A Podcast of Interviews With Designers of Board Games, Card Games, Role Playing Games & Video Games.
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In the 31st episode ever of the newly renamed Board Game Brainstorm Isaac Shalev co-designer of Seikatsu, joins me to tackle the challenge of designing a great card game version of the classic Nintendo game Contra. We came up with some really cool ideas that would make for a great Contra board game. Enjoy!

Direct download: 31_W3_E31_Board_Game_Brainstorm_with_Isaac_Shalev.mp3
Category:Brainstorm -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Isaac Shalev, game designer, one of the hosts of On Board Games, and friend, joined the show to talk about his game Seikatsu that he co-designed with Matt Loomis. We discuss the Japanese theme, creation of Seikatsu, and the partnership of Shalev and Loomis. Seikatsu is a game debuting at GenCon from IDW games. It has a zen-like feel of creating a beautiful garden space filled with birds and fish. This is a game to keep an eye out for.

If you wish to learn more about Seikatsu, check out IDWgames.com or KindFortress.com.

Coy fish image credit: Aleksandr Vector

Direct download: 02_W3_S17_E02_Seikatsu_with_Isaac_Shalev.mp3
Category:Season 17 -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Jamey Stegmaier, co-founder of Stonemaier Games, joins the show to discuss his upcoming legacy game Charterstone. This game is intriguing for a number of different reasons. This is one of the few soon-to-be published legacy games that does not feature the name Rob Daviau. Charterstone is a worker placement style game that is not built off of an existing I.P. like Pandemic or Risk. When players finish the story campaign, they will have a fully functional game that they can continue playing, which will be similar but very different from the next copy of Charterstone. Finally, Jamey, known to so many as a guru of Kickstarter, chose not to crowd fund this game (or take pre-orders on his site).

Jamey and I discussed why he chose to design a legacy game, what defines a legacy game, and what he learned through the process of creating something like this.

If you are looking forward to Charterstone, please check out Stonemaier.com for information about when this game is available at retail.

Credits: house image from ProSymbols at nounproject.com

Direct download: 01_W3_S17_E01_Charterstone_with_Jamey_Stegmaier.mp3
Category:Season 17 -- posted at: 10:29pm EDT

Nate C. Murray who works with IndieGoGo's board game outreach joined the pod for a chat about crowdfunding. We delved into some of the things IndieGoGo has been doing to attract more creators, explored some games that Nate loves playing, and even discussed whether we are in a miniatures bubble. We ended the episode with a thorough description of what a designer should do to approach Nate to pitch a game. This episode runs the gamut of topics, and it's always great to have a smart guy like Nate for these kinds of episodes.

If you are interested in Nate's thoughts on board games, check out his Twitter handle @NateCMurray

Logo credit by Curve at nounproject.com

Direct download: 10_W3_S16_E10_Crowdfunding_with_Nate_Murray.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

Henning Ludvigsen comes all the way from Norway to spend some time chatting with me about the beautiful art he creates for board games. Henning is perhaps most well-known for creating the artwork for the tiles in Descent: 2nd Edition, Imperial Assault, and Mansions of Madness first edition. His artwork is highly detailed and uses light to create a rich world for our board games to exist in. Not only do we discuss board game artwork and how he creates his, but we also discuss the burgeoning micro-brewery beer scene in Norway.

If you'd like to see some of the work that Henning has created, visit HenningLudvigsen.com

Norwegian flag icon credited to anbileru adaleru at nounproject.com

Direct download: 09_W3_S16_E09_Board_Game_Art_with_Henning_Ludvigsen.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT

Andrew Innes, designer of Anomia, joined me to discuss his neat little game that will have plenty of people yelling the wrong word aloud. Anomia is a card game where each player has a card in front of him or her that has a symbol and a category on it. During a turn, one player will draw from the deck looking at the symbol present. Anyone who has the same symbol in front of them needs to call out an item from the category in front of an opponent. For example, you and I might be playing the game and sharing a symbol. You have "Types of Ice Cream" in front of you, and I have "Dinosaur Names" in front of me. When our symbol is drawn, I need to avoid yelling "Tyrannosaurus rex" and instead yell "Rocky Road" to claim your card. What ends up happening more often than not is that you yell what's in front of you because that category shift isn't as natural as we think.

Anomia is a cool card game that works with so many players and provides so much entertainment. It's a light game but not one that seems devoid of fun. To learn more about Anomia and its iterations, visit AnomiaPress.com.

Direct download: 08_W3_S16_E08_Anomia_with_Andrew_Innes.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

Cody Miller, owner of Far Off Games and designer of Tavarua, joins the podcast to talk about his absolutely bodacious game about shredding waves. Tavarua has an unexpected theme (surfing) and pushes players to take risks in this risk management game. It has some elements of pushing your luck, but mostly focuses on managing risks to score the best runs on either a long board or short board. The genesis of this game is an interesting story and one that I'm glad Cody had a chance to share.

If you like Tavarua or want to know more about Far Off Games (who produce excellent quality games) give this episode a listen and visit FarOffGames.com.

Wave image credit to Peter van Driel at nounproject.com.

Direct download: 07_W3_S16_E07_Tavarua_with_Cody_Miller.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 11:23pm EDT

Steve Finn, a designer local to me, joins the show to discuss how he approaches game design. Steve Finn has often been described as the king of the filler game. He produces quality games that take 30-60 minutes to play and offer loads of depth and replayability. Steve has created 12 games over the years. We focused our discussion on games like Biblios, Herbaceous, and Cosmic Run among a few others.

If you like what you hear and want to learn more then visit DoctorFinns.com.

Image credited to Julia Amadeo at nounproject.com

Direct download: 06_W3_S16_E06_Game_Design_with_Steve_Finn.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 5:32pm EDT

Kevin Riley, designer of Aeon's End, came on the show to discuss the impressive new game that came out recently. It's an interesting take on the cooperative deck-building genre that incorporates a neat breach system where players can prime spells that can be used or held onto adding to the depth of strategy. Aeon's End brings in many big bad guys for the players to work together to prevent from destroying Gravehold. 

If you are interested in the game, it is up on Kickstarter right now with an pair of expansions. 

Credits: Window image from Claire Skelly at nounproject.com.

Direct download: 05_W3_S16_E05_Aeons_End_with_Kevin_Riley.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT

Isaac Childres designed Gloomhaven to capture the feel of a role-playing game and a dungeon crawler. He saw some things he wanted to fix in the dungeon crawlers around him and decided that this massive experience would suffice. Board gamers are better off for his effort. Gloomhaven incorporates a campaign, character levels, and an intricate card system that can be difficult to grok but rewarding once learned. One to four adventurers travel the land seeking out fame and glory while upgrading their characters and turning their 10 (or so) card deck into something that feels satisfying as they slash through demons, skeletons, and more.

Gloomhaven is hard to acquire, but if you can play the game, you will want to keep dungeon diving to hone your skills and create new card combos. To learn more about the game go to Cephalofair.com

If you missed out on the Kickstarter for this, another is in the works some time this year.

Credits: torch image from Fabian Sanabria from NounProject.com

Direct download: 04_W3_S16_E04_Gloomhaven_with_Isaac_Childres.mp3
Category:Season 16 -- posted at: 10:53pm 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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