show episodes
 
We’ve spent over a decade in the tabletop gaming space, as content creators, local store owners, and online retailers. Now it’s time to answer your questions, dive into complex topics, and have an incredible amount of fun along the way -- featuring exclusive updates, candid dialogue, and fascinating interviews with designers, publishers, and visionaries.
 
Residual Culture is a podcast out of the Reynolds School of Journalism produced and edited by Joey Lovato and Ben Birkinbine. Joey is a student at the Reynolds School and Ben is an assistant professor of Media Studies. Together their knowledge spans a wide range of media artifacts, from movies and TV to video games and music. This podcast is them exploring, arguing, and hopefully better understanding those topics.
 
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show series
 
James White started Legend Story Studios to launch the Flesh and Blood TCG in 2019, after over seven years of development. But like so many publishers, 2020 became a crucible of determination and adaptation. Surprisingly, though, the game is now growing by leaps and bounds - and according to James, the next set, Monarch, is when the system becomes …
 
Last week's Ashes stream was filled with an excitement that is familiar to most of us - the moment when you see behind the curtain, when your understanding of a game is catapulted into new territory that reveals previously unknown possibilities. The best games find ways to create those moments over, and over, and over, while others lose steam befor…
 
We've seen so many card games come and go over the years - but we've never seen an explosion quite like Flesh and Blood over this past month. New partnerships, $1,000 boxes, a thriving singles market, and a migration of disenchanted Magic players - join us as we ask the never-ending question: is this the next one? Find all previous casts, as well a…
 
Eric Lang, designer or co-designer of - Game of Thrones LCG, Call of Cthulu LCG, Warhammer: Invasion, Star Wars LCG, Conquest LCG, Dice Masters, Arcadia Quest, Blood Rage, Rising Sun, Ankh, Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures, Bloodborne, Ankh, Marvel United, and more - sits down with us for an exceedingly insightful 90 minutes on COVID, philanthropy, ac…
 
The second publisher featured on our Industry Insight series, Jamey Stegmaier (Viticulture, Scythe) of Stonemaier Games (Wingspan, Pendulum) discusses the lead up to COVID, the adaptations made in 2020, and where things go from here - for both publishing and retail. Nothing is off the table. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptio…
 
We've kept up with Brenda and Paraic of Knight Watch Games since they won the Power Retailer Award at GAMA (after which we interviewed the former), watching their space improve and their vision come to life. What happens, though, when COVID injects uncertainty into those long term plans? How can retailers adapt? Let's find out. Find all previous ca…
 
If you've been in this hobby for any amount of time, you've probably seen a video from Rodney's iconic Watch It Played YouTube channel. In this continuation of our Industry Insight series, join us for a closer look at content creation in the age of COVID, and the impact it might have on the future of tabletop. Find all previous casts, as well as pr…
 
"The only way to stop us is to kill us." Kicking off our Industry Insight series, Giacomo and Riccardo share the inspiring (and terrifying) story of PvP Geeks' first foray into tabletop games - right as COVID-19 shut down the world. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
In our final episode of the "How to Ruin a Game" series, and our final episode of Season 3, we embrace one of the most sacred necessities of any modern business - what to say, how to say it, and perhaps most importantly, when to say it. It's particularly relevant for community-driven games, where even a day of silence can compromise everything. We'…
 
The ultimate buzzword for any business, marketing is yet another way that tabletop games can fail - and effective marketing is a particularly unique quandary in this industry. Join us for an exploration of marketing considerations for every publisher, from our perspective as an online and local retailer. Find all previous casts, as well as learning…
 
There's a hard reality behind every expandable game. The system can be perfectly designed without extraneous, floating information and rules bloat. The content can stick to first principles while adding exciting new decision points. The organized play program can be robust and focused on the right things. But if production is erratic, delayed, and …
 
Expandable card games thread the middle ground between the fixed costs of board games and the evolving meta of collectible games, but non-cooperative titles have struggled to survive in the standard three tier system. Join us for a discussion about the fundamental reasons for this difficulty, and a potential solution to them - one we're pioneering …
 
Organized play is so much more than tournaments, and so often a tremendous source of dysfunction for the long-term health of an expandable game. It's incredibly important, and surprisingly simple - but few publishers understand that it's as critical as the content being printed. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on …
 
On our second installment of this hyperbolically titled mini-series, we spotlight how information can build during the course of a game - or even before it begins - to the point that meaningful decisions cease to exist. Stacking an ever-growing burden of need-to-remember information does not give a game more depth, just as taxing a computer's RAM i…
 
So you get excited for an expandable game, buy in, and fall in love. Each new expansion opens up new, unexplored ways to play. Time passes, players come and go, and then suddenly you find yourself sitting down to play and realizing that you don't really enjoy it much anymore. Something about the game just isn't what it used to be, and you long for …
 
Collectibility is usually a divisive topic - with some claiming the format is predatory and ethically dubious. But what happens when you view the model as something more productive than a convoluted and expensive way to get everything? Lessons from the past may well cause a realignment of expectations, and a much more enjoyable - and sustainable - …
 
Publishers and retailers face a big challenge in onboarding players, the former typically leading the charge through the products that they make. Having recently experienced the classic, random cards approach of the 90s, as well as the somewhat revolutionary, "brand new system and expandable line" approach of Infinity CodeOne, we discuss starter pr…
 
Earlier this week, Origins Online was cancelled after a significant number of content creators and hosts walked away from the event. We discuss what happened, what it means, and what it teaches about the greater realities of tabletop gaming culture. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on our website: https://teamcoven…
 
The Star Wars LCG, with one of the innovative Eric Lang designs shaking up the scene at the time, instantly threw Star Wars fans into yet another furious debate about the proper way to recreate the "magic of Star Wars". For some, it was too abstract. For others, it was an entirely fresh way to experience a card game. After revisiting it this week o…
 
Games from all genres thrive when they provide players a point of connection when not playing with others - whether through solo play, deck-building, painting, or even collecting. These elements might be more important than any of us fully realize, especially as COVID has forced us to appreciate them. Find all previous casts, as well as learning co…
 
Following in the footsteps of Origins and others, Gen Con has officially canceled their in-person convention, replacing it with an online variant. What could these kinds of disruptions mean for businesses and players who viewed Gen Con as a "no-brainer" every year? Forced reflection and introspection abounds in the age of COVID. Find all previous c…
 
Theme and mechanics should always strive for harmony, but what happens when a wild wrestling match turns into an analytical challenge full of unexpected complexities? For some, the greatest game ever made. For others, confusion. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
When we say a game is "complex", that really doesn't tell us much. Simple decision trees with complex mechanics can lead to beautifully thematic experiences. Complex decision trees with simple mechanics can lead to incredibly satisfying gameplay. We look at the Middle Earth CCG, Legend of the Five Rings LCG, and Skytear - among others - to dig deep…
 
Having now streamed over 100 hours from a diverse catalog of games in the past month, we crack open the eternal topic - why do some games stand the test of time while others fall away? Great design is a mixture of mechanics and expectations, and there is no better framing device for this discussion than the recently played classic, Star Wars: Epic …
 
Just as we finalized a months-long effort to bring clarity to the online component of Covenant, the perfect candidate for our new mission arrived on our doorstep. Join us for a discussion about Skytear, a tremendous game that ushers in a new way for us to help publishers, players, and local stores. Find all previous casts, as well as learning conte…
 
Nothing could be more disruptive or important to address than the COVID-19 pandemic - it's impact on people, games, and the world. As tabletop retail stores close their doors and mass unemployment looms heavily on the horizon, we're certain that things will never be the same. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on our…
 
Data and privacy issues continue to impact customers and businesses, especially as Facebook and Google receive greater scrutiny. But do you really need to collect all of this data to succeed as a business? Do you owe it to your customers to protect their privacy? And do you actually make better decisions when you throw it all away? Join us as we di…
 
With a livestream of Star Wars CCG on the horizon, we talk about why the game has such a tremendous level of adoration - even now - and question whether there are lessons to be learned from Decipher's classic system. With Skytear and Flesh and Blood on our minds, we can't help but wonder if these games are capturing some of this old game design mag…
 
We're joined by Jamey Stegmaier, founder of Stonemaier Games, to get a publisher's perspective on direct sales, allocation, and product certainty - particularly in light of the recent Wrecking Crew supply issues. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
A sudden supply shortage cascades across retail and, for the first time, impacts Marvel Champions subscribers. Why did it happen? What does it mean? And how does retail operate without certainty? Let's find out. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
Former Head of Studio for Fantasy Flight Games, Andrew Navaro, joins us for a chat about his growth at FFG, how creative output can dissipate with advancement, and the future of the industry and his place within it. Disclaimer: We have no interest in pressing Andrew to dish on the current state of FFG, and this interview is not that. Find all previ…
 
After many years of a frustrating "two steps forward, one step back" approach, Fantasy Flight Games announced the end of Star Wars: Destiny. We discuss what that might mean for us, for FFG, and for the future of the expandable format. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
Unofficial sources have confirmed that Fantasy Flight Games experienced significant layoffs this week, mainly affecting the RPG, Digital, and Board Games teams. We discuss the potential reasons for this move, and what it might mean for the future. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant…
 
Godtear utilizes excellent starter products, pre-assembled models, and a streamlined rulebook to get players to the table almost instantly - and what awaits them, perhaps unexpectedly, is a heavy strategy game. Is that a problem? Using Arena Rex, Crisis Protocol, and X-Wing as examples, we do our best to find the answer. Find all previous casts, as…
 
Right from Covenant Tulsa, where Michael Boggs is attending our Marvel Champions Celebration Weekend event, we take a moment to chat about his journey from South Korea, to Netrunner, to being on the design team of arguably the biggest title of the year - the Marvel Champions LCG. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on …
 
Marvel Champions, Crisis Protocol, and KeyForge point to an underlying evolution in product development and distribution. Champions shows a new way for LCGs, Crisis Protocol breaks out of complexity and faction-specificity, and KeyForge shows a long tail on unique games. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our websi…
 
KeyForge sees its third set, Worlds Collide, this weekend, and we reflect on the journey from Call of the Archons, through Age of Ascension, to Worlds Collide - in the context of KeyForge occupying a very special place in the hobby. With FFG providing a solid foundation for design and OP, and continuing to build it in an intentional way, KeyForge h…
 
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