Video Games

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast

Game Design Philosophy

Episodes

Art is People Too
33:28
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 33:28
Art is People Too

In this episode, I struggle with, and mostly reject, a lot of the formalist ideas I previously held about art. Art – whether it’s games, music, movies, or anything else – is largely about connecting with other people. When you like something, it’s largely because of a lot of subconscious processes that are largely informed by a specific language of art that you personally have developed for yourself, based on your own personal experiences that aren’t the same as anyone else’s. So just as I would be a pretty bad judge of West African music as someone who has very little exposure to it, I am also a bad judge of someone who makes puzzle platformers, or someone who makes death metal music. These are specific aesthetics, or languages, that I just don’t really have the cultural capital or emotional connections to connect with. But the point is, I should try. Just as I am open to meeting and having relationships with new, different kinds of people, I should be the same way with new, different kinds of art. Art is a reflection of people, and I think it’s probably healthy to look at it that way.

Also, some Push the Lane updates!

Don’t forget, you can become a patron over at http://www.patreon.com/keithburgun.

Enjoy the show! Special thanks to Aaron Oman and Jean-Marc Nielly for their generous support! <3

Single Player Competition: Strategy Games You Can Live In (my Indiecade ’17 Talk)
31:14
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 31:14
Single Player Competition: Strategy Games You Can Live In (my Indiecade ’17 Talk)

Hi everyone! As you may know, I did a talk at Indiecade ’17 last month. It went really well, so I thought I’d piece together a lot of that talk into a podcast episode to share with you guys. It’s about the special problem of avoiding toxicity, violence, and hostile feelings in strategy games, and how single player games are part of that solution.

I was originally going to put together a video version of it as well, but I don’t think I’ll have time to do that because I’ve really gotta get back to Push the Lane. Expect some streams of that soon.

If you’d like, you can follow along somewhat and/or check out this PDF of the slideshow. Not all slides worked with the audio, so for the podcast I had to delete some sections, so beware that it might be a little bit confusing.

In other news, there should be some big exciting site announcements for keithburgun.net coming really soon.

As always, you can support this show by visiting my Patreon page. Thanks as always to supports like Aaron Oman and Jean-Marc Nielly.

CGD Podcast Ep. 41 – This summer, being anti-social, and Push the Lane
41:41
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 41:41
CGD Podcast Ep. 41 – This summer, being anti-social, and Push the Lane

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I made a podcast episode. Today’s episode is just me – no guest, although I do have a long list of guests that I intend to get on soon. In this episode I talk about the crazy summer I had and some major realizations that I’ve had about art and its (at least partially) social purpose, perfectionis, a way for indie game developers to exist, and some specific challenges I’m having with Push the Lane (and their Clockwork solutions) — and a lot more. I hope you enjoy the episode, and thank you so much for listening!

Special thanks to Aaron Oman and Jean-Marc Nielly for supporting me on Patreon, as well as all my other patrons.

Interview with Greg Street, Lead Designer at Riot Games
57:59
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 57:59
Interview with Greg Street, Lead Designer at Riot Games

This week, I have an interview with Riot Games lead designer, Greg Street.

A few months ago, the League of Legends YouTube channel posted a “Dev Diary” video. A few people who follow my work alerted me on social media about this video, telling me that it sounded a bit like theory I often advocate was being expressed in the video. I often watch Riot’s dev-diary type stuff, but I had been a bit out of the loop at the time, so I missed it. But once I checked it out, it did feel kind of familiar!

And it’s true that it does sound a lot like me. For reference, when you Google “input randomness” I’m pretty much all of the top results; the only other people talking about it are people referencing my work, with a couple people referencing the Ludology Podcast (which is where I originally got the terms from).

It turns out that Greg was aware of my stuff, so probably that is where he got the terminology, if not the theory. Anyway, I got a chance to chat with Greg about the theory and how it maybe should, or could apply to League. I think it went well! Let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks for listening.

As always, you can support this podcast over at www.patreon.com/keithburgun.

Interview with James Lantz, designer of Invisible, Inc.
1:09:46
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:09:46
Interview with James Lantz, designer of Invisible, Inc.

Today I interviewed James Lantz, game designer at Klei. Among numerous other games, he was for me most notably a designer on Invisible Inc., a really interesting X-Com-ish tactical strategy game, and Mercury, a small indie Rogue-like game that really boiled down how Rogue-likes really work in the smartest way I’ve ever seen.

(By the way: yes-relation! James is the son of Frank Lantz, who you can hear in my episodes 23 and 24.)

Some topics covered:

  • How James came to work for Klei
  • Our opinions on how to market strategy games
  • A little discussion about League of Legends and last-hitting
  • Game design writing
  • A bit about what growing up as the son of a game designer was like

Thanks for listening! As always, you can support the show on Patreon by going to http://www.patreon.com/keithburgun. Thanks for listening!

 

Interview with Tadhg Kelly
1:15:09
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:15:09
Interview with Tadhg Kelly

You probably already know Tadhg Kelly, as he’s one of game design’s most prolific writers. He writes for TechCrunch, as well as his own blog at www.whatgamesare.com. In this interview I ask him about why there has been a falling off of game design writing over the past few years, including an interesting point about the role #GamerGate may have played.

We also talk about his new book that he’s been working on, as well as my concerns about VR/AR, both of which he writes about a lot. It was a great interview, and I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for listening. Special shout-out to Aaron Oman for his support as a Patron. If you want to become a Patron and support podcast episodes like this one, as well as articles, videos and even games from me, please support my Patreon campaign over at www.patreon.com/keithburgun.

I also mentioned in the podcast that there is a Kickstarter running for Push the Lane. If you haven’t checked that already, please do!

Game Grammar and Game Design Theory – Interview with Raph Koster
1:34:52
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:34:52
Game Grammar and Game Design Theory – Interview with Raph Koster

Today I had a conversation with the author of my favorite book on game design, as well as a designer on one of my favorite interactive experiences of my high school years, Raph Koster. The conversation goes for about 90 minutes, and like Raph said, we could have easily gone another four hours afterward. It was a great conversation that touched on a number of topics:

  • How videogame history both has a lot to teach us, but at the same time hasn’t changed much in some ways since the early days
  • Raph’s guideline for designing good abstract strategy games
  • Game grammar, and the books Raph has been working on for a decade
  • The state of game design theory discourse

Check out Raph’s website here. Also at the end of the podcast he mentions this article.

Enjoy the show!

As always, you can support this podcast by becoming a patron over at my Patreon page.

 

CGD Podcast Bonus – Introducing The Dinofarm Community Podcast
1:00:48
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:00:48
CGD Podcast Bonus – Introducing The Dinofarm Community Podcast

Hi everyone! This week, instead of a normal Clockwork Game Design Podcast episode, I bring you an episode of another podcast that I was very recently on – the Dinofarm Community Podcast. This is a podcast hosted and run by members of the Dinofarm Games community, over on the discord and forums. I came on this episode, #3, to discuss core mechanisms, and we contrasted them with Redless’ idea about core decisions. Overall, it was a good conversation, one that I think Clockwork Game Design podcast listeners will get a lot out of.

Enjoy! And subscribe to the Dinofarm Community Podcast, which will have new episodes weekly.

Brett Lowey’s Game Design Commandments
1:36:05
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:36:05
Brett Lowey’s Game Design Commandments

Grab Minos Strategos when you can.

Today, in Episode 36* of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, I had a great conversation with BrainGoodGamesBrett Lowey. If you don’t already know BrainGoodGames, they make some of the best single-player strategy games out there. All four of Brett’s games—Militia, Axes & Acres, Skyboats, as well as his latest, Minos Strategos—are available on Steam.

But making great games isn’t necessarily enough for me to want to have a conversation with someone. What made me interested was “BrainGoodGames’ Design Commandments” which he posted on his site recently.

The conversation was great and went to a bunch of interesting places. We covered his commandments, of course, but discussed his origins and what he considers to be the successes and failures of his games.

I should mention also that Brett is one of the editors over at gamedesigntheory.org, the new site I recently launched that highlights current game design bloggers and media producers.

Enjoy the episode!

*PS I think I said it’s 35 in the episode itself – ignore me!

 

Interview with Carolyn Petit of Feminist Frequency
54:15
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 54:15
Interview with Carolyn Petit of Feminist Frequency

Today I spoke with Carolyn Petit, the managing editor of Feminist Frequency, which you’ve probably heard about, since they’re easily the most successful and influential feminist/socially progressive games criticism outlet out there. A heads up: this is not a big formal “game design” conversation

Instead, here are some of the things we did talk about:

  • Some follow-up to my point about “be critical of the games you love” thing from the last episode with Tevis Thompson
  • A bit about Carolyn’s background, how she came to a “feminist awakening” after working at GameSpot
  • How game developers, especially indie white male game devs like myself can do a better job with representing people who don’t look like themselves
  • How the future is looking for representation and social issues in games

… and a lot more. I’d like to thank Carolyn again for her time, thanks to you for listening, and as always, thank you to the patrons who make this show possible.

To support the show, visit here.

CGD Podcast: Episode 34 – Videogames and Game Culture with Tevis Thompson
1:17:03
2017-12-02 05:01:39 UTC 1:17:03
CGD Podcast: Episode 34 – Videogames and Game Culture with Tevis Thompson

CGD Podcast Ep. 33 – Flow, Formalism, and the Depth/Accessibility Trade-off
44:57
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 44:57
CGD Podcast Ep. 33 – Flow, Formalism, and the Depth/Accessibility Trade-off

CGD Podcast Episode 32: Contests of Understanding, and Questioning Gun Worship in Games
44:20
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 44:20
CGD Podcast Episode 32: Contests of Understanding, and Questioning Gun Worship in Games

CGD Podcast Ep. 31 – permadeath, structure, the death of game design writing, and more
37:52
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 37:52
CGD Podcast Ep. 31 – permadeath, structure, the death of game design writing, and more

CGD Podcast Episode 30 – Deepities, a new Frank Lantz article, and updates
41:40
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 41:40
CGD Podcast Episode 30 – Deepities, a new Frank Lantz article, and updates

CGD Podcast Episode 29 – My Life In Videogames
38:00
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 38:00
CGD Podcast Episode 29 – My Life In Videogames

CGD Podcast Episode 28: Responsible Theming for Competitive Games
32:39
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 32:39
CGD Podcast Episode 28: Responsible Theming for Competitive Games

CGD Podcast Episode 27: Broad Statements with Richard Terrell
58:52
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 58:52
CGD Podcast Episode 27: Broad Statements with Richard Terrell

CGD Episode 26: Auro, and my change in philosophy
22:17
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 22:17
CGD Episode 26: Auro, and my change in philosophy

CGD Podcast Episode 25 – On FPS Games
37:17
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 37:17
CGD Podcast Episode 25 – On FPS Games

CGD Podcast Episode 24 – Execution and Single-Player Games, with Frank Lantz
1:03:46
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 1:03:46
CGD Podcast Episode 24 – Execution and Single-Player Games, with Frank Lantz

CGD Podcast Episode 23 – “On Games At the Games”, A Conversation with Frank Lantz
1:18:27
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 1:18:27
CGD Podcast Episode 23 – “On Games At the Games”, A Conversation with Frank Lantz

CGD Podcast Episode 22: Mind Games and Reading the Opponent
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC
CGD Podcast Episode 22: Mind Games and Reading the Opponent

CGD Podcast Episode 21: The “Classics” Problem
38:55
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 38:55
CGD Podcast Episode 21: The “Classics” Problem

CGD Podcast Episode 20: Options in Games
42:36
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 42:36
CGD Podcast Episode 20: Options in Games

CGD Podcast Episode #19: The Process, and Designing Games Like Applications
32:43
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 32:43
CGD Podcast Episode #19: The Process, and Designing Games Like Applications

CGD Podcast Episode 18: Single/Multi-player and 50% Win Rates
27:19
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 27:19
CGD Podcast Episode 18: Single/Multi-player and 50% Win Rates

CGD Podcast Episode 17: Rogue-likes and Other “Bar Games”
46:25
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 46:25
CGD Podcast Episode 17: Rogue-likes and Other “Bar Games”

CGD Podcast Episode 16: A Conversation About Rogue-likes with Black Shell Games
58:33
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 58:33
CGD Podcast Episode 16: A Conversation About Rogue-likes with Black Shell Games

CGD Podcast Episode 15: “Tharsis” Article and Redefining Elegance
28:24
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 28:24
CGD Podcast Episode 15: “Tharsis” Article and Redefining Elegance

CGD Podcast Episode 14: Failed “Fighting Card Game” Prototypes
38:23
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 38:23
CGD Podcast Episode 14: Failed “Fighting Card Game” Prototypes

CGD Podcast Episode 13: Videogame Consumerism
35:26
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 35:26
CGD Podcast Episode 13: Videogame Consumerism

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 12 – Verificationism and Goals
40:33
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 40:33
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 12 – Verificationism and Goals

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 11 – Good Formalism with Charles Pratt
1:19:03
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 1:19:03
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 11 – Good Formalism with Charles Pratt

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 10 – Design, Improvisation, and Individuality
23:48
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 23:48
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 10 – Design, Improvisation, and Individuality

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 9 – Popular Games
58:53
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 58:53
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 9 – Popular Games

Clockwork Game Design: Episode 8 – Building on Structure
39:09
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 39:09
Clockwork Game Design: Episode 8 – Building on Structure

Clockwork Game Design: Episode 7 – Grinding, Toys, and Value
54:37
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 54:37
Clockwork Game Design: Episode 7 – Grinding, Toys, and Value

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 6 – Discussing the Discussion with Richard Terrell
59:59
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 59:59
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 6 – Discussing the Discussion with Richard Terrell

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 5 – The Limitations of Boardgames
46:29
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 46:29
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 5 – The Limitations of Boardgames

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 4 – Violence in Media
59:58
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 59:58
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 4 – Violence in Media

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 3 – Tech Myths
39:00
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 39:00
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 3 – Tech Myths

Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 2: Distractions
33:32
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 33:32
Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 2: Distractions

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 1: Introductions and Asymmetry
51:43
2017-12-02 05:01:40 UTC 51:43
The Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 1: Introductions and Asymmetry