Design

The Game Design Round Table

The Game Design Round Table Team

Focusing on both digital and tabletop gaming, The Game Design Round Table provides a forum for conversation about critical issues to game design.

Episodes

#179: Elizabeth LaPensée; indigenous self-determination in game development.
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2195
#179: Elizabeth LaPensée; indigenous self-determination in game development.

Description In this episode, Elizabeth LaPensée joins Kathryn and Dirk and they discuss indigenous self-determination in game development and how a destructive pattern of colonialism is being addressed. --------------------- Elizabeth LaPensée - elizabethlapensee@gmail.com, elizabethlapensee.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:11 Welcome Elizabeth - Background 1:35 Elizabeth's voice and perspective as a game designer 3:07 Themes of culture; How does this impact Elizabeth's making of games 7:46 In the game Invaders, can a player win? Or is it inevitable that they will die? 9:09 How do Grandmother-mechanics fit into a game like Invaders with indigenous game mechanics? 11:42 Is there a larger message that is being told with these games? 12:36 Why might the holocaust in WWII Europe be see differently than the holocaust that was perpetuated on the native American peoples? 17:45 While there a lot of patterns of colonialism in games today, are there any positive themes to be found? 19:15 Serious Games - What is this about? 22:59 Game development as a form of self determination 27:52 Will games of assassination be seen in the future as smoking on planes is seen today?

#178: Niki Crisci, Will Glow the Wisp
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1703
#178: Niki Crisci, Will Glow the Wisp

In this episode, Niki Crisci calls in from Germany and chats with David and Dirk about his recently release game, Will Glow the Wisp. They discuss his inspiration for the game and how he's found the time to work on it. --------------------- Niki Crisci - @KeyboardSamuray , parttimeindie.com, store.steampowered.com/app/640890/Will_Glow_the_Wisp/ David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:16 Welcome Niki- Background 0:50 Overview of Niki's new game, Will Glow the Wisp 2:59 Niki's day-job 3:26 Nike's art background and his relationship to making games 6:57 When did Niki get started on Will Glow the Wisp? 14:13 What is the indie game scene like in Germany? 15:58 How has Niki dealt with a smaller supporting community during development? 19:09 Working alone vs working with a team 22:24 What is the hope for this or future games for Niki? 24:02 Advice for beginners

#177: Tomer Perry, Ethics and Political Theory
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1379
#177: Tomer Perry, Ethics and Political Theory

In this episode, Tomer Perry, political theorists, avid board and table gamer from Harvard University joins David and Dirk. They discuss how games are used to teach ethics and political theory. --------------------- Tomer Perry - @Perrytom6, ethics.harvard.edu, politicalgamer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:14 Welcome Tomer - Background 2:45 What impact, is what you're doing, having for people who are teaching? 3:53 Are great opportunity to also explore questions of ethics 7:44 Book: The Art of Losing 10:37 What can be learned from traditional game design? 12:13 What is the innovation that is breaking new ground? 15:31 Are there other fields besides IR that could benefit? 16:52 Tabletop games are easier to reproduce 19:37 Where does this all go moving forward?

#176: Methodology and Management
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1900
#176: Methodology and Management

David and Dirk catch up and talk about David's new work. They discuss some of the different ways he's found this new studio operates organizationally and how he thinks it may be a growing trend across the industry. --------------------- David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:38 What is David doing now in terms of job roles and companies? It's not quite what he expected 3:29 What is David's new project? 5:14 David discusses that this is the first time he's run a project from the very beginning. 7:32 Lean Engineering 9:13 How decisions are distributed across a team 12:14 How are the new ideas of developing a game applied in his new environment? 14:42 Where is the design happening? 18:02 What does the team look like? 20:50 What is the impressive part of the way this team is assembled and the game is being developed? 27:07 Is this new way of team design unique to the new company or is it something that is happening across the industry?

#175: Listener Mail August 2017
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2171
#175: Listener Mail August 2017

David, Dirk, and Kathryn dive into the digital mailbag and take a shot at some listener questions. Topics include Kickstarter Cancellations, design organization and ways to pitch a game. --------------------- Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:20 Everyone thinks it has been a good week. 0:26 Some listener comments 0:36 Listener Michael Hopkins - Kickstarter Cancellations 3:18 Q: Glen Slagel - Do you go back through old notes? 7:17 Q: Tristen Angeles & Ryan Sumo - How do you organize your design? 15:02 Q: Aaron Wilson & Trevor Willis - Pitching a game by video vs. at a convention? 18:15 Q: Tristen & Ryan - How do you organize play tests? 22:53 Art Quality of prototypes - How does high vs. low fidelity impact testing? 26:06 Events for designers 27:00 Q: Derek Tocaz - Score keeping mechanisms - what do you like? 34:23 Kathryn got some cool games while in Japan

#174: Mo Turkington and LARPs
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2668
#174: Mo Turkington and LARPs

In this episode, Mo Turkington from Unruly Designs joins Dirk and Kathryn to discuss LARPs and specifically chamber LARPs focused on women in WWII. The conversation also touches on the roles LARPs can have in understanding social privilege. --------------------- Mo Turkington - unrulydesigns.com, moyra@unrulydesigns.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:14 Mo introduced and background 0:49 What is a LARP? 2:02 How does the idea of a LARP fit into Nightingales? 4:18 What attracts Mo to the subject of historical LARP? 8:53 As a designer how do you approach the historical details? 11:43 What are the concrete goals a LARP player has? 17:20 Are LARP games meant to be replayed? 19:51 Differences between LARP and tabletop games 20:40 Onboarding and Offboarding mechanics 25:54 Privilege Lines 29:51 Debreifs 35:12 The changing narratives of LARP, RPG and tabletop games 40:17 What's the right way to play a LARP for the uninitiated? 44:00 Wrap up and contact information

#173: Game Design Axioms
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2358
#173: Game Design Axioms

Dirk, Kathryn, and Rob get together for the much anticipated game design axioms episode. Listen as they share their their top design principles.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com Rob Daviau - @robdaviau---------------------Episode Outline 0:06 Greetings 0:22 Rob has a sultry voice 0:41 Kathryn and Rob are on the show together for the first time 0:57 Game design axioms 1:23 Axiom - Rob - Never make a person lose a turn 5:26 How Rob's experience at Hasbro contributed 6:45 Axiom - Kathryn - Design for the Human Animal 8:20 Heuristics - Group info and decisions in 3's 8:58 What are humans great at? 10:47 Insight - The Friction Is The Game 11:57 Flout Axioms with purpose 12:19 Kathryn background for her axiom 13:01 Axiom - Dirk - Know who you are designing for 16:29 User testing is core to knowing your audience 17:59 Tips for getting the right play testers 20:37 Axiom - Rob - Experience is more important than the rules 24:17 Rule design - people will do what they will do 25:19 Axiom - Kathryn - Rules relate to emotion 28:11 How to draw an emotional map 29:22 Axiom - Dirk - If you want them to like it, make sure they succeed. 34:12 Design Nuggets from the internet 34:37 Nugget - Design to guide for the right use 35:27 Nugget - Your politics or someone else’s 35:52 Nugget - Be specific 36:21 Nugget - Tell me why to play your game 36:48 Nugget - Prioritize projects that are exciting to you 37:38 Nugget - People value what you make them work for

#172: Mode 7's Paul Kilduff-Taylor
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2002
#172: Mode 7's Paul Kilduff-Taylor

Paul Kilduff-Taylor from Mode 7, join David and Dirk for a discussion about the games Tokyo 42 and Frozen Synapse. They dive deep into some of the key decision drivers for these games as well as some history of the game industry since 2005, and where it is headed. They also touch on Paul's thought provoking article on Medium, "Playing With Toys While People are Dying"---------------------Paul Kilduff-Taylor - @mode7games, www.mode7games.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:17 - Paul's Background in the games industry 1:14 - What is the game Tokyo 42 about? 2:26 - Is the amount of killing in the game intentional? 3:48 - Frozen Synapse has a smaller scope, why? 5:55 - Discussion on the 'Charm' between Tokyo 42 and Frozen Synapse 8:13 - Is frustration and simultaneous turn design a conscious decision in your games? 10:21 - Frozen Synapse 2; why make another? 12:55 - Buy a game, get a give away; how does that work? 15:30 - What are the challenges with indie develops getting visibility 18:56 - What was going on in 2005 that brought the company together? 19:59 - Torque game engine history 21:48 - Introversion as a factor 22:44 - British game industry; how has the scene changed? 24:58 - Larger North American studios shutting down and its impact 26:44 - Procedural content generation 28:07 - Article in Medium "Playing With Toys While People are Dying" 31:19 - Any new projects coming?

#171: Gunpoint’s Tom Francis
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2078
#171: Gunpoint’s Tom Francis

This week Tom Francis, creator of the game Gunpoint, joins Harrison and Dirk to discuss the state of games journalism, how Gunpoint came about and what to expect next.---------------------Tom Francis - @pentadact, www.spaceships.cool Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, harrisonpink.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, dirk@artana.com, www.artana.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:16 - Tom's Background 1:29 - What Motivated Tom to make his own games? 3:13 - Tom's programming background 4:15 - What brought Tom into the gaming industry 6:42 - Is games journalism shrinking? 11:51 - What drives games journalism traffic? 12:50 - What inspired the format of Gunpoint? 14:49 - Gunpoint did well especially for a first release. 17:35 - Why the name Gunpoint? 21:41 - Blogging during the development of Gunpoint. 28:42 - How do you stay motivated during the dark times?

#170: Ross Cowman
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2302
#170: Ross Cowman

This week, Dirk and Kathryn talk with Ross Cowman, owner of game design studio Heart of the Deernicorn. They discuss the game Fall of Magic.---------------------Ross Cowman- @rosscowman, www.heartofthedeernicorn.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com.---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:19 - Ross’ background 0:01.08 - Origin of company name 0:02:22 - company name SEO 0:02:57 - Origin of Fall of Magic 0:10:40 - Talking about a turn of the game 0:22:37 - What opportunities and difficulties have come from the game? 0:27:16 - What's next? 0:29:16 - Overseas reception of the game 0:33:22 - Translation of the game

#169: Listener Mail June 2017
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1932
#169: Listener Mail June 2017

This week, David, Rob and Dirk get together to catch up and answer listener questions. Ice cubes are involved.---------------------David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau - @robdaviau Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - What's David been up to 0:03.37 - Update from Dirk on the Tesla vs Edison Dual kickstarter 0:05:18 - Rob got a haircut 0:07:27 - Listener Steve asks about cancelled kickstarter backers 0:10:43 - Listener Steve asks about the 'Winner Effect' 0:15:18 - Listener Doug asks about Escape Rooms 0:23:27 - Listener JC asks about revealing key information in a game 0:26:04 - Listener Glen asks a question regarding an idea you can't get off the ground, when do you shelve it or keep going? 0:28:48 - The Little Zen Handbook

#168: Emily Care Boss
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2348
#168: Emily Care Boss

This week, Dirk and Kathryn welcome veteran game designer Emily Care Boss to the show. Emily has a long history in designing RPG games and making tools available to players to challenge their views and expand their gaming horizons. Some of her games encourage players to examine uncommonly represented topics, such as romance and sexuality.--------------------- Emily Care Boss - @emilycare, www.blackgreengame.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:19 - Emily’s background 0:03:25 - Tabletop games and sexuality 0:15:40 - Emily’s catalog 0:25:56 - RPG and game theory

#167: Chelsea Howe and VR
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1714
#167: Chelsea Howe and VR

Dirk and David are joined by Owlchemy Labs’ Chelsea Howe to talk about Virtual Rick-Ality and the new frontier of VR. Chelsea’s involvement with VR goes back to her days at EA and she continues to be on the forefront of development for this new platform. Chelsea describes what it’s like to develop and port games for VR and gives Dirk a pop culture lesson on Rick and Morty.--------------------- Chelsea Howe - @manojalpa David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:14 - VR and Virtual Rick-Ality 0:09:03 - VR 101 0:13:39 - Augmented Reality 0:17:28 - Virtual communities 0:19:35 - New tech and novelty 0:22:21 - Dirk learns about Rick and Morty

#166: John Harper
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2369
#166: John Harper

Dirk and Kathryn are joined this week by designer John Harper, the mind behind Blades in the Dark. John’s transition to full-time developer has been helped by his fans that support him via Kickstarter and Patreon - this following allows him to fully concentrate on his multi-disciplinary craft and continue to release free, hackable material.---------------------John Harper - onesevendesign.com, @john_harper---------------------Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Episode Outline 0:01:41 - Blades in the Dark 0:10:51 - Growing in tastes as a designer 0:20:49 - Supporting yourself with indie work 0:27:34 - Game development over several disciplines 0:32:19 - Hackable game designs 0:35:13 - Upcoming designs

#165: Listener Mail April 2017
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2030
#165: Listener Mail April 2017

Dirk, Harrison, and Kathryn dive into the mailbag once again to answer your game design questions. Is it really that difficult to get published in North America from other markets? What’s life on the digital side like when it comes to publishing? And what can you do when you (inevitably) get stuck?.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Harrison Pink - @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com, harrisonpink.com Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com.---------------------0:00:24 - The difference between design and development and getting stuck 0:06:05 - Publishing from non-American or European markets 0:10:04 - Linear narratives 0:16:03 - Game design and budget 0:21:53 - Self-publishing and digital games 0:26:02 - Players vs. The Game

#164: Nels Anderson and Firewatch
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2042
#164: Nels Anderson and Firewatch

Designer Nels Anderson stops by to talk to Dirk and Harrison about his work on 2016’s hit Firewatch. Nels worked with a small team at Campo Santo studios to create a unique storytelling adventure that was a critically acclaimed success. Nels describes the pros and cons of working with a small team of core developers and the lessons he learned from working on a team that was birthing their first game together.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, harrisonpink.com Nels Anderson - @nelsormench, above49.ca---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Firewatch 0:08:00 - Getting started 0:11:53 - Narrative and level design 0:15:14 - Working with a small team 0:18:42 - Firewatch as a first game 0:23:14 - Current projects 0:26:13 - Design lessons learned

#163: Jason Thompson
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 1624
#163: Jason Thompson

Dirk and Rob are joined by writer, artist, and game designer Jason Thompson to talk about his innovative drawing game "Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics", co-published by Mock Man Press and Japanime Games. Jason talks about his background in manga and writing as well as the process that caused Mangaka to evolve over the course of several years into the game it is today.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Rob Daviau - @robdaviau Jason Thompson - @mockman---------------------0:01:33 - Mangaka 0:09:15 - Early ideas 0:15:48 - How the stories unfold 0:17:48 - From writing to game design 0:21:48 - Jason’s future plans

#162: Listener Mail February 2017
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2187
#162: Listener Mail February 2017

Dirk, David, and Kathryn Hymes are here to answer your questions. This week they go over replayability, ambitious ideas, and the differences between design and development.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Kathryn Hymes - www.thornygames.com.---------------------0:01:04 - Replayability and value 0:16:06 - Trimming game length 0:26:39 - IP creation and long-term goals 0:31:19 - The difference between design and development

#161: Paizo Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2636
#161: Paizo Games

Dirk and Harrison are joined by Jessica Price and Wes Schneider from Paizo games to talk about their voluminous tabletop roleplaying library. Paizo is best known for their Pathfinder roleplaying system, a successor to Dungeons and Dragons Version 3.5. Wes and Jess talk about their paths into game development as well as the highly anticipated new RPG, --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.CQGames.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink Jessica Price - @delafina777 Wes Scneider - @fwesschneider --------------------- Starfinder. 0:00:21 - Paizo Games 0:09:00 - Backgrounds before Paizo 0:18:10 - Creating tabletop modules 0:29:40 - Starfinder RPG

#160: Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2111
#160: Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

Dirk and David are joined by Dominic Crapuchettes of North Star Games to talk about their breakout hits and the process of creating mass market games. North Star Games is most well known for their widely-available games Wits and Wagers and Say Anything but also their educational Evolution series that is used by teachers across the country. Dominic shares what it’s like balancing creating games using a winning formula and branching out into something new. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.CQGames.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dominic Crapuchettes - www.northstargames.com, dominic@northstargames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:30 - The beginnings of North Star Games 0:01:59 - Wits and Wagers and Say Anything 0:06:17 - Business partners 0:10:20 - Evolution: Climate 0:19:44 - Managing success and aspirations 0:22:29 - The Evolution series 0:30:48 - New and upcoming games

#159: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 2082
#159: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Description David makes his return to the show after a brief absence and fills us in with what’s been going on in his world. We’re also happy to announce a new half-hour format that will hopefully yield shorter shows that are posted more often. Dirk, David, and Rob take on more listener questions as they settle back into their old routine. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.CQGames.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:16 - Where did David go? 0:05:14 - Designing a game to be more than mechanics 0:10:26 - Women in game design 0:16:49 - What pre-existing IP would you pick to work on? 0:20:32 - Choose ONE game design axiom 0:24:45 - Kickstarter advice 0:26:35 - How has crowdsourcing impacted replayability?

#158: Suzanne Zinsli and Cardboard Edison
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3328
#158: Suzanne Zinsli and Cardboard Edison

Dirk and Harrison are joined by Suzanne Zinsli of Cardboard Edison to talk about game design, publishing, and running their amazing resource for game designers. Cardboard Edison is a gather of best practices, tips for designers, and information about publishers. Their Cardboard Edison Award also helps grow and develop designers through the submittal process. Suzanne covers their own games like Cobra and Dubai and goes over what you should (and really shouldn’t do) to submit a game for the Cardboard Edison Award. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink Suzanne - @cardboardedison, cardboardedison@gmail.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:46 - Cardboard Edison and other jobs 0:08:05 - Publishers vs. self-publishing 0:11:47 - Firewalling your own games 0:14:06 - Cobras 0:19:06 - Cardboard Edison Awards 0:32:16 - Having three partners 0:40:59 - Dubai 0:44:02 - Managing a large amount of projects 0:47:58 - Potential upcoming games 0:51:14 - Advice for designers

#157: Harrison Joins the Mail Crew
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3578
#157: Harrison Joins the Mail Crew

Dirk, David, and Harrison tackle the mail bag after an exciting announcement about Rob’s new company, Restoration Games. Restoration’s goal is to reprint and modernize classic games that are no longer available. Our hosts go on to talk about games that are overproduced (as well as micro games), the concept of player choice vs. direction, and where to get all the shiny bits needed for prototyping. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Rob Daviau - @robdaviau Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink --------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:32 - Harrison’s status 0:03:03 - Rob and Restoration Games 0:07:37 - When is game setup part of the game? 0:11:40 - Number of decision points in a game 0:18:57 - The incremental idle genre 0:25:19 - Overproduced games and micro games 0:31:47 - Where can you draw inspiration from? 0:34:35 - Forcing interactions or letting players choose 0:40:33 - Using real locations in games 0:44:39 - Should rules always place setup first? 0:54:44 - What parts are you attracted to for prototypes?

#156: Kathryn Hymes and Thorny Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3458
#156: Kathryn Hymes and Thorny Games

This week Dirk is joined by new co-host Harrison Pink and guest Kathryn Hymes of Thorny Games. Kathryn brings a unique perspective to the tabletop world with games that take on the challenges of linguistics and the evolution (and death) of languages. She explains how Thorny Games takes on the challenge of games light on mechanics and heavy on intellectual stimulation. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Harrison Pink - harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, www.thornygames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:03:31 - Sign 0:14:34 - Dialect 0:28:32 - Games light on mechanics 0:33:56 - Games vs. experiences 0:36:23 - The design process 0:53:37 - Games design and a day job

#154: Essen and Listener Mail
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3167
#154: Essen and Listener Mail

Dirk, David, and Rob are back again to talk about what’s going on in their worlds and to answer more listener mail. Rob is back from Europe after attending the Essen (SPIEL) game convention and has stories to tell about where cultural stereotypes come from. Dirk’s Einstein game is doing well on Kickstarter and is available for purchase at that site. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com ---------------------Episode Outline 0:01:02 - Essen 0:08:07 - Einstein 0:12:44 - 504 0:18:31 - Designing a Legacy game 0:30:37 - When is good “good enough”? 0:37:07 - Companion apps for games 0:43:26 - Incorporating setup and takedown 0:46:16 - Patreon vs. Kickstarter

#153: Riot Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3762
#153: Riot Games

Description Dirk and David are joined by Rick Ernst and Chris Cantrell of Riot Games to talk about their upcoming board game Mechs vs. Minions. Riot Games is best known for their wildly successful PC game League of Legends. Riot is taking that universe and condensing a part of it down into a board game that focuses on team play and cooperative strategy. Rick and Chris talk about how the game came about and what it’s like to capture the MOBA magic on the tabletop.--------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rick Ernst Chris Cantrell www.mechsvsminions.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:51 - Mechs vs. Minions 0:04:30 - League of Legends 0:07:30 - Condensing a MOBA to tabletop 0:14:27 - Handling quarterbacking 0:18:34 - The early game 0:24:30 - Complexity vs. accessibility 0:28:13 - Build quality 0:37:37 - How the game came about 0:43:30 - Playtesting 0:47:31 - The design process

#152: Professor Rob’s Mailbag
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3648
#152: Professor Rob’s Mailbag

Description Dirk, David, and Rob get together to answer more of your questions. The Game Design Roundtable audience continues to provide poignant and intriguing questions, and our trio of hosts is ready to help.--------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:12:08 - Anti-quarterbacking 0:21:33 - Creativity and inspiration 0:33:53 - Witnessing playtesting 0:41:41 - Emergence in boardgames 0:50:57 - Design and marketing

#151: Isaac Shalev and Kind Fortress
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3152
#151: Isaac Shalev and Kind Fortress

Dirk and David get together with Isaac Shalev to talk about the fast-paced development at Kind Fortress. Since his last time on the show Isaac has had several games designed and put into print, and he talks about importance of artwork as well as designing a wide variety of games rather than a special niche. He also talks about the usefulness of Tabletop Simulator as a prototyping and presentation tool. You can check out his own podcast at Onboardgames.net. ---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Isaac Shalev -@KindFortress, www.kindfortress.com, onboardgames.net ---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:43 - Isaac’s recent developments 0:09:36 - Artwork 0:18:23 - Working with a partner 0:23:35 - Broad vs niche design 0:27:43 - Business acumen 0:31:22 - Prototyping 0:35:35 - Tabletop Simulator

#150: Travel Catch-up and Listener Mail
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3900
#150: Travel Catch-up and Listener Mail

Dirk, David, and Rob are here on the momentous 150th episode of the Game Design Roundtable to talk about their recent travels. David is traveling the globe to support his game studio and Rob returns from the prestigious Spiel des Jahres awards in Germany. They also tackle some more of your insightful questions. --------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com --------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Star Trek Conventions 0:09:02 - Spiel des Jahres 0:20:49 - Prototype Cards and nanDECK 0:23:16 - Bidding mechanics 0:32:01 - Abstract games 0:40:50 - Well-written rules 0:49:13 - Designer credits

#149: Jellybean Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3477
#149: Jellybean Games

Dirk brings on guests Peter Hayward and Tania Walker to talk about their work at Jellybean Games. Jellybean places an emphasis on family-friendly games that can still be enjoyed by adults. Peter talks about his role at the company and what prompted him to start in the family game space and Tania shares her experience as an artist and art director. ---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com Peter Hayward - @PeterHayward Tania Walker -@TaniaWalker, taniawalker.com ---------------------Episode Outline 0:01:34 - Jellybean Games 0:12:22 - Scuttle 0:16:05 - The first Kickstarter 0:19:59 - Dracula’s Feast 0:30:31 - Upcoming games 0:48:23 - Future plans for Jellybean 0:52:28 - Advice for Designers

#148: More Listener Mail
3654
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3654
#148: More Listener Mail

Dirk, David, and Rob are back to answer more of your questions. How viable is it to break into the market and make a decent salary? Is high-quality art worth it? And just how do you get cards printed?---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com.---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:41 - Games that use memory as a resource 0:14:04 - How to print cards and prototypes 0:25:39 - Art and artists 0:37:43 - Hobby market vs mass market 0:56:31 - The value of IP

#147: Black Straw Games
3434
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3434
#147: Black Straw Games

Dirk and David welcome designer Sarah Graybill of Black Straw Games to the show to talk about their unique brand of games. Black Straw have developed a collection of abstract and family friendly games while also working to foster the game development community..--------------------- Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Sarah Graybill - @blackstrawgames, blackstrawgames.com ---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Black Straw Games 0:04:30 - Abstract games 0:11:37 - Rocket Squad 0:15:32 - Publishers 0:18:17 - The design process 0:22:55 - Oolong 0:28:41 - Community development 0:36:59 - Goals for the company 0:44:27 - Oblique

#146: Soren Johnson and Offworld Trading Company
3865
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3865
#146: Soren Johnson and Offworld Trading Company

Soren Johnson is back to talk to Dirk and David about his new game, Offworld Trading Company. Offworld is the product of Soren’s own game development studio, Mohawk Games. He dives deep into the development process and the early access model and shares how the game has evolved over time.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Soren Johnson - @sorenjohnson, designer-notes.com, offworldgame.com---------------------0:02:20 - The development process 0:16:48 - Tutorials and concepts 0:21:01 - The campaign 0:33:04 - The daily challenge 0:37:15 - Black markets and goon squads 0:45:25 - Refining the campaign 0:47:05 - Early access and launch 0:55:47 - “Lessons learned”

#145: Seafall, Powering Up, and Listener Mail
3427
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3427
#145: Seafall, Powering Up, and Listener Mail

It’s a celebratory show as Dirk, David, and Rob talk about the latest releases from the crew. Rob’s Legacy game Seafall is finally ready for preorder after many years of hard work and Dirk is also pleased to share that his expansion for Tesla vs. Edison - Powering Up - is up on Kickstarter and exceeding his expectations. Our always-curious listeners have provided yet more questions for the panel, and they delve into a variety of topics on digital game implementations and why Rob wants to be a cardboard screen.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:32 - Seafall 0:06:30 - Tesla vs. Edison - Powering Up 0:14:39 - Games in both tabletop and digital format 0:20:19 - App first before Kickstarter? 0:34:13 - Turn length on apps and tabletop 0:39:42 - When are you truly a game designer? 0:45:06 - What physical game component do you most identify with? 0:48:49 - Playing a bad game with a good group 0:53:24 - Memory as a resource

#144: Chris Zinsli and Cardboard Edison
3251
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3251
#144: Chris Zinsli and Cardboard Edison

Dirk and David are joined by designer and board game community member Chris Zinsli. Chris and his wife Suzanne are the founders of Cardboard Edison, a resource for designers of board games. Their blog and other media have helped countless designers get their ideas into production. They also co-design and publish a slew of their own games that touch on a wide variety of topics.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Chris - @cardboardedison, www.cardboardedison.com---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:18 - Cardboard Edison 0:06:23 - The Process 0:09:58 - Cardboard Edison award-winner “Blood of an Englishman” 0:19:17 - Building the business and publishing 0:25:57 - Tessen 0:33:30 - Dubai 0:40:11 - Sultana 0:42:13 - Working with other publishers 0:45:43 - Co-designing with your spouse 0:49:27 - Pitching to publishers

#143: The Mailbag Tolls for Thee
3952
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3952
#143: The Mailbag Tolls for Thee

Dirk, David, and Rob peek into the mailbag once again and answer your questions. After a brief celebration over the recent success of Pandemic Legacy, the trio talk about design-driven narrative and a few questions about the dirty details of rules.---------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-------------------------Episode Outline 0:04:41 - Tools for design-driven narrative 0:22:38 - Errata and updates for tabletop games 0:39:22 - Handling obscure or difficult rules 0:49:00 - Game design vocabulary

#142: Tim Fowers
3467
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3467
#142: Tim Fowers

Dirk and David sit down this week with game designer Tim Fowers. A physics major gone rogue in the world of game design, Tim has experience in both board games and the digital space. His games Burgle Bros, Wok Star, and Paperback have allowed him to make the transition to full-time independent game designer.---------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Tim Fowers - @tfowers, www.fowers.net---------------------Episode Outline 0:00:18 - Tim’s background 0:03:42 - From indie to big game studio 0:11:02 - Simplicity: the route to success 0:19:22 - Full time and part time 0:25:02 - Burgle Bros 0:45:03 - Direct sales numbers 0:49:03 - Current and future projects

#141: Star Trek Timelines
3988
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3988
#141: Star Trek Timelines

Description Dirk and Rob help David celebrate the launch of his company’s game: Star Trek Timelines. Timelines was a long time in the making and is an extremely ambitious game for the mobile platform. David reviews the development process and how the team is stretching the Unity engine to its limits. We also have several listener mail questions to answer.---------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com ------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:25 - Star Trek Timelines 0:08:35 - Blending different crews 0:21:51 - Board game genres 0:32:27 - Rapid prototyping 0:50:55 - How to price mobile transactions 1:00:24 - Win condition terminology

#140: Daniel Doan and Black Shell Media
3325
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3325
#140: Daniel Doan and Black Shell Media

This week Dirk and David are joined by Daniel Doan of Black Shell Media. Daniel’s career in games started with mods for the original Starcraft and grew into his breakout game, Sanctuary RPG. He then moved on to publishing and working with other designers on getting their games to market. Daniel offers advice on how to keep game designs focused and work with focus testing in order to deliver a final product that sells.---------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Daniel Doan - @doandanial, www.blackshellmedia.com ------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:16 - Daniel’s background 0:03:14 - Starcraft mods 0:04:55 - Sanctuary RPG 0:09:42 - Development and publishing 0:12:55 - Overture 0:20:47 - The rewards in company building 0:25:03 - Black Shell Media 0:31:53 - Influences 0:35:45 - Future platforms 0:40:10 - Future of BSM 0:46:14 - Board game design 0:49:32 - Focus testing

#139: Justin Gary
3576
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3576
#139: Justin Gary

Dirk and David are joined by guest Justin Gary, accomplished game designer of many deckbuilding games. Justin’s career started as a professional, award-winning player of Magic: the Gathering and has continued with several successful designs. His creations include Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, and Solforge. He and David talk shop this week about deckbuilding games, including communication to players and strategies for expansions.---------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.CQGames.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Justin Gary - @justin_gary, www.justingary.com-------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:22 - Justin’s background 0:01:50 - Ascension 0:13:34 - Expansions and mechanics 0:19:14 - Influence of Magic: the Gathering 0:21:27 - Early projects 0:26:05 - Law school 0:29:27 - Current projects 0:32:56 - Kickstarter 0:37:07 - Deckbuilding mechanics 0:48:33 - Game design process 0:54:37 - Future goals

#138: Checking in with Harrison Pink
3124
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3124
#138: Checking in with Harrison Pink

Return guest Harrison Pink stops by to catch up with Dirk and David and let us know what he’s been up to. Harrison recently moved to a new studio and is working as a world designer on the next Mafia game. He also had the opportunity to travel to China to talk at their GDC conference. He talks about designing for open world games, lessons he’s learned about what players want, and his international travels. Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - @colonialpink, harrisonpink@gmail.com, blog.harrisonpink.com Episode Outline 0:00:37 - Harrison’s new digs 0:02:56 - World designing 0:08:10 - Team culture 0:14:47 - The Mafia series 0:27:42 - Lessons learned 0:30:20 - Other activities 0:36:51 - Talking at GDC China

#137: Once More Into the Mailbag
4084
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 4084
#137: Once More Into the Mailbag

Dirk, David, and Rob tackle more listener mail in this week’s episode. We had a lot of great questions come in from our listeners that cover royalty free assets, distribution for board games, and some more from Dirk on Tesla and Edison.---------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:11 - How do you know when the mechanics are done? 0:10:53 - Not using regular distribution 0:22:25 - Using royalty free assets? 0:33:01 - Do you have any recommendations on finding royalty free assets? 0:41:37 - What are some clever design decisions that were used to cover up flaws? 0:45:50 - Can you comment some more on Tesla and Edison as people? 0:51:12 - Asymmetric design between two players 0:59:40 - Rules-based programming

#136: Playing Catch-up
3499
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3499
#136: Playing Catch-up

We’re back! Dirk, David, and Rob are here again to talk about game design after a flurry of activity and travel. David is knee-deep in Star Trek Timelines and Rob is pleased with the success of Pandemic Legacy. Meanwhile, Dirk was invited to the laboratory of Thomas Edison thanks to the work he did with his game Tesla vs. Edison.---------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:34 - Star Trek Timelines 0:07:02 - Game pacing 0:17:49 - Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy 0:27:48 - Expertise, failure, and learning 0:35:53 - Edison Innovation Foundation 0:47:59 Chronicles 0:48:00 - Disruptor Beam

#135: Isaac Childres and Gloomhaven
3565
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3565
#135: Isaac Childres and Gloomhaven

Dirk and Rob sit down with game designer Isaac Childres to talk about his self-published and Kickstarted game Gloomhaven. Rob seems to have found the game he’s been looking for all along and has plenty of questions for Isaac, who has published several games on his own and appears to be looking at a hit with Gloomhaven.--------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com Isaac Childres - @cephalofair, cephalofair.com--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:19 - Gloomhaven 0:06:43 - Retirement mechanic 0:14:06 - Inspirations for Gloomhaven 0:27:40 - Publishing 0:33:12 - Previous games 0:42:51 - Publishing lessons learned 0:50:23 - Upcoming games

#134: Expansions and Post-Launch Support
3456
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3456
#134: Expansions and Post-Launch Support

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to talk about what happens when the game has shipped and there’s still more to do. Post-launch support can come in the form of features that were originally left on the cutting room floor, expansions to existing content, or continuations of a line with new product. All three of our panelists have experience with expansion content across different industries and share their insights with the listeners.-----------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:51 - Content at the end of the game design 0:08:03 - Business models and design 0:23:51 - Expansion design for tabletop 0:31:51 - Who’s doing expansions right? 0:38:27 - Map expansions

#133: Designer Alex Kevern
3424
2017-09-22 13:40:52 UTC 3424
#133: Designer Alex Kevern

This week Dirk and David are joined by game designer Alex Kevern. Alex has followed the path from gamer to designer and brought several different games to market with a myriad of publishers. He offers his experiences dealing with different publishers as well as modifying themes for games and working on Kickstarter.-----------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Alex Kevern -@alexwithideas--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:16 - Alex’s background 0:03:54 - Daxu 0:11:17 - Changing themes 0:16:05 - World’s Fair 0:24:50 - Kickstarter 0:27:45 - Expansions 0:34:01 - Gold West 0:39:46 - Working with publishers 0:46:12 - Future projects

#132: Rob’s Back, Time for Listener Mail
3324
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3324
#132: Rob’s Back, Time for Listener Mail

Rob is back from vacation and it’s time for some more listener mail. Is it possible to play a game that is fun but not good? Should you share your ideas with people before publishing your game?-------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:36 - Pitching to publishers 0:16:52 - Fun games that aren’t good 0:25:44 - The goals of game design 0:32:18 - How much do you share an idea before publishing? 0:40:47 - How do you take on choices in design?

#131: David Somerville and Trove
3692
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3692
#131: David Somerville and Trove

Dirk and David talk to game designer David Somerville about his game Trove and experiences publishing his first game. David shares his insights as far as community management, how to hand things over, and pitching your games. Other David shares that he really, really wants to be a cave.----Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron David Somerville - @thisistrove------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:18 - Dave’s background 0:02:31 - Trove: The Crystal Caverns 0:13:04 - Staying current while designing 0:15:21 - Getting set up with a publisher 0:26:20 - Earlier games 0:39:18 - Advice 0:51:28 - Pitching your game

#130: Catching up and Some Listener Mail
3793
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3793
#130: Catching up and Some Listener Mail

We’re back! After a brief hiatus due to the craziness of Gen Con the crew is back to tell their stories and get caught up on all the new developments. Dirk, David, and Rob talk about Gen Con, the new collaboration between Dirk and David, and answer a little bit of listener mail.------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:05:48 - Seafall update 0:09:16 - Chronicles 0:22:51 - Star Trek 0:30:26 - Gen Con 0:40:09 - Return on investment vs artistic statement

#129 Daniel Solis
3609
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3609
#129 Daniel Solis

Dirk and Rob sit down with game designer Daniel Solis to talk about his background with card and microgames. Daniel’s games can be played all over the world and he shares his experiences with international publishers as well as crowdfunding and print-on-demand.---------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com Daniel Solis - @DanielSolis, http://danielsolisblog.blogspot.com/------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - Daniel’s background 0:07:01 - Card counts 0:11:10 - Sharing ideas 0:15:27 - Playtesting 0:18:31 - Kigi 0:22:04 - Publishers in different regions 0:33:39 - International legal matters 0:39:49 - Royalties and crowdfunding 0:53:58 - Upcoming projects

#128: Listener Mail 5
3505
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3505
#128: Listener Mail 5

Dirk, David, and Rob are back to answer more listener questions about budget, toolsets, and more.------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com Episode Outline 0:02:12 - Budget for art and assets 0:06:29 - Marketing and Kickstarter 0:21:18 - Meaningful early game moves 0:40:17 - Toolsets for game development 0:49:13 - Feedback for feedback

#127: Meg Jayanth and Games Writing
3697
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3697
#127: Meg Jayanth and Games Writing

This week, Dirk and David chat with Meg Jayanth to talk about her experiences as a writer in the games industry. Meg’s prose is probably most well known in the story-heavy gameplay of 80 Days on mobile devices and Sunless Sea on the PC. Meg shares her background, what it’s like to create oodles of content characters may never see, and the benefits of working in pajamas.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Meg Jayanth -@betterthemask, www.megjayanth.com------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:18 - Meg’s background 0:08:17 - Samsara game 0:15:14 - Content that characters may or may not see 0:36:18 - Writing processes 0:42:41 - Working remotely 0:47:16 - Current projects

#126: Collaboration
3659
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3659
#126: Collaboration

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to confirm that no person is an island, especially when it comes to game design. Collaborating with others can be challenging but also rewarding, sometimes allowing partners to bring out the best in each other. David describes his collaborations at work while Dirk and Rob talk about collaborating with others and the importance of eating with your coworkers.----------------------------------------------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:18 - Collaboration 0:08:10 - Opinions on interface design 0:13:30 - A Dirk/Rob case study 0:22:24 - Working on your own 0:27:10 - Collaboration tools 0:38:42 - Equality in collaborations 0:49:28 - Types of projects that work well with collaboration

#125: Stonemaier Games and Scythe with Jamey Stegmaier
4028
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4028
#125: Stonemaier Games and Scythe with Jamey Stegmaier

Jamey Stegmaier stops by to talk to Dirk and David about his previous games as well as the upcoming and hotly anticipated Scythe. Scythe’s evocative art and theme have piqued the interest of the boardgaming community. Jamey fills us in on how the game came about and what the players can expect in terms of mechanics and gameplay.-------------------------Contact Info Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Jamey Stegmaier - http://stonemaiergames.com/, kickstarterlessons.com, @jameystegmaier----Episode Outline 0:01:18 - Making the jump to full-time game designer 0:06:18 - Viticulture 0:14:48 - Kickstarter and content 0:18:09 - Kickstarter and non-US customers 0:21:31 - Treasure chests 0:24:54 - Scythe 0:31:51 - Scythe’s art 0:36:58 - New players and describing actions 0:50:22 - Game length 0:56:27 - Combat in Scythe

#124: Listener Questions
3646
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3646
#124: Listener Questions

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to answer questions sent in by you, the listeners!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - What are your thoughts on the 4X genre and game length? 0:06:51 - Have sculpts become a commercial crutch for poor game design? 0:12:38 - Is the popularity of tabletop gaming related to the rise of digital games? 0:17:41 - What board game has replaced another game for you? 0:21:01 - What game has lost its luster as time went on? 0:24:02 - What game do you wish had never been released? 0:27:45 - What’s the most glaring flaw you’ve seen in a game? 0:33:10 - What other podcasts do you listen to? 0:37:01 - What game do you wish you could play more often? 0:38:39 - What are you thoughts on paid beta programs? 0:41:02 - What do you think about game company mergers? 0:42:40 - Dirk, why the new company? 0:44:34 - How have your designs changed through playtesting? 0:51:14 - Should asymmetrical games be clearly marked as such?

#123: Isaac Shalev and On Board Games
3749
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3749
#123: Isaac Shalev and On Board Games

Dirk and David are joined by game designer Isaac Shalev of Kind Fortress Games and the podcast On Board Games. Isaac shares some of the insight he has gleaned about the Kickstarter process, publishing games with a cultural story to tell, and how to make players attack each other.

#122: Feedback
3780
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3780
#122: Feedback

Dirk, David, and Rob talk about all of the primary forms of feedback that developers have at their disposal. Reviews can be educational, helpful, or downright depressing. Playtesters can offer amazing insight or unwanted suggestions. Listen in to find out how to balance the good with the bad.------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:17 - Feedback and reviews 0:15:57 - The context of reviews 0:21:39 - Previous game reviews 0:27:35 - Guided recommendations 0:33:06 - Feedback from playtesters 0:47:00 - What makes a good playtester

#121: At the Gates Update with Jon Shafer
3503
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3503
#121: At the Gates Update with Jon Shafer

Former host and Game Design Roundtable co-founder Jon Shafer stops in to talk about At the Gates. Jon’s been hard at work adding features, taking out features, and polishing the game. Progress moves ever forward as the game becomes the game that Jon set out to make.---------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Jon Shafer - www.atthegatesgame.com, @jonshaferdesign, jonshaferondesign.com, jon.shafer@conifergames.com------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:58 - Making changes in development 0:06:56 - Clans 0:11:57 - Developing the clan mechanic 0:14:36 - Other changes to the game’s original design 0:19:44 - Storytelling 0:22:57 - Diplomacy 0:26:46 - Romanization 0:36:08 - Test groups 0:39:51 - Food and player pressure

#120: Project Check-in
3722
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3722
#120: Project Check-in

Dirk, David, and Rob take a moment to check in on their respective projects. Rob details his long and illustrious career as the head of marketing for his game company while David checks in with an update on Star Trek Timelines. Meanwhile, Dirk’s Kickstarter for Tesla vs. Edison is ready to go live and the question of shipping costs rears its ugly head.--------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:33 - New York Toy Fair 0:08:22 - New roles and marketing 0:14:38 - PAX and Star Trek Timelines 0:23:24 - Star Trek Timelines demo 0:43:47 - Tesla vs. Edison

#119: Foxtrot Games with Randy Hoyt
3643
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3643
#119: Foxtrot Games with Randy Hoyt

Dirk and David talk to Randy Hoyt of Foxtrot games about the art of publishing board games. Randy talks about his preference of publishing over designing, the role a good publisher can play in the success of a board game, and the releases of Foxtrot games.------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Randy Hoyt -@foxtrotgames, www.foxtrotgames.com, contact@foxtrotgames.com, @randyhoyt------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:15 - Foxtrot Games 0:08:14 - Refining a game’s design 0:10:09 - Themes 0:13:01 - Publishing vs designing 0:27:42 - Changing a game’s theme 0:32:25 - Getting designs to publishers 0:47:36 - Where Foxtrot fits 0:56:05 - Future projects

#118: A Seafall Review
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3284
#118: A Seafall Review

Dirk, David, and Rob talk about the current state of Seafall and its latest strides toward completion. Rob is excited about the progress of the game and shares a look at what can happen during a player’s turn as the details of the game come into focus.--------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com------------Episode Outline 0:01:33 - Bill of materials and sizing 0:11:46 - Changes along the way 0:16:46 - A turn in Seafall 0:29:36 - A reader question

#117: Chatting with Robin D. Laws
3301
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3301
#117: Chatting with Robin D. Laws

Roleplaying game and novel writer Robin D. Laws joins Dirk and David to share his experience as a designer and writer in the gaming industry. Robin shares his methodology, how writing for the two media compares, and his upcoming work.---------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Robin D. Laws - @robindlaws, kenandrobintalkaboutstuff.com------------------Episode Outline 0:00:24 - Robin’s background 0:03:11 - The Gumshoe system 0:11:59 - Establishing a voice 0:20:20 - Gumshoe licensing 0:26:03 - Recommendations on systems 0:28:46 - Robin’s novels 0:36:26 - Design process 0:38:59 - King of Dragon Pass 0:44:38 - The future of D&D

#116: Buying and Selling with Soren Johnson & Scott Hamden
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4050
#116: Buying and Selling with Soren Johnson & Scott Hamden

Soren is back with forum member and early Offworld Trading Company playtester Scott Hamden to talk with Dirk about the current state of the game. Offworld Trading Company is taking form as it prepares for early access on Steam and a wider user base for even more feedback.--------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @sorenjohnson, designer-notes.com, offworldgame.com, idlethumbs.net/designernotes Scott Hamden - indczn@gmail.com------------------------------------------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:22 - Current state of the game 0:03:04 - Scott’s experience with OTC 0:05:38 - Stages of alpha and graphics 0:09:31 - Soren’s involvement in the art process 0:13:59 - Watching the process as a fan 0:20:15 - Tweaking game values 0:34:53 - Buying and selling of stocks 0:42:39 - Multiplayer games 0:48:38 - Feature count 0:57:13 - Playtesters and forum interaction 1:04:19 - Upcoming milestones

#115: Talking with Chelsea Howe
3460
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3460
#115: Talking with Chelsea Howe

Dirk and David are joined this week by Chelsea Howe, game design veteran and current employee at EA. Chelsea brings her experience to the show after working in a wide range of environments from large publishers to small game jams and independent projects.---------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Chelsea Howe - @manojalpa, www.manojalpa.net--------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:17 - Chelsea’s background 0:08:16 - The mechanics of humor 0:10:52 - IP opportunities 0:13:43 - Why F2P big license games may not work 0:29:37 - Video gaming demographics 0:31:29 - Game james 0:34:50 - Quality and quantity of games 0:40:04 - Working at different sized companies 0:48:37 - Are we all designers?

#114: Back to the Mail Bag
3626
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3626
#114: Back to the Mail Bag

Dirk, David, and Rob are back to answer more of your questions! This week’s questions cover digital integration, international design decisions, and the role of 3D printing.-----------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:52 - How do you feel about apps integrated with board games? 0:19:50 - What possibilities would you like to see in those games? 0:22:33 - Will this lead to un-playtested games? 0:29:08 - What about a hybrid microgame? 0:33:44 - What roles will exist for people with international experience? 0:42:18 - Do you think game companies will become more global? 0:43:45 - What impact do you think 3D printing will have on tabletop? 0:49:44 - How have you seen asymmetry done in games?

#113: Trekking Along
3653
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3653
#113: Trekking Along

Dirk and David are at the helm this week to talk about all things Star Trek. David’s upcoming game uses the Star Trek universe to tell a wide variety of stories with a wide cast of characters. But with a fan base as enthusiastic and demanding as Trekkies (or Trekkers), how do you respect the source material while making a game fun?------------------------------------------------------Contact information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron--Episode Outline 0:00:45 - Star Trek roots 0:06:23 - Differing Trek series and fans 0:19:28 - Building a game for every captain 0:32:38 - The Star Trek story 0:39:39 - User research 0:53:18 - Alpha testing 0:56:02 - Star Trek appeal

#112: 2014 in Review
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3473
#112: 2014 in Review

Dirk, David, and Rob look back at 2014. Rob’s Kickstarter leads the way with a great success story and a view into just how crazy his life became this year. Dirk and David share their big moves from the year and look ahead to what’s coming. Finally, Dirk says some nice things about Michael Hermes, who may or may not be writing these show notes (and sounds like a swell guy).------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:53 - Rob’s Kickstarter 0:08:10 - Dirk’s Kickstarter 0:15:19 - David’s move 0:27:16 - Dirk’s year in review 0:35:10 - Seafall 0:41:07 - David’s board games 0:45:21 - Rob’s teaching 0:50:03 - Conquistador Games 0:51:54 - The Game Design Roundtable

#111: Game Design and Education with Erin Hoffman
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3275
#111: Game Design and Education with Erin Hoffman

Dirk and David sit down with game designer and writer Erin Hoffman to talk about her extensive background in game design for education,interacting with the users, and some deep talks on the role of art in games.----------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Erin Hoffman - erin@makingwonder.com, @gryphoness--------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:17 - Erin’s background 0:01:50 - Umberto Eco and art 0:16:44 - Interfacing with users 0:20:59 - Staying connected 0:28:34 - Designing for kids 0:33:56 - Lessons learned 0:41:05 - Learning styles 0:48:59 - Sense of Wonder

#110: The Science of fun with Nicole Lazzaro
3857
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3857
#110: The Science of fun with Nicole Lazzaro

Is there a formula for fun? Nicole Lazzaro joins Dirk and David to talk about what makes games fun, deliver a brief dive into neuroscience, and compare the concept of fun and gaming addiction.----------------------------------Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Nicole Lazzaro - @nicolelazzaro, www.4k2f.com-----------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:34 - The four keys to fun 0:13:18 - Depth 0:29:22 - Tabletop 0:39:32 - A primer on neurology 0:50:50 - Free to play

# 109: Susan McKinley Ross and Idea Duck
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3674
# 109: Susan McKinley Ross and Idea Duck

Dirk and David are joined by game designer Susan McKinley Ross, creator of Qwirkle and other well-received board games. Susan shares her expertise in color and tactile game design, the process of writing rules, and how she came to be an award-winning designer.------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Susan McKinley Ross - @ideaduck, www.ideaduck.com--------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:15 - Susan’s background 0:01:54 - Tactile elements and color 0:07:15 - Qwirkle 0:24:55 - Design and development 0:39:22 - Illustrations and rules 0:41:40 - Susan’s process 0:49:30 - Other projects 0:54:16 - Working with a spouse

#108: Funemployed and Boardgamegeekcon
3666
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3666
#108: Funemployed and Boardgamegeekcon

Dirk, David, and Rob are on hand to talk about two topics this week. First, the progress of Rob’s current Kickstarter: Funemployed 2nd Edition. He reviews how the Kickstarter is going as well as steps he took on the front end. Next, Dirk and Rob talk about their time at Boardgamegeekcon, a convention put on by the website of the same name. Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com Episode Outline 0:00:13 - Rob’s Kickstarter 0:09:12 - Setting up a Kickstarter 0:14:26 - Boardgamegeekcon 0:21:58 - Acquire 0:27:47 - Red7 0:34:15 - Hypoborea 0:38:47 - Tragedy Looper 0:45:57 - Mysterium 0:49:33 - Tesla vs Edison 0:56:27 - Artemis

#107: Cooperative Gaming with Amy Jo Kim
3665
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3665
#107: Cooperative Gaming with Amy Jo Kim

Amy Jo Kim joins Dirk and David to talk about cooperative gaming and the move away from zero-sum game mechanics. Social and online gaming have shown time and again that players want to cooperate and work together rather than kill each other and constantly compete. Amy Jo offers her experience and insight into what makes cooperative fun, and how designers can make it compelling.-------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Amy Jo Kim - @amyjokim, www.shufflebrain.com, www.mvpdesignhacks.com----------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - The cooperative revolution 0:04:35 - Amy Jo’s background 0:13:14 - Zero-sum games 0:23:28 - Mobile and free to play 0:35:48 - Balancing feeling special and teamwork 0:54:43 - Powerful mechanics in co-op 0:57:10 - Steps for a new designer

#106: Micro Games with Chris Handy
3043
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3043
#106: Micro Games with Chris Handy

This week it’s a regular-sized show about micro-sized games when designer Chris Handy comes on to talk about his foray into the micro games market.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Chris Handy - @ChrisHandy, packogame.com---------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:05 - Micro games 0:07:54 - 20 Themes 0:14:10 - Traditional and Euro games 0:16:00 - Mobile and social games 0:30:00 - Trends in micro games 0:35:47 - Business aspects

#105: Mail Call
3483
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3483
#105: Mail Call

Dirk, David, and Rob Daviau are answering questions this week on topics about board game design, publishing, translations, and more!-------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:43 - What existing game do you wish you had designed? 0:04:02 - What can Eastern and Western developers learn from each other? 0:09:37 - What game design phrases make you cringe 0:15:48 - How will designers grow if creators are not from the dominant culture 0:19:31 - Can you expand on the concept of player empowerment? 0:24:31 - Should I sell my game to a publisher? 0:32:36 - What are some examples of board games with great digital versions? 0:40:45 - How do you find the right artist at the right rate? 0:44:52 - Should I be worried about someone stealing my idea? 0:47:48 - When is the right time to reach out to a big-name developer? 0:50:59 - At what point do you translate your game?

104: Trading Mission to Mars with Julian Murdoch and Dr. Bruce Geryk
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4349
104: Trading Mission to Mars with Julian Murdoch and Dr. Bruce Geryk

Dirk and Soren are joined by strategy games enthusiasts Julian Murdoch and Dr. Bruce Geryk to talk about the current state of Offworld Trading Company. Julian, Bruce, and Dirk have all had time with the game and offer Soren feedback, ask a few questions, and figure out just what that robot voice is saying.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @sorenjohnson, designer-notes.com, offworldgame.com Bruce Geryk - @spacerumsfeld, www.wargamespace.com-------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:33 - The latest changes in OTC 0:03:44 - Impressions from Bruce and Julian 0:11:31 - Competition and fun 0:21:44 - The wargamer’s perspective 0:27:13 - New influences 0:31:34 - Belter 0:40:38 - Speed and the endgame 0:47:44 - Early access 0:50:39 - Innovative games 1:06:19 - Dates

103: Catching Up
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3697
103: Catching Up

It’s just Dirk and David today as the hosts catch up on each of their own projects. David has made some big changes and moved on to a new company in a new town, and Dirk details all of the different irons he has in the fire. Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Episode Outline 0:00:25 - David’s big changes 0:09:35 - Future plans 0:18:05 - Working face to face 0:21:34 - Moving to Boston 0:33:37 - War Stories 0:42:48 - Fútbol Strategy 0:55:05 - Tesla vs Edison 0:56:31 - Dirk’s mystery projects

102: Get Off My Lawn
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3674
102: Get Off My Lawn

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to talk about things that bug them. Whether is the interplay of turns, the depth of a game, or the wine served at a chain restaurant, some things just aren’t fun.------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:08 - Rob’s adventures 0:03:03 - First person shooters 0:09:55 - Simultaneous play board games 0:18:58 - Asymmetrical turn lengths 0:23:51 - Light games 0:34:07 - New games in a group setting 0:36:19 - Backing up a turn 0:42:17 - Failure, loading screens, and tutorials 0:54:36 - Staying organized 0:57:04 - The need for persuasion

#101: Kvasir Games with Kristín Guðmundsdóttir
3319
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3319
#101: Kvasir Games with Kristín Guðmundsdóttir

Dirk and David are joined by Kristín Guðmundsdóttir of Kvasir Games to talk about board and digital game development. Kvasir is a team of developers based in Denmark but pulled together from across Europe to build unique games designed in a game jam-style environment.----------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Kristín Guðmundsdóttir - @kristingud, @Kvasirgames, www.kvasirgames.com------Episode Outline 0:01:30 - The Nordic Game Jam 0:08:38 - Forming Kvasir Games 0:13:22 - Flexible game rules 0:23:43 - Other games and Wanted Igor 0:27:15 - Team talents and resolving conflicts 0:31:31 - Hulder 0:35:17 - Kristín’s day job and freelancing 0:47:45 - Marketing

#100: Failbetter Games and Fallen London with Alexis Kennedy and Liam Welton
3912
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3912
#100: Failbetter Games and Fallen London with Alexis Kennedy and Liam Welton

Alexis Kennedy and Liam Welton from Failbetter games join Dirk to talk about their dark games set in the world of Fallen London. With a background that goes from free-to-play web games to more traditional PC games, Failbetter has learned many lessons on design and business on their way to their latest game, Sunless Sea.-------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Liam Welton - @LiamWelton, liam@failbettergames.com Alexis Kennedy - @alexiskennedy, alexis@failbetter.com------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - Failbetter Games 0:06:24 - The world of Fallen London 0:25:22 - Fallen London development 0:40:18 - Design challenges 0:52:39 - Business models 0:54:31 - Failbetter’s design process 1:01:24 - Future projects

#99: Stuck in the Ditch
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3841
#99: Stuck in the Ditch

Sometimes a game design just goes off the rails. Scope creep, overly-ambitious ideas, a loss of focus… these can be devastating to any project. Dirk, David, and Rob Daviau talk about how a game can get off the right path and what can be done to get it back on track.----------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:17 - Seafall 0:03:38 - Design by committee 0:18-14 - Assessing the state of a game 0:32:25 - Big games vs small games 0:42:23 - Patching and hot fixes 0:50:38 - Examples 1:00:03 - Advice for getting out of the ditch

#98: On Writing....Video Games with Harrison Pink
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3647
#98: On Writing....Video Games with Harrison Pink

The title of “writer” can span from creating conceptual direction to creating dozens of iterations of the same lines of character dialog. Guest developer Harrison Pink joins Dirk and David to talk about the role in the gaming world.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - @colonialpink, harrisonpink@gmail.com, blog.harrisonpink.com----------------Episode Outline 0:00:55 - The role of a writer 0:14:54 - Expectations of game writers 0:26:29 - Writing for tabletop 0:37:56 - Writing a pitch 0:47:20 - Writers and marketing 0:52:58 - Board games

#97: Karla Zimonja and the Fullbright Company
3122
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3122
#97: Karla Zimonja and the Fullbright Company

Dirk and David are joined by Karla Zimonja of the Fullbright Company to talk about Gone Home, the challenges and benefits of working on a small team, and the transition of going from AAA game development to a small, independent studio.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Karla Zimonja - @zusty, www.fullbright.company----------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:31 - Fullbright Company history 0:02:51 - Gone Home development 0:09:59 - Plot and setting decisions 0:20:58 - Karla’s background 0:38:14 - Gone Home’s team 0:42:50 - Workflow

#96: The Conventions of Conventions
3805
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3805
#96: The Conventions of Conventions

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to talk about conventions. Gen Con is the star of the show as the trio talk about tips for both gamers and game designers. Everything is covered from talking with publishers to packing your bags the smart way.-------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:12 - Gen Con 0:23:55 - Tips for attending conventions 0:41:45 - The big hits at Gen Con 0:53:41 - Favorite conventions

#95: Listeners Mail Q&A
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3676
#95: Listeners Mail Q&A

This show is all about the listeners! The mail bag is full and it’s time for Dirk and David to answer your questions on game design, the industry, and the types of games they love the most.------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron @DavidVHeron--Episode Outline 0:00:46 - Do you see Eurocentric themes as a problem in game design? 0:09:27 - What games have made you feel empowered? 0:13:54 - What are the advantages and disadvantages of fantasy themes? 0:18:46 - What are you top five games to play? 0:25:25 - Do you consider player action rate during design? 0:31:54 - What is the status of female game designers? 0:54:42 - What’s your ideal, unlimited-budget game? 0:56:58 - Should I patent my rules?

#94: Offworld Trading Company with Soren Johnson and Jon Shafer
3824
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3824
#94: Offworld Trading Company with Soren Johnson and Jon Shafer

Jon and Dirk talk to game designer and TGDRT regular Soren Johnson about his upcoming game, Offworld Trading Company. His real time strategy economic game is currently in beta. Soren talks about the state of the game and the challenges he has in front of him.--------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @sorenjohnson, designer-notes.com, offworldgame.com Jon Shafer - atthegatesgame.com, contact@conifergames.com, @jonshaferdesign-------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:02:56 - “The Sid Way” 0:08:59 - The inspiration for OTC 0:20:41 - Gameplay 0:35:35 - Sound design 0:39:15 - The exploration phase 0:47:04 - Current challenges

#93: Dynamic Campaigns with Ananda Gupta
4175
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4175
#93: Dynamic Campaigns with Ananda Gupta

Ananda Gupta joins Dirk and Soren to talk about Dynamic campaigns. Series like Total War and XCOM merge tactical battles with larger strategic campaigns - what do these games do well, and what challenges seem to be omnipresent?------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @sorenjohnson, designer notes.com, offworldgame.com Ananda Gupta - @agauntpanda-----------------Episode Outline 0:00:28 - Ananda’s background 0:04:38 - Dynamic Campaigns 0:08:05 - Crusader Kings II 0:10:35 - Pacing 0:15:40 - XCOM 0:31:54 - Wargame 0:35:57 - Rise of Nations 0:46:49 - Offworld Trading Company 0:52:11 - Rise of Legends 1:06:34 - Imperial Struggle

#92: Et tu, Brute?
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3672
#92: Et tu, Brute?

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to talk about the betrayal as a game mechanic. Betrayal can bring out the worst in people - yelling, table flipping, and even physical violence. So why does it still get into so many games, and what makes it a compelling mechanic?---------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:28 - Betrayal! 0:04:41 - The mechanics 0:12:34 - Betrayal at House on the Hill 0:29:46 - Risk 0:36:36 - The most dastardly of betrayals 0:43:39 - Bang! and Werewolf 0:54:40 - Seafall

#91: At The Gates Progress Report with Jon Shafer
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4258
#91: At The Gates Progress Report with Jon Shafer

Friend and co-founder of The Game Design Roundtable Jon Shafer stops by to talk about the status of his game At the Gates. Learn about the importance of tribes, one of Jon’s new features that adds replayability and personality to the game. Dirk, David, and Jon talk about how far the game has come and what’s coming up in the future.----------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Jon Shafer - atthegatesgame.com, contact@conifergames.com, @jonshaferdesign--------Episode Outline 0:01:15 - Impressions of At the Gates 0:03:58 - Recent changes 0:17:16 - Player choice and game duration 0:21:16 - Clans 0:34:44 - Unit health and healing 0:43:01 - Personality 0:50:23 - Migration

#90: A Trip Down Memory Lane with Harrison Pink
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3835
#90: A Trip Down Memory Lane with Harrison Pink

Dirk, David, and Harrison Pink get together to reminisce about the games that they enjoyed in their youth. Check out the extensive list below - how many did you play?---------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - @colonialpink, harrisonpink@gmail.com, blog.harrisonpink.com----------------Episode Outline 0:00:37 - Monopoly 0:08:56 - The Game of Life 0:13:18 - Risk 0:23:11 - Crazy Eights 0:26:03 - Clue 0:30:14 - Scotland Yard 0:35:40 - Mastermind 0:39:25 - Mousetrap 0:41:50 - Fireball Island 0:47:27 - Dark Tower 0:48:54 - Trivial Pursuit 0:52:24 - King’s Quest 0:59:19 - Ultima Online

#89: Pandemic with Matt Leacock
3346
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3346
#89: Pandemic with Matt Leacock

Dirk and David are joined by game designer Matt Leacock of Pandemic fame. Cooperative games are the topic of the day as Matt goes through his experiences building on the Pandemic franchise.------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Matt Leacock - www.leacock.com-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:32 - Matt’s Background 0:06:43 - Gaming with the family 0:11:43 - Pandemic as a brand 0:19:27 - The future of Pandemic 0:30:36 - Playing with power gamers 0:45:45 - Thunderbirds 0:51:19 - Going full time

#88: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
3865
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3865
#88: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to talk about information. What are the advantages and disadvantages of perfect information games? How much is “enough” for each player to know? And how does Monopoly cause fist fights?--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:53 - Fog of war and limited information 0:05:31 - Information and scoring 0:14:23 - Game length 0:33:07 - Seafall 0:37:40 - Good examples of hidden information 0:45:50 - War Stories

#87: Working on the Pile
3814
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3814
#87: Working on the Pile

Dirk and David take a brief respite from interviewing developers to talk about the games they’ve been playing. An extensive discussion on Europa Universalis IV eventually morphs into why people are fascinated by trains.----Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron---Episode Outline 0:01:01 - Europa Universalis IV 0:33:04 - Empire Builder 0:41:13 - Trains!

#86: Choice of Games with Dan Fabulich
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3967
#86: Choice of Games with Dan Fabulich

Dan Fabulich from Choice Of Games joins Dirk and David to talk about the interactive fiction genre and the process of choosing an adventure that may or may not be your own.--------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Dan Fabulich - @choiceofgames, dan@choiceofgames.com, www.choiceofgames.com-----Episode Outline 0:00:31 - Choice of Games 0:01:43 - Interactive Fiction 0:05:58 - UI 0:23:30 - Gender and Choice 0:31:37 - Best Practices 0:42:57 - Other IF Developers 0:46:26 - Branded Properties 0:54:20 - Making choices matter---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Choice of Games http://www.choiceofgames.com/ Inkle Games http://www.inklestudios.com/blog/ A Dark Room https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-dark-room/id736683061?mt=8 Device 6 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/device-6/id680366065?mt=8 San Franciso Interactive Fiction Meetup http://www.meetup.com/sf-bay-area-interactive-fiction/

#85: Bamboozle Brothers with Jay Cormier and Sen Foong Lim
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3778
#85: Bamboozle Brothers with Jay Cormier and Sen Foong Lim

This week Dirk is joined by game designers Jay Cormier and Sen Foong Lim of Bamboozle Brothers. Jay and Sen describe what it’s like working with a partner long distance, getting picked up by a publisher, and their process to designing tabletop games.---------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Jay Cormier - @bamboozlebros, http://www.bamboozlebrothers.com/ourgames.html Sen Foong Lim - @senfoonglim--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:02:20 - Belfort Design Process 0:03:27 - Starting Small 0:14:27 - After getting picked up by a publisher 0:18:10 - Getting Started 0:23:37 - Teamwork and Collaboration 0:27:12 - Disagreements 0:35:04 - Game Artisans of Canada 0:56:13 - Starting with theme or mechanics

#84: Marketing
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4065
#84: Marketing

Dirk, David, and Rob talk about the the importance of marketing. How important is it and how do the numbers compare between tabletop and the digital realm? And what’s the Wil Wheaton factor?----------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:56 - Marketing at Hasbro 0:08:20 - Marketing and conferences 0:12:18 - The differences between tabletop and digital marketing 0:21:01 - Data 0:26:54 - Pricing 0:33:38 - Theme and marketing 0:41:25 - Copycats and “inspired by” 0:51:43 - Marketing as independence 0:54:52 - Wil Wheaton gets his own bullet point

#83: Games All The Way Down with Harrison Pink
4188
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4188
#83: Games All The Way Down with Harrison Pink

Harrison Pink returns to the show to talk with Dirk and David about playing games. This episode is all about what games our panel has been playing and how they have reacted as both players and designers.-----------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - harrisonpink.com, @colonialpink, harrisonpink@gmail.com-----------------------Episode Outline 0:01:33 - Sir, You Are Being Hunted and stealth 0:09:12 - Splendor 0:28:26 - Diplomacy 0:39:56 - Neptune’s Pride 0:44:49 - Dune 1:01:16 - X-Wing Miniatures

#82: Checking In
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3795
#82: Checking In

In this week’s episode, Dirk and David take some time to talk about their current projects. Futbol Strategy is around the corner and David’s Knights of Puzzelot has launched - find out how the games are going and what else the two have up their sleeves for the future.-------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron-------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:20 - Futbol Strategy 0:11:30 - Knights of Puzzelot 0:24:03 - Dirk’s unrevealed project 0:26:18 - David’s deck building game 0:34:29 - David’s new project 0:42:28 - Design books

#81: Push and Pull with Nels Anderson
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3676
#81: Push and Pull with Nels Anderson

Nels Anderson joins Dirk and David to talk about the concept of “Push and Pull” style games and how it relates to game styles and gamer choice.--------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Nels Anderson - @Nelsarmensch, www.above49.ca, https://www.idlethumbs.net/terminal7, firewatchgame.com---------------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:30 - Push vs Pull 0:14:40 - Push/Pull and player choice 0:29:07 - Tabletop games 0:32:30 - Game responsiveness 0:40:35 - The illusion of choice 0:50:13 - Firewatch

#80: Anticipation and Expectations
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4250
#80: Anticipation and Expectations

This week Dirk, David, and Rob go over the process that leads up to experiencing the game. From first hearing about it and finally unboxing it, what matters the most to designers and players? And just how many of our regular panel are old-school D&D nerds? (Hint: all of them.)----------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:26 - Early announcements and Seafall 0:11:46 - Expectations and age 0:19:00 - Boxes and graphic design 0:34:32 - Opening the box 0:45:05 - Time to play the game 1:04:30 - Favorite new product memories

#79: Intrinsic or Extrinsic? with Harrison Pink
4142
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4142
#79: Intrinsic or Extrinsic? with Harrison Pink

Harrison Pink joins Dirk and David to talk about what motivates both players and developers. Is it the journey, the destination, or the sweet, sweet Steam achievements at the end?------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - harrisonpink.com, @colonialpink, harrisonpink@gmail.com-----------------------Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation 0:09:42 - Telltale Games and extrinsic rewards 0:12:40 - Chocolate covered broccoli 0:31:15 - Authorial intent 0:46:34 - Can design be extrinsic or intrinsic

#78: Streaming and Live Development with Brad Muir
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3570
#78: Streaming and Live Development with Brad Muir

Dirk and Soren talk to Double Fine’s Brad Muir about streaming the development process and interacting with fans. Listen in on how to walk the fine line between listening to your fans and still steering the ship while working in an open development environment.--------------------------------------- Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - www.designer-notes.com, www.mohawkgames.com, @sorenjohnson Brad Muir - @mrmooear, brad@doublefine.com------------------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Streaming at Double Fine 0:10:24 - Civ IV’s early access 0:17:03 - Unexpected benefits 0:31:15 - Other streaming developers 0:37:11 - Kickstarter and fundraising 0:49:31 - What’s next for Double Fine 0:52:30 - Soren’s project

#77: Prototyping
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3196
#77: Prototyping

Dirk, David, and Rob get down to the nitty-gritty about prototyping their game concepts, both on the digital side and the tabletop side. What does a good prototype look like, and more importantly: how is one actually made?------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com, David Heron - @DavidVHeron, Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, hello@robdaviau.com------------------------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:58 - Working with the family 0:09:36 - Resolution and detail 0:15:46 - Digital prototyping 0:23:28 - Prototyping a licensed game 0:27:30 - Prototyping different components 0:42:22 - Playing prototypes

#76: The Inside Scoop
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3503
#76: The Inside Scoop

Dirk and David take a moment to discuss the games they’re working on and the challenges they face when trying to bring new game concepts to life. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:49 - War Stories 0:06:33 - The Knights of Puzzleot 0:15:15 - David’s side CCG project 0:29:30 - New CCG mechanics and approachability 0:35:01 - Futbol Strategy

#75: Infinite Loop
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3511
#75: Infinite Loop

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to discuss the perceived value in infinitely replayable games. Where did this notion come from? The trio discuss collectible card games and Minecraft alongside normal tabletop games to get to the bottom of infinity.--------------------------------------------------- --Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau -@RobDaviauGamer, hello@robdaviau.com--------------------------Episode Outline 0:01:22 - What is the origin of the “infinite game” concept? 0:07:04 - The Cult of the New 0:13:40 - CCGs 0:22:04 - Game exploits and replayability 0:30:58 - Expansions 0:39:44 - Short and single-play digital games

#74: Procedurally Chaotic with Julian Gollop
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3846
#74: Procedurally Chaotic with Julian Gollop

Dirk and David talk to veteran designer Julian Gollop about his career in gaming and his Kickstarter for a remake of his classic game Chaos Reborn. The trio discuss the roles of both user and procedurally generated content as well as Julian’s plans for his remake of Chaos Reborn.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Julian Gollop - @julian_gollop, www.chaos-reborn.com-------------------------Episode Outline 0:02:02 - Chaos Reborn and its Kickstarter 0:12:20 - Social elements in games 0:16:42 - Chaos Reborn gameplay 0:33:58 - Procedurally generated content 0:52:58 - X-COM 0:59:48 - The future of Chaos Reborn and early testing

#73: MMOs, RPGs, and Pathfinder with Ryan Dancey
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3997
#73: MMOs, RPGs, and Pathfinder with Ryan Dancey

Ryan Dancey joins Dirk and Soren to talk about tabletop RPGs and Pathfinder Online. What’s the cross-section between MMOs and traditional RPGs? Listen in to find out how Pathfinder took the helm from D&D and what their plans are for their upcoming MMO.--------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - www.designer-notes.com, www.mohawkgames.com, @sorenjohnson Ryan Dancey - @rsdancey--------------------------------------------------------------------Episode Outline 0:00:21 - Ryan’s background 0:03:18 - Ryan and game design 0:08:20 - The Pathfinder roleplaying game 0:21:10 - Do MMOs hurt tabletop RPG sales? 0:30:05 - Pathfinder online and Kickstarter 0:39:49 - “Theme Park” games vs. sandbox games 0:55:28 - Combat vs. relationships in RPGs

#72 Playtesting
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3306
#72 Playtesting

Rob Daviau returns to the show to talk to Dirk and David about playtesting and the challenges of getting good feedback. Are core gamers good playtesters? How much playtesting is necessary? The show concludes with a discussion on the covenant between games and their players - how many playthroughs are “enough”?-------------------------------------------------Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Rob Daviau - @RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com-----------------------Episode Outline 0:00:46 - Playtesting Seafall 0:09:45 - Playtesting and CCGs 0:19:22 - Prototypes 0:36:45 - Getting the right feedback 0:39:10 - The creativity in boardgames 0:45:58 - Shorter experiences

#71: Intuitive Design. With Harrison Pink.
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4221
#71: Intuitive Design. With Harrison Pink.

Telltale Games’ Harrison Pink joins Dirk and David to talk about the difference between designing by instinct and using analysis and data. Can a designer ever be fully intuitive or analytic? The trio explores this topic through character development in The Walking Dead as well as Tales From the Borderlands.------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Contact Information Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Harrison Pink - @ColonialPink, harrisonpink@gmail.com------------------------ Episode Outline 0:00:43 - Intuitive vs Analytical Design 0:09:04 - The Walking Dead and choices 0:18:25 - Experience and its impact 0:22:58 - Poker and feel 0:40:15 - Adapting to new player roles 0:49:26 - Borderlands and greed

#70: A Roman Farewell
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3367
#70: A Roman Farewell

Jon announces that he’ll be retiring from the podcast in order to focus fully on At the Gates. Piggybacking on this topic, he and Dirk discuss workflow, where AtG is at now and highlight what’s next for it. Dirk finishes up the episode by sharing his plans for TGDRT going forward. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:10 - Jon’s Last Ride 0:03:52 - Work Patterns 0:09:42 - Splitting Attention 0:22:32 - The Impact of Art 0:30:21 - Future of At the Gates 0:41:15 - Travel & Convention Plans 0:45:24 - Marketing 0:51:43 - The Future of the Podcast

#69: Players as Designers
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4347
#69: Players as Designers

Jon, Dirk and David discuss the idea of players as designers within the context of house rules, modding and optional rules. Other topics covered include: how much control should players have? When are house rules bad? How much creative control over the core game design should developers give out? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:38 - House Rules 0:07:20 - Modding 0:17:48 - Tabletop Games 0:30:30 - Optional Rules 0:38:55 - Our House Rules 0:43:58 - Allowing for Player Creativity 0:55:40 - Opening Up the Design Process 1:03:35 - From Modder to Designer

#68: Transparency
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5416
#68: Transparency

Soren joins Jon and Dirk to discuss transparency: what a game does and does not reveal to players. The discussion ranges from unpredictability in deckbuilders like ‘Dominion’ and ‘Ascension’, to fog of war in ‘Civilization’, ‘At the Gates’ and ‘War Stories’, to the need to memorize past actions in games like ‘El Grande’. They wrap up with a lengthy discussion about the transparency problems Dirk and Soren have with the baseball sim ‘Out of the Park’ and why Jon still loves it all the same. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @SorenJohnson, www.Designer-Notes.com, www.MohawkGames.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:24 - What IS Transparency? 0:13:50 - Deckbuilders 0:18:02 - Fog of War 0:26:12 - Dirk’s Games 0:31:15 - Replayability 0:38:18 - Memory 0:45:35 - The Designer’s Preference 0:50:04 - Out of the Park Baseball 1:12:00 - Designing Our Baseball Sim

#67: Game Phases & Pivots
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3517
#67: Game Phases & Pivots

Rob joins Jon and Dirk to discuss phases (the early game, the late game, etc.) and ‘pivot points’, which are moments when focus shifts from one aspect of a game (such as economic engine building) to another (scoring points). Some of the titles brought up during the conversation include Chess, Monopoly, Dominion, Lords of Waterdeep and Zimbabwe, the game that got Rob thinking about this topic. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Rob Daviau - @RobDaviauGamer, Rob.Daviau@IronWallGames.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:22 - Pivot Points 0:15:00 - Pacing Point of No Return 0:21:20 - Chess 0:27:14 - The Designer’s Perspective 0:34:35 - Game Phases 0:42:00 - Pivots in Mechanics

#66: Diplomacy in At the Gates
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4260
#66: Diplomacy in At the Gates

Jon and Dirk cover many a topic in this episode, but the main discussion revolves around Jon’s plans for diplomacy in ‘At the Gates’, how they’ve changed, and why. Also covered are game structure in Starbound, the business of games and a brief update on Dirk’s projects. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:56 - Games we’ve played recently 0:08:08 - Diplomacy in AtG 0:31:30 - Asymmetry in diplomacy 0:45:10 - Planning fatigue 0:51:50 - Dirk’s projects 1:01:34 - Business stuff

#65: Real-Time. With Geoff Engelstein
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4445
#65: Real-Time. With Geoff Engelstein

Dirk and Jon are joined by Geoff Engelstein to talk about his work, design philosophies and podcast. How do you create a real-time tabletop game? What makes inspirations special? How important is theme compared with mechanics? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Geoff Engelstein - @GEngelstein, www.ludology.net, geoff@ludology.net --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:03:30 - Real-time tabletop games 0:12:29 - Inspirations 0:16:22 - Wargames 0:24:52 - User experience 0:29:59 - The road to tabletop 0:33:22 - Designing with your kids 0:43:58 - Future projects 0:49:31 - Theme & learning 1:01:46 - Kickstarter

#64: Conflict
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4629
#64: Conflict

Jon and Dirk are joined by Soren Johnson once again, this time to discuss conflict in games. Topics covered include: What is a conflict? Why is its representation in games nearly always violent? What other types of conflict are there, and how can designers best utilize them? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @SorenJohnson, www.Designer-Notes.com, www.MohawkGames.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:58 - What IS a ‘conflict’? 0:09:18 - Asymmetric conflicts 0:32:18 - Duels VS Multiplayer 0:41:05 - Lopsided conflicts 0:46:35 - Why are most game conflicts violent? 0:47:30 - Conflict in Soren’s game ‘Mars’ 1:01:02 - Eurogames 1:05:49 - Politics

#63: Theme
3660
2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3660
#63: Theme

Rob Daviau pays a visit for a discussion about theme. How much theme is enough? How much is TOO much? How do you actually translate theme into gameplay mechanics. And heck, what IS a ‘theme’, anyways? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Rob Daviau - @RobDaviauGamer, Rob.Daviau@IronWallGames.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:58 - How much theme is enough? 0:06:42 - Translating theme into gameplay 0:18:40 - Steering the theme 0:22:25 - Bad themes 0:27:37 - Choosing your themes 0:35:48 - Shared themes 0:42:00 - Themes in games we’ve played 0:55:22 - What IS a theme?

#62: Cheating
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4195
#62: Cheating

Why do people cheat? What can designers do about it? SHOULD they do anything about it in non-competitive single-player games? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:02:00 - Competitive games 0:10:50 - Cheating & technology 0:18:25 - Non-competitive cheating 0:32:01 - Reloading & defeat 0:42:30 - Protecting players from themselves 0:52:55 - Taking back moves 1:04:52 - Allowed cheating

#61: Don’t Starve. With Kevin Forbes
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3671
#61: Don’t Starve. With Kevin Forbes

Jon and Dirk are joined by Kevin Forbes of Klei Entertainment to talk about Don’t Starve. Topics covered include environmental cycles, crafting, and the unique challenges and perks of developing a systems-based game. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Kevin Forbes - @TheKRF --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:27 - Kevin’s design background 0:03:06 - What is Don’t Starve? 0:05:56 - Environmental cycles 0:08:33 - Balancing & playtesting 0:13:39 - Crafting 0:28:55 - Death & resurrection 0:31:35 - Sanity 0:34:02 - Audience 0:36:30 - Klei 0:38:56 - Developing a procedural game 0:53:43 - Advice for designers

#60: End-of-Year Spectacular 2013
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5034
#60: End-of-Year Spectacular 2013

Jon and Dirk hand out awards for the mechanics and games they played in 2013 that stood out - for better and worse. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:02:19 - Best Light Game 0:12:02 - Best Integration of Theme 0:22:31 - Best Mechanic 0:28:32 - Most Elegant 0:37:41 - Most Innovative 0:42:30 - Best Feature in a Disappointing Game 0:51:15 - Most Fun 1:01:05 - Most Disappointing 1:11:10 - Game of the Year

#59: Race for the Galaxy. With Tom Lehmann
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3193
#59: Race for the Galaxy. With Tom Lehmann

Board game designer Tom Lehmann joins Jon and Dirk to talk about Race for the Galaxy, co-designing on existing games, and his design methodology. -------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Tom Lehmann - http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/150/thomas-lehmann -------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:46 - Building on an existing design 0:05:29 - Race for the Galaxy 0:09:16 - Cards as resources 0:17:20 - Economics & strategy 0:26:26 - Victory points 0:31:00 - Iconography & learning 0:36:49 - Tom’s design background 0:39:22 - Tom’s design approach

#58: Death in Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3983
#58: Death in Games

Jon, Dirk and David discuss the role of death in games. What is it for? How does it interact with narrative? What games has it been represented well and poorly in? And how can it be improved? --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:58 - Why has death changed in design history? 0:06:00 - What should death’s role be? 0:21:16 - Death in persistent games 0:27:10 - Permanent loss 0:34:05 - Death done well and poorly 0:45:00 - Can death help players? 0:52:55 - Ideas for improving death

#57: Stepping Back, Goals & Pacing
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4059
#57: Stepping Back, Goals & Pacing

Jon and Dirk discuss general design topics relating to their recent work, including playtesting, extending the development of projects, providing players with goals, instilling a game with good pacing and ensuring there are always interesting strategic options to choose from. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:10 - Playtesting 0:06:55 - Extending Development 0:15:17 - Goals & Structure 0:22:08 - Pacing 0:47:01 - Strategic Variance

#56: ‘SeaFall’ & Legacy Design. With Rob Daviau
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4453
#56: ‘SeaFall’ & Legacy Design. With Rob Daviau

Jon and Dirk are paid a return visit by first-ever TGDRT guest Rob Daviau to talk about ‘SeaFall’, his new exploration legacy tabletop game, Rob’s company ‘IronWall Games’, and his hopes for further innovation in the genre he helped create. -------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Rob Daviau - @RobDaviauGamer, Rob.Daviau@IronWallGames.com -------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:00 - Balancing Risk: Legacy 0:06:06 - SeaFall 0:11:44 - Core mechanics 0:15:30 - Victory & legacy 0:27:24 - Balancing legacy VS individual playthroughs 0:35:19 - Exploration 0:40:36 - How do you design a legacy game? 0:52:55 - Inspirations behind SeaFall 1:03:50 - Rob’s company: IronWall Games

#55: Sharing Game Design Ideas
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4240
#55: Sharing Game Design Ideas

Jon, Dirk and David share design concepts they find interesting and hope to incorporate into future (or simply hypothetical) projects. The group also digs into why developers are sometimes reluctant to share and discuss design ideas. -------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron -------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:57 - Tabletop game physicality 0:10:18 - Pitching game design ideas 0:14:20 - Legacy and variable tabletop games 0:17:20 - Riffing off of other ideas 0:24:17 - Licensed games 0:29:15 - Living worlds 0:34:25 - Making magic interesting 0:39:50 - Procedural content 0:45:16 - Design pipe dreams 0:53:30 - Secrecy in game design

#54: Ploy, Race for the Galaxy & Hansa Teutonica
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3182
#54: Ploy, Race for the Galaxy & Hansa Teutonica

Jon and Dirk meet up to play several tabletop games and discuss what works and what doesn't. Included in the discussion are Ploy, Race for the Galaxy, and Hansa Teutonica. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:30 - Ploy 0:18:58 - Race for the Galaxy 0:36:04 - Hansa Teutonica

#53: Mohawks & Martians. With Soren Johnson
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5539
#53: Mohawks & Martians. With Soren Johnson

Jon and Dirk are paid a visit by regular guest Soren Johnson, who stops by to talk about his brand-new studio ‘Mohawk Games’ and their first project, ‘Mars’, an economic RTS built out of the legacy of Dani Bunten’s venerable M.U.L.E. They discuss the challenges of and goals behind Soren setting up his own shop, and what he hopes the unique game will achieve. Soren also reveals the first game to ever make him cry. And trust us, it’s fitting. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Soren Johnson - @SorenJohnson, www.Designer-Notes.com, www.MohawkGames.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:00 - The story behind Mohawk 0:08:12 - ‘Core’ strategy games 0:14:50 - Kickstarter & Steam Early Access 0:35:44 - Mohawk’s first game: ‘Mars’ 0:48:40 - The ups and downs of economic competition 0:54:22 - Real-time VS turn-based 1:02:48 - M.U.L.E. 1:14:50 - The tech behind strategy games 1:22:20 - Past lessons applied 1:27:05 - The first game to make Soren cry

#52: Meet the TGDRT Crew
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4308
#52: Meet the TGDRT Crew

Jon and Dirk are joined by David for the special 1-year anniversary show. They point the magnifying glass back at themselves in this episode and share their design processes, challenges they’ve overcome, the tools they use and how to build a good team. They wrap things up by talking about ways the show has given back and made them better game designers and developers. Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Episode Outline 0:03:57 - Serial VS parallel design 0:13:15 - Life as a designer/producer 0:17:20 - Dirk’s crazy schedule 0:23:40 - Google Docs & Software 0:38:10 - Playtesting 0:45:10 - Building a good team 0:56:24 - How has the podcast changed our hosts?

#51: Alpha Centauri & Evolving as a Designer. With Brian Reynolds
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5326
#51: Alpha Centauri & Evolving as a Designer. With Brian Reynolds

Jon and Dirk are joined by Brian Reynolds, designer of ‘Civilization 2’, ‘Alpha Centauri’, ‘Rise of Nations’ and more. They discuss Brian’s career as a designer, his approach and what makes ‘Alpha Centauri’ stand up so many years later.

#50: Kickstarter & Stonemaier Games. With Jamey Stegmaier
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4004
#50: Kickstarter & Stonemaier Games. With Jamey Stegmaier

Jon and Dirk are joined by Jamey Stegmaier, co-founder of Stonemaier Games and designer of ‘Viticulture’ and ‘Euphoria’. They discuss Stonemaier’s first two titles, giving back to the development community and have a lengthy conversation on the state and future of Kickstarter.

#49: How to Teach Games
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3951
#49: How to Teach Games

Jon, Dirk and David delve into the most effective ways of teaching both tabletop and digital games. What role do out-of-game video tutorials have to play? Can quick, throw-away demo games work? When is it okay NOT to teach features? And what is the perfect (possibly unattainable) approach for digital games?

#48: X-COM & Tactical Games. With Julian Gollop
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3876
#48: X-COM & Tactical Games. With Julian Gollop

Jon and Dirk are joined by Julian Gollop, designer of X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown) and a game development veteran with 30 years of experience. They discuss Julian’s distinguished career, how the design discipline is special and what made X-COM stand above so many games over the decades. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Julian Gollop - @Julian_Gollop, www.GollopGames.com, --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:00:50 - Julian’s early career 0:09:50 - The history of X-COM 0:23:00 - Life after X-COM 0:34:16 - Julian’s evolution as a designer 0:42:20 - What makes a designer? 0:48:38 - Choosing a development platform 0:53:06 - What makes X-COM special? 1:01:30 - Julian’s 'favorite child'

#47: AtG Playtest, Agricola & More
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4962
#47: AtG Playtest, Agricola & More

Our hosts discuss Dirk's recent experience playtesting ‘At the Gates’, dive deep into what makes ‘Agricola’ great, and lament the loneliness of the skill curve in ‘Go’. They also touch upon the simple-but-effective worldbuilding in ‘The Last of Us’, and the enjoyable gameplay but still-questionable monetization of ‘World of Tanks’. --------------------------- Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com --------------------------- Episode Outline 0:01:01 - Agricola 0:23:12 - Go 0:36:12 - The Last of Us 0:44:11 - World of Tanks 0:52:16 - AtG Development Update 0:55:44 - Dirk Development Update 1:04:00 - AtG Playtest Report

#46: Theme, Mechanics & Fun
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4402
#46: Theme, Mechanics & Fun

Jon, Dirk and David finally get around to talking about theme, mechanics and how the intersection of the two relates to ‘fun’. What are each? What happens when you favor one over the other? Can you flat out OMIT one? And what are some examples in the games our panelists have actually worked? Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Episode Outline 0:01:08 - Definitions 0:05:15 - Business considerations 0:16:00 - Favoring one over the other 0:22:08 - What is ‘fun’? 0:31:50 - Theme vs mechanics 0:43:30 - Can you omit one? 0:53:00 - Jon’s approach in At the Gates 1:00:40 - Dirk’s approach 1:02:17 - David’s approach

#45: Tabletop & Digital Design. With Ed Beach
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3912
#45: Tabletop & Digital Design. With Ed Beach

Jon and Dirk are joined by Ed Beach, designer of the digital titles ‘Civilization 5: Gods & Kings’ and ‘Brave New World’ as well as tabletop games ‘Here I Stand’ and ‘Virgin Queen’. As you might have guessed, their discussion focuses on the similarities and differences between the two disciplines of design, and what lessons learned in one can be applied to the other. Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Ed Beach - home.comcast.net/~ebeach, EdBeach@Comcast.net Outline 0:00:32 - ‘Here I Stand’ 0:08:35 - Ed’s design background 0:14:04 - Differences between digital & tabletop design 0:27:35 - How do you encourage negotiation? 0:40:13 - Large scale VS small scale design 0:46:20 - Scenario design VS tabletop design 0:51:36 - Applying lessons across disciplines 0:59:25 - Ed’s future projects

#44: Competition, Endgames & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4905
#44: Competition, Endgames & Updates

Jon and Dirk discuss Solium Infernum and City of Remnants in-depth, and along the way delve into the issues deep competitive games have and the reasons why endgames are typically so bad. Dirk then provides an update on his forty projects, and Jon talks about the challenges of design and engineering and the thinking that goes behind when to start playtesting. Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com Outline 0:00:32 - Solium Infernum 0:05:50 - Issues with deep competitive games 0:19:50 - City of Remnants 0:29:20 - Why are endgames so rarely good? 0:47:00 - Update on Dirk’s projects 1:05:17 - Update on At the Gates 1:13:25 - The strategy of playtesting

#43: Randomness
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4053
#43: Randomness

Jon, Dirk and David finally get around to the elephant in the room: randomness. What is it? How can it make games better or worse? How does it relate to the type of audience you’re aiming for? What bad things can happen when you try to remove it? And heck, is there actually anything good about complete, utter, brutal unfair randomness? Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@ConiferGames.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron Episode Outline 0:00:23 - What is randomness? 0:03:55 - What makes randomness good? 0:08:45 - Randomness and casual VS hardcore 0:15:56 - Problems trying to mitigate randomness 0:23:10 - Probability 0:38:15 - Fairness 0:50:40 - Input randomness

#42: King of Dragon Pass. With David Dunham
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3589
#42: King of Dragon Pass. With David Dunham

Jon and Dirk are joined by David Dunham, the creator of the classic PC and new iOS game ‘King of Dragon Pass’. The panel discusses the game’s unique focus on player-driven narrative, reviving an old-school title on new platforms, and the challenges of indie development. And Jon gets excited, simply because he finally found another game that takes barbarians seriously! Contact Information Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com David Dunham - @KingDragonPass, www.A-Sharp.com Episode Outline 0:00:54 - King of Dragon Pass 0:02:47 - The origins of KoDP 0:07:00 - KoDP’s story 0:16:24 - The development of KoDP 0:25:32 - Sales and target audience 0:28:50 - Why go indie? 0:37:38 - A Sharp: David’s company 0:39:13 - David’s design process 0:49:07 - David’s interests 0:54:20 - Advice for aspiring designers

#41: Paradox Games, Poker and AI
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4625
#41: Paradox Games, Poker and AI

Jon and Dirk cover a wide variety of topics this week, notably: the problems with automation and user interface in Paradox titles like Hearts of Iron 3 and Europa Universalis 4, the psychological appeal and the (possibly too-important) role of money in poker, and the challenges of meshing tech and design in At the Gates’ AI. Jon Shafer @JonShaferDesign (Twitter) www.JonShaferOnDesign.com Dirk Knemeyer @DKnemeyer (Twitter) www.artana.com Episode Outline 0:01:15 - Europa Universalis 4 and Hearts of Iron 3 0:07:30 - The problem with automation 0:14:29 - UI in Paradox games 0:27:50 - Poker 0:42:05 - The problems with poker 0:52:22 - Poker and money 0:58:41 - At the Gates - Map Objects 1:05:45 - At the Gates - AI 1:13:36 - Dirk’s brief project update

#40: Multiplayer
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3642
#40: Multiplayer

Jon, Dirk and David delve into the topic of multiplayer design: How is it different from single player design? What are the strengths and weaknesses different types of multiplayer? What separates e-sports from traditional multiplayer games? And what approach can be taken towards cheating? Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com David Heron - @DavidVHeron 0:01:27 - Why talk about multiplayer? 0:03:43 - Multiplayer design vs single player design 0:09:08 - Different multiplayer modes 0:21:10 - Asynchronous multiplayer 0:27:42 - Multiplayer-only games 0:40:53 - E-Sports 0:43:32 - Cheating 0:54:43 - The value of multiplayer

#39: Skyward Collapse, AI and Business. With Chris Park
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5070
#39: Skyward Collapse, AI and Business. With Chris Park

Jon and Dirk sit down with Chris Park of Arcen Games to discuss his latest game, Skyward Collapse, the development and business challenges of developing indie strategy games, and the important role AI can play in asymmetric games.

#38: Polish, Penalties & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5269
#38: Polish, Penalties & Updates

Jon and Dirk discuss several games at length this week, namely: Monaco, the new Walking Dead chapter, Super Crate Box for the Ouya and Civ 5: Brave New World. Topics covered include how penalties can improve a game, the importance of polish, and why diplomacy in 4X games always seems to be bad.

#37: Failure, Punishment and Learning
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4357
#37: Failure, Punishment and Learning

Jon, Dirk and David discuss the role of failure in games and how it ties in with how people learn how to play. What does punishment add, and where can it go wrong? How do you effectively teach players strategy games? What do PLAYERS get out of failure? And how the heck do you learn a tabletop game without tooltips?

#36: Occult Chronicles & Life as an Indie. With Vic Davis
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 4275
#36: Occult Chronicles & Life as an Indie. With Vic Davis

Dirk sits down with game designer Vic Davis of Cryptic Comet games to talk about life as an indie designer, Vic’s dark game design decisions, and his new game 'Occult Chronicles'.

#35: Ethics in Design, Hotline Miami & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 5139
#35: Ethics in Design, Hotline Miami & Updates

Jon and Dirk cover a variety of games they’ve played lately, including the new ‘Walking Dead’ expansion, ‘Ascension’ and ‘1775’. The discussion gets serious when ‘Hotline Miami’ comes up, and the crew debates the role of ethics in game design. They wrap up on a lighter note, describing the challenge of integrating mechanics and UI in a tabletop game, and how to instill life into fictional characters.

#34: Progression Systems. With Soren Johnson
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3805
#34: Progression Systems. With Soren Johnson

Soren Johnson returns to the show to discuss progression systems with Jon and Dirk, with a special focus on technology trees. What are the advantages and disadvantages of abstraction? How do Diablo 2 and 3 and Civilization 4 and 5 differ? What is At the Gates doing with Romanization Perks? And hell, what makes for a good progression system anyways? All of these questions - and more - are answered within!

#33: Unity of Command. With Tomislav Uzelac
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2017-09-22 13:40:53 UTC 3602
#33: Unity of Command. With Tomislav Uzelac

Jon and Dirk are joined by Tomislav Uzelac, designer of the amazing WW2 strategy game ‘Unity of Command’ and studio lead for 2x2 Games. They dig into the title’s superb AI, its innovative supply system, building a streamlined strategic experience and the challenges of running a game studio from Croatia.

#32: Don’t Starve, Shogun, Wiz-War & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5124
#32: Don’t Starve, Shogun, Wiz-War & Updates

Jon and Dirk discuss a few games they’ve played lately which make good first impressions but ultimately fall short: ‘Don’t Starve’, ‘Shogun’ and ‘Wiz-War’. They then transition over to talking about what they’ve been working on, including AI character personality and AI design in ‘At the Gates’, getting into the meat of development with ‘Futbol Strategy’ and switching developers for ‘War Stories’.

#31: Tactics & Repetition
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4733
#31: Tactics & Repetition

Jon, Dirk and David discuss tactics in a more general sense. What is a tactical game? What problems does the genre have? Why does Jon hate basically all of them? And is it the players’ fault if their tactical choices aren’t as interesting as they could be?

#30: Design Lessons & Sirlin Games. With David Sirlin
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5201
#30: Design Lessons & Sirlin Games. With David Sirlin

Jon and Dirk are joined by David Sirlin, designer of tabletop titles Puzzle Strike, Yomi and Flash Duel. The group discusses his past games, future plans, building a tabletop company, David’s interesting journey from the Street Fighter community into design, and the vital importance of balance and asymmetry.

#29: Solium Infernum, ‘Futbol Strategy’ & More
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4229
#29: Solium Infernum, ‘Futbol Strategy’ & More

Jon and Dirk finally get around to discussing ‘Solium Infernum’, a tabletop-digital “hybrid” strategy title where you aim to become the lord of hell. They wheel around and talk about the light worker placement game ‘Stone Age’ and why it might be a great entry point for casual fans. After our hosts wrap up what they’ve played with a brief revisiting of ‘Command and Colors’, Dirk reveals his newest tabletop project, ‘Futbol Strategy’, and Jon provides an update on ‘At the Gates’ and his plans to revisit the game’s victory conditions and strategic trade-offs.

#28: Scoring & Victory
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4498
#28: Scoring & Victory

The usual three-man crew discusses - debates, even - the ways in which we win games. The first half of the show is dominated by dissecting the pluses and minuses of victory points, whether they’re inherently arbitrary, and if they might even be a sign of lazy design. In the second half our hosts talk specifics, analyzing how victory does (and could) work in ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘At the Gates.’

#27: Board Game Design. With Martin Wallace
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3785
#27: Board Game Design. With Martin Wallace

Dirk (the solo host for this week) sits down with acclaimed game designer Martin Wallace of Tree Frog Games. Martin’s star-studded resume includes Railroad Tycoon, A Few Acres of Snow, Waterloo, and the Discworld licensed games.

#26: Puzzle Strike, Becoming a Designer, & More
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5677
#26: Puzzle Strike, Becoming a Designer, & More

A lengthy episode where Jon and Dirk cover a variety of topics. First, they discuss the superb ‘Puzzle Strike’, basically “‘Dominion’ done right.” The conversation shifts to ‘Magic’ and the pluses and minuses of an immense learning curve. Our hosts then provide updates on their ongoing projects, and wrap up the episode with a realistic (some might say sobering) look at what it’s like becoming - and being - a game designer.

#25: Information & Obfuscation
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3836
#25: Information & Obfuscation

David Heron, Jon and Dirk noodle over the role of information and obfuscation in game design. Why does ‘Persona 4’ work when the BioWare games do not? And when can hiding info be GOOD for a game?

#24: Games and the Law. With Dave Fitzgerald
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5354
#24: Games and the Law. With Dave Fitzgerald

Trademark specialist and actual lawyer-type Dave Fitzgerald joins the show to discuss legal issues relating to games development. Topics covered include the difference between patents, trademarks and copyrights, what you need to set up a company and common mistakes made by developers.

#23: Magic, Drafting & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4054
#23: Magic, Drafting & Updates

Dirk shares his first ‘Magic’ drafting experience, and why the game and format now has its hooks into him. He and Jon then step back and evaluate the drafting mechanic and ponder whether the reason why it works is BECAUSE of a steep learning curve. They then go on to discuss the recent re-release of ‘Age of Empires 2’ and ‘War of the Roses’ before providing brief updates as to what’s new with ‘At the Gates’ and ‘Tomorrow’.

#22: Bioshock Infinite & Plaid Hat Games. With Colby Dauch
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4218
#22: Bioshock Infinite & Plaid Hat Games. With Colby Dauch

The team is joined by Colby Dauch, president of Plaid Hat Games, the developer behind Summoner Wars and the upcoming Bioshock Infinite board game. These games are discussed, as well as the story behind Plaid Hat’s founding, Colby’s approach to business and design, and whether or not the digital/tabletop convergence is real.

#21: Free to Play. With David Heron
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3366
#21: Free to Play. With David Heron

New occasional co-host David Heron rejoins the show to analyze the impact of Free to Play (F2P) from a business and design perspective. The group discusses the philosophical implications of F2P, along with real life examples that include Banner Saga: Factions, World of Tanks and League of Legends.

#20: ‘Tomorrow’, Abnercon Games & Updates
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4764
#20: ‘Tomorrow’, Abnercon Games & Updates

Jon and Dirk are guest-free this week and provide an update on what they’ve been working on and playing. On the Kickstarter front, ‘At the Gates’ has wrapped up and ‘War Stories’ will soon be doing the same. A recent playtest of ‘Tomorrow’ and Jon’s thoughts on a recent version of the game. They also discuss some of the games played at ‘Abnercon’, including ‘The World Cup Game’, ‘Railroad Tycoon’ and ‘Mare Nostrum’.

#19: Diplomacy & Allan Calhamer. With Jim Burgess
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5035
#19: Diplomacy & Allan Calhamer. With Jim Burgess

With the sad passing of Allan Calhamer, Dirk and Jon felt it appropriate to honor his memory and the legacy left behind by his finest work: Diplomacy. They are joined by Jim Burgess, a distinguished member of the Diplomacy community. The crew discusses what’s made it a gaming favorite for fifty years, a few ideas for improvements and what the future holds for the title.

#18: Spelunky. With Derek Yu
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4618
#18: Spelunky. With Derek Yu

This week Jon and Dirk are joined by Derek Yu, designer of Spelunky. He shares his design approach, the importance of challenge and permadeath. Derek also describes what it’s like to be a designer/artist hybrid, as opposed to the designer/programmers that this show has tended to focus on more in the past. He also touches on his unique development cycle where he oscillates between PC freeware and professional, for-purchase titles. There are a few small spoilers, so beware, should you have any interest in exploring the game’s nuances for yourself!

#17: Kickstarter & Fate Core. With Fred Hicks
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3557
#17: Kickstarter & Fate Core. With Fred Hicks

With the At the Gates funding campaign coming to a close, Jon and Dirk are joined by the timely Fred Hicks of Evil Hat to talk about launching and running a Kickstarter drive. They delve into the demands and challenges of Kickstarter, and Fred shares the success story and design behind his latest project, Fate Core.

#16: War Stories. With Michael Tan
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3602
#16: War Stories. With Michael Tan

Jon and Dirk are joined by Michael Tan, lead designer of War Stories, a new tabletop wargaming franchise that just launched on Kickstarter. Michael and Dirk talk about the experience of remotely designing a game together, and share many of the exciting and innovative features that help it stand out from other wargames.

#15: Tactics, Company of Heroes & XCOM
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4165
#15: Tactics, Company of Heroes & XCOM

In this week’s episode Jon and Dirk discuss two of their favorite tactical combat games: Relic’s Company of Heroes, and Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Our hosts discuss what these games did well, poorly and what changes they would make to them.

#14: 4X Games & Civilization. With Soren Johnson
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4154
#14: 4X Games & Civilization. With Soren Johnson

This week Jon and Dirk are joined by Soren Johnson, best known as the designer of Civilization IV. The gang discusses the 4X genre with a particular focus on the Civilization series. They dig into what makes this category of games special, what problems they have yet to solve and what opportunities exist with multiplayer and on mobile platforms.

#13: Jon’s New Game - At the Gates
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4416
#13: Jon’s New Game - At the Gates

Lucky #13! In this week’s episode, our hosts discuss Jon’s new game: ‘At the Gates,’ a 4X strategy game where you play as a barbarian tribe during the fall of Rome. They discuss the background for the game’s development, as well as the design thinking that went into many of its features. ‘At the Gates’ will be available on Kickstarter from February 6th until March 8th, so please check it out!

#12: CCGs & Dominion. With David Heron
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4209
#12: CCGs & Dominion. With David Heron

Jon and Dirk are joined by designer David Heron to discuss his work on the Legend of the Five Rings CCG (Collectible Card Game). Along the way, they examine the business side of building a CCG. The discussion then shifts to deckbuilding and drafting games, with a particular focus on Dominion and 7 Wonders and the design flaws that prevent Dirk and David from enjoying them. At the end of the episode Jon teases a big announcement that will be made next week.

#11: Storytelling & The Walking Dead. With Telltale
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4777
#11: Storytelling & The Walking Dead. With Telltale

A “high-energy” episode this week as Jon and Dirk are joined by Telltale Games designers (and Idle Thumbs hosts) Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin. The guests share their experiences developing story-based games, with a particular focus on The Walking Dead. Many of the design challenges they face contrast heavily with what Jon and Dirk are used to with more abstract, non-story titles. And yet, the crew also discovers that many of the nuts and bolts that go into game development are the same regardless of what type of project you’re working on. Oh, and a spoiler warning for those of you who haven’t yet finished Season 1 of The Walking Dead. Jake and Sean discuss important plot points a couple times, so listener beware!

#10: Battle of the Bulge, Updates, and More
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3675
#10: Battle of the Bulge, Updates, and More

An intimate show this week where Jon and Dirk cover a variety of topics ranging from the new Battle of the Bulge iOS game to Jon’s recent article contrasting turn-based and real-time games. Dirk also provides an update on the progress of his current game, ‘Tomorrow’, and our hosts even spend a few minute discussing another project on Kickstarter that they’re not exactly enamored with.

#9: Journey of a Part-Time Indie. With Jesse Howard
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4897
#9: Journey of a Part-Time Indie. With Jesse Howard

This week Jon and Dirk are joined by Jesse Howard, an academic turned part-time tabletop designer - at age 40. They delve into Jesse’s ongoing journey to develop ‘Ploy’, a promising and innovative abstract card game. The design of Ploy is a very interesting case, as Jesse began with mechanics and only later added theming, which is the opposite approach of our hosts. Along the way, the group explores what they believe to be THE key to game development success.

#8: End-of-Year Spectacular 2012
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4036
#8: End-of-Year Spectacular 2012

In the final episode of 2012, Jon and Dirk hand out the first annual TGDRT Game Design Awards. Our hosts highlight some favorites from past episodes but also share their thoughts on a few newcomers - their Games of the Year might come as a bit of a surprise! Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for being a part of the TGDRT community!

#7: Experience & Replayability. With Scott Lewis
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3968
#7: Experience & Replayability. With Scott Lewis

This week Jon and Dirk are joined by Firaxis designer and programmer Scott Lewis. He comes on the show to jump into a discussion about “experience” games, which target the player’s first experience, and replayable games, which are designed to hold up over the long haul. Along the way there’s plenty of talk about roguelikes and Spelunky in particular, one of Scott and Jon’s favorites. Unfortunately, the quality of Scott’s audio is a bit suspect, so we apologize for that.

#6: Running a Game Company. With Uwe Eickert
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5647
#6: Running a Game Company. With Uwe Eickert

This week Dirk and Jon are joined by Uwe Eickert, founder of Academy Games and designer of several acclaimed board games. They discuss a few of Uwe’s projects including Conflict of Heroes and 1775. Also covered is how and why he got into the business, the challenges of running a tabletop games company and more!

#5: Digital vs. Tabletop Game Design
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 4111
#5: Digital vs. Tabletop Game Design

An intimate show this week in which our co-hosts “go commando,” as Dirk puts it. We compare and contrast tabletop and digital game design, and dig into the process Dirk went through when creating Tomorrow. The crew dives deep into the “nuts and bolts” of development in this episode - so if you enjoy that sort of peek behind the industry’s curtain then you’re really in for a treat!

#4: Storytelling & Crusader Kings 2. With Paradox.
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 3622
#4: Storytelling & Crusader Kings 2. With Paradox.

Henrik Fahraeus and Chris King from the Paradox Interactive design crew join Jon and Dirk to talk about storytelling in games.

#3: Trends in Digital & Tabletop Game Design
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5344
#3: Trends in Digital & Tabletop Game Design

Bill Abner from Conquistador Games joins Jon and Dirk to talk about trends in digital and tabletop games, as well as his experiences transitioning from gaming media into game development.

#2: Memory, Innovation and Being an Indie. With Rob Daviau.
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 5655
#2: Memory, Innovation and Being an Indie. With Rob Daviau.

Risk: Legacy designer and newly-minted indie game design company owner Rob Daviau joins Dirk and Jon to talk about a wide-range of topics including memory and persistence in games, innovation, and starting your own game company. Spelunky, Stone Age, Lords of Waterdeep, Civilization and other games are discussed.

#1: Hello World!
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2017-09-22 13:40:54 UTC 2692
#1: Hello World!

The Game Design Round Table launches with hosts Dirk Knemeyer and Jon Shafer talking about their background in gaming and design.