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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.

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Jun 27, 2021

Erica and Scott welcome graphic designer, production superhero, and prototype craft wizard Lindsay Daviau to the show. We talk about her experience at Hasbro making (among many other things) fake games for fake stores. We also bring up her favorite games that she worked on, and her job at Restoration Games (with her husband Rob, who you may have heard of), where she works on games like Unmatched, Fireball Island, Stop Thief, and the soon-to-come Return to Dark Tower.

SHOW NOTES

04m10s: This is Don Norman's legendary book, Design of Everyday Things. It frequently comes up in this show, although despite what Scott says, we have never done a dedicated episode on it. We did discuss it a lot with game designer and graphic designer Daniel Solis on Ludology 204 - The Eyes Have It.

05m09s: The prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD, pronounced "RIHS-dee"). 

12m57s: For those of you outside the US, the functional metric equivalent to 11"x17" paper is A3.

16m12s: The most recent Pandemic Legacy game is Pandemic Legacy: Season 0.

16m56s: Laser cutters emit toxic fumes; please only ever use them with proper ventilation

17m48s: The Brother ScanNCut.

18m34s: Gil's tip for making quick tokens: get a bunch of circle labels, and a bunch of poker chips! 1" diameter labels work well for standard poker chips, 0.5" diameter labels work well for mini poker chips. Once you set up to print to the circle template, you can make a bunch of tokens very quickly. And to replace them, simply print new labels and stick them above the old labels. It's great for early prototypes where the shape of the token is not hugely important!

21m08s: Heroscape

42m09s: The web suggestion form Lindsay mentions is right on Restoration's front page!

45m24s: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

46m41s: Pillars of the Earth is both a well-known book by Ken Follett and a solid worker-placement board game with a polarizing turn order mechanism.

49m00s: This cake discussion actually came relatively early in the interview. It was a bit too much of a tangent to include in the main episode, but we've put it here as a bonus. Enjoy!

53m24s: For more on edible board games, check out Ludology 210 - The Way to a Gamer's Heart, in which we chat with Jenn Sandercock about her cookbook/rulebook where she gives recipes and instructions for several edible games.