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Flatout at the Table: Board Game Design Talk
38 minutes | Jun 23, 2019
[PIP #016] - Assembling Ghosts w/ Janice Turner
On Today’s episode, we catch up with Janice Turner of Wren Games! By day, Janice is a product and project manager with a background in physics and engineering. We get the lowdown on Janice’s origins as a designer, her process, and her newest game Sensor Ghosts, which is on Kickstarter now! We talk about: CD Adventure, Pandemic, Flashpoint, dreaming up concepts, finding ways to fit in time for design, designing short games, intuitive rules, Kickstarter sounds, the terrifying nature of putting your stuff out there, overcoming the alpha gamer, communication limitations, balancing for player count, figuring out which rules to play with and which to ignore, and memory in games. You can check out Sensor Ghosts here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wrengames/sensor-ghosts-and-assembly-2-unique-sci-fi-coop-puzzle-games
49 minutes | Jan 29, 2019
[PIP #014] - Kingdom Connections w/ Steven Aramini
On this week’s pip, we catch up with Steven Aramini! Steven is the designer of many games including the ever-popular wallet games Circle the Wagons and Sprawlopolis, as well as 2018 releases Groves, Coin and Crown, and Barker’s Row. Steven is also the designer of the Cardboard Edison winning Animal Kingdoms, an area control card game that is currently tearing up Kickstarter! Steven is one of our very favorite game designers, and today we finally get to touch base with him and ask him some questions about his game design process. We talk about: Meet-ups, contests, left-over mechanics from failed games, agriculture, pyramids, simple games, classic card games, balancing, multiple paths to victory, short and sweet, point salads, Cardboard Edison, collaboration, Sprawlopolis, Circle the Wagons, Animal Kingdoms, Julio Nazario, Coin and Crown, happy accidents, Danny Devine, and making games! Check out the Kickstarter for Animal Kingdoms here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/galacticraptorgames/animal-kingdoms-an-award-winning-game-of-area-cont?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=animal%20kingdoms
47 minutes | Dec 8, 2018
[PIP #013] - Flicks of the Trade w/ Gabe Barrett
On our latest pip, we catch up with Gabe Barrett, the mind and hustle behind the Board Game Design Lab (or BGDL for short) whose podcast, mailing list, and website’s mission is to help tabletop designers create fun and engaging board games. Gabe has interviewed some of the best in the biz from Tom Vasel to Jamey Stegmaier and many in between on topics that run the full gamut of making games a reality. It is one of the most widely recognized podcasts on board game design, and Gabe is also a budding game designer working on several games including The Final Flicktier! We dive into his latest game and get the lowdown on balancing content creation with game design! We talk about: D&D, Time Stories, Eldridge Horror, Ameritrash, creating experiences, storytelling, Stuffed Fables, super behind-the-scenes superhero games, crunchy puzzles, Board Game Design Lab, The Final Flicktier, dexterity games, Dino Dunk, Ascending Empires, Jamey Stegmaier, working with constraints, Rob Daviau, Gil Hova, design theory, Kickstarter, Peter Hayward, finishing bad games, developing taste before developing skills, Matt Colville, Joseph Campbell, the hero’s journey, Buttonshy, Jason Tagmire, and dungeon crawls. Check out The Final Flicktier here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/105507699/the-final-flicktier-relaunch
62 minutes | Aug 31, 2018
#008 - Auction/Bidding w/ Amanda Erven
We start the bidding at the Blue Highway Games board game auction and end it in an elevator! On our latest episode we welcome Amanda Erven, Blue Highway Games manager extraordinaire and board game auction coordinator to discuss the auction/bidding mechanic. We get a little bit of history and explanation on one of Amanda’s favorite mechanics and reflect on what makes this minimally abstracted mechanic so compelling! We talk about: Blue Highway Games, friendly local game stores, board game auctions, silent auctions, buying too many games, Twitter/IRL interactions, Modern Art, Five Tribes, combinations of bluffing and auctioning, Ra, auctions vs. hidden roles, Medici, open auctions, sealed auctions, fixed price auctions, once around auctions, For Sale, running up the price of something, No Thanks!, Skull, filler games, higher player counts, Isle of Skye, Goa, Smile, set collection, push your luck, meta, interactions, Monopoly, fixing Monopoly, Masterpiece, Princes of Florence, telephone rulebooks, Letter Tycoon, auctioning off information, book games, letters from mistresses, Keyflower, Mogul, Clue
29 minutes | Jun 12, 2018
[PIP #012] - Cthulhu: Unsealed w/ Sean Epperson
On this week’s pip, we catch up with super-awesome-nerd extraordinaire, Sean Epperson of Thing 12 Games. We take a look at the design of his new game The Seals of Cthulhu which is on Kickstarter now, and also debut our new REALTIME round of questioning! You can check out the Kickstarter at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thing12games/the-seals-of-cthulhu?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=seals%20of Join the conversation! @thing12games @flatoutgames We talk about: Magic: the Gathering, Kickstarter, Seahawks, Hometown Pride, Bidding, Bluffing, Outwitting an opponent, ideas popping into your head, designer box of goodies, Circle the Wagons, Button Shy Games, tight coupling, Mintworks, Buildasaurus, Anyone can be a designer, Family Games, Spelling Cthulhu
61 minutes | May 29, 2018
[PIP #011] - Factory Tour w/ Joseph Z Chen
We catch up with Joseph Z Chen to take a closer look at his dice-placement, simultaneous-play, engine-builder: Fantastic Factories! We discuss the full spectrum of design from conceptualization to product, from sketches to finished art, from prototype to manufacturing. Fantastic Factories is now on Kickstarter! Check it out at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1602062107/358887448?ref=485041&token=590486c9&utm_source=flatout_games&utm_medium=podcast Join the conversation @flatoutgames @fanfactories We talk about: Race for the Galaxy, 7 Wonders, Alien Frontiers, Keyflower, Sundae Split, giving people just the right amount of information, Facebook Kickstarter groups, board game design communities, Go Nuts for Donuts, Quest for Valeria, LUCI Awards, Splendor, finding a manufacturer, engine building, good rulebooks, #killingyourdarlings, turn optimization, game design as a complete experience, not being afraid to show up, dice placement, worker placement, and elegant games.
33 minutes | May 16, 2018
[PIP #010] - Bull Dozers - Design Diary 01
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall during a Flatout Games brainstorm session? Well, wonder no more! We take you behind the scenes as we discuss the progression of an elevator pitch challenge game that we thought was worth running with! We talk about: smashing things, smashing all the things, Mission Red Planet, deck building, bag building, Mechs vs. Minions, combos, action sequences, china, programming decks, Magic Maze, resting mechanics, risk, balancing strategy and chaos, sleep tracks, Colt Express, player interaction, grids, Galaxy Trucker, set collection, smashing all of a thing, Dice Town, and smashing more things. Join the conversation @flatoutgames
66 minutes | Apr 18, 2018
#007 - Area Movement w/ Joseph Z Chen
Moving right along, we continue to expand our mechanics horizons as we take a look at Area Movement. Joseph Z Chen joins us to discuss the finer details while also getting us trapped in an elevator for far too long… We talk about: Axis and Allies, Risk, points, lines, Pandemic, Eclipse, spreading out to tackle the problem, points vs areas, War games, point to point as an abstraction, Chinese Checkers, Dead of Winter, Small World, Star Wars: Rebellion, Blood Rage, King of New York, limited access, restricting movement, Altiplano, Tiny Epic Quest, different types of terrain and movement, efficiency of movement, Tabriz, Istanbul, running the gauntlet, tiger’s den, stealing jewels, I split, you choose, bluffing, Sheriff of Nottingham Join the conversation! @flatoutgames @fanfactories
73 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
[PIP #009] - Spreading the Fire w/ Carla Kopp
On the second part of our series on Fire in the Library, we talk to Carla Kopp, gamer, game designer, publisher, and founder of Weird Giraffe Games. We check in with Carla about her process and get the scoop on her hot new game! Things we talk about: board games, video games, Dragon Con, learning, Magic: the Gathering, Settlers of Catan, Jamey Stegmaier, casual games, complicated games, panels, the joy of playtesting, not fighting human psychology, weird themes, Agricola, Fire in the Library!, Superhack Override, Stellar Leap, not finishing push-your-luck games, Costa Rica, Huntsville, NASA, player counts, having so much time on your hands that you sleeve your cards, boxes, priority shipping, prototyping, meeple artists, #DONTQUESTION,COBRA and designing games of your own heart!!! Check out the Kickstarter at: www.fireinthelibrary.com Join the conversation! @flatoutgames @weirdgiraffes
74 minutes | Mar 25, 2018
[PIP #008] - Lighting the Fire w/ Tony Miller
On our latest pip, we chat with Tony Miller, the Bearded Rogue, about all things board games, and take a dive into the design of his first signed game, Fire in the Library, which is now burning up Kickstarter! Check out Fire in the Library here: www.fireinthelibrary.com Join the conversation: @flatoutgames @beardedrogue We talk about: Fire in the Library!, Clue, Stratego, Sleuth, Role Playing, Game of Thrones CCG, Fantasy Flight, RPGs, Portland, weird backgrounds, giant clouds of nanites, card games, books, Elements, Roll for the Galaxy, Concordia, San Juan, Innovation, Impulse, Glory to Rome, Adrenaline, Mechs v Minions, Castles of Burgundy, Can’t Stop, I cut, you choose, simultaneous action selection, “Vizzini-effect”, multi-use cards, Back to Earth, Dice Heroes, meme-based inspiration, push your luck, designing through conversation, wabi sabi design, libraries, and getting it to the table!
60 minutes | Mar 8, 2018
#006 - Area Impulse w/ Chris Domes
On our latest episode, we try to wrap our heads around the area impulse mechanic. We are joined by our good friend Chris Domes who explains Twilight Imperium and how area impulse is used in the game. We talk about: Twilight Imperium, bluffing, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, Sheriff of Nottingham, Skulls, Risk, something Tokyo, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Roll for the Galaxy, thrusting and parrying, Ethnos, Pit, Guillotine, passing, Family Business, black cats, black markets, flea markets, and nefarious game themes.
74 minutes | Feb 19, 2018
[PIP #007] - 2017 in Review - Game States
We worked on a few projects this year, so we take some time to reflect on the design process and where we are headed in 2018. We talk about: Dollars to Donuts, Abstract Academy, The Big Dig, Rewild, Chilkoot Rush, Chop, DenCity, Black Hat, Medieval Children's Games and Point Salad. Join the Conversation @flatoutgames !
55 minutes | Feb 12, 2018
[PIP #006] - Quality Beasts and Where to Find Them w/ Dylan Howard Cromwell
On our latest pip we catch up with Dylan Cromwell from Quality Beast! Dylan has been very busy working on Quality Beast’s first major release: Seize the Bean - a game about satisfying customers as you build your coffee empire in Berlin! We chat about gaming experiences and how the places that we come from and move to help to inspire board game designs. We talk about: Coffee, Berlin, Seattle, Pit!, Pitter!(™), Pass the Pigs, Seize the Bean, neighbourhoods, public transportation, being inspired in Olympia, coffee, glassblowing, Belltown, randomness, Euro/Ameritrash issues, ringing bells, baristas, semantics, the board game lexicon, the global industry, more Pit!, immersive experiences, gaming bits, Dark Flight Games, Hanabi, playing games on airplanes, homework, Lisboa, and upcoming projects. Join the conversation @FlatoutGames and @_QualityBeast And check out the Seize The Bean Kickstarter campaign at flatout.seizethebean.com
52 minutes | Feb 5, 2018
[PIP #005] - 2017 in Review - Top Games
We played some pretty amazing games this year, however, only the best of the best can grace the Flatout Games top 3 of 2017! Find out about the games we loved the most this year, and what made them great! We talk about: not providing spoilers in our descriptions.
54 minutes | Jan 23, 2018
#005 - Area Enclosure
We’re back! The holidays got the best of us, but we’re jumping right back in with one of our favorite board game mechanics - Area Enclosure! Join us as we dig into the spatial implications and dynamics found in both classic and new game systems. We talk about: Tic-tac-toe, Hey, That’s my Fish!, A Feast for Odin, Yinsh, Go, Patchwork, Blokus, Agricola, KnitWit, Hue, flooding, forest fires, and volcanoes, oh my!, String Railway, Boo, grids and lines, La Isla, Jezzball(?), and 100% more natural disasters than all other episodes combined!
40 minutes | Dec 20, 2017
[PIP #004] - Illustrator Conversator w/ Ross Connell
On our latest pip we catch up with board game illustrator interviewer extraordinaire, Ross Connell of www.moregamesplease.com. We get the scoop on his motivations, process, and what's next! We talk about: Dixit, Ryan Laukat, Old Maid, Scrabble, Ross's grandma, Yahtzee, Happy Families, Arboretum, Commodore 64, Fury of Dracula, Above and Below, premium design, Inis, box art, Mr Cuddington, Santorini, Brass, board game budgets, The Grimm Forest, Unfair, Pandemic Iberia, Atha Kanaani, SHUX, Sami Laakso, Near and Far, Islebound, Sagrada, Peter Wocken, Dead of Winter, Ex Libris, integrated design teams, board games as collectible items, love, and logos! Join the conversation on Twitter @flatoutgames and give Ross a follow @moregamespls on Twitter and @moregamesplease on Instagram!
60 minutes | Dec 15, 2017
#004 - Area Control
In our fourth mechanics podcast, the discussion gets as heated as a good ole fashioned friendship-breaking game of Risk. We discuss the area control mechanic and the complex player interactions that come with it. We talk about: Coup, The Game of Thrones Board Game, Small World, aggression, Twilight Struggle, Risk, Lords of Waterdeep, Ethnos, Samurai, Kahuna, Mission Red Planet, mandatory quests, Hansa Teutonica, Caracassone, Rise of Tribes, Barony, exploration, tile placement, Ponzi Scheme, Food Chain Magnate, The Last Garden, King of Tokyo, aiming for monopolies, and Monopoly. Join the conversation by following us @flatoutgames on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
35 minutes | Dec 6, 2017
[PIP #003] - Patchwork
Molly gets Robb to talk about one of his favorite games: Patchwork. If you want some serious analysis about what makes this game so good and Robb’s strategies for WINNING - you’ll have to listen right through to the end. We talk about: winning, buttons, Patchwork, Five Tribes, strategy, math, apps, AI, Cottage Garden, time, Mastermind, multiplayer take-that, Race for the Galaxy, setting your opponent up for wonderful opportunities, give and take, chisels, and the fact that time is money, literally. Join the conversation @flatoutgames !
74 minutes | Nov 26, 2017
#003 - Action Point Allowance System
In this action-packed episode, we discuss the finer points of action selection in worlds where we want to do everything, but cannot. We also (barely) avoid talking about the holiday season until after Thanksgiving! We talk about: Pandemic, Dead of Winter, Blood Rage, Hansa Teutonica, Flashpoint Fire Rescue, Netrunner, Barony, Twilight Imperium, analysis paralysis, Survive, Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, Last Will, Through the Ages, Trickerion, Evolution, worker placement, Mystery Express, Orleans, feeding your dying mother, truck drivers that moonlight as clowns, deer meat, deer meet, reindeer games, The yet-to-be-announced Dead of Winter legacy game, Ticket to Ride, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Join the conversation @flatoutgames
51 minutes | Nov 20, 2017
[PIP #002] - 24 Hour Gaming
In PIP #002 Robb interviews Molly and Shawn about their recent experience playing board games for 24 hours at Blue Highway Games in Seattle. Many games were played, no sleep was had. We share the experience, so that you can sleep and live vicariously through us! We talk about: Word Slam, Concept, coffee, flipping birds, lies, Tides of Time, What’s Up?, spies, Codenames: Pictures, Codenames: Duet, Gen Con packing, candy, CGE’s generosity, packaging, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Echidna Shuffle, Two Rooms and a Boom, The Resistance, Top That, Go Go Gelato, Dr. Eureka, Junk Art, Animal Upon Animal, Mysterium, Sagrada, Roll Player, Oktoberfest, Cartagena, Cacao, Oh Captain, Tiny Epic Quest, The Big Dig, Dollars to Donuts, Flipships, Rhino Hero, Nevermore, Elder Sign, Skull King, and Wizaaard!
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