Essen 2016: Technology & Board Games


Release Date: Oct.  28, 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   47 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



The line between the cardboard game world and the digital game world is blurring now more than ever.

Most people outside the board game industry might take this to mean the digital world is pushing the cardboard world to the side, making it less and less relevant. People spend their time looking at screens not across the table any more.

But this is not so!

In fact the cardboard world is thriving and feeding off the success and interest in digital world. We see more and more board games embracing technology not as a gimmick but as a new and innovative way to enhance game play.

The real truth is these two worlds, the cardboard and the digital are not really colliding, they are converging. 

This panel explores the evolution of board games that embrace technology AND examines how the cardboard world influences the digital gaming world as well.

Our panel features:

Ignacy Trzewiczek (Portal Games)

Ted Alspach (Bezier Games)

Joseph Cochran

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: History in Game Design


Release Date: Oct. 27, 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  59  min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



Whether they are exploring political revolution, biological evolution, winemaking or early American history, each member of our esteemed panel shares a deep and abiding passion for history. And this love has a direct impact on their games.

From research methods to the balance between simulation and gameplay, the panel discusses how and why they incorporate history into their game designs.

Our panel features:

Martin Wallace (Age of Steam, Brass, London)

Vital Lacerda (Vinhos, CO2, Kanban, The Gallerist)

Phil Eklund (High Frontier, Bios, Origins, Greenland)

Max Michael (Credit Mobilier, Empires of the New World, Cheshire Ring)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: Designing Cooperative Games


Release Date: Oct. 26 , 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   31 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



It’s been nearly a decade since the publication of Pandemic and Ghost Stories, two of the most influential cooperative games during the current renaissance in  modern board games. Both were published in 2008 and both met with critical and commercial success. This success helped drive interest in the genre as a whole - so much so that nearly a quarter of the games published today incorporate some element of cooperative play.

Matt Leacock (designer of Pandemic) and Antoine Bauza (designer of Ghost Stories) discuss their passion for cooperative play and the challenges and differences in designing cooperative games. 

Our panel features:

Antoine Bauza (Hanabi, Ghost Stories, Samurai Spirit)

Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Pandemic: Legacy, Forbidden Island/Desert)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: Global Game Makers


Release Date: Oct. 25, 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  59 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



Now more than ever before the business of games is worldwide. But there is an absolutely essential player in this story that is often overlooked in this process: the manufacturers!

Representatives from Ludo Fact, Panda Manufacturing and Ad Magic, three of the largest manufacturers of board and card games, discuss the challenges they face when trying to make games for clients all over the world.

Our panel features:

Michael Lee, Chris Matthew (Panda Manufacturing)

Frank Jager (Ludo Fact)

Shari Spiro (Ad Magic)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: Impact of the Spiel des Jahres Awards


Release Date: Oct. 24, 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   51 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



Since its inception in 1979, the German Game of the Year, the Spiel des Jahres, has grown into one of the most prestigous and noteworthy awards in the game industry. The red pawn trophy is given to a game that German families will love and enjoy for years to come.  

And what started as a single award has expanded to include now a family of awards. The Kinderspiel des Jahres which started in 2001 celebrates the best children’s games in Germany and the Kennerspiel des Jahres which started in 2011 celebrates more strategic and thoughtful games.

Many compare the Spiel des Jahres to the Oscars of the game playing world and this is not a bad analogy at all because the impact and influence of the award has spread far beyond the borders of Germany.

The goal of this panel is to explore the influence and impact of the award - on the game industry, on the organization itself, on the designers and the publishers who win the awards.

Our panel features:

Tom Felber (Spiel des Jahres Jury)

Andreas Pelikan (Game Designer, 2x Winner: Kennerspiel des Jahres)

Wolf Wittenstein (Eggertspiele - winner: Spiel des Jahres & Kennerspiel)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: Publishing Games for the World


Release Date: Oct. 23 , 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:    48 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



The world of board and card games has grown into a global enterprise.

20 or 30 years ago the idea of a regional game publisher reaching markets around the world would have been almost laughable. Because the world today is more united than ever by technology and by a common love of games, the publishers are able to have their games reach players thousands of miles away across boundaries of culture and language. 

Publishing a game for people around the corner is not easy. Publishing games for the world is a tremendous challenge. The goal of this panel is to explore this idea and to learn how different companies around the world try to reach the world with their games. 

Our panel features:

Agnieszka Kopera (NSKN, Strawberry Studio)

Nate Scheidler (Gigamic)

Konstantinos Kokkinis (Artipia Games)

Nobuake Takerube  (Japon Brand)

Brandan Parsons (Brain Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 244: Team Play is Major Fun


Release Date: Oct , 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   39 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS



Team Play is game that draws deep from the well of classic card games. With hints of Rummy, Pinochle and even a little Euchre, anyone familiar with these classics will feel like you almost already know how to play.

You and your partner have goal cards you hope to achieve to score points. The goals ask you to collect sets of cards based on the color or number or both. There's also a public goal that any team can try to accomplish. 

The trick and twist to Team Play is that you can help your partner by passing cards each turn. If you pay close attention to the cards everyone is collecting, you'll have a good idea of what cards could help or hurt your chances of success.

Tune in to learn why we think Team Play is a modern classic and most assuredly... Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 243: 3 Wishes is Major Fun


Release Date: Oct. 6, 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Chris Castagnetto

Publisher:  Strawberry Studio, Passport Game Studio

3-5 pl  5 min ages 8+  MSRP $9.99


A very particular genie is looking for just the right person worthy of three wishes. Anyone can make three greedy wishes. In order to gain this genie’s favor, you need to find the right kind of wishes to wish for! The first player to collect a wish for a superpower, a wish for world harmony and a wish for a gift will win the game.

3 Wishes is a game of bluffing and deduction you can play in five minutes. The goal is to declare the end of the game with one of each type of wish in front of you BUT here's the twist. All your cards are face down and you begin knowing only one wish! By peeking, swapping and shuffling, you hope to manipulate the wish cards in your favor.

Read on to see why 3 Wishes is Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.


Interested in sponsorship?

Click here!


Spiel Shirts


Enhanced Version

Add to Google
Podnova Player button
Download Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver

MP3 Version

Add to Google
Podnova Player button

Download Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver


Game Resources
Board Game Geek
Purple Pawn
Card Game Heaven
Board Game Design Forum
Occasional Gamer
Knizia Games
Card Game Rules
Faidutti's Game Library
Cyber Board
Zun Tzu

Game Blogs
Ludoscopia (Spanish)
Board Games in Blighty
Metroburb Gamers
The Board Game Family
Board Game Nut
Dreaded Gazebo
Up the Vacuum Thingy
Vexillum (in Catalan)
Mad Town Gamer
Everyone Listens to Reason
Beyond Swelter's Kitchen
6-Sided Rhino
Gamer Dad
The Wargame Shed
BSK (Spanish)
Average Dave
Gamer Chris
Jugamos Todos (Spanish)
Goblin's Lair (Italian)
Gamer's Mind
NYC Gamer
Peg City Gamers
Roll To Hit
The Board Game Guy
Board Gamer
The Game Ranch
Game Night
Taller Than Thou
Knights of the Game Board
Bode Gueims
New Gamer Dad
Playing Board Games
Resident Meeple
Brettspieler aus Leidenschaft (German)
LaEsquinaFriki (Spanish)
Brdspl (Dutch)

Game Clubs
Euro Games Fest

Where to Buy Games
Board Game
Starlit Citadel
Fair Play Games
Boulder Games
Game Surplus
Funagain Games
Time Well Spent
Boards & Bits
Mah Jongg Maven
Game Preserve

Game Conventions
Essen Game Fair
Australian Game Expo

Other Game Podcasts
The Dice Men Cometh
Board to Death
Board Games with Scott
Bookshelf Games
Garrett's Games & Geekiness
All Games Considered
The Dice Tower
Board Games to Go
Have Games Will Travel
Into the Gamescape
On Board Games

This Week in Tech
Indiana Film Society
This Week in Media
The Horseshoe
Make: Magazine
Boing Boing
Mac Break Weekly
Sub Verbis