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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.

Dec 16, 2012

For the final full episode of 2012, Ryand and Geoff are very pleased to welcome Martin Wallace to the program, designer of such classics as Age of Steam, Brass, and Runebound.

We discuss Mr. Wallace's design approach and philosophy, and dig deeply into Age of Steam and Brass. Big question of the episode - Can Ryan keep...


Dec 9, 2012

In this classic GameTek, Geoff talks about the art of rules writing. Why is it hard? What options are available to the designer?

Duration: 10:15


Dec 2, 2012

Ryan and Geoff are very pleased to welcome Eric Zimmerman of the NYU Game Center, and author of the book Rules of Play. Yes, that's three links in one sentence, but Eric is worth it!  

After a brief overview of Eric's work at NYU, the gang dives into a discussion of Emergence, when the unexpected emerges from a basic...


Nov 25, 2012

Finally! Ryan corrals his buddies into trying Trading in the Mediterranean, and records their thoughts afterwards. 

Reviewing the rules, cards, and other playtest materials may be helpful to understanding this episode.

Duration: 33:30


Nov 18, 2012

Ryan and Geoff welcome special guest Christopher Badell, designer of Sentinels of the Multiverse and one of the principals of Greater Than Games.  We have a wide-ranging discussion about starting and growing a small game publishing company, specifically for a 'Single Game Game Company'.

How does just having a single...