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March 18, 2019 @ 11:35 am

Ep 48: Small-ish 2 Player Games

Orion and Marc talk about some of the 2 player games they've been playing recently. There's a good mix of popular and obscure, good and bad here. What makes a great 2 player experience, and what are some of the dynamics created when you make a 2 player game vs. a multiplayer game? Also, Marc rants for a bit.

1:25 - Broader themes with 2p games
7:53 - 7 Wonders Duel
15:50 - Hanamikoji
22:29 - Anthelion
26:29 - Master Of Wills
29:39 - IT'S TANGENT TIME!
36:13 - Targi
46:56 - Innovation
58:24 - 13 Days
1:04:44 - Dual Powers
1:09:37 - Keyforge

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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February 23, 2019 @ 4:27 am

A Conversation With Adam Rehberg About “Thrive”

NOTE: The Kickstarter date for Thrive has been pushed back to March 5th instead of February 26th as mentioned in the audio.

I sit down with Adam Rehberg to discuss the upcoming abstract game Thrive where the pieces adapt and grow stronger as the game progresses. I also ask him about his start with modern board gaming and becoming a designer and publisher. Thrive will be up on Kickstarter on March 5th. 

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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February 15, 2019 @ 5:02 pm

Ep 47: A Conversation With Elizabeth Hargrave

Who could have guessed that birds would be an exciting part of early 2019 among gamers? Elizabeth Hargrave might have been able to predict it, as her new game Wingspan, published by Stonemaier, is both mechanically interesting and lavished with a beautiful production. I sit down with her to talk about her design philosophy, what it's like to see her first published design do so well, and, of course, birds. Because birds are great!

0:44 - Wingspan and birds
21:29 - Tussie-Mussie
26:24 - Elizabeth's history with gaming
30:36 - Different themes and the designing community
39:34 - The pitching and publishing process

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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February 6, 2019 @ 10:09 pm

Ep 46: Abstract Games

We've been playing abstract games all month and we're here to tell you about it! Marc, Matt, and Orion go in depth about five different abstract games, both classic and new. We've all fallen in love with Go, and Tak was a pleasant surprise. What's so compelling about these games that some have survived for millennia? We've gotten a taste of it.

3:57 - What actually is an abstract game?
10:28 - Go
26:52 - Chess
46:30 - Santorini
55:01 - Onitama
1:01:18 - Tak
1:13:28 - Lines of play
1:16:46 - The unique beauty of abstract games

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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January 29, 2019 @ 5:27 pm

Book Discussion: The Three Body Problem Part 2: The Dark Forest

Marc, Orion, and Matt continue their discussion of this incredible sci-fi trilogy. This time they're talking about the 2nd book, which is probably the most divisive but also the most tightly constructed. As always, major SPOILER WARNING! We're spoiling it all. If you have any interest, we recommend you read the books first. There's sci-fi concepts in here as good as anything Asimov ever did.

1:36 - Translation differences
3:14 - Cinematic feelings
6:21 - Not for the last time, we bring up scope
8:00 - Wallfacers
17:59 - Cosmic sociology
22:32 - Human sociology
28:00 - Droplet
33:50 - Dead man's switch
35:54 - Matt's gripes
41:21 - The dark forest

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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January 22, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

Ep 45: A Conversation With Peter McPherson

Marc talks with Peter McPherson, designer of the upcoming Tiny Towns from AEG. What was it like working with a publisher for the first time, what was the design process for this family-weight construction euro, and what can we expect from Peter in the future? 

1:58 - What was your entry point to modern board games?
4:57 - Designing and developing Tiny Towns
6:51 - Mandatory digression on "The Mind"
10:16 - The part where I remember to actually have Peter describe the game
14:49 - PAX Unplugged experience
15:57 - The publishing experience
26:22 - Other designs Peter is working on

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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January 17, 2019 @ 6:07 pm

Book Discussion: The Three Body Problem Part 1

Join Marc, Matt, and Orion as they discuss a truly wonderful sci-fi series: The Three Body Problem. Here they discuss the first of this trilogy, looking at memorable moments and thematic elements of interest. A lot of what we find here will carry over into the broader second and third installments.

2:15 - Pre-spoilers: should you read this book?
9:14 - Spoilers ahoy!
9:48 - The "three body problem" in physics
12:39 - Cultural revolution and science in society
15:17 - Two great early scenes
21:56 - The VR game
23:03 - Okay, we're spoiling everything, for reals, now
27:35 - Underestimating scope and human scrappiness
32:34 - Tripwires and pessimism

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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January 4, 2019 @ 2:10 pm

Ep 44: Aesthetics

Marc, Matt, and Orion, three people who typically don't care very much about the look of the games they're playing talk about the games that do have remarkable visuals and design. What games' aesthetics are so good or so bad that they affect our rating of them? What is it about those games that make them truly stand out? Also we talk about buckets.

6:08 - We stop talking about sports
8:43 - Ryan Laukat's games - selling the setting
12:53 - Forbidden Desert/Sky - the toy factor
18:47 - Rising Sun and Lacerda - abundance of detail
25:54 - Wingspan and Stonemaier
27:20 - Fog of Love, Tokaido, and others - clean looks
31:29 - Go and Chess - the look of history and myth
35:35 - Orion talks about buckets
45:18 - Our top games where the aesthetics significantly improve our rating of the game
1:04:47 - The wargame aesthetic
1:06:08 - Games we want to get a deluxe remake
1:10:17 - Lamenting about the lack of tangents in the conversation, which is in and of itself a tangent

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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December 22, 2018 @ 12:13 am

Ep 43: PAX Unplugged 2018

Marc and Amber sit down to talk about their time at PAX Unplugged. We played some new games, some old games, and some that aren't even released yet. What are the highlights? What do we think of Keyforge? Why is Marc such a tough critic of games he playtests? The world may never know. Except you, if you listen to this.

5:10 - Expo Hall
9:58 - Inhuman Conditions
15:06 - Tiny Towns
18:38 - Pirate Tricks
20:16 - Digression on Language
24:38 - Alchemists
28:50 - Spirit Island
32:00 - Prototype Playtesting
35:49 - Megagames
37:53 - Ivion
39:20 - MtG and Keyforge Tournaments

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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November 29, 2018 @ 5:21 am

Ep 42: A Conversation With Isaac Shalev

We're delighted to sit down with game designer Isaac Shalev to talk about a variety of things, from the designs of Ryan Laukat to Isaac's history with board games, to his current project creating an encyclopedia of game mechanisms. Don't miss this one.

2.54 - Empires of the Void II
22:19 - Isaac Shalev: The Man, The Myth
27:10 - Seikatsu
38:57 - Cataloging design patterns and language in a general sense
1:11:40 - Juicy bits about The Mind and Hanabi
1:22:09 - Games criticism

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

Like the podcast? Want to watch it being recorded, live? Consider supporting it on Patreon.

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