Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.
#252 Board Game Production and Operations with Nicole Cutler
Nicole Cutler joins Dirk and David to discuss her roles in operations and production in the tabletop industry. They discuss some of the production choices made when developing Gods Love Dinosaurs from Pandasaurus Games. Nicole shares insights into how the small teams common in the industry often end up with many of the production, operations, and project management roles blurring together.
#251 David McDonough Supports the Player’s Story
Firaxis designer David McDonough joins the show to talk strategy game design with Dirk and David. Topics in their discussion include: player stories vs game stories, the spectrum between full sandbox games and historical simulations, and how immersion in player stories can be encouraged. Along the way many games are covered, including both the Civilization series and the XCOM series.
#250 Alisha Thayer Uses Exceptions in Design Systems
Alisha Thayer, a designer who has worked on AAA video games like Red Dead Redemption and Rise of the Tomb Raider, joins Dirk and David to talk game systems. They discuss both the strengths and limitations of designing games that allow multiple systems to interact with each other and create novel experiences. By walking through the different games she’s worked on in her career, Alisha explains how she learned why exceptions to procedural game systems can enhance the player experience.
#249 Diving into MOBA Changes and Updates
Dirk, David, and show producer Skye team up to tackle the third episode in our deep dive into the MOBA genre. This time the group discusses an aspect that’s fairly unique to the genre: its constant changes. Topics include why MOBAs have such huge casts of playable characters, a digression into the QWER four-ability mechanic, how the cadence of changes can affect their impact and reception, and how character updates are handled in some of the genre’s top games.
#248 Listener Questions October 2020
Kathryn joins Dirk and David to answer some more listener questions. Discussion includes a deep dive into the role of complexity in design: where it makes sense and where it detracts from the product. In a similar vein, the hosts talk about “stout” games that are both heavy in decision making but short in duration. Other topics include the RTS genre, the idea of experience-focused design, and the favorite episodes of Kathryn, Dirk, and David.
#247 Tabletop Game Development with Brenna Noonan
Brenna Noonan, a tabletop game developer, joins Dirk and David to discuss the role of game development in the board game industry. She explains the differences between a designer and developer, and she shares how developers can help improve a game’s balance, scope, and player experience. Dirk and David also ask her about her path into the industry and what skills should be honed for good game development.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a podcast worth your time. The hosts and guests are all quite knowledgeable about game design and are a pleasure to listen to. Frequently topics are brought up which I had not thought about before and, after listening, leave me more skilled as an aspiring game designer.
For the budding game designer.
I have enjoyed this show from the beginning. For those who want a good set of rules/ideas/axioms for designing both tabletop and digital games this is the place. The hosts and guest hosts have a whole lot of real world game design experience. For those with a real interest in actually designing a playable and sellable game. Not really a game reviewing site.
Great discussions and a wealth of experience
I've been listening to this show for years. Dirk has done a great job of including co-hosts with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Some of the best episodes are when Dirk, David and Rob answer questions. Game designers can learn a lot from the experience and thoughtful insights of the hosts. This podcast is unique in that you get content related to both board game design and digital game design. I find it engaging either way.