Welcome to Ludology, an analytical discussion of the how’s and why’s of the world of board games. Rather than news and reviews, Ludology explores a variety of topics about games from a wider lens, as well as discuss game history, game design and game players.

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Have your own thoughts about our topics? We encourage you to visit us at our guild on Boardgamegeek to get involved in a continuing discussion.

You can also email us at ryan@ludology.net or geoff@ludology.net.

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During BGG.CON 2015, Mike asked several publishers the same question:

How do you decide what games you want to publish?

With the myriad of pitches and submissions that publishers receive, it is vital for designers to understand what attracts someone's eye.

Publishers interviewed:

  • Stronghold Games
  • Dice Hate Me / Greater Than Games
  • R&R Games
  • Portal Games
  • Arcane Wonders
  • Crash Games
  • Gamelyn Games
  • ZMan Games

Duration: 01:07

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am EST

New Content! Geoff interviews Barry Joseph and Eric Teo about the game Gutsy. Barry is the Associate Director of Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and as part of a new exhibit on the human microbiome the team at AMNH worked with Eric Teo, to develop the card game Gutsy.

Many of you know Eric Teo as the host of the Push Ur Luck Podcast, and he is also a graduate student studying game design at the NYU Game Center.

Why do a card game? What do they hope to teach, and what other roles do games have to augment museum exhibits?

A Print & Play copy of Gutsy can be downloaded at the AMNH website!

Duration 25:45

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_116_-_Gutsy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Mike and Geoff take a look at "Take That" games. When does this mechanic work, and when does it fail?

Duration: 1:13:34

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this classic GameTek, Geoff talks about the revolutionary studies about the human microbiome, and what that can teach us about playing and designing games.

Duration: 06:13

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_115_-_Microbes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

What changes are usually made between a first and second edition of a game? And what does that teach us about the design process?

Mike and Geoff are joined by guest Paul Grogan, who was heavily involved in the new edition of Through The Ages with CGE, to examine these questions.

And since we're talking about Through The Ages, we had to invite Ryan Sturm to come back for an encore visit to the program.

Duration 01:21:00

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Geoff gives a quick report on his play of Advanced Civilization last week.

Duration: 08:17

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_114_-_Civilization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm EST

Mike and Geoff talk CHAOS! Mike loves it in his games. Can he convince Geoff of its charms?

Duration: 1:04:37

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

Duration: 05:05

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_113_-_Sunk_Costs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EST

What games cross over into traditional retailers like Target and Barnes and Noble? Mike and Geoff are joined by Andrew Lupp, National Sales Manager of PSI, to learn the ins and outs. Andrew works with big chains to help them decide which games will sell to the general public, and walks us through the process.

Duration: 1:18:15

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

NEW CONTENT! Geoff interviews Vlad Niculae of Cornell about his recent research on predicting betrayal via written communications. The foundation of the study? An only repository of 300 Diplomacy games and all 150,000 messages they generated.

Vlad's new project is the online game StreetCrowd, which is also exploring communications and team dynamics.

Duration: 20:27

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_112_-_Betrayal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST