Episode #42 – Quodd Heroes


Brand new game mechanics are few and far between. But, on the rare occasion they do appear, they have the potential to completely change the entire playing field. In this week’s episode, we speak with Ryan Iler, the founder of Wonderment Games, and the designer of the completely unique Quodd Heroes.

During our discussion, we chat about the importance of simplifying the “work” a player has to do on their turn, how to merge popular elements from video games into the tabletop space, and the dangers of connecting with retailers during your Kickstarter campaign. We play the Game Design Challenge and design co-operative, hidden identity game deep inside the top-secret halls of the Pentagon.

You can learn more about Quodd Heroes on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wondermentgames/quodd-heroes

You can also connect with Ryan on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode #41 – Abandon Planet

The meteors are hurtling toward earth. Your rocket is nearly done, but it only has two seats. How will you decide who to take with you? Easy – political intrigue! In this week’s episode, we speak with Don Eskridge, the legendary designer of The Resistance and Avalon, back with his own company, Orange Machine Games, and their first game, Abandon Planet.

During our conversation, we discuss how to design for intense social interactions, how to take feedback from your backers while maintaining a positive campaign, and how red and black ants may be the next hot component. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a social / political game of racing down a half-completed wormhole in space.

You can learn more about Abandon Planet on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/845031916/abandon-planet
Though you better hurry – there are only a few days left!

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

Episode #40 – Feudum

Light, party games all have their place. But sometimes you just need a four-hour, open-world, deep-dive of a game… and we’re here to deliver. In this week’s episode, we speak with Mark Swanson, the founder of Odd Bird Games, and the creator of the upcoming euro-style board game, Feudum.

During our discussion, we chat about the complexities of designing an open-world gaming system, strategies for building buzz before you launch, and why every great designer needs to be brave. We play the Game Design Challenge and create an equestrian game of Nordic exploration that combines euro mechanics with Blokus.

You can learn more about Feudum on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/464687699/feudum-a-nuanced-game-of-hand-and-resource-managem

For a limited time, you can also pre-order the game at:
https://feudum.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

You can also connect with Feudum on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode #39 – Leaders Of Euphoria

What do you do when the very first game you ever publish is a smash hit? Why, borrow the license to another popular game, apply, rinse and repeat, of course! If only it was all that easy… In today’s episode, we speak with Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke, the founders of Overworld Games, and the designers and publishers of the upcoming social deduction game, Leaders of Euphoria: Choose a Better Oppressor.

During our discussion, we chat about the advantages of working with other designers (and publishers), the up’s and down’s of self-promotion, and the challenges of designing a game that requires players keep their eyes shut. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a tale of scandal and intrigue at the public library (without making too much noise and disturbing the librarian).

You can check out Leaders of Euphoria on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1026360181/leaders-of-euphoria-choose-a-better-oppressor

You can connect with Overworld Games on their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can hear more of Brian’s wise counsel on his podcast, Board Game Business Podcast.

Episode #38 – Cobras

Your village has a bit of a problem… it’s infested with snakes. And what does any red-blooded entrepreneur do about it? Why, breed more snakes so you can profit from the tragedy, of course! In episode 38, we speak with Chris and Suzanne Zinsli, the founders of Cardboard Edison, and the designers of the trick-taking game, Cobras.

During our conversation, we discuss how to “accidentally” create a game,
how to find inspiration from malfunctioning neon signs, and how to develop the skill of letting go. We play the Game Design Challenge and design what may go down in history as the hippest game for rodents ever.

You can check out Cobras on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cardboardedison/cobras-a-trick-taking-game-for-1-5-players

You can also connect with Cardboard Edison on their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Episode #37 – Tavern Masters

It’s common knowledge that every good roleplaying campaign starts at the tavern. But when was the last time you gave that tavern much thought? What kind of drinks do they serve? How do they attract their patrons? And most importantly, how profitable are they? In this episode, we speak with Dann Kriss, the founder of Dann Kriss Games, the creator of the upcoming engine building game, Tavern Masters.

During our discussion, we chat about the value of sneaking in old 90’s references into your game, the benefit of designing the game expansion before releasing the base game, and the disadvantages of offering “extra fluff” during your Kickstarter campaign. We play the Game Design Challenge and create perhaps the most polished game ever invented in two minutes.

You can check out Tavern Masters on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dannkrissgames/tavern-masters-card-game

You can also connect with Dann Kriss Games on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Youtube… phew, that’s quite the list!

Episode #36 – Upwind

You’re two hours into the most epic campaign ever told. The story is incredible, your character is memorable, and your dice are cooking. Too bad you’re about to be ambushed by a horde of goblins. Oh sure – you’ll slaughter them easily. But it will take the rest of the night to just grind through the encounter. If only there was a better way.

In episode 36, we speak with Jeff Barber, the founder of Biohazard Games, and the creator of the upcoming roleplaying game, Upwind.

During our conversation, we discuss when you should start promoting your Kickstarter campaign (hint – it’s never too soon), why you should never plan a thematic gaming experience in the woods at night, and how the best games integrate their settings and their mechanics into one harmonious experience. We play the Game Design Challenge and a post-WWI, alternative-reality, dart-throwing game.

You can check out Upwind on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875712273/upwind-rpg-treasure-planet-meets-studio-ghibli

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

Episode #35 – Dracula’s Feast

We’ve all been there – game time with the family and you need something a younger audience can get their head around. Do you reach for the latest Hasbro roll-and-move? Please, NO! In episode 35, we speak with Peter C. Hayward, the founder of Jellybean Games and the designer of the family-friendly hidden-role game, Dracula’s Feast, who shows us what it takes to design games for children, that adults still really enjoy!

During our conversation, we chat about creating a game with simple structure but deep content, the value of providing premium options for your backers, and why true game development happens on the cutting room floor. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a press-your-luck Halloween party game for the coward in all of us.

You can check out Dracula’s Feast on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peterchayward/draculas-feast-a-monstrous-game-of-secrets-and-ded

You can also learn more about Jellybean Games on their website, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also listen to Peter on his podcasts: Being Honest with my Ex and Let’s Write a Movie.

Episode #34 – Rising 5

Pretty much anyone can create an app these days, or a puzzle game, or even an adventure game. But I can only think of one team that can combine all three! In episode 34, we speak with Jamie Johnson, one of the founders of Holy Grail Games and the co-publisher of the app-assisted, puzzle/adventure game, Rising 5.

During our conversation, we discuss why you should never play a war game with a body builder, what the difference is between a game designer and a game developer, and how to create a game that is more than just good, but truly stands out. We play the Game Design Challenge and create a dexterity-based, worker placement game that involves a fuzzy version of Liam Neeson.

You can check out Rising 5 on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/148661905/rising-5-runes-of-asteros

You can also learn more about Holy Grail Games on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode #33 – Luminous Ages

In a world where reality is controlled by dreams, and dreams are controlled by dragons – the individual who controls the dragons reigns supreme. Will you unite with your friends to defeat the evil Mare alliance or compete head to head to become the one Dragon Master? In this episode, we speak with Anthony Christou, the artist and lead designer of the upcoming collectible card game, Luminous Ages.

During our discussion, we chat about building a foundation of game design through Legos, why every project should be a passion project, and why Donald Trump is ruining Gen Con for everyone. We play the Game Design Challenge wherein Anthony commits to publish his Alien Plants game just as soon as Luminous Ages funds (we’ve got it on tape).

You can check out Luminous Ages on Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/luminousages/luminous-ages-card-game

You can also learn more about Luminous Ages on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.