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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 18, 2022

Erica, Gil, and Sen discuss some of the tools and processes they use at the various phases of designing a game from their varying perspectives of an in-house designer, a publisher, and freelance designer/developer. 


00:08:31 DDS is an acronym for Detailed Design Specification

00:11:38 LucidChart browser-based flowcharting and more

00:18:43 Canva free online graphic design tool

00:19:13 Tabletop Simulator is a virtual tabletop (VTT) run on Steam 

00:19:14 Tabletopia is a browser-based VTT

00:21:26 Also known as an MVP - a “Minimum Viable Prototype”

00:21:45 Filemaker Pro is a relational database 

00:21:57 Nandeck is cardmaking software 

00:22:05 Component Studio is a full game design suite that is hooked up to the Game Crafter

00:26:06 Adobe Creative Suite is the industry standard for the industry in terms of graphic design 

00:27:54 Photopea is an online Photoshop equivalent for raster images

00:28:29 GIMP is an open source Photoshop equivalent

00:29:15 Inkscape is a free equivalent of Illustrator for vector images

00:29:57 The Affinity Suite is a one-time payment suite of graphic design and illustrative tools

00:36:46 Fiskars Rotary Cutter is Sen’s weapon of choice 

00:37:13 Arc punches, square punches and corner punches, oh my! This is an example of a 1” arch punch:

00:41:36 Midjourney and Dall-e are prompt-based AI Art generators /

00:44:58 Some great sources for icons etc.

00:45:32 Face generating software ThisPersonDoesNotExist

00:48:46 Functional Fixedness is the psychological phenomena when a person cannot see any other use for an item because their initial understanding of how it’s used is the only way they think it can be used

00:49:10 Sunk Cost Fallacy occurs when a person will not make a change, even one that is likely to be highly beneficial, due to the perceived amount of time, money, effort, etc.they have already invested in the current strategy

00:55:58 You can record your screen right from Windows and MacOS