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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.

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Mar 8, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Jennifer Ellis and Keith Baker of Twogether Studios. We discuss their approach for integrating stories into their game, whether directly embedded in their game, letting them emerge from the players, or evoked from the look of the product. 

Show notes:

05m03s: Check out Keith and Jenn's games:
Gloom
Illimat
Action Cats
Phoenix: Dawn Command

17m04s: Keith and Jenn's forthcoming Adventure Zone game is based on the Adventure Zone D&D actual play series

36m46: More info about Descent.

38m36s: Illimat is a card game conceived by and designed with the band The Decemberists.

40m00s: More info about Cthulhu Fluxx.

49m19s: More info about Keith's award-winning D&D setting Eberron.