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 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 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 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 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 84: Patterns and Shapes in Larp Design

June 24, 2016

Patterns and Shapes in Larp Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by  J Li and Jason Morningstar

From spatial layout to information management, this workshop lays out some of the architectural and psychological principles behind LARP design as craft. What’s the difference between a three person conversation and a four person conversation? What does time pressure do to plot? How do you change the outcome of a game by placing chairs? Join us in exploring the fascinating complexity of building stories out of spontaneous human behavior, and playing with the tools we can use to shape it.

Associated information is available at larppatterns.org

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Episode 85: Repurposing Mechanics

July 1, 2016

Recycle! Using Material From Other Games Ethically and Effectively

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Justin Jacobson, Cam Banks, Jeff Tidball & Andre La Roche.

At one time or another, every designer gains inspiration from existing works. Whether it’s snagging a single mechanic or repurposing an entire game with one crucial tweak. What are some tricks for finding that inspiration and using it in interesting ways? What are the ethical and legal considerations when using material? When does inspiration cross the line into plagiarism or, worse, infringement? What sort of attribution should you use?

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Episode 89 – Game Mechanics as Social Engineering

July 30, 2016

Game Mechanics as Social Engineering & Social Engineering as Game Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Morningstar & John Stavropoulos.

Can a game’s mechanics influence player behavior? Evidence – from XP-grubbing to sophisticated and subtle systems for using player agency to adjust real-world habits – suggests it can. Join Jason Morningstar and John Stavropoulos for a stimulating and perhaps surprising discussion on this topic. Bring your own examples to share!

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Episode 95 – Gearheads

September 18, 2016

Gearheads: Clever RPG Mechanics

Recorded at Gencon 2016

Presented by Jason Pitre, and Emily Care Boss

Roleplaying game design is a hotbed of innovation, and this panel is a place to talk about some of the latest and greatest mechanics for games. We will talk about fronts, countdown clocks, gm-less play, advantage, and other mechanics to sink your teeth into.

Links and Games!

  1. Romance Trilogy, including Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/lcn/2016/7/24/romance-trilogy)
  2. Indie Groundbreaker Awards (http://www.igdnonline.com/indie-groundbreaker-awards-winners/ )
  3. 14 Days, by Hannah Shaffer (http://makebigthings.com/14-days-a-game-about-life-with-migraines/ )
  4. 183 Days, by James Stuart and Sara Williamson (http://www.drivethrucards.com/product/144510/183-Days)
  5. Fall of Magic, by Ross Cowman (http://heartofthedeernicorn.com/product/fall-of-magic-scroll-edition/ )
  6. 10 Candles, by Stephen Dewey (http://cavalrygames.com/)
  7. Dread, by Epidiah Ravachol (https://dreadthegame.wordpress.com/about-dread-the-game/)
  8. The The Dread Geas Of Duke Vulku by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com/the-dread-geas-of-duke-vulku/ )
  9. Microscope and Kingdom by Ben Robbins (http://www.lamemage.com/)
  10. Downfall, by Caroline Hobbs (https://lessthanthreegames.com/downfall/)
  11. Usagi Yojimbo, by Sanguine Productions (http://drivethrurpg.com/product/50310/USAGI-YOJIMBO-ROLEPLAYING-GAME-Legacy)
  12. Blood Red Sands, by Ralph Mazza (http://www.galileogames.com/blood-red-sands/)
  13. Burning Wheel, by Luke Crane (https://www.burningwheel.com/)
  14. Apocalypse World, by Meguey and Vincent Baker (http://apocalypse-world.com/)
  15. Dungeon World, by Sage Latorra and Adam Koebel (http://www.dungeon-world.com/)
  16. Montseigeur 1244, by Frederik J. Jensen (http://thoughtfulgames.com/montsegur1244/ )
  17. Epyllion, by Marissa Kelly (http://www.magpiegames.com/epyllion/
  18. Posthuman Pathways, by Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/posthuman-pathways/)
  19. Play with Intent, by Emily Care Boss and Matthijs Holter (https://playwithintent.wordpress.com/)
  20. Nightwitches by Jason Morningstar (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  21. The Warren by Marshall Miller (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  22. Monsterhearts, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/monsterhearts/)
  23. Sagas of the Icelanders, by Gregor Vulga (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=19311&page=1)
  24. Headspace, by Mark Richardson (http://www.greenhatdesigns.com/?project=head-space)
  25. Dream Askew, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/dream-askew/ )
  26. The Quiet Year, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year/ )
  27. Steal Away Jordan, by Julia Ellingboe (http://www.lulu.com/shop/julia-bond-ellingboe/steal-away-jordan/ebook/product-17470217.html )
  28. Blades in the Dark, by John Harper (http://www.onesevendesign.com/ and http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170689/Blades-in-the-Dark-Digital-Edition-Early-Access )
  29. Swords without Master, by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com )
  30. Mars Colony, by Tim Koppang http://www.tckroleplaying.com/marscolony/
  31. Misericorde, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/shop/misericorde-pdf)
  32. Fools Journey, by Stentor Danielson (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/154421/The-Fools-Journey)
  33. Spark Roleplaying Game, Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/spark/)
  34. Bubblegumshoe, Evil Hat Productions (http://www.evilhat.com/home/)
  35. Seven Wonders, by Pelgrane Press (http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/seven-wonders-a-story-games-anthology-2/)

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Episode 105 – Cultural Mechanics

January 14, 2017

Cultural Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Pitre, Julia Ellingboe, and Mark Diaz Truman.

Games are part of our cultures, and the rules we create reflect our own backgrounds. In this roundtable, we explore how mechanics can reflect and/or interrogate culture. How can mechanics explore other people’s experiences? What assumptions do we bring to the game-design table?

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