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 gil@ludology.net or geoff@ludology.net.

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

Elizabeth Hargrave (@elizhargrave) joins Gil and Emma to discuss the design of her hit strategy game Wingspan. We start by discussing engine-building games, but we'll also touch on the benefits of a rigorous playtest schedule, the best ways to prepare a prototype, scaling to a good player count, working with Stonemaier Games, and the range of things people can really say with flowers. 

Direct download: Ludology_203_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Scott tells us about Icehouse, the real-time game that's celebrating its 30th birthday this year, and whose distinctive plastic pyramids launched an entire game system.

Direct download: Ludology_202.5_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jeroen Doumen, co-founder of Splotter and co-designer of games Food Chain Magnate, Antiquity, and Roads & Boats, joins Gil and Emma to discuss the design of unforgiving games. What choices do you have to make when making a game that can be harsh to mistakes? We also talk about testing, publishing, and of course, hamburgers.

You can reach Jeroen by emailing him at jeroen@splotter.nl.

Direct download: Ludology_202_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Geoff discusses an unusual and somewhat tragic condition in sports called "The Yips." Is it mental, or does it have a physiological basis?

Direct download: Ludology_201.5_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Gil, Emma, and Scott talk about fun and meaning in games. What is fun, and how can we achieve fun in our games? What are games that try to balance fun within a more serious topic? And how about games that are not meant to be fun at all; how do they provide meaning for their players?

During the episode, Scott discusses Marc LeBlanc's 8 Types of Fun, which you can read more about here: https://theangrygm.com/gaming-for-fun-part-1-eight-kinds-of-fun/

Note: In the last 20 minutes of the episode, be advised that we discuss games that deal with traumatic subjects, like the deaths of close family members. 

Direct download: Ludology_201_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT