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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Episode 130 - It Won’t Fit

December 2, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Kenneth Hite, Jason Pitre, Marissa Kelly, Fred Hicks.

When designing a game, the temptation is to use another tested rules set: Fate, PbtA, HERO, BRP, OSR, or what have you. When shouldn't you do that? What demands special treatment, and when should you make it yourself? 

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Episode 129 - Printing and Manufacturing 101

November 25, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Christopher Badell, Zev Shlasinger.

Once you've designed the game, it's time to produce it. Our panelists have dozens of finished products between them and offer their expertise to make your process smoother.

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Episode 128 - Designing with Production in Mind

November 18, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Matt Fantastic.

How many cards are on a typical printing sheet? Can half an inch really save you that much money? Is it possible to license a mold? These sorts of questions shouldn't be the first thing you think about when making your next amazing game, but they can play a huge part in how realistic it is to actually get into print. Join Matt Fantastic as he talks through a bunch of common mistakes, easy fixes, and ways to look at your design/project that will save a bunch of money when it comes time to actually make it.

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Episode 127 - Giving and Receiving Feedback

November 11, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Darren Watts, Jeff Tidball, John Adamus.

Our panelists talk about how to be good testers. Learn how to hear the questions being asked and answer with useful feedback. We all want to give helpful criticism; learn more about how to do that.

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Episode 126 - Ground Truth

November 7, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Jason Morningstar, Jay Sylvano, Benjamin Morrow.

Games can obviously be political and create empathy, but can they be journalism? Can they create change, spur activism, prompt meaningful dialog? What does it take to make a game with a contemporary theme or focused on an important issue - and what can go wrong?

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Episode 125 - The Iceberg Method

October 28, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Kenneth Hite.

In this year's iteration of "Ken Rambles About Stuff", Ken argues for the 'Iceberg Method' of game research. He is also likely to touch on how (and how much) to do research for setting design purposes, and may even divagate into the how and why of researching other game mechanics.

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