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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.

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

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: anya@kickstarter.com, games@kickstarter.com, @anyayna
Luke: @burning_luke, burningwheel.com

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.

SHOW NOTES

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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_War_(2018_video_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)

59m17s: DRUGGIES AND BULLIES BEWARE BULLYPROOF Kickstarter project.

1h00m30s: OLDIE BINGO Kickstarter project.