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.

Ludology is made possible by the support and donations of listeners like you.

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.

Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.

Ryan and Geoff are thrilled to welcome Ben Brode, Senior Game Designer for Hearthstone, the online card game from Blizzard Entertainment.

Ben joins us to discuss the design considerations behind Hearthstone, how they took advantage of the digital medium while still feeling like a physical card game, and why you should deliver pizza to your favorite game studio.

Duration: 41:20

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_94.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

In this classic GameTek, Geoff begins a two-part exploration of cheating with a personal admission.

Duration: 6:10

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_93_-_Cheating_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

With Geoff goofing off, Ryan is very pleased to welcome noted designer Bruno Faidutti to discuss his article Postcolonial Catan, about how boardgames use cliches and stereotypes as shortcuts to generate theme.

DurationL 56:30

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_93.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

In this classic GameTek episode, Geoff explores an experiment that uses loss aversion to create an incentive. Is this a new type of carrot?

Duration: 07:15

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_92_-_Incentives.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Ryan and Geoff welcome Vincent Salzillo to the show! Vincent runs a variety of cons, including Metatopia, for game designers. He also runs the First Exposure Hall at Gencon for new designers to publishers and playtesters.

His most recent venture is the Envoy program, which helps publishers get their product demonstrated at stores and cons.

Duration: 55:48

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_92.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses the psychological phenomenon of Hindsight Bias, and how it may prevent us from being better players.

Duration: 06:37

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_91_-_Hindsight_Bias.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

In this episode of Ludology we are thrilled to welcome Peter Olotka, one of the designers of Cosmic Encounter, Dune, and many other classic games.  We discuss the early development of Cosmic Encounter, how it evolved, and other games in the Eon line.

Duration: 01:16:25

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_91.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses expectation value, and how it can be used - and misused - in games.

Duration: 05:39

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_90_-_Expectation_Value_Revisited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:50 PM

Ryan and Geoff take a close look at the body of work of Reiner Knizia, one of the most influential and prolific designers of the modern era.

What common threads run through Knizia's work? What lasting impact has he had on the hobby? What are the highlights, lowlights, and hidden gems of his oeuvre? And just how do you pronounce 'oeuvre' anyway?

Duration: 01:24:54

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_90.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00 AM

In this classic GameTek, Geoff talks about putting tiles down without repeating any patterns.

Duration: 06:15

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_89_-_Quasicrystals.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00 AM