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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 tabletop game design (mainly board games and RPGs), 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.

Mar 28, 2021

Scott describes the history of Quarriors!, which became the base system for both the Marvel and DC Dice Masters games, among other licenses. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME

  • Tabletop Gaming Magazine issue 3 “The Making of Marvel Dice Masters” by Owen Duffy


Mar 21, 2021

Emma, Gil, and Scott have a roundtable discussion in which they discuss the three sales channels, or markets, your board game can be available in: hobby, specialty, and mass. What are the differences between them, and how can a game move from one to another?

SHOW NOTES

0m48s: Erica and Sen are joining the show! You can...


Mar 14, 2021

Geoff looks at a recent study that attempted to find a correlation between participants' actions in a game and how they would score in a survey of leadership skills. How can a game tell us whether a person is more or less likely to prefer to lead a group?


Mar 7, 2021

Emma and Gil welcome Emerson Matsuuchi back to the show to discuss his experience designing the Century game series, and what it's like designing 3 "mixable" games.

SHOW NOTES

0m37s: We last heard Emerson as a guest on Ludology 106 - Hide and Seek.

1m01s: In addition to the Century series, Emerson has designed Reef and...