A Podcast of Interviews With Designers of Board Games, Card Games, Role Playing Games & Video Games.
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Who, What, Why presents our twentieth episode of Designing Games with Game Designers featuring designer Brandon Patton. He is one of the designers of the Super PACs Card Game. In this episode we use the themes, components, and mechanics found on the cards in Unpub, the card game from Doug Levandowski and J.R. Honeycutt. The three themes and mechanics were Cold War, kaiju, pirates, acting, traitor, and player elimination.

Alex and I participate in the discussion, so it is a collaborative venture. Enjoy.

Direct download: 20_W3_E19_Designing_Games_with_Brandon_Patton.mp3
Category:Designing Games -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Stronghold Games burst onto the scene in 2009 with reprints of Code 777 and Survive: Escape from Atlantis. Now 7 years later Stronghold Games has so many titles under its belt, even a game with of its own namesake (Stronghold from Ignacy Trzewicek). One of the initiatives Stronghold Games has embarked on over the last few years has been creating partnerships with foreign publishers like Artipia and Eggertspiel to bring over games that North American gamers had to previously acquire from Essen or Amazon.de. We had a chat with Stephen about how he considers games for his company and why he builds so many partnerships with foreign publishers. I reveal a story about the first time Stephen asked to be on my podcast (Ninja vs. Pirates). Oh, how young and stubborn I was.

If you would like to learn more about Stronghold Games, visit StrongholdGames.com.

Direct download: 09_W3_S13_E09_Publishing_with_Stephen_Buonocore_1.mp3
Category:Season 13 -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Who, What, Why presents our nineteenth episode of Designing Games with Game Designers featuring Peter Newland, designer of Wizard Dodgeball and Flapjack Flipout. In this episode we use the themes, components, and mechanics found on the cards in Unpub, the card game from Doug Levandowski and J.R. Honeycutt. The three themes and mechanics were sacrifice, Napolean, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, acting, pattern building, deduction.

Alex and I participate in the discussion, so it is a collaborative venture. Enjoy.

Direct download: 19_W3_E19_Designing_Games_with_Peter_Newland.mp3
Category:Designing Games -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

Volt, designed by Emerson Matsuuchi, is like robo-gladiators fighting in an arena to see who can be the first to score 5 points. The game is simple. There are 3 dice: red, white, and blue. Players use these dice to assign actions to their robot (shoot and move). The dice are resolved from lowest to highest in red, white, and blue order, which adds an excellent level of unpredictability to the game. While players might be able to plan their moves, they cannot know how their opponents will mess up their plans. Volt is being reprinted by a German company with new artwork, new layout, and some new features.

Our discussion focused on how and why Emerson designed Volt. We also discussed what it was like having a game reprinted into a 2nd edition, which will likely be very different from the first. If the game does well, does Emerson create an expansion for the 2nd but the leave the 1st in the lurch? Questions, questions, question.

If you would like to learn more about Volt, ask your local retailer or listen to this wonderful podcast. Emerson can be found on Twitter @nazcagames.

Direct download: 08_W3_S13_E08_Volt_with_Emerson_Matsuuchi.mp3
Category:Season 13 -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Castle Dice is a castle-building, dice-drafting game where players get to roll handfuls of dice in order to collect resources and build pieces of a castle. What makes this game unique is the dice-drafting mechanic. Players' eyes are kept glued to the table where those dice lay because not only will the dice you choose help you build your castle, but dice from your opponents may also provide avenues to win.

Our conversation focused on how Luke's company Fun to 11 approaches the games it publishes. Luke's goal with Fun to 11 is to make games he wants to see in the market but not necessarily publish a lot of games. We also learned what inspired Castle Dice and how Luke wanted to keep players focused on the table rather than their surroundings. Finally, we learned that Luke is known for creating the toy/game Bakugan in his non-board game life (which still includes games and toys).

If you would like to learn more about Fun to 11 Games, please visit Fun to 11.

Direct download: 07_W3_S13_E07_Castle_Dice_with_Luke_Peterschmidt_1.mp3
Category:Season 13 -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

Who, What, Why presents our eighteenth episode of Designing Games with Game Designers featuring Scott King, writer and photographer. He is the creator of the board game calendars. In this episode we use the themes, components, and mechanics found on the cards in Unpub, the card game from Doug Levandowski and J.R. Honeycutt. The three themes and mechanics were Cthulhu, magic, space, roshambo, card throwing, dice rolling.

Alex and I participate in the discussion, so it is a collaborative venture. Enjoy.

Direct download: 18_W3_E18_Designing_Games_with_Scott_King.mp3
Category:Designing Games -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Space Cadets Away Mission is the third game in the Space Cadets series, but the first game not designed by the Engelstein family. It is a cooperative dungeon crawl minis game where players work together to meet an objective set by the scenario book. What distinguishes this game from other dungeon crawls is the Overkill system use to resolve everything from combat to skill checks. Players rolls an amount of dice equal to a number printed on the weapon or reference card. Each 1, 2, or 3 is a success and multiple successes allow players to use Overkill Options printed on the weapon card, player card, or enemy card. The real key to the game is figuring out how to maximize the overkills.

Our discussion explored the genesis of the game and its systems. We learned how missions are designed and what is in the future for Away Missions, especially since an expansion was announced a year ago.

If you wish to learn more about the game, please visit the Space Cadets Away Missions Boardgamegeek forum where the designers engage with the players or the Facebook group dedicated to the game. If you wish to buy a copy of the game, please visit Stronghold Games for more information.


Who, What, Why presents our seventeenth episode of Designing Games with Game Designers featuring JT Smith, owner of the Game Crafter and designer of The Captain Is Dead. In this episode we use the themes, components, and mechanics found on the cards in Unpub, the card game from Doug Levandowski and J.R. Honeycutt. The three themes and mechanics were prehistory, mafia, trains, drafting, drinking, co-op.

Alex and I participate in the discussion, so it is a collaborative venture. I hope you enjoy!

Direct download: 17_W3_E17_Designing_Games_with_JT_Smith_revised.mp3
Category:Designing Games -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

Flappin' Jack's Flipout is an unpublished game from Peter Newland and Chris Rowlands. It is a dexterity game about filling pancake orders faster than your fellow chefs. Chefs pick up face-down pancakes placing them face-up on their griddles. Chefs must flip those pancakes face-down to cook them. Any pancakes that fall during the flipping process are discarded. The first chef who thinks the he or she has filled the order rings the bell and tries to present the correct pancakes. There is a memory element to this game that I find compelling despite the fact that I dislike memory games.

Peter and I spoke about the origins of this game and the challenges with creating a dexterity game. We also discussed what it has been like trying to get publishers to consider a game this silly.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out MindtheGapStudios.com for other games from Peter Newland as well as a print and play for Flappin' Jack's Flipout (which I think I called Flapjack Flipout all episode).

Direct download: 05_W3_S13_E05_Flapjack_with_Peter_Newland.mp3
Category:Season 13 -- posted at: 5:05pm EDT

J.T. Smith is both the designer of The Captain is Dead and owner of The Game Crafter. He joined me for a discussion of both his game and his company. Our discussion focused on the origins for The Captain is Dead. We learned what kind of things are in store for the future of the Game Crafter and prototyping (different sized tokens on 1 sheet!).

If you have any interest in learning more about J.T.'s game or his services, please visit TheGameCrafter.com.

Direct download: 04_W3_S13_E04_TGC_with_JT_Smith_1.mp3
Category:Season 13 -- posted at: 11:33am EDT



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On Who, What, Why? we discuss game design with game designers and try to learn more about the game design process from the people who design games. Each episode we interview a designer of card games, board games, role playing games, or video games. We have both mainstream and independent developers as guests.

Season 10 releases between March 16 and July 26

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