GenCon 2018 - Wrap Up

Release Date: Aug. 18, 2018

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Running Time:   84 min.

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We recap our impressions of GenCon 2018, including discussions of industry news and several games of note.

Special Guests:

Darrell Ottery (Eclectic Games)

Gubbins Boffin (The Spiel's very own sound guy)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Crossing the Cardboard & Digital Divide

Release Date: Aug. 17, 2018

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Running Time:   42 min.

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The digital world is encroaching on territory that was once purely cardboard. In an increasing number of games, a digital presence is a necessary part of the experience. 

We’re heading toward a marriage of these two worlds. And the question for some is: how comfortable we might be with this relationship? 

Our panelists have set up shop in the borderlands between the cardboard and the digital. They know this is a space worth exploring and that the future of gaming trends this way. 

We discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by crossing the cardboard and digital divide.

The panel:

Ted Alspach (Bezier Games)

Tim Fowers (Fowers Games)

Tim Burrell-Saward (Sensible Object)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - The Mixed Blessings of Media Tie-Ins

Release Date: Aug. 16, 2018

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Running Time:   45 min.

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You have two good friends. Maybe one you met on a trip or at work. The other you’ve known your whole life. But they’ve never met. You love them both, but they are two separate worlds orbiting on different paths.

And then some day, by choice or some twist of fate, they meet. And you hold your breath. Because there’s that moment when you’re not sure whether these worlds will mesh together or collide in some spectacular fashion.

Now imagine that one friend is a novel or movie or comic or tv show you love. And the other friend is a favorite game designer or publisher. Two worlds we love, each in their own right, and when they come together, we hold our breath. We hope they mesh and create an experience that lets us play as - or along side -  the characters and settings we know so well. We hope for a rich thematic experience provided by the media married to gameplay that’s engaging and fun. 

This panel explores the mixed blessings of media tie-in games. What challenges and opportunities are unique to working with a media license? How do you forge an alliance between good media and good games?

The panel:

James Ernest (Cheapass Games)

Rob Daviau (Restoration Games)

David Brashaw (Baskspindle Games)

Francesco Nepitello (game designer,  War of the Ring)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Media Roundtable

Release Date: Aug. 15, 2018

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Running Time:   46 min.

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We invite a fun-loving group of people in the gaming media to join us for a free-wheeling chat on a variety of topics both serious and silly. 

The panel:

Scott "Aldie" Alden (Board Game Geek)

Bebo (Be Bold Games)

Marguerite Cottrell (Meeples Included)

Eric Summerer (The Dice Tower)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - The Art of the Pitch

Release Date: Aug. 14, 2018

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Running Time:   35 min.

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You're a game designer. You've put in the hours playtesting, revising, playtesting, writing rules, playtesting, making prototypes and playtesting some more. Until, at last, the day comes when the game is ready for its first pitch to a publisher.

The question is, are you ready?

The art of the pitch is a learnable skill. And our panel of experienced game designers and publishers  will walk you through the essential elements.

When and how to schedule the pitch? 

What materials or documents to prepare?

How to craft an engaging but brief explanation for your game.

Learn the art of the pitch and you'll have a better chance of making your game stand out from the crowd.

This panel features:

Mike Selinker (game designer, Lone Shark Games)

Stephen Buonocore (Stronghold Games)

Tim WK Brown (game designer)

Erica Bouyouris (game designer)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Games as Teaching Tools

Release Date: Aug. 13, 2018

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Running Time:   42 min.

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Games can be brilliant teaching tools both in the classroom and beyond it.

We discuss how each panelist uses games in creative ways to facilitate learning and develop life skills.

This panel features:

John Knoerzer (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)  

Beth Heile (speech therapist, assistive technology expert)

Kathleen Mercury (middle school teacher, game designer)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Representation in Board Games

Release Date: Aug. 10, 2018

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Running Time:   57 min.

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Whether we talk about race or gender or sexuality or religion or culture, the world of games is a distorted mirror - many players who love and share our passion for play cannot find themselves when they look into it.

And that makes us all the poorer for it. 

But playing teaches us that we have the power to change the rules. To make things more inclusive, to insure that all of us have seats at the table and can find the fun and joy we know lives in games. Our love of play, being players, allows us to imagine and create spaces where all are welcome and all are present.

As publishers, designers, and players, what choices can we make and what steps can we take to help the world of games include and reflect the vast variety of fun loving players in it?

This panel features:

Sen Foong Lim (designer, Junk Art, Belfort & many others)

Marguerite Cottrell (Meeples Included)

Isaac Vega (Plaid Hat Games, designer Dead of Winter, Ashes)

Katie Aidley (Katies Game Corner)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Game Development

Release Date: August 9, 2018

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Running Time:   39 min.

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Every game makes a journey from designer to publisher to manufacturer to seller and at last to the players.

But there’s part of this journey that's often invisible to those outside the industry: game development.

Games go through different stages of development between designer and publisher, with each trying to bring the game into a finished, polished publishable form. It’s part negotiation, part balancing act between great ideas and basic logistics and costs.

We delve into how different designers and publishers approach the development process, hoping to walk away with a better appreciation of how important this step is to the life of any game.

This panel features:

Matt Leacock (designer, Pandemic & many others)

Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games)

Ray Wehrs (Calliope Games)

Jason Hill (Flying Frog Productions)

Geoff Engelstein (designer, podcaster, teacher)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 300: Anansi and Take The A Chord

Release Date: June 26, 2018

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Running Time:   150 min.

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The Coleson-Conway era of The Spiel comes to a close with a celebration of our shared passion and love of trick-taking card games.

We review Anansi and Take the A Chord and delve into the history of Jeux de Tarot.

Anansi is a role-selection trick taker where players gain the abilities of animals from West African myths. Score points based on the tricks you take and avoid becoming the Fool.

Take the A Chord is a jazz themed trick taker where the Key (and the game) can change with a single card. Watch out for improvisations and try to take just the right number of tricks to win.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 299: Heaven & Ale

Release Date: June 14, 2018

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Running Time:   118 min.

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In Heaven & Ale, you are the master brewer at a German monastery in the Middle Ages. Your goal is to create beer that will please your fellow monks, the people in nearby towns AND (hopefully!) the big guy upstairs. 

Gather hops, water, barley, and yeast and recruit monks to build your brewery from the sunniest hilltop to the shadiest grove.

Each decision is fun and challenging and leads to an innovative scoring system that packs a great cerebral punch. 

Heaven & Ale will leave you wanting to explore the game from a new angle every time you play. 

And if you’re like us, the game will also make you thirsty. Make sure you’ve got at least a few dunkelweissen’s nearby any time you decide to play.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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