Episode #25 – Race to the White House

Race to the White House

How many times have you said to yourself “Look at these chumps running for president. Put me up on stage – I’m sure I could do better than them!” Well, now’s your chance. In episode 25, we speak with Jamie Twiss, the founder of Bipartisan Games, and the creator of the upcoming political strategy game, Race to the White House.

During our chat, we discuss the board game renaissance of the late 90s, why any game can be boiled down to one of 8-10 basic game mechanics, and the hallmark of any great game. We play the Game Design Challenge and invent not just a secret-spy auction game, but a game about designing games as well.

You can check out Race to the White House on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873181844/race-to-the-white-house

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

Episode #24 – Giga-Robo

Giga-Robo

Who hasn’t dreamt of slipping into the cockpit of a giant robot to engage in mortal combat with your mech opponents, laying waste to the city that makes up your arena? Dream no longer. In episode 24, we speak with Alex Cheng, the founder of Cardboard Dynamo, and the lead designer of the anime-themed combat game, Giga-Robo.

During our discussion, we chat about why the theme and mechanic of your game must work together, why trimming the fat is one of the most important elements of game design, and why it’s critical to determine the retail MSRP of your game right from the get-go. We play the Game Design Challenge and develop a mountain-scaling simulation, combat game that concludes with making peace with a civilization that exists inside the pocket of a giant leprechaun… you’re just going to have to listen.

You can check out Giga-Robo on its Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2115086518/giga-robo

You can also connect with Cardboard Dynamo on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Episode #23 – Rocky Road a la Mode

Rocky Road a la Mode

Summer is here. Time to dust off the ice cream truck and make some money. But like any business, if you don’t manage your time and resources effectively, you’ll find yourself in a sticky pile of melted dreams.

In episode 23, we chat with Jason Kotarski, the founders of Green Couch Games, and the publisher of the upcoming resource management game, Rocky Road a la Mode.

During our conversation, we discuss why great games fit in small packages, why you should never hit it out of the park during your first campaign, and why it’s so important to focus on moving forward – especially during the slow days of a campaign. We play the Game Design Challenge and release marionettes can be absolutely terrifying when they come off their strings.

You can check out Rocky Road a la Mode on its Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2005228768/rocky-road-a-la-mode-from-green-couch-games

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

Episode #22 – Dice of Crowns

Dice of Crowns

The old king is dead, but who will replace him? Only fate can decide! Will you make a play for the crown or focus instead on eliminating your opponents? In episode 22, we speak with Sean Epperson, one of the founders of Thing 12 Games, and Brander “Badger” Roullett, the designer of the quick-and-dirty dice game, Dice of Crowns.

During our conversation, we discuss why Munchkin is a terrible co-op game, why you should perfect the core mechanic of your game before adding anything else, and why an overnight success requires months of late night efforts before it launches. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a co-petitive game that uses magical powers to conduct bank heists.

You can check out Dice of Crowns on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thing12games/dice-of-crowns

You can also connect with Thing 12 Games on Twitter and Facebook.

Episode #21 – Cinema of Attractions

Cinema of Attractions

Nearly every time Hollywood tries to combine the big screen with the tabletop industry, it ends in disaster (I’m looking at you, Battleship). But there are some notable exceptions – like today’s guest! In episode 21, we speak with Gabriel Barboza, one of the founders of Cinelinx, and a designer of the film-focused party game Cinema of Attractions.

During our conversation, we discuss how the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” is an untapped game mechanic, how to capitalize on otherwise miserable 8-hour layover, and how the game design community is one of the most supportive communities you’ll ever find. We play the Game Design Challenge and go on a scavenger hunt through museum yard sales.

You can check out Cinema of Attractions on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cinelinxmedia/cinema-of-attractions

You can also connect with Cinelinx on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.

Episode #20 – Sidekick Quests

Sidekick Quests

As congress fights over the dangers of gateway drugs, we focus on something even more exciting! A gateway game for the next generation of role players. In episode 20, we have a delightful chat with James Stowe, the designer and illustrator of the kid-friendly RPG (and comic), Sidekick Quests.

During our conversation, we talk about how to incorporate social stretch goals into your campaign to build your audience, how to leverage your designer network to build cross-promotion opportunities, and how to throw away hours of your life designing elaborate set pieces that your players completely skip over. We play the Game Design Challenge and save Christmas from those with poor dexterity.

You can check out Sidekick Quests on their Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/778640200/sidekick-quests-secret-of-the-sewer-wizard

You can also connect with Sidekick Quests on their website (where you can read the entire comic), Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. During our conversation, James also mentions the comic, Untold Tales of Bigfoot, which can also be found on Kickstarter.

Episode #19 – Detective Bulls*%$!

Detective Bulls*#$!

What do you get when you mix one part Clue, two parts Cards Against Humanity, and a truckload of storytelling antics? A game so zany, we can’t even type out it’s name.

In episode 19, we chat with Rae Votta and Corey Lubowich, the founders of Tasty Penguin, and the creators of the upcoming card game, Detective Bulls*%$!

During our conversation, we discuss why you should never launch a Kickstarter campaign alone, why you should completely ignore other Kickstarter projects, and why penguins and other arctic birds actually taste a lot like salmon. We play the Game Design Challenge and find ourselves struggling not to be overcome by the dire state of our existence.

You can check out Detective Bulls*%$! on their Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/753448275/detective-bullshit-the-card-game

You can also connect with Tasty Penguin on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Episode #18 – Hearts Blazing

Hearts Blazing

Out in deep space, surrounded by a hostile alien force, and already the ship’s power is fully extended just keeping life support online. How will you possibly survive? Why – with episode 18, of course!

In this episode, we speak with Glenn Given, one of the founders of Games by Play Date, and a creator of the upcoming storytelling game, Hearts Blazing.

During our discussion, we chat about the current shift in roleplaying systems, the importance of doing “the boring stuff”, and why oil-paintings of the Star Trek Enterprise are pretty much the coolest things on the planet. We play the Game Design Challenge which proves all too simple for a professional like Glenn.

You can check out Hearts Blazing on their Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamesbyplaydate/hearts-blazing

You can also connect with Games by Play Date on their website and Twitter.

Episode #17 – Tak

Tak - A Beautiful Game

I looked down at the board. “The point isn’t to win?” I asked.

“The point,” Bredon said grandly, “is to play a beautiful game.” He lifted his hands and shrugged, his face breaking into a beatific smile. “Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?”

In episode 17, we speak with James Ernest, the founder of Cheapass Games, and the creators of the upcoming abstract strategy game, Tak – based on Patrick Rothfuss’ seminal book, “The Wise Man’s Fear“.

We discuss the challenges of working with a world-renowned author, the value of rapid-prototyping game design, and the reason why you shouldn’t start a game design company unless you really don’t like designing games. We play the Game Design Challenge and create what is perhaps the most miserable game in all of creation.

You can check out Tak on their Kickstarter page at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cheapassgames/tak-a-beautiful-game

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

Episode #16 – Great Scott!

Great Scott!

Inventors in the 19th century were a dime-a-dozen. If you really wanted to stand out from the crowd, you needed to create something using completely random cards drafted from a deck. In episode 16, we speak with Dave Clarke, the founder of Sinister Fish Games, and the creators of the upcoming party game, Great Scott!

During our chat, we discuss the difference between brain-storms and brain-cancer, the only question on a player feedback form worth its salt, and why mixing random words together may be the hot new game mechanic everyone is looking for. We play the Game Design Challenge and invent a game that mixes worker placement with digging up body parts.

Don’t waste another moment – hit up the Great Scott! Kickstarter page immediately, as they’ve only got a few more days left:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sinisterfish/great-scott-the-game-of-mad-invention

You can also connect with Sinister Fish on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and, for the visual learners among us, Instagram.