73 episodes

In Think Like a Game Designer, award-winning designer and Stone Blade Entertainment CEO Justin Gary speaks with world-class game designers and creative experts from various industries. Each episode deconstructs the creative process, offering insights into the art of game design and the broader cultural, technological, and business influences shaping a myriad of creative mediums. Join us for actionable advice and unique perspectives that will enrich your understanding of what it means to be creative in and out of the gaming world.

justingarydesign.substack.com

Think Like A Game Designer Justin Gary

    • Leisure
    • 4.9 • 77 Ratings

In Think Like a Game Designer, award-winning designer and Stone Blade Entertainment CEO Justin Gary speaks with world-class game designers and creative experts from various industries. Each episode deconstructs the creative process, offering insights into the art of game design and the broader cultural, technological, and business influences shaping a myriad of creative mediums. Join us for actionable advice and unique perspectives that will enrich your understanding of what it means to be creative in and out of the gaming world.

justingarydesign.substack.com

    Geoff Engelstein — Game Design Wisdom, Educational Insights, and Industry Advocacy (#68)

    Geoff Engelstein — Game Design Wisdom, Educational Insights, and Industry Advocacy (#68)

    Jeff Engelstein joins us today to share his expansive journey in the gaming world. An award-winning tabletop game designer, Jeff has crafted acclaimed titles such as Space Cadets, The Fog of War, Pit Crew, and Super Skill Pinball. Beyond game design, Jeff is an adjunct professor at the NYU Game Center, where he imparts his deep knowledge of game mechanics and theory. He has contributed extensively to the Dice Tower podcast series on the math, science, and psychology of games and has hosted the Ludology podcast, diving into the intricacies of game design. With a degree in physics and electrical engineering from MIT and leadership roles at companies like Mars International, Mind Bullet Games, and Navar Engelstein Associates, Jeff brings a unique blend of analytical rigor and creative insight to his work. In this episode, Jeff discusses his origin story, the impact of psychology on gameplay, and the evolving tools and techniques that shape game design today. Tune in to uncover the depth of Jeff Engelstein’s expertise and his contributions to the games industry.


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Stephan Brissaud — Industry Leadership, Game Development, and Retail Strategies (#67)

    Stephan Brissaud — Industry Leadership, Game Development, and Retail Strategies (#67)

    About Stephan Brissaud
    Stephan Brissaud joins us today to explore his extensive career in navigating the gaming industry. With his roots beginning at Nintendo, Stephan has tackled roles from COO of Iello to President of the Game Manufacturers Association and Senior Director of Games at Funko. He’s not just a veteran; he’s a strategist and consultant who has mastered the art of bringing games from concept to consumer hands, navigating marketing strategies, distribution channels, and retail complexities. In today's episode, Stephan discusses how game design intertwines with marketing and expansion, sharing insights that creatives can't afford to ignore. Tune in to discover the depth of Stephan Brissaud’s impact on the games industry and the lessons from his journey that could redefine your approach to game design and creativity.
    Want to support the podcast and get more design lessons?
    Paying subscribers enjoy an abundance of extra game design content and an exclusive newsletter with new lessons, archive access, videos, and more! By opting for a free or paid subscription, you can get the latest articles delivered to your inbox and support this podcast!


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Eric Price — Uniting VTubers and Players, Designing Oshi Push and the Importance of GAMA (#66)

    Eric Price — Uniting VTubers and Players, Designing Oshi Push and the Importance of GAMA (#66)

    About Eric Price
    Eric Price, a veteran in the tabletop gaming industry, joins us to discuss his extensive journey from localizing Japanese games to spearheading innovative projects. As the president of Japanime Games and GAMMA, the Game Manufacturers Association, Eric transforms how games are experienced globally. Under his leadership, both organizations have flourished, fostering strong relationships with publishers, retailers, manufacturers, and designers. In our discussion, Eric unveils his latest venture, Oshie Push, a trading card game featuring VTuber characters, set to launch simultaneously with this podcast episode podcast. Tune in to gain insights from a visionary who is reshaping the landscape of tabletop gaming.


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 53 min
    Neeraj Kashyap — Web3 Game Design, Navigating Scams, Success Stories, and Pioneering the Path for Gaming in Emerging Tech (#65)

    Neeraj Kashyap — Web3 Game Design, Navigating Scams, Success Stories, and Pioneering the Path for Gaming in Emerging Tech (#65)

    Neeraj Kashyap, a pioneer in the blockchain gaming sector, joins us to share his journey from academia to the forefront of Web3 game development. As the founder and CEO of Moonstream.to, Neeraj leverages his Master of Science in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Number Theory from Indiana University to design games for the blockchain. His company has not only launched over five games exclusively on the blockchain but has also guided many others in making their mark within the Web3 gaming landscape. In our conversation, Neeraj will offer insights into the challenges and potential of blockchain in gaming, discussing how it can create more immersive and ownership-driven experiences. Tune in to explore the cutting-edge intersection of game design and blockchain technology with one of its most innovative thinkers.


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ben Robbins — World Building in Microscope, Gaming with Strangers and Writing Effective Rules (#64)

    Ben Robbins — World Building in Microscope, Gaming with Strangers and Writing Effective Rules (#64)

    About Ben Robbins
    Ben Robbins joins us to share his experiences creating acclaimed RPGs like Microscope and In This World. Known for his innovative approach to role-playing, Ben's work on Microscope has revolutionized how players build and explore vast timelines without a game master. In this episode, we discuss the creative processes behind his designs and his philosophy of making games that deepen connections among players to the use of Artificial Intelligence in games and creativity. Grab a notebook, because you won’t want to miss the lessons Ben has to share. Tune in to discover how Ben Robbins has been redefining the landscape of RPGs since 2005, inspiring gamers to see the people across the table in a new light.


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Jason Morningstar — Designing Fiasco, Emotional Risks of Creative Projects, and a Culture of Learning and Play (#63)

    Jason Morningstar — Designing Fiasco, Emotional Risks of Creative Projects, and a Culture of Learning and Play (#63)

    Jason Morningstar, a trailblazer in role-playing game design, chats with us about his journey from passionate gamer to the mastermind behind innovative and award-winning RPGs like Fiasco, Night Witches, and Desperation. His work on Fiasco (among the 40+ games he’s designed) is a testament to his ability to craft games that offer unique emotional experiences. Join us for an intriguing discussion about pushing the boundaries of RPGs, the interplay between game design and culture, and the art of making games that matter. Tune-in to get into the mind of a game designer who's been changing the rules of the game since the day he started.
    Want to support the podcast and get more design lessons?
    Paying subscribers enjoy an abundance of extra game design content and an exclusive newsletter with new lessons, archive access, videos, and more! By opting for a free or paid subscription, you can get the latest articles delivered to your inbox and support this podcast!


    Get full access to Think Like A Game Designer at justingarydesign.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
77 Ratings

77 Ratings

East Atlanta Game Lab ,

Inspiring!!

Thank You, Justin Gary, for making this available to the public! This information is so valuable and important to any level of game designer, whether first year or fifteenth. I cannot recommend it enough!

BeardedTRex ,

Fantastic

This is just what I was looking for! Great insights! I just listened to the latest episode with Brotherwise Games, I picked up a lot of info! Now to go back and listen to the other episodes! Maybe I’ll be on your podcast one day 🤣 Great job, now I’m looking into the Master Class on your website now!

Juxtapostion ,

Greatest game design podcast ever!

Three things set Justin Gary apart as a teacher of design. First, the professionalism and tact with which he hosts the podcast and shares his own insight. Second, the cast of world renowned designers that Justin knows personally and invites on the podcast. Third, the conviction to break down these wealths of knowledge into universal principles. I have learned more about design here on this podcast than anywhere else! Thank you Justin!

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