On Who, What, Why? I discuss game design with those who make games and try to learn more about the game design process. Each episode I interview a designer, publisher, developer, artist, etc. of tabletop games such as card, board, or role playing. Some episodes discuss big ideas in design rather than individual games. I have both mainstream and independent developers as guests.
Who, What, Why S35.E09 :: Kelp with Carl Robinson
Kelp me! Kelp me!
All joking aside... this is a serious podcast...
Carl Robinson, the designer of the 2-player game Kelp, joined me to talk more about his games and expand upon frustrating games in general. We discussed his game in detail, but we also branched off into games that use frustration in good and bad ways.
Check out Kelp, live on Kickstarter right now if this sounds like something you are interested in.
Who, What, Why S35.E08 :: A General Chat about Generative AI with Joe Slack
Joe Slack, a frequent guest of the show, joined me once again to help me dip our toes into the conversation about AI art in board games. We did our best to explain AI art from our knowledge base and to explore some of the uses of it so far and even what future uses should look like.
I have an ongoing cough, so I did my best to remove those loud coughs.
I asked ChatGPT to write me a script for a podcast about AI art. I will release that as an episode in December.
Also, I asked ChatGPT to create an Arkham Horror trick-taking game. The game is enclosed in quotation marks.
"Absolutely! Let's call it "Eldritch Echoes: Arkham Trickery." Here's a basic idea for how the game might work:
Number of Players: 3-5
Objective: Players aim to gather Eldritch Echoes, fragments of cosmic knowledge, by winning tricks through strategic card play.
Deck: A custom deck with suits representing different aspects of the Arkham Horror universe (e.g., Mysteries, Artifacts, Creatures, Spells). Eldritch Echoes Cards: Special cards with varying point values representing the cosmic knowledge players seek. Gameplay:
Dealing: Deal a set number of cards to each player, creating their starting hand. Trick-Taking: Players take turns playing cards to form a trick, following suit if possible. The highest-value card of the leading suit or the highest trump card wins the trick. Eldritch Echoes: Certain cards hold Eldritch Echoes values; winning a trick earns those points for the player who won it. Special Cards: Include special cards that can alter gameplay (e.g., Ancient Tome that acts as a wild card, Shub-Niggurath as a powerful trump card). Strategic Elements: Introduce elements like sanity cards or mythos cards that add unpredictability or risk, affecting the outcome of tricks or forcing players to discard. Winning:
The game can be played over several rounds or until a set score is reached. The player with the highest accumulated Eldritch Echoes at the end wins. Strategy:
Players need to gauge when to play their powerful cards strategically to win high-value tricks. Balancing the use of trump cards or Eldritch Echoes cards with keeping useful cards for later rounds becomes crucial. Thematically: Incorporate elements of Arkham Horror lore, where players are investigators seeking cosmic knowledge, encountering mystical artifacts, eldritch creatures, and otherworldly spells.
Remember, the fun in trick-taking games often lies in their simplicity and the layers of strategy that develop as players become more familiar with the deck and its nuances. Adjustments and balancing may be needed through playtesting, but this framework could provide a solid foundation for an Arkham Horror trick-taking game!"
Who, What, Why S35.E07 :: Expanding RPGs with Jason Peercy
Jason Peercy, co-designer of The Real Thing RPG, joined me to talk about the expansions he is crowdfunding titled Angel Dust and King For a Day. You might remember The Real Thing RPG as the Faith No More inspired RPG. Jason and his co-designer Jason took the themes and stories they heard in Faith No More's The Real Thing album and created an RPG system out of it. Well, they are back at it again expanding the world they created through 2 new books. We discussed the reaction to the game, working with a band as an IP holder, and more.
If you are interested in the game, please check it out on BackerKit.
Who, What, Why? S35.E06 :: Lost Adventures with Jeff, Jonny, and Ben
I planned to have on Jeff Warrender to talk about his game Lost Adventures, out on Kickstarter now, but Jonny Pac and the always fun Ben Maddox happened to join the podcast. We had a blast on this one. We mostly stayed on topic focusing on some of the interesting design decisions in Lost Adventures.
If you have any interest in this game, check it out on Kickstarter now.
Who, What, Why? S35.E05 :: Wreck This Deck with Becky Annison
Becky Annison, designer of Wreck This Deck and co-owner of Black Armada Games, joined me to talk about her latest design up on BackerKit right now. Wreck This Deck is a solo-journaling RPG where you trap demons in playing cards and wreck those cards in all sorts of artistic ways, whatever you fancy. You can burn cards, fold them, paint them, cut them, etc. Becky encourages players to go ham on that deck. She sees the game as an opportunity for players to let their creativity fly.
We discussed the genesis of the game and how it developed and is still developing. We also talked briefly about Legacy games and how those influenced her design.
Check out Wreck This Deck if you have an itch to get destructive to a deck of playing cards.
Who, What, Why S35.E04 :: Forges of Ravenshire with Sam and Ed... or is it Ed and Sam?
Sam and Ed Stockton... or Ed and Sam Stockton... joined me to talk about their newest game live on Kickstarter right now. Forges of Ravenshire is a unique dice worker placement game where you are crafting items and using dice, but the hitch is that the dice aren't owned by one particular player. We talked about a lot of topics here from the allure of dice to the intricacies of worker placement, a genre rife with games.
Check out the Kickstarter if you are interested.
Games for designers - excellent episode
Just listened to part one of games for designers. Best episode yet. Insightful comments on the games chosen and really enjoyed the guests. Many other episodes have been very interesting for designers of games.
Fantastic podcast for anyone interested in game design or board games in general. The hosts are engaging and entertaining to listen to and their guests provide a great inside look at the process of game design.