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The Game Design Round Table

Architecture & Design

Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.

Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.

Location:

United States

Description:

Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.

Twitter:

@TGDRT

Language:

English


Episodes

#251 David McDonough Supports the Player’s Story

1/19/2021
Firaxis designer David McDonough joins the show to talk strategy game design with Dirk and David. Topics in their discussion include: player stories vs game stories, the spectrum between full sandbox games and historical simulations, and how immersion in player stories can be encouraged. Along the way many games are covered, including both the Civilization series and the XCOM series.

Duration:01:01:14

#246 Omari Akil Talks Rap Godz

9/29/2020
Board game designer Omari Akil joins Dirk and David to talk about Rap Godz, Hoop Godz, and the process of making games that connect both mechanically and emotionally with a specific theme. They discuss the hip hop theme of Rap Godz as well as the street basketball theme of the upcoming Hoop Godz. Additional topics include managing scope and IP issues with a hip hop game, staying true to theme even if it upsets other game design norms, and designing as a sibling team.

Duration:00:50:56

#245 Listener Questions August 2020

8/18/2020
Kathryn joins Dirk and David to discuss the recent Rob Daviau episode as well as answer listener questions. In response to Daviau’s design axiom, the trio discusses the role of memory in the games they design and play. Then the hosts proceed to answer listeners’ questions. Those questions include: how to help characters avoid picking a playstyle they’ll hate later, whether the hosts plan to work in the VR space, what the exact process is for incorporating an established IP, and how IP...

Duration:01:05:51

#240 Ryan Scott Aims for Balanceable, Not Balanced

6/9/2020
Ryan “Morello” Scott joins Dirk and David on the show to discuss his design axiom: balance isn’t important, but balanceable is critical. Ryan discusses why planning ahead for a balanceable piece of content is critical to avoid making balance feel chaotic for players and designers alike. With his experience working on League of Legends and Riot’s new FPS, Valorant, he shares specific examples of where balance went wrong and steps designers can take to make things right.

Duration:00:52:39

#238 Round Table on How Different Game Mediums Handle Edge Cases

5/12/2020
Kathryn once again rejoins Dirk and David to discuss the last few episodes of the podcast. The trio talks about the differences in edge cases between TTRPGs, board games, and video games. Then they move on to discuss the merits of the axiom: if the player doesn’t see it, it might not exist. The group rounds out the discussion chatting about their familiarity with the 4x genre as well as MOBAs and why Kathryn, Dirk, and David all enjoy watching esports.

Duration:00:56:53

#237 Old World: Utilizing Playtesters Effectively

4/28/2020
Soren rejoins Dirk and David to discuss what’s new with his 4X game Old World—including a new name! The trio talks about publisher changes, how playtesting has incrementally improved the game, and some of the unique mechanics that Old World brings to the 4X table.

Duration:01:04:34

#236 Tanya X. Short Makes Game Systems Obvious

4/15/2020
Tanya X. Short talks with Dirk and David about her design axiom: if the player doesn’t see it, it might not exist. They discuss both some of the games Tanya has worked on, as well as other games that contradict or reinforce this rule. One key point of the discussion is how complex (and costly) systems created by the designers might go completely unnoticed by players if the user interface or the game’s objectives don’t align well with the system.

Duration:00:48:16

#235 Diving Into MOBA Foundations

3/31/2020
Dirk and David team up with show producer Skye to dive into the MOBA genre, a first in a series meant to explore the design of this popular genre. They discuss the genre’s roots in real-time strategy game mods and give an overview of the most popular MOBAs on the market. Additionally, the trio talks about tabletop and mobile MOBAs, and why they haven’t taken off (at least in North America, that is).

Duration:01:06:09

#234 Sen-Foong Lim Designs Edge Cases Out of the Game

3/17/2020
Sen-Foong Lim rejoins the show to chat with Dirk and David about his design axiom: design edge cases out of the game. The definition of an edge case is explored at length, and the importance of context when discussing edge cases is emphasized. Sen talks about what types of games can afford to include edge cases, and why he usually opts to either remove them or turn them into features of the game.

Duration:00:56:06

#233 Round Table on the Challenges of Pleasing Customers

3/3/2020
Kathryn returns to the show to chat with Dirk and David about the last three episodes of the Designing Thematic Games series. The group chats about hybrid games, designing additional content for games, and handling criticism. They also answer some listener questions about remote work and art contracts. Overall, a great deal of this episode focuses on the customer level and the difficulties (and joys) of designing with customers in mind.

Duration:01:08:55