A Podcast of Interviews With Designers of Board Games, Card Games, Role Playing Games & Video Games.
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Star Realms designed by Darwin Kastle is an easy to learn, quick to play deckbuilder with an incredible print point ($15 retail). Players build their decks with cards from a common card row and attack each other. Cards fall into 4 different factions with their advantages and disadvantages. The goal of the game is to knock one player down to 0 authority (health). What make Star Realms different from most Magic-inspired deckbuilders is that the cards can be linked together if multiple cards of one color are played on a single turn. These linked effects give the game an incredible amount of depth while also allowing games to finish very quickly.

Our discussion with Darwin focused on the design space that this card linking mechanics affords the printed game as well as future expansions to the game. We discussed the availability issues the game faced when it debuted. People wanted to buy it faster than they could print more copies. We learned how the combination of unique game play, and affordable buy-in for the base game and expansions helped to catapult the game to the heights that it has reached today (it was nominated for an award at SXSW and on BGG).

To learn more about the game and future games from White Wizard Games, please click this link. If you wish to buy Star Realms, you can! Check out White Wizard Games, your local FLGS or online retailer. If you don't wish to play the physical version of the game, you can download it on the Apple Store.

Darwin wanted to encourage people to vote for the game to win at SXSW, but the release date of this episode would be past the time when voting would close, so instead: thank you for voting for Star Realms (I have no idea if it won).

Direct download: 09_W3_S9_E09_Star_Realms_with_Darwin_Kastle.mp3
Category:Season 9 -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

City Hall designed by Michael Keller is an role selection game about gaining political influence and building up New York City. Players have the choice of seven equally important roles in their quest for victory. The surveyor allows players to buy new plots of land. The public works commissioner allows the players to increase their population. These are only some of the roles available to players. Selecting the role isn't enough because it possible for other players to steal the action byspending influence cards, which the active player can choose to match or take. The game offers many paths to victory, and rewards players who know when to use their influence and when to hold on to it.

Our discussion with Michael focused on the importance of influence as a commodity as well as the bidding mechanic tied into the role selection. Michael also speaks with us a bit about another of his games (one he is particularly proud of): Captains of Industry.

As native New Yorkers, we also engage in a little good natured ribbing of Staten Island. We don't hate you, Staten Island.

If you would like to learn more about Michael and his games visit Visible Hand Games or Game Design Wannbe.

Direct download: 07_W3_S9_E07_City_Hall_with_Michael_Keller_1.mp3
Category:Season 9 -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Pandemic The Cure designed by Matt Leacock is a dice version of the popular game about saving the world from disease. Players tackle familiar roles but in an unfamiliar setting (dice). Each role has specially crafted dice with different symbols that help the players derive their own stategies. Players can roll and re-roll any dice as long as it doesn't land on a biohazard symbol. The diseases have also taken on the form of dice that are rolled to determine which region suffers. The dice bring a chaotic element to the game without losing any of the tension of the original game. This game was an instant purchase for me.

Our discussion focused on how Matt was able to create a successful dice version of his massively popular Pandemic without losing any of its tension. We also discussed the growing reach of Pandemic through Z-Man's Pandemic Survival, the "Pandemic" Game Party, Pandemic Legacy, and future possibilities for the franchise.

This looks to be a big year for Matt Leacock. Be on the lookout for Pandemic Legacy, Thunderbirds, and Pandemic State of Emergency in 2015. To purchase a copy of Pandemic the Cure, you can visit Z-Man's website or your FLGS.

Direct download: 08_W3_S9_E08_Pandemic_the_Cure_with_Matt_Leacock_1.mp3
Category:Season 9 -- posted at: 1:19am EDT



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Description
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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