Episode 147 - Blood on the Table: Horror in RPGs

March 31, 2018

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2018

Presented by Sarah Richardson, Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Jaym Gates

Moderator: Brand Robbins

Jaym Gates (BLUE ROSE 2nd Ed., TIANXIA: Blood, Silk, and Jade,), Michelle Lyons-McFarland (Chill, A Tragedy in Five Acts), and Sarah Richardson (Bluebeard’s Bride, Velvet Glove) as they discuss how diverse viewpoints bring new life to tired horror tropes. Topics may include feminine horror, setting the right tone, disrupting player assumptions, plus tips and tricks for running horror in trad, OSR, and story games. Make sure to bring questions of your own!

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Episode 146 - My Games are Unapologetically Political

March 24, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Shoshana Kessock, Neall Price, Susanne Vejdemo, Joshua A. C. Newman.

Art is and has always been political, and game design is no different. In this panel, we'll talk about developing games with political agendas not only wholly in mind, but front and center. We'll tackle discussions about the hard topics that come up in political games, whether or not you design for unity or for controversy, how to use game design to create the political message of your games, and how to design games with political messages in the current charged political world.

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Episode 145 - Narrative Arcs in Boardgames

March 17, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Roberta Taylor, Curt Covert.

Everyone loves a good story, whether it's in a book or on a screen, but what about memorable story in boardgames. What does story look like in a boardgame? How is story different from theme? How does the designer partner with players to tell a story? What are the limitations and where is the creative space wide open?

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Episode 144 - Hierarchical Thinking in Games

March 10, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Gil Hova, Jonathan Gilmour.

From Jones Theory to "this game fired that game", hierarchical thinking - comparing one thing to another in a way that ranks one as better than the other - is very popular in the gaming world. How useful is it? Are there situations where it hurts us? We will talk about the pros and cons of hierarchical thinking, and dive into why it's so appealing to us game fans.

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Episode 143 - The Forge Retrospective

March 3, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Bill White, Brennan Taylor, Lisa Padol, Evan Torner, and more. 

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Forge (But Were Afraid To Ask). The Forge (www.indie-rpgs.com) was an online discussion site for indie TRPG design, publication, and play that was active from 2001 to 2012. Across tens of thousands of discussion threads, Forge participants hashed out new ways of understanding the dynamics of tabletop RPG play, and developed a new conceptual language for talking about game design, as part of a larger project of promulgating the "indie RPG" message that anyone can design and publish the game they want. This larger mission largely accomplished by 2010, according to its founders, the Forge closed its forums in 2012. But the ideas it offered still have value, and so five years after the closing of the Forge we look back and assess its insights, its accomplishments, and its imbroglios. Presented by Bill White, game designer and game studies scholar currently working on a book about the Forge, along with several regular posters from that era

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Episode 142 - Games, Learning, and Social Change

February 24, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Tam Myaing, Heather Wilson.

Games by their nature are learning tools. When we play games, we are, at a minimum, learning the mechanics and the boundaries of the game space. Can we use this 'learning mechanic' to design better games, and better players? The panel will explore the mechanics of learning in games and their potential to reach beyond the game space. 

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Episode 141 - What are you scared of?

February 17, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Darren Watts, Christopher O'Neill, Roberta Taylor.

You've got a board game, card game, RPG or LARP in your head, but something's stopping you from settling down and doing the work to get it done and out there in the world. What is it? Let's get into your head and smack down the voices telling you it can't be done. 

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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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