The Clockwork Game Design Podcast-logo

The Clockwork Game Design Podcast

34 Favorites

More Information




The Clockwork Game Design Podcast is a functional strategy game design podcast hosted by game designer and author Keith Burgun. With lessons universal to videogames and boardgames alike, each episode explores a particular topic and goes in-depth in a search for new constructive game design theory. Keith addresses some counter-arguments made by those in the community, and ultimately attempts to contribute to a more productive conversation on the discipline of strategy game design.






Interview with Greg Street, Lead Designer at Riot Games

This week, I have an interview with Riot Games lead designer, Greg Street. A few months ago, the League of Legends YouTube channel posted a “Dev Diary” video. A few people who follow my work alerted me on social media about this video, telling me that it sounded a bit like theory I often advocate … Continue reading "Interview with Greg Street, Lead Designer at Riot Games"

Duration: 03:06:21

Interview with James Lantz, designer of Invisible, Inc.

Today I interviewed James Lantz, game designer at Klei. Among numerous other games, he was for me most notably a designer on Invisible Inc., a really interesting X-Com-ish tactical strategy game, and Mercury, a small indie Rogue-like game that really boiled down how Rogue-likes really work in the smartest way I’ve ever seen. (By the … Continue reading "Interview with James Lantz, designer of Invisible, Inc."

Duration: 01:09:46

Interview with Tadhg Kelly

You probably already know Tadhg Kelly, as he’s one of game design’s most prolific writers. He writes for TechCrunch, as well as his own blog at www.whatgamesare.com. In this interview I ask him about why there has been a falling off of game design writing over the past few years, including an interesting point about … Continue reading "Interview with Tadhg Kelly"

Duration: 01:15:09

Game Grammar and Game Design Theory – Interview with Raph Koster

Today I had a conversation with the author of my favorite book on game design, as well as a designer on one of my favorite interactive experiences of my high school years, Raph Koster. The conversation goes for about 90 minutes, and like Raph said, we could have easily gone another four hours afterward. It … Continue reading "Game Grammar and Game Design Theory – Interview with Raph Koster"

Duration: 06:06:26

CGD Podcast Bonus – Introducing The Dinofarm Community Podcast

Hi everyone! This week, instead of a normal Clockwork Game Design Podcast episode, I bring you an episode of another podcast that I was very recently on – the Dinofarm Community Podcast. This is a podcast hosted and run by members of the Dinofarm Games community, over on the discord and forums. I came on … Continue reading "CGD Podcast Bonus – Introducing The Dinofarm Community Podcast"

Duration: 00:59:06

Brett Lowey’s Game Design Commandments

Today, in Episode 36* of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, I had a great conversation with BrainGoodGames‘ Brett Lowey. If you don’t already know BrainGoodGames, they make some of the best single-player strategy games out there. All four of Brett’s games—Militia, Axes & Acres, Skyboats, as well as his latest, Minos Strategos—are available on Steam. … Continue reading "Brett Lowey’s Game Design Commandments"

Duration: 11:22:49

Interview with Carolyn Petit of Feminist Frequency

Today I spoke with Carolyn Petit, the managing editor of Feminist Frequency, which you’ve probably heard about, since they’re easily the most successful and influential feminist/socially progressive games criticism outlet out there. A heads up: this is not a big formal “game design” conversation Instead, here are some of the things we did talk about: … Continue reading "Interview with Carolyn Petit of Feminist Frequency"

Duration: 00:54:14

CGD Podcast: Episode 34 – Videogames and Game Culture with Tevis Thompson

Writer and critic Tevis Thompson has been on my radar a long time as a rare person who talks about games in a way that is markedly less alienating to me than usual. I recently heard him on the 1099 podcast, which I recommend people check out, and I thought we could have a really … Continue reading "CGD Podcast: Episode 34 – Videogames and Game Culture with Tevis Thompson"

Duration: 04:24:04

CGD Podcast Ep. 33 – Flow, Formalism, and the Depth/Accessibility Trade-off

First of all, I’m not really a formalist, and I explain why in the episode. Also: why I’m not sure anyone really “is a formalist”. I talk about the “flow” concept that you’ve read about in almost every game design article and you ever read that wasn’t written by me. I also address a number … Continue reading "CGD Podcast Ep. 33 – Flow, Formalism, and the Depth/Accessibility Trade-off"

Duration: 03:03:12

CGD Podcast Episode 32: Contests of Understanding, and Questioning Gun Worship in Games

Hello everyone! A new episode, finally. This one is a distinct two-parter, coming in at about 45 minutes. I first talk about how games are better described as contests of understanding rather than contests of decisions. The “decisions” aspect of games tends to actually be a bit over-stated. The second thing I talk about is … Continue reading "CGD Podcast Episode 32: Contests of Understanding, and Questioning Gun Worship in Games"

Duration: 03:01:54

CGD Podcast Ep. 31 – permadeath, structure, the death of game design writing, and more

Hello everyone. Today I'm talking about a new article I read about permadeath/grinding, as well as what I perceive as the death, or at least curving off of, the world of game design writing. I also read and responded to a Frank Lantz quote (now on the Dinofarm Forums!) on the topic of structure in games and win rates. You should also check out the game design subreddit if you haven't already: http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedesign (By the way... beware the term "beautiful".) As always, you can...

Duration: 02:38:24

CGD Podcast Episode 30 – Deepities, a new Frank Lantz article, and updates

In this episode I discuss the concept of deepities and how it applies to game design writing. I also discuss a new Frank Lantz article on Ian Bogost's new book—an article that, it seems to me, pushes against progress in game design in some ways. (Don't forget to check out episodes 23 and 24 where I talked with Frank on the show, if you haven't already.) Finally, I talk a little bit about some personal updates with me, my 2-3 upcoming games, and Codex (which I'm still playing). Thanks for...

Duration: 02:53:27

CGD Podcast Episode 29 – My Life In Videogames

This episode goes into my history as a videogame player (more than a designer) and talks about how recently I've been sort of regretting how much time I've spent playing videogames. Of all of the episodes of this show, this is the one I'm least confident about, in terms of, it doesn't have some super strong "thesis statement". So if that sounds like something that you wouldn't want to listen to, you've been warned. Hopefully there's some value in it for some listeners. Thanks for listening!

Duration: 02:36:44

CGD Podcast Episode 28: Responsible Theming for Competitive Games

We obviously don't want people to be jerks when we play games with them. But to what degree is our game itself kind of being a jerk? To what extent are our competitive games advocating players to be as toxic as possible? And what alternatives do we have to the traditional D&D / war-game based tropes that we rely on? This podcast episode is sort of a follow-up to my article, "Beyond the Pentakill", so I'd recommend reading that as well. Enjoy! I also mentioned Jackson Katz and Jonathan...

Duration: 02:19:04

CGD Podcast Episode 27: Broad Statements with Richard Terrell

Had a great conversation with Richard Terrell, designer of Bara Bari Ball who's currently working on designoriented.net. He's also been on the podcast before, so I would go back and listen to Episode 6 where we spoke earlier this year. The conversation went really well. We talked about language, "broad vs. narrow statements", Auro and its reception, and a lot more. Enjoy! To support the show, please become a patron of mine on Patreon!

Duration: 03:50:00

CGD Episode 26: Auro, and my change in philosophy

This episode is undoubtedly my most vulnerable episode, wherein I talk about the failure of Auro, a game that I believe in strongly and which I worked on for six years. I talk about the process and the struggle of dealing with that and how it has re-shaped my way of looking at art. It's a short episode, but I had to talk about this before I talked about anything else. The above Venn diagram, which kind of expresses my recent dramatic change in philosophy, was based on an off-handed remark...

Duration: 01:33:12

CGD Podcast Episode 25 – On FPS Games

This week, I'm talking about FPS (First Person Shooter) games, something I've spent a good chunk of my life playing. I think we really misunderstand these things, as the correct distinction is probably just "shooter" - and probably it's time that we moved on from them. If you enjoyed the episode, please consider becoming a patron at http://www.patreon.com/keithburgun

Duration: 02:33:56

CGD Podcast Episode 24 – Execution and Single-Player Games, with Frank Lantz

Today we have another episode with Frank Lantz, game designer, writer, and Director of the NYU Game Center. Today's show involved two major topics: execution, and my seemingly crazy idea about how single-player should probably be the "default" number of players for a strategy game (something I'm going to be writing an article about soon). Also, Frank gives some of his own game design faux-pas thoughts near the end of the episode. There were some technical issues during the recording, so...

Duration: 04:34:58

CGD Podcast Episode 23 – “On Games At the Games”, A Conversation with Frank Lantz

This week I had a great conversation with NYU Game Center director Frank Lantz about randomness and general game design philosophy. We meant to get to three other topics - execution, reading and improvisation, but not all-that-surprisingly, we never got there in the 70+ minutes of this episode. Mentioned in this episode: Frank's "Against Design" article David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence Let me know what you thought of...

Duration: 04:08:22

CGD Podcast Episode 22: Mind Games and Reading the Opponent

What does it mean for a game to involve a lot of "mind games"? Can you really make "reads" off of an opponent and predict what he's going to do? What's the difference between "reading the opponent" and "a lucky guess"? This episode explores these questions, discussing games like Poker, Street Fighter, Rock Paper Scissors, Yomi and more.

Duration: 02:27:56

See More