Dice Tower Network Podcast: Ludology

The Ludology site is about providing an analytical discussion of the how's and why's of the world of board games. Rather than news and tgreviews, Ludology explores a variety of topics about games from a wider lens, as well as discuss game history, game design and game players.

Regular Contributors:

Ludology Episodes

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Scott delves into the history of the first big board game success on Kickstarter: Tory Niemann's Alien Frontiers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME

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Emma and Gil chat with Jeeyon Shim, game designer, nature fan, and mushroom enthusiast. Jeeyon's games are about connecting with one's environment, and we discuss what it's like to make games like this. We also discuss playtesting (or not playtesting) indie games, the conception of "nature" and its connection with humanity, and how cute our pets are.

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Geoff considers a classic problem: how do two parties in two different locations agree on a random number result, like a die roll? We cover the clever solution wargamers worked out, as well as an ultra-modern approach.

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Emma and Gil chat with Sam Rosenthal and Stephen Bell of The Game Band, known for their bizarre cosmic horror sports sim Blaseball. We discuss the unique feedback loop between Blaseball's fans and its creators, the benefits of apophenia, and how baseball was uniquely suited for this treatment at this moment in history.

SHOW NOTES

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Scott delves into the history of two games released by entrepreneur Edwin Lowe: Bingo and Yahtzee. Both became enormous successes, and are now a part of our cultural fabric. How did they get there? 

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Emma, Gil, and Scott discuss winning in games. What defines winning in a game, and what are the different ways games can handle it?

Also, Emma shares a Big Announcement with us.

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2m44s: Type 1 - One winner, everyone else loses: Catan, Terra Mystica, Terraforming Mars

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Geoff takes us through what he (and many other people) feel is a flaw in the rules of basketball, and a possible solution that was first implemented by a new league in 2018. The Elam Ending is designed to eliminate the incentive for teams trailing on the scoreboard to constantly, intentionally foul the leading team, making for a more consistent and fun game to watch.

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We continue our annual tradition of bringing board game industry veteran Stephen Buonocore, now retired from Stronghold Games/Indie Game Studios and focusing on media and podcasting. We explore the bizarre, catastrophic year of 2020, and consider what's in store for us in 2021.

Note that this episode was recorded on Monday, November 30, 2020; we occasionally say "this year" to mean 2020 instead of 2021.

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6m24s: "Travis" is Travis Worthington, CEO of Indie Game Studios.

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Emma and Gil welcome Adrienne Smith, designer of the card game Blitz Champz and wide receiver for the Boston Renegades women's gridiron football team. We discuss the intersection of mass market, kids, and sports game design, the state of women's football in modern America, and serial entrepreneurship.

This episode was recorded on November 16, 2020. A couple of weeks later, Vanderbilt brought their varsity women's soccer goalie, Sarah Fuller, onto their men's football team as a kicker.

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Scott takes us through the history of Dark Tower, the legendary electronically-enhanced board game, and its modern spiritual successor, Return to Dark Tower. The story's twists and turns include every designer's worst nightmare: a huge company stealing a designer's idea and making it their own.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME

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