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Best Episodes of Ludology

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In this episode Ryan and Geoff analyze the environment that games create. Some games tend to be very competitive and tense, and others light and social. What pushes gameplay in these directions? What should game designers look for if they want to create a specific environment for the players? Duration: 1:30:53
In this classic GameTek, Ryan and Geoff interview game designer Bob Abbott, designer of classic games like Confusion, Eleusis, and Code 777. Duration: 09:29 This episode of Ludology is sponsored by Nations, the new publication from Nations will be released at Essen 2013.
In this classic GameTek, Geoff interviews Gil Hova, who designed the game Prolix, about the different concerns in designing a word game versus other genres of games. Duration: 26:35
In this classic GameTek, Geoff takes a look at playtesting. What are the different types of playtesting, and how do they fall short?
In this classic GameTek, Geoff talks about Power Creep. Is it a big conspiracy? Or is there a less nefarious explanation? Duration: 06:19
In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses the importance of endings, and the difference between "the experiencing self" and "the remembering self." One of Geoff's favorites! Duration: 06:06
In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses the different types of intellectual property protection available to authors and companies. Duration: 06:48
In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses Kickstarter, and it's links with the concept of Patronage, in the past and future. Duration: 06:47
Ryan and Geoff take one last look at the Most Influential Games of the 20th Century. Do they have any second thoughts? Any overlooked games that should have been included? They also put on their pointy prognosticator caps and give their picks for the top 10 games that will be most influential on the 21st century. Duration: 
For their 100th episode, and Ryan's last, the guys take a look back at their favorite moments from the show. Duration: 1:25:13
Emma, Gil, and Scott discuss a theory Scott is working on that describes 6 distinct physical zones when playing a board game. How does the physical dimensionality of a board game affect its gameplay? Read more about the 6 Zones of Play here:
Scott leads us through the history of Trivial Pursuit, from its conception from two Canadian journalists after trying to play a game of Scrabble with missing pieces, to a full-fledged global 80s fad, to a billion-dollar empire.
Scott tells us about Icehouse, the real-time game that's celebrating its 30th birthday this year, and whose distinctive plastic pyramids launched an entire game system.
In May 2012, Geoff and Ryan brought Michael Lee, owner of the relatively new company Panda Games Manufacturing, on the show to discuss the art and design of manufacturing games. Over 5 and a half years later, Gil and Emma are delighted to welcome Michael back! Panda Games Manufacturing has grown along with the industry, and Michael hasn't stopped focusing on the intersection of components and game design. What has changed in manufacturing since 2012? What kinds of components does Michael find most exciting? And how do components inform the experience of a game, especially in the current gaming boom? You can find Panda Games Manufacturing on Twitter and Instagram at @pandagm.
Ludology returns for 2020, with our annual tradition of bringing on board game industry veteran Stephen Buonocore from Stronghold Games/Indie Game Studios to discuss the state of the industry. 2020 will be an interesting year for board games. What challenges await us? Is it smooth sailing? Doom and gloom? Somewhere in-between?
In this special episode of Ludology, recorded live at GrandCon 2019, Gil and Geoff go back in time to recount their earliest game designs. Were they as embarrassing? Were they any good? What is Gil's infamous action mechanism, and was Geoff able to capture the essence of the Battle of Cannae for a school assignment? We also take some live listener questions at the end.
Emma and Gil welcome mass-market game and toy inventor Kim Vandenbrouke to the show. How is "inventing" a mass-market game different than "designing" a hobby game? Why is the toy/mass-market industry so much more secretive? And how does one deal with all the publisher rejection? You can read Kim's writings on the toy and mass-market game industry here:
Geoff continues the discussion about Alpha Zero, this time pointing out the impact a self-learning AI can have on an established tournament meta, like Magic or Hearthstone. Show Notes: 0m47s: More info about Agent57, the DeepMind AI that can beat humans at 57 different Atari 2600 games.  1m52s: The Ares Project, Geoff's first published board game (designed with his son Brian) 2m15s: More info about the Halifax Hammer strategy from A Few Acres of Snow.  2m29s: The current list of banned cards in Magic: The Gathering.  And, the current list of changed Hearthstone cards. 
Gil and Geoff welcome guests Allison Parrish and Tim Szetela, designers of Rewordable, to discuss word games. What particular design techniques are required for this type of game?  
Gil and Geoff welcome Mikael Jakobsson and Rick Eberhardt from the MIT Game Lab to discuss their research into colonial themes in board games, and the game design workshops they run in former colonial countries.
Scott Rogers is back with a look at the history of Pandemic! Duration: 5:17
Gil and Geoff discuss uncertainty in games, using Greg Costikyan's _Uncertainty in Games_ as a guide. What kinds of uncertainty are there in games? How do they affect the game experience? 
Gil and Geoff are delighted to be joined by Anthony Giovannetti, one of the designers of the popular video game Slay the Spire, a deck-building rogue-like dungeon crawl. How did the board game concepts of deckbuilding translate into a computer game? What advantages did the solo roguelike format give the designers?
Gil and Geoff take a look at the different ways that subsystems of a game can be coupled, and what that means for complexity and player agency. Duration: 1:05:44
In this classic GameTek, Geoff takes a look at some recent court cases involving games. Duration: 5:59
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Podcast Details

Feb 7th, 2011
Latest Episode
Mar 29th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
40 minutes

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