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Welcome to Ludology, an analytical discussion of the hows and whys 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.

We post a new Ludology episode every other week. In these episodes, hosts Emma Larkins and Gil Hova (sometimes with Professor Scott Rogers) deep-dive into a single topic within game design, often with a well-regarded guest from the game industry. We generally focus on board game design, but we often pull in experts from all forms of games, from video games to slot machines.

On weeks where there is no flagship Ludology episode, we will alternate between two smaller mini-sodes.

GameTek is a long-running feature from the Dice Tower podcast by Ludology co-founder Geoff Engelstein that explores the math and science behind games.  GameTek Classic episodes were once broadcast on The Dice Tower podcast, while other GameTek episodes were recorded specially for Ludology.

Biography of a Board Game is a series hosted by Scott Rogers that explores the history behind classic and modern board games. It was once on The Dice Tower, but has since moved full-time to Ludology.

We aim for most Ludology episodes to be timeless, so you are welcome to explore our entire catalog. Most of it should age quite well. The podcast was started in 2011 by Geoff Engelstein and Ryan Sturm, with Mike Fitzgerald taking over for Ryan in 2015. Gil joined the show in 2017 when Mike stepped aside, and Emma joined in 2019 when Geoff ended his tenure as host.

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 emma@ludology.net.

Ludology is made possible through the support and donations of listeners like you.

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

Aug 28, 2011

Original research from the GameTek Laboratories! Geoff looks at the Cube Tower from Wallenstein/Shogun and experiments to see if there is any pattern to when the cubes fall out. Take your Shogun game to the next level!


Aug 21, 2011

Ryan and Geoff finally resolve the cliff-hanger back from episode 12 and reveal the game they think brought dice back into popularity as a design tool not just a randomizer but as an integral part of gaming mechanics. They discuss a variety of techniques that have been used to incorporate dice into modern games, and...


Aug 14, 2011

What is involved in localizing a game into a different language? Geoff talks with the team who worked to translate Agricola from German to English and finds out.


Aug 7, 2011

This episode we are pleased to be joined by Mike Elliott. Mike is the designer of Quarriors and Thunderstone, and also worked for many years with Wizards of the Coast doing design work on Magic and other CCGs. We discuss the specific design issues that arise for deck-building games and collectible card games.