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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.

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Sep 20, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome game designer, developer, solo mode designer, and self-described "grump" Dávid Turczi to the show. We discuss the design of complex games with many interlocking systems, how to play with time in games, and the six (plus one) things Dávid looks for in a strategy board game.


1m18s - Battlestar Galactica
2m03s - Dávid's game [redacted] (yes, that's the name of the game)
2m34s - Trickerion, published by Mindclash Games
3m01s - Dávid's game Anachrony
4m36s - Dávid's games Kitchen Rush and Dice Settlers
8m32s - Splendor, Century: Spice Road, Gizmos
9m05s - Azul
11m40s - Dice Settlers' expansion is Dice Settlers: Western Sea
14m17s - For some outstanding Martin Wallace loan mechanisms, check out Age of Steam, Brass, and London.
15m24s - Agricola
15m43s - The "Taschini method" refers to Daniele Tascini, co-designer of Tzolk'in, Teotihuacan, and The Voyages of Marco Polo.
20m22s - The Gallerist, Cloudspire
21m15s - Vital Lacerda is the designer of The Gallerist, Vinhos, and Kanban
21m43s - Mac Gerts is the designer of Concordia, Navegador, and other clever rondel games.
22m00s - Dávid's new game Perseverance
22m48s - Arkwright
24m00s - Dávid's new game Tekhenu
27m39s - Dávid's new games Tawantinsuyu and Rome & Roll
32m05s - Viticulture
35m13s - Dávid is referring to scoring using a triangular sequence, which many board games adopt as a gentler alternative to the harsh slope of exponential scoring. 
37m13s - Black Angel
38m05s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 1/6: Narrative integration, or the fiction/action rule.
38m39s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 2/6: Elegance, or depth/rules ratio.
39m07s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 3/6: Strategic curve.
39m19s - Orléans
39m52s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 4/6: Replayability.
40m30s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 5/6: Achievement.
43m00s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 6/6: Interaction.
44m27s - Terra Mystica
48m12s - David's criteria for games he likes, 7/6: Uniqueness
55m38s - Tapestry
55m48s - David's solo modes - Teotihuacan, Keyper, Cerebria. If you want to hear more about designing solo modes for games, check out our episode with Morten Monrad Pedersen, Ludology 154 - Leave Me Alone!
1h01m49s - Trismegistus
1h03m36s - A Feast for Odin
1h05m32s - Petrichor
1h06m16s - John Brieger is an excellent developer. Heiko Günther is the best graphic designer (Gil may be a bit biased here, though)
1h09m11s - High Rise (Gil is blushing right now!)
1h09m30s - Glen More, Kraftwagen (Dávid named a seminal German electronic band instead), Tokaido, Tzolk'in
1h10m08s - Tutenkhamen
1h15m33s - Budapest: Days of Ire
1h17m43s - Excavation Earth
1h18m35s - Pocket Dragon
1h19m34s - Steal This Game!
1h20m40s - David Mortimer - Cousins' War, Ming Voyages
1h23m49s - Dávid's BGG profile
1h24m16s - Imperium: Classics and Imperium: Legends