82 episodes

Why do we make games? Every designer has a different and very personal answer to that question. Soren Johnson, founder of Mohawk Games, sits down with noted designers to find out by examining their careers as a whole.

Designer Notes Idle Thumbs

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 104 Ratings

Why do we make games? Every designer has a different and very personal answer to that question. Soren Johnson, founder of Mohawk Games, sits down with noted designers to find out by examining their careers as a whole.

    Designer Notes 82: Mitch Lasky - Part 1

    Designer Notes 82: Mitch Lasky - Part 1

    In this episode, Soren interviews noted game investor Mitch Lasky, best known for his work as a venture capitalist at Benchmark, as the CEO of JAMDAT, and as an executive at Activision and Electronic Arts. They discuss how the Doom shareware model was a preview of free-to-play, why a console transition led to EA buying Maxis, and how Jamdat pioneered paying for visibility on mobile. This episode was recorded on October 23, 2023.

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Designer Notes 81: Jake Solomon - Part 2

    Designer Notes 81: Jake Solomon - Part 2

    In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Jake Solomon, best known for the XCOM reboot and Midnight Suns. They discuss his first, failed attempt at XCOM, why 75% does not mean 75%, and how many copies of XCOM he sold at Power Gamer in Glen Burnie, MD. This episode was recorded on April 26, 2023.

    • 3 hr 13 min
    Designer Notes 80: Jake Solomon - Part 1

    Designer Notes 80: Jake Solomon - Part 1

    In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Jake Solomon, best known for the XCOM reboot and Midnight Suns. They discuss how much money he had to give back to Accenture, how to animate multiple units at the same time, and why Sid suddenly started golfing so much. This episode was recorded on April 25, 2023.

    • 2 hr 42 min
    Designer Notes 79: Trent Kusters - Part 2

    Designer Notes 79: Trent Kusters - Part 2

    In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Trent Kusters, co-founder of League of Geeks, best known for the strategy game Armello. They discuss why Armello has so much output randomness, whether they fudge the odds, and how to turn off a Game-as-a- Service. This episode was recorded on September 8, 2023.

    • 2 hr 21 min
    Designer Notes 78: Trent Kusters - Part 1

    Designer Notes 78: Trent Kusters - Part 1

    In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Trent Kusters, co-founder of League of Geeks, best known for the strategy game Armello. They discuss how he faked his way into games journalism, how to sneak risky ideas past licensors, and how to make games feel big. This episode was recorded on September 8, 2023.

    • 2 hr 31 min
    Designer Notes 77: Cole Wehrle

    Designer Notes 77: Cole Wehrle

    In this episode, Soren interviews tabletop designer Cole Wehrle, best known for his work on Root, Oath, Pax Pamir, and John Company. They discuss whether John Company is satire, how the East India Company was like QWOP, and the importance of German postal rates. This episode was recorded on March 22, 2023.

    • 3 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

Bellinater ,

Love this pod

I was wondering when you’d interview Jake Solomon! I’ve listened to other interviews with him and he mentioned you, so I was wondering why he hadn’t been on.

Nickname_For_Your_Reviews ,

Quality conversations

Soren manages to balance more technical questions with broader and personal ones such that the podcast is entertaining and relevant for a broad audience. A pleasure to listen to.

OhTheWerewolf ,

Great interviews with some games industry legends

Very thoughtful and in-depth interviews with many of the greats of the field. I love that Soren, as a peer of his interviewees, is not afraid to sometimes be a bit critical of their past work while getting deep into how they made it succeed. I would go so far as to call it indispensable for anyone who cares about game design and development in general.

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