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The Covenant Cast
80 minutes | Oct 23, 2022
215: Questioning Culture - Are You Casual or Competitive?
These two words seem to haunt the tabletop gaming landscape, and after many decades of exposure there still is not broad agreement as to what they mean. Behind these terms is a more accurate understanding of what each of us is looking for in the hobby, knowledge that has the potential to fundamentally improve everything about the gaming space, so join us as we take however much time is needed to get to the bottom of it.
69 minutes | Oct 15, 2022
214: KeyForge Gets It Right
A lesson to publishers, and to every human being who communicates - Ghost Galaxy's "Dis In Formats" article is everything we could have hoped for as concern over new Organized Play formats spread throughout the online community. Even if you've never heard of KeyForge, join us for a breakdown of this illuminating story.
81 minutes | Sep 9, 2022
213: KeyForge Returns w/ Christian T. Petersen
Who better to see KeyForge through its next era than the founder of Fantasy Flight Games - Christian T. Petersen. Join us for a wonderfully candid conversation about GameFound, crowdfunding, retail, organized play, PvE, and the future of the first unique deck game with an undeniable visionary of the tabletop gaming space.
62 minutes | Aug 18, 2022
212: Rekindling the Magic
Card games - and so many things in life - aren't always about having it all. As the expectations around "instant" card access and competitive advantage skew the original TCG (and LCG) equation, we look to our recent Sorcery One Box Meta series as proof that a more joyful approach may well be available to all of us.
79 minutes | Aug 13, 2022
211: TCGPlayer Buys Channel Fireball
When the largest TCG marketplace buys one of the largest TCG content and event management entities, it's sure to have an impact on the industry. Join two non-Magic players as they look into the future - and inevitably dig up old questions about the concept of collectibility.
54 minutes | Aug 5, 2022
210: Crowdfunding KeyForge
This week, Ghost Galaxy (run by former FFG founder Christian Petersen) announced that their reboot of KeyForge would be kicked off by a GameFound campaign for the first "new" set, Winds of Exchange. The questions this raises, and their potential answers, says as much about the industry as it does about KeyForge - so join us as we try to unpack it all. We'd love to hear your thoughts about this podcast on the #podcast-discussion channel of our Discord - cov.link/discord!
57 minutes | Jul 22, 2022
209: The Future of Unique Deck Games, Part 2
Hot on the heels of SolForge Fusion's release and our subsequent podcast (Ep 194) about the Future of Unique Deck Games, Christian Petersen's Ghost Galaxy Games announces their acquisition of KeyForge and a full release of two PvE scenarios - Keyracken and Abyssal Conspiracy. Does the future look different for either of the unique deck games now that there's more competition in the space? Join us as we entertain that exact question!
72 minutes | Jul 15, 2022
208: Tabletop Terms - TCG & TC Edition
Confused or overwhelmed by all the seemingly insane things that players say in this hobby? Join us as we define terms like "aggro", "limited", "bounce", and even TC classics like "bugatti". You'll be up to speed in no time!
67 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
The Power Seven: Free
For the final episode of the series, Steven and Zach tackle the issue of "free" effects in games with an approach now influenced by all of the previous Power Seven conversations. Notably, can anything really be "free"?
51 minutes | Jun 18, 2022
The Power Seven: Resource Cards w/ Isaac Vega
Concepts like "mana screw" and "non-games" have existed in card gaming from the start, stemming from the reality that sometimes you do not draw the resource cards you need to play out your deck. With more recent designs doing away with resource cards entirely, we call up Isaac Vega (Dead of Winter, Ashes, Rose Gauntlet) to ask if this approach to game systems still has value, or if it is simply an outdated mechanic with more downside than upside.
84 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
The Power Seven: Silver Bullets w/ Alex Davy
Designers often employ powerful effects that target specific cards or archetypes when a meta becomes unbalanced. But is this ever the right answer? Our dear friend Alex Davy (Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Legion) joins us for an enticing conversation about silver bullets, with clear examples from Star Wars: X-Wing and Lord of the Rings TCG!
57 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
The Power Seven: Memory w/ Justin Gary
Huge board states, compounding static effects, unlimited stacked triggers - some games can get to a point where simply operating the rules is difficult and making meaningful decisions feels impossible. We've brought in Justin Gary (Ascension, SolForge, Magic PT) to unpack the benefits and drawbacks of certain mechanics as they relate to the memory tax, and whether or not modern game design should include them.
62 minutes | May 20, 2022
The Power Seven: Denial w/ Nick Conley
How many metagames have been ruined by a deck that just simply says "no" to whatever you want to do? And yet how many of your friends absolutely love playing said decks? Denial mechanics might be the most difficult game design needle to thread. That's why we've brought in Nick Conley (Ashes Reborn) to unpack the ins and outs of denial - and where it can go wrong.
51 minutes | May 11, 2022
The Power Seven: Recursion w/ Lukas Litzsinger
A simple act - replaying a card or two from your discard pile - has been the bane of countless metagames. Does such a seemingly innocent mechanic really cause problems? Should designers stay away from the idea of recursion entirely? Join us as we catch up with the King of Recursion, Lukas Litzsinger (Netrunner, Star Wars: Destiny), now working for Wizards of the Coast and keen to discuss the past, and future, of recursion.
69 minutes | May 6, 2022
The Power Seven: Limit 1 w/ MJ Newman
Should cards ever be limited to "1 per deck", especially as a balancing mechanic? Can strong cards exist if they are drawn less often? Can the variance of rare cards be fun for all players? Join us for a phenomenal conversation with MJ Newman (Arkham Horror LCG, Marvel Champions) about the merits of "limit 1" in card games.
46 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
The Power Seven: Introduction
Get ready for our most ambitious podcast series to date! Expanding on the principles of our "How to Ruin a Game" series, we've identified seven common design mechanics that are particularly troublesome to game balance, and are interviewing an esteemed designer about each! You'll hear from MJ Newman, Lukas Litzsinger, Justin Gary, Isaac Vega, Nick Conley, and Alex Davy as they each take a Power Seven mechanic and discuss their approach to implementing it (or not) in their own games and games that they have played. It will undoubtedly be an enlightening journey for players and designers alike - as it was for us - so be sure to follow along every week for a new Power Seven episode.
59 minutes | Apr 15, 2022
199: James White - Perspectives on the Flesh and Blood TCG
Recorded the evening before FAB 2.0 was officially announced, Legend Story Studios' founder James White shares a number of perspectives that provide context to that announcement, as well as the long-term future of the Flesh and Blood TCG - including set construction, release plans, bans, metagames, Blitz, Living Legend, competitive play, Classic Battles, and lore.
58 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
198: Considering Covenant - Q1 2022
We're testing a new type of episode, where we look back at the past three months "inside" Covenant and share how things are going - including developments that typically stay behind the scenes.
71 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
197: Card Games as Sport
We dive into the pursuit of card games as sport - with training, rewards, and perfection as the goal - and what publishers and players gain (or lose) by promoting this approach. *Disclaimer - this episode was recorded before the Magic Pro Tour announcement, the lack of which we reference.
60 minutes | Mar 18, 2022
196: Introducing the Sorcery TCG ft. Erik Oloffson (Founder)
Erik Oloffson, known best for his role as a founding member of Grinding Gear Games (Path of Exile), joins us to discuss his newest creation - the Sorcery TCG, now the largest TCG Kickstarter to date (over $1m).
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