A Podcast of Interviews With Designers of Board Games, Card Games, Role Playing Games & Video Games.
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Resistor_, designed by Nicole Kline and Anthony Amato, is a two-player game where players take on the roles of opposing computers trying to hack each other's network to drop the other to Defcon 1. The game is played in turns consisting of the same 3 actions though the order of those actions may differ from turn to turn. A player wants to connect his or her colored circuits in a continuous line to score a hit, while keeping other player from being able to do the same. Because the cards are double-sided, the game comes with a neat box setup that allows for the deck to stand without giving any information away prior to a drawing a card.

Our discussion focused on the unique features of Resistor_ like its card play, graphic design, and box construction. We learned that Level 99 approached Cardboard Fortress (Nicole and Anthony) after their Kickstarter was successful, which is why the game is published through Level 99.

If you wish to learn more about this game or to pick up a copy, please visit Cardboard Fortress or Level99games.com respectively.

Direct download: 10_W3_S12_E10_Resistor_with_Nicole_Kline_and_Anthony_Amato_1.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

Ophir, designed by Jason Kingsley and Charles Wright, is a resource management, pick-up-and-deliver game that uses dice in a really neat way. Players are merchants trying to trade good for money to buy silver and gold in order to build the temple of Ophir. Players move around a small 7-hex map that offers lots of replayability through the use of walls that give the map a lot of possible combinations. One of the coolest features of the game is the 3-D temple that players construct. While it serves more as a piece of chrome, it helps to really bring the game to life and make the players feel like they are building something.

Our discussion focused on the cleverness of the map and boards as well as the roles that Jason and Charles undertook for the designing of this game. I learned that Charles found more comfort in the role of developer while Jason came up with the initial idea for the game. Jason and Charles seem like a good duo for designing games, and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes from the two of them in the future.

If you wish to learn more about Ophir, check out Terra Nova games or Jason Kingsley on Twitter.

Direct download: 09_W3_S12_E09_Ophir_with_Jason_Kingsley_and_Charles_Wright.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Vincent Dutrait, the well-known board game artist and illustrator, joined us for a chat about the process of illustrating art for board games. Vincent has illustrated a lot of popular board games like Discoveries, Lewis and Clark, Tschak!, the 2nd edition of Medici, and many, many more.

Our discussion focused on Vincent process for creating board game art. We learned a lot about the tools that Vincent uses in his art. Finally, we talked about games that Vincent worked on as well as games he did not work on but appreciates.

If you would like to learn more about Vincent Dutrait's art, please visit his website.

Direct download: 08_W3_S12_E07_Game_Art_with_Vincent_Dutrait_1.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

Ignacy Trzewiczek, owner of Portal Games and designer of games like Robinson Crusoe and Imperial Settlers, shared his thoughts with us on board game design and publishing.

Our discussion focused on his process for designing and publishing games. We explored the idea of how games create narrative experiences and why that is so important to designing games. Ignacy was kind enough to give us some of his valuable time right before recording his own podcast.

If you are interested in learning more from Ignacy and Portal Games, please go to PortalGames.pl or Board Games That Tell Stories.

Direct download: 07_W3_S12_E07_Game_Design_and_Publishing_with_Ignacy_Trzewiczek.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

Jason Tagmire, owner of Button Shy Games and designer of Seven 7's among others, brings to the hobby a concept similar to a Wine of the Month Club. Starting this January Button Shy brings a monthly board game club to Patreon for board gamers. Every month of this year Button Shy is organizing both kickstarter and Patreon campaigns that will work hand-in-hand with each other. The Patreon, which provides subscribers with a postcard-sized game every month, also provides discounts on Button Shy's wallet series kickstarter games each month. It's a neat idea that might energize designers and gamers.

Our discussion focused on Jason's inspiration for the monthly club and what it will take to accomplish such a feat over the whole year. We learned where Jason plans to get the monthly postcard games and about the planned designers for the year's worth of games.

If you wish to be a part of this Patreon campaign, please check out this link. If you want to learn more about Button Shy Games, then use this link.

Direct download: 06_W3_S12_E06_Monthy_Club_with_Jason_Tagmire_2.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 5:05pm EDT

This episode is jammed pack with guests. We have Cédrick Chaboussit, designer of Discoveries along with Anne Cecile and her husband Cédric Lefebvre, owners of Ludonaute. Cédric Lefebvre is also known for Yggdrasil.

Our discussion focused on Ludonaute's process for publishing games, the relationship between designer and publisher, and French board gaming culture. We delve into Discoveries for a bit but spend more time talking in general about game design, publishing, and playing. This was a very interesting discussion because it gave me a view into the hobby from not an American mindset.

If you are interested in finding a copy of Discoveries or learning more about Ludonaute, please check out www.ludonaute.fr.

Direct download: 05_W3_S12_E04_Design_and_Publishing_with_Chaboussit_and_Ludonaute.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Bruno Cathala is a French game designer responsible for such games as Abyss, Five Tribes, 7 Wonders Duels, and Shadows Over Camelot. He was kind enough to come on our show to discuss his thoughts on game design in relation to some of his games.

Our discussion focused on how Bruno approaches his game design and discussed some of how he implemented those ideas in his latest games Abyss and Five Tribes.

If you wish to learn more about Bruno's design thoughts, then visit his blog at BrunoCathala.com.

Direct download: 04_W3_S12_E04_Game_Design_with_Bruno_Cathala_1.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Dead of Winter, co-designed by Jon Gilmour and Isaac Vega, is a cooperative betrayer game like Battlestar Galactica but set in a zombie apocalypse. In Dead of Winter players work together to accomplish a particular goal while surviving the apocalypse. Each player controls a small group of survivors who must use their actions to best help the group. The twist to the game is that one player may be a betrayer working against the common goal. Each player is given a secret objective card, which encourages players to act in suspicious ways.

Our discussion focused on the crossroads card system, which presents challenges that players will have to decide on. Will the challenge benefit everyone or just one player? We also discussed the secret goals and betrayer cards. Finally, we discussed working with a co-designer.

If you have any interest in Dead of Winter, check out PlaidHatGames.com for more information. While this appears to be a zombie game, it is nothing like the zombie games so many people complain about.

Direct download: 03_W3_S12_E03_Dead_of_Winter_with_Jon_Gilmour.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

You're Fired, designed by Doug Levandowski, is a 2-player small box game like Love Letter where each player is trying to fire the other player's boss. The two decks in the game are exactly the same except for 2 consultant cards added at the beginning to throw a little uncertainty into the decks. Most cards consist of ways to look at the other player's hand or eliminate things from it. The game ends when one player cannot save his or her boss from the chopping the block.

Our discussion focused on how Doug created this game and how it changed from a game about knocking off mafia members. We learned a lot from Doug on the card actions necessary to create a successful Love Letter-style game. We also may have inadvertently designed the next great legacy game connected to one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever (Exploding Kittens). Our humor can be dark sometimes.

If you are interested in a low-priced and fun tactical card game that actually may play up to 4 players, You're Fired is currently on Kickstarter right now from Button Shy Games.

 

Fun fact: If you watch the Kickstarter video, you will see 1 Gil Hova (frequent guest on this show) eating grapes and 1 Alex Erde (co-host) with his bushy red beard.

Direct download: 02_W3_S12_E02_Youre_Fired_with_Doug_Levandowski_1.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Space Cadets, designed by Geoff Engelstein and his kids, is a series of games set in a cartoon Star Trek-inspired universe. The series consists of two games with expansions: Space Cadets & Space Cadets Dice Duel. Space Cadets is a coop game where players must work together to solve small dexterity puzzles in an effort to complete an overarching mission objective. Each station on the ship is given its own dexterity task like flicking a disc, playing Memory, or finding small Tetris shapes in a bag. There are more than this list. Players have to be cautious of a core break that might wreck their plans. In Dice Duel, players compete in teams to destroy each other by rolling dice (assigned to a station) and spending those dice. One player is the captain who barks orders at the others. Both games are frenetic and wild and will leave your table laughing all night.

Our discussion focused on both Space Cadets and Space Cadets Dice Duel. We talked about what it takes to make a good dexterity game and discovered what types of games didn't make the cut in Space Cadets. For Dice Duel we discussed what elements Geoff thought most necessary to bring over from the base game, and how he distinguished Dice Duel from its predecessor.

If you are interested in either of the Space Cadets games, check out Stronghold Games website. If you wish to learn more about game design from Geoff Engelstein, check out the Ludology podcast and Game Tech segment on the Dice Tower.

Direct download: 01_W3_S12_E01_Space_Cadets_with_Geoff_Engelstein_1.mp3
Category:Season 12 -- posted at: 7:35pm 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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