In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game designer Liz England, best known for her work on Scribblenauts, Sunset Overdrive, and Watch Dogs: Legion. They discuss how she organized her mom’s RPG inventories, what is the boiling point of a lion, and whether system complexity matters if the player can’t see it. This episode was recorded on September 17, 2022.
Games discussed: Alice in Wonderland, Time Zone, The Outer Wilds, Might and Magic: World of Xeen, Heroes of Might and Magic, Unreal, Drawn to Life, Scribblenauts series, Resistance 3, Sunset Overdrive, Sea of Thieves, Watch Dogs: Legion, Old World, Crusader Kings series, The Sims series
In this episode, Soren interviews independent game developer Matthew Davis, co-founder of Subset Games and best known for his work on FTL and Into the Breach. They discuss whether FTL is a roguelike, how they resolve conflict at Subset, and whether Soren can convince them to add unlimited undo to Into the Breach. This episode was recorded on Sept 19, 2022.
Games discussed: Super Mario World, Secret of Mana, Fallout series, Scorched Earth, MLB 2K ???, HeroQuest, Ticket to Ride, Battle Line, FTL, Red November, Tetris, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Spelunky, Civilization series, Slay the Spire, Vampire Survivors, Into the Breach, XCOM series, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem series, Tactics Ogre, Advance Wars series, Triangle Strategy, Old World, Offworld Trading Company, Invisible Inc., Civilization: The Card Game
In this episode, Soren interviews independent game developer Justin Ma, co-founder of Subset Games and best known for his work on FTL and Into the Breach. They discuss how he bombed his first game industry interview, why the AI in FTL can’t behave like a human, and whether Into the Breach should have unlimited undo. This episode was recorded on March 24, 2022.
Games discussed: Pitfall, Manhole, StarTropics, Top Sin, FTL, NetHack, Stone Soup, Spelunky, Into the Breach, XCOM series, Wildermyth, Old World
In this episode, Soren and Leyla interview independent game developer Chris DeLay, co-founder of Introversion Software and best known for his work on Uplink, Darwinia, Defcon, and Prison Architect. They discuss how to play Prison Architect without a prison, why the game needed cutscenes, and how to design an economy when the world is ending. This episode was recorded on March 24, 2022.
Games discussed: Prison Architect, Scanner Sombre, The Last Starship, Academia: School Simulator, Road to Ruin, Oxygen Not Included, Dwarf Fortress, Old World
In this episode, Soren and Leyla interview independent game developer Chris DeLay, co-founder of Introversion Software and best known for his work on Uplink, Darwinia, Defcon, and Prison Architect. They discuss why they hid the credits screen for Uplink, who Darwinia’s Dr. Sepulveda is based on, and whether you can have too much fun playing Defcon. This episode was recorded on March 22, 2022.
Games discussed: Thundercats, Civilization, Pirates!, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, Cannon Fodder, Elite, Chaos, Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia, Geometry Wars, Multiwinia, Subversion, Elite Dangerous, Prison Architect, Invisible Inc, Burgle Bros, Monaco, Gunpoint
In this episode, Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk interview Soren and Leyla Johnson about their new historical 4X, Old World. They discuss whether the Old World timeline really makes sense, how they approach Early Access differently, and why Soren didn’t want to give up on the name 10 Crowns.
Games discussed: Old World, Civilization series, FrontierVille, Neptune’s Pride, Crusader Kings series, King of Dragon Pass, XCOM, Empires of the Middle Ages, Alpha Centauri, Seven Cities of Gold, Colonization, Power Grid
In this episode, Soren interviews Luca Redwood, the developer of 10000000, You Must Build a Boat, and Photographs. They discuss why 10000000 has no commas, how he makes sure the player never gets unlucky, and why you need to build a boat. This episode was recorded March 18, 2019.
Games discussed: Morph, Suikoden I, Suikoden II, 10000000, Puzzle Quest, Chuzzle, Dungeon Raid, Henry Hatsworth, The World Ends with You, Path of Exile, You Must Build a Boat, Civilization III, Civilization IV, Photographs
In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Robin Hunicke, co-founder of Funomena and best known for her work on MySims, Boom Blox, and Journey. They discuss why developers overperform their authority in large companies, how they almost accidentally made Journey a competitive game, and why they decided to let thatgamecompany run out of money to ship the game. This episode was recorded December 1, 2021.
Game discussed: Journey
In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game developer Robin Hunicke, co-founder of Funomena and best known for her work on MySims, Boom Blox, and Journey. They discuss why HyperCard was so great, why AI development is game design, and how Steven Spielberg almost made Angry Birds for EA. This episode was recorded December 1, 2021.
Games discussed: Pitfall, M.U.L.E., Offworld Trading Company, XCOM, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, Half-Life, Spore, Katamari Damacy, The Sims 2, MySims, Boom Blox, Nintendo Land
In this episode, Soren interviews veteran RPG designer Josh Sawyer, best known for his work on Icewind Dale, Fallout: New Vegas, and Pillars of Eternity. They discuss the purpose of grinding, the difference between viable and optimal characters, and why RPG players don’t welcome rebalancing their games. This episode was recorded March 24, 2018.
Games discussed: Baldur’s Gate series, Icewind Dale series, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout series, Civilization series, Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity series, Into the Breach, Torchbearer, Tyranny, Darkest Dungeon, Phantom Doctrine