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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.

Become a Patron of Ludology:

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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.

Jun 26, 2022

Sen and Gil chat with game designer Carol Mertz, senior game designer at Exploding Kittens. Carol has worked on many Exploding Kittens games, like Hand To Hand Wombat, Exploding Kittens: Recipe for Disaster, and Exploding Kittens: 2-Player Version. She's also known for her own designs, especially the wildly creative


Jun 19, 2022

Scott rassles up the tangled history of the Western-themed social deduction game Bang!


Jun 12, 2022

Gil and Sen sit down with game designer and chronicler Aaron A. Reed to talk about his project 50 Years of Text Games, in which he covered one important game for each year between 1971 and 2020. The project will be made into a book.

SHOW NOTES

2m21s: The Oregon Trail

3m13s: Gil mentions a bunch of games that Aaron wrote...


Jun 5, 2022

Geoff tells us about MENACE; not Phantom or Dennis, but the Matchbox Educable Noughts and Crosses Engine, which Donald Michie designed in 1961 as a relatively simple AI that would allow anyone to see how a machine could be trained to get better at...


May 29, 2022

Erica and Gil chat with returning guest Banana Chan and our own Sen-Foong Lim about designing their game Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall. What's it like making a game about a specific demographic, and who is this game for?

SHOW NOTES

0m54s: Banana was last on the show in Ludology 228 - The Roles We Play.
4m56s:...