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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!

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.


1m18s - Battlestar Galactica
2m03s - Dávid's game [redacted] (yes, that's the name of the game)
2m34s - Trickerion, published by Mindclash Games
3m01s - Dávid's game Anachrony
4m36s - Dávid's games Kitchen Rush and Dice Settlers
8m32s - Splendor, Century: Spice Road, Gizmos
9m05s - Azul
11m40s - Dice Settlers' expansion is Dice Settlers: Western Sea
14m17s - For some outstanding Martin Wallace loan mechanisms, check out Age of Steam, Brass, and London.
15m24s - Agricola
15m43s - The "Taschini method" refers to Daniele Tascini, co-designer of Tzolk'in, Teotihuacan, and The Voyages of Marco Polo.
20m22s - The Gallerist, Cloudspire
21m15s - Vital Lacerda is the designer of The Gallerist, Vinhos, and Kanban
21m43s - Mac Gerts is the designer of Concordia, Navegador, and other clever rondel games.
22m00s - Dávid's new game Perseverance
22m48s - Arkwright
24m00s - Dávid's new game Tekhenu
27m39s - Dávid's new games Tawantinsuyu and Rome & Roll
32m05s - Viticulture
35m13s - Dávid is referring to scoring using a triangular sequence, which many board games adopt as a gentler alternative to the harsh slope of exponential scoring. 
37m13s - Black Angel
38m05s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 1/6: Narrative integration, or the fiction/action rule.
38m39s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 2/6: Elegance, or depth/rules ratio.
39m07s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 3/6: Strategic curve.
39m19s - Orléans
39m52s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 4/6: Replayability.
40m30s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 5/6: Achievement.
43m00s - Dávid's criteria for games he likes, 6/6: Interaction.
44m27s - Terra Mystica
48m12s - David's criteria for games he likes, 7/6: Uniqueness
55m38s - Tapestry
55m48s - David's solo modes - Teotihuacan, Keyper, Cerebria. If you want to hear more about designing solo modes for games, check out our episode with Morten Monrad Pedersen, Ludology 154 - Leave Me Alone!
1h01m49s - Trismegistus
1h03m36s - A Feast for Odin
1h05m32s - Petrichor
1h06m16s - John Brieger is an excellent developer. Heiko Günther is the best graphic designer (Gil may be a bit biased here, though)
1h09m11s - High Rise (Gil is blushing right now!)
1h09m30s - Glen More, Kraftwagen (Dávid named a seminal German electronic band instead), Tokaido, Tzolk'in
1h10m08s - Tutenkhamen
1h15m33s - Budapest: Days of Ire
1h17m43s - Excavation Earth
1h18m35s - Pocket Dragon
1h19m34s - Steal This Game!
1h20m40s - David Mortimer - Cousins' War, Ming Voyages
1h23m49s - Dávid's BGG profile
1h24m16s - Imperium: Classics and Imperium: Legends