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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

Episode #15 – Rushi

Who says you can’t successfully design an abstract game? Definitely not our latest guest. In episode 15, we speak with Danny Zondervan, the designer of the upcoming game, Rushi.

During our discussion, we chat about why the next game you design should be purely abstract (if you’re strong enough), the importance of double and triple checking everything before clicking the launch button, and why you just can’t afford to become attached to your new game design. We play the Game Design Challenge and create what is perhaps the most Ameritrash game in history.

Check out the Rushi campaign page on Kickstarter:

You can also connect with Danny on Board Game Geek.

Episode #14 – War of the Races

War of the Races

What is it about Elves and Orcs? Can’t they just get along for once? Not in episode 14 – that’s for sure. We speak with Brian Hermansen, the founder of Ultra Evil Studios, and one of the creators of the upcoming card game, Legends of Erathmor: War of the Races.

We have a frolicking discussion, chatting about why it’s so critical to enjoy the game design process, why being open and honest with your backers is best, and why it’s just as important to test your game’s name as it is to test the game’s mechanics. We play the Game Design Challenge and find ourselves at the queen’s command, battling stinging nettle.

Take a look at the War of the Races page on Kickstarter and see all the good things Ultra Evil Studios has got cooking:

You can also connect with Ultra Evil Studios on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and even Google Plus.

Episode #13 – Expedition


If there is one thing in D&D that is more terrifying than a tarrasque, it’s how long it takes to get through a game. By the time you’ve killed a handful of goblins, four hours have flown by, and it’s time to call it a game. But thankfully, there’s now an app for that.

In episode 13, we speak with Todd Medema, the founder of Fabricate IO and the creator of the upcoming roleplaying system, Expedition.

We discuss the importance of streamlining gameplay, why it’s so important to listen to your backers, and why it’s so important to ignore your backers. We play the Game Design Challenge and wind up with a dungeon crawler… under water.

Head on over to the Expedition project page on Kickstarter and show your support:

You can also learn more about Expedition (and try the game for free) on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Board Game Geek.