The Thoughtful Gamer Podcast header image 1
February 21, 2020 @ 10:53 pm

Ep 67: A Conversation With Patrick Rauland About Game Creation

In this episode I sit down with Patrick Rauland, designer of Fry Thief and creator of the Indie Board Game Designers podcast to talk about the process of creating games. What are the best practices that successful people use? How do you avoid burnout? What does Patrick have planned for his future designs?

This podcast is sponsored by Engro Games, who are running a kickstarter right now for two microgames: Reach and Okazaki. Find more information here.

1:27 - Fry Thief and creating a game in a year
5:48 - Designing with constraints
9:58 - Lessons learned from the Indie Board Game Designers podcast
14:29 - Iteration and quantity
22:23 - Memory and note-taking
30:13 - Level of industry "literacy" among new game creators
33:57 - Marketing tools and strategies
42:20 - Patrick's future game publishing plans
47:10 - Patrick's design tendencies/patterns
49:18 - Overcoming burnout

See more of Patrick's work at https://indieboardgamedesigners.com/ and https://laidback.games/

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
February 10, 2020 @ 6:18 pm

Ep 66: Q&A, Masterpiece Games, and Fundraising Week

It's fundraising week, and that means we're going all out! Not only will we talk about the ways (including some new ways) to support The Thoughtful Gamer, but we're answering listener questions and giving 5 games our "Masterpiece Games" honor! Plus it's our biggest podcast group ever, with Marc, Matt, Orion, Bubba, and Lindsay contributing their thoughts. Every once in a while Amber mutters a comment from across the room.

3:01 - Fundraising Week!
4:22 - Q&A: Ban a game?
8:27 - What is a Masterpiece Game?
12:24 - Masterpiece Game #1: The Resistance
15:44 - Q&A: Guilty pleasure games
20:31 - New opportunity: Looking for podcast sponsors!
21:37 - Q&A: First board game "crushes"
25:33 - Masterpiece Game #2: Twilight Imperium
28:32 - Q&A: Games co-hosts should try
34:04 - New Opportunity: Voiceovers
35:04 - Q&A: Gluten-free baking tips from Lindsay!
38:28 - Masterpiece Game #3: Magic the Gathering
44:51 - Q&A: How has our approach to gaming evolved?
47:50 - New Opportunity: "Final Look" Rulebook Checking
49:50 - Q&A: Game progression for new players
54:45 - Masterpiece Game #4: Dominion
1:01:33 - Q&A: Game peripherals
1:05:44 - Masterpiece Game #5: Chess
1:10:27 - Q&A: Group social behavior norms

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
January 24, 2020 @ 5:37 pm

Ep 65: A Conversation With Ken Franklin

I've never met anyone at passionate about the transformative power of gaming as Ken Franklin. Matt and I caught up with him at PAX Unplugged and chatted about his designs, his faith, and why non zero-sum games can change the world. [Headphones recommended due to some background noise]

0:39 - Ken Franklin's history with board games
2:30 - The Mansky Caper
4:44 - Non zero-sum games
11:44 - Faith, religion, and art
16:50 - Imagineers
18:43 - Working with Chris Leder/Back To The Future
21:57 - The single winner problem
24:13 - Party games
26:30 - Upcoming designs
28:31 - Positive experiences through gaming

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
January 18, 2020 @ 4:05 pm

Bonus! Theros: Beyond Death Set Analysis (for Limited)

Matt and Marc sit down to discuss the new Magic: The Gathering set, focusing on limited formats (ie the best formats). Which colors looks the best? What kind of new stuff does Theros: Beyond Death bring? Why are there so many enchantments? Let us know what you think about this podcast and maybe we'll continue doing something similar for each new set!

0:39 - Why evaluate a draft set?
4:55 - Set overview
14:48 - "Signpost" uncommons
29:13 - White
37:06 - Blue
45:32 - Black
55:10 - Red
1:00:57 - Green
1:08:39 - Artifacts/Lands
1:10:53 - Marc's top mythics
1:15:05 - Final impressions

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
January 14, 2020 @ 11:49 pm

Ep 64: A Conversation With Gil Hova

My conversation with Gil quickly flew by, and before we knew it we were nearly 2 hours in and geeking out about sports. Gil is overflowing with knowledge and enthusiasm about games and design, and our conversation touched on digital games, publishing, Gil's designs, podcasting, and more.

Check out what Gil's doing at Formal Ferret and Ludology.

1:44 - Gil's history with games and game design
8:52 - Digital game inspirations
14:28 - Distinctions between the digital and analog media
20:36 - Prolix/Wordsy
29:09 - Game design groups
33:49 - Battle Merchants
36:37 - Games where you're the villain
56:12 - Bad Medicine and the creation of Formal Ferret
1:00:29 - High Rise
1:03:52 - The Networks
1:08:04 - The Rival Networks
1:11:04 - The Ludology Podcast
1:14:33 - Podcast production
1:25:40 - Podcast prep
1:27:34 - Dream Ludology guests
1:41:00 - Has podcasting helped with your designs?

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
January 7, 2020 @ 8:16 pm

Ep 63: A Conversation With Ben Maddox

Five Games for Doomsday quickly established itself as one of the premier board game podcasts. In it, Ben Maddox interviews people from all parts of the board game world with incisive questions, illuminating who they are as people. I sat down with Ben to talk a bit about his work with the podcast and a lot about board game reviewing. What is the role of the reviewer? What are our approaches to analyzing a game? What does objectivity mean, anyway?

Find more about Ben here: https://fivegamesfordoomsday.com/

2:08 - Ben's history with podcasting
6:00 - Five Games For Doomsday
11:57 - The role of the reviewer
16:15 - Reviewing structure
23:48 - Objectivity
30:23 - Civilization games and value
35:26 - Game reviewers we like
38:43 - Why negative reviews are necessary
49:03 - Ben's approach to writing a review
55:47 - Concluding thoughts

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
December 23, 2019 @ 4:50 am

Ep 62: PAX Unplugged 2019

It's that magical time of the year when we go to PAX Unplugged and revel in beautiful wonderful games, both new and old! We talk about a lot of them here, and we barely cover half of what we saw. But don't worry, there's time to scrutinize Matt's odd perspectives on Magic drafting and bask in the gastronomical wonder that is barbacoa.

1:26 - Impressions of the convention
9:47 - Expo Hall adventures
10:19 - War Room
14:21 - Frosthaven
17:58 - Overbattle
21:29 - Sniper Elite
24:52 - KLASK
28:03 - Foodies
30:26 - Sabotage
37:57 - Namiji
39:39 - Detective Club
42:02 - For Sale
43:02 - Goat n Goat
46:49 - Crystal Palace
51:07 - Tokyo Highway
54:41 - Irish Gauge
55:40 - Flamme Rouge
56:24 - Stay Cool
57:48 - MtG drafting
1:05:40 - South Philly Barbacoa
1:07:51 - Final Impressions
1:10:01 - Weave! (almost forgot)

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
December 7, 2019 @ 11:32 pm

Ep 61: A Conversation With John Zilch About Clever Kids Mysteries And Family Games

I sit down with John Zilch, creator of the Clever Kids Mysteries series of puzzle games, to talk about how he creates puzzles for the family gaming experience. We also discuss family gaming in general, and how games can help us all learn and think more critically.

0:56 - Creating the Clever Kids Mysteries games
11:18 - Narrative in puzzle games
29:22 - Family gaming
42:44 - Obligatory sports tangent
48:42 - Using data and feedback to aid puzzle-making
53:48 - Designing puzzles for diverse thinkers  

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
November 25, 2019 @ 8:12 pm

Ep 60: Trading Games

We just finished a game of Trade on the Tigris and decided to sit around a microphone and talk about trading games. Marc, Matt, Lindsay, Amber, and Ben lend their thoughts to this exciting, but challenging genre of game. What is a trading game? Why is Matt insane to think Catan isn't one? What kind of challenges face someone trying to design one? Which one do we think does trading best? Find out!

3:26 - Marc tells a story about middle-schoolers and epistemological horror
5:46 - Board games are first mentioned
7:15 - What is a trading game?
14:47 - Characteristics of trade
19:03 - Creating different valuations
27:45 - Double coincidence of wants
32:48 - Deception and risk analysis in Trade on the Tigris
41:48 - The "single winner" problem
49:43 - An aside on economic notions of value and profit
52:52 - The length problem
58:18 - The uncertainty of value problem
1:02:55 - The aggressiveness problem
1:06:38 - The "trade dominates the game" problem
1:12:22 - Pie

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
November 12, 2019 @ 1:20 am

Ep 59: Amber And I Brainstorm A Game Design (part 1?)

Inspired by a conversation over dinner and the success of Geoff and Ryan doing this on the Ludology podcast, Amber and I work through the initial brainstorm for a game design idea we had about...chili peppers. Amber loves peppers, and despite them now being a staple of Indian and SE Asian cuisine, they were originally an exclusively New World plant. How did this massive shift in cuisine come about? We want to find out and make a game about it.

2:38 - We need questions for a future podcast!
4:55 - Origins of the game idea
8:08 - The brainstorming process
12:08 - The POV
23:19 - Honing in the key ideas
33:31 - Goals for historical research
37:05 - Mechanisms: interesting or discard?

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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

Share | Download(Loading)
The Thoughtful Gamer Podcast
Loading Downloads
110Episodes

Followers