Strategy Can Be Fun?

By Strategy Can Be Fun?

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Description

Game design theorists Keith Burgun and Brett Lowey do a deep-dive into the systems of a different game each month.

Episode Date
Strategy Can Be Fun on our own DRAGON BRIDGE
1:03:49
Today Brett Lowey and I discuss DRAGON BRIDGE, my two player bumping card game. It’s a weird game for me, in a bunch of ways. For one thing, it was my first published tabletop game. But also, I produced it in a ridiculously short amount of time. That makes it even more… strange and interesting, …

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Jul 02, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Soren Johnson on OLD WORLD
1:18:23
Today I bring you one of the world’s more renowned strategy videogame designers – the designer of Civilization IV, one of the most beloved in the series (probably my favorite one still), and the founder of Mohawk Games, who created Offworld Trading Company, and most recently, Old World. Old World has been out for awhile …

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May 16, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Blue Moon
1:03:24
Wow, things certainly have changed a lot since 2004, huh? Brett and I took a journey into the strange Reiner Knizia card game, Blue Moon. It’s… a challenging game, that’s for sure. Enjoy the episode!
Feb 22, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Strategic Evaluation in Pax Pamir
57:26
Hello everyone! Welcome to our third episode of STRATEGY CAN BE FUN. Today, Brett Lowey and I discuss the Cole Wehrle game, Pax Pamir. I think this is maybe the first game where Brett and I’s positions on the game have diverged somewhat, although perhaps we have also pulled each other’s opinions together somewhat as …

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Feb 05, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Contextualized Choices in Puzzle Strike 2
1:00:14
Hello all! Thanks so much for checking out the second episode of our new podcast, STRATEGY CAN BE FUN? It’s up sooner than expected — when you have a new show, I think it’s good to get a few episodes out quickly if you can. Today Brett Lowey and I are so excited to present …

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Jan 21, 2022
Strategy Can Be Fun – Through The Ages, Playfulness and The Four Horsemen of Work
59:24
Surprise! New podcast! Introducing STRATEGY CAN BE FUN?, a new podcast with myself and Brett Lowey. Brett is a game designer and developer, creator behind BrainGoodGames, frequent guest on the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, and all-around awesome guy. We’ve decided to come up with a new show that we do as a collaborate project, one …

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Jan 12, 2022
Let’s talk about Magic: The Gathering, with two experts
53:03
Hello all! I have a special episode for you today, wherein we have a great big discussion on MAGIC: THE GATHERING – something I haven’t really dived into too deeply before on the show. For most of my life I was very, very skeptical of these games – I still think, for good reason. But …

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Aug 13, 2021
Free-to-play, Gacha games and game design discourse with Dan Felder
1:27:24
Hello everyone and welcome to the 91st episode of the CLOCKWORK GAME DESIGN PODCAST! Today’s guest is Dan Felder, a game designer who has worked at several studios, including EA, Blizzard, and Abrakam Games, where he worked on the popular CCG, Faeria. He also has written a bunch of game design articles on game balance, …

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Jul 27, 2021
Math for Game Designers, with Alexander King
1:18:51
Alexander King, who teaches at the NYU Game Center and the Parsons School of Design, has been tweeting about math for game designers a bunch – you should definitely go check out his tweet thread on the topic here. It also got me interested to have him on the show – I don’t think we’ve …

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May 05, 2021
Talking RPGs with Dayan Radisic
1:08:08
Today’s guest is Dayan Radisic, the lead developer at Stygian Software, the team behind the indie CRPG UnderRail. I’ve personally only played a handful of hours of the game so far, but it’s definitely the kind of game that’s in the “RPG Project” territory – it’s quite clearly super inspired by games like the original …

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Apr 05, 2021
Skill Compensation, Randomness, and the lifespan of games with Brett Lowey
1:11:52
Hello again! This here is probably the most nitty gritty strategy game design podcast episode I’ve had on the show yet, which is made possible because I have a shared language and understanding with today’s guest. This guest, by the way, is none other than Brett Lowey, who has been on the podcast several times …

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Mar 23, 2021
Interview with Jaron Kong, creator of Quantum Protocol
1:05:19
If you listened to my last episode all the way to the end, you might’ve heard Justin Ma mention a game that he’s been playing recently that he thought was cool. That game, which he recommended and I ended up playing, was Quantum Protocol. Quantum Protocol is a one-player digital card game that isn’t a …

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Mar 10, 2021
Conversation with Justin Ma
57:59
I spoke with Justin Ma, co-founder of Subset Games, who are well known for their hit indie games FTL and Into the Breach. Our conversation touched on a pretty wide range of topics, from their creative process at Subset games, to the state of the industry, to Justin’s feelings on game design theory in general. …

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Mar 02, 2021
RPGs and more, with Tanya X. Short
47:58
Today’s guest is Tanya X. Short, the co-founder of Kitfox Games, and the designer behind Moon Hunters and most recently, Boyfriend Dungeon. Tanya is also a contributor over at Gamasutra, where she writes about a bunch of game development and marketing stuff. I had wanted to get Tanya on the podcast for a long time, …

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Jan 25, 2021
A Conversation with Raph Koster
1:04:36
Hello all and welcome to another episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast! This is Raph’s second time on the podcast (the first time was Episode 37) but it’s always good to have him on the show. On this episode, Raph and I talk a lot about simulationist RPGs, some of his experience working on …

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Dec 12, 2020
Brett Lowey on win conditions and ideal design theory
1:05:02
Hi! I come bearing the latest episode of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast! This one features Brett Lowey of Braingoodgames, who has been on the show before! He’s a great person to talk to for me, because we have just enough agreement and disagreement to have good discussions. In this episode, we talk about his …

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Oct 25, 2020
Turn Based Tactics Combat Systems, and more on quarterbacking in co-op games
45:57
  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 …

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Sep 23, 2020
Kyle Kukshtel on indie strategy game design and development
1:02:13
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 …

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Aug 18, 2020
Adam Stewart of One Man Left, on tactics games, and game dev survival
51:18
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 …

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Jul 29, 2020
CGD Podcast: Solo-dev priorities, and Dark Souls with Pete Siecienski
51:15
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 …

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Jul 09, 2020
Kickstarters and Game Design Theory with Fabian Fischer
1:14:58
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 …

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May 28, 2020
CGD Podcast Episode 73 – Emergent Complexity
42:14
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 …

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May 08, 2020
Richard Terrell on Smash Bros and more
1:03:15
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 …

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Apr 03, 2020
A conversation with Arnold Rauers of TiNYTOUCHTALES
1:00:01
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 recommend …

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Mar 05, 2020
CGD Podcast Episode #70: Actor removal, and thoughts on score systems
32:21
“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 …

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Feb 06, 2020
“Easy” Games, with Brett Lowey
1:18:06
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 …

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Jan 23, 2020
CGD Podcast Episode 66 – Dev journal, recent games, and asymmetry
42:16
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 …

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Jan 13, 2020
Prospects for Indie Devs, with Jeremiah Reid
1:27:48
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 …

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Dec 12, 2019
A conversation with Elizabeth Hargrave
45:18
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 …

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Nov 26, 2019
How to not-hate marketing, Kickstarter tips, and my next big game
1:12:33
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 …

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Oct 19, 2019
BONUS: Humane Storytelling with Jenny Bee
33:35
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 …

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Aug 31, 2019
Binary Goals with Hopenager, and Kickstarting an 18 Card Game with Adam Wilk
1:09:39
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 …

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Aug 02, 2019
Rob Daviau
59:55
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 …

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Jul 21, 2019
Episode 60 – Eric Zimmerman on game design theory (also, randomness with Brett Lowey)
1:18:43
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, …

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Jul 16, 2019
Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design – interview with Geoff Engelstein and Isaac Shalev
58:36
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 …

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Jul 10, 2019
Tim Fowers
1:02:54
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 …

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Jul 03, 2019
CGD Episode 57: Smoothness in game design (and other topics)
46:43
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 …

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Jun 18, 2019
DanC on the reasons for making games
1:15:49
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 …

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May 15, 2019
Daniel Moore on music theory, formalism, and difficulty
1:05:57
Hey everyone! Today I have an interview with Daniel Moore – a joint podcast episode with his podcast, This Podcast Could Take Forever. I didn’t know about his show, but he was a listener and he reached out and mentioned that since we both have backgrounds in games and music theory, we should have this …

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Apr 18, 2019
CGD Podcast: Updates, League of Legends, and being a solo coder/designer
1:01:16
Hi! Thanks for listening. Here’s what I talk about on this week’s show. Updates about Chess Mix, revamping my Patreon, thinking more about article writing vs. video-making, some games I’ve been playing, and more A section about League of Legends and why you should probably play it, or at the least have a lot of …

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Mar 19, 2019
“Decisions”, XCom’s “creeping problem”, and paper prototyping
1:10:39
Hi! Welcome to episode 53 of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast! This is the second of “season 2” of the podcast – it’s another hour plus episode chock full of cool features. First we talk about the whole “a series of interesting decisions” concept, which Sid Meier is well known for(here‘s his GDC 2012 talk …

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Feb 08, 2019
CGD Podcast Episode #52 – Start of Season 2!
1:11:10
I’ve been talking for awhile about giving my show an upgrade. This episode, which is number 52, represents the first significant step in that direction. I spent more time working on this episode, developing segments, working on audio and various other features, than I have on any previous episode. I hope that it shows, and …

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Jan 25, 2019
Will Partin on Artifact and Platform Capitalism
52:51
Will Partin has written for The Atlantic, Variety, Kotaku, and, most recently a great piece in Vice’s Waypoint about Artifact. Probably less of a “formal game design” conversation than I usually have, but we touched on a broad number of topics that affect game developers and players alike. We also discussed the recent patch, the …

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Jan 06, 2019
Some thoughts about CRPGs, and why I want to make one
42:27
Hey everyone! I have a new podcast episode up. I wish it was a little bit more organized; I might write an article later on that presents these ideas in a more coherent and organized way, but with that out of the way, I have a lot of things to say about a certain kind …

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Nov 22, 2018
CGD LIVE! Everything wrong with a 2012 Gamasutra article of mine
1:33:47
It’s really scary looking at old stuff you wrote years ago, and for good reason! In this FIRST EVER LIVE EPISODE of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast, I went line by line through an old Gamasutra article of mine. And here it is in VIDEO FORM! I highly recommend not reading this old article, but …

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Sep 19, 2018
The future and present of Escape the Omnochronom!
36:42
I’ve got a new podcast episode! This one is, I think, more technical, systems-design oriented, with some bigger questions involved. I mostly wanted to share my thought process about where Escape the Omnochronom! is now, where I imagine it going, and how I feel about it. I’m often conflicted about how much I should keep …

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Sep 01, 2018
CGD Podcast Episode 46 – Against Management (and Decisions?)
38:27
Hey everyone! Welcome to Episode 46 of the podcast. This episode talks about what it means when a game uses “management” as its basic functionality. It also talks about “decisions” and whether those are really what we’re after in strategy game design. I also propose a new vision of what it could be like for …

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Jul 03, 2018
Naomi Clark on systems thinking and social responsibility
1:14:02
Today I’m super-excited to have Naomi Clark on episode 45 of the Clockwork Game Design Podcast. Last year, Naomi ran a super-successful Kickstarter for her two-player social card game Consentacle, which in addition to having beautiful, memorable artwork, is also trying to use systems to explore human communication and connection in new ways. Naomi is …

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May 12, 2018
Jon Shafer on pushing the 4X genre forward
1:05:09
Today I have an interview with Civilization V designer, Jon Shafer. Jon’s an experienced 4X strategy game player and creator, and I wanted to talk to him about the design issues these kinds of games tend to face. Here’s a few subjects we talk about: Diplomacy systems Lack of dynamics in the late (and often …

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Mar 07, 2018
Art is People Too
33:28
In this episode, I struggle with, and mostly reject, a lot of the formalist ideas I previously held about art. Art – whether it’s games, music, movies, or anything else – is largely about connecting with other people. When you like something, it’s largely because of a lot of subconscious processes that are largely informed …

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Nov 25, 2017