Episode 187 - Face your Fears

January 5, 2019

Recorded at Metatopia 2018

Presented by Kiva Fecteau, David Beever, Jim Dagg , Kate Beaman-Martinez, Beth Rimmels.

Congratulations. You screwed up the courage and got yourself to METATOPIA! Prepare to panic... or not. Talk with fellow participants in small groups to identify your fears and where they come from. You'll probably discover a lot of commonalities. Our workshop leaders have begun to overcome their own fears, and have seen success at METATOPIA. They'll share tips and techniques to help you stay afloat during the weekend.


Episode 183 - Failing Forward

December 8, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Joshua Yearsley, Hannah Shaffer and Mark Richardson.

Being competent at something just means you've already made all the mistakes, so come learn from ours! We'll discuss some of our own juiciest mistakes and setbacks from our years of games work - maybe even some from projects we've worked on together? - and explore how we used those experiences to grow, improve our craft, and do better the next time.


Episode 182 - Replication Versus Reinvention

December 1, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Brendan Conway and Kevin Kulp.

When you're designing a game, you often start by picking a kind of genre, or even a particular work, that you'd love to experience as an RPG. But many of the strongest games out there take it beyond just replicating a particular story; they say something new or different. How do you do that, and why should you spend the time to make sure you do?


Episode 179 - Fiction and Game Writing

November 10, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Elsa Henry and Lauren Roy.

Fiction writing and game writing are definitely two separate skillsets, but they are complimentary. This panel will feature people who do both, discussing how to develop these skillsets to further both parts of your career, with extra attention to the ways they diverge and how to know which skills to use. Where do these skillsets not overlap, how do they fight against one another? What are the best ways to develop both skills without shortchanging one or the other.


Episode 171 - RPG Design and Publishing for Newcomers Q&A

September 15, 2018

Special Episode

Presented by Jason Pitre, Anna Meade, Sarah 'Doombringer' Richardson, and Eloy Lasanta


In this special episode, most the panelists from the previous gencon panel get together to answer questions posed by attendees.  The questions on offer are... 

Q1: I've got a game, it's playtested: how do I get to market?

Q2: Outside of the mechanical or thematic design of the game, which part of development and release is the most challenging for you, and in what way?

Q3: What is the best value services to ensure a successful kickstarter?

Q4: How should one go about acquiring a publisher for their design?

Q5: How do you balance an RPG across as many levels as possible when the system is rather complex? Is it just a long slog or is there a faster method than what I currently use?

Q6: How to turn a story/setting concept into a workable game system?

Q7: I'd love any advice specifically on making Powered by the Apocalypse games.

Q8: What is the single most important element of an RPG system that can determine its success or failure?

Q9: How technology is changing the Design and Publishing process?


Enjoy this special episode!



Episode 170 - RPG Design and Publishing for Newcomers

September 8, 2018

Recorded at GenCon 2018

Presented by Jason Pitre, Anna Meade, Jerry Grayson, Eloy Lasanta, and Sarah "Doombringer" Richardson. 

This panel serves as a welcome introduction to the twin fields of roleplaying game design, and publishing. It features a long discussion on how and why we design games, how games have to be about something, and how we can practically turn our ideas into products. This was a two hour panel full of brilliant insights from the panel speakers and has some fun banter to boot. 

Note that the audience submitted a number of questions in advance of the panel, which we will be responding to in next week's episode!


Episode 166 - Literary Criticism and Feedback

August 11, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Tim Hutchings and Evan Torner.

Criticism and Feedback: How to Talk about that Game You Just Played. How do we talk about games in a productive, useful way? The panel will discuss methods and tools for giving useful, critical feedback for the game play experience. We will introduce critical methods from the creative arts and inclusivity-promoting discussion tools pioneered by Games to Gather in Portland, Oregon.


Episode 161 - From Imposter Syndrome to Arrogance

July 7, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Kiva Fecteau, Beth Rimmels, Doug Levandowski, James Dagg, Nicole Perry.

From Imposter Syndrome to Arrogance - Knowing When To Step Back.  How do you measure your success in a field where most people don't have salaries or corporate titles to compare, "bad" games can be hugely popular, and the timeline of creative spark to marketable product can often be years? In other words, when are you an "Industry Pro?" No matter how much they've done, some people continue to feel that they haven't yet hit the mark. Yet others who are completely new to the industry may feel that they have all the answers. Both attitudes can hold back your ability to flourish in the gaming industry


Episode 159 - Anatomy of a Fight

June 23, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Michael Malecki, Elsa Henry, Shervyn von Hoerl, Monica Speca.

Join us for a workshop to create a combat system that could possibly allow for the fluid and chaotic nature of combat but not be overwhelmingly disruptive to play style. The first half of the panel will cover offensive and defensive theories. We will go over the positives and negatives of things such as Narrative play, Slow-Fu, and Physical Combat. After a brief Q&A, those who building a system are welcome to stay and workshop with experts.


Episode 153 - From Idea to Product

May 12, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by John Adamus, Bryan Shipp, Laura Simpson, Tim Rodriguez

Games are a hydra on a roller coaster on fire. There's so much to do, so much to avoid doing, so much to plan for, and so much to hope works out. We'd like to talk about the process.