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Welcome to Ludology, an analytical discussion of the how’s and why’s of the world of board games. Rather than news and reviews, Ludology explores a variety of topics about games from a wider lens, and discusses game history, game design and game players. Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.
 
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show series
 
Scott rampages through the history of Richard Garfield's hit game King of Tokyo. How was this game made, and what did its standalone sequel King of New York add to it? BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepodcastepisode/76209/podcast-20-king-tokyo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afu516A828k https://www.iello.com/co.uk/new…
 
Gil and Sen welcome Calvin Wong Tze Loon 黃子倫 to the show to discuss narrative in games. How can we improve a game's narrative through its mechanisms, its components, and even its box size? SHOW NOTES 0m46s: Calvin played P.T. Goh in the film Crazy Rich Asians. Also, info on Twilight Imperium's expansion Prophecy of Kings that Calvin did some writin…
 
Erica and Scott welcome Ryan and Malorie Laukat, the couple behind Red Raven Games. Ryan is known as the designer and illustrator for games like Eight Minute Empire, Above and Below, Near and Far, Islebound, Empires of the Void, Artifacts Inc., Megaland, and the forthcoming Now or Never. They are also the subject of an upcoming documentary, Craftin…
 
Scott takes us through the history of El Grande, from its beginnings as a game about the Trojan War to its influence on the current board game scene. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME https://opinionatedgamers.com/2015/07/27/sdj-re-reviews-18-el-grande/ https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/82783/interviews-optimist-73-wolfgang-kramer-el-grande https://www.m…
 
On a special milestone episode of Ludology, Gil Hova and Scott Rogers say goodbye to our beloved Emma Larkins, as she departs as a co-host after 50 amazing episodes. Geoff Engelstein drops by to check in on us. And we're also joined by new co-hosts Erica Bouyouris and Sen-Foong Lim! SHOW NOTES 05m02s: Emma has earned quite a few awards for her game…
 
Emma and Gil welcome returning guest Eric Zimmerman, who last appeared on the show on Episode 79 to discuss the magic circle in gaming. This time, Eric discusses his idea of the 21st century being a "ludic century," and what makes games especially important today. We also discuss how games' powers can be used for evil, if tabletop games can become …
 
Scott takes us through the history of the bizarre drinking game Pass-Out, which is arguably a direct predecessor to the modern risqué adult party game. (Note: We at Ludology do not condone binge drinking, especially when prompted by a game. If a game tells you that you have to drink, but you feel that you need to stop drinking, you should stop play…
 
Emma and Gil sit down with Carla Kopp of Weird Giraffe Games and Galactic Raptor Games to discuss designing solo modes for games, the merits of "bots" in solo games, and how these bots tend to be named "Steve." SHOW NOTES 2m00s: Carla's first published game Super Hack Override. 4m53s: We spoke with Morten Monrad Pedersen on Ludology 154 - Leave Me …
 
Emma and Gil sit down with James Mendez Hodes to discuss his work as a cultural consultant, and the series of "orcticles" he wrote describing how the depiction of orcs in fantasy games can bring up problematic real-world stereotypes. CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes many references to racism and a section discussing sexual assault. SHOW NOTES…
 
Scott describes the history of Quarriors!, which became the base system for both the Marvel and DC Dice Masters games, among other licenses. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME Tabletop Gaming Magazine issue 3 “The Making of Marvel Dice Masters” by Owen Duffy https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/30410/designer-diary-dice-masters-no-catchy-title-just-b https…
 
Emma, Gil, and Scott have a roundtable discussion in which they discuss the three sales channels, or markets, your board game can be available in: hobby, specialty, and mass. What are the differences between them, and how can a game move from one to another? SHOW NOTES 0m48s: Erica and Sen are joining the show! You can watch them in the Meeple Syru…
 
Emma and Gil welcome Emerson Matsuuchi back to the show to discuss his experience designing the Century game series, and what it's like designing 3 "mixable" games. SHOW NOTES 0m37s: We last heard Emerson as a guest on Ludology 106 - Hide and Seek. 1m01s: In addition to the Century series, Emerson has designed Reef and Foundations of Rome. 1m45s: W…
 
Scott delves into the history of the first big board game success on Kickstarter: Tory Niemann's Alien Frontiers. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME TEXT: https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/features/11916-How-One-Project-Shaped-Gaming-s-Use-of-Crowdfunding https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/5209/interview-tory-niemann http://dicehatem…
 
Emma and Gil chat with Jeeyon Shim, game designer, nature fan, and mushroom enthusiast. Jeeyon's games are about connecting with one's environment, and we discuss what it's like to make games like this. We also discuss playtesting (or not playtesting) indie games, the conception of "nature" and its connection with humanity, and how cute our pets ar…
 
Emma and Gil chat with Sam Rosenthal and Stephen Bell of The Game Band, known for their bizarre cosmic horror sports sim Blaseball. We discuss the unique feedback loop between Blaseball's fans and its creators, the benefits of apophenia, and how baseball was uniquely suited for this treatment at this moment in history. SHOW NOTES 7m00s: The score b…
 
Emma, Gil, and Scott discuss winning in games. What defines winning in a game, and what are the different ways games can handle it? Also, Emma shares a Big Announcement with us. SHOW NOTES 2m44s: Type 1 - One winner, everyone else loses: Catan, Terra Mystica, Terraforming Mars 3m47s: Type 1a - Conditional win: Dune, Red November, Mission Catastroph…
 
Geoff takes us through what he (and many other people) feel is a flaw in the rules of basketball, and a possible solution that was first implemented by a new league in 2018. The Elam Ending is designed to eliminate the incentive for teams trailing on the scoreboard to constantly, intentionally foul the leading team, making for a more consistent and…
 
We continue our annual tradition of bringing board game industry veteran Stephen Buonocore, now retired from Stronghold Games/Indie Game Studios and focusing on media and podcasting. We explore the bizarre, catastrophic year of 2020, and consider what's in store for us in 2021. Note that this episode was recorded on Monday, November 30, 2020; we oc…
 
Emma and Gil welcome Adrienne Smith, designer of the card game Blitz Champz and wide receiver for the Boston Renegades women's gridiron football team. We discuss the intersection of mass market, kids, and sports game design, the state of women's football in modern America, and serial entrepreneurship. This episode was recorded on November 16, 2020.…
 
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