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.
GameTek Classic 261.5 - Rent
Geoff explains a mathematical algorithm that can help potential roommates figure out how to split the rent, if an even split would be unfair and the roommates do not value the rooms the same way. This mechanism is just dying to be used in a game!
Ludology 261 - Tinner's Tips and Tricks
Gil and Scott are delighted to welcome Martin Wallace back to the show. Martin was first on the show on Ludology 46 - Getting Down to Brass Tacks back in 2012 with Geoff Engelstein and a very enthusiastic Ryan Sturm. In this episode, we catch up with Martin to see what he's been up to in the last 9 years.
Martin is the designer of many well-loved strategy games, like Brass, Age of Steam (and all its related games, like Railways of the World), London, A Study in Emerald, AuZtralia, and A Study in Emerald.
Technical note: Martin's recording has some dropouts in it; unfortunately, those seemed to come straight from his microphone, so there wasn't much we could do about them. We hope you enjoy the episode anyway!
1m25s: Lords of Creation
4m31s: Gloomhaven, the North Sea Trilogy from Garphill Games, Jamey Stegmaier.
8m06s: The Exit games, and the Unlock! games
11m53s: Games Workshop, Ian Livingstone, the British Steve Jackson, the American Steve Jackson, and the Fighting Fantasy books.
16m18s: Anno 1800
20m08s: Catan, Dune Imperium
23m55s: Age of Industry
25m18s: "Canal holidays"
27m28s: The World Transplant Games
32m46s: A Study in Emerald
34m18s: Gil regrets not pushing back on this point a bit harder; he doesn’t think turning indigenous people into monsters is as effective a technique as Martin does. For a good perspective, check out Dan Thurot’s post about this on his excellent blog Space-Biff.
35m53s: Terry Pratchett and Discworld
38m41s: Martin is referring to the events of May 68 in France.
43m53s: Imperium Legends, De Vulgari Eloquentia
45m28s: Ankh: Gods of Egypt, Medina, and “zugzwang”
48m40s: Our favorite Star Wars clones: Starcrash, Battle Beyond the Stars, and a special shout-out to Fugitive Alien.
53m03s: Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, Doctor Who: The Card Game
55m13s: Disclaimer: Many of us on Ludology are pretty down on the HP series these days, due to the bigoted views of its author.
56m59s: The video game Stellaris, the fantasy series His Dark Materials, and the fantasy collection The Silmarillion.
1h00m57s: The humble pasty
1h03m32s: Hobo code
Biography of a Board Game Classic 260.5 - Risk
For this week, we're replaying the very first Biography of a Board Game that aired on Ludology. In it, Scott talks about the classic game that got so many fans and designers into the hobby: Risk.
Ludology 260 - An App-titude for Game Design
Scott and Gil welcome Nikki Valens, designer of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, Eldritch Horror, Legacy of Dragonholt, Quirky Circuits, and the upcoming Artisans of Splendent Vale. We talk about making programming games like Quirky Circuits, app-driven games like Mansions of Madness, and campaign games like Legacy of Dragonholt.
1m27s: Brown College
3m22s: Robo Rally
3m50s: Colt Express
5m53s: Magic Maze
8m18s: The Mind
12m26s: Ra, Medici
35m49s: Betrayal Legacy
42m00s: "FFG" refers to Fantasy Flight Games, where Nikki worked for several years.
43m07s: XCOM: The Board Game
52m24s: Here's a compilation video of cats riding Roombas...
GameTek Classic 259.5 - P-Hacking
Geoff continues his dive into the probability of Pop-O-Matic dice, this time discussing how experiment results can be misrepresented through P-Hacking.
Ludology 259 - Wheels Down
Gil and Sen are delighted to welcome Sara Thompson to discuss depictions of disability in tabletop games. Sara is the creator of the Combat Wheelchair for D&D, and of the Medicine on the Path supplement for The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG.
0m49s: Critical Role, with GM Matt Mercer.
3m35s: The D&D campaign Storm King's Thunder.
15m075s: The Greek god Hephaestus.
17m23s: Jennifer Kretchmer's Twitter.
21m35s: The thread in question, in which Sara describes Geralt as disabled and how that significantly affects his story.
25m08s: The Witcher: Baptism of Fire.
32m44s: Lauren Hissrich, showrunner of The Witcher TV show.
33m45s: A sample clip of the very silly Steve Martin film Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.
46m46s: Amanda Leduk's book Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space.
52m19s: The Witcher: A Tome of Chaos supplement for The Witcher RPG.
53m22s: The Combat Wheelchair was featured on Critical Role episode C2E113 A Heart Grown Cold (at least, we're pretty sure it was!). It was used by NPC Dagen Underthorn. Also, Critter Hug is a show with Critical Role participants Matthew Mercer and Mica Burton interviewing people in the tabletop community. Here's the episode with Sara; you might recognize a couple other friendly faces in the same episode!
Great Pod!!! Ignore the 4% neo-con/(fascist?) reviewers
This is one if the most insightful and illuminating listens I have had in years. I get inspired to want to make games every time I hear a new episode. Glad to see the naysayers are only about 4% of all reviews because they are as irrelevant as the percentage suggests. Occasional political discussion is normal and welcomed. It’s never the main focus of episodes. I guess a few random comments here and there are enough to trigger the dandruff flakes of lameness in America. Well, the show goes on with great guests and great information that is quite useful. Keep up the good work.
Great when they focus on design
Mike Fitzgerald I'd a great addition to the show and I like what he brings to the table. When they focus on game design, they do a great job, especially when they have other designers on. When they talk about social issues though, unless you are an SJW, you are best to avoid it.
Update: As the show has gone on, it has gotten worse. I came here for the game mechanics and actual discussion about gaming. Since Emma joined the show it seems to be less about gaming and more about how fragile people's feelings are. They also only seem to have guests that are niche within a niche hobby. When you have a host say that global warming is causing language to be lost, that's when you've lost me as a listener. I recommend the Biography of a Board Game segments as those are actually factual with interesting tidbits, and that's why I'm giving it two stars instead of one. I also recommend the shows up to the point where Geoff leaves. However, I think that Justin Gary's podcast How to be a Game Designer is a better listen now.
Amazing podcast I ❤️dice tower network