#229 Round Table on the Essence of a Theme

Designing Thematic Games


Kathryn rejoins Dirk and David to talk discuss the past few episodes in the Designing Thematic Games series. The trio talks art budgets, terminology, and thematic mismatches. They also answer listener questions about designing around themes. Much of the discussion explores the distinction between an essence of a theme and the broader theme itself.

Episode Outline

01:12 Discussing the David Dunham episode and how budget can impact the theme of a game

16:33 A conversation of the Meguey Baker episode and various word choices the hosts have made in their games

32:48 Talking about the episode with Shawn Main and why some game genres fit certain themes better than others

46:25 David answers a listener’s question about the past and current role of narrative designers in the video game industry

55:07 The crew tackle a listener’s challenge to share how they would design a game around a mentoring theme

1:01:15 The hosts answer a listener’s question about designing games with themes that strongly resemble existing IPs

In this Episode

David V. Heron - @davidvheron
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer
Kathryn Hymes - @chicalashaw, thornygames.com

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