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 Claim 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.

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.