in about two hours, and had finished some of the sidequests by four hours. Konami claims that this is supposed to be a game you play over and over again for a score, but they're also charging between $20 to $40 USD, depending on the version.
Finally, and to everyone surprise, Square Enix is back in the black. The Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn MMO is selling more than anyone thought it would, including Square Enix. Plus, Disney Interactive didn't burn itself to the ground thanks to Disney Infinity, and all of those sweet sweet action figures. It still remains one of Disney's least profitable divisions, however.
Passion is our theme this week! That's a passion for games and a passion to make games.
Jason Oda joins us to talk about the adventure before Continue?9876543210, a game about the afterlife. In it, you play as a video game character who has lost his last life and must try to escape the Random Access Memory before he's deleted. Oda's last game was Skrillex Quest, a Zelda-style role playing game based on dubstep. Most of his games fit that kind of lighter fun. But recently Oda had his own adventure that forced him to change his perspective. During one of his yearly winter vacations he went to Colorado to meet a Peruvian shaman, took some drugs, got lost in the New Mexico desert and barely escaped with his life. It's a strange story, but it's only half of what makes the game special. Listen to Oda talk about it starting at 27:05.
(Quick Correction: Skrillex Quest is not available on Steam, but is online for free)
We also heard from Gerry Pugliese, a Mass Effect fan so devoted that he wrote more than 500 pages for an alternate ending to Mass Effect 3. Mass Effect 3 was an extremely divisive game to say the least, as its ending polarized fans and pushed Bioware to create an extended version. Ninety-one per cent of fans in a Bioware forum poll wanted them to scrap it and start over. And for those people, Pugliese has a solution. For more than a year he spent all of his spare time working on Mass Effect 3: Vindication, a pdf filled with gameplay and story revisions, concept art, potential DLC and a whole new ending. Hear about his ending to the Mass Effect trilogy at 47:50.
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.