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Steam Box

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

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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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Built to Play 22: Literary Voyeurism

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Built to Play 22: Literary Voyeurism

Daniel and Arman went to the Xbox One and PS4 launches last week and wondered why anyone would wait in the cold and rain for a new console. Chad Sapieha comes by to answer why journalists review consoles at launch, and how they evolve through the years.

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But a week before that, we went to the Wordplay festival which celebrates literary or writerly games. We had a chance to talk to its organizer, Jim Munroe, co-founder of the Hand Eye Society.

The designers of Kentucky Route Zero came in all the way from Chicago for the festival. They showcased the Oculus version of their KRZ intermission/tragedy play The Entertainment. So we pulled aside Tamas Kemenczy and Jake Elliott to talk to us about Kentucky (the state) and magical realism. 

Plus the news this week! Atlus announced Persona 5, trolling everyone in the process. Sony had a porn crisis on the PS4, so Twitch.TV banned the Playroom app. We finally have a look at the specs for the first Steam Box.  Double Fine got the rights to Stacking and Costume Quest back from Nordic Games. 

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Music this week comes from the Rho "Long Drive Home" and Michael Mlozeski "The Road North" on the Free Music Archive. Sound effects come from AugustSandberg and JMDH at Freesound. Our end theme was the "Long Journey Home" by The Bedquilt Ramblers, and is available on the Kentucky Route Zero soundtrack. Check it out on bandcamp. 

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