71 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

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

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Jane Chung Hoffacker — From League of Legends to animating Arcane, Rhythms of Guitar Hero, and Mastering IP Creation (#62)

    Jane Chung Hoffacker — From League of Legends to animating Arcane, Rhythms of Guitar Hero, and Mastering IP Creation (#62)

    About Jane Chung Hoffacker
    Jane Chung Hoffacker, an Emmy Award-winning producer for the acclaimed "Arcane" series based on League of Legends, is an incredibly accomplished jack-of-all-trades. She graduated from the Wharton School of Business with a degree in economics and then went on to get another degree in Game Design. She’s worked on everything from indy games to huge IPs like League of Legends and Guitar Hero. As CEO and Co-Founder of Incredible Dream Studios, she has channeled her passion into creating a game studio dedicated to bringing together communities through shared adventures. She’s an inspiration to me and I’ve waited a long time to have this conversation!
    In this episode of "Think Like A Game Designer," we discuss the art of developing intellectual properties, thinking like you’re in a writer's room, founding an animation studio, and exploring the concepts of "Red Ocean" and "Blue Ocean" strategies. Get ready for an episode brimming with insights—you’re about to fill your notebook from the first page to the last!


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

    • 1 hr 25 min
    C. Thi Nguyen — Game Design as Art, Fish Taco Adventures, and Exploring Game Design Principles in Daily Life (#61)

    C. Thi Nguyen — Game Design as Art, Fish Taco Adventures, and Exploring Game Design Principles in Daily Life (#61)

    C. Thi Nguyen is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah and the author of the incredible book "Games: Agency as Art." In this episode, Thi delves into his theory of games as an art form that revolves around agency. His website, Objectionable.net, showcases an extensive collection of published papers on games, the philosophy of technology, and other intriguing topics. My conversation with Thi digs into the essence of games—exploring their power, addictiveness, and how game concepts can be applied to enhance your daily life. Don't miss this episode for a thought-provoking journey into the philosophy of games with Thi Nguyen.
    Visit http://justingarydesign.com/ for show notes, game design lessons, and more!


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

    • 1 hr 34 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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