In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss why dinosaurs need to have ranged attacks, how deals go down on the SimGolf course, and if Civ games have an ideal length.
Games discussed: CPU Bach, Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, Gettysburg, Dinosaurs, SimGolf, Pirates!, Railroads!, Civilization Revolution
In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what elements from film can’t work in games, how many hours she averaged per week working on the Uncharted series, and how to capture great acting performance for video games.
Games Discussed: The Uncharted series, The Last of Us
In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what happened in 1977, how to make a platformer about Michael Jordan, and whether women are now being scared away from game development the way she was from the film industry. In true adventure game fashion, we end on a cliffhanger!
Games Discussed: ELIZA, Sea Wolf, Combat, Dungeons and Dragons, Zork, Electrocop, Bard’s Tale 4, Desert Strike, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, the Legacy of Kain series, Jak 3
In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews independent game developer Liz Ryerson, known for experimental games like Problem Attic. They discuss whether we should ever make players uncomfortable, why horror games have more freedom to try unconventional design, and whether Twitter is a game.
Games discussed: the Civilization series, Overland, Problem Attic, Train, Papers Please, PRY
In this episode, Soren interviews Westwood Studio co-founder Louis Castle. They discuss why early video game artists were also great at Etch-a-Sketch, why Dune 2 was not Dune 1, how Boom Blox was almost Angry Birds, and why narrative games can’t end on a negative.
Games discussed: Temple of Apshai, The Mars Saga, Command & Conquer, Monopoly, Dune 2, Eye of the Beholder, Blade Runner, Boom Blox, LMNO, The Battle for Middle-Earth
In this episode, Bruce Geryk interviews Soren Johnson about his new economic RTS, Offworld Trading Company. They discuss how exploring a black map is one of gaming’s greatest hits, why the hardest part of designing Offworld was ending the game, and why Early Access games shouldn’t have QA. Also, listen to hear Soren correctly pronounce timbre!
Games Discussed: Offworld Trading Company, StarCraft, Age of Empires 2, Railroad Tycoon, M.U.L.E., Belter
In this episode, Soren interviews game designer Ananda Gupta, best known as the co-designer of Twilight Struggle and the lead designer of XCOM: Enemy Within. They discuss why DC has no fort in For the People, whether Labyrinth‘s neocon design is intentional, and should Twilight Struggle use dice to resolve conflicts. They also assume quite incorrectly that Command & Conquer: Generals was released before 9/11. Who knew?!?
Games Discussed: Lode Runner, Ancient Art of War, Diplomacy, Risk series, Paths of Glory, Twilight Struggle, History of the World, Labyrinth, A Distant Plain, Sept. 12th, Civ 3: Conquests, A Force More Powerful, X-COM, XCOM
In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews Tyriq Plummer, who is the artist, designer, and programmer behind the roguelike platformer Catacomb Kids. They discuss why a game should let you eat your severed arm, how items can be adjectives instead of verbs, and how to design a deep game when you don’t see the bottom yet.
Games Discussed: Lonely Hated Rock, Powder, Spelunky, Catacomb Kids, Cibele