Game Design Unboxed:

Inspiration to Publication

Game Design Unboxed features interviews with tabletop game designers on specific games or series of games they have created. Listeners will learn where the initial idea for the game came from, how the game developed over time and where the game is now after being published. Listen to new episodes on the Know Direction Network and podcast apps every other Wednesday.

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In episode 0 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we meet Danielle, Ben and Denice the hosts of the podcast. They discuss what listeners will come to expect on the podcast in future episodes. They talk about their backgrounds, why they joined the show and what their hopes are for the future of the podcast. 

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Featuring: 

Danielle Reynolds – Host

Ben Moy – Host

Denice – Host

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In episode 2 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication Danielle, Ben, and Denice talk with Peter McPherson on his first published game, Tiny Towns from AEG.

The game was initially inspired by games like Minecraft with a spatial mechanic that is easy to understand but hard to master. Tiny Towns quickly shot up in popularity being one of the most sought after games in 2019. It was up for many of the biggest gaming awards such as the Mensa Award, Spiel der Spiele Hit für Familien, Golden Geek, and others! Peter talks about the success of the game and the creation of two expansions that add more depth, and the decision to take on a co-designer for developing these and other future expansions. New designers and hobbyists can enjoy his views on designing digitally in this COVID age.

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Featuring: 

Peter McPherson – Guest

Danielle Reynolds – Host

Ben Moy – Host

Denice – Host

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In episode 4 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Pam Walls about her Hasbro party game Hold That Face which was featured in the short lived Hasbro subscription box. Learn about her experience building the community Board Game Broads, starting up Protospiel Toronto and creating her own opportunities which led her to sign with Hasbro and later other publishers.

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Featuring:

Pam Walls – Guest
Danielle Reynolds – Host
Ben Moy – Host

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In episode 6 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Michael Langford, the designer of Misdirection, a Kickstarter that was fulfilled in 2019. Micheal decided to Kickstart his game after joining many Kickstarter Facebook groups like Board Game Spotlight and learned a lot of lessons between how to market, work with manufacturers in china and what to do when you end up with a crazy amount of bubble wrap on accident. He jokes that if there was a book on what not to do in a Kickstarter his face would be on it. So learn from him if you decide to go the Kickstarter route with your game!

 

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Featuring:

  • Michael Langford – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 8 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Emma Larkin on how to design a game based on a name first. Abandon All Artichokes began with a list of funny alliterative names and a few people on social media saying “I’d buy that game”! From there Emma paired the game with a deck building/wrecking mechanic and redesigned over 100 times! Hear her story on how she worked with GameWright and her local design groups to grow this game into a success!

 

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Featuring:

  • Emma Larkin – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 10 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Adam McCrimmon, Jordan Miller and Lauren Nepomuceno of XYZ Game Labs about their newest release ArchRavels, a crafting themed tabletop game. They took a deep dive into the crafting community inorder to fully embed the theme into every pore of their game. Playtesters hugged, crafted and thanked them for making a game that felt like it was made just for them. From their incredibly diverse character art that represents different ages, races, genders and even handicaps, ArchRavels had a lot of time and thought poured into the game design. This episode will help designers learn more about creating a rich theme with diversity in mind.

 

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Featuring:

  • Adam McCrimmon – Guest

  • Jordan Miller – Guest

  • Lauren Nepomuceno – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 12 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Julio Nazario about his design CTRL by Pandasaurus Games. Julio has worked to make his designs language-independent as well as use his engineering background to design in a 3-D space. Learn about his quick turnaround for CTRL and the lessons he learned as a newer designer.

 

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Featuring:

  • Julio Nazario – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 14 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Erica Hayes-Bouyouris about her co-design BOSK by Floodgate Games. Erica shares her insights on how to find a good co-design partner and what it was like as a woman diving headfirst into game design with the Canadian “Big Dogs”.

 

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Featuring:

  • Erica Hayes-Bouyouris – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 16 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Ryan Costello the designer of Orphans & Ashes, LFG Storytime with Dick, and a writer for various RPGs. Ryan pitched, designed, and developed Orphans & Ashes for Blind Ferret Entertainment based on their webcomic series Looking for Group. He worked to capture the dark humor and quirkiness of the webcomic characters to build a game designed with the fans in mind. He learned many valuable lessons about manufacturing and creating realistic manufacturing timelines as well as how to curate a board game subscription box while working for Blind Ferret. Ryan has worked his way into the gaming industry starting with creating the Know Direction podcast that currently hosts this show to landing a job with Blind Ferret and now Laughing Dragon. Ryan is a hobbyist turned game designer you can learn a lot from.

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Featuring:

  • Ryan Costello – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 1 we speak with Alex Cutler, designer of Expancity by Breaking Games. Alex talks about his journey of spending years working on his SimCity inspired game, from prototyping using Legos to learning how to 3-D print his building pieces. Alex took his love of city planning and architecture to design a game that allows players to build from the ground up. Alex shares his experiences of prototyping, finding Breaking Games, reviewing game design contracts and where the game is now a few years later. If you’re an aspiring designer you will not want to miss Alex’s tips on contracts and inspiring words about never giving up on a design.

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Featuring: 

Alex Cutler - Guest

Danielle Reynolds - Host

Ben Moy - Host

Denice - Host

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In episode 3 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication, we talk with Eric Slauson about his party game Tattoo Stories published by Bicycle Games.

Eric managed to design not one but two drawing games in the same year that allowed players that had limited art skills a chance to win using creative storytelling and memory. Tattoo Stories uses a combination of 5 elements to make up a tattoo that players will draw then describe to the round’s judge. Bicycle Games saw the potential in Eric’s design and now his game is featured in Target!

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Featuring:

Eric Slauson – Guest

Danielle Reynolds – Host

Ben Moy – Host

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In episode 5 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Charlie Bink the designer behind the Trekking the National Parks and World games. Charlie and his family worked to Kickstart the original edition of Trekking the National Parks which won a Mensa award in 2015. Charlie later partnered with Underdog Games to create a second edition and spiritual sequel to the game. Charlie took a break in his life to create the original edition including all the artwork and his life hasn’t been the same since. He and his family were featured in the Amazon Prime’s gaming documentary known as Gamemaster where they discussed the positives and negatives of working as a family. Charlie recaps his journey and talks about what’s next for the Trekking series!

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Gamemaster Video: www.amazon.com/Gamemaster-Nashra-Balagamwala/dp/B08C4TWDS3

 

Featuring:

Charlie Bink – Guest

Danielle Reynolds – Host

Ben Moy – Host

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In episode 7 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we speak with Jason Serrato on how to design and publish a controversially themed asymmetric take-that board game. Going from playtesting to Kickstarter to a documentary the game has been met with many challenges. Listen to Jason discuss all things Thug Life!

 

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Featuring:

  • Jason Serrato – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

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In episode 9 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Gil Hova owner of Formal Ferret Games about his game the Networks. During the creation of the Networks he struggled to ditch a mechanism that wasn’t working in the game but once he did the design thrived. Through massive edits during playtesting he created a hit that launched his company through the use of Kickstarter. He speaks about how the Kickstarter platform is changing as larger companies have begun to use it more as a marketing and pre-order platform.

 

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Featuring:

  • Gil Hova – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 11 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Justin De Witt, co-owner of Fireside Games and designer of Castle Panic. Castle Panic is one of the most well known cooperative games to this day and is what launched Fireside Games as a company. Justin talks about the base game, expansions, variations and IP based sequels. From talking through starting his company along with his wife to being approached to do IP based game variations like Star Trek and Munchkin Panic. Justin learned a lot about design and running a company through the years and has a lot of great advice to share.

 

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Featuring:

  • Justin De Witt – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 13 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Zachary Connelly on his game LOTS: A Competitive Tower Building Game. Zach speaks about designing his game with his son in mind. Plus, mistakes he made over various Kickstarters including the importance of having multiple people spell check your game. He also discusses how designing and redesigning games with component prices in mind can be a huge factor in if a game is going to be publishable. Learn more about being a hobby game designer/publisher from Zach in this episode of Game Design Unboxed.

 

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Featuring:

  • Zachary Connelly – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 15 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Josh Wood, a developer at AEG and game designer of Santa Monica, the Tiny Towns Expansions, and Cat Lady. Josh talks about the differences between developing and designing games as well as the heartwarming stories from Cat Lady’s design journey.

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Featuring:

  • Josh Wood – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Denice – Host

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In episode 17 of Game Design Unboxed: Inspiration to Publication we talk with Daryl Andrews designer of Sagrada, BOSK, 7 Summits, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Kodama 3D, Back to The Future Outatime and so many other games. Daryl shares his insights on going from hobbyist to designer thanks to an amazing local community of designers. Learn how he has worked with different design partners, themes, and mechanics becoming almost a swiss army knife of a designer. Daryl embodies the mentality of pay if forward and shows you how far you can go in the industry when you help support fellow designers.

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Featuring:

  • Daryl Andrews – Guest

  • Danielle Reynolds – Host

  • Ben Moy – Host