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Strategy Can Be Fun?
78 minutes | May 16, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Soren Johnson on OLD WORLD
Today I bring you one of the world’s more renowned strategy videogame designers – the designer of Civilization IV, one of the most beloved in the series (probably my favorite one still), and the founder of Mohawk Games, who created Offworld Trading Company, and most recently, Old World. Old World has been out for awhile … Strategy Can Be Fun – Soren Johnson on OLD WORLD Read More »
63 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Blue Moon
Good ol’ CoolCop. Wow, things certainly have changed a lot since 2004, huh? Brett and I took a journey into the strange Reiner Knizia card game, Blue Moon. It’s… a challenging game, that’s for sure. Enjoy the episode!
57 minutes | Feb 5, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Strategic Evaluation in Pax Pamir
Hello everyone! Welcome to our third episode of STRATEGY CAN BE FUN. Today, Brett Lowey and I discuss the Cole Wehrle game, Pax Pamir. I think this is maybe the first game where Brett and I’s positions on the game have diverged somewhat, although perhaps we have also pulled each other’s opinions together somewhat as well. We talk about many aspects of the game’s design: the abstraction, the theme, the axes of victory, the closed economy, and many more. It’s looking like next up will be Reiner Knizia’s Blue Moon. Let us know if you have ideas for the show going forward. And also, please support the show on Patreon!
60 minutes | Jan 21, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Contextualized Choices in Puzzle Strike 2
Hello all! Thanks so much for checking out the second episode of our new podcast, STRATEGY CAN BE FUN? It’s up sooner than expected — when you have a new show, I think it’s good to get a few episodes out quickly if you can. Today Brett Lowey and I are so excited to present you with a conversation about David Sirlin‘s latest tabletop game: Puzzle Strike II. For those who don’t know, I’m a massive fan of Sirlin’s work, and have been for over a decade. From his very cool card games like Yomi and Codex (my all-time favorite, possibly my favorite game ever, is the original Puzzle Strike), to his probably-the-best-Street-Fighter-Like Fantasy Strike, David Sirlin is a very accomplished designer. Sirlin is a game designer’s game designer, I think. His games are WEIRD, they’re deep, they have high skill ceilings, and they’re original – and Puzzle Strike II is no exception. It’s possibly the Sirliniest of all of his games to date, and while we have a few critiques, I’m super excited to get my copy. If it’s still up when you’re reading this, consider supporting the Kickstarter! And if you enjoy the show, consider becoming a Patron! NOTE: You can now listen to these podcasts on the Patreon page! Next month we’ll be covering (probably) Pax Pamir, so stay tuned!
59 minutes | Jan 12, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Through The Ages, Playfulness and The Four Horsemen of Work
Surprise! New podcast! Introducing STRATEGY CAN BE FUN?, a new podcast with myself and Brett Lowey. Brett is a game designer and developer, creator behind BrainGoodGames, frequent guest on the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, and all-around awesome guy. We’ve decided to come up with a new show that we do as a collaborate project, one where we discuss a new game IN DEPTH each month, focusing on our shared values of strategy game design: playfulness, depth, complexity, elegance, hidden information and all of that good stuff. I’m really excited about it! The first-ever episode is about the hit boardgame, THROUGH THE AGES. I don’t actually own the physical game, but we’ve been playing a bunch of matches on BoardGameArena, and way more matches on the (very phenomenal) app. We have a lot to say about the show, and Brett also introduces what he calls his “four horsemen of work” in strategy game design (I’ve added some links to related articles I’ve written on these topics): Calculation/counting Uncapped lookahead Memorization Information overload I really hope you enjoy the show. And if you do, consider supporting it at www.patreon.com/keithburgun. Next month’s game is probably going to be David Sirlin’s Puzzle Strike II, so stay tuned!
53 minutes | Aug 13, 2021
Let’s talk about Magic: The Gathering, with two experts
Hello all! I have a special episode for you today, wherein we have a great big discussion on MAGIC: THE GATHERING – something I haven’t really dived into too deeply before on the show. For most of my life I was very, very skeptical of these games – I still think, for good reason. But I think there was also a lot of good stuff that I really have been missing out on, and I’m actually pretty excited to dive into MTGA recently. To chat with me about these games is Ryan Bowles and Eli Priest, a couple of cool guys I know who have spent decades playing Magic very seriously. They also have been engaged with me over at the Discord on game design discussions for years, and they’ve both done some game development. That means we kinda “speak each other’s language” well enough to have a productive conversation! I also wanted to take this opportunity to mention that I will be making a CCG of my own – one that is customizable, but not collectible (no rares/random booster pack type shenanigans). I’ll have more news on that soon, but if you want to be the first to get the details on it, make sure to become a Patron!
87 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Free-to-play, Gacha games and game design discourse with Dan Felder
Hello everyone and welcome to the 91st episode of the CLOCKWORK GAME DESIGN PODCAST! Today’s guest is Dan Felder, a game designer who has worked at several studios, including EA, Blizzard, and Abrakam Games, where he worked on the popular CCG, Faeria. He also has written a bunch of game design articles on game balance, tabletop game design, and free-to-play games – which was really the topic that made me want to have him on most of all. We had a good conversation; I was sort of expecting it to be more of a debate, and perhaps it should have been, but I think Dan is a good bit more confident in his positions on these things than I am, and I’m also not *exactly* sure what precisely we disagree about. That all said, he’s definitely someone I’d like to have on again at some point to talk about this more, once I’ve made my own thoughts a bit more concrete. EDIT: My apologies, there was an audio error about an hour in on the podcast; it has been FIXED as of now! Enjoy! And if you do, if you value this kind of podcast, please consider becoming a Patron at patreon.com/keithburgun and show your support! Thanks so much, and see you next time.
79 minutes | May 5, 2021
Math for Game Designers, with Alexander King
Alexander King, who teaches at the NYU Game Center and the Parsons School of Design, has been tweeting about math for game designers a bunch – you should definitely go check out his tweet thread on the topic here. It also got me interested to have him on the show – I don’t think we’ve ever had an episode that really mentioned math barely at all — or DID WE!? A lot of this conversation revolves around the question of “what is math”, or “what counts as math”, I think. Alexander is attempting to do some really ambitious stuff with his classes and I wanted to better understand it, as someone with very very low exposure to what I think of as “math”. We also talk about a few other topics, like incremental games and more. Oh, also, he tuned me into this really cool essay, “A Mathematician’s Lament” by Paul Lockheart, which is very much related to our conversation. Enjoy! If you enjoy the show, consider becoming a Patron, at www.patreon.com/keithburgun. Thanks for listening!
68 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Talking RPGs with Dayan Radisic
Today’s guest is Dayan Radisic, the lead developer at Stygian Software, the team behind the indie CRPG UnderRail. I’ve personally only played a handful of hours of the game so far, but it’s definitely the kind of game that’s in the “RPG Project” territory – it’s quite clearly super inspired by games like the original Fallout. I wanted to talk to Dayan about the game and his perspective on what’s important in RPGs, but I was even more interested to talk to an indie developer who has worked on a single game for over a decade. You can support this show by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/keithburgun. By the way, I have a new schedule now: the first Monday of every month, there will be a new podcast episode from now on. Thanks for listening!
72 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Skill Compensation, Randomness, and the lifespan of games with Brett Lowey
My favorite of Brett’s games, Solar Settlers Hello again! This here is probably the most nitty gritty strategy game design podcast episode I’ve had on the show yet, which is made possible because I have a shared language and understanding with today’s guest. This guest, by the way, is none other than Brett Lowey, who has been on the podcast several times before. I also talk a little bit up front about my recent experiences with Magic: The Gathering, which I’ll give some more updates on in the future. Don’t forget to check out all of Brett’s games over at Braingoodgames.com! Enjoy the conversation, and thanks for listening. You can support this show by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/keithburgun.
65 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Interview with Jaron Kong, creator of Quantum Protocol
If you listened to my last episode all the way to the end, you might’ve heard Justin Ma mention a game that he’s been playing recently that he thought was cool. That game, which he recommended and I ended up playing, was Quantum Protocol. Quantum Protocol is a one-player digital card game that isn’t a … Interview with Jaron Kong, creator of Quantum Protocol Read More »
58 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Conversation with Justin Ma
I spoke with Justin Ma, co-founder of Subset Games, who are well known for their hit indie games FTL and Into the Breach. Our conversation touched on a pretty wide range of topics, from their creative process at Subset games, to the state of the industry, to Justin’s feelings on game design theory in general. … Conversation with Justin Ma Read More »
48 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
RPGs and more, with Tanya X. Short
Today’s guest is Tanya X. Short, the co-founder of Kitfox Games, and the designer behind Moon Hunters and most recently, Boyfriend Dungeon. Tanya is also a contributor over at Gamasutra, where she writes about a bunch of game development and marketing stuff. I had wanted to get Tanya on the podcast for a long time, … RPGs and more, with Tanya X. Short Read More »
65 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
A Conversation with Raph Koster
Hello all and welcome to another episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast! This is Raph’s second time on the podcast (the first time was Episode 37) but it’s always good to have him on the show. On this episode, Raph and I talk a lot about simulationist RPGs, some of his experience working on … A Conversation with Raph Koster Read More »
65 minutes | Oct 25, 2020
Brett Lowey on win conditions and ideal design theory
Hi! I come bearing the latest episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast! This one features Brett Lowey of Braingoodgames, who has been on the show before! He’s a great person to talk to for me, because we have just enough agreement and disagreement to have good discussions. In this episode, we talk about his … Brett Lowey on win conditions and ideal design theory Read More »
46 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Turn Based Tactics Combat Systems, and more on quarterbacking in co-op games
Hey everyone! Thanks for listening to this, the 82nd episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast. This episode doesn’t have a guest, it’s all me, and I’m talking about a bunch of stuff I’m thinking of with turn based tactics combat systems. A lot of this stuff is still up in the air, at … Turn Based Tactics Combat Systems, and more on quarterbacking in co-op games Read More »
62 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Kyle Kukshtel on indie strategy game design and development
Kyle Kukshtel said he sees me as a bit like an “alternative universe version of” himself, because we’re both solo indie devs working on turn-based tactical wargames that do things differently. His game, Cantata, is looking really cool and different, and he’s been working on it for somewhere around six years! I’m really excited for … Kyle Kukshtel on indie strategy game design and development Read More »
51 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
Adam Stewart of One Man Left, on tactics games, and game dev survival
Today I had a conversation with Adam Stewart of One Man Left, one of my favorite indie developers of all time. The company has downsized since its heyday of the early 2010’s, and after operating for about ten years, there is now literally just one man left carrying the torch. Adam is currently working on … Adam Stewart of One Man Left, on tactics games, and game dev survival Read More »
51 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
CGD Podcast: Solo-dev priorities, and Dark Souls with Pete Siecienski
Today’s show has two main topics: how do we prioritize what to do as solo devs working on large projects? And secondly, we discuss Dark Souls and the other Fromsoft games. Today’s guest is Peter “Nomorebirds” Siecienski, who some might know as the winner of our Push the Lane Fan Art Contest, or as a … CGD Podcast: Solo-dev priorities, and Dark Souls with Pete Siecienski Read More »
75 minutes | May 28, 2020
Kickstarters and Game Design Theory with Fabian Fischer
On today’s show, we have an interview with designer and theorist Fabian Fischer. Fabian is the designer behind Crimson Company, which is now running its fourth Kickstarter, which is currently doing incredibly well—at the time of this writing, it has over $33,000 pledged (and they were only asking or $11,000)! On the show, we discuss … Kickstarters and Game Design Theory with Fabian Fischer Read More »
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