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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.

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

Apr 17, 2022

Gil and Erica sit with game developer and new music fan Brenna Noonan to talk about her experiences developing games with her development company Quillsilver Studios, her experiences working on the smash hit Everdell, and the intersection of music and games.


2m59s: Everdell, Roll Player: Adventures, Dog Park
6m14s: Erica and Scott chatted with the Laukats about making games as a family in Ludology 251 - All In the Family.
10m17s: Gil and Geoff discussed ludonarrative dissonance in games in Ludology 190 - Diabolus in Ludica.
11m22s: The sequence in question from the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse.
12m33s: Sorry, spoiler alert! Hitchcock's Psycho had a legendary twist.
18m32s: Brenna mentions the productivity apps Toggl and ClickUp.
35m35s: A good sample Colvini brainburner is Carolus Magnus. Also Samurai, Sharang's episode Ludology 230 - Design Re-Verb, High Society
36m47s: The New Complexity school of music, Brian Ferneyhough, Conlon Nancarrow and his wild player piano music. (We should also mention the more recent phenomenon of Black MIDI music, like this MIDI version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody with 2.06 million notes.)
41m06s: Coherence, recommended by Banana Chan in Ludology 228 - The Roles We Play.
44m04s: Brenna's 3 composers she'd have over for dinner: Kaija Saariaho, Giacinto Scelsi, and Frederic Rzewski
45m13s: Gil was close! It was Charles Ives, at a performance of his music. The exact quote: "You goddamn sissy... when you hear strong masculine music like this, get up and use your ears like a man!"