#192 Engineering Game Design with Aljernon Bolden

#192 Engineering Game Design with Aljernon Bolden

Aljernon Bolden – @AljernonBolden, harebrained-schemes.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com

Episode Outline
– 00:06 Introductions
– 00:18 About Aljernon
– 01:10 Aljernon describes a recent night of gaming that turned out to be a bit emotional in regards to a game character.
– 03:53 How did Aljernon get started in him gaming career?
– 05:18 How does Aljernon’s role as an engineer fit into a game design environment?
– 06:45 How does Aljernon’s role fit into Harrison’s experience?
– 08:56 How does Hairbrained Schemes’ approach work in terms of system vs. narrative design?
– 11:14 What is the core experience of the games Aljernon works on?
– 14:24 What are some of the challenges with moving a game from pen and paper to a digital format?
– 18:28 Aljernon talks about his experience at Full Sail University.
– 20:26 Aljernon gives his thoughts about learning game design as a craft.
– 24:59 Aljernon asks about studying from a design perspective.
– 29:19 How can game designers use Twitch to be more successful?

#191 Fireball Island

#191 Fireball Island

David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Rob Daviau – @robdaviau

Episode Outline
– 00:14 Game Design Roundtable After dark.
– 00:35 What has everyone been up to?
– 01:06 David explains to Rob, how vacations work.
– 01:23 Rob announces a Kickstarter for Fireball Island
– 10:56 Listener Question: What step in development should promotion begin and what should it look like?

#190 Listener Questions – Cons, Kids, Games and Names

#190 Listener Questions – Cons, Kids, Games and Names

Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle, cole@leadergames.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:06 Introductions
  • 01:01 What types of conventions does the TGDRT crew go to and why?
  • 15:51 Creating and testing games for kids.
  • 20:49 How did you decide on a company or brand name?
#189 Gaming the Past with Jeremiah McCall

#189 Gaming the Past with Jeremiah McCall

Jeremiah McCall – @gamingthepast, gamingthepast.net, jmc.hst@gmail.com
Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle, cole@leadergames.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:07 Introductions
  • 00:18 Jeremiah’s approach to game design
  • 01:08 What came first? Teaching or game design?
  • 03:17 What barriers are there to turning classes into game design seminars?
  • 05:12 Did Jeremiah think classroom games go so far?
  • 07:13 How have the games evolved over the years?
  • 12:47 How do you go about teaching games in a classroom?
  • 16:47 For teachers, what advice does Jeremiah have?
  • 21:05 What sort of history is Sid Meier’s peddling?
  • 26:56 What about people who have learned history through video games?
  • 30:35 What about Jeremiahs experience in digital game design, beyond teaching?
  • 34:35 What would Jeremiah like to see people doing more of in game design?
#188 Listener Question – You Don’t Blind Test a Painting

#188 Listener Question – You Don’t Blind Test a Painting

Description

In this episode, Dirk, Kathryn and Rob get together to answer listener questions around playtesting and professional backgrounds in design.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Kathryn Hymes – @chicalashaw, thornygames.com
Rob Daviau – @robdaviau

Episode Outline

  • 00:40 Blind playtesting and publishing rulebooks
  • 02:50 When Rob was at Hasbro, did they do playtesting?
  • 05:47 Too much or too little playtests
  • 09:53 More thoughts on too much playtesting
  • 12:30 Thoughts on the cost of plastic miniatures
  • 16:37 3D printing technology speculation
  • 18:24 What makes a tactics game really click with players and what are some common pitfalls?
  • 21:22 How does a professional background in writing apply to game design?
#187 Listener Question – Acronym Edition

#187 Listener Question – Acronym Edition

 

Description

In this episode, David, Dirk and Harrison get together to answer listener questions.
Lots of acronyms and great insights in this episode! JRPG, MUD, MMO …

David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:37 Do classic JRPG mechanics makes games more fun or less?
  • 00:59 What IS a JRPG?
  • 06:02 Why did they stay around for so long?
  • 07:50 Puzzles vs street fights
  • 08:14 Putting the timer in the players hand, more cerebral, strategic and creative
  • 09:39 In The Walking Dead games, were there prototypes where the timer pressure was removed?
  • 11:54 Turn based games are not a prolific now. Why might that be?
  • 15:05 MUDs vs MMOs
  • 16:51 MUD and MMO budget considerations
  • 20:23 Content generation is the biggest problem when designing
  • 21:25 The difference between writing and drawing
  • 22:46 Recommendations for finding and working with programmers
  • 30:14 Most software projects tend to be late and over-budget
  • 32:13 What has Harrison been up to lately?
#186 Looking forward and back, 2017 to 2018

#186 Looking forward and back, 2017 to 2018

Description

In this final episode of 2017, David, Dirk and Kathryn get together to review 2017 and look forward to 2018.

David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Kathryn Hymes – @chicalashaw, thornygames.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:41 2017 for David – Big changes, moved back to Toronto and different companies
  • 02:17 Changes in the Boston area in terms of the game design community
  • 03:25 Boston vs Toronto
  • 05:17 Kathryn’s job movements … in 2016. How is it at Slack?
  • 06:49 What about Slack as a game design tool?
  • 09:41 Dirk’s 2017 and his introspection on making more games
  • 11:39 2018 plans for Dirk
  • 13:55 2017 for Kathryn and lessons learned with Kickstarter projects and getting a project brought to life.
  • 17:12 2018 plans for Kathryn
  • 20:46 How David’s side project fared as well as a new studio space in Toronto
  • 23:23 David’s 2018 plans for an RPG game to be released
  • 26:00 Dirk’s 2018 plans include the release of two games
  • 28:48 Kathryn is looking to make small games in 2018 to stretch her design muscles
  • 30:44 Happy New Year!
#185: Game Designer Cole Wehrle

#185: Game Designer Cole Wehrle

Description

In this episode, David and Dirk speak with game designer Cole Wehrle. They discuss Cole’s work and how to find balance designing games with deep historical and cultural context.

Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle , www.boardgamegeek.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:07 Welcome Cole
  • 00:40 Sierra Madre Games
  • 02:46 Appreciating Games even if not completely enjoying them
  • 03:37 How Cole got his first game published
  • 06:39 Information about the game John Company
  • 09:00 John Company vs Greed
  • 10:23 Challenge vs Academic and how it manifests in Coles new game
  • 16:37 Are these post-colonial games?
  • 18:16 When you find the gap, how do you map the act of playing the game that can close the gap?
  • 23:04 What is the impact of Cole’s games within the gaming community?
  • 29:23 Specificity and a players experience with the content
  • 35:01 Cole’s Kickstarter
#184: Narrative Designer Edwin McRae

#184: Narrative Designer Edwin McRae

Description

In this episode, Harrison and Dirk speak with Edwin McRae, a narrative designer. They discuss the importance of the narrative line in game design and how it can keep game players engaged throughout a game with immersive details.

Edwin McRae – www.edmcrae.com, edwin@edmcrae.com
Harrison Pink – @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, dirk@artana.com, www.artana.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:14 Welcome Edwin
  • 00:17 Edwin’s background
  • 03:34 What is a narrative designer?
  • 05:48 What processes or tools does Edwin use?
  • 07:04 What is jigsaw storytelling?
  • 08:26 What is Harrison’s background in narrative storytelling?
  • 10:54 Information on Edwin’s work on Path of Exile
  • 13:40 Edwin’s background in school and professionally
  • 17:01 Edwin’s book writing on narrative design for indies
  • 20:07 Advice to indies on hiring a narrative designer
  • 23:09 What if someone is part way through developing and feels like the narrative is not right
  • 27:27 How would a young writer get experience in game design?

 

#183: Listener Questions with David, Dirk and Rob

#183: Listener Questions with David, Dirk and Rob

Description

In this episode, David, Dirk and Rob finally get back together to catch up on each other’s projects and answer listener questions.

Rob Daviau – @robdaviau
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com

Episode Outline

  • 00:11 The group is back together again – it’s been a while. David, Dirk and Rob catch up with what they’ve all been up to.
  • 07:55 Listener Questions
  • 08:12 Opinions on the rise of game engine marketplaces.
  • 11:49 What is the ideal listener profile where a game engine would be useful?
  • 13:48 Any particular game design books that are recommended?
  • 20:34 David takes the question back to design, in general, and think of philosophy of design.
  • 23:19 Math models and how they are created.