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 takes a peek at the history of the frantic real-time co-op game Space Cadets, designed by our own Geoff Engelstein, his daughter Sydney Engelstein, and his son Brian Engelstein. 

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Emma and Gil welcome the multitalented Hawke Robinson, who discusses his experiences using role-playing games as therapy for at-risk youth and adults. How can games help people gain empathy and pull them into a positive mindset? And how has Hawke's 40+ years of RPG experience helped him form these programs?

You can learn more about Hawke and his work here: http://www.hawkerobinson.com/

CONTENT WARNING: This episode touches on sensitive topics like suicide, homicide, violence against children, and sexual assault.

 

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Geoff reviews the concept of "information" from a mathematical perspective, which might be different from the definition you're used to. What real-world implications did this concept lay the groundwork for?

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Emma and Gil welcome Justin Gary, designer of Ascension and Shards of Infinity, to discuss card-based strategy games. What makes them so different than other games? How does one handle things like balance, plans for expansions, and in-game marriage proposals?

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Gil, Emma, and Geoff field listeners' questions in an episode recorded live at Gen Con 2019 in Indianapolis.

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Emma and Gil welcome accomplished designer Tom Lehmann (Race for the Galaxy, Res Arcana, and many others) to discuss game arcs versus story arcs and how an inflection point can help the arc of a longer game. We also get into how the plot of Romeo & Juliet compares to a cooperative game, and how game design could possibly connect to contra dancing.

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In this GameTek from August 2017, Geoff goes through three interesting bits of of game design-related research. Is there such a thing as momentum in sports? How does the brain react to the prospect of punishing others for violating social norms? And how does the Prisoner's Dilemma change if we alter its framing?

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Scott did some research and came up with all the different ways a board game can end. In this super-sized episode, Scott, Emma, and Gil go through this list and share our thoughts on how a game experience concludes, and how we designers can affect our players based on the different ways we wrap up our games. 

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Scott covers the history of the seminal board game Dune, its legal tangles with its IP, and its retheming as Rex: Final Days of an Empire.

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Daniel Solis (@danielsolis) joins Gil and Emma to talk about graphic design from a nuts-and-bolts perspective. What are the elements of graphic design that game designers should be aware of? 

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