Episode 149 - GM Masterclass

April 14, 2018

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2018

Presented by: Robin Laws, Daniel Kwan, Emily Care Boss, and Michelle Lyons-McFarland
Moderator: Corey Reid

Learn how the best GMs run the best games. No matter what system or play style you love, this panel will have tips and tricks to help you level up your game.

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Episode 148 - Making your First RPG

April 7, 2018

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2018

Presented by: Mark Richardson, Anna Kreider, Emily Griggs, Misha Bushyagar

Moderator: Jonathan Lavallee

The wondrous journey from beginning to end of working on your first game. It's a highlight reel of the big process parts and what to keep track of to make your first game as successful as possible.

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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 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 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 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 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 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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