Episode 140 - We Have Always GMd

February 10, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Kate Bullock, Michelle Lyons, Kathryn Miller, Anna Kreider.

As much as we'd like to banish "Women in Gaming" panels to the depths of our historic archives, there is still value in addressing the fact that being there are challenges for women at the gaming table that different than those faced by our male counterparts. This panel will talk about the ways women have always contributed to gaming, and how to handle some of the more nuanced situations that still come up.

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Episode 139 - Writing Inclusive Alternate Histories

February 3, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Eric Simon, Darren Watts, Shoshana Kessock, and Elsa Henry.

From the implicit imperialism of steampunk to the complicated controversy of HBO's Confederate, it seems like alternate history is often fraught with problems. We provide you with techniques and ideas for writing, designing, and playing with historical and alternate historical themes in ways that are positive, inclusive, respectful, and productive. 

The slideshow presentation used at the panel is available at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Uyj3bTumXtXSSz6s7JV_kAc2mwnfSs1abUoeYfjWFfQ/edit?usp=sharing

 

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Episode 138 - Professionalization

January 27, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Jason Pitre.

Professionalization has been defined as "transformation into a profession of the highest integrity and competence." Integrity and competence are laudable goals for the profession as a whole, but how do we get there? What practices should we pursue? How do we differentiate between industry/business/community relationships, and are we willing to do so? This roundtable will try to hit on some best practices and identify the obstacles that stand in our way. 

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Episode 137 - Don’t Shred your Game

January 20, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Dev Purkayastha.

A workshop for designers who have playtested their game - here or elsewhere - and have gotten challenging feedback. It's easy to feel discouraged, but it's important to take the next step. The goal of this workshop is to provide encouragement towards the ongoing process, rather than workshopping specific feedback.

Note: This is a workshop rather than a panel, but there is some good advice and discussion worth your time.

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Episode 136 - Crowdfunding Retailer Tiers

January 13, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Melissa Lewis-Gentry, Brian Dalrymple.

So you're planning crowdfunding for your game, and have heard that Retail is important. Maybe you did a retail tier in a previous Kickstarter and had no one buy it, or maybe you lost money by creating that tier. Regardless, the industry is changing faster than we can keep up. Learn from Retailers on what they want and what they won't back for 2018 Kickstarters & IndieGoGos. Learn from Expert Campaigners on the pitfalls of building tiers. Be sure to bring questions about your upcoming campaign, we want to hear them.

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Episode 135 - The Confused State of Rulebooks

January 6, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Joshua Yearsley, John Adamus, Dr. Jessica Hammer.

Writing and editing rulebooks is still a black art, not an empirical science. In this panel, professional editors John Adamus and Joshua Yearsley hash out the state of the rulebook. What works? What doesn't? Why do so many professionals (including us!) disagree about how to write good rulebooks? Why are so many rulebooks still bad, and what can we do about it? We won't have all the answers - maybe you'll help us find some. It is somewhere between a panel and a roundtable. We'll certainly have things to say and discuss with each other, but we absolutely welcome audience input to figure out what the world's thinking about.

Apologies for the poor sound quality.

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Episode 134 - It Takes a Village

December 30, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Jason Pitre, Jeff Tidball, Stephen Tasker, Darren Watts.

As a game master, you use NPCs to describe the setting, and to interact with the PCs. As a designer, you help shape the kinds of NPCs that fill those roles. This panel is all about different ways that designers can establish NPCs and relationships in their designs. Who do the PC's love, hate, defend, or overthrow?

Apologies for the poor sound quality.

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Episode 133 - Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

December 23, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Fred Hicks and Chris Hanrahan.

Innovation and new ideas are fantastic in game design, but designers have borrowed, stolen, and adapted other people's ideas for as long as we've been making games. Let's talk about whose works have influenced us, how we can best credit and pay homage to that work, and what we might not understand about ourselves as designers based on the works we ourselves have created.

Note: This is a short episode with mediocre sound quality. The content is good though!

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Episode 132 - Worldbuilding Towards Story

December 16, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Kenneth Hite, Bill White.

The principles of worldbuilding for games are not the principles of worldbuilding for novels (depth of field) and certainly not the principles of worldbuilding for physics (plate tectonics). What are they? How can you apply them to a pre-existing world, real or fictional?

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Episode 131 - Managing RPG Development Teams

December 9, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Emily Dresner, Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue.

You're a successful indie publisher! You did a great job wearing all the hats - game designer, writer, editor, artist, and graphic designer. Now, you want to create something bigger and more grand! You discover that, without years of time, you cannot carry out your vision yourself. You need other people... and that leads to new headaches. We'll talk about tools, techniques, schedules, planning, effective communication, using freelancers, and even a little Agile on how to turn yourself from a one man band into product making machine.

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