30 episodes

Welcome to Design Doc, a podcast documenting the process of analog game design. Game designers guide you through their process from concept to product.

Design Doc Hannah Shaffer and Evan Rowland

    • Games

Welcome to Design Doc, a podcast documenting the process of analog game design. Game designers guide you through their process from concept to product.

    Breaking up with Character Creation

    Breaking up with Character Creation

    Character creation in Questlandia 1 lasted two hours. Character creation in Questlandia 2 is five minutes. What changed?

    • 1 hr
    When to Add Ghosts to Your Game

    When to Add Ghosts to Your Game

    The junk poets are changing again. This time, maybe in a spoooooky way.

    • 46 min
    When No One Is the GM, Everyone Is

    When No One Is the GM, Everyone Is

    Questlandia 2 is a campaign game with no Game Master. Without a designated person in the GM role, that responsibility must be distributed among all players. We talk about how the Junk Poets can support every player in the GM role.

    • 44 min
    The UltraLux Bait-and-Switch

    The UltraLux Bait-and-Switch

    Questlandia 2 has been delayed. Now, we're releasing an entirely different RPG first. We talk about—and try not to apologize for—how timelines and business have to adapt to design difficulties.

    • 36 min
    Your Kickstarter Questions (Mostly) Answered

    Your Kickstarter Questions (Mostly) Answered

    We asked on Twitter what you wanted to know about running a roleplaying game Kickstarter. Now, we're answering your questions. From self-promotion to self-care, what to say when there's nothing to say, and pretending we know anything about taxes.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Okay, Let's Redesign Noirlandia

    Okay, Let's Redesign Noirlandia

    We try redesigning Noirlandia, one of our other roleplaying games, in one hour!

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

sandwich turtle ,

Inspirational

I am a Larp organizer in Kyoto and have been running one-shots for my local community. In a dense city, having to balance two languages (for locals and ex-pats), it can be quite difficult to design games. The way the two hosts bounce ideas off of one another and allow the arc of their creation to ebb and flow naturally bespeaks to their craft. They know how to make a good game; for more, the way the hosts show the process in granular focus is heartening. The podcast is like a pat on the back every few weeks, saying "It's okay. This will take time, but it will be all better for it". Thank you so much for what you are doing guys! Wonderful show.

gray darling ,

thought-provoking and inspiring

A deep dive into the process of rewriting a new edition of a game in its entirety, Design Doc goes above and beyond in its consideration of what's working and what might need to be retooled to better fit the stories the game wants to tell. This is no crunchy refining of numbers, but lots of involved consideration of emotions, justice, kindness, care, etc. While the specific conversations are about the hosts' in-progress game, the ideas they bring to the table are definitely of universal interest. You'll definitely want to listen if you're thinking about writing a game, or just like hearing thoughts about game-writing!

theodeomutts ,

A window into the creative process!

I just started this podcast and I’m totally hooked. I find the process of game design fascinating, so I’d listen even if the pod were boring, but it’s not! Hannah and Evan are charming and refreshingly transparent as they share their creative process and ongoing questions, and I leave each episode with my mind buzzing (in a good way!).

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