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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 Emma Larkins and Gil Hova (sometimes with Professor Scott Rogers) deep-dive into a single topic within game design, often with a well-regarded guest from the game industry. We generally focus on board game design, but we often pull in experts from all forms of games, from video games 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.

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 gil@ludology.net or emma@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.

Oct 18, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Sen-Foong Lim back to the show to discuss the differences—and similarities—between board games and roleplaying games. We go through the perspectives of playing them, designing them, and examining the culture of play between both.

Sen originally appeared on Ludology 134: There's No "I" in Team...


Oct 11, 2020

In the spirit of Halloween, Scott takes us through the spooky history of the Ouija board: its origins, the legal battles behind the curtain, and how a scientific phenomenon makes it all work. 

Bibliography of a Board Game


Oct 4, 2020

Today, we are continuing our series of exploring the design decisions behind our own games! Emma and Scott sit down with Gil to talk about his game High Rise; about how it started life as an auction game, and the twisty route it took to publication.

SHOW NOTES

1m23s - Gil discussed the Wag auction in his Networks design...


Sep 27, 2020

Having previously discussed relatively new advances in AI that allows computers to beat humans at games like Chess and Go, Geoff moves on to games in which AI will have a much harder time being competitive. What is it about these games that makes it so difficult to make a good automated opponent?

1m00s: Geoff introduced...


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.

SHOW NOTES

1m18s -