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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 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. Erica and Sen are happy to announce that Sarah Shipp of Shippboard Games and Stephanie Campbell of TTRPGKids will be joining us for the next year, providing additional content between our longer episodes.

Sarah's segment, Thinking Beyond Mechanisms, is a monthly feature that dives deeper into the other aspects of games beyond the dice and cards we're all familiar with.

Stephanie's segment, TTRPGKids, explores how parents and teachers can use role playing games with children in the home and in the classroom.

We hope you enjoy the additional content!

Our History

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 and Scott 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. Since then, Scott stepped down in 2022 and Gil will be hanging up his mic in 2023, leaving Erica and Sen to carry on this amazing legacy.

Erica and Sen are working to bring new voices to Ludology and have some great things to announce as gaming expands to include even more people!

Contact 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

Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.

If you have questions that you'd like answered on Ludology, let us know by filling out this Google Form; you can also leave an audio question that we can use on the show, if you wish! 

Burning Questions for Ludology

Burning Question

Support the Show

Ludology is made possible through the support and donations of listeners like you.

We currently have 3 "First Listen" series that will go out to Patrons well in advance of the audio being released to the wider audience.

  • The Memories that Made Us (monthly) - memories about gaming experiences that helped shape the people that bring modern games to life
  • Tales from the Designer Toolbox (monthly) - tips and tricks from industry pros learned from both success and failure
  • Ludology Live - recordings from conventions around the world

Patrons will also get extra consideration for any giveaways that we might have!

Become a Ludology Patron

Become a patron

You can also make a one-time or monthly donation here. The link will take you to Erica's account. People who donate in this way will not have access to the Patreon page - sorry!

Apr 19, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Anya Combs and Luke Crane from Kickstarter to discuss how crowdfunding is changing, especially in light of recent events.

Anya:,, @anyayna
Luke: @burning_luke,

Note that this episode was recorded on March 25, 2020, so if we talk about things happening "a few weeks ago," we're referring to late February/early March. This wouldn't normally be an important detail, but things are changing a lot quickly these days.


0m00s: Playtest safely online with Gil and Emma!

1m28s: For those who have never heard it, the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" set a template for punk rock's sound well before its time. (Explicit language warning) 

3m52s: More info about the Burning Wheel roleplaying system. 

8m32s: The original Alien Frontiers and Cards Against Humanity  projects. Both were modest successes. Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, and Shenmue were much larger successes.

9m48s: The original Kingdom Death: Monster was a wild success, but the second edition was one of the largest Kickstarter Games campaigns ever run.

9m56s: We recorded this episode before Frosthaven launched. As of the time of this episode's release, it has raised over $7 million USD.

10m31s: Gil's Kickstarter projects are all visible here

12m39s: The Dispel Dice Kickstarter project.

17m23s: The F*** Yeah Dice Kickstarter project (Explicit language warning, of course).

16m56s: Itten made the unique game Stonehenge and the Sun. Oink and Bouken don't have any Kickstarter projects, but their games are worth your attention for their distinctive look and style. Luke also brings up Bouken's game Diet & Friends.

17m17s: W.M. Akers has a series of baseball simulators called Deadball.

18m23s: You can find Emma's weekly news show on Twitch every Friday at 2 pm Pacific.

20m00s: Here's the Fantastic Factories Kickstarter project. Here's the Kickstarter for Coloma, designed by Jonny Pac, who was on Ludology 221: The Pac Less Traveled

20m36s: Here's the Gladius Kickstarter project. 

21m51s: More info about the Skylanders video game, which discontinued support in 2017. 

24m42s: Here's the Multiverse Kickstarter project. (Incidentally, if you're interested in a platform similar to Multiverse, check out Roll20).

27m34s: More info about the Jackbox party games. 

28m20s: The Spaceteam Kickstarter project (Note that this is for the original video game, not the card game inspired by it).

30m10s: More info about Twine. We go more into detail about this platform in Ludology 217: What IF? 

30m43s: More info about AVOWEL, the mobile version of Wordsy. 

31m05s: The latest Chronicles of Crime Kickstarter. 

32m46s: Commands & Colors by Richard Borg is a family of outstanding light wargames that includes BattleLore and Memoir '44

34m33s: More information about Kickstarter's Make100 and ZineQuest initiatives.

43m16s: More information about the newest God of War game

43m36s: Animal Crossing! Hoo hoo! That's a link to more info about New Horizons, the newest game in the series. There's a lot of interesting discussion going on about the game and how timely it is, how its soothing imagery is perfect for the current times, and how it offers an escapist fantasy (literally escaping to a desert island) to people who are stuck at home.

47m13s: Ankh, the newest CMON game, is at over $1 million USD from about 14,000 backers at the time of this episode release. Tapeworm has not yet launched at the time of this episode release.

46m45s: Pax Pamir's most recent Kickstarter. It's from Cole Wehrle (and his brother Drew), whom you heard two weeks ago on Ludology 222: Johnny Fairplay.

47m06s: The Sea of Stars Kickstarter project, and the Swords 'n Magic and Stuff project.

52m34s: Anya performs in the Hungry March Band, the Funkrust Brass Band, and the Brooklyn Wind Symphony.

55m26s: Of course, Team Ludology does not subscribe to Luke's spicy hot take here, and we're pretty sure Rob Daviau has played D&D more than once. :) Rob was guest on Ludology 70: Risky Business. If you want to hear him GM, check out the actual play podcast Story Roost and its first story arc, The Unmarked. (Explicit language warning)


1h00m30s: OLDIE BINGO Kickstarter project.