Episode 124 - The CMU Playtesting Study

October 21, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016.

Presented by Judeth Oden Choi, Jessica Hammer.

Presentation of our findings from a two-year long study of playtesting practices and education. As we build and refine our games, sometimes it's hard to hold onto those brilliant ideas and goals that first inspired us. Playtesting with a purpose is about articulating design and experience goals for your game and using playtests to help refine those goals and express them more fully in game play. We will invite participants to try out some of our methods and open up for discussion of playtesting practices.

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Episode 123 - Designing for Retail

October 15, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Melissa Lewis-Gentry, Cat Tobin, Matt Fantastic, Zev Shlasinger.

Have you ever played (or made!) a fantastic game, and then wonder why no one has it? Ever wonder why no one other than the Kickstarter backers bought a certain game? Ever make a game, then try to go through distribution and realize you'll lose money selling that way? Not all games are designed for retail sale! This panel will discuss the design choices that see success in a retail setting, and if retail is right for your game. Topics discuss will be graphic design choices and packaging, pricing and 3 tiered distribution, Organized Play and Demoing, and using retail sales as marketing.

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Episode 122 - Kickstarter 2016

October 10, 2017

Kickstarter (2016)

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Christopher Badell, Jason Walters, Marie Poole.

Planning and running a Kickstarter campaign can be like designing and playing another game. Will you hack an existing formula or take a risk on an unusual approach? Will it include lots of fiddly mechanics and rewards or will you take a more artistic direction? When you're running the campaign, how do you play the roles of marketer, designer, publisher, business person, and artist? Join panelists as they talk about the design and management of Kickstarter campaigns themselves. In what ways have they evolved into established systems (stretch goals, etc.) and how are some creators breaking those conventions?

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Episode 121 – Historical Larp Design

September 16, 2017

Historical Larp Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

 

Presented by Moyra Turkington, Kimberley Lam, Shoshana Kessock, Elsa Henry, Rachel E.S. Walton, and moderated by Alex Roberts

This panel is all about re-evaluating the real diversity in historical settings, the difficulties of researching for historical non-western, non-white events and eras, especially those that feature women. It serves to discuss both larp design, and tabletop design, and is well worth a listen.

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Episode 120 – Game Master Mechanics

September 3, 2017

Game Master Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Vincent Baker and and Jason Pitre.

Role playing games have a long history of providing detailed rules on how players may act in the fiction. Very few games provide explicit direction and purposefully designed tools to constrain GMs. Let’s talk about the various approaches, from Fronts, to Countdown Clocks, Doom Pools, and more. Where can GM mechanics change design?

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Episode 119 – Powered by the Apocalypse

July 15, 2017

Powered by the Apocalypse: Using Apocalypse World to Outline and Draft Your Own RPG 

Special episode, recorded online.

Presented by Meguey Baker, Vincent Baker, and Jason Pitre.

Apocalypse World offers a powerful, flexible framework you can use to outline, draft, and potentially finish your own role playing games. Dozens of creators, both experienced designers and first-timers, have used it with great success, and you can too. It’s not a game system, it’s an easy approach to game system design, a reliable way to get your creative vision quickly into a playable form. In this episode, we discuss apocalypse World’s philosophy and foundation, describe the fit and purpose of each of its systems, and point out fruitful ways to build on them, contradict them, repurpose them, subvert them, and go far beyond them.

A copy of the presentation that goes along with the episode is Available Here.

This panel was originally presented at Metatopia 2016, but technical problems at the audio meant that we had to re-record the discussion. It’s an excellent one though, where we discuss issues of the structure behind apocalypse, where the heavy design work needs to happen, the decision points on move construction, and how consent/power fit into the context of the framework.

Enjoy and share this episode freely!

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Episode 118 – Breaking into Board Games

July 8, 2017

Breaking into Board Games

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Pam Walls, Tim BrownEric Lang, Sen-Foong Lim, and moderated by Daryl Andrews.

Want to design a board game? Have no idea how to get into the industry? Join our wonderful set of panelists to talk about how to enter the board game design world, do some playtesting, and get your game published.

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Episode 117 – What’s up in Tabletop Games?

July 2, 2017

What’s Up in Tabletop Games?

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Jonathan Gilmour, Robin D. Laws, Eric Lang, and moderator Jonathan Lavallee.

Bombard our panelists with questions about tabletop gaming and the many directions it’s headed in.

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Episode 116 – Creating Horror in Games

June 24, 2017

Creating Horror in Games

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Jonathan Gilmour, and moderator  Jacqueline Bryk,

Like ghosties, ghoulies, long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night? Join us for a panel on how to incorporate gothic horror tropes into your project or campaign!

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Episode 115 – Sex in Games

June 17, 2017

Sex in Games

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Moyra Turkington, Jacqueline Bryk, Alex Roberts, and moderator Emily Griggs.

From the Ramayana to Romeo and Juliet, love and passion are at the heart of some of the most timeless stories ever told. So, how do we explore these themes in roleplaying games? How do we as players and GMs help each other have fun and stay safe? What systems bring sex and romance to the forefront? What’s that thing larpers are doing with their hands? Your panelists will answer all these questions, and many more.

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