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 mike@ludology.net or geoff@ludology.net.

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

Geoff and Ryan are joined by Steve Kendall of the Ragnar Brothers and designer of History of the World, Viking Fury, and more, to discuss Area Control or 'Dudes on a Map' games. What are the outstanding examples? What are the key ingredients of this genre? What are the strengths and weaknesses?

Duration: 01:17:12

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_71.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

NEW CONTENT! Geoff talks with Quintin Smith of Shut Up and Sit Down about his recent experience at The Betrayer's Banquet, a Prisoner's Dilemma-themed dinner party.  Does backstabbing improve the taste of chicken feet?

Duration: 22:56

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_70_-_The_Betrayers_Banquet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Ryan and Geoff are joined by Rob Daviau, of Iron Wall Games, and formerly with Hasbro. While at Hasbro Rob worked on a slew of games you know, including Heroscape, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Axis and Allies.

But we've invited him on to discuss his 'Legacy' series of games, starting with Risk: Legacy, and the upcoming Seafall.  How did he come up with the idea for Risk: Legacy? What were the design challenges and blind alleys he overcame? What is he trying to do differently with Seafall?

Duration: 01:15:15

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_70.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this classic GameTek, the GameTek players present "Wild West Showdown". Who will win this three-sided gunfight... of doom?

Duration: 07:44

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_69_-_Wild_West_Showdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am EST

Hot on the heels of talking about Set Collection, Ryan and Geoff tackle its cousin, Area Majority, a mechanic which comes wearing many disguises.  How does it differ from Set Collection? What makes it work or not?

Duration: 01:11:12

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_69.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this classic GameTek episode, Geoff talks about gamification, specifically the way that it is used by fold.it to use game mechanics to solve real world problems.

Duration: 06:32

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_68_-_Gamification.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EST

In this episode Ryan and Geoff discuss Set Collection as a tool for game designers. What attributes can set collection add to a game? What are some of the pitfalls? What games have used it well or badly?

Duration 1:04:32

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_68.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In the classic GameTek, Geoff talks about Chaos Theory, and how it is reflected in game design.

Duration: 06:54

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_67_-_Chaos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this episode, Geoff interviews Frank Merrick from FIRST about using games to get kids excited about science and technology. What are the special considerations when designing a game to be educational, fun, and challenging?

Duration: 34:15

Direct download: Ludology_Episode_67.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In this classic GameTek, Geoff talks about two recent research results about choice.

Duration: 5:15

Direct download: GameTek_Classic_66_-_Blindfolds_and_Boxes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST