Episode 73 – Opacity and Transparency

January 18, 2016

Opacity, Transparency, and Player Incentives in Your Strategy Board Game

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Gil Hova

Do people understand what’s going on in your game? Not just the rules, but can they tell who’s winning? If they should watch out for a dangerous player? If they know exactly how their move will impact their next few turns? Join designer Gil Hova as he discusses transparency and opacity in strategy board games. We will discuss what makes a game mechanism transparent or opaque, how they work (or fail) in existing games, and how to use them to incentivize players to make interesting plays.

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Episode 71 – Explicit vs Role-Based Knowledge

November 28, 2015

Explicit vs Role-Based Knowledge

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Clark Valentine, Shane Harsch and Evan Torner.

This seminar poses the question of whether it is possible to support a detailed, knowledge-rich environment for an RPG without creating a situation where the character that should know how to do something actually does not. Where is the balance between detail and role?

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Episode 46 – Least System Necessary

February 7, 2015

Least System Necessary

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Cam Banks, Rob Donoghue, Clark Valentine & Stephen Hood.

How much system does your game *need*? We’ll be examining very minimal systems like Risus, CORE, Amber DRPG and so on as a starting point for design, always coming back to the question of whether you are adding things to your system because it need it, or because you’re “Supposed To”.

Minimal Game system references to:

 
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Episode 45 – Icons and Anchors

January 31, 2015

Icons and Anchors

Recorded at Metatopia 2013

Presented by Rob Donoghue & Jason Pitre.

Icons and anchors are fascinating pieces of RPG design technology, establishing people and organizations within settings that are strongly tied to player characters and to each other. Let’s talk about how these can be effectively used in your own game designs.

References include:

1) My own summary of the mechanic: Examining Icons in Design

2) Rob’s ample blog discussion: [1][2][3] [4] [5] [6].

3) Chris Chin’s discussion of Keys, in the other excellent article.

4) And the economic devastation of the Identify skill over at Project Multiplexer

 

 
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Episode 40 – Hacking Apocalypse World

December 14, 2014

Hacking Apocalypse World

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Vincent Baker, Misha Bushyager, Marissa Kelly, Mark Richardson & Mark Diaz Truman.

Learn about the Apocalypse World engine and why it has become popular amongst indie designers. This will be a panel of veteran *World players and *World game designers, including the designer of Apocalypse World!

 
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Episode 39 – Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Analysis

December 7, 2014

Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Analysis

Presented by Rob Donoghue & Jason Pitre.

So, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is out. Now it’s time to dig into the design and talk about the rules, procedures and advice that the game brings to the RPG design field. Let’s look at the crunchy bits! The companion reference to this discussion can be found on Rob Donoghue’s blog, where he discusses the Starter Set, the Player’s Handbook and the Monster Manual in detail.

 
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Episode 35 – Dangerous Mechanics

August 31, 2014

Dangerous Mechanics

Presented by Jason Pitre, Kenneth Hite, Rob Donoghue & Will Hindmarch

The panelists will deal with mechanics that look good on the surface but can have unforeseen negative consequences in play. Spending XP, no-effect rules, dice-generated currency – all have hidden dangers. Explore these and other light bulbs that didn’t quite work out..

 
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Episode 26 – Magic Mechanics

October 19, 2013

This was originally broadcast by Indie+ online convention, led by Mark Diaz Truman in conversation with Rob Donoghue. It’s a fascinating discussion on how game mechanics can create a feeling of magic during play.

 
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Episode 18 – Volatility in Game Design

March 2, 2013

Randomness makes games fun, but it can also make them terrible. Our Industry Insider guests give advice on the right way to use randomness in game design. Randomness makes games fun, but it can also make them terrible. If you’re going to use randomness in your games, it’s like using fire in your kitchen. A great tool, but only if you know how to handle it. Our Industry Insider guests will give advice on the right way to use randomness in game design.

Presented by James Ernest and Jason Morningstar.

 
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Episode 14 – Advanced GM’less Play

January 26, 2013

A discussion about GM’less games by Jason Morningstar at Metatopia 2012.  This was presented to a group of game designers and publishers who ask some advanced questions.

Sorry that the introduction doesn’t include the title of the seminar.

 
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