Episode #52 – Hardback

How do you deliver an expansion to one of the bestselling word games of all time? By throwing it away and starting from scratch – that’s how! In episode 52, we speak with Tim Fowers and Jeff Beck (yes – he just might be our regular host), the designers of Hardback (the “pre-quill” to Paperback).

During our chat, we talk about what sets word games apart (other than the obvious), why you have to separate what you did from who you are (for both good and bad), and why the most important element of a successful Kickstarter project is the product you are promoting. We play the Game Design Challenge and design a game even Miss Congeniality would appreciate.

You can learn more about Hardback on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fowers/hardback-the-pre-quill-to-paperback

You can also connect with Tim Fowers on his website and Twitter. Jeff Beck can be reached on Twitter or, you know, this site.

Episode #51 – Peak Oil

Our world runs on oil… dirty, dirty oil. But when the wells run dry, a new economy will emerge. Who will rise from the ashes to claim this new world order? In episode 51, we speak with Tobias Gohrbandt, the co-designer of Peak Oil.

During our conversation, we discuss co-designing a game with someone who has completely different priorities, the novelty of a German publisher on Kickstarter, and the importance of not implementing playtesting feedback. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a horror game that will strike fear into all of our hearts.

You can learn more about Peak Oil on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1031232934/peak-oil-a-tabletop-game-about-crisis-and-profit

You can also connect with 2Tomatoes, the publishers of Peak Oil, on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Episode #50 – Bargain Quest

Why risk your neck going on adventures when you can make a fortune from the safety of your own home, selling adventuring equipment to the foolish heroes that visit your shop? In the bicentennial episode 50, we chat with Jonathan Ying, famed co-designer of Star Wars: Imperial Assault and DOOM The Board Game (among others), who is out with a new, self-published game – Bargain Quest.

During our conversation, we chat about how easy it is to start a career in tabletop game design with absolutely zero experience, why elegant game design is not always best way to go, and why leaning into player frustrations can sometimes lead to the most memorable moments. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a dexterity game for the mafia that requires some really difficult moral decisions.

You can learn more about Bargain Quest on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bargainquest/bargain-quest-a-fast-and-fun-item-shop-board-game

You can also connect with Bargain Quest Games on their website.

Episode #49 – Dragon Dodge

Don’t get me wrong – sometimes a massive, 3-hour, heavy-euro game is the only way to fly. But sometimes you just need a light strategy game that you can wrap up in 30 minutes or less. In episode 49, we chat with Maggie Stewart and Jeff Fitzgerald, the founders of Hidden Creek Games, and the designers of Dragon Dodge.

During our conversation, we chat about the importance of designing the style of game you enjoy playing, how to involve spouse and young children in the game design process, and how to leverage quantum mechanics in your next design. We play the Game Design Challenge and create an intergalactic game of infant day care.

You can learn more about Dragon Dodge on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1870586178/dragon-dodge

You can also connect with Hidden Creek Games on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Episode #48 – Claim

If you found a gold nugget, how far would you go to keep it? Would you hide it from your friends? Would you lie about where you kept it? In episode 48, we chat with Andrew Stengele of Forced Perspective Entertainment and Jimmy Schnitzlein, the publisher and designer, respectfully, of Claim: The Search for the Gold Nugget – and determine just how far someone might go.

During our discussion, we talk about the psychological damage that stretch goals can cause, why shirts are required for your Kickstarter campaign video but not your Kickstarter campaign pledge rewards, and why sometimes the greatest games don’t get designed past their title. We play the Game Design Challenge and design a bluffing, diplomacy game involving complex astrophysics.

You can learn more about Claim on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fpe/claim-the-search-for-the-gold-nugget

You can also connect with Forced Perspective on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Episode #47 – Yukon Salon

Everyone needs a good hair stylist… even, and perhaps especially, the burly men (and bears) of the northern expanse. In today’s episode, we speak with David Fooden, the designer of the upcoming game, Yukon Salon.

During our conversation, we discuss how to keep busy when no one shows up for your game demo, why indie game designers need to be more creative with their game themes, and the importance of having your manufacturing nailed down before you launch your Kickstarter. We play the Game Design Challenge and design a real-life simulation game all about the reply-all button.

You can learn more about Yukon Salon on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/davidfooden/yukon-salon-a-beary-hairy-game

You can also connect with David on Twitter and Facebook.

Episode #46 – Tortuga 1667

There’s something magical about pirates – but it might not be what you think. It’s not the peg leg, or the buried treasure, or even their fascination with the letter R. No, the most magical part of being a pirate is that you can call for mutiny and throw your previous leader overboard at a moment’s notice. In fact, that sounds like the makings of a great game. In today’s episode, we speak with Travis Hancock, the founder of Facade Games, and the designer of the upcoming social deduction game, Tortuga 1667.

During our discussion, we chat about why you have to playtest the bad to find the good in your games, why the best marketing you can do for your game is making a great game in the first place, and why designing a social deduction game boils down to adding a bit of structure to the madness. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a combat food-fighting game that may need to license its IP.

You can learn more about Tortuga 1667 on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/travishancock/tortuga-1667-a-pirate-game-of-mutiny-plunder-and-d

You can also connect with Facade Games on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Episode #45 – Dark is the Night

There’s something about sleeping out of doors… being one with nature… and being threatened by an unseen monster just outside of the campfire light. In today’s episode, we speak with Josh Estill, Zach Abbott, and Arwen Boyer, the designers of the upcoming two-player game, Dark is the Night.

During our discussion, we chat about why Wal-mart board games are not an effective learning tool, how digital and physical games are converging, and why you should be prepared to kill your baby. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a VR game all designed around a very bad pun.

You can learn more about Dark is the Night on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13415575/dark-is-the-night-a-2-player-game-of-hunt-or-be-hu

You can also connect with Ape Games, the publisher of Dark is the Night, on their website and Twitter.

Episode #44 – ButtonShy Wallet Series, 2017 Quarter 1

What happens when you get not only one, not two, but three game designers on the show at once? Mass hysteria! In today’s episode, we speak with Rob Cramer, John du Bois, and Mitchell Shipman, three game designers from ButtonShy games, and the designers of Turbo Drift, Avignon: Pilgrimage, and Find Your Seats, respectively.

During our conversation, we chat about why on earth you would want to design a game with only 18 cards, why a completely failed playtest does not equal a completely failed game, and what the 10-10-10 rule is in game design (and why it will become the bain of your existence). We play the Game Design Challenge and create three completely unique games with three unique mechanics and really three unique themes, all from a single starting point.

You can learn more about these ButtonShy Wallet games on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/239309591/avignon-pilgrimage-turbo-drift-and-find-your-seats

You can also connect with ButtonShy Games on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

Episode #43 – Traveller

What do you get when you mix an RPG so memorable, it inspired the hit TV show Firefly, with the unique elements of a customizable card game? In today’s episode, we chat with Jeff Yin, one of the founders of Horizon Games, and the lead designer of the upcoming customizable card game, Traveller.

During our discussion, we chat about licensing the intellectual property from other companies, the importance of getting your imperfect prototypes out into the wild, and creative solutions to help mitigate shipping challenges. We play the Game Design Challenge and design a game all about manipulating the supreme court to ensure rooster racing is finally legalized.

You can learn more about Traveller on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1587896607/traveller-customizable-card-game

You can also connect with Horizon Games on their website and Facebook.