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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 hello@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.

Jun 13, 2021

Gil and Sen welcome Calvin Wong Tze Loon 黃子倫 to the show to discuss narrative in games. How can we improve a game's narrative through its mechanisms, its components, and even its box size?

SHOW NOTES

0m46s: Calvin played P.T. Goh in the film Crazy Rich Asians. Also, info on Twilight Imperium's expansion Prophecy of Kings that Calvin did some writing for, and forthcoming RPG Embers of the Imperium.

3m16s: "Mayfair" in UK-based editions of Monopoly is equivalent to "Boardwalk" in US-based editions of the game. 

7m39s: Android: Netrunner

10m18s: The fan organization NISEI, currently supporting organized Netrunner play, releasing new cards, and keeping the game alive.

11m28s: Here's what Gil wrote about flavor text on Twitter.

14m44s: Pasaraya Supermarket Manager. Gil also regrets not bringing up diegesis in games (making the components, graphic design, and form of a game match its narrative) like in Inhuman Conditions.

19m22s: The Tiny Epic series of games.

23m31s: Gil accidentally gave out the name of the game series with this puzzle, so we bleeped it out!

26m04s: Crisis

28m13s: Ryan and Geoff discussed the magic circle in Ludology 79.

28m22s: The story game Fiasco, and the strategy game Barrage.

32m47s: Memoir '44

35m26s: Millennium Blades, Falsche FuFFziger, Descent: Legends of the Dark

41m17s: Here's the essay Crimes Against Mimesis. Also, here's Gil's talk on merging theme and mechanism.

49m45s: The Rick Riordan Presents line of books. The book Gil mentioned is Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, by Carlos Hernandez. 

53m40s: More info about the Prison Architect: Cardboard County Penitentiary board game.

55m32s: An Infamous Traffic

1h00m51s: Hollandspiele, This Guilty Land

1h02m07s: Hub Games

1h04m12s: The Typing of the Dead, Unspeakable Words

1h07m51s: Half-Life Alyx

1h09m51s: The wonderful Crystal Dax!

1h11m31s: Calvin's Twitter.