#164: Nels Anderson and Firewatch

#164: Nels Anderson and Firewatch

Description
Designer Nels Anderson stops by to talk to Dirk and Harrison about his work on 2016’s hit Firewatch. Nels worked with a small team at Campo Santo studios to create a unique storytelling adventure that was a critically acclaimed success. Nels describes the pros and cons of working with a small team of core developers and the lessons he learned from working on a team that was birthing their first game together.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – harrisonpink@gmail.com, harrisonpink.com
Nels Anderson – @nelsormench, above49.ca

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:58 – Firewatch
  • 0:08:00 – Getting started
  • 0:11:53 – Narrative and level design
  • 0:15:14 – Working with a small team
  • 0:18:42 – Firewatch as a first game
  • 0:23:14 – Current projects
  • 0:26:13 – Design lessons learned
#163: Jason Thompson

#163: Jason Thompson

Description
Dirk and Rob are joined by writer, artist, and game designer Jason Thompson to talk about his innovative drawing game “Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics”, co-published by Mock Man Press and Japanime Games. Jason talks about his background in manga and writing as well as the process that caused Mangaka to evolve over the course of several years into the game it is today.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Rob Daviau – @robdaviau
Jason Thompson – @mockman

Episode Outline

  • 0:01:33 – Mangaka
  • 0:09:15 – Early ideas
  • 0:15:48 – How the stories unfold
  • 0:17:48 – From writing to game design
  • 0:21:48 – Jason’s future plans
#162: Listener Mail February 2017

#162: Listener Mail February 2017

Description
Dirk, David, and Kathryn Hymes are here to answer your questions. This week they go over replayability, ambitious ideas, and the differences between design and development.

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

Episode Outline

  • 0:01:04 – Replayability and value
  • 0:16:06 – Trimming game length
  • 0:26:39 – IP creation and long-term goals
  • 0:31:19 – The difference between design and development
#161: Paizo Games

#161: Paizo Games

Description
Dirk and Harrison are joined by Jessica Price and Wes Schneider from Paizo games to talk about their voluminous tabletop roleplaying library. Paizo is best known for their Pathfinder roleplaying system, a successor to Dungeons and Dragons Version 3.5. Wes and Jess talk about their paths into game development as well as the highly anticipated new RPG, Starfinder.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – @DavidVHeron, harrisonpink@gmail.com
Jessica Price – @delafina777
Wes Scneider – @fwesschneider

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:21 – Paizo Games
  • 0:09:00 – Backgrounds before Paizo
  • 0:18:10 – Creating tabletop modules
  • 0:29:40 – Starfinder RPG
#160: Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

#160: Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

Description
Dirk and David are joined by Dominic Crapuchettes of North Star Games to talk about their breakout hits and the process of creating mass market games. North Star Games is most well known for their widely-available games Wits and Wagers and Say Anything but also their educational Evolution series that is used by teachers across the country. Dominic shares what it’s like balancing creating games using a winning formula and branching out into something new.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Dominic Crapuchettes – www.northstargames.com, dominic@northstargames.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:30 – The beginnings of North Star Games
  • 0:01:59 – Wits and Wagers and Say Anything
  • 0:06:17 – Business partners
  • 0:10:20 – Evolution: Climate
  • 0:22:29 – The Evolution series
  • 0:30:48 – New and upcoming games
#159: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

#159: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Description
David makes his return to the show after a brief absence and fills us in with what’s been going on in his world. We’re also happy to announce a new half-hour format that will hopefully yield shorter shows that are posted more often. Dirk, David, and Rob take on more listener questions as they settle back into their old routine.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
David Heron – @DavidVHeron
Rob Daviau – @RobDaviauGamer, rob.daviau@ironwallgames.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:05:14 – Designing a game to be more than mechanics
  • 0:10:26 – Women in game design
  • 0:16:49 – What pre-existing IP would you pick to work on?
  • 0:20:32 – Choose ONE game design axiom
  • 0:24:45 – Kickstarter advice
  • 0:26:35 – How has crowdsourcing impacted replayability?
#158: Suzanne Zinsli and Cardboard Edison

#158: Suzanne Zinsli and Cardboard Edison

Description
Dirk and Harrison are joined by Suzanne Zinsli of Cardboard Edison to talk about game design, publishing, and running their amazing resource for game designers. Cardboard Edison is a gather of best practices, tips for designers, and information about publishers. Their Cardboard Edison Award also helps grow and develop designers through the submittal process. Suzanne covers their own games like Cobra and Dubai and goes over what you should (and really shouldn’t do) to submit a game for the Cardboard Edison Award.

Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, dirk@artana.com
Harrison Pink – harrisonpink@gmail.com, @colonialpink
Suzanne – @cardboardedison, cardboardedison@gmail.com

Episode Outline

  • 0:00:46 – Cardboard Edison and other jobs
  • 0:08:05 – Publishers vs. self-publishing
  • 0:11:47 – Firewalling your own games
  • 0:14:06 – Cobras
  • 0:19:06 – Cardboard Edison Awards
  • 0:32:16 – Having three partners
  • 0:40:59 – Dubai
  • 0:44:02 – Managing a large amount of projects
  • 0:47:58 – Potential upcoming games
  • 0:51:14 – Advice for designers
#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