On the Semi-Unspoilability of Infinifactory, with Zach Barth


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ETAO Podcast, Episode 19.

Zach Barth returns for a spoiler-centric look at a game where spoilers arguably don’t even matter, his absolutely delightful engineer-’em-up Infinifactory. Mechanically, the game is in one sense unspoilable. Sure, seeing a solution to a given puzzle takes an open-ended head-scratcher and turns it into a set of IKEA furniture, but there’s still a process of building, and at least potentially a process of learning. And you’re only ever seeing a solution, never the solution.

The issue of narrative spoilers gets a bit more complicated. Just as SpaceChem offers a an allegory for humanist thought (as Zach said last time we talked), so too does Infinifactory offer and allegory for—well, again, that would be spoiling it.


Infinifactory is about to be officially released from early access, but given that you’ve been able to play the game in near-finished form for quite a while now, what does it mean, really, that it’s about to be “released?”

The experience of releasing a game from Early Access into Right On Time Access is something that Zach and I will save for Part 3 in our series of interviews—did I mention that we’re going to do a Part 3 in our series of interviews?—while this time ’round we talk about the Early Access experience itself, the drive to build beautiful things in a game ostensibly about utilitarian efficiency, and the origins of handsome animated Infinifactory gifs like the one above.

Seriously, by the way, in case you care: brimming with spoilers.

The Infinifactory subreddit really is a thing of wonder.

• And The Zachtronics Podcast really is off to a rollicking start.

“All The People Say” by Carpe Demon.
“I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” by George and Ira Gershwin, performed by Richard Glazier.
“Ragging the Scale” by Edward B. Claypoole, performed by Conway’s Band.

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