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Author: Dave Nelson

#199 Tabletop Game Designer – Scott Almes

#199 Tabletop Game Designer – Scott Almes

Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle, cole@leadergames.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Scott Almes – @scott_almes, boardgamegeek.com

Episode Outline
– 00:11 Welcome Scott Almes
– 00:17 Scott’s games and design perspective
– 01:02 Mechanical engineering meets game design
– 01:57 When it comes to product design, what allows Scott to juggle so many products at once?
– 04:19 Has Scott tried to publish any games on his own?
– 05:49 Scotts connection to Gamelyn Games
– 07:47 What got Scott started on Tiny Epic?
– 09:30 The union of design sensibilities and component innovation
– 12:24 How did Scott in game design?
– 13:22 How did Scott translate is young gaming experiences into design?
– 14:42 What are the different challenges when going from designing smaller games to more robust games?
– 16:00 When designing The Great Dinosaur Rush, did Scott go into the project with a publisher in mind?
– 16:45 How does theme vs mechanics apply for Scott?
– 17:20 How does Scott fit designing games into his other work and family life?
– 18:09 What are the different development demands based on the types of publishers?
– 20:50 Scott shares about his game, Lovelace and Babbage
– 23:53 Lovelace and Babbage; did the theme come first?
– 25:13 After the theme was decided on, how did it get decided to make it a small box game?
– 26:56 How long did it take to get to the fun part of the game?
– 27:38 What about the real-time element of the game?

#198 Michael Woods, 38 Studios and Subatomic Studios

#198 Michael Woods, 38 Studios and Subatomic Studios

David Heron – @DavidVHeron

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com

Michael Woods – @exitsanity

Episode Outline

– 00:10 Welcome Michael Woods

– 00:16 Michael and David go back a ways…

– 01:15 Michael talks about joining the Star Trek project

– 02:06 More details on Michael’s history in game design

– 04:05 38 Studios, Copernicus Project

– Curt Schillings company. Michael share about his time there.

– 07:01 After 38 Studios, Michael discusses Subatomic Studios

– 08:27 Michael discusses working on large games to smaller mobile games

– 13:17 The shift from console games to MMOs

– 18:12 How do World of Warcraft and Star Trek compare?

– 23:00 What is Michael doing right now in game design?

– 30:38 What is next for Michael?

#197 Megagames with Ben Kanelos and Leslie Loy

#197 Megagames with Ben Kanelos and Leslie Loy

Ben Kanelos – @bkgamedesign
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Leslie Loy – leslie.loy@westcoastmegagames.com, westcoastmegagames.com

Episode Outline
– 00:22 What is a megagame?
– 01:20 What is the upper limit of the number or players?
– 03:28 What about the player to administrator ratio?
– 04:51 A megagame described.
– 07:46 Mega Board Game vs megagame
– 09:33 What is it like to facilitate a megagame?
– 14:32 How are the rules both strict and modified on the fly in a megagame?
– 17:09 How the social aspect of megagames comes into play.
– 19:17 How do you find out about megagames?
– 22:13 How is technology used in megagames?
– 23:28 How does one get started with playing megagames?
– 25:04 What can new gamers expect with playing a megagame for the first time?
– 27:48 Are there areas of a megagame where a more introverted person can find a place?
– 30:07 Final thoughts

#196 Admired Designers, Unlikely Games Enjoyed and Listener Questions

#196 Admired Designers, Unlikely Games Enjoyed and Listener Questions

Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle, cole@ledergames.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Kathryn Hymes – @chicalashaw, thornygames.com

Episode Outline
– 00:07 Welcome!
– 01:50 Admired designers
– 01:55 Brenda Romero, previously known as Brenda Brathwaite
– 02:57 Avery Alder
– 06:50 Jackson Tegu
– 07:46 Unlikely games enjoyed
– 07:54 Murder Mystery Games
– 10:40 PUBG, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds
– 13:45 Puzzle Strike
– 15:20 Listener Questions
– 15:36 Table footprint; What are ways that the footprint can be addressed in the design process?
– 23:06 Do you think there is room in the industry that allows for games that are actively unpleasant?
– 29:18 Can you think of party games with an moderator that would manage information deficits between players?

#195 Game Designer Alex Roberts

#195 Game Designer Alex Roberts

Alex Roberts – @muscularpikachu, helloalexroberts.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com

Episode Outline
– 00:19 A little information about Alex Roberts
– 01:19 How did Alex’s Kickstarter work out?
– 01:27 Information about Alex’s project; design, who is it for etc.
– 02:54 What is the goal of the game?
– 04:33 How does the idea of fixing a relationship translate to a mechanical process
– 08:00 Is there a statement being made about relationships?
– 09:00 How did Alex get a start in game design?
– 12:51 What are a couple meaningful design projects that Alex worked on?
– 18:50 How does it work to write the idea first then design game around that?
– 21:28 What did Alex do before game design?
– 24:09 Differences between live-action design and table top gaming
– 27:35 What is coming next from Alex?
– 30:41 Advice from Alex for aspiring designers

#194 Kickstarter Results and Listener Questions

#194 Kickstarter Results and Listener Questions


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

Episode Outline
– 00:14 Fireball Island Kickstarter campaign update
– 03:44 What does the success of the Kickstarter campaign mean for Restoration Games?
– 06:00 What are the selection criteria for bringing and old property back to life?
– 08:55 For others thinking about starting a Kickstarter, what are some tips?
– 14:00 Is this a new role for Rob?
– 15:27 Listener Question: Are there ‘Hooks’ that game designers use, like a hook in a song?
– 19:28 How can you achieve replayability?
– 25:00 How do bigger companies sometime fumble around the idea of replayability?
– 27:13 If you want to be a game designer, make sure you consider what the publishers needs may be
– Board games as three act plays
– 35:03 How do you end and game?

#193 Game Designer Kellee Santiago

#193 Game Designer Kellee Santiago

Kellee Santiago – instagram.com/kelleesan/, kelleesantiago.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com

 

Episode Outline
– 00:19 Kellee’s background in game design
– 07:27 What are some games that influenced Cloud?
– 12:18 More information about Kellee and her collaborations with Jenova Chen.
– 17:11 How did investments into the company work?
– 20:24 What are some of the lessons learned that listeners can benefit from?
– 23:23 What is Kellee working on now?
– 27:21 What is the state of VR games at the moment?
– 30:33 Kellee’s thoughts about the history of games design.

#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@ledergames.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?