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#200 Reflections on 200 Episodes of TGDRT

#200 Reflections on 200 Episodes of TGDRT

Cole Wehrle – @colewehrle, cole@leadergames.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – @gilespink, harrisonpink@gmail.com
Kathryn Hymes – @chicalashaw, thornygames.com
Rob Daviau – @robdaviau

Episode Outline
– 00:07 Welcome to the 200th episode
– 00:19 Dirks introduces the episode and gives some thoughts on the begining of TGDRT
– 01:15 Listener Survey
– 02:34 Harrison Pink
– 07:43 Kathryn Hymes
– 14:02 Rob Daviau
– 20:40 Cole Wehrle
– 26:19 David Heron
– 33:25 Dirk Knemeyer

#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?

#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?

#157: Harrison Joins the Mail Crew

#157: Harrison Joins the Mail Crew

Description

Dirk, David, and Harrison tackle the mail bag after an exciting announcement about Rob’s new company, Restoration Games. Restoration’s goal is to reprint and modernize classic games that are no longer available. Our hosts go on to talk about games that are overproduced (as well as micro games), the concept of player choice vs. direction, and where to get all the shiny bits needed for prototyping.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyerwww.artana.comDirk@Knemeyer.com
Rob Daviau – @robdaviau
Harrison Pink – harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:32 – Harrison’s status
  • 0:03:03 – Rob and Restoration Games
  • 0:07:37 – When is game setup part of the game?
  • 0:11:40 – Number of decision points in a game
  • 0:18:57 – The incremental idle genre
  • 0:25:19 – Overproduced games and micro games
  • 0:31:47 – Where can you draw inspiration from?
  • 0:34:35 – Forcing interactions or letting players choose
  • 0:40:33 – Using real locations in games
  • 0:44:39 – Should rules always place setup first?
  • 0:54:44 – What parts are you attracted to for prototypes?
#156: Kathryn Hymes and Thorny Games

#156: Kathryn Hymes and Thorny Games

Description
This week Dirk is joined by new co-host Harrison Pink and guest Kathryn Hymes of Thorny Games. Kathryn brings a unique perspective to the tabletop world with games that take on the challenges of linguistics and the evolution (and death) of languages. She explains how Thorny Games takes on the challenge of games light on mechanics and heavy on intellectual stimulation.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyerwww.artana.comDirk@Knemeyer.com
Harrison Pink – harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink
Kathryn Hymes – @chicalashaw, www.thornygames.com

Episode Outline

 

  • 0:03:31 – Sign
  • 0:14:34 – Dialect
  • 0:28:32 – Games light on mechanics
  • 0:33:56 – Games vs. experiences
  • 0:36:23 – The design process
  • 0:53:37 – Games design and a day job
#154: Essen and Listener Mail

#154: Essen and Listener Mail

Description
Dirk, David, and Rob are back again to talk about what’s going on in their worlds and to answer more listener mail. Rob is back from Europe after attending the Essen (SPIEL) game convention and has stories to tell about where cultural stereotypes come from. Dirk’s Einstein game is doing well on Kickstarter and is available for purchase at that site.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyerwww.artana.comDirk@Knemeyer.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Rob Daviau – @RobDaviaurob.daviau@ironwallgames.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:01:02 – Essen
  • 0:08:07 – Einstein
  • 0:12:44 – 504
  • 0:18:31 – Designing a Legacy game
  • 0:30:37 – When is good “good enough”?
  • 0:37:07 – Companion apps for games
  • 0:43:26 – Incorporating setup and takedown
  • 0:46:16 – Patreon vs. Kickstarter
#153: Riot Games

#153: Riot Games

Description

Dirk and David are joined by Rick Ernst and Chris Cantrell of Riot Games to talk about their upcoming board game Mechs vs. Minions. Riot Games is best known for their wildly successful PC game League of Legends. Riot is taking that universe and condensing a part of it down into a board game that focuses on team play and cooperative strategy. Rick and Chris talk about how the game came about and what it’s like to capture the MOBA magic on the tabletop.

Contact Info

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Rick Ernst
Chris Cantrell
www.mechsvsminions.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:51 – Mechs vs. Minions
  • 0:04:30 – League of Legends
  • 0:07:30 – Condensing a MOBA to tabletop
  • 0:14:27 – Handling quarterbacking
  • 0:18:34 – The early game
  • 0:24:30 – Complexity vs. accessibility
  • 0:28:13 – Build quality
  • 0:37:37 – How the game came about
  • 0:43:30 – Playtesting
  • 0:47:31 – The design process
#152: Professor Rob’s Mailbag

#152: Professor Rob’s Mailbag

Description

Dirk, David, and Rob get together to answer more of your questions. The Game Design Roundtable audience continues to provide poignant and intriguing questions, and our trio of hosts is ready to help.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyerwww.artana.comDirk@Knemeyer.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Rob Daviau –@RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:12:08 – Anti-quarterbacking
  • 0:21:33 – Creativity and inspiration
  • 0:33:53 – Witnessing playtesting
  • 0:41:41 – Emergence in boardgames
  • 0:50:57 – Design and marketing
#151: Isaac Shalev and Kind Fortress

#151: Isaac Shalev and Kind Fortress

Description

Dirk and David get together with Isaac Shalev to talk about the fast-paced development at Kind Fortress. Since his last time on the show Isaac has had several games designed and put into print, and he talks about importance of artwork as well as designing a wide variety of games rather than a special niche. He also talks about the usefulness of Tabletop Simulator as a prototyping and presentation tool. You can check out his own podcast at Onboardgames.net.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyerwww.artana.comDirk@Knemeyer.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Isaac Shalev -@KindFortress, www.kindfortress.com, onboardgames.net

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:43 – Isaac’s recent developments
  • 0:09:36 – Artwork
  • 0:18:23 – Working with a partner
  • 0:23:35 – Broad vs niche design
  • 0:27:43 – Business acumen
  • 0:31:22 – Prototyping
  • 0:35:35 – Tabletop Simulator
Episode #150: Travel Catch-up and Listener Mail

Episode #150: Travel Catch-up and Listener Mail

Description
Dirk, David, and Rob are here on the momentous 150th episode of the Game Design Roundtable to talk about their recent travels. David is traveling the globe to support his game studio and Rob returns from the prestigious Spiel des Jahres awards in Germany. They also tackle some more of your insightful questions.

Contact Info
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Rob Daviau – @RobDaviau, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:58 – Star Trek Conventions
  • 0:09:02 – Spiel des Jahres
  • 0:20:49 – Prototype Cards and nanDECK
  • 0:23:16 – Bidding mechanics
  • 0:32:01 – Abstract games
  • 0:40:50 – Well-written rules
  • 0:49:13 – Designer credits