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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 Erica Bouyouris, Gil Hova, Scott Rogers, and Sen-Foong Lim 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 escape rooms 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. Emma left in 2021, and Erica and Sen joined us.

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

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

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Make a one-time donation here. The donation will take you to "Bedbug Comics" - that's Scott's account.

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

May 3, 2020

Emma and Gil sit down with Chris Rowlands of Funko Games to discuss the design of IP-based games, and what it's like to design as part of a group collective.


0m00s: Playtest safely online with Gil and Emma!
4m11s: Mox Boarding House is one of the premier board game stores in Seattle. (Here's hoping they can stick around until everything is able to reopen!)
12m21s: The Frosthaven Kickstarter project.
16m45s: Personal plug: Abandon All Artichokes is Emma's newest game.
19m47s: Power Grid is the #36th ranked game on BGG. (Rankings are not absolute, objective measures of quality, of course, but still. It's a big game.)
24m01s: Beth Hawley was responsible for the amazing art in Chris' game Under My Bed.
27m18s: Disney Villainous, in which each player is a Disney villain with unique special powers, is one of their more well-known titles.
29m05s: The party game Yeah Nope.
30m52s: Funkoverse, the tactical minis game using modified Funko figurines.
32m33s: All of "Prospero Hall's" credited games on BGG.
34m04s: The games Horrified and Jaws.
38m17s: Prospero Hall's website
43m28s: The "tracer" scene from Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy.  (Explicit language warning)
50m31s: Personal plug: Avowel is currently available on Android, and coming to iOS soon!
54m10s: The game Jurassic Park: Danger.
1h02m35s: Paper Girls and Manifest Destiny 
1h03m26s: Sea of Thieves 
1h03m48s: Infocom's original help guide entry to the horrible and notorious Babel Fish puzzle in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy video game, written by Douglas Adams himself, is an absolute wonder to read. Keep clicking "Next Answer." Favorite quote on step 19 of the hint: "At this point, brave men have been known to break down and cry." 
1h05m11s: Building the Game, a podcast on game design.
1h06m34s: Some articles about wrestling's current audience-less format
1h12m04s: Our episode on ludonarrative dissonance was Ludology 192 - Diabolus in Ludica.
1h14m04s: Back to the Future: Back in Time and Last Defense!