187 episodes

The podcast where nice gamedevs talk gaming and game development. Nice!

Nice Games Club - a gamedev podcast! Ellen, Stephen, and Mark

    • Video Games

The podcast where nice gamedevs talk gaming and game development. Nice!

    "Empty the bucket." Burnout; Asynchronous and Asymmetric Gameplay

    "Empty the bucket." Burnout; Asynchronous and Asymmetric Gameplay

    Your nice hosts are tired, then get energized. Stephen is thinking about it, Mark brought a few unlikely examples, and Ellen is also thinking about it.



    Here's a fun new thing: We've recently started a Discord channel for listeners to discuss the show with each other. It's part of the Twin Cities Gamedev Discord server, but you don't need to be a Twin Cities gamedev to partisipate! Get directly to the Nice Games Club discussion channel via https://nicegames.club/discord








    Burnout



    0:06:43


    Stephen McGregor



    Category

    IRL









    Burn-out, an "occupational phenomenon"
    -
    World Health Organization






    Teacher Burnout: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How You Can Prevent End-Of-Yea…
    -
    Waterford






    Toxic management cost an award-winning game studio its best developers
    -
    Megan Farokhmanesh
    ,
    The Verge













    Asynchronous and Asymmetric Gameplay



    0:46:39


    Mark LaCroix



    Category

    Game Design









    Asynchronous Multiplay: Futures for Casual Multiplayer Experience
    -
    Ian Bogost
    ,
    Georgia Institute of Technology






    Relaxed Hardcore: Why Asynchronous is the Next Big Thing in Core Gaming
    -
    Ian Hardingham
    ,
    GDC Vault






    Why an Asymmetric Board Game Pissed Off Me and My Friends
    -
    Kyle Rogacion
    ,
    Goomba Stomp






    Are Asymmetrical Multiplayer Games Becoming a Major Trend?
    -
    Micah Shapiro
    ,
    GameRant

    Community Development (with Christine Marten)

    Community Development (with Christine Marten)

    What does it mean to manage a community of players? How do you do it well? Is it just about social media, or is community engagement part of game creation? In this episode, community manager and MageQuit player Christine "Birb" Marten gives your nice hosts a primer on using data, dealing with trolls, and getting input from gamers. Also, Mark sends out an invite, Stephen doesn't like horror games, and Ellen gets the giggles. 






    Community Development




    Category

    Game Design
    Marketing
    Production







    Games Industry Gathering






    ArcGIS






    PaxSouth: MageQuit (Review)
    -
    Christine Marten
    ,
    Gaming Access Weekly






    Grandia HD Collection





     


    Christine mentioned these tools:



    Sprout: https://sproutsocial.com/
    Agorapulse: https://www.agorapulse.com/
    Buffer: https://buffer.com/
    Hootsuite: https://hootsuite.com/
    Mailchimp: https://mailchimp.com/


    and these other community managers:



    Victoria Tran with KitFox Games
    Harris Foster with Finji

















    Guest


    Christine "Birb" Marten is a community & social media manager. She's done community management for BowlCut Studios, GungHo Online Entertainment America, and Lucid Sight. Prior to that, she was a writer for Gaming Access Weekly. Christine has a Masters in Writing, and she streams horror games and MageQuit matches on Twitch. We think she's pretty cool. 


    Take a look at her stuff!


     




    External link

    Follow Christine on Twitter!
    Watch Christine play horror games (and MageQuit) on Twitch!
    Check out her website!

    Level Editors (with Charles McGregor)

    Level Editors (with Charles McGregor)

    It's another week of brotherly love/war as Stephen's bro Charles McGregor re-enters the clubhouse to talk about his experience designing and building the level editor for his game HyperDot. Charles also joins your nice hosts in a discussion about their favorite level editors, and Ellen reveals the origin of her game design journey!



    In the middle of the show, Ellen mentioned a kind tweet from Pheonix Simms, who recently reviewed Widget Satchel.









    Level Editors




    Category

    Game Design
    Programming
    Tools
    UI / UX







    Hypersonic.Xtreme Custom editor (Track 4)
    -
    Rwaaaaar
    ,
    YouTube






    Starcraft 2 Map Editor - Getting Started
    -
    scfoxcode
    ,
    YouTube






    ModNation Racers
    -
    Wikipedia






    Mega Man Powered Up (1D): Creating a Stage [Construction]
    -
    Bean1227
    ,
    YouTube















    Guest







    Charles McGregor is Stephen McGregor's brother. He is co-founder of Tribe Games. He released his first commercial game, HyperDot, in 2020. He is also working on Fingeance with Stephen.


    Sometimes he does other stuff.




    External link

    https://twitter.com/DarkaysTG
    https://twitter.com/TribeGames
    HyperDot website

    "I will not threaten you with a noogie." Serious Play Conference 2020; Working with Family

    "I will not threaten you with a noogie." Serious Play Conference 2020; Working with Family

    Guest host Charles McGregor starts the episode by getting REVENGE. The group talks a bit about the state of the growing "serious games" industry and what it's like to work alongside family members. Also, Stephen does a good transition, and... no one mentions Star Trek?!



    In his intro speech, Charles references episode 37:

    "Ugly and hard to use."





    The last days of Mixer
    -
    Mikhail Klimentov
    ,
    The Washington Post





    Twitch Reckons with Sexual Assault as it Begins Permanently Suspending Streamers
    -
    Jacob Kastrenakes
    ,
    The Verge





    Twitch bans popular streamer Dr Disrespect
    -
    Michael McWhertor
    ,
    Polygon





    Twitch temporarily bans President Trump
    -
    Jacob Kastrenakes
    ,
    The Verge








    Serious Play Conference 2020



    0:16:00


    Ellen Burns-Johnson



    Category

    Events









    Serious Play Conference Home Page






    Serious Play Conference Schedule






    New Metaari Forecast for Worldwide 2020-2025 Game-Based Learning Market Shows N…
    -
    Serious Play Wire






    (GDC) Stop & Think: Teaching Players About Media Manipulation in Headliner
    -
    Jakub Kasztalski
    ,
    YouTube






    MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research (PDF)
    -
    Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek
    ,
    Northwestern University






    MDA Framework
    -
    Wikipedia






    5 Reasons Why Game-Based Learning Should Matter to Organizations
    -
    Karl Kapp
    ,
    Allen Interactions






    Gamification vs Games-Based Learning: What’s the Difference?
    -
    Halden Ingwersen
    ,
    Capterra Blog













    Working with Family



    0:42:09


    Stephen McGregor



    Category

    IRL








    Mark mentioned the Nice Games Jam episode that started Re-Ravel

    Re-ravel: A Backwards Storytelling Game






    Ellen and Eric took a blacksmithing workshop at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Ce…

    Nice Games Jam: "Dark Star"

    Nice Games Jam: "Dark Star"

    No, your nice hosts aren't pitching an adaptation of the 1974 film of the same name, but returning guest host Sarah Seember Huisken counts it as an inspiration for the solo-play tabletop RPG we workshopped in this episode!


    Immerse yourself a galaxy of corporate factions, fluid allegiances, and space pirates!




    Scum and Villainy





    The 5 best solo board games
    -
    Rafael Cordero
    ,
    PC Gamer





    Prompt
    Workshop existing solo-play TTRPG concept.



    Game type
    Tabletop game



    Player count
    1 -?



    Materials

    Player dossier (player character/ship sheet, notes)


    Dice (how many? which type? we didn't figure that out!)


    Module booklet (includes blank pages for journaling/recordkeeping)






    Setup
    Sarah's draft ship systems sheet:





    Image









     





    Rules
    Each adventure module is an "assignment," which consists of a multi-page booklet.




    Page 1 - Summary: Provides the “goal” for the player as defined by “quest-giver.”



    Page 2 - Assignment parameters:




    Player reward (and possible advance payment)



    Assignment type (Cargo, Escort, Espionage, Assassination, etc.)



    Constraints (time budget, stealth requirement, equipment restrictions, etc)



    Supplies (mission-specific resources such as maps, documentation, etc)



    Risks and Opportunities: These are facts about the assignment's setting and characters that will impact the player differently depending on their alignment, ship condition, and other stats.





    Pages 3+ - Story Acts




    Generally, each act should fit on one booklet page, providing all the narrative and mechanical information required to play though it. Acts may have alternate versions, each with its own page.



    Act I: A introduction/setup to the story, giving the player hints they can use to make preparations for the assignment. The player can spend actions in this act to tune their ship / Equip thier character / recruit NPC pals/crew, etc. Story events may include NPC conversations, skill checks, or other light gameplay. This act may be wholly different depending on which "class" the player is aligned with.



    Act II: A conflict or mechanical gameplay sequence, usually related to ship functions. Examples include ship battles, navigational challenges, serious malfunctions, etc.




    The outcome of the sequence changes the narrative ending of this act, expanding or limiting the player's options. The outcome of this act will also frequently alter ship stats, player inventory, etc.





    Act IIIa, Act IIIb (c, d?): The player character must make a choice in the narrative, which determines which scene will end the story. The outcome of Act II may inform or limit this choice. Each scene plays differently, one might be a daring escape, while the other might be a diplomatic resolution.





    Final Page - "To Be Continued In...": A list of other modules/assignments for the player to choose from in order to continue their character's story. Options may be limited depending on the version of Act III selected, the player's stats, Act II outcomes, class alignment, or other factors.




     

    Example Assignment: “The Asset”



    Summary: Email from corporation: “Take this large crate from planet Kittytail to planet Puppydog in time for the big corporate gala. Don't be late, and don't look in the crate!"



    Parameters




    Reward: Standard rate, no advance!



    Assignment type: Cargo



    Constraints

    Time l

    “I’m ashamed, but also so proud.” NDAs; Replayability

    “I’m ashamed, but also so proud.” NDAs; Replayability

    Storyboard artist Sarah Huisken joins the club this week to talk about NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) and the factors that make games as deliciously "replayable" as Mass Effect 2. Also, Stephen sort of gets the final word, Mark does a transition (!), and Ellen is slow to get the joke. 




    Sarah Huisken's website
    -
    Sarah Huisken





    Sarah's Twitter handle is @BoringHeathen
    -
    Sarah Huisken





    Everything Sony Announced in Today's PS5 Event
    -
    Chris Kohler
    ,
    Kotaku





    Ways you can help support efforts for racial justice in the U.S.





    Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality raised $8.1 million!








    NDAs



    0:19:20


    Mark LaCroix



    Category

    Marketing









    A Conspiracy of Silence: How NDAs Are Harming The Games Industry
    -
    Rick Lane
    ,
    Kotaku













    Replayability



    0:47:15


    Ellen Burns-Johnson



    Category

    Game Design









    What Makes a Game Replayable?
    -
    Design Doc
    ,
    YouTube

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