#227 Meguey Baker Talks Apocalypse WorldDesigning Thematic Games
Dirk and David chat with Meguey Baker about her tabletop RPG Apocalypse World and writing in general. The discussion covers Apocalypse World’s approach to the post-apocalyptic theme and how the writing and mechanical design helps players feel like they are the movers and shakers with a vision to change their post-apocalyptic world.
01:08 A brief overview of Apocalypse World
04:04 Why did Meguey and Vincent want to make a postapocalyptic game?
06:35 Character creation in Apocalypse World, and what it brings to the game’s theme
09:27 A different, more thematically engrossing approach to leveling up in Apocalypse World
11:38 How are the playbooks similar and different to other game rulebooks?
14:09 Structural differences in regards to both game length and campaign length when compared to other RPGs
21:48 How terms like MC instead of GM or the character archetype names affect the theme and experience
25:55 The inclusion of sex moves for each character type, and how it started conversations about sexuality and intimacy
29:38 Discussing the personalized, bold, assertive, and colorful prose of Apocalypse World
34:24 Tips for finding a personalized and appropriate voice in your own work
36:15 How the violence in RPG games helps people young and old grapple with questions of mortality and emotional literacy
39:07 How Meguey approaches her role as a writer, and how words shape gameplay and theme
45:25 Discussing the Powered by the Apocalypse system, and how to make the system (or any RPG system) work for the designer’s vision
50:57 Advice for other designers on bringing theme to life in their own roleplaying games
In this Episode
Meguey Baker - @NightSkyGames
David V. Heron - @davidvheron
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer