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Hey everyone! Thanks for listening to this, the 82nd episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast. This episode doesn’t have a guest, it’s all me, and I’m talking about a bunch of stuff I’m thinking of with turn based tactics combat systems. A lot of this stuff is still up in the air, at some point I should write an article that lays out all of the…
 
Kyle Kukshtel said he sees me as a bit like an “alternative universe version of” himself, because we’re both solo indie devs working on turn-based tactical wargames that do things differently. His game, Cantata, is looking really cool and different, and he’s been working on it for somewhere around six years! I’m really excited for it. Here’s the la…
 
Today I had a conversation with Adam Stewart of One Man Left, one of my favorite indie developers of all time. The company has downsized since its heyday of the early 2010’s, and after operating for about ten years, there is now literally just one man left carrying the torch. Adam is currently working on Hex Gambit: Respawned, his latest turn-based…
 
Today’s show has two main topics: how do we prioritize what to do as solo devs working on large projects? And secondly, we discuss Dark Souls and the other Fromsoft games. Today’s guest is Peter “Nomorebirds” Siecienski, who some might know as the winner of our Push the Lane Fan Art Contest, or as a designer/artist behind Tumblefolk Tempest(on whic…
 
On today’s show, we have an interview with designer and theorist Fabian Fischer. Fabian is the designer behind Crimson Company, which is now running its fourth Kickstarter, which is currently doing incredibly well—at the time of this writing, it has over $33,000 pledged (and they were only asking or $11,000)! On the show, we discuss the difference …
 
We wrap up the plot of Disco Elysium and discuss the final events of the game, which fold the game's myriad themes into a great morass just waiting to be picked apart. Listen for our thoughts on The Human Project as a destructive force, nihilism as a selfish luxury, the overwhelming trauma of ideology, and nature's role as a fascinated, horrified w…
 
Hi everyone! Today’s episode goes into some depth about emergent complexity: what is it, what isn’t it, why would we want it, and how do we get more of it? We talk about specific examples in games like 4X strategy games, and most importantly (because I’m making one), squad tactics games. I want to say thank you so much to my Patrons, who make this …
 
Hey everyone! Weird times. I’ve actually been a little sick myself (don’t worry, I’m doing all of the things) and less productive over the past week or so than I’d like to have been. I originally wanted to have a new podcast episode ready for you guys today but sadly because of how weird everything has been, I am instead bringing you this full uned…
 
We pick up in the aftermath of the shootout and discuss the quiet sequences that precede the ending - an encounter with Lilienne the net picker, a hunt for mythical creatures, and a soul-crushing dream as seen through the world's rosiest glasses. For further reading, check out Bullet Points (Bulletpointsmonthly.com), which recently published a full…
 
On this episode of Savoir Faire, we observe the concepts of justice and policing in Disco Elysium through the difficult characters of Ruby and Klaasje. For further reading, check out Bullet Points (Bulletpointsmonthly.com), which recently published a full month's worth of Disco Elysium essays. Intro/Outro music is the End Credits theme from the Dis…
 
Today’s show features a conversation with Arnold Rauers, one of the world’s most successful single-player strategy game designers. We talked about the business of indie games, how Arnold makes things work, some thoughts on his latest game, Maze-Machina, and a lot more. If you haven’t checked out any of the TinyTouchTales’ games, I strongly recommen…
 
“Points quantify something which should remain in the realm of qualitative measurement.” This is the most succinct way that I know to express my problem, not so much with “score systems” per se as described in Ella Hoeppner’s recent blog post – which also spurred a bunch of conversations on my (now daily!) Twitch stream and on the Discord – but wit…
 
Today on the Clockwork Game Design Podcast I have an interview with game developer & designer Brett Lowey (AKA BrickRoadDX), the lead (and only!) developer at BrainGoodGames. Under this company he has made a number of cool, interesting and fun single player strategy games which you should definitely check out (here they all are on Steam!) On the po…
 
On this episode of Savoir Faire, we delve into characters and events that trace out some of Disco Elysium's most important themes - the curse of inheritance, aimless rage toward the status quo, and the relentless pursuit of a truth that may or may not exist. For further reading, check out Bullet Points (Bulletpointsmonthly.com), which recently publ…
 
Hi everyone! Today is one of those “a bunch of stuff” episodes, featuring a bit of a dev journal on stuff like Uninstall Academy (a very tiny gag game I released last week), Gem Wizards Tactics (yes, that’s the name again), and a bunch more. I also talk about a bunch of games I’ve been … Continue reading "CGD Podcast Episode 66 – Dev journal, recen…
 
Are we defined by our decisions, or by the twisted branching paths of thought that precede them? We explore this question through the lens of Disco Elysium and the characters of Kim Kitsuragi, Evrart Claire, and Measurehead. For further reading, check out Bullet Points (Bulletpointsmonthly.com), which just published a full month's worth of Disco El…
 
Today on the show I have a conversation with Jeremiah Reid, a software dev and indie Rogue-like game developer. Jeremiah first came on my radar when he wrote this article on the topic of the “Indie Game Apocalypse”, wherein he mentioned my work and its difficulty getting press and sales, despite the fact that I … Continue reading "Prospects for Ind…
 
Disco Elysium is destined to become a modern classic in the videogame canon. In this episode, we discuss what makes the game one-of-a-kind, from the nuances of its system, to the caliber of its writing, to the distinct impact of its themes. We limit talk to around the first third of the game, and mostly cover what happens at the church, the union, …
 
Today I spoke with Elizabeth Hargrave. After playing her game Wingspan and reading some interviews with her, I thought she’d be a great person to have on to talk about some of the stuff I’ve been exploring in terms of strategy games and their relationship to violence, both mechanically and thematically speaking. She had a … Continue reading "A conv…
 
Today’s episode is not a theory-heavy episode at all. Instead, we have a lot of practical advice and other game development thoughts that may be helpful to anyone else who, like me, wants to make and try to sell their own games. On the docket for today: How to not hate marketing (partially by not … Continue reading "How to not-hate marketing, Kicks…
 
I’m deep in the weeds of setting up the Dragon Bridge Kickstarter, which should hopefully launch next week or so. But I wanted to share this quick bonus episode with you: a conversation with Jenny Bee, who has a masters in visual storytelling, is a creator of games, films and other narrative work, and—full disclosure—is … Continue reading "BONUS: H…
 
This is one of our longer episodes, coming in at 1 hour 10 minutes, and it’s chock full of both theory and practice! For the theory bit, check out my conversation with Hopenager, a game developer and frequent chatter over at the kbgames discord, wherein we talk about binary goals versus score goals. Hopenager believes … Continue reading "Binary Goa…
 
Hello everyone! Today I come to you bringing yet another great board game designer: Rob Daviau, probably best known at this point for his Legacy series games, particularly Pandemic Legacy, which is indeed awesome, and which even inspired an article of mine. But he’s an extremely prolific designer overall who has dozens and dozens of … Continue read…
 
I’ve been saying this a lot recently, but this is a big one! Clocking in at nearly an hour and twenty minutes, this is, I think, the longest Clockwork Game Design Podcast episode yet. Eric Zimmerman is a game design instructor at the NYU Game Center, where he works with other CGD guests Naomi Clark, … Continue reading "Episode 60 – Eric Zimmerman o…
 
I can’t believe I went this long without interviewing one of my biggest game design theory heroes, Geoff Engelstein. Together with designer, game design writer and fellow game design podcaster Isaac Shalev, they’ve written a book that seems like it might be kind of a big deal in this field. To quote a bit of … Continue reading "Building Blocks of T…
 
Episode 58 is HERE, with the incredibly awesome and prolific board (and video) game designer Tim Fowers! This was, in many ways, a model episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, because we hit so many different (but relevant) topics involving the process of game design. Yay! Here’s a few key items: Conventions/conferences – which … Continue re…
 
Hi everyone! Here is episode 57 of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, where I give a bunch of updates on the games I’m devvin’. I talk a bunch about progress on both my Gem Wizards games and many of the game design struggles, particularly with the card game, which I’m deep in the design-weeds and … Continue reading "CGD Episode 57: Smoothness in ga…
 
Today I talked to Dan Cook about competitive games, social games, and our objectives behind making games in the first place. This was one of my favorite conversations with one of my favorite game design theorists out there. His blog, Lost Garden, was literally THE blog (along with maybe some stuff from Anna Anthropy) that … Continue reading "DanC o…
 
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