On the Semi-Unspoilability of Infinifactory, with Zach Barth

 
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ETAO Podcast, Episode 19.

http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/etao-podcast-19-20150504.mp3
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.

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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.

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The Infinifactory subreddit really is a thing of wonder.

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